The best part of going out? Getting ready. American style star Christie Tyler talks to French fashionista Jen Wonders about her beauty pre-game and best hangover cures.
Name: Christie Tyler
Job Description: Content creator, student, neutrals aficionado
Carefully curated and filtered to perfection, Instagram often makes for real life disappointment when we encounter a person as meticulously branded as Christie Tyler. Better known by her social media moniker, @nycbambi, Tyler is renowned for an effortless and distinctive style that revolves around neutral pieces many might consider monotonous on the rack. The New Jersey native who decamped for nearby New York City, however, makes a classic camel coat, cream pantsuit, or black slide feel anything but basic.
Jen Wonders, a Parisian-born, Los Angeles-based creative director and fashion blogger, can attest to the fact that Tyler is every bit as chic in person as she is on the gram. Wonders, who intersperses essential pieces with pops of bold color and pattern, made the first move IRL at a Nanushka presentation last year—a designer for whom both sartorial stars share a mutual affection. “We followed one another on Instagram, but we never met until then,” said Tyler. The two quickly became fast fashion week friends and regularly meet up in New York at “their spot,” La Mercerie, to catch up offline.
Here, the two social media butterflies talk nights out, nights in, and the ultimate beauty hangover cure. VIOLET GREY listens in.
JEN WONDERS: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS OUR MOST MEMORABLE ADVENTURE TOGETHER?
CHRISTIE TYLER: I would say this past fashion week [fall 2020]. We were invited to a show—it was freezing and pouring outside. The Uber dropped us off nowhere near our destination and we were in these ridiculous fashion week outfits. We ended up at a random deli in Tribeca. I ordered an egg sandwich and you ordered a tea. We were sitting amongst all of these of very confused construction workers. I was wearing these lace-up Celine boots that were bright yellow and absolutely crazy. We laughed the entire time.
J.W.: WE FELT VERY LONELY THERE AND THEY THOUGHT WE WERE CRAZY PEOPLE! I’M OBVIOUSLY A BIG FAN OF YOU AND YOUR STYLE, BUT HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR AESTHETIC?
C.T. If you dig deep down into the depths of my Instagram—I mean, please don’t!—you’ll see that it’s been an evolution. I really had to try every style in the book before I figured out what was really me. I used to be more into bohemian style and also went through a total preppy phase. When I moved to New York, I was really drawn to neutrals, mixing masculine and feminine pieces, and having an androgynous-but-comfortable look. I like wearing a blazer with sneakers. A combination of time, developing my wardrobe with key pieces, and in living in New York City helped me hone my personal style.
J.W.: YOU ARE REALLY THE BEST WITH NEUTRALS. WHEN YOU GET DRESSED IN THE MORNING, DO YOU CHANGE FIVE TIMES OR DO YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO WEAR?
C.T.: It’s taken me a while to build a wardrobe that has all of the essentials, but I would say that’s the key to getting dressed effortlessly. You need pieces that you love and feel good in. Of course, there are nights that I’ll go through many different options until I find the one, but my goal is to have key pieces that I can constantly go to and throw on no matter the occasion.
J.W.: I AGREE. SO WHAT ARE THE KEY ITEMS YOU ALWAYS GO FOR?
C.T.: A great pair of tailored black trousers that fit well. I always love trousers and a blazer. Maybe it’s grey, black, or checkered. A camel coat, especially for fall and winter, is a necessity—at least for my wardrobe.
J.W.: YOU’RE A SELF-PROCLAIMED INTROVERT, SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO OUT ALL THE TIME FOR YOUR JOB?
C.T.: I listen to music, but not let’s-get-pumped-up music. I love listening to The Nutcracker soundtrack by Tchaikovsky, especially the “Pas de Deux.” And having a glass of wine and giving myself two hours before an event to prep so that I can do my hair and makeup slowly and pick out my outfit. I hate being in a rush.
J.W.: WHEN YOU’RE MEETING SOMEONE NEW, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THEM?
J.W. YES, YOU CAN DEFINITELY FEEL THAT. LET’S TALK HAIR AND MAKEUP. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO LOOK FOR GOING OUT? YOU SAID YOU LIKE TO TAKE YOUR TIME GETTING READY, BUT HOW MUCH TIME ARE WE TALKING?
C.T.: Honestly, I'm kind of boring and I like to keep things very natural and effortless to coordinate with my style. Usually, I'll do a slicked-back bun which takes no more than five minutes. If I want to use hairspray and make sure I don’t have any baby hairs poking out, maybe ten. For makeup, I like to keep my face fresh and glowy. I'll do a red lip just to amp it up a bit. From start to finish, I would say 30 to 40 minutes, max. I actually never take two hours for hair and makeup unless someone else is doing it.
J.W.: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RED LIPSTICK?
C.T.: I like a deeper red lipstick with a hint of purple. I’m not an orange-red kind of girl. I love Chanel, so I’m here for any Chanel maroon lipstick.
J.W.: WHAT DOES YOUR ULTIMATE NIGHT IN LOOK LIKE? ARE YOU WEARING SWEATPANTS OR ARE YOU STILL VERY CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU WEAR INSIDE YOUR HOUSE?
C.T.: No, I’m definitely in pajamas and slippers with my hair up! I’m in total decompression mode. I love spending a Friday night in where I can just face mask, order some pizza, and chill after a long week.
J.W.: YOU HAVE TO TRY FILORGA. IT’S A FRENCH BRAND AND THEY MAKE A GREAT MASK. DO YOU HAVE A BACK-OF-A-CAB BEAUTY ROUTINE?
C.T.: I’ve taught myself after many fashion weeks. I advise anyone doing their makeup in the back of a cab to use their fingers and not brushes. You don't want to poke an eye out! Usually, if I'm just touching up my makeup, I'll do some Nars Creamy Concealer under my eyes, then I’ll add some bronzer and do some brows and mascara if the car is stopped, but only if the car is stopped because [a moving car] makes me really nervous. For lips, I try to do more of a stain; lipstick is impossible to apply in the back of a car! I like the new Chanel Rouge Allure Liquid Powder.
J.W.: NEXT TIME I’M IN NEW YORK, WHERE SHOULD I GO OUT?
C.T.: I love The Blond at 11 Howard. Sometimes they have theme nights, which is fun. I also love La Esquina, which is a Mexican restaurant in Soho. You should go later in the night around 11 or 12 when they start playing music. Once you get in, you go down the stairs and go through the kitchen. It opens up into a dance spot and it’s really beautiful. Where do you go in L.A. or Paris?
J.W.: IN L.A. I LIKE TO GO TO CAFE STELLA AND HAVE A DRINK. IN PARIS, LE BUS [PALLADIUM] IS REALLY FUN AND MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT IS CAFÉ CHARLOT IN THE MARAIS. YOU CAN SIT ON THE TERRACE OUTSIDE FOR HOURS AND DRINK WINE. FOR ME, THAT’S THE BEST. SO, I’M PRETTY SURE YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO ALWAYS SAYS GOODBYE AT A PARTY, BUT DO YOU EVER MAKE AN IRISH EXIT?
C.T.: I’m definitely not one to leave without a hug or a kiss. I was raised that way. Whenever we had family over, we had to say goodbye to every person there. I guess that’s carried out into my nightlife [etiquette] as well, even though I would like to be the mysterious, chic girl who disappears from the party.
J.W.: NICE. IS THERE ONE NIGHT YOU’LL REMEMBER FOREVER? I FEEL LIKE YOU ARE GOING TO TELL ME ABOUT WHEN YOU MET YOUR BOYFRIEND.
C.T.: I mean, of course that was special, but actually, it was when I was with a friend in Paris. It was maybe a year ago and we went out dancing. We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into. We went to Le Bus and I swear we danced for five hours straight until the club closed. They were playing American and French music and we had such a genuine good time—we weren’t even drinking. We were just dancing and absolutely loving it! We ended up walking all over Paris without our heels on, but we were so happy. Whenever I think of Paris, I think of that moment and how pure and fun it was. It’s a night I’ll remember forever.