He’s a jewelry designer (check out his stuff onQVC), Eva Longoria-Parker’s personal stylist (both home and clothing), among many other celebs, and just finished designing Joy Behar’s apartment (you know, from The View). And this afternoon, I was thrilled to catch up with Robert to talk all things fashion and design. The call started something like this…(me) Robert! (him) Jules! (I’m already liking him at this point…this is my nickname, for heavens sake!)
First up, how did he start in fashion and styling? Well, he calls himself the “bastard child of fashion.” He went to FIT and then started his own jewelry business after idolizing Donna Karan’s work with Robert Lee Morris. These days, Robert’s jewelry can be seen on QVC and he describes his work as the “most essential, stylish pieces of the season.” They’re pieces you can’t find just anywhere, like a 72-inch long necklace that can be doubled as a bracelet. And contrary to what some might think, he doesn’t always use his jewelry on his clients. “I don’t sacrifice the outcome of a look [for my clients] to wear my jewelry.”
What really started his styling career, his “watershed moment,” was when he met celeb Eva Longoria-Parker (yep, heard of her?) and started styling her for the red carpet where he instructed her not to wear “L.A.-based designers, but NY designers.” It was (and is) basically a “girlfriends- going-shopping” relationship. Today, Robert has just finished styling Eva and husband Tony’s home in Texas.
So when it comes to heels, you might ask? Robert believes there are different uses in a wardrobe for each, but heels definitely elongate the body and give that slimming effect. We both agree flats are great as well, but he mentions you wouldn’t wear a ballet flat to a friend’s wedding. (so true!)
When I ask him about labels and the ones he loves, excitement ensues as name after name rolls off his tongue (imagine your love for your favorite Louboutins). His favorite seems to be Michael Kors, who he says understands American women more than any other designer. With Kors, you don’t have to think too much – it’s “simple, pretty, sexy and powerful.” Others on his list? Reem Acra, Lanvin, upcoming designer Christian Cota and Ralph Rucci, who he counts as “brilliant.” I started thinking this morning about why I like certain things I wear. And Robert put it in layman’s terms for me by saying “we embrace something because we’re familiar with it, but it feels new.” And that is so true! I love my leather jackets always, but right now I’m wearing them cropped. There is always something new added to a classic to make it more interesting each season, and that’s why I personally love fashion.
So, how does home design compare to fashion? Well, that’s easy. Creating a room is basically the same thing, Robert tells me. It’s a “creative outlet” and you’re creating “the look,” the final product. Most importantly, you must “understand how the person lives and their lifestyle – how they use their space.” In other words, it’s functional and it’s fashionable.In the end, it’s all about what works best for you and your life – heels, anyone?
[Photo Courtesy Robert Verdi]