(L) Erin. (R) Erin and her family.
Editors note - I decided that it would be fun to interview all the various people that write here on Shrimpton Couture's Curate and also work behind the scenes to bring you all the amazing content and Vintage Couture that you see posted daily on our sites. I asked Maria to set up interviews with everyone (and then I will turn the tables on her at some point). We decided to break each interview into two sets of questions - the first set is a more focused and in-depth look at each member of our team and then the second set quick round that will be asked of everyone. Today we meet Erin ....
Fashion writer Erin Hazelton was living the metropolitan life of dreams until fate intervened in the form of a tall, handsome stranger. The heartfelt whirlwind that followed landed her in the French countryside, raising a pair of sweet toe heads in the foothills of the Alps. But any soul as sartorially predisposed cannot be stifled by bucolic isolation. Hazelton still counts many of the industry’s brightest as her dearest friends, and that impressive coterie often turns to her for inspiration. She chronicles her life and musings on the blog The People I Like, which serves as proof that the most enduring outlet for a creative soul is to perfect the art of living.
Can you tell us about where you grew up, and how your childhood shaped your love of fashion and aesthetics?
I grew up in a small, very preppy suburb of Boston. My parents are super-conservative and always said, “I don’t know where she came from…” I’ve always been obsessed with clothes in a place where few, if any, seemed to have the same love of fashion that I had. Even when people gave me strange looks for my crazy outfits, it didn’t deter me. I liked being original… the last thing I wanted was to look like a cookie-cutter version of someone else.
Your writing has a really pleasing energy and I think its because you sincerely champion and celebrate other women. What does being a woman mean to you?
I love women. I think we should all celebrate women, their strengths and their differences. It’s fascinating to find out what drives them, how they balance their lives and what path they ultimately end up taking. And, yes, how they dress.
When I see a strong, successful, beautiful woman (inside and out) who feels at ease in her own skin it makes me want to know her, be friends with her, learn from her. I have never understood why some women do the opposite and be unkind to women they find threatening. I don’t like mean girls. Never have.
Fashion has a reputation for breeding rivalry and catty behavior, but you seem to enjoy nurturing, supportive relationships with many women in the industry. Can you talk about this more positive side of fashion?
I’ve been lucky enough to have found some of the nicest/kindest/most thoughtful people in fashion – who still want to hang out with me even though I’m not going to the shows any more and made the choice to be with my kids when they are young. There were quite a few fair-weather “friends” who disappeared when I made this decision, so I guess that weeded out the ones who weren’t nurturing/supportive. A lot of relationships in fashion are symbiotic… they need you and you need them, but when one can no longer “help?” Peace out.
That said, I don’t think fashion people are any worse than people in other industries, though they do tend to be more vocal about aesthetics and their opinions, which can be hilarious (if done well) and terrifying (if done cruelly). You can’t let it get under your skin, but, unfortunately, it often does.
How has having children changed your style? Do they affect how you dress?
They really haven’t. I wear flats more, but I still buy and wear un-child-friendly stuff all the time. I do freak out when they come at me with greasy hands and I’m wearing something nice. I’ve perfected a kind of involuntary, stain-preventing twerk: my hips pop back when they are about to grab onto my skirt, and then pop back again and again in avoidance until I safely have their slick little hands in mine.
A few years ago, you relocated with your family to Europe. What to you find most inspiring about your new surroundings?
Our house has an amazing view of the Alps. I find it calming and refreshing to take in all of that natural beauty and fresh air. I love hearing nothing but the birds or wind or rain… But I mostly like the fact that my kids can run around in a big yard and are now speaking fluent French. It’s really sweet. My heard melts whenever they call me “Maman.”
Your Instagram feed is full of gorgeous destinations. Tell us your favorite spots for vacation.
Since we are in France, we’ve taken advantage of going to the South of France a lot, Provence and the Cote d’Azur, and often up to the mountains. We are close to Mègeve and are twenty minutes from our favorite little chalet in the world: Chalet 1864. I’d move in there if I could…
What’s your secret to packing for a weekend getaway?
You are asking the wrong girl. I always over-pack. I tell my husband it’s so I won’t forget something and have to buy something new, but it’s really because I like to have every element for every outfit for every potential occasion. It’s a bit much.
There was a tantalizing morsel in your recent post on wedding dresses – you wore three dresses to your own? Could you tell us a bit more about the occasion? What is your favorite memory from the day?
I actually had four wedding dresses! It’s a long story, but Bryan Bradley from Tuleh made two dresses for me – I was their house model on and off for about a decade, so he knew what I liked and it was kind of an amazing gift, to say the least.
And then, a month before the wedding, two different friends ended up, also as a gift, organizing two more dresses for me… I had personal fittings both with Hervé Pierre at Carolina Herrera and one with Giambattista Valli. It was pretty fabulous, I must say… Giambattista had a private room set up with several seamstresses and champagne. I was fit right before Queen Rania of Jordan arrived for a fitting of her own. I’m guessing all the pomp was more for her than me, but still!
I still wear two of the dresses for black tie events: one of the Tuleh pieces and the Giambattista Valli.
Erin's wedding. (L) In Carolina Herrerra. (M) In Giambattista Valli. (R) In Tuleh.
Erin in Vintage from Shrimpton Couture.
What’s the story of your name?
My maiden name is Erin Skrypek. Erin, means Ireland and my mother is from Ireland and I am an Irish citizen. Skrypek is Polish, my father is half Polish, and Skrzypek means violinmaker or player in Polish – one of our ancestors was apparently a famous violinmaker. My dad was always showing us when one of the violins would come up at auction... I think there are only three left in the world. Now my name is a bit easier to say: Erin Hazelton. Irish and Irish…
What is the first thing you notice about people?
Best day of your life?
My first date with my husband… which subsequently lead to the days our two children were born.
What is your favorite color?
What is your favorite flower?
Golden ones. Love golden shoes. I’m like a kid.
Literary role model?
Favorite artist or art style?
Just to start: Rudolf Stingel, Kehindi Wiley, Mary Corse, Will Cotton and I love anything Damian Hirst has done with butterfly wings.... and Matisse, especially his drawings.
What is your favorite thing in your house?
Probably the Michael Anastassiades chandelier in our dining room…
What would you wear to your last meal?
Something ridiculously over-the-top. Definitely long and most likely vintage…
What is your favorite beauty moment?
A cat-eye and a red lip… which is timeless.
Who is your favorite fashion photographer?
Guy Bourdin… but currently I love Roe Ethridge’s work.
If you could be on the cover of any fashion magazine, past or present, what would it be?
American Vogue in the 1960’s.
What trick do you use to dress yourself?
Lots of jewelry. The right jewelry makes a look. And I almost always change the belt that comes with a dress or add a belt if the waist seems like it’s asking for one. You can make a look feel much more evening or day simply by choosing the right belt.
If you could organize one gathering, what would it be? What is the setting, what is the music, what is the food, who are the guests?
A dinner in our dining room with all of my closest friends, dinner cooked by our friend, the chef and food writer Anna Watson Carl. She’d choose the food, which is always healthy, but super delicious. The music would be a mix of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s hits with a lot of hip hop, Beyoncé and M.I.A and other current, cheesy top hits mixed in.
If you could attend one event of the past, what would it be?
Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball.
Please pick three items from Shrimpton that you love and tell us why.
Everything sells so quickly! Here are a few that are still left that I really like:
1. Early 1930s Floral Sequin Gown - I don’t think I need to explain why…
2. Recent Alaia White Cotton Top - Whoops… I just bought it, sorry! Perfect white shirt… or chicest bikini cover-up ever.
3. 1970s Rudi Gernreich Plunge Knit Dress - I’ve had my eye on this one for a while… Totally my style. Easy, yet elegant, with a sexy plunge.
And finally … Karl or Yves?