If there’s one thing we love, it’s getting the op to steal a moment of a magazine and styling world legend’s time. In the case of celebrity stylist and creative director Julia von Boehm, the hamster on the wheel in our head was whirring on double time—after all, the former InStyle fashion director cut her teeth with Carine Roitfeld at Vogue Paris and has long been the force behind best dressed list fixtures such as Nicole Kidman and Uma Thurman. Naturally, we had to ask some tips for how to make an outfit more interesting, and how to accessorize like a pro. Von Boehm is actually making it easy for us too, having teamed up with chic and ethical Paris-based footwear brand Nomasei on an upcycled capsule of fun loafers and menswear-inspired dress socks that have already been spotted on the likes of Eva Chen, Gabriella Karefa Johnson, and Laura Dern. We’ve got all the intel you need, pens & paper at the ready please…
First off, tell us about your collaboration with Nomasei! Why do you love the brand and how did it come about organically?
Organically for me means that we all have a very similar aesthetic and it came together by accident for that exact reason—basically it was never planned to happen, until it did! I love the brand’s founders, Paule and Marine, who are two hard-working, self made women who care a great deal about how the product is made and sustainable practices. The quality of their shoes truly compare to those of haute couture [standards].
Your mission was to put your own spin on Nomasei classics—what was on the moodboard for the collaboration?
Believe it or not…chic, Milanese gentlemen! And a disco ball!
We can see it! You’ve said you’re ‘menswear obsessed’—what are some menswear codes that you think instantly make an outfit look cooler?
A suit jacket, a silky sock perfectly in harmony with the rest of the outfit, and ideally a little twist—like the crystals on our Nomasei x JVB socks, for example. [Add] a crisp, white shirt or a classic striped one, ideally made out of twill. I also love that we saw ties included in so many runways shows. I have been obsessing over using ties in my own outfits and my clients’ for years, so yes to ties!
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Let’s take it back. What was the first thing that made you fall in love with fashion?
I think I was obsessed with beauty and aesthetic, in all aspects, from the beginning. Art, decorating, fashion, and even the beauty of the kitchen. I like things to look very pretty! When I was about 8-years-old, I had to wear a neck brace for a couple of weeks and the unfashionable, plain color of the brace was not good enough for me. I bought a bunch of fabric in different colors, textures, and prints and started sewing ‘sleeves’ for the neck brace every evening so I’d have a new look to wear the next morning!
You began your career assisting Carine Roitfeld when she was EIC of Vogue Paris, how did that come about and what were some formative lessons you learned there?
I met Carine quite organically. I was friends with Mario Testino’s assistants when I lived in Paris. At that time Mario and Carine worked almost exclusively, and very successfully, together, so that’s how it came about. I was studying Fashion Design at L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale and was only 20-years-old so I literally dove right in. A little innocence and naivety can actually be a bit of a blessing because I had no real idea how mega these two icons were. While assisting Carine, I learned everything I needed to eventually spread my own wings and move to New York. Carine is also the godmother of my youngest daughter, Elizabeth! So we’ve remained friends beyond the assisting times, which I think says a lot about Carine. I am very grateful to her for all the trust she put in me.
More about when NYC came calling! What were some milestones that got you on track to beginning your amazing career stateside?
NYC came calling when Paris got too small. That sounds silly, but what I mean by that is that I realized it would be difficult to make people understand that I had my own career too. And also out of simple curiosity. I do like an adventure…
What are some moments from your tenure as fashion director at InStyle that you look back on with the most pride?
I would say I am proud of the trust that these incredibly talented, notable women had in me and my vision. I am also grateful for the relationship that Laura [Brown] and I have—we are very different but we always landed without conflict on common grounds.
What are some lessons you learned while working in a, shall we say, ‘more golden’ era of print magazines that you still refer to today?
Never look back!
What do you find the most fulfilling about working with A list talent?
To be honest, I mostly look at the woman herself and how they see the world. The caliber of talent does not really matter, although I am extremely grateful and honored to be lucky enough to work with such intelligent, talented, and brave women including Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Aniston, Sigourney Weaver, Laura Dern, Katie Holmes, and Nina Hoss.
What’s one trusty piece of advice you always give to aspiring stylists?
Stay true to yourself and be honest with your clients.
What are some celebrity stylist-approved tips we can all use to make getting dressed easier in the morning?
*A sparkly NONO or TRENCH loafer by Nomasei can make the outfit!
*Look for different textures in the garments, rather than for different colors.
*Try a little body-con somehow, either on top or bottom.
*Have a little bare ankle or wrist peak out if you can.
*Try something that is contradictory, or out of the norm, while wearing a simple outfit.
*When hungover I recommend a crisp men’s shirt, ideally light blue!
We forgot to ask—how are you wearing your Nomasei loafers for the season ahead?
The possibilities are endless! I love wearing the NONO Strass lower heeled loafer with short dresses or shorts, and I tend to make suits (which are my favorite) more interesting or glamorous by either wearing the TRENCH Heeled yellow brown version or the TRENCH Beige Strass. I also love to wear the NONO PINK Combo version and the NONO Orange Combo version with long summery skirts or dresses; it adds an edge to a romantic look.
What’s coming up for you in 2023 ?
Consulting for fashion and other brands has always been a passion of mine. I do love a long term creative project, like working with designers on their collections from the very beginning, building up to the show. So I would like to implement that again in 2023. I do also feel an urge to learn more about sustainability, so I am exploring other projects that are connected to my experience but not solely based on fashion. To be continued….like I said, I love new adventures!
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