We like to think of stylist and multimedia creative director Kelly Framel of The Glamourai as a modern-day renaissance woman. The nomenclature of “fashion blogger” is a bit outdated—after all, the digital landscape has transformed drastically since blogs first came onto the scene in the aughts. Now, it’s not enough to take a good picture—the truly great fashion bloggers have become digital wunderkinds, becoming creative visionaries, on-camera talent, and multimedia whiz kids by mastering the art of blending images, words and moving picture, and leaving an impact. Such is the case with Framel.
Framel describes The Glamourai as a webzine that’s “part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part travel portal.” When she’s not on set or designing a new restaurant in the West Village, she’s sharing colorful snaps of her worldwide travels on Instagram. So what does Framel think of her role as an influential fashion blogger-turned–It girl? “I’d like to think it’s about being a thought leader; about inspiring others to strive for a better and more beautiful world,” she says. “I’m obsessed with today’s current crop—young women who really embody this idea of using social influence and digital platforms to make and share art and create safe creative spaces for other women to shine.” We couldn’t agree more.
We caught up with the trendsetter in New York to find out how she never seems to run out of creative ideas, what “trends” truly mean to her, and (naturally) the Saks Fifth Avenue pieces she’s shopping for fall. Don’t miss it.
On Kelly Framel: Zoë Jordan Kari Long Sleeve Jacket ($745); Public School Alice Plaid Shirtdress ($795); A.L.C. Isaacs Printed Dress ($625); Karen Walker Lunar Flowerpatch 51MM Cat’s-Eye Sunglasses ($300); Stella McCartney Mini Bella Swans Metallic Faux-Suede Tote ($1215); Annelise Michelson Wire Slip-On Necklace ($560); Stephanie Kantis Double Sunburst 24K Yellow Gold Drop Earrings ($245); Aquazzura Betty Tassel Suede Block-Heel Booties ($1195).
WHO WHAT WEAR: You work on so many different mediums and platforms. How has being a stylist, designer, and creative director shaped your work as a blogger?
KELLY FRAMEL: Most of the work I do happens off-line—designing spaces for hotels and restaurants, or directing campaigns for fashion brands. Digital allows me to access both inspiration and collaborators from around the world, which enriches every project I’m involved in. The connectivity it offers is an incredible tool for creatives.
WWW: What lessons have you learned through your multidisciplinary career?
KF: These days I am inspired by the ways that fashion, hospitality and lifestyle are merging—digital has certainly been a catalyst for breaking down the walls between many disciplines. The work that is most interesting to me lately is about creating impactful “IRL” experiences, which means I spend most of my days on one construction site or another. Work sites have strict dress codes; I’ve never owned so many fashion sneakers before in my life!
WWW: After having launched in ’08, The Glamourai is wildly successful. Have you had an “I’ve made it” moment?
KF: Success to me is getting to do meaningful creative work, and the artist in me is always striving to do more and do better. I think I will always feel like I have a long way to go, although it is incredibly satisfying to run my own business and have the freedom to pick and choose projects that challenge and inspire me.
WWW: Which social media platform do you source the most inspiration from?
KF: Instagram is still my go-to. I love the immediacy of it, and how much visual inspiration I’m able to absorb from the people I follow. It is a treasure chest of ideas!
WWW: What trend are you most inspired by?
KF: I love that we’re in a moment where fashion is all about looking to the individual—the strongest trend is just being yourself. On the runways and in stores, that translates into thoughtfully made statement pieces with tons of quirky details that are designed to be mixed and matched with anything and everything. It’s all about self-expression, and it’s available to everybody.
On Kelly Framel: Zoë Jordan Kari Long Sleeve Jacket ($745); Public School Alice Plaid Shirtdress ($795); A.L.C. Isaacs Printed Dress ($625); Karen Walker Lunar Flowerpatch 51MM Cat’s-Eye Sunglasses ($300); Stephanie Kantis Double Sunburst 24K Yellow Gold Drop Earrings ($245).
WWW: Do you have a shopping philosophy?
KF: My shopping philosophy is threefold: Only buy things you can wear in multiple different ways; quality counts; and if you really love it, get every color.
WWW: How do you think your style has evolved?
KF: My style is constantly evolving based on the projects I’m working on and what I need to be able to accomplish in a day. I started my career as an evening wear designer. In those days, I would really dress up and put on heels every day. It was appropriate to the work I was doing. When I segued into styling, my personal attire began to get more casual. I needed to be able to run around a photo studio or set location all day—styling is really super-physical work.
WWW: What projects are you working on now? Give us a hint.
KF: I have lots of secret projects in the works! The first will be unveiled in November—a new restaurant I’m designing in the West Village. It’s an elevated update of the traditional Southern dishes I grew up with, and the décor takes a bit of that ’80s childhood nostalgia and mixes it with classic mansion elements that are intrinsic to places like New Orleans and Charleston.
WWW: Okay, it’s time—talk to us about this amazing outfit.
KF: With this look, I’m mixing patterns and textures in a way that is distinctly “me,” and I think that’s the freedom fashion offers so beautifully right now. I only buy pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. This printed ALC dress fits the bill: It looks cool worn loose or belted, and it can be worn open or closed, dressed down or dressed up. It’s got a lot of style, but it’s still a wardrobe workhorse. I loved riffing on the ’90s trend by wearing [the Public School dress] around my waist like a flannel shirt—except that it drips to the floor like a ball skirt. The best of both worlds!
Take a page from Framel, and complete your fall look by layering on statement accessories. Hover or tap on the plus signs below to take a closer look at how Framel accessorized her outfit with favorites from Saks Fifth Avenue.
A jacket with a fuzzy finish makes a statement.
The twist tie at the waist makes this ’90s-inspired dress feel modern.
Pair a printed dress with sneakers for a relaxed vibe that still looks chic.
According to Framel, a dramatic cat eye is a must year-round.
Make your bag an art piece for fall.
Trade in your ribbon chokers for a silver chain-link necklace.
Top off a date-night look with quirky, playful earrings.
Go for boots with textured details in an of-the-moment brown hue.
How would you accessorize this look? Share your tips with us.