Style Curator Elizabeth Tamkin
Photos and Interview by Kira Shipway
Self-styled by Elizabeth Tamkin
She's beauty and she's grace, she's Miss Elizabeth Tamkin for The Break. A regular since the beginning, Elizabeth has been a Break Babe (and my best friend) for years. Her unique personal style and fiercely hard working character has made her a leader in the industry and a fashion icon for friends and fans alike. Find out where she buys her bike shorts, what she's bringing to the deserted island, and why she's definitely 50% psychic below.
How did you find out about The Break and what has been your favorite experience here?
My best friend from college, Kira Shipway, introduced me and i'm embarrassed I didn't know beforehand. The curation of items is ideal—perfect denim, cute glasswares/knicknacks and really great shoe finds. The vintage tee collection is not to be overlooked either! I've had THE MOST fun at NYFW events—last year was one big loving party of cool happy nice people.
As the Market Assistant for Man Repeller, you’re constantly interacting with designers, brands and fashion houses both large and small. Who are your top three favorites of the moment?
AH ok I have really great interactions with Creatures of Comfort, Tibi and Lisa Says Gah! I also love pulling from MATCHESFASHION.com (UK retail site) and Farfetch to pull buy-it-now items. Oh wait oh wait! Also Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Frankie Shop!
What's in your dream shopping cart at the moment?
Honestly, these Swarovski shoes Leandra just designed (the brand is Leandra Medine) and also ruby earrings hehe.
You landed a coveted and high-pressure internship at Vogue when you first moved to NY, please can you spill some tea on what that experience was like?
They don't do internships like the one I had anymore! But I actually met REALLY cool humans that are doing REALLY cool things (working at Chanel, consulting, running their own website etc.) It was tiring, but taught me that I am not too good to make 900 photo copies at 9pm and I'm also good enough to work with great empowering stylists on location.
Most people may know you for your fashion sense, but you also have a lesser-known talent for painting, both representational and abstract. What single work are you most proud of and why?
The GIGANTO painting that is now hanging in my living room. My teacher at NYU pushed me to just MAKE SOMETHING WHATEVER IT IS and I went really big and had fun with it. I now mostly only paint abstract, and the first one I did is still my favorite.
What has been your favorite crossover between art and fashion?
I like when fashion shows use artists as inspiration for their set designs! I'm honestly not the biggest fan of an Artist Capsule Collection although Yayoi Kusama for LV was a moment for me.
How did you get involved in the fashion industry? Did you know what you wanted in a career at a young age or was it a process to discover?
It was my life since the days of Limited Too. Putting outfits together as a daily self-expression has always been the thing that makes me feel the most myself. My mom suggested I be the Editor in Chief at Vogue when I was like, seven. Still have some work to do.
If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life what would you choose?
DAMMIT I guess Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Or Gucci?
If you could star on any reality TV show which would it be?
What five things are you bringing to a deserted island?
My dog, chapstick, shampoo, sunglasses and a humongous bag of dried seaweed chips (except I guess I could then make my own if I'm surrounded by water, huh?)
Describe your daily uniform?
Bike shorts and a ribbed tank with sneakers or lace up sandals and LOTS OF GOLD NECKLACES.
I’ve personally watched you make bike shorts a thing, although there are many trends you’ve been quietly setting for years (glasses chains and sweater seatbelts anyone?) In your educated opinion, what do you predict to be the next big fashion trends?
OMG ok chain link bags, unnecessary belts and hmmmm face stickers.
Due to the cyclical and referential nature of fashion, vintage has always played an important role in influencing new designers and collections. What parallels do you see from the past that are currently in vogue?
Tweed two piece sets, embellished gowns, trousers with great detail like a pleated front or side pockets, major collars (western) and Mary Janes. I think everything's always "coming back" but now we're so bored there's not one single decade that's back in style. I’m living for the 50's (dresses) and the 90s (bike shorts a la Princess Diana) and there's no shame in wearing both in the same damn day.
You have a dedicated following online and for good reason—many people come to you for advice and inspiration. What is the most common request/question you get asked about over DM?
About weight gain/loss is a big one for me but where I buy my bike shorts is MOST DEFINITELY the biggest fashion question I get. The answer is Spanx.
There was something you posted recently that really stuck with me in regards to online body shaming. It was along the lines of “If it’s not something a person could change in a day, don’t comment on it.” I thought those were really powerful words to live by, do you have any advice for our readers who may be dealing with similar “haters” online or off?
OK so acceptance of my appearance has always been something I've maybe not perfected. I've gotten to the point where I think that if you have something that's not body-related to comment on that's great (ie. "You look adorable in that skirt" rather than "You've lost so much weight!" or "You look so much healthier now!"). Shoe compliments are great... they're my favorite.
What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve done in the name of fashion?
Stayed up from Thursday night until Monday AM for a shoot—that's ridiculous right?
Favorite book/film/album of the summer?
Childish Gambino's newest songs! Also Ariana Grande. She is everything for me when I'm on the elliptical.
Whether it’s the shitshow of political purgatory were stuck in or the amount of abuse that has recently come to light in the film and fashion industries, it seems like everyone is obsessed with self care these days. (If you can’t heal the world you can at least heal yourself! Right?) What are you favorite methods of self care?
Face masks (Fresh Beauty Black Tea mask), self-waxing (I'm great at it, hit me up for a cheap wax) and walking a shit ton. I love walking rather than gymming because you get to be outside, discover and explore. Also it's a great way to tire my dog Bow out.
I’m going to get mushy now because you’re my best friend and I can’t help it… We first met on a field trip to PS1 during orientation week at NYU. You immediately stuck out to me because of your incredibly sophisticated sense of personal style, dry humor and smarty-pants confidence. I pretty much decided on the spot we would be best friends and 7 years later I couldn’t imagine my life without you. Proud is probably the wrong word because it implies I helped in some way, but I’m so proud to see how successful and fucking happy you’ve become. What advice would you give to your younger self? What advice would you give to girls today?
Oh my gosh this made me tear up why did you do this!!! I remember that day too! You said "let's live together" and I was a depressed transfer student and was obsessed with your smile <3 I think that kinda leads into my advice. Be open and proud. I remember being so self conscious that day and yet here you are telling me you thought I was cool (maybe that's not the exact word). ((Yes, I thought you were and still are the coolest.)) I also wish I had advised myself not to get that really short haircut I hated.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
With a herd of French Bulldogs styling or designing my own [insert item here].
Tell us a secret?
I'm 100% psychic! Kidding but I think I'm 50% psychic. Also my second toe bends all the way back. Is that fun?