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The Insider: Lucy Sykes

The Insider 12/14/2012

Let’s get real here—chatting with Lucy Sykes about personal style is like talking to Channing Tatum about the virtue of lower ab exercises. The fashion director at Rent the Runway—who previously held the same title at Marie Claire—is about as well-heeled as they come. For now, we’re picking her brain, but next go, we’re going to ask to raid her closet. WATCH OUT. —carlye wisel

Q: Do you have anything in your closet you’ve always wanted to wear but never really have?
A: Yes. Giorgio Saint’Angelo, 1970s purple gauze dress to the ground, V-neck to here [points to stomach]. It looks like Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface. I bought it from one of those incredible vintage stores in New York—it was in the window, and I just had to have it.

Q: Is there any clothing item you’ve ever lost and are heartbroken about?
A: I went for an appointment with Ruffian, and they gave me this incredible, Mrs. Simpson-looking tweed jacket. It had little padded sleeves; Ralph Lauren would have been jealous of it, absolutely. It was so beautiful, and during Hurricane Sandy, I moved to three different hotels and lost it.

Q:You just lost it!
A: Yep. I can’t even tell you. It was so beautiful.

Q: If you had to wear a uniform every day, forever, what’s it gonna be?
A: Because I like very simple things, it would probably be something like a white Equipment silk shirt and a pair of Rag & Bone pants and Isabel Marant booties. With a trenchcoat from Hermès…and a bag from Hermès!

Q: Is there any item you have always wanted and have never been able to hunt down?
A: You know what? No, because I find fashion to have such a cycle, and it just keeps on going around and around. I often think “Oh my god, I should have bought that jacket from Stella McCartney,” but she always comes out with a beautiful jacket! You probably found something years ago you loved, and now you can get it again.

Q: Totally.
A: You don’t need to buy so much. Those special little things, like this Bing Bang bracelet I got from Of a Kind and this great Unearthen ring—I actually think that it’s a really good idea to have a few little special things that aren’t a big necklace with all the jewels and all that. How many times are you going to be able to wear that? Love it, but the reality?

Q: Do you have a lot of jewelry that you wear and wear?
A: I love Alexis Bittar. I have the most ridiculous, oversize gold baubles—I think he’s so amazing—but at the end of the day, I’m always in my Dean Harris skinny hoop earrings. Phoebe Philo is kind of my icon. I love how pared-down she is, but totally on. I wish she’d smile a bit more, but apart from that…

Q: Any other icons besides Phoebe?
A: Julie Christie in Shampoo. This is the moment of all fashion moments, ever: Warren Beatty is the hairdresser, and he’s blowing out her hair and cuts it into a long bob. And then she turns around, and she’s wearing a black sequined, almost wet-looking gown, with long sleeves and a slit that goes right to her bum. The most amazing moment I’ve ever seen in my life. And I think—I will have a name drop—I was seeing the movie with Hamish Bowles, and he was like, “THIS is your movie.” She was sexy, gorgeous, funny, cool, heavenly. But smart at the same time. Isn’t she stupidly stunning?

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