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The Problem With Google’s Driverless Car, Downton Abbey‘s Strange Underwear Rules, and More of the News You Missed Today

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Say it, don’t spray it…
Spray sunscreen is supposed to protect us, but could it be doing more harm than good? The New York Times today is investigating just how dangerous it might be to inhale sunscreen spray’s airborne particles. Might be best to reach for the good old-fashioned lotions after all.

Downton‘s new rules…
After a plastic bottle accidently appeared in the background of a Downton Abbey promotional photo, the show is banning cast members from wearing anything that does not fit their 1920s aesthetic. This includes everything from jewelry to watches, and even the actors’ undies. [Vogue]

Normcore, revisited…
The basic white button-down is having a moment. Once considered plain and boring, it’s one of this season’s must-have pieces—you just need to know how to wear it. The Huffington Post found 20-plus ways.

Google’s robotic car…
Driverless cars are happening—but Google has hit a few proverbial bumps in the road. The company has been forced to add a steering wheel and pedals to the futuristic vehicles so humans can take control in the event of an accident. Probably a good idea. [Telegraph]

Burberry’s CEO takes a pay cut…
Christopher Bailey, CEO and CCO at Burberry, has just sold £5.2 million ($8.6 million) worth of his shares in Burberry. WWD reports that the sale was likely influenced by public scrutiny over his super-high salaries. Apparently, he could earn up to $17.6 million this year alone.

Photo: Tommy Ton

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Dressing for Fame: Penny Lovell Talks Working With Taylor Schilling, Sex and the City‘s Lasting Influence, and More

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Penny_Lovell

If celebrity status is conferred in red-carpet appearances, then no actress today can compete without the help of just the right stylist. As Kerry Washington once told Glamour after she noticeably upped the sartorial ante, “There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand careerwise—because they knew how to work that red carpet.” A carefully crafted collaboration between stylist and client, the perfect look can create an indelible impact on agents, casting directors, and those of us watching from the sidelines. Straight from the epicenter of all things celebrity, we’ve asked some of the industry’s top stylists to share their experiences and impressions from their perch above Tinseltown. With our Dressing for Fame series, we bring you an exclusive, insider look at everything it takes to create those iconic moments captured by a million photo flashes.

Penny Lovell

As a self-professed vintage junkie, stylist Penny Lovell has an eye for fashion’s finer details. The London-born Lovell made her first foray into fashion with a brief stint in fashion PR before paying her dues at British Elle, a job that opened her eyes to the ins, outs, and complexities of styling. Now settled in Los Angeles, Lovell counts on both loyal clients (Rose Byrne) and those newer to her coterie (Taylor Schilling and Anne Hathaway) to keep her on her toes—and strengthen her game. With the Emmys on the horizon, Lovell found time to chat exclusively with Style.com about the second-skin relationship she cultivates with clients and why Sex and the City still matters.

Have you ever had an “I’ve made it” moment? What was it?
For me, it’s really more of a series of achievements, and there are so many of those. Like, when I met Keira Knightley on a photo shoot and she was my first celebrity client. She was very young and I was very young and had never dressed anyone, so that was a very significant moment because that’s where and why it all began for me. There are a couple things—like, I’ve always been such a fan of designers and their creativity, and to be able to collaborate with designers on things, that’s huge for me still.

When you work with a client for years, like Rose Byrne, how do you continue to keep things fresh?
I think fashion is a great thing for that because it changes all the time. What we’re working with is constantly evolving. I know her better now—I know where she’s at in her life, I can almost guess how she’s feeling about something and what she might not want to do and what she might want to do without her even telling me. You get a shorthand really. It’s a really personal relationship, it’s a second skin. With the successful relationships, you do end up having this sort of very unspoken shorthand. And then I always like to pull some things that they might like and they might not, but let’s give it a go. It’s all free, we’ll try everything on, there’s no judgment, and you never know. Some things you really would never imagine look amazing, so it’s always good to keep looking for things that are just a bit different, to try and see. You never know, and sometimes those are amazing, and quite often they are, actually.

When you get a new client, where does the work begin? Do you base their style off an existing aesthetic or create a new one?
It depends on the client. For instance, when I met Taylor [Schilling] last year—I’d never actually met her and she was coming to L.A. and she had to go to an event, so I had to do a fitting straight off the initial meeting. So, at that point you immerse yourself in them. You look at everything you can find on them and then you meet them. With her, you pull in as much as you can, and together there’s this special alchemy that happens in that moment between. It’s a collaboration, but there’s a specific alchemy between the two of you.

What inspired you to start styling?
I didn’t really know that there was such a thing when I was younger when I was thinking about my jobs. I basically used to work at a clothing store when I was 15 and people used to come every week and get outfits from me. I used to put outfits together, and I didn’t really know that was styling then. I didn’t know it was a job until later on when I hit my 20s and I was in fashion PR in the beginning. I went from being John Frieda’s PA to doing fashion PR at a fashion agency that did Burberry and Max Mara. Then I got into the world of fashion editors more, so I used to work with them and do pulls for them. Also, we used to commission photo shoots for the clients. Actually, I commissioned a big stylist in London at the time, I remember, getting her to style the shoot for Pretty Polly, which are tights in England, and it wasn’t a great shoot and we had to reshoot it. And I was telling my boss what we needed, and she’s like, “You should just do it. We’ve got clothes, you can just figure it out, right?” So I did it. From then I realized I really wanted to do this. That was all very early 20s.

What was your first real styling gig?
I worked for the fashion director of the Sunday Telegraph magazine in London, and I used to give her ideas for shoots. One day, she just said, “You should do it, you should shoot it,” and that was probably my first gig and first real published work.

What stylist has always been a source of inspiration to you and your career?
In terms of inspiration, I think Patricia Field for me. I don’t think anyone of our generation or in this business can underestimate Sex and the City‘s impact, particularly on the red carpet. It was such a playful, interesting visual. I look at it now and remember so much of it now in terms of the way those pieces were put together and how those girls’ characters were defined by the clothes in that show, and I think that has a lot of bearing on what we do.

Do you think ambassadorships and sponsorships have changed celebrity styling?
Sometimes there’s something quite interesting about one thing being set and you have to think of other things quite differently. There’s still work with the brand, there are discussions between the brand and stylists. It’s nice to work closely with a house. I quite enjoy that.

Do you find social media chatter to be helpful or distracting when working with a client? Where does “criticism” come into play?
In terms of work, it doesn’t really come into play for me. I know what’s generally going on, but I don’t specifically read it in terms of what I do for work. There are so many opinions out there, and if you listen to all of them you’ll go mad. I don’t think what I do is a popularity contest, either. I do something specific with my clients, and it’s for them to feel great and look great and photograph well, and it’s for a reason—because they’re promoting a film, attending a charity event or something—it’s not a popularity contest. I just think that if you get into that, you’re never going to win. It’s endless. Sometimes a favorite dress is another person’s awful dress. You really have to keep your parameters of what matters very clear. We’ve taken calculated risks often, we know not everyone is going to love it, but we don’t do it for that reason.

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Editor Obsessions: Rainbow’s Cheap Fashion Thrills

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RAINBOW1-sizedEvery day, Style.com’s editors reveal their current obsessions—and where to buy them. Check out today’s pick, below.

While it’s taken me this long to admit, today I’m going on the record to publicly declare my love for Rainbow. Yes, I’m referring to the budget-friendly retail chain that has been my go-to destination for cheap fashion thrills since I first discovered its stores in the mid-’90s. Like most girls in this industry, I regularly rock a high-low mix, and can’t resist the intoxicating pull of a sales rack, of which there is a profusion at my local Rainbow in Williamsburg. While the hip neighborhood shows every other sign of corporate gentrification, high-street mainstays like Zara and H&M have generally been slow to make the Brooklyn crossover.

Aside from its bargain-bin prices, what’s terrific about Rainbow is it’s constantly turning over its stock and introducing new merchandise that taps into of-the-moment trends. Some of the selection is great, a lot of it is a tad tacky—but it’s coming across that perfect little vintage-y crocheted top for $5 (resembling one you might find for exponentially more at, say, Reformation) that makes the hunt totally worth it. This summer, my roommate and I have been stopping by Rainbow every Friday after work in search of fresh weekend outfits, and we rarely leave empty-handed. Recent hauls have included fun belts, printed suspender dresses, and versatile lace bandeau bras—I’ve got one in every shade of the, well, rainbow now—that I layer underneath my designer pieces. For me, there’s no greater satisfaction than telling someone interested in my look: “Can you believe I got it at Rainbow?”

Photo: Jonathan Percy / Flickr

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Summer Fridays: Out of Office With ArtBinder App Founder Alexandra Chemla

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Burning_Man_PortraitLike the George Gershwin song goes, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” Especially if your workweek is cut short thanks to “Summer Fridays.” The extra hours go a long way in making every weekend seem like a holiday. If you’re short on inspiration for your own Summer Fridays, just look to our new season-long series in which we ask industry people with cool jobs to share how they’ll be spending their free afternoons.

If you’ve been to a party in New York in the past year, chances are you’ve bumped into Alexandra Chemla, the 27-year-old founder and CEO of ArtBinder, a mobile inventory solution for art galleries. And despite her packed off-duty social calendar, the young entrepreneur must be doing something right while on-duty: This summer, ArtBinder raised $3.17 million in Series funding. So even if you haven’t seen Chemla around yet, you’re about to start seeing a whole lot more of her. Here, Chemla shares the Summer Friday plans she is most looking forward to before the hectic fall art season begins.

“I’m really looking forward to attending Burning Man in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. A lot of people don’t view Burning Man as a place to ‘recharge,’ but it’s quite the opposite for me. I spend every day on the grid and am always accessible via e-mail, phone, and social media, and at Burning Man I’m completely disconnected from the world outside of my surroundings. In this environment, I can be creative and innovative in a way that’s altogether separate from my usual day-to-day.

“So next Friday I’m flying out to L.A. to meet friends whom I’ll attend the festival with. We’ll then fly to Reno; pick up our RV; stock up on food, water, and other supplies; and head out to the desert. The drive takes about three hours. I’m particularly excited about the gift/art project we’ve planned this year. We’re bringing a Polaroid camera so that we can share the pictures we take with everyone on-site. It’s also digital, so I’ll have a reminder of my time away when I hardly have a moment to put my cell phone down this fall.”

Photos: Courtesy Photos

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Through Cédric’s Eyes: Devon Aoki in Jeremy Scott

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Each week, renowned artist and fashion illustrator Cédric Rivrain unveils an exclusive drawing on Style.com. See fashion through his eyes, below.

Devon Aoki in Jeremy Scott

Cedric

“I love Jeremy. He is extremely talented and fun and makes fashion as light as strong. His beyond beautiful friend Devon wearing his garments has always been one of my favorite aesthetics.

Love,

Cédric.”

Illustration: Cédric Rivrain

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