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Je Ne Sais Quoi

Get inspired by these Orange County style leaders.

nelson-phyllis
Phyllis Nelson
RALPH PALUMBO

You know it when you see it: personal style - that quality certain people have that allows them to effortlessly inhabit their look, which was simultaneously made for and invented by them. They’re an enviable lot, these breezy, self-confident, modish icons. Which is why we wanted to get to know a little bit more about them. What we found out is that their good aesthetic judgment is matched only by their keen sense for business, and they’ve used their collective acumen to help the rest of us cultivate a small (or large) part of our own personal flourish.

ELIZABETH AN
Occupation
CEO of House of An
Favorite Item of Clothing
Day: Rag + Bone jeans with a crisp Chloé blazer and Chloé’s wooden-sole wedges; Night: My black Maje coatdress or an off-the-shoulder Lanvin cocktail dress
Favorite Labels
Rivaling my all-time favorites, Ferretti, Chloé and Lanvin, are Luis Buchinho and Nuno Baltazar – two amazing Portuguese designers that I discovered on my recent trip to Europe.
Your Style, In Six Words
Classic but edgy, practical but chic
Residences
Corona del Mar and Beverly Hills
What Are You Wearing?
Chloé sleeveless blazer with a simple black tank, black Rag + Bone jeans, Louis Vuitton belt, and Chloé wooden-sole wedges
:: anqibistro.com

JIM OLARTE
Occupation
Modern beachcomber, artist
Design Inspiration
Tidepools, Muiccia Prada, YSL
Favorite Ensemble
Nike Free shoes, vintage military T-shirt or rare vintage Hawaiian shirts from post-war Hawaii, vintage Hermes trench coat, and Levis
Can't-Live-Without Accessory
1970s Gucci sterling bracelet and sterling silver St. Christopher medal that my mama gave to me when I was nine years old
North Laguna or South Laguna?
South Laguna
Pet Project
Beachcombing beaches to make my art projects

PHYLLIS NELSON
Occupation
Designer/owner of Long Lost Jewelry
Favorite Item of Jewelry
Necklaces
Favorite Item of Long Lost Jewelry
Right now, our Riggings gemstone necklaces
Night Out Wardrobe
I start off with a great piece of jewelry and build an outfit around it – usually a form-fitting dress or silk blouse.
Style Icon
Present-day: Kate Moss; from the past: Grace Kelly
Anklet or No Anklet
Anklet – they’re coming back!
:: longlostjewelry.com

SCOTT FONTANA
Occupation
Hair stylist and owner of Cristophe Salon, Newport Beach; entrepreneur
Favorite Hairstyle
Classic geometrical bob
Can't-Live-Without Accessory
Sunglasses
Favorite Celebrity Hairstyle
Kirsten Storms. With her face shape she can wear almost anything. I love it when it’s short. It's adorable.
Ombre or No Ombre
Definitely ombre. There are so many different variations.
Favorite Season
Spring. I don't like cold weather.
:: cristophenb.com

GLORIA BRANDES
Occupation
CEO and design director of BB Dakota
Fashion Inspirations
We keep our ears and eyes open and all kinds of interesting things filter in. [Sometimes a look we see on the street] can be the basis for an entire season.
Favorite Item of Clothing
Black or white non-traditional blazers. I have a bunch of them in various shapes and they amp up the chic factor for anything I am wearing.
Can't-Live-Without Accessory
My Jack Vartanian handcuff bracelet
Hottest Trend Right Now
Palm trees and photo-real prints; embroidered organza; super bleached-out and trashed denims
Style Icon
Giovanna Battaglia
:: bbdakota.com

MARY JO MATSUMOTO
Occupation
Designer (eponymous handbags, fine jewelry, clothing, and a growing natural beauty line) and lifestyle journalist (editor at Affluent Magazine and trustyourstyle.com)
Favorite Item of Clothing
A tie between a good white T-shirt and my favorite pair of cropped Jil Sander cigarette pants
Favorite Handbag
Right now I'm favoring our caramel butter-soft Thalia Street tote. It's getting better with wear, but I'm eyeing our new Wilde Blue suede tote and mini wallet for winter.
Favorite Places to Shop
I shop mostly online but love to daydream in Prada and Burberry at South Coast Plaza whenever I have a chance.
V-Neck or Crew Neck
I'm more of a scoop neck girl.
Style Icon
Diane von Furstenberg
:: maryjomatsumoto.com


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