“The name “The Fashion Bandit” was perfect: I never liked the fashion police. I wanted to do my own thing; creating outfits from my own head and heart, not from their rules and regulations. So what better than to be a Bandit?”
– The Fashion Bandit
THE FASHION BANDIT
Fashion Art Director & Stylist
Benedikte St.Pierre is the Fashion Bandit herself: the mastermind, founder and creative director of Team Fashion Bandit – and loving it. Based on her Fashion Bandit philosophy, she creates and runs everything from concept development, creative management, art direction and styling as well as modelling, all graphic design and webdesign.
Background – in my own words
Acting, TV and design
Having discovered at 19 that following the academic career staked out for me was actually extremely boring, I made a complete U-turn, moved from my home town of Narvik in the north of Norway, and trained as an actress in London. After years of acting in both Norway and abroad I moved into the realm of TV as a TV presenter. Alongside this, with a lifelong interest in graphic design, I also studied Mac design – and threw in a bit of web design for good measure.
Presenter for TV8 Norge
For several years I was one of TV8 Norge’s profiled presenters and reporters. I presented TV8’s main program Studio8, a daily studio infotainment program with guests raging from Norway’s top celebrities, politicians and party leaders to experts in various fields, some 500 interviews in all. As part of Studio8 I ran two series of in depth studio topics; Health and Exercise. I later also presented TV8’s Friday show Weekend, as well as presenting the sports competition Mestermøtet and cookery shows.
As I worked in TV8 it was a delight to realize my TV audience truly enjoyed my work, knowing me for my bubbly enthusiasm, feel-good humour, curiosity and ability to connect with guests and interviewees as well as to engage my viewers. My style and not least signature hairstyle – which I thought would have alienated the more conservative viewers – turned out to be a hit with both young and old . So much so that my hair soon came to be synonymous with the name of TV8, and I was often referred to simply as “that TV8 presenter with the hair.”
WORK SAMPLES – TV
TFB AND FASHION
Fashion – my great passion
As a child I was that nerdy-geeky-head-in-the-books-child branded “very boring” by my peers. And in the brutal world and regime of schoolchildren, geeky-nerdy-head-in-the-books boring children are not supposed to dress the way they want. At all. So having “suffered” all through childhood by not being allowed to wear my own choice of clothes, say all the rococo dresses I really felt like wearing, and then, scared off by bad experience, not quite having the courage to face further sneers from my peers by wearing what I really wanted to wear, that all changed as I moved to London. All of a sudden, because of London’s vast number of different styles and people, and because of the wonderful London tolerance and appreciation of this diversity, I felt free to be myself and freely show the world, through my clothes and style, who I was, and this shaped my philosophy and approach to fashion and style.
Why The Fashion Bandit and all our photos?
For years I wondered – and I’m still wondering – why wearing clothes and sporting styles not even hugely differing from everyday styles should prove to be such a thing of disapproval from people. Even more puzzling do I find the whole concept of “The Fashion Police”: experts telling us what’s acceptable and what’s not in terms of what to wear. Also I was bored by bored-looking models in predictable fashion photography.
So I decided to do something about it, showing the world you could play around with different styles, leave out the self-consciousness, just be yourself, add some humour, some laughter and have fun – and create fashion photography along the same lines. So this is my “something” – this is my way of telling my story.
The Fashion bandit’s Philosophy
Dressing is expressing who you are.
Clothes are a universal language. It is a language you cannot help but speak no matter how much you claim you don’t care about clothes. No matter what you put on you’re sending out messages. Clothes are codes, giving out all kinds of information to a bigger or lesser extent: gender, age, interests, profession, nationality…By the clothes you are putting on in the morning, you are telling others who you are.
So are the clothes you are wearing telling the outside world who you really are – on the inside? To many people this might not matter too much, but to those of us whom it does, it matters a lot. And I know, from the massive feedback I’ve been getting for years, that there are many of you out there wearing clothes which you do not feel are telling who you really are. You would really like to dress differently, but it takes so much courage to face the general opinion.
So in my opinion there are too many rules, norms and generally accepted “truths” about how to dress. Stylists and fashion experts talk about creating your own style – but in all honesty: How true is this, if you really want to go outside the norms? If you want a much larger expression?
These rules, norms and “truths” are in the way of a free, personal expression of personality – and in the way of true creativity and playfulness!
Only you know who you are. That’s why YOU should decide how to dress – not someone other than yourself, not general opinions – and not the fashion police in the form of fashion experts.
Wear what you like – there is no correct way of dressing other than your very own.
So take inspiration from everything, everyone and every style you see, then turn it all into your own style! And if fashion rules, norms, trends, “ins” and “outs” are in the way of your own expression, break loose and ignore them. Experiment! Have fun!
Come on! Give fashion some humour!
The fashion world, fashion photography and the general way of presenting fashion need a new expression. They have become stale and are locked in the tradition of flawlessness and dignified beauty. I want to bring a fresh alternative to fashion photography and the fashion world in general: greater freedom, more fun and definitely more humour. In this I’m hoping to show the fashion world that these elements are not a threat to fashion, but a fruitful addition and inspiration.
Wear what you’ve got – anything can be styled.
Unique fashion design to me is pure art, and fashion designers true artists. To me it’s a true joy and honour to wear these pieces of art. At the same time, not having access to top design shouldn’t stop you from expressing yourself and creating your own style through clothes and accessories. If you haven’t got it or can’t afford it, take what you’ve got, use your imagination and assemble or style it until it becomes your own, unique expression.
Webdesign in Make by The Fashion Bandit Benedikte St.Pierre.