Stylemaker Awards 2016 Houston
Stylemaker Finalists

Houston's top Stylemakers: Finalists offer advice on fab fashion and worst trends

H-Town's top Stylemakers: Finalists dish on fab fashion, worst trends

CultureMap Stylemakers finalists Houston
Clockwise, from left, CultureMap Stylemaker finalists Alfredo Rojas,Travis Cal, Kavya Pernankil,  Gregg Harrison, Michael Pearce, and Chiara Casiraghi Brody. Photo by Jay Marroquin/collage by Marcy de Luna

You came. You saw. You voted.

We're down to the final six in our second annual CultureMap Stylemaker Awards, in which we celebrate the most fashionable men and women in Houston. From the 12 semifinalists chosen for their unique style by a panel of judges, you decided who would make it to the final round through online voting. (And in a first, four our our six finalists are men, proving that stylishness isn't confined to one gender.)

Speaking of the finals, now you must vote again, this time to determine the Readers’ Choice winner. You can vote once a day, every day, until October 19 at 11:59 pm.

As a reward for making the finals, each of our remaining contestants showed off their unique style in a photo shoot with noted Houston fashion photographer Jay Marroquin. We also looked to our final six Stylemakers for fashion advice in order to help you get to know a little more about them, their secrets to being stylish, and trends that they think should be buried for good.

Here’s what they had to say:

 

Chiara Casiraghi Brody Online Editor for La Palme magazine

How do you describe your style?
Clean, modern and classic with a bit of edge. I prefer to look effortless. 

What one trend are you the most over?
The over abundance of ruffles, I prefer sleek lines.

What's one fashion item you can't live without?
A good bag.

What's the one fall trend you are looking forward to the most?
There’s SO much! Streetwear is coming back in a big way and we have only seen the beginning of it, even if your looking past fall. Turning everything into streetwear, fabulous dresses with casual boots or sneakers. The ongoing aesthetic has been feminine for a while but we are really starting to see an edgy side creeping in. Not in an overpowering way, but in elements. For example pairing leather jackets, bomber jackets, oversized distressed denim and edgier pieces with the feminine pieces in your closet.

 

Travis Cal, Fashion Stylist and Event Planner

How do you describe your style? 
Artfully eclectic.  Every day is an opportunity to dress how I feel and I try to take full advantage of that thought process.  So one day can be very classic and clean, and the next day it could be over the top, mix-master look. I like classic lines, with bold colors, textures, and I always love a crazy pair of socks and an unexpected hat to spice up any look. For me fashion is more about a feeling.

What one trend are you the most over?
I hate kitten heels!!!  I have a special place in my heart for women in a pair of really high stilettos. I get it, kitten heels are comfortable, and some are actually really cute.  However, higher heels elongate the leg, add instant drama and sexy to the most basic look, and have been known to bring grown men to their knees.

What's one fashion item you can't live without?
I can't live without my Swarovski crystal Gucci sneakers. They just make me happy!

What's the one fall trend you are looking forward to the most?
I am super excited about the selection of outerwear and statement coats that are available for both men and women this fall. I think a great coat or leather/denim jacket can take simple jeans and T-shirt to the next level. 

 

Gregg HarrisonAttorney, Photographer

How do you describe your style?
I like to change my "style" depending where I am or what is going on.  I love to wear my tailored two button or double breasted suits to court/work;  an eclectic and funky mixture of vintage and formal wear for evening functions;  vintage western wear for HLSR, the ranch or a visit to the Southwest; or my preppy/casual style when I am in Martha's Vineyard in the summertime.  So its hard to describe one style!  I just love collecting pieces for each collection.

What one trend are you the most over?
Shiny gold or silver sneakers with metal studs! 

What's one fashion item you can't live without?
My stainless 42mm Rolex with blue face and roman numeral dial that my dad bought me for my 40th birthday!  I don't like to leave home without it!

What's the one fall trend you are looking forward to the most?
'70s-ish style (bold) pieces being sold at Etro, Tom Ford, Gucci or Cavalli.  This years men's fall color combinations of brown leather with black or  grey wool are sleek. I always look forward to browsing fall collections at the stores.

 

Michael PearceAttorney, Society Blogger

How do you describe your style?
Daddy-Realness. When my daughter was born, I knew I needed to be thoughtful about my position as role model. I made drastic changes in my life, lost more than 100 pounds and started talking about my appearance and fashion in terms of empowerment; body types as healthy, not skinny or fat; clothes as a way to express your individual style, not ideals you have to fit into or adopt.  

What one trend are you the most over?
Traveling in clothes that look like you wore them the night before to an all-night fraternity party. I am a fraternity guy, so I love a toga. Don’t get me wrong; but when you’re waiting in line to pre-board, people shouldn’t look at you and think ,“I wonder what happened to them? Is that a ketchup stain or blood stain?”

What's one fashion item you can't live without?
My ketchup stained toga. I kid. It’s my wedding rings. I am who I am because of my family. I work at being a better person because of them. No other item I wear reminds me to be grateful, confident and proud more than those rings.

What's the one fall trend you are looking forward to the most?
Wait, trends change each season?  Is this common knowledge? (checks Twitter)
Fashion, like life, is meant to be fun; don’t worry if you’re not trending.

 

Kavya PernankilBusiness Analyst, Fashion Blogger

How do you describe your style?
I would describe my style as modern, sleek and minimal. This is what I think of every time I put an outfit together and the inspiration behind my looks.

What is one trend are you the most over?
I am definitely most over flannel plaid print shirts. I think there was a point in time where everyone was wearing it and I could just not get into it. I still see it sneaking up around the fall season and avoid it at all costs!

What's one fashion item you can't live without?
My purses and handbags! I wholeheartedly believe they elevate and pull together the entire look. I've got to have it!

What's the one fall trend you are looking forward to the most?
For fall I am most looking forward to knit turtlenecks, believe it or not! I absolutely love them. I think that every woman or man can look chic in a nice knit turtleneck. I'm especially looking forward to the updated bell sleeve long sleeve turtleneck for fall!

 

Alfredo RojasPetroleum Engineer, Fashion Designer

How do you describe your style? 
This is always a hard question to answer but I would describe it as casual and deconstructed. I always dress according to my mood and of course the occasion, but always to feel comfortable and relaxed.

What one trend are you the most over? 
I really don't follow trends and am not a fan of them in general. But the one I still see men overdo nowadays is the pointy shoes and "happy"  socks (all sorts of colors and patterns) look.

What's one fashion item you can't live without?
Oh man this is tough!!! LOL! But I would have to choose two items. The first one would be a white cotton long sleeve button down shirt from my brand New Union. It is made in the USA from a soft but sturdy cotton that I can wear all year round. The second one would be my Alden chocolate suede loafers, they are very easy to wear and I can pair them with white jeans or a dark navy suit. I always gravitate toward pieces that are versatile.

What's the one fall trend you are looking forward to the most? 
For the fall weather I always look forward to layers and richer fabrics like wool and cashmere. When the temperature drops, I love wearing a nice clean crew neck sweater or a textured cardigan that I can run errands in all day (especially if I'm with my 3-year-old son) and then go grab drinks or dinner at night while still being dressed for the occasion.