A Hollywood Stylist's Guide to Dressing Creative and Corporate Execs
Stella McCartney blazers, Goyard totes and Gucci loafers are among Dana Asher Levine's staple items.
Whether you’re a creative or a corporate executive client, stylist Dana Asher Levine's fashion picks revolve around a color palette of three shades: black, nude/ivory and navy. “They work all year-round in California,” says Asher Levine. “In New York they follow more of a seasonal color code, but people are still wearing white clothes here where they wouldn’t in New York.”
Must-have basics for all clients include two pairs of great slacks — one pair that can carry you from day to night (Asher Levine recommends St. John), and a cropped, more casual option from the likes of Prada, Michael Kors or Nordstrom in-house labels, depending on your budget. (The latter is also recommended for everything from dresses to blouses “if you’re looking for more bang for your buck.”) Denim from Frame and L’Agence is appropriate for a creative executive to wear to work ("no holes," cautions Asher Levine).
This isn’t the year where everyone is clamoring for one specific bag, says Asher Levine, but Goyard and Prada totes remain wardrobe staples — “that’s what they’ll bring all their work stuff in, then they’ll grab a smaller bag like a Celine cross-body or a Birkin when they go out to lunch.” Michelle Goodman, personal shopper at Barneys Beverly Hills, sees executives seeking out understated bags from brands such as Moynat and Delavaux.
Flats are still the shoe of choice for both creative and corporate executives, with a Gucci loafer or slide topping everyone’s wishlists. “They are like bedroom slippers and they come in every color — you can wear them with a pant or a dress,” Asher Levine says. Corporate executives today tend not to wear heels to work, but for those who do, a Saint Laurent Tribute medium heel can never go wrong.
For the creative exec who can pull off a sneaker in the writer’s room or on set, a Cole Hahn tennis shoe, or “really cute Nikes” are good options. (Though Rhimes admits to wearing “almost 100 percent Jimmy Choos.”)
Dresses or skirts (with hemlines to the knee or longer) and tops paired with a blazer or a cardigan are more versatile alternatives to the pantsuit, which landed on the fashion radar with Hillary Clinton. Options might include a blazer from the likes of Pallas or Blaze Milano, according to Goodman, along with pieces from brands including The Row, Stella McCartney, Celine and Valentino “for classic, tailored chic dressing.” And “everyone is wearing bombers and leather jackets,” says Neiman Marcus style advisor Catherine Bloom. Asher Levine recommends picking up one from A.L.C. or The Row.
But we haven’t seen the last of the pantsuits yet.
“They are everywhere for spring,” says Bloom. “There are off-shoulder suits and suits with asymmetrical details, and even fabulous sequin suits. It’s an exciting time for suits in fashion.”