A fixture in the front rows of ready-to-wear and couture shows alike, Victoria Traina is no stranger to the New York Fashion Week scene. But this season, the fashion muse and daughter of Danielle Steel finds herself in a new capacity: as stylist of Alexander Wang’s spring collection. Buddies since freshmen year of high school in San Francisco, Wang and Traina, who just turned 23 this week, collaborated on a series of photographs of the designer’s women’s and men’s wear looks, to be exhibited in a presentation Thursday evening. WWD chatted with the budding stylist, who is entering her final year at The New School, about her first professional gig, her enviable shoe collection and the fall goodies she’s snapped up.
WWD: So was this a “help out a friend” sort of job?
Victoria Traina: Definitely. Alex used to cut up my T-shirts for me and sew them back together when we were teenagers. We’ve been playing dress-up since we were 16, so it’s like a more grown-up version, I guess.
WWD: When did he ask you to style this collection?
V.T.: Like five days before the photo shoot!
V.T.: Yeah, and he wanted my sister Vanessa to do it with me, and I wanted to do it with her, but she couldn’t come out here from L.A.
WWD: I heard when you came to the showroom you brought a whole load of your own shoes with you.
V.T.: I brought all my own accessories. I brought two big shopping bags because I didn’t have enough time to pull anything. I literally flew in, did that and flew back out. I, like, brought my own jewelry, my own hats, my shoes.
WWD: How would you describe the look you created with his clothes?
V.T.: It’s really good sportswear, easy clothes you can throw on, and we wanted to make it young and maybe a little rock ‘n’ roll. When I was looking at the clothes, I was really inspired by my sister Vanessa and her style and sort of, like, Chloë Sevigny. While he was designing the collection, he was listening to The Cure a lot, so I just sort of kept all those things in mind. It was just sort of young, not overaccessorized — really simple. Something you can throw on in the morning with a big pair of sunglasses and just run to go get coffee. One look I loved was, I put the white trench over a pair of black running shorts and a hoodie. And at first he wanted to do a dressier thing, sort of dress up the trench, like put it with heels. But it was sort of fun this way, the way someone my age would throw the clothes on and sort of not think about it.
This story first appeared in the September 6, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: And the shoes?
V.T.: I used Chanel leather booties, a pair of Louboutin slides and my Rochas ankle boots. We had good shoes.
WWD: Well, you have good shoes, so therefore they had good shoes…
V.T.: (laughs) Alex was thinking of the same shoes, though, too, which was funny. I kept on getting e-mails from him in the days leading up to it, like, “Oh, do you have these shoes?” and it was stuff I was already planning on bringing.
WWD: Did he send you pictures of the clothes before you came?
V.T.: When I arrived, it was literally the first time I’d seen the clothes!
WWD: Would you want to do more of this professionally?
V.T.: Yeah, I would love to do that. I would love to work with my sister doing it.
WWD: Are you gearing up for fashion week yourself?
V.T.: I might just take it easy. I’m definitely going to Proenza [Schouler]. I’m gonna go to Erin Fetherston and Michon Schur. And I think there’s gonna be a few other shows, but I don’t know.
WWD: What have been some of your major fall purchases?
V.T.: Marc Jacobs wide pants, Proenza leather jacket, Proenza ankle boots, Alexander Wang cashmere sweater dress and Lanvin cocktail dresses … I’m ready for fall.