Most Stylish New Yorkers 2012: Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher
Name: Carole Radziwill
Occupation: TV personality; author
Fashion Mash-up: The Manhattan native -- and star of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City -- describes her look as "unconventional, very mix-and-match." She adds, "I don't match a nice skirt with a nice blouse or a dress with the perfect shoe. If I wear a dress, I'll wear a motorcycle boot. I like to mix it up. I like it to be a little unconventional." Radziwill religiously wears only a handful of labels: Isabel Marant, Rag and Bone, Rick Owens and Helmut Lang. "If you stick to two or three designers, you don't look like a schizophrenic!"
Timeless Tip: Her best piece of style advice came from her dear friend, Carolyn Bessette, who died in a 1999 plane crash with husband John F. Kennedy, Jr. "She always told me, 'Own what you're wearing.' You can get very insecure when you're dressing and you're like, 'Does this go with this?' and it does go if you feel good in it," says Radziwill, whose style staples include Balenciaga leather pants and vintage 717 Levi's jeans. "Style is just a feeling you have when you're wearing clothes that make you feel confident."
Name Game: And which Hollywood stars inspire her? "Alexa Chung has mad style," says Radziwill, whose most recent book is The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating. "Charlotte Gainsbourg is effortlessly cool, and Eva Mendes has been wearing a lot of lady-like dresses that are sort of counterintuitive to the sex bomb that she looks like, which I like."
Quote: "No matter what you wear in New York, it looks fabulous against the backdrop of New York City. You could wear a super fancy dress in the day and throw a motorcycle jacket over it or your leather blazer and look totally chic and not overdone and not weird. Anything goes in New York."
Name: Heather Thomson
Occupation: TV personality; co-Founder and President of Yummie by Heather Thomson
Fancy Footwork: "I dress up every day and I never feel overdressed," says the New York state native and mom of two. "I'm always in high heel, like my black Gucci wedges, a cool top or an Alexander Wang skirt." How does she define her signature look? "Modern, sleek and kind of chic."
Super Sleuth: "I'm an expert shopper! I've been doing it for so long, I can walk I a store and it's almost like I have X-ray vision -- and I go to the rack and I'm fast as hell. I know what I like, I know what I need and I pick it up quick," says Thomson, who calls Century 21 "a little gemstone" and adores Curve in Soho for "hard to find European designers." Favorite designers include Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Helmut Lang and Rag and Bone.
Style Staples: Thomson -- who admires Jessica Alba's fashion picks -- starts every day with Yummie Tummie shapewear (natch) and always reaches for python bags by Good Charma and Sarti scarves. Her latest discovery: A young Canadian designer named Lauren Bagliore out of Canada. "She's a great draper and a really talented young designer. I wore a lot of her stuff on the show and I called to let her know!"
Quote: "I love Jessica Alba's style. Whether she's in jeans or on the red carpet, she just makes it look really effortless."
Name: Aviva Drescher
Occupation: TV personality
Olden Is Golden: "I love vintage clothing," says the lifelong New Yorker and star of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City. "I find pieces that are so well-made, the fabrics are beautiful and they fit me so well. I never need to get them tailored, unlike things I buy off the rack." One favorite find: A cream long-sleeve Norell dress. "I just cherish it. I wear it every single year!" she says.
Top Stops: The mom of four doesn't have much time to browse, but does regular runs to What Goes Around Comes Around, Barney's New York and Bergdorf Goodman, where she recently picked up an emerald green and black dress by Victoria Beckham. And when it comes to jewelry, her favorite designer is Jeffrey Rackover: "He's very expensive. It's just terrible to my husband," says Drescher, wed to Wall Street investment banker, Reid.
Mom Knows Best: "The best fashion tip that anyone gave me was from my mother when she said, 'Be thrifty, buy quality,' meaning you're better off buying 10 very fine pieces than buying 50 not so great pieces. Less is more," she says. Some of those investments include pieces by Alexander McQueen, Alaia, Lanvin, Peter Som, Anne Bowen and Jes Wade.
Quote: "Dressing is not only having your own sense of style but also knowing that when you're skating on the edges of your own style and going a little bit left and a little bit right, it's very important to be appropriate for whatever event you are going to."
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Most Stylish New Yorkers 2012: Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher
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