“I’ve been in this market a very long time, and I have a curvy sister and she has curvy friends,” Snell said. “When I would shop with her I would get so disgusted and upset. If you walk through department stores, you probably see 2,000 different collections from different designers and then you go upstairs and its dismal in the plus size department. When curvy women know that they can walk into a department store and know they can have more than two options available to them, I think that changes their world, and it changes their mindset for their shopping experience.”
Snell is out to be an advocate for curvy girls and for curvy style to be done right. For Snell, it all starts with his three tenets: shape, slim, smooth.
“There are three tenets that I tell every woman. You need shape, slim and smooth before you put on a garment. That’s my rule of thumb,” he said. “The foundation garment is crucial. The foundation is the beginning for all greatness. ‘When the foundation is poured beautifully, the home will stand gracefully.’”
From the foundation to learning your body and having the attitude to match, his style rules are for every woman. “Having the juxtaposition of doing a women who is a 15 and doing a woman who is 6 or 4, is huge, but I am glad that I don’t see size. All I really see is beauty when I dress a woman.”
SB: How do you choose what works for each client?
“Every client is individual. I have this rule that I always bring what they ask for, and I always bring what they need. That is what I like to call it. It depends on how they live, their lifestyle has a lot to do with it. For example, Whitney [Houston] loved to wear jeans and crisp white shirts. So a lot of times for gowns, she didn’t like to be corseted in because it would constrict her diaphragm. What we found were designers like Donna Karan worked better for her because it moved, it breathed and yet it was still high end and sexy and alluring. So that is an example of how I pair each girl with a designer that works better for her.”
More on Whitney…
“She loved the crisp white shirts, cigarette pants. She loved wearing a full trouser. When it came down to evening she always liked to look sleek. She didn’t like the big ball gowns, she didn’t like anything poofy. She liked everything sleek. She didn’t like to work too much cleavage. At a certain point, she said to me, ‘There is a certain time a woman needs to put those away.’” (laughs)
Now working with Queen Latifah, how does that compare?
“Same rules apply to her as well. She also likes to be very comfortable. I feel very honored that I am somebody that has taken her body, and how I have expressed my eye and creativity for the curvy body and she has been a muse for me. There are a lot women out there with curvy bodies that want to know how to put it together and how to make it work for them.”
So what are some style tips for curvy women?
“First thing you need to learn your body. Learn your body, and when you shop, shop for the largest part of your body, so that particular garment will hang with ease in that area, and then you tailor back everything else to fit you properly. I would say don’t be afraid of color, choose color wisely. Monochromatic is a great way to look chic and sophisticated. It’s a great way to keep yourself slim, and keep yourself entrenched in color. Don’t be afraid to express yourself with color. I always say look at yourself before you walk out the room, and think to yourself would you look at this person and think this looks cool.”
Curvy Style With Timothy Snell is a half hour docu-series following Celebrity Stylist and Curve Connoisseur, Timothy Snell, as he works with celebrity clients and everyday women – revealing some of the industry’s best-kept secrets on keeping curvy women looking and feeling their best.