Muse - Margaret Williamson Bechtold
Margaret Williamson Bechtold is a freelance creative consultant, futurist and editorial and commercial stylist based in Austin, Texas. She's spent the last decade consulting, fashion editing, trend forecasting, writing and styling in New York City with various outlets including aesthetics think tank TOBE and Conde Nast's Lucky Magazine.
What garment do you have an emotional attachment to that you can’t let go, and why?
My wedding dress, of course! But I'm feeding my emotional attachment in a different way than most. I chose a simple, pale gold-toned slip dress by Nili Lotan that I had tailored to midi-length right after we got married. I've gotten so much wear out of it since our wedding. Layered-up for meetings, tossed on under a leather jacket or over a hole-y t-shirt for a show, or over a swimsuit as a pool cover-up...it's been everywhere with me. Instead of it being a one-time-use deal doomed to sit in a storage box for the rest of time, that dress has ended up being the most versatile thing in wardrobe.
Do any particular cultural styles/uniforms/references resonate with you?
Workwear has always been huge for me. Oversized pockets, clean lines, tonal fastenings, utilitarian construction, all of it. It's neat and tidy, but approachable. The vintage jacket rack at Quality Mending in Nolita was a weekly must for us when we lived in New York.
What does "Being Margaret" mean to you with regards to your personal style and the way you express yourself?
My style has changed a lot since moving to Austin. Now I'm more likely to temper my dressed up pieces with my super casual ones. I went freelance when we moved, so I went from looking office-ready everyday and keeping upwards of 20 pairs of heels under my desk for daily wear to spending most of my days in denim. But I started styling again soon after I moved here and have sort of transferred my apparel ambitions onto that work. So even though I sort of miss my shoes — Austin landscape architects seem to be fond of gravel — and the fashion show that came from working in an office with a team of creative women everyday, I'm still expressing myself, just through editorials. I'm a trend forecaster as well, and I know that if I'm really dying for something that isn't available at retail or on an affordable level yet, that item will be huge in the next year. Keep an eye out for white booties.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
hat's a great question. I'm pining for my pre-algorithm Instagram feed. I feel like every time I opened the app then I felt inspired. Now I have to be more proactive again. I get a lot of inspiration from doing research to find niche publications to work with. The indie mag scene is such an exciting space! TOMO Mags in Houston is a good shop to look to for new titles, and a Stack subscription is my next treat to myself.