Stephanie Stola

Stylist. London

By: Meagan Wilson
Styling: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

It's not quite everyday that you find yourself conducting a photo shoot (and fine, sipping Chardonnay) a few feet from a fitting with Erin O'Connor. But, as it turns out, that's just how the day's events tend to go down when you're raiding the home of the likes of stylist Stephanie Stola.

We'll back it up: things started when Stola first welcomed us into her Belgravia flat-cum-studio, to a dining room full of Dior samples and rolling racks loaded with sweeping Giles Deacon gowns, warning us that she had a client on the way. We got a peek at her an immaculately decorated living room, complete with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and an antique large format camera lurking in the corner before she lead us back to her massive storage-style closet with a bucket list of our favorite pieces from seasons past. Y'know: those fuzzy Céline pumps, a trompe l'oeil Prada dress and a kitty-cat print Miu Miu coat. But Stola herself was the first to tell us: her own personal style veers away from what was on her client's racks, and gravitates a little closer to slinky Haider Ackermann, monochrome looks from Chloé, '70s tinged everything from Saint Laurent. Sleek, clean, and pretty damn cool.

Stola's trajectory in the fashion world goes a little something like this: after studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins, Stola just sort of stumbled into styling (as you do), and has gone on to work closely with international editions of Vogue and luxury brands like Jimmy Choo. And upon learning about her childhood, it was hardly a surprise: "My mother collaborated with Helmut Newton, Valentino and Armani when I was young; while my father’s company was responsible for some the most interesting car design and prototypes of that period," she explained to us as we pulled pieces from her wardrobe room. And their influence continues to be felt in her work—she draws heavily from the art world, too (if it wasn't obvious from the avant garde Giles she ended up sending O'Connor off in, who it turns out Stola was having over for a fitting for the then upcoming British Fashion Awards). Insert cliché about things coming full circle here...