Sissy Sainte-Marie is a wardrobe stylist based in Los Angeles.
Describe your personal style.
Lately it's oversized and layered, a neutral palette, with subtle statement jewelry and practical shoes.
Who are your favorite designers?
Of the fashion muckety mucks I like what Christophe Lemaire, Phoebe Philo, and The Row's Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski do. But that's unattainable to me. My truly favorite designers are all the ones I'm wearing today. And 90% of them are women based here in Los Angeles.
If you could only shop at 3 stores for the next year, what would they be?
If I became a billionaire overnight, I would spend the next 365 days spending every penny at Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Mohawk General Store and Scout. But I'd sneak in some shopping at Iko Iko, The Dreslyn and Opening Ceremony, too.
Who are your style icons?
Diana Vreeland, Jane Goodall, Caroline Besset Kennedy, Sarah Linh, Bo Carney, Jayne Min, Leandra Medine, Christene Barberich, and Catherine Baba.
Are there any key pieces you find yourself wearing constantly?
I wore my husband's Desire Klein pocket pants until he eventually gave them to me. And then I bought a second pair. For years I've kept a vintage raw silk, cream-colored jumpsuit I wear a lot. lately I'm addicted to my La Barrette barette, Shaina Mote Argento dress, vintage Geoffrey Beane white mom jeans , Building Block bags, horse hair necklaces, Sydney Brown shoes, all my basics from Objects Without Meaning, Jasmin Shokrian Je habiter t-shirt, white sneakers, my Dior knockoff double pearl earring, and a bucket hat from Barney's. I need fall to come so I can switch it up!
What is your most recent purchase?
I bought a Tit Tee from SShikama.
Do you have any stories about amazing deals you’ve gotten on awesome pieces?
I once found a Wood Wood silk trench in Urban Outfitters with a handwritten tag for like $36. I realized later it must have been a sample mis-returned from a stylist pull because UO doesn't carry Wood Wood and I started seeing that trench in stores many months later. Lucky me. But lucky trench, too. It found its way to the right lady - I have worn that baby a million times.
Can you give us smart shopping advice?
Buy what YOU like. Buy what looks good on you. Don't spend too much money or energy on fast fashion or frivolous trendy things. Be savvy. Take a moment to consider how your purchases affect the planet and those living on it.
Where do you look for inspiration? Are there any places, websites, artists, etc. you tend to look to?
For blogs I like The Blab, Le21eme, Stop it Right Now, Garance Dore, MNZ journal, and www.schuhtutehemd.com. I love the magazine Gentlewoman and Zoe Ghertner photos. I like to study the styling work of Benjamin Bruno, Marie Chaix, and Joe McKenna with David Sims. I find comfort in looking at google images of Christophe Lemaire and Hermes runway shows, and also his girlfriend/muse Sarah Linh. Whatever Phoebe Philo says to do, I say, "Aye aye captain. "
What does a normal workday look like for you?
Coffee - don't EVEN before I've had coffee. Emails, Pinterest, Instagram, juggling plans for shoots, pulls, and PR. I have a fussy tummy so I usually cook breakfast, lunch & dinner at home. I like to do this while listening to This American Life or the podcast Serial. I go out for a coffee and sweet treat with my husband in between. Workout in between. More IG, emails, Pinterest. I try to take part in one social engagement daily so I don't turn into a weirdo hermit from being on a computer all day. Netflix with my husband and cats in the evening. Sudoku til i fall asleep..usually, but recently I made a promise to myself to power down at bedtime and read a real book made of paper. So I'm currently re-reading the book that made me fall in love with reading as a teen - Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins. Okay, that's way more than a work day but since I work from home and work with my husband on so many projects, we never stop working and it all goes hand-in-hand.
How did you end up doing what you do?
I was a first grade teacher. I came home singing nursery rhymes. My husband liked my voice and convinced me to form a disco duo with him. I had more fun making costumes, videos and photoshoots than I did performing in a band. We moved to Berlin. I quit teaching. I needed money. I started selling vintage. My husband received a camera as a gift. He started shooting. I started styling his shoots with my vintage. Other photographers asked me to style for their editorial shoots. Designers asked me to style their lookbooks. And lately I'm being approached to do creative direction, brand development and PR. And that's my path so far. There's a card in OSHO Zen Tarot called The Fool. That's my jam. I've found most of my success and happiness by allowing myself to be a complete idiot.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with beautiful clothes, making beautiful images, being a part of Los Angeles' nascent fashion scene and helping independent designers, talent, creatives, visionaries who are elevating the way this city is seen. I like the feeling that I'm serving a greater vision or collective consciousness.
Which beauty products do you recommend?
Plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol - just have a little champagne, make the choice to be happy and grateful, and Chanel Lumiere foundation. Also Eccentric Molecule 01 and Byredo's 1996 by Inez and Vinoodh will make anyone smell beautiful.
5 things you can’t live without.
coffee in the morning, long hot showers, my husband, organic strawberries, and a smart phone.