Elle Strauss

Photography by Claudia Lucia

Elle…your career is intriguing. Though you have stayed in the world of fashion, you have changed and widened your experience for over 2 decades: fashion director, celebrity stylist and consultant, blogger, influencer. Your signature style of creative, upbeat, and inspirational styling and editorial spreads is sought after in the fashion world. You are known for your easygoing attitude and articulate critiques –and are sought after for on- camera and behind -the -camera fashion shoots and media statements. YOU ARE AWESOME!

- Rachel Pally

You are a woman in a women's fashion world—do you think that you are in a unique position to influence women in certain ways… what ways?

Oh gosh I hope so! I have been in the industry a very long time so I think I've earned my stripes.

Do you have any particular tenets to live by that you try to pass along to younger women?

Be kind and be ready to learn. Kindness really will get you a long way - everyone remembers how you made them feel.

Do these apply to your young daughters?

Absolutely. The motto in our house is "kill with Kindness". I also try to stress "empathy" - that's imperative no matter what age you are.

You were raised in London….lived in NYC and now live in Los Angeles. Is your sense of fashion site specific?

Yes but I'm definitely trying to fight being overly casual in la. I have too many clothes that need to be worn!

Is your style influenced by site and weather and culture?

Yes and no. I think I'm pretty minimal regardless of location but La is definitely bringing out more maxi dresses and a Janessa Leone hat is apparently surgically attached to my head since moving here - I'm obsessed! (they're also great hiding a much needed root touch-up.)

You wear so many hats, and have had so many fabulously enviable jobs, it’s hard to describe you in just a few words. How would you describe yourself?

I think ultimately I'm a creative director and a mummy!

Being the mother of two daughters seems central to who you are.

Absolutely. Everything begins and ends with them.

What does a typical Saturday look like for you? Since you and your husband both have demanding careers, are there any family time rules?

Oooh well if James isn't travelling, then I'm allowed a lie-in, until a child or James forces me to get up! We have no rules as we actually spend a good amount of family time together. Typically we head to the beach whether it's Malibu Pier (Honor's favourite) or Redondo (Imogen's favourite) they also have to endure being dragged around long beach flea market (my favourite) and James gets to tag along ;) But he secretly loves the flea market too.

{ Elle is wearing the Maeve Dress in Terra Cotta }

I realize that all interviews ask the same question…but I’m going to ask anyway. How do you juggle it ALL? Being a wife, mother of 2 individuals who need attention, career woman who wears many hats? Is there anytime left for you? Or do you just accept that there isn’t! Advice please!

Firstly, I am very lucky to have help from our nanny Olivia who is a God SEND and then James is also the best dad on earth. After that I think it's just acceptance lol - I also really love hanging out with my kids. I guess in terms of advice - I really try and do stuff with them (beach, park, ice cream!) so we're not just hanging around the house, and if we are then we're all so exhausted we're all chilling anyway.

Rachel Pally is also a wife/mother/business woman. She developed her brand to address women’s desire to feel beautiful with little effort because, no matter how old a woman or what size she is or what she does as a career, there just isn’t enough time in the day! What is it about the Rachel Pally brand that attracts you?

I've been a huge fan of Rachel's since my time as senior fashion editor of Lucky. It's like she can see inside your mind when designing- from the perfect fit to my lifestyle. An excellent example is the high waisted black cropped trousers which are PERFECTION and something I can wear for work or when spending time with the kids.

Are there a few pieces that are in your closet that are go-to pieces?

The white blouse. the black linen jumpsuit. I saw Rachel wearing it at an event and was like "I NEED THIS in my life" and ortho chic sandals by chacos. The ugliest yet most comfortable and supportive sandals I own and I love them.

Do you need time away from it all, to rejuvenate?

What does that look like to you? Sometimes it can be as simple as popping out to get my nails down. But I wont' lie when I get a job that takes me back to NYC for a few days it definitely gives me a little spring in my step.

Let’s end with three fun questions:

Plan your perfect 'day' for us:

Day with Family - Coffee and donuts on the beach, building sandal castles and jumping in the waves.

Date with your husband - Dinner at Pace, red wine and no argument!

Day by yourself or with a girlfriend - A lie in, coffee and NY Times in bed. Hike with a friend, massage, manicure, wine - in that order

Elle, it was a pleasure to talk to you. You are a genuine and thoughtful woman, engaging and delightful. Thanks so much for your candor and sense of humor!