Thursday, November 24, 2011

Small 4 Style Interviews Dallas style-icon Jan Strimple at FNO

Photo Credit: G.J. McCarthy, Dallas Morning News
*Originally posted on in September 2011 before Fashion's Night Out.

One of the most exciting events were the quarter-mile runway shows at the Galleria Dallas produced by Jan Strimple, premier Dallas fashion event producer.  She is world-renowned, having worked with Bob Mackie, Carolina Herrera, Rodarte, and Project Runway designers Daniel Vosovic and Shirin Askari.

Like all good SMU freshmen, I was diligently doing my homework when I got a phone call from Ms. Strimple herself!  She had a million things to do before the models walked the longest runway in North America, so it was so kind of her to talk to a Stylista like myself. 

Jan Strimple got involved with FNO this year after being contacted by the Galleria Dallas marketing team.  This was the first year the Galleria is doing such a large-scale production for FNO, and a quarter-mile runway event is a fabulous way to celebrate this fashionable event in a big way.  And with the experience and expertise of Jan Strimple, this was no doubt the place to be on Fashion’s Night Out.  Unsurprisingly, Ms. Strimple is familiar with super-long runway productions.  She produced a block-long runway show on Chicago’s Oak Street where the entire street was staged for a runway presentation.

Jan Strimple is a serious force in the Dallas fashion world.  When I asked her to tell me one thing anyone who wants to work in the fashion industry should know, she eagerly responded, “I actually have three things.”  She stressed that “you must have stamina, or this is not the industry for you.”  In addition, she has seen people fail because they love shopping and don’t understand the path to the glamorous results is a lot of hard work and creative work.  She says that people who are successful in the fashion industry know the history of the industry and where it is now, but more importantly, they understand where it is going, the “projected future.”  And those who are truly successful are a part of this projected future in the fashion industry. 
According to Ms. Strimple, Stylistas should get ready for fall with collegiate plaid!  Jan suggests mixing two “violently opposing” plaids to create a fun fall look.  Add leopard boots and other animal prints to make your plaid look “exotic and unexpected.” 

I was so impressed with Ms. Strimple’s confident answers.  It’s evident that she is someone who is skilled and enthusiastic about what she does.  Her fashion icon is the unique fashionista Daphne Guinness.  When I asked her to describe her style in two words, she said without hesitation, “That’s easy: Avant-Garde.”  I love it!

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