FIDM Alumni Stylist Panel

Last week I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of meeting and greeting some of the biggest names in celebrity styling. I was lucky enough to get my name on the guest list for the FIDM Alumni Stylist Panel, a well-attended event hosted in the New Mart in Downtown LA.

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The event was centered around a fantastic question-answer session with a very impressive, star-studded panel featuring:

danielDaniel Musto, the head stylist for NBC’s Fashion Star, who’s guest-starred on several talk-shows and styled countless celebrities.

Daniel has styled: Paula Abdul, Ashley Simpson, Giuliana Rancic, Jenny McCarthy, and many more!

See his work: in USweekly and Cosmopolitan Magazine, on American Idol and Ready for Love–just to name a few.

 

hm1Linsday Albanese, stylist and style expert, who’s entire persona has practically become its own brand as she takes Hollywood by storm.

Lindsay regularly contributes to: InStyle Magazine and “Fashion Police”.

She’s been on TV!!: E! News, Access Hollywood, EXTRA, The Today Show etc.

 

jonoJonathan Colombini, well-known celebrity hair stylist, who’s work has been featured on red carpets and magazine covers alike.

He’s done their hair!: Annalynne McCord, Vera Wang, Angie Everhart, Karina Smirnoff, Kim Richards, and Fergie

 

 

alfieAnd Warren Alfie Baker, another talented celebrity stylist, specializing in menswear.

Has styled for shows: The Taste, The X Factor, Karaoke Battle USA.

Some of his leading men: Nicholas Hoult, Zachary Levi, Colton Haynes, Jessie Spencer, Peter Facinelli, and Steven R McQueen.

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clearly not flattering lighting for any of us…

Aside from being an excellent networking opportunity, I really gained a lot of insight into the world of celebrity styling. Here are the top five most interesting facts I learned from the panel:

1. Personality vs. Skill: Something I noticed about all four stylists was that I couldn’t pick a favorite. I felt a sincere connection with each one, and wished I could be friends with each of them. In other words, I kept saying to myself, “God, I would love to hang out with him/her.” That common thread seems to be the secret to their success–not to say each of the stylists isn’t impossibly talented, but being as personable as they are sure doesn’t hurt . Daniel said it himself:  A celebrity stylist is on-set for several hours at a time, and you’re more likely to get hired if you’re fun to have around.

2. “Fake It ‘Till You Make It”: This was undoubtedly a theme for the entire night. I mean, the event itself was for FIDM Alumni and I’m obviously still a current student. But I just put my name on the list and walked in like I belonged there. The panel, too, had similar stories about accepting new jobs and getting “in over your head” on assignments. Lindsay joked about talking her way into her first big styling gig, and knowing she was completely under qualified, but jumping right in anyway. Never sell yourself short or let fear stop you from taking a leap; worst case scenario it’ll just be a learning experience, but more likely you’ll be awesome!

3. Styling Hollywood Isn’t Always Glamorous: One of the questions asked was “What was your most challenging experience styling?” And all four panelists had a “story from hell” to share. (Even Jonathan, who originally couldn’t think of a bad experience he’d had, later chimed right in.) Stylists have to please many frustrating people (damn publicists!) and can sometimes work brutal 28-hour days. But the stylists all agreed that these experiences help you build a thick skin and become more confident in the long run.

4. What’s the Difference Between a Stylist and a Style Expert?: This question was actually one that I asked the panel, myself. I learned that once a stylist racks up a certain level of success and recognition, he/she becomes a consultant and spokesperson for brands and products. For example, if Lindsay gets interviewed on EXTRA and is asked about upcoming trends, she’s not actually “styling” anyone so she is acting as a “Style Expert” and not a stylist. That part of the profession is supposedly a lot fun, but it doesn’t come until way down the line in a styling career.

5. They Take Interns!: This note made me realize that these stylists are people too. And while they’re rich, famous, and working with celebrities, they’re very reachable. The panel members encouraged the audience to follow them on Twitter and Instagram and made us all feel like we could really connect with them. The stylists also told us that they’re always looking for interns! This was obviously very valuable information to a student like myself–and as soon as I have a minute in my life to breath, I might take them up on that offer. What the stylists said they’re looking for: an energetic, personable, hard-working person who can learn on-the-go and has a car!

How Ripped is Too Ripped?

My Brand Management professor is constantly making fun of brands, trends, and consumerism in general. His favorite thing to pick on is the concept of “distressed denim.” He says he just can’t wrap his head around the idea of paying for pants that have holes in them. Of course, when he goes off on one of these rants he can be very funny, but I have to respectfully disagree with this one. My favorite pair of jeans in my closet are ones with humongous gaping holes all down the thighs:

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Wearing my fahvs to esquela

I love distressed denim. Distressed anything, really. I love the idea that you like something so much that you wear it until it literally falls apart.

Today I’m out to prove that ripped jeans aren’t just for rock concerts or music festivals, but they can be fitted right into a perfectly stylish, everyday outfit:

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T-Shirt: Alternative Apparel, Scarf: Karen Michelle Boutique, Belt: Who knows? It’s so old…, Jeans: Ever, Sandals: Dolce Vita

For me, ripped jeans isn’t about teenage angst or rebelling against society, distressed denim is no different than printed denim: I find it to be just an extra element of design.

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Excuse the tag on my scarf. Oops.

In my look today, adding polished details (like tucking in my t-shirt and adding a scarf) balances out the grunge of the torn jeans.

P.S. Only in LA could I get away with sandals in November!

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Photos by Jeremy Goldstein

The Financial Guy’s Shoes

On Tuesday, I went to the student activities office to ask somebody a question, and I saw that there was a workshop going on. I had no idea what the topic of the workshop was, but I was on my lunch break anyway so I sat down to listen.

The workshop ended up being about building credit so you could take out business loans. *Yawn*

But I have to tell you, the way the speaker presented himself made me want to stay and listen to everything he had to say. Every hair on his head was in place. His slim-fit suit was flawlessly pressed. His tie was artfully clipped to his dress shirt, which matched his pocket square. His watch? Loved it. His belt? Perfect.

But the greatest part of his entire outfit was his footwear. He was wearing the greatest men’s dress shoes I’ve ever seen!

After he concluded his workshop, several students stayed behind to ask him questions. I did as well. But I didn’t want to ask his financial advice; I wanted to ask about his shoes. Obviously.

“Hi David,” I shameless approached him, “Can I take a picture of your shoes?” (The things I do for this blog…)

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This picture does NOT do these beauties any justice…but look at him striking that pose. He was clearly flattered. Hehe.

I didn’t want to push my luck and ask who made his shoes, but once I got home I tore up the internet trying to find them. I never found them, but I did find some other great ones. I had no idea there were so many nice dress shoes for men. Why do they all wear the same black ones when there are so many other unique and wonderful options?

Here are some of my picks that I came across in my search: (Some of these even have price points lower than $100! Can you guess which ones?)

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_7368942To Boot New York "Felix"2432026-p-MULTIVIEW

Stacy Adams "Garcea"8319275_fpx2387342-p-MULTIVIEW

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 Any of these shoes catch your fancy? Each one is its own link, so click away!

You CAN Do Leather Leggings!

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Clearly it ended up being sunny and hot…

Yesterday was one of those weird-weather days, typical of LA, where you’re not sure wether it’s going to be hot or cold out. (Yes, this really happens here.) So I paired a chunky knit pullover with leather leggings, threw on open-toe shoes, and headed off to school. I figured, if it ends up being cold then at least I’m wearing knit…and if it ends up being hot at least I’m not wearing boots.

At school, a girl in the elevator told me I was brave for wearing leather leggings.

“I have a pair sitting in my closet,” she told me, “But I seriously have no idea how to wear them without looking trashy.”

Well, Girl-In-FIDM-Elevator-Whose-Name-I-Don’t-Know, this post is for you. And anyone else who wants to rock this look and needs a push in the right direction.

The key to wearing leather leggings, and not looking like you walked out of a music video, is balance. In other words, leather leggings are super tight and majorly sexy, so you want the rest of your look to be more loose-fitting and laid-back. Like my chunky pullover yesterday (pictured above.) Wearing something baggier also just helps cover the weird wrinkly-thing that leather does when it’s stretched across your hips….or is that just me?

Here are four fool-proof pieces that complement leather leggings and save you from looking “trashy”, as Elevator Girl put it:

Shirt - Chiqle, Necklace - H&M, Booties - Aldo

Shirt – Chiqle, Necklace – H&M,
Booties – Aldo

#1) Classic chambray button-down. Denim and leather are two of the biggest fabric trends we’re seeing this fall, and they happen to play amazingly well together. Normally I’d suggest that you stick to one trend at a time, but in this case it’s a great combo. Also, just a side note: throwing on leather high-heeled booties with these leggings make your legs look miles long–even for a shorty like me!

Shirt - Sugar Lips, Boots - Steve Madden

Shirt – Sugar Lips, Boots – Steve Madden

#2) Plain white tee. This is so, so basic that most people wouldn’t even think of it. But, honestly, a plain white t-shirt is probably my favorite thing to pair with leather leggings. Extra points if it has a couple rips in it–so badass. The key to this one is the fit of the tee: don’t go too tight or too short. Keep it relaxed and casual. Think “I’m sexy without even trying” and you’ll be golden. Plus, wearing a plain tee leaves open the option to throw on a leather jacket as well. Sounds crazy, I know, but as long as the white t-shirt is longer than the jacket, the look will work (the white will break up all the leather.)

Shirt - Urban Outfitters, Boots - Steve Madden, Necklace - Renuar

Sweater – Urban Outfitters,
Boots – Steve Madden, Necklace – Renuar

#3) Oversized sweater. This one is easy. Basically anything oversized and comfy will balance out the look of the leggings. I’d stay away from any print that’s too busy, though, because the leggings make their own statement. Wide stripes, like the ones I’m wearing here, are safe. Also, a sweater like this will cover your hips and butt, making the leggings less scary to wear. Yeah, I said it, you’re not the only one who doesn’t want skin-tight leather stretched across her butt. I know I sure don’t want that on display. A baggy sweater makes me more confident in this look.

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T-Shirt – American Apparel, Jacket – Olivaceous, Boots – Steve Madden

#4) Military jacket. Yeah, mid-calf boots make me look shorter, but I love ‘em too much to let go. The fourth piece that is always okay to wear with these leggings is some sort of over-piece: a fur vest (not cropped), a white blazer, a military jacket etc. Again, it’s nice to have something that covers you’re hips a bit. Also, something like this military jacket has a very similar “voice” to the leather leggings. They’re both edgy and cool without competing with each other. No idea what I’m talking about? Just take my word for it.

Okay, ready to embrace this look? My leggings are See You Monday, but MICHAEL Michael Kors, Mimi Chica (they’re matte–super cool), BDG (available at Urban Outfitters), and American Apparel all make some great options.

Have Fun!