More Than Outfit: an interview with Alison Messinger of ECLECTIC À LA MODE
We’re back with our blogger spotlight! This week we’re proud to introduce you to one of our very own Featured Stylists who also founded the blog ECLECTIC À LA MODE, Alison Messinger. Originally from California, Alison has walked the concrete runways of Europe while continually evolving her personal style and story. What we appreciate most about Alison is her deep exploration of fashion beyond the racks and outfits. She creates context around which clothes exist. Check out EÀLM to fully experience her style.
SS: It seems your life and fashion are very much intertwined. When did you first realize that this was one of your biggest passions?
A: I feel as though it has always been with me in some part. I went to a private school as a child — and I HATED the uniforms, I didn’t like being confined to the norm. Even since I was very small I’ve felt a want to be expressive with my surroundings, and I think that grew with age into my love for fashion. The turning point may have been the third or fourth person who told me I should go into fashion.
SS: I know that you’ve lived in some very cool places. Can you tell me a little about the different cities you’ve lived in and how the fashion of those places has influenced your personal style?
A: I’ve set down in London, Paris, and California’s wine country. London was very architecturally enticing to me, I liked seeing the drab neutral palettes around town (and I actually really enjoyed the rain) the mute colors have definitely made way into some of my daily ensembles.
Paris was a city that made me feel alive with passions; passion for art, for fashion, for the style of the city in general. There were days when I could find inspirational people on the streets across from a dingy laundromat or strutting through the upscale Latin Quartier. That was something I loved seeing most about life there; people were dressed up whether they were going out to do their wash or to rendezvous at the best night spots. It’s safe to say that the lifestyle of Paris has very much inspired and saturated my closet with easy-yet-oh-so-chic pieces. Paris taught me how to shop.
The wine country here in California has lent itself to bits of my weekend wardrobe. Though I passionately love travel and hope to root down again in Europe someday, I will always have a California girl edge about me. The wine country is about the ease of slowing down and imbibing in nature’s bounty. When I go up for a visit I make sure to pack a big cozy sweater for bonfires, a bikini for the river, and a picnic outfit for wine tasting and bocce.
SS: ECLECTIC À LA MODE seems like much more than an outfit-a-day type of fashion blog. How would you best describe it in your own words?
A: EÀLM is edited as if it were a magazine. I run interviews, events, runway commentaries, season trends, new icons in art, music and video, and while I regularly include outfit shoots (a style blogger’s cornerstone), they are meant to encapsulate more of an editorial or a dream rather than an-outfit-a-day. I love seeing how people decide to put their outfits together, but I’m the kind of person who wants to do things a bit over the top… hence an outfit becomes a look and the look turns to an idea which becomes an all out fashion story with my photographer. It’s always a fun project to do a shoot.
SS: For StyleSays a large part of fashion is about inspiration. Inspiring people to explore their own style and discover something new. Who are your current fashion inspirations?
A: I look to a lot of designers’ works for inspiration. This season it’s pieces from Albino, Pedro Lourenço, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Markus Lupfer, Ports 1961 — a menagerie of colours, textures and layered sheers. And there are the people who I feel always look well pulled together; Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ashley Olson, Kate Lanphear, and Marc Jacobs. I also like to see what other bloggers are currently into, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I follow the blogger trends, I try to stick to my instincts.
SS: What are you looking forward to most in 2012? Both for EÀLM and for yourself.
A: I look forward to 2012 bringing in new possibilities for EÀLM, I want to explore more ventures with bigger names and companies. I would love to be a part of an advertising campaign, commercial or something of the like! For myself, I look forward to moving into a new apartment that I get to decorate. I have so many ideas that need more space.
SS: Given our name we have to know, what does your style say about you?
A: I’d say my style is eclectic (name game again), a little dabble into everything that inspires me. It says I’m multi-faceted, “a chameleon” as my friend and hair stylist has told me, layered and a little textured around the edges.
Thank you to Alison for taking the time to give us insight into her world. Check out her StyleSays profile to see what she’s shopping at the moment.
Have a great weekend!