Tucked away on the 5th Floor of our Madison Avenue flagship is a small office you may not be aware of, but one that makes a huge impact: Studio Services. Let us allow the director of the office herself, Laura Mannix, enlighten you: “Studio Services was conceived for costume designers and stylists’ needs, focusing on the commercial use of clothing purchased for TV shows, plays, commercials, editorial, and things like that.” So any time you see an almost-impossibly stylish character on shows like Homeland, Madame Secretary, or Saturday Night Live, there’s a strong chance that Mannix and her team have played a part in putting the season’s top looks on entertainment’s top stars.
Sound thrilling? It is—and you can get in on the action, too. That’s because, since its beginnings in the world of media, Studio Services has grown to the point that Mannix now also offers Personal Shopping appointments to private clients. That transition has largely been thanks to word-of-mouth referrals from the stylists Mannix works with every day. “We welcome anyone, but it’s just been the natural progression and the way the business has grown through stylists that we’re more of an in the-know resource,” she tells us.
So whom does this dresser-to-the-stars work with on the personal shopping side? “The one thing that’s common among all my personal clients is the element of time—they’re driven by their schedules,” Mannix says. “The women I work with tend to have a lot going on in their lives. They’re philanthropic, they have a lot of passions, and they love to socialize. As personal time becomes more of a premium, when people make an appointment with me they are driven to cover their whole season—occasions, trips, and everything they have coming up—all at once.”
With that level of pressure, Mannix becomes very strategic in how she puts together the rack of items she pulls for each appointment ahead of the client’s arrival, specific to that person’s style and needs. “As my racks start to formulate, everything begins to work with one another. I really like that, because it makes dressing less outfit-centric and more fluid. Clients like to purchase pieces that will be a workhorse in their closet. You can buy a ton of things, but most people get down to the five or seven things that they end up wearing constantly. I only want people to buy what they feel best in. My mantra is, ‘Love is the criterion.’ We don’t need more of more—we should love each piece we’re getting.”
With that sense of love in mind, we asked Mannix to show us the must-have pieces she’s loving and most excited to show clients this season. Scroll on for a peek at her picks, then head to Barneys to add a little star power to your own wardrobe.
“I’m in love with a pencil skirt—I think it’s going to be back in a big, big way. We’ve stepped away from skirts in general and have done a lot of pants and skinny jeans recently. I’d love to come back to the more ladylike pencil skirt, T-shirt, high heel combo. This Marni skirt with a black sweater tucked in is perfect for work, and I love this print.”
“I adore this skirt, too—it’s super fun, and I love that it can be a very girly, elevated look or can be paired with a T-shirt, which is actually how I like it best. Throw on a great shoe and you’re set.”
“Going back to the idea of pieces being multi-functional in your wardrobe, this Proenza Schouler top can be worn as a full outfit with the matching skirt, or the two can be broken up and worn separately. I’d love this top with jeans. And I’d pair this Margiela bag with any black and white look, potentially with a red accent or two.”
“Some of my clients host a lot of parties, some are more business-focused, some come with one occasion in mind, and some have amassed a great collection and are more piece-driven who are looking for that one special standout of the season—not necessarily the trend, but the piece that will bolster their collection and enhance what they already have. That takes it to another level of challenge and fun for me, to really ferret out the best few pieces for them.”
“This Dries Van Noten pant is great and can be worn with a T-shirt, but pairing it with this seriously embellished jacket and a tank is a fun option for day—I always love something sparkly during the daytime. I can also see these pants with a great jean jacket and a T-shirt on a very cool woman.”
“Another of my favorites is from Harvey Faircloth. I think it’s a really fun piece that can be worn over anything from a skinny cargo pant to a black dress.”
“I actually pulled this Jourden dress for a client who was going to be spending some time on Martha’s Vineyard this summer. You can do a great shoe with it for evening, or go really dressed down and casual for a BBQ or beach picnic.”
“This is an easy summer dress for work, and I like that it has a bit of coverage. Sometimes in the summer, you’re wearing a more bare piece, but you’re constantly going into air conditioning and freezing. This is a very pretty way to stay comfortable and feel sexy. It also covers a lot of age groups—you could wear this at 70 or at 25.”
“While we’re on the topic of work, this Delvaux is the perfect work bag. Paired with this Narciso dress and a little Chloé cardigan thrown over it, it’s an easy summer look that any woman would feel comfortable in going to the office.”
“These Proenza Schouler pieces are a bit of a juxtaposition—you have this very easy, fluid checked dress, which is very sexy, and you’re pairing it with something much more structured and a bit opposite pattern-wise. The patterns play off each other really well, especially with the pop of the blue buttons.”
To book an appointment with Laura Mannix, please call our Madison Avenue flagship at 212.833.2800, or you can book online.