50 Best-Dressed Southerners 2015
Photographed by: Jillian Hughes
Style Icon: "Naomi Campbell and Stevie Nicks have both influenced my style. Naomi said, ‘I have come to realize in this particular year that things are things and half the things I have I don't need, and the most important thing is you and how you feel. How you deal with your life on a daily basis and how you deal with people who are in your life.' And I love Stevie Nicks' quote about modern singers that says, ‘I think they all went too far. Their jeans got too low, their tops got too see-through. Personally, I think that sexy is keeping yourself mysterious. I'm really an old-fashioned girl, and I think I'm totally sexy.' "
Photographed by: Chris Bilheimer
"I appreciate Robert Redford's ability to adapt to changing styles even as he has aged; his love and respect for work, creativity, and nature allow this evolution. His acceptance of reality—the good and the bad—combined with his work ethic and love for life show through in his timeless look. Style is who you are as a person and what you wear is a translation of that."
Photographed by: Annabel Braithwaite
Style Icon: "Lately I've been admiring Keri Russell—she always looks laid-back but completely put together. She jokes that she has a uniform of denim, chambray, boyfriend sweaters, and scuffed boots that she changes about once a month. I'm into her idea of creating a wearable, classic, and chic wardrobe that never looks like it's chasing trends."
Photographed by: Robbie Caponetto
"I'm old school when it comes to fashion influences. I love Edith Head and Coco Chanel. They were both impeccably elegant and knew how to dress a woman. Their timeless sense of style could and should cross to all types of women of all shapes and sizes."
Augusta Rivera Campbell
Photographed by: Gary Hughes
"My brothers probably inform my style the most—I have six of them. But in the fashion world, I have an immense amount of respect for Ralph Lauren—as a visionary, style icon, and a tremendously accomplished yet humble man."
Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance
Photographed by: Republic Records
"We tend to be drawn to guys like Robert Redford and Paul Newman—traditionally rugged and classic gentlemen in their style and what they stood for. All you have to do is watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, A River Runs Through It, or Jeremiah Johnson, and you'll get the feel for what inspires us."
Megan LaRussa Chenoweth
Photographed by: Major Colbert
"Parisian Chic author, Ines de la Fressange, speaks endless truths on how to achieve effortless style. The one that resonates with me most is her philosophy that it's not about the clothes; it's how you wear them. She is a firm believer, as am I, that the art of dressing yourself should be fun."
Jane Pope Cooper
Photographed by: Olivia Rae James
"You pick up little bits from editors, designers, bloggers, Pinterest, artists, interior designers, and friends. I have so many amazing artist and designer friends with incredible style. The key is to do what feels like you. More and more I feel that if I am not wearing something that is truly me, it does not work."
Photographed by: Rett Peek
"My grandfather, Julian Davidson, was an architect and an engineer. Most of the pre-1980s buildings in downtown Little Rock have his touch. His philosophy was to always keep it simple and elegant. He hated clutter. I live in the house he and my grandmother built, and I have changed it very little. It reminds me of them and how sophisticated they were."
Photographed by: Eric Kelley Photography
Style Icon: "I had the privilege of spending a week at Oscar and Annette de la Renta's home in the Dominican Republic. Every night we dined in a different location. They created a sense of effortless luxury by layering colors and subtle patterns, and each dinner was its own experience—whether it was followed by a walk through the garden or accompanied by the surprising strum of a local guitarist. From this, I learned that experience and design go hand in hand. Oscar has taught us that quality and form should always come first. One of his dresses may temporarily go out of fashion but never out of style."
Photographed by: Paige French
"I had the good fortune of working with Italian fashion stylist Giovanna Battaglia on a shoot for Italian Vogue a few years ago. It wasn't so much what she said but how she expressed herself through her clothes, even for a long day of shooting, when everyone else showed up in jeans."
Mark and Caroline Fontenot
Christy and Ryan Ford
Jocelyn Gailliot, Maddy Moore, and September Rinnier
Photographed by: Carol Dronsfield
"More than any one specific person, our style is inspired by the activities and things that make up the all-American lifestyle. We regularly draw inspiration from Lauren Hutton when buying for Tuckernuck. She said: ‘Finding your look isn't complicated if you go in without being frightened. Notice what people are complimenting you on. Experiment with new things once in a while, but have your tried-and-true pieces that work.' "
Josh Moore and Odini Gogo
Photographed by: Adam Robison
"When I studied under artist Jere Allen at Ole Miss, he told me something along the lines of, ‘The painting works, but this one area looks like you tried to paint it.' I remember thinking, "Well, hell yes, I tried to paint it!" It took me some time to understand that his comment had nothing to do with the effort, but rather how tight and forced my painting became when I was struggling with an area. I hold this close with my work today, and with everything else—I try to never force it."
Photographed by: Ashley Hylbert Photography
"The who is more a place: Vanderbilt University. Being at college drastically changed my idea of style, as it relates to fashion. There were people from all over the country, but a Southern and Texan vibe was dominant on campus. I learned to take what I had and make the best of it. Style is similar—find what you like best and make it your own."
Ashley Vermillion Harris
Photographed by: Nick Pironio for Scout Guide
"Cristóbal Balenciaga has an influential way of pulling from the archives while remaining fashion-forward. To me, this means that true innovation stands the test of time. I try to help my clients stay true to themselves while exploring creative and expressive ways to dress."
L. Kasimu Harris
Photophed by: Rush Jagoe
"As a teenager, when I was learning to play jazz in New Orleans, my sense of style was greatly influenced by Delfeayo Marsalis. He's a trombonist, playwright, and music producer from the first family of jazz. He taught me to be bold and unafraid of mixing colors and patterns. Delfeayo emphasized quality, paying attention to details and fit. His influence went beyond dress and into music, food, and the art of courting a woman with Shakespeare's love sonnets."
Jane Scott Hodges
Photographed by: Cedric Angeles
Style Icon: "In terms of personal style, I've learned so much from my dear friend and fashion genius Laura Vinroot Poole. Her store Capitol in Charlotte has revolutionized the way I shop and how I put an outfit together. My friend and mentor Charlotte Moss has been an invaluable guide to me as well. She has taught me so much about home decor, the art of entertaining, and living well."
Photographed by: Julie Soefer
"My Lucchese boot collection is precious to me. Salvatore Lucchese was quoted saying that success was measured ‘one foot at a time.' Trends are set by those who set themselves apart from the rest, and that is good advice for fashion and anything else."
Sara Kate Huff
Photographed by: Ely Fair
"My aesthetics were largely influenced by an antique dealer I became friends with while I studied in Florence. She moved from the States to Italy when she turned 60, and she had such a love for the concept of living a collected life. She taught me that vintage pieces and antiques are simply ‘heirlooms from a stranger.' "
Photophed by: Robbie Caponetto
Style Icon: "I learned the most about style from my great-grandmother Mable Birdie Bass (‘Mammy' to me). She was classic, and her love of fine hats (even when they exceeded her budget) was exquisite. I am lucky to have inherited her collection, including a handful of Dior turbans and dozens of colorful wool felt cloches in pristine condition."
Olivia Rae James
Harrison Scott Key
Caroline Harper Knapp
Camilyn Beth Leavitt
Photographed by: Shannon Kirsten Photo
"I am mostly influenced by women from the 1950s to 1960s—a mix of celebrities as well as what I see in old photos from women in my family. My grandmother Marie Weniger said: ‘It's better to be overdressed, than underdressed. You never know who you will run into.' "
Photographed by: Kelsey Foster
"My mother enjoys fashion as much as I do. In the 1980s she had a beautiful clothing line with her sister called Barboglio—Cristina and Jan. I am always borrowing from her amazing collection of traditional Mexican clothing. There is a certain romance and femininity in all of those pieces that makes them so much fun to wear. My mother taught me to not be afraid to try new things or worry what other people think. She always tells me to have fun with clothing and not take myself too seriously."
Virginia Savage McAlester
Historic Preservationist/Author, A Field Guide to American Houses
Photographed by: Robbie Caponetto
"Coco Chanel was a strong influence for me. She built a company in the early 20th century, before women did such things. She designed timeless, classic clothes. For example, she introduced the little black dress and stated that, ‘Fashion fades. Only style remains the same.' "
Mary Catherine McClellan and Elizabeth Nichols
Photographed by: Ashley Hylbert
EN: "My style icon is my grandmother, without question. She told me to never wear horizontal stripes and to never leave the home without your panty hose on, plus an extra pair in your purse!"
MC: "Frankly, when I think of whom I anxiously await to view their latest ‘looks,' it is not a notable person that comes to mind, but rather many of my friends. I enjoy collecting information—both visual and written—from those I consider stylish."