Gilt editorial director Tracey Lomrantz Lester is a master of the mix — both in her personal style and her home decor. Inspired by her uniquely eclectic aesthetic, we asked her to make some fashion and interior design picks for our latest incarnation of the “Gilt Influencer Picks” franchise, which launches Sunday, April 27th, at 9 p.m. Here, we asked her about her inspirations, style icons, and more:
How would you describe your fashion style? (which we love, btw…) I’d say my style is a little of this, a little of that. It’s kind of the Japanese concept of wabi sabi — celebrating things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. I love me a sequined skirt, strappy stilettos … and my husband’s vintage Miller Lite T-shirt. Or total tomboy preppy mode — Top-Siders, polo shirt — and a pair of really gaudy rhinestone earrings. I always like to have one thing on that’s a little bit f—ed up.
And how do you define your home-decor style? (Do you design like you dress?) I definitely decorate the way I dress — our apartment is a major mix. My husband came to the marriage with tons of amazing antiques and Persian rugs, and I had all of this Lucite. It was either going to work and be fabulous, or be a mess. But we love how it all kind of worked out together. I’m also what I’d call a maximalist with both my personal style and my decor style — I can never have enough accessories, enough color, enough fabrics, textures, ways to layer on more of everything.
Where do you stand on the trends-vs-classics spectrum, both in fashion and home decor? Do you give equal importance to both? I’m definitely a total trendoid in fashion, more than in my home decor. I’ll try any trend once! Except for crop tops. But my philosophy towards the importance of classics vs. trends is the same in both — invest in the classics, and buy accessible versions of trends. When it comes to things like sheets and towels, I buy fabulous ones (I love Frette) in white and have them for years. I do the same thing with a classic pump or a beautiful coat — I look for neutral colors and lines with longevity. But then the trend shopping is where I get to have my fun! I’m a costume jewelry junkie, so I’ll buy tons of vintage or cheapie pieces and layer them on a million ways to change up my look. Same with throw pillows, vases, and tchotchkes — I switch up stuff like that all the time.
What’s your most prized possession at home? We have a vintage 1960s cigarette machine — which is actually fully functional — from a flea market upstate, and we use it as a bar. It’s an amazing conversation piece, and makes it feel like it’s always cocktail hour in our living room. My husband’s grandmother is also a painter, and we have a beautiful piece she did of this cool old guy sleeping on a bench. I’ve stared at that painting endlessly.
Who’s your biggest style icon and why? I can’t get enough of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe. She surprises me all the time, and I love the totally all-over-the-place mix of designers she wears. And she loves color, which makes me so happy! I’ve also always had a thing for Diane Keaton — she just looks like she was born in everything she wears.
Other general inspirations? (Places, trips, museums, the mean streets of NYC, etc.?) There’s nothing I love more than walking the streets in New York and seeing what people are wearing for inspiration. I’m forever thinking, I have fitted little hoodie and boys’ oxford shirt, why didn’t I think to put them together? And then I go home and I do. My friends call it “Single White Female-ing” someone’s look. I’m also a total freak for seeing people’s homes and how they live, and snagging their ideas — I will never turn down a chance to go to someone’s apartment in New York! It’s such a fun, voyeuristic little luxury.
What’s at the top of your wish list? I’ve been eyeing a black Saint Laurent duffel bag for months now, but I haven’t been able to pull the trigger yet. There are also two pairs of Tabitha Simmons shoes in my cart at the moment — I love how whimsical and yet fashion forward her stuff is–and I basically horde Linda Farrow sunglasses, so those are always on my wish list.