Lori Goldstein

Lori Goldstein is a master storyteller. Through the medium of fashion, this uber-stylist and industry insider spins unforgetta- ble tales of high society and everyday women, full of gorgeous fantasy and provocative scenarios. From Versace’s legendary Jacqueline Susann-inspired campaign with Steven Meisel, to her latest work with Annie Leibovitz on the Jones New York “Empowering Your Confidence” campaign, Goldstein herself admits, “I’m schizophrenic.” She enthuses, “I love a lot of different things, I love a challenge. Mixing things up, diving into something—whether a project or a client, whether high or low—I recognize a need, a vision or an idea. I love figuring out what the story needs to convey, and making these little stories—it’s everything I do.”

She’s worked as a contributing editor at Italian Vogue and Allure; collaborated with top photographers and designers; advised venerable brands like Carolina Herrera, Vera Wang and BCBG; styled countless celebrities; and creatively influ- enced stars like Madonna and Anne Hathaway. Using styling as an art form, Goldstein’s celebrity styling work isn’t about red carpet appearances as much as it’s about creating a unique image for an individual and telling a story with clothing.

Goldstein finds “a great balance in styling and consulting.” One of her more recent cover stories for W—an oeuvre that includes Cate Blanchett, Julianna Margulies and Rihanna— featured Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall, stars of the gritty new BenAffleck-directed film The Town.The pictures she helped create are just moody enough, with a hint of mystery and are completely enthralling. There is such an aura of elusiveness yet accessibility that makes Goldstein such a standout in the fashion world.

It’s all in a day’s work—or rather a season’s work for this much sought-after fashion visionary. A native Midwesterner, Lori moved to Los Angeles just after high school and started working with the West Coast arbiter of style, Fred Segal at the Fred Segal boutique. Fred brought Lori to New York, where she started working at Fiorucci with Anna Sui, a colorful com- bination, and was visited by a young Marc Jacobs daily. Lori is also a big art fan, Pollock and Warhol in particular, and draws inspiration from art and everything around her—after all, a walk around the block in New York is rarely just that, “people and buildings” providing endless fodder for her unstoppable imagination as stylist.

Adirondacks (Goldstein is a nature lover), on the verge of New York Fashion Week where again she’ll be collaborating with Carolina Herrera and Vera Wang on their runway presentations. Since starting her own business Lori admits she’s always in “full-on mode,” but has “learned to shut down and start back up again very quickly.” It’s an invaluable skill for the woman who not only continues to inspire us with her editorial and advertising work, but has brought Lori’s ethos on fashion to the masses with her breakout success QVC clothing line, LOGO Instant Chic.

One of the retailer’s most successful lines, LOGO brings a fashion-forward look combined with easy wearability to women everywhere (all LOGO pieces run under $100). Now in its third collection with two blockbuster shows scheduled to run during New York Fashion Week in September 2010, LOGO reflects Lori’s philosophy of “empowering women to be individuals,” and more importantly, “to not be afraid,” she professes. Unpretentious at heart and inherently accessible, LOGO is all about mixing and matching beautiful basics and bold accessories, to create individual looks for individual women. Lori maintains that there should be “no boundaries in dressing. You go get that one thing, like a crazy scarf, and keep trying, experimenting and stepping outside your norm, to create something new.”

Lori Goldstein’s “Instant Chic” mantra informs everything she does, and how she herself dresses. “I wanted to give women the opportunity to have style. This is my goal, what it is and always will be. My process, from Versace, BCBG or Vera, taking the colors and shapes of the season, coming from the highest venue and making it work for this consumer.” Lori possesses a generous understanding and insight, and the ability to move fluidly between the upper echelons of couture and the reality of everyday fashion. “It’s all about who I’m working with, be it Versace or QVC, and putting my head into who that woman is, life’s little vignettes.” She wants “women to look and feel fabulous” with LOGO Instant Chic, “no matter her income or her size.”

Always one to live her life philosophy and be fearless, Lori’s latest project is her “first foray into jewelry,” with Fred Leighton. Comprised of necklaces “with beads and pieces, a la my style, a la Ballet Russes,” the collaboration launches on Fashion’s Night Out, September 7th in New York City. As part of the project, she’ll also help design Leighton’s Madison Avenue window with Manolo Blahnik, Giambattista Valli and Sophie Theallet. The collection itself is “an incredible, eclectic group, from diamonds to handmade Czech turn-of-the-century beads,” she enthuses. When asked about her design strategy, “I trust this process; I meditate and something comes over me, then I start putting them together. (I let) the beads be where they want to be; find the proportions. It’s like painting—something, somewhere tells you it’s finished. And the pieces that I love that don’t get included, well, I know they’ll find a home.”

Long advocate of young designers and emerging talent, Lori “loves the new, loves finding the unknowns that haven’t been used,” and “never waits for the next, for someone else to okay it first.” It’s what we’ve come to expect from a woman who means every word she says and whose work speaks for itself. She has just this advice for aspiring stylists, “You’ve gotta work hard.”

– Robyn Dutra
photography Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vindooh Matadin