My Style: Natali Deftereos

Portrait of Shanghai-based stylist Natali Deftereos

Photo: Courtesy of Natali Deftereos

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I like to wear pieces with clean lines but may wear one standout piece or an unusual accessory. Be stylish without being a fashion victim.

Please describe your style in three words.

Elegant. Understated. Sexy.

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

Trying too hard.

Do you believe in role models?

No, but I do believe in mentors. Of course it’s important to recognize admirable qualities in other people but it’s best to be yourself.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Leather and silk.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

If it’s a combination I object to, then it quite possibly isn’t style.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

Paris. I’d also like to give a nod to Tokyo, which in my opinion has the best-dressed men.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I lean slightly towards the conservative side, but I mix it up with bold accessories.

Celebrities and style…

Generally, it only happens because celebrities have stylists behind the scenes.

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

The perfect white T-shirt. Great shoes.

A woman should always look like...

A woman.

Who taught you what you know about style?

No one. I’m instinctively drawn to pieces I like but of course I admire people with style, whether it is classic or more outlandish. I’ll incorporate what I like about the new season’s trends into my look.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

It depends on my day ahead. If I’m shooting that day, I need to wear something on the practical side, but if I have an event or a client meeting to attend I’ll wear something more glam.

What is your biggest regret?

Not getting this incredibly hot Swedish guy's phone number.

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

Don’t be a fashion victim. You can transform a simple look with a standout accessory. It's worth spending money on one pair of expensive shoes rather than several pairs of cheap ones…if you look after them they will last you for several seasons.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

No. I may make a mental list of what I need for the upcoming season but I’m pretty instinctive about what I like. If I need to give a lot of thought as to whether I truly like something it’s something I shouldn’t buy.

We will never see you wearing...

Anything really 'girly'.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Newish, but I like Victoria Beckham's collections. I admire the fact that she’s not only succeeded but exceeded expectations despite initial prejudice. The tailoring in her clothing is impeccable and her pieces are wearable.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

I’ve not seen her in the flesh, but Cate Blanchett is mighty stylish. She also has this presence both on and off screen.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her smile/genuine warmth or lack thereof towards me and others.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

My shoes, in particular a pair of red patent leather heels that I’ve had for years and I still get complimented on.

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

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s wearing that LBD whilst casually munching away on a croissant.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens. I like that they are unconventional.

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

Her underwear. It forms the foundation of what you’re wearing. Bad lines can ruin an outfit.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No, you can achieve both. And there is a big difference between being comfortable and looking sloppy.

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

Hadas Zucker and Jan Quammie.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Be positive. You attract what you put out into the world.

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