Have you ever noticed that the older you get, the harder it is to meet people with whom you have immediate "Ah ha!" connections? Well, Kristen Cesiro, Senior Interactive Media Designer for Connected Ventures in NYC and star of this Creatives posting, had me at hello when I met her several years back in a soho bar waiting to hear the Austin band Full Service play a set. At the time she was art director for CMJ Network and New Music report. To be fair, Paul (my darling husband) had massaged my curiosity about her for months by saying things like, " just wait until you meet Kristen, you will love her, she is so much like you, she is a Virgo, your birthdays are two days apart, she is so smart, she is so hip, she is soooo cooool. " It was so much gushing that were I an insecure woman, I might have been seriously worried about my marriage. A couple of pints and shared birthday parties later, and I can say that for all of Paul's gushing, he didn't even begin to do this uber cool urban gal justice.
Gaby: What do you see trending in fashion now?
Kristen: I think this will be easier for me to tackle if I bring it closer to home and focus on the city. I see for the classic urban woman a trend that revolves around long, loose, relaxed, and baggy -- harem pants, maxi skirts, bulky sweaters, scrunchy socks, shrug boots, extra-large hoods, off-the-shoulder t-shirts, flyaway cardigans -- anything that makes us feel sexy but still comfortable and mobile. We take to the streets countless times daily and need the ability to shuffle around and keep up with this city's manic pace while making it look like it's just the easiest, least-stressful action in the world. To put it simply, I'd call it "creatively and artfully disheveled."
Gaby: What are your top 10 TIMELESS must have items for a best-dressed closet?
1. Cocktail/Mini dress: Most people say this should be black, I say make it whatever suits your style.
2. Neutral-colored blazer: Mine's a low-saturated pinkish/rose.
3. Indigo denim jeans: I prefer high-waisted and skinny, but it should be a cut that best compliments your body type.
4. V-neck t-shirt
5. Boyfriend cardigan
6. Button-up chambray, flannel, or even dress shirt: Whatever works with your aesthetic.
7. A solid-colored skirt: Be it pencil, mini, or A-line.
8. High heels: Mine are 3”, taupe, and patent leather… and I adore them.
9. Cute but cozy ballet flats: Truthfully, I love BC brand for these.
10. Flattering pants for lounging: See JCrew’s Saturday pants/my guilty pleasure of the season.
Gaby: When was the last time you had a fashion epiphany?
Kristen: Without hesitation, I can say my last fashion epiphany was this past summer when I left a job I'd had for two years that pigeon-holed me into such a strict dress code that I sort of *gasp!* became disinterested in developing my style. It was really difficult for me to be risky or edgy, or to experiment in any way without getting sideways looks from peers and superiors. My current gig, however, not only lets me wear virtually whatever I want (so long as it's appropriate, of course), but also I feel it's almost expected of you to be a little chancy or to go out on a limb, kind of like they're saying, "Hey, we're letting you do as you please, but we're curious how you're going to run with it." I instantly became hyper-aware of fashion trends and totally hooked on refining my taste. It was truly awakening in every sense of the word.
Gaby: What is your favorite High brand? And your low brand? How do you mix high and low?
Kristen: High Brand: Proenza Schouler. I love how they’re inspired by contemporary art and young, creative culture. It’s incredibly apparent in their design.
Low Brand(s): In general I love the brands at Anthropologie -- AG is great for denim, Sparrow for sweaters and knits, Maeve for adorable skirts and patterned dresses. I’m also a sucker for the Brooklyn boutiques that have brands like Blue Bird and BB Dakota.
I try to mix high and low by comprising an outfit of mostly low with one accent piece that's high, whether it be a scarf, a pair of shoes, or a piece of jewelry. This is obviously the most cost-efficient way to go while still getting away with outfits that look expensive ☺
Gaby: What is your go-to uniform for a day of work? The weekend?
Kristen: For work, I really love throwing a blazer over a v-neck tucked into high-waisted dark denim with booties. I’ve also been really enjoying wearing a long silk collared shirt, untucked, over my black mini skirt with tights and combat boots. For weekend daytime errands, I'm essentially married to my JCrew Saturday pants and a chambray shirt with moccasins. For weekend nighttime gallivanting, I have fun piecing together outfits with dresses, textured tights, and boyfriend blazers.
Gaby: What is your favorite ILR piece and why?
Kristen: I adore the drape circle. It's everything I want in a necklace. I love mixing/matching textures, patterns, and materials, so the fact that it's comprised of a gold piece with a dark metal chain makes it my certain favorite. Also, it does a perfectly stunning job of marrying a delicate aesthetic with a bold and empowering statement.
Gaby: Who are your style icons?
Kristen: My truest style icons are city-dwelling women. I am humbled and inspired every day by the way they can move through the world with an outfit they’ve thrown together that is so seamless, natural, and complimentary, it's almost like they were born wearing it.
Gaby: What are you living in these days?
Kristen: Boyfriend cardigans and blazers, high-waisted jeans, v-neck cotton tshirts, silk blouses, chunky sweaters, circle scarves, mini skirts + textured tights, cognac lace-up ankle boots, black combat boots.