June Ambrose is about to teach the world a serious fashion lesson. Her brand new show, Styled By June, will debut on Monday night at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT, but during an advanced screening last night, we chatted with the fashion expert to get some idea of what she’s all about and why so many A-listers love her. (Jay-Z was among some of the celebs who showed up at the premiere last night so, yeah, she’s got some friends in high places.) The June you’ll see on the show is pretty much the same June I spoke to in real life — charming and funny, but a style genius (she’s responsible for some of the most iconic videos of the last ten years, like “Get Ur Freak On” and “Run This Town” to name just a couple) who knows everything you need to know about fashion. And she is gorgeous, so we’re failing to see any flaws so far. So before Styled By June premieres next Monday, here are eight things you need to know about June Ambrose.
1. She’s not just a stylist, she considers herself a styleologist.
“I’m a styleologist. I have been a styleologist for eighteen years, that’s why I love this show, it gave me the platform to show people what makes June Ambrose so special. What is it about this girl that she’s still around? I’m so passionate about it because I make a difference in people’s lives, that’s why I do it. It’s never been about money. What I loved about [my job as stylist on] The X Factor was helping to develop new talent and being able to create something from inception, from the ground up, and you become the style architect in that way. And then you have style renovations. With this show, it’s about creating from inception in some ways, but also about the renovations.”
2. She had an amazing time working on The X Factor.
“It was the most genius thing for me as an artist and stylist, it helped me re-focus my talent. I got my cookies off! I felt like, if anyone ever doubted that I could do any kind of music, “Can June do pop?” “Can June do rock?” “Can June do country?” “Can June do a boy band or a girl group?” I did it. I did ages twelve to sixty, and for me it was the most rewarding experience. Now working on this show, there’s one subject per episode and I get the chance to do in four days what would normally take me a year. Taking a celebrity through the process of evolving, facing their fears, emancipation, rebranding, creating a prescription for what’s going to put them in the marketplace that’s going to alter the perception of them, in a way.”
3.She knows how to tow the line of reinvention and appreciates other stars who do it well.
“If it happens too soon, people won’t be convinced that you know exactly who you are. So you have to establish who you are. Madonna does hers perfectly, to be honest. She’s genius at that. Her reinvention is organic and makes sense. If you’re reinventing yourself every week, it’s a problem. Reinvent yourself with every album, that’s what she did.”
4. How she prevents herself from falling in love with looks intended for her clients:
“Oh my God, occupational hazard! How do I not turn everyone else into me? How do I not clone myself? Because I work from the inside out, it’s not about me, and when I sit down and actually talk to my client and listen, I learn things about them that help me supersede what they’re ultimately trying to say, visually. That’s my job. If they connect with something. I worked with Michelle [Williams] and she was perfect for the turban. Would I have given the turban to Alicia Keys? No. It doesn’t work. It’s really about what’s applicable to that person, to what the core of who that person is. What they can pull off and translate. I wouldn’t give Puffy the same thing I’d give Jay-Z, the translation is just different.”
5. She describes herself as a style schizophrenic.
“I am fearlessly eclectic. I’m like style schizophrenia. I’m an emotional dresser, it’s about what I want to exude and who I want to become that day. But I’m also a mom so I think I have a very old, New York, metropolitan approach to fashion. I like glamour and punctuation, I love standing out.”
6. She’s not afraid to divulge her “trade secrets” about the best shoes out there.
“The Christian Louboutin Daffodils have been very good to me in terms of height, I couldn’t wear Louboutins before, they were just too narrow, but these are a great fit for a girl who doesn’t have a petite foot. And I’m wearing Brian Atwood tonight, and he likes women. He put a nice little cushion on the ball of the feet. And I just tried some Rachel Roy shoes the other day: Bravo! It’s nice when a shoe designer thinks of the fact that you’re going to be pounding the pavement. I prefer platforms to give me the support I need. That’s my trade secret.”
7. June’s biggest piece of style advice for your average woman is:
“Dream with your eyes open. Fashion is mute without style. How is your personality calling you? It wants to come out, so use fashion to interpret your story. Also I think if you’re breaking something in, be prepared to be looked at. A compliment releases the same endorphins as sex. It is genius. You feel euphoric when someone says you look beautiful. I mean, come on, you have to admit that feeling is unmatched. So look for that. I always tell women, you deserve to be complimented. You deserve to feel good.”
8. But also, she says, know your own style identity.
“I say face yourself. Look in the mirror and identify who you want to become. If someone offers you something, know enough to say ‘That’s not me,’ or if it’s a new experience, be open to trying it.”
[Photo: Michele Crowe/VH1]