As a stylist, it’s important that each of my projects has my unique, creative fingerprint on it. The same way Annie Leibowitz’s photography or Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture has a certain quality that is identifiable to each of them, I (Jen) always strive for my work to exude my own unique aesthetic. I’m currently knee deep in about three different jobs, so a few weeks ago I found myself with some much needed time to catch my breath and look for new inspiration. I set aside time to go to a coffee shop and get caught up on all of my WWDs and magazines that were piling up, and as I got dressed I took the opportunity to push the inner eccentric inside me and put together a look that was thoughtful, but still casual and a little bit quirkier than I would normally wear.
I juxtaposed this thin cashmere sweater (Marc Jacobs circa 2006! Similar here, here and here) and raw silk tank with a pair of more rugged boyfriend jeans. Then I added more color with these thin pink socks and my yellow Kendra Scott cuff.
I personally love the idea of a thin little sock with an open-toe shoe in the winter, given the right occasion of course. These were actually full tights that I cut off into little socks. This chunky shoe is stylish but not too dressy for the look. If catching up with a latte and Vogue isn’t on your agenda, this is a perfect weekend look for running errands or meeting up with friends. It’s fun and casual, but has some personality.
Here is a little more about the creative process I go through when looking for new inspiration. I am always looking for fresh ideas to try, though, so I would love to hear what works for you below!
1. The Newsstand. I always begin here. People love to say that print is dead, but I’m a very tactile person when it comes to books and magazines, and I love to read the words on paper and see the photographs on a glossy page (ironic for someone who writes a blog, I know!) I always look for magazines that are a little off the beaten path. I really enjoy the femininity of French editions, but if I’m trying to push my work in an edgier direction I look more towards smaller asian publications. They aren’t all fashion, either — I love interior design and architecture and find those lines and patterns to be equally inspirational. My favorite tears get put on the large bulletin board in my office. I never take anything off it, so it will be interesting to one day peel back those layers and see what inspiration is buried underneath!
2. New Environments. If I’ve been staring at a computer screen or pushing out emails for too long my head starts to feel totally fried. That’s when I know its time to walk away for a bit. I love walking through different neighborhoods and letting my head toss around thoughts about whatever new concept or project I might have on the horizon. To take this one a step further, I always feel my most creative when I’m in a new city. Aaron and I take one two-week trip a year to travel to somewhere new and I always find my best ideas on these trips. I carry a pen and notepad with me everywhere and jot down ideas as they come to mind so I don’t forget them. By the time we land back in Los Angeles, I’m ready to hit the ground running with new work.
3. Safe Spaces. Not every idea I have for a look or a concept is going to work, so it’s important for me to create a space where I can experiment with new ideas and push my creative boundaries. A big advertising job or red carpet event is not the place for taking risks like that for the first time, so I partner with photographers and smaller editorials on personal projects where we can all try out new techniques and be creative together.
Okay, so I shared my process for finding new inspiration… I would love to hear about some of yours!