Shiona Turini interview with Madewell


Dressing for summer always has its special challenges. There’s the no-nonsense task of dressing for a 50 degree morning that quickly turns into an 85 degree burner. Then it’s a balancing act to dress well without sacrificing comfort and breathability in moisture. This summer in particular has its additional stressors as people come out of their 40s and start traveling and interacting outdoors again, safely and vaccinated. If you’re like me and have looked at your closet in confusion, wondering how you’ve dressed before and how you’re going to put it together for the summer, between Shiona Turini.

madewell shiona turini

Courtesy of Madewell


Turini is a Bermuda-born, Los Angeles-based fashion designer and costume designer. She’s created some of the most memorable looks seen on artists like Beyoncé and Solange, is the mastermind behind HBO’s Precarious and Queen and Slim wardrobe, and styled some of Elle’s best fashion moments. She’s also a true street style star, and her island roots give her the upper hand in dressing during the warmer months. In short, she’s been preparing for a hot summer her whole life.

For summer 2021, Shiona has teamed up with Madewell to host The Summer Shop, which offers easy, breathable pieces, swimsuits, dresses and accessories that make dressing easy. Below, SHE spoke exclusively with Shiona about how she dresses for the summer and how to style parts without breaking a sweat (literally).

madewell shiona turini


You are the queen of crop tops, so how do you plan to wear your favorite tops with Madewell denim this summer?

It is well known that I adore a crop top (my aunt once asked me if I had “full shirts”), so of course they were included in these looks. This summer, I plan to have my moonlight swimsuits as crop tops. In the right fit and fabric, they make the perfect layering piece under a jacket, blazer or button-down shirt.


How do you strike a balance between staying cool in the hot summer months and staying stylish?

Its my specialty. I am from an island and definitely a summer baby. I love hot weather, but I hate feeling hot and clingy, and at the same time avoiding the air conditioning. It is essential to wear the right fabrics. I like a light and airy fabric like linen, or even hemp based denim, but in a more formal style like a blazer or wider leg pants. I love blazers and in the summer I go for light versions in looser cuts.

What three pieces are you going to have in rotation this summer?

The double gauze draped blazer and the Huston tapered pants are already in strong rotation for me. The look is easy, yet still looks polished, and I love a summer suit. Surprisingly⁠— super-soft pull-on jeans. I’m notoriously not wearing jeans. I still feel really constrained in them. But it was awesome. The linen box pleat pants are one of my favorites. Got it a few sizes larger than what I usually would have bought and then tucked it in to the waist so I could wear them higher while dropping them really relaxed down the leg.

madewell shiona turini

Courtesy of Madewell

What holy grail pieces of wardrobe do you plan to take straight from the beach to pose?

I don’t realistically live a life where I go from the beach to the plateau but you have given me something to add to my manifestation board.

What accessories do you use when you leave the house every day?

My gold bracelets that my mother gave me when I was a teenager.

What style tips do you have for taking a sundress from day to night, especially when it’s hot in the city?

I think the way we dress and relate to clothes has changed a lot over the past year. If something makes you happy and feels great in it day or night, you should wear it. Dresses and groceries – go for it! Do you! But, if you find yourself inclined to make slight style changes from day to night, the easiest way is to use shoes. Another easy way to transform a look is to simply change the jewelry. I love yellow gold jewelry of all shapes and sizes. Tossing and stacking or changing an earring can quickly make a summer dress upscale.

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