Dressing for the summer always has its particular challenges. There’s the not-insignificant task of dressing for a 50-degree morning that shifts quickly into an 85-degree scorcher. Then it's a balancing act of dressing well without sacrificing comfort and breathability in the humidity. This summer in particular has its extra stressors, as people emerge from quarantine and begin to travel and interact outside again, safely and vaccinated. If you’re like me and you’ve been staring at your closet in confusion, wondering how you ever got dressed before and how you’re going to pull it together for summer, enter Shiona Turini.
Turini is a Bermuda-born and LA-based fashion stylist and costume designer. She created some of the most memorable looks seen on artists like Beyoncé and Solange, is the brain behind HBO’s Insecure and Queen & Slim wardrobe, and styled some of ELLE’s best fashion moments. She’s also a bona fide street style star, and her island roots give her the upper hand in dressing for warmer months. In short, she’s been preparing for a hot girl summer her entire life.
For summer 2021, Shiona has partnered with Madewell to curate The Summer Shop, featuring easy and breathable separates, swimsuits, dresses, and accessories that make getting dressed a breeze. Below, ELLE spoke exclusively with Shiona about how she’s dressing for summer, and how to style the pieces without breaking a sweat (literally).
You’re the queen of crop tops, so how are you planning on styling your favorite tops with Madewell denim this summer?
It is well known that I love a crop top (My aunt once asked me if I had any ‘full shirts’), so of course they were included in these looks. This summer I plan to have my swimsuits moonlight as crop tops. In the right cut and fabric, they make the perfect layering piece under a jacket, blazer, or button-up shirt.
How do you strike a balance between staying cool during hot summer months and also staying stylish?
This is my specialty. I’m from an island and definitely a summer baby. I love warm weather, but hate feeling hot and sticky, and at the same time avoid air conditioning. Wearing the right fabrics is key. I like a light and breezy fabric like linen, or even hemp-based denim, but in a more formal style like a blazer or wider leg pant. I love blazers, and in the summer gravitate towards lightweight versions of them in looser cuts.
Which three pieces are you going to have in rotation this summer?
The drapey double gauze blazer and tapered Huston Pant set is already in heavy rotation for me. The look feels easy, while still looking polished and I just love a summer suit. Shockingly— the supersoft pull-on Jean. I notoriously do not wear jeans. I always feel really constricted in them. But these felt great. The linen box pleat trouser is one of my favorites. I got it a few sizes larger than I would have typically purchased and then had it taken in at the waist so that I could wear them higher up but still have them fall really relaxed in the leg.
Which holy grail pieces from the wardrobe do you envision taking from the beach straight to set?
I realistically do not live a life where I go from the beach to the set but you’ve given me something to add to my manifestation board.
Which accessories do you reach for when leaving the house everyday?
My gold bracelets that my mother passed down to me when I was a teenager.
What styling tips do you have to take a summer dress from day to night, especially when it’s a hot city day?
I think that the way that we dress and relate to clothing has changed a lot over the past year. If something makes you happy and you feel good in it, day or night, you should wear it. Gowns and the grocery store— go for it! Do you! But, if you do feel inclined to make slight styling changes from day to night, the easiest way is with footwear. Another simple way to transform a look is just by changing the jewelry. I love yellow gold jewelry of all different shapes and sizes. Mixed and stacked or changing an earring can quickly elevate a summer dress.
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