Look Sharpby Tracey Middlekauff
As the co-host of TLC´s What Not to Wear, Stacy London is adept at turning the dull into delicious and the trashy into tres chic. And she´s much more than just a pretty face with an eye for creating the perfect wardrobe: London is brainy, tart-tongued, and quick-witted. She holds a B.A. from Vassar with a double major in philosophy and German literature, and she was a member of phi Beta kappa. Academic excellence aside, London just couldn´t ignore the siren call of fashion — perhaps it´s because she grew up in New York City, one of the fashion capitals of the world. And after a summer internship in the pr department at Christian Dior in paris, she was hooked. She got her start as a fashion assistant at Vogue, and later became senior fashion editor at Mademoiselle. She´s styled photo shoots for a host of edgy publications, including Nylon, Contents, and Italian D, and worked with celebs such as kate Winslet and Liv Tyler, and with high-end designers including Vivienne Tam and rebecca Taylor. As if she didn´t already have enough massive fashion cred, London also wrote a book in 2005 on style, Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That´s Right for Your Body, along with her What Not to Wear co-host Clinton kelly. And don´t even get her started on shoes! She owns over 300 pairs and counting, and has a soft spot in her heart for stilettos, particularly anything by Christian Louboutin. So who better to ask for advice about some of our fashion conundrums than this smart, insightful, shoe-hoarding style guru? After all, the beauty business is all about image, and it´s crucial to be able to pull off the right look for your workplace. There´s no need to look sloppy or tragic — just follow Stacy´s common sense guidelines, and you´ll always be fierce.As you know, some hair salons require stylists and employees to wear a uniform or conform to a dress code. in general, do you think this is a good idea to maintain a certain overall consistency and quality of look, or do you think it takes away from a stylist´s individuality?
It´s not a question of whether or not uniforms are a good idea. Some salons feel that the individual style of each hairdresser takes away from the overall image of the salon. Consistency in the sense of a uniform is about the overall image the salon is trying to convey to the client, and each individual hairdresser is working as a part of that whole, not a separate entity in him or herself. For me, it isn´t a question of whether one is better than another, but the focus is clearly different.
What, in your opinion, are elements that make for a really sharp uniform and/or dress code? How can owners accommodate different body types and still make everybody look good in basically the same outfit?
Fit is essentially the most important look for a uniform. Ideally havinguniversally flattering shapes, like A-line skirts or flat front trousers will work for any size. Ideally, each hairstylist should also be able to tailor his or her uniform so it will fit as well as possible.
For hair stylists who have to wear a uniform, do you have any tips on ways that they can infuse the look with their personality and sense of style without straying too far from the required look?
Accessories such as shoes and jewelry can help make a uniform look more personalized, but if the salon requires a uniform, don´t go crazy. There is a reason they are looking for a more cohesive look for the salon overall so if you stand out too much, it defeats the purpose of a uniformed staff to begin with.
For stylists who are allowed to wear whatever they want, do you have any general guidelines or tips that they should keep in mind in order to project the right look? How much look is too much? Why is what a stylist wears important at all if theycan do hair well?
Image is always important. If you are allowed to wear whatever you want, you should base your look on the kind of client you want to attract. Going for the young trendy type? Wear edgier pieces. Looking for a more traditional client? Tone down the trendiness and go for modern classics. regardless, make sure your clothes fit well.
What about stylists who work at a relatively casual salon? What is just too casual?
Too casual is untailored, unkempt and messy. No tears, no stains, no missing buttons, and no using safety pins in place of missing buttons or broken zippers.
Since stylists are on their feet all day, do you have any advice about how to combine comfort with fashion when it comes to shoes?
There are great comfort shoe lines that look chic and fashionable like Taryn rose, Naturalizer and Sacco comfort. Wedges and stacked heels will also give more support than stilettos. Look for rubber soles for cushioning as well. I just got great Balenciaga booties with rubber soles!!!! Super chic.
Do you have any examples of stand-out well-dressed stylists? What do you like about their look?
Nick Arrojo. Frederic Fekkai. Ted Gibson. oribe. They are chic but have individual flair and their clothes ALWAYS fit well.