With a fab wardrobe, amazing job & enviable sense of chic - plus a hit show & published book about style under her belt - Nina Garcia is one interesting fashionista. As part of her recent blog tour, which included Fashionista, Coquette, BussBuss & FabSugar, the author of The Little Black Book of Style shed light on some of our more pressing questions.
Fashiontribes: What are your biggest fashion/style pet peeves?
Nina Garcia: My biggest fashion/ style pet peeves is when I see women who allow trends to dictate their style. Trends should be used as a platform for inspiration and not be worn all at once, because you just end up looking like a fashion victim.
FT: How do you tell a fad from a long-term trend?
NG: I think you can tell a fad from a long-term trend by the audience it attracts. Fads tend to be short lived because they are not entirely functional and are only wearable, if that, to very few. A long-term trend has sustainability because it dissapates from the runway and is copied by other designers and at lower price points. It also appeals to a wider audience, think of the sack dress which looked great on a variety of body types and ages.
FT: What's the best way to personalize a trend?
NG: You turn a trend into your own style by incorporating the trend into your already existing wardobe and not have the trend wear you buy...you wear the trend.
FT: Can you recommend guidelines for mixing and matching your wardrobe?
NG: When mixing and matching your wardrobe I tend to invest in classic pieces, like trench coat, handbag-Chanel 2.5, Hermes Birkin or Louis Vuitton Speedy, Little Black Dress and more decorative accessories. When it comes to trendier pieces, I go to places like Zara and H&M and also incorporate vintage finds like colorful dresses and bohemian-esque embellished belts. Shopping at different price points gives your wardrobe texture and personality. You do not need to be in head to toe designer to look great.
FT: Should your bag be in a seasonal color?
NG: When it comes to handbags, I stay away from colors and opt for neutral tones that can go with any outfit, day or evening. Think black, camel, tobacco, even white leather bags. For evening is when I tend to be a little more experimental with my handbag. I always carry a clutch and love to have them in playful colors, exotic skin or embellished to add a little flair to your evening attire.
FT: How do you put together a chic travel capusle wardrobe?
NG: Packing is somewhat of an arduous task. I have found that when traveling it is best to keep it to some basic key pieces with room in your suitcase for some souvenirs. The key is to stick to the basics when traveling for short weekends or week long escapes. For coats, I like to pack either a classic peacoat or trench coat, a crisp white button down, either a pair of dark denim jeans or black cigarette pants, oversized men's cardigan sweater, a pair of ballet flats and high heels, pashmina and, of course, a little black dress. I like to stick to the basics and pack more decorative accessories-statement necklace, chandelier earrings, cocktail ring and cuff bracelet-to add a little drama to my classic pieces and personalize my wardrobe when away from home.
FT: How do you carry a look from night to day? (no, that is not backwards)
NG: This can be interpreted from two different perspectives. First, I think incorporating nocturnal-esque pieces into your day wardrobe can be done by just pairing dressier items down. For example, take your black sequin shift dress and wear it with opaque stockings, a belted oversized cardigan and switch out the Louboutin stilettos for ballet flats and you have a smooth segue from the nightclub to Saturday shopping and brunch. Otherwise, make sure to include a small emergency kit of travel toothbrush, essential makeup items and steal your boyfriend's button down and oversized blazer with stockings for a homemade look when going home before work is not an option. Your coworkers will be wildly impressed by your interpretation of shirt dressing.
FT: Which items were your faves from your mom's closet?
NG: Some favorites from my mom's closet were from the 70s: a collection of Pucci dresses, a few Celine handbags (pre LVMH buyout), and some great jewelry.
FT: What are good gifts to give a fashionista?
NG: Most fashionistas tend to have an overflowing closet of trendy pieces so I often find that the best gifts are ultra feminine items: engraved stationary, silk pajamas, an evening clutch, Prada satin makeup bag that shadows as a clutch bag as well, etc. are often things that they love to receive.
FT: Do you think shows like Project Runway help people to learn the right things about style and fashion?
NG: I think Project Runway has been a tool to bring awareness to the fashion industry and exposed the misconception that it is all glamour. The show is about the creative process more so than about style.
FT: What would you never wear?
NG: I never say never.
- Lesley Scott