RVOC April 2013 : Page 100

MEN of Style By Carrie Storke Williams Photography by Bode Helm Makeup and hair by Nahid Alipour Photographed on location at e Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel A true man of style sports his own brand of fashion. For one, the standard uniform might be a custom-made three-piece suit. For another, it’s sporting a blazer by an up-and-coming design team from Italy. Here, six sartorialists spiffi ng up style in O.C. Eddie Alba Jr. It’s no surprise that Eddie Alba Jr. has a fl uid, dynamic fl air when it comes to fashion. After all, as the owner of O.C.’s top dance studio, Century DanceSport, he teaches the region’s aspiring dancers to move with style, including the movers and shakers who make up the roster for the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars fundraiser. When he’s not donning dance clothes, Alba visits John Varvatos in South Coast Plaza and Solutions in Newport for jeans, shirts and his favorite wardrobe element, vests. “Vests dress up almost any outfi t, especially with... a pocket square,” he says. He also thinks that every man should learn to tie a bow tie. It’s a skill that will come in handy for Alba this year. In addition to running his studio, he’ll be traveling as a ballroom competition judge. It’ll be fun, he says, not only because of his love of dance, but also because he’ll have a reason to wear one of his favorite outfi ts—his tuxedo.

Feature Men Of Style

Carrie Storke Williams

A true man of style sports his own brand of fashion. For one, the standard uniform might be a custommade three-piece suit. For another, it’s sporting a blazer by an up-andcoming design team from Italy. Here, six sartorialists spiffing up style in O.C.<br /> <br /> Eddie Alba Jr.<br /> <br /> It’s no surprise that Eddie Alba Jr. Has a fluid, dynamic flair when it comes to fashion. After all, as the owner of O.C.’s top dance studio, Century DanceSport, he teaches the region’s aspiring dancers to move with style, including the movers and shakers who make up the roster for the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars fundraiser. When he’s not donning dance clothes, Alba visits John Varvatos in South Coast Plaza and Solutions in Newport for jeans, shirts and his favorite wardrobe element, vests. “Vests dress up almost any outfit, especially with... a pocket square,” he says. He also thinks that every man should learn to tie a bow tie. It’s a skill that will come in handy for Alba this year. In addition to running his studio, he’ll be traveling as a ballroom competition judge. It’ll be fun, he says, not only because of his love of dance, but also because he’ll have a reason to wear one of his favorite outfits—his tuxedo.<br /> <br /> Gabe Serrato-Buelna <br /> <br /> Gabe Serrato-Buelna is accustomed to going from client photo shoots to red carpets. We’ve noticed his artful eye for fashion at soirées, where he might be spotted in a classic Glen plaid blazer and vintage bow tie—worn with an unexpected twist that can range from an interesting brooch to a surprising pop of color (like a sock or pocket square). Serrato- Buelna travels the world for work (he’s the owner and founder of the Laguna Beach-based PR firm Serrato + Co.), picking up exciting pieces for his wardrobe along the way, including a tobacco blazer with a built-in vest from Milan and python leather shoes from an artist street fair in Mexico City. “I love discovering new fashion talent,” he says. Closer to home, Serrato- Buelna shops at A’maree’s, American Rag and Recycled Rags. And as he continues to assist his clients in forging their own brands globally, he looks forward to traveling to stay in front of the trends. “In my business,” he says, “I have to be two steps ahead.”<br /> <br /> James Morrison <br /> <br /> They say that clothes make the man, but we’d argue that hair is equally important. No one knows that better than James Morrison, the lead stylist of top O.C. salon Morrison Hair in Laguna Beach, who also lists among his credits the founding of TIGI/Bed Head and tenure as the former artistic director for Toni & Guy. Morrison, who seemingly never has a fashion faux pas, describes his style as “modern gentleman” and favors an effortlessly elegant work wardrobe centered on a tailored vest, bespoke suit or Oats Cashmere cardigan. Morrison’s other go-tos range from Converse Jack Purcells and slim-fit J Brand jeans to custom suits by Mark Pomerantz and signature accessories, like a Cartier watch and an Hermés enamel bracelet. For hair, Morrison’s favorite cut for men is the undercut (think Boardwalk Empire). “A good haircut can make you look and feel more confident,” he says. “The hair is one of the first things people see... so it’s of paramount importance.”<br /> <br /> Steve Schulze <br /> <br /> You might expect this Man of Style to have a relaxed sense about him. And you’d be right. A self-described “modern preppy meets beach casual” dresser, Steve Schulze likes to mix casual classics with current trends, keeping it simple but sophisticated. For work (he co-founded Nekter Juice Bar with his wife, Alexis, and is the firm’s president), this translates to Hudson jeans, a James Perse T-shirt and a Prada zip pullover. “My dad used to dress in a suit and tie for work, and although it’s not my thing, I still try to honor his style by looking my best,” he says. For special events, Schulze suits up—usually in a black Hugo Boss suit, a white Ted Baker shirt and a silk Hermés tie. Among his favorite stores: Gary’s Fashion Island. He also has an affinity for watches— Girard Perregaux, Franck Muller and Rolex. A watch will be needed this year, as Nekter is adding 20 new stores to its current 12, with 100 spots planned in the next 36 months.<br /> <br /> Alfredo J. Molina <br /> <br /> We can’t think of a more dapper gentleman than Alfredo Molina, who dons a three-piece, customtailored Brioni or Canali suit with a tie and pocket square daily for work. Not surprisingly, the chairman of Black, Starr & Frost—America’s first jeweler since 1810—accessorizes his look with a few special pieces, namely his grandfather’s watch fob and cuff links. “My grandfather used to say that a man without cuff links is not properly dressed,” says Molina. It’s a philosophy that this luxury brand leader has taken to heart. In fact, BSF is working on a new men’s line for the fall that includes cuff links custom-designed to mark special moments. For men who are intimidated to wear accessories, Molina has some rules of thumb. “Quality is most important when it comes to a man wearing jewelry,” he says. “A fine timepiece defines a man, and cuff links add variety to a man’s wardrobe. A tasteful diamond ring on his right ring finger also is the mark of a man who exudes style and confidence.”<br /> <br /> Miguel Rodriguez <br /> <br /> As the general manager of Mastro’s Ocean Club, Miguel Rodriguez presides over one of the Riviera’s swankiest restaurants, where you’re sure to find men (and women) of style. Known for his own unerring eye for panache, Rodriguez always dresses for the occasion, whether it calls for a white-jacket tux or golf attire. He supports local brands, counting among his favorites David August for bespoke suits, Novecento for its sports boutique and Oakley for watches. Men who want to up their going-out game should take a cue from Rodriguez. “I love jeans and a nice shirt from English Laundry paired with a cool blazer,” he says. “I own a mustard yellow jacket that goes perfectly with just about any jean-shirt combo.” For work, he sports a three-piece suit that he makes his own with custom neckties and colorful socks. With Mastro’s considering future spots in Washington, D.C., and South Florida, we hope Rodriguez will bring his West Coast élan to his colleagues on the “other coast.”

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