09/22/12 - 9 Comments
London’s Style Guru Teaches Us About Bodymapping
In the fashion world, the autumn months represent more than yummy sweaters and crazed hunts for the perfect boot—it’s also a time of renewal, a time to reorganize your closet, contemplate your spirit and, of course, your look. NYFW has come to a close and, as all the excitement moves to Europe, we’re getting all misty eyed looking back on the magic (hectic as attending those shows can be). After pulling ourselves together, we’ve come to realize there’s plenty of work to do in last minute preparations for fall. Now that the frenzy has officially made it’s way through London, who better to consult than the city’s resident image consultant, Lara Brotherton? She’s worked with numerous women to sharpen their steeze and we were more than thrilled to borrow a bit of her expertise. We chatted with the style guru about Parisian bodymapping techniques, whether looks really matter and the difference between British and American style.
What do your clients typically want to address when they come to you for guidance?
First it’s organization and clearing of the wardrobe. Most people need a second opinion (and an understanding of why something doesn’t work) when it comes to letting go of items. Second, it’s creating new outfits from what a client already has—using their own accessories. Third it’s identifying gaps, then creating a list for shopping. Sometimes they want me to shop with them, other times I prepare the list and they can shop for themselves.
How does bodymapping work?
I learned the art of bodymapping from a stylist who trained in Paris. Bodymapping outlines the body and shows the ratio between shoulders and hips, length of neck, wrist and ankle points and waist (high, low or non-existent). It enables me to make suggestions to enhance the best attributes and conceal the less flattering parts of someone’s figure.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Seeing a client’s face and hearing their reaction when they “get it” and their confidence returns. Also, witnessing the response when I suggest a different style or shape than the person normally wears, that looks great. Also, being recommended, because it means I did a good job.
Are there any unsual clients or experiences that stand out in your memory?
As I am privy to bedrooms, closets and drawers. I won’t disclose the trust that has been bestowed upon me. I take the view that variety is the spice of life and I’m part of a very rich tapestry into human behavior. Saying that, everyone has different views about what tidiness (both home and personal) is!
How important is one’s image?
Although we continually hear “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” we all do it. I am an advocate of being yourself, yet situations can require us to conform. Image depends on the authentic you and the person you wish to present….so I would say it is important.
Any thoughts on American versus British style?
British street style is edgy and gritty. I live near Brixton, so I love walking through the market on weekends and seeing urban-eclectic style. This is very different to the Kings Road and Bond Street. American (especially East Coast) is much more put together and tidy.
What do you look to improve when working with a client?
I am just the linchpin. My role is to help the client achieve what they want. I try not to enforce my ideas or views onto someone. Usually the client has forgotten or lost what is special or physically beautiful about themselves. I want to enhance and remind them what wonderful and unique qualities they naturally possess.