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Welcome to Style Diaries, a series where we research the physical manifestations of our closet tours IRL. We’re asking friends and tastemakers to show us what they’re *actually* wearing during the week and to provide a little insight into their thoughts on the current state of fashion. This week, we follow Bergdorf Goodman’s vice president of brand marketing and creative Elle Strauss as she navigates a week switching between home-bound zoom calls and in-office prep work to launch BG’s new “Expressionists” campaign. Unlike its bold colors, Strauss’s wardrobe is a sea of black (minus the occasional neutral).
What role does fashion play in your life?
“Fashion is first and foremost a form of self-expression—a way to express how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen. I love being able to explore that in my work, whether in a fashion shoot or through our [Bergdorf] campaigns. As it pertains to my own wardrobe, fashion is both emotional and utilitarian. It’s funny because I have two daughters who are also obsessed with fashion. To them, it’s a world of fun and celebration and it’s been fascinating to watch as they grow into themselves.”
What does your style look like these days? Do you have a go-to outfit formula or do you prefer to switch it up when getting dressed?
“I think there’s an unconscious formula. I tend to have a lot of black in my day-to-day rotation. I like clean lines and simple garments. It can never be too fussy because I’m five-foot-one so anything unnecessary will end up looking like way too much. I also think a lot about practicality. My job, whether that’s working from home on Zoom calls all day or [going] on set, requires a level of ease. I like the simplicity of [clean] lines, which also give me the opportunity to layer a sweater or add a blazer if I need to elevate the look quickly.”
Paint us a picture of your lifestyle. What sorts of things do you need to dress for?
“Every day is different and requires different elements in my wardrobe. So, I gravitate towards pieces that work for different scenarios. If I’m working from home, I’ll typically have a simple white T-shirt paired with jeans or relaxed trousers—and a smart [Zoom-appropriate] blazer never too far away. A tailored blazer instantly elevates your look. I’m a big believer in elevated essentials—unfussy and timeless. For the office, I’ll dress it up a bit more with a simple heel or boot and the same for evening events. In a perfect world, I can start and end my day with as little adjustment as possible.”
In terms of beauty, what does your go-to hair and makeup routine look like and how does that change based on what you’re wearing?
“Most days, I keep it simple with a lip balm, eye liner, and a touch of concealer. I also make sure I apply SPF even on days working from home—my home office can get a lot of sunlight and one can’t be too careful. Like my clothes, I like my beauty routine to be simple and uncomplicated. But if I want to elevate the look, a red lip is my go-to. I love Victoria Beckham eye liner and Armani red lipstick because both are one-time applications. They last all day and give me one less thing to think about.”
Look 1: Office Brainstorms
Photo: Courtesy of Elle Strauss
“It’s a busy day at Bergdorf Goodman. I’m in the office to work through our holiday strategy. If you can believe it, we get started thinking about holiday as early as January and it involves countless meetings and brainstorms with our brilliantly inventive teams. I love going into the office because it gives me a reason to get dressed up again. Today’s look is a polished take on traditional tailoring that allows me to be both comfortable and chic. A black blazer instantly lends a sense of formality without a lot of fuss. This one from Proenza Schouler is a timeless favorite. And everything goes with a cappuccino, which I always grab before I start an in-office day.”
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Look 2: Manifesting Warm Weather
“Today I’m manifesting [warm weather]. It’s a beautiful day, so I decided a chic summer dress would fit the bill. At home, I’m much more casual but still gravitate toward timeless staples in the most timeless color of all: black. Black plays a big part in my wardrobe because of its ease. I paired the dress with Jil Sander x Birkenstock sandals, which I just think they nailed. It’s the perfect weekend shoe. My daughters and I are off to the market, so I’ve got the hand-crafted market tote I picked up on a recent trip to Mexico. My little girl snapped this photo. We’re all a little fashion obsessed in our house, which makes for a lot of fun but not the easiest weekday morning routine.”
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Look 3: A Day of Zoom Calls…
“I’m running out the door to grab a coffee before a day filled with Zoom calls. Sometimes I mix it up and add a neutral to the sea of black in my wardrobe. I love this dress by Loulou Studio. I discovered their sumptuous knits when the brand was a part of our first class of Radar designers (a platform for the next generation of great talent). I’m accompanied by my partner-in-crime: my dog Flora.”
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Look 4: …And More Zoom Calls
“Time to start the day. I have a series of Zoom meetings with important vendors, so I’ve paired my relaxed white jeans with a simple black blazer:my secret weapon. On my feet are my Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock clogs—another staple of my WFH wardrobe. I also think fresh flowers go a long way in brightening up the doldrums of relentless video calls. It’s all about the details.”
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Look 5: Working From Home Round 3
“I’m working from home yet again while juggling work and family. I’ve got another trusted blazer paired with my favorite Totême T-shirt. An elevated T-shirt, like the ones by Totême, balances comfort and sophistication. I’ve paired my jeans with a pair of Khaite boots that always make me feel powerful. Khaite just gets me and I love that their heels are never quite that high because gone are the days of the four-inch pump. It’s time to pick up the girls, so I’ve got my Peter Do bag with me, which we launched exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman earlier this year.”
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Look 6: Back to the Office and Prepping for a Shoot
“I’m at BG Restaurant for a scouting day ahead of our shoot with Emma Roberts and Linda Fargo for the Valentino Rendez-Vous collection. Even though I’ve been in our restaurant a million times, it’s so important to be meticulous when prepping for a shoot. Whenever I’m on set or scouting, I need a look that can move with me easily. I love this Sacai dress for that very reason (and because the brand always finds ways to surprise me in their level of craft and detail). I’ve got my little apple sticker on my phone from our Bergdorf Goods holiday pop-up because when you love your work, you should show it off.”
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Look 7: A Post-Work Celebration
“Tonight, we’re celebrating our partnership with Valentino in honor of their fabulous Rendez-Vous collection. It took a village to get here and I’m especially thrilled to be wearing a gorgeous (and of course, black) dress from the collection. Earlier today, we filmed content featuring our beautiful co-host Emma Roberts and the iconic Linda Fargo in conversation. So after a quick change in the office and the application of my favorite red lip, I’m off to the party accessorized with my favorite vintage Manolo Blahnik heels.”