Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Style Diary: The Irresistible Heidi Dillon

Founder of The Fashionistas by David Pedroza

For some women, the older they get, the better they look. They take better care of them selves and know exactly what looks great on them. This is true in the case of Heidi Dillon, a woman who has become a style expert when it comes to dressing her self. Heidi, who resides in Dallas, is the founder and Executive Director of The Fashionistas, a non-profit organization. The Fashionistas raise funds for scholarships for fashion design students. Heidi is truly one of a kind, especially in Texas, were the train of thought is always… less is more and conservatism rules supreme. Heidi, who is over 50, commits every right move in keeping her self looking great. She knows which designers to got to, and what silhouettes work for her body. Heidi shares her personal (and witty) wisdom on how she stays so irresistibly chic…

DP: How would you define your personal style and what influenced you?

HD: I am 56, so I have had to do a lot of soul searching about the evolution of my style. While I stay in great shape and look "young" for my age, there are so many things that I no longer feel comfortable wearing. As you grow older you should reveal skin very judiciously. I still love to wear a skin-tight Herve Leger dress, but it needs to be one that is longer and doesn't cause back fat bulge. Skinny straps are a no-no unless you throw a shrug on top. But I digress. My assistant just told me that my style is very well edited. That makes me feel good. I like to look a bit intimidating, so I wear very high heels whenever possible and stick to a lot of black, architectural clothes. I love doing a somewhat softened biker chick look but try not to be to cliché about it. I have a M.F.A. so most of the things I buy are on the "artsy" side.

DP: Which store is your favorite to shop?

HD: I consider myself a Barney's girl. I also do quite a bit of damage at Alexander McQueen, Prada, Jil Sander and Donna Karan. There is a store in Dallas that I love called FortyFiveTen.

DP: Which designers dominate in your wardrobe?

HD: McQueen, Prada, Jil Sander, Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Yohji Yamamoto, Ann Demeulemeester, Givenchy, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein.

DP: Who is your favorite designer?

HD: Alexander McQueen

DP: What is your Daily uniform?

HD: My daily uniform changes with the seasons, but this fall I have been wearing black, skinny J Brand jeans, a James Purse t-shirt, tons of bracelets, Chanel motorcycle boots, a brightly colored Hermes scarf and a cashmere or fur coat or jacket. We'll see what happens this spring.

DP: What perfume do you wear? Do you think a perfume can say a lot about a woman?

HD: I wear Rue Faubourg by Hermes, usually in the evening, and Allure by Chanel during the day. I have worn those two scents for years. They seem to describe me on an olfactory level - mature, definitely not "girly", a bit sensual, but that's another conversation!

DP: Have you ever bought Haute Couture? If so, what was your first purchase?

HD: Why do you torment me with this question? It is my dream to buy Haute Couture. I go to the shows in Paris and feel transformed. One day.....

DP: What are your must have pieces for spring 2010?

HD: As always, I am going to go for the "less is more" look. I think that Phoebe Philo at Celine has done an incredible job of emphasizing the importance of minimalism. That, however is not to say that I am not going to go for some more billowy looks. There is something about being on the beach in a flowing dress.

DP: What is your view on shoes?

HD: If I could, I would sleep in 5" heels and wake up every day 5'10". The taller my 12 year old son gets, the higher my shoes get. Flats are an evil necessity.

DP: What are your must have accessories?

HD: I am, of course, obsessed with Birkin and Kelly bags, I also love bracelets which I like to pile all the way up my arm. Recently I have been enjoying wearing my scarves. Maybe because I spend so much time out in LA/Malibu and that's the look there or maybe because they cover up my aging neck! Shoes - see above!

DP: If you could raid some one’s closet, whose closet would it be?

HD: I am so intrigued by Rick Owen’s partner Michele Lamy. She certainly stands out in a crowd with her gold teeth and incredible style. I would be happy wearing Rick and Gareth Pugh.

DP: Do you have any tips on keeping a well organized closet?

HD: I have two closets, one of which I share with my husband and both of which are woefully small (by fashionista standards, that is). Consequently, I have a very difficult time keeping things organized - especially since my wardrobe is predominantly black! Every spring and fall I take a couple of days to edit out the deadwood. You have to be careful when editing because once you get into a closet cleaning frenzy, you may wind up letting go of some things that you will regret later. I organize my closet by designer because that's how I think about each piece - the Jil Sander cape or the Prada evening coat. That way I can go right to the piece rather than wading through a mishmash of black.

Heidi Dillon in her signature Black.

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