{{Interview}} Jahna Peloquin – Twin Cities Stylist

If you have ever attended a fashion show in the Twin Cities, chances are you have seen the result of the creative eye of resident stylist Jahna Peloquin with Eclecticoiffeur. Not only is Jahna the lead stylist for many annual fashion events including Spring’s Voltage Fashion Amplified, but she is also the fashion editor for l’étoile Magazine, and a writer for vita.mn and St. Paul STAYcation.

Next up for Jahna is styling for “Where Fall Meets Fashion,” at the W Hotel on September 3rd and working as the artistic director and stylist for former Minneapolis resident and current Project Runway contestant Ra’mon- Lawrence Coleman’s runway show at New York’s Spring Fashion Week on September 11th.

In light of the upcoming Twin Cities fall fashion week, we asked Jahna to lend us insight into her personal style and creative inspiration to provide us with some apparel ideas for the plethora of fashion shows ahead.

What are some of your covetable closet items?

Anything I’ve received from one of the Twin Cities’ amazing designers. My latest is a one-of-a-kind dress by my dear friend (Project Runway S6 contestant) Ra’mon-Lawrence Coleman, which he created specifically for me. Some of my other local favorites are by Max Lohrbach, whose work is truly art, Amanda Christine, Laura Fulk, and Red Shoe Clothing Co. I love the fact that everything is unique and hand-made by someone I know.

Where do you find inspiration for your styling concepts?

I mainly look to off-the-radar, non-fashion sources – film, music, art – to get a fresh take. But my biggest inspiration comes from working with the ambitious, multi-talented friends I have – it seems like everyone I know is an artist, designer, musician, producer, writer, or a combination, so I get the most out of seeing what they’re into.

Who are your style icons?

Audrey and Katherine Hepburn. I’d like to think my style falls somewhere between the two.

Name one wardrobe item that you should probably discard but that you can’t bear to part ways with…

A pair of white leather sandals that were my mom’s in the ‘70s. I’ve probably spent twice as much fixing them then they were originally worth.

What trends or looks are you not digging for fall?

I don’t really ever dislike trends. If something recurs enough for it to become a trend, that’s inspiring in and of itself.

What styling tips can you extend for transitioning our wardrobes from summer to fall?

The thing I love about dressing for summer is it breaks down an outfit into its most basic parts. A great dress, or a loose-fitting tank with high-waisted shorts. For fall, keep the basic look and add strategic layers – leg-wear, a cardigan, a scarf, a great jacket, a hat.

What are some key wardrobe staples that you consider great for mixing and matching with outfits?

A fitted blazer adds polish to every outfit – my favorite is a Mossimo for Target boys’ blazer with the sleeves pushed up. I also can’t get through three of four seasons without my basic skinny J Brand dark denim jeans. Throw on ballet flats, a v-neck t-shirt, and a simple chain necklace, and you’re dressed.

What are some of your favorite international, national designers? What about their designs can work for the Midwest?

I have to be obvious and say Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld. I don’t really dress for the Midwest, but I think it could be as simple as throwing on a high-end designer piece – a jacket, or great shoes – with something a bit more relaxed and adding a quirky twist, like with a vintage piece.

What style advice would you like to extend to Midwesterners?

We know Midwesterners are generally more frugal than most, but it’s important to invest in a few high-end shoes and handbags and a great jacket – it really can make everything else you’re wearing look expensive. Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on classic pieces that you’ll wear again and again – it really is more cost efficient than buying a bunch of fast fashion that you’ll only wear one before it falls apart.

What about the upcoming Twin Cities Fall Fashion Week are you the most excited for?

Local online magazine l’étoile is putting together an interesting event called “Charmed Life.” It combines interior design with clothing and accessories by local designers; each room will be styled according to the aesthetic of the fashion designer, with the idea of living a curated, or design-oriented life.

Where do you see the local fashion scene heading in the next couple of years?

It seems to be really taking off in the last couple of years. Ra’mon-Lawrence Coleman had his first solo show during Spring MNfashion Week 2008, and now he’s showing at New York Fashion Week only a year later. Having two designers with Twin Cities’ connections on this season of Project Runway is finally putting the spotlight on the local fashion industry, so I can only hope we can take that opportunity to capitalize on the fact that this is where a lot of the nation’s talent is developing. Photos courtesy of Kate Iverson with l’étoile Magazine


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