BY MICHELLE PAYER
From Miami to Milan, some South Floridians are known for their style. Whether at home or abroad, you’ll find head-turning bravura on full display, expressing individuality and shining a spotlight on larger-than-life personalities. Here’s what a few of our favorites have to say about fashion and favorite wardrobe pieces….
Photo: Carlos Hidalgo
SUZY BUCKLEY WOODWARD
WHAT SPARKED YOUR LOVE OF FINE HATS?
I won the best hat award at the Kentucky Derby wearing a Philip Treacy hat, then found designers from Australia to Ireland that create beautiful hats for much less. They’re sophisticated, modern-looking and whimsical, and with Vizcaya Hat Luncheon, Pegasus Cup, charity balls and weddings, I knew they would be in demand. I started importing their one-of-a-kind pieces.
YOU’VE BEEN INVITED FOR TEA WITH THE QUEEN. WHAT DO YOU WEAR?
Definitely something demure, but I wouldn’t shy away from color. I may wear British designer Mary Katrantzou. I loved her collection this summer with her use of perfume bottle-inspired prints and daytime sequins.
WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO TRAVEL OUTFIT?
I wear sequined Christian Pellizzari track pants and pair them with an oversized Gucci t-shirt and Converse sneakers that have some glitter and stones on them. It’s super comfortable, yet I don’t look like I’m going to bed or going to work out. It’s time for an adult plane outfit.
WHAT FASHION MOTTO DO YOU LIVE BY?
It’s not done ‘til it’s overdone.
Photo: April Belle
Former Miami Heat All-Star, NBA Champion, Philanthropist
WHO WAS YOUR FASHION ROLE MODEL AS A KID?
Michael Jordan on the court because his sneakers were the best in the history of basketball. Off the court, I admired my father in his suits, shirts and ties.
WHAT PIECE OF CLOTHING IN YOUR CLOSET IS YOUR FAVORITE RIGHT NOW?
I have this red Christian Dior peacoat I’ve only worn a couple of times. Just the fact that it’s red and Dior—I love it. Next time I’m in New York, I’m wearing it, even if it’s not cold out.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
A comfortable yet dressy look. I love how clothes are being made now. Designers have realized that bigger people love fashion and are responding with more selection. I like to combine casual and regal, like taking a tuxedo shirt and pairing it with slacks and cool sneakers.
DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF ON-TREND?
Absolutely. You have to be. I don’t have the same wardrobe as when I played. I like the concept of continuing to grow, taking something new and putting a twist on it, like adding an accent to it to make it my own.
WHAT DOES MIAMI FASHION MEAN TO YOU?
Loose, casual, breathable, stylish; something you can go have a good dinner in, be toes-out on the beach or at the club dancing the night away.
Photo: Carlos Hidalgo
CHRIS VAN VLIET
Deco Drive/WSVN-Fox TV Entertainment Reporter
HOW DID YOU EXPRESS YOUR STYLE GROWING UP IN ONTARIO, CANADA?
My style was practical with baseball, bass fishing and ice hockey, but 10 high school friends and I would have a dinner every year called Suit Fest. It was an excuse to dress up and go out in suits. There’s something about a suit that makes you feel important.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DESIGNER?
I will wear anything as long as it looks good. My suits right now are from Suit Supply on Miami Beach. It’s high-end, has affordable prices and the employees have an impeccable sense of style.
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU AS 007 AND WHAT WOULD HE WEAR?
I have an incredible amount of respect for Tom Cruise. He’d be wearing a well-fitted, tailored tuxedo that allows him to run.
WHO IS YOUR FASHION MUSE?
Instagram is where I go for fashion inspiration, at #mensstyle and #mensfashion. David Beckham pops up every single day. He always looks great.
WHAT ENSEMBLE HAS GARNERED THE MOST COMPLIMENTS?
Definitely an Opposuit I wore around Christmas. It basically looks like wrapping paper that someone made into a suit. It’s joy in fabric. You can’t look at that suit and not smile.
DO YOU HAVE A STYLIST?
My stylist is me going into my closet saying, “When was the last time I wore this combination?” and taking it from there.
Photo: Dmitry Zhitov
MISS ELAINE LANCASTER
Miami’s original drag diva, as told by creator James Davis
WHEN YOU CREATED ELAINE LANCASTER IN 1997, WHAT WAS YOUR VISION FOR HER?
My vision for her was to be over-the-top, glamorous, a little on the tacky side to some people, but not to me. I’ve always liked big hair and a big smile; Elaine is an amalgamation of people I’ve seen and reworked to make my own.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST TREASURED PIECE OF CLOTHING?
A Norma Kamali midnight blue and black taffeta wrap dress with a sailor collar I bought in Key West in the 1980s. I paired it with a big, black Yves St. Laurent hat for $300, which was a lot of money back then. I convinced my father it was a necessity.
WHAT DOES ELAINE’S CLOSET LOOK LIKE?
I have a completely separate apartment for Elaine that connects to mine. It looks like a Neiman Marcus boutique with full-length mirrors, chandeliers, custom cabinetry and sliding doors that holds about 200 evening gowns, 40 Chanel suits, 75 pairs of shoes and about 110 wigs.
WHAT IS YOUR FASHION MOTTO?
Fashion comes and goes, but style endures.
WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO ADMIRE ABOUT ELAINE’S STYLE? Freedom.
Photo: Carlos Hidalgo
Former CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Conde Nast Mexico and Latin America, brand advisor, TED Talk presenter and host of Eva Talks podcast
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF CLOTHING IN YOUR CLOSET?
You’re asking me if there were an earthquake, what would I take with me? There is an off-white Burberry linen trench coat that makes me feel powerful and feminine and I feel like a goddess when I put it on.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE ACCESSORIES?
Very, as they make any outfit stand out. I prefer to have fewer things that bring value. I have Dior earrings that are beautiful, Christian Louboutin spiked flats that dress up any occasion, and denim and tweed Chanel bags that are incredible investments, but they look nice and have an edge.
WHAT FASHION ADVICE CAN EVERYONE TAKE AWAY?
You have to make the brand. When the brand is wearing you is when things don’t work. Be sure your shoes are comfortable; the worst thing is to be uncomfortable because then you don’t look stylish. Purchase fewer pieces that are special to enjoy.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER?
I have a Tory Burch tunic and long pants that are my favorite right now. Her pieces are very wearable and dynamic. Other favorite designers include Bibhu Mohapatra, Phillip Lim, Mexican designer Raquel Orozco, A.L.C., No Pise la Grama and Alexis.