How long have you worked in the fashion industry?
I sort of grew up in the industry as my father was a high-end fabric wholesaler, so I spent my school holidays sending fabrics to the designers. When I left school, I tried another form of design, but the allure of the fashion industry was too strong.
How would you describe your style?
I like structured shapes that transform into elegant pieces using beautiful fabrics. I like my pieces to have an element of something different – a twist to make the garment fall differently, such as a combination of hard edges and soft drapes.
How would you describe your body shape? What tips would you give to other women of a similar shape?
My body shape is a classic pear shape, so I tend to wear skinny pants with a soft tunic layer or oversized shirt in an interesting fabric, together with a jacket or vest. I am vertically challenged, so often I finish my outfit off with high-wedge boots or platform heels.
What are some key garments that make up a functional, stylish look for whatever you are doing in your busy life?
My essential items are:
- A good quality, flattering pair of skinny stretch pants.
- A long-sleeved T-shirt which is long enough without being too boxy. Wear it under a sweater for relaxed daywear, over a shirt for cooler days, or under a jacket for work.
- An oversized man-style white shirt that is smart enough to wear to work under a shorter length jacket, or to wear open and layered over a T-shirt.
- An interesting jacket. This should be tailored or shaped to fit perfectly. The jacket doesn’t have to be only for work – a great cotton jacket lends itself to off-duty wear.
- A cosy, comfortable knitwear sweater. You can layer this over your white shirt, a camisole or a dress. Once you have nailed these components, you can change the look by adding heeled wedges to dress it up or a brogue for casual chic.
What’s the most common question your customers ask?
Versatility is an element demanded by customers. Often this is as simple as the way you style a key piece. I think it goes without saying that most women want to hide or change something about their appearance, whether it be to look taller and slimmer, or to hide a scar or so on. There are some easy visual tricks to achieve these things – if you ask a great stylist in-store they will be able to tell you what works best for you.
Fashion is ever-changing, but great style isn’t always about what’s on trend. What are your tips for how to get long-lasting style?
I feel that great style comes from simple pieces with a twist. Those are the items that jump off the rack at you when you put them on, they just feel right. Colour is definitely a key consideration. Each fashion season is marked by what colours are “in trend”. I say avoid these and go for colours that suit you and your style. You’ll be confident when wearing these shades, which is an important quality in a stylish person. Buy well and invest in things you love. This means you will look after your clothes, and in return they will look after you for years to come.