On Thursday, Washingtonian magazine held its annual Style Setters party, a private fete to honor the 10 lucky locals selected for this year’s list of the city’s stylish. The party was at Pinea, the new restaurant at the W Hotel that replaces J&G Steakhouse, that will open to the public on October 1. I’m sure the new concept will have good food and a fresh, young vibe, but all I was able to digest other than outfits and a steady stream of fashionable friends was how seriously awesome the new bright blue walls are.
The walls (which actually look jade green in this photo–also a great color) were a perfect backdrop for capturing fellow Style Setters alumna (before it was called Style Setters) Lesley Benn, who is back in town in all of her raven-haired, sculptural-outfit glory after spending the last few years in Chicago.
Here I am sharing a laugh with the fabulous Mel Burgos. I wore a favorite vintage brocade midi skirt with a cropped backless sweater, leopard pumps, and some awesome big 80s earrings scored on my latest thrifting trip.keep looking »
This woman (snapped in Georgetown) is 100% what I want to look like when I get older.keep looking »
Jackie Hiersteiner is an artist, former gallerist, and recent graduate of the MA/Interior Design program at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. She is also possessor of a most tremendous set of eyebrows. She has a wicked sense of humor and a wicked sense of style. She is leaving us soon for Boston, so it’s all the more appropriate that I keep saying ‘wicked.’
What are you wearing?
J. Crew coat, Gap top, J Brand jeans, Kate Spade shoes. “The tortoise and suede clutch belonged to my grandmother, Dorothy.”
Fave places to shop online and off?
I do most of my shopping online from small boutiques, new designers, discount designer sites (Last Call Neiman Marcus, etc.). My husband is from Kansas City and I love vintage shopping there. I’m an avid J Crew shopper. I understand how their clothes are cut and sized, and therefore, what will work for me and what probably will not. I keep an eye on their collection pieces (usually pricey silk textiles or cashmere), wait for them to go on sale and then I strike. Not to sound like a cheapo, but I rarely pay full-price for anything, because you never have to!
What defines your personal style? What is important to you when getting dressed? As someone who knows so much about color theory and proportion, any advice for readers looking to hone their style?
My clothing is actually quite simple and always comfortable. It’s the combination of items–pattern and color–as well as structured cuts that make an outfit for me.
As for advice: take risks in pairing unexpected items. Stand in front of your closet and pull sleeves from one end of the closet to the other and see what new combinations you can make in your own wardrobe that way. Those olive pants don’t look so drab anymore when you pair them with a neon top. Clothes should be uplifting. If you aren’t comfortable wearing something, take it off. If you can’t decide what to wear, throw on a black cashmere turtleneck and your favorite earrings.
You have to understand your body type, and the architecture of an outfit – go for balance. I’m a big fan of this equation:
patterned pant + solid top + eye-catching coat + colorful shoe + wow earrings = look good, feel good.
How did your upbringing influence your style?
I grew up in a house that was hung with wallpaper of huge floral patterns and bright colored rugs, which made me very comfortable with color and scale. What l like about architecture and interiors is what I tend to go for in clothes – visual balance, luxe materials, crisp structure and proportion.
In developing my own style over the years, I often thought about my grandmother and how she dressed. She was a lady, and loved to wear monochrome outfits – lavender crocheted short-sleeved sweater, lavender creased silk slacks and matching jacket hung off of the shoulders, lavender perfectly matching shoes and a striped purse. Timeless, classy, polished and thoughtful.
That has translated into my credo that it’s important to look polished but not overly controlled. So what if one eyebrow is a little crazier than the other? Let it be!
What do you keep in your handbag?
Every shade of lipstick ever made (I literally bought them all), even though I usually just wear Burt’s Bees chapstick, a gold monogrammed navy leather wallet and a bunch of trash and receipts. Don’t lie – you do, too.
Favorite sources of inspiration? Anything on your Spring/Summer wishlist?
I buy a fresh pair of Vans each season. And right now, I’m lusting over this top from Devon Baer.
I mostly look at architectural reads, as I get most of my clothing design inspiration from beautiful wallpapers and textiles. I’ve never been one to read a Vogue magazine from front to back as I am not a good student of Fashion (with a capital F) or trends, but I do love clothes, so I always go for classic. I love the silhouettes and sumptuous silks of the 1950’s. I love the boundary-pushing of the 1960’s, so I Google fashion from those eras often. My girlfriends, you included, are always great inspiration for me! We all agree that it is fun to get dressed.
Yes, indeed!keep looking »
I hardly ever post outfit shots, but I got so many compliments today and when at least one of them comes from a serious art curator, you know you’re doin’ something right. I love pink and orange (and pink and red! That’s my next goal for this skirt….) and I think the bold colors work because the bag is similarly clean-lined-but-bold, and accessories and shoes are minimal/neutral.