Local fashion stylist Victoria Genevieve recently launched her own styling suite as well as a new dress rental agency, all designed to help you make the right dress choices. Here, she talks to Eileen Leahy about her unique offering of styling services…
Local fashion designer Victoria Genevieve has been incredibly busy lately. As well as launching her exclusive styling suite at One Warwick Park, she also set up a dress hire agency – Genevieve’s Wardrobe – which she now runs alongside her existing personal styling business, both locally and in London. .
And if that wasn’t enough to keep her on her perfectly shod feet, Victoria is still doing online wardrobe detoxes as well as her weekly Instagram Live shopping sprees at Kitch on the High Street in Tunbridge Wells. These were both born out of the pandemic when neither of us could go shopping and proved so popular that Victoria has now made them a permanent part of her weekly schedule.
‘I’ve always loved fashion,’ she beams as the SO team arrives at their beautiful, new styling suite at One Warwick Park Hotel.
“When I was little, I loved dresses. I’ve always been obsessed with outfits and making them work. And now I just want to make dressing up fun and effortless.
Victoria started her independent business Victoria Genevieve Styling in 2004 after having her first child and graduating from the London College of Fashion.
She started her work as a stylist because she says women go through a lot of changes and challenges in life. “It makes us question ourselves and put others first. After having my son, I definitely went through this and wanted to help others who felt the same way.
Since then Victoria, now a mother of two, has seen her client list grow steadily – something she cites due to her inherent passion for fashion and natural eye for style.
“I think that’s very clear to all of my clients. They trust me because they know I’ll get the job done in a fun and easy way.”
“For me, it’s about helping women love their skin by finding pleasure in clothing. Having studied for three years at the London College of Fashion, I can honestly say that I have the knowledge and the experience needed and that says a lot.”
And although there was a period of uncertainty for Victoria during the many lockdowns as she could not see her clients face to face, the talented stylist quickly overcame this with her What to Wear Now virtual parties which proved to be a silver lining thanks to their immense popularity.
But now, Victoria is finally back to what she loves most: personal style. As well as offering her clients exclusive sessions at high-end fashion brand Matches’ 5 Carlos Place in Mayfair, Victoria is hatching grand plans for her suite at One Warwick Park Hotel.
“It launched in February and I want it to be a multifunctional space. I do both private client sessions and style parties, but my new dress rental agency is now based here too. also organizes pop-ups with independent designers – I guess I just want to give the city more variety when it comes to fashion.
Victoria reveals she has local shops Fenwick and Kitch on board and a number of other independents including Onjenu, Mille Fleurs and TWSeven. She also has the ability to have pieces delivered by courier from London if needed, so it really is an impressive sartorial offering.
Victoria adds that the Style Suite works just as well for individual get-togethers as it does for small groups such as bachelorette parties or friends – hence her Style Parties offering:
“Anyone can have a little fun coming here, but they’ll also have access to some great fashion pieces,” says Victoria. “With Style Parties, I also like to do a bit of ‘reverse styling’, which basically means I show groups how to style the basics – or a hero part that only comes out at Christmas.
“We’re all guilty of shopping pie where we pick out something – sequined, let’s say – and then it just stays in the wardrobe. What I want to do is show you how to wear it everyday – with a plain t-shirt and jeans. It’s about making your wardrobe work for you and having fun.
Victoria adds that being based at One Warwick Park means she can offer different packages where lunch, afternoon tea or cocktails are included, so the choice is very flexible. “The hotel has been so supportive of this business which is just wonderful.”
In addition to all of the above, Victoria’s dress rental agency, Genevieve’s Wardrobe, will also be operating from the suite. It’s a nifty idea where people can hire some of its coveted pieces for as little as £12 a day.
“I’m all about sustainable fashion, so by doing this I hope to encourage people not to go out and buy an outfit for a wedding or the errands and never wear it again.”
“By renting one of my pieces, you can always have something new – for little money – and there’s no obligation to wear it again or spend a fortune.” Labels from Victoria’s rental closet include Johanna Sands, Self Portrait, Ghost, Stine Goya and Ganni.
“I’m committed to getting people to buy less. I would say 70% of the closet detoxes I do are full of bags of unwanted clothes that were purchased online and were a mistake because you can’t see the quality or try them on.
“What I’m doing here isn’t ridiculously expensive – I’d say it’s placed and priced somewhere in the middle of high end boutique and high street. The extra plus here is that customers get good advice and are styled by me. I guess I’m trying to break the habit of bad shopping and encourage people to have fun with fashion. It’s not an overnight change, it’s small steps.
“Clothes should make you so happy, give you confidence and make you feel good about yourself. I want people to stop thinking ‘oh it’s okay. Put yourself first!”