Rich Skinny Pretty: Style Interview with Chantal Gordon-Benoit

Let's face the facts, all of us certainly need a mentor at one point or another in our life. Luckily for me, one of my most inspiring, supportive, and encouraging mentors is Chantal Gordon-Benoit. With experience at Women Wear Daily, Vogue and NBC under her YSL belt, you better bet your stilettos she knows style. She is ultrasophisticated yet edgy and cool. Her visual bravado veers towards understated and chic while consistently delivering a serious air of effortless streetwear attitude.

This former "Vogue-Bot" not only has an unparalleled extensive vocabulary and an authentic style that she truly owns, but she is the hardest working and absolutely most fabulous woman I know. In fact, she was one of the few who encouraged me to create

When Chantal enters a room, you will undoubtedly notice her. You will be envious of her style and you will inexplicably want to get to know her. Lucky for me, I do. Lucky for you, you get to find out all you want to know about this ultra-stylish influential right here.

RSP: What is your current position in the fashion industry? (Feel free to include previous experience as well).
Chantal: PAST: Women's Wear Daily intern; Frank151 magazine intern; Vogue West Coast Assistant; Riviera associate editor; and Riviera editor at large. CURRENT: Local shopping editor at NBC Universal; freelance fashion writer; and novelist.

RSP: Which fashion designers or runway trends influence your overall look?
Chantal: I'm loving Alexander Wang right now - he's a current fashion darling for good reason because his looks manage to be sexy, athletic, tough all at once. In general I love collections and looks that are built on contrasts. Another place I'm going for fashion inspiration @ the moment is street style. It can be difficult to catch onto street style in a car culture like SoCal, but I try to make it back to NYC somewhat often, and I come back w/ tons of ideas on updating my look. In the meantime, I go on The Sartorialist, Garance Doure' and Street Peeper almost daily. In my opinion that's the best way to develop your own idiosyncratic look.
(Yes, that's Chantal with her "interns" on "The Hills.")
RSP: What is your most prized fashion possession?
Chantal: My vintage black Halston d'orsay disco sandals and yellow gold lion bracelet that I appropriated from my mom; and Tom K. Nguyen prep school blazer; and vintage "Sputnik" brooch and earrings. (I wore the brooch at my wedding :-)

RSP: What can we find in your closet? Please include specific items, accessories and brands.

Chantal: Corey Lynn Calter striped tap shorts; vintage straw boater hat; Antique Boutique one-shoulder black tank; Behnaz Sarafpour gold pencil skirt; nerdy wolf graphic tee; four-inch Christian Louboutin booties; Zara harem pants; pinstripe romper from UNIV, YSL espadrilles; UNIV graphic tees; 1970s-style flared jeans; Corey Lynn Calter purple and grey gradient silk tank; vintage YSL polka dot shirt; boys' tuxedo jacket from eBay, Theory black and white gingham shorts; long black pearl necklace; American Apparel tanks w/ built-in shelf bras; Report Signature grey pumps with frayed bow and metal spikes; Rory Becca wide-leg flannel pants; vintage Lucite hoop earrings; vintage Bakelite sword brooch; "saints" bracelet from Mexico; tons of wooden stackable bracelets

RSP: I totally remember that "nerdy wolf graphic tee" when meeting Chantal for the first time at Starbucks. She paired the casual t with a blazer, statement necklace and skirt. It was a perfect mix of girlish meets urban cool.

RSP: In your opinion what is the biggest fashion faux pas???
Chantal: Kitten heels, fedoras and neon Wayfarers
Loving Chantal as much as I do? Take a look at her latest articles on

Nacole Gray

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