At this point, we all know the whole street style game can get a little, well, much on occasion. You know, the tireless peacocking in straight-off-the-runway designer garb. Don’t get us wrong, we love us a little Anna Dello Russo feathered Prada outrageousness, but sometimes (just sometimes), it gets to feel a little more like a costume party than, you know, actually attending a fashion show, which you’re supposedly attending for work. Then again, there are those outside the shows who really do dress in the flurry of prints, flatforms and Fendi buggies that have become proverbial photographer catnip all year around, and not just during fashion week—and were doing so long before Tommy Ton and Phil Oh claimed their ground outside the tents.
At this point, we hope you’ll recognize Gloria Baume, a fixture on the fashion week scene for, well, a while (guys, she only saw Calvin Klein’s iconic Kokomo-soundtracked show at the Plaza in 1988), as one of those whose 'street style' is totally authentic. Think: whimsically printed ankle socks, diaphanous dresses and a serious knack for layering. After all, if you’ve ever cracked a page of Teen Vogue and studied its pages for sartorial inspiration (and don’t even try to tell us you haven’t), you’ve been schooled by Baume’s sartorial savvy already. As the youthful fashion bible’s fashion director since the magazine’s launch, she’s long brought her eccentric, super-saturated approach to our personal style bible’s pages.
In fact, when we caught up with Baume at her bright, downtown Manhattan apartment, she had just closed the Teen Vogue chapter of her career, and was excited to embark on some brand new adventures—all of which we’ll be following as closely as those ubiquitous street style photographers track her every fashion week turn. And we have to say, spending time in her home, we got a little insight into what’s made the woman one of the most respected voices in the industry, starting with her multiple closets—one for shoes and bags, one for dresses, blouses and skirts, one for sweaters, and on and on. Yes, really. While we busied ourselves going through her many Marni, Philip Lim and Chloé frocks and enough vintage jewelry to host our own estate sale, the Roman-born editor served us homemade lasagna and a plate of cheese and bread—and yes, it was as heavenly as it sounds (we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: nothing goes together like high fashion and food, especially when they’re both of the Italian variety). To say we got a little overwhelmed by the number of dresses Baume has in heavy rotation in her wardrobe would be an understand; so what’s her absolute must-have? “A spectacular, breathtaking, slightly bohemian long dress,” she told us. “It’s hard to find the perfect version. One day, I would love to design a line of just these style dresses.” Let’s just say we left her apartment with new resolve to mix up our own black denim/leather uniform with a dash of Baume’s boldness. Gloria, if you start that label (and we totally advise that you do), we call the top spot on the inevitable waiting list.