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Laurie Trott of Who What Wear Says ‘Show Some Skin’

Whether it’s gorgeous collages of the trends you need now or an inside peek at what your favorite stylish celebs are sporting, Who What Wear’s extensive style coverage helps us get dressed in the morning—and we’re certainly not the only ones obsessed. So who wouldn’t want some style tips and tricks from the site’s fabulous fashion director, Laurie Trott?

Trott put in time at Lucky and Elle magazines before decamping to the West Coast to join the L.A.-based website’s team. Could the sunny state convert this black-wearing editor to brights and prints? Read on to see…

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How would you define your personal style?
A bit of East Coast preppy, a little bit hippie and a touch of Italian sixties. It sounds more complicated than it is!

For as much as I absolutely love big trends and the constant change of colors, prints and silhouettes that fuel fashion, I guess you could say when it comes to dressing myself, I am a repeat offender with my choices. I always go for really classic colors, fabrics and shapes. I like to “mate for life” with my clothes, and I go for pieces that will transition easily no matter how the trends fluctuate.

Who are your style muses?
If we’re talking real, live people, it’s Sofia Coppola and Chloe Sevigny. Though they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, they’re always so inspiring with their choices, the way they look so effortless, and how they own it.

A lot of my muses are fictional, though: Anouk Aimee in Fellini’s 8 1/2, Romy Schneider in Swimming Pool, Monica Vitti in Red Desert, Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan, Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tenenbaums. Editorials styled by Jane Howe and Joe McKenna always inspire me as well—they always create these cool, minimalist, modern personas that I just want to be.

A trend you are planning to ignore this fall?
That question is not fair! This fall is actually one of the most exciting seasons for trends that I’ve seen in while! I’m obsessed with all the leather, all the oversized tailoring, all the volume, and so on. As much as I hate to ignore it, I’d have to pass on the white-on-white trend because it’s difficult to keep white clothes in pristine condition! Nah, actually—I’m sure I’ll try it and it will wind up being a big, expensive trip to the dry cleaner.

What is the best fashion advice you have ever received?
These are the two best pieces of advice I’ve been given. One is about shopping, and the other is about dressing.

Probably fifteen years ago, my friend Scott Rogers, who I worked with at Prada, told me: When it comes to big purchases or investment pieces, walk away from it and see if you’re still thinking about it in a day or two. If you are, then it makes sense to buy it. If not, you didn’t need it in the first place.

And from a client I was doing advertising consulting for a few years ago: Show some skin.

You recently moved from New York to L.A. How has your new stomping ground influenced your style?
Everyone says, ‘Oh, it’s so much more casual in L.A.!’ While it is, ironically enough, I wear heels and dress up much more frequently than I did in New York. It’s so much easier when you drive everywhere. I can’t even count the times in New York when I’d be figuring out what shoes to wear and I’d have to stop and think, ‘Wait, how much walking do I have to do today?’

I’ve always gravitated towards dark, neutral hues—my closet is such a sea of black and navy that sometimes I can’t find things because it’s so dark. I did start wearing more color and prints, it’s true: you just can’t help it, the weather really puts you in this situation where you just have to get on board and go with it.

1. Rochas slip-on flat 2. The Row python flat evening clutch 3. Frédéric Malle Une Rose 4. Rizzoli ‘Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco’ 5. XO Gianvito Rossi bow tie sandal 6. By Terry Rouge Terrybly 7. Nina Ricci lace ruffle front tier dress 8. Altuzarra fur-trim jacket 9. Lanvin one-shoulder peplum dress 10. Piamita horse print pajama shirt 11. Astier De Villatte Naples glass candle

If we ran into you at the airport flying back-and-forth for fashion week, you would be wearing….?
The components of my in-flight apparel are a real rag-tag crew, because I’m that person who is always freezing on the plane. No matter where I’m going, I need to bring a giant scarf and cashmere sweater. Lately, it’s been my favorite Rag & Bone jeans, my new Dries Van Noten jacket and a little cotton Proenza Schouler T-shirt. The whole shoes-off at security thing gets tiring when you fly practically every month; I’ve become really calculated about this and finally have it down. Birkenstocks, desert boots or right now I’m really into these Rochas slip-ons for that.

If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
Locked in Barneys overnight? What a dream! But no sleeping! I’d invite the team from Who What Wear for a cocktail-dress-slash-pajama-party. Whenever I walk into the store on Wilshire and look up at the staircase, I instantly think of a fabulous debutante ball, so that’s how it would play out.

I’d go straight for this sweet Nina Ricci lace dress or this one by Lanvin. I love topping off a little dress with a dramatic jacket or coat, so I’d add this Altuzarra (also because I’m looking for any excuse to wear it) and these Gianvito Rossi shoes.

I’m always on the hunt for a great little python bag, so there’s this from The Row. And I can’t dress up without wearing this Frédéric Malle scent and my new favorite lipstick from By Terry.

After we’d all made our grand staircase entrance, we’d slip into pajamas and have a late-night snack at Barney Greengrass, setting the mood with a scent evocative of one of my favorite cities, Naples, and leaf through the new Antonio Lopez tome.

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