She is an accomplished personal fashion stylist, lifestyle model, image consultant, and etiquette authority. Respected for her ability to find the classy/sexy balance; “always appropriate” is her motto. From hair and make-up, to accessories and jewellery, to clothing and even nail colour, she guides entire style teams to create head to toe synthesis and perfect wow factor for any occasion.The ability to accentuate beauty in everyone has made her a versatile and sought after stylist around the globe. While her talent for merging trendy fashion with classic style keeps her in demand, her high-standards, work ethic, moral discretion and impeccable taste sets her apart. Always a hard-working and collaborator; her client list is awe-inspiring and always discrete.
We had the chance to speak with Cynthia Pace – the protagonist of the following interview – about the style , must haves, trends and many other things. Enjoy, learn and apply!
You’re surrounded by images of beauty in your job, what do you find beautiful in a person?
What do I find beautiful in a person? I’m not sure if you mean internal or external beauty. But to me; a person’s heart, attitude & soul is what makes them most beautiful. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with nurturing beauty inside & out. And part of being a great stylist is the ability to find the beauty in everyone, of any age, gender, ethnicity, & body type.To me, most anyone can be beautiful/handsome. And it’s up to me to find that & bring it out in the nicest most polished form. Call it beauty or Call it handsome. To me, I call it looking one’s best.
What is your style philosophy?
My style philosophy is: “There is a big difference between fashion and style. And that big difference is a little thing called good taste. And in today’s competitive world, personal image & presentation are more important than ever. Whether it`s wow-factor red carpet glam, head-to-toe polished elegance, up-to-the-minute trendy, or casual street grunge, every style you wear sends a message about you. Your outward appearance is your letter of presentation. And yes first impressions last”.
To be a stylist means you love your work more than you love getting credit for your work?
That is an interesting question. The recognition I receive depends on the client. Sometimes they want me to say I’ve styled them, but most of the time they do not. And they’d rather brag to their friends about their fabulous fashion sense To me, that does not matter. And as personal stylist, we often do not get published. A fashion stylist is published in magazines & gets credit for photo shoots & editorial. But as a Personal Stylist, our relationships with clients are quite close/intimate & often very discreet. Like I said, it makes little difference what recognition I receive, because when I see my client looking their best, & feeling their best, I feel happy & rewarded enough. And it pays pretty well & there are many perks including travel
PHOTO CREDIT – Dan Poh
How much creative freedom do you usually get?
I often get total creative freedom because my clients trust me; & they should. And since I’m an experienced & accomplished stylist, I understand what to wear, how to wear something & when to wear something like the back of my hand. As I mentioned before, always appropriate is one of my skill sets. However, I never push my ideas on anyone. I will push a little, sometimes more than a little, but only to a point. It is also important to be able to work within creative teams, because if we cannot work with others, we’ll have a very short career as stylists – More importantly though, if my client does not feel great, or fabulous, or amazing in my recommendations, it is back to drawing board until we’re both happy in our consensus. At the end of the day, my clients always have the last call or last word & they get to say yeah or no. And on the rare occasion that they do say no, I have no issues starting over. As a perfectionist myself, I see picky & fussy as good things when it comes to style & to image.
How did you get interested in style, fashion PR and the fashion industry?
To me, style is life. And as a very young girl, my first experiences with fashion evolved from playing with dolls…Barbie dolls in particular. I guess my love of fashion grew from there. And at a very young age, I learned that presentation matters. And while it is true that beauty comes from within, the outside should not to be forgotten.Every style you wear, how you present yourself & how you behave sends a message about you. Your outward appearance is your letter of presentation. First impressions can last a long time. And life much easier when you’re feeling confident, well groomed & well put together.
What does a styling job typically consist of?
I specialize in red carpet & philanthropic gala personal styling. I do individual makeovers, image consultations (Both corporate & personal), as well as wardrobe makeovers. I’ve also done styling work for fashion shows & designers – And fashion show/runway styling is something I’d love to do more of. For this question though, I”ll stick with the favourite aspects of my job, which is special events-red carpet-philanthropic gala styling. I have earned respect for my ability to find the classy/sexy balance; & “always appropriate” is my motto. From hair and make-up, to accessories and jewellery, to clothing and even nail colour, I guide entire style teams to create head to toe synthesis and the perfect wow factor for any occasion. I’m a perfectionist & when I create a look for special events, I ensure that everything flows in perfect balance & enhances a client’s beauty, not to compete with it, or detract from it. It is quite a complex process. It can be time consuming & a lot of work. On the other hand, when under pressure, I am very good at making quick judgements, & thinking on my feet. Did I mention I’ve pulled a few rabbits out of hats before. I don’t think I’m being arrogant when I say I have an eye for style, impeccable taste & being a detailed oriented perfectionist serves me well. In the end, the results of my hard work & collaboration, are nothing short of magical. And when my clients are happy, of course, so am I.
Can you describe your daily routine? What is your favourite part of the creative process?
I have no daily routine. Sometimes, I’ll read fashion blogs. Sometimes, I’ll go window-shopping to see what is new in each city. Often I’ll read the fashion & luxury news. And at other times, a client flies me here or there to help them get ready for a special event. My schedule is sporadic, & I guess in some ways, I’ve gotten used to last minute travel, fashion emergencies, & doing my homework on trends when I can fit that in. My favourite part of the creative process is when a client puts their entire trust in me. At other times, I have a designer specific gown to work with, or one brand of suit to begin & I’ll make the most of that. However, when we start from scratch, & I have some input into the design of a gown or suit, I am most happy with the finished results. But I can work with either. Creative freedom is great. But it is not always logistically or time-schedule possible.
Which of your activities bring you the most satisfaction?
I get the most satisfaction when my style clients go out feeling like a BILLION dollars:))
What’s your favourite part about working in the styling?
My favourite part is creating head to toe style & colour & fabric & accessories hair-makeup perfection!!
What’s the most challenging?
There are many challenges in my work. And I’ve also become accustomed to deadlines & dealing with stress. I’ve learned how to pull a magic rabbit out of a hat at times. And, I’ve also learned the fine art of discretion & knowing what to say-when to say something & most importantly, when to say nothing at all.
What are you dreaming?
I am dreaming of being in a place where I have the best resources, the best teams around me, so I can really create magic. More than I already do on a small scale now.
Inevitable question: Inspiration, models, mentors? Which fashion/styleicons do you turn to for style inspiration?
First of all, I think my grandmother always had a great sense of style. She was a true lady in every sense of the word. When it comes to fashion icons & inspirations, I would have to say Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Kate of England, Ivanka Trump, Victoria Beckham, Jackie-O, Aishwarya Rai & Carla Bruni. When it comes to luxury, my favourite luxury designers currently are: Valentino, Elie Saab, Ralph Lauren, Victoria Beckham, Tom Ford, Burberry, & LV.
What’s one trend that you are predicting will emerge in the near future?
Do I have to pick just one? For some reason, call it intuition; I’ve always been good at predicting fashion trends. In the near future, we will see a continuance of the feminine v.s. masculine look – Manly man v.s. Feminine woman that augments gender differences when it comes to fashion. We will also see a surge in what I call true style. By that I mean individual style – Not mass market. Not cookie cutter. Not about what we think we should wear. But more about what FEELS RIGHT for each individual person. We will also see a continuance of glamour. We’re already seeing a return to influence of the 70/s. Fashion always flows in cycles & often follows/indicates the state of our economy or state of affairs in our world. And since we are experiencing a return to natural, & the emergence of true luxury, we’re also seeing the inevitable trend of ECO-fashion. And with more people caring about the integrity of the who-where-how-when things are made & produced, the eco trend has become a permanent fixture in our world. This ECO or sustainability trend will only gain momentum in the seasons & years to come. And it will not only be in fashion – It will be in cosmetics & the food we eat, as well as our energy & transportation choices. This trend it inevitable – The trend is now. And if you ask me, it’s about time.
Do you have signature look that you like to create?
That is a tough question because every client is different. Every client has assets & flaws. Every client is beautiful/handsome in his or her own way. I concentrate on accentuating the positive & minimizing the negative whenever I work with someone. I have created every look from preppy casual to Goth, sexy to office chic, red carpet to on stage costume wear. I’m also pretty good at merging trendy fashion with classic style, so I can create pretty much any look for anyone for any occasion. Being a hard-working & active collaborator, my ability to accentuate the beauty in every woman, (And certain men), of any age or ethnicity, has made me versatile and sought after stylist around the globe. And although I do specialize in red carpet styling & special events styling, my only signature look would be what I call head to toe flawless perfection for every client, for every event, every single time I work with them
What’s one trend you never want to see again?
Haha. I would not like to see some of the disco-era fashions return. Ever…And although we are seeing the 70’s fashion styles return again, this time, I think we can pick & choose. And don’t worry, I’ll NEVER style you in a pastel blue suit, I promise.
What time period you think had the best style?
Good question. I really like the Great Gatsby 1920’s glamour. I also like the 1950’s. Some of the 1980’s was fun too & so were some of the 70’s, But overall, I’d say the 20’s & the 50’s remain my favourite fashion eras
What are points of interest when you write about fashion and style?
I’m not sure I understand this question. But I do like to write about what’s current. A current experience with a client. Or what’s new & trendy today. Or how to incorporate trendy with classic – How to wade through what the media says you should wear to find what’s really best for you. And shoes. Shoes, handbags & coats…Oh how I love to write about those three things. And also about style guides for certain events including fashion faux pas or things to avoid at certain events & functions.
If you could travel anywhere for inspiration, where would it be?
Italy – Milan & India.
Top 5 fashion must-haves?
Top 5? Only 5? Ok – My 5 picks for wardrobe staples for women are: A great pair of shoes. A versatile classic coat. An incredible handbag. A great pair of sunglasses & a stunning set of pearls. For men: A great pair of shoes. A versatile classic coat. A great pair of sunglasses. A versatile belt. And a fabulous watch.
What is your relationship with the universe of perfumes?
I love perfume. To me, a woman’s (or man’s scent) is part of their signature style. And while we can have more than one, it is often best to choose one signature scent to be remembered by…As they say, a woman’s perfume will be remembered long after the dress she wore that night was forgotten.
Are you or your clients interested in the sustainability aspects of the fashion industry?
Absolutely interested. Both myself & my clients – The issue we’re having though, is the lack of fashionable alternatives. Once all the larger fashion houses get on board, or new ones are created, things will change. But the tipping point of viable fashions have not yet been reached to generate enough interest in change **yet**…But that is coming of course.
How would you define your city’s fashion?
My current city is Vancouver BC, Canada. I would describe Vancouver’s fashion as a mix of trendy, out of the box street grunge & casual flashy. I am not in love with the fashion-styles popular here in Vancouver. I think out city is a bit too casual & could use a touch of elegance. However, I do my best & I do my part by increasing my client base here. Small steps & things are changing.
Any inspiring words for aspiring fashion stylists?
Yes. If you love fashion, & have a great sense of style, that’s a start. But you’ll also need people skills. You need to be able to work under pressure, with demanding clients & not lose your cool. You must also understand the meaning of discretion, You need to know when to be assertive & when to let things slide. It also helps if you have a good understanding of the meaning of the word appropriate If becoming a personal stylist is something you love to do, building your client base should come naturally. It is a lot of work, & one either has it (An eye for style) or they do not. But if you’re any good, one happy customer means many more to come…
You are the founder of `Style & Image With Cynthia`. How `Style & Image With Cynthia` was created?
I created style & Image With Cynthia as a catchy name that represents my take on style, fashion & image. It is a compilation of everything I’ve done so far in my life. Everything that has lead up to who I am today & to where I’m headed in the future – As I mentioned previously, my love of travel, glamour, & fashion started early. Since childhood, I have excelled at many things. I have also learned some lessons along the way. My eye for style & uncanny ability to make everything look perfect (even at the worst of times) has served me well. I also happen to like people & I enjoy making them feel good either as style clients, or as interviewees. Making things look & feel beautiful means bringing out the best in everyone & everything whether it’s during an interview, in a fashion show I styled for a designer, or one of my many personal style clients. This is what I enjoy doing. This is what I’m good at. This is what I love.
Where can we find out more about your work?
I’m often on social media particularly on Facebook. My website will be up soon and it is called www.styleandimagewithcynthia.com .My personal blog will be connected to that.
Any exciting new projects that you’re working on?
Yes. And always. In addition to being part of the international perfume foundation team, & an aspiring TV host, I am also part of Miss World Canada 2013 as their style-image & etiquette consultant. I”ll also be trying out for a style it in 30 minutes or less TV pilot project for fun. And of course, I’m working on getting some work published by doing fashion styling work, not just personal styling which never gets published. And as usual, my style adventures with existing clients, take me to various cities & that is always fun too. I’m also working on a project with beauty night society here in Vancouver. And of course, I’m still an anti-animal abuse advocate as well as an anti-bullying advocate.
Luxury for you in one word?
I would have to say COMFORT. Comfort with ones values. Comfort within ourselves. Comfort with feeling good. Comfort in knowing we have choices. Comfort in knowing we made the best choice(s). So yes, if I must sum luxury up in one word, I would say that luxury means comfort in its purest form.