Hailey Johnson Art Direction & Photo Styling
Wanderlust â€œNot all who wander are lost.â€? -J.R.R. Tolkien
Model Lauren Hulen
Garments by Ryan Fuller
Photos by Raygan Clark
Designer Ryan Fuller joins in.
Three unlikely garments find cohesion.
These garments are easy to move in and care for.
The intricate detailing of the jacket can be seen on or off.
Garden Vactions arenâ€™t just an opportunity to relax, but to gain style inspiration as well. High slits, bare mid-drifts, and gold will get you started.
Photo by Liz Detzle
Photo by Kate Rudder Photo by Kate Rudder
Make up by Olivia Oâ€™Dell. Photo by Dani Kelley
Photo by Kate Rudder
Lace is a simple way to appear elegant.
Photo by Olivia Oâ€™Dell
Mix black and gold for an edgy look.
Make up by Kristen Pennington.
Colbyâ€™s Closet In a society ruled by being cutthroat and doing whatevery it takes to make it to the top, find out how one rising star avoided it all. Read on to hear how todayâ€™s biggest celebrity stylist made it to the big leauges all on her own.
Photo by Dani Kelley
In most cases, those with a degree have a leg up. Fashion is a luctrative industry and is known for being extremly cutthroat. When it comes to fashion you either “got it or you don’t.” If you fall into the later, but are passionate about fashion, go to a fashion college. In the fashion industry, Elliot shares, “You have to know your stuff. You have got to be able to talk about your ideas, where they came from, and why they will work.”
Elliot’s passions date back to her childhood years. Her mother was a well-known cosmetologist in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Because of this, Elliot has long been a fan of beauty. From spending many days after school and on the weekends hanging around her mom’s shop, Elliot found her love for magazines. She grew into a very stylish teen. Elliot recalls being on of those girls in high school who everyone would ask, “Why are so dressed up?” She’d just shrug and walk away. “I didn’t feel dressed up,” she shared. After high school, Elliot was accepted into Stephens College’s Fashion Program. Stephens College is located in Columbia, Missouri and is roughly two hours from Elliot’s hometwon. She decided to follow the all encompassing route of Fashion Communication. Fashion Communication is a very cumulative study that covers photography, graphic design, styling, art direction, journalism and more. Elliot knew this would be a good fit for her because at eightteen she still wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to be. “I was interested in so many things and it seemed crazy to try to pick just one of those things to focus on. If I’d have done that,” she says, “I’d have constantly worried if I had made the right choice.” The summer after her Sophomore year and Stephens, Elliot jetted across the pond to London to study abroad. She attended the London College of Fashion. Jimmy Choo, Jay McCarroll, and Bibi Russell are just a few big names to come out of London College of Fashion. Elliot shares that while she was afraid to go to another country all alone she was glad she took the step for her future. The hardest part for her was not the work or the high level of professionalism that was expected of her. The hardest thing she went through was being away from family. “The time difference didn’t help either,” says Elliot. Many poeple belive that you do not need a degree to make it in the fashion industry. In some cases this is true.
Throught high school and college, Elliot also found her love of make up design. “I was good at it. I liked to do it and I knew it was something that I could easily accel in,” Elliot recalls. She went ahead and went to Stephens because she knew she wanted to earn a degree first because “make up school would always be there.” In college, Elliot and a friend would often do make up for other students’ formals, photo shoots, and fashion shows. “It was that friend, Olivia, who really pushed me to pursue make up school after I graduated. She was even the one who told me about MUD,” Elliot says with a smile. MUD is short for Make Up Design. The campus is located in New York. The program does more than just teach students to perfect the smokey eye. It shows them how to do eleborate, movie quality make up. Students who come out of MUD can transform a face with only paint and a few well-placed pieces of wax. Three years ago, Elliot took everything she learned and opened her first business, Colby’s Closet. She offered many services from her cramped office space in New York. Elliot would do your make up for photos or prom; she’d come to your house and show you funky new ways to wear what you already own; she’d even accompany you to events to touch you up throughout the night. Today, Elliot is one of the highest profile celebrity stylists, but she refused to forget where she comes from. “Oh, I go back to Missouri all the time,” she says, “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my family and friends. I can’t forget about them. Ever.” Elliot is most well known for dressing Beyonce, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus. She got her big break in 2020 when one of Rachel Zoe’s daughter insisted Elliot help her find a dress and do her make up. “Imagine being a stylist and your daughter is demanding to be taken to another one! I was appaulled but once I saw what Elliot was doing, I knew she was gonna be big,” From there, Zoe invited Elliot to join her company and work together, “I was shocked that my idol of so long had valued my work so highly, “ says Elliot, “But in the end I had to decline.”
Colby Elliot’s rise to fame was seemily overnight. At least, that’s how it appears to most of the public. What most of us don’t realize is that Elliot has been working her booty off for years to make it to this point.
Elliot recalls that in those days, if you asked anybody what Fashion Communication was you’d have gotten a million different definitions and hardly one of them would be close. “We weren’t designers and we weren’t buyers. And only a few of us wanted to be writers. I think that confused people,” she says.
Everything you need for a weekend away
Elliot says that before she started looking into schools, she didn’t even know Fashion Communication existed. When she went for orientation, she wasn’t even sure she understood what it meant. “I think all the girls in my class and I learned together what it was. We grew together and, at the time, this field of fashion was still relatively new.”
Sweats: Dimepiece Hat: Last Kings
Zoe was shocked, to say the least. “I couldn’t belive that a young woman would turn down such a huge opportunity. Honestly, I was more than a little miffed at first,” Zoe recalls. Soon Zoe understood.
“I wanted this to be my own thing. I didn’t want to make it big just becuase the biggest name in styling that decade took me under her wing,” shares Elliot. Elliot explained this to Zoe who went on to become a mentor and friend to Elliot. Elliot doesn’t deny that she learned many things from Zoe; tips and techniques that she wasn’t taught in formal education. “Those are the kinds of things you only learn through experience, “ says Elliot. These days, Elliot not only dresses the fashion icons we all obsess over, but she recently began freelancing her talents to major names in the publication world. “I need to be able to spread my wings and explore every outlet that my mind wanders to.” Last month she collaborated with Vogue for a risque editorial shoot and next month she is returning to JetSet for a destination shoot we are working on. “I just love what I do. I get to meet amazing poeple, see amazing clothes, and travel to amazing places,” Elliot gushes.
I wasn’t a streotype and they wouldn’t have it,” she says with a shake of her head. She feels that it was a blessing in desguiese. Most modeling careers do not go on forever and many models are easily forgotten. Elliot is happy with her career and believes that she can go much further on this path. “I can make so much more of a difference this way.” “I want women to see that they don’t have to compromise or sell out to get the things they want,” says Elliot, “I want them to know that if I can do it, so can they.” To some this may sound like a classic tale of midwesterner making it big, but Elliot’s story is much more than that. Her’s is a tale that shows young women everywhere that you can make it with only hard work and a creative mind. Colby Elliot is an empowerer of women everywhere and has many more tricks up her sleeve. “I never stop creating. I am always trying to keep myself busy with innovation,” she says. “I am currently working on my own product line. Stay tuned to see what it is,” she adds with a wink and her signature laugh.
Talks of a make up line at Sephora have been travelling the grapevine for a few months now, but Elliot will neither confirm nor deny it. LouBoutin has been saying for weeks how much he’d After the photography portion of the interview, I have to ask Elliot about her past modeling experiences. With a laugh she love to collaborate with the shoe-loving stylist, but she gives nothing away when proded for information. “You’ll just have to see.” reveals, “I thought I was going to be a supermodel someday. Isn’t that silly?” Whatever it is, it will be phenominal. Seeing the way Elliot worked the space and owned the camera, it didn’t seem crazy at all. She goes on to share a story with me about how she applied to more than a dozen modeling agentcies during and fresh out of college. She was turned down time and time again because she was only five foot four. “They didn’t care that I wore heels almost everyday for years or that I knew how to enlogate my body.
As she leaves I notice that I am in a better mood than before we talked. Now that she is gone the office is left with a buzzing and an excitement that isn’t always present. Colby Elliot just has that effect on people. Hailey Johnson
Make up by Olivia Oâ€™Dell
“Fashion says, ‘Me too.’
Style says, ‘Only me.’” -- Lynn Dell