Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gossip Girl Costume Designer Eric Daman at Charlotte Russe

On July 23rd, I was invited to attend the Fashion Intern Shopping Event at the Charlotte Russe Manhattan Mall store at Broadway & 33rd. I expected to get some styling tips from Eric Daman, Gossip Girl’s costume designer and stylist for Charlotte Russe.

To my surprise when I checked in, I was told I was on of the first 15 to arrive on the list, and that I was to be styled by Eric Daman himself. I was handed some 20% off cards and was asked to put a few looks together within the next half hour. Which wasn’t too hard of a task for me, considering I always find a handful of clothes to try on. So I gathered my pieces and chatted with Eric a bit, introducing my website to him and talking about several run-ins lately with the Gossip Girl cast.

I told him how I had received some comments from friends that I hide my body – I merely told him that I prefer not to wear clothing that makes me feel or look constricted. I continued to tell him that I prefer dresses and skirts with pockets and that I was trying to pick pieces other than black, which makeup a chunk of my wardrobe. He totally agreed with everything I was saying, and loved the look I had on. He thought what I was wearing was perfect, not too revealing and not too covered up.

When it came down to showing him my selections, he liked them all, agreeing with the silhouettes I chose as well as the warmer colors. To my surprise, he didn’t really have any styling tips for me. He told me that I seem to know what I’m doing, and that I really didn't need any help. I’ll take that as a compliment :) There was one strapless piece in particular that I was questioning, and I told him that I don’t usually pick out such thin fabric but liked that it had pockets. Then he realized that it was a romper! We both got excited and agreed that it definitely was a keeper. He did suggest some wooden jewelry to go with that.

I must say that the Charlotte Russe Manhattan Mall location had the friendliest, most helpful associates. I had a very pleasant shopping experience. I ended up purchasing the printed romper, a navy asymmetrical dress with belt, metallic teal halter, print metallic scarf, gold filigree bib necklace, peacock feather bib necklace and wooden bead bracelet. I was told that Charlotte Russe carries XS, but the clothes don't always start in that size. My particular purchases were size S, which fit me perfectly.

Since I felt like I had styled myself, here are my top 5 styling tips to live by:

1) Don’t overdue it – If you have a top with an embellished neckline, it’s not necessary to wear any jewelry with it. You definitely don’t want to over accessorize.

2) Know your color palette – pay attention to what colors look best against your skin
Tone and don’t make you look washed out. I am constantly seeking out colors I don’t normally wear. Teal and fuchsia have become my favorite colors lately.

3) Not too tight, or too loose – be sure to balance out your look. If you are wearing a voluminous skirt, go for a form-fitting top to tuck in. If you decide to wear a pair of skinny jeans, wear a looser-fitting top. You don’t want to appear too tight or too loose all over.

4) Don’t be too revealing – If you are wearing a mini skirt, make sure your top isn’t too revealing. You want to appear sexy, not that you are trying to hard to be noticed.

5) Don’t be too matchy – Sometimes a pop of color to basic, earthy or natural tones does the trick. A bright yellow blouse is enough color to add to a dark denim skirt or pair of jeans, and if you want to accessorize, opt for a printed scarf, or a bright yellow clutch. Don’t feel the need to add too much yellow – shoes, scarf, belt, and bag. Just pick one or two matching accessories.

I just have to add in one more tip, as I feel it is very important. My key to almost never returning any clothing purchases is to TRY IT ON. In some cases, especially at sample sales, you don’t have this option, so I suggest holding it up in the mirror or bringing your own. With the handfuls of clothing I try on, I only end up with a few items. You never know exactly how it’s going to look until you have it on. I have tried on pieces that look great on the hanger and not on me, and vice versa. Hope this helps and that you are doing this already!

- Kim Weling

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