Now Playing

Women of Style

Beautiful, benevolent, stylish—behold, a coterie with everything we look for in a woman: a charitable mind, an admirable profession and chic self-possession. All also have the kind of fiery personality that leave a trail of admirers in their wake, wherever they go. And for these loveliest of ladies, that path is always interesting.

Jennifer Karol

When asked to name her favorite designer, Karol—the same ball of energy who sported a spangled majorette jacket to lead a marching band through the DMA at last year’s Art Ball, then later whirled around the after-party dance floor in a little Dior dress—shares, “My mother used to ask me what my favorite color was when I was a little girl, and I told her that I could never pick because I did not want to hurt the other colors’ feelings. Same [thing here]… I could never pick!” It is this very outlook that makes Karol both riotously fun and down-to-earth, whether she’s telling tales about her backyard chicken coop or relaying what compels her to aid her adopted community. For this native Oklahoman, it’s a “moral obligation” she takes on with aplomb, having spent the last three years chairing Help the Homeless Week for The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center with hubby Tom; lending a hand to Habitat for Humanity; and, of course, helping raise $2.25 million to benefit the Dallas Museum of Art with co-chair Catherine Rose at 2013’s Untitled Art Ball. All this while tending to her blended family of five kids, enjoying date nights and music at Lee Harvey’s. Believe it or not, this haute shot was the first taken. Snap!

Shirt dress by Haider Ackermann, jewelry all vintage Christian Lacroix, boots by Givenchy

Katie Bivins

There’s something to be said for a woman who can just as easily rattle off her favorite designers—R13, Rick Owens and Maison Olga for clothes; Walter Steiger and United Nude for shoes; and Noor Fares for jewelry—as she can work a ranch. “I love working cattle… seeing the sunrise on horseback is bliss,” she offers. One look at this lady is all it takes to see she’s comfortable with both. Thoughtful, quiet and smoldering, the Grange Hall-employed Bivins is at home in its delightful surrounds. She cites her co-workers (“the most creative individuals anyone could ever dream to encounter”) as the reason why. She came to Dallas by way of Amarillo, her hometown, but not before the ocean steered her to San Diego for school, then to Venice Beach.Nowadays, she’s devoted to the Think Ahead Group, or TAG, a young professionals’ organization that raises money for the Center for Brain Health. Now on the board, she shares, “To say this group is incredible is a severe understatement. Having lost my father to a brain disease, I have made it an enormous goal of mine to raise money and awareness [for] brain-related issues. If somehow my efforts can, later down the road, prevent another girl [from] the sadness I endured, then I would be infinitely happy.”

T-shirt by R13, ring by K/LLER

Lindsey Collins

Expecting a girl with long blond locks to walk into our shoot, Collins popped in with a chin-length chop, flooring all, while looking, well, amazing—and strong. “I’m walking around Aoyama in Japan. A salon has a Duchamp book in the window,” she explains. Then and there Collins made the decision to shear her strands, and put her trust in Duchamp and a Japanese stylist. Cue a full swoon over Collins’ confident impulsiveness, which is in keeping with her direct approach to everything, whether it’s outing her board status for the film festival CineMarfa or revealing her stance on fashion-as-investment. “A woman’s personal clothing collection has no value except to her,” she says, “which is in itself valuable, but in a different way! Expensive clothing is a luxury expense rather than an investment.” Collins does enjoy fashion, though. Back in Japan, in what marked a first for shoemaker Noritaka Tatahana—the man behind Lady Gaga’s heel-less shoes—Collins commissioned the tastemaker to make her three pairs of cowboy boots. But her true passions lean more toward bluegrass music (she plays fiddle and mandolin), her new mineral business with husband Patrick, and, above all, her baby boy, Ford.

Blazer by Gucci, bodysuit by American Apparel, bra by Chantelle

Charlotte Anderson

Because she’s the first woman to chair the NFL committee and the NCAA Final Four organizing committee, as well as the first woman named National Chair of the Salvation Army, how can we not anoint the lovely Ms. Anderson, executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys, anything other than first lady of Dallas? In turn, she gives thanks to her father. It was, after all, his refusal to give in to stereotypes that encouraged Anderson to pursue a profession once considered impenetrable domain in the so-called “man’s world.“ “I’m proud to be a part of changing the perception of what women can and can’t do in sports or otherwise,” she expresses. “It’s not what I set out to do, [but] it’s always been about having passion and bringing the best ideas to the table,” an example she shows her children—Haley, Shy Jr., and Paxton—and other footstep-following females. “I look forward to many more ‘firsts’ from women everywhere,” adds Anderson, who will chair United Way’s 90th anniversary alongside former Cowboys QB Troy Aikman in the coming year, the same role she’ll fill this fall on behalf of The Salvation Army’s 125th anniversary. She is also helping open the new Salvation Army YET Center (Youth Education Town) in Arlington. And yet, with all she’s got in play these days, Anderson still manages to pursue her “first love” of fashion, incorporating not only Kaufman Franco and Alexander McQueen into her game-day wardrobe, but also, in cahoots with close friends, scouting the mobile boutique Luxeliner. Not without a sense of humor, Anderson prompts plenty of laughs when, considering her extracurricular output, asks, “What’s a free day?”

Oyster blouse by Brunello Cucinelli, black sheer blouse and leather pants by Helmut Lang, shoes by Manolo Blahnik, bracelets by Monique Pean, necklace by Jessica Kagan Cushman

Christen Wilson

“Minimalism sparked so many questions for me—that was my love-at-first-sight moment,” says Wilson, on the initial spark of what’s since become her full-blown love affair with art. And Wilson’s fire is now fully ablaze: She’s chair of the upcoming TWOxTWO benefiting AmFAR and the DMA, works on behalf of the International Council for the TATE and the North American Acquisition committee, and contributes to the Dallas Art Fair. “Dallas has extreme generosity and patronage for its museums and Arts District,” relays the enthusiastic arts backer/collector. Although singling out Sterling Ruby’s “Time Machine” as a favorite of her collected works, and new artist, Eddie Peake, as her latest love, Wilson still keeps company and maintains close relationships with many artists and curators. “It brings me joy to have such wonderful friends and mentors,” she says. Wilson’s artistic leanings also extend to the world of fashion, and she finds the innerworkings between a designer and a collection especially intriguing. Her pet piece—“a Dior Haute Couture dress [from] a Sterling Ruby and Raf Simons [collaboration] I wore to the MET Gala this year”—is, she confesses, “the only piece of clothing that I’m not sure whether it belongs in my closet or in our art collection.”

Dress, belt and shoes by Christian Dior, London cap by John White & Son

Jenny Kirtland

Sitting in a chair, her wild golden halo of hair bouncing around her, Kirtland regales a captive audience with a story about a recent video shoot for her band Polyphonic Spree’s latest single, “Hold Yourself Up.” Pieces of this account involve “a hot seven-hour day in a dusty barn off Lake Tawakoni in East Texas” and “dancing in the heat of Dallas’ summer—no A/C.” Even shoots of confetti make the mix. Notes our narrator, “After so many takes, we eventually ran out and had to reuse the confetti on the floor, consequently picking up hay and dirt with it. We had hay, dirt and confetti shooting at our drenched bodies.” Cue a head thrown back in laughter and this admission: “You should have seen my hair!” This infectious bout of mirth indicates the ordeal was actually a fun romp in the hay. But Kirtland radiates similar lightness at all times, from discussing her theater days in NYC to the trajectory of her musical career, which jumps from touring the country with her church choir and recording radio jingles for local businesses, to fronting her rock band Crista and, finally, banding with Polyphonic Spree 12 years ago. Though currently on the road, Kirtland is also a hands-on mom with creative flair (“having awesome kids helps”), who finds time to support charities (Booker T. Washington’s FLYINGHORSE is a favorite) and take family vacations, most recently to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho—or, as she puts it, “the Wild West with bears and moose… [and] no Internet!” Kirtland’s wardrobe is decidedly more au courant. She mingles Isabel Marant and Jeremy Laing separates with old, new and everything in between for a luminous style all her own. Boho chic, indeed.

Top by Comme des Garçons, skirt by Sacai Luck, cuff via VOD Boutique

Anais Assoun

“Dallas art patrons are gracious, and it’s not unusual for important Dallas collectors to open their homes and private collections to the out-of-town visitor,” fashion journalist Assoun says. “That doesn’t happen in many places in the world.” In firm possession of this knowledge herself, the California-born Assoun, who lived in NYC, Paris, Germany and London before Texas, has lent a hand to MTV’s RE:Define, an association that stemmed from Goss-Michael and its impressive collection of British contemporary art, and acknowledges that while “art feeds the soul,” it’s also relevant to the community. “Dallas is a great place to do business, but a city needs culture,” elaborates Assoun, naming the DMA, Dallas Contemporary, Nasher, and Goss-Michael, along with educational initiatives, like Big Thought, TWOxTWO and RE:Define, as not only significant to the city, but also to her personally. Equally informed on fashion, Assoun has an MA from Central St. Martins, which bred the likes of Stella McCartney, and writes for Neiman Marcus. “I can’t remember ever not appreciating fashion,” she confesses. And on days off, Assoun takes the reins of a temperamental dressage horse—a “Barbie blond palomino.” Obviously, there’s little this lady can’t tame.

Jumpsuit by Valentino

Merry Vose

“One of my favorite quotes,” says Vose, “is ‘Choose your words sweet and tender, you will be eating them someday.’” This pert, laid-back entrepreneur’s words are honey, and we’ve been eating them up—especially when they pertain to her taste in clothing. Peter Pilotto, Crippen, Marissa Webb… these are just some of the lines she’ll be carrying at her new boutique, Canary, this fall. Cabana, her casual lifestyle boutique, wasn’t solely holstering her style: “I kept seeing lines that I loved, but didn’t necessarily fit in the Cabana brand mix.” The new store will target feminine, polished ladies who like a little edge with their event wear—think the multi-patterned Mary Katrantzou dress she wore while co-chairing the DMA’s Art Ball in 2012—fun, unexpected and comfortable. And comfort is priority for the usually jeans and Golden Goose sneaker-clad Vose, who also contributes to the Dallas Contemporary, the North Texas Food Bank and her children’s schools. Her sweetest spot? Vose sings the praises of Dallas women: “More than anywhere else, the women in Dallas are incredibly supportive of one another, and I so appreciate and love the sense of ‘girl power’ they embrace.” It’s this warmth that makes us want to call her our friend… and raid her closet.

Shirt by Frank & Eileen, jeans by NSF, shoes by Marissa Webb, necklace by Jean Mahie, watch by Cartier