Hollywood Fashion Stylist and Children’s Author @Jeni_Elizabeth Launches Web Site

I am delighted to showcase a super special interview with Hollywood fashion stylist Jeni Elizabeth. Jeni and I first met a few years back when we both had a connection to reality TV – me with my reality show-themed mystery novel Sink or Swim, and Jeni as a stylist. Recently I caught up with Jeni and chatted about her new web site, children’s book, and latest fashion adventures. Stay tuned, as in November Jeni is going to put her spin on styling Cinderella for my new chick lit release Fooling Around With Cinderella, the first in my Storybook Valley theme park romance series. And when her new kids’ book is released, I’ll be giving you a sneak peek. In the meantime, let me introduce you to Jeni below in this exclusive interview.
Hollywood fashion stylist
Behind every “It Girl” in Hollywood is a talented fashion stylist that. . .well makes “it” happen. Jeni Elizabeth burst into the world of celebrity styling faster than a stampede of shoppers at a sample sale. After snatching her degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Jeni found herself running the Women’s Department for New York’s most luxurious boutique Henri Bende l. In between styling Park Ave socialites and Upper Eastside tastemakers, she worked her way to the top of the fashion game by using the one thing no one else has: her charm. From picking out party dresses for Paris Hilton to creating the perfect red carpet moment for Carrie Underwood, Jeni began styling starlets one by one.With fifteen years of experience in her back pocket, this LA girl is now one of Hollywood’s most sought after stylists. Jeni is a contributor for Vogue, Glamour, The New York Times and many others. Her work is everywhere from music videos, red carpets to celebrity editorials. Most recently the lead stylist for FOX’s new #1 hit talk show The Real and flying off to the Dominican Republic with Carmen Electra. Jeni has just completed writing her first children’s fashion book and in her spare time loves playing dress up with her son Tyler James.

You have a new children’s book! So dish – tell us all about it.
I have always wanted to write a book, and a children’s book seemed like the first logical place to start for me. I am OBSESSED (of course) with shopping for my kids. I decided that I wanted to write about children’s fashion, two things that define who I am. The book is about my stepdaughter Bella’s magical closet. The idea is that she plays dress up, and every dress she puts on takes her to a different magical fantasy like place. Anything from hundreds of puppies in a field, to a pink palace head to toe full of candy. . .It’s super cute and fun and something that if nothing else I knew she would have forever and was special for her I. I am hoping to have it available for purchase on my website by Christmas! Hopefully this is only the start of something super fun!
Hollywood fashion stylist

What are you up to lately in terms of styling?
I spent 9 months doing The Real for FOX. It was AMAZING. It would be impossible for me to describe just how wonderful those ladies are. Everyday there was something to laugh about. I really enjoyed all of the crew as well as my amazing team. Since wrapping in April I have devoted most of my time to my family. Nine months on a project is a long time and missing that chunk of my son’s life was hard. I really wanted to take a breath and reevaluate. I did some small projects here and there. I Focused a lot on my writing, but mainly playing with my son! Most recently I just came off a project in the Dominican Republic with Carmen Electra who is absolutely stunning and one of the sweetest women I have ever met. I am not returning to The Real this season, however, I have a ton of super exciting things coming up that I can’t wait to share with everyone!

What is a typical day/week like on The Real?
The Real was a 7-day a week job. We would only shoot 3 days a week. However preparing for those 3 days took every other day in its entirety! Two shows a day, three days a week, 10 looks a day, 30 looks a week was not an easy task. Throw in all of the segment looks and costumes, my team and I for sure had our hands full! Our days were crazy for sure but always seemed to go by super fast. Typical day started with morning meets at 8 a.m. Then prep for each girl’s look. Dressed and ready to go for show 1 usually around 10 a.m. We had about 2 hours free in between shows to rock out a couple fittings. I usually asked for one fitting a week per girl with hopes of getting 5-10 looks. Then second show around 3 p.m. and wrap was somewhere around 6 p.m. I would then go home and sort through all the fitting photos, and shoot them off for approvals. Once approved I would do lineups for the following day. I always wanted some sort of color story for each panel. My goal, and most of the time I was successful, was to never ever have a girl in the same color on one show. I didn’t want it to look too much like a rainbow everyday, but at the same time as cohesive as possible. It was also super important to me that each girl’s look reflected her personality and I think my team did a great job with that!
They were certainly long days, BUT they were fun and crazy days with great memories! Those girls will be my friends forever and I was honored to work with each one of them!

Looking at your career, what are a few of the craziest things you’ve had to do in terms of styling for a TV show?
You know, people ask that question a lot. It’s hard because I feel like you never get through a project without something crazy happening and in the moment it is a SOLID NIGHTMARE and complete EMERGENCY! This past Thanksgiving for The Real I found myself putting together a Turkey costume for Jeannie Mai. . it was pretty epic. . .she wasn’t the typical turkey; I am talking a Turkey body that you baste and put in the oven! Let’s just say it was a long way from Rodeo Drive!
Hollywood fashion stylist
Most recently on location with Ms. Electra we realized once in our trailer that we forgot her bra, and there was NO way to get away with it. I had an extra shirt on me. I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut the shirt into a bandeau bra and the job was done. A lot of styling is being able to be creative on the fly and solve the problem with what you have. As we all know time is money and every minute counts on a TV set, so you don’t exactly have the minutes to sit around and think, you have to JUST DO IT!

What don’t people know about your profession that you wished they knew?
You know, people hear that you are a wardrobe stylist and they immediately think your job is SO easy and SO MUCH FUN. Fun, yes, but easy. . .no. The greatest aspect of my job is the ability to bring someone’s self-confidence through the roof. In order to achieve that you have to study that person, know them inside and out. You have to be able to know colors that will make them smile and flatter them. Styles that will give their body that extra fabulous they are looking for. When you’re shopping you’re taking chances and grasping at straws. You may have a look you think is amazing and when your client sees it he or she would rather wear a tarp! It’s about the individuality of every different client and easy is not a word I would use to describe it. THE WORST is getting a job during holiday season! Imagine you are shopping for work and are on a deadline and you have to wait in all those holiday lines?! I LOVE what I do and I have a certain passion for each project that is incredible, but at the end of the day it’s still work, even if we live in malls!!!

Tell us about your new web site. What can people expect? Will you be blogging, and if so, about what?
My website is so much fun! Being a new mom has become the center of my universe and it was important to me that my website incorporated that new aspect. I promise you you can expect lots of new fun stuff! Yes, I will be blogging for sure and have already started! Everything from fun to fashion styles, stylist “on the go tips”, interviews with my favorite clients, a store “Jenis Closet” where I will be selling a ton of my clothing barely worn at 50% off, kids fashion and more! It really is a fun combination of being a working mom in the fashion industry and I cannot wait for everyone to see it!

You’re a mommy now. How has that affected you?
Being a mom changed my entire life. People TELL you everything you need to know about being mom when you are pregnant, even if you don’t want to hear it! However learning and experiencing it on your own you realize very quickly is the reason you were put on this earth. True or false I found the opinions and “facts” rolled in in my 9th month and so many of the things people said were lies. Telling me I would “forget the pain” of labor.. NO I will never forget 49 hours of solid hell…sorry you’re lying to me! One thing they said that couldn’t have been truer? The minute you hold your child it will feel like you have known them for years. Every single bit of that is truth. My son is legit my whole world. It was like someone flipped a switch the minute I saw and held him and my life will never ever be the same. All my priorities have shifted and my whole world moved. He is legit my best friend. It has affected every aspect of my life. My schedule has now changed and can change on the drop of a dime. I don’t remember what it’s like to nap. Not even for a minute. I don’t remember what my smile was like before him, because I know the smile I have with him hurts my face it’s so big! Every day is a new adventure and to be honest I cannot remember a time I have felt so full of love! I am so very blessed and I will never take that for granted!

What are your goals in terms of fashion writing?
I try to set new goals for myself weekly. As unrealistic as that sounds it keeps me motivated and on track and I feel like when you have kids you need that list! My first goal was to write to a book and cross that off my bucket list. DONE! I have been blessed by writing for such amazing publications like Vogue and The New York Times and I would love to continue to do that. I have them all framed up and down my hallways so I never forget the honor. I want to keep inspiring people, be it through my actual styling or by writing. I want to keep changing peoples lives and give them light through their clothes and sometimes I find people writing to me through my website saying thank you and that means more to me than anything! I would love to have my own permanent blog with an outlet such as Vogue . That would be a “bucket list” item! I would love to write a second fashion book on boys’ fashion based on my son and then perhaps take it from there! There are so so many avenues of fashion that I feel like I have tons of roads to explore!

Check out Jeni’s website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Don’t miss the first interview we did in 2011, before Jeni was a mom and before I was writing theme park romances!

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