Embracing the eclectic

Stylist Grace Kelly suggests jumping out of your comfort zone.
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Grace Kelly keeps things sparkly and colorful, a nod to her creative life. Photo by Michelle Cuppy

Some people shine brighter simply by embracing their uniqueness. Local stylist and creative visionary Grace Kelly fully epitomizes this strategy. With a self-described “eclectic” and “playful” personal style, Kelly boldly wears an endless variation of inspiring outfits including hot pink tights, checkered pants and custom patchwork denim.

“We can so easily hide ourselves behind something that’s comfortable or easy,” she said. “And it may seem insignificant, but I believe it impacts us as a whole. There are moments I get to witness where someone steps out of their comfort zone and into an outfit … It is incredible to see a shift in their confidence and embracing of self. That experience has allowed me time and time again to be reminded to play, to try new things and in turn continue to discover more parts of myself through the clothing I wear.”

Kelly spoke with Grand Rapids Magazine about inspiration, style advice and more.

Grand Rapids Magazine: Tell us a little about yourself.

Grace Kelly: I describe myself as a dexterous spotted human. My freckles are pretty reflective of my weird, eccentric self. I am connected most to my passions when I’m working with my hands. I am a mother to two incredible kids, Cartney, 8, and Margot, 6, and one little dog named Willy. I run my own business, DXTRTY, as a wardrobe and prop stylist for commercial photo and video shoots.

GRM: How would you describe your personal style?

GK: Eclectic and colorful, heavily inspired by those advanced in age — Iris Apfel, I’m looking to you. I derive a lot of pleasure from unexpected pairings, finding pieces that no one would wear, and generally just “putting on a little show.” You are in this life for such a short amount of time, might as well have some fun while you’re at it.

GRM: Have you always loved fashion and style?

GK: My love for fashion has grown and evolved with time. Playing dress-up has always been a running theme for me. When I dressed up there were no boundaries. It was a space that let me tap into my femininity and my masculinity, a continuing theme in my own expression of self.

GRM: Where do you draw inspiration from?

GK: I’m a highly sensory individual and I’ve discovered that I feel most open and connected with my creative self when all my senses are engaged. Which is why I think I’m most inspired in nature. It’s full of light, color, texture, sounds, weirdness and playfulness.

GRM: Any advice for someone who wants help with personal style?

GK: I believe the best style comes from people tapping into what brings them joy and following that. Start with a color that you are drawn to. Then, buy a piece of clothing in that color. Wear it for a day. Notice how you feel and how you interact with others. A small shift like this in awareness of what pieces bring joy will open a deeper understanding of your true personal style.

This story can be found in the March/April 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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