Q and A With Claire Chanelle of Chouquette

claire chanelle
How would you describe your style?
Girl meets boy or a girly tom boy. I have always been a tom boy. I feel most comfortable in tom boy looks but I still really enjoy feeling sexy and enjoy the odd feminine day. The older I am getting, the more I enjoy feeling elegant and feminine. 
Where does your outfit inspiration come from?
I think we gather inspiration from everywhere without knowing, I am sure I do that. I feel that putting looks together is a natural thing for me, I do not need to think about too much and very rarely have outfit freak outs. It has to be a strong point of mine, seeing as I have made a career out of styling. With that said, I find inspiration from the 1920s (I love beading and pearls) and I love 90s CHANEL. I find so much inspiration from old clothes I find. I really love vintage shopping.
Will you share your ‘Dress Rule’ with us?
Sure! I live by the rule that if I see a dress I like/love, I buy it! I do not care if I have no where to go or it is the middle of winter, I buy it anyway. When I need a dress for a special occasion, a holiday or for what ever reason, my dress is ready in the wardrobe. This saves me stressing out when I need to find a dress. It also saves me money as I avoid panic buying. The other bonus is that, if the dress is "old season” there is a better chance that no one else will be wearing the same dress. I never care if my outfit is not current season. Works great for "nice tops” too. 
What do you think is the ‘must-have’ item this season?
I am not really into trends and I really mean that. Of course I may buy into them but that is only because trends are accessible and everyone is selling different versions. I do not look for trends but I do not exactly avoid them. Wear what you love, buy what you love and what makes you feel good. I studied trend predication at uni so I am so focused on whats coming next. Items lose their appeal when they are everywhere, for me anyway. I feel strongly about this because I studied trends and it is my job to know what's coming and what people will be wearing next. My main focus is probably knitwear as it is December so the perfect season for winter knits. I am obsessed with knitwear. I actually have my eye on the Ganni knits on the Oxygen Boutique website! To answer your question I would say the teddy coat is the coat of the season, kitten heels and (white) cowboy boots. I have a pair of white cow boy boots that I bought in Texas four years ago. Everyone made fun of me on Instagram when I wore them and now every brand is selling them!
Have you ever had a fashion faux pas?
Haven’t we all! It is a part of growing up and it is all part of finding out who we are and what we love. I remember one night I went out with a friend from uni and we literally looked like we were going to a 80s fancy dress party! If people see the photos, I lie and say "oh that was some 80s fancy dress party.” It totally wasn’t a fancy dress party. 
What’s your most treasured fashion item?
Gosh, I don’t know. I am actually really precious over my belongings. I don’t know whether this is because I did not have much growing up, it is my passion or simply because I have had to and still have to work very hard to have all I have. It is no doubt a mixture of all of those aspects. All my buys are well thought about, I rarely shop on a whim and I don’t tend to sell much. I love jackets, specifically beaded or leather jackets. I love my CHANEL bags and my HERMES bags. I also love my Manolo Blank collection and my knit wear collection. See it is hard to narrow down!
Is your wardrobe organised or all over the place?
Both. It is well organised. I have an open wardrobe (no doors) so I can see my clothes and accessories and it forces me to be organised. I organise in sections; denim, beaded jackets, designer blazers, dresses, coats etc. Then each sector is colour coded. If you watch my Instastories, you will know that I often have half of my wardrobe on the floor. This is because I travel a lot, I am always filming hauls for YouTube, unpacking deliveries from brands or I am re-organising. I must tidy it once or twice a week. 
What are your style staples?
Jackets, knitwear, boying up cute girly dresses, CHANEL and some more CHANEL. HERMES is slowly creeping in so watch this space. A good outfit is all about confidence. If you feel confident you will look confident and that is the key to feeling and looking great. Never ever judge someone for what they are wearing, we are all different and fashion is fun. 
Do you have any style icons?
Not really. I have lots of icons but I wouldn’t say that were style icons for me. Dolly Parton is prob a style icon for me. Someone from my home town once said "Claire dresses like Dolly Parton.” It was aimed to be mean but I took it as a compliment. I really love her. I love Elvis, Ellen Degeneres and Lisa Vanderpump. I adore Blake Lively and Zoe Kravitz in terms of women goals. Lenny Kravtiz, Elvis and Miles Teller are my man crushes, just in case you wanted to know :)  Oh we have to add Freddie Mercury to style icons. His washed out Levis and big shoulder jackets! The fact that he was so different and continued to be himself when everyone said he was "weird”. This is style a style icon. 
Who is your favourite designer?
I couldn’t possibly say one. But I would like to say a huge well done to CHANEL for officially banning exotic skins. I always wished they would not sell exotic skins, this had made me love them more. 
Heels or flats?
I love heels but the inner boy in me and all these years working at Harrods in high heels chooses flats. 
What item will never make its way into your wardrobe?
Real fur or exotics skins. 
Do you have any tips for budding fashion bloggers?
It is hard work, way harder than what you realise. If you really want it you have to put 110% in and do not give up. If you do not get anywhere at first; just continue to try. Anything is possible if you try hard enough. The market is saturated so find a USP. There will always be room for more and plenty of room for someone unique, you just have to find that uniqueness. It is very competitive, try and not let that get the better of you. The hardest thing in business for me, is finding the balance of being kind and not a walk over. Business is brutal, the more success you gain the more ruthless you need to become but you can never ever forget to be kind and earn respect. This covers all industries, not just blogging. 
What makes the perfect Instagram post?
Being unique. Do not just be another carbon copy of other Instagrammers. Do you and be honest. People can see real honesty. When it becomes a business, work out what your strong point is and go with that.