My Style: Marissa Webb

Portrait of fashion designer Marissa Webb

Photo: Peter Ash Lee — Courtesy of Marissa Webb

Is comfort an enemy of style?

I have to admit that at times, yes! Especially shoes! The worse is when you’re at a party and can’t walk so you stand against the wall the entire night. I call these “sipping champagne” shoes. They might look amazing but all you want to do is cry from pain.

Please describe your style in three words.

Urban, playful, sometimes classic.

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

Getting dressed in the dark — I once put on two different colour shoes of the same style and had to sport it all day.

Do you believe in role models?

I believe in having several different role models. One single person can’t be everything. That’s too much pressure to put on someone! The most important role model should be yourself.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Oh, that’s a hard one. I love the drape of silk but also love how menswear suiting and outerwear fabrics tailor. I have an affinity for leather as well… and the list goes on!

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

I’m not a huge fan of tight with tight or baggy with baggy. I gravitate more towards mixing and contrast.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

I really don’t have an answer for that… I think that’s very subjective.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I would say I lean towards bold.

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Dress the way you feel most comfortable. Don’t force it. Confidence comes from the inside and it shows when you’re not feeling it.

Celebrities and style...

Even though most celebrities have access to any new trend or item out, I truly respect the ones that make their own decisions and have their own style identity.

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

My slouchy, oversized men’s shirts. It’s my “uniform” for those days when I don’t feel like thinking at all about what to wear.

A woman should always look like...

She’s comfortable in her skin.

Who taught you what you know about style?

It’s nice that anyone thinks I know anything about style. I just know what I like and what I feel comfortable wearing. Style is very personal.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I’m a last minute dresser. I don’t really plan ahead. In the morning I think about what I have going on during the day and try to dress accordingly. Or sometimes it’s as silly as “I want to wear these shoes today…”

What is your biggest regret?

At the moment? Not spending enough quality time with family and friends… not to mention my fiancé who moved here from Europe to be with me. We’ve been engaged now for over two and a half years and have not even talked about a date. I’m lucky he’s a patient man.

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

Create your own identity. Style comes from the inside. The way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Don’t be afraid of taking risks and trying something new.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I’m a quick shopper. I usually know what I want, and if the size is right, it comes home with me. Or, it’s a specific colour that I’m missing in my life and I zero in on it. It usually comes in the form of an accessory.

We will never see you wearing...

Never say never… I’ve made that mistake before! ;)

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I admire what the Olsens have accomplished with their collection The Row. It’s clean, well crafted, and reflects their personal aesthetic. To me, that says they are not just the faces of the label but are involved in the project. I also admire Prabal Gurung. He’s so down to earth and genuine but full of energy and creativity. Watching his growth over the last few years has been amazing.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

That’s a hard one. It could be a random person that I pass on the street that I’m inspired by, or it could be an iconic movie star from the silver screen. However, I don’t think “style” is all about the way one dresses. I believe style comes from the inside.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her walk and smile.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I don’t get attached to material items. I buy clothes to wear them. So the most treasured items are ones that have sentimental value, for example my gold pendant necklace given to me by my fiancé that was his grandfathers or the vintage Rolex he gave to me that was made the same year as my birthdate.

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

If I have to think about it as long as I just have, I guess there isn’t just one image but a combination of many.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

I have tremendous respect for many designers and heritage brands; however, everyone is allowed to have an off-season or two. I’ve recently been extremely impressed with Céline, Chloé, Lanvin, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang… and the list goes on.

Name one article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to.

Her undergarments — if they don’t fit properly, it often shows through in unflattering ways and may ruin an otherwise beautiful outfit.

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

I will leave that up to you.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Don’t let fear or intimidation get in the way of your dreams. Face your fears head on. Work hard and stay humble.

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