Fashion industry veteran Sasha Charnin Morrison gives you a glimpse inside the world of fashion and stylists with her amazing book, Secrets of Stylists: An Insider's Guide to Styling the Stars (published by Chronicle Books). As the current fashion director at US Weekly, Morrison has over 20 years experience working in the biz for such publications as Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Allure, Vanity Fair, and more. She has her finger on the pulse of trends and celebrity fashion, all with an amazing sense of humor. She loves a very high heel and if you follow her on twitter or tumblr, you'll see the many nuggets of fashion eye candy she'll share each day.
What I love about Secrets of Stylists is that it goes deeper into what it takes to be a stylist. As an addict to the Bravo fashion stylist reality TV shows of Rachel Zoe and Brad Goreski, this book is a godsend. From the nitty gritty details of inventory to the drool-worthy trays of high-end jewelry and racks of gowns, Morrison gives you a complete in-depth look into this glamourous as well as tough as nails world. Even if you aren't looking for a career in fashion styling, the book gives you plenty of tips and advice on how to carve out your own personal style. I love, love, love all the photos of celebrities but what I love the most is the detailed photos she includes featuring sketches, supplies, array of outfits, and scribbled detailed notes – a true behind the scenes peek at this fabulous world.
Just in time for fashion week! Two lucky Coquette readers will win a copy of Secrets of Stylists! Just leave a comment to this post. The giveaway ends on
Friday, February 10th at 5pm PST Monday, February 13th at 5pm PST. Good luck!
I also got a chance to talk to Sasha Charnin Morrison and ask her some very important fashion questions. Click for the interview after the jump!
Natalie: What are a few of your favorite styling tips that every woman should adhere to when dressing?
Sasha: Fit is key. The clothing no matter what needs to fit you. Trends are fun but if it looks bad or "my ass looks fat" you are your best critic. You are probably right. Go with your instincts. Too tight? Don’t buy it. Get your right size.
Clothing sitting around and not being worn because you were going to lose weight to fit it-is expensive and useless. There’s so much you feel good about giving away. So, nip it right away. Get yourself to a great tailor if the shoulders are too big or the cuff of a jacket or pants are too long.
Do not get sucked into dressing in what’s not you or comfortable. I don’t mean wearing "cozy" sloppy sweats. I mean don’t go with a sharp tailored jacket that Rihanna wore and looks wrong on you. And really really educated yourself in buying accessories to change and update looks. Look online for tips. Make Google your best friend: How do you tie a scarf? How can I wear a leopard bootie? You can search all of this alone and then go out and try it.
Natalie: Whenever I get my US Weekly in the mail, I always love eyeing all the great fashion. What are some of your favorite trends right now?
Sasha: I will always love an olive parka and now with a fur scarf or collar or cuff. I love that always. I like these jersey maxi dresses from Rachel Pally and Wilt. And I love this fleece cocoon coat I own from Norma kamali. Motorcycle boots-either plain black or embellished. And really large sunglasses to hide my bags and an oversized or jumbo Chanel Classic bag.
Natalie: How do you decided what celebrity or trend to feature in the red carpet opening spread in the magazine?
Sasha: We really want the Red Carpet which usually opens the magazine to be truly a Red Carpet, aspirational/inspirational spread of the most stunning looks from the week. Very dressed up and beautiful at all times. It all needs to feel very V. I. P. The trends are pulled from street wear that celebrities wear, looks we think as a department are very strong for a season or useful-like the best underpinnings-slimmers that the stars wear...and looks for less. Hi/low. How everyone likes to mix it up.
Natalie: What are the items from your closet that you cannot live without?
Sasha: Azzedine Alaia hiking boots, Norma Kamali sweatshirt cocoon coat, Jersey tops, skirts and dresses from Rachel Pally and Wilt, Gap legging jeans in grey, a big, black knit eternity scarf from Gap, oversized sunglasses from Prada or Grey Ant and my 5000 bags.
Natalie: Do you have advice for how a stylish gal can consistently dress up for an evening out on a budget?
Sasha: Think about a look you want. Scan H&M, Forever21, Zara, Express, ASOS. All of these sites are reproducing looks for less and they suggest in little boxes what to pair with those dresses. But also plan how many parties you have and see how many looks you’re going to need. What can you get away with wearing more than once. If you have one black dress, dress that up and down with different accessories, shawls, faux furs, cardigans. And switch the earrings to necklaces. You can always carry out the same evening bag.
Natalie: Now that your book, Secrets of the Stylists is out, what are some of your projects you are working on now for the future?
Sasha: I would love to possibly build on the Secrets concept, as well as writing another book involving inspiration. I like this book writing. :) I also am trying to learn as much as I can about digital media and building up my Twitter base as well as my tumblr site, Casa De Sasha. I need to know about all of this stuff because I have boys who are 9 and they’re very computer savvy so I like keeping up with them. They teach me so much. They are my future!:)
Read more about Sasha Charnin Morrison and her mom advice on Coquette Maman!