St. Louis' Best Dressed List 2012
10 of St. Louis' Most Stylish Individuals
Photographs by Tuan Lee
Rams running back Steven Jackson’s style stands out even on the field: His custom-made gold-and-white cleats are the only ones in the NFL. “I take great pride in my fashion,” says the Las Vegas native. “First impressions: You only get those once.”
Style Inspiration: The color of my suits comes from the Las Vegas scene… You could see an older man in a canary-yellow suit, and it looks good. But it all depends on how it forms to the body.
Key to Style: I have a lot of custom pieces because of the broadness of my shoulders compared to the narrowness of my hips.
Favorite Designers: Dolce&Gabbana, Tom Ford, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Favorite Item: Jordan 11s… I’m kind of a sneakerhead.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: I went through this phase where I’d wear a lot of FUBU Platinum, the edition where they highlighted the Fat Albert characters. —Jarrett Medlin
Instead of going into academia after getting his MFA in painting at Washington University, Philip Slein began organizing art shows. In 2003, he opened his self-titled gallery on Washington Avenue, which recently moved to the Central West End. Lately, he’s been painting satirical portraits of people in the art world, feeling that some take themselves too seriously. His personal style follows that belief: It’s a happy medium of classic and eclectic.
Favorite Accessories: Cuff links, Hermès pocket squares, and watches.
Least Favorite Items: Brightly printed T-shirts, like those fake printed rock ’n’ roll T-shirts. I don’t wear flip-flops, either.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: There have been some pretty bad hairstyles. When I see photos of my hair in the ’80s, I wonder what I was thinking.
Go-To Outfit in a Pinch: If it’s a formal occasion, I would wear a suit with a smoking shirt, pocket square, and Gucci loafers.
Opinion of St. Louis Street Style: I think St. Louis style is too safe. People need to express themselves and be more open. When you put on something fashionable, you feel more powerful, and it makes you walk out the door with a positive attitude. —Nancy McMullen
Joan Lee Berkman
After retiring from Southwestern Bell (now AT&T), Joan Lee Berkman wrote a book with her mother titled Face Watchers: Wrinkles Are Physical, Face Lines Are Mental. “We talked about all of the difficult people in your life and how to humorously handle them,” says Berkman. Now, as head of her own marketing firm (also named Face Watchers) and a member of several nonprofit boards, Berkman is always dressed to impress.
Style Icons: Grace Kelly and Catherine Deneuve. My mother, too, was very classy and sophisticated in the way she dressed.
Favorite Accessory: A smile is probably the best accessory anybody can have. But if you want a fashion statement, this year they’re going to be suede platform pumps.
Something She’d Never Wear: Low-riding jeans. Those are the most uncomfortable things I’ve worn in my entire life.
Favorite Fashion Era: I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at one of the Great Gatsby’s parties.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: When I first started lobbying [for Southwestern Bell] in Washington, D.C., I was invited to a reception. I was wearing business attire, and I go only to find out it was a backyard barbecue. —Rosalind Early
Emily Brady Koplar
Emily Brady Koplar’s middle name before marriage, Wai Ming, translates to “gift of life.” It’s now the name of her fashion line and an homage to her Chinese heritage. After graduating from the prestigious Parsons School for Design in New York, she designed for lines such as Vivienne Tam and Aéropostale before starting her own. Today, her clothing is sold locally at Ivy Hill and Cha—and worldwide, from New York to Bermuda.
Favorite Accessories: Shoes, interesting bracelets, and a great pair of earrings.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: I wore Umbros every day in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I was obsessed with Paula Abdul, so I’d wear a ponytail every day.
Go-To Outfit in a Pinch: A dress—it requires a lot less thought and makes you look put-together.
Fall-Fashion Staple: Leather and texture are big for fall. Boots or booties with a great chunky sweater are my go-to staples.
Opinion of St. Louis Street Style: I’ve grown up here, and I’ve seen the evolution of how people dress. I think St. Louisans are better-dressed now than they’ve been before. There are a lot more interesting boutiques, and all of the fashion websites give people more access to style. —N.M.
A mixologist and co-owner of Blood & Sand, TJ Vytlacil at one time worked alongside Taste’s Ted Kilgore, whom he credits as the reason he stayed in the restaurant biz. Vytlacil’s creative cocktails are mirrored by his signature outfit: a brightly colored shirt and tie, with a neutral vest, jeans, and sneakers.
Style Icon: Johnny Depp. I dig a lot of his innovative ideas.
Favorite Accessory: A belt that I bought in Thailand. It’s a simple canvas belt with a buckle that I got for $1 about eight years ago.
Least Favorite Items: Hats. I don’t like dress pants, either; I’m more of a jeans guy. And I can’t stand dress shoes.
Favorite Local Stores: The Future Antiques has a great selection of ties. I get a lot of French cuff-link shirts from ScholarShop, too.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: What I wore in the ’80s—a lot of pastels, followed by a lot of really hot colors. I had a side spike at one point, too. Now, the one thing I have to keep an eye out for is keeping my zipper closed. The way I put my clothes on, for some reason I consistently forget. —N.M.
Although she’s now a successful interior designer, fashion was Amie Corley’s first love. Her taste for simple, chic style transformed into an obsession with the design industry after she and her husband bought a 1907 bungalow in the Central West End. Earlier this year, Southern Living magazine named her one of five New Tastemakers for the South. Corley’s interiors are bright, eclectic, and unexpected, like her fashion sense.
Style Icon: Gwyneth Paltrow. Her style is simple and classic, all about the fit.
Favorite Accessory: Bracelets and a big gold watch. I love the look of a vintage Rolex.
Least Favorite Item: Pants. I’m short, so everything has to be hemmed. If I could wear dresses every day, I would.
Favorite Stores Beyond St. Louis: I used to love La Garçonne, but it’s only a website now. Jeffrey is amazing in New York and Atlanta, and I love shopping at Colette when I’m in Paris.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: My entire college career; I was such a hippie. It was ’90s grunge—definitely an era I’d like to forget. —N.M.
Years ago, Bill Donius picked up a book about tapping into the brain’s right hemisphere by using your nondominant hand in thought exercises—a method he used as president of Pulaski Bank. After stepping down in 2008, he wrote a best-selling book on the subject, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.
Interest in Fashion: I learned a lot from my mother, who has always dressed well. She was influential on my father as well.
Go-To Outfit in a Pinch: A great-fitting electric-blue suit I bought in New York.
Favorite Designers: Brooks Brothers, Versace, and Zegna suits. Having said all that, I have never been overly brand-conscious. I’ve always looked at the fabric and the way the suit fits.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: I was wearing my best suit that I had just purchased, and the residence that I was in was packed with people. So I was scooting around a sofa, and there was a nail in it. It caught my pant leg and ripped the pants open about 6 inches right from my thigh to my knee.
Keys to Style: Being fit, and buying clothes that fit well. —R.E.
Growing up in Florissant, Anthony Grice was influenced by his stylish dad. “My father always dressed well,” he says. “So it was something that just came naturally to me.” A labor-and-employment lawyer at Husch Blackwell, Grice stays busy—even in his spare time. He’s scuba dived Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and serves on the board of Acts of a Random Thought, a local nonprofit that uses poetry to inspire adolescent boys.
Interest in Fashion: I’m probably more into style than fashion. Fashion is more about trends that come and go. Men’s style I don’t think really changes much.
Favorite Accessory: My Omega watch. It’s a diver’s watch.
His Style in Five Words: Simple, classic… I don’t know that I can get to five.
Favorite Stores: Moris Fashions, Mister Guy, and Shrine Haberdashers in Chicago. I’m a big Goorin Bros. hats guy.
Key to Style: The fit. It doesn’t really matter what the label is or who makes it. Something that fits you well is much more important. —R.E.
Between attending each of her three sons’ games and running Sunrise Fitness Camp, Nicole Nester spends most of her day in athletic gear. “I’m a Lululemon freak,” she says. But she also loves fashion and even worked at Blush Boutique. Nester’s also on the advisory board for Mystique Boutique, a nonprofit mobile store run by Dress for Success Midwest.
Favorite Item: A black leather jacket with very soft leather—like a biker jacket. I can wear it with a million things.
Go-To Outfit in a Pinch: In the fall, a nice pair of jeans with a brown or black leather jacket and a flowy shirt with a print.
Favorite Accessory: A solid gold charm bracelet that was started for me when I was young by my mother and my grandmother. Over the years, I’ve added charms to it that were special to me. I always say that if my house were on fire, that’s the one thing I would definitely want to save.
Favorite Season: Fall, because I like the warmness of the colors.
Key to Style: Balance and simplification. I think you can overdo it, and I like a simple, well-balanced look. —R.E.
Saskya Emmink-Byron has always been particular about style—even in kindergarten, she chose her outfits. So when she moved here from the Netherlands 16 years ago, she left a career as a criminal lawyer and turned to art, soon finding herself at Craft Alliance. In 2001, she founded the Fashion Forum, now Craft Alliance’s Fashion Lab, exploring the art of fashion.
Favorite Designers: Maison Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto, Atsuro Tayama, Haider Ackermann, Kris Van Assche, and Rick Owens.
Favorite Accessories: I always wear my stack of golden rings. They all have a meaning. I never take them off.
Go-To Outfit in a Pinch: Black slacks with a black top and black high heels.
Most Embarrassing Fashion Moment: In high school, I bought a really long chain at the hardware store, and I wore that around my neck like a necklace. I still cringe a little thinking about it.
Key to Style: Stay true to yourself. It’s not so much about what is hip at the moment. It’s more what fits your personality, what fits your body, the quality of the fabric, and making sure the pieces
fit together. —R.E.