My Style: Emily Barnes

Portrait of fashion stylist Emilie Barnes

Photo: Courtesy of Emily Barnes

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Revealing too much is a definite no-no for me. If you need to go for a short skirt, please balance it out with structure or more coverage on the top half. Too much skin is not a stylish statement in my book.

Please describe your style in three words.

Clean, precise, classic.

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

To overthink it.

Do you believe in role models?

I think that if you gravitate and are inspired by someone with a positive image, it is an empowering thing, so yes!

What are your favourite fabrics?

Vegetable-dyed cotton, which makes it super soft, and leather!

Which city has the best-dressed women?

I guess that's subjective to your own personal taste. I find New York and Paris women dress with a more pulled together, classic style, which I adore. I love the sensuality of the French women and the classic pulled together look of the New York woman.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservatively bold!

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Modern classics with a sense of ease.

Celebrities and style...

Can use their position to elevate a brand into the mainstream public eye. The power they have now is equal to a top model. Stylists have certainly helped carve out this direction. The top tier of stylists who work with celebrities are very important industry visionaries. However, there are a lot of people titled stylists who I feel are just dressers. It's a title that has become so overused.

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


A woman should always look like…

The best of herself.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My mother and father have incredible taste. They both taught me to create from instinct and intuition. My mentors (as I was an assistant to Camilla Nickerson and Charlotte Stockdale) refined things too.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

By whatever the day involves: prepping, shooting, meetings, celebrity fittings, etc. These will always dictate my sartorial choices that morning.

What is your biggest regret?

Not buying more Balenciaga when Nicolas Ghesquière was creative director. I went into mourning when he left.

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

What suits her, how to walk in heels, and what makes her happy!

Do you have any shopping rituals?

Check the return policy, as I always buy and try on at home. I hate store changing rooms and poor lighting and people fussing around me. I want to try it on my own dressing room at home, always.

We will never see you wearing...


Which new designers do you follow and why?

I am a huge fan of Maiko Kurogouchi's line called Mame in Japan. He came from Issey Miyake’s studio. His womenswear is dignified and there is a sense of nostalgia in his work. The other duo I love right now are Atto; they come from Nicolas Ghesquière's studio and they have very structured, streamlined pieces. The styling is super tight.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Keith Richards, when I worked on his wardrobe for 'The Bigger Bang Tour'. He's a very emotional dresser; everything he wears has a story. He makes everything his own.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Their skin and then their shoes.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I'm connected to some clothing in a nostalgic sense. If I had a great time in a particular piece of clothing, it comes front and centre for a while, if I have a negative experience in something it gets discarded. My friend Chioma Nnadi (writer at Vogue) said it so well once: "If it's got JuJu get rid of it!". Also, when I turned 18, my mum finally let me have her vintage Yves Saint Laurent, Chloe, and other gems she had put away. Her wardrobe was insane and she was smart to hide it until I could appreciate it. She has incredible jewellery too which I love wearing when I'm back home in the UK...she has yet to give me those, though! :-)

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

I grew up in the 90s with style magazines like The Face and i-D, so seeing images of Kate Moss by Corinne Day and pictures of Emma Balfour by David Sims has influenced me for sure. The timeless elements, the natural raw beauty.

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

It's difficult now as so many houses have moved around creative directors, and that does change the aesthetic of a house. I'm so particular with the brands I buy and designers I gravitate to. That said, I think I have to say Nicolas Ghesquière. Wherever he goes, I follow.

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

Good underpinning.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No, it's essential. We have evolved so much with technology in fabrics and cuts that you should absolutely not be wearing anything you don't feel comfortable in! One word, "Alaia"!

Who would you like to recommend for My Style?

The Texan leather nun and my best girl Lyndsey Butler, designer of Veda.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Don't take it so seriously!

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