Personal Stylist Jessica Karalash’s Lace Love look recently earned her the Vanity Fair International Best-Dressed users’ choice award online.
Vancouver has often flown under the fashion radar when considering global style. We have, by comparison, a laid back lifestyle and wardrobes to suit. Recent years, however, have seen an uprising of fashion-forward trend-setters that have raised our local fashion awareness and helped carve us out a solid spot on the world’s style map. Our city has always had a seemingly underground collective of talented industry creatives, and now – combined with the fresh and hungry new generation of fashion stylists, designers and enthusiasts – we definitely have ourselves a note-worthy “scene”.
Not nearly as unattainable as it may seem, personal style is not just for the who’s-who of Vancouver fashion. We have seen an influx of entrepreneurs offering creative services to the public in efforts to amp up personal confidence through fabulous style. One of the forerunners in the industry doing just that is the lovely Jessica Karalash, founder and creative force behind KurateStyle. Not only does Jessica offer personal wardrobe services, she also hosts and speaks at many events around the city, offering her expert advice.
I had an opportunity to chat with Jessica (who, by the way has single-handedly put a huge waving flag in Vancouver’s spot on the world style map – she was recently featured on the Vanity Fair International Best-Dressed Challenge – User’s Choice in May for her Lace Love look) and get a sense of how and why KurateStyle got started.
If you’re like me and can’t get enough of this girl, check her out June 12 at TOPSHOP where she will be hosting a Summer Stylin’ trend talk from 6-8pm.
JS: What is KurateStyle and how did it all begin?
JK: KurateStyle is an online personal styling platform for men and women. It began from a love of fashion, technology, and entrepreneurship. I’ve always loved fashion and helping friends choose outfits. Growing up, I always had friends, and even strangers, ask how I put outfits together. I created KurateStyle as a way to help people live their best lives and feel amazing about themselves. I love seeing how my clients light up when they build their personal style. Whatever stage of life they are in, whether it’s a new job or becoming parents, it’s amazing to see how their wardrobe can change how they feel about themselves.
Can you describe your services? Do you have a most popular service?
My most popular service is the personal style package for clients. We go over their entire lifestyle, style goals and dreams and even their fears. Then I customize and tailor a package that is unique to them. It has a celebrity style match, colour and body shape analysis, do’s and don’ts, wardrobe-building lists, and techniques and real outfits that they can purchase online from our partner stores that will build their new style and wardrobe. It is a very in-depth process and is all done online.
I also do in-home consultations for special clients – a wardrobe makeover and detox, which completely sets the stage for a new wardrobe and look – and editorial-type style shoots with models and clients that want photographs for their portfolio or as keepsakes.
I am also launching a new website (very soon) which will have additional services and a robust online styling system for my clients.
What are your fave style tips as we move into summer?
There are a few I’m in love with right now. Play around with patterns and prints, and mix and match them. I love to keep some polish in the summer. Always be deliberate in your choices – this goes for guys and girls.
How does Vancouver’s fashion scene compare to other Canadian cities?
Vancouver’s fashion scene is very lifestyle focused, and it’s growing! I think Vancouver is a very active city, and it has a warmer climate than most Canadian cities, which is reflected in our style. We have some big names here, like Aritzia, Lululemon (who is branching into lifestyle, along with their classic yoga looks), and Indochino is growing quite rapidly. There is a great scene of Vancouver fashion bloggers and stylists who are absolutely amazing, supportive and collaborative as well. I also love the boutiques here.
What are your favourite local Vancouver fashion boutiques?
There are so many! If I forget any, because I might, please feel free to email me with questions! Violet Boutique, Oliver & Lilly, The Block, Secret Location, Oak & Fort, Rebecca Bree, The Latest Scoop, Wear Else, Lynn Steven, JennyfleurLoves (who is now online, but does pop-ups), Eco Diva Beauty (for beauty products, also online, but is Vancouver-based).
What are the top three must-have items that each a man and woman should own?
For men and women, surprisingly, they are the same. Fitted black blazer, white V-neck tee, perfectly fitting jeans (and a great pair of shoes – bonus for this!)