Fashion is a voice interpreted through the eyes. It tells how meticulous you may be, if you’re a free thinker, if you play it safe, if you are bold, and even if you have a message to send. The first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, found out that her clothing may send a much bigger message than her words or her actions. Clothing is an expression that fluctuates with race, gender, region, and culture. To further complicate things, it will change with social circles, financial status, personal taste, and body type. Needless to say, shopping can be your worse enemy or your best friend.
Celebrity and commercial fashion stylist Teresita Marie sat with us and talked us about all things fashion. She is sharing some of her expertise so that you may be able to either dress like a celebrity or just like the Pinterest fashion superstar that you feel you are.
SUAVV: How were you introduced to design?
Teresita: I studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco then, branched out to costume design at a local college in Santa Cruz. While I was living at FIDM, they provided opportunities for retail associates with merchandisers at local boutiques like Emporio Armani, Juicy Couture, and Stella Mccartney to get your foot in the door. I wanted to do more than that. I didn’t want to just be at a store. I later found out about opportunities in Los Angeles that could help me as a stylist. I always imagined that styling was only a dream. Something that only happens in movies. As I started booking projects in Los Angeles as an assistant and in San Francisco, one of the stylists that I was working with recommended me as a full-time e-commerce stylist for brands to style props and styling clothes. I was there for a while, but again, I wanted to do something a little more. So, I moved to L.A. and continued to sustain under high profile stylists. After about two years, I branched out on my own and I was working with a lot of up and coming artists, producers, and directors. That’s where I’m at today.
SUAVV: That’s really cool and shows a lot of dedication. What would you say, in your early years, was your biggest learning experience while working under other stylists?
Teresita: I already had a grip as to what I wanted to do. I knew what area I wanted to work in and I knew what I wanted to style. When I was working with other stylists, I was finding out about other routes, instead of just looking at styling as red carpet and working with celebrities. I found out about commercials, ads, music videos, and all these other opportunities that kind of opened up doors to meeting other artists and other up and coming musicians. That’s one of the things that I feel that I learned most. Going to interviews, press junkets, and all these huge events like red carpets also lead you into other doors. I like helping consumers learn how to dress like celebrities and help people on how to achieve a good fashion sense.
SUAVV: And I think that is one of the coolest aspects of fashion You can literally teach someone who has no fashion sense how to have a bit of a style of their own. With so many new trends, styles, and designers out there, how often would you say that you’re researching for your career?
Teresita: Every Single Day. I don’t stop. I’m researching on my phone. I’m researching on my lunch break. I’m literally having my lunch and I’m researching. I come home, getting ready for bed, and for like an hour I’m researching. I’m seeing what’s happening. Seeing what’s going on with all the hype around certain labels, what’s going on with vogue, what’s going on with the runway, what new collections came out, what people are wearing for such and such event, what people are going to wear? Then, brands are constantly emailing me, sending me all these lookbooks and all of these gifts that they want to give to my clients. So I’m always looking at what people are doing. Not just high-end designers anymore. It’s a lot of these clothing designers are now they’re making their own brands. So then they’re signing you up to all these showrooms that are sending emails. It’s almost like a world of brands and looks that are coming in. That just opens your eyes. You’re thinking, “Oh, I want to dress this person in this”, but then something comes in and you’re like, “nevermind, I want that”. We’re so filled with so many styles nowadays. It’s not just one thing anymore.
SUAVV: Very true. I think I can say that we get a new designer sending us an email weekly. Fortunately, my inbox isn’t as full as yours with fashion. With so many options in the fashion world and wanting to make an impact with your styling, what would you say is one small mistake that makes a big impact?
Teresita: I’m going to say shoes? Shoes can really ruin an outfit. And I’ve noticed that a lot nowadays. People are so focused on wearing the coolest, newest shoe that it just completely destroyed your outfits. Look at it in the full picture. If the shoe is going to go, then wear it because you’re creating an outfit around that shoe. But if you’re gonna wear an amazing outfit and then just explode it with a shoe. Just don’t do it. Wear it another time.
SUAVV: I’ve seen people RUIN outfits with a bulky sneaker. And I’m thinking to myself “what in the hell did you see when you looked in the mirror?” LOL. When you started your career or even now and do you find yourself going more to a specific type of item? If so, where do you find them? More boutiques or department stores?
Teresita: Oh, of course. I’m a huge denim head and so when it comes to vintage, I go crazy, you know, I’m a huge fan of finding vintage bits that are so unique. People are finding different ways to wear them and they always want to be like that one person. You want to be that one person where people come up to you and they say “Oh my God, what are you wearing?” You know? So having to go to all these vintage stores and grabbing these unique pieces, it just makes you look so much better. And also surprisingly, something that I just learned a couple of years ago is a lot of designers that are huge now go to vintage stores and they buy these samples from old labels or designers that are not known to anybody anymore and they copied them and we remake these pieces as their own. So, people think, “Oh wow, look at what the designer came up with.” and I’m looking at them like “that was from the seventies and that was worn by this person.” (laughing) Like that’s old. You know what I mean? So, it’s really extraordinary what you can find out there because to another person it will be like whatever. But, then it becomes a label. Whereas you have a stylist, like me, that’s constantly looking for vintage. Then I put it on someone and they go, “Oh my God, where’d you get that?” So it could be either way. There are always so many ways to wear vintage and denim. I’m a huge fan of vintage. Huge! Especially with fabrics from back in the day. It’s incredible.
Photographer: Evelia Ayala
Look 1 —Snake Print Top
Top: Pretty Little Thing
Pants: Isabel Marant
Shoes: Ralph Lauren
Jewelry: Hannah Frost
Look 2 —Trench Coat
Coat: Ralph Lauren
Bustier: Forever 21
Jewelry: Hannah Frost
Look 3 —Black Top
Top: Club Monaco
Pants: Isabel Marant
Jewelry: Hannah Frost