Dirty Little Styling Secrets From Three Industry Insiders!

In the age of The Rachel Zoe Project, everyone (and their mother) aspires to be a celebrity stylist. But it isn't as easy as it looks. Making it to the upper-echelons of this industry is like joining an Ivy League secret society, including the hazardous-to-your-health hazing (have you ever schlepped twice your body weight in clothes around town?). That's why we rounded up three styling wonder women who have the wherewithal and work ethic to become The Next Big Thing. And after years of climbing the styling ropes, they've sifted through the very best of the how-tos, easy tricks, and dish-y wardrobe secrets. From repurposing panty liners (don’t judge!) to a quick tip for avoiding a tailor when time is scarce, these glam gals are happy to share what makes them tick and how they’ve risen to the top.
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Angela Fink
Ever wondered how Kim Kardashian stepped up her red carpet Klass? Angela was there from the beginning to morph the reality star into a style maven. Also offering her lively eye to Julianne Hough (another total transformation!), Angela came to L.A. with a distinct vision of becoming a stylist — she even had business cards made with the self-bestowed title, which impressed a future boss! Angela's now the in-house stylist and expert for JustFab.com, where she's putting her artsy-meets-glam aesthetic to good use. We know this always-busy chick has more tricks up her super-cute sleeve soon, and can’t wait to see what she does next!
Where do you find unexpected inspiration?
"Lately I have been finding myself getting inspiration from older men and women. I think we are going back to a more refined, put together look. Yes, I love the mix match but I'm feeling matchy-matchy could be having a comeback, and the senior citizens are rockin’ it! I also find my boyfriend inspiring; he reminds me that fashion is fun, and it should be effortless and reflect your mood."
What are your sneakiest style secrets?
"When you have a problem with your jeggings/pants going where you don't want them (you catch my drift!), try panty liners for blocking the pants into those unmentionable areas. I swear, this never fails for cameltoe woes!"
"I live for safety pins, they come in all different colors and sizes, and whether I'm on a shoot or at my house getting ready to go out, I use them like it’s my job (well, I guess it is!). When I don’t have the time to take my garb to the tailor ahead of time, and I want to shorten a skirt, or nip it in certain places, I love to use these nifty little tools!"
"Another style secret you must know is when you have those feisty zippers get stuck, grab a household bar of soap (I like Ivory), and rub the corner of the it gently on the zipper— the wax works like a charm!"
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"Lastly, Duck brand duct tape can be your best friend, and now it comes in the coolest designs! For a quick hem, turn your garment inside out, apply the tape, then turn it back around and voilà, your garment is instantly shortened!"
Do you have any under-the-radar shopping spots in L.A. that you’ve found while hunting for clients?
"I actually find some great stuff at Angl in the mall. It's great for playful editorials. I also love the Goodwill off of La Brea Avenue — when I donate, I always make sure to look for cool vintage jewelry (and there's always something!)."
Her Picks: Dolce Vita Jax Ankle Boot, $199, available at Dolce Vita; Proenza Schouler Python-Effect Leather Tote, $1175, available at Net-A-Porter; Basting Bright Safety Pins, $4.99, available at JoAnn; Duck Leopard Duct Tape, $4.99, available at Staples.
Photos: Via Angela Fink, Dolce Vita, Net-A-Porter, JoAnn, Staples, and Angela Fink.
sophiaBanks
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Sophia Banks-Coloma
This Australian lass has worn so many hats in the fashion industry, up-and-coming is nowhere near an adequate adjective to describe her. After co-founding our most crave-worthy boutique, Satine, she helmed the L.A. label Whitley Kros (nominated for the prestigious Ecco Domani Fashion Award), and has consulted on so many creative projects we don’t even have space to name ‘em! She’s currently Kristen Chenoweth’s go-to wardrobe gal, and most recently set designed and costumed the high-style flick Syrup, starring Amber Heard. With ten years in Hollywood under her skinny little belt, Sophia’s keen eye and insider knowledge is unparalleled.
Where do you find unexpected inspiration?
"It may sound silly, but I find inspiration in nail polish—the colors are more influential than you may think! New and bold colors that coat our nails one season constantly show up in clothing and accessories later. Remember when Chanel introduced their minty-jade green polish on the fall '09 runway? Well, get ready for spring '12, because minty greens abound on runways and wardrobes around the globe! On that note, check out the new blue Chanel polish named RIVA. To live for!"
"I also find architecture and sculpture to be a great source of inspiration. How we dress and how/where we live are two very closely intertwined worlds. For example, the intricate and grandiose architecture and detailing on old Victorian houses went hand-in-hand with the amazingly detailed and embellished layers and pieces that comprised the voluminous stylings of Victorian dresses. Currently, people are turning to artisan craftsmanship and vintage inspired architectural elements, and combining old with new in interior design as well. This is also true for fashion: the vintage/hipster movement combines styles of the past with modern day pieces."
What are your sneakiest style secrets?
"Bristols 6 has the best nippies out there! They prevent any and all nip slips and camera flash flashing, which is a dream come true for my clients! I also love their hem tape for jeans, which enables you to wear your favorite pair of flares with both your broken in converse sneakers AND your 6" tall wedges. Love it!"
"I use Commandos ALL the time. They are the number one pair of undies because they’re totally seamless. You can wear them under pretty much anything, maintaining your decency even in the tightest dresses."
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"Hollywood Fashion Tape is truly a gift from the style gods. From unruly collars to daring deep-v neck lines — HFT makes sure everything stays in place! Fashion tape can also be used in some unexpected places: if a ring is to big, wrap a strip of the tape around the bottom – it will make the ring a little tighter as well as help it stick to your finger so it won't go flying off! Also, if a button pops off, Fashion tape is great to use in pinch to stick the two sides together until you can find a sewing kit."
Do you have any under-the-radar shopping spots in L.A. that you’ve found hunting for clients?
"Solange Azagury Partridge is my absolute favorite jewelry right now! Her boutique on Rodeo may be more of a 'window-shop stop,' but going in is worth it! Her high-end pieces maintain a sense of humor, which is super important in this business!"
Her Picks: Bristols 6 Nippies Basic, $10, available at Bristols 6; Limited Edition Chanel Riva Le Vernis Nail Color Polish, $229.99, available at Bonanza; Preen Scuba Printed Stretch-Jersey Midi Dress, $620, available at Net-A-Porter; Burak Uyan Cutout Suede Sandals, $253.50, available at Net-A-Porter.
Photos: Via Bristols 6, Bonanza, Net-A-Porter, and Sophia Banks-Coloma.
anitaPatricksonAnita Patrickson
This South African style queen has traveled the world to create an off-the-beaten path aesthetic that is super fresh and eclectic. After assisting on Allure cover shoots galore, she broke out on her own to lend Emma Watson a critically acclaimed red carpet hand (we really do credit Anita with Emma’s rise to style stardom). You’ve seen her editorial work grace the pages of Elle, InStyle, and Lucky, but what we find so attractive about this rising style star is her always benevolent attitude and happy-go-lucky charm (see below!).
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Where do you find unexpected inspiration?
"Africa is my home and obviously holds a huge piece of my heart. Whenever I hop on a plane there, I make sure to snap tons of pics to reference when I’m in need of visual stimulus (or just a pick-me-up!)."
What are your sneakiest style secrets?
"Oh boy, I have so many I could write a book on the topic (maybe I will someday, ha!). First, I always keep a Tide pen in my purse to banish any accidental spills. You’d be surprised how well this magical tool works!"
"This may seem obvious, but we’ve all been there: Never ever try and sit through an evening in an outfit that’s too small! The misery is simply not worth it, and everyone can tell you’re secretly struggling."
"Nude heels are the secret weapon to making your legs appear longer, invest in some pumps or platforms (platforms are always more comfy because of that extra cushioning) for the illusion of endless gams.
In a bind, put Visine on any blemishes and it will instantly cut out the redness (I learned this from a makeup artist on set when I was assisting on beauty shoots and it’s been invaluable advice)."
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Do you have any under-the-radar shopping spots in LA that you’ve found while hunting for clients?
"I love Regency Jewelry on West Third Street for retro jewelry. They mostly do repairs, but I always end up finding some exquisite vintage piece before I leave!"
Her Picks: Valentino High-Rise Silk-Cady Wide-Leg Pants, $1200, available at Net-A-Porter; Miriam Haskell For Decades Majesty Earrings, $480, available at Miriam Haskell; Visine, $7.99, available at Target; B Brian Atwood Tempesta Suede Platform Booties, $315, available at Shopbop.
Photos: Via Anita Patrickson, Net-A-Porter, Miriam Haskell, Target, Shopbop, and Anita Patrickson.
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