Are styles age-appropriate or is it more individual?
Age-appropriate style is actually a humorous subject for me. A few years ago, my husband, Rob, and I went to Simon’s FNO at the Galleria and were interviewed by Todd Ramos and Rebecca Spera for Mirror Mirror. They asked what I was wearing, which happened to be a Vionnet dress I bought in London at Harvey Nichols huge summer sale and Hermès over-the-knee and “over the top” boots with fur that I had purchased from the Hermès sale in Paris. I felt so hip and confident. Then Todd made a comment that my style was “age-appropriate” in the interview. I was amazed at 42 (at the time), I was “age-appropriate” in the amount of skin I was showing, given the length of my skirt and the cutouts on the sleeves of the dress. More so than “age-appropriate,” I believe in “body type appropriate” or “length and coverage appropriate.” I tend to follow Tom Ford’s suggestion: if one area is tight, the other should be loose. I believe great style comes from a balance in your pieces.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My mom has always been incredibly stylish and pulled together from head to toe every day. I can’t remember ever seeing her leave the house without full makeup and personally selected coordinated handbag, shoes and jewelry for every “outfit.”
My father’s father (my namesake, Donato Cangelosi) was a Sicilian-Italian immigrant, shoe cobbler who settled in Bryan-College Station. His leather craftsmanship was so respected he was honored with the task of making the first bridle for the first Reveille at Texas A & M University. This heritage of craftsmanship continued with my father’s marble and granite fabrication business, Cangelosi Co. My dad would often surprise me with a new Gucci® bag each time he’d return from traveling to Italian marble quarries. It merely fanned the flame of a lifelong obsession of fashion and trends for me.
Why vintage? How did you get into this specific area?
I’ve always loved fashion. My husband has been an entrepreneur since college as a numismatist, vintage watch dealer, diamond broker and estate jeweler. Every trip we took to shows throughout the world, I would treasure hunt for vintage luxury goods. He suggested we turn my hobby and spending habits into an expansion of his estate jewelry business.
What single thing could most men do to enhance their fashion?
I think for men (and women too, for that matter) tailoring is the key. A well-cut suit and shirt will make a guy look like a million bucks. An oversized suit – or worse, clothes that fit too tight – are the kiss of death in the fashion world.
Who sets trends in Houston?
I love Houston style. It’s such a melting pot and truly anything goes. We don’t really have a “style.” I think Neiman’s and Tootsies have the greatest effect on the styles women are wearing in Houston. Whether you shop there or not, the styles you see at parties, events and charities throughout the city are a reflection of these two most influential stores in the city. Stylish yet hip Houstonians on the Best Dressed List such as Lucinda Loya and Katherine Le are changing the idea of “old guard Houstonian style” bringing a fresh outlook on fashion that isn’t driven by a particular brand but driven by personal style.
What gadget/product do you use that you just love?
Definitely my iPhone® and iPad ®are the biggest gadget necessities in my world. I am always on the go, traveling, running to events or sitting in carpool line. I couldn’t make it without them. They give me the flexibility I need as a working mom on the go. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are right there at my fingertips.
What “look” would you like to resurrect?
Audrey Hepburn. Anything Audrey wore was timeless. The little black dress with pearls, the pedal pushers pants with ballet flats, the big hat with large sunglasses – all remain iconic choices that withstand the test of time.
What are you listening to now? I love old country: Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr.
Favorite place to hang out in town? Or when you travel?
We travel so much. I love it when I finally come home, I feel like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. We are eating at home a lot lately although I detest cooking. Our favorite restaurants in Houston are Brasserie 19 and Cafe Rabelais for dinner. If I meet a girlfriend for lunch it will probably be at Neiman’s, Nordstrom’s or Saks. I also have to say Tony’s is a fabulous splurge for lunch but honestly most days I eat lunch in my car, on the go, or at my desk.
Www.thevintagecontessa.com | www.Cangelosi.com | www.timespastcollections.com | Cell 713.818.1046