Working Wardrobes: Lynette Nylander
In a year of seismic shifts and immeasurable change, the familiar playing field of office attire has altered beyond recognition. With many adjusting to new routines and remote working practices, working wardrobes have become more about suiting our mood than suiting up for the office. As such, we decided to take inspiration from a woman whose working wardrobe is shaped by instinct, rather than the confines of a strict working environment or dress code. Enter Lynette Nylander, the London-born, NYC-based Creative and Editorial Director at Large of CR Fashion Book and founder of creative studio imaginethat, whose journalistic exploits have seen her interviewing the likes of Solange, Dev Hynes, Ib Kamara, Vivienne Westwood and TLC for publications such as American Vogue, i-D, An0ther and more. Below, Lynette tells us more about building her own career, and discovering a dress code to match.
I’ve never quite understood the idea of office attire. Or, maybe more aptly, never really wanted to observe it.
At the infancy of my career, I thought being a nightclub-dwelling fashion student was carte blanche enough for me to sartorially express myself in whatever ways I wanted. I loved colour and spent hours scouring eBay for vintage pairs of Versace jeans and Moschino jackets that I wore religiously. As a plucky intern, I had the work ethic down early but, on reflection, cutoff denim shorts could have been reserved for weekends in Regents Park. The menial tasks of grabbing coffee and collecting dry cleaning didn’t require 4-inch heels (which I learned the hard way when I tripped on Eastcastle Street, in turn, self-slamming myself with double shot lattes.)
Thankfully, as my career progressed so did my style. My job as coordinator at now-defunct magazine INDUSTRIE was my first foray into having some semblance of a work wardrobe. It was owned by two impossibly chic Swedes (Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson, founders of FRAME Denim) so their pared down aesthetic subconsciously rubbed off on me. Monochrome black and white outfits became a safe way of looking good as I navigated my first full-time job and a promotion to Managing Editor.
Post INDUSTRIE came i-D, where all bets were off. Not only was my job as Deputy Editor an incredible lesson in the past, present and future of fashion, music and more, I also felt comfortable to wear what appealed to me. It was here that I nailed ‘the mix’, a strategy I still use to this day, though slightly tweaked. Supreme with a pleated smart pant, a beret with double breasted suit. Jacquemus, Prada and Marques'Almeida were favourites I managed to stretch my very modest salary to (when coupled with press discounts and months of saving.)
Moving to New York ushered in a working wardrobe 2.0. New York style is chic but safer than my hometown. My plan? To marry my London DNA with some Big Apple energy. Comme Des Garçons with a ribbed Hanes tank or ten dollar hoodie which made me feel I wasn’t compromising on who I was. Working for a brand like Alexander Wang at the time also gave me a completely new perspective on clothing. Being so close to the design process gave me a new respect of what it took to put together collections. It also made me want to buy less and buy quality.
Now? As a writer and founder of imaginethat, my style has never been more indicative of who and where I am in my career. I mix prints, and colors, probably more as a message of subliminal confidence than I knew. A signature of mine are pairing striking items as if they are neutrals. Martine Rose, Chopova Lowena, BODE, Molly Goddard, Kenneth Ize and Marine Serre are all mainstays of my wardrobe, designers who don’t necessarily go together at first thought, but they all share qualities of being beautiful made clothing with a unique point of view. Simone Rocha is always a go-to for a fancy night out!
My work as a writer means I sometimes get to meet my style crushes and their ability to put looks together is always even better in person. *See: Kelsey Lu and Solange Knowles* The incredible work of my friend Ib Kamara not only makes me happy as a fellow Sierra Leonean but gives me incredible ideas of how to use imagination to put myself together. How something is made is increasingly important too. Is it someone whose work and business I see value in beyond the clothes? Are they trying to make clothes in a more conscious and culturally aware way are all questions I ask myself now?
I try to always imbue fun and whimsy into what I wear and try not to take things too seriously and use my wardrobe as a way to say something about my own self-expression and interests rather than being a canvas of trends that don't suit me or my body.
Bad mistakes, I’ve made a few. But now my style suits my lifestyle and my personality. It’s often dictated by waking up, what I am doing that day and going with how I feel. A perk of being your own boss!
Lynette Nylander is the Creative and Editorial Director at Large of CR Fashion Book and founder of creative studio imaginethat.
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