There are rules to look stylish. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. Nobody can help me find my personal style. They can point to some short cuts and get me to ape some IT girl who has discovered her own set of rules. But style is more in the intimate details. It is much more than what can be seen in an outfit. It requires a point of view. There is a relationship with the clothes, the culture, the location, the surroundings, real life, profession, fantasies, dreams, … It’s wonderful when we can see this connection between women and their style. An old favorite that I have been revisiting for inspiration is Insidecloset. All the featured people have beautiful apartments, good books and fantastic style. My favorites : Amelie, Vanessa, Audrey, Gabrielle and Julie. As always, I couldn’t help but answer the questions:
1. What are your favorite pieces right now ?
A blue maxi dress. ( OOTD on my instagram stories. )
2. What is missing in your wardrobe ?
I should NOT answer this question. If I make a list, it’s in my nature to find a way to procure the items on it.
( Hypothetically : I can use more denim.
My current wish list : overalls, wrap dress, work wear shirt, )
3. The Deco / Mode piece you dream of ?
I would like an antique full size mirror in my apartment. Maybe one of those big brown writing desks I see in restoration hardware catalogs. A vintage bench that I can use to display my indoor plants is also on my wish list. I like the look of aged terracota planters with olive plants inside. Where can I get myself one of those ?
4. Your style ?
It is inspired by the following: the color blue, nature, the chic Parisian women, the adventurers, worker wear, farmer’s frugality, old money when they go hunting, an idea of androgyny that YSL put forth ( not the office wear version ), the sci-fi movie heroines in mobility friendly uniforms, the samurai, the monks, the yogis, … Only the tip of the ice burg has been actualized so far. I seem to add more influences to this list every year.
5. Your fav brands
Cuyana for shirt dresses, Celine for outerwear, NDC Made by Hand for boots, Stella McCartney for her innovation in sustainability, A.P.C for it’s consistency, Citizens of Humanity for the fit of its denim, Current/Elliot for chambray shirts with interesting details, Everlane for its affordable accessible basics, Steven Alan for reliable quality, Frye for its combat boots, Jil Sander for the napa leather shoes, Margaret Howell for every damn thing, Burberry for the military inspired outerwear, Rosie Assouline for interesting silhouettes for evening wear, Dries Van Noten for doing brocade well, Helmet Lang for the cut of their trousers, Yohji for the philosophy, Eka for its floral print, The Row the luxury, Acne for those snuggly sweaters, Filippa K for it’s repair policy, Patagonia for its heart, 45 rpm for its french-japanese-amercian-workwear-ness, Vintage Calvin Klein Collection for its simplicity, Ralph Lauren Collection for making the color brown look chic, Lemaire for the silhouette, Dolce & Gabbana for the usage of lace without being vulgar, Valentino for its red & mauve, Maku textiles for it’s sarees, OffOn for jumpsuits, …
My list is long. You got to know what to look for on the second hand market. The more you know, the easier it is to find great pieces. My influences are numerous.
6. The most valuable piece in your eyes
I do not have any sort of sentimental attachment to clothing.
On the basis of monetary value :
The Ippolita jewelry that I bought for myself, Stella McCarney jacket, Celine coat, Zara leather jacket, Church’s boots, …
On the basis of irreplaceability :
The blue dresses that hang in my closet.
Most my clothes are second hand finds that I doubt I will stumble into again. I can’t afford to spend the time or money look for them for the second time. None of it is replaceable.
7. Your unfailing beauty tip
Inversions – head stand, shoulder stand, hand stand, …
Exercise that makes your heart pound and sweat. Sprints work well for me. HIIT workouts are the way to go. 8 hours of sleep.
Small portion of raw veggies as a side serving everyday. Good fats. Blueberries. Sunscreen.
Sensuous lingerie. Signature perfume. Signature style.
Simplicity in clothing brings out the natural beauty and is soothing on the eyes.
Navy blue on glowing tan skin. Time spent outdoors while wearing a blue dress.
8. A default outfit when you don’t know what to wear ?
Summer : Navy dress + black ballet flats
Fall/Spring : blue shirt, black denim, trench coat
Winter : Black turtleneck, black denim, black boots, black coat
9. The unbearable combinations ?
Crocs, mules, clogs, flip flops, camel toes, panty lines, high heels, peep toed shoes, print on print, jewelry that sparkles more than its human carrier, logos as print, …
Conspicuous consumption – things we buy to wear only when everyone is looking.
10. Last Purchase
11. Top 5 beauty products
Sk2, vitamin C serum, retin-A, honey turmeric masks, white tea with lemon+ginger+turmeric, sunscreen.
12. Worst outfit memory
The outfits from my wedding day make me cringe. Rich heavy silks, gaudy prints, chunky jewelry, flower braids, a big wide gold belt, … the whole deal. It’s one way to spit in simplicity’s face, pray at the alter of conspicuous consumption and kneel for the traditional police.
Reading. Photographs. Elegant solutions. Solitude. Nature.
14. Items you never take off
N/A. I don’t wear a wedding/engagement ring. I don’t wear a watch. I like jewellry but don’t want to wear it. Maybe perfume is something I wear on repeat every single day ?
15. Dream trip
Kayaking along the grand canyon and visiting the Nankoweap granaries in the Marble canyon.
France & Japan.
Lost coast trail.
North East Indian villages and rain forests.
16. Your mantra
“It’s not who you are on the inside, but what you do that defines you.”
– Christopher Nolan, Batman Begins.
17. Your style mantra
We women constantly get told that we ought to look a certain way. Resist the brain washing.
Bright colors, printed fabrics & catchy logos – can visually clutter a space that the human resides in. Resist the urge to add. Keep it calm and simple.
Exercise has the same effect as haute couture. Simplest of garments look good on a toned body. Good fit is easier to achieve. Posture improves when the back is strengthened.
Buy less. Buy better. Make them last.
Clothes look their best after they are worn in and just before they fall apart. Wear them on repeat.
Color is therapeutic. Blue is the color of happiness. Red is the color of passion. Green is the color of the trees. Black is the color of universe. Wear them well.
Have fun with your clothes.
Knock, knock, if you are reading this, I welcome you to please pick a question of your choosing and answer it in the comments.