clos-ette case: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

Posted on September 05, 2011 by Melanie Charlton

Nothing sets our hearts aflutter quite like New York Fashion Week – and no one could pull off the extravaganza quite like Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. As fashion director at Lincoln Center, Wolkoff oversees the biannual runway shows of countless designers, and runs year-round fashion programs to boot. Is it any surprise, then, that she approaches her own wardrobe with artful care? The statuesque Vogue veteran has an affinity for seriously statement-making classics that most of us would kill for: think fabulous furs, heaps of Hermes, and lots of Lanvin. Even if she admits to an overstuffed closet that just might be in need of Clos-ette’s help, it’s hard to deny she’s the cool, calm, and consistently chic center of this week’s fashion storm. 

clos-ette case: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff

Before the madness starts, Wolkoff chatted with us about her shopping strategy, trusty Birkins, and the lucky young daughter set to inherit her fashion loot.

How would you describe your personal style?
In my position as fashion director at Lincoln Center, I’m exposed to so much of the young talent that New York City offers, so it’s certainly made me more of an adventurous dresser. I think my wardrobe’s defined by an abundance of contemporary, edgy variations of timeless classics. I wear a lot of tailored jackets, streamlined vests –I love a basic silhouette. And of course for me, no outfit is complete without a bold accessory.

What is your daily uniform?
I don’t really step out head-to-toe in one designer, but I’ve definitely learned which labels routinely produce high quality pieces that work well for me. Michael Kors trousers are a wardrobe staple and definitely his jumpsuits [are] this season as well. Silken blouses by Vera Wang and Dolce & Gabanna are also seasonally appropriate, and I’m always turning to my overflowing Hermes Birkin bag for work, kids, everything. I usually always have a light sweater with me, whether it be by Prabal Gurung or J.Crew, somewhere in that bag. And Lanvin accessories make regular appearances in my daily uniform. [Our Travel Jewelry Case is the perfect place to store statement-making accessories.]

On the job at Donna Karan's September 2010 show.

Given your exposure to all of the designer collections, how do you decide what deserves a place in your closet?
I look for pieces of quality that I believe will have a multi-season shelf life for me. The collections are a chance to get inspired by new proportions or edgy, innovative detailing, though rarely an excuse for me for a total wardrobe overhaul. But whether I buy an item or not really depends on one factor: when I see it, I say to myself, do I feel like have to have it? If it’s a must, then that purchase will be made immediately.

What are you most excited about wearing this fall?
That’s a good question. I guess I’m most excited about dusting off my Manolo Blahnik snakeskin boots. And I can’t wait to wear Kaufmanfranco’s modern coats. This trench he’s done with leather detailing on the sleeve is phenomenal. [Our Signature Coat Hangers are perfect for outerwear – slim and sturdy, but designed to maintain the shape of your garment!]

What are the most cherished things in your closet?
Every corner of my closet holds memories. I love my Richard Prince Vuitton tote bag, [and] my vintage belt collections. I have these great Chanel dresses, and they get a lot less daily use, but they’re priceless to me.  I really treasure my couture gowns that were custom-made for me for all the Met Costume Institute Galas. I’ll probably never wear them again, but giving them away would be unthinkable.

In Vera Wang at the Met's Costume Institute Gala.

What do you have the hardest time getting rid of?
Everything! No really, when I only had two boys, it was pretty painless –but now that I have a daughter, I can’t help but look at every piece in the ‘give away’ pile and agonize over whether one day she might want it. I’m very finicky as to what I get, so when I have it, I don’t like to give it away. You have no idea what’s going on in my closet. Oh my god, the things I have!

So you have some skeletons lurking in your closet?
Oh, for sure. Just last week I excavated a forgotten Pucci jacket that I have. It was so completely opposite of my taste now –bright colors, a big collar. My first reaction was, ‘I can’t believe I still have this’.

Whose closet would you raid if you could?
I guess I would say –because I love this movie, and I love her –Katherine Hepburn on the set of The Philadelphia Story. I relate so well to it because the wardrobe managed to walk the line between romantic and powerful, and it feels, even today, perfectly relevant to what I do. The dresses were just flowing, the colors were just simple and classic. The silhouettes and the lines were perfect for her body. I look at that as genuine classicism.

Like us on Facebook for more stories from social.organization!

Posted in clos-ette case