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You may not know her by name, but you surely know some of Kate Moodie’s iconic magazine covers and photos (shown above). Or, perhaps you’re already a fan of her fabulous lifestyle website Mood of Living, which showcases a carefully curated assortment of fashion items—each selected under the skeptical eye of this legendary fashion director. If images of famous style mavens bring to mind the imperiousness of The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly or the flamboyance of 1950s Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, Kate is the style and temperament opposite. A friendly team player (think Ellen Degeneris) whose personal style is classic and spare, which makes her approachable to everyone. I met Kate when I was an editor at Self—and she was a super-stylist brought in to create photos that captured the magazine’s image of a strong, independent woman who valued her body as much as the clothes and makeup she wore. After an exceptional career that included American and French Elle and American Vogue, Kate came back to Self magazine as Style Director, overseeing the fashion department. In 2014 she founded Mood of Living in which she interviews influencers in the fashion, home furnishings, art, beauty, specialty food, travel and wine industries. Her in-depth profiles offer an intimate glimpse into the minds of those dedicated to perfecting their craft. So in this column, I’m turning the tables on Kate and inviting her to talk about her craft while giving us some insider tips on how to follow—and not be a slave to the trends.—Sue Perry

DPA You’ve been fashion editor for some of the top style magazines, dressing celebrities and models and creating memorable fashion stories. What is your earliest styling memory?

KM After two years at American Vogue as a beauty assistant, I moved to Paris to find a job working for a couture designer. While I came close to working for a designer as a sketch artist, I landed a job at French Elle as assistant to the Fashion Director. My first job as an editor and stylist was being sent from Paris to New Orleans in November of 1980, with Christie Brinkley who at the time was not only a super model, but had a passion for taking photos of boxers. I dressed and styled Christie wearing the new fashion trend, paper dresses at one of the most famous matches in boxing history: Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Durán II, also known as the No Más Fight. I teamed with a photographer who took photos of Christie taking photos of the boxers prior to the event at trainings, and during the event at our ring side seats. It was a very exciting first styling experience.

 

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Credit: Getty Images

DPA How do you follow the trends yet stay true to you own sense of style

KM As a fashion editor, I always gravitated towards a classic, minimalist personal style. I follow the trends for my business, but trends do not dictate how I live and how I dress. A decluttered approach to my wardrobe, and my living areas have given me the mental space for creativity, and to be successful working with creative teams that set the trends.

DPA Even a decluttered world has accessories. What is the one accessory you can’t live without—and why?

KM The one accessory I cannot live without is my gold bracelet. I used to wear a multitude of bracelets, but in the last several years my minimalist style has become even more minimal. I wear a simple, classic antique gold bracelet which reminds me both of my mother and aunt. They both loved accessories and were bold with their style, especially with bracelets. I wear the one gold bracelet that is a daily reminder of these women I love

DPA What do you consider the characteristics of a timeless piece?

KM Timeless pieces, meaning pieces that stand the test of time, are not trendy but can be worn with the ever-changing fashion trends. They are conceived by creatives, well-made and crafted, classic in design, and intrinsically beautiful. They are wardrobe staples, exude positive energy, and make one feel special when wearing them. Some might think they have a soul of their own.

DPA What new accessories and/or styles of the coming season do you absolutely love?

KM I will not be buying any new accessories this season. I wear, and will continue to wear my existing timeless pieces. As for new trends, I still gravitate to loving classic designs which I feature on my website. Here are a few of my favorites right now.
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Menswear fabrics are so classic.

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Navy blue, like black, it pretty much goes with everything.

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I love the global influence on jewelry like this piece from Ben Amun.

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Also think burgandy to punch up your outfits, yet it acts like a neutral.