I had the great pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Stylist and Designer, Rebecca Luke. She and I met at Barney's in Manhattan as I was in desperate need of help finding a prom dress. I was immediately taken by her fabulous style and story. Rebecca's resume is quite impressive having designed costumes for various TV shows and movies as well as her success amassing at such a young age.
Brianna: When did you become a personal shopper and what is it about the career that most excites you?
Rebecca: I first became a personal shopper when I was in my late 20s at the Nordstrom Flagship store in Seattle, WA. At the time, the profession and department were very different. It was before Queer Eye and any reality shows. Being a “stylist” wasn’t really a trend yet. It was a profession for those with training and an education background. It was unheard of that someone so young would be in the department and I had to “audition”. What excites me is that I can truly help people with my “art”.
Brianna: I love how you want your art and what you do to have an impact on others. One of the things I think is so special about what you do is that you get to personally connect with your clients through the outfits you put together. They are a truly beautiful art, just like the outfit you put together for me for the prom. Now, you have your own business being a costume designer, can you tell us a little bit about that and how you got started in that industry?
Rebecca: I got started in Film & TV on a fluke. I had started my own creative services company that had a fashion perspective. One day, I received a random call from a friend wondering if I would ever consider doing a film? I said “Why Not? Sure.” Within 24 hours I found myself on my first set as a Key Costume Designer and boom, I was in a new industry and I went for it. It has been an incredible decade.
Brianna: Wow. That is beyond incredible, I have a new understanding for what it means to be 'living the dream'. I think it's so impressive and inspiring how you got into the business. One of the things I noticed right away when I met you was your style, people can pick you out of a crowd. Can you give any advice on how you go about putting your own look and style together? How does one develop their own style?
Rebecca: Thank you for that. My personal style has generally stayed the same since I was in high school but has evolved with better fitting pieces and just a better understanding of style. It also tweaks as trends come and go. Interpreting something on trend for your personal style is a fun and creative process for me. I have always loved a mix of styles and periods. In high school, I wore my dad's old suits with high heels and usually had a vintage purse…seems strange, but it worked. The key? I felt great. One always knows when an outfit works. It's confidence. I tend to give my clients the confidence to try things they never thought possible. Sometimes, people have too many boxes to check and I think that while developing a style, one must be open. Try it! Slowly you will start to see and hear what works – yes, get ready for the compliments. Then, you can build on that. Knowing colors that work on your skin tone, understanding your body shape all are important. That’s where I come in.
Brianna: Oh my gosh, I love the suit and vintage purse. That's definitely something I would love to wear myself. I think what you said about confidence is really important. A lot of times we stay too safe and don't give new styles a chance. If I was to ask you to describe your personal style in three words what would they be?
Rebecca: Funky, rock & roll with a feminine twist.
Brianna: Love it! I think one of my favorite things about fashion in general that one piece can lend itself to so many different possibilities. The looks you've styled, especially those with Heide Lindgren, really show the types of dynamic some styles have. You work with the pieces of so many designers, do you have a favorite? What is it about them that you like?
Rebecca: I get asked this all the time and while I know it’s an important question, it’s a difficult one for me to answer. Similar to my approach to style, I have designers that I have always loved but I am so inspired by new designers and some of them who aren’t well known that I encounter in my life as a stylist & designer. As far as designers that are names that are known: Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Rick Owens really impact me. The older houses such as Balenciaga, Dior, and Gucci have had their ebbs and flows, but currently, I think they are spot on. Currently, there are so many non-mainstream designers I enjoy that this could be a whole additional article. (smile)
Brianna: I totally agree with you. There's something to be said for designers such as Derek Lam who are so new and fresh and that taste really comes through in their designs. So, when you're putting together a look for your clients what factors do you consider? When you put together a look for me I thought you really hit the nail on the head with everything I was looking for—I was really impressed because we’d never met before and all you know was my hair color and body type.
Rebecca: I listen to what the needs are. It’s important to listen. I then go from there. Once I meet someone I can refine, but after over 30 years of dressing people, you pick up on things. The key is also for the other person (client) to be open. This helps the whole process. You were very open and that made the whole experience wonderful for us both.
Brianna: I agree it was a wonderful experience. I love your eye, I think that you see things a lot of people don't observe in their clothes. You really notice everything from the color to the shade to how it fits on the client's body. I think that is so important and I really feel that you nail the look every single time. Rebecca, I have one last question for you, if you weren’t doing what you are right now, what would you be doing?
Rebecca: I would be teaching. Either History of Costume or History of Art.
Brianna: I love that, I've always been interested in Art History. It was an absolute pleasure talking to you Rebecca and having you here with us at The Window Shop. I look forward to working with you again soon.
Equestrian Shoot Credits
Photographer: Brian Sassman
Stylist: Rebecca Luke
Hair & Makeup: Craig Honeycutt
Model: Heide Lindgren