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Addie Hamilton

FEATURES

Women of Style

By Tina Borgatta, Michelle Pulfrey and Kristen Schott

Photography by Robert Benson | Shot on location at Paséa Hotel & Spa

08.29.16

With trends as transient as the seasons, the essence of true style is substance. And these six Orange County mavens of fashion are fluent in the art of self-expression, speaking volumes about their uniqueness of character—from their bejeweled necks and wrists to their sparkling stilettos.

ANAIS TANGIE
Where to start with Anais Tangie? Perhaps all the places she lived before settling down in Costa Mesa: born in Montreal; moved to Miami, Orlando and West Palm Beach, Fla.; on to Virginia Beach, Va.; and Frederick, Md.; then back to where it all began. Her mother, she says, “had the heart of a hippie,” so the family traveled constantly—and Tangie picked up style influences at each spot. She visited Israel at 18, and she jets off to New Orleans with boyfriend Michael Harris whenever she can—she says it’s the one place she loves to dress to the nines.

Then there’s her job. As the marketing and events coordinator for SoCo and The OC Mix, her days are a “bustling blur,” meeting with chefs, guiding visiting Japanese guests and acting as an “interpreter” between commercial real estate developers and the small businesses at the center—all while in red patent Michael Kors heels paired with crisp pants, skirts and tailored suits from Ralph Lauren or RW & Co., a Canadian brand that “fits every curve.” Notes Tangie: “As a woman in business, [I] need to be taken seriously and be sleek, not too sexy, but strong and sensible.” Her limited leisure time is packed with everything from surfing to cooking (she is learning to forage for foods and planning an excursion with chef Dee Nguyen of Break of Dawn) to traveling—to New Orleans, natch. It’s where you’ll find her dancing in the streets and dining out in one of her Diane von Furstenberg (her fave designer) dresses or a gown adorned with beads and rhinestones. “Everyone is out of the closet there, and they do what they want to do. … I love that.”

ADDIE HAMILTON
One glimpse at Addie Hamilton and you’ll feel like you’re gazing at a photograph of an old Hollywood lounge singer, her sultry voice floating above the smoky scene, a teasing smirk resting on her rouge lips. Yes, this 20-year-old Emmy-nominated music artist is vintage glam inside and out. “Life has always been dress-up,” she quips. She’s the youngest of seven (she’s got a twin sister—though their taste in apparel couldn’t be more different) and has always inherited pieces from her siblings.

This formed the basis for her “costume-like wardrobe,” which she describes as a marriage between a cirque performer and Marlene Dietrich. It also didn’t hurt that her family lives just minutes from the Orange Circle, where she spent all her extra time in high school admiring antiques and classic clothes. Her first job? Elsewhere Vintage, where she still shops today. Music came later—at age 14, when she found her great-grandmother’s record player and fell in love with jazz. Right now, Hamilton is finishing up her first release and music video—a showcase of her sound and style. In fact, style is “central” to her profession: “If I walked into a music meeting without being gussied up, they would lose the image that is connected to my sound.” She adores 1930s designer Elsa Schiaparelli and admires how consistent the brand has remained. Kate Spade’s also a must, for “the silly pieces every girl needs.” And you can bet she’ll be sporting something from Gucci this fall—like the teal sequined chinoiserie-inspired dress with mink accents on the sleeves. The one thing she won’t leave home without? A cat-eye.

Traci Arntsen

MIN JI CLARK
Attend a dinner party at Min Ji and Robert Clark’s home, and you’ll likely be treated to a feast inspired by culinary creations of the region’s top chefs. “Robert will do most—ok, all—of the cooking, while I’ll do the floral arrangements and craft cocktails,” says the philanthropist, who gets a kick out of infusing spirits with fresh ingredients, including fruit from citrus trees in her yard. “My favorite infusion so far has been an Asian pear, Silver Needle white tea and honey vodka.” Fun, out-of-the-box and fabulous—that’s her style. After all, this is a woman who, as a teen growing up in L.A., spent hours after school combing through thrift stores, browsing the boutiques of Melrose Avenue and Koreatown, and hanging out at Beverly Center. “There was such diversity in... hair, makeup and clothing,” she says. “I loved that there were no wrong choices. That taught me to try new looks and ideas.”

It’s a lesson that comes in handy, especially on days when Min Ji dashes from a committee meeting at Servite High School, where son Knolton plays baseball, to a fete for the JDRF Dream Guild. And you might just catch her in one of her signature statement furs: “I love the juxtaposition of seeing it styled casually during the day with jeans and a silk blouse or thrown over your shoulders in the evening.” Her favorite designer labels? She has many: Saint Laurent, Valentino, Brunello Cucinelli, Toni Maticevski and Resurrection by Juyoung Lee, the latter of which “is like Saint Laurent meets Rick Owens meets ’80s punk.” Fun, fashionable and so Min Ji.

TRACI ARNTSEN
Creativity runs through Traci Arntsen’s blood, so it’s no surprise she has a keen eye for style. As the co-founder and chief creative officer for the home-fragrance company Voluspa, Arntsen designs every scent—and helps create all the packaging, from the bottles to the boxes—in her Irvine studio. A Southern California native, Arntsen sports a style that reflects the region’s casual, laid-back and sunny atmosphere. “If it’s not a meeting day, it’ll be a mixture of Frame skinny denim, a Saint Laurent blouse with Golden Goose sneakers and a statement jewelry piece—usually Lanvin,” she says.

For traveling abroad and conferences in the boardroom, Arntsen’s power look is simple: “If I have meetings, I’m in designer everything. I love Gucci suits and Saint Laurent blazers. I’m craving a Givenchy pinstripe suit right now.” Among the pieces she covets most this fall: Balmain OTK boots and chokers. “I’m obsessed with jeweled chokers and one-shoulder looks,” she notes. “I love that metallic and tinsel are popular too. A girl can never have enough sparkle in her closet.” It was shopping trips with her mother that sparked her interest in fashion: “My mom worked long hours when I was growing up, so time with her was precious. Some of my favorite memories were shopping together. I loved her closet and her ’70s boho style. I always begged to play dress-up.” Perhaps that explains why her favorite wardrobe piece is vintage. “My first and only real fur is a blond mink from the ’50s that my dad bought for me from a vintage store,” she says. “It’s something I would never buy for myself—and meaningful, since it came from him.”  

Alex Lippin

ALEX LIPPIN
Diving into her dual role as jewelry and fine art buyer, and director of PR and marketing for fashion industry entrepreneur Elyse Walker’s eponymous new boutique in Lido Marina Village required Alex Lippin to move from L.A. to Newport Beach. An ocean lover and native Californian, Lippin was eager to make the surfside city she frequented on weekends her home. Most mornings, she’s up early and in the water. Afterward, she begins a flurry of fashion activity: attending daily meetings with Walker, crafting pitches to editors, and scheduling trunk shows and designer appearances. “I also spend a good amount of time researching jewelry lines, checking out interesting artists and making sure the sales team has in-depth product knowledge,” Lippin adds. 

With that pace in mind, she chooses comfort over trend: “I’m a tomboy at the core, so I’m usually in jeans [R13 or Rag & Bone] or leather pants [ThePerfext], Off-White or Alexander McQueen sneakers, and a Balenciaga leather jacket—and, of course, layers of interesting jewelry on my fingers, wrists and neck.” And her wardrobe is coveted by friends, with pieces from Zimmermann, Alaïa, Ann Demeulemeester, Balmain, Saint Laurent, Gianvito Rossi, Manolo Blahnik and, her current obsession, the aforementioned stylish sneakers. Her favorite fall trend: slip dresses in velvet and silk from ThePerfext paired with a Gucci bomber jacket and colorful jewelry. But the piece that means the most to her is her parents’ wedding bands: “My dad gave [them] to me after my mom passed away.”

PRIYANKA KHANNA
Some of Priyanka Khanna’s fondest memories take her back to her native India (“the land of textiles, jewels, maharajas and opulence”) and shopping excursions with her mom. “She always chose exquisite pieces and commissioned stunning jewelry,” notes Khanna. “I could sit for hours and watch her. At the store, while she was busy, I would play with strands of pearls and gold chains.”

Khanna nurtured that passion for beautiful things throughout her childhood. And despite a strict uniform code at the school she attended (Welham Girls’ School, in the foothills of the Himalayas), she found ways to develop her sense of style. “All of these childhood experiences led me to have a keen eye for fashion, jewelry [and] vintage furniture,” says the former fashion buyer, who pairs classics with an edge and builds ensembles around statement jewelry. “I can rock a white tank from the Gap with Balenciaga pants and feel like a million bucks—of course, it’s always with some bling,” says Khanna, who lives in Newport Coast with her husband, Karan, and their son, Kismet. “For an evening look, I mostly wear wide-leg, high-waisted pants in luxurious fabrics with a crop top or bodysuit, or a below-the-knee fitted sheath dress. Black-tie is always a slinky jersey gown or... a sari in Chantilly lace.”

She appreciates fine vintage pieces from Chanel, Saint Laurent and Dior. For new collections, she turns to houses like Tom Ford, Celine and Valentino. “For fall, I’m coveting a denim embroidered jacket from Gucci!” Her favorite item in her closet? “My Hermès crocodile Birkin bag—it was a surprise gift from my husband for Mother’s Day.”