Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Style Guru: Candidate 3

“Any girl can look glamorous .... just stand there and look stupid.”

Doris Day

I love Doris Day’s quote. She is right. Looking glamorous is easy, it is looking stylish that is difficult. It is picking a style and embodying it that is the hardest thing.

This quote is the reason I write a style/fashion blog... to show that style is not all glitz and glam but in fact expression and art.

My third candidate is ALEXANDRA HUNT. Alexandra is a professional wedding photographer and 1950’s housewife!! I am not kidding! Alexandra is the ultimate style icon when it comes to classic elegance. Her first words were “Polly Darton” for goodness sake! Iconizing Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Charlotte York... need I say anymore!

What I love about Alexandra is her uniqueness in style and her unique ability to style herself in this modern world with classy elegance. She is, (as the book says it) An Audrey Hepburn in a Paris Hilton world!

Focussing on the more traditional colors such as coffee, black, white, and dark indigo Alexandra gives her outfits a modern pop of color with bright coral and hot pinks, red, sapphire and cornflower blues, teal and royal purple. With her beautiful olive undertones Alexandra has learnt to avoid what doesn’t look good and reveal in what does.

Now I hand you over to Alexandra herself: -

  • What influences your style?

I like clean lines and classic styles. Having been raised on a diet of Doris Day and 1950-1960s classic movies, my style is heavily influenced by mid-century fashion. Grungy/layer-y clothes don't work well on me, and I'd rather look a tad conservative/modest than look back in 10 years and have to shudder!

I've also learned that it's better to work WITH my shape than against it. I'm tall, lean, and although I'm curvy, it's more angular curves than soft curves - and I have really strong shoulders. I used to hate my shape, as I'm naturally drawn to really feminine, frilly clothes. Can you imagine someone with Angelina Jolie shoulders wearing a Sandra Dee type dress with cap sleeves and a tiny floral print? Yeah, it doesn't work. For me, clean lines, jewel tones, deep-V's, masculine textures (no floaty fabrics) and strong shapes work best and play to my assets. Having had a baby has also forced me to re-evaluate my style. I don't have an itty bitty waist any more, and my chest is well, larger than it used to be. I don't feel comfortable in plunging tops, form-fitting dresses, and high heels anymore. I don't want to be dowdy, but at the same time, I'm not exactly trying to look like I'm selling my wares - you know what I mean? It's a work in progress, and I'm constantly adapting my style as I go along.

  • Who do you look up to (fashion wise)?

Audrey Hepburn (simple, classic, solid colours, good tailoring), Grace Kelly (simply, classic, solid colours, good tailoring, East Coast feel), Angelina Jolie (dark colours or desert neutrals, leather, ethnic influences), the Stepford Wives (dresses, dresses, dresses + pearls).

  • Favorite Garment?

Fall + Winter: My coffee-coloured leather jacket that I bought in Paris while back-packing with my now-husband. I wear that with just about anything - jeans, a t-shirt and flats, with long black maxi dresses when I was pregnant with my daughter, over a jewel-toned 3/4 length sleeve shirt, paired with grey wool slacks and black pumps for client meetings.

Spring + Summer: a split between my jean jacket (GAP - circa 2001, clean lines, simple denim wash, no weird fading or accents), and skirts. I have a massive collection of A-line knee-length skirt in prints ranging from formal and fabulous to boho/Greek/chic. I like to pair a classic fitted cami (thick straps) with a printed skirt, jean jacket, and flip flops, or a 3/4 length fitted shirt with a formal print skirt and ballet flats. Add a cardigan as needed. I ran around Rome in a fabulous indigo blue and white skirt with red suede peep-toe pumps and an indigo fitted 3/4 length sleeve shirt. It was AWESOME. I felt like the young Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, and even posed on the steps by the Trevi fountain like her!

  • Favorite Accessory?

My pearls. Pearl studs and a classic single strand. I have a large pearl strand that my husband bought for me on our honeymoon in Hawaii. The pearls are large enough that the necklace becomes a statement piece.

  • Favorite Designer?

Kate Spade. I really love what she's doing right now with her clothing line.

  • Favorite Bargain Store?

Can I say the GAP? Or, Smart Set. I loathe most mall stores, but Smart Set classic t-shirts fit me well, and have the right amount of stretch. I love the GAP because so far, it's the only place that has tall jeans that fit my inseam perfectly. I'm still looking for a reliable source for dresses. Being tall with a larger bust means that waists rise up, and "above-the-knee" dresses turn into mini skirts. Whoops!

  • Favorite Store?

Hmm, I don’t have a favorite store currently.

  • How did you find “you” in clothes?

I dress first for what will suit my shape. Cap sleeves are out, high waists are out, short skirts (they become ultra minis on my long legs) are out. I have it down to a science now, what colours look best, what fabrics will flatter, so it's getting easier to take a glance at something on the rack and know if I should try it on or not. I try to buy with quality and longevity in mind. Trendy pieces are best purchased for cheap; classics like black capri pants, white blouses, pearls, etc - those are worth a higher investment. I also give it the yearbook once-over - if I saw a picture of myself wearing this in the future, would I cringe? Would this picture negatively influence a political campaign? (p.s. the same thing can be said for baby names! Can you imagine someone announcing your son or daughter with "President _____" as a prefix? Don't limit your child's future vocation with a stripper moniker!)

  • What, for you is the biggest fashion no,no?

My biggest fashion faux-pas would be not dressing for you body type and age. There are so many resources for learning about what shapes suit different body types, and it's so easy to ask a honest friend if an outfit is truly flattering or not. Even shows like "What Not to Wear" can be an invaluable resource for the fashion-challenged. Buy a full-length mirror! Also, getting older doesn't mean you have to dress like a geriatric, but it definitely means that you need to re-think what is age-appropriate. I'm sorry, but no one looks kindly or favorably at a 60 year old woman in a mini skirt - even if she does have good legs for her age. Except for Tina Turner, but not everyone is that fabulous!

  • What is one word or phrase sums up your style?

My style changes with my age, position, and season. It's hard to pin down something that amorphous, but maybe something like "the new NEW classics."


Please check out Alexandra’s website and see for yourself her extraordinary photographic talents!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, Hannah! I love what you're trying to accomplish with this site, and I'm so happy that you chose to feature me. :)