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Fashionista Rachel Zoe lends her advice on living the look

Busy mom Rachel Zoe says looking put together requires a strategy.

Fashion is everything. Those who know Rachel Zoe – and really, who doesn’t? – know this is more than a catchphrase. It’s the motto this stylist-to-the-stars lives by and the belief she evangelizes through an empire that includes a clothing line, the Bravo reality series “The Rachel Zoe Project” as well as “Fashionably Late,” her new talk show on Lifetime – not to mention two books and a host of other style-related projects.

For the second year, Zoe, who lives in Los Angeles, hosted and curated the South Coast Plaza fall/winter fashion event “Live the Look,” turning the mall into nothing short of a prêt-à-porter runway on par with Milan and New York. Coast caught up with Zoe behind the scenes, where her other role as wife and mother was very much in evidence. She was running after toddler son Kaius before stepping onto the stage.

Coast: How has being a mom influenced your getting ready?
Rachel Zoe: Oh my god. So much!

Coast: Has it? You? That makes me feel better, because I live in black T-shirts now …
RZ: No, no, no, truly. You’ve got to go with what you know, find your uniform for every day. If you are a working mom you have to find clothes that look good but are durable and you can wear over and over and over. Things you can go to in five minutes and not have to think too hard about putting on. Know that it’s going to wear throughout the day – you have to go to work, then get your kids, then go back to work, then go out to an event …

Coast: OK, so let’s talk about OC style. How would you define it?
RZ: Listen, to be honest, I haven’t spent enough time here to really know the ins and outs, but from what I have seen, it is very luxurious. You love beautiful clothes here, and fashion, and follow the trend in a more conservative way. And I like that. I think it’s really nice. There is also that very beach, surf style thing, which I love too!

Coast: Now to the problem of autumn in Southern California …
RZ: I battle this every day! All I want to do is wear my coats and my boots and my fall clothes and it’s still 95 degrees out. I went to something last night and put a fur on my shoulders and I literally started melting. I was like, What was I thinking?

Coast: How do you make a nod to the season without melting?
RZ: Well, I do travel a lot, and I do go to places …

Coast: Where you can luxuriate in the cold?
RZ: Yeah, I go to places where I can wear my things. But on a daily basis there is a rare time here where I can wear my stuff. I mean it can get cold here …

Coast: Relatively. Changing seasons: Looking ahead, what are we going to be surprised at for spring ’16?
RZ: I don’t know if it is surprising so much as exciting. There is so much beautiful lace and ruffles and lots of black and white, and silks, and colors. Spring is very beautiful. It’s very romantic, which made me really happy.

Coast: Interesting. You’re a romantic – after being married forever!
RZ: Exactly. I know.

Coast: One last question: Can fashion sense really be taught?
RZ: One hundred percent yes. I have seen it time and time again. I do believe there is some sense that is innate, like artists, musicians, right brain-left brain. Some people just have something that comes more naturally to them, but it absolutely can be taught. I’ve had people I’ve started working with who were, like, all I can wear is sweatpants and getting dressed up is …

Coast: Painful?
RZ: Yeah! And they fell in love with it. And became so good at it, just by practice, basically.

Coast: That gives me hope.
RZ: I think you look great. Really.

Coast: Thank you! I’m taking that compliment to the grave, let me tell you.

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