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Fashion Diary: The anti-Rachel Zoe

May 18, 2009 |  4:19 pm

Gossip, first impressions, trends in-the-making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.

Rage_rade Super-stylist Jen Rade is the anti-Rachel Zoe, and the right stylist for right now.  We had breakfast together last week, and I was struck by how grounded she is considering the world she works in. “I’m not a label whore,” says Rade, whose star client is Angelina Jolie. She’s dressed her in everything from Hermes to Max Azria over the years, but the outfits always look comfortable and no-nonsense. “People are like, ‘It’s so great that you pull from Max Azria,’” she says. “But why wouldn’t I? I treat every dollar like it’s my own.”

Rade, who lives in the Valley, calls herself a jeans (J. Brand) and T-shirts (Target) kind of girl. And when she’s not in flats, she’s in Cole Haan pumps with Nike Air technology. “I need comfort,” she says. The most expensive thing she’s bought for herself lately is a $1,100 Gucci dress, but she’s thinking about returning it because she saw something similar at H&M.

She also styles lots of commercials — 200 for Target alone (she's working on back-to-school right now). A Philadelphia native, she got her start as a costume designer for an Adam West horror movie that filmed in her college town of Baltimore, then she moved to L.A. and found a niche styling for hip-hop music videos in the 1990s. “I was one of only two white people at Snoop Dogg’s wedding,” she says.

Rade is a brand ambassador for Ilori, the high-end sunglasses boutique chain. I had never visited one of their stores before we strolled over to Rodeo Drive, and it was pretty impressive. Designed to look more like a gallery than a store, Ilori stocks sunglasses by Lanvin, Loree Rodkin, Thakoon, Derek Lam, Oliver Peoples and more. The frames don’t have those bulky alarm tags, so you can try things on easily. I was particularly fond of an oversized pair of shades by Nina Ricci ($250), a reissue of a style Jackie O wore in the 1970s. Rade snapped up a gray Chanel pair. We both marveled at some neon Oakleys and decided not. If you’re old enough to remember the trend the first time around, don’t go back.

--Booth Moore

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Photo credit: jenniferrade.com

 

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