UPDATE: If gawking at baubles all day is wrong, we don't want to be right. This story was originally published on November 28.
If, like us, you rely on
's addictive fashion news, chances are you're already familiar with the work of Rachel Strugatz. The stylishly intrepid accessories news editor and social media news editor is constantly churning out fascinating stories on the worlds of (you guessed it!) accessories and social media. Strugatz's dual beats keep her in tune with some of fashion's hottest players (think Man Repeller and the DANNIJO girls, to name a few), so, naturally, we turn to her whenever we're on the hunt for accessories on the brink of #trending.
Luckily, she managed to carve out time between countless showroom visits and interviews to let us put her under the microscope—and play dress up, of course. Play voyeur as Rachel shows off her favorite to-die-for ensembles, and teaches us a thing or two about the art of high-low dressing. If you've ever wanted to know how much ice is too much, she's got your answer. Hint: You can never have too much bling!
Click through for an inside look at an accessory addict's dazzling wardrobe.
Photographed by by Sam Horine
Your wardrobe is a great blend of designer brands and fast fashion — what's the secret to high/low dressing?
"Splurging on shoes, bags and jewelry — not as much on clothing, unless it’s super on sale. I’m a really smart shopper — I do the bulk of my shopping in November and December, and then again in May and June when everything is on sale. I often pair really fancy shoes or a necklace (like Swarovski Crystallized booties or a collar) with ripped jeans or even a pencil skirt and a T-shirt."
Oliver Peoples sunglasses, Kelly Wearstler jacket, Maje T-shirt, J Brand jeans, Walter Steiger shoes, DANNIJO necklace, Jimmy Choo clutch.
What do you think is the most important wardrobe piece to splurge on?
"A great, thick, substantial heeled bootie that can take you from day to night. Sigerson Morrison, rag & bone, Cole Haan, and Fiorentini and Baker make great ones. I forget I’m wearing 4-inch (or almost 4-inch) boot; Realistically, if I’m running around the city all day, crazy 5-inch shoes are just impractical."
What tips do you have for girls looking to layer on the baubles? How do you master the over-accessorized look?
"Just keep adding more. When you think you have it right, you probably need to add one more bracelet or ring."
We love the pop of red (clutch) for holiday party time.
What is a typical work day like for you?
"It's always different. When I'm on deadline I can be at my desk writing the entire day, but other times I can be at appointments previewing new collections, having meetings with out-of-town designers, conducting interviews for upcoming stories, or attending events or new store openings that relate to my coverage."
Burberry Prorsum skirt, Stella McCartney sweater, Oscar de la Renta shoes, Phillips House ring, Christian Louboutin bag.
What is one accessories trend that you've tried, but could never wear again?
"Over-the-knee-boots...I am too short (just under 5’3)."
At WWD, you also cover social media news — how do the two aspects of your job differ?
"The two beats are very different — accessories and social media — but the range of topics I cover for each are similar. I often report on new trends, designers, or companies — whether it’s a Web site or a footwear brand. I also write in-depth analytical pieces about important issues. This can be investigating the return on investment for social media, or about a void in the handbag market for product at a particular price point. Also, covering two different beats ensures that I never get sick of either one. If I have a lot of accessories one week, I can work on a digital feature the next, and it keeps things fresh.
I love the balance of the accessories and digital aspects — both are so integral to the fashion industry as a whole, and I’m glad that I can report on anything pertaining to either. I also enjoy working on multi-brand features that can range from the latest crop of designer shoe brands to the business of blogging, but the best is when my two worlds collide.
I recently wrote a story about the impact Instagram (and social media) is having on spring accessories purchases for retailers. The idea came to me during Paris Fashion Week the day of the Céline runway show, when my Twitter and Instagram feeds were besieged with pictures of those fur shoes (the same for Chanel and the hula-hoop bag, as well as several other items). I started doing a little research and talking to a bunch of stores around the world to see if and how much social media was beginning to influence their buys. It’s astounding how quickly a platform like Instagram has changed retailers' purchasing habits."
What is your absolute favorite part about being an editor? Anything you could do without?
"I truly love what I do. I am equally passionate about accessories and digital, and I think anyone who meets me can see this. This job has also allowed me to meet some of the most well-known designers and executives in the world, as well as break news and report on trends that the whole industry reads. I thrive on being on deadline. I work better when I know I have one day to write a story instead of one week, which comes in handy when you work at a newspaper. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I would feel empty if I weren’t writing."
If you had to pick, what are your three favorite items in your closet?
"I have four: black skinny Current/Elliotts that are shredded and ripped at the knees with patches in several places, the Stella McCartney sweater coat I bought last winter at Kirna Zabête, a silk, floral Zimmermann blazer that I wear way too much, and this giant, fluffy, fur Oscar de la Renta hat."
DANNIJO necklace, rag & bone jeans and leather jacket, Jimmy Choo clutch, Jennifer Fisher jewelry, Oscar de la Renta hat, vintage T-shirt, Aperlai shoes.
As an accessories news editor at Women's Wear Daily, you see a lot of jewelry. What's the one accessory you would wear every single day?
"Jennifer Fisher’s Gypsy hand finger bracelet — because it’s a ring and a bracelet in one. It goes with everything."
As far as beauty, do you have a specific routine or any products you rely on?
"I’m not a makeup girl, but Hourglass’ products make your face look flawless. I use the tinted moisturizer for day and liquid-to-power foundation for evening — both are magical with just a bit of Nars Casino bronzer. I’ve found that balayage highlights really brightened up my dark hair and fair skin combo, especially in the winter — plus, it’s way lower maintenance than traditional highlights. Abby Haliti at Julien Farel is the best. I’m also weirdly extreme about manicures. I either like a classic red, pale pink, or black — or something totally crazy like rainbow glitter."
What would you consider to be your typical work uniform?
"Black skinny jeans, a T-shirt, and either a sweater or blazer — with a lot of accessories. If I know I have an usually heavy writing load (and no meetings) I will wear Nike dri-fit pants, a hooded zip-up, and sneakers. My entire office can attest to this."
What's on your shopping list that you have yet to find? Any great pieces you're searching for?
"I'd love another statement sweater coat — I swear this one is warmer than any other piece of outerwear I’ve ever owned. This is surprisingly harder to find than you would think."
Paige jeans, DANNIJO necklace, Stella McCartney jacket, Jennifer Fisher jewelry, Sigerson Morrison shoes, Tibi shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim bag.
Is there any trend you wish would just go away already?
"There isn’t one — every trend has a time and a place."
Rachel's the host of this awesome arm party...and you're all invited!
Phillips House jewelry.
You live on a great NYC block — what are your favorite neighborhood spots?
"I don't even have to leave my block. I have Barneys Co-Op (it’s right across the street) and Westville. They have the best mac and cheese. Ever."