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Anders S. Thomsen – Senior Fashion Editor

Anders-tegning2

Anders’ self-portrait.

Anders was born the 7th of March and grew up wearing clothes made by his Grandmother. At first he wanted to be a professional handball player, but destiny wanted something else for him and after moving to London from Denmark, he suddenly found his dream job in styling. He went to London College of Fashion, but got a job at Pop Magazine in the first year of school. This lead to a job as Katie Grand‘s assistant which is equal to a 1.5 times full-time job. Prior to enrolling in LCF, this was considered a dream job and it quickly became more interesting than school. His career has since involved working for DANSK Magazine, Camilla Stærk by Bestseller and many more and today he’s working as a Senior Fashion Editor for the amazing Love Magazine launched by Katie Grand.


What is the best time of day?

The best time of the day? God! Maybe the 4 o’clock wine… If I’m off it’s the morning. I don’t have curtains in my bedroom so I love to be woken up by the daylight. What if you’re working? Well, then it’s when I finish work and come home to my boyfriend.

 

What is styling/fashion to you?

Oh my God! (laughing).. without styling I’m a total prick. I think for me it’s just the way of expressing myself and it’s an art-form. I get really pissed off when artists look at fashion as not being an artform in itself. But what about the commercial side of fashion, do you think that’s art as well?
No, but the commercial style replicas what happens in high fashion, so yeah, it’s like a copy of art which is what happens to art as well, I guess. You know, you have the big commercial side copying the fashion and selling it cheaper, but it doesn’t matter. You need the commercial side of fashion to survive. In the old times it was a certain part of the public that had access to it and now it’s everyone and with the Internet like blogs or style.com anyone can see what the next thing in fashion is going to be, you know, it’s just total accessible. I find it a bit scary though, that a 13-year old girl or boy knows more about Comme des Garçons than I do! When I was 13 I had no fucking clue. I was just running around being a child, it’s just weird how things have changed with the Internet.

I find it a bit scary though, that a 13-year old girl or boy knows more about Comme des Garçons than I do! When I was 13 I had no fucking clue.

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Have you always wanted to be a stylist?

No. I didn’t know what styling was. I do think I — looking back — have always used to dress really alternatively I never followed a certain thing and I made a lot of my clothes myself, so there’s always that element, but I wanted to be a professional handball player then. I just didn’t know what this job was. It wasn’t until I was over here (London), and people started telling me “You should be a stylist!” and I was like: “What is it? What does a stylist do?” And then suddenly I realized: “Oh actually, I need that job! Oh my fucking God, I love that job. Bring it on!”. With styling you create your own way to do it. Well, you take someone else’s creation to make something and the thing is always the collaboration, it’s never just you on your own there’s always a photographer, hair and makeup involved and a model and each part is as important as the other, so that’s why its so brilliant.

Styled by Anders for Love Magazine SS09

Styled by Anders for Love Magazine SS09

When did you start?

I spent five years having the time of my life, making up for all the things I couldn’t do as a teenager. I did a lot of sports so it was very restricted, so I spent five years doing that and throughout I did a few test-shoots and then saw that I wanted to be a stylist. But you just have no idea how to get a foot in and it’s 90 percent luck. It was because of luck that I got in, but then I stayed in there and that’s hard work and about being good. But there are so many people who deserve a chance, but are not getting in and I know people who have gotten the opportunity, but maybe shouldn’t have, so its just hard work.

There are so many people who deserve a chance, but are not getting in and I know people who have gotten the opportunity, but maybe shouldn’t have.

But with blogging it’s getting much more easier to make a name ’cause suddently you just put your stuff out there and promote yourself. My friend has a blog and he has millions of hits already and gets invited to every party and certain shows, just from having that blog. But what does upset me a bit is that suddently you go to shows and there are not enough tickets and now suddently bloggers are regarded as journalists! It’s just become more and more insane, you know, you have them on front row, and you’re like “How exactly is that right…?”.

What does upset me a bit is that suddently you go to shows and there are not enough tickets and now suddently bloggers are regarded as journalists!

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What makes you happy with styling?

It’s when everything comes together, I think. You know, I can do my job and make the styling look great, but if the photographer does a shit job it doesn’t matter. So I think when everything sort of comes together. If you work for it and you can tell the truth and say “Sorry that hair is shit!”. But I’m really bad at taking criticism myself so that’s a laugh. It’s like, “No we need that jacket on!” You dress the model and then slowly they start peeling the garment off because every photographer just wants to shoot nude if they could. So its just like “No it’s a fashion magazine we need to have something on!”, and have some credits in there.

Every photographer just wants to shoot nude if they could.

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Describe your style as a good friend would describe it.

I don’t know… I’ve never really described me. I think my friends would say really fashion, but they are not in the industry at all, so when I wear a jumper that for me is just a beautiful jumper, they will be like “What are you wearing?!”. You know, so I take a lot of stick, but it doesn’t affect me. I think I’m not experimentive like I’m not out there with massive shoulder-pads. I like quality and unusual shapes, but not like that. It’s hard to describe because I don’t think I have a special desire. I change it all day and I’m not punk, I’m not goth, but somedays I am goth and somedays I’m all in denim. Everyday you play a look but it’s a different one, you know, I change my hair all the time.
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What’s definitely not your style?

Anything from my bottom up and down that’s loose or flared that’s certainly not me.
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Where do you find your inspiration?

Mainly in films. What kind of films, old films? No not really old films, I get a little bored when I watch them. No, I love anything about teenagers, like that old story of becoming an adult, and I think certain filmmakers are amazing at portraying this. Joseph Szabo did these amazing youth-in-the-60s and 70s-photos with amazing hairstyle and Larry Clark (the film-producer of Kids). Why youth? Is it because they are growing up and are changing? Yeah, and also the thing about not really having to worry, everything is possible and not possible. And also how the surroundings where you were growing up can affect you, and people trying to break with their traditions. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had it at all. I’ve had a really sort of secure and happy childhood, so you know I have always been attracted to the dirtier side of youth, without having to feel like I needed to go and be like that: self-harming and depressed, but I’m really really interested in it. That’s my thing, I’ve always been interested in and attracted to anything that’s different.

I have always been attracted to the dirtier side of youth.

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Favourite magazine?

I think it used to be Pop and that’s why I wanted to work with them. It’s not Pop anymore. So is it Love Magazine now? No, I mean I love it and it’s a dream to work there, but I like Butt and things that that are a bit more… and hmm Fantastic Man that kind of genre, where it’s quite human, you know, and its like “Ok here’s a picture of someone’s butt-hole and that’s all-right”. It’s just real and I like realness and the raw portraying.

Ok here’s a picture of someone’s butt-hole and that’s all-right!

What kind of music do you listen to at the moment?

Right now a lot of Beyonce and I’ve just rediscovered The Smashing Pumpkins when I was going through my old CD’s. I’m torn between my old indie-period and now a lot of pop: Alexandra Burke, Medina, Whitney Houston, Laga Gaga. I hate Rihanna, can’t stand her.

Anders loves to listen to Beyonce

Anders loves to listen to Beyonce

Do you have a muse?

No, I find that really weird, like having one person that you get inspired by. I think as a stylist it doesn’t make sense ’cause each magazine you work with is different and each shoot is different so how can that woman fit into all of your shoots? She doesn’t.
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Who’s your hero?

It used to be James Dean. I was madly obsessed with that man. I had the same hair and all my walls were covered with him. It started with Leonardo DiCaprio he was my teenage crush and then it went into James Dean, but I think now I don’t really, I don’t have a hero in my life . There are lots of people I look up to and lots of people I aspire to be, but not a hero.

The two heroes in Anders' life

The two heroes in Anders’ life

Is there someone you would like to style?

I’d like to style Britney, I think that would be hilarious. Also quite terrifying. And a lot of male actors. They always dress so boring, so anyone that would be a bit up for it. Actually James Franco! I’d love to style him.

I’d like to style Britney, I think that would be hilarious. Also quite terrifying.

How do you begin a new project?

It depends. I might have an old photo and then it goes from there, a lot of it is just stories in my head. I like storytelling and when I meet with a photographer to explain the project and the picture I’m seeing there’s no reference so I would say “A bit Helmut Newton, a bit from something much more grungy and imagine we’re meeting halfway and we shoot it like a film in a Steven Klein light”.
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Do you discuss your work with other stylists?

Yeah, my friends who are also stylists – all the time. I want their input, you know. I’m still new in this industry so obviously I’d like to run an idea by someone more established and see what they think. Especially when you are shooting with a photographer who’s bigger than you are and you don’t want to seem amateurish. I always think I can do better.

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine

How do other stylists affect your work?

If it’s too good I can’t look at it! I get really jealous. I went through a phase of Nicola Formichetti. Everything he touched was like gold, but it’s just because I love his work. It’s a competition so you can’t help it, it’s really tough. I think I have the desire to be right at the top, but you have to give something up, you know, I know it from working with Katie. There are so many things you have to give up, like family life. I want gold and I’m still young and I’m going to see how far I can get, but I also know at one point I just quite like to be comfortable and not having to worry about working for the coolest magazines with the coolest people.

I want gold and I’m going to see how far I can get, but I also know at one point I just quite like to be comfortable and not having to worry about working for the coolest magazines with the coolest people.

And I will maybe go back to Denmark at some point and get a job at one of the Danish magazines while still having my connections over here, doing some edgy editorials and living in Denmark and being happy. ’Cause otherwise you’ll end up with all your friends being from the industry, and all my best friends are my old friends. When I get off work I don’t want to be at a fashion party, I hate fashion parties! No I don’t hate it ’cause it’s nice, but it’s a job, you know, and when you finish work at maybe 6:00 and they’ll put it up at 7:30 and you have to be around, you can’t go, by the time you are home it’s at the time of night and that can happen three times a week so that’s a really long day.

When I get off work I don’t want to be at a fashion party, I hate fashion parties! No I don’t hate it ’cause it’s nice, but it’s a job.

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Styled by Anders for Contributing Editor Magazine Sep. 2009

Which challenges have you met in your work?

I meet so many everyday. There’s no job-describtion so it’s, you know, when I got Senior Fashion Editor for Love Magazine there was no one telling me how to do it. You are on your own and you just have to figure things out for yourself. All the things you get thrown at you! And you’re just like: I don’t know any of these people that she just mentioned, and now I need to find out who they are and get the clothes!!

I don’t know any of these people that she just mentioned, and now I need to find out who they are and get the clothes!!

But you get really good at organization and not having any shame. You’ll call the people you need to call and ask for favors and then the other way people call me and ask for numbers. I happily give them out. Don’t be like: “This is my address book!”. Someone gave you those numbers or else you wouldn’t have them.

Styled by Anders for Love Magazine SS09

Styled by Anders for Love Magazine SS09

Describe an evolution in your work, from the first project to today?

I mean, I look at when you first start out all amateurish you know, and that’s probably when you’re the most confident, that’s the weird thing. I remember starting out and just thinking “I’m amazing!” and then you realize: “Oh my gosh!”. So I just think my understanding of simplicity has really improved, you know, sometimes less really is more.
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Do you have an advice for an aspiring stylist?

Work your fucking ass off!! And don’t be shy. What do you mean about not being shy? Cheesy quote: “You have to take destiny in your own hand”. So if you’re at a party and there’s a stylist and you know their name you go out to them and you say whatever, you know, say nice things like “I love your work and if you’ll ever need an assistant I would love to come and work for you”. How about sticking your elbows out? I don’t believe in that! I think being nice and hard working is going to pay off, at least that’s been my agenda. But when I need to be, not mean, but direct I will. If they’re not doing their job you’ll need to tell them.

I think being nice and hard working is going to pay off, at least that’s been my agenda.

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What’s next?

The Scandinavian market. I’m now working for DANSK Magazine, but there are lots of clients that I would like to work with that I think I could be an asset to. So that’s what I’m hoping for in this year. Getting an agent in maybe Sweden and see what they can do for me.
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What are you afraid of regarding the future?

Oh God everything! Just not living up to my own expectations. You know, you’re always worrying “Why am I not getting enough money jobs, and why am I not working for this magazine?”, and so on. You just have to have patience ’cause it does take time.