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Josh Coleman has found a nice in costume design in Hollywood. Photo by Isaac Harrell.
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Jarrod Lacks went from interning at Richmond magazineto becoming a fashion editor at Allure. Photo by Isaac Harrell.
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Photo by Todd Wright
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Photo courtesy of Michael Fisher
You don't have to hit the runways at RVA Fashion Week in April — although we recommend it — to see that Richmond is one stylish city. We talked with four fashion savants who call Richmond home to get their expert advice on what to wear and where to find it locally.
Josh Coleman grew up in style. His mother, Sharon Coleman, owns Richmond home décor shop Tinker & Co., and in 2003, Josh Coleman graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in fashion merchandising. After writing about fashion for Richmond magazine for about a year, he moved to Los Angeles to work in the costume department for hits such as Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Grey's Anatomy and Iron Man. Upon returning from a four-month tour with KISS, Coleman recently found himself back in Richmond in the costume department for Lincoln.
RM: How did you break into the L.A. fashion world?
JC: A TV show came to film at my mother's store and the host of the show, Mark Montano, was a big fashion designer. We became good friends. … He called me one day and said, "I'm going to be hosting a TV show [Ten Years Younger for TLC]. The good news is that I want you to design it; the bad news is, it starts in two days." The next morning I was on a plane to L.A., and the very next day, I was at the Long Beach Aquarium standing in a stingray tank with a wetsuit on, and I was touching up the host.
RM: What are your favorite kinds of movies to work on?
JC: It's always the period pieces: Water for Elephants, Lincoln, In Time. It's fun because it's not everyday contemporary clothing.
RM: What is your personal style?
JC: Whenever I work on a movie, at some point I get so into the costumes that I catch myself starting to incorporate clothes from the movie into my own style. Right now, [working on Lincoln] my outfits consist of a shirt, pants, suspenders, a vest over top of the suspenders, and a jacket. It's very three-piece-suit.
RM: Where do you shop in Richmond when you're here?
JC: Tinkers for home décor. When it comes to clothes, I make a lot of pit stops at Urban Outfitters.
The Celebrity Stylist
Born-and-raised Richmonder Jarrod Lacks styled fashion shoots for Richmond magazine, the Carytown Guide and Richmond Bride when he was a fashion-design student at VCU. After graduating in 2005, Lacks moved to New York City to intern with Yves Saint Laurent and soon landed a job as an assistant fashion editor at Allure magazine.
RM: How is dressing a celebrity different from dressing everyone else?
JL: Celebrities are completely attached to remaining consistent with their image, and sometimes certain brands, so working with them is more challenging. You have to find the right brand, style, piece that works with who they are and what they represent, they have to love it and be totally comfortable with wearing it, and it also has to please their fans.
RM: Can you tell me about a particularly fun fashion shoot?
JL: We had a baby chimp on a shoot that we did with Ellen Pompeo [of Grey's Anatomy]! We had such a day with the baby chimp. He had such a personality. It was really funny seeing her interact with him and vice versa. She's so awesome.
RM: Who are your favorite designers?
JL: I love Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Jean Touitou for A.P.C., and Yohji Yamamoto for Y-3.
RM: What are your wardrobe essentials?
JL: I'm pretty simple as far as my personal style goes. An Oxford, black or dark indigo jeans and a pair of retro Air Jordans are pretty much my standard uniform. I splurge on outerwear. I buy at least two coats each winter.
Ford Modeling Agency scouted Kim Alley when she was a senior at Monacan High School in the early '80s. After staying with Eileen Ford in New York City for several months to compile her portfolio, Alley began an international modeling career that took her to Europe, Japan and Australia, and throughout the United States. When she returned to Richmond, Alley started her own agency, Kim Alley Models.
RM: How were you discovered by Ford Modeling Agency?
KA: I just went to an open call. The scout for Ford told me I needed to lose 20 pounds, and after I lost [the weight] and got my braces off, they took me up to New York.
RM: Was it common for young models to live with Eileen Ford?
KA: There were tons of other models there. Eileen and Jerry [Ford] used to have a house on the Upper East Side in New York, and [the models] would stay with them. Sometimes, we'd sneak out. You'd have to watch, the second or third step creaked, so [Eileen] would wake up if she knew that you were coming back in the house.
RM: How has the fashion industry changed since you started your career in the '80s?
KA: It's definitely more exposed. The media's really changed the business. When I was modeling, it was very hush-hush and very secretive. Now it's all out in the open. I think it's much better this way. I think there's less drugs and alcohol.
RM: Where do you shop in Richmond?
KA: I just love the stores in Carytown. One KA: I just love the stores in Carytown. One of my favorites is Pink. I don't like to spend too much money on clothes. My husband's happy about that.
As a trend forecaster and menswear editor at Stylesight, a worldwide trend forecasting and analysis agency, Michael Fisher travels internationally to determine what's in vogue in the menswear industry. In addition to overseeing Stylesight's men's reporting and trend analysis for runways, retail and the streets, the VCU graduate contributes trend-related coverage for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, among others.
RM: What are the leading trends in menswear right now?
MF: It's focused on heritage. Men of all ages are embracing what it means to be masculine. It's a very rugged, work-wear influence. A lot of things have a very vintage quality to them now. There's this great kind of dandy element. If you look at the shows right now that men are watching, — Boardwalk Empire, Hell on Wheels on AMC — they're all kind of period pieces, so that vintage aspect is definitely shining through.
RM: Who are the menswear designers to watch?
MF: Prada, Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto and Junya Watanabe. Those are kind of like the four crown jewels, and they all seem to be tuned in to what's happening on the streets even before we're really aware of it.
RM: How are runway fashions influencing street wear?
MF: In the last five years, we're seeing street trends that are actually kind of trickling up to what's happening on the runways. It used to be that the really wealthy people set the trends, and then a year later it would kind of trickle down to the masses. It's changed since technology has become so accessible.
RM: Where do you shop in Richmond?
MF: I am a big fan of Need Supply Co. in Carytown. They have a huge web presence. If you read any of the menswear blogs, they are mentioned all the time. They've made a name for themselves in the menswear world, and it's not just people in Richmond that are buying from them.