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Style Voyeur:

February 22, 2012

Inside Atlanta’s A-List Closets

Sarah Bentley Powell:  Boho-Chic Stylist and Blogger

  • Photos by Colby Blount
  • Produced by Nancy Staab

There’s SJP, Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker, and then there’s our own equally free-spirited Atlanta glam girl, stylist and style blogger Sarah Bentley Powell. Just call her SBP!  With a nod to the fashion blog The Coveteur, we’ve highlighted the clothes, jewelry and accessories of this local tastemaker, professional stylist and Sotheby’s real estate agent in the context of her own Buckhead home and its fab decor.

Stylist Sarah Bentley Powell at home in Rick Owens leather jacket, L.A. Stein cross pendant Stylist Sarah Bentley Powell at home in Rick Owens leather jacket, L.A. Stein cross pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Bentley Powell’s education in culture, fashion, art and design came early as the step-daughter of an East Berlin diplomat. The industrial grit and repression of East Berlin, prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, proved a sharp contrast to the artistic freedoms and sophisticated European fashions of West Berlin—a dramatic passage Powell made almost daily. Powell’s chic mother introduced Powell not only to European fashion houses like Pucci, Yves St. Laurent, and Fendi, but also to the allure of vintage fashion—a penchant Powell has not outgrown. One of her favorite memories of her mom is of her clad, diva-like, in YSL gray flannel plants and a long matching cape. Powell’s father, a fine antiques dealer, taught Powell about true beauty and authenticity, while schooling at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C. honed her art appreciation. Indeed, her house abounds in statement artworks--from modern abstracts, to vintage Marilyn Monroe portraits, to edgy contemporary photographs--the latter from Jackson Fine Art. Powell’s house has a French modern façade and, likewise, she has feathered her nest with distinctive pieces, including a giant purple crystal used as a container for orchids, a Suzanne Kasler lantern from Circa Lighting, silver candelabras, a velvet banquette in the foyer, a chic sofa from Bungalow Classic in the living room, piles of art and fashion books, and a glam sunburst mirror as a dazzling accent. 

A favorite embellished Badgley Mishka dress A favorite embellished Badgley Mishka dress

Besides the contents of her house and closet, Powell’s fashion aesthetic is most evident in her budding style blog Sarah Styles Your Life. The blog is rife with product shots from Powell’s shopping trips to NYC or, say, the rarefied boutique Forty Five Ten in Dallas for her clients; raves about the Olsen twin’s latest The Row collection and Rachel Zoe’s new label. With her model frame, wavy Botticelli-blonde tresses, jaunty fedoras and taste for boho-glam, Powell even resembles Zoe. But unlike Zoe, Powell not only haunts couture showrooms like Lanvin, Chloe and Alexander McQueen, but also can rock choice looks from J. Crew, Top Shop and even Zara. Her easy, relaxed style has garnered her high profile clients, including interior designer Suzanne Kasler, Blackberry Farm owner Kreis Beall, and a key politician’s wife. Above all, Powell stresses the power of accessories—a pedigree bag, killer shoes, a unique piece of jewelry (her faves are Lisa Stein, Irene Neuwirth and Pomellato) and other investment pieces to polish a look. But what is this chic single mom’s most treasured accessory? Her outgoing four-year-old son Pearson, who packs a powerful wallop with his toy gun and his own kinder-cute wardrobe!

 

For more information about Sarah Bentley Powell’s styling services, please contact her at 404.313.0949 or www.sarahstylesyourlife.com

 

SEE SLIDESHOWS AT BOTTOM OF THIS STORY OF SARAH’S FASHIONABLE OJECTS SHOT IN THE CONTEXT OF HER CHIC HOME DÉCOR BY PHOTOGRAPHER COLBY BLOUNT AND A SLIDESHOW OF SOME OF HER STYLE INSPIRATIONS DERIVED FROM HER HOME AND HER BLOG

 

 

SARAH BENTLEY POWELL ON HER STYLE

 

Vintage Marilyn Monroe photo and blue velvet Chanel bag. Vintage Marilyn Monroe photo and blue velvet Chanel bag.

Your Look: Classic Bohemian

 

Top Style Icons:  Talitha Getty, Jackie O., Gwyneth Paltrow

 

Fave Fashion Labels: Marni, Chloe, Lanvin, and Brunello  Cucinelli

 

Your Fashion Philosophy: My fashion philosophy is to be well collected and to dress “high - low”.  I really don’t like seeing everything too pulled together like a pageant girl.  I love beautiful accessories like jewelry, bags, scarves and hats. I tend to be very sportswear oriented and that works on me, but when I work with a client, I access their own lifestyle as well as body type to come up with a clear-cut direction.  One thing that I know for sure is that a woman in her 50’s should not be dressed head-to-toe in Chanel. It ages you. I like to infuse a little bohemian element to create a more relaxed, well-traveled look. 

 

Go-To Gala Wear: Do not show your arms if they are not toned. And this is my #1 piece of advice: It is best to keep the dress really simple but wear it with great accessories.  Evening is so hard.  It is race to find something that is amazing that does not cost a fortune. I tend to go for very simple lines.

 

Jeans: Go with whatever fits best.  My favorite jeans are from J Crew and 7 For All Mankind, as they fit me really well, but I do not like True Religion. I just think their aesthetic is all wrong.

 

To-Die-For Accessory: A good watch is always the best place to start and then a good ring.  

 

Painting by Guy Lesson. Shoes by Manolo Blahnik. Painting by Guy Lesson. Shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

Fashion Obsession: Everything!

 

Fashion Faux Pas: A bad handbag

 

For Instant Polish: I think it’s all about the skin.  Use Daphin Rose oil.

 

Bag: Givenchy

 

Watch: Cartier

 

Shoes: Marni and YSL Tribute heels.  Sexy and comfortable rarely come together, but they do with these two labels.

 

Belts/Scarves: OMG this is the hardest accessory. Whenever you see an amazing belt buy it.  They are super tricky.  Don’t buy a logo belt ever.

 

Outerwear: My favorite coat I have is my pink sleeveless wool coat.  It is such a stunner.

 

Scents: I am obsessed with perfume.  I change everyday and mix my scents to create a signature one, but I love Fredrick Malle perfumes available at Barney’s in New York. 

 

Favorite Emerging Designer: Guiletta, This designer is sold on Net-a-Porter and at Barney’s in NY


Chic Travel Look: A blazer is essential when traveling, especially on a log flight, as you can put it on when the plane lands and look pulled together.

Sarah Powell in New York City with son Pearson Sarah Powell in New York City with son Pearson


What You Like To See On The Opposite Sex? A sport coat



Best Fashion Find: All of my Lisa Stein jewelry. (Lisa Stein of L.A.Stein is an Atlanta-based jewelry designer whose wares can be found at Tassels and “T” boutique)

 

Fave Fashion Stores: In Atlanta I love Rebecca Boutique in Buckhead.  Rebecca is one of my best friends and a total style icon.  All of my clients love what I get them there.  I also love Jeffrey boutique.

 

Other Sources of Style Inspiration: My inspiration comes from everywhere.  I sometimes lie in bed and design collections in my head.  I love to mix things up.  One thing that really bothers me is a look that is too perfect.  It is always more interesting to be a little unexpected.

 

Best Vintage Piece: I have a fur coat that I had relined.  It made me feel better about reinvigorating an older piece.  Kind of eco.



Your Version of a Power suit: I love a Dolce and Gabanna suit. It’s a power suit!

 

A Prada sequin clutch in Powell's glam powder room A Prada sequin clutch in Powell's glam powder room

Most Sentimental Piece In My Closet: My Etro tunic.


My Ideal Closet: Big, white, with lots of natural light and mirrors.  I have it in my idea book.  I will have it some day.


Fave Fashion-Inspired TV or Movies: Well, of course I love The Rachel Zoe Project but Sex in the City remains the best.

 

Fashion Bible: Harper’s Bazaar

 

Best Fashion Advice: Keep the accessories bold.  Keep the clothes minimal.

 

Fave Fashion Era:  I am always in the now.

 

 For more information about Sarah Bentley Powell’s styling services, please contact her at 404.313.0949 or www.sarahstylesyourlife.com

A J. Crew necklace, vintage fur and Carine Roitfield fashion book. A J. Crew necklace, vintage fur and Carine Roitfield fashion book.