My Style: Althea Harper

Portrait of fashion designer Althea Harper

Photo: Courtesy of Althea Harper

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

I don't really believe in 'rules' in fashion, but I do believe that you have to set your own guidelines knowing what you feel comfortable wearing, what flatters you body type, and what best brings out your confidence.

Please describe your style in three words.

Chic, sexy, modern.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Dressing for a trend and not for one's own body type or leaving the house while not feeling confident or comfortable, you're only going to feel worse the longer the day gets!

Do you believe in role models?

Absolutely! I think it's important not to literally look up to them and copy them, but rather to learn from them to help yourself grow to your best potential.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Fabrics that have some stretch. You can create the best fit that way.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

A super short skirt and a super low top paired together — that's one of those things you can only get away with on Halloween!

Which city has the best-dressed women?

I believe you can find the best-dressed women in New York. It is a melting pot of different cultures, and it shows in the garments you see. Also, women in New York know how to dress sexy while still being chic.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Definitely bold!

Celebrities and style..

Are inevitable! We live in a celebrity obsessed culture, and celebrities are most people's biggest fashion icons.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

My Lillian tunic! It can be worn as a dress or knotted up as a top. Super comfortable and easy! Looks great dressed up or dressed down — a must have!

A woman should always look like...

She knows what she wants and knows exactly how to get it!

Who taught you what you know about style?

There are way to many influences to name just one! A combination of family, living in Europe, and personal taste level with a million other influences!

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I select my clothing based on how I'm feeling that morning. The hardest is when I am tired — what looks the most like pyjamas!

What is your biggest regret?

Not getting to the airport early enough this morning — I missed my flight and have been waiting five hours for my next one!

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

What fits their body, less is more, always have a balance of classic and trendy.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Grab everything I love, then do a look through at the end, and buy what you can't do without.

We will never see you wearing...

Crocs.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I still consider myself a new designer!

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

I see random people who inspire me all the time! I always have my eye open to what people are wearing.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

The fit of her clothes.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My Black Pruitt dress from SS12 — it is a great fit and the perfect LBD. I also love my Brian Atwood gold heels — makes my legs look great in any skirt but funky enough to wear with pants.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Balenciaga.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Her suiting jacket, she should make sure it fits her as great as a man looks in his tailored suit. Nothing is sexier than a woman in a beautifully fitted suit.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

It can be at times — but I think a great designer makes sure you have all these elements in a piece of clothing. If you put on a garment and it hurts, its a bad design. However, if you want everything to feel like a snuggy, then that is a problem.

Who would you like to see next in €œMy Style€?

Solange Knowles. I’m not always in love with her choices but she intrigues me!

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will.

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