Meet four accomplished North Shore women whose fashion sense and confident style come from staying true to themselves.
Vicki Stauber wears a KHAITE dress and Brent Neale earrings, both from Athene, and Gianvito Rossi white booties from Bergdorf Goodman.
This modern marketer considers getting dressed a form of self-expression and art.
Before she became merchandising director at Athene (shopathene.com) in Winnetka, Vicki Stauber was a regular customer there. She’s had numerous chapters in her career since graduating from Northwestern—sales, marketing, consulting, education—but one constant has been her love of great clothes. “I was always the kid who wanted one high-quality piece rather than a bunch of disposable things,” she recalls, crediting her mother, who was a talented seamstress, for helping her understand good design. Stauber and her husband moved to Glencoe when their children were small, and they now live in Wilmette.
For Stauber, personal style is not about following trends, nor is it about having a go-to uniform or capsule wardrobe. “That works well for a lot of people,” she says, “but sartorial expression is a core creative outlet in my life, and I relish the opportunity to change up my style on a regular basis.” She may wear a pared-down minimalist look one day and be more over-the-top the next, but there’s always a modern sensibility. “My personal style flows from a phrase a friend mentioned a long time ago—‘stay interested and interesting,’” says Stauber. Her willingness to be open to new opportunities led to the position at Athene. “It all unfolded in the best way.”
Her favorite designers are Cate Holstein at KHAITE, Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci (when he was with Givenchy) and Isabel Marant. For fall, Stauber has her eye on boots from Paris Texas and Nili Lotan leather pants. She’s a recent convert to the Westman Atelier makeup line, but for local services, “Trish Davidson and Toula Louras at Pascal Pour Elle in Glencoe are my dream team for hair.”
Joi Hunt wears a vintage handpainted Roberto Cavalli gown.
Style is just one way this talented calligrapher expresses elegance and grace.
After moving to Lake Forest from Chicago after her second child was born, Joi Hunt gave birth to another significant entity—her business, Bien Fait Calligraphy (bienfaitcalligraphy.com). Hunt works in the wedding industry and with luxury retail clients like Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo and Jimmy Choo. Photos of her beautiful work have been published widely and helped attract nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram.
Hunt describes her personal style as classic and authentic. “Style is about self-expression; being comfortable with who you are and showing that to the world,” she says. Her workday uniform is deconstructed boyfriend jeans and a cashmere sweater, with a Ferragamo scarf and luxury handbag as her go-to accessories. But she’s not afraid to make a splash. “When dressing for events and galas, I always wear color,” she says.
Living in London and traveling through Europe made a big impact on her fashion sense. “Spend a day in the Louvre or a weekend in Paris and your style will definitely be changed.” Hunt considers Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Letizia of Spain and Charlotte Casiraghi as her fashion icons, and admires designers Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta and Vera Wang. Closer to home, Hunt enjoys shopping at The Lake Forest Shop and M on the Square. The item she’s most coveting for fall? “I really want a chinchilla mini fur jacket,” she says, “but I might need to wait another year so it doesn’t look too Game of Thrones-inspired.”
Rada Burdeen wears a Bardot dress, Casadei sandals purchased in Rome, and custom 18K yellow gold, platinum and diamond haute jewels exclusively by Burdeen’s Jewelry.
For this charismatic jewelry store exec, there’s no such thing as too much bling.
Since moving to the U.S. from the Ukraine when she was 3 years old, Rada Burdeen has always lived on the North Shore. She grew up in Lincolnwood, went to school in Highland Park and now lives with her husband and two sons in Northbrook. Burdeen manages the operations and finances of their family business, Burdeen’s Jewelry (burdeens.com) in Buffalo Grove. Given all the sparkle in her daily life, it only makes sense that Burdeen’s style is just as radiant.
“My personal style is sexy but sophisticated, with lots of blingy accessories,” she says. “After all, I’m a Russian girl!” Burdeen’s mother and grandmother used to dress her up as their kukla (Russian for doll), which gave her a lifelong love of all things fancy. “There is no such thing for me as overdressed,” she says. “Clothes make me feel confident, happy, strong and able to conquer everything I set forth.” Burdeen admires Diane von Furstenberg, Jonathan Simkhai, and many up-and-coming designers. She and her husband love to travel, which gives her the chance to explore local boutiques for unique pieces.
But the favorite item in her wardrobe, naturally, is jewelry. “Nothing makes a woman feel as special,” she says. “My everyday jewelry staples represent happy occasions and sentimentality. Jewelry can remind you of the past and keep you focused on working hard for the future.” It can also save the day. Once, when Burdeen was in Venice getting ready for an important event, she tore the front of her gown. Her husband “laced” a long diamond necklace through the tear, creating a stunning effect. “I must have got a hundred compliments on my dress that night,” she says.
Lindsay McFarlane wears a Brunello Cucinelli silk top and Veronica Beard leopard blazer, both from Neiman Marcus Northbrook Court.
The vibrant CEO of Working Girl has a strong foundation in fashion.
Fashion has long been Lindsay McFarlane’s passion. The Highland Park native spent college summers in New York City interning at Theory and Seventeen magazine. She ended up in marketing after graduation, but fashion remained her true calling. When she landed her dream job in public relations at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue, “I felt like a giddy cheerleader,” she recalls. She spent over six years there before moving to Deerfield with her husband. Now McFarlane balances caring for her 17-month-old son with running her new marketing company, Working Girl (workinggirlinc.com), which also helps young women find fulfilling work. “My goal is to groom the next generation of women for their dream careers by starting them off on the right foot,” she says.
Motherhood has influenced McFarlane’s style. “In my dream world, I would be rocking McQueen, Cucinelli and Cushnie all day, every day,” she says, “but in reality, I am the mom of a toddler boy.” She favors Lululemon and a vintage Gucci fanny pack when on mom duty, but when working, she wears “dark-wash ripped denim, black pumps or my favorite Saint Laurent tribute sandals, a great tank top or vintage rock tee, a leather biker jacket or long executive coat, and a Gucci belt.” She remains loyal to Neiman Marcus but also shops boutiques like Enaz, Central Boutique and Valentina on the North Shore.
McFarlane keeps her energy high with Werq dance classes at Midtown Bannockburn and yoga at CorePower. “I truly feel my best when I am busy,” she says. Don’t look for this fireball fashionista to slow down anytime soon.
Photography by: Kevin Penczak; Styling by Henri Trinh; Shot on location at Loyola at Cuneo Mansion and Gardens || Vicki Stauber: Styling by Henri Trinh with option 1 artists; Hair by Trish DaviDson and Toula Louras at Pascal Pour Elle; Makeup by Rachel Mcquen || Joi Hunt: Styling by Henri Trinh with option 1 artists; Hair by Robbie Laxamana, Taylor Reese Lake Forest;
Makeup by Anna Pelaez Milanzi, BlueMercury lake forest
|| Rada Burdeen: Styling by Henri Trinh with option 1 artists || Lindsay McFarlane: Styling by Henri Trinh and Frenchye Harris, neiman marcus; Hair by Shanna Smith; Makeup by Stella Mikhail