Fashionably chic – a Style interview with Vanessa

by Sylvia

Fashionably chic - a Style interview with Vanessa | 40plusstyle.com

Today’s style star is a former model who still likes to have lots of fun with style and fashion. Be inspired by her photos and her many style tips!

Draped silk blouse | 40plusstyle.com

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I modelled internationally for 15 years, living in Paris and circumnavigating the globe. I have worked with so many of the best and most incredibly talented designers, photographers, make up artists and hair stylists that it would be like reading ‘War and Peace’ to include them all.

My first photographic job was the cover for the Conde Nast publication Brides Magazine and my first Parisien press show was for the very wonderful Yves Saint Laurent. I literally took planes to work as people take buses.

Black tulle skirt | 40plusstyle.com

I have grown my own best friends in the form of my three daughters; Esmeralda Violet 21, Zenobia crimson 19 and my baby Zuleika Lavender 16.

As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?

I am over 45 and loving it!

Silk tunic with leggings | 40plusstyle.com

Can you tell us a bit more about your blog The Model Edit and why you created it?

The Model Edit sprang to life 18 months ago as a result of me wanting to claim a little corner of our ‘mile a minute’ family life that is just for me.It needed to be something that I could fit around the school run and that be something that I could draw upon, feel pretty strongly about and have essentially studied all my modelling life. Style!

Classic style: Black and white outfit | 40plusstyle.com

How would you describe your own personal style?

My own personal style has become more and more liberated as I’ve become older. Being paid to wear some of the most beautiful outfits in the world was fab, but sometimes I have worn outfits that didn’t flatter me and weren’t quite so fabulous, and all that in front of the world’s Press.

Metallic jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Therefore, I really don’t mind if people stare at me, I provoke that reaction intentionally in fact. Worse things have happened! I believe that you can find sexy in anything and that’s what I do. A pair of jeans, a bit too big slipping down on my hips, a T-Shirt with a pencil skirt, juxtaposing style items.

Animal print outfit | 40plusstyle.com

What would you consider the most important components of your style?

It’s how you wear it. I always dress for me, always, but if people admire my style, well fabulous!! Whatever people say, it’s an empowering thing to look good. If you like the way you look, whichever form that takes, you have you on your side. It won’t be long before others join you!

Stylish women over 40 | 40plusstyle.com

Where do you live and how does that influence your style?

I split my time between Dorset in South West England, and London. Obviously there’s a practicality factor which I acknowledge wherever I am, but I’m definitely not compromising that practicality for style.

White sneakers | 40plusstyle.com

Do you feel you have a signature style?

I love high heels and wear them in a very off the cuff way. Little powder blue velvet ankle strap heels with baggy, turned up jeans and a massive sweater or flimsy frilled leggings with converse High Tops. Do be brave is my note to self.

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Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?

I can’t bear the body shape labels and colour dictums that companies like House of Colour or Colour Me Beautiful inflict on style vulnerable women.

We females are not bodily mathematical equations and skin tone varies from day to day so I would never be pigeonholed by these companies, and I did try one out so that I can write knowledgeably on this.

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My style is that I have nothing to lose, everything to gain and there is so, so much fun to be had on the style scene. I definitely want the spotlight on me and you, and skirting style trends is not an option, you gotta embrace and customize them.

Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?

Age has no style constraints and again I would say, challenge yourselves, your comfort zone is quite a grey area. Come into the sartorial light.

Sports inspired style | 40plusstyle.com

Why is the way you look important to you?

The way I look is hugely important to me. It’s a powerful tool in the workplace, it’s an inspiration for my daughters who I now swap clothes with, I truly enjoy creating brave, stylish, trendy and individual looks for myself from what’s available either on the high street or already residing in my wardrobe, and if my husband fancies me too, how excellent is that?

Wide legged pants with a crop jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?

I love trawling the collections on Vogue Style and I always spot a trend that I can interpret from what I own already or for my future purchases. I love the cross over that results from designer+high street+my existing wardrobe.

Chic parisian inspired outfit: beret with a blazer | 40plusstyle.com
Another thing. I don’t believe in radical wardrobe edits. I am inserting classic and fabulously made items from savvy purchases that I made 25 years ago.

Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?

Fashion is a circle, style is an infinite line.

Style idea: crop jacket with distressed jeans | 40plusstyle.com

What are your plans for The Model Edit and how do you see it develop over the coming years?

I feel very protective towards The Model Edit. It’s like my fourth child, a baby that I’m nurturing. It’s taken me places that I had no idea I was capable of going and it’s the passport to my professional future.
I want to help every woman acknowledge her current beauty and attain her style potential.

Outfit idea: striped top with a blazer | 40plusstyle.com

Anything further you would like to add?

Thank you for inviting me to do this. I hope some of it resonates because I absolutely believe that our age group has been parked by the fashion industry. If an interview on your website can suggest to any woman that they do not need a passport to enter the same shops as their daughters, how nice is that!

Visit Vanessa and see more of her chic style at The Model Edit and @themodeledit for Twitter and Instagram!

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P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for the Kickstart Your Style Challenge. Many of you have already signed up so this is going to be a lot of fun!

 

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Greetje

Oh it does help to have a model figure.. Nevertheless, she is a brave woman who does not take the safe road. She challenges herself and I like a lot of her outfits. Being more conservative myself (and not having a model figure) I wouldn’t opt for all her outfits. But she says herself: you have to find those things that make YOU feel comfortable. No point in copying. I really like the first, second and nineth outfit (the last one is with the jogging trousers, sneakers and black fitted jacket)

Jill

I loved the interview, the clothes, all the above. I like the fact that she doesn’t let anyone dictate to her and at my age, 68, I don’t either. I wear what makes me feel good…..love your blog!

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

Oooh, lots of fun and inspiration! Now I want to grow my hair long!

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