Stylist Shirley Kurata's here to up your wardrobe game.
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We've seen a million lists in fashion magazines about what basics you should have in your closet. And while basics do have their place in the world, they are for the most part snooze-inducing pieces — a white tee, a tan trench, a button-down oxford shirt. But it's the nonbasics that are the attention grabbers, the ones that add spark and flair into your closet, the ones that would have style icons like Diana Vreeland and Iris Apfel nodding with approval.
To quote Auntie Mame, "Life's a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!" I like to compare wardrobe essentials to healthy snacks like carrots and almonds. They're good for you, and you should eat them, but when you're done, you're still hungry. Should you always say no to those macarons in the window at Ladurée or those delicious pancakes at Du-par's? I say no! Life is too short to deny yourself these treats. We have to throw a little whimsy, humor, color, and life into what we wear, because none of us should be one of those poor suckers starving to death. These are the pieces that will make your wardrobe a true feast.
I have lusted after the Rodarte fall 2014 glitter coats and the paillette-covered coat by Raffaela Graspointner, but there are also many vintage sparkly numbers out there. All I know is that we should all be like the lovely Aretha Franklin and shine like a diamond ring.
Having a quirky and unusual wallet will bring a little joy every time you have to pay for something. No matter your budget, there's a weird way to carry your cash. Try the Big Leaf Wallet at Welcome Companions or the Popcorn Bag at Shop Jeen. These playful pieces will make you a modern-day Elsa Schiaparelli.
Yves Klein blue is decidedly the fashion industry's favorite shade of blue, and although people don't wear hats the way they used to, they're still a fabulous way to add a splash of color to your wardrobe. Whether you go for a hat or simply wrap a scarf around your head, a bit of blue will make your day better.
Investing in pieces custom-made for you is always worth it. You end up with a unique piece that reflects who and where you are at a specific point in time. Famed graffiti artist and production designer Adam Siegel, whose airbrush wizardry was most notably seen on singer Jenny Lewis's stage backdrops and costumes, has custom-airbrushed some slip-on Vans that are sublimely cosmic. Of course, if you're creative, why not go ahead and DIY your own pair?
Heavy sweaters aren't the most practical for someone who lives in Los Angeles like me, but I've been praying for a cold spell this winter ever since I saw the beautiful sweaters that were on the runway for this season. There was the Miu Miu sweater that reminded me of vintage wallpaper, and the fabulous Scandinavian sweater at Gucci, but one need not be rich to rock this trend. Ebay and Etsy are filled with the original '70s versions; always go to the source!
Show your fandom on your sleeve! I've been a fan of the British label Tata Naka for some time now, especially its color-infused prints and whimsical silhouettes. The brand's latest collection involves nods to films such as Clue, Rosemary's Baby, Vertigo, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. If books are more your speed, consider the canvas tote bags at Out of Print. With designs based on classic book covers from Alice in Wonderland to Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, there's something for everyone. The best part is the bags are only $18, and for each bag sold, a book gets donated to a community in need, in partnership with Books for Africa.
The minute I laid eyes on the fall 2015 Prada collection, it was love at first sight — I particularly adored the neoprene blazer and the pantsuits in colors like chartreuse, dusty pink, peach, and gray. While the silhouettes have a retro feel to them, the use of the "genetically modified," as Miuccia Prada put it, combination of jersey and neoprene gives the clothes a new modern twist.
If you're not one to wear bright clothing, perhaps try statement glasses! L.A. Eyeworks makes frames in bright fun colors like New Blue, Berry, Lime, and Fandango Fuchsia. For sunglasses, I love the Fakoshima x Ria Keburia collaboration featuring combinations of circles and triangles that evoke ice cream, fruit lollipops, and licorice candy. If blowing your budget on sunglasses is not your thing, these styles at Shop Jeen are just as cute. (And for that price, you can buy more than one pair to really mix it up!)
Fashion magazines are always talking about "statement accessories," and with good reason. They're the easiest way to look like you put an effort into your look on the days when you wish you could just wear your pajamas out into the world. Eleanor Bolton makes beautiful jewelry by coiling and hand-stitching cotton rope. Her Mondrian collection combines black, white, red, yellow, and blue in great color-blocked variations. Of course, thrift stores are always jam-packed with crazy accessories, so pile them up!
Shirley Kurata is a Los Angeles–based stylist and costume designer and owner of a shop named Virgil Normal.
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From: ELLE US