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Men of Style
Carrie Storke Williams | Photo: Bode Helm | April 1, 2013
A true man of style sports his own brand of fashion. For one, the standard uniform might be a custom-made three-piece suit. For another, it’s sporting a blazer by an up-and-coming design team from Italy. Here, six sartorialists spiffing up style in O.C.
Eddie Alba Jr.
It’s no surprise that Eddie Alba Jr. has a fluid, dynamic flair when it comes to fashion. After all, as the owner of O.C.’s top dance studio, Century DanceSport, he teaches the region’s aspiring dancers to move with style, including the movers and shakers who make up the roster for the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars fundraiser. When he’s not donning dance clothes, Alba visits John Varvatos in South Coast Plaza and Solutions in Newport for jeans, shirts and his favorite wardrobe element, vests. “Vests dress up almost any outfit, especially with... a pocket square,” he says. He also thinks that every man should learn to tie a bow tie. It’s a skill that will come in handy for Alba this year. In addition to running his studio, he’ll be traveling as a ballroom competition judge. It’ll be fun, he says, not only because of his love of dance, but also because he’ll have a reason to wear one of his favorite outfits—his tuxedo.
Gabe Serrato-Buelna is accustomed to going from client photo shoots to red carpets. We’ve noticed his artful eye for fashion at soirées, where he might be spotted in a classic Glen plaid blazer and vintage bow tie—worn with an unexpected twist that can range from an interesting brooch to a surprising pop of color (like a sock or pocket square). Serrato-Buelna travels the world for work (he’s the owner and founder of the Laguna Beach-based PR firm Serrato + Co.), picking up exciting pieces for his wardrobe along the way, including a tobacco blazer with a built-in vest from Milan and python leather shoes from an artist street fair in Mexico City. “I love discovering new fashion talent,” he says. Closer to home, Serrato-Buelna shops at A’maree’s, American Rag and Recycled Rags. And as he continues to assist his clients in forging their own brands globally, he looks forward to traveling to stay in front of the trends. “In my business,” he says, “I have to be two steps ahead.”
They say that clothes make the man, but we’d argue that hair is equally important. No one knows that better than James Morrison, the lead stylist of top O.C. salon Morrison Hair in Laguna Beach, who also lists among his credits the founding of TIGI/Bed Head and tenure as the former artistic director for Toni & Guy. Morrison, who seemingly never has a fashion faux pas, describes his style as “modern gentleman” and favors an effortlessly elegant work wardrobe centered on a tailored vest, bespoke suit or Oats Cashmere cardigan. Morrison’s other go-tos range from Converse Jack Purcells and slim-fit J Brand jeans to custom suits by Mark Pomerantz and signature accessories, like a Cartier watch and an Hermés enamel bracelet. For hair, Morrison’s favorite cut for men is the undercut (think Boardwalk Empire). “A good haircut can make you look and feel more confident,” he says. “The hair is one of the first things people see... so it’s of paramount importance.”
Click here to read more of "Men of Style" in the April digital edition of Riviera Orange County!