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Bespoke Bloke:

September 20, 2012

Meet Stylist to the Stars Robert Verdi at Saks Thurs. Sept. 27

LuxeCrush chatted with Verdi and got an exclusive preview of his fall trends presentation next week in Atlanta

By Nancy Staab

Eva Longoria’s stylist and “bestie” dishes on fashion and fabulosity prior to his Atlanta fall trends event and cocktail party next Thursday night at Saks

Robert Verdi in the fashion front row with Eva Longoria and Rachel Zoe Robert Verdi in the fashion front row with Eva Longoria and Rachel Zoe

Stylist to the Stars and TV Personality (E!, Fashion Police, CNN) Robert Verdi talked to LuxeCrush about trends, celebs, emerging designers and fab NYC fashion parties on the eve of his personal appearance event at Saks Fifth Avenue, Phipps Plaza, Thursday Sept. 27 at 6PM. Enjoy cocktails, a DJ, and Verdi’s fashion trends presentation from 6-9PM. RSVP is required as space is limited at 404.812.7320 or rsvpsaksatlanta@s5a.com

 

Actress Sami Gayle Actress Sami Gayle

As a long-term celebrity stylist you must cast a discerning eye on the new crop on the red carpet. Is there any new startlet who has caught your eye and who is doing it right fashion-wise in the spotlight?

“One of the ones I am working with is doing it right and was even before I even met her, the 16-years-old actress Sami Gayle of the CBS show Blue Bloods. She’s really unique in the landscape of emerging girls. She has a short, cropped pixie cut and always has. She stands out and gives off a little bit of a Twiggy/Audrey Hepburn/Jean Seberg vibe. She’s excited about fashion and is based in New York City so she can really cultivate relationships with designers. This is my first season working with her. She can do a tomboy, glamor-puss or retro look. She can wear anything from Thom Browne to Alice + Olivia to Miu Miu. “

 

You’ve styled a flotilla of stars, care to name-drop about a few of your clients?

 “Some of my celeb clients include Eva Longoria, Mariska Hargitay and Kristen Wiig. “

 

I assume you just came from the shows at New York Fashion Week. Were there any fashion shows that just blew you away?

A look from Costello Tagliapietra fall 2012 A look from Costello Tagliapietra fall 2012

“I really love some of the emerging designers right now. They represent the right balance of hipster and socialite, with just the right tensions of these two things on the runway. Jeremy Scott is a good example of this. He’s got this hipster-cool, Williamsburg thing. Timo Weiland is another one. His clothes work on my East Village friends and my Park Avenue friends.”

“I don’t think we live in boxes any more, there’s been a collapse of style, fashion and culture boundaries because of the Internet. Now there’s no barrier of influences and those designers that are tapping into all aspects of culture and style and music are getting the most notice. Mark McNairy is another one. And I love the Costello Tagliapietra pair. They know their girl and their customer. Their clothes are flattering for all body types. These clothes are not frumpy but stylish, they get you noticed but not stared at. I love them. They totally get it. “

 

I imagine you went to a few amazing fashion parties that week as well. Any details you can share?

“The Diana Vreeland Party at the Monkey Bar for the premiere of the documentary about her, “The Eye Must Travel,” included a gaggle of fabulous people. Valentino was there, Tonne Goodman for Vogue, fashion journalist Merle Ginsberg, etc."

"The Bergdorf Goodman party for their 111th Anniversary and premiere of their film, “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs” was also amazing with designers like Naeem Kahn in attendance, jewelry designer Loree Rodkin, dermatologist to the stars Patricia Wexler and the grand dame of Bergdorfs Linda Fargo.”

 

As a preview of your presentation of fall trends next week at Saks Fifth Avenue, Atlanta, can you give us a hint of what you love in fashion right now?

Michael Kors 2012 Michael Kors 2012

“First I have to start with a disclaimer. Every season the winds of fashion blow a few things out of your closet and a few things into your closet. But all trends are not for all women. It’s about constantly building and evolving the wardrobe that you already have. Invite a few new pieces into your closet instead of buying an entirely new wardrobe. One big trend this fall is giant, over-size outerwear that’s away from the body, not tailored, almost outer-space-like by designers like Balenciaga and Chloé. I also saw an interesting use of fur for fall: fur fringe and trim. The Row did an interesting piece in cashmere with a mink face.

And there’s a continuation of the Mad Men look—the curvy girl with accented waist and great shoulders. Lastly there is a tough girl trend for fall, so lots of black leather was shown on the runways for designers like Michael Kors to Givenchy. Lots of tough outer layers. Girls might want to add a black leather trench or dress to their wardrobe.

The runways also saw a nod to the 1960’s print trend with matching coat and dress pieces but mostly in geometric, not floral, prints. Finally, there’s this luxe, brocade trend happening from Balmain to Dries Van Noten to Oscar de la Renta. It’s the new benchmark for eveningwear but an element that you can use in the daytime too with a very light touch. Wear a fabulous blouse or trouser with a bit of brocade trim and it can go from day to night, work to cocktail. Brocade can make last year’s black pants look chic and it-girl again!”

 

Any fashion trends you detest?

“I just hated the Capri pant. It makes both tall and short girls looks awkward. And I am kind of tired of all the collage stuff—lace with embroidery with beads, etc. Patchwork-y pieces are not versatile and can only be worn once.”

 

You are a daring dresser. Tell me a little bit about what’s in your own closet

“There was a time when I wore silver leg warmers and a pink corduroy suit with three-quarter tails and a top hat! But now I am more into intellectual, all-black collections by designers like Hedi Slimane and Yohji Yamamoto. I love color but I think that my inner magpie is dying.”

 

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

Do you have any fashion or style icons past or present?

“I am a huge fan of the Olsen sisters. I love their rich little girl look that also tries to be edgy and rocker!”

 

So, I read that you are a closet interior designer and have done the houses of Eva Longoria, Mariska Hartigay, Hugh Jackman, etc. Who knew?

“Yes it all started with my ten years at ABC Carpet and Home. I was a personal shopper there and it gave birth to my career as an interior designer. I think the way people dress very much dictates the way they design their house and how they entertain. If I were Jil Sander I would probably have plain white china in my cupboard but if I were a Matthew Williamson or a Liberty of London, I would probably have colorful floral china.  Lifestyle is the through-line to all that I do with fashion, interior design, etc. “

 

Is there any dream project you would like to tackle in the future?

“I would love to do a hotel—a boutique one. That would be very fun. I love common spaces like the lobby but I am also interested in the intimate spaces like the bed and bath and how they function and how they make you feel. You should smile every time you walk into your apartment or hotel room.”

 

Campana Brothers chair Campana Brothers chair

OK so besides your one-eyed rescue dog Winky, how is your own New York apartment decorated?

"I have a very eclectic apartment but it’s consistent with my look in that I always use a late 18th-century French or Italian, ornate gilt mirror as an accent.

It does not have to be in perfect condition, it can come from a flea market or a fine antiques shop, but an expressive, fabulous old gilt mirror goes a long way with me. I also like elements of the high modern—outrageous modern pieces by the Campana Brothers, for example. Maybe a single modern chair in the corner of the bedroom.

I also like something Japanese in an interior—either an alter table or small side table of elm or lacquer. I love the gloss of lacquer. I always like something organic too—a stump stool used for a coffee table. And I like something traditional like a piece by George Smith, something English-styled that may not be old but in a traditional style. Finally, I collect lots of art so I always look for an apartment with lots of wall space. Something with a sense of humor is always good for an interior.  I currently have Louis Vuitton packing cases as my nightstands and they are propped up on small, low tables with animal legs so that they are the proper height, so this is kind of wacky and whimsical. I have been asked by various magazines to have my apartment shot but I like to keep my home private.”

 

Do you have a favorite city you like to travel to for style inspiration?

“Well, you can find great things in India or Greece or Israel or many places, but my favorite is Paris. I know it is a predictable answer but it’s a small city with so much history and such great energy.”

 

The Coveteur The Coveteur

Are there any fashion websites or blogs that you are obsessed with?

“I love TheCoveteur.com and constantly check in on it.  I also like StyledOn.com. It’s like Facebook for fashion people."

"And there’s my own website FirstComesFashion.com. It’s all about democracy in fashion right now and the idea was to give first row seating to all the fashion shows to people at home. We are streaming right now. It’s an aggregate site and you can also check past seasons and collections on the site too. We have streamed shows from all over the world: Tel Aviv, Russia, London.”

 

Enjoy cocktails and a DJ while celebrity stylist Robert Verdi presents the latest fall collections and trends at Saks Fifth Avenue, Phipps Plaza from 6-9PM, lower level. Verdi is a leading lifestyle expert and has styled such A-listers as Eva Longoria and Mariska Hargitay, and numerous TV credits including E! Entertainment News, Fashion Police, CNN, etc.  Space is very limited. Please RSVP at 404.812.7320 or rsvpsaksatlanta@s5a.com

Robert Verdi Robert Verdi