Five minutes with Instagram fashion stylist, Cressida!

Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's interview! We're thrilled to have Cressida, an Instagram fashion stylist, joining us to share insights into the world of fashion styling.
Welcome, Cressida!
To start off, could you tell us a bit about your journey into fashion and how you entered the world of styling?
Firstly, thank you so much for asking me to be featured this month. It's a huge compliment! I started my platform on Instagram nearly ten years ago now. I've always kept small but true to myself. If I think about it, Fashion has always been a constant in my life throughout all its different stages and I felt compelled to use Instagram as a platform to share my passion for it. Instagram for me has always been my 'glossy magazine' space where I've been able to draw upon so much influence and evolve my style in my own way. I've always disliked the term 'influencer' because to me it insinuates something more than what I am... I'm just a person who wanted to have a little space to express themselves and share with others. I like to think that I represent every woman who shares the same passion but maybe lacks the confidence to put themselves out there. My platform has taken me through a journey somewhat thorough the years and I realised that what I really love doing most is helping other women use fashion to feel confident as that's what I use fashion for. Clothes to me are like my armour... they can change the way you feel and show up and once you become confident in your own style and how to dress, that in itself can be so empowering. So, for the last year or so that's where my focus has been and I started working firstly with friends and then women in my local area, to help them use their wardrobes differently and started styling them in areas they wanted to focus on. Alongside this I started working as a freelance styling assistant on E-Commerce shoots where I've been picking up so much experience on the job and know this is exactly where I want to be. So essentially, growing my platform on Instagram has enabled me to do what I'm doing now.
As we transition into spring, many of us are looking to update our wardrobes. What advice do you have for someone looking to refresh their style for the upcoming season?
 I think the main thing with each season change is to assess what you already have and then think about what, if anything, you need to add. If there is something you've not reached for in two years then maybe it's not serving you a purpose, so cull those items. When you minimise your wardrobe, you'd be surprised at the new options it can create. There is so much to look at on Instagram that sometimes we can get caught in this trap of thinking we need every item a certain influencer is wearing to be 'on trend', but if you can pair it back to create those outfits with what you do have available, not only are you creating your own unique version but shopping in your own wardrobe will save you shelling out on items you might wear once and never reach for again. 
How do you stay ahead of trends while maintaining your unique style?
So, I kind of touched on this with the last question but I always say to my clients and followers to try to not get caught up in trends. It can be hard when every influencer or fashion girl on Instagram are all wearing the same thing but why do we all want to look and wear the same things? For example, the Adidas Samba trainers... I love them but I tell myself don't cave in as everyone on Instagram has them and I just want to show up a little differently rather than fall into a cliché. So instead, I looked in my wardrobe for what I could wear with trousers and jeans and I revived some Adidas originals, so this is my version of this trend. Instagram puts such a pressure on us all to be wearing certain things and that's great if you just want to be 'trendy' but being 'stylish' to me is something completely different. One of my favourite sayings is 'fashion says everyone, style says just me'.  
Designer preloved fashion style valentines date night
 With Valentine's Day coming up, lots of our readers will be looking for preloved fashion ideas to wear. From looking at the items on our website, what are the top few pieces you would pick for a 'date night' look?
You have such a great selection of pre-loved pieces! I've picked out some of my favourite items that would be perfect for a Valentine's date night. You can't go wrong with a simple dress paired with a classic shoe and a gorgeous handbag. I've gone for a red and black theme for the lovers.
Can you share some insights into the impact that wearing the right colours can have on a person's appearance and confidence. 
Wearing the right colours for you is so important as pairing the wrong colours against our own colouring can have a huge impact. The wrong colours can suck the life out of us and take over whereas when you're wearing colours you know suit your skintone, they can make you glow and compliment you and make your eye colour stand out. Over the years I've got to know what colours suit me just by experimenting and just knowing I feel different in certain tones. A stylist can certainly help go through this with you if you're completely unsure of which colours to avoid.  
Tell us about your favourite piece in your wardrobe?
Oh my gosh, what a question... I feel like my wardrobe is like a life collection full of pieces I've curated and refined over years so picking just one will be hard. I do seem to have a thing for occasion wear though. Occasion wear is the only thing I would always encourage buying even if you don't have an event as when you find a special piece like that, you know at some point if you have a wedding or a ball of some sort to attend, you can be sure you have something ready to reach for that likely no one else will have. Clients often come to me looking for 'the dress' for an event as they aren't really looking until they need it and then struggle to find what they're looking for. So, a small collection of occasion wear is always preferable. I digress (this is what happens when you get me started on my favourite topic). So, one of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe is a Vivienne Westwood dress I picked up about 15 years ago. It has a built-in corset and asymmetrical hem in a gorgeous golden leopard tone. The very shape of the dress adds all the right interest and if I have nothing else to wear, I know I'll always reach for this.  
We can see from your Instagram profile that you like designer items, who is your favourite designer and why?
Another tough question to narrow down... so in summer I love resort wear designers like Osereè, Norma Kamali and Cult Gaia for their textures, shapes and colours. For elevating everyday staples, I love Loewe. Although my wardrobe is largely high street, it's nice to have some designer pieces to mix and match. As you know I'm rather partial to Chanel but lately I've definitely pulled back. Their price increases are crazy, and they don't match the quality so I would only invest in vintage or pre-loved pieces going forward. 

For those aspiring to become a fashion influencer or stylist, what tips do you have for building a successful online presence and establishing oneself in the fashion industry?
Just do you... try not to worry about what others are doing and think about what it is you want to translate. Do you have a message? Do you want to empower others?
Let’s ask Cressida some Quick-Fire Questions:
1.  Vintage or modern fashion pieces? Vintage 
2.  High heels or trainers? Love both
3.  Bold prints or subtle textures? Subtle textures
4.  Statement earrings or a bold necklace? Statement earrings
5.  Monochromatic outfits or eclectic colour combinations? Monochromatic 
6.  Structured handbag or slouchy tote?  Structured 
7.  Bohemian chic or urban street style? Urban
8.  Avant-garde fashion or timeless classics? Timeless
Thank you so much, Cressida, for sharing your valuable insights and advice with us today. It's been a pleasure having you!  You can follow Cressida on Instagram here @c.r.e.s.s.i.d.a

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