Fashion Police Star George Kotsiopoulos Talks Best Holiday and Winter Trends

Photo Credit: Plastics Make It Possible®
George Kotsiopoulos, celebrity stylist, magazine editor and popular co-host — alongside Joan Rivers, Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne — of E!'s hit show Fashion Police, wants you to shine this holiday season, and to start off 2012 as the most dazzling version of yourself yet!

He shared with us his best tips for cold weather fashion, do's and don'ts for a great winter wardrobe, and the must-have pieces you need in your closet right now (one hot new accessory trend will surprise you!).

Always wondered how to get those picture-perfect holiday photos (it's all in the colors), or what makes the "it" dress? He's got you covered! Read on as we grab a sneak peek into George's very own holiday decorations, chat about his favorite holiday moments, why you should go with lipstick and not lip gloss, and what to look for to find the best New Year's Eve dress:

What is it about the holidays that you love the most? How did you celebrate? Any surprising or unexpected, fun traditions?

George Kotsiopoulos: I love the smell of pine, peppermint, gingerbread and fireplaces burning. Of course nothing beats all the twinkling lights and festive decorations. As an adult, it's all about the holiday parties leading up to the 25th. I like to spend Christmas with family and friends, pigging out, exchanging gifts and basically doing nothing. None of that has changed!

We know that you're an expert when it comes to making celebs look their best on the red carpet. We've taken countless family photos in the past few weeks and will see many more on NYE (not quite the high-watt flashes of light from the paparazzi, but nonetheless); so how can we all look our best for the camera? What colors and/or styles photograph particularly well? What are some timeless pieces we can invest in so we won't look back at our photos and feel that all-too-familiar pang of embarrassment?

GK: The best way to look best for the camera is by taking many, many, many photos of the same set-up. Photographers take about 100 shots just to get one beautiful image for a magazine so why shouldn't we take the time to take four or five options? It's not like we have film to develop anymore, so why be stingy!? Photos convey a point in time so for casual snapshots I say wear the trends so you have fun images to look back at. For proper family portraits it's best to stick with classic, timeless looks that will not only be beautiful now but also in 20 years and keep the wardrobe color palette similar so it looks like the group shot was well planned.

Did you participate in any programs to help the less fortunate during the holiday season? If so, what programs? How do you like to give back?

GK: I'm on the board of P.S. ARTS which places art and music programs in underserved schools.

You're such an amazing stylist; I'm sure this keen eye for style applies to all areas of your life, and not just fashion! How did you decorate your Christmas tree and your home for the holidays? What are your best tips for creating a beautiful holiday display?

GK: My home is mid-century modern so I like to keep things simple with a real tree inside and wreath outside. Your tree should not interfere with the aesthetic of your home but should blend with it. I don't like a fussy house so my tree was decorated minimally with simple red, gold and silver glass balls in various sizes with white lights. A tree really is all about the twinkling lights anyway.

I love how fashion is an ever-evolving art. It’s always changing and being influenced by the world around us. What new and exciting trends are most popular this winter?

GK: This winter I’m seeing a lot of color and statement pieces. Faux fur (made with plastic!) is everywhere and one of my favorite looks is a great stand alone faux fur piece paired with neutral muted tones and a great pair of boots.

We're seeing a lot of over-the-top glam — feathers, glitter, sequins, and, let's not forget: fur, fur and more fur! What other opulent touches are in right now? How can we keep within a budget and steal these looks for our own wardrobe?

GK: High-end and luxurious fashion is always in style but there has definitely been resurgence in fur and sequins! Other opulent touches I’ve seen on the streets and runways this season are bold clutches and bright cocktail rings. Both pieces can add such great intrigue to an outfit without weighing it down. If you are looking to get on-trend without breaking the bank, there are some fabulous faux leather clutches made with plastic materials that look just like leather as well as lightweight bling plastic cocktail rings that will not break the bank!

What are some of the worst winter fashion faux pas you've seen, and how can we avoid them?

GK: Winter dressing is all about having chic outerwear. We're mostly out and about all bundled up so it's the one time you can be (somewhat) schlumpy and casual underneath but just make sure your coat is tailored well, your boots are practical but also chic and you have a great collection of scarves and hats. It's much easier to be chic when it's colder because you have so many more options.

I've noticed a definite revisit to vintage fashion this season; especially the 1960s, with the peplum skirt and the updated sheath dress taking over storefronts. What other vintage-inspired styles are we seeing this winter from the 1960s? Why do you think the fashion of a particular era comes back when it does? Which decade will be represented in the upcoming spring season?

GK: The 1960s are definitely back, but I’ve noticed the 1980s are back in a huge way too! Colorful, tight, spandex pants, and loose flowing tops are in countless collections this season. Fashion is cyclical and comes back when we are looking for something innovative and we realize that the best fashions aren’t actually new, they are just revamped to fit in with today. Whenever a fashion decade or style repeats itself I feel like it comes back with vengeance and better than ever; kind of like it is new and improved and ready to conquer the fashion world again and again in a whole new way. Next spring it doesn’t seem like we are moving far from the 1980s! I see a lot of 1970s glam and early 1980s fashion sticking around with glitter, feathers, big glasses, bold and chunky accessories and loud patterns.

What's the easiest way for us to update our winter wardrobe without spending a lot of cash?

GK: There are a lot of ways to update your look to be on trend with the season without spending all your hard earned cash. Investing in trends of the moment can always be tricky because as much as you want to be in on the newest styles, you know they won’t be around for long. One of my favorite tips to keep up with trends without going over my budget is to look for faux pieces. Fur is huge this season and faux fur has become almost indistinguishable to real fur, it’s animal-friendly and wallet friendly. Faux fur costs a fraction of the price and gives you the exact same look. The same goes for leather items. Another way to update your winter wardrobe at an affordable price is to look for trend items that are multi-purpose. For example, investing in one pair of great boots that will get you through the entire season for a ton of different events and gatherings can help save you cash.

Give us your top five must-have, affordable pieces that should be in our winter wardrobe.

GK: 1. A great pair of stretch skinny jeans
2. Faux leather knee high flat boots
3. Big statement plastic cocktail rings
4. Bold faux leather clutch
5. Faux fur vest

What are your favorite winter color combos at the moment? Do you favor more subtle, icy tones in the cold months (like blush and cream), or are pops of bright color more inspirational (think poppy pink and the in-right-now jade green)?

GK: The holidays for me are all about jewel tones and lush fabrics like velvet and cashmere. Many people shy away from bold colors during the year but come holiday season all bets are off.

With bulky sweaters, chunky knits and multiple layers being our go-to pieces in this chilly weather how can we make sure we aren't drowned by our clothes? How can we still look chic, yet stay warm? In a season that can be tough to dress for (we’re trying to avoid the dreaded “Eskimo-meets-Michelin-man” look), what’s your biggest style rule we should be following?

GK: My biggest style rule is to look for pieces that are warm, without the bulk. Plastic fabrics have made this less challenging than it sounds. Nylon, polyester, and spandex fabrics all insulate really well and eliminate the need for bulky layers. For example, a great pair of dark jeans, a snug fitting polyester blend shirt with a nylon faux fur vest will keep you just as warm as a marshmallow jacket and will keep you looking slim, svelte, and chic.

Which celebrity knows how to rock a perfect winter look? Give us an example.

GK: Celebrities who have great street style like Gwen Stefani, Kate Moss and Rachel Bilson know how to dress well because they really know how to put an outfit together. After all, winter dressing is all about layering and keeping warm.

What is the perfect recipe for the “it” holiday dress?

GK: The perfect recipe for the “it” holiday dress is a little sparkle with sequins in a classy color. I love a deep, rich color for the holidays, so an elegant Bordeaux or emerald color would be my first pick this season.

You recently taped a holiday video for your initiative with Plastics Make It Possible®. Tell us about the pieces featured, and why they were chosen. Which was your favorite, and why?

GK: We filmed three videos for this installment of the video series, each highlighting a trend that is made possible because of plastic. The three videos feature fashionable looks for the ski slopes, the perfect New Year’s Eve outfit, and the little Hollywood miracle workers: shapewear! My favorite look has to be the New Year’s Eve look. So many people go over the top for New Year parties and it’s easy to go big, without sacrificing class. A slim fitting stretch dress, a pop of sequins and sparkle, some tights, and great patent leather pumps is all you need to ring in the New Year in style and class!

What other pieces would we be surprised to learn are derived from plastics? How can we use these picks to enhance our wardrobe and get the hottest looks this season? 

GK: Most people don’t realize that a lot of their wardrobe is derived from plastics. The stretch in your jeans, work out gear, undergarments, and even T-shirts all can incorporate plastic fabrics. Plastic is the fabric in your clothes that helps it to keep its shape through multiple wears and keeps it from stretching out while you wear it. All in all, I think most people would be surprised to find out that their jeans actually have plastic in them. I think it is assumed that they are all denim, and quite frequently, denim is blended with plastic fabrics so they don’t instantly fall off when you put them on!

Take my Winter Wonderland Trend Quiz and pick your favorite: A fur vest or fur coat?

GK: No fur — go faux!

Skinny jeans or jeggings?

GK: Skinny jeans.

Snow bunny-esque toggle boots or a high-heeled, sexy suede pair?

GK: Definitely toggle boots. High-heels, suede and now do not mix.

Dip-dye hair or ombre locks?

GK: Dip-dyed. Ombre had a brief moment that’s lasted far too long.

Matte red lips or matte red nails?

GK: Matte red lips are classic.

Sequins or lace?

GK: Both...and sometimes even together if it’s done right!

Lipstick or lip gloss?

GK: Lip gloss can be great in photos but is kind of disgusting in real life so I say lipstick.

Midi-length skirts or leather minis?

GK: Whatever flatters a woman’s body best so I say both!

Tuxedo blazer or velvet capelet?

GK: Again, both! Either would be chic with a pair of tuxedo trousers or skinny black jeans.

Cobalt blue or jade green?

GK: Jade green for the holidays!

Oversized earrings or oversized statement necklace?

GK: Both, just not at the same time. But a statement necklace is probably most versatile.

Get your best look this season by taking advice from the pro celebrity stylist himself: Remember to keep your photos classic and stick with timeless pieces; dressing the family in, say, all black tops with touches of red and dark denim can pull your look together and have your photo looking festive and fabulous for years to come. Embrace rich hues for winter, and show off shades like jade green, eggplant, deep blues and scarlet reds.

Look for faux fur and faux leather to stay on-trend without breaking the bank, and stock up on affordable pieces like fun and classic cocktail rings made of plastic or stretchy jeans that accentuate your figure. Keep comfy in not-so-bulky fabrics for your favorite winter pieces; nylon, polyester and spandex all insulate well without the added material, so you'll be looking sleek, not schlumpy.

Grab scarves and hats to easily switch up your style in the chilly weather, and keep on-trend pieces at a low cost. A great flat boot that works all season long, along with a classic and well-tailored coat are both great investment pieces which will finish off your look perfectly!

Thank you, George, for taking the time out of your busy holiday season to answer our questions! To see all of George Kotsiopoulos' videos featuring holiday trends, go to

This post originally appeared at

Chrissy Lorenzo

Chrissy Lorenzo is a Cleveland-based professional freelance journalist and blog author with a lifelong love affair with the written word. She channels that passion into her specialization in fashion and beauty journalism to bring her readers fresh, unexpected and informative pieces. Chrissy's talent for relatable content writing has led her to many amazing opportunities, such as interviews with bo...(Read More)

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