MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani, lover of all-things-fashion and style aficionado, caught up with Elysze Held—stylist to the stars—for another edition of Women to Watch.
Held is a stop fashion stylist and fashion editor. Gilani and Held met up at Caffé Abbracci in Coral Gables.
Held, when Gilani asked what she was wearing for their meeting, said “I’m wearing Valentino rock stud pony hair pumps and Morgane Le Fey jacket and dress.”
Gilani, not keen on the sound of “pony hair pumps” asked Held if it was made of real pony hair. Held’s response, “I don’t know. I like the color combination so I didn’t ask.”
Held has been in the business for almost 35 years. She styles runway shows, ads and she dresses clients, executives, the diva next door and big celebrities like Will Smith. Held didn’t say who else she styles.
The secret to good personal styling, Held believes, is making clients look and feel better. Stylists are empowers, inspirers and secret keepers. Gilani tried to pry some of Held’s secrets out of her during their chat.
“My lips are sealed,” said Held.
For Held, looking good is all about self-confidence.
“I feel it’s better to look good than feed good because once you look good and say, you get a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, what happens is all of a sudden you say ‘well things can’t be that bad, I look great,’” Held said.
Also, for Held, never underestimate the power of a first impression.
“First impressions count whether it’s us looking in the mirror at ourselves or someone else looking at us and if we look good, we feel good—it’s so simple,” said Held.
While looks are important, Held believes to make the right first impression, scent is important to remember.
“I do counsel my clients on fragrance because if they’ve been wearing like Tabu or Shalimar and then they want to young, hip, slick, and cool I say, ‘put your grandmother’s fragrance away,” said Held.
Held recommends dressing appropriately for your body type.
“Mini-skirts—let’s start with those. If you’re 12-years-old, go for it. If you’re 21 and have big thighs, I don’t think so. If you’re 55 and you have fabulous legs, like Julia Roberts who does wear mini-skirts, go for it,” said Held.
And for many South Florida folks who blame the wearing of tight-fitting clothes on the weather, Held believes trying something a little different may help cool you down.
“Well they might be hot but the other part of it is tight clothes are more confining than loose or baggy clothes and I just think that’s hysterical when someone says well I wore a super short tight dress because I’m hot,” Held said. “Really, how can you breathe?”
Gilani agrees with Held’s advice, given to her clients, that dressing for your life is key.
“With clients, the first thing I do is go into their closet and I say, ‘what is your life like?’ I arrange their closet according to their life, not according to color.”
Held told Gilani everyone should fill their closets with the basics.
“Try on some basics. Get a muscle t, get a good v-neck t-shirt in black and navy, blue and white if your collar bones are good. Get a pair of nice leggings you can wear anything over the legging, get a nice cotton dress and have a bag of accessories with you.”
When asked whose style inspires Held, she responded, “My dear friend Iris Apfel. She loves color and if one is good, 96 is better. She piles stuff on. It’s unique and beautiful. That’s Iris.”
Gilani had to ask a question she likes to ask all Women to Watch, “So what does Elysze want inscribed on her tombstone?” Held responded, “She got the job done.”
For more on Elysze Held, visit her blog and website at http://www.styleoutofthecity.com, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter, @ElyszeHeld.