Last week I was a guest of the Washington Post for another one of Robin Givhan’s fabulous talks as part of her A New Line series – this time with the wildly entertaining André Leon Talley. I’d seen him speak before about his recent book on Oscar de la Renta, but this was an entirely different conversation. Much of the focus was on his upbringing and breaking into the fashion world as a person of color. I loved his emphasis on the importance of manners and the ability to be quiet and listen – two qualities to which he attributed much of his success in the fashion industry. In a world of internet trolls and 140 character opinions spouted off at the speed of light, these are two qualities I’d certainly love to see more of. Another one of my favorite things that he said was, “whatever you want to be dressed as, you dress up, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re dressed inappropriately.” And this is not to say he would encourage wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts to a black tie gala (going back to the manners theme, he said that dressing well was a form of good manners), but he was very much a proponent of embracing one’s own personal style, even if it breaks the mold. I just love that. In a place like DC and working in a relatively conservative office like I do, it can be hard to balance what’s appropriate, but still be able to wear what you want. For me, it means adding a little flare to my day-to-day work wear and then throwing caution to the wind on the weekends. What do you do? How do you let your personality shine through in your everyday style?
Watch the full talk in its entirety (seriously, it’s so good).