By: Fashion Intern Mariah Paddock
Genesee Community College had the honor of hosting Emmy Award Winner, David Zyla on campus for the second time. In three years, he won his Emmy for styling a soap opera, All My Children. David is also the author of three books, How to Win at Shopping, Color Your Style, and The Color of Style. Some students were chosen as project managers to have lunch with him and also gave him a tour of the college. David Zyla started out styling his parents, who quickly realized he had a special talent. His parents enrolled him in painting and drawing classes, and his creative talent continued to flourish throughout his childhood. After high school, he attended NYU for costume design. While designing costumes for Broadway productions, people would ask him, “why do you put him/her in that specific color?” He would tell them that it was just supposed to be that way. David has a gift of teaching people what colors are right for them. He says, “notice it in you” and “your color is a map of you and your personality.”
If you are attracted to one specific color, David advises you to buy multiple pieces of clothing in that same color. One of his color tips is to look at the color of your veins on your wrist, the blue, purple or green is your dramatic color, which will make you stand out. The color of your finger tip when you push it, is an orange/red color, which will be that shade that looks best on you. David Zyla has dressed several different celebrities, including Hillary Clinton when she was the first lady. After this endeavor, he went into the television industry. He is currently styling for television shows, commercials and is working with private clients. His end goal for each private client is making them feel like themselves in their clothes. David says, “Clothes are clothes, they were meant to showcase you.”
When finding a new wardrobe for clients he starts in their closets. If you have something in your closet that you hate, don’t look for that in the store. If you absolutely love something, and it brings you happiness, then it is okay to splurge. Another tip is knowing why you love or hate a piece of clothing. The color, fabric, fit, length, or neck line that you love or hate is essential when deciding what to shop for. After all, you are building a wardrobe to showcase you! David tells us that we should always have a game plan when going shopping, don’t have a vague idea, know exactly what to look for. Use strategic shopping; leave more than one hour to shop, go alone, and turn the cell phone off. Know that department stores are designed to keep you in the store and shop longer. The most expensive items are displayed on the right as soon as you enter the store, lower priced items are to the left. The register add-ons are put there to make you buy on first instinct. When it comes to the fitting rooms, it is all about finding your perfect match and size. Take more than one size into the dressing room if you aren’t sure about your size.
Throughout David’s styling career he has learned that jeans are one of the hardest things to find the perfect pair for clients. He says, “A tip when finding the right pair of jeans, is in the fitting room, sit down in them. If they are uncomfortable then they aren’t the ones.” It is also important to know when and how to splurge on things like formal wear, handbags and coats because they will be used over and over, and on a good pair of pants. Mr. David Zyla is a friend of the GCC Fashion Business program. He generously invites us annually to attend his Fashion Speaker Series at the National Arts Club when we visit New York City in October.