Lori Goldstein On Her New Book 'Style Is Instinct'

by The Daily Front Row

Power stylist Lori Goldstein hasn’t been one to shy away from the spotlight. In addition to running her own design studio and designing a line for QVC, Goldstein is also a fashion editor-at-large at ELLE. But with everything on her plate she’s still found time to pen a book about her work. Style Is Instinct, which hits stores tomorrow, explores Goldstein’s fashionable career including W spreads, photo shoots with John Galliano, and teaming up with Steven Meisel. BY DENA SILVER

How did you choose the title, Style Is Instinct?
I’ve always thought that everything starts from instinct. We have all the answers inside of us. It’s just about looking to that instinct to find out what our style is.

What’s the story behind the photo on the cover?
That image was from a Michael Thompson W accessories shoot. I loved that shoot, I love Guinevere [Van Seenus], and I love the colors and the strength of the pictures.

How did you select that particular image?
For two years while doing the book we were like, ‘what’s going to be the cover?’ and ‘how can we choose one image?’ It’s like choosing your favorite child. In the end, that was the picture for the cover in every way regarding color, composition, and boldness. If someone had told me that picture was going to be the cover, I would have never guessed, but I love it!

How was the process of putting the book together?
It made me feel great, happy, and proud of this career I was blessed to have. It was a walk down memory lane. You start by scanning and looking at everything you’ve done and put it all together. And again, that leads back to instinct. You look at everything, you move them, you remove them, and bring them back, and you just have to trust. Finally the story is told.

Did putting the book together uncover any forgotten stories?
It uncovered a lot of stories! It was like ‘oh my god, I did that’ or ‘I forgot about that shoot.’ I think everybody should do a book in their life, because it uncovers the journey and reminds you of so many things that you would otherwise forget.

Why did you decide that now was the time to write a book?
It was really this moment where I felt like there was a story to be told. The time that I was starting out as a stylist was so different from the way the industry is today.

What was it like starting out as a stylist?
It was scary!

How so?
I just threw myself into this business. I didn’t assist anybody. I sort of just tried different things around the city. Someone told me there was an open job for a stylist and I was like ‘okay!’ I didn’t really know what I was doing. And for years, every time I showed up it was scary, but I know what I’m doing now.

How did your styling career prepare you to be an editor-at-large?
I feel really blessed that I learned everything I know through being a freelance person, which I guess I still kind of am. I would do editorials and advertising, I met Annie Leibovitz for the American Express campaign, and then I did Vanity Fair with her. I was kind of doing it all and it was all kind of scary, but it came to form who I am today.

You wear so many hats!
I love taking roles and I love understanding what my client wants. For example, figuring out what a Versace woman would want to wear is very different from understanding the woman that reads Elle. I always loved wondering who that person was and getting into their head. I think that has served me well.

Of all the hats you wear, can you pick a favorite?
No, that’s why I’ve always worn hats! As soon as I’m bored with one thing, I move onto the next. I love that flow.

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