Recently we had the opportunity to chat with Caitlin Burke, Fashion Editor at Moda Operandi
, with just a handful of questions, Caitlin gives us insight to her world of styling and how she finds her creative mojo!
Follow Caitlin on her Instagram @caitlinburkenyc
What's your favorite thing about being a fashion Editor/Stylist?
Getting to be creative every day and being surrounded by other creatives that inspire me and challenge me to push myself and my work. I love being able to work with such a talented group of people to make a shared vision come to life. I'm also just a true fan of fashion, so for me, just being able to touch and play and be surrounded by these pieces—that have been created by the best designers in the world—is pure joy!
What's a typical day like for you?
There really isn't a typical day, which is what I enjoy! On average though, I'm either on set shooting, or working in the office prepping for those shoots. When it's a set day, I start off by going through the racks and making sure all the looks are styled out for the day, getting my mind prepared for what I want to shoot, and in what order, what the strongest looks are, and any last minute adjustments I want to make. Then it's go time and nothing is really typical from there! You work together with your team to create the best pictures possible! When I'm in the office, it's usually scouring the site, deciding on what looks I want to put together and what stories we are going to tell, making mood and look boards, meeting with the other creatives on our team, brainstorming, casting models, doing fittings, etc. Doing basically everything I can prior to the shoot to make it a success.
What is your go to order at Starbucks?
Green tea latte, with soy milk, unsweetened with no foam
With so many years in the fashion business, what was your absolute favorite shoot to work on?
This is probably the hardest question because I have many favorites for different reasons, and I've also been known to say—"Guys, this is my favorite shoot yet"—after 90% of my shoots! But if I had to choose, I would say the shoot we did for our Pre-Fall campaign last year at Moda. It's funny because we actually shot it at a university that was voted "The Ugliest Campus in America." It was the beginning of the 70's resurgence trend we're still seeing and we wanted a location with Brutalist architecture to compliment that style and give a nod to the decade, without being overly thematic or cliche. Since that style of architecture has fallen out of favor and is very polarizing, there is not a lot of it still around, but this university was perfect! I loved that we took something so "ugly" and off-putting to most people, and made it a backdrop for something completely fresh and beautiful. It made our shoot that much more unique and the pictures are some of my favorites of my career.
How do you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Instagram is huge for me, but I also make a concerted effort to get outside my phone when seeking inspiration. Ideas get recycled so quickly because of instagram and pinterest and how accessible inspiring imagery is, so it's important to not be solely dependent on digital references. I try to go to museums and gallery walks as much as possible over the weekend, and I also have a large and constantly growing collection of fashion and photography books that I reference before each shoot. Movies are another huge source of inspiration once I've nailed down a concept. I'm currently working on a Hitchcock-inspired shoot and am re-watching all of his classics!
What must have fashion item are you currently obsessed with?
Turtlenecks! I literally wear them under everything, so much so that my boyfriend has started calling me "Steve Jobs". I'm also really into statement earrings at the moment—not the overly embellished styles of the past—but more the modern, Céline-esc geometric silhouettes (bonus points if they are mismatched). I just discovered the capsule collection from Mounser, and they have some great, affordable options—I literally ordered two pairs just this morning!
Favorite place you have traveled to for work?
My first trip to Paris to attend the shows. They are so much more of a production there and it was incredible to attend Chanel and Louis Vuitton for the first time and even just to walk through the tuileries to the shows—a place I had seen for years in street style photos—to finally be walking through there myself on the way to shows was surreal. On that same trip we shot Lenny Kravitz in his home for Esquire. He actually has his own interior design firm and is really into decor! His place was spectacular and the whole trip felt like a dream come true!
Best Breakfast in NYC?
I recently discovered Cafe Henrie (through instagram of course!) it is delicious and insta heaven! Instagram accounts you enjoy?
@the_lolany is so cute
@c_l_o : My absolute fave for inspiration!
@meagancignoli : does incredible videos that always inspire me
@juliettecassidy : one of my favorite photographers, endless inspiration
@vibes : great tumblr page
@modaoperandi (of course!)
@josepfontc : creative director of delpozo, my favorite brand. Getting a peak inside his crazy beautiful genius mind is so inspiring!
@jacquifink: I've been really wanting to get into knitting and have become obsessed with the larger than life chunky knits, so love this account! What could you tell future fashionistas about how they can pursue their dreams in Fashion?
Be true to yourself and what you are good at. It's easy to become wowed by the more glamorous, front-facing fashion jobs, but there are SO many other opportunities within the industry! Someone once told me in order to figure out what you're good at you should think about what other people ask for your help with. For me, that was outfit advice, so I realized becoming a stylist would be a good job for me. For you, it might be keeping people organized (producer!) or proof-reading your friend's papers (editor!), etc. Also, always be humble and hungry for more knowledge. My first shoot ever, I didn't agree with what the stylist I was assisting was dressing the models in, and thought I could probably do a better job. Then once I saw the clothes on set, I saw that they completely transformed and came alive! She knew so much better than I did what would work best on camera, and I realized in that moment that I didn't know as much as I thought I did and that I had something to learn from everyone. I still learn new things all the time from others and from my own mistakes. Keeping that humility, realizing you don't know everything, and learning everything you can from all the talent around you, will take you a long way in this industry.