Sarah Rrutson

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 June, 2011, 12:00am


'You'll be disappointed by my closet,' says Sarah Rutson, Lane Crawford's infallibly chic fashion director, as she opens its doors.

This is a surprise, Rutson and her clothes are discussed and dissected across the global blogosphere.

'People come here and they say: 'Oh, my god, you don't have much!' They expect me to have a wardrobe the size of an apartment,' she says.

She tells an anecdote about when fellow blog muse, the fashion editor and famed clothes hoarder Anna dello Russo, visited her home and checked her closet. 'Anna said to me: 'You are a magician! How do you do it?''

Rutson's closet is like a well-curated museum, where the pieces are prized for not only their good design, but also their longevity and versatility. There are no stand-out pieces that are identifiable to a particular season.

Make no mistake, though, it is filled with designer labels from Lanvin, Givenchy, Celine, Helmut Lang and Haider Ackermann to Rick Owens. But the clothes work well with one another, transcending trends and the styles of their respective designer houses.

Hers are solid investment pieces that can be worn and reinterpreted over and over again.

'It is a highly edited and refined wardrobe,' Rutson says. 'It has a simple and clean colour palette, mostly in solids with very few prints. Everything I have is a design classic. This is why there is nothing in my closet that I ever regret buying.'

In her well-organised and seemingly austere closet there are striped shirts from Prada, neutral Alaia skirts, plisse goddess dresses from Lanvin, boyfriend blazers from Balenciaga and Neil Barrett, several khaki pairs of trousers, long skirts from Helmut Lang and a black motorcycle jacket from Celine, which Rutson adores. 'You just can't go wrong with it,' she says.

With Lane Crawford at her disposal, one would also assume that Rutson would have cupboards filled with a rundown of 'it' bags past and present, but this is not the case. In fact, there is an obvious lack of bags in her closet, which is unheard of in a city obsessed with the latest in handbags.

'I don't have hundreds of handbags,' she says. 'I don't feel a need for it. I use an Alexander Wang almost every day, and I have a Chanel purse and an Alaia and a few clutches for evening, and that's it, really.'

What Rutson does have a lot of is shoes. Beautiful and extravagant shoes that would make many salivate. Christian Louboutins, check. Nicholas Kirkwood, check. Valentino, check. Alaia, double check. 'My shoe collection is 90 per cent Alaia,' she says. 'I don't scrimp on shoes. I don't wear cheap shoes. And I am either in very high heels or very flat shoes.'

On closer inspection of her photographs on the internet, one can see that she often repeats the same pieces, yet they manage to look new and different with each outing.

Rutson could take an Alaia skirt and wear it with a white singlet and a sleeveless cardigan at New York Fashion Week, and two weeks later in Milan, Italy, she is wearing the same skirt, only she's paired it with a tailored blazer and a striped T-shirt, cinching the waist with her DYI double-looped belts, which have inspired many designers.

She is also never without a men's Omega watch and lots of bracelets. It is her ability to mix and match and her accessorising prowess that tricks many of her fans and admirers into believing she has a closet that could rival the sales floor of Lane Crawford. That, ultimately, is what makes her truly stylish.