RVOC September 2013 : Page 160

Women of Style Orange County’s social calendars are packed — we’ve got galas every week, a litany of luncheons and a full docket of fashion shows. But that’s what you’d expect in a region that’s home to some of the best-dressed women in the country. Here, going glam is simply a way of life. And we’ve gathered six fashion mavens who set the standard for our corner of the coast’s elegant, yet fun, brand of style. By Michelle Pulfrey | Photography by Bode Helm Shot on location at Roche Bobois, Costa Mesa Makeup by Laura Proepper

Fashion Women Of Style

Michelle Pulfrey

Orange County’s social calendars are packed—we’ve got galas every week, a litany of luncheons and a full docket of fashion shows. But that’s what you’d expect in a region that’s home to some of the best-dressed women in the country. Here, going glam is simply a way of life. And we’ve gathered six fashion mavens who set the standard for our corner of the coast’s elegant, yet fun, brand of style.<br /> <br /> Julie Ann Ulcickas <br /> <br /> ETIQUETTE AND MODELING TRAINER FOR THE TOURNAMENT OF ROSES ROYAL COURT <br /> <br /> As a child, Julie Ann Ulcickas loved rummaging through her mother’s closet. “She was a runway model [for Oleg Cassini and Don Loper] in the ’50s, and she had fabulous things,” recalls Ulcickas, a USC alum and former Tournament of Roses Royal Court queen. (Though she lives in Orange County, she remains involved in the organization, coaching each new court on poise and proper etiquette.) And her mother’s high-fashion wardrobe saw her through those early years. “To this day, my mom tells people that she feels as though she went to USC because half of her wardrobe came with me.” She married Bluewater Grill restaurateur Jim Ulcickas in 2003, and together they have two children—Frank, 8, and Ella, 6. And she’s already gotten a taste of her own medicine: “My daughter is a total fashionista and loves to play with my clothes and makeup.” When it comes to defining her personal style, Ulcickas calls it classic, inspired by that icon of elegance Grace Kelly. “She epitomized taste and elegance, and no one can deny that she was one of the most feminine, graceful women of her time.”<br /> <br /> Lourdes Nark <br /> <br /> CASA ORANGE COUNTY AMBASSADOR<br /> <br /> Petite powerhouse Lourdes Nark isn’t about to let her frame get in the way of style. “I wear leather all year round,” she notes. “It’s so versatile, paper thin and comfortable now.” As an ambassador for CASA Orange County, she’s co-chaired the organization’s last three benefits, which means she dresses up a lot. When it comes to gowns, she says you can’t go wrong with Gucci, Saint Laurent or Versace. “I love their styles, fabrics and fit.” On a more casual day, she’ll opt for Vince—“pants, a top and a sweater, and they have the best shirts.” Her goal—always—is to look natural. “Audrey Hepburn didn’t try too hard, yet she looked classy and sophisticated. I identify with her iconic style the most.” And Nark knows something about style—she spent years designing and manufacturing her own sweater line and owned two retail stores in Seattle before closing shop and moving to Orange County. Now, she enjoys styling her friends—and she’s itching to return to the world of fashion. She’s headed to Milan this month for Fashion Week—a trip that she’s making with Max Mara owner and friend Cathy Frandsen. “This is the most exciting time to go. Everyone looks beautiful, and I can’t wait to shop and eat.”<br /> <br /> Heather Madden <br /> <br /> FOUNDING MEMBER OF CHOC CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION <br /> <br /> If collecting shoes is a hobby, then Heather Madden is dedicated to the craft. And she leaves a gorgeous pair to fill as she steps out of her post as director of CHOC Children’s Foundation (although she plans to continue her support). During her tenure, she helped raise more than $125 million for the medical center’s new patient tower. And at this year’s gala, she turned heads in a jaw-dropping black tulle Oscar de la Renta gown. “It was the perfect year for me to wear something over-the-top—we celebrated the new tower opening, and it was the gala’s fifth anniversary… The torture was having to wait three months to wear it.” She and her husband, Jim, enjoy a bicoastal lifestyle, leaving O.C. in the summer to spend time in the Hamptons and sail in Florida, which means you’ll find her sporting simple and versatile ensembles. But come fall, she dons Grace Kelly-inspired looks. “I describe it as classic preppy,” she says. “I appreciate simple rolled-up jeans and crisp white shirts with classic heels.” And about that shoe collection—it’s monopolized by one designer name: Manolo Blahnik. But for Madden, personal style isn’t just about designer labels. “It’s knowing what fits your personality, your body type and your comfort level.”<br /> <br /> Erin Cole <br /> <br /> COUTURE BRIDAL DESIGNER <br /> <br /> Erin Cole’s had an eye for fashion since kindergarten—she remembers coveting her best pal’s white patent leather boots. “She let me put them on, and I was in heaven.” In elementary school, her fashion influence came from a hit television show—Sonny & Cher. “Cher was so fabulous.” Fast-forward to adulthood, and Cole is still fostering her love of fashion, designing bridal gowns for her namesake line, which you’ll find displayed in her Costa Mesa retail salon, Erin Cole Couture Bridal, alongside styles by Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta and Monique Lhuillier. Oh, and she also designs magnificent jewelry pieces. Cole’s own daily look is striking in every way, and she notes one wardrobe staple: “I have these Gucci platform go-to sandals that I love. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing, when these shoes are paired with it, the outfit looks gorgeous.” What’s her favorite season? Summer—and the vacations it brings. She even loves the packing. “I’ll pack for a month making sure I have every outfit for every dinner and pool day,” says the mother of two (Isabella, 12, and Holland, 6). She does the same for her kids. “We lay out all the outfits and throw in a couple of extras, just in case your smoothie explodes.”<br /> <br /> Scharrell Jackson <br /> <br /> CFO OF SQUAR MILNER <br /> <br /> By day, Scharrell Jackson is a buttoned-up exec—the chief financial officer of the CPA firm Squar Milner in Newport Beach. But that’s just what she does. It’s who she is that really matters—a woman who inspires others to reach their highest potential. That parlays perfectly into her personal life. “I’m a mom to three sons [Donavon, 22; Dominique, 20; and Demetrius, 13], a philanthropist, a volunteer and a woman of God.” Her style icon? Michelle Obama. “She dares to be different. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blue-chip label or from J.Crew, Michelle—like myself—wears what she wants. And I believe that, in and of itself, is iconic.” If she could pick a season to last all year, it would be fall. “I would wear hats and long coats. I adore boots and enjoy layers.” She’s partial to earth tones and pops of color, too. “There is nothing like a brown suit with a bold, mustard blouse. Dare to be bold!” But her favorite outfit is this “amazing” LBD that she pairs with strappy shoes and a feather shrug. “It is absolutely stunning, elegant and sexy, all at the same time. When you look good you feel good, and it makes me feel fabulous!”<br /> <br /> Bahar Sedarati <br /> <br /> PHYSICIAN<br /> <br /> Bahar Sedarati grew up in Iran as the granddaughter of a seamstress, so looking fashionable was simply a way of life. She was crafting brooches by the time she was 11, and “Thriller” gloves and bows made to mimic Madonna’s by high school. She chose dresses from catalogs and made them herself. Yes, fashion was her passion, but it was medical school that led her to a successful career as a doctor of internal medicine. “During my residency, I designed and sewed all of my white coats— more of a flare look with a white zipper in the front instead of buttons,” says Sedarati, who founded Bahar Medical Group in Laguna Woods with her husband (also a physician) and just recently established a second practice, Vital Medical Health & Urgent Care in Newport Beach. She still designs many of her own dresses and gowns, which boast classic silhouettes that you might have found icons like Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn donning. In fact, last year she launched an eponymous couture collection. “My patients were inquiring about my dresses, and they were the strongest source of encouragement to establish a clothing line.” At work, she expresses her style by accessorizing. “I wear my Alexis Bittar jewelry to the office, with my scrubs and white coat.” This fall, you’ll also catch her sporting tall boots, rich red nails—“and color, lots of color.”<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />

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