If your style slipped a bit during lockdown, it’s time to give your wardrobe an injection of energy. Enter Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, private stylist and former Executive Retail Editor at Vogue who has just launched a brilliant new virtual service that we can all tap in to via Zoom:
What was the idea behind your new virtual personal styling service?
I wanted to offer something more relevant to these bizarre times we are living in – and a little less expensive than the full Wardrobe Edit I normally focus on. Hopefully it’s the kind of service that people want to access from the comfort of their own home; whether you are looking for a boost to your working from home wardrobe, a great pair of jeans (without the hassle) or simply a ‘Help me Ginnie, I have this great dress but no shoes to wear with it’. It’s also because I have 3 children and I wanted to know I could do my job and be around for them a little more.
Do you ever open your wardrobe and think ‘I have nothing to wear!’
YES! And the combination I usually fall back on time and time again is a blazer and a dress – and my beloved trainers. It’s my tried and tested solution. It looks smart but I can still zip from place to place really easily thanks to comfortable shoes. I gave up heels a long time ago. I need to MOVE!
You worked at Vogue for 12 years, have you collected an enormous wardrobe?
My favourite item is something I bought just after I left Vogue. It was a coat with crochet sleeves by JW Anderson. I get stopped in the street for that coat.
The best thing Vogue taught me was which pieces worked for my body shape, or which colours go with my complexion or mood – and which items I know I can just leave firmly on the hanger/ on the shelf! For instance, ankle boots just aren’t my thing, nor are ballet pumps. So that saves me so much time. I can quickly pinpoint the pieces I know suit my legs/hips/bust/neck etc. And I only ever buy things that really speak to me, which in the age of Instagram is helpful because we are just being shouted at from every which way, as consumers. But yes, I have a ‘healthy’ wardrobe! But I buy far less now. My head isn’t so easily turned as it was on those lunch-breaks from Vogue!
What’s been your lockdown look?
I think I have seen more fashion editors write about Birkenstock’s than any other brand. They really have been my go-to. I have a powder blue suede pair. And I haven’t seen anyone else with them (around here) yet so I kind of love that! In terms of what I feel ‘works’ for WFH – I think a good neckline for any Zoom calls, a neat hair style so you feel you’ve pulled yourself together and I really love my Sunspel tracksuit pants if I want a more down-time approach to my working attire. But they aren’t something I flock to every day.
You’re a great advocate for sustainable shopping, what are some of your favourite brands at the moment?
I have loved watching the launch of Aligne which happened last month. I think Ninety Percent is doing a great job and I love that Net a Porter have taken them on board too. Ganni is a wonderful brand, full of colour which I love. My greatest find is my Sheep Inc jumper. Look up that brand. It’s the new one to watch for classic knitwear.
Which one item are you coveting for autumn/winter?
I am weighing up how I justify a pair of Gianvito Rossi boots. A baby present to myself?!
Where do you go to buy your most basic items?
I still rate M&S and I think John Lewis have brilliant, believable brand values which make me trust them for things like underwear. But you won’t ever find me in the ‘obvious’ high street empires. I’m afraid I just have to step back, put the blinkers on, and find a better alternative – which isn’t so difficult.
How can you achieve a polished look for a zoom call or meeting?
Low necklines, eyebrow mascara (or at least a good eyebrow shape with a toothbrush and a lick of vaseline). Under eye concealer…..and amend the filter on your laptop camera!
Where do you live? Could you show us your favourite room in the house?
I live in the country and my husband booted me out of my study so I am in the sitting room, surounded by swathes of velvet curtains and some great OKA lamps and pictures I haven’t looked at in ages. I quite love using this room – it’s only ever really used for gatherings and Christmas Eve.
Which 3 beauty products do you absolutely rely on?
Which books/podcasts/tv shows have you most enjoyed in lockdown?
I’ve just subscribed to the Blinkist app as I am not great at finding time to read but I really want to feed my brain. They break down key books of the moment into digestible chapters. I love the BBC Sounds app too. I have finally succumbed to watching The Politician (with all the Gucci clothing frittered the entire way through) and I am about to start The Social Dilemma on Netflix. The book I like to dip into is ‘And Breathe‘.
Finally, who is your style icon and why?
Love her or loathe her, I just can’t get enough of Gwyneth. From ‘that’ Oscars pink dress, to the pictures of her at home from her various recipe books – she just makes every day fashion items look slick: the denim shirt, the khaki trousers, the sandals, the grey sweatshirt It’s all ‘attainable’. Fashion shouldn’t always be about the catwalk or what we feel we are meant to be buying trend-wise. It should be about how it makes you feel and even the simplest of pieces can just lift the soul. I think she (or her stylist!) does a great job.
Ask Ginnie – the new Virtual Personal Styling Service costs £160. This includes a 60-minute Zoom or FaceTime consultation with a follow up bespoke ‘Shopping List’ including shoppable links and imagery. 10% from each consultation is donated to SmartWorks Charity. Book here.