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Q & A | Erica Wark

Q & A | Erica Wark


This Ottawa-native has come far from her days as a teen-model. Modelling in Montreal and Toronto exposed her to a wide range of Canadian and international brands and designers. This further developed her individual style and love for fashion. Erica now calls Toronto home and as resident Fashion Stylist on CTV The Social, Erica shares her fashion wisdom with viewers across North America.
While preparing for her 5th and final Revive Your Style event, she took a few minutes to let us know about what inspires her and what life is like as a Stylist.
How did you get into styling?
When we were told to choose a career path in grade 12, I went with journalism. I wanted to build on my writing skills, blend it with my love for fashion and eventually work for a fashion magazine. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
After a few marketing and PR internships in New York City, I took on a role as Assistant Manager at Michael Kors when it launched in Canada. This is where I learned how much I loved working one-on-one with customers. Mostly, I loved helping women feel confident.
As fantastic as retail is, I tried to think of how my degree, modelling, and internship experiences could fit in with my love for client interaction and that’s how I fell into styling.
I began freelancing and my first TV styling experience was the Ambush Makeover on CTV Morning Live Ottawa. We ambushed three people at the mall and gave them a makeover. I was so nervous but after two days of filming, I was on such a high. It was such an exciting experience and helping people feel good about themselves was so fueling. It didn’t feel like work and that’s when I knew it was for me. I got a call back to go on the show to do the reveal, where we discussed why we picked the final looks, and the rest is history. I am so grateful that people believed in me and gave me so many incredible opportunities.

Where do you pull inspiration from?
Everywhere. It’s my opinion that in fashion and in life, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings.
In any creative field, it’s super important to keep your head up and open to the possibility of being inspired. You can find inspiration in nature, people on the street, celebrities, movies, books, anything! It’s all about simply being open to what comes at you, whether positive or negative.

How do you stay updated on current trends?
This takes a bit of research but I think it helps that trends are broader than they used to be. In the 80’s and 90s, there were two or three trends per season. If you weren’t into miniskirts, you were wearing pants all season. Now, it’s more of a theme rather than an exact item. It’s taking a fabric or particular colour and seeing how you can work a piece into your own style.
We’re in an incredible time for fashion, where it’s no longer one particular designer calling the shots, but the consumer driving the market. We’re being heard and have the opportunity to buy products we are passionate about and feel good in. Brands are realizing they need to dress for the individual, not the masses. Everyone is different and they’re being responsible about catering to that. It’s truly exciting.
What trend/era, if any, would you have liked to have witnessed for its style?
I appreciate so many things from different eras that it’s hard to pinpoint.
I loved the 50s for the fitted bodices and full skirts and the Roaring 20s for how they exuded glamour. The philosophy of ‘more is better’– whether sequins or feathers, was great.

When styling someone, do you go based on body-type or personality?
Definitely both. With private clients, I usually begin by decluttering their closets and then make a list of what they need to incorporate into their wardrobe.
After we declutter, I base everything on certain factors in their life such as their personality, lifestyle, body type, age and budget. From there, I’m able to create an idea in my mind of what I think is best for that client and we hit the shops! Yorkdale is one of the best places to go since they have so many options.
When working with a personal stylist, it’s important to remember that we’re there to push you out of your comfort zone, and freshen up your look- not keep up old habits. It’s a balance between who they are and where they want to be.

What is your go-to outfit for the following?
For shopping: I shop for a living so I need lots of mobility and comfort in my outfits. Light-weight, breathable fabrics help when carrying so many bags. I’ll usually wear a pair of jeans, sweater, a scarf and sneakers.
For date night: Since I travel a lot, our perfect date night is staying in with a great movie while wearing sweats. However, we both love to go out and have lots of fun dressing up. He’ll throw on a suit and play with ties or pocket squares. Right now, I like a dress with tights and over the knee boots.
For a girl’s night: Lately, I love anything with a lace up top, either a body suit or dress. It gives a sultry demeanor because it has the sex appeal but doesn’t give everything away. Another great piece is leather pants or leggings. They are comfortable, never go out of style, and can easily dress up an outfit.

What is Revive Your Style?
Women, particularly mother’s, juggle so many things every day. Revive Your Style is an afternoon dedicated to women to be inspired by fashion, makeup and hair trends, to be empowered and feel confident about themselves.
It takes place on the last Sunday in January, generally when people are sick of winter and need a pick me up.
It’s also a great afternoon to catch up with your girlfriends, to pamper yourself and dedicate a day to 100% you.
This is our last year and we’re hoping to go out with a bang.
Follow Erica on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or read her blog for everything fashion.

Photo Credits: Throne Photography

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