Part 5: The Style Alumnae

Name: Iolanthe Gattuso

Occupation: Director of Ruby Slipper – writer, commercial blogger and digital strategist

What’s your definition of style?

A wise outward expression of one’s ideas about identity and power. Whether theaesthetics of style are pleasing or otherwise are secondary to how the wearer projects themselves outwardly in their choice of garb.

You inspire and empower many women with your own style, who are your fashion icons and inspirations?

Sofia Coppola, Ulyana Sergeenko, Vivian Westwood, Jill Scott and Elizabeth Taylor.

Why did you select this Micky In The Van outfit?

With its neat houndstooth, raised collar and ever-elegant bell sleeves, this coat-dress makes me feel like an Eames. I can see myself wearing this dress throughout my life.

What are three key items of clothing/accessories/footwear that you believe are must haves?

Real jewels. It might be the Eastern European in me, but real jewels have a true value paired with a beauty that enhances you and may even protect you. Silk dresses which float over your body and layer easily in Autumn and Spring, and proper wool dresses that keep you snug and modest in Winter. Huge ballgown skirts which add drama to heels or flats, depending on your sartorial inclination on the day.

What would be one essential piece of fashion advice that you’d like to pass on to the sisterhood?

I change my look according to many things – at work I present myself in a way that will best suit my client’s expectation of who I am and what I represent to them – whether they be fashion brands or lawyers. Don’t hesitate to become a chameleon. In the end, our clothes are merely signs that may open or close doors to us – choose well and do not be afraid to embody power and all it implies.

What is a mantra/quote that you follow that has helped you with your success?

That my ideas are valuable and useful, and that I’ve only a short time on this earth to express them. So be snappy about it!

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