Not only for the rich and famous, a shopping trip with a stylist will turn meh into magnificent. Adelaide stylist Lauren Dilena chats about the latest trends, Rundle Street East and where she shops.
Style counsel: Finding one’s edge in the city
The sun is breaking through the clouds and casting a golden glow when CityMag chats to long-time fashion stylist Lauren Dilena. It’s an appropriate metaphor for the value realised by checking in with someone more style savvy than oneself.
First up, she answers the obvious question.
“Shopping with a stylist can help you navigate and find those pieces to suit your lifestyle and budget,” Lauren says, adding it can also change one’s self-image. “I love making people feel confident and comfortable. It’s so empowering for them.”
Lauren has been working as a fashion stylist for 14 years and knows her way around the city’s offerings. She says Rundle Street East, with its abundance of contemporary Australian designer brands is “incredible – it’s such an iconic destination to shop”.
Thanks to Succession – and, perhaps, a post-pandemic rally against conspicuous consumption and overt branding – ‘quiet luxury’ is currently trending in fashion. Lauren says many of the street’s stores offer their own take on well-crafted wardrobe classics.
“Viktoria & Woods is a great place to build a capsule wardrobe, with some really beautiful pieces to adapt to the everyday lifestyle,” she says.
A trench coat, purchased last year from the store is her own most worn item, attracting compliments repeatedly and “is honestly, the best investment”.
NEW STORE ALERT
Luxurious Australian brand Oroton is now open at 257a Rundle Street
Assembly Label is another of Lauren’s recommendations for those preferring fewer, timeless and well-made pieces. “It’s men’s and women’s, so you can grab something for yourself and also for your husband.”
A good stylist can help a client understand their proportions, what silhouettes to look for and the art of ‘illusion dressing’, as well as elevating the client’s unique personal style. Lauren likes to meet a client before shopping and get to know them.
“I can get an idea of what they’re looking for, if they’re a busy mum or a working woman, [then] we can steer toward particular stores and try on pieces,” she says.
“It’s trial and error, but we’ll pull it all together and I’ll show the client multiple ways of how to wear those items.
“When people understand how to do this, they can see the cost per wear of each item, and also know that it’s going to be a perfect style for them to integrate back into their wardrobe.”
For a special outfit, Zimmerman is first stop on her list. The label’s latest drop of floral-printed silk garments “are so intricate in their detailing” and the “perfect statement items for going out”. She also loves Carla Zampatti for their “dressy statement pieces and mother of the bride or groom”.
Well-chosen accessories take an outfit to a higher level and Lauren says earrings and necklaces are getting bigger and bolder.
“We’re also seeing the return of silver and platinum hoops. Overseas, Bottega Veneta have a really strong influence on jewellery and that’s coming through the Australian labels on Rundle Street East, too.”
Attention-grabbing labels Leonard Street and Gorman also call the fashion precinct home, and Lauren can show clients how to incorporate their distinctive pieces for work and weekend.
Keen for a personal or group styling session with Lauren Dilena?
Styled by: Rundle Street East is happening during ADL Fashion Week 2023.
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“We can go in and have a bit of fun with the different pieces, with prints and more of an eclectic style,” she says.
“If you’re wanting to be bolder and a little eccentric with your styling, both stores have some fantastic pieces, as does Midwest Trader.”
As evidenced by many older social media influencers, age is no barrier to being fashion forward or a style icon. Lauren recently styled a client’s daughter for her sweet 16th birthday. And while she says “I don’t kiss and tell”, she has worked with women in their 70s’.
“It’s really lovely that we are all wearing pieces that work for our own individuality and lifestyle – and that when we get to a certain age, we don’t have to stop wearing them.
“That’s the fun thing about fashion – there is no age limit.”