This week’s style diary is Kristine Elezaj, the 20-something pop bombshell that Billboard magazine called a cross between Britney Spears and Rihanna. The New York City native, recently nominated as Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star, continues to travel between NYC and LA to promote one of her songs she co-wrote, “Could You Be The One.” Her album features a mix of powerful, soulful urban world-influenced pop anthems mixed with a newfound vulnerability that can only be found when you decide to truly be comfortable with trusting yourself.
“I’m not afraid to be myself through my music and take risks. This album has become a purge of the deepest parts of my heart and is truly me at this moment and the skin of the woman I’m continuing to grow into,” Elezaj explained. The album is truly in the image of her style, which she is sharing with us in this week’s Style Diary.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Kristine Elezaj: Sexy, edgy, playful. I don’t follow trends. If I’m into it, I wear it. I dress based on my mood and how I want to feel for the day. With everything I wear, I want to feel sexy even If I’m dressed down and comfortable.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Ms. Elezaj: Kind-hearted, dorky, sassy.
Ms. Eschapasse: How has your style evolved since you were a teenager?
Ms. Elezaj: Well I went to Catholic school all my life, so most of the time I was in a uniform. I’ve always loved fashion and have been into taking more risks with my wardrobe. One of the greatest things about growing up as a New Yorker and living in the city was people embrace fashion. It really is a culture and lifestyle.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is the wildest thing you have ever worn?
Ms. Elezaj: I’ve never worn anything that I think would be considered “wild” and I don’t even think it would be looked at as daring anymore today, but I like to mix lingerie pieces into my outfit sometimes. Accessory-wise, I own an huge Erickson Beamon bracelet that looks like a jewelry box on your wrist. It’s truly a statement piece.
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Elezaj: I don’t really have weekends. Even when I’m visiting home in New York and I’m just hanging around the house, my mother will ask me sometimes, “Why don’t you put on something comfortable, we’re just hanging.” It’s a joke with my family, I’m really always “dressed.” I love it! Putting together an outfit is artistic to me. Even if I’m in leggings there is a method to my madness.
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without?
Ms. Elezaj: I always have my infinity diamond ring on my index finger. My mother has the same one; I’ve never taken it off. Also, aviator sunglasses (porsche design) and Chanel Vitalumière Foundation.
Ms. Eschapasse: What’s one item that makes you feel instantly more confident?
Ms. Elezaj: Any high heel!
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences?
Ms. Elezaj: Sienna Miller, Jennifer Lopez, Rick Owens to name a few.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who is your style icon?
Ms. Elezaj: Jennifer Lopez. She is the perfect blend of chic and street. Got to love a New York girl!
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Ms. Elezaj: It’s another form of expression. Just like any other artistic way of expressing how you’re feeling, you can do so with what you wear and let your mood speak through your wardrobe.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of?
Ms. Elezaj: My Louis Vuitton Beauty/travel trunk case.
Ms. Eschapasse: And what would you never pay much money for?
Ms. Elezaj: I love a good designer piece but I feel like there are great buys when it comes to jeans and even some shoe designers these days where you can stretch your money and expand your wardrobe. Not everything from head to toe needs to be expensive. It’s how you mix and match your pieces that can really polish off and outfit and make it pop. I’ve never shopped and said I would never spend that on “this” certain item. I keep my eyes open for good deals, and understanding quality even when you’re saving your dollar is key.
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel?
Ms. Elezaj: Sexy and confident, always!
Ms. Elezaj: Thomas Wylde, Misha Collection, House of CB.
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. Elezaj: I admire how some people dress, and it inspires me and gives me ideas for expanding my own wardrobe. For people wanting to develop their own personal style: Never judge anything from how it looks on the hanger. Don’t be afraid to throw it on and give it a feel. Sometimes the very thing I would judge at first glance turned out to be a treasure in my closet. Don’t worry about what other people think. If something makes you feel good and confident, that’s what it’s all about!
Favorite color: Black
Favorite perfume: Chance by Chanel
Favorite restaurant in NY: Moscato in Scarsdale
Favorite drink: Ginger Ale, whiskey, or both
Favorite movie: “Before Sunrise”
Favorite book: “The Seat of The Soul”
Favorite quote: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” —Dolly Parton
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 firstname.lastname@example.org