2012 December 14
Stacy London Talks Anna Wintour, Vogue, and The Truth About Style
(NEW YORK) You know Stacy London from What Not to Wear but after nine seasons (with the 10th installment airing January 3rd at 10 p.m. on TLC) do you really know The Truth About Style? We stopped into Trina Turk's boutique last night to find out! BY ASHLEY TSCHUDIN
What is the truth about style exactly?
The truth about style is that you need self-acceptance first.
How did you find self-acceptance?
Trial and tribulation. I can't say it's always a straight path. I'm obsessed with Pinterest and my fave Pinterest thing lately is the definition of an optimist, which is really just knowing that taking one step forward or one step back isn't a disaster. It's a cha-cha.
What inspired your new book, The Truth About Style?
I was inspired to do the book based on the rule of 'Yes!...And?' Basically it's about accepting what's given to you and building on it. If you can get to the dispassionate acceptance of your life, age, body, and where you are right now, then you can get to the passionate...'And?'
What was your writing process like?
I gained 20 pounds. I sat a lot! I have not been to a gym. I do very little walking. I didn't know what this book was going to be about and that was the biggest frustration. Originally my publisher wanted a memoir, and I was like, 'I'm 43. I have a little more to do. That's a little premature.' I wanted to talk about my life experience but that'd be very boring for ten chapters, so incorporated myself into a book of case studies. I enlisted women that I felt represented universals when it comes to style obstacles. Enlisting them to to tell their story helps me tell mine. We talk about the universals that are either excuses or obstacles.
What's the biggest obstacle?
What it boils down to is devaluing the person you are. We have to acknowledge and recognize that we're worth it. When you try to be universal it never works. When you're particular, the universal springs from it.
You're like the little Buddha of style!
I love you. I'm going to get a t-shirt that says "Little Buddha of Style." Pat my tummy. Except don't touch me.
You can build a wardrobe but can you build style?
Yes! You need a certain amount of self-knowledge for self-expression. You need to look in the mirror and hate your ass and hate your chubby knees and love your tits and say, 'Okay, I hate. I hate. I love!' First comes fit. Then there's the art of styling, which is color, pattern, texture, and things that speak to you and make your heart sing like Kate Spade.
What was the worst trend you followed?
I've followed everything my whole life, and that was the problem! I think about what I wore in the nineties and I'm like, 'I wore a tan suit? I wore tube socks? I had a Flock of Seagulls haircut?'
How has your experience in the industry affected your style?
My life experience informs my style philosophy as much as my practical experience as a stylist. I started at Vogue at 22. There is no other place besides Vogue if you want to learn about fashion. I got the best technical training. When you work for someone like Anna [Wintour], it makes you work to a different standard. I was never fabulous then.
Are you fabulous now?
I have a lot more life experience, and I have a lot more insight into the industry and how I can work in the industry.
Would you go back to Vogue?
I could. God, I would never turn down that opportunity for a nanosecond. Anna recognizes that fashion is a sign of the times. It reflects where culture is. But it's got to be more than that, too. It's also about adding the philosophical and psychological elements to it that I studied in college. Everything I've ever learned led me to What Not to Wear. It's about empowerment and self-acceptance. Style is a tool. It's not just a reward of the young, rich, and famous.
What's in store for your future?
We're in the middle of shooting season 10 of What Not to Wear right now. When I think about it, I'm not sure I could go back to editorial. Editorial has become dispersed. Digital is all about Joe Schmo watching the Chanel show right when Anna sees it. There is an immediacy that wasn't available before, so I don't think that would be my next step. I founded Style for Hire, and I'm focused on that. I believe in the fact that styling is not a luxury. It's an investment in yourself.
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