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Women of Style 2018

The Editors | August 28, 2018 | Feature Features National

Shot on location at The Post Oak Hotel Uptown, these five trendsetters each offer a unique perspective on what it means to be a stylish and influential woman in Houston today.

CARRIE BRANDSBERG-DAHL
The punk rock muse

What’s the story behind how you dress? I am greatly influenced by music and visual arts. My husband, Sverre, and I are Young Trustees of Houston Grand Opera and also support the Symphony and Opera in the Heights in efforts to bring in younger audiences. With fashion, as with art, you can express yourself without any words.
When did you first start to cultivate your own style? I was a big fan of Robert Smith from The Cure. He was fearless. Growing up mixed race—part German-American and part Japanese—I really stood out, so fashion taught me to embrace my differences.
My favorite designers are: Saint Laurent, Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons and Haider Ackermann.
How are you teaching your young daughters to embrace their own individuality? Elisabet and Sofie are opposites, and I want them to see that being different is okay. Individuality is personality. When you are dressed in something you love, it builds confidence. Why do you think all superheroes have a costume?

TENA LUNDQUIST FAUST
The catwalk activist
As a leader of animal welfare nonprofit PetSet, how do you dress to empower? We want to continue to raise the status of animals, so how we dress professionally should be a reflection of that.
What accessory can you not leave home without? I don’t go anywhere without hand wipes. Plus a little fur [pet hair] on my jacket is the best reminder of why we do what we do.
Favorite pet accessory? My last dog, Taz, had cashmere sweaters and boots for our trips to Minnesota. It was more about survival, really. Also, every dog deserves a good harness; they’re much better for their necks than a collar.
Name one favorite place to shop. Magpies & Peacocks. I love businesses that support the animals and local nonprofits.
Favorite designers? I love vintage ones like Charles James and Galanos, and more recently, Alexander McQueen and Balmain.
If you could snag one thing from your sister’s closets, what would it be? Her Chanel boots!

TAMA LUNDQUIST
The philanthropic fashionista

How do you dress for both the boardroom and the animal shelter? I wear low heels most days, and even if I wear jeans, I bring a jacket to dress up. I love my PetSet T-shirt collection, and I’m always prepared to get dirty. PetSet’s annual cocktail fundraiser is Sept. 7.
What’s a favorite past look? In 2016, I wore a favorite dress by Cavali. I wouldn’t have picked it out, but once I had it on, my whole style shifted. That piece really pushed me to start finding a bit more of an edge.
Pet style? My dog, Sonny Corleone, has a really fabulous necklace by Pawve, which makes items for pets and gives proceeds to nonprofits. When he’s not looking, I sometimes even wear it myself.
Diamonds or pearls? After dogs, diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
The most cherished pieces in my closet are… my dad’s shirts and military jacket, my rock ’n’ roll T-shirts and my Chanel over-the-knee boots.
What’s one thing that never goes out of style? Kindness.

JESSICA ROSSMAN
The powerhouse attorney

How would you define your personal style? All over the place. I think you have to have fun—that’s when stuff works.
Where do you shop locally? Tootsies is my go-to. Mickey Rosmarin once bought a single Nicole Miller purple sequined dress for the store, and when it disappeared, he always wondered who wore it. Once, we were at an event together, and he was like, “Were you the one who bought that?”
What’s the piece in your closet with the best story? I had so much fun at my high school reunion, and I wore a yellow minidress from Alexis at Tootsies, which I bought at the Latin Women’s Initiative. I lost it right away with its tags attached at a bar, and a Good Samaritan turned it in two days later. I had my faith in humanity restored.
As an attorney for United Airlines, what’s your power look? I wear dresses, colorful button-downs, always with heels. When it comes to jewelry: I like to support Latin American designers like Kris Goyri and Sandra Weil from Mexico City, and Andrés Otálora from Colombia.

KAM FRANKLIN
The fearlessly funk rock star

As front woman singer for local funk band The Suffers, how do you bring personal style to the stage? My style is all about self-care. I wear things that bring me joy. Some days, I feel whimsical, and you’ll see that in prints and bright earrings—which wasn’t always the typical look for a woman of my color and size—and other days, I feel sexy. I need to show girls like me that not only can they do this, but they can do it the way they want to.
What’s the latest trend you love? All the Tiki prints that are coming in.
Where do you shop locally? Old Blue House on Westheimer. They specialize in antique jewelry. I love brooches, which are fun and can take the simplest outfit to another level.
When it comes to footwear... I can’t stand in heels much, so I like to wear cowboy boots. They’re Texas fancy.
What’s the most stylish country you’ve visited? I’ve never been more inspired than when I’ve been in Japan. It’s on some other level. Favorite designers: Oscar de la Renta and Christian Siriano—he’s not afraid to dress big girls; he’s instead been embracing them.



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