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This Year's Women of Style

The Editors | August 28, 2017 | Feature Features National

Meet five elegant North Shore women who embrace life and fashion on their own terms.

Astra GamsJaeger

As the marketing director for VenueLogic Chicago, as well as an active member of Joffrey’s Women’s Board, GamsJaeger needs to look dashing for downtown evenings and daytime meetings. She has an eye for mixing eclectic clothing—even occasionally stealing a piece from one of her sons’ closets.

I decide what to wear based on the weather and how I feel that day.

I would never wear one of those muumuu dresses.

For comfort, I put on boyfriend jeans.

My go-to pieces are a Missoni jacket and an Alexis Bittar bejeweled long pearl necklace. They both mix with everything from jeans to a little black dress.

My favorite designers are Diane von Furstenberg, and I’m getting inspired by Gucci now, especially with the fun, bold colors and designs.

My makeup approach is natural, but once in a while I go for a bold lip.

When I go to the office, I don’t leave without my gym bag. It’s tough to fit in exercise, but if I’ve got the gear, it’s more likely to happen.

I first figured out the power of fashion when I began my career in marketing and I realized that clothes make a statement about who we are to the world.

In my travel carry-on bag, I always have eye drops and lip moisturizer.

Emma Smoler
Highland Park

A lawyer and musician, Smoler is the newly appointed executive director of the Oistrakh Symphony, a job that combines both of her passions. As a violinist, Smoler’s performance look changes to suit the musical genres she plays, from funky bluegrass to edgier rock ’n’ roll to chic classical music.

My style icons are David Bowie and Chloƫ Sevigny. Both are fashion impresarios.

The most cherished piece in my closet is a black leather motorcycle jacket that I can wear with everything.

My favorite local boutique is Enaz in downtown Highland Park.

When it comes to footwear, I love a chunky heel for performing, and, yes, I do have a pair of blue suede shoes.

As far as accessories, I love bold necklaces and a big bracelet on my left arm, since that’s what shows when I play.

My secret weapon when it comes to fashion is to find pieces that, when I put them on, make me feel like a rock star.

Vidya Puthenveetil
Lake Forest

This accomplished physician works as an internist at the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, and while her job doesn’t demand a fashion sense, reports from Lake Forest confirm that Puthenveetil is always styled to perfection.

My style icon is Jennifer Aniston. She’s always pulled together.

When it comes to footwear, I look for shoes to give my outfit a little pop, so I like an edgier shoe.

As far as jewelry goes, I prefer delicate pieces. I have very few chunky necklaces or earrings.

My secret weapon when it comes to fashion is to always wear the correct bra—really! It can make everything look better and smoother.

The best style advice I ever received was to be yourself. To me that means that if you dress confidently for your style and your life, you’ll always look great.

In my carry-on bag, I always pack my makeup. I don’t check it; I keep it in my on-flight bag.

One trend I can’t live without is the crop top with fitted pants. It looks great on almost everyone.

When I get dressed to go out, I get the party started with Calvin Harris.

Photo shot on location at 500 Sheridan Road, Winnetka,

Brandie Malay Siavelis

Needing to look stylish for the camera—Siavelis has been on Bravo’s Property Envy and HGTV’s Designed to Sell as well as numerous segments on Today—was easy for this Winnetka broker with @properties, who describes her style as preppy with an edge.

My style icon is Charlize Theron. Her red-carpet looks are always on point.

The most cherished piece in my closet has to be my black quilted Chanel bag. It’s a classic.

I never leave the house without my Cartier Tank watch. My favorite designers are Gucci, Calvin Klein and Self-Portrait.

When it comes to footwear, I used to be only a stilettos gal, but then I had kids, so now I have cute flats.

My secret weapon when it comes to fashion is a good blazer.

In my carry-on bag, I always bring a steamer. It doesn’t matter if I’m going to Italy or the beach. I don’t travel without it.

When I get dressed to go out, I get the party started with everything from Metallica to Luke Bryan to Public Enemy.

Suzanne Danilek

Working as a Pilates instructor for the past 20 years has kept Danilek in great shape, but it’s her work as an interior designer that lets her style—both in how she dresses to meet clients and in her interiors—shine.

My approach to fashion is understated elegance with a practical side.

The best style advice I ever received was “Don’t wear prints; you date yourself.”

The most cherished piece in my closet has to be my Missoni long cardigan sweater. It looks great with everything and adds a layer of polish.

I never leave the house without lipstick.

When it comes to footwear, I never wear sneakers except when I’m working out. I will always love heels.

My secret weapon when it comes to fashion is being in shape; it’s the best accessory.

I can’t you live without makeup. I love makeup! I’ve loved it since I was a little girl.

My fashion philosophy is quality over quantity.


Photography by: