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People of style

By JORDAN DECHAMBRE

May 2012

You see them at cocktail parties, at work, on the street ó even in the grocery store.

They are those people who, whether they are grabbing a coffee to-go or sipping champagne at a gala event, always look effortlessly fabulous. Often, theyíre not wearing the latest designer trend or the "it" look from the cover of a magazine. Sometimes, their look doesnít scream fashion, but instead is so well-fitted and tasteful that you canít put your finger on exactly what makes it so perfect; you just know that it is. What sets them apart is the unique way in which they make a stylish entrance with a vintage blazer, repurposed dress, favorite pair of shoes or colorful pocket square. Their style emanates from within each and every one of them ó and definitely is all their own. They are 11 Milwaukeeans who make a chic statement through their personal style.

LINDA MARCUS
Owner and Designer, LMD Handbags/Community Volunteer

My Inspiration: I like to describe my style as Audrey Hepburn meets Amy Winehouse or Joan Jett. I love the contrast between hard and soft, and feminine and masculine. I think a contemporary woman represents this struggle to be a wife and mother but at the same time have a successful career outside the home. That tension translates into the way I dress. I love classic lines but at the same time I love an edgy, modern twist. Sometimes I can achieve this with different textures of fabrics or with a unique handbag (usually one of my designs) or a vintage piece of jewelry.

Trademark Style: A purposeful mixture of vintage and modern dressing. I always wear something vintage ó sometimes itís a jacket or dress that I have reworked to make it look more current or a piece of jewelry that is a loving memory of someone in my life. It makes me feel close to them even though theyíre gone. I think itís important to wear vintage that is personal to you. It tells a lot about who you are!

Style Mantra: Take chances, trust your own intuition about what looks good on your figure and go with it. Confidence is king!

Fashion Favorite: Handbags, of course! Only LMD will do!

Shopping Savvy: I always shop in my own closet first. I try on different combinations of outfits and shoes, and take inventory before I buy anything. When I do buy something, I head to vintage shops (The Third and Fifth wards have several good ones, like Riverside Antiques and Antiques on 2nd.) If I canít find what I want, I head to Jo-Ann Fabrics and make it. Or, Iíll check out Lela or Gigi of Mequon.

Getting Personal: I think style is achieved first on the inside by being confident and happy. If you have that confidence you release yourself from all the internal and external expectations ó and then you can have fun. I think the biggest gift we can give ourselves as women is to not be judgmental and be kind to ourselves.


FAYE WETZEL
Owner, Fayeís Boutiques

My Inspiration: I grew up in a very small town in North Dakota; there were 1,500 people. But my mother always made an entrance. She sewed her own clothes ó things like curly lamb capes! The more interesting question is what inspired my mother? I never asked her that. And now itís too late.

Trademark Style: A black column, cardigan or jacket, and LOTS of accessories. I have a big, chunky, silver Kalibre bracelet that I have worn everyday for almost two decades. Itís my signature piece. I feel lost without it.

Style Mantra: You donít need a lot of clothes, you just need the right clothes. Clothes should simplify your life, not complicate it. Also, I never wear anything I donít LOVE.

Fashion Favorite: Hmm Ö I think a great cashmere sweater. Iím a fabric snob. I love things that feel luxurious. Oh, and scarves. I need to check into Scarf Rehab.

Designer Dish: Missoni, Theory, Lafayette 148 and alice + olivia.

Shopping Savvy: In my stores Ö full stop, period! I never undress to try clothes on. I figure if something fits over what Iím wearing, it will look better when I take the first layer off. I hate to shop. I donít have a lot of clothes; I donít want too many choices. I have no problem wearing something two, even three days in a row, if my "audiences" are different.

Getting Personal: When I donít have my "costume" and "game face" on, you can find me wandering the woods on our property with my husband, Rick, and our dogs. Many times Iím in pajamas and Wellies! Honestly. Also, Iíve had my business for more than 20 years. And, I am as enthused about it as the day I opened the doors, Feb. 2, 1991. I still wake up at 4:30 in the morning, and the adrenaline starts pumping. Might as well get out of bed; timeís a wasting!


PAUL WERESCH
Senior Hair Stylist, Erik of Norway Salon-Downtown

My Inspiration: My personal style came to me at a young age. My father is a hair stylist, who dressed stylish and expressive. My parents encouraged self-expression and individuality. I was also influenced by what and who I saw while working in Beverly Hills and New York, and by my wife, Nichole, who is currently very influential in my style and wardrobe.

Style Mantra: My style mantra has always been to wear what makes me feel good, and to encourage self-expression.

Fashion Favorite: My favorite clothing item is a pair of jeans. Jeans are an iconic American clothing item that can be extremely versatile, and I have dozens of them, including vintage.

Designer Dish: My favorite designers/lines are John Varvatos, Mark Jacobs, All Saints and Leviís.

Shopping Savvy: I shop in New York, L.A. and online. Often, while my wife is traveling for photo shoots, she will buy me something interesting.

Getting Personal: I served twice in the U.S. Army and was a hair stylist in L.A. for 10 years (which gave me the opportunity to meet and style dozens of actors and musicians, and travel around the world). I love being a dad and a husband.


DAVID CARUSO
President & Creative Director, Dynamic Events by David Caruso

My Inspiration: Iím inspired by so many different things ó movies, celebrities, home interiors, art, travel. My Grandpa Kirby definitely influenced my personal style. I can remember being very young and recognizing his dapper suits, white patent leather shoes and perfectly coiffed silver hair.

Trademark Style: Most of my outfits would not be complete without the addition of a stylish pocket square combined with bold patterns and signature colors. Pocket squares are a great accessory for men because they are so versatile. Patterned pocket squares can add interest to a plain outfit; while solid colored ones can mix and match with almost anything.

Style Mantra: I like to demonstrate my personal style by wearing clothes and accessories that showcase my personality ó fun, bold, creative and adventurous.

Fashion Favorite: A well-tailored sport coat. You can completely change the look of a jacket simply by choosing different shirt and tie combinations to pair with them. You can dress them up by wearing them with matching pants, or dress them down with stylish jeans and a T-shirt.

Designer Dish: I covet a range of designers: event designer Colin Cowie; interior designer Michael Smith; architectural designer David Adler; fashion designers Coco Chanel and Valentino Garavani; and life designer Oprah Winfrey.

Shopping Savvy: When it comes to shopping, Iím definitely not a creature of habit. I enjoy discovering interesting garments everywhere from mainstream retailers and outlet malls to local boutiques and Internet hot spots.

Getting Personal: Considering my line of work, people might expect that Iím out and about on the town experiencing parties frequently. However, when Iím not working, Iím most comfortable spending time at home with my dog, Miss Molly, a Hendrickís and Tonic (with fresh lime) and watching episodes of my favorite TV shows on DVR.


BRIGETTE BREITENBACH
Company B Brand Marketing Principal/Co-owner, The Iron Horse Hotel

My Inspiration: Getting ready is sometimes my favorite part of the day. I transformed a bedroom into a closet (a trick I learned from my mother, who did that to my old room). Iíve never understood celebrities that get caught in baseball caps and no makeup or people who wear sweats on airplanes. Dress your best, whatever your budget. It makes me feel like a woman and strong, all at the same time.

Trademark Style: Professional but edgy, body conscious, age-appropriate (but just barely), and hardly ever slacks.

Style Mantra: Youíre not dressed until youíre overdressed.

Fashion Favorites: Not just shoes, heels. The higher the better. My trainer tells me Iím shortening my calves, so Iím exploring fashionable flats (which is sort of an oxymoron).

Designer Dish: Narciso Rodriguez, Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen.

Shopping Savvy: I donít spend a lot. Someday, but for now a mix of retailers like BCBG, private lines like Etcetera, local shops like Lela and vintage dress shops anywhere. I love shopping when I travel because you see such a variety of styles and influences.

Getting Personal: I am the mother of two stylish teenagers who constantly challenge my fashion choices and stamina.


ARLENE WILSON
Community Volunteer/Former Owner, Arlene Wilson Model Management

My Inspiration: My mom and now my husband, Joel Lee.

Trademark Style: Usually pretty classic with a good fit; beautiful fabric, mostly solid colors, few patterns; things that I can wear for years and that travel easily.

Style Mantra: Simple: Iíve worn every fad/style at least once in my life and I love to see those beautiful young models in the ads who can wear anything and look great. But I know those days are over for me! I can still look good at 71, but no more minis, platforms, etc. Simple and classic works best.

Fashion Favorite: I love pumps and sandals, but no platforms, no heel over 3 inches. I love wearing flats or wedges during the day. I tend to carry a handbag that I can get all my things in and that will fit over my shoulder easily. For evening or parties, I use a smaller bag. I love my LMD shaggy bag. My favorite jeans are Loro Piano that I bought three or four years ago. I told the sales person that I would never spend that much on a pair of jeans but she encouraged me to just try them on. I rationalize that I live in them, so it was actually a much better investment than a pair of dressy pants.

Designer Dish: Iím all over the board. I love casual things from Vince, Apostrophe, Joseph, J Crew. Sometimes the skinnier pant but with a long sweater or blouse over. Suits by Strenesse, Zenobia; dresses by Magaschoni, Iris, Yeohlee, Escada and Armani. My favorite evening dresses are by Theia, Redux, Donna Ricco and Donna Karan. I have an Armani three-quarter coat that Iíve worn for years and I still love, a Geox down coat that I love because itís warm and practical, and an easy, wear-with-anything Eileen Fisher knit coat.

Shopping Savvy: I like to shop locally where I can try things on, but I do shop online, too, and on vacation. Cindy Molloy (owner of Molloyís) always seems to come up with things I love when I have a special occasion. Saks has the best website in that they have video of each dress, modeled so you can see how the piece moves on the body. I also never buy at trunk shows because I may not like the way the garment fits when it comes in, but then I would own it. My husband is a womanís dream; he loves to shop and he pushes me to be a little more adventurous.

Getting Personal: Honestly, I could live in yoga clothes and my Toms, or jeans and a sweater. But, because Iím on the Cancer Center Board at the Medical College of Wisconsin and on the We Care Fund Committee, I need some business clothes. I just bought another black suit by Zelda. My granddaughter, Bella, in L.A., says, "MooMoo, have you ever thought of wearing color?"


JAMES LOHMILLER
Dreative Driector and Co-founder, HollenWolff

My Inspiration: My grandfather, Stanley Hollenbeck, is the inspirational and sartorial half of the company namesake. He always looked impeccable. His use of pattern and color was loud, but he carried it so well.

Trademark Style: "Independent traditional." For example, the shirting Iíve designed for HollenWolff can be dressed up or down. The heavy white oxford can be worn to a formal event or just as easily with summer-weight suiting. I want to wear my things 10 different ways. It depends on how Iím feeling.

Style Mantra: Whatever your size or shape, fit is most important. Period.

Fashion Favorite: HollenWolff cufflinks, of course! Thereís a combination for every situation that presents itself.

Designer Dish: Ralph Lauren, Mark McNairy, Daiki Suzuki, Jil Sander and Karl Lagerfeld.

Shopping Savvy: I love learning about what I buy. Researching the companies, meeting people involved with the lines ... I want to know what factories the clothing is made in. Quality over quantity. Locally, I shop Simon Oliver in Whitefish Bay and Context in Madison.

Getting Personal: I have two daughters, London, 6, and Cosette, 3. Those two girls are amazing. I love laughing with them. They make everything worthwhile.


TOYA WASHINGTON
WISN 12 News Anchor/Journalist

("Other titles include, but not limited to: Mommy, wife, nose wiper, thing finder, laundress, cook, caregiver, errand runner, personal kid-sistant, jewelry designer, Miss Crafty and household Commander in Chief," laughs Washington.)

My Inspiration: My early and reoccurring influence is my grandmother, Kitty Murphy. She was always "put together" but managed to make it look effortless. Iíve only seen photos of this, but she would vacuum the house in heels ... not to impress anyone but herself! She was the epitome of sassy. Iím also influenced by total strangers. Just today I saw a woman at the airport who was WORKING her outfit (tan ankle pants, black T-shirt, strappy espadrilles, a jean jacket, a leopard print scarf and woven fedora.) I told her the minute I got home I would be copying her look. She probably thinks Iím crazy, but politely thanked me anyway.

Trademark Style: Polished, refined, simple, (mostly) timeless. Iím not certain I always pull it off ...

Style Mantra: You should wear your clothes, they shouldnít wear you ó and retail is for suckers.

Fashion Favorite: Shoes and jewelry. Thatís where you can get the most bang for your buck (especially when you wear a lot of black). Iím a sucker for an edgy, bright, bold pair of shoes. With my jewelry, whether theyíre pieces Iíve made, repurposed from vintage items, "re-loved" from my grandmotherís collections or bought new, I aim for them to make a statement. I love the ability jewelry has to detract attention from trouble spots, take the focus off a bad hair day, elevate a ho-hum outfit or totally pull an outfit together. Iím sounding like an addict.

Designer Dish: Whateverís on sale.

Shopping Savvy: Iím truly all over the place, so hang with me here: I often shop the Internet because I can find items that arenít at every mall in the country. I shop discount department stores, like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. I am really fond of local boutiques because theyíre a great spot to find uncommon things and support local businesses. Iíve been known to hunt Goodwill and resale shops for several reasons. I find original pieces (many times vintage), Iím minimizing my carbon footprint and I adore the reaction I get when I answer the question "where did you find that?" Plus, it really proves you donít have to go broke to pull off a good-looking outfit. All that being said, I can be just as at home perusing the mall and the Macyís/Neiman Marcus/Boston Store world.

Getting Personal: I never knew the gravity of being both proud and humble until falling in love with my husband, Brian, and having our daughters, Alivia and Maya. Related to work, I take my job seriously, but I donít take myself seriously.


PATRICK CASTRO
Creative Director, LP/w Design Studios

My Inspiration: The answer to this is multifaceted. It was a combination of growing older (thus ditching some of my hipster wear), starting our business (thus projecting the proper brand) and feeling more comfortable in my own skin (thus having the confidence to be more presentable).

Trademark Style: Simple. Classic.

Style Mantra: In the words of John Hodgman, "Properly fitted and tasteful clothing will be practically invisible. People will only notice that you look good. And you will feel good because of it."

Fashion Favorite: A clean, white button down shirt is unbeatable, but Iím a sucker for a cool jacket.

Designers Dish: Unrealistic: Ralph Lauren. Realistic: J.Crew and Zara.

Shopping Savvy: I donít have a big wardrobe, just the basics. I usually know what I want, so if itís not online, itís a quick trip to the store.

Getting Personal: I live in a house full of women. Iím just trying not to be embarrassing.

 

 

 

 


ANNA ZUCKERMAN
Owner, A.C. Zuckerman Jewelers/Jewelry Designer/Philanthropist

My Inspiration: One and only: Anna Dello Russo. (Once described by Helmut Newton as a "fashion maniac," Anna Dello Russo is currently the editor at large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan.)

Trademark Style: My culture approaches life like a party ó a garden party. My style has been contaminated by international travel, but Italy has been one of my biggest influences. Three words: Milan Fashion Week!

Style Mantra: Let your style express the way you see yourself. Donít follow fashion ó be fashion. Eccentricity must be alive. I believe in hyper-accessorizing, flamboyant catwalk looks as daywear and that great taste equals loving color. I dress for life!

Fashion Favorite: Shoes ... definitely shoes! People in this city donít have to automatically know who I am ó the red soles of my 6-inch shoes give it away. One might refer to me as an addict, but I think of myself as a "collector." My 6-year-old daughter counted 126 pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes in my closet.

Favorite Designers: Azzedine Alaia, Giambattista Valli, Alexander McQueen, Proenza Schouler, Oscar de la Renta and Dolce & Gabbana.

Shopping Savvy: Madison Avenue, New York.

Getting Personal: True friends come in all shoe sizes!

 


REGGIE BAYLOR
Creative Professional/Owner, Reginald Baylor Studio

My Inspiration: From my momís point of view and encouragement, one should always be dressed as one wishes to be perceived. From my dadís point of view and encouragement, one should wake up in the morning and dress like one is ready to work ó ABSOLUTELY no sweatpants or lounge wear.

Style Mantra: Wear what you want, as long as it looks good.

Fashion Favorite: Boots, turquoise and polka-dots.

Designer Dish: Shanel Regier, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Kenton Sorenson, Henry Ford, Walt Disney.

Getting Personal: My goal as a business owner is to prove that creativity can be more of an asset than just an expression.

 


This story ran in the May 2012 issue of: