The Thread May 2011 .
Half the fun of flipping through a glossy magazine editorial is getting lost in the fantasy: Beyond the spectacular clothes, it’s the lavish sets, opulent details and dramatic settings that sell the fairytale. Art director, set designer and prop stylist Rhea Thierstein is one of the chief engineers of these fashion fairy tales. Her outrageously creative set designs and peculiar props seem to defy reality and occasionally, gravity: One of our favorite Thierstein projects, for example, depicts an enormous ship caked in ice, come to rest in a white living room. We caught up with Thierstein to see how she got into the business and how much of what she does is actual magic. .
Tell us about the first shoot or project you ever styled.
My first shoots were terrifying! I think the first shoot I did was for a music band. I had to make lots of different objects out of tinfoil. The main turning point I remember was the shoot I did with Tim Walker with Monty Python for Vanity Fair. I made hats and props for them and set smoke bombs off. It was a lot of fun and was the first defining moment for me to pursue set design and prop styling as a career. .
If you weren’t working as a prop stylist, you’d probably be:
An animal conservationist. I’m fascinated with nature, tropical environments, and the animals and insects that inhabit them. I’d love to be able to be a part of wildlife conservation. .
BY Catherine Blair Pfander //
Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 02:48 EDT | Print