Hi all! Can not believe that after months of waiting, hoping and dreaming, the BR Milly event I dreamed in my head is actually happening!!! I cannot wait to see clients’ reactions to this adorable, thoughtful, totally wearable collection!! The cuts are flattering, the fabrics are forgiving and perfect for summer – it’s just all around Milly candy!
Thought I’d give you all a sneak peek into what really goes on behind the scenes before one of my styling events. Tomorrow, with the help of the amazing team and manager, MJ, I have the privilege and pleasure of hosting an exclusive VIP event for a select group of clients at the Banana Republic Corte Madera flagship store to celebrate the launch of the Milly-Banana Republic collaboration! :
Is that eye candy, or what???
Looking at that, some may think it is a cacophony of color and patterns. I look at it and see possibility — and people. When I start to pull looks for a styling event, the first thing I think about is WHO: who is the woman wearing this? Where is she going? Where could she be going in this? Who is she and what is her statement to the world when she wears this?
The good news, she is YOU. This collection is for the modern woman, who needs to go from the babysitters’ house to the boardroom, from carpool to cocktails, and everywhere in between. She’s on the go, and then relaxing with cocktails on a warm summer night. She’s vacationing and stay-cationing — she is every woman I know or want to know. 🙂
The toughest part of pulling for clients is HOW: how do I choose? So many pieces, so little time!
My process starts by scanning the website – literally scanning through pictures to get in the images and pieces in my head so I can start building outfits before I even touch a garment. Once in the store, I mill around – a lot. I literally walk around and engage with the clothes, trying not only to envision who I see for which pieces, but what I want to pair them with. This often means wandering around the store, in the stock room; and the best part, trying every single piece on. Trying the pieces on, knowing my shape, provides me the best benchmark as to how the piece will work on others. Depending on the collection, this can be a full day event! Can you imagine a better day than playing dress up?? All day long?? I can’t. Seriously.
Once I’ve tried on pieces, and reviewed notes from meetings with clients, or review of new client profiles, I start building looks piece by piece. If I find a great bottom, I’ll hunt for the perfect top. I may stop to grab a belt or a top that jumps out at me for another client – but once I’m on a mission, I’m on it. I’ll build the look from top to bottom – and once the client tries it on, I begin to accessorize (though note that sometimes, I have been known to build an entire outfit around an accessory!).
For the Milly BR event, I did a double pull as the collection does not debut until, well, an hour ago. I previewed the collection at the Grant Flagship location earlier this week; and tried on 90% of the collection for fit, contour, fabric texture and styling (even at 11:30 am, only 1.5 hours after the collection debuted for a select group of card members, there were complete size runs missing!)
Back in Marin today, I worked with the gracious team at the store to make sure to pull the looks and sizes I carefully selected for each guest (15 client, 6 -10 looks per client).
Here’s the Milly sample rack I worked off of today (though pre-selected from the look book and tear sheets the night before in preparing my spreadsheet of looks to pull for each client):
It felt very top secret to work out of the men’s dressing rooms…. 🙂 Talk about a covert operation! I have yet to meet a man that would understand the sophistication of elephant print shorts — so it was the perfect place to work so as to keep the collection under wraps.
Next, it was time to hit the BR floor. Talk about eye candy. The spring/early summer collection is replete with great everyday pieces, fab staples (including the white sateen blazer!), great silk tanks, dresses (including my fav – the black patio dress that I pulled for just about every client – it is that great). I do several passes around the store for each client, and often times go back and add to a client’s pull while working on another’s. It’s all very fluid, and it’s all about seeing the possibilities for each client with whom I work. For 14 clients, and 5 hours, here’s what the Corte Madera team fondly referred to as “Betina’s little world:”
Several members of the Corte Madera team told me they liked my little world. I did too. I smiled on the outside, but was jumping up and down, screaming like a teen cheerleader on the inside. What’s not to love about rolling racks FULL of gorgeous clothes (next to the shoe closet!?!?)
Three racks of clothes, each grouped and tagged for each client, these picks will find their way into decked out dressing rooms customized for each client!
Tomorrow, the fun begins for everyone else….but for me, the fun is BOTH the creative process behind the pull, and the clients reactions when they see themselves the way I see them! It’s like love and marriage — you can’t have one without the other. Though I can’t spoil the surprise swag that my clients will receive, just know there is some serious swag!!! Milly, BFF, and otherwise!
In parting, I ask you to consider this. Clothes can be a means of expression. They do not just take us through our day, but carry us through our lives. They can be a shield or a sword; they constrict us or allow us to feel free. They can help us be our true selves as much as they can help us create who we want others to think we are. Clothes are also emotional, whether or not we know it. You experience the moments of your life in these garments. So, I ask you: What memories will you make with your Milly pieces from this event?
HUGE thanks to the Corte Madera BR team, and a special thanks to Sheena for her help today, as well as MJ the superstar manager, whose energy and passion is contagious!!
Want to get in on the fun? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet Milly dreams!
xo Betina, your BFF at BFF