Robert Verdi Knows the Look
BY Harrison Pierce
June 08 2009 12:00 AM ET
Who gets you most excited on the red carpet right now?Well, I do love the women who are really fabricated and fabulous like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez. I'm also really intrigued by Megan Fox. I've always adored Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen. I'm wowed by Michelle Obama. You know, she's a real woman and, if there's a book on style rules, she's made some mistakes. But I love that she makes mistakes and does it her own way and that she has people talking about the American fashion system and the industry. She's shining a light on a lot of relatively unknown designers too. I think that's important because the business of fashion is very broad and is an important part of the commerce structure of our nation. I think it's very important we have a first lady who is an international superstar celebrating with such great style.
How do you recommend staying fashionable in the recession?I think people are gonna buy differently. I think they're gonna make purchases based on investment versus expense. They'll buy something of greater quality. I also think they'll alter things they already have that they would normally cast away. They'll look at the silhouette of a coat and say, "Maybe I could put a belt on this and it will be really stylish," or ",Maybe I could hem this trouser or let it out so it's got a wider leg." I think people will alter things they have and that accessories are gonna be the key to fashion for the next few years As a rule, we'll buy really great investment basics and then accessorize the hell out of them.
With summer rapidly approaching, what are some summer style do's and don'ts?We always say in our office, don't leave home without a tan. Today, you can get a fake tan, which is far healthier. Also, know your flaws -- but the flaw isn't necessarily what other people see, it's what you see. So if you're self-conscious about something, make sure you dress it up properly. If you don't like your arms, don't wear a tank top. Otherwise, you'll end up showing that in your body language and you'll collapse into yourself. I don't buy short sleeve shirts because I don't like my arms. You'll never see me in one, even in the desert.
What about the dreaded flip-flop?Well, make sure your feet don't look like The Flintstones . Actually, a lot of summer tips are about grooming. Plus, you're showing more skin so make sure your skin tone is even. If your face got a tan, make sure you tan your arms and legs because otherwise you'll look like a colorform.
Do you feel constant pressure to look pulled together every time you leave the house?I used to years ago when I first started in the business; it was part of how I gained recognition. I was always dressing up. As I became better known and even had some successes, those affectations started to fall away, so I don't feel it all the time, but there are moments when I do and it's usually when you're having dinner with Diane von Fürstenberg at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That's when I'm like "Oh, I better get dressed for this one!"