I met Liana Murgola at a business networking event in Hoboken. Her look and confidence drew me straight to her! Once we started talking and I learned a bit about her and her company; Be Brilliant Styling. I wanted to share her with all of you. Liana thanks so much for talking with me for our blog!
Tell me a bit about Be Brilliant! What makes you different from other stylists?
What sets Be Brilliant Styling apart is that while we focus on wardrobe and appearance, I am also committed to empowering my clients to fall in love with their body through style.
I have degree in psychology from GWU and have trained in various coaching methods with top life coaches in NYC, in addition to having certifications in image consulting and fashion styling from FIT.
What drives our process and every service I offer is to take that background and provide clients with a transformational experience that goes beyond the closet and gives them access to a new level of confidence and power.
We also have a non-profit community called “The Brazen Beauty Project” (read more about the Brazen Beauty Project at the end of this article) to empower adolescents in their self-image. A portion of our proceeds goes towards building the project and sponsoring other non-profits including “Stand Up for Education” and “Women Rising”
It’s great to have an expert on image and style to ask this question, as we are moving into the holiday season there are going to be a lot of business/social events like office Christmas parties. How does someone walk the line between festive and appropriate for events with people who have only seen you in business attire? After all, no one wants to be the person whose wardrobe malfunction is the office hot topic for weeks to come!
Holiday parties are an opportunity to express your personality more so than you might at the office. You can also highlight your best features and yes, even show off a bit more skin than you’d wear on a normal day at work. Just remember less is more. In spite of a huge range of office cultures, one thing that holds true for most professional environments is that they are usually more conservative than you’d dress for a night out with friends.
Some ways to get this right are to pick one area to highlight and/or show skin. For example, if you wear a dress with a V neckline, make it minimal or no cleavage and balance it out with a lower hemline or tights. If you wear sleeveless or an open back, balance it out with a higher neckline and opaque tights, slacks, etc. For guys you can open a button on your shirt, wear a fitted sweater, or rock some festive accessories (think shoes, socks, belt, pocket square.)
If you want to express your personality more you can take risks, just make sure you own it! You wear the clothes – don’t let them own you. So if you’re hesitant and won’t feel good/confident, figure out the tweak you need to rock it, or go for something else. The primary goal is to build connections and relationships outside the office, and have a good time. Wardrobe can be a great conversation piece, just don’t let your look become a barrier to making connections by stealing the show or making you uncomfortable all night.
Lastly, keep the corporate culture of your company and the level of dressiness of the venue in mind when dressing for any occasion. For example, if the party is in a casual venue – like a bar or someone’s home – you can wear a casual outfit and then elevate it with some sparkly or shiny accents, layer festive textures, etc.
That’s great advice! If readers want to contact you for more information- or follow you for advice, what are the best ways to do this?
Liana on The Brazen Beauty Project: Empowering Adolescents to embrace a positive self image
As an adolescent I struggled with body dysmorphia and disordered eating so part of why I started the business is because it’s the best way I’ve found to combine my love of fashion with something that really makes a difference for people, particularly in dealing with questions of body image. I didn’t realize how distorted my perception of myself as a teenager was until I was an adult and saw photos of myself at a time when I felt ‘huge.’ As an adult looking back I saw the underweight girl my doctors said I was. Since then I’ve used clothing as a way to embrace my own figure and empower my clients.
Body image is the #1 shame trigger for women (and men are not immune.) In 2014 study by Dove, 96% of women surveyed say they would call themselves ‘average’ (not beautiful), and 83% of girls age 7-13 don’t think they’re beautiful.
Clearly this is an epidemic and while body positivity and diversity in fashion has greatly improved in the last few years there is a long way to go. So my goal is that our work with clients and our non-profit project continues to move the mission forward. Learn more about the project here.