What does it take to de­velop a sig­na­ture look? Is per­sonal style some­thing you’re born with, or a qual­ity de­vel­oped over time? We asked some of the most fash­ion­able women we know to join the ELLE team in de­cod­ing the nu­ances of get­ting dressed

ELLE (UK) - - Contents -

Women in fash­ion in­vite you on their sar­to­rial jour­neys

Irina La­kice­vic ED­I­TOR

WORDS TO DRESS BY… ‘I don’t be­lieve in mis­takes. Don’t limit your­self; it doesn’t al­ways have to be about be­ing per­fectly pulled to­gether. I like to wear chal­leng­ing sil­hou­ettes and

sizes, and I love to wear menswear. Fail­ure is in the eye of the be­holder and, as the fash­ion

in­dus­try is prov­ing right now, there is no bad taste any­more.’ MY BEST IN­VEST­MENT… ’I bought a Cé­line flo­ral skirt when it was on sale, and it still cost more than I dare to think.

Two years later, I wear it con­stantly. I don’t re­gret a cent.’

Hikari Yokoyama


MY BEST IN­VEST­MENT… ‘A Go­yard tote bag. It seems like some­thing a rich con­ser­va­tive woman would wear, but it is the per­fect tote: light­weight, water-re­sis­tant, durable, spa­cious and fold­able, so it’s great for trav­el­ling. Its print goes with ev­ery­thing.’




‘It’s not some­thing you find – your look finds you. You col­lect things that make

you feel good. I’ve al­ways had a strong de­sire to dress up. A lot of us find the things we love early on and re­peat them in dif­fer­ent ways; the best de­sign­ers have a sin­gu­lar vi­sion from which they never stray too far. When I was younger, there was a rad­i­cal

promis­cu­ity to some of the things I wore – or so I’m told! Al­though I’m ex­tremely shy at times, I’ve never had an is­sue with at­ten­tion be­ing called to my­self. Wear­ing con­spic­u­ous cloth­ing can act as an ar­mour. As I’ve grown older and as a mother, I’ve be­come a lit­tle more de­mure. One of the rea­sons I be­came a fash­ion de­signer was so that I didn’t have to buy my own clothes – I just lie back and dream

my wardrobe into ex­is­tence.’

An­nina Mis­lin


THE PER­FECT UNI­FORM… ‘Clas­sic, min­i­mal pieces are the build­ing blocks of my look: suit­ing, denim, cash­mere knits,

leather, men’s shirt­ing. This is my grand­mother’s in­flu­ence

– she had an im­pec­ca­ble wardrobe and told me to be un­afraid of get­ting pieces

tai­lored, be­cause fit is ev­ery­thing. I ex­per­i­mented with trend-driven looks un­til I was 24, but then I stopped buy­ing

into ev­ery trend. It was grad­ual, but I slowly built my closet to what it is now, and

it’s still grow­ing.’

Zan­dra Rhodes



‘I had a teacher at Med­way Col­lege of Art who en­cour­aged

me to be my­self. The more I was pho­tographed, the more I de­vel­oped a stand­out look. When you work with mod­els and clients, you have to find a way to hold your own when you are nei­ther stun­ningly beau­ti­ful nor rich. I found my style in my third year at the Royal Col­lege of Art. I spe­cialised in dress tex­tiles, so I did a lot of ex­per­i­ment­ing. I had a thick skin; I could ig­nore peo­ple if they laughed or thought I was mad, but I got no­ticed. Style evolves, it doesn’t stay static. When I found my pink hair,

I knew it worked; my green hair even scared Diana Ross.’

Racil Chal­houb



‘Fig­ur­ing out my own style, what I feel good in or not, is by far the best in­vest­ment I’ve ever made. My mother taught me that you should al­ways choose pieces that suit you and your body

over what is in fash­ion at the mo­ment.

She be­lieves that clothes should make you feel and look beau­ti­ful, and high­light your good

traits, and not just look cool.’

Chris­tene Bar­berich


WORDS TO DRESS BY… ‘Show grat­i­tude and be kind to your­self when you look in the

mir­ror. We can be cruel to our­selves in ways we would never treat others we loved. I try to be sup­port­ive, and not a to­tal jerk when I’m get­ting my act to­gether ev­ery morn­ing. Prac­tise kind­ness with your­self and it will show in your en­ergy. It might just make you taller, too (maybe not, but

I’d like to think so).’

Roberta Ben­teler



‘Once you find your style, putting to­gether an out­fit is

to­tally in­tu­itive and takes no time at all. For me, my uni­form is made up of a pair of high-waisted trousers – I got into them about four years ago, when Hedi Sli­mane did them for Saint Lau­rent and I re­alised how

flat­ter­ing they are for my shape. I also love men’s cash­mere: it’s a dis­cov­ery I have my dad to thank for, or rather his Loro Piana ad­dic­tion. It’s bet­ter priced, comes in nicer colours, and the shape is cooler. Then there’s the Bre­ton-striped top: it works for any­one and goes with any­thing. It adds a di­men­sion to an out­fit, where a print might be too much. And last, a tai­lored

Cé­line coat; pretty much all the tai­lor­ing I buy is Cé­line; Phoebe Philo knows how to cut a great coat.’

Jan-Michael Quam­mie



‘When I worked for Saks Fifth Av­enue as a buyer in my early twen­ties in New York, I fell into a trap of dress­ing in a cor­po­rate way – Diane von Fursten­berg wrap dress and Jimmy Choo pumps – even though it wasn’t me. As soon as I left, that’s when I started ex­press­ing my­self more: get­ting tat­toos, grow­ing my hair big, be­ing re­bel­lious – and it felt good. Now, I’m my most hon­est self. I don’t have a blue­print for my look. It’s a feel­ing I have when I wake up; an emo­tional thing. I have an at­trac­tion to the Nineties look of Ju­lia Roberts in Not­ting Hill in the beret and the plat­form Vans. Also, Princess Diana

– it’s ex­cit­ing the way all her looks are resur­fac­ing.’

Pernille Teis­baek


MY BEST IN­VEST­MENT… ‘I’m sav­ing up for a small Her­mès Kelly bag that I know I will trea­sure for­ever. It can eas­ily up­grade a ca­sual look like jeans, sneak­ers and a hoodie in the morn­ing.’ WORDS TO DRESS BY… ‘Com­fort comes first. It’s the worst feel­ing when you don’t feel com­fort­able in your out­fit. Jeans, blazer and a pair of power heels are my go-to. I of­ten choose my out­fit based on the shoes that I want to

wear. Most of the time, I plan my out­fit the night be­fore so I don’t have to stress about

it in the morn­ing.’

Sara By­worth



‘It took me two decades to work out what I felt most con­fi­dent yet un­der­stated in. Mov­ing to New York when I was 34 gave me the con­fi­dence to be pol­ished in a sub­tle way. Now, my wardrobe is less fussy and more re­liant on beau­ti­ful pieces that tran­scend sea­sons. Chic sep­a­rates in neu­tral colours, high-waisted wide-leg trousers, a slightly di­aphanous silk shirt, a per­fect white T-shirt. And al­ways a state­ment ear­ring: I have a pair by JAR that are deeply sen­ti­men­tal to me. I put them on and I can’t help but smile.’

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