At an exhibition opening dedicated to Bill Cunningham.
Features Editor, Vogue. Fashion Historian.
A vintage clothing enthusiast, she is the perfect remedy to an industry always looking forward. Lilah Ramzi is the Features Editor at American Vogue, introducing us to the glamorous world of fashion, design and culture. Having earned a Master’s in Costume Studies, this fashion historian brings an academic flair to the pieces she writes and curates.
Look no further than her Instagram, featuring impeccable outfits and old Hollywood inspiration. Lilah is quite a presence in fashionable New York City. Whether at the ballet, a gala or on holiday, she exudes timeless elegance. We were thrilled to speak with Lilah about her love of classic cinema and, of course, that exquisite wardrobe.
What sparked your interest in fashion editorial?
I was never not interested in fashion, so it's hard to pinpoint the exact moment I fell for it. I'd like to think the film Funny Face had something to do with it. There's, of course, Audrey Hepburn, divine as ever in Givenchy, and then there's the fashion magazine's role in the movie. I thought it would be magical to be part of a group that suggested people either do or don't think pink, and so I found myself at Vogue.
What are your inspirations as a creative influencer?
My inspirations can usually be traced back to movies and photography from the post-war period, after 1947 through the 1960s. To my eye, things just look better back then. I love the elegance exuded by those women captured by photographers Henry Clarke, Richard Avedon and Lillian Bassman. I love the idea of 24/7 glamour as seen in the films of Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards and Alfred Hitchcock. Fashion-wise, polish was of the utmost importance, and women embraced a classical definition of femininity - silhouettes weren't clunky or boxy and it was all about the hourglass! With contemporary clothes, I continue to be surprised at how waists are rarely accentuated and often placed a couple of inches too high.
We adore the world of enduring style that you and your Instagram portraits have created - especially your trip to Capri. Can you tell us about your time there?
I had the loveliest time in Capri last summer – my first time experiencing the magic of the island. I approached dressing for this trip as I do all my vacations - fashion references! That meant scouring the internet for photos of Jackie Kennedy on the island, and I committed to her capri pant and headscarf look for my entire stay. It was really quite practical given Capri's heavy humid air and the incredibly salty waters which I dove into daily. I wanted my hair to be the last thing I had to think about, and these scarves did just the trick. A fond memory would be wearing a dazzling Carolina Herrera gown, sprayed with flowers the same vivid blue as the sea, to a gala benefiting Unicef. The night offered a heavy slice of la dolce vita and, those who know me, know what a sweet tooth I have!
What would you like to accomplish in the next year?
A goal of mine is to continue to shop more vintage clothing, fueled by the sustainability of secondhand clothes. And when vintage isn't an option, I would look to small designers.
Images courtesy of Lilah Ramzi.