Kit and Kaboodle: Marissa Adele at Monaco Reps
What’s the most important item you keep in your kit for a shoot?
Double stick tape is always a priority. There are so many things that are important, it’s hard to choose.
How did you get your start?
I started because I was interested in photography when I was in high school and originally I wanted to study photography. But I realized I wanted to create images, not necessarily take the photo myself.
What was your made-it-moment so far?
I had a really cool experience working on a video shoot for Absolute Vodka, it was directed by the Hollywood editor, Hank Corwin, who has edited Tree of Life, and Natural Born Killers. It was really exciting working with him on such a big project.
How is the prep different for a commercial job verse editorial?
In a commercial job you’re working for a client with a specific vision, and putting the pieces together for them. I work closely with them on their concept and their idea, it’s like a puzzle putting all the pieces together just right. For editorial it’s more about finding fashion that fits with your concept. Fashion doesn’t necessarily have to be high-end, it’s equally as difficult but you have to step away a bit. Commercial is a wholly different realm; you’re working with real people and real scenarios. Absolute Blank campaign was really creative and about fashion. They worked with designer Viktor Luna to play with different looks which made it really exciting for me. Commercially I work on film mostly, and I’m a vodka girl as it seems. It’s great to see a new dimension into what you’re doing.
As we’re chatting you’re home visiting your mom in Southern California, do your own roots influence your style?
Yes and no, I think California style in general is really casual and beachy. I get a lot of my influence from art and I tend to go on the darker side of things. There are certain things that influence me here; I love old Hollywood.
What are some old Hollywood films that inspire you?
I absolutely love Hitchcock; North by Northwest is inspiring. It’s a mind blowing film and so influential for the time. I find myself going back to old films a lot. I love Wes Anderson, I love film makers that put a lot of thought into color and into shape of the whole visual film.
Shoots can be physically draining, how do you recharge?
Probably my biggest way of recharging is being around art and music. The only way for me to recharge is to be inspired. When you see someone doing something amazing you want to get out there and create more!
Who taught you the trade of styling and art directing?
It was a lot of trial and error on my part from the beginning, I learned a lot by assisting James Rosenthal and was truly inspired by her vision.
What advice do you have for anyone that is interested in getting into styling or art directing?
Just do it and see what it’s about! Sometimes fashion students don’t realize what’s really involved in the work, how much physical work it is and how important it is to be organized. It’s really difficult and stretches you in a lot of directions. Styling is a lot of work! You’re not putting pretty clothes on pretty models all day. My most important piece of advice is be punctual! If you can’t be on time you probably can’t be a stylist.
Tell me about your favorite shoot in your portfolio.
One I just did recently shot by Ryan Michael Kelly which Jessica Innis art directed. We did an art project with an extra prop set which Jessica had created, we had no pull letter, nothing. It was a fun chance for me to get really resourceful! I went to Pratt, not far from where I live, and I went to their jewelry show. I met a lot of amazing designers and was able to pull from them, we used porcupine jewelry and porcelain jewelry. It’s really exciting when a photographer or art director to come at you and say ‘I have an idea” what can we do? How can we make this work?