Shopgirl

Stylist Erica Corsano dishes on the world of fashion
By HENLEY VAZQUEZ  |  March 28, 2006

Erica CorsanoWatch any red-carpet event and you're likely to feel less than picture perfect. But the stars' stylish looks don't come as easy as you might think. Those lucky ladies, unlike the rest of us, have the all-important stylist handy to help them put together a perfect outfit and match the accessories, then send them off looking fabulous. So who are the style mavens dressing everyone from celebs to models to socialites? We checked in with Erica Corsano -- local stylist (and ours, we might add), writer, image consultant, and generally glam gal about town -- for a bit of insight into the world of fashion. We discovered just what we expected: like Erica, some women are born this way. The rest of us survive on their advice.

Q:Tell us a bit about your background and how you started working as a stylist.
A: My sister and I grew up watching CNN Style every Saturday morning in our pajamas. We were always obsessed with fashion, and we had a shopaholic mother. So the weekend trips were shopping. Yes, we did the museum thing, but I'm not going to lie: we did a lot of shopping. So that's how I got into it. Then I moved to New York, did a brief stint at CNN Style, went from production to public relations for different firms, and worked with really great companies like Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Carolina Herrera, and Ferragamo. I really got a great background and base in high fashion, and I think once you have that, you can apply it to any kind of fashion.
Styling I started in New York when I was doing public relations. I would assist the stylists on really cool shoots. They would come and pull things from my show room, and I'd say, "By the way, I'm interested in styling. Could you use me as an assistant?" I learned very quickly that assistants schlep garment bags all over town. But I worked with a really cool stylist who also let me be involved in the decision-making process, and that's kind of how it started.

Q:Growing up, were you always the best-dressed kid?
A: I won best-dressed in eighth grade! I think I'm actually better at dressing other people than at dressing myself, though. I feel very comfortable helping people and brands with their image, but sometimes I'll look at my closet and I can't figure out what to wear.

Q:What's the biggest fashion faux pas you've committed?
A: If you saw pictures of me from the '80s, it's the double socks and switching the colors like Punky Brewster -- that's probably the biggest sin I've ever committed. I still commit sins, though, and I think everyone does. It's important to make those mistakes, to learn from them and figure out what works for you and what doesn't.

Q:Who's your fashion inspiration?
A: That's hard. I have many different fashion inspirations, and I think that each person has a different inspiration. When you style someone, it's important to get their inspiration out of them and work from there. This season, I love, love Sienna Miller. I really love all the Brit It girls. I think they have a really cool, laid-back yet sophisticated street style, and I try to incorporate that into my wardrobe. If we're going to go old school, I think Sophia Loren and Anna Magnani.

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