My Style: Chelsea Leyland

Fashion DJ Chelsea Leyland

Interview: Katie Kingsbery Palmer // Photo: Billy Farrell/BFAnyc.com

Which city has the best-dressed people?

London. Parisian women dress very well but it’s not as raw. People in London want to look different, they don’t want to look the same. It’s interesting to see all the trends that start in London and then come over to New York.

Please describe your style in three words.

It's ever-changing. One day, I’ll dress like a tomboy and the next I’ll be pretty-girl chic. So, I’ll say grungy, pretty-girl chic.

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

Leaving stickers on the bottom of shoes is always a big mistake. But in terms of style, it’s doing too much and trying too hard.

Do you have role models with regard to your style?

Jane Birkin, characters in movies, my friends, and travelling the world — they all inspire me.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Cotton. I love wearing vintage cotton T-shirts, it just feels so natural on your skin. There is nothing better than wearing a white cotton dress in the summer. I also love lace — you can do so many different things with it. And leather, of course.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Bold.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

My number-one rule is if you commit to something, wear it with confidence. If you wear something without confidence, it will look terrible, no matter how good you look. My second rule is to never have boobs and legs out. You have to choose one or the other. It should never be both. That’s one rule I always stick to.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

Bags, shoes, and jewellery. I love those three.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I guess I’ve learned along the way. I’m always inspired by my friends. I have so many amazingly talented and gifted friends who are heavily immersed in the fashion world and I’ve learned a lot just from being around them. I think I’ve also learned a few things from my grandma — she was very bold and outgoing. She would come down to breakfast every morning fully made up.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I often have an idea of a character in my head. I’ll watch a movie or be inspired by something I saw that week and want to channel that character. Or, I’ll see someone walking down the street and I’ll love what they’re wearing and I’ll be on a mission to dress like that or find a pair of beaten-up, red leather boots similar to the ones they were wearing.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Hmmm. Nothing specific but when I go back to London, I always go to certain stores with my mum. I also love to go underwear shopping with my best friend when I see her. That’s just something we always do together.

We will never see you wearing...

Neon. I just am not a fan. I can’t enjoy it! I really have a thing about it. It reminds me of the worst part of the 80s. It just really doesn’t do it for me. It makes me uncomfortable just looking at neon. I was doing an event recently and during hair and makeup, they painted my nails neon pink… and it kind of ruined everything for me!

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

A couple of my friends. Brandee Brown is so stylish and it’s so effortless. She’ll pick up a piece of fabric and tie it in her hair — and it looks amazing! She just looks different from everyone else. When I met her, I thought to myself, “This is the coolest girl I’ve ever seen and I have to make friends with her.”

The one image that defined your approach to style...

I can’t say that one image sticks out in my mind. My style is a lot like my taste in music; I never want to look like one thing. Sometimes, I dress like I’m eleven years old and I want to look and feel like that. The next day, I’ll be going to DJ in Milan dressed like a chic, sexy woman. I like to channel many different characters.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Olympia Le-Tan, Anndra Neen, Dominic Jones, and Ashley Williams.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

Let’s see… my Chanel handbag because it’s super classic and it’s really unusual — it is navy quilted fabric with a gold chain. My Olympia Le-Tan clutch — it’s part of her collection of handmade book clutches. My long, white, cotton Suno dress — I’ll wear it every summer for the rest of my life. My new Henry Holland sunglasses, my Burberry studded leather jacket, and my Opening Ceremony biker boots.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

I love being comfortable but I do wear things that are uncomfortable. If it looks killer, sometimes you just have to wear it. I have a lot of uncomfortable shoes… but it’s worth it.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Charlotte Olympia. I’m always such a fan of her shoes, and she continues to become more creative with each collection.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style€?

Olympia Le-Tan. She’s just so cool. Her whole style is just genius. She’s not an obvious fashionista, her style is so French and chic and classy and crazy. I also love Chloë Sevigny — she has great style.

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