25 Most Stylish Bostonians of 2009 -- Erin Gates

Erin Gates (Essdras M. Suarez/Globe Staff)
By Alyssa Giacobbe
Globe Correspondent / November 5, 2009

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Erin Gates

Age: 30

Occupation: Interior designer, Element Interiors/style blogger,

Investment coat or investment couch? I’ve invested in great coats that have lasted me eight years and counting, but I’d have to say a sofa. One should have a well-made, classically beautiful sofa to anchor a room. You can decorate with cheaper items and the room will always look rich.

What’s between your couch cushions? Dog toys. It’s like they reproduce when I’m sleeping (the toys, not the dogs). They are everywhere, and not terribly chic.

How seriously do you take your fashion? I don’t treat it as if it makes the world go round, but I think fashion and style is a creative process that everyone can enjoy.

Where do you shop? Where don’t I shop? J.Crew, Saks, Anthropologie, Club Monaco, Cusp, Barneys, Target, Zara, Stil, Looc, H&M, Mint Julep, vintage stores. . . .

Best pick-me-up outfit? A Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. If I could only have one item of clothing, it would be one of those. They’re comfortable, stylish, and can go to the office, a wedding, or out to dinner. I have three, and a few knock-offs, too.

Do your approaches to fashion and interior design overlap at all? There is such a strong relationship between fashion and interior design, including the fabrics, tailoring, accessories, and seasonal trends. That’s why I’m launching a fashion styling component to my business [this month]. My approach to design is one that translates really well into helping people “decorate’’ themselves as well as their homes. I believe one should invest in classic basics (a perfect black blazer or a neutral sofa) and then accessorize using both high end and low end, vintage and new, modern and traditional pieces to create a look unique to them and within their budgets.


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