Fashion Insider Style Secrets

Interviews by India Jewel-Jackson, Jocelyn Voo and Neha Gandhi
Ladies’ Home Journal online

As New York’s Olympus Fashion Week struts into town again, chatted with seven of the fashion industry’s finest about their personal fashion obsessions and beloved trends. Get in the know as these style connoisseurs tell all.

Isaac Mizrahi
Fashion designer, creator of the Isaac Mizrahi for Target line of clothing and accessories, winner of four Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards, and host of The Style Network’s ISAAC

New trend he loves: The floral print. We did many different kinds from chintz-ish prints to photoreal ones, and I love the way they look all mixed together.
What he’s looking forward to: I’m looking forward to a waist-conscious look, which began for us in spring. I love belts again.
The best-loved piece in his closet: My favorite thing right now is a luggage-colored tote bag I got specially made from Hermes. I ordered it two years ago and it finally came and I’ve carried it every day since I got it.
His no-fail beauty advice: I think a woman should either do her hair or her makeup but never both.
Style-makers he admires: My style icons are Diana Vreeland, Audrey Hepburn, Babe Paley, Norman Norell.
Absolute fashion no-nos: Anything overtly sexy. Trashy is finished.

Tim Gunn
Resident “den father” for contestants on Bravo’s Project Runway, and Chair of the Department of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design

New trends he loves: Boutique perfumes give women a fascination, because the scent they apply is highly individual and personal, not mass marketed and the same for everyone. These fragrances are prolifically diverse and even customizable. For readers not living in major cities, boutique perfumes are available online and can be sold in small sample sizes.
What he’s looking forward to: I can’t wait to see the demise of the bare midriff!
His no-fail fashion picks: Sweater jackets are hands-down no-fail fashion picks. They provide the ease of a cardigan, but with the dressier and more pulled-together look that a jacket provides.
His top insider style secret: For me, few accessories make a woman look more chic than a scarf draped over one shoulder or wrapped loosely around the neck. It needn’t be expensive by any means, and it can be decorative or one color, diaphanous or opaque. It’s a very European look, but let’s make it work in America, too.
Style-maker he admires: Diane von Furstenberg. She resonates quality, taste, and style whether she’s serving lunch in her studio wearing jeans and a tank top, or in her own eveningwear design on the red carpet at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards Gala. She’s an original and an inspiration.

Constance White
Style Director for eBay, and author of the book StyleNoir

New trends she loves: I love knee-high, flat boots; military coats; and camouflage.

Her latest fashion obsession: Belts — wide belts, narrow belts, studded belts, jeweled belts, ribbon belts, knit belts, elastic belts. You name it!
Her no-fail fashion picks: Black turtleneck — wool or cashmere, well-fitted blue jeans and white jeans.
The best-loved pieces in her closet: A Jean Paul Gaultier skirt with a slit up the side and a hipster belt. It’s sexy and demure at the same time. Also, my collection of African and Rastafarian costume jewelry and accessories.
To look great in an instant: Think simplicity — throw on white shirt, black pencil skirt, and high heels and think “I’ve got it goin’ on!”
Insider style secret: Most people wear a size too big or — just as egregious! — a size too small. The right fit is more important than the price or the latest trend. And of course, grooming counts.

Deborah Lloyd
Executive Vice President of Design at Banana Republic

Can’t live without this year: White shirts
What she’s looking forward to: A perfect black pencil skirt with a belt
Best-loved pieces in her closet : White shirt, skinny jeans, and high boots
Her no-fail fashion picks: Layering camisoles
Style-makers she admires: Lee Miller, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling
Absolute fashion no-nos: Not everyone can wear skinny jeans. They are most flattering when tucked in boots.

Sean Krebs
Style expert for Gap and seasoned style correspondent for various publications and television shows.

New trends he loves: I love the nautical trend for spring. It’s real American fashion at its best — clean, classic and, most importantly, wearable. It’s great that everyone is doing it, from high-end designers like Luella Bartley and Peter Som to more affordable brands like Gap.
His no-fail fashion picks: For women: dark indigo denim jeans, a crisp white button-front shirt, and Manolo Blahnik black leather stilettos. For men: dark indigo denim jeans, a crisp white button-front shirt, and a fine gauge wool v-neck sweater.
The best-loved piece in your closet: It’s a tie between a Gap military jacket that was only sold in Europe and my Hermes orange signature ribbon-print pocket square, which brightens up even the most basic of blazers.
To look great in an instant: Anyone can look great in an instant by standing up straight — good posture is more than half the battle.
Style-makers he admires: Babe Paley, Ali MacGraw, Sienna Miller, Cary Grant, Gunther Sachs, and Justin Timberlake.

Amy Salinger
NYC Fashion stylist and personal shopper;

New trends she loves: Oversized jewelry puts a smile on my face every day. It is an inexpensive way to change an outfit from day to day. Vintage-inspired pieces add a bit of flare to any look and you can pick them up at your local thrift store for next to nothing.
Latest fashion obsession: The Kathlin Argiro Rhonda dress. Depending on the color scheme, it is perfect for a girly night of fun or a vintage inspired daytime funky look.
Her no-fail fashion picks: Longer tank tops are good all year long. The can be worn under, over, or alone. Keep it simple or dress it up with a cool cropped jacket, funky jewels, or a belt.
The best-loved piece in your closet: My perfectly broken-in, ripped jeans. People search high and low for that fabulous pair and when you find them you hold on for dear life.
To look great in an instant: Throw on a fun blazer over anything basic. Think great patterns, textures, and colors. It will cover you enough to feel comfortable, give your body structure, and make your outfit pop .
Style-maker she admire: Sienna Miller truly possesses her own sense of style and allows it to shine at all levels. From day to evening, informal to formal, she really has a grasp on what looks best on her.

Tracy Reese
Fashion designer, creator of Tracy Reese and Plenty by Tracy Reese

Her latest fashion obsession: It’s always shoes — Prada or Manolos usually!
New trend she loves: White on white.
Her no-fail fashion picks: A feminine frock.
The best-loved piece in her closet: A vintage dress — ’50s style with blue lace overlay.
Her top insider style secret: Prints are flattering. Just make sure the silhouette and fit are right.
To look great in an instant: Put on heels!
Style-maker she admires: Beyonce always looks good.

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