Style Secrets

Mother daughter duos say the darndest things: Fashion Gene Award winners share their style secrets and sartorial mistakes


News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, collage
Courtesy photo
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Holly Smith, Janice McNair and Ruth McNair Smith
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Teresa Bryne-Dodge and Taylor Burne Dodge
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Debbie, Ashley and Lexy Pakzaban
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Alex Blair & Alice Phipps
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Kathy Boss and Kelly Boss Shields
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Mary Tere and Tessa Perusquia
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Carolyn and Kathy Mann
Photo by Dragana Harris
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Kari and Alyssa Parsons
Photo by Daniel Ortiz
News, Clifford, Fashion Gene Awards, Susan Arnoldy Hansen and Brittany Hansen Cassin
Photo by Daniel Ortiz

As a salute to Mother's Day, Recipe for Success founder Gracie Cavnar came up with an idea for a unique fundraiser: Highlight several of Houston's most stylish mother-daughter teams. Now in its fourth year, the Fashion Gene Awards have become a Houston tradition. In this edition it's been expanded to include grandmothers, granddaughters, mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws.

In advance of the May 6 runway show and dinner at Tootsies, with special guest, designer Nanette Lepore and her daughter Violet, the honorees posed for photos by Daniel Ortiz and Dragana Harris and had a lot to say about their sense of style, favorite designers and those occasional funny fashion misfires.

Holly Smith, Janice McNair and Ruth McNair Smith 

In one word, describe your daughter’s and granddaughter's style. 

Janice: Appropriate.

In one word, describe your mother's and daughter’s style. 

Ruth: My mother — conservative; my daughter — fashion-trending.

In one word, describe your grandmother's and mother’s style. 

Holly: My grandmother is classy and my mom is hip.
 

What is your favorite outfit of your daughter's and grandaughter's?

Janice: Texan (outfits).

What is your favorite outfit of your mother's and daughter’s?

Ruth: My mother’s - Any of her beautiful ball gowns; my daughter’s – her wedding dress.

What is your favorite outfit of your grandmother’s?

Holly: Any time she wears her pressed pastel stripped button downs during the spring/summer with cute Capris and her pastel pink toe-nails. It’s very Southern to me since she is from the Carolina’s!

 

Taylor Byrne Dodge and Teresa Byrne-Dodge

How has your daughter influenced your fashion sense?

Teresa: Taylor knows that god is in the details. She knows how to finish and accessorize a look.

How has your mother influenced your fashion sense?

Taylor: My mom always wears what she feels confident in – I’ve learned to do the same. Feel great, look great!

What is your favorite outfit of your daughter’s?

Teresa: A cotton two-piece outfit that Taylor wore the first day of pre-school. It launched her Lilly Pulitzer obsession.

What is your favorite outfit of your mother’s?

Taylor: Her wedding day — July 2012. We bought my mom’s wedding dress (a cocktail gown) online a week prior. It was black and nude lace. She never looked more beautiful!

Who is your favorite designer?

Teresa: Donna Karan.

Taylor: Lilly Pulitzer – She’s one for clean lines, but cheery prints and daring color.

Ashley, Debbie and Lexy Pakzaban

In one word, describe your daughters' style. 

Debbie: Lexy  is preppy and Ashley is minimalist chic.

In one word, describe your mother's style.

Ashley: Elegant.

Lexy: Chic.

How have your daughters influenced your fashion sense?

Debbie: They help me stay youthful.

How has your mother influenced your fashion sense?

Ashley: “When in doubt, go black.”

Lexy: She has made me more classy.

Who is your favorite designer?

Debbie: Ben and Jerry's (ha!).

Ashley: Saint Laurent.

Lexy: Ralph Lauren.

What is your favorite outfit of your mother’s?

Ashley: Her long mink coat.

Lexy: My mom’s white robe that she wears at night.

Alex Blair and Alice Phipps

In one word, describe your daughter’s style. 

Alex: Classy.

In one word, describe you mother's style.

Alice: Adventurous, colorful.

How has your daughter influenced your fashion sense?

Alex: Alice is more conservative. I like colors.

How has your mother influenced your fashion sense?

Alice: Always odd, something fun in my outfits, but always elegant.

What’s been your daughter’s biggest fashion faux pas?

Alex: A hippie jacket, a green winter jacket with fur.

What’s been your mother's fashion faux pas?

Alice: A furry Barbie pink sweater that looks like a muppet.

Kathy Fountain Boss and Kelly Boss Shields

In one word, describe your daughter’s style. 

Kathy: Elegant.

In one word, describe your mother’s style. 

Kelly: Casual classic.

What’s been your daughter’s biggest fashion faux pas?

Kathy: Everything she wore before 8th grade or when her look isn’t finished.

What’s been your mothers biggest fashion faux pas?

Kelly: Velvet over-the-knee boots with high heels and a casual T, to the dog park.

Who is your favorite designer?

Kathy: Bruno Cucinelli, Donna Karan, Roberto Rodriguez.

Kelly: The Row, Ralph Lauren, Theory.

Mary Tere and Tessa Perusquia

In one word, describe your daughter’s style.

Mary Tere: Glamorous.

In one word, describe your mother’s style.

Tessa: Trendy.

What is your favorite outfit of your daughter’s?

Mary Tere: Her royal blue dress.

What is your favorite outfit of your mother’s?

Tessa: Her pink Oscar de la Renta dress.

What’s been your daughter’s biggest fashion faux pas?

Mary Tere: Her manly style in middle school.

What’s been your mother’s biggest fashion faux pas?

Tessa: Shoulder pads!

Who is your favorite designer?

Mary Tere: Oscar de la Renta.

Tessa: Stella McCartney.

 

Kathy and Carolyn Mann

In one word, describe your daughter-in-law's style. 

Carolyn: Elegant.

In one word, describe your mother-in-law's style.

Kathy: Elegant.

How has your daughter-in-law influenced your fashion sense?

Carolyn: She gives me her honest opinion about what I wear. I really appreciate her honesty.

How has your mother-in-law influenced your fashion sense?

Kathy: Carolyn is always so well put together no matter where she goes. I try to be the same way!

What is your favorite outfit of your daughter-in-law's?

Carolyn: The white dress she wore for her photo shoot.

What is your favorite outfit of your mother-in-law's?

Kathy: She has a beautiful rose colored cocktail dress that fits her to a T. She looks fabulous in it!

Alyssa and Kari Parsons

How has your daughter influenced your fashion sense?

Kari: Alyssa has influenced my fashion sense in her ability to choose her own look without being overly influenced by what everyone else thinks style should be.

How has your mother influenced your fashion sense?

Alyssa: She has taught me the importance of investing in timeless, expensive pieces and pairing them with trendier, affordable finds.

Who is your favorite designer?

Kari: I don’t really have a favorite designer. I like a little of a lot of labels. My most favorite designer dress I ever owned was a Dolce & Gabbana dress that I bought in two colors because I loved it so much!

Alyssa: Joie or Parker.

What’s been your daughter’s biggest fashion faux pas?

Kari: Ugly Doc Martin shoes with her school uniform and buying Abercrombie and Fitch that she was never quite “filled out” enough for!

What’s been your mother’s biggest fashion faux pas?

Alyssa: She rarely makes them, but as I recall, she went through a pretty serious shoulder-pad phase.

 

 

Susan Arnoldy Hansen and Brittany Hansen Cassin

In one word, describe your daughter’s style. 

Susan: Trendy.

In one word, describe your mother’s style. 

Brittany: Casual classic.

How has your daughter influenced your fashion sense?

Susan:  She keeps me in younger styles.

How has your mother influenced your fashion sense.

Brittany: She's always there to pick outfits and find sales. Good advice for any genre.

What is your favorite outfit of your daughter’s?

Susan: A Nanette Lepore skirt.

What is your favorite outfit of your mother’s?

Brittany: Some great gowns.

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Tickets for the 2015 Fashion Gene Awards runway show and presentation by Nanette Lepore at Tootsies on May 6 at 6:30 p.m. are available online at $50 each.

 

 

 

 

 

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