By Michelle McCormick

Lydia Santangelo bursts with so much style energy it’s infectious – girl’s got glamour on the brain and it shows.

For 16 years Lydia’s staggering client list has included iconic brands such as YSL, Chanel, Cartier and Vera Wang not to mention the bookcase you could fill with her reams of tear sheets from Boston, Stuff, Boston Common and more. Her company, TESstylist is responsible for producing countless runway showstoppers for fashion giants like Neiman’s, Barney’s and Bloomingdales. She has also been featured as a style expert on shows like Chronicle and Matty in the Morning. Okay, that’s a lot.

I was able to catch up with this busy lady to find out what makes her tick:

Q: What has your career path been? Have you always been a stylist or have you knocked threw a few different careers to get to where you are today?

A: I started my career at the Boston based flagship Jordan Marsh. My claim to fame was as a Buyer of ‘Low Moderate Dresses ‘ was the launch of the $29.99 One Day Sale dress. Glamorous, it was not. As Federated Department stores gobbled most up, corporate headquarters were merged. Opting for relocation to NY at the time was not a viable choice, so I made the most influential decision of my career and moved into the Special Events/Fashion Office. TESstylist became the result.

Q: What has prepared you to be one of the most successful stylists in Boston?

A: I LOVE my job. Possessing enthusiasm and creativity, while understanding the client’s objectives are critical. You have to LOVE the job. I get my fashion inspiration from Dazed and Confused mag, ID mag and homeboys hanging out in Allston (they’re killing me with the wooden jewelry).

Q: Where do you go for fashion inspiration?

A: My travel allows me to absorb a huge cross spectrum of inspirational people/places from major cities to the more obscure. But it is the relatively unknown destinations, local designers, artists and thrifters that excite me most. Nashville’s Imogene+Willie – where I snagged a stack of men’s French military trousers, that I cut/restyled to make impeccable high waisted crop pant (just used them for a styling project for Battleship rtw line, Universal Pictures May 2012 release). I don’t get gear like Hunter boots or Barbour jackets; and I’m just over the Burberry plaid (unless worn ironically, I guess).

Q: What fashion items or trends do you wish would just go away?

A: The bandage dress.

Q: Name your three favorite shops to shop, in Boston.

A: Barney’s, Stel’s and H&M

Last question: Imagine, if you will, a young girl or guy with zero fashion contacts, zero fashion experience but with a huge desire to be a working fashion stylist in Boston. What advice would you give to aspiring young Boston stylists?

A: Intern and shadow professionals in all aspects of the industry (PR, photog, etc). Seek out experiences to meet and assist fashion professionals from a wide range.

Have any questions for Lydia? Leave a comment below and we’ll get Lydia to answer a few.

Michelle McCormack is a Social Media Consultant and blogger at LoveTheCool. LIKE her Facebook page Secret Boston and FOLLOW her Tweets at @MichelleMMM

  1. Mark Miller says:

    disappointing that 2 of 3 stores she names are not only NOT Boston Based but they are CHAINS….

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