Spring is finally upon us, so what better time to chat with celebrity fashion designer and author of The Science of Sexy, Bradley Bayou, about his picks for the season? Bayou has designed for countless stars including Beyonce Knowles, Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Megan Fox, and Oprah Winfrey, and in The Science of Sexy he shows women how to dress to fit their unique figure with a style system that works for every shape and size.
The Fashion Spot: With a background that includes designing both high end and affordable fashions for QVC, what do you think are fashion items that women should invest in versus the ones they can easily buy at bargain prices?
Bradley Bayou: Invest in basic pieces that fit you perfectly. They should be chosen to accentuate your unique figure and tailored as they will be the core of your wardrobe. These are the pieces you will wear again and again no matter the season or the trend. At the end of my book, I have a dream closet checklist which tells you exactly what you should have in your closet such as:
- a basic white tailored shirt
- a sexy party top
- a little black dress that flatters your silhouette
- a basic black skirt
- a casual pant, tailored to fit
- a pair of black pants
- a few pairs of jeans.
- a basic black suit
- a blazer
These are the items you should spend money on. However, before you go out and spend a lot of money on some designer piece, make sure the silhouette suits you perfectly, that it is made with quality fabric, and in a neutral or basic color so that it will become a staple in your closet. Then, for the other items in your closet: this season’s trends. Don't spend so much and have fun! Just be sure that whatever you are selecting works with your body type; there is no sense in having anything in your closet that is not flattering, but you can go crazy with colors and patterns!
tFS: What are the key items every woman needs to transition her wardrobe into the Spring 2011 season?
BB: If you don't already have one… get a leather biker jacket. It is the perfect transitional piece as we say goodbye to the cold weather and get ready for Spring. It will become the newest statement piece in your wardrobe and can be worn with almost everything from soft feminine dresses to jeans or cocktail dresses. A biker jacket will add a bit of attitude to any existing outfit you already have, so grab one to wear now and into the summer.
Another great transitional item is a cargo jacket or military vest. You can wear it now as a layering piece and then on its own when the weather gets warmer. They will look great in the summer when paired with a flirty skirt, or now with jeans or a trouser pant. It is an essential item that you will find yourself going to over and over again – so you should track one down sooner rather than later.
It is also the perfect time to jump into a pair of 70s-inspired jeans. Wear them now with a structured fitted top and jacket and then in the spring with wedge heels and a tucked in top to look long and lean.
tFS: What are your favorite Spring 2011 trends? Any you dislike?
BB: I am excited to see the end of low rise skinny jeans and welcome straight leg trouser pants and boot cut jeans. These high waisted straight leg pants are flattering for almost every body type and so easy to wear. They will give you a long lean look you can dress up, or wear to work – perfect for everyday life.
Color: anything from pop 60s-inspired colors to neutral desert beiges and tans – use color to accentuate your assets, but stick to darks and neutrals for hiding flaws. Big bangles are also on trend and a great way to add a pop of color to your outfit.
Keep all military-inspired pieces. A must-have is a vest or jacket. Another big item this spring is a trench-inspired sheath dress – the structure, fabric and shape built into this garment is great for every body shape depending on where the embellishments are. For instance, epaulets will bring out the shoulder and balance a triangle frame, or belted with pockets at the hips will balance an inverted triangle.
Gone are short shorts and crop tops! I love seeing the more comfortable, flowing fabrics and shapes for this spring. They are easy to wear so you will naturally appear sexy since you will feel comfortable and confident in your clothing – just be careful to choose fabrics that are flowy but still have enough substance to cover and hide flaws.
There aren't any trends I really dislike… I would just be careful with layering; it is still a big trend and works well when mixing patterns and flowy fabrics but can add weight to your frame. Make sure to show your waist either with a belt or with the cut of the garment for a slimmer silhouette.
tFS: Color is big for Spring, do you have any tips for women who prefer the all-black or a more neutral look?
BB: Neutrals still play a large part in Spring 2011; you will find desert inspired colors such as rust, sienna, and sand, but if you are more the all-black kind of girl, just mix in a pop of color or balance the black with white for spring. You can do this very easily by just adding some big colorful bangles or a crisp white shirt with your black trousers or skirt. The runways had a lot of citrus for Spring, 2011, which easily goes with last summer's cobalt and aquamarine for an instant wardrobe update.
tFS: What celebrity were you most excited to see wear one of your designs?
BB: Oprah! She was being awarded the very first Humanitarian Award at the Emmy's and wore my gown. It meant a lot to me to be a part of such an important moment in her life; at the time Oprah didn't attend a lot of the award shows or go out all that much, so it was a really special opportunity. She ended up making several "Best Dressed" lists that year, including People Magazine. She is still getting press in that dress as recently as a few months ago when she made InStyle's top 100 dresses from the last century.
tFS: Any celebrity you'd love to see in one of your creations?
BB: Natalie Portman, because I think she is an amazing actress, a real beauty, and has great style.
tFS: Any celebrity you think could use a Bradley Bayou makeover?
BB: Hilary Clinton. I do not think she really uses fashion to her greatest advantage.
tFS: What compelled you to write a book?
BB: People Magazine did a feature on me and coined me as the "Man for All Sizes" because of all the different shapes and sizes of women I have dressed. This made me start thinking that I should write a book to share that information with everyone, so I began to do some research and came up with "The Science of Sexy".
tFS: What can we expect from you in the coming months?
BB: Lots of surprises, breaking into new areas of design… I can't say just yet, but it's going to be fun!