With a Central Saint Martins degree in fashion journalism and a lengthy list of celebrity clients, Annabel Tollman has an impressive résumé (several years as the fashion director of Interview magazine made her quite the New York insider). The leggy blonde now has her own styling company based out of the West Village, and a large-scale obsession with glamorous, old-Hollywood style. And her client list boats Scarlett Johansson, Mariah Carey, and the Olsens. In between fittings with Brit musician Jamie Cullum for his new album, we caught up with Annabel to talk about her personal style, designers that start with the letters A and B, and where to shop for vintage in New York.
How did you get into fashion and styling?
I loved fashion and magazines when I was growing up. I was good at English, so my mother convinced me to study fashion journalism rather than design at Central Saint Martins, a wise move, as I have very little patience and hate sewing. At school, while wearing a black dress with major accessories (a huge Vivienne Westwood handbag and silver shell-toed Adidas sneakers, I believe), I had a tutor tell me that I was probably really a stylist and not a designer or journalist.
What’s the inspiration behind your own look?
Elizabeth Taylor meets Brigitte Bardot. I'm a big believer in bombshell glamor. If it ain't broke … I’m also very inspired by literature. I get very inspired by literature because certain authors just paint such wonderful pictures. Nancy Mitford and Truman Capote are two of my favorites.
What was the first designer item you bought or wore?
It might be the aforementioned Vivienne Westwood handbag — it was huge and black patent with a big orb on it. I went through a big Westwood phase in my Saint Martins days.
Who were some of your favorite designers growing up? What about now?
The first designers that I loved and identified with were Rifat Ozbek and Katharine Hamnett, though I never owned any of it (it's sort of hard to pull that off at age 12, living in the sticks). Now I love designers whose names begin with A or B ... Alaïa, Azzaro, Balmain, Antonio Berardi — but Roland Mouret remains an enduring favorite. I love some of the new Brit designers too: Meadham Kirchoff, Louise Goldin, and Richard Nicoll are all very exciting. My enduring love, however, is vintage.
What are some items you can’t live without?
I love belts. I'm particularly enamored with my black Alaïa belt because it adds some badass punch to an otherwise soft and pretty look. I bought these strapless bullet bras at a vintage show and I've been wearing them over T-shirts — people laugh and point, but as long as I'm happy, then they can laugh all they like.
Is there an item you are currently coveting?
The Chloé white shorts with the scalloped hem. But they're totally sold out and I don't own a pair.
What trends are you into this season?
I try not to dress according to trends. I think that a woman should wear her clothes rather than the clothes wearing the woman.
Any trends you wish would just disappear?
What’s something every woman should have in her closet?
It's a cliché, but it's true: a black shift dress.
Finish this sentence: I never leave the house without ….
Changing at least seventeen times.
Most Viewed Stories
Everything We Know About Brad Pitt’s Plane Incident
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
Jaden Smith on the Many Subtle Flavors of Water
Kim Kardashian Might Vote for Donald Trump
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
If You See Brad Pitt As a Fallen Hero, It’s Because the Rules Have Changed
Taylor Swift’s Squad Begged Kim Kardashian for Mercy
Bask in the Glory of This Dramatic Email Sent to a UCLA Freshman by Her Future Roommate
Kylie Jenner’s Getting Sucked Into Tyga’s Debt Problems
From Our Partners
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutAdam Levine and Behati Prinsloo Unveiled Their Baby on Instagram
Her name is Dusty Rose Levine. Awwww.Beyoncé and Tina Knowles Did A Normal Mother/Daughter Thing
Houston’s Solid Gold Beauty Supply received the Queen Bey herself.Brad Pitt Probably Won’t Face Prosecution for Child Abuse
The Brangelina Divorce Machine marches on.North West Is a Pretty Great Flower Girl
Brides, prepared to be upstaged.The Kids From Stranger Things Are Hanging Out With Nicolas Ghesquière
Millie Bobby Brown, Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo hit up Louis Vuitton’s HQ in Paris.A ‘Cagney & Lacey-Esque’ Police Drama Is Currently in Development at ABC
Bring. On. The Female. Detectives.Kylie Jenner’s Getting Sucked Into Tyga’s Debt Problems
She’ll have to answer questions under oath in the latest lawsuit against him.Lauren Hutton and Gigi Hadid Make the Best Intergenerational Model Pair
It was a major moment.Your Basement Gym Is No Match for These $10 Million Wellness Amenities
The two superstar brokers of Million Dollar Listing New York fame discuss.The NFL Is Taking Steps to Recruit More Women
It’s part of a major push for gender equality.
When it comes to white denim, the only rule is that it should flatter you.Hotel Counts Sensual Framed Photos of Jeff Goldblum Among Its Amenities
A true luxury.The Cabal of Fabulous Rich Ladies Who Built Gustav Klimt’s Career
Their stories and portraits are featured in a new exhibit at Neue Galerie New York.The Chanel No.5 Launch Party Was the No. 1 Place to Be in L.A. Last Night
It doesn’t get any better than Nas and Chanel bags.An Uber Operator Allegedly Laughed at a Man for Calling to Report a Sexual Assault
The driver has since been permanently banned.Kate Moss and Paris Hilton Partied This Week
People cried while waiting for Gigi Hadid.See the Newest Fashion Campaigns for Fall
Including Pharrell’s democratic G-Star campaign, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, and Acne Studios.Kim Kardashian Might Vote for Donald Trump
Oh, dear.A Black Woman Painted Her Entire Body White to Protest Police Brutality, and Facebook Removed the Video
It took hours for the platform to restore her video.Toxic Masculinity Causing Men to Avoid Tofu and Exclamation Points
Men aren’t the only jerks who text with periods.