Kristen Ashley & Malia Anderson

Once upon a time a bestselling romance writer let a fan curate her look. That fan became her personal stylist. We didn't have to look any further for a more heartening example of women supporting other women. The duo arrived in New York City and shared how they create their fashion edits and how clothes can impact the writing.

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Kristen Ashley & Malia Anderson Uncover A Sophisticated Personal Style

Prolific romance writer Kristen Ashley is known for her best-selling books, her bubbly personality and her diehard fans. One of these diehard fans, stylist Malia Anderson, has helped Kristen transform her wardrobe from tees and jeans to dresses and heels. Read on to find out how.

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Break-ups, make-ups and hook-ups are what romance writer Kristen Ashley has been focused on the last few decades. What mattered was her words - not her clothes. "When I was writing, I didn't shower, I didn't work out," says the New York Times bestselling author. This all-in mentality is how she self-published 30+ works in the last 30 years and amassed a social-media following of over 130,000. Now, Kristen is in search of a little balance. Step one? Her closet.

"Changing my style is about changing my life," shares Kristen."Fashion didn't fit into my days. When I wear schlumpy clothes, I stay schlumpy all day. Looking at my wardrobe did start to balance my life." Then one day, devoted fan and wardrobe stylist Malia Anderson of @stylebymalia started messaging with @kristenashleybooks.

“Changing my style is about changing my life”

 
 

Between talking characters and plots, the two women decided to work together. Kristen explains, "Malia has helped me tweak my style. It was rock and roll and very edgy but I wanted to be classy and chic. We managed to get out of BoHo rock and into more fitted, colorful styles." You won't find Kristen sitting at her writer's desk in shorts and a Harley Davidson tank top anymore. Even her joggers are nice. "Now I look good at my desk. My clothes aren't just for covering up.

This way, I'm ready to go out. I'm ready for anything."

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Don't be surprised to hear she's writing in some of her favorite looks from the Spotlight shoot: the striped top with statement sleeves ("saucy") and the red crossover-bodice dress("very Marilyn Monroe"). Because Kristen works alone in her office, being on set - around so much creativity and clothes - was a highlight. Malia also appreciated the on-set energy, noting, "I'm rarely the subject of the shoot. It's cool to be on the other side." She exuded confidence in her most loved looks: the studded red dress and ruffled black dress. "I've never been a red girl, but now maybe I am," shared Malia, who also confessed a penchant for the trend of more sexy dressing as she celebrates a big birthday year.

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Both women are primed for new chapters of their lives opening in 2018.

Kristen and Malia's recent milestone birthdays have been moments to reevaluate their lives. While the writer is ready to seize every moment as special, the stylist is only going to do things that bring her joy. You can't see the JOYFUL tattoo on her in these photos, but that's only because she went to get her new ink a few days later. For them both, clothes have been a go-to way to put their best feet forward.

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Kristen explains, "Don't save the nice dress. Don't save the chocolate chips [an extravagance she used to stockpile for a special occasion during her UK tenure]."

She'll be sporting a few of these nice dresses to her events this year, including signings for her just-launched novella, "Rough Ride - A Chaos Novella" (Feb 2018 and the beloved Rock Chick Rendezvous, her weekend-long event making its comeback this year. Kristen says, "I feel better if I have a new outfit I've never worn at an appearance. I plan everything down to the underwear. Then I can be who I am and give my fans what they want and expect and make it a good interaction."

As far as what exactly she'll be wearing, Malia chimes in, "I'm on it!"

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THE ELQ&A

What's your word for 2018?
KA: YOLO MA: Joyful

Who what your first ELOQUII purchase?
KA: A white body-con sleeveless dress. I wore it with strappy, pink suede heels. MA: A skirt. I tend to buy the same styles again and again!

What's a moment where you've felt your best?
KA: Being at my first Rock Chick Recharge event in that Eloquii white body-con dress MA: My friend's black-tie 40th birthday party and how good I felt in my keyhole-neckline gown.

Where are you excited to go this year?
KA: Cleveland MA: Atlanta and Austin

What trends are you dying to try this spring?
KA: Sheers. It was scary but I like wearing a polka dot sheer top with jeans. MA: Bell sleeves or open sleeves. It's a style I can really wear.


Inspired for your next look? Shop the looks featured below and then check out all of our new arrivals.