Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Woman of Style: Estee Stanley

Estee Stanley is one of Hollywood’s most well-known fashion stylists with a roster of clients that includes Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Penelope Cruz, Jessica Biel, Lea Michele, Sofia Vergara, and Elisabeth Moss. While Stanley continues to craft looks that top the “Best Dressed Lists” at every major event, she has more recently made a name for herself as an interior designer. Using the same keen eye and fabulous sense of style that has made her an incredibly successful stylist, she eventually found friends, family, and clients asking her to extend her services into their homes, transforming them into chic, one of a kind spaces reflective of the owner’s personalities and interests. The Southern California native has taken a very individualistic approach to her work and says she does not have a signature look, but instead works closely with each client to help them hone a look that truly reflects their own inner style.

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{It’s hard to choose a favorite space designed by Estee, but this one is mine. I love the bones of the space, the neutral palette and the gorgeous mix of furniture and accessories. The lighting is gorgeous and the beautiful mirror plays on the scale of the room rather perfectly.}

La Dolce Vita: What is your favorite period of design?
Estee Stanley: I don’t have a specific period that I really draw from, but I do gravitate more toward European design and architecture. Almost anything French or Italian makes me happy.

{Claire Forlani's Dining Room as featured in Domino Magazine}

LDV: Where do you turn for inspiration?
ES: I of course turn to fashion, and my travels to Europe. I just got back from Antwerp – it was my first time there and things that I saw there I am now using in a lot of my designs.
LDV: Do you like to mix in fashion references or influences when you are designing a space?
ES: Definitely – when I’m designing a home that has more of a colorful palette, I get more inspiration from my favorite fashion designers, Giambattista Valli and Dries Van Noten. If I am designing a more neutral space, I look more toward Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row.

<span class='fancyPhotoDesc'>It's Oscar de la Renta and it was one of my dresses that I was going to wear to my wedding but ended up not. Instead, Lea Michele wore it to the Globes last year.</span><span class='fancyPhotoName'>Dress, Oscar de la Renta</span>
{This Oscar de la Renta gown was a contender for Estee’s wedding, but instead, she dressed client, Lea Michele in it for last year’s Golden Globes.}

LDV: How does your approach differ in designing a room from the approach you take when styling a client?
ES: It doesn’t. For me, everyone has their own individual style, and that should be reflected in their living spaces. There are no formulas to my designs – every project is based on who my client is. I like to hang out with my client for a few weeks before I can form my interpretation of them.

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{California Casual meets Parisian Chic in this Kitchen Designed by Estee Stanley}

LDV: Has living in Los Angeles influenced your design sensibility or personal sense of style?
ES: I definitely think it has helped me to have a more laid-back approach, and it has helped me incorporate that into every room of people’s homes in some way. For me, I try to make every room very cozy and livable, which I think is very LA.

{An Image from Estee’s Home Tour on The Coveteur}

LDV: Do you embrace trends or do you prefer to veer away from them?
ES: I veer away from them. I grew up in the 80s, where everything was a trend, and my style has matured a lot since that era. I like styles that are long-lasting and classic. I don’t want my clients to feel they have to change their décor every time a trend pops up.

{A Recent Design Project in Malibu—The neutral color palette is perfect for the beach!}

LDV: If someone can only splurge on one big ticket item for their home or wardrobe, what should they spend their money on?
ES: Something that no one else has – search for that major piece that is one of a kind. Or if the piece is similar to something a lot of people own, look for that piece with a unique twist. For example, my dining table is basically a big slab of wood, and a lot of people have that style table. But I did a different kind of finish on my wood so it turned a more purple-grey, which I love. It has become a focal point in my home.

{A Warm, Eclectic Bedroom with a Vintage, European Vibe}

LDV: Who has most influenced your career?
ES: My grandmother for her style, which I was fortunate enough to inherit from her. My grandfather for his work ethic – he survived WWII and worked so hard to build a successful life in America.

{Estee with Client, Ashley Olsen}

LDV: Who are your personal style icons?
ES: I would say Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen, as well as Karl Lagerfeld, Giambattista Valli, and Kate Moss.

interiors 1-209 (1)
{This bedroom is soft, feminine, and romantic.}

LDV: What has been your proudest moment in your career as a fashion stylist and interior designer?
ES: I am proud every time I finish a project and execute my vision, and when I know my client is happy and feels at home.

interiors 1-91
{A Gorgeous Kitchen featuring Several Vintage, Reclaimed Pieces}

LDV: What is your principal weakness?
ES: I’m obsessed with anything made of stone, marble and any type of wood, so I have to really exercise my willpower to not use them in every bit of my decorating!

{A California Cool Living Room designed by Estee Stanley}

LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?
ES: Being lucky enough to have a great family and friends, and being able to hang and spend quality time with them.


Artist: Cecily Brown, Banksy, John Currin
Restaurant: Madeo
Museum: Musee d’Orsay
Car: Porsche
Chair: Vintage leather wingback
City: Rome
Cocktail: Sea Smoke Pinot Noir
Go-To Outfit: anything by The Row
Season: Summer
Coffee Table Book: VOGUE Living
Paint Color: Dunn Edwards White Sand no VOC
Musician: Chris Cornell
Comfort Food: Spaghetti Bolognese
Film: Too many to count!
Material: Marble
Scent: Neroli
Extravagance: A good pair of Blahniks
Words of Wisdom: “Doesn’t matter!”

For more on Estee Stanley and her work, please visit her website.


Julie Khuu | Haute Khuuture said...

Fashion as a primary form of inspiration! Right up my alley! Love the orb pendants...a signature look! So casual and chic!

Peace. Love. LOL!

Haute Khuuture.com

Anonymous said...

Wow! Her house is insanely beautiful! I love her bedroom & that bedside table..don't know why that sticks out so much to me. Um yeah..I'd have to agree about Chris Cornell. So hot!! xoxo Elizabeth

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DecoratorsBest said...

I love all the light colors; they really brighten up the rooms! If you're looking to do a room in lighter fabrics, using indoor/outdoor fabrics are very easily washable!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

Oh Oh, love when you do these. Great pick too. Love those interiors, the rugs are FABULOUS!


Laura said...

That is quite a client roster! Estee is so chic. Great profile!

Karena said...

My eye went right to the rugs and lighting choices. Very together, great taste and pedigree!

Art by Karena
The 2012 Artist Series

victoria | vmac+cheese said...

Wow, what a fantastic interview! So fun to know more about the talented stylist behind so many fashion icons. Great job, Paloma!

Ashley said...

Such talent! I absolutely love the kitchen with the reclaimed pieces- stunning!

Melissa B. Tubbs said...

I really like Estee's philosophy of designing for the individual client rather than having a signature look. At times designing becomes more about a signature look than the people living in the house.

Unknown said...

I'm such a fan of hers, especially Claire Forlani's home. Paloma do you know what chair she used in the dining room? Love them!