It’s Friday evening at 5.30pm, and I’m sitting in the corner booth at the Bohemia bar with fashionistas Kasia Guzik and Saskia Körnerovà. Kasia is a stylist who does personal styling as well as curating high-end fashion editorials in magazines such as this one. She will be teaching a Personal Styling course at Highlands College in Autumn 2023. Saskia is a self-taught fashion designer and stylist who has a passion for repurposing garments. She teaches Refashioning Garments for Highlands Adult & Community Education. They have never met before, but we soon find out that they have loads of similar non-fashion-related tastes (astrology, sparkling water, men in kilts), so I let them chatter while I sip on my Diet Coke.
Words: Traci O’Dea Photography: Oliver Doran
Kasia: Fashion isn’t about trends. It’s personal. Having a style and following trends are two different things. Personal styling is about the person—making people feel good about themselves. Figuring out your body shape, measuring yourself, learning to enhance certain features with colour. It’s not one size fits all. It’s also about shopping smarter and putting together a capsule wardrobe; timeless classics that you can accessorize and change around. That knowledge makes your life easier. Also, learning how to create your own thing out of what you already have.
Saskia: My course is tailoring more than upcycling. Upcycling means creating something new out of something else. What we’re doing in the class I teach is taking clothes that people already have, or clothes from a charity shop, and making them fit. What’s important is creativity and that students tailor something on their own that they like and that fits their body shape and style. We go through three projects with three different types of fabric that will give them the basic skills to tailor their own wardrobes. This takes less time than making new items from scratch. They will learn how to tailor their clothes to their body shape and to discover their style and energy. Personal styling is all about a person’s energy.
Kasia: It’s holistic fashion.
Saskia: Exactly. I had a student who wore a skirt and shirt she refashioned in our class, and she said that everyone was asking her about it and complimenting her on it. She was so proud. I was proud. There are so many clothes already in circulation that it makes sense to repurpose them.
Kasia: I love the idea of taking a plain t-shirt and adding massive sleeves.
Saskia: I’m more likely to remove things than to add them. Because that’s my style. I like things angular and minimal and sleek. But someone on the course might want to add things. I will encourage what I see in them and their energy.
Kasia: Don’t schedule our courses on the same night!
Saskia: We are different, and we bring our own vision, but it’s all related.
The courses Personal Styling with Kasia Guzik and Garment Refashioning with Saskia Körnerovà will run in Autumn Term 2023.