If you’ve watched the crisis-solving, Prada handbag-wielding Olivia Pope in “Scandal,” you will know that behind the hugely successful style of Kerry Washington’s character is the hand of tireless stylist Erin Walsh.
Walsh is recognized as one of Hollywood’s most exciting fashion stylists whose clients include the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Mann, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, among others.
She lives and works in New York City, where she got her start at Vogue assisting Phyllis Posnick.
It was just before she was due to fly off to Milan Fashion Week that we caught up with Walsh, who imparted her advice for a successful fall wardrobe and her take on current trends.
Her theater major at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and her love of fashion have proven to be the perfect marriage through which Walsh expresses the sometimes subtle, sometimes heightened, drama that fashion can convey.
I asked her what the most important element is in personal style, on or off screen.
“Confidence” she said. “It becomes much more seamless and intuitive that way. Nothing pulls an outfit together like confidence.”
There’s inner confidence and there’s the outer projection of it, which is where the clothes come in. Walsh has also been working with Dove and touting the 48-hour protection from their Advanced Care Deodorant and having that “helps you feel confident in anything,” she said.
What of the trends this fall?
“I am not too big on trends, but I think for fall you will see more ease—looser dressing as compared to last year. From robe coats, to looser pant silhouettes, looser denim styles, drapey knits—it will be kind of a minimalist, cozy take on bohemian silhouettes. Clean, but easy,” said Erin.
We all have favorite wardrobe pieces that defy trends and according to Walsh it’s all about “sticking to what you love and the classics. If it fits well, then you won’t go wrong.”
She mentions that a well-cut blazer, a great white blouse, great fitting pair of jeans (in black or white) are great staples that carry from last year and “can go a long way.”
Here are some key points to building a great fall-appropriate wardrobe:
• –Be confident in how you want other people to see you.
• –Know your body—be aware of its best features.
• –Be inspired by your favorite moments in time.
• -Go sleeveless and wear a cape.
• –Know your proportion and where your true waist is.
• -For dark complexion—no pinky nudes.
• -For pale complexion—no yellow.
• –Gray is the new neutral.
• –Layering is your best friend—the look is cozy without appearing too casual.
• –Wear jewelry in unexpected ways.
For a good walking shoe Walsh favors Rag & Bone, Top Shop, Gap, and Doc Martins.
Booties and boots are a chance to up the ante in glamour. Walsh mentions Balenciaga, Isabel Marant, Michael Kors, the Parker shoe collection, also Manolo Blahnik suede boots, and Marni and Celine walkable boots.
Show off the shoes with maxi dresses or skinny trousers tucked into boots. High-waisted trousers are also an elegant trend. Pair them with a shirt on the outside and a belt.
In bags, Walsh says that the two must-have pieces are the clutch and the cross-body bag, mentioning Celine and Phillip Lim, Top Shop, and Club Monaco.
Considering the cool fall weather, layering is key when it comes to tops. An Isabel Marant tailored jacket paired with a clean blouse will work well. Walsh mentions The Row, Brooks Brothers, and Chanel, and Zara tweeds.
To complete the look, Walsh recommends mixing jewelry of different textures, also pendants and stacking rings. The main thing to remember is to “wear things in unusual ways,” she said.