AMA: UK Personal Stylist, Keren Beaumont is here to answer all your questions about Fashion, Style and Shopping.

Keren Beaumont
Jul 29, 2018

I’m Keren Beaumont, founder of Keren Beaumont Personal Styling. I’ve worked in the Fashion industry for over 16 years in Buying, Merchandising and of course, Personal Styling. I’m looking forward to answering all your questions on ‘how to look your best!’ 

My Journey

Whilst working for Fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren and Coach, I had the opportunity to travel all over Europe, parts of the Middle East, Asia and the USA. I developed an understanding of different cultural backgrounds and the distinct influence that this has on what people wear.

After becoming Director of Buying at Ralph Lauren at age 30, I decided to launch my Styling Business. I had a big 'Aha' moment when I realised that what I needed in order to feel fulfilled in my career was to find a way to share my knowledge with people. Since launching my business, I’ve had the chance to style British celebrities for red carpet appearances and some of these clients have been featured on the front page of National Papers.

Media

I love to write about Style and so I regularly contribute my fashion advice to publications such as Grazia and The Times Series. I also writes a blog covering seasonal fashion topics such as ‘how to survive a heatwave’ and what to wear for the ‘Great British Social Season’, fashion week reviews and collection previews such as my upcoming piece about the stunning Givenchy preview that I attended last week.

https://graziadaily.co.uk/fashion/trends/french-girl-fashion-trend/

This past February, I was lucky enough to work with the Dolce and Gabbana team backstage at their London Millenials show. This was an incredible experience that I’ll never forget.

My achievements were recognised by Harrods when they awarded me membership to ‘The Knightsbridge Club’ for my Styling Services and I was am also a member of the Harvey Nichols Stylist Club.

Why I do it

The part of my work that I most enjoy is helping people who have lost their way in terms of their style. I totally understand that people’s body shapes change and their lifestyles may change at different points in their life journey. My expertise is unearthing my Clients’ ‘Unique personal styles’ and guiding them towards being the best version of themselves.

 If you are in London and would like to discover your Personal Style, come to my workshop on 20th September. You'll take part in a 2.5 hour programme to discover your personality strengths and your Unique Style. See  the vouchers page of my website for details and tickets HERE

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What feedback have you gotten from your readers who follow your fashion blog?
Jul 31, 2:21PM EDT0
If you had to give one up today, would you choose styling or editing?
Jul 31, 7:39AM EDT0

 Hi Camille, I don't really think of myself as an editor.. I'm a Stylist but often there is writing for publications that falls under the remit of styling. I think possibly you'd like to know if I'd choose Styling my clients or writing? It would definitely be Styling as that's my chosen vocation in life. 

Jul 31, 4:00PM EDT0
How would you define a powerful woman? Do you see her stylist?
Jul 31, 1:42AM EDT0

Hi Anshu, I'm not sure that I've understood the second part to your question but I'll address the first part. You asked how I define a powerful woman.. The women that I've met who came across as the most powerful or effective, in my opinion have in common,  a high level of self belief. This is gained though knowing what sort of person you are and genuinely liking that person, flaws and all. It's knowing your self worth and value regardless of the opinions of others and having confidence in your ability and knowledge. That's true power in my mind. 

Jul 31, 4:31PM EDT0
What are some basic fashion tips to that everyone should remember?
Jul 31, 12:40AM EDT1

 Hi Mel,  Thanks for the question.  My favourite fashion tip to give is 'not every trend is right for everyone'. It's best only to follow fashion trends if they suit your personality and physical appearance. First and foremost it's important to dress in a way that feels authentic and natural to you. Wear colours that enhance your complexion and cuts that work in favour of your body proportions. If all of those criteria are met by current trends that you'd like to try, then go for it!

Jul 31, 4:36PM EDT0
What’s the best and worst career decision you’ve ever made and why and what did you learn out of it?
Jul 31, 12:13AM EDT1

My best decision was starting my own business as it's given me a sense of purpose and motivation in my work that I hadn't felt for years.. I recently read a book called Ikigai, a Japanese philosophy for life which is all about living life in your natural flow. Something I now believe in more than ever! In  terms of poor decisions, I'd say I probably didn't realise as a young graduate, the value of relationships in business. I was very results driven and  although quite rightly focused on the quality of my technical work, I perhaps could have put more into developing my soft skill set earlier. That said, it's never too late to learn and I've learnt an awful lot. In fact one of the things I enjoy most about my work is the relationships that I build with my clients. 

Jul 31, 4:37AM EDT0
How did you choose a price point for your services? That’s something that a lot of people find difficult when starting a service-based business.
Jul 30, 8:42PM EDT0

Yes its always a thought provoking topic! I personally decided to look at closest competitors to benchmark myself then adjusted my price points slightly lower based on the fact that I was a new business

Jul 31, 4:31AM EDT0
What changes have you seen in the fashion world in the past 16 years?
Jul 30, 3:43PM EDT1

The most significant change that I've witnessed is a shift from a retailer led industry to a consumer led industry. When i started out, designers and retailers would dictate the seasonal trends to the consumer based on what they included in their seasonal collections and brand messaging. There was a longer transition from runway to the wearers backs of around 6 months. With the developments in social media, information is so readily shared that consumers expect to be wearing new trends the day after they appear on the catwalks. Retailers need to be more responsive offering 'see now, buy now' collections or else offering something bespoke, customised or very limited edition to offer something 'must have' to an ever more discerning and demanding consumer. There is however a debate in place within the industry as to whether we should return to the traditional format, not bending to the consumers every whim and recreating that anticipation of the long awaited new collections arriving in store... what's your view on this?

Jul 31, 4:29AM EDT0
What inspired you to start fashion designing?
Jul 30, 2:12PM EDT0

Hi Yanine, Thanks for the question. I'm a Stylist rather than a Designer so I'll answer from that perspective :-) I got into Fashion because it seems fashion is in my DNA. My Dad, My Grandfather and even my Greatgrandfather were fashion Manufacturers. I remember being at my Dad's workplace when I was around 6 wanting to style the mannequins! I started out in Buying and Merchandising. I loved nothing more than shopping as a teenager and so it made sense to do a job that involved shopping or at least selecting product, for a living. I was in that part of the industry for around 15 years and made it to Director level before deciding that I wanted to do something that enabled me to share my knowledge in a way that would benefit others. That was when I launched my Styling business. It was the best thing I ever did and I'll never look back!

Jul 30, 2:37PM EDT0
What are the key images you want to portray when people see or hear your name?
Jul 30, 6:02AM EDT0

Hi Paola, I would hope that my name would be synoymous with good taste and good sense of Style. I would like to be thought of as an expert in the field of Personal Styling and Image Consultancy. Trust from my Clients is really important as I want them to feel completely at ease with me. I'm conscious that I spend a lot of time in their homes going through their wardrobes, which can be a very personal and emotional experience.

Jul 30, 2:46PM EDT0
Everyone loves a good deal, what are some of your favorite places to find budget buys?
Jul 30, 4:12AM EDT0

Hi,  I love to combine bargain pieces with investment items. For accessories and jewellery, I love a flea market either in London or New York where you're likely to find something unusual.  When buying wardrobe staples, it's best to swoop in quickly during the sales and buy better quality at a lower price rather than buy cheaper items at full price. If you find something you love during the season, look for it on net a porter or matches and keep an eye on the item as soon as sale time is approaching. A good compromise on price is to shop from high end high street brands such as whistles, sandro,  maje especially in sale time. Ultimately though it's about buying less pieces but only the right pieces that will work hard for you.  Don't be tempted by pieces that look like a bargain just because you like them on the moment. Take time to consider exactly what's missing from your wardrobe and seek out those items instead. 

Jul 30, 4:20AM EDT0
What are the latest trends coming up this fall season? What were your favorite trends for the summer? Why?
Jul 30, 3:42AM EDT1

Hi Chito, Amongst the strongest trends that came through on the Fall runways were Heritage Fabics such as tweeds and heavy plaids, imagine an english country estate over-run with millenials in 2018. This was particulary present at Milan Fashion week in the Big Fashion Houses, Gucci, Prada, Dolce. I find this trend particularly appealing as it's a unisex trend that is so specific to the Fall that it really marks a Seasonal shift. The Western Trend which we saw coming through in Spring 18 will continue into Fall. This look is a big love for me having travelled to Nashville and Memphis so I feel connected to where this comes from. Also the fact that I worked for Coach who's RTW line has Western style in it's DNA. It wasn't just New York Fashion Week where we saw presence of the Western Trend coming through but French Houses, Isable Marrant and Chloe also picked up on this theme. The Women's trend for sheer fabrics and lace is re-invented for Fall with a combination of the Sexy and the tough. Rather than interpreting this look as provocative, I think the designers intent it to say, 'I can dress how I like, I am not an object'. This all coming off the back of the Me Too movement. These fabrics lend themselves really well to dressing for the festive party season so expect to see wonderful cocktail looks based on this trend. Animal prints are a trend I' really excitied about as it's a way of having great fun with print and refreshing your wardrobe basics. Enjoy the new season!

Jul 30, 3:09PM EDT0
What do you know now about styling that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?
Jul 30, 3:34AM EDT0

Hi Jamie, Through working with Clients I've realised how good it feels to see other people blossom and progress, that it's wonderful to enjoy the success of others and the pride that I feel when I've contributed in some way to that success. I think I was overly competitive when I first started out in Fashion, straight out of University. I now know that it's possible for everyone to succeed, there doesn't have to be only one winner! Thanks for the question!

Jul 30, 3:13PM EDT0
If you could travel back in time to one fashion era, where would you end up? What did you like about that period?
Jul 30, 1:16AM EDT1

Hi Max, That's an easy one! Iove 70's style. The floral prints, the warm colour palette of burnt oranges, mustard yellows, greens and camels.. these are my favourite shades. I also like the silhouettes, the flowing dresses, the layered sweater vests (I know, I'm weird), gilets and flared jeans. Not so coincidentally, one of my most favourite brands, Chloe usually has some 70's inspiration or elements within the collections.

Jul 30, 3:17PM EDT0
Where did your styling inspiration start? How does that inspiration keep you going now?
Jul 30, 1:00AM EDT1

Hi Kate, What inspired me to get into Styling was a combination of a desire to put my knowledge to positive use to the benefit of others and to simply make things or people 'look better'. There's a lot of satisfaction to gain in knowing you have contributed in some way to someone's journey of self growth or success. Even more so, when a Client is publicly recognised as looking great by the media! I've had a client featured on the front page of multiple national papers wering a look that I styled. Similarly, the simple act of seeing someone look their best is hugely satisfying. As long as I continue to gain satisfaction in my results, I believe I'll remain well and tuly inspired!

Jul 30, 3:24PM EDT0
What can people look forward to in with regards to your upcoming Givenchy write up?
Jul 29, 3:21PM EDT1

Hi Sash, the new collection from Clare Waight Keller is exquisitely designed. I'm looking forward to sharing the back story to the collection which is inspired by the 1980s underground Berlin scene.  I was fortunate to be able to try on some of the runway pieces and will share the pictures of me trying my best to do justice to the beautiful pieces! 😆

Jul 30, 4:13AM EDT0
What is the most fun about styling others? What are the challenges that come with styling people?
Jul 29, 12:55PM EDT1

Hi Melissa, Thanks for the question! The most fun things are that every Client is different, not only in their taste, appearance and personality but also in terms of what type of help they need from me. This means that every day is totally different from the next. I also find it really enjoyable to see someone blossom as they see themselves in the mirror looking better and better, their confidence grows and it's an upwards positive spiral. The challenges might be when a Client's personal taste isn't in line with what actually makes them look their best. This has to be handled very diplomatically. On the other hand as long as they feel happy and comfortable in what they are wearing, I feel that's a good result!

Jul 29, 2:23PM EDT0

As a personal stylist, what advice can you give someone on how to look their best on a budget. 

Jul 29, 12:42PM EDT1

The key to looking your best on a budget is to buy less pieces but make sure they are the 'right' pieces for you. Start by laying down the foundations of a perfect wardrobe by only investing in good quality key pieces such as perfect T Shirts, perfect jeans, a blazer etc. dependednt on your lifestyle requirements. These don't need to be designer pieces by any means, just make sure the fabrics are good quality and will last the years, the colours must be flattering to your complexion (a stylist can help with this part) and choose silhouettes that flatter your body proportions (again a stylist can help with this too). Stick to a concise colour palette so that all your pieces can be combined into multiple outfit combinations and will in turn work harder for you. You will find you need to buy less pieces as long as you are stocking your wardrobe with items that fill the needs of your lifestyle. Save a little of your budget for tailoring. Unless your are a fit model for a particlar brand, it's unlikely that clothes you buy off the peg will fit you perfectly. Fit is key in making you look polished even if you've shopped in forever 21. Once you get to a point that you have all the basic pieces that you need in your wardrobe, you might want to use your budget to buy one or accent pieces per season to keep your look fresh and current. Hope this helps, feel free to reach out by email if you would like more direction!

Jul 29, 2:19PM EDT1
What will you always remember from working with Dolce and Gabbana? What was the overall experience like?
Jul 29, 5:47AM EDT1

Hi Anna, thanks for the question! I think the things I will remember the most are the chaotic, intensely jovial buzz that went on backstage. One minute everyone was running around adding final pieces of jewellery to the models and making final touches to hair and make-up and then once the models headed out to the runway, it was like the calm after the storm (that was when the photos in my bio were taken). The other thing that struck me was the passion of the entire Dolce Team who it was evident really believe in the brand and the product as if it were their own (which to some extent it is!). Following the show I felt like I understood the brand much more intimately and will always hold a soft spot for Dolce and Gabbana. Working with the Millenial Models was also an experience in itself. I was struck by how considerate and polite many of them were despite being heavily in the public eye, being celebrities in their own right. Exhausting but brilliant!

Jul 29, 12:33PM EDT0
What impact has designing had on your life personally? How would you describe your personal style?
Jul 29, 4:13AM EDT0

Hi Claricel, I’ve not been a Designer but I’ve held roles in Fashion Buying and Merchandising before becoming a Stylist. To answer a little more generally, I’d say that the impact of being in the Fashion industry is that I’ve been exposed to a wider variety of people with very distinct Personal Styles. My Personal Style was a slow evolution with lots of trial and error. I do cringe when I look back at past photos of myself from before I perhaps knew who I truly am!! I feel that my Personal Style now reflects the type of person that I am. I’m not naturally a flashy or over the top type of person so I like a style that is fairly pared-back but always well cut. I do however, have a slightly showman-like side to me which comes out when I have a Public Speaking engagement and I think it’s perhaps this part of me that draws me to some of the brighter Oranges, Yellows and Greens that I’m so fond of.

Jul 29, 12:18PM EDT0
You have a job that younger girls only dream of. What advice do you have for girls who want to work in the fashion industry?
Jul 28, 11:06PM EDT0

Thanks for this question! Getting into the industry is all about contacts and experience. Whilst you are studying, bang on as many doors as possible to ask for work experience. Do as much work experience as you can, even if you only get a day here and there. Ideally you want a full 6-12 month placement though as this may be a shortcut to landing a job when you graduate. Secondly, it’s a great idea to work in a fashion store as a part time job. This proves to prospective employers that you have always been serious about getting into Fashion and that your passion is genuine.

Jul 29, 12:09PM EDT0
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