In a world where fashion reigns supreme and individual style is a coveted form of self-expression, Italian style consultant and coach Lucia Restani, has become indispensable, guiding her clients through the intricacies of their closets and empowering them to embrace their most authentic selves. But her role extends beyond simply curating outfits; Restani has become a confidant and trusted advisor, helping women navigate the complex fashion world with finesse.
LF ITALY: From Bologna to London — Tell us about your fashion journey.
LUCIA RESTANI: It has been an amazing journey for me as a fashion stylist and coach. After graduating in Political Science from Bologna and working for the Ministry of Education, I knew I needed a change and a chance to express myself more authentically. After listening to an interview with an Italian stylist in London, I felt compelled to pursue this path and positively impact women’s lives. I took the plunge and moved to London, where I worked in fashion, both in retail and wholesale fashion, for luxury brands in Milan and Paris. After many requests from private clients for extra personalized styling help, I launched my consultancy. At the same time, I started a journey of self-development and discovered the tremendous power of mental and emotional wellbeing and its impact on our lives. I crafted a unique program to work with my clients and help them to make powerful changes in their lives.
LF ITALY: What is your approach to personal styling and coaching? How do you tailor your services to meet the unique needs and preferences of your clients?
LUCIA RESTANI: As a stylist and coach, I take a holistic approach to recognizing and unleashing my clients’ potential. No two people are the same, so I focus on helping each individual understand where they are, what they aim to do, and the missing link to their maximum expression.
Coaching is the foundation of true life change while styling results from that change. Combining them ensures a natural evolution and lasting changes.
My program has clear steps fine-tuned to each client’s needs, desires, and goals, and I always take the time to dive into my clients’ challenges and wishes. As an Italian, I also bring a warm and inclusive approach, a timeless flair to the mix and a focus on personal enjoyment, not only efficiency.
LF ITALY: How do you help clients discover their style and develop their fashion identity?
LUCIA RESTANI: This is a great question!
Clients usually only talk about changing something about their look or the need for a wardrobe update, but when you dive in, they are not able to pin point exactly what that means for them and how it could translate in reality. That’s why the mindset work is so important.
LF ITALY: Can you go a little bit deeper into the mindset aspect of fashion?
LUCIA RESTANI: In the past, I was guiding my clientele through my intuition and fashion expertise; don’t get me wrong, it worked. However, I noticed that a few clients were not fully absorbing and committing to the process, which in the long run meant that, at some level, there was still a bit of resistance or they were slowly sliding back into old negative habits.
Instead, empowering clients from within helps them to verbalize and visualize what their best version looks and feels like.
This shift in perspective has a domino effect in all areas of their lives, allowing them to unlock their full potential by expressing themselves through their presence.
LF ITALY: In your opinion, does fashion play a role in boosting confidence and self-expression?
LUCIA RESTANI: Absolutely! Fashion is a powerful tool that can be used to enhance one’s self-confidence and self- expression. We all make a statement with what we wear, and people respond to that. So why not use fashion to its fullest potential? Not only does fashion have an immediate effect on our physicality, but it also has an impact on our subconscious through our senses hence, on mental wellbeing. Wearing something you feel good in instantly boosts your mood and makes you stand a bit taller. It can give you a feeling of power and confidence that changes your behaviour and get noticed by those around you.
Many of my clients come to me initially feeling out of their comfort zone, but when I help them find a style that truly reflects their authentic self, they never look back. Fashion can be a great way to express yourself and feel empowered.
LF ITALY: How important is it for individuals to embrace their body shape and size when it comes to fashion?
LUCIA RESTANI: It is incredibly important for individuals to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin, no matter what their body shape and size may be. I strive to create an environment where clients can embrace their bodies and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.
LF ITALY: How do you help clients feel comfortable and confident in their own skin?
LUCIA RESTANI: My approach involves helping my clients to nurture appreciation for themselves, being objective about what they don’t like as it can be just a point of view, and emphasizing the features they love the most. Dita Von Teese is a famous example of a woman who has made her fortune out of her differences from typical beauty ideals, proving that being comfortable and confident in your own skin is a winning formula.
LF ITALY: What are your thoughts on slow luxury and sustainable fashion?
LUCIA RESTANI: You are touching a subject close to my heart.
I completely agree on the importance of slow luxury and sustainable fashion. As individuals, we can make a difference by incorporating sustainable practices into our personal style choices. We need to work on educating the public on the subject in order to create conscious consumers that research materials, production processes and ethical values of brands. Moreover, we should strive to support niche brands that are preserving heritage and artisanal skills, as well as family businesses that value quality over marketing and invest in their local communities. Actively support those niche businesses it’s a big part of my work and my clientele appreciate meeting faces behind a product, understanding the the work that happens behind the scenes and finally wear unique limited produced pieces crafted with love.
LF ITALY: How can individuals incorporate sustainable practices into their personal style choices?
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LUCIA RESTANI: Although we are only recently beginning to discuss slow fashion and sustainability, I believe that by making an effort to become educated consumers, will contribute to the health of the economy and the environment.
LF ITALY: What are some common misconceptions or myths about fashion styling and coaching that you would like to debunk?
LUCIA RESTANI: Let me start by saying that women are often their own worst critics. We live in a world with hectic lifestyles, and are expected to juggle multiple roles simultaneously. As a result, there is a misconception that women should inherently know the ins and outs of styling – which can lead to feelings of guilt or shame if they seek professional help in this area. In reality, it is just as beneficial to seek out professional assistance in the realm of style, as it is with any other subject. Not to mention, it saves a great amount of time and effort when at- tempting to achieve a harmonious wardrobe.
On the other hand, in recent years, coaching has become increasingly prevalent in the UK, particularly in the business world. This often means that coaching is only sought out for career advancement, and I would love to see more individuals taking advantage of this service not only as a tool for professional development, but for personal growth as well as this would lead to long-term success.
LF ITALY: What message or advice do you have for people who may feel intimidated or overwhelmed by fashion?
How can they start embracing and enjoying it?
LUCIA RESTANI: First and foremost, I would encourage people who feel intimidated or overwhelmed by fashion to become curious about it. Viewing fashion not just from a consumer perspective, but as an expression of society’s mood, self-identity, art, heritage and more, can open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Additionally, if the idea of shopping and creating an individual style is too daunting, I would suggest seeking out an expert who can help. It’s important to find someone who listens and has a style that resonates with us. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun with fashion! Life is too short to be boring, so start with baby steps and try adding a piece of clothing or accessory that brings a smile to your face. Remember, fashion is about more than just functionality.
Enclothed cognition illustrates how clothing impacts human cognition based on the co-occurrence of its symbolic meaning and the physical wearing of the attire. The term was coined by Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky, who exhibited the phenomenon with an experiment in 2012 using white lab coats.
LF ITALY: How does what you wear affect how you feel: exploring the mind-body connection of fashion?
LUCIA RESTANI: Let’s start by saying that physiology and psychology are highly interconnected; therefore, even the saying’ fake it until you make it’ holds its truth.
The connection between fashion and our physiological well-being extend to the concept of “enclothed cognition,” which suggests that what we wear influences human cognitive behaviours. For example, wearing a stiletto, immediately makes a woman feel sexy, wearing a smart jacket gives a sense of being in control and confidence in a professional environment, and wearing a tracksuit promotes a sense of relaxation and ease. This is why I consider many aspects when working with a client. To name a few, fabrics and textures stimulate our senses through touch, tailoring enhances one’s posture and confidence, colours are connected to emotions and are powerful tools for branding and instant communication, and the list could go on.