This week’s style diary guest is the beautiful Dale Noelle. After being one of the fashion industry’s most successful and sought after fitting models for nearly two decades, working for major names such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, and Ralph Lauren, she founded her own modeling agency, TRUE Model Management. And because beauty comes from the inside out, she is helping others as a certified health coach in addition to being an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She shared with us her perspective on style in this week’s new style diary.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Dale Noelle: My style is comfortable, luxurious, and timeless with a bit of an edge. I love high quality fabrics and am always seeking eco-friendly and sustainable fashions to add to my wardrobe. I gravitate toward unique pieces in cashmere, faux leather, and distinctively textured material with modern details. My go-to outfit is typically a fitted dress (Milly and Bailey 44 are great) with tall boots or a fun sandal. I travel often, so I prefer outfits with pockets and garments that can easily roll up and remain wrinkle-free.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Ms. Noelle: Compassionate, resourceful, and influential.
Ms. Eschapasse: How did your style evolve since you were a teenager?
Ms. Noelle: As a teen, my outfits used to be more colorful, whimsical, and flashy. I’ve always been creative and in the ’80s I designed and handmade many of my outfits. I was usually on trend and often wore clothes adorned with rhinestones and tie-dye. I rarely threw clothes away and always tried to find ways to modernize outdated looks. One of my favorite fashion creations of the era was a skirt and a top that I repurposed. I cut off the top of an old pair of jeans and sewed it together with the bottom of a silk-ruffle miniskirt, then I tie-dyed it lavender and teal and added rhinestones. I hand-painted an old white T-shirt and coordinated the looks. Of course, I added rhinestones to the top too!
My style is more refined and sophisticated than it was when I was a teenager. I also show less skin nowadays.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you ever wore?
Ms. Noelle: This is a tough one! As a model I worked with many designers over the decades so I’ve worn my share of wild and crazy things. One outfit that stands out in my mind is a faux fur bikini. Another outrageous outfit was a lampshade worn as a minidress for a runway show. I literally lost skin getting that one on and off!
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Noelle: On workdays, I attend many meetings and events, so I usually wear dresses that can easily go from day to night with simple accessory changes. On weekends, I spend as much time as possible outdoors with my family, so I wear athletic wear (usually Lululemon) and comfortable outfits, many of which I purchase near my home at BCBG.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without?
Ms. Noelle: Sunglasses, a plush Magaschoni cashmere wrap, and cool looking comfortable shoes.
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?
Ms. Noelle: Lip gloss on my smile.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?
Ms. Noelle: My fashion inspirations have not been influenced much by celebrities or actual “fashion icons.” I’ve always been inspired by confidence and anyone who looks and acts comfortable in her or his own skin.
Another perspective that has certainly impacted my fashion sensibilities is to keep it simple. I don’t have time to stress about what to wear so I, like many busy professionals, often wear classic, staple pieces that are fashionable and smart.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?
Ms. Noelle: One style icon is Victoria Beckham, especially since she ditched stilettos. She always looks put together and poised. I love that she stopped wearing heels for the health and comfort of her feet. As a former model, who was forced to wear high heels daily, a female entrepreneur, and New Yorker, I can relate to dealing with foot pain and I opt for flats while working.
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Ms. Noelle: Style is a personal message to the world–an aesthetic presentation of your personality and a way to communicate with people. Style is a one-of-a-kind approach to your appearance that requires confidence and outweighs fashion. Style comes from within and has certain infiniteness because there are no boundaries. Style derives from the internal and is personally eternal. Quoting Yves Saint Laurent, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of?
Ms. Noelle: I love couture designer gowns but I am not really proud of anything that can be bought.
Ms. Eschapasse: And you would never pay much for …
Ms. Noelle: I would never pay much money for trendy designer luggage. I’m very practical, always traveling, and my luggage takes a beating, so it doesn’t make sense for me to invest in luggage that is more fashionable than durable and functional.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel?
Ms. Noelle: When I’m on the red carpet, I want to feel confident, comfortable, sexy, and unique. Most importantly, I want to feel like the most fabulous version of myself.
Ms. Eschapasse: Which designers can achieve that?
Ms. Noelle: Some of my favorite go-to designers for red carpet events are Azzedine Alaia, Carmen Marc Valvo, Ralph Rucci, Carrie Parry, Daniel Silverstein, Jovani, Stella McCartney, Badgley Mischka, Prabal Gurung, and Oscar de la Renta.
Ms. Eschapasse: What do you think of how others dress and what’s your advice to people who would like to develop their personal style?
Ms. Noelle: Everyone has style preferences and interprets fashion differently. I embrace the positive aspects of all styles and save my critiques for judging fashion shows.
My one piece of advice that applies to everyone is to wear clothes that you feel flatter your body and personality. Be self-assured and just be you!
Favorite Color: Every shade of blue
Favorite Perfume: Kai Essential Oil Fragrances
Favorite Restaurant in NY: One of my favorites for stunning views, impeccable service, and fresh food is The River Café in Brooklyn.
Favorite Drink: Club soda with cranberry juice and lime
Favorite Movie: “Good Will Hunting”
Favorite Book: The Bible
Favorite Quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”—Mahatma Ghandi
Sibylle’s “Style Diary” is a column that explores style from the perspective of choices, and what that means for different people, with personal advice from some of the most stylish people in New York.
Sibylle Eschapasse is from Paris and now lives in Manhattan. She is a journalist and a contributing writer to various publications. Sibylle is also the author of a children’s book, “Argy Boy!: A New York Dog Tale.” She may be reached at Sibylle.Eschapasse@gmail.com