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Marie Claire

September 7, 2013

Front Row at Helmut Lang

We spotted some familiar faces in the front row at Helmut Lang yesterday.
(See also: our Helmut Lang spring 2014 runway photos)

Laura Brown and Joanna Hillman of Harper’s Bazaar

Caroline Issa of Tank magazine and Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist

Actress Taylor Momsen

Style Bubble blogger Susie Lau and Street Peeper’s Phil Oh

Zanna Roberts Rassi of Marie Claire

Tales of Endearment blogger and casting director Natalie Joos

Nicole Phelps of Style.com

Mary O’Regan

Arguably the epitome of British sartorial ingenuity, Alexander McQueen has just launched on Nordstrom.com for pre-fall 2013, with a highly covetable assortment of precision-cut jackets, structured separates and fitted dresses. So what better way to celebrate this exciting new designer addition than with expert style advice on how to curate a wardrobe of investment pieces?

The Thread tapped Kyle Anderson, accessories director for Marie Claire, to shed some light on why women need timeless, well-crafted designs—and in the process, he showed us how to personalize a few of his must-have looks from the collection.

Wear To Stand Out: Alexander McQueen Lace Metal Bracelet & Alexander McQueen ‘God Save McQueen’ Ring

THE THREAD: Why do accessories matter, and how can accessories add individuality to a look?
KYLE ANDERSON: Accessories are the most important way to personalize your look and make it your own. It’s all about the high/low mix. I recommend that everyone invest in covetable classic pieces that you can wear forever, like watches, classic fine jewelry, a pointy-toe pump like a Manolo, the classic top handle day bag, a chain bag and an metallic evening clutch. Then mix in personal finds and trendier items to put your own unique stamp on it. You could throw on a cool bracelet you bought on vacation, along with cost-friendly costume jewelry and trendy shoes for a thrill.

If it’s colorful, funky and trendy, don’t spend a lot on it. I suggest that you invest that money in the key ticket items that you wear every day. To me, nothing says personal style like mixing a handmade bracelet with something like a Rolex, or wearing a classic designer bag with trendy flat sandals in the summer. You always want to mix something really classic and chic with something funky and unexpected that makes you feel confident—makes you feel like you are really you.

Fashion’s Finest: Nina Garcia, Marie Claire’s creative director, and Kyle at Paris Fashion Week in March. (Photo by Style by Deni.)

THE THREAD: When you’re at a runway show or at a market appointment, what quality does a look or an accessory need in order to get you excited?
KYLE: I’ve been an accessories editor for eight years, which is a long time, so I’ve seen a lot. What gets me excited is seeing something I haven’t seen before. I like it when designers take risks. I like glamour and things that make me scream, “I want this!”—then I know others will want it too. It’s just a feeling. I get goose bumps and then text photos to Nina [Garcia] and say, “OMG, look at this amazing bag!” I love it when people think outside of the box. We see so much that it takes a lot to stand out.

HERO

THE THREAD: Tell us about the first McQueen show you ever attended. What makes a McQueen show so special?
KYLE: My first McQueen show was just last year, for the spring/summer 2013 collection. McQueen is such a cutting-edge brand that takes risks and does unexpectedly mind-blowing shows.

Flowers and bees inspired the collection; there was huge screen of buzzing bees for the backdrop. I loved it, and I loved the accessories. We shot their runway Lucite shoe for a full page in our April issue. I adored the floral with the tough shoes, because that’s what McQueen does really well—the mix of pretty and hard. McQueen is known for having the most standout statement shoes every season; the shoes become collector’s items, and people who wear them make a statement that they are confident and know who they are—or who they want to become. Women who own their look and who are never forgotten wear McQueen.

THE THREAD: Any standout looks from McQueen’s FW13 collection that made you say, “I absolutely need to style/shoot that”?
KYLE: For FW13, I liked the pearl accents; they were very punk. The looks were medieval and pearl-encrusted, but there was something bondage and punk about it—the perfect editorial combination.

THE THREAD: What do you appreciate most about Sarah Burton’s aesthetic/creativity?
KYLE: I think Sarah gave McQueen a much softer, more feminine look. Since Sarah took over design, it’s had a bit more wearability and overall femininity, and that’s been a buzz in the industry. I think Sarah identifies well with female consumers.

KYLE’S GUIDE ON COOL

For the Love of Leather: Alexander McQueen Oversized Collar Leather Jacket & Alexander Wang Jade Sandal

The Look (pictured above): “I like this oversized-collar leather jacket because I’m obsessed with black leather,” says Kyle. “Whether it’s the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s or current trends, people always are looking for the perfect black leather jacket. I think this one is feminine and cool.”

How to Wear It: “I’d wear this jacket in the spring with a tank underneath, skinny black jeans and sandals—think a fall-meets-winter look. Why not pair it with these red Alexander Wang sandals? The look doesn’t have to be biker head to toe. These platforms still have a hard-edge look, and I think all black with a red summer sandal would look cool.”

Instant Classic: Alexander McQueen Flounce Leaf Crepe Dress & Saint Laurent ‘Janis’ Bootie

The Look: “This little black dress is super-versatile. It’s great for everyday wear and especially for work. You’ll get the mileage out of this dress, and it’s a great buy because of the sleeves,” adds Kyle. “Most offices are freezing in the summer.”

How to Wear It: “I like the flirty shape of the skirt on this dress and the more structured fitted sleeves. You can dress it down, add some edge or keep it classic. Make this look your own with these Saint Laurent booties. The combination is a little sexy: rock-‘n’-roll-meets-daytime professional. It’s about mixing it up!”

Discover the masterfully crafted world of McQueen.

Check out Kyle’s blog for more drool-worthy accessories and daily snapshots of his often-photographed style.

Qianna Smith

Runway images courtesy of McQueen

Loving this new film for Marie Claire Italia. Watching Mila Krasnoiarova looking so delectable in Spring 2013 fashion from designer collections like Gucci, Céline, Fendi and Balenciaga makes us want to go shopping even more than usual. We may even just do a little catwalk-style dancing in the dressing room.

Directed by Thierry Le Gouès.

Although she was rushing to her next show, the inimitable Joanna Coles was gracious enough to pause for a photo. The editor-in-chief of Marie Claire, Joanna makes fashion accessible.

I love the contrast of her bright-yellow pants and her dark, dreamy blouse. Joanna is known for her anti-fussy, simply chic ensembles, and today she stayed true to her style.

xo, Crystal

Shop similar styles:

Totes | Neutral Platform Sandals | Printed Long-Sleeve Tops

Our Editor’s Picks to recreate this look:

Halogen® Dual Tone Tote

Diane von Furstenberg 'Zia' Platform Sandal

T Tahari Blouse

February 12, 2011

Outside rag & bone: Nina

Currently the Fashion Director of Marie Claire, Nina Garcia is a member of the fashion elite. So when Nina gives fashion advice, we listen!

She summed up her own style to me in a few words: classic, monochromatic pieces with experimental accessories. She also stressed the importance of a fabulous winter coat. “If you splurge on one thing, let it be a great coat, you’ll wear it every day!”

I couldn’t agree more, Nina. I think the same can be said about the perfect trench for spring and fall.

*Andi

Shop similar styles:
Fabulous Spring/Fall Coats | Designer Collection Skinny Pants and Denim | Black Platform Sandals

Our Editor’s picks to recreate this look:

Kenneth Cole New York Belted Dolman Sleeve Coat

Burberry Prorsum Leather Waist Skinny Twill Pants

Pelle Moda Winona Pump