This week’s style diary guest, Suelyn Farel, knows a lot about always looking impeccable. As CEO of the Julien Farel Group, the luxury beauty and wellness business founded in 2001 by her husband, celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel, she launched a number of new salons, including the brand’s flagship anti-aging salon recently opened in the beautiful Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue, New York.
Sibylle Eschapasse: Describe your style?
Suelyn Farel: I am always dressed for work first and foremost, elegant and sometimes a bit sporty.
Ms. Eschapasse: If a close friend were to describe your personality in three words, what would they be?
Ms. Farel: Outgoing, driven, and fun-loving.
Ms. Eschapasse: How did your style evolve since you were a teenager? What is the wildest thing you ever wore?
Ms. Farel: I’m lucky that now I can afford to wear European designers, as a teenager I wore a lot of Lacoste, Benetton, and Levi’s. In the late ’90s, I went to one of Sean Combs’s Labor Day “white parties” in East Hampton and wore a white, full length see-through mesh dress, with only a white thong underneath. That was before I was married, thank God.
Ms. Eschapasse: How do you dress on workdays versus weekends?
Ms. Farel: I often work six days a week most of the year, so my style doesn’t change. Except, I don’t think jeans are appropriate for workwear, so those are for Sunday attire!!
Ms. Eschapasse: What are three accessories you can’t live without, and what’s one item that makes you instantly more confident?
Ms. Farel: Can’t live without Hermès beach wraps, which I wear as scarves, diamond stud earrings for everyday, and high heels/platforms to win the confidence vote.
Ms. Eschapasse: Who have been your greatest fashion influences? Who is your style icon?
Ms. Farel: Grace Kelly and Sharon Stone, with a touch of Audrey Hepburn during her “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” years.
Ms. Eschapasse: What does having style mean to you? In other words, please define style.
Ms. Farel: Style is finding your look in an effortless way to consistently look good, always well put together and capturing who you are and the image you would like to project. It’s key to dominate your clothes and not the other way around.
Ms. Eschapasse: What is one purchase you’re most proud of? What would you pay a lot of money for, and what would you never pay much money for?
Ms. Farel: I have a closetful of furs, and those I adore buying!! Could buy a few every year … and I will admittedly pay a lot of money for a custom made one-of-a-kind fur. I unfortunately can’t think of an item I won’t pay a lot for if it’s quality!!
Ms. Eschapasse: When you go on the red carpet, how do you want your outfit to make you feel? Which designers can achieve that?
Ms. Farel: Unique, elegant, and it should be stunning. Which designers can achieve that? YSL, Chanel, and Prada.
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. Farel: Style is so individual and my main criticism is that many people don’t know how to dress to suit their body type. This is where a great eye comes in, looking at how your leg looks in a shoe, knowing what necklines to wear, or tightening the waist on a dress. Find a terrific tailor! Fashion “faux pas” often come from unflattering styles for a body type, or the fit of the garment. For someone looking to develop a personal style I’d recommend to buy fewer items, but spend more on the individual items, and choose what you really love when it comes to an accessory, and buy things you’ll love for years to come.
Favorite color: Orange.
Favorite perfume: Rose Noir by Byredo is currently my fave.
Favorite restaurant in NY: Le Cirque.
Favorite drink: Champagne.
Favorite movie: “The Pursuit of Happiness.”
Favorite book: Of the year, it’s definitely “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio, because my 9-year-old read it first, then my husband, and now we feel like we have a family book club. It’s a reminder of what my mom always told me: “Being nice, kind, and considerate goes a long way.”
Favorite quote: “Earn your leadership every day.” —Michael Jordan
Sibylle’s Style Diary 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 [email protected]