Saturday, September 14, 2013
Alysia Reiner: Screen & Style Maven
Image: Josh Merwin
You have to be living on another planet not to have seen or heard about the new Netflix show, Orange is the new Black (or OITNB). The talented Alysia Reiner is part of the ensemble cast of true characters. She portrays Natalie Figueroa (AKA Fig) The prison administrator and resident ball buster. She spends her days working Prison PR and giving all the male staff beneath her the hard time they deserve. I envision her spending her nights shopping for animal print blouses and pencil skirts whilst sipping a glass of wine or two. I love the show and was intrigued by the woman behind the ferocious Fig. The show is based on the memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman who had to leave her fabulous New York life behind for a year to serve her sentence in a female prison. OITNB will be back on Netflix in 2014 with their second season which is currently in production in New York.
Alysia is a multifaceted and multi talented woman who from all accounts has a heart as big as her talents. She is not only an actress, she is also a mother, producer, humanitarian, environmentalist and lover of fashion. She has a seriously long resume of amazing film, television and stage roles. Check out her website for full professional credits.
One of the most important pieces of work was a film she created, produced and stared in called "Speed Grieving". She created the piece after the death of her father as she wanted to start a social dialogue about loss and grieving. All proceeds from the film go to Cancer Support Community where they use her film as a grief counseling tool. She contributes her time and resources to over 10 charities from Actors for Autism to The Young Women's Leadership Network.
Her favourite role: Mom
She and I have connected on the level of fashion and being eco-chic. We are also both style products of two fashionable grandmothers who we adore. She loves Vintage and sees the merit of re-styling fashions past as well as the environmental impact. She is an advocate for our planet starting from her home base where her and her husband (Actor David Alan Basche) eco-renovated their brownstone. They live a green lifestyle and she is outspoken about her opposition to Hydraulic Fracturing or "Fracking" Check out this great PSA
Don't Frack with Alysia!
The fun couple attend the GUTS book release event
I had the pleasure of chatting with Alysia recently about her latest role and of course STYLE!
LG: What do you personally identify with the most from your character 'Fig'?
AR: Love of fashion!
LG: Will the audience get to hear Fig's back story (As they do each inmate) in season 2
AR: Not allowed to say much, but yes we do see more about FIG's life in season 2 and its JUICY!
LG: Do you relate to your character from a style standpoint? do you share any style similarities with fig? Do you have input on the characters looks?
AR: I am much more bohemian than Fig, and love to switch it up. I am a mood dresser. I have a huge range of style depending on my feel for a day. Fig has her personal uniform that is all about tailor, fit & her own version of her power suit. I so adore Jenn Rogien who is our costumer. I bow to her. She is a MASTER. I do have input, but most of the time Jenn is so good, I am just saying "YES, THAT'S EXACTLY MY THOUGHT!" Although we did have a funny conversation about whether Fig is a democrat or republican and how that influences her fashion choices... Nope, can't tell you what we decided!
Wearing one of her grandmothers Vintage frocks - NYFW2013
LG: Do you wear Vintage Clothing/Accessories? If so what is your FAV piece (s).
AR: YES, I have a ton!! My Grandmother collected clothes and I grew up shopping with her, learning that clothing is a form of ART and expression. I still have a TON of her clothes, as well as some from my Great Grandmother and my also my Great Aunt, etc. A fav Winter item is a fur trimmed leather trench of my Grandfather's. For Summer it's a silk chiffon, sheer, light-as-a-feather dress that I have in 2 colors that was my Great Grandmother's.
Another FAB piece from her Grandmothers Vintage Collection
LG: What is your staple or must have's for Fall/Winter?
AR: I love my Ushanka. Its white and Russian like me, and it rocks no matter how cold it gets. A fashion classic. I have a pair of boots from TOP SHOP that I got in London like 10 years ago and still live in. I am also a cashmere girl and Uniqlo under layers are key.
LG: If you had one piece of style advice, what would it be?
AR: I think it's all about originality, finding your own style that makes you feel GORGEOUS. Diana Vreeland speaks on style like no one else - did you see her Doc? Mad for her.
She says: “Style - all who have it share one thing: originality.”
I adore Alysia's on screen chops, off screen style and attitude about dressing. I look forward to seeing her star rise and her collection of Vintage treasures grow! I'm also excited to seeing her style evolve and her pushing her fashion boundaries on and off the red carpet. She is beautiful and has an amazing figure, the style sky is the limit!
My Style Picks for Alysia
70's semi sheer dress, Vintage metallic belt, cuff and REWIND ring set (price and details upon request)