TATTOO: An Interview with Signe Yberg
February’s login page gives us a glimpse down a Manhattan street. Stylist Signe Yberg fills us in all the (oh-so-stylish) details.
Tell us about the day of the shoot.
It was a cold day in January on a “famous” street in the Meatpacking District.
What was the mood like on set?
Relaxed and fun. We set up a home base in the Hotel Gansevoort so we could stay warm while prepping the wardrobe and the model. It felt like checking into a hotel for a fun weekend because I unpacked all the wardrobe options and hung them in the closet to present to the team. And we ordered room service for lunch! The best moment was when our model was in finished hair, makeup, and wardrobe. That was the first time we all saw the realization of the concept. The hardest part was shooting outside, in the cold winter air, with a hip-hop video being shot across the street… and sometimes in our frame.
What do you hope Members think when they see this picture?
I hope they like it! Our girl definitely looks youthful, and her clothing and jewelry reflect that, but I hope the fashion details of her outfit convey to all visitors of the site that they will find something for their particular style.
We think you killed it on this look! Love the outfit! Tell us how you chose it.
I shopped for clothing – young, creative, and a bit edgy within a fashion context. I knew the focus would be on the top part of the outfit, so I looked for shirts, dresses, and jackets that had interesting details around the shoulders and neckline. The neckline itself couldn’t be too high or it would cover the tattoo on the model’s skin. And the clothing couldn’t have a pattern that would distract from the logo. We tried several options and decided that the Marc Jacobs faded black denim blazer with a small puff shoulder fit the bill. It was minimal enough to not take focus away from the girl and the tattoo, but it had just enough interesting shoulder detail to create a sharp silhouette and not be too boring.
We’re dying to know – what does the front of the outfit look like?
The jacket has a vintage look to it, with lapels that fold over and and can be buttoned to stay open, kind of like an updated Sgt. Pepper look, but without the bright color. Underneath the jacket, I put a super-soft cotton T-shirt with the words “C’est La Vie” hand-beaded onto the front. Our girl is playful, and when she wears a casual look, it’s always well-made and luxurious.
The earrings make a statement. Were any other pairs in the running?
Yes, I brought two dozen pairs in different shapes, sizes, colors, and metals. The common theme was that they were all dangly, from short to long, quiet to bold, and everything in between. The earring adds another element to our girl’s personality – a style detail to help tell the story. The black carved feather earring was selected because it is feminine and graphic, but subtle. Incidentally, that pair of earrings was the only vintage pair I had on set. There’s something about vintage style that looks so personal.
We like to guess what the girl in the photo is like.
She definitely has a creative career and loves to have fun with her personal expression. She doesn’t follow any one set of “rules” and likes to mix a high-fashion aesthetic with street style. Maybe she’s a graphic designer, a clothing designer, or even a stylist, which is why she can get away with a visible tattoo. Since we shot on location in the Meatpacking district, which has such a recognizable look, I’d say she’s headed to a design studio, a clothing boutique, or a lunch meeting.
What did you want the outfit to say about this mystery girl?
I wanted her to look comfortable and natural, but stylish and confident. Maybe it’s her day off and she’s shopping the boutiques, or maybe she works in a place where she can wear a denim jacket to the office. In any case, she’s wearing one of her favorite pieces that defines her style. It’s a staple in her wardrobe that she can dress up or down.
Any surprises on set?
I had worked with the photographer and producer before so I knew the shoot was going to be fun, but it was my first time working with everyone else – Amy from Rue La La, as well as the model and makeup artist. When our model showed up, we learned that she had just won a “new faces” contest, so she was excited about her career and was very positive and upbeat, which is crucial when you’re shooting outside in the winter. She was a trooper!
What’s your overall mission as a stylist?
A stylist should bring her or his own take on a client’s image to any collaboration with a photographer, and the entire team. It’s important to always keep the goal of the final image in mind. An item of clothing might be gorgeous and up-to-the-minute but not right for the concept. After gathering all of the wardrobe elements that could possibly fit within the theme, the look is built from trying options and seeing what works – what tells the story.
Any styling tips for us mere mortals?
For everyday styling decisions on a personal level, I think it’s important to know what works with your body type and personality, as well as the event. Something might be the latest trend, but if it doesn’t fit you and you don’t feel comfortable in it, it’s not right for you. Confidence is key, and individualized style is my favorite – it creates that X factor that makes you feel great in your clothes and makes other people ask “Wow! Who’s that?”