Lori Goldstein

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After a solid and full career as one of the most successful and “real” fashion stylists in the business, Lori is still every bit the unpretentious little girl prancing in her favorite yellow polka-dot bikini, “a tomboy who loves sparkly things.” She is from Ohio, and says that her obsession with individuality expressed largely through her love of clothes began as far back as she can remember. Lori’s forte, then and now, has been mismatched combinations that are “never too put together or precious.” She recalls feeling like “Eddie Munster” in her unique outfits until she moved to New York, where she blossomed into her “Marilyn,” albeit a funky version of the starlet, as exemplified by Lori sprawled out on her bed in a tiara for this interview. She is glowingly loaded down by her beloved chunky jewels in Marni’s version of a long hippie dress, Margiela’s f-you to glamour, split toe pumps, and a hand-knit vibe Missoni shawl.

Lori has been a nonconformist from the beginning. She spent the formative years of her career working with fashion industry innovators like herself, including Mario Testino, Patricia Fields, Anna Sui, Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz. It was an era in which I, too, was educated in the business and it was a time that set the bar high for taste, originality and a collaborative creative energy, all of which seems sadly missing of late. Lori made a conscious decision to remain a freelance stylist and eschewed joining a corporate magazine. In addition, she still lives for the hunt to find new and undiscovered designers to feature in her shoots. I took note when she pondered, “Why does someone need to have already been featured somewhere else to be able to be acceptable within the industry?” Hallelujah – what ever happened to taking a stand of your own and true editorial? “Follow your heart and passion” is Lori’s motto and she has never regretted walking out on a nine to five job during a lunch break and not returning. For the past couple of decades, she may have worked twenty-four hours a day, but she has done so with ecstatic enthusiasm.

Styling professionally and personally for her is a form of painting and portraying a vision. For example, Lori’s romantic Chloé blouse is an obsession stemming from her desire to channel Olivia Hussey in Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and a fur capelet adds just the right proportions. Sexy is something loose and baggy, and a folkloric Dries Van Noten skirt that she wasn’t wearing is now a pillow in her eclectic loft. Lori’s home, like everything about her, is a complete reflection of how she dresses.

An impeccable eye like Lori’s knows when to spend less – her sequin J.Crew pants – and when to spend more – her well-curated collection of Birkin bags. She feels that her Birkins are so perfect in form and function that she needs an intervention to curb the relentless desire to own them. The genius of all things iconic, like the Birkin bag and its namesake, is that it is less about a label and a trend and all about the person carrying it. For Lori, all forms of consumption are ultimately about personal artistry. Worn with drop-crotch jeans, a fedora, striped socks, a print blouse, oversized reading glasses, crocheted slippers, layers of crystals and Indian beads and a red Mongolian fur, the Birkin becomes an extension of her, authentic and “freakish” and proud of it.

If you like Lori, you may also enjoy Stefania Pia, Beatrix Ost, and Sophie Conti.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordanlines Jordan Middendorf

    Lori exemplifies the idea that if you are doing what you love, it doesn’t feel like work. I love her passion – both sartorially and philosophically she is an inspiration!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580002191 Christina Topacio

    god, she is one brilliant, savvy, ingenious woman.


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5314599 Louis Mandelbaum

    One of my all time favorites. We could hang. Seriously obsessed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001113977228 S.f. Perrius

    Love her! She has the most beautiful clothes. And attitude. Dreamy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1012445483 Katie Major

    I agree with Louis Mandelbaum. TOTALLY.OBSESSED. What an amazing woman and what style! I dream of one day being in her shoes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sdutrisac Shannah Dutrisac

    The entire time I watched this video I just kept nodding along. So inspired by the positive messages she emphasizes so passionately, her attitude is so refreshing and honest. Love her!

  • http://www.facebook.com/allisongs Allison Gibson

    I found you via The Glamourai and am SO HAPPY I did. Lori Goldstein is SO FAB – my favorite quote from the photo journey is: ‘that’s what I love about New York…you can fit in and still be yourself’ TRUE THAT! My MANIC self struggled to work it out in the ‘burbs but there is just something about the energy and variety of NYC that does it for me. Thanks for such a great blog post!

    Would you do me a favor and help me win my very 1st blogging contest?? Please click:
    Like me on BlogLovin’
    MANIC in The City

  • http://www.facebook.com/Kate.Gallagher Kate Gallagher

    I laughed when she said “Should they rob me or give me money” that is hilarious. I now have respect for her as well. Amazing Lori. When I was a kid I was obsessed with eating dirt as I got older I was very much the tom boy obsessed with fashion, but not able to represent that in my life because kids would talk too much if I changed and that was just me being afraid of my peers, but now I work in fashion and I’m slowly building my wardrobe and taking chances. Women like this really help to inspire those scared to be themselves and I wish when I was in high school I had people like this Anna Dello Russo and Tavi to show that it’s okay to be yourself. Thanks to The Glamourai for sending me over. Much love. PS I would totally take some of those Birkins off her hands they are gorgeous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.vandersteen Rebecca Vandersteen

    GODDESS in my book.she is what she wears.A bohemian mama with immaculate taste! only…the best of the best! my kind of lady.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=733280265 Linn Wiberg

    oh my, the pieces she possesses make my heart stop.
    that fendi coat, that laced tunique, that crazily patterned top, that elegant, long dress at the end and all that sparkly jewlery.

    i mean, seriously, i’m so jealous, and amazed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danibaum23 Dani Baum

    i love how she says that she loves new designers… i just think thats the best thing that she could have said… she isn’t afraid to use something that may not have “the name” yet… she just sees it, and believes in it, and makes it something…

  • blackgirlchic

    She’s amazing!! Such an inspiration!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=34601721 Sasha Flynn

    This reminds me so much of my style… the art of over-doing! People always insist that less is more… but for who??!

  • jacie

    Goodness….her house is so dark, dank and junky.

    this is like a modern version of the “cat lady”….she totally reminds me of someone overrun by cats…except her cats are hideous, junky clothes and gaudy jewelry and self-obsession.

    when i read ‘the emperor’s new clothes’ in 3rd grade — i totally ‘got it’….that’s why i don’t buy into this stuff.

    i like fashion…but this looks like someone who sleeps with their shopping cart. God help this world…and the people living in it.

  • Ramona Canino

    I think we all have to take a second to recognize the pure art of Lori and the way she dresses. Every detail matters to her and not one is minute. The cuff is as important as the shoe, and as important as the vintage kimono, or the Dries Van Noten skirt she turned into a pillow. It doesn’t get better than her innovation…

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