Every time we see Pamela Johnston, we want to literally strip her naked. Eww, it's not as dirrrty as it sounds—the co-owner of Brooklyn must-stop-shop theBANQUET and designer of cult jewelry line Plume (link) never fails to wear a combination of pieces that we're ready to beg, borrow, or steal for. So, naturally, we turned to this pretty lady (she's a true babe!) to let us in on her stylish secrets for dressing for the weather right now...and well into fall. Get in on not one, not two, not three, but four different outfits modeled by Johnston that mix her own designs with vintage finds and high-end merch—plus, all the deets fit to print. You know you want it.
Click through to see four copy-worth looks modeled by this Brooklyn Babe!
Photos by Amelia Alpaugh
How do you dress up for a night on the town?
"My mom is the most stylish lady I know, she taught me that dressing yourself is an art form and a powerful way of communicating. I think that is why I love getting dressed up for special occasions or events the most—especially for an evening out in NYC!
I try to dress quickly, but thoroughly. My best looks are done in 30-40 minutes tops. I like to look elegant, but not too polished."
Pamela is wearing a Zara navy cape, a black pencil skirt from Kemp, Dries van Noten heels, and an H&M black-and-white clutch.
Obviously accessories are a huge part of your life! What are some fall jewelry trends we need to know about?
"That's a good question! I think the geometric trend is still going strong and will be for sometime—it's clean, modern and easy to wear. I also think semi-precious stones are here for another season or two, especially pyrite. I'm excited to see different mediums make there way back around in the jewelry market, like porcelain & bronze."
Necklaces in tray from top to bottom: PLUME Rectangle neck, Vintage choker, J. Crew red beaded necklace, PLUME vintage-inspired fall sample necklace.
"These Dries Van Noten heels are the best investment I've made, they are extremely well-made and so beautiful (there are actual semi precious stones on them!!)—they always add the perfect amount of color and texture. I keep these on a shelf in my studio for inspiration!"
This ensemble is so unique! What's the inspiration here?
"I would say out of all my looks this is the most autobiographical: It encapsulates all the places, things, and people I love—the California sun where I was born and raised, flea markets, and especially my family (my mother is from Mexico and my Dad was in the navy).
This is my Mexican sailor tunic I bought in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl years ago. My second greatest obsession after jewelry are flea markets—I find the best of my inspiration pieces at flea markets and thrift stores, but really I love the thrill of the hunt!"
Johnston is wearing a Mexican sailor tunic, Uniqlo jeans, J. Crew's lace-up sandals, and a Santarana straw bag.
Statement clothes and statement jewels? Can you do both?
"Yes, carefully. I usually choose my accessories first, like a bold necklace, then work in a color, then a print, and work on the combination until it feels right. If it doesn't feel right and you're out of time, throw on a black shift dress with a crew or boat neck—it's the perfect background for highlighting your jewels."
We love your lip color! And do you match your makeup to your outfit?
"It's a classic from MAC, Ruby Woo! I've been wearing it for years, it looks amazing on all skin tones, too, which is why it makes a great gift—all my friends own it now. I love a bold lip, a little cat eye of liner, and for summer I'll do a green or blue wand of mascara, but I do not match my makeup to my outfits—never!"
It's August—how do you sartorially switch from day to night?
"When I'm in my shop I always wear PLUME (my jewels) and Miranda Bennett Design (my business partner's line). This is my favorite MBD, the Pier dress—I adore the balletic quality of the bodice and the sweet ruffle detail at the waist; It is extremely comfortable and makes me feel long and lean. I sell at least 2 whenever I wear it!
It's also incredibly transitional day to night: I throw on a pair of Keds with this to run around the Diamond District or Garment Center and seasonally I wear this clear into Fall by throwing on a blazer and tights."
Johnston's modeling a Miranda Bennett Pier dress and Modern Vintage booties."
Pamela stuns in her label PLUME's nameplate piece.
What are fall pieces every girl needs to invest in?
"Diamonds! I know it's a bit of a cliche, but there is just something magical about this gem and you can find it in so many colors now. Specifically the PLUME rose gold black diamond long bar pave stud earrings. Sunglasses! I love my vintage Ted Lapidus sunglasses— they are jewelry for my face, but I've also got my eye on a tortoise pair at Moscot. A leather tote! I'm coveting the two-tone Celine ivory- and-black one and a nice perfectly distressed one like my Bass from eBay for a more utilitarian look. A gold pinky ring! I love my knot and bow ones!"
How do you manage this transition weather, outfit-wise?
"I am a true Cali girl, so I usually push the summer season to the limit, but for me accessories are my transitional items, especially shoes and bags. With a very heavy heart, I'll change out my sandals to a boot like these black Modern Vintage ones.
I consider theBANQUET an extension of my home—we're always there, now more so that we are designing a private label collection of clothing and jewelry for the shop-set spring '12! So again this is a look I'd wear to the shop, but more so after-hours when friends come in after closing-time for cocktail hour.
My style is constantly developing, I love the dramatic combination of volume and length of this MBD gown. To give this silhouette a bit more shape I added this vintage denim button-up, and heels are a must with so much fabric!"
Johnston sports a vintage denim button-up and Modern Vintage booties.