Ashley Ording is a stylist, blogger, vintage enthusiast, and all around babe living in Philadelphia. She also has my dream job as a stylist for Anthropologie, so I had to ask her a few questions. I found her blog Fancy Fine years ago and fell in love with her fun approach to vintage as well as overall great style. Quite often I find myself in vintage shops saying "ohhhh, that's so Ashley Ording". Usually referring to a pretty chiffon dress, Poodle brooch, or over the top ruffled blouse. And that's just what I love about her style... daring, classic and fun!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
live in Philadelphia (after a decade spent in San Francisco) and work as a Web Stylist for Anthropologie. In my spare time I obsessively collect vintage clothing.
2. What's a typical work day look like as a Web Stylist at Anthropologie?
A typical day might be spent creating outfits all day long in our prop room, which then need to be shot on a model the following day. If I am on set all day it means that I am constantly moving, pinning clothes, adding accessories, making sure the outfits I've created translate in the photos. I am responsible for communicating retouching notes once I see the final selects, keeping the prop clothing and accessories organized, seeking styling inspiration wherever I can find it, and styling the social media creative shoots that are on model.
3. When did you first get into vintage clothing?
I have loved vintage clothing ever since I was a wee little thing watching black and white movies, but I didn't start earnestly collecting things until high school. After school and on weekends I would drive around to all the thrift stores in my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA and find the most amazing pieces from the 1950's, 60's and 70's, things that are nearly impossible to find at thrift stores these days. I was still a bit timid then about wearing my vintage clothes to school, so it wasn't until moving to San Francisco at age 18 that I really incorporated it into my daily style.
4. Would you say your fondness of vintage inspires what you create and style? What decade are you most drawn to?
I definitely find myself inspired by vintage when styling modern outfits, but I also love incorporating inspiration from the present day because there are so many lovely things happening in fashion right now. Currently I'm really drawn to the 1970's because of the beautifully weird color palette, amazing silhouettes, and unabashed quirkiness.
5. If you had to choose, what is your best vintage find ever?
Oh dear, I have so many! The one freshest in my mind is an incredible 1970's lace two piece set, a blouse and bell bottom trousers. I just used it in a photo shoot this past weekend and I'm probably going to sell it because it doesn't fit me, but I just had to own it for a little bit. A favorite find from my own wardrobe that I wear constantly is this beige lace vest (also 1970's) that weirdly goes with every outfit and is perfect to wear on the days when I'm styling because I can load it up with my styling clips for easy access.
6. The best part of your job is. . .
Pretty much everything, it's absolutely my dream job. But one of my favorite parts is definitely seeing the outfits that I have styled on the web site. Styling is a very sculptural thing, standing there and manipulating all elements of an outfit (tucking, untucking, pinning, tying, clipping, etc.) until it becomes something cohesive, interesting, hopefully wonderful. I love using my hands in this way and seeing the results.
7. The most challenging part is . . .
I don't get to cherry pick which items I style, I have to style everything, even the duds! Sometimes I feel challenged when faced with an item of clothing that is incredibly boring or uncool, but I strangely love those outfitting challenges the most. Some of my favorite outfits have involved a piece that I never imagined I could make cool, and then somehow a successful look comes out of it. I love that feeling.
8. What is the best piece of advice for someone wanting to get into styling?
I think focusing on your own style and aesthetic first is supremely important. If you have a clear point of view with the way that you dress then people will definitely recognize that. I think documenting my outfits for my blog for so many years helped me to hone my own aesthetic and forced me to both edit myself and think more creatively about styling, and of course putting myself out there like that is what led to Anthropologie finding me and hiring me. Having a web presence (which functions as an overall portfolio), a clear point of view, and not being afraid to show it all off is the best advice I could give!