At a cocktail party in Los Angeles, Marlien Rentmeester came face to face with one of her favourite designers, Phillip Lim...
Taking one look at her necklace, he exclaimed how chic it was and asked if it was vintage Dries Van Noten. Without skipping a beat, Marlien replied, “No, it’s Forever 21.” Phillip was stunned, Marlien was proud and that quick conversation sparked the start of something special.
Having spent years building a career as a fashion editor at some of the world’s top publications, Marlien made the decision to launch her own platform – Le Catch. The premise was to provide Marlien with an outlet, and her readers with a guide, to mixing high and low fashion. Whether it’s Zara and Marni or Topshop and vintage designer, Marlien has a way of sifting through the best of what’s available in this golden age of shopping.
She’s now doing it all from her spectacular home in Los Angeles, where she’s raising two boys as undoubtedly the most fashion savvy mother in the city. We spoke to Marlien about her career, the difference between NYC and LA fashion, how she manages the juggle and of course, her styling tips.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family...
I am a native New Yorker living happily by the beach in Los Angeles. I have two sons, ages 10 and 13, who are, in my humble opinion, the sweetest and cutest boys in the world. We love spending our weekends in Malibu. They surf while I sun or run on the beach. Our other favorite place to hang out is in our backyard in Pacific Palisades, swimming, hosting other families, playing ping pong or volleyball.
Can you share the details of your career prior to starting your own venture?
I started working in magazine publishing directly after college, garnering writing and fashion styling experience at Seventeen, Self, and freelancing for Vogue, Elle, and New York Magazine. I joined Conde Nast’s Lucky Magazine, before it launched, and as the West Coast Bureau Chief, I wore many hats, writing celebrity cover stories, producing photo shoots and appearing on television. It was also exciting to be a part of a magazine that made for the first time fashion truly accessible. We were trailblazers!
What inspired your move out of Conde Nast, into Le Catch?
After working at Lucky for years (and years!), I felt like I could offer something women were looking for that didn’t yet exist online. I had so many ideas up my sleeve—stories, amazing shopping finds, and other things to share that simply would not all fit in a 1X per month magazine format. I also was aware that there were not many experienced fashion editors who were “self-publishing” and felt that gave me an edge. So, I launched Le Catch, and it’s really resonated, because, I think, it is authentic and truly reflects what I love.
How have you found the move from NYC to LA? What’s it like to raise a family in Los Angeles?
Initially, it was challenging to go from what felt like the center of the universe (NYC) to a slower-paced suburban sprawl (LA). Life all of a sudden became so much easier–like I was on vacation all the time and/or cut off from reality. But LA has really blossomed over the last few years, and now, more and more, it feels like a new and magnetic epicenter, where fashion, art, pop culture, technology and wellness are not only compelling but thriving. I have also found LA to be an amazing place to raise children. Mine are luckily afforded the luxury of a backyard that’s open year-round. We can go from the beach to the slopes in a matter of hours, and our home’s surrounding nature is not only healing and soul-nourishing but a healthy counterbalance to all the devices invading our lives.
Has your style shifted between NYC and LA?
Basically less heels, more bikinis! After a decade plus years in LA, I have not yet subscribed to city’s daily uniform of workout clothes–and never will!
How would you describe your style today?
It’s relaxed but still polished. Definitely more NY than LA, which is to say, classic but with a playful, laid-back vibe. I love getting dressed every day, even when I am just going to the Farmer’s Market or to a baseball game with my kids.
What’s your favourite go-to outfit on a day-to-day basis?
A throw-on-and-go head-turning dress with sandals or jeans, a striking blouse and a statement jacket.
How do you manage the delicate balance of high and low fashion?
I invest in enduringly stylish classics/big-time statements (Chanel sandals, a Gucci tote, etc) and dabble in trends at Zara, H&M, Topshop, and vintage. A mix of high and low looks more thought-out and original, in my humble opinion!
How do you approach dressing each morning? Do you plan outfits?
I don’t have time to plan outfits, but I do dress according to mood,and I do like to “get dressed” every morning, no matter my agenda, because it makes me feel good to look good.
Where are your favourite places to shop for yourself and for your children?
I am a big fan of online shopping (surprise, surprise!) and scan the virtual shelves at Shopbop, Zara, H&M, Net-A-Porter, Matches several times a week! love treasure hunting at Dana Foley’s vintage boutique in NY’s East Village and hitting surf shops in Malibu and Hawaii for my boys.
What’s your relationship like with social media? It’s obviously central to your work, but do you ever find yourself needing to take breaks?
I am not that social-media savvy relative to some of my peers, plus I am super (perhaps overly) picky about what I post (i.e., I don’t post enough or as much as others in my field). My perspective is less is more on Instagram – maintain some mystery!
What type of parent do you aspire to be? Do you subscribe to any particular parenting philosophies?
My goal is to be patient, listen well, and be present as much as possible. I want my children to feel like they can tell me anything and trust that I will always be there for them no matter what. I totally believe in one-on-one time with each child several times a week. It’s so bonding.
What have you found to be most surprising about motherhood so far?
The unprecedented pure joy! Just a simple smile from my little one can light up my day. And it’s constant!
What’s been your biggest challenge in motherhood?
Sleeping through the night!
How do you approach ’the juggle’ of trying to do it all - motherhood, life, career, friends, etc?!
Lately, I am trying to be more present by just simply focusing on one task at a time rather than as per usual, juggling a million things at once. The upshot is I get more out of what I am doing, but I find I am doing less! LOL! Still, the trade off is worth it at the end of the day.
Do you have any particular hacks or tips for making it through the day?
Before I get out of bed in the morning, I always think of five things I am grateful for and they have to be different every day. It helps me press the daily reset button and get things off on positive footing. Then I add some good coffee and a hard, sweaty workout, and I feel nearly bullet proof! It works most days!
How do you make time for yourself? Do you meditate? Drink wine? Exercise?
I pretty much exercise every morning. I run on the beach, or hike in the mountains, or take workout classes. I am a cardio junkie, and my post-workout endorphins get me through my daily grind.
What’s on your current list of loves?
- ALEXIS DRESS
- RMS BEAUTY LUMINIZER
- CHANEL SLIDES
- FACE GYM TRAINING STICK
- SANA JARDIN BERBER BLONDE
- SUGAR PAPER STATIONARY COLLAB
- BAUBLE BAR PHONE CASE
- JENNA BLAKE PENDANT NECKLACE
- DOLCE & GABBANA STRAW TOTE
- YOU ARE A BADASS BOOK