Refinery 29 and FabSugar sat Rachel Zoe down to get some questions answered about her resort collection as well as some great style ideas...
Your resort collection is super-colorful, has ruffles, and also several sleek, tailored pieces. What's the inspiration?“I will always be inspired by the '60s and '70s — I think you will find every season that there are elements from both these iconic decades in all my collections. The maxi dresses and skirts definitely came from vintage Halston references — very reminiscent of Bianca Jagger and Anjelica Houston in the '70s. YSL inspired safari jackets and shorts. But there are definitely some obvious elements of the '60s— everything from short mod shift dresses to color blocking skirt and suit looks."
Hot pinks, bold purples, and super-sandy camel. How did you select the colors that you used in the collection?“I really wanted to introduce bold colors in a fun new way — and I think this collection does just that. The different silhouettes and color palettes make the collection so versatile — you can easily wear the same piece a million different ways and pair it with countless pieces from the collection. I wanted colors that would work with any skin tone; Even though it’s a “resort” collection its not fair to assume everyone is going to have a St. Barths' glow when wearing the pieces. For me it was really important to create a color palette that worked across multiple environments and seasons. There are elements from this collection that you can carry throughout the year, and I think that’s something women will really appreciate.”
How would you style this boldly blue outfit for day?
"For day, this look is great with a pair of strappy wedges or sandals, a floppy hat, leather jacket — if it's a little chilly — and some sunnies. The best thing about both these pieces is that they're so versatile and you can split them up — wear the skirt with your favorite vintage t-shirt, a belt, and flats. Try the halter with a pair of jeans and some pumps for a night out, or even some wide-leg torn bell bottoms and sandals for a boho look during the day."
We love the jacket styling here; can you tell us other ways to wear it?"You can wear this look a million ways! I love it with the leather jacket for day — it dresses the look down and adds some edge — even throw on some black gladiator sandals — yes flats, I can't believe these words are coming out of my mouth — to make the look even more casual, effortless, and cool. For night I love this look paired with a tuxedo blazer or sequin cardigan — for some extra glam — and a black leather or patent clutch. Oh and some seriously high strappy heels — for me, usually YSL or Givenchy — peeking through the slit. I'm loving this trend in slits right now — it's everywhere from shirt sleeves to dresses and maxi skirts — I think it adds the perfect element of sexiness without being overtly revealing. These two pieces are so great because you can mix and match them into your wardrobe — try the skirt with a chunky Stella McCartney sweater top for day or wear the halter with a pair of tuxedo shorts, a blazer, and booties for night!"
We keep hearing this is your favorite dress — how do you like to wear it?
"Yes it's one of my absolute favorites! I'm clearly having a love affair with slits this season. I love this dress because it's so effortless yet completely glamorous. I like to wear it with some platform wedges — try something cork, linen, or raffia — a floppy hat, Eugenia Kim is always great, a cropped chunky knit — either Stella McCartney or Philip Lim — and of course some seriously big sunnies, usually Chanel or Tom Ford."
What a sexy dress! How would you accessorize this without going overboard?
"The thing I love most about this dress is that it can honestly stand alone — which sounds weird coming from me, I know — but it really doesn't need much. I would say definitely a killer cocktail ring — or two! For me it's usually Anita Ko or YSL, but I also love anything Alexis Bittar, Pamela Love, or Tom Binns. For beauty a sexy cat eye and bold lip are totally necessary, maybe even a fishtail braid. For accessories I like to wear this dress with my black Hermes clutch, but Topshop and J.Crew always have great alternatives. Add a pair of sky-high black patent pumps — like Brian Atwood Maniacs — and black opaque Wolford tights and you're good to go for a night out on the town!"
We know you're a huge fan of baubles and bling, when can we expect to see a jewelry line from the Rachel Zoe Collection?
“Next fall I hope — we are in the design process now. So exciting!”
What a pretty warm-weather outfit! But what can we do to wear it all Winter?
"Layers and tights for sure. Also I would definitely style the look with a pair of black ankle booties, something chunky with an element of edge, like embossed leather, suede or buckle details — try LAMB or Topshop. As always add a leather jacket, Rick Owens or Vince, or even a suede and shearling bomber . . . anything from Burberry or Elizabeth & James."
Love all your maxi skirts and long, wide-legged pants! What's the best way to style them for the petite girls out there?
“Seriously high heels! In any form, be they platform, wedges or simple pumps — anything to give the illusion of an elongated figure. Also try a high- waisted belt with any of the skirts, or a wide belt that sits on the hips with some of the maxi dresses — something to give a little shape so you don’t get lost in all the fabric. For the maxi skirts, if you want a great casual alternative, style them with a chunky knit tank and leather jacket—like we did for our lookbook — so effortless yet chic”
Love this casually elegant look. How would you style it to wear from day to night?
"Wear the maxi skirt like denim: it's the new skinny jean (or wide leg if you're me). For day I wouldn't change a thing — I love it with the chunky knit and leather jacket, it's so incredibly effortless and cool — obsessed. For night swap the knit out for a fitted top, one that can be tucked into the skirt, add a sexy heeled sandal, maybe a chunky gold cuff — when in doubt YSL, Chanel, or Lanvin — even try a cropped faux fur and add a statement clutch."
We hear you brought around 11 pieces of luggage to Paris Fashion Week. How much do you bring when you pack light?
“Ha yes—word travels fast. It was for both London and Paris fashion weeks — plus Skyler had a couple suitcases too! But that’s not how I usually travel at all. If I am going away for a short time I’ll pack in two carry-ons or ship two large suitcase ahead of time — I hate to check a bag.”
What's your favorite piece in the collection (pick just one)? And why?
“I could never pick! But if I had to I seem to wear the white maxi skirt the most. Maybe because it is one of the most versatile — I wear it during the day with an LNA tank and Rick Owens leather jacket, or a great Philip Lim knit. But it’s equally as amazing for night with a tuxedo blazer, or sequin cardigan, or with the matching halter and python leather blazer from my collection — obsessed."
What are three vacation wardrobe essentials?
“Well it depends entirely on the destination. For city I would say a killer pair of boots, a trench or faux fur jacket/vest, depending on the season, and a great pair of jeans. For beach — sunnies, a wide brimmed hat and a caftan (or two). I almost always over pack because I like to have options!”
Tell us about your favorite vacation spot.
“St. Barths is my favorite — so cultured and chic — I can always truly relax when I am there. It has been so influential in all my collections—I find I am always inspired and in the moment when I’m there.”
We want to make this dress a little tough. Tips?
"Excess-orize! Add a spikey pair of earrings, something from Eddie Borgo or Philip Crangi. Some seriously high Balenciaga or Burberry platforms, a bold red lip, an Hermés dog collar bracelet — or two — and a black clutch, either Alexander Wang or Proenza Schouler."