Alyssa Coscarelli on Skincare, Tiny Tattoos and the Season's Top Fashion Trends
One glance at Alyssa Coscarelli will make you shout I'll have what she's having. Coupled with Alyssa's covetable French girl cut, finely finessed fringe and her addictive Instagram feed—a mix of effortless street style and captions that she actually imbues with thought—caught our attention while scrolling the 'gram. Alyssa, though a fashion insider in real life (she's currently a senior fashion market editor at Refinery29), doesn't exude the same air that some girls in the fashion industry give off. Snobbish? No. Sensible? Yes. Here we got to know the East Village-living Southern belle, and asked her all things skincare, tiny tattoos, and the season's top fashion trends. Keep reading for Alyssa's favorite controversial toner, a game of "so haute or so not" and her go-to New York spots for good vintage fashion and furniture finds.
Job title: Senior Fashion Market Editor at Refinery29
Neighborhood: East Village, New York
Break down your everyday morning routine for us.
It’s pretty low touch. I take a shower and put it up in a towel for a few minutes. Let it down and comb through with my fingers. I never brush it completely since I have wave. Then I use the OUAI Wave Spray and OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil to kind of scrunch it. If it is dry and I’m not showering that morning I’ll usually add some dry shampoo to my bangs and maybe the back of my hair, let it sit for a second then brush it out with my fingers and use a little bit of Wave Spray. If I do shower and I want it to dry quicker I’ll put it on low and make my hand into a diffuser. I don’t have a diffuser, I’m on the market for one but for now I’ve just been scrunching and drying at the same time.
Your skin looks flawless. What skincare products do you use?
I’ve recently been converted to Biologique Recherche, a cult favorite French skincare brand that is admittedly pricey, but I’ve found it to be really effective. It’s hard for me to keep a consistent skincare routine in the past year. I’m always trying stuff but this is the product line I’ve really become loyal to. Specifically they have an exfoliating toner called Lotion P50. It’s kind of a controversial product because it is pretty powerful but it basically transforms your skin texture, and I really, really like it. I have combination skin. I actually had really bad acne growing up. I still have an oily T-zone and then it’s dry everywhere else.
Since we’re on the topic of hair—your bob oozes French girl chic so we must know: Who cuts it?
Originally I went to a lovely man named Laicale in SoHo and he gave me the original cut. Recently I’ve gone to a stylist named Erikson (@erickinvisible) at Bumble and bumble in Meatpacking. I really like the way he styles it into that undone French girl look. He’s good at understanding that I don’t want to look like my mom, and sometimes my haircut can easily go into like, mom territory, so he has a grasp on that French girl look. His process is less is more.
For the intrigued layman, what exactly are the job responsibilities of a senior fashion market editor?
From an overall standpoint, it’s keeping a pulse on the market for fashion, from womenswear to accessories. Going to shows, to showrooms, meeting with brands. As for day-to-day, I produce about two stories a day for the [Refinery29] about anything from trends to shopping to designers to know, what to buy and when—that kind of stuff. Visits to showrooms are our industry sneak preview of what’s coming down the pipeline so we can be the ones to tell you “this is going to be big in a couple of months.” It kind of gives us that head start on the fashion industry.
Inquiring minds want to know: How does a fashion industry insider like you snag collaborations with cool brands like Giuseppe Zanotti, Urban Outfitters, and star in campaigns for chic labels (ahem, Merlette)? Like, what’s the secret?
Aside from posting consistently and sharing your style regularly, I think it’s also about supporting those brands in the first place. Urban Outfitters, Merlette—these are brands I shop from and spend my money on anyway. It’s interacting with the brands you love and showing them love even if it’s not a paid collab. Supporting the brands you love year round will get you those collabs.
What advice would you give to students hustling to break into the fashion industry?
Put yourself out there. These days there are so many meet-ups, networking events, and panels. Show up to events hosted by people or brands you care about, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself while you’re there. My email is in my bio so it’s out there. For example, I had a panel the other night and I met someone, and I told her to drop me an email so I'd remember her—and she did. She followed up, sent her resume, and said if there are any openings for me to keep her in my mind. Following up with whoever you meet,whether it’s DM or email, to say hey I’m the one who met you at this event goes a long way.
What 3 fashion trends should we be following this spring?
1. I’m all about Victorian style tops, with puffy sleeves and high necks. I love pairing a pretty vintage-looking top with jeans or a denim skirt, and that’s my go-to outfit.
2. Also I’ve been really into suits lately. People think they’re winter-y but there are a lot of linen or lighter fabrics coming out for spring.
3. I have to say basket bags because I’m glad they’re still on trend. My friends give me a hard time because I buy so many baskets, vintage and new, from Zara or whoever.
What’s your favorite color combo of the season?
There are a lot of colors trending right now that I never thought I’d wear but I’m into orange and lavenders, even some deep greens and browns.
Let’s play a game of So Haute or So Not! For each item, say So Haute or So Not to indicate whether it’s in season or out of style.
Baggy blazers- So haute
Velvet- So not, I’m over it!
Track suits- So haute
Mules- Uhm, yeah, so haute still.
Berets- So not. I was a big beret fan but I think they’re a little overdone now.
Monochrome outfits- So haute
Socks and sandals- So haute
Flare jeans- Depends how flared. A kick flared, but not really here for the full blown 70s flare.
Ballet flats- So not. Never really liked them.
Claw hair clips- So hot. They’re back.
Are there any small, female-focused brands and/or indie labels that you love RN?
I’m really for a brand called Nanushka that’s actually been around for a while that has had a US-focused launch in the last couple seasons, and it’s getting really popular in the Instagram crowd. The quality is really nice and they do that nice, cool-girl style really well.
Where are your favorite websites or shops to snag vintage fashion and/or furniture?
The Break is a really good affordable vintage shop where the trends are relevant. It’s an elevated shopping experience, you don’t have to dig. For more of the dirty, digging vintage experience there’s a place called 10ft Single by Stella Dallas. It’s categorized fairly well but it is more of a hunt. My two favorites are Home Union and Dobbin St. Co-op, two Brooklyn-based vintage furniture shops.
You recently posted a series of your tiny 12 tattoos—we’re obsessed! Can you recommend any good tattoo artists?
In New York I recently got one from Paradise and he’s from New Zealand, he’s been traveling throughout the US and is in LA now so if you can pin him down I definitely recommend him. There’s also a studio called Welcome Home, a Brooklyn-based tattoo studio that inclusive to female, queer and LGBTQ artists. All of them are stick and poke artists, so there’s no tattoo machine, it’s done by hand it’s a really special experience and all the artists there are really talented.
Which hurts less: stick-and-poke or gun?
Personally I think stick-and-poke hurts less because it’s not this zzz super pressed intense machine, it’s just the human touch I feel like it’s a little more of a pleasant experience and it’s slower. Some people might disagree because it’s like slightly getting stabbed over and over, they’re literally pushing the ink into your skin with a needle. Sorry that just got really visual. I think it just depends what you think.
You have a friend in town for 24 hours—where do you tell them to go?
I’d tell them to go to Mud Coffee in the East Village and get either a coffee or a sit-down brunch by yourself like I do, a solo start to the day. Go walk through Washington Square Park, hang out read a book then id recommend heading out to Brooklyn for vintage shopping and finishing off at the Brooklyn Museum. Right now they have a David Bowie exhibit they always have cool stuff. Then grab pizza to end.
Follow Alyssa on Instagram: @alyssainthecity