FASHION spoke to the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star about her love of couture and new cashmere collection.
Sutton Stracke doesn’t know why her tiara collection has gotten so much publicity. “It’s been so blown out of proportion,” says the star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on a rainy morning in Toronto. “I only have six or seven, and I really don’t wear them that often.”
But thus is the life of an American socialite, fashion aficionado and reality TV star. Ignoring the fact that six or seven crowns are at least six or seven more than most people have in their wardrobes, Stracke’s nonchalant attitude towards throwing on a “subtle tiara”— as she calls it — is precisely why she has shot to stardom.
After appearing on Season 10 of the beloved Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last year, audiences quickly came to know Sutton Stracke as a Georgian-born belle with Southern charm, a “telling it like it is” mentality and love of flamboyant fashion, as seen at her West Hollywood boutique, The Sutton Concept. From December 6th to 7th, Stracke has partnered with Canadian personal shopper Nicholas Mellamphy to bring a pop-up to his invitation-only storefront Cabine in Toronto’s Yorkville district.
“The whole thing was very serendipitous,” she says, sitting in Cabine’s front room. “It was the perfect venue for a pop-up, and the store even features artwork from my friend Tim Hailand. It’s just funny how it all kind of comes together.”
The curated cluster of clothes and accessories is a dream for fans of the fancy, frilly and feathery. A kaleidoscope of colours instantly greets you at the door as Stracke’s love of bold couture is on full display. Jewelled delights were also included (because of course!) and are artfully arranged in the centre of the space, surrounded by the large “Sutton” sign.
“I love to mix and match clothing, so that is reflected in my store and this pop-up,” shares Stracke. “My friend Domenico Dolce came to my store in California when it first opened, and he noticed I had separated the racks by the different designers. He said, ‘This isn’t how you dress. Why are you doing your store like this?’ And I said, ‘Gosh, you’re right!’ So I changed it.”
However, this January, the Real Housewife is adding another title to her resumé: sweater designer. As Stracke proudly states, “This is not your Grandmother’s cashmere.” Made from sustainable materials, the collection is more subdued than fans might expect. While her attention to detail is evidenced in the lace-up sleeve on one garment and the deep (but not too deep) V-neck of another, the colour palette as a whole is relatively neutral. “In LA, we wear cashmere all year round, so I wanted to design something really versatile.”
But the Southern Belle also admits the collection is born from nostalgia and love.
“I grew up as a dancer, and we love to put on layers and layers and layers. I always put on my old cashmere sweaters because it’s just something that I love and I’ll always have, and I’ve always worn.”
Just don’t mistake wearability for dullness.
“I love weird things, and I love weird fashion. Some people like to be matchy-matchy, and yes, you can do that with this collection, or you can mix-match it and do whatever you want to with it,” smiles Stracke.
While the cozy ware has been delayed until January, Sutton Stracke is eager to share some parting fashion advice to tide us over until then.
“I’m a kid from the eighties, so we always like to experiment and not be afraid. If I can give any fashion advice, it would be: don’t be afraid and experiment and have some fun. Dress for yourself, not for others — it’s not a competition.”