Closet Confidential: Gisèle Scanlon
Gisèle Scanlon is the author of the glossy lifestyle bibles The Goddess Guide and The Goddess Experience which explore fashion and beauty with expert style tips that she has found on her travels. I caught up with Gisele to see what lies in her closet and discover she has a soft spot for Alexander Wang and a penchant for seriously expensive shoes.
First fashion memory
My Mum gave me one of her cashmere sweaters when I was seven. It was so light, yet so snugly and the sleeves were way too long. I can still remember rubbing the cashmere sleeves up around my face and smelling her perfume on them. When I’m back in Dublin writing or drawing I spritz a little perfume on my cardigan/sweater sleeves and the scent ambushes me during the day. It’s a lovely little surprise.
Favourite designer label
I think apart from technical know-how, wit is very important component in good design and when I see it in a collection I want to support that designer. Alexander Wang is one of my favourite designers right now for clothes and Nicholas Kirkwood www.nicholaskirkwood.com for really killer shoes. He’s my new fashion crush and the hottest shoe name in fashion at the moment. Brown Thomas have some of his collection. His work is very well made and has beautiful simple, clean lines. These two designers are getting the snaps that they both deserve now. They’re hot!
Best bargain buy
A chiffon blouse in Primark for €3. It’s a whisp of a thing (I’m wearing it in the photo here with a top from Zara which cost €12 and two antique broaches.) The top worn over the Primark blouse is rather similar to a Marc Jacobs top which I saw at his show in New York the season before last. I’m in a lucky position to be able to see all the catwalk shows so I soak up the different looks and then when I trip across a Primark blouse for €3 I know how to style it up into a million dollar look. I buy good shoes though, they’re my guilty pleasure. Shhhhh!
Most expensive item in your wardrobe
I have investment pieces like coats that cost thousands and they’ll be passed onto my kids (when I have some) but the most expensive item in my wardrobe to me is my pair of Adidas three stripe tiny running shorts. They’re the ones I had as a child when I started running and they mean the world to me. They weren’t expensive when my Mum bought them for me when I was little, but they’re very dear to me now, irreplaceable in fact so that makes them the most valuable item in my wardrobe.
Top of your wish list
Top of my wish-list is an Alexander Wang cut-out dress with tailored fitted sleeves. I love the fierce styling of his autumn/winter lookbook on www.alexanderwang.com
Most stylist moment
I’m always asked when I meet a person for the first time, if I’m French (my name is, but I couldn’t be more Irish). I think it’s because I wear my hair up in a chignon and mussed (not perfect and never shiny, shiny) and I take the same approach to clothes. I adore imperfection, it shows individuality and originality and when I’ve a big occasion coming I usually wear vintage. It avoids the likelihood of turning up and someone else having the same dress and your clothes have a history and a story. My most stylish moment ever? My Communion, I rocked that dress out until lunchtime and then after all the photos with my granny and family, I had a costume change. I got to wear a long green chiffon maxi dress for the afternoon (you can see how I ended up doing what I do). I had my hair up and if you blew up that picture it’s just how I look today.
Um, I have a few; I adore the Talmadge sisters. They were huge silent movie stars in the 1920s. Norma made 148 silent movies and Constance made 84. They were never seduced by the talkies so only made silent films. They had that 1920s look nailed and I adore it. I also love Brigitte Bardot (best mussed up hair in the business!).
Favourite high street store
I love them all equally, there are just too many, so I can’t choose.
Fashion or style
Style, although I love fashion and go to the shows every season, I’m not a slave to trends. It has taken me many years to find a look that is my style and now I stick to that. I love different textures and layers while still maintaining a skinny silhouette, a chiffon whisp of a top under a very thin wool top and fierce tight black high shine jeans. When I’m in New York for fashion week, I bring my favourite trousers and material and drop them into a seamstress and I come home with six pairs of the same trousers – it’s cheap as chips and I wash them rather than wasting money on dry-cleaning. I repeat, repeat, repeat because I know what suits me. I think style is when someone can point you out because you have your own individual style and that comes from knowing who you are, knowing what suits you and claiming that look as your own.
Finally, what did you have for breakfast this morning!?
That’s easy, a piece of wild Alaskan salmon grilled (Marks & Spencer) and a bowl of porridge with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and low-fat milk. Fish oils are excellent for skin and I need the clean protein as I run every second day. If you eat fish daily like I do you have to be careful not to get mercury poisoning and wild Alaskan salmon is very clean.