Ann Caruso is a freelance stylist and fashion consultant. Aside working with a wide range of celebrity clientele, she has contributed to magazines such as Vanity Fair, In Style, Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar.
What is your background? Can you tell us a bit about what you did before becoming a freelance stylist?
I started my career at Ralph Lauren as a Design Assistant. I left Ralph Lauren after 2 years to work at Vogue as a Fashion Assistant and departed the magazine after 6 years, as an Accessories Editor. I then started my freelance career styling at different magazines like Vanity Fair, InStyle, Tatler, Oprah, and Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, which also included celebrity styling and consulting for designers and different companies.
What are some of the most classic pieces you have archived in your closet?
My wardrobe is filled with classics. They are the building blocks of a great wardrobe. Some of my favorites are my trenches from Burberry and Gucci, white shirts from Brooks Brothers, Chanel, Theory, and my favorite fitted ones from Domenico Vacca, and the perfect black dresses from Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, and J.Mendel. I have some great navy blazers from Giorgio Armani and J.Crew and perfect white t-shirts from Club Monaco, Gap and Theory, plus knee length skirt from Giambattista Valli, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.
Would you describe yourself as someone who eats, sleeps and breathes clothing?
I love fashion and it is what I think about most of the day because of work, but I try to balance my life with spirituality, friends, family and love. Doing things outside of fashion gives me the energy to go back into it and be creative.
Who are some of the personalities you’ve styled? What did you enjoy most about working with them?
I’ve worked with Elizabeth Hurley, Katherine Heigl, Katie Couric, Padma Lakshmi, Claire Danes, Liv Tyler, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange, Isla Fisher, Christina Applegate, and January Jones, to name a few. I enjoy working with personalities the most because each person is so different. You learn and experience something from everyone you meet. I’ve met incredibly talented people from all walks of life. It makes my work so much more interesting than doing the same job everyday.
How often do you incorporate pieces from a client’s own wardrobe?
If they are going to an event and they look amazing in their own piece and they haven’t been photographed in it, then it is an option. Also, if they were wearing a new or borrowed dress it would be common to add their own coat, shawl, or personal jewelry.
Do you find most clients have an opinion or rely strictly on your suggestions?
Some clients rely strictly on my suggestions and some have an opinion and we compromise. If I am shopping for a celeb client and I am in their closet and they really want to keep a pair of boots I don’t particularly like I might say, “Ok, if you really love these boots, let’s try to dress them up or make them chic by putting them with this pant and jacket.” I always want a client to feel comfortable and feel like they can keep a piece they absolutely love and be themselves. If I really don’t like something and they really want to keep it later they might decide, “You know, you were right, these don’t work, I am getting rid of these.” Or I will tell someone right out, “You can’t wear that dress! It is not going to photograph well!”
Can you tell us about your upcoming project with Elizabeth Hurley?
At the end of April, Elizabeth hosts the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Gala. I am dressing her for that occasion, which is a huge night for the BCRF and for Elizabeth. I dress her for all of her special personal appearances for the BCRF throughout the year.
This past February you contributed to Fashion Etc. as a guest blogger. Is there blogging in your future?
Yes, I am blogging for Fashion Etc. weekly, my “fashionable” week. It’s about what events I go to, who I see, what appointment, and what products I like from those appointments, etc. I will also start my own personal blog, soon.
Which collections did you think were particularly strong for Fall 2012?
Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Jil Sander, Derek Lam, Prabal Gurung, Peter Som, Oscar de la Renta, and Prada.
What trends are you hating now?
For Spring, the only one I can think of is the ab fab trend. Showing the abdomen. Not a good look! Other than that, I loved what was going on for Spring/Summer. I loved all the pastels and the nude colors, the sheer fabrics, all the modern prints, and the deco vibe!
On days when you want to just kick back and run errands what are you wearing?
I usually wear jeans and boots in the winter, or a dress and sandals in the summer.