Getting fired from Vogue was Stacy London’s defining moment.
Stacy London disclosed how this moment put her on the path of finding her true calling as she wowed her sold-out Sixth and I audience last week. Judging from the swooning sounds coming from those around me in the audience, Stacy has achieved near-cult status for women of many ages.
“It happened at the time when I was starting to feel there was more that I wanted to do with my love and knowledge of style than just predict and critique clothing trends,” Stacy explained, “I kept feeling as if something was missing.”
And when Stacy found what was missing, she found what was missing in the wardrobes and self-images of her viewers and the women she and Clinton Kelly advise on their TLC makeover show, What Not to Wear.
“I developed the skill of being critical by practicing it on myself,” stated Stacy. “That is what my book, The Truth About Style, is about; I was never satisfied with myself.”
Stacy disclosed that when she landed the job as an assistant at Vogue immediately after graduating from Vassar, she firmly believed it was because she was 5’7” and 90 pounds. Shortly after, she became ill and was admonished to eat by her doctors. She followed orders and soon weighed 140 pounds. She did not stop until she ballooned to 180 pounds.
But what got her out of Vogue was a persistent feeling that something was missing. Stacy worked as a freelance stylist in New York styling celebrities and for commercials for several years before landing the gig on “What Not to Wear.” She described the arduous interview and hiring process and recounted how she nearly did not go to the final interview because it was a group situation where the producers gathered 26 finalists in one room with cocktails to see the chemistry between the contestants.
“I got the call when I was on a family vacation in Spain and getting ready to sit down to a wonderful seafood dinner. When I returned to the table with my doubts, my step mother said, ‘We are putting you on a plane tomorrow, you are going to get this job and it will change your life!’”
Stacy’s attitude and opinion on style is energizing, liberating and extremely life-affirming. She believes that seeing is believing, meaning that what you see in the mirror is a catalyst for making a pivot and creating positive changes in what you believe about yourself.
“What you wear is part of who you are and what you say about to the world about yourself. It is not about the clothes, it is about what the clothes CAN DO.”
And Stacy’s own personal and eclectic style says so much about her creativity and personality. She wore eye-catching Walter Steigerpumps with a pink, full-pleated skirt and a white, pixie- collared shirt topped off with a navy J. Crew sweater.
Her advice to the Washington, D.C. audience, “We are all different, like snowflakes. Aim to be a unique snowflake. Style is the way you think about your life. It is not superficial. The way you present yourself says a lot about what you think of yourself. Learn how to enjoy making choices. Express yourself!”