PHOTO BY BELLY BEAUTIFUL PORTRAITS BY KAREN MARIE
Sophisticated with a dash of swagger—these local trendsetters prove that style is indeed a state of mind.
PHOTO BY VANESSA LENTINE
As the owner and creator of Natural Beaded Rows Extensions, Laguna Beach’s DKW Styling Salon and the DKW Styling Academy, Danielle Kari White is always tressed—and dressed—to impress. As she gears up to launch shampoo, conditioner and a curling iron early next year, the entrepreneur continues to mentor the next generation of hairstyling experts with more than 400 students currently enrolled in her yearlong academy programming. Here, the wife and mother of four details why dressing well put her a head above the rest. dkwstylingsalon.com
I feel fabulous when I wear... a dress or a suit. I love feminine pieces with an exaggerated sleeve and pretty much anything with a ruffle. I also love something sexy and straightforward, like a slip dress. When I’m in work mode, I feel sexy and confident in clean lines and something simple, like a feminine suit.
When I think of style, I think of... my mother. She could make anything look like a million dollars. She was a phenomenal seamstress and opened a bridal shop where she carried many designer bridal gowns. Her store was named after me—Danielle’s Bridal. Whether my mom knew it or not, she made a huge impact on me with her strong work ethic and style.
My fashion philosophy is... I am a walking advertisement for my brand. First impressions go a long way. Great hair, great shoes and a fabulous handbag always get noticed.
The most cherished piece in my closet has to be... my original Celine by Hedi Slimane bag. Each designer piece I’ve purchased over the years has an amazing story, and because of that, I collect them, and a lot of them I will never get rid of. I believe that fashionable pieces represent benchmarks in my career.
My favorite designer of all time is... Zimmermann. I love the detail and femininity of each piece. When it comes to shoes, I love how Christian Louboutin can make any foot look feminine and sexy. You can get anything from a classic nude pump to a crazy printed stiletto—fun and functional!
My first fashion moment was... in the shopping mecca of Italy, where I purchased my first pair of Valentinos!
Fashion is an important part of my life because... I believe it helped me elevate my brand of hair extensions. I had created a phenomenal product that needed better brand positioning, and fashion just made sense to go hand in hand with fabulous hair.
PHOTO BY LEAH HARDY PHOTOGRAPHY
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Aline Reis Toler’s career in fashion evolved through her educational background in photography, mosaics and drawing. After taking fashion courses at IED Fashion and Design School in Rio, Toler has spent the last decade teaching others the art of dressing well. When she’s not styling a photo shoot or a TV segment, she’s digging through closets and shopping for clients as one of South Coast Plaza’s personal stylists. Here, the international stylista details why getting dressed is both business and pleasure. alinetoler.com
The best way to describe my approach to fashion is… Be true to yourself and go deep to self-discover. Part of the process of establishing a good and tasteful style is understanding and respecting who you are and what you want to accomplish in life. Your style is like a diamond—it needs to be refined and polished.
I feel fabulous when I wear... a nice pair of statement earrings and sunglasses. Wearing them together feels like an energy drink for me! It always puts me in a good mood and makes me ready to start the day.
If I could swap wardrobes with anyone, it would be… Tracee Ellis Ross, without hesitation. She is the daughter of Diana Ross, who is known for her over-the-top glamour, so it is no surprise that her daughter got some of that from mama Ross. But Tracee has a refined, colorful and unique style of her own that I love.
When it comes to footwear, I always… am on the lookout for different pumps. They are timeless and make any simple outfit elegant. You can go from casual to dressy in one simple move with pumps. I also recommend to my clients that they go for a half size bigger than their usual shoe size.
My ultimate fashion splurge is… My life is a splurge! I am constantly surrounded by beauty and it is almost impossible to resist. But I have to confess that where I spend the most is on my accessories, specifically jewelry and purses.
Fashion is an important part of my life because… it allows me to use my creativity. There is a lot of space for improvement in our lives in different aspects, and it’s the same with fashion. Fashion is also important to me because it is a tool that I can use to help others feel confident and restore self-esteem. Being able to help others in this way gives me meaning and makes me feel good!
PHOTO BY JANA WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY
A resident of Newport Beach by way of Vietnam, Mimi Morris came to the United States more than 20 years ago to pursue her American dream. An avid supporter of the CHOC Children’s Foundation, through which her son was a patient, Morris and her husband own Morris Group International, an engineering company that boasts 27 manufacturing and distribution facilities worldwide. It’s that success that allows Morris to give back to her native country by helping those in need. Further, when she’s not spending time with family, Morris is giving her nearly 30,000 Instagram followers a glimpse at her covetable collection of designer duds. Birkins, anyone? @mimi_morris_
The best way to describe my approach to fashion is... I love all things beautiful. I am a huge fashion collector and I will travel to different countries to add to my Birkin collection. When I open my closet, it brings a huge smile to my face.
I feel fabulous when I wear... my custom-made Dolce & Gabbana gown. For my 50th birthday bash, I had a few gowns made and it still gives me butterflies when I try it on once in a while.
A piece I wear that empowers me is... my wedding ring because my husband is such a strong and kind person. I feel like I have him with me when I wear it; he gives me superpowers.
If I could swap wardrobes with anyone, it would be... Jamie Chua. I feel like our styles are very similar and I love her Birkin collection.
The best style advice I’ve ever received was... Buy pieces that you will love forever and that will hold their value.
My fashion philosophy is... You can never have too much bling on!
The most cherished piece in my closet has to be... my wedding dress. It is displayed in a glass case and it’s the star of my closet!
My favorite designers are... Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, La Perla, Van Cleef & Arpels... the list goes on and on.
When it comes to footwear, I always... love my Chanel flats and René Caovilla heels!
My favorite fashion moment was.... at my 10-year wedding anniversary in a yellow gown made from a famous designer in Vietnam and in my black Oscar de la Renta dress.