INTERVIEW: STYLIST WENDY ELSMORE

BATD ON Mar 13, 2014 AT 2:17 pm

Wendy Elsmore.

Wendy Elsmore.

Wendy Elsmore is a renowned authority on style. She founded the London College of Style and has been a celebrity stylist for years. Here she talks about the impact of London, blogging and personal style on fashion.

How much of an impact and importance do you think London has on the fashion industry?
London has a huge influence on the fashion industry and is a melting pot of fashion looks and ideas. London is about individuality inspired by the street, and there is no fashion capital as exciting as London in the world. Plus, our outstanding fashion colleges produce some of the finest design talent in the fashion industry around the world too. It’s really the place to be if you have an avid interest in fashion.

Do you think that blogs and ‘how to wear’ style websites still have an important role for consumers and purchasing?
Definitely if they’re good. There’s so much choice now in terms of what to wear, it can be confusing making the right choices. Why should we just ‘know’? The best blogs and ‘how to wear’ style sites, inspire all of us and give us confidence, not only to make fabulous choices, but also to dare to be different and to expand our way of wearing styles and colours. Being open to change through style and making excellent choices helps to ensure we all continue to look fabulous!

When you’re styling people and working on projects what inspires you?
Everything about them. A combination of their personality, body shape or physique, lifestyle, natural colouring, even the way they move. The right clothes in style and colour always come to life on the person. That’s a joy to witness because great style choices really make the person shine.

What’s your personal style?
Well my favourite decade for clothing is definitely the 1970’s – I love the whole bohemian feel, mixed with a few leisure inspired pieces, so it’s not too girlie. There you go, boho sports luxe haha. In fact Isabel Marant’s designs sum up my look really. I can’t quite afford to stretch to her prices more often than not though, so I mix a little bit of designer with a little bit of vintage and second hand, and a lot more carefully selected high street too. Gotta love our Great British High Street.

What combinations make you cringe – what’s you ultimate fashion no no?
It’s tricky because what fails miserably on one personal can look amazing on another. And some of the most bizarrely dressed people are often the most colourful and incredible in my opinion. They may break all the fashion rules but good for them because they feel truly comfortable in their zany combinations, and as a result – they rock!!!! So what’s wrong through fashion? Clothes that are insanely too tight revealing bulges – don’t do it. It can ruin the most gorgeous garment and always makes you look a size bigger than you really are. And drab, colourless soulless clothing that makes its wearer look worn out, along with clothes that have been chosen because they are fashionable and do nothing for the wearer – And only because I know with a different combination of styles and colours I’d have them looking and feeling a million dollars.

What’s the best strategy for updating your wardrobe each season?
Care less what other people are wearing and remain open to change. Be prepared to discard what you wore wonderfully well five years ago if it doesn’t work anymore. As our lives change, we change too, and our ability to adapt our style accordingly dictates if we continue to look fabulous right here right now or not. Those celebrities who look great through the decades all adopt this philosophy. And don’t let fashion dictate, learn about your bodyshape, focus on highlighting your best bits, and disguise cleverly those areas that aren’t your favourites – we all have them. Select elements of fashion only that work for you. If you introduce two new colours per season and a couple of new styles too, you won’t go far wrong. And have fun with your wardrobe too. Only buy clothes that feel great to wear. If you don’t enjoy them, leave them in the shop or discard them from your wardrobe because they are not doing you any favours and you deserve better.

What’s your favourite season for clothes?
Do you know I love the prettiness and easiness of summer dressing. Gorgeous eclectic mix of print and colour offset with beautiful accessories, yep that’s my fave.

What’s your favourite fashion staple in your wardrobe?
I’m truly a jeans girl so I hunt high and low to make sure they fit like a glove. And I’m a sucker for a pretty hippy blouse, print, fringing etc and white is my absolute favourite for summer time. Plus this season, it’s all about a good coat for me. Great cut, beautiful fabric in navy, I am loving navy at the moment. Thrown over the jeans and the simplest of sweaters that fits perfectly – instant fabulousness.

What do you think every wardrobe should have?
Few well-chosen clothes that combine brilliantly together to create many fabulous combinations. However many clothes we all buy, most of us end up wearing the same few pieces because they work well. My philosophy is: buy less and make great choices always that flatter you entirely, and that you simply love wearing.

For actual pieces, for fabulous jeans for all ages, go darker on the denim. As we mature in years this wash is more flattering. A beautiful coat and a perfectly fitted jacket, a couple of gorgeous dresses, one divine skirt and 4 or 5 fabulous tops. That’s all you really need! Choose your accessories wisely, and ensure they can be used to transform the look of your clothes, focus on exquisite print scarves, a couple of statement necklaces and hey presto, you will have options that work wonders in many ways.

 

 

 

Principal of London College of Style and renowned stylist Wendy Elsmore is working with American Express, looking at the fashion trends from Vodafone London Fashion Weekend which will be hitting high street stores in the coming months, as well as showing you how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.
To find out more, head to the AmericanExpressUK Facebook page or follow @AmexUK on Twitter.

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