By Personal Stylist Liz Finkelstein of Mile High Style {LISTmember}

Working with clients in both fashion and interior design, I will often get pushback* when introducing something (a style of furniture, an accessory, a color) reminiscent of their history (something they didn�t like at the time**) or history overall (oversaturation of a trend***). Which is to say that our reactions to style are deeply personal.

I�m just as susceptible to these subjective biases, as I experienced recently regarding the re-emergence of Birkenstocks. I saw Birkenstocks as the crown jewel of the neo-hippy movement of the 90s, a period heavy on posturing and light on politics. I was unable (and initially unwilling) to divorce them from their context , so I poo-poo�d them to friends, clients, and in print (forever cementing my blunder). What happened, of course, is that J.Crew re-introduced them as slightly modified and modern, in great colors and with an adorable signature white sole; suddenly they were perfect accompaniment to skirts or a Summer dress.

Part of my job in building style vocabulary is to erase the history, remove the pre-existing context, and allow you to see any item in a new light. I tell my clients that it�s a lot like cooking- if you ate mushrooms often during childhood and always in dishes that you didn�t like, you�d probably be averse as an adult. But if I introduced them to you now in a different recipe, full of ingredients you liked, ingredients that work with the mushrooms, you may change your mind. I have. Mushrooms and Birkenstocks taught me that anything can be adapted to suit a modern sensibility and a discerning palette.

*Something I encourage.

**Grandmother�s house full of Victorian antiques, or brass buttons on annoying school uniforms.

***80s pastels, skinny jeans, overly stylized granite.

By Personal Stylist Liz Finkelstein of Mile High Style {LISTmember}

Photo by Chowen Photography


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