Style Spotlight: Styling Neutrals

Style Spotlight: Styling Neutrals

The luxe simplicity seen all over Katarina Laurent’s Instagram account embodies her taste in fashion and interiors – hence the name @StylingNeutrals. Here, she opens up her elegant London home to talk through her life in fashion, her personal style – plus, the three outfits she’s loving right now…
Photography: Alicia Waite

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My style is best described as elegant simplicity. I veer towards simpler, more streamlined silhouettes without too many details or embellishments. It's mostly about timeless pieces with a focus on cut and quality.

I’ve pretty much always dressed this way. Of course, your personal style evolves over the years, and I am also now in a position to invest in better quality items. But I've never felt comfortable in ’girly’ or pretty looks. They just don’t suit me.

For years, I worked as a merchandiser for brands like Celine and Jimmy Choo. When you work in an environment where fashion is front and centre, you do feel a bit of pressure to follow trends, but it's also incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by stylish and creative people. My style evolved as a result of working for these brands, and it taught me a lot about what works best for me. I now feel less inclined to jump on a trend bandwagon, and have more appreciation for craftsmanship and materials.

My style is best described as ELEGANT SIMPLICITY… It’s mostly about TIMELESS PIECES with a focus on CUT & QUALITY.

There so many tips and tricks I've picked up over time. For example, never underestimate how a belt can totally transform a look. It's such a great way to add interest and change up the silhouette. Additionally, small details like folding up the sleeves on a t-shirt can make a basic item feel that bit more considered. 

My favourite piece in my wardrobe is my Hermès Constance bag – which is such a classic and versatile item – or my Celine blazer which has the most perfect cut. On the high street, I like the selection of timeless basics on offer at Arket – everything is made from natural materials and recycled fibres. 

When it comes to lesser-known brands, I’m a big fan of Blazé Milano – they have a great collection of beautifully-cut jackets with just enough detail to add interest. I also like NavyGrey for well-designed, sustainable knitwear. 

Well-crafted accessories are always worth the investment, as are timeless trench coats and great fitting jackets. They’re items I can mix and match, and wear again and again. Using them as a foundation makes it easier to add other, less expensive elements to my wardrobe and still ensure I look put together.

I never used to consider my purchases that much – specifically, what they were made from or where they were made. In short, I did not appreciate the impact my shopping habits had on the environment. The conversation over the past few years has really brought it home to me that, as consumers, we have a big role to play in the fight against climate change.

Now I buy timeless items I’ll get plenty of wear from. I prefer things that are made from natural raw materials, and those that are produced as locally as possible. I also shop second hand, and during lockdown, I’ve learnt how to sew and knit so I’m making a few of my own pieces – it makes me appreciate them even more.

At the start of a new season, always look in your wardrobe to see what it's missing. Sometimes it’s just about adding a couple of pieces to make you feel like you’ve had a refresh. I've been searching for the perfect white blazer for a while and finally found one, so that was my main buy for spring. It'll work really well with jeans for everyday and over dresses when we start going out again.

Good design is all about how things are put together. Less is more – both in fashion and interiors – but getting the details right is important. In my own home, I obsess over paint colours and floor finishes, and really allow myself time to find the right pieces rather than rushing the process. I like to mix old with new – it’s what adds interest and personality to the space. 

Never underestimate how a belt can TOTALLY TRANSFORM a look. It’s such a great way to ADD INTEREST and CHANGE UP THE SILHOUETTE.

For interiors, I am very partial to Apparatus Studio light fittings – they just make the most sculptural objects. I also have quite a few items of furniture from Maxalto/B&B Italia, as they always strike the right balance between classic and contemporary. For decorative accessories, I love attending the events organised by the Crafts Council, which are great for discovering new artists and makers. I’m also really inspired by the interiors community on Instagram – I’ve found some amazing pieces through that.

The concept of timelessness and simplicity is what constantly draws me back to neutrals. I find a neutral colour palette very calming – and it doesn’t date too quickly, either. If I want to add a pop of colour to my home, I tend to opt for flowers, or cushions that can easily be replaced when I tire of them. Likewise, in fashion, a neutral colour palette allows me to mix and match the items in my wardrobe. I do have a few brighter items, but they're mostly summer dresses.  

That said, neutrals don't have to be limiting. It could mean anything – from navy to camel and khaki, as well as black, white and grey. To keep it interesting, try mixing textures or tones. Various shades of beige can look really quite striking when worn together. It’s also a bit more interesting when things don't perfectly match. 

My number one style rule? You do you. There's no point in trying to follow a trend if it doesn’t work for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by stylish people or a fashion editorial in a magazine, but it’s about adapting those looks to fit with your personal style. 

Follow @StylingNeutrals
Photography by Alicia Waite

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