Whether we're watching reruns of Behind the Music: TLC or checking out the director's commentary for Rushmore, we have always been interested in what happens backstage and off-camera. Enter our fascination with all-star stylists: these incredibly powerful players are integral in shaping the public image of their visible clientele. By collaborating with well-dressed celebs and pop sensations, a stylist can exercise a huge amount of influence, and make (or break) certain trends and styles. And though many of these tastemakers remain under the radar, we are thrilled to shine a light on one of our favorite fashion insiders, Simone Harouche, the one-woman powerhouse responsible for the wardrobes of some of the world's most high-wattage red-carpet regulars.
Before we delve into Harouche's must-have pieces, let us first give you a little background about our latest lovely contributor. In addition to working with the widely watched Nicole Richie, Harouche is the go-to girl for a range of music divas. Her client roster includes larger-than-life talents like Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Lopez, plus she is the mastermind behind Christina Aguilera's thirties-inspired pin-up transformation (and, with Roberto Cavalli, co-designed the costumes for the singer's Back To Basics tour). Harouche is also the creative force behind the Simone handbag collection, which started off as a hobby and blossomed into a full-fledge side business. Needless to say, Harouche has a full plate, so we were particularly thrilled when she accepted our offer to talk fashion shows (for the F/W season, she's a Mark Fast-fanatic) and fall essentials in today's edition of Stylist's Picks!
Karen Walker Trixie Sunglasses ($253) in Tortoise
We always keep our eyes peeled for the latest cute and quirky frames from Karen Walker, so we were thrilled when our guest editor selected these fashionable feline frames. Harouche loves the retro nod of these Trixie specs ("very Audrey Hepburn"), which combine the drama of a cat-eye with the classic Wayfarer shape. Plus, as Harouche wisely pointed out, "really, who can go wrong with tortoise shell shades?" Point taken!
Frye Engineer 15R Boots ($254)
When she's not stomping around in her studded Isabel Marant booties (another designer at the top of Harouche's list), today's guest editor opts for a sturdy and stylish pair of engineer boots from Frye. Though they come in many different heights, Harouche's go-to selection is the 15R due to their versatility-rock them with a mini dress or skinny jeans to get a Harouche-endorsed footwear focused look!
L'Agence Modal Perfect Tee ($145)
Nothing is more elusive than the perfect tee shirt, and we are always on the prowl for stylish suggestions from our in-the-know friends. Thankfully, Harouche has done the hard work of tracking down the ultimate tee. This L'Agence top drapes beautifully and is lightweight without being see-through.
Citizens of Humanity Avedon Skinny Leg Jeans ($185)
Harouche made it clear that when it comes to denim, she's unlikely to sport a pair of jeans that are obviously and overly pre-distressed. Her solution: Citizen for Humanity's Avedon Skinny Leg Jeans. These pants are the picture of perfection-the holes are strategically placed and the stretchy denim is incredibly figure flattering!
Matta Dupatta Scarf ($165)
Though Harouche calls Los Angeles home, she still knows that chic layers are a necessity for any winter wardrobe. This lightweight shawl from Matta is made out of gauze-like cotton and comes in a variety of different colors-all perfect to envelope yourself in this fall. Additionally, much like Harouche, we love how the crafty tassle embellishments add a playful element to this seriously cozy closet staple.
USLU Airlines Nail Polish ($30) in BHC
While black and red nails dominate the digits of some fashionable femmes, we are pleased to report that Harouche opts for a more unconventional shade of gray. The self-proclaimed beauty junkie is mad for the matte finish of this particular grade of gris and appreciates that BHC compliments paler winter skin!
Labello Star Fruit Cherry Lip Balm ($9)
While her sartorial leanings are anything but minimal (bring on the studs and pom-poms!) Harouche's beauty routine is decidedly low-key. Case in point: her never-leave-home-without-it product happens to be a stick of cherry lip balm. While other lip salves can leave your pout feeling goopy or parched, Labello's balm has the ideal consistency for Harouche's taste, and provides a lovely natural stain that lasts for hours.
Mark Fast Lightening Dress ($1108, 323.857.0200)
Harouche is a devotee of the slinky crocheted dresses by Canadian-born, London-based designer Mark Fast. This second-skin noir number is very sexy and form fitting, and not at all bulky-clearly, this isn't your grandmother's knitwear. Make sure to slip into this flattering frock-or Harouche's favorite Double U Neck Long Sleeve Mini Dress ($38) from American Apparel-for your next cocktail affair, and brace yourself for an evening full of compliments and accolades!
Arik Kastan Labrodorite Ring ($775)
Harouche has a weakness for rose gold, so she was over the moon when she discovered Arik Kastan's heavenly designs, as he exclusively works with this pink-toned heavy metal. Although Harouche's favorite rings feature semi-precious gems such as labrodorite, we like how the substantial stones are tempered by the delicate Victorian-inspired settings.
Simone Camille Handmade Vintage Two Tier Handbag ($1495)
Tired of seeing the same purses season after season, Harouche decided to take matters into her own hands by creating a customized bag for herself and a few friends. The resulting pieces combined her love of tribal textiles, bright colors, and eclectic style (says our subject du jour "this bag sums up who I am"). Needless to say, the requests started pouring in and her eponymous line is now sold at well-edited boutiques like Ron Herman. While we're huge fans of the Two Tier carryall, make sure to check out her other seriously inspired satchels!
Maison Martin Margiela Double Breasted Wool Shrunken Blazer ($1531)
Though there has been some recent controversy about who is actually behind the designs at Maison Martin Margiela, as long as the brand keeps producing incredibly chic staples with modern updates, we will continue to be huge fans. We're not the only ones who are obsessed with the work of MMM, it turns out that Harouche is also enamored. Right now, she adores this slightly shrunken blazer and wears it with everything from little cocktail frocks to fitted jeans. Be sure to check out Forever 21's Splendid Career Jacket ($30), which, like Harouche's preppy coat, will provide the perfect tailored balance to your more bohemian fare!