Written & Photographed by A Wild Dove
Add this name to your fashion rolodex. Graciela “Gracie” Molina is uber-stylist behind conceptual, fashion-forward boutique Totokaelo. She has loyal clients who trust her opinion on everything from high-waist denim to the It-boots of the moment. A native New Yorker, born and raised in Queens, Gracie has dabbled in a number of creative fields such as photography and styling but saw her journey to Totokaelo as a long time coming. “Working for this company has shown me so much about myself and my view on fashion,” she said. “I feel like I've just scratched the surface of my career.” We feel so chic in Gracie’s hands, whether we’re attempting a new trend or trying to find that perfect gift.
We asked Gracie to sound off on spring trends, how to shop for your body and why wrapping jeans around your neck is totally a thing.
On how to shop for your body
“The best way to shop for your body is to KNOW your body type and what you want to emphasize or hide,” says Gracie. “Stylists are here to help you figure out what works well on you. We can determine if anything needs altering or hemming and which style pieces can flatter your body type. Whether a synch of the waist, half an inch up from the hem or determining what fabric falls best, we are there to decipher what works best for you.”
On how to buy what you love
“I gravitate to what speaks to me. I don't look at what everyone else is wearing, but rather what makes me feel bold and true to myself. I have a vivid collection of T-shirts from various designers, for example, because that's a go-to piece for me. I love quirky quotes, bold graphics and unique fabrications which most designers are fusing with their basic tees as of lately. I stay true to what I like and what is realistic in my world.”
On how to buy for spring
“The best way to buy for spring is to concentrate on pieces that would develop and grow your already existing wardrobe. Try and find new pieces that will compliment your current wardrobe . For spring, find pops of color pieces that would go with a favorite knit of yours from the fall. Fun prints to blend with winter fabrics to make your outfit less strict. Harmonize your pieces so you can have a forever blend of style in your closet.”
On how to make a single purchase go the distance
“Invest in pieces that would last longer than a season in your closet. Find those great pieces that speak to your lifestyle and take care of them. A garment bag goes a long way.”
On shopping Spring’s top trends
“I am a huge fan of Jacquemus. I love his clothing because of his playful and conceptual silhouettes. For Spring 2017, his colorful striped knit shirt and voluminous wide legs pant are my favorite pieces. It's that perfect balance of practicality and spunk. The idea of a practical jean is turned on it head this season with a corset like top that hugs your waist and an exaggerated voluminous wide leg with huge cuffs on the bottom.
Also, Demna's biker jeans for Vetements are the perfect jean! The amount of technique and tailoring that are put into this one piece is amazing. Literally, precisely cut pieces of vintage Levi denim, pieced together to form his signature jean. It is an ingenious concept that you can have a pair of one of a kind jean in your closet.”
On trends to buy into
“Avante-garde shirting pieces. Who says you can't make workwear chic? Numerous designers are playing with playful cuts with the basic button down. Really great pieces!”
On her one #protip
“If you want to know quickly if a pair of jeans or pants will fit you, place the waistline of the pant around your neck. If the edges don't meet at the back of your neck, the pant is too small for you. It is not a 100% guarantee but It will give you a better idea of the fit. Take in consideration the cut, but it really works! “
Salespeople, stylists, skincare specialists and all manner of self care mavens—they can be so much more than simply people who provide a service. If we’re lucky enough to score a particularly first-rate one, they might be closer to our therapists, confidantes…basically our support team. They work magic on our wardrobes. They whip us into shape after a rough week. They set us straight when we’re mired in bad vibes. They nix our doubts and fix our hairdos in one fell swoop. They are truly transformation experts. In this series, we’re giving credit where it’s due: to the pros who keep us on point. Get their take on style, wellness, and how we can all learn to love ourselves a little better—even after we’ve left their stomping grounds.