As ‘Fashion Week’ comes to a close across the globe, The Brighter Times chats with personal stylist and colour expert Nina Victoria, on ‘mindful’ fashion, self confidence and empowerment, the impact of your garment choices, and being star struck by Anna Wintour.
Thank you so much for taking time to RISE with The Brighter Times!
So Nina, tell me a little about yourself, have you always loved fashion?
100%! I've been a lover of clothes but more importantly style since I was young, particularly when it comes to wearing colour!
Clothes and style are a huge part of my self confidence, wearing the best colours for my skin tone and styles for my shape, can make all the difference to my mindset. I’m sure you can agree how amazing it feels when you know you’re wearing something that makes you sparkle!
I do! Where did your fashion career start?
Throughout school I often showcased my love for designers, brands and the creative arts. It was completing an art foundation course that was the catalyst to realising my dream of a career in Fashion though. Specialising in communication and promotion at the Arts University in Bournemouth led me into an internship at Jimmy Choo.
Exciting! Was it a ‘Devil Wears Prada’ moment?
That actually happened when I was working very closely with creative director Alasdhair Willis for Hunter Boots. For six years I was part of their creative Marketing and Event team, and whilst launching ready-to-wear at the Hunter LFW show in 2014 I was papped with Anna Wintor and Stella McCartney!
What a duo! Speaking of Stella McCartney, who has essentially redefined the rules around ethical and sustainable fashion, once stated that ‘only 1% of clothing is recycled’, begging the question ‘what are we doing about it?’. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?
I’m a big fan of ‘pre-loved’ items, the 'slow fashion' movement has really intrigued me recently. Buying and selling pre-loved garments can make such a difference to our environment and have a really positive impact on our future. Don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting everything in our wardrobe needs to be second hand, however changing our mindsets and mixing it up with buying old and new could start to make a difference.
One of my favourite second hand boutiques in my area is Timpanys, and I recently attended a launch event of 'Your pre-loved stories', an online boutique last week. It’s all about investment in quality pieces that extend the lifecycle of our clothes.
Understanding what you actually ‘need’, rather than ‘want’, is essential for tackling one of the biggest polluters on the planet too.
How do you start understanding what you need?
When taking a Personal Styling course at London College of Style, one of the first things I learnt was that the key starting point to any style journey is colour analysis. It can be such a revelation to see the impact of different tones against the skin - boosting your self-esteem, enhancing your image, and radiating your overall look.
Importantly, it will guide you when shopping, knowing what to avoid, and therefore prevent any unnecessary purchases and wastage. Everyone is guilty of having an item in their wardrobe that still has the clothes tag on it. Save time, money, and the environment, it’s a win win!
Can you give me an example of ‘mindful’ colour choices?
Colour can have a HUGE impact on how you feel, and how others perceive you Let’s take the colour yellow for instance.
If you’re having a low day and in need of a lift, wear a shade of yellow, it will instantly brighten up your outlook. Freshness, positivity, clarity, energy, they’re all terms associated with yellow, so naturally it’s a great choice for when you need to feel happy.
Did you know the colour blue actually releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone, into the blood! Considering wearing shades of blue when you want to keep calm in a high pressure situation - so maybe for your next job interview, show up wearing blue to help you calmly communicate your skills.
I run my own styling business 'Nina Victoria', so often wear red to channel energy, motivation and enthusiasm! It helps to make me feel self assured and powerful. Some colours are genuinely healing too, orange for example can help with trauma, and purple has healing qualities.
Wow, so colour is genuinely good for the soul?
It is, choosing colour that makes you feel great is such an easy way to boost the happiness factor in your life.
Any final advise for humanity?
Be brave, boost your wardrobe with a pop of colour; it will certainly lift your mood and brighten your overall day!