Get to know our very own Ilka where she talks ideal weekend activities, her love for fashion photography and what her key piece this season is.
1. I can’t start the day without..
Reading the news online.
2. Tell us about your background and how you ended up becoming a colour and style advisor?
I studied political science in Berlin and worked in political PR and campaigning. Realising that the concept of the “personal brand” was increasingly important for political candidates as well as for many professionals who want to get to the top in their profession, I moved to London to study Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism, and then Personal Styling at the London College of Fashion. At Red Leopard I learned about the power of colours.
I dress people so that they are seen as - and feel - important, confident and powerful. I deeply believe in the proverb that you should dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.
3. Where do you find inspiration?
I started reading fashion magazines and fashion photography books when I was only four years old. I would study the runway and make-up looks for hours.
Naturally, I have a large visual memory of silhouettes, looks and key items which pop up in to my head when I work with a client, which helps me to think of those key pieces that a client will love to wear for many years.
I still love the beautiful fantasy worlds created by fashion photographers like Tim Walker, however the research I do for my work is a little bit different. To know what is available and what the trends are, I mainly go through relevant brands’ websites and look at their latest collections. I also visit the shops so that I can see the clothes in flesh. I don’t recommend my clients to follow trends. Instead I advise them to dress for their body shape and proportions, colours and style personality, and to buy what works for their lifestyle. Once these things are considered, any purchase will withstand the test of time and will make my client look as great now as it will in ten years.
I also believe in the principle that “less is more” which resonates strongly with my clients who are so happy about the outfits and combinations I have created for them out of their existing clothes. They have pictures of these outfits stuck to the inside of their wardrobe which help them to create more headspace and save valuable time and money.
4. What’s your ideal Saturday?
Sitting in the sun in Petersham Nurseries, reading the weekend papers and the supplements.
5. As an ‘Autumn’, what will you be your key items this season?
A coat, without a doubt. It’s the most important piece of clothing in the months to come. Since it has to go with so many different items, I like to wear dark neutral colours, like a dark navy and a dark olive green to which I add colourful scarves and gloves to.