According to press musings, a vast majority of celebrities have stylists, while most women would probably bulk at the price of having one or have been disappointed with the styling they had at department stores-do you blame bad lighting, low self-esteem or the sales driven store stylist for the clothes choices that don’t exactly make you look a million dollars when you come back home and try the purchases on again ?
I have used advise of a stylist in a showroom boutique-a big success, might I add, as I still wear most of the items that I bought from the boutique but I have never used an online stylist-are you intrigued yet?
Baukjen, is a London based British online fashion brand, started by Baukjen de Swaan Arons, who is the brand’s founder and creative director ( with her husband being another co-founder I presume that the brand encompasses both female & male perception of fashion for women ) and previous to this Baukjen ran Isabella Oliver, which I knew for their easy & comfortable maternity wear. The design philosophy behind the brand ( all the designs are done in-house ) is to create modern design classics with a twist, so each piece is comfortable to wear, stylish and would form part of an easily organised wardrobe, which will work for any occasion, from doing a school run to a day in the office, followed by drinks with clients or a girlfriend. Baukjen wants to help women shape their style but more importantly, help women interpret clothes in their own, unique way season after season. As Albert Elbaz of Lanvin said in one of his interviews for a well-known style bible ‘ the biggest mistake women can make is to get caught up in the idea that they need a new wardrobe each season ‘.
In February of this year Baukjen launched a new, online eStylist service, which gives you an opportunity to explore fashion styling interactively. The appointment is easy to book online-it gives you great time slot options and you can choose to do a video consultation or e-mail one. You can also choose the various fashion advice options like:
-How to update your wardrobe
-Key style tips for the season
-What to wear when-party, holiday etc.
All you need to do is simply answer the questions about your height, hair and eye colour, as well as describe your built and choose the time slot suitable for you.
On my chosen day ( a Monday, with the view to start a week on a good note ), I got connected with Rachel, my eStylist for the 20 minute session. Video chat sessions work via a specifically customised Baukjen software build exclusively for this service, where all you need to do is click on the link and the stylist will appear on your computer screen, as if a genie popping from a bottle. The stylist sits ( and later stands ) opposite you, with a mannequin and railings of clothes behind her, for your to feast your eyes on and weight your options. Rachel had a meticulous knowledge of the Baukjen collection and after a brief and very cordial hello, we got on with the programme. Rachel has a styling background and has worked in NY, doing the styling for the NY fashion week and her smart outfit-easy jersey shirt, jacket, jeans, with some jewellery added on, made me feel comfortable and relaxed, cosy in my jeans and Zadig & Voltaire cashmere sweater.
Baukjen S/S 2013 collection has a strong sports inspired feel, with clean lines, flattering cuts and a feminine feel to the overall look.There are relaxed chambray jackets and shorts, leather pieces-Rachel showed me an easy leather t-shirt that you can dress up or down-great tailored jackets with nice lapel detailing, trousers and waistcoats that have a slightly mannish, YSL feel to them, yet remain classically cool when worn by a woman. There are also jersey pieces ( a must, as far as I am concerned, because of its variability, comfort and style ), ranging from t-shirts to dresses, with variable hemline lengths and colours ranging from peach to metal blues, military khaki or olive tones and fantastically bright orange, lime, coral, yellow ochre ( I already ordered Megan Crop cardi and have an eye on the Salma zip jacket with grey colour contrasting ). You also get a lovely temptation of accessories in rich metallics, silver aztec, tan python and cream patent.
One of the looks styled by Rachel for me, a Jodie waistcoat & Drew Stripe dress, can serve as ‘different style template, whether it be nautical or the weekend effortless look. Pairing the structures waistcoat with the jersey ruched dress and belting it with patent cream belt’ completes the look.
Rachel says that styling needs to be embraced and enjoyed and I felt at ease with her discussing her suggestions or my preferences. We talk about putting looks together and experimenting with things like mixing navy and black or cuffing the shirt a little over blazer for a contrasting twist. The look below ( Salma Zip Jacket with Coco Shirt in Rachel’s words is a ‘classic look, whether worn with denim, pencil skirt or Ponte jeans’ ).
One of the things that I really liked about this service is the fact that each outfit can be dressed up or down, and take you from morning into evening. As Rachel emphasises, part of looking good is feeling comfortable in the clothes that you wear.
One interesting trend that Rachel pointed out to me is mixing leather and denim and while I am not a huge fan of leather t-shirts or skirts, the logic certainly rings true and follows the catwalk trends.
We also looked at leggings and jeans ( a staple that is here to stay for a while still, I think ), as Baukjen has a few flattering styles that look a little like jeggings, with me particularly falling under the spell of Ponte Jeans and Freja Super Stretch Skinny-what I love about this interactive service is that not only are you talking to the stylist face-to-face and she is showing you real clothes ‘live’, she also controls the screen and can show you pieces from Baujken website there and then.
Rachel showed me easy ways of tucking in the shirts/t-shirts and belting them ( same thing applies to dresses ), so the final look appears easy, sassy and not intimidating. In my own experience, the insouciant look always leaves a perfect impression rather than overdone or over-styled ones. A look below is the case in point, with Jessica dress worn together with the Salma Zip ( Rachel’s brief for me is ‘dressed up colour blocking ( big trend this season ) feels sexy, yet comfortable with the beautiful jersey and Ponte mixed fabric’ ).
We also looked in ways of incorporating sequins into the outfits, with cool trousers and jackets that Baukjen does ( for example the look below, Elsa Shirt with Sophia Sequin Jacket, one of brand’s best-sellers, which Rachel styled so that there is a ‘balance of casual meets dressy with sequins or chambray’ and I couldn’t stop drooling over-my head was thinking ‘maybe not too practical with kids’ and my heart was singing with joy ‘ this is so feminine and so great-we all need a bit of sparkle on the daily basis, don’t we ?’
The look below, Megan Cardigan with Ashley Stripe Shirt will allow me to ‘balance casual or office dressed attire’, according to Rachel. ‘Adding a chunky statement necklace and a clutch will transition the look into a night out one’.
Rachel works on the premise of getting to know her customers and offering them looks to suit their body shape, style & daily lifestyle and says that she is getting to know women every day, opening doors for them to experiment and have fun with clothes, accessories and fashion in general. There are some rules, but a woman should dress in a way that she feels comfortable with and Baukjen styling session allowed me to feel exactly that- reevaluating my fashion perceptions and opening my eyes to simple, yet effective solutions-you know how sometimes something can be in front of you but you don’t see it? Baukjen styling, for me, is exactly that-a fresh pair of eyes that helps you to see clearly and look forward with confidence.
Appointments for the Baukjen eStylist at the online studio are available from 12pm till 7:30pm, Monday to Saturday and are free of charge.
Images courtesy of my eStylist Rachel