From admiring covers and collecting copies growing up, Edrianne Tui has long fallen in love with the creative process of fashion magazines. Her love for fashion has led Yannie, her nickname, to a thriving career in the fashion scene.
For eight years now, she has been living the dream as a fashion stylist. In her 20s, the passionate artist worked her way to styling celebrities, with host Paolo Ballesteros of the trending Drag Race Philippines franchise joining her roster of clients.
“I have always been fascinated with the process of creating beautiful photos and mounting shoots. It was my routine to pass by the magazine stands at any bookstore and marvel at the covers of magazines I love every month,” Yannie enthused.
She has always had an inkling of what she wanted to do. “I didn’t know that ‘fashion stylists’ existed until my early years in high school and when I found out that there is an exact job that dresses up people, I knew I wanted to be one.”
Yannie’s passion for fashion was so strong that right after completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing, she made a detour and took a quick fashion styling course at the School of Fashion and the Arts (SoFA).
While studying, she worked as an intern and styling assistant for one of the industry’s known stylists. Her experience empowered Yannie to eventually take the plunge and be on her own.
“I always take time to study what is up and coming while staying true to my core,” Yannie shared.
Similar to her approach to personal fashion, Yannie does her research on the latest trends and adds her flavor to them. She added, “I also find inspiration from what people wear in events, public places, and social gatherings.”
Marrying the past, present, and predicted trends has been key to making her styling stand out and get noticed.
“It was offered to me by the production house that produces the show around early June last year,” Yannie revealed when asked how she bagged the styling job for Drag Race Philippines host Paolo Ballesteros and judge Jervi Li, more popularly known as “KaladKaren” as journalist Karen Davila’s impersonator.
“Drag Race Philippines is my first reality series ever. The experience was truly amazing and unforgettable!” shared Yannie, who does not usually do styling for movies or series.
“It was a challenge for the whole production to mount a show in the middle of the pandemic, all the more challenging for me as a stylist to ask designers to create looks for the host,” Yannie shared.
She was then placed under strict confidentiality guidelines and was not allowed to reveal the show until the initial fitting. Yannie had to make sure that non-disclosure agreements were signed.
“Initial sketches were drawn with the designers completely clueless of who will wear their creations,” she looked back with relief that everything fell into place.
“It’s been so fun because Mama Pao is as hands-on with her looks as I am,” Yannie raved about Paolo and shared how they worked closely and collaboratively. “I love how she also has input with everything and how we mixed our ideas with the designer to create the looks you see on the show.”
With KaladKaren, Yannie is thrilled to share how it feels like she is playing dress-up with a real-life doll. “She’s always game to wear anything I ask her to wear! Her beauty can pull off any look!” the happy stylist said.
Yannie’s meticulousness pays off as Paolo and KaladKaren appear with exciting looks weekly. She takes her styling job seriously and lets us into what it is all about.
“As a stylist, we are responsible for the overall look of the client from head to toe,” Yannie began. She continued to explain how a stylist envisions a look and executes it by finding the right pieces and working with other personalities like hair and makeup artists. Resourcefulness and creativity are crucial elements of the job she proudly developed through years of experience.
Yannie also explained the different kinds of stylists. “There are personal shoppers or ones who pull (styling term for borrowing) pieces from designers or have them make custom ones,” she elaborated.
With her growing love for the craft, Yannie considers every styling job a love letter to her younger self who had a taste of rejection before redemption. “I received a lot of NOs in the past before getting a series of YESes that includes Drag Race PH!” she exclaimed. The go-getter is undoubtedly on a roll and continues to work on getting more wins in the process. On her bucket list is styling the American drag queen and producer behind the phenomenal Drag Race franchise. “Of course, it would be a dream to style the mother of us all, RuPaul Charles herself!” she said.
In the end, Yannie explained, passion powered by commitment and hard work gets one through. She said, “Styling is tiring and exhausting but as with any other career, if you love it, you’ll still be excited to wake up the next day to do it all over again.”