It’s the most wonderful time of the year! At least in terms of fashion, it is. We’ve all had a couple of weeks to ogle the latest fall trends, and believe me- I’ve been ogling away at hot looks like brocade, leather, even plaid. (And I LOVE how Downton Abbey it all is. Eat, drink, and be Mary!)
As YSL famously said, however, “Fashions fade, style is eternal,” which makes Fall an excellent time to think about your wardrobe staples. I got a head start by sitting down with Corina Madilian, the proprietor of sublime San Marino boutique Serafina. Here’s a little of our conversation:
TFH: Give me a quick description of your style.
CM: I don’t spend a lot of time on what’s super trendy. Someone who purchases from Serafina is building a collection, not just buying for a season then purging and starting over. Quality pieces don’t have to be expensive, and there are plenty that can last you five seasons or more.
TFH: So who do you think of as a style inspiration? I always go to Jackie O. When in doubt, I think, “What would Jackie wear?”
CM: Yes, she’s wonderful. Obviously Grace Kelly. I love Diane von Furstenburg; she has that look she’s carried for years and years. And on a totally contemporary note, I really like to see what Kelly Rutherford wears.
TFH: That’s a fun one. But this is the eternal problem: how does a busy mom who feels like she never has time, energy, or resources to dedicate to herself translate those style inspirations into her own closet?
CM: Yes, we get that all the time at Serafina. The woman who has put everyone else’s needs before her own comes in and just says, “I need help!” The first thing for that mom to determine is, “What does she want to portray?” Does she want to be a comfortable, on-the-go mom? A chic mom? And then pick out a few pieces that fit that image, pieces she can mix and match. Maybe start with jeans, nothing too complicated.
TFH: But that can be the most intimidating of all, right?
CM: You don’t have to hit that super trendy, skinny jean, which just isn’t right for everyone. There is a place for more conservative jeans, and they don’t have to be mom jeans. Simple pieces never go out of style. Button-downs, maybe a nice silk blouse. Never start with the trendy pieces. It will take too much effort, too much thought to use them quickly and often. So just escape that altogether and start with classics.
TFH: So start with the jeans and maybe a couple of tops, and then…
CM: Shoes that you love. A great pair of loafers or ballet flats, maybe boots if that’s your style and need. Those kinds of things you can wear again and again. A great belt. And one piece of fabulous jewelry that you love and can wear forever.
More on my interview with Corina to come, including her thoughts on makeup and what one fashion splurge is always worth the money! Until then… enjoy checking out Serafina:
And don’t forget to share your thoughts about fashion staples in the comments! What’s your recipe for a foolproof look? And who is your style icon?
Photos by Lucie Amberg.