No one glitters quite like Lulu Bernard (LB). Self-made stylist from just north of Cincinnati, her life and work is an explosion of color and fun. Most famous for her styling work with indie favorites Walk The Moon, Bernard exudes creativity and enthusiasm with every client she interacts with. We sat down with her to talk about life, fashion, LA, and Taylor Swift’s sparkly bomber jacket.
How did you get your start as a stylist?
LB — I got my start as a stylist by interning with a couple stylists out here in LA that worked with a lot of rock bands and musicians. My big break was hand painting the “Talking Is Hard” shirts on the cover of the latest Walk The Moon album. Those are to be displayed in a very special place so you could go and see them yourself! Sadly, I can’t reveal that information to you yet.
Where are you from? Where do you live now?
LB — I was born in Hampton, Virginia. I grew up just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. I have lived in LA for close to three years now. I’ve made my way all the way across the US.
How would you describe your personal style?
LB — My personal style is usually very wild, fun, and colorful. If rainbow is an option, always yes! I love taking old vintage items and mixing them in with new trends. I do have a signature though that has made itself very known in the past year and those are my red, hightop Converse or my “beat up sneaks”. I even have a tattoo of red chucks on my ankle.
How do you combine your personal style with the style of your clients?
LB — Sometimes it’s easy to combine my style with my client’s look but it all depends on the client. Usually if I convince someone not to be afraid of color or print, they go for it and feel more wild and free than they ever have! Usually the case is that they hire you for a reason, that being your personal style or possibly a previous gig you have done. Then that’s what they want and give you the go ahead to make them “look cool”. That’s what I hear the most from clients. “Make me look cool, Lulu!”
Who have you styled in the past? What’s been one of your favorite experiences?
LB — So far, I’ve styled: Walk The Moon, Genevieve, Public, Coyote, Joel David Moore, and Lindsay Pearce to name a few. I’m hopping all over the styling world right now to discover where I want to focus my career. Whether it be with musicians, actors, editorial, or even costumes for movies and TV. Working with Walk The Moon is always fun because those boys love color and print. I create shirts for them to wear while on tour and it’s always cool to see fans come to shows in the shirts that they have made to match the ones on the album. I think to myself, “I used to be those girls!” When really, I still am. I’ll never stop being a fan or creating. One of my favorite styling experiences was seeing Nicholas Petricca of Walk The Moon, “twinning” with Taylor Swift at one of her 1989 arena shows. I had purchased this sparkly bomber jacket for him months prior to have as a killer tour jacket and turns out, Taylor wore the same one to open her show every night. So she switched her wardrobe up for the night and wore the exact same jacket with Nick while they performed, “Shut Up and Dance” in front of 65,000 people.
What are some of your go-to shops and designers?
LB — Some of my go-to shops and designers are Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alice and Olivia, Opening Ceremony, Topshop, Jaded London, Nasty Gal, John Varvatos, Allsaints, Kenzo, The Kooples, and it never hurts to go searching for gold in a thrift store or vintage shop. Most of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe were found for $5 and I have never heard of the designer before. See what I mean about hunting for gold? A unique piece will get you further than something everyone else is wearing.
What are you inspired by?
LB — Inspiration comes from everything around me. Music helps so much that I can hardly get in the zone to dress a client or myself with out it. I have to put myself in a mood or a groove before I get dressed. It’s like a painter who mediates or stretches before they pick up the brush and make that first stroke. Living in LA and walking the streets is the perfect place to pick up inspiration because this city is filled with artists and expressive people who use fashion as a creative outlet.
Who are some of your style icons?
LB — Some of my style icons are Rihanna, Kate Hudson, and Emma Watson. Rihanna because she can be so edgy and unpredictable. She can be showing the most skin and dripping in nothing but jewels, wearing a gown that is massive and breathtaking, or wearing dope street wear with some unique twist on it no one has ever seen before. I also love that she has teamed up with Puma. Kate Hudson always and forever because she is the best at being boho and rock at the same time. Ever since she was Penny Lane in Almost Famous, I have been obsessed with her style and that was just a character. No one does chic and cool like Kate and when she is dolled up and red carpet ready, watch out! How does she always glow like that? Her stylist, Sophie Lopez is a genius. It would be a dream to work with her! Last but certainly not least, Emma Watson. She is such a bold young woman and her style is so classic but inventive at the same time. She is such a respectable young woman and her wardrobe always reflects that. I love when she throws on a leather jacket over a formal gown. It says, “I’m glamorous and a badass.” One of my dreams is to do a photoshoot with her with lots of high fashion, colors, and reflections.
Who would you love to style? What would you put her/him in?
LB — I would love to style any of the women I mentioned above along with some other artists such as, MS MR, Ellie Goulding, Santigold, The Killers, The 1975, Holychild, The Griswold’s, Diane Kruger, and Jena Malone. And to think those are only a few! To take what I love about their style already, put my own personal twists on it and collaborate with them on a new and inventive look that inspires others, is the dream. Styling artists no matter what kind of artist they may be is such a collaborative process. That’s what I love about it. When a client comes to me with an idea that I hadn’t even thought of yet, is the most exciting thing to run with.
What advice would you give to an aspiring stylist?
LB — My advice is to anyone out there who wants to be a stylist is to make that first big leap and move to where the action is. You need to be around as much fashion and art as possible. Then, hustle. Hustle so hard you forget about all the miles you put on your car making returns, the knot on your head from a fight you had with a clothing rack, and the lunch that you forgot to eat. Network your butt off and tell everyone your dream of being a stylist. Spill your passion all over them. They will remember you when they have a gig or they will let their friend know about you when they have a shoot and then the connection is made and the job is yours. Take any job and learn from it in the beginning. Lastly, have fun with it! Pull the weird jacket you think might never work and I can almost guarantee you it will be the shot of the day. Fashion should not be scary or intimidating. It’s the opportunity to wear art and express who you want to be on any given day. It’s says everything when you need to say nothing.