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Why Rachel Zoe Might Take a Break From Her Signature Platforms, and How to Dress for This Year's Holiday Parties

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

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Last Thursday, megastylist-turned-designer Rachel Zoe blew into San Diego to showcase her resort and spring 2012 lines to an invite-only crowd at Nordstrom. The collections included pieces that were echt Rachel Zoe (like a prairie dress with disco-slits cut down the sleeves) with some surprises (a strapless mini cocktail frock with a sweet little bow at the waist). If the torrent of cellphone flashes was any indication, her followers (among the 900K strong on Twitter and 470K on Facebook) gobbled the looks right up. Before the show, Racked San Diego correspondent Chantal Gordon stopped into Team Zoe’s green room (and yes, chic new staffer Mandana was there) to get some advice on holiday dressing and to learn the surprising trend Zoe might be adopting next year.

Let's talk holiday parties. If a woman was in a maxiskirt and wedges last year, this year she should switch it up with??
A flouncy minidress and a really sexy pump. I think it just screams party, screams dance, and of course I'm going to say throw some sequins in there for the holidays.

What is it about a sequin?
I just think it adds a lot of wow to any outfit. Right now as we're sitting here, I'm wishing that I brought my sequin blazer. I wish I was sparkling—but I’m not. [Laughs.]

What are the pieces from resort and spring that you're most jazzed about, personally?
I'm gonna say the maxiskirts for sure—I wear mine every other day. We rotate in the office wearing them; we wear them with T-shirts and leather jackets?You can wear them casually or dressy and they go a long way. The leather blazers are [also] great; we did it in a gold-y camel color. There are a lot of versatile pieces that you can get a lot of wear out of. I did a lot of bright colors for resort, like a great turquoise. There are a lot of great sequins in resort [too], like a black sequin wrap dress that's amazing.

What trends are you excited about for 2012?
I don't really look so much at trends. I don't really think of them as trends so much as changing something up a little. Maybe it's a sharper shoulder, maybe it’s a three-quarter sleeve, maybe the jacket now is very tailored at the waist as opposed to a boyfriend jacket.

I think it's about mixing things up, but at the same time I'm someone that really sticks to what works for me. I like to say someone's skinny jean is someone else's wide-leg. I think trends sometimes can be a little dangerous because you can be like, "Oh my God, this isn't on trend right now and I don't want to wear this," but that's in fact what works best for you.

Is there a tweak you'll be trying out that's surprising you?
Maybe I'll try wearing shoes that don't have a platform. [Laughs.] I haven't done that in about 15 years. I'm not making any promises, but you never know. I’m loving the chic lady pump right now that's just a really pretty, no-platform, four- or three-inch heel. I think it looks really modern and really elegant. Kind of like the way [Yves] Saint Laurent used to do it. But I haven't done it yet.

That moment when you see Emmanuelle Alt crossing the street in them makes so much sense.
She's also really tall. The thing is, if I wasn't so vertically challenged I don't think we'd be having this conversation. Just saying.

What's next for the Rachel Zoe brand?
We just celebrated the launch of the Zoe Media Group—it's called ZoeMG. We've had the Zoe Report now for a couple of years and we just launched two new newsletters, Zoe Beautiful and Accessories. We’re really blowing up our media group and it's been really fun. And of course, styling, designing [and] we're launching new categories within the collection?

Could that mean red carpet gowns down the line?
We'll see. Who knows; no time on anything yet. But I'll never say never again. My dad taught me that. I should have listened to that earlier. Because then you don’t end up contradicting what you say.—Chantal Gordon
· Rachel Zoe [Facebook]
· Rachel Zoe [Twitter]

Nordstrom

6997 Friars Rd San Diego, CA 92108