The #ModernDayMuse Series - Shelly Vella

As we continue our Modern Day Muse series, this week we catch up with another amazing, unstoppable woman to discover what inspires them, when it comes to their wardrobe and beyond! 

This week we spoke to Stylist, Shelly Vella. Shelly has more than 25 years of experience within the fashion space having spent 15 years at Cosmopolitan UK as the fashion & style director, she has since gone on to work with many of the major players on the high street, art directing and styling their look books, windows and advertising images. Oh, and did we mention she’s also worked with supermodels like Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell? We’re just a bit jealous!

Shelly also happened to style our epic SS18 look book which we couldn’t be more in love with.


Here’s 5 minutes with our wonderful modern-day muse…

How would you describe your signature style? 

My style is very Bohemian - I’m attracted to loose flowing fabrics, embellishment, embroidery and well-travelled vintage feel pieces. I just add jeans or a well cut pair of trousers and plenty of jewellery.

What’s your go-to outfit or look when you want to feel unstoppable? 

I have a beautiful black blazer with a satin rever collar from Isabel Marant and if I wear this with a Bohemian dress and mid heeled ankle boots I feel empowered and confident.

Who’s your style icon? 

Anyone with confidence in their own style. Never celebrities, always real people I see in the street.

Where do you draw style inspiration from?

I like to look to films for my style inspiration and also my travels. I love seeing how women (and men) around the world dress and mix colour, texture and fabrics. Visiting India had a massive influence on my personal style - it’s a boho Mecca and embraces colour and opulence with raw abandon.

What’s your favourite thing in your wardrobe and why?

Impossible question as I am so deeply sentimental about many pieces in there. I’m passionate about longevity and not jumping on the fast fashion band wagon - therefore I have vintage Westwood from the 80s hanging next to vintage finds from around the world, and long standing ‘lust have’ buys from the high street. I do love a pair of hand painted camouflage trousers by ‘Daughter of a Bohemian’ that I bought a year ago - I can dress them up or down and people always comment on them. 

What outfit have you worn that you look back on and think, ‘wow that was the worst’?

Gosh - I bought a Self Portrait dress as a panic buy for a big function and mis-chose it. The neckline was too high for me and the skirt too voluminous and I wore it with Converse - I looked like a dumpy cutwork lace pyramid. I didn’t do the dress justice for sure.

If you could fly somewhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?

I’d hot foot it back to Jaipur and stay in one of the palaces. I fell in love with it the first time I visited but it was a short visit and it’s a place to savour.

Who would you take with you?

I’d take my partner Giorgio, he loves India but hasn’t explored anywhere quite like Jaipur. It’s insanely beautiful.

What’s the one item you would take with you?

I would take my Olympus Pen F camera.

Where is your ‘happy place’?

Riding my horse Prophet in the forests near where I live.

What’s the motto you live your life by?

Be authentic and true to yourself.

If you weren’t a stylist, what would you be?

I would be writing books. That’s the plan one day. Move nearer the sea and write.

What’s your favourite book and why?

Another tricky question - if you saw my bookcases you’d understand. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is right up there. Evocative and passionate.

What’s your favourite song and why?

Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out). It really moves me.

What’s your favourite restaurant in the world and why?

There’s the most amazing restaurant in Havana Cuba called  The food isn’t mind-blowing for a vegan like me - but the history and atmosphere of the place blows my mind. I’ve been there several times and I can hear, smell and taste the ambiance even now. 

To eat - always Mildred’s in Lexington St - it’s vegan heaven.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @shellyvella

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