A portrait of Henry, a seven year old Maine Coon Cat whom I get to cat-sit from time to time. He belongs to lovely Alicia, pictured above. I’m so incredibly lucky to have Alicia not only as a very dear friend, but my number one confidant in all Fashion adventures. Alicia runs the gamut of a stylist, whether it’s for a magazine or flying off to Paris on a regular basis to do the flagship store buy for every girl in the world’s favorite Parisian brand here in the city. Her personal styling services include weekly personal shopping and closet cleaning for a group of power women who make up that elusive echelon of designer brand’s top tier customers. What I love most about Alicia’s work is that you may not see her with the usual suspects of “it” stylists, rather finding her own path, where women trust her sensibilities implicitly because of her unique style. Her coveted closet can rival any editors and is perhaps also one of the most organized I’ve ever seen:
It is after all, what she does best. So one sunny afternoon, I went by Alicia’s for a visit to say hello and some closet therapy. She’s always got some amazing castaways from her clients to try on and a bottle of wine on hand - this time an assortment of berries and treats. She let me photograph some pieces from her vintage archive (she used to own a vintage store too), some of her newest favorite digs and answered all of my questions on how to make my closet just as organized. Henry was there:
What are your tips on how to organize your closet and how to create an easy storage system?
I love that my closet has so many different sections and built in shelves-- it really helps me to separate by silhouette, and still have everything in one place. I don't really think there is a wrong way to arrange a closet, as long as its organized-- I switch back and forth between organizing according to color and style, or brand and style, but always by season.
I like to keep my jeans and pants folded, along with my knits and tees. Everything else gets hung up on slimline hangers (I love the nude color, they are visually light and let the garment come to the front).
I also like to keep a sachet filled with lavender with my folded sweaters—my favorite is handmade by Valentine at Park Delicatessen. I also just discovered Diptyque’s Palet Parfume—they are fresh and light and look beautiful hanging in the closet.
Some advice on how to sort through your clothes and decide what to get rid off?
If a piece doesn’t fit well, it has no place in the closet, and quality over quantity always. I try to have a strict one in one out policy with my wardrobe (much easier said than done) and anytime I bring in a new piece I scan through my closet and find something that has not gotten much wear to move along. I am all for having a few wild cards in the closet, but if you have something that doesn’t work with your personal style and aesthetic, it is time to let it go. If I have trouble styling a piece with the rest of my wardrobe (if it always gets tried on but never makes it out of the door) I pass it along to a friend or my favorite consignment store.
What are your must have closet items that are timeless/that every wardrobe should have?
A good collection of denim (including at least one pair of well-loved vintage and a pair of skinnys that fit like a glove), a classic trench, a white men’s oxford shirt, black ballerinas, a stack of slouchy white tees, an oversized sweater that is both comfy and chic, a t-shirt dress (the longer the better), a strong blazer and trouser (I love pant suits!) and a warm overcoat that is oversized enough to layer with comfortably, but not too overwhelming.
How do you decide if an investment/designer piece is worth it?
I steer clear of pieces that are too trend-driven, and really look for iconic, wearable pieces that work with my wardrobe and will get a lot of play for years to come. Fit and quality have to be spot on as well.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
The Dries Van Noten boutique in Paris-- I have been lucky enough to travel to Paris several times in the past year and a half and I always make the time to stop in-- it is one of the most beautiful retail spaces I have ever seen and it is pleasure to wander through. Isabel Marant (Broome Street and the Saintonge shop in Paris), Exquisite Costume on Broome street for vintage, A detacher in Nolita, Erie Basin in Red Hook (for estate jewelry and inspiration—Russell has an incredible eye), and as much as I hate to say it, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman. Both are such iconic New York department stores, and there is a lot to be said for having so many great collections in one place.
Who are your style icons?
The elegant tomboys— all of them. I am inspired by the perfectly undone woman.
To visit Alicia's website, click here.