Best Dressed

Baltimore’s Finest Show Us Their Personal Style

By Hilary Geisbert & Jessica Hargest. Photography by David Colwell

Lesley Jennings & Daniel Wylie

45, owner of Doubledutch Boutique
44, proprietor of Sixteen Tons

LESLEY / Describe your style: Retro-inspired modern.What/who inspires you:

Growing up, I was heavily influenced by everything English, especially music and 1960s fashion. Another major inspiration would be my mom. We didn’t often see eye to eye in our styles, but she encouraged me to always take risks and [believe] that playing it safe was boring. Best places to shop in Baltimore: To be totally honest, the majority of my wardrobe is from Doubledutch. Also, I try to support local shops as much as possible. Most-coveted item in your closet: My boots! It’s the one item I will not let my [daughters] borrow. Words of wisdom: Trust your instincts; confidence and comfort in your style far outweigh what any fashion police preach. On Lesley:Lucy Paris black-and-white checkered dress ($88.95) and black-and-white earrings ($12.95) at Doubledutch Boutique.

DANIEL / Describe your style:An amalgamation of various eras, sub-cultures, and styles that share the common timeless thread of clean lines; a good, flattering fit; and distinct design, intermingled any way I damn well please. What/who inspires you: Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Simonon, Johnny Cash, James Brown, Original Rude Boys & skinheads, '30s-'50s country western bands, '50s-'60s R&B artists, sharply dressed 80-year-old men who never stopped giving a shit. Best places to shop in Baltimore: I don’t actually do much shopping . . . real style needs to be hunted for, collected, and created. Most coveted item in your closet: Everything that no one else has. Words of wisdom: Developing your own style takes a certain amount of bravery. Don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone, but always go with your gut. On Daniel:Vintage pink button-down ($60) at Sixteen Tons.



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Rose DiFerdinando

27, Fashion Director, David Hartcorn Photography and president at That’s So Rose,

Fashion Show Production

Describe your style: Absolutely authentic and adventurous, playful, affordable, dramatic, unexpected, sassy, masculine yet feminine, and classic yet innovative. What/Who inspires you: Visuals, emotions, and drama. Diane von Fürstenberg, Pucci, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, and Gucci fall 2008 will forever be tattooed into my aesthetic. Best places to shop in Baltimore: First and foremost, Panache at Green Spring Station. The store provides an element of exclusivity. A friend recently put me onto Hunting Ground, which I can’t believe I’ve lived without for so long! I am obsessed with Second Chance and a few other secret vintage stores I like to keep on the down low. And, of course, Ruth Shaw. Most-coveted item in your closet: A sassy little pink vintage Jil Sander jacket I found on a two-day hunt in NYC for the perfect outfit for the Fashion Awards MD. Words of wisdom: Fashion should be fun and exciting, and should represent who you are and what you are feeling.



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Lane Harlan

Twentysomething, poet, and owner of W.C. Harlan.

Describe your style: A bit 1930s-'40s, a bit moody, a bit Frida Kahlo. Who/what inspires you: Faraway places, the colors of [painter] Fra Angelico. Best place to shop in Baltimore:Hampden’s Hunting Ground. The owners of Hunting Ground, Jenna and Jess, value vintage as well as contemporary clothing. Their taste is exquisite, yet their prices are moderate. Favorite find: scarlet-red Christian Dior cocktail dress from the 1950s. Most-coveted item:A pristine velvet jacket with embroidered flowers circa early 1900s I found on a solo trip to Krakow, Poland. Words of wisdom: Sprezzatura. On Lane: Vintage dress from Hunting Ground. Gloves from Guermantes Vintage. Brown booties from Salome Vintage.



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Christopher Janian

29, real-estate developer.

Development director at Beatty Development Group

Describe your style: Very much my own. If I had to generalize: Italian-influenced during the day and darker at night. What/who inspires you: My grandfather, who designed for Bergdorf, always had the best style. Best places to shop in Baltimore: I tend to buy most of my clothes online and while traveling. When I need a suit made, though, I go to Christopher Schafer Clothier. Most-coveted item in your closet: I don’t really covet any particular item. They’re only clothes, after all. Words of wisdom: Wear whatever makes you happy.



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Martha Macks-Kahn

59, private art adviser and owner of Goya Contemporary Gallery

Describe your style: Timeless and current. What/who inspires you: Great art, of course, and my mother because she’s always appropriate and elegant. Like art, she gets it right in a variety of price points. Best places to shop in Baltimore: Ruth Shaw and The Store LTD. Most-coveted item in your closet: A black knit serape repaired by artist Joyce J. Scott. She beaded a white skeleton over a snagged hole. It goes everywhere! Words of wisdom: Look your worst when you shop: no makeup, coiffed hair etc. Only buy shoes when your feet are tired. On Martha: Jason Wu dress ($1,240) and Jimmy Choo Drift pumps ($1,295) at Ruth Shaw. Betty Cooke Jewelry 14-karat yellow-gold- and-red-coral tassel necklace ($1,750), 14-karat yellow-gold wave bracelet ($2,900), and 14-karat gold double oval ring ($850) at The Store LTD.



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Jane Smith

49, interior designer for Bagby Restaurant Group

Describe your style: Classic with a little bit of sexiness thrown in. Who/what inspires you: My husband, David Smith, for making people’s dreams come true. My daughter, Samantha Dinges (news image and style consultant for Sinclair Broadcast Group), for following her dreams and making them happen. Best places to shop in Baltimore: For me, Ella Pritsker (Ella Moda Couture) and for my 25-year-old daughter, Sam, Alice Jane. Most-coveted item in your closet: Alexander McQueen knuckle clutch I found in L.A. with Sam. Words of wisdom: Love one another. On Jane: Cashmere navy dress from Ella Moda Couture. Chair: Antique Hall Chair from Ida Manheim Antiques.



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Clyde Johnson Jr.

47, assistant dean of Diversity and Intercultural Development, Maryland Institute College of Art.

Budding art jewelry designer, Ce J’ai DesignS

Describe your style: I prefer suits and bow ties, but I love sweaters and jackets. I accent with my own jewelry. I must have splashes of color, including socks (and things unseen). What/who inspires you: The faculty at MICA’s Jewelry Center at Meadow Mill. In terms of clothes and accessories, I’m following designers Dexter and Byron Peart, Marc Hare, Olivier Rousteing, and Patrick Robinson. Willi Smith (Willi Wear) first captured my attention. I also like Alexander McQueen and Andrew Christian, the underwear designer. Best places to shop in Baltimore: Gian Marco on Charles Street by far is my favorite. This is one place I’d spend all my lottery winnings. Most-coveted item(s) in your closet: My own handmade jewelry creations (mostly silver, with gemstones), my grandfather’s cuff links, a pair of fur ear muffs; silk scarves from Egypt; a blue pinstripe wool suit, and my Mezlans. Words of wisdom: Go bold with splashes of color. Wear plenty of handmade jewelry, metals and diamonds. Wear what makes you feel great. I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not! On Clyde:Wrinkle resistant Italian knit travel blazer ($650) made for Gian Marco Menswear. Double-face pocket circle by Edward Armah ($95) for Gian Marco Menswear. Cable-front sweater made in Italy ($450) for Gian Marco Menswear. Cotton flannel hybrid jeans ($255) for Gian Marco Menswear. All jewelry by Ce J’ai Designs.



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Robin Zimelman

55, retired tax lawyer

Describe your style: There is no one style that defines me. Whatever I choose to wear, I want to make it my own by putting pieces together in an unanticipated way. What/who inspires you: I’m inspired by a lot of great contemporary art. As for designers, I simply love great design——it doesn’t matter whose it is. Best places to shop in Baltimore: In no particular order: The Johns Hopkins Hospital Women’s Board’s Best Dressed Sale, The Store LTD, Ruth Shaw, Target, and my own closet. Most-coveted item in your closet: That would be like choosing a favorite child. Words of wisdom: Mix high- and low-end, but find a good tailor. Buy when you see it, not when you need it——that way you don’t compromise. On Robin: The Row Tonda tobacco coat ($2,050) at Ruth Shaw. Vintage dress from The Johns Hopkins Hospital Women's Board's Best Dressed Sale. Betty Cooke Jewelry 14-karat, yellow-gold-tube- and-black-lava disc necklace ($2,100) and 14-karat yellow- gold, pyrite, and diamond ring ($2,200) at The Store LTD.

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