BY ASSOCIATE STYLIST: BRANDON GIORDANO
Upon seeing racks of button-ups while visiting the Kal Rieman studio last week, I was ready to dislike her work. Being someone who loves ease and femininity, I assumed that all of her classic menswear inspired pieces that include the FiDi staple – the blue collared button-up – would look too stuffy for me. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the fine amount of detail put into each garment: a dramatic box pleat on the back of a button-up, double collars, and leather piping and detailing. Each garment was elevated – taking them from cookie cutter finance drone into something more thoughtful and elegant.
Rieman’s white-collar aesthetic is no surprise considering her history working in finance surrounded by suits, having first hand experience with a predominantly male dominated “Wolf of Wallstreet” side of business. There is a sense of power that can be projected in the way that we dress and Rieman really infuses that strength into each of her pieces. The no frill or fuss of her garments turned out to be refreshing, and if worn simply, can be very effective in projecting a sense of style while still meaning business.
Even though she encourages layering through her look books, I think her clothes are most effective when paired down. Every garment is unique and doesn’t need to get lost under a three-piece suit. One of her finely tailored button-ups would look perfect alone or with one of her coveted reversible fencing vests. Her swing coats are a perfect example of styling with ease and are executed perfectly in Italian wool with classic check patterns. I also adore the leather tunics with ties on the side, or the classic vest suits, a la 70’s Saint Laurent, in men’s suiting materials.
As stylists, we’re constantly telling our clients that their first physical impression on someone is so important. For Kal Rieman that impression is a “No B.S.” attitude, and that is just what we need in fashion. Taking applications NOW!