Our annual Women of Style accolades are bestowed on these four Orange County fashionistas.
“My love of fashion started rather early. As a teen, I was a young rising-star ballroom dancer, and I had the privilege to attend many high-profile events, where I had to dress not only appropriately but with style and class,” says Kasia Michaels. Here, she dons her signature red lip with a matching Simone Rocha dress, Versace bag and Charlotte Olympia sandals.
A world champion ballroom dancer and teacher, this Polish beauty has added fashion stylist to her résumé for good reason.
After three decades of commanding the floor as a world champion ballroom dancer, newlywed and Newport Harbor resident Kasia Michaels has turned her attention to the other love in her life—fashion. “To me, dressing is like telling a story,” says the accomplished stylist, who works with both commercial and private clients. “I try to make a point every time I put on an outfit.” Shopping sprees in London and Milan have filled her designer-clad wardrobe with coveted pieces like her Cushnie et Ochs silk midiskirt, tailored Balmain blazer and spiked Christian Louboutin So Kate stilettos, but it’s the gown she wore on her wedding day that she cherishes most. “I spent 50 hours handmaking it,” she reveals. “My secret weapon when it comes to fashion is my ability to sew. Altering my clothes to fit the way I need them, or changing a thing or two in the construction, is where the magic happens.” Perhaps that’s why Michaels’ latest wish list is filled with glamour and sparkle.
“You can never go wrong with a Chanel.” Pyramid bag, $3,600, Chanel, South Coast Plaza
“I love this blazer because it’s chic with an X-factor.” Double-breasted jacket with crystal lapels, $4,590, by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island
“These booties are the perfect shoe for a night out with my husband.” Kix 100 bootie, $1,995, Jimmy Choo, South Coast Plaza
“I’m in love with these shades because of their extraordinary quality and innovative design.” The Claw & The Nest cat sunglasses, $989, annakarinkarlsson.com
“This showstopping skirt is meant for a grand entrance.” Savage Barocco-print high-low skirt, $4,650, Versace, South Coast Plaza
“My fashion philosophy is unapologetic,” says Zeina J. Collins, who serves on the board of directors for CHOC’s Glass Slipper Guild. “Trends fade, but style is eternal.” Here, she dresses her eight-month baby bump in an architectural gown by Australian designer LEXI paired with Cano earrings.
Zeina J. Collins
A soon-to-be mother of four, this attorney, author and former beauty queen is basking in the glow of having it all.
"Never underestimate the power of a well-dressed woman,” advises multihyphenate Zeina J. Collins, founding attorney of Newport Beach-based The Collins Firm and freelance attorney for Montage Legal Group. “At eight months pregnant, I am not letting anything slow me down and like to showcase my versatility and strength in my fashion choices.” With a baby girl due Sept. 9, Collins continues to strap on her Alexandre Vauthier stilettos, throw a Valentino Rockstud tote bag over her Cartier-clad arm and rule the courtroom in structured silhouettes by Alexander McQueen. “Fashion allows me to be creative and carry myself with the utmost confidence,” says the wonder woman, who’s also penned a book on balancing life, motherhood and a career, titled Haute Mama (hautemamabook.com). “Fashion is a form of self-expression and inspiration; it is making art out of function.” Here, Collins shares the pieces that have her painting the town.
“These Gianvito Rossi booties up the ante with crystals and Plexiglas.” Lace-up booties, $1,595, Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island
“This bracelet should be on every girl’s wish list, as it’s a classic.” 18K yellow gold cable bracelet with diamonds, $7,200, by David Yurman at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island
“I love the embellishments and cutouts on this velvet minidress.” Studded minidress, $9,000, by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello at Saks Fifth Avenue, South Coast Plaza
“This tote is my favorite everyday bag for fall.” Book Tote bag, $3,000, Dior, South Coast Plaza
“While it’s a big splurge, this sleeveless jacket makes an even bigger statement.” Chandelier embroidered tulle jacket, $11,900, Alexander McQueen, South Coast Plaza
“I feel fabulous when I wear animal print—ready to pounce and take on the world,” says Christine Kong, who paired her I.AM.GIA snakeskin turtleneck with & Other Stories pants, a vintage coat from Paris, jewels by O.C.-based Grace K, a Cult Gaia bag and sandals by Stuart Weitzman.
More than 110,000 Instagram followers turn to this forward-thinking blogger for style inspiration.
After graduating from UCLA and trying her hand at corporate life, Christine Kong found that her spirit was stirred most by entrepreneurship. “When I moved to Orange County, I joined a medical device startup. It was exhilarating to build something from scratch,” she recalls. While the venture fizzled, and Kong decided to focus on raising her three little ones, she knew building a brand was what fueled her. “To raise our children with my wonderful husband was my dream job. But then one day I started a side hobby to showcase my fashion on Instagram.” Now, having skyrocketed her following into the hundreds of thousands, Kong is found strutting her Jimmy Choos in edgy yet feminine pieces by the likes of The Row and Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello as she works on launching MyDailyLive, a networking platform that will allow users to go “live,” connect with others by recommending the products they love most and earn a commission. Here, the Karl Lagerfeld devotee spills the goods she’s coveting now.
“This is a dream watch for me. The exquisite design is subtle yet powerful.” Complications 5146J-001 yellow gold watch, $41,392, by Patek Philippe at Tourneau, South Coast Plaza
“The design of this pouch is so beautiful that it becomes art.” The Pouch, $2,400, Bottega Veneta, South Coast Plaza
“This dress has all the Dynasty vibes!” Sequined maxidress, $2,630, by RaisaVanessa at fwrd.com
“My favorite flowers are lilies, and these cluster earrings are feminine and classic.” Lily cluster diamond earrings, $6,500, Harry Winston, South Coast Plaza
“If there is one shoe we all need, this is it—just ask Carrie Bradshaw.” Hangisi 105 mm satin pump, $995, by Manolo Blahnik at Neiman Marcus, Fashion Island
Posed in Isabel Marant earrings, her beloved Cartier watch, a gown by Johanna Ortiz and Amina Muaddi heels, Tina Sadri is hard at work on her second tome focused on living a healthy, well-balanced and fulfilling life. “The best fashion advice I ever received was, ‘Wear what feels right, not what seems right,’” she shares.
Whether it be through fashion or mental health awareness, this exotic stunner is all about inspiring others.
As the founder of Newport Mental Wellness, Tina Sadri is a licensed marriage and family therapist who is devoted to helping patients overcome their internal struggles. “I am most passionate about helping heal past wounds and making an impactful change in others’ lives,” says the wife and mother of two, who’s also the author of #Obsession ($12, Rosedog Books), a guide to combating social media disorder. And in an effort to spread her passion further, Sadri has taken to the medium itself to pair stunning fashion images with captions of hope and awareness to inspire her 44,000-plus followers. “I look at fashion as our unique way of expressing our inner feelings, a way for us to separate ourselves from others,” says Sadri, who counts Zimmermann and Alessandra Rich as two of her go-to designers. “The most important aspect of fashion for me is to create something personal to my taste.” That approach is seen in Sadri’s ability to team her beloved Hermès bags with an edgy Dior choker, architectural Amina Muaddi heels and plenty of bold-shouldered minidresses by Alexandre Vauthier. Step inside Sadri’s stunning closet here.
“This elegant watch is my favorite because of its timelesness.” Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch, $45,100, Cartier, South Coast Plaza
“I love a ruffled shoulder. Paired with a crystal belt and earrings, this dress dazzles.” Leopard-print mididress, $2,211, by Alessandra Rich at farfetch.com
These strappy sandals look amazing on and elongate the legs.” Stark sandal, $795, Gianvito Rossi, South Coast Plaza
“These statement earrings look great with pretty much any ensemble.” Shooting earrings, $455, by Alessandra Rich at fwrd.com
“I love the fit and color of this jacket for a cool California night.” Dylan cropped leather moto jacket, $1,295, by IRO at Intermix, South Coast Plaza
Photography by: Ashley Barrett // Shot on location at 580 Anton, Costa Mesa; zeina j. collins: hair by tara momtaheni, instagram.com/tarahairart; makeup by trang do, trangdo.net; tina sadri: hair by arshin yousef, salon gregories; makeup by irma lomidze, irmalomidze.com; product photos courtesy of retailers