A Fishtown fashionista styles for the small screen

Lauren Dougherty, right, who works in Fishtown, ap­pears in fash­ion seg­ments on many pop­u­lar TV shows. PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MICHELE CO­HEN

A loc­al fash­ion de­sign­er is build­ing a repu­ta­tion, and her style know­ledge has earned her in­vites to sev­er­al of TV’s biggest talk-shows.

If you ever watch morn­ing talk shows, you’ve likely seen fash­ion ex­perts telling view­ers about the latest styles.

Next time you turn on the TV, you might see a fa­mil­i­ar face.

Lauren Dougherty is mak­ing a name for her­self as a styl­ist for some of the most pop­u­lar talk shows on tele­vi­sion, all while work­ing for fash­ion ex­pert Lil­liana Vazquez, whose “Cheap Chicas” stu­dio is loc­ated in­side 2424 Stu­di­os on York Street.

“[Vazquez] is a fash­ion ex­pert to tele­vi­sion shows,” Dougherty said. “Right now we’re work­ing on fash­ion seg­ments for The Today Show and The Ra­chael Ray Show. Throughout whole year we’re usu­ally with those shows, plus The Steve Har­vey Show and Wendy Wil­li­ams.”

Dougherty, who grew up in the May­fair sec­tion of North­east Phil­adelphia, was in­ter­ested in art from a young age. Upon gradu­at­ing from Saint Hubert’s Cath­ol­ic School, she en­rolled at Moore Col­lege of Art and Design, where she found her call­ing. It’s been full-time fash­ion ever since.

“I fo­cused on their in­tern­ship pro­gram there (at Moore) and really re­searched de­sign­ers that I wanted to work with, and from there I con­tin­ued with fash­ion,” she said. “As a stu­dent at Moore — I guess it was ju­ni­or year — I put to­geth­er a port­fo­lio and reached out to some great de­sign­ers, some who were es­tab­lished and oth­ers who were up and com­ing. I wrote to them and e-mailed them ask­ing for in­ter­view.”

Dougherty then dove in­to the fash­ion world with in­tern­ships at Rag & Bone and Badgley Mis­ch­ka. She in­terned six days a week while also bal­an­cing school­work.

After gradu­at­ing from Moore in 2008, her sched­ule slowed down a bit as she looked for a full-time fash­ion gig.

“It was de­press­ing go­ing from do­ing so much to do­ing noth­ing,” she said.

So, when an in­tern­ship op­por­tun­ity with Vazquez arose, she jumped at it. While she left Vazquez for a while to design for Twinkle by Wen­lan and later for The Chil­dren’s Place, she re­turned last year to style with Vazquez full time.

“Styl­ing is really fun and really le­ni­ent. Design­ing is more in­tense,” Dougherty said. “I’ve done [New York] Fash­ion Week and it’s crazy. You’re scream­ing at mod­els and after the show buy­ers come in and you have to work an­oth­er eight hours. I al­ways say, every­one wants to go to fash­ion week but nobody wants to work it. That part of my life was in­ter­est­ing, but it wasn’t for me.”

When she’s not in New York ap­pear­ing on TV fash­ion seg­ments, she’s work­ing hard in Vazquez’s Fishtown stu­dio.

Dougherty and her hus­band, Tom, chose to settle down in Levit­town, where she’s close enough to use New Jer­sey Trans­it trains to get to New York while also be­ing a short drive from Philly.

“My job ranges, it’s dif­fer­ent every day,” Dougherty said. “There are days that we’re in New York all day long with fit­tings, and seg­ments where I have to be at cer­tain shows. Oth­er days I have to be at of­fice plan­ning seg­ments. No day is the same.”

When Dougherty spoke with Star, she was pre­par­ing for an ap­pear­ance on The Today Show to dis­cuss trend­ing styles. She has an­oth­er Today Show ap­pear­ance sched­uled for May 14 to dis­cuss “tricky trends.”

If she does get a day off — which isn’t of­ten — she keeps busy with freel­ance styl­ing pro­jects. Her fa­vor­ite part of the job, however, is trans­form­ing every­day people through ward­robe makeovers. Any­one in­ter­ested in a style makeover can en­list Dougherty’s ex­pert­ise for $250 a day.

“Every pro­ject is really dif­fer­ent, but the best is when we do a makeover for a reg­u­lar per­son who reaches out to us and wants to change his or her ward­robe, be­cause they’re com­ing in­to it blindly,” Dougherty said.

“We look at who they are, their life­style, their meas­ure­ments and body type, and the re­ward is just hav­ing them be su­per happy with the out­come,” she con­tin­ued. “We’ve nev­er had any­body who was dis­ap­poin­ted with his or her look.”

Megan Badger can be reached at mbadger@bsmphilly.com.

You can reach at mbadger@bsmphilly.com.

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