Interview

Amanda Sanders The Best Holiday Outfit:
An Interview with a Celebrity Shopper and Reality TV Star

Both on screen, in print, and behind-the-scenes, Amanda has a lot to say about what to wear this holiday, how to wear it and why.

These days, Amanda Sanders is best known for her recurring role on reality TV series “The Real Housewives of New York City.” As a personal shopper, fashion and image consultant for both celebrities and comedians like long-time client Chris Rock, Amanda plays her biggest role behind-the scenes.

Amanda’s interest in creative self-expression came early in life. She was inspired both by her aunt and her high school for the arts in NY. “My aunt, who was in the music industry, had a big influence on me. She had wonderful costumes and clothing,” Amanda explains. “I always loved clothes and wanted to eventually start a business where I could help people express themselves.” New York was part of that inspiration: “It’s the fashion capital of the world… it’s so visual.”

Amanda has been a frequent fashion and style contributor to the NY Times, Forbes, the Wall St. Journal, and Time magazine.

In addition to building a business as a celebrity personal shopper, fashion and image consultant, Amanda has been a frequent fashion and style contributor to the NY Times, Forbes, the Wall St. Journal, and Time magazine.

Both on screen, in print, and behind-the-scenes, Amanda has a lot to say about what to wear this holiday, how to wear it and why.

My favorite is the wrap dress. It flatters the female body by showcasing the breast and creating a waistline.

BWB: What fashion designers and styles have inspired you?

I’m a dress person, I love Issa and I’m also a big fan of Diane von Furstenberg. The idea of the suit is really dated; the dress is much more flattering. My favorite is the wrap dress. It flatters the female body by showcasing the breast and creating a waistline. Diane had the idea for it in the 1970s but it’s iconic and still incredibly relevant. Diane cuts very close to the body.

BWB: What textures and colors are hot for this holiday season?

Velvet is always great – and it’s very forgiving. Lace (especially red), navy blue, and royal blue are also very big. Jewel tones and Plum are popular, too.

BWB: What are the biggest surprises of the season? What’s being shown this holiday?

I’m shocked by how much floral is being shown – floral jeans, floral looks. Even Diane is coming out with floral, but in darker hues. Animal and geometric prints are also interesting.

In NY, your outfit has to transition from day-to-night. It’s more involved.

BWB: How would you dress a client differently In NY vs LA?

In NY it’s all about the boot and also about being practical. How much walking are you going to do? Can you take the outfit with you and change?
In L.A, you can just pack your clothes in a car. L.A is about showing the body, a strappy and sleeveless look.
In NY, your outfit has to transition from day-to-night. It’s more involved.

BWB: How would you advise a client to dress who is younger (i.e. 20s, 30s) versus one who is more mature (40+)?

When you’re younger, you’re more open to wearing a dress. You wear a shorter, tighter dress. Even if you’re still in great shape, a very short, tight dress is not appropriate for a mature woman. For younger women, flashier is the way to go, but it’s not age-appropriate for older women.

A velvet pantsuit in navy or plum would be gorgeous with a beautiful, dark wine lipstick. I’m imagining a darker, deeper Ralph Lauren pantsuit.

BWB: Give me your holiday outfit recommendation for a mature woman. For the younger set?

I think a velvet pantsuit in navy or plum would be gorgeous with a beautiful, dark wine lipstick. I’m imagining a darker, deeper Ralph Lauren pantsuit. A classic pump of four inches would work with this, with a beautiful earring.

For the younger, I recommend a body-hugging black sparkly cocktail dress, with a blazer and high-heeled high boot or booties or very high pump, five or six inch heel. I’m thinking Louboutin, Prada, or Harvey Leger or a 6-inch Jimmy Choo. For jewelry, I’d go louder, bigger, more interesting – like a stack of bangle bracelets.

Sparkly necklaces are a lot of fun this season.

BWB: And make-up? Accessories?

The rule of thumb is the louder the outfit, the less the make-up. Anything with sparkles or has tassels would look great. Sparkly necklaces are a lot of fun this season. Change your make-up from day-to-night: go darker in hue in the evening.

Amanda Sanders

BWB: What kind of fashion advice do you give celebrity clients?

I work primarily with comics. In showbiz, everyone has a story; everyone’s a character. I try to design a total visual presentation for my clients, a look that expresses who they are and that works with the set design. Ultimately, actors play themselves. For comedians, it’s important to pick clothes they can be comfortable in for long periods of time when they are on a TV or film set.

BWB: What designers do you have your eye on or find particularly current or interesting?

I’m partial to classic designers like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Stella McCartney, Dolce & Gabbana. I think they’re doing interesting things.

So, ladies, now that Amanda’s armed you with the secrets to exuding movie star glamour, A-list or not, you’re sure to shine this holiday.
Ciao bella.

Lisa Stahl

Lisa Stahl, a native New Yorker, has authored many articles that graced the cover pages of magazines and websites. She’s the author of two distance-learning courses on fashion and has contributed substantial research and content on politics and foreign policy to three books by a political analyst and adviser to Hillary Clinton. Lisa’s achievements include an MA in English with honors from Columbia University. She also studied piano at Juilliard.

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