My Style: Leilani Bishop

Portrait of Leilani Bishop

Photo: Courtesy of Leilani Bishop

Celebrities and style...

Is a tricky combination as some have it and some don’t. When it comes to being in the spotlight, the Kate Mosses of the world are rare. There are usually some fashion fumbles on the way to finding ones’ own unique look. It helps to not dress too close to the trends, but to be aware of what is current.

Please describe your style in three words.

Sexy, clean, feminine with a little edge.

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

Putting something on that might look good, but in which you don’t feel great. How you feel will translate.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes — more in inspiration that comes from seeing women you admire in great outfits, but you can get the same inspiration from someone you know nothing about that you see walking down the street.

What are your favourite fabrics?

As with all fashion for me this changes. Right now I am really into silks, especially in pants! I love most things jean, and of course cashmere is always in the mix for the fall/winter season. Linen t-shirts have also made the cut.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Not off the top of my head, as there seems to be someone that can always pull off the wackiest combinations, which is something I love about fashion! Though personally, shoulder pads have never made a comeback in my closet.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

This is a tough one. It depends on your taste. I love Paris fashion, but the majority of women aren’t edgy and have one too many pairs of stockings in their closet. London fashion is fun and outrageous and I think it has the most freedom. New York is probably a good combination of the two, depending on which neighbourhood you are in.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I am more on the side of bold, but not outrageous.

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

I have to feel good and be somewhat comfortable. Other than that, I don’t like rules in fashion.

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

I have a bevy of jewels that I don’t take off — sometimes I add to them for more of a statement, but on their own, they are just the right accent.

A woman should always look like...

Herself. There should always be an element of oneself in an outfit. Lady Gaga is fun to look at, but if you want to cultivate personal style, it helps to not drown oneself in a look. Notice the woman and then the outfit.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I still feel like I am learning. Though being in fashion has helped, I believe it starts with your body type and then how you want to use fashion to express yourself to the world. There have been a number of women that have cultivated my style from friends, icons and stylists.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

The first thing I consider is temperature and then my schedule for the day. I split my time between the city and the country, so the variables have a big influence on what I wear. Then I think about what is going to put the most pep in my step. Usually, I start with one item I want to wear and create a look around it.

What is your biggest regret?

I had some early moments in my career where I wish I had more fashion sense, and definitely wish I had held on to some shoes I was quick to get rid of.

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

One’s body type, feeling good, and that you dress for yourself first!

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I usually never buy without trying on, and I go mostly by myself, so that I am not influenced by other people’s styles.

We will never see you wearing…

Never say never right? But I do believe you will not see me wearing stir-up leggings or huge shoulder pads… but don’t hold me to it.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I love the girls at The Reformation. They make stylish, sexy clothing that is comfortable and wearable! I also like keeping an eye out to see what Alexander Wang does — he marries minimal, sexy and natural, which I love. Jane Mayle is also one to watch.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

I don’t believe I can narrow it down to one, but I would say Emmanulle Alt, Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny, among many others.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Usually accessories or lack thereof — when a woman is wearing an edgy piece but still looks feminine.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I have a couple of embroidered dresses and tops that were hand-me-downs from my mom that I love, cashmere leggings from Ralph Lauren, flat knee high boots from Mayle, and a 1920’s vintage summer dress I just picked up in Indiana.

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

There are a couple of old pictures of Jane Birkin when she was younger. I love the casual sexiness the French can pull off.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Alexander McQueen before he died. I also love Balmain, as it is a very distinct style. Maison Margiela is a great unwavering house of style.

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

Her undergarments. They can add a certain appeal, or ruin an outfit if they show and are not flattering or if they are vulgar. Shoes are another big one.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

It can be, but doesn’t need to. Be a smart shopper!

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

Lou Dillion, Athena Calderone, Cayli Cavaco, Joy Bryant, Jenne Lombardo.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

If it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t look good! Dress for yourself!

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