Photo credit Garance Doré
Interview

Laurel Pantin, Part 2

04.03.14

Laurel Pantin is the market editor of Lucky magazine. Previously the associate accessories editor at Glamour, the Austin, Texas native got her start in fashion at Teen Vogue, where she served as current Lucky Magazine EIC Eva Chen’s assistant. Outside of the office, laid-back Pantin is known for her bleach-blonde bedhead and spot-on street style.

In part two of our interview, Pantin dishes on her bleach-blonde bedhead and the formula behind her personal style.

Interview

How do you feel about how controversial street style has become?

Honestly, I think all the boo-hooing about street style is kind of silly. The “editor” job has obviously changed a lot since I started. We have so many neat opportunities to collaborate with interesting people and brands, and a lot of that has to do with being able to showcase your taste level and personal style via street style. Sure, there’s more of a “fashion circus” now, but that’s part of what makes fashion week so fun! I’m never the girl to show up wearing a head to toe runway look (I’m more about mechanic jumpsuits, Carhartts, and Tevas), but it’s great to see those people out there, loving fashion, and being their wonderful weird selves. It’s also hugely flattering to have your style celebrated. I’m all for letting your freak flag fly, and street style photographers allow a fantastic vehicle for celebrating that.

The fashion set can get a little homogenous – what is your advice for standing out (in a good way)?

Do your thing! You be you. Sometimes I have “Live Your Truth Days” where I wear whatever feels really, really good — like, indulgent good — and I do little things to make myself feel fantastic. Today it was wearing my Uggs and a huge cashmere sweater and listening to Dolly Parton and walking to all my appointments instead of taking a cab or a subway. It’s on days like those that you can really get in touch with the things you love because you love them, not because they’re cool. Occasionally those things are straight up UNCOOL, but sometimes (as in the case with Tevas) they’re so uncool they’re cool. It’s kind of like a Zen meditative way of getting in touch with your most personal sense of yourself. Then, when you embrace those things, bingo! You’re you! My absolute number one piece of style advice is wear what you love — something my good friend John Jannuzzi says a lot. But still, fingers crossed Uggs make a comeback, because they’re amazing, and we all would have been a lot happier during the polar vortex if we had them on. Getting dressed is supposed to be fun! It’s one of the only times of day that you can really celebrate yourself so why not do it?

Can you define your personal style in three words?

Carolina coastal mom. Kidding … American work wear x Dolly Parton.

Is there a color you won’t wear? Why?

I don’t tend to wear much color or pattern. It just doesn’t feel right on me. I don’t have a list or rules about what I will and won’t wear, I just know when I see it or have it on if it doesn’t feel right.

What accessory completes an outfit for you?

Shoes! Where can you go without shoes?! I’m a very literal, practical person.

What is your go-to outfit when you’re not feeling inspired?

Cropped jeans, a sweater, and sneakers, or a mechanic’s jumpsuit. If I’m feeling sick (or a little hungover), I’ll wear something kind of sparkly or fancy to distract myself and everyone else from my haggard face.

Let’s talk about your hair. Your bleached bob has been copied over and over – how did you pull the trigger on the white blonde? How difficult is the maintenance?

Rachel Bodt at Cutler does my color, and she’s amazing. So nice and she’s really cautious about damaging it. I’m not really that attached to my hair, so when I got the idea to cut it into a pixie I was like, “Sayonara hair!” Then, when I wanted it super blonde it was another, “why not?” moment. When it was short and white blonde, I dyed it myself with Jolene bleach, which was a mistake. My mom called the color “chicken fat yellow.” Now that I have a great colorist, it’s no sweat. I like having a little bit of roots so I don’t have to go too often.

Aside from Lucky, where do you go for your fashion news?

I love to read The Cut, Refinery29, and Fashionista. I also look at Fashion Copious everyday, and I like to read T. That said, I don’t keep up with industry news and other magazines as much as I should. I like to read a lot, so I’m usually reading a book over anything else. Right now I’m reading Manifesta, which was recommended by Mikki Halpin at Glamour. She’s one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

Did you always want to work in fashion?

Growing up I actually NEVER wanted to work in fashion! I was so afraid of fashion girls! I never wanted to because I was never confident enough to think I could. I thought I was going to be a scientist up until I went to college, then in college I thought I was going to work at Christie’s or be a curator at Cooper Hewitt. I fell in to fashion totally by chance, but I’m really, really happy, and definitely realize how lucky I am!

As a native of Austin, Texas, how is the southern girl reflected in your current personal style?

Hopefully in every way! Ha! I love country campy crazy. I’m obsessed with Dolly Parton and country style. I love fringe and pearl snaps and rhinestones and suede…and cowboy hats and boots and big, big hair. I like to buy shoes that look like little prairie boots. I’ve been really inspired by the Southwest lately and every morning when I get dressed I try and ask myself if I would look out of place in New Mexico. I’m all over the place with the way I dress myself, so I’m really trying to pull together a common thread or theme when I’m shopping or dressing myself now.