The above question followed by a confused and baffled stare is what often occurs after mentioning my new career aspiration. Flabbergasted that many people have never noticed the amazing sets on Ugly Betty or the jaw dropping layouts in an Anthropologie catalog, as well as being exhausted with trying to provide a PROPer (wink wink) explanation of this profession, is what totally inspired me to begin blogging. When you are watching, Sex In The City: The Movie, for the 8th time PAAAALEZE take notice of Carrie’s vibrant blue walls (Electric Blue from Benjamin Moore to be précise) and the furry white decorative pillow laying on the couch...Ummm Muffins those items did not magically appear, they were strategically placed there by a stylist ;-)~
Prop stylists, interior stylists, and set decorators generally perform the same tasks with slight, varying differences. However, the bottom line is they are all responsible for making a magazine photo, TV, film or theater set look AMAZE BALLS!
A photo stylist (prop and/or interior) designs the visual quality of a photograph and enables the photographer to take the best quality photo; resulting in the viewer desperately desiring and/or admiring the products that are being photographed. Whereas, a set decorator is primarily responsible for giving a level of physical reality to environments on TV shows and film sets. The spaces must convey something about the character’s personalities, past experiences or present emotional states in just a few seconds of screen time. The set decorator makes decisions about furniture, fabrics, color, personal items and the plethora of objects that give the audience a window into the character’s minds or hearts.
For a detailed account of a day in the life of two photo stylists and a set decorator, click the links for commentaries from HGTV’s Design Star winner, Emily Henderson, Interior Stylist, Deb Mclean and Lydia Marks, Set Decorator for the movie, Sex In The City 2.