Stylish advice from America’s top fashion designers
When the Council of Fashion Designers of America wants to seek the advice of its 400-plus members, it has some pretty impressive names to turn to:
Prabal Gurung, Derek Lam,
Donna Karan, Tory Burch and Narciso Rodriguez, to name a few. The council impressively wrangled this creative brood and solicited their thoughts on everything from mentors to treasured memories to the last thing they do before they go to bed. “Take two Advil PM and wish upon a star,” quipped Betsey Johnson. The result is a charming little book entitled
The Pursuit of Style: Advice & Musings from America’s Top Fashion Designers. In the introduction, Jessica Alba writes: “When we
put on the right clothing, it feels as if it has the power to reveal not only who we are but who we want to be. For all that our clothes say about us, we know so little about the inspirations and aspirations of the designers themselves.” So what did this book reveal about these characters that surprised or intrigued me most?
Read on for my top 10 picks…
1. Jenna Lyons on her favourite fabric to wear and work with: “Gray flannel. I think the only thing I wouldn’t like in gray flannel is a bathing suit—and honestly it would look so chic, but be so silly.” 2. Joseph Altuzarra says he’s most impressed with someone if… “They are humble.” 3. Judith Ripka’s work motto: “You can look back, but don’t stare.” 4.
Prabal Gurung aims to always “create a beautiful dream” and never “create a delusion.” 5. When asked to complete the sentence “I love…,” Greg Armas replied “The not knowing.” 6. On the subject of romance, the designers were asked what they do when they’re in love. Martin Cooper said he feels like he can bend light, and Nick Graham
wears orange. 7. Their responses to being asked about the greatest romance of all time ranged from the romantic “Romeo and Juliet, Clare and Leo style” (Lisa Salzer) to L’Wren Scott’s astute observation: “Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with jewelry.” 8. Heroes and heroines ranged from Mother Teresa (Maggie Norris) to Frank Sinatra (Ralph Lauren). Martin Cooper wins for coming up with the most unlikely duo: “Benjamin Franklin and Wonder Woman.” 9. On what they always listen to… “Disco,” said Elie Tahari. “The universe,” said Waris Ahluwalia. Brian Atwood said he has an open ear when it comes to being critiqued. “Criticism. It’s good to know what people think, doesn’t mean you have to act on it.” 10. Rachel Roy’s advice for life: On the “Always” continuum, she replied: “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or lower self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact,
surrounded by assholes.” On the “Never” side: “Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow.”
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