Women of Style 2018

BY Laura Eckstein Jones and Sari Anne Tuschman | August 20, 2018 | Feature Features National

Five L.A. tastemakers unveil their wardrobe inspiration—and decode how to stand out in a sea of sartorial sameness.

Design insider Una Malan shares her style secrets.

The best way to describe my fashion approach is… classic with a modern edge. My power piece is… a pair of over-the-knee boots. I feel like my best self when I wear… a structured dress with a full skirt. Pieces that empower me are… chunky cuffs, Wonder Woman style! The best style advice I ever received was… ‘Don’t wear too much make up.’ My fashion philosophy is… fiercely elegant. I would never wear… leopard print. The most cherished item in my closet has to be… my wedding dress—I made it myself. I never leave the house without… sunglasses. In regards to jewelry, I opt for… chunky. In L.A., I shop at… Oscar de la Renta, L’Agence and COS. Favorite designers of all time… Christian Dior, Oscar de la Renta and Hubert de Givenchy. Ultimate trendsetter of today… the Duchess of Cambridge. The one trend I can do without… shell necklaces. The one trend I can’t live without… checks.

Hair by Amaran Asylum at Ken Paves

Lauren Gores Ireland’s busy lifestyle informs her streamlined look.

A piece I wear that empowers me is... a great pair of heels. I even wear them for business calls at home. I first knew I was a style-setter when... my 6-year-old niece told me she dressed up like me for a play date! The best style advice I ever received was... wear pieces that make me feel like ME, rather than merely following a trend. My fashion philosophy is... the more confident you feel, the more empowered you’ll be. When meeting clients all day, my favorite style is… high-waisted denim, a cropped sweater and pumps. My favorite designers are... J Brand, Mara Hoffman and Zimmermann. In regards to jewelry, I opt for... delicate pieces with sentimental meaning, like my necklace with my son’s name and my grandmother’s wedding rings. My makeup approach is... glowy and minimal—I like my freckles to show. I never leave the house without... tinted lip balm, sunglasses and my Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask. My secret weapon is... good tailoring!

Tailored threads with a feminine edge are blogger Marianna Hewitt’s power pieces.

The best way to describe my approach to fashion is... keep it simple. The best style advice I ever received was... ‘Dress for your body type.’ The most cherished pieces in my closet have to be... my Chanel bags. My favorite designers are... Alexander Wang and Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C. When it comes to footwear, I always... have a pair of flats in my car. As far as accessories go, I prefer... dainty. In regards to jewelry, I opt for... rose gold. My makeup approach is... good skincare makes everything else look better. In L.A., I shop at... Reformation and Intermix. Favorite designer of all time... Alaia. Ultimate trendsetter of today... anyone styled by Elizabeth Sulcer. My first fashion moment was... my first time attending Paris Fashion Week with Dior. Bags: big or small? Small. Stilettos or blocks? Stilettos. Black or white? White. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds. Dresses or pants? Pants. Patterns or solids? Solids.

For Future Reference co-founder Randi Molofsky blends bold silhouettes with rich accents.

I first knew I was a style-setter when… I was voted best dressed in high school. ClichĂ© but true! My approach to fashion is... no holds barred. I am a maximalist and have a deep love for pattern, volume, accessories and color. My power piece is... a great leather jacket. I feel like my best self when wearing… sequins and beads. I have an eclectic collection of vintage pieces from designers like Oleg Cassini and Laurence Kazar. In regards to jewelry, I opt for… more, more, more. I think of jewelry as talismans. My pieces make me feel protected and safe. A piece that empowers me is… an oversize pendant necklace, especially stone inlay versions by Brent Neale and Retrouvai. The best style advice I ever received was… ‘Better to be overdressed than underdressed.’ My fashion philosophy is… don’t be afraid to stand out. My most complimented looks are often the most unusual in the room. In terms of wardrobe, I would never… say never.

Shot on location at Happy Isles

DTLA designer Heidi Merrick has carved out a fashion niche all her own.

When I want to feel empowered I wear… a beautiful silhouette. The only time I ever show skin is at the beach. My go-to clothing item is... a turtleneck. I wear one to dinner; I wear one camping; I wear one to the beach. I even designed a turtleneck swimsuit—it’s one of my best-sellers. As far as accessories go, I prefer... to not use them. Sartorial simplicity is akin to confidence. My office style is… all black, but always changing in shape and form. I look best in... gowns or bikinis. The one trend I can’t live without is... big sunglasses. Black or white? Both all the time and never mixed! Monochromatic—that’s what’s chic. Dresses or pants? Both! For years, if a dress wasn’t long enough, I would wear it with pants. Never compromise on your hemline! My secret weapon when it comes to fashion is... being true to one’s self is the thing that sets you apart.

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