Olga Montserrat wears her love of fashion loud and proud. As she puts it, her blog, 12:04, is “a place where smart women, with admittedly silly moments, can enjoy, be inspired by and consume fashion without apology.” As an art director in San Francisco, Olga’s eye for design is enough of a draw, but it’s this insouciant spirit that really won us over.
With kooky headlines like “Today Is The Day I Decided That I Need These Christian Louboutin Shoes In My Professional and Personal Life” and “The Life of the Party Can Now Be A Sweater,” Olga’s posts are a mix of personal style, inspiration shots and street-style photography. Basically, a grab bag of “I need this now!” goodies. Below, get to know this fashion fiend and her secrets to style success.
What inspired you to start a style blog?
I started 12:04 because I love fashion. It’s as simple as that. My blog is a place I can completely obsess about what I want to wear every day and not apologize for it. Sofia Coppola said it best, “You’re considered superficial and silly if you’re interested in fashion, but I think you can be substantial and still be interested in frivolity.” I’m smart, I work hard, and I love fashion. My blog documents that love.
How has your work as an art director influenced the way you see fashion?
I work with brands every day to help define their personality and go to lengths to ensure that every image, pixel and word is aligned with the brand. Why not curate my own “brand” using the same discipline? I edit my photos and only choose things that fit my minimalist, modern and feminine aesthetic.
Miroslava Duma, Jenna Lyons and Taylor Tomasi Hill have a clear point of view. The way they mix and match high and low pieces, and make even the most overdone “it” piece feel fresh again is very inspiring to me.
All time favorite fashion photographers?
Tommy Ton, Candice Lake, Scott Schuman, the lenses behind The Coveteur and others like them have brought to light a quieter look about fashion that is really inspiring to me. No big productions or post-productions. It’s all very real, very beautiful. I love how showcasing tailoring, small details and an edited look into people’s closets can speak volumes about a person’s style. And I’d be a fool not to mention the ever-patient photographer to my art-director demands, Nicholas Smith (my boyfriend), whom I love.
What item should every woman have in their wardrobe this season?
A classic pump. I’m talking about a zero platform, timeless shape, 4-inch regulation height stilettos.
What’s at the top of your summer reading list?
Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. His writing is so surreal, unique and completely immersive that I can’t imagine a better place to read it than on vacation in Turks and Caicos.
Fashion rules to live by?
- It takes effort and editing to create cool and effortless. Unless you’re Arizona Muse or Erin Wasson—then congratulations, I hate you. (Just kidding.)
- Sexy can also be what you don’t show.
- SPF every day—even on the cloudy ones.
- Just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean it’s gonna work for you. I have photographic evidence of me learning this one the hard way throughout the years.
- Sizes mean nothing. Know your measurements and what proportions work best for you, then work the hell out of those.
If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
If I got locked inside of Barneys New York, the clothes off my back would be on hangers, hidden amongst the racks. In the morning, I’d calmly stroll out of Barneys like Clive Owen in “Inside Man,” proud of the previous night’s escapades.
I’d hit jewelry first: Finn and Gaia Repossi are two of my favorites because they are both a mix of delicate, feminine and edgy. I have a weakness for The Row, and I am in love with the fit of their leather motorcycle pants. Manolo Blahnik had it right when he said a classic pump changes the way a woman moves; her walk becomes sinuous and more confident. The BB suede pumps are literally the perfect shoe. Wearing something as exquisite as this Kiki de Montparnasse by Julia Restoin Roitfeld piece peeking out the back of this open-back Rochas confection walks the line between conservative and sexy. Finishing touches include a crisp white The Row clutch and some Tom Ford cat eyes.
1. Kiki de Montparnasse by Julia Restoin Roitfeld Chantilly corselette bra; 2. XO Finn diamond stud earrings; 3. The Row lizard frame clutch; 4. Rochas ruffle collar blouse; 5. XO Repossi pink gold Berbere ring; 6. The Row motorcycle pant; 7. Tom Ford Nikita sunglasses; 8. Manolo Blahnik BB
Main photograph courtesy of Olga Montserrat.