KStew's Stylist On Her Fave Spring Outfits

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Celebrity stylist Tara Swennen spends most of her days dressing Hollywood's A-list. From Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga and Zuhair Murad to Julie Bowen in Monique Lhuillier and Carolina Herrera, Swennen's "girls," as she calls them, always make a sartorial statement on the red carpet. While she definitely knows how to turn leading ladies into best dressed stunners, the 34-year-old Los Angeles-based tastemaker also knows a thing or two about everyday, Converse-and-jeans-clad style. After all, who wears a gown to the office?
Well, that's exactly why we tasked her with a style challenge. Armed with her favorite pieces from NYDJ's latest collection, Swennen created three warm-weather outfits that are sure to give you spring fever, even if it is cloudy with a (high) chance of seasonal affective disorder. Oh, and did we mention her decked-out pad will give you major decor envy? Get your pen and paper ready, ladies — serious style notes are just a click away.
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Okay, we'll get right into it — what is your personal style?
“I’m a little bit of a chameleon. I’m going to be completely honest because everyone glamorizes this business, but we’re sort of schlepping garment bags around all day. And, I’m a mom. I’m a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of girl. On a day-to-day basis, I’m literally running around in Converse. It’s never glamorous during the day.

"Now, on the flip side, when I’m going out to fashion events and what have you, I love throwing on a pair of Jimmy Choos and an amazing pencil skirt. I tend to veer more toward the more classic look but love adding a pop of fun, whether that be an edgy scarf or a fun print."
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Even your home is beyond chic. Tell us, did you always want to be a stylist?
"I went to Cornell University for fashion design, so that's actually what I thought I wanted to do until I came out to L.A. and met a few stylists. I realized that you can create a look without having to go through the whole manufacturing and design process, so I saw it as a fast track...without having to do the gory stuff in between.

"I think I've always been more drawn to the red carpet [than magazine editorials]. Having grown up on the East Coast, there was this Hollywood allure, and that's what drew me to it. I did start interning in New York, but ironically the women that I worked for booked more celebrities, so I jumped in on celebrities from the get-go."
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
Speaking of the red carpet, you've styled celebrities like Kristen Stewart and Kaley Cuoco. Each of their looks definitely stands on its own, but which is your big, 'Wow, I can't believe I made that happen' moment?"
"I don't know if there's one in particular that stands out. I have to say I've been really lucky and have had some great moments with my girls on the carpet. One of the greatest honors I've had in my career was last year when Kristen was named one of the top 10 most fashionable celebs in Vogue. That grouping of her looks from 2013 — that was a really great honor. Getting a nod from Anna Wintour is always an amazing thing. That in and of itself was probably one of my prouder moments. But, I don't know if I can pick one look."
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
She really did nail it on the red carpet last year! Tell us more about the styling process with Stewart and the rest of your girls. Is it a collaborative project between you and the talent?
“Absolutely. I always say that your wardrobe is sort of an extension of your personality, and I think it really shows how comfortable you are on any carpet. I think if you aren’t comfortable there, then I’m not doing my job properly.

"So, I want to make sure my clients are very involved in the process and let me know their likes, dislikes, and their comfort factor. Every man or woman has things about their body they’d rather not show or what have you. It’s very important to me to have it be a collaborative process because they’re the ones wearing it. I can tell them that I think this looks beautiful, but at the end of the day, they’re wearing it.”
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
This is such a casual-yet-pulled-together look and has a similar low-key vibe to the first. Is this sweater-and-denim combo one of your style signatures?
"I definitely am a blue-jeans girl! The only thing I don’t really do with jeans is wear skinnies that much. I recently had a child so I’ve been going through different types of denim that fit my body as it has changed, but I sort of have always gravitated toward wider legs. I love indigo and darker blues, white, and red. For me, it’s the piece I can work the rest of my outfit around. I tend to go for a more classic jean, so I can play with everything else.”
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
As a busy mom and stylist, having pieces in your wardrobe that pair easily must be key. How do your top picks from NYDJ's spring collection work with your style?
“I love that they’re very wearable and really relatable. I can wear them daily to work, but they all have a unique element to them. Whether it’s a fun color or a wash I really like, everything is great for everyday wear, but they can all be played up from day to night.

"I would definitely mix and match these outfits and wear them at work and throw on a pair of heels and a jacket to wear them at night. That’s great for any woman — to have wearability throughout the day."
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
We're loving this look, especially how you've worked leather into the mix.
"I’m doing a cropped leather pant to keep it cool, and I’m wearing the sweater over my shoulders rather than on my body, so it’s a springtime look. It’s modern and sophisticated all at the same time.”
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
There's style inspiration everywhere around Swennen's pad — no wonder she's always so pulled-together.
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Photographed by Molly Cranna.
This sweater has the perfect pops of color. How did you approach styling it?
"Yeah, I loved the colors in the sweater, but it was a chunky knit and I didn’t really want to wear it around my waist because it’s springtime, so I decided to wear it around my neck. The sweater could've been very preppy, but I wanted to juxtapose it with something with a little bit more edge. I like duality. The gray T-shirt has mesh on the upper bust so I chose leather because it was a cool look all together.”
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