A Stylist and Her Library

by Khira Jordan (Madewell)

Resident stylist and day brightener Lisa Schulner is the girl you’ll find holding down the fort at each and every Madewell photo shoot. She’s also that girl with the towering stack of amazing-looking books on her desk. We knew beautiful things must be hiding between all those covers, so we did a little investigating. Check out the story behind (and the gems inside) Lisa’s impressive styling library.

When would you say you started your collection?

I’ve been collecting books forever, but working at Madewell has been a huge influence. Berenice Abbott’s New York in the Thirties and powerHouse’s Disfarmer probably wouldn’t have been on my radar before Madewell.

Where do you hunt your books down?

I love a museum bookshop! And there’s this great jewel box of a shop near our office called Dashwood Books.

Did any imagery influence the way you styled the Fall ‘11 Madewell collection?

Martin Munkácsi shot these sunbathers in the late ’30s, and their swimming costumes were tailored, graphic and mensy. The art direction was modern and very angular. It’s not a direct influence for fall, obviously, but there’s an ingrained image you can’t shake when something resonates—and that shapes everything you create after.

What are some of your favorite standout looks?

There’s this image in Shoot of a commuter train in India, and the passengers are practically hanging out of the open doors, ready to jump off at their stop. They’re all in these amazingly bright colors: chartreuse, bright pink, citrus yellow—an energetic, spring-forward lineup. It’s so beautiful!

Learn anything funny/notable/curious from the books?

Well, I can tell you what the funniest and most curious book I own is: Anu Tuominen’s collection of beautiful and hilarious textile “sculptures.” It’s a quietly funny reimagination of banal objects.