Tag Archives | Stylist

Style For Hire Interview

Style For Hire is a country-wide network of style experts co-founded by fashion consultant and What Not To Wear co-host Stacy London. Style For Hire offers styling services – in person and online – from experienced stylists who can answer any and all fashion-related questions to might come up with. From what to wear to a specific event to how to build a better wardrobe to shopping suggestions that will save you money in the future.

I recently had the good fortune to interview a member of the Style For Hire team – Nicole Bush – who shared her background & passion for all things fashion-related with me, as well as helping me answer some of the requests and questions that I regularly get during the Fall.

{Another example of a classic handbag – MICHAEL Michael Kors  Hamilton Artisan Tote}

Nicole’s Background:

[1.] Do you have a fashion background or schooling? Did you work in a similar industry prior to joining Style For Hire?

As far back as I can remember I was playing dress up and dressing my friends. I had worked in retail on and off but it wasn’t until I was personal training in Columbus that I realized this was my passion. After training clients and seeing their transformations (yet still dressing the same) I decided I wanted to help. I enrolled in the Style institute once I moved and the rest is history!

[2.] How long have you been working at Style For Hire? What about the company initially drew you to it?

I have been with Style For Hire for about a year and half. What initially drew me to SFH was Stacy London. I wanted to learn from her! I went into it with that mind set- just learn as much as I can. Once I was accepted, it was then that realized what a gem SFH was!

[3.] What is the best part about working at Style For Hire? What is your favorite thing about this company?

The best part of working for SFH I would have to say are all the amazing stylists! Having done a Westfield Mall Tour I was able to work with such talented women that I would have never had the opportunity to do had I not been apart of the network.
My favorite thing about the company is message that SFH stands for. Stacy truly wants to have every woman feel great! Who wouldn’t want to be apart of that!?

[4.] What’s the best part of your job? What’s the most rewarding experience that you’ve had?

The best part of my job is helping women build confidence! To just look at a woman who sees herself full of flaws, and show her the beauty I see- its an indescribable feeling.  The most rewarding experience is when my client then sees their own beauty…it’s priceless!

[5.] Do you see yourself staying in the fashion industry? Where do you see yourself in five years?

Yes I see myself in the fashion industry. I see myself in 5 years starting a clothing line and styling fashion shows.

{Example of a classic piece that Nicole recommends – Michael Kors Hamilton Large Calf-Hair Tote}

Wardrobe & Closet Updating For Fall 2012:

[1.] My first steps at the beginning of a new season are to clean out my wardrobe, rearrange my pieces, take inventory, and make a list of things I’d like to add for the coming season and then start shopping – online & in stores. How would you approach updating your wardrobe for a new season? What are the steps that you think that one should take?

In order to update your wardrobe one must know what they have. Start by editing your wardrobe. Pull anything you haven’t worn and go through that pile. Ask yourself why you haven’t worn it? Are you missing a piece to complete the look, does it not work for your body type or your personality? DON’T hold onto item you haven’t worn based on an emotional tie. That is the number 1 mistake people make. Instead donate to a friend or a charity. Make room for new pieces and KNOW your body and what works for you.

[2.] When the new collections hit stores it’s easy to get swept away by all of the fabulous clothing and accessories out there and end up with buyer’s remorse. I like to plan my investment purchases for the season in advance, after looking through the collections and seeing what the stores are carrying. What are your suggestions when it comes to buying investment pieces for your wardrobe that you plan to wear/carry season-after-season? What are you top recommendations for designers or stores that frequently carry the types of timeless, classic pieces that fit this bill?

First and foremost you have to LOVE what you buy! Investment pieces are just that- an investment. Think longevity. FIT is key here!

Be familiar with sales. When my Style for Hire clients are about to invest in a key piece I schedule shopping dates at store where my clients will benefit. Be it at Nordstrom on triple point’s day or Bloomingdale’s friends and family. They will get extra points and discounts which is always a bonus.

Designers such as Burberry, Michael Kors, and Ralph Lauren are always great for classic timeless pieces.

{A must have is a divine trench coat – Classic Burburry version pictured here} 

[3.] Having an organized closet is important to me because it means being able to easily access things, it reduces the amount of time spent getting dressed in the morning, and it keeps me from forgetting about pieces that are hidden from sight. What are your recommendations when it comes to closet organization? In your opinion what are the best ways for someone to organize and/or display their clothing and accessories to increase function and convenience?

Your closet is prime real estate, especially living in the bay area where space is hard to come by!  Your closet should be FUNCTIONAL everything in it should fit and should be able to be worn that season. Be sure to rotate your clothes each season. Store any clothes that don’t fit in another closet or a storage bin.

An organized closet can be your best friend! The first thing I do with my clients is organize their closet based on their needs. For instance, I had a client who always wore black and gray and typically pants.  When I rearranged her closet I put all of her black clothes in the back so if she wanted to wear black she had to work for it! Working from left to right, I arranged her closet by putting all of her dresses, and colorful blouses in the center and her gray at the other end. Because of this, she had a whole new wardrobe and we hadn’t even gone shopping yet!

Each season, I suggest you rearrange your wardrobe. If you notice you tend to wear the same go to outfits- mix it up. I like to hang as much as I can. If it’s folded in a draw you tend to forget about it. I use drawers for your everyday pieces- think underpinnings, sports bras, workout clothes, layering tanks etc.

I love to hang accessories so I can see them. Be sure to keep all of your jewelry together in one spot. This is usually the last thing you put on but the most important.

I really love how passionate and enthusiastic she is about fashion – There’s no risk of being told you should only buy designer or throw away all the clothes you’ve ever bought – SFH is only interested in helping build your confidence through looking your best. What’s not to love about that?

Thank you to Style For Hire and to Nicole for their time in setting up this interview – I hope that you all enjoyed this! And I have good news for the holidays – You can order a Style For Hire gift certificate online and give a friend or relative the fashion experience they’ve always wanted.

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Fall On A Budget

At the beginning of October I shared my Fall 2012 Must Haves, which included eye-catching patterns & prints, faux leather, fun pants, tweed pieces, asymmetrical details, and the color de jour for Fall – Oxblood.

It’s easy to see pictures from the Fall 2012 collections and put together a mental list of all the things you want, and then give up in frustration because you can’t afford straight-from-the-runway pieces. But I’m here to tell you that we can very easily update your wardrobe for Fall without having to dip into your 401k. I promise!

I like to get one or two great new investment pieces each season – something like an updated but classic Little Black Dress, a chic new handbag, or a timeless trench – but I’ll also collect a handful of fun, on-trend pieces from less expensive stores that quickly update my looks for the season. There are great stores like Zara, ASOS, H&M, and TopShop were you can find trendy, well-made pieces each season for a steal. Read on for some of my personal suggestions & recommendations as well as a collection of great articles that’ll steer you in the right direction for all of your Fall 2012 needs.

I have to confess that some of my favorite places to shop are the Spanish retailers that I was first introduced to when I lived in Italy at the age of 21 – H&M, Mango, and Zara. The clothing is stylish and well-made, but doesn’t cost a fortune and the collections are updated frequently so there’s always something new in stores and online.
{Lace Trousers – $90 @ Zara, Blouse – $60 @ H&M & Contrast Panelled Dress – $30 @ Mango}
  • Where Do Editors Really Shop from Refinery 29 is just the sort of article that I love to read – Knowing where the most fashionable and stylish women in the fashion world shop is like being handed the keys to the kingdom! And wouldn’t you know it, along with the high-end designers that you’d expect them to mention, they also list great inexpensive shopping destinations like E-bay, Target, Zara, Amazon, Madewell, J.Crew, TopShop, JewelMint, ShoeMint, and even The Salvation Army. Great news, isn’t it?

Another lucky break for us fashion obsessed is that more and more high-end designers have been coming out with reasonably priced collections for retailer giants like Payless, Target, and Macys.

{Long-sleeve Shirt Dress in Red Geometric Print – $40 @ Kirna Zabete for Target, Long-Sleeve Satin Blazer – $60 (on sale) @ Nicole Richie for Impulse & Racquel Side Zip Bootine – $50 @ Christian Siriano for Payless}

  • Lucky Magazine’s 100 Cheap Fall Finds is a trove of fun Fall pieces from printed pants and embellished collars to chic dresses and leather trimmed jackets. In addition to featuring clothing from Luckymag.com, they included other retail websites like Romwe.com, Pixiemarket.com, Urban1972.com, Levis.com, and Ulta.com.
  • Two of the trends that I’m most excited for this Fall are printed pants and leather-trimmed pieces and luckily for all of us the fun website The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style featured fabulous recommendations for both trends –  Geometry Class & Just The Sleeves Please. So no matter what type of fashion you’re in the mood for this site has what you’re looking for!

The less expensive secondary lines created by designers and sold at department stores like Bloomingdale’s, Macys, Nordstrom, and Kolh’s are great pieces to keep an eye out for.

{Left to Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Jac’ Denim Leggings – $140 @ Nordstrom, MICHAEL Michael Kors Sleeveless Cowl Neck Banded Bottom Dress – $45 (on sale) @ Bloomingdale’s, and LC Lauren Conrad Embellished Ruffle Tee – $40 @ Kohl’s}

  • Not quite sure how to approach stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, or Ross? Refinery 29 took it upon themselves to teach us how in their piece Discount Shopping – How To Shop At Marshalls where they had three different editors put together 6 cute looks under $50. Wow!
  • Waiting for stores to have announce a big sale is a great way to find the pieces you’re craving without paying full-price. Not sure just how to make this tactic work for you? Check out Sales Rack Skinny: The Subtle Statement’s Sale Shop Tactics for tips that’ll help you find just what you’re looking for in stores or even online.

Are you still in the mood for more tips, recommendations, and suggestions for updating your wardrobe, Fall dressing, and online shopping? Stay tuned for an upcoming interview with Style For Hire and a series of informative posts all about online shopping.

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Paris Fashion Week Spring 2013

J’adore Paris!

There is no city quite like Paris and no fashion is quite like Parisian fashion. I adore many cultures and cities and designers, but there’s just something about Paris that you can’t forget.

Valentino:

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have consistently created lovely collections since taking over from Mr. Valentino himself – Lots of dresses, fabulous splashes of classic Valentino red, and red carpet ready gowns.

Leather, velvet, silk, chiffon, lace, satin, and eyelet all made their way down the runway – Along with the occasion statement coat and jumpsuit. My favorite look was the gold brocade coat-dress that Hanne Gaby Odiele wore down the catwalk – Tres chic!

Chanel:

The Chanel show is always a dramatic, eclectic spectacle and this season was no different with solar panels, turbines, and wind farm-like backdrops.

This collection included everything from hula hoop handbags, stark black & white, youthful polka dots, bright jewel tones, traditional florals, 80’s style fingerless gloves, denim, rompers, suits, wide-brimmed hats, and strappy wedges. I especially liked the chunky pearl bracelets & necklaces, the polka-dotted strapless dress, and the cute Dorothy-inspired blue & white gingham.

Alexander McQueen:

The McQueen show is always something to look forward to with eye-catching, one-of-a-kind makeup, backgrounds, clothing, and accessories. No other designer can come close to the types of shows that Lee McQueen – And now Sarah Burton – Put on.

This season’s collection had an S&M beekeeper type of vibe with safari-style netting covered hats, bustiers, thigh-high stockings, harnesses & corsets, bustles, wide belts, and bee, wasp, and honeycomb prints. Excessive, rich, over-the-top, and utterly stunning.

Miu Miu:

Denim, interesting fabrics & textures, moody prints, and a mixture of silhouettes and lengths all gave the Miu Miu collection a fun but grown-up feel.

I love classic workwear style pieces so this collection was right up my alley. I adored the pencil skirts and sleek sheath dresses, and the retro vibe was to die for with killer furs, boat neck tops, visible pin-up inspired bustiers, leather gloves, slim pocketbooks, and long, demure jackets. J’adore!

Lanvin:

“Deconstructed classicism” was the theme and it came to life in sleek separates and dresses done up in black & white, bold, vibrant jewel tones, and silky neutrals.

The collection was sleek and sexy, the pieces modern and wearable. The embellished prints were quite eye-catching but the sleek pieces in navy, black & white stole the show in my opinion. All of the looks above are amazing – I would wear them anytime, anywhere!

Yves Saint Laurent:

New name – Saint Laurent – retro vibe. The 70’s were back at YSL with leather, suede, fringe, wide-brimmed hats, and maxi lengths all evoking classic Yves.

The details of this collection were what caught my attention – The slim, cropped pants, the white piping on blazers, the patent t-trap heels, oversized bows at the neck, and opera-length gloves. I especially liked the pants looks and shimmering, two-toned caplet was the piece at the top of my Must Have list!

Givenchy:

While the theme may have been the same, Riccardo Tisci’s sedated and minimal interpretation of Catholicism was a far cry from the extravagant opulence of the Fall 2012 Dolce & Gabbana show at Milan Fashion Week.

The pieces may have been stark – Done up in mostly black & white with severe cuts – But they were still dramatic and eye-catching. I adored the black & white frocks, the flattering tunic-vests, the subtle ruffles, and the thick metallic chokers.

Stella McCartney:

The Stella show was bold in both color and silhouette – Her usual oversized, boy-meets-girl style got spiced up with wrap dresses, jumpsuits, and racerback tops.

The suits and the minimalistic pieces are always my favorite – Though the patchwork prints and cheerleader skirts last season proved that she’s got more up her sleeve. The safari-style tops were cute and versatile and the green she showed was right up my alley!

Louis Vuitton:

The LV collection was awash in checkered patterns, bright hues, and in a fun change of pace Mr. Jacobs had all of his models strut their stuff down the runway in pairs.

The mod feeling to the show was modernized by the eye-catching prints. The accessories were cute but minimally applied – Bow adorned headbands, checkered flats, and small patterned daybags. Fun, flirty, and oh-so-wearable. Just what Marc Jacobs does best!

Chloe:

The Chloe collection was primarily black and white with some splashes of burnt orange and fleshy pink throw in for good measure. Very French. Very feminine. Very Sweet.

The silhouettes ranged from oversized and exaggerated to romantic and womanly. While the colors, fabrics, and prints ran the gamut from black & white velvet to salmon stripes to sheer purple ruffles.

Balmain:

The Balmain collection brought to mind the 90’s with power suits, big shoulders, loud prints, thick belts, and plunging necklines. All with a Parisian, Balmain spin on them.

Stripes & checkers, bold yellow, oversized hoop earrings, metallic accessories, midriff baring tops, denim, and oversized blazers all had me checking the models faces to see if Cindy, Linda, Naomi, or Christy were there.

Christian Dior:

Raf’s debut collection for Dior was full of dichotomies – Stark but romantic, minimal but dramatic. He played with colors, prints, lengths, and silhouettes while still presenting a very Dior collection.

The suits and coat-dresses were my favorite, they came in different cuts and lengths, but were utterly chic and utterly timeless. The kinds of pieces that you invest in and wear for the rest of your life.

Sources: Style.com, Fashionologie, The Stylist, & Tom & Lorenzo

Previous Paris Fashion Week Collections: Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012, Paris Fashion Week Fall 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 Part I, Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Part II, and Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Street Style & Front Row Fashion.

Additional reviews, photographs, shows, and videos: Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane and the Tectonic Shifts of the Paris Fashion Establishment from Business Of Fashion, FabSugar’s Paris Fashion Week Diary, Precious Details from The Man Repeller, and Derek Blasberg’s A Photo Diary From Paris Fashion Week.

Which Paris Fashion Week show was your favorite? Do you like the classic, Paris Fashion Week institutions like Chanel and Valentino best or newer, more modern houses like Chloe and Alexander McQueen?

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New York Fashion Diary

While I didn’t have the honor of attending any of the New York Fashion Week Spring 2013 shows – SOB – I was lucky enough to spend four days in the city that never sleeps right before the shows, parties, and FNO kicked off, and it gave me a unique chance to witness the city amping up to the fashionable frenzy that is Fashion Month.

And please believe me when I say that four days of glorious walking , exploring, shopping, eating, drinking, and aimless wandering are this city were four days very well spent!

{A little jewelry shopping at the MET – We definitely got some funny looks!}

{Yes, we are complete and utter nerds. Since 7th grade.}

{Lincoln Center, Far West Chelsea, Meatpacking District}

We also ate at three vegan restaurants, walked through Central Park twice, sprinted through Central Park once, and had a little quality retail therapy in Soho.

Check out my previous NYC posts to see what else I was up to during this trip: Weekends Away – Styling, Deciding & Packing, IFBCON Preparation, MCLV Style: IFBCON Day One, IFBCON – Trends, Styles & Inspiration, and MCLV Style: IFBCON Day Two.

When you travel to a city during a trip do you like to do “touristy” things like go to museums? Do you like to walk around a new city to get to know it and familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods?

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