For the sixth installment in our Ageless Style Series, I am very happy to interview Lisa Bayne. I met Lisa through my collaboration with Artful Home. I was immediately struck by her exuberant bespoke style. Lisa began her career as a textile designer, and honed her marketing and merchandising skills working at brands such as J. Jill, Gymboree, Smith & Hawken, and Eddie Bauer. Lisa became CEO of Artful Home in 2008, a position that allows her to unite her love of art and fashion with her management expertise. Lisa now has her own line of clothing at Artful Home. She ascertains that clothes should “feel great” and “make us feel like a million bucks”
How Would You Describe Your Style?
I don’t really think about my style, to tell you the truth! But since you have asked the question, I think of my style as individualistic, uncommon, striking, but never costumey. In many ways, my style is artful – classic with bold embellishments of shape, texture, and pattern. I lean toward wearing a column of interestingly-shaped color, often black, accented with signature accessories.
What Inspires your signature style
I am inspired by beautiful fabrics and simple, bold statements. I love the juxtaposition of a fabulous accessory against an architectural shape. I’m crazy about fabrics which reflect global cultures and am nuts about single, bold introductions of color. My style comes from two places. I have a deep love of global textiles, having studied them and lived with them all my life. Additionally, I established my style in the late ‘80’s and 90’s when I was in the fashion business when I traveled constantly when wearing head-to-toe black was de rigueur, and Donna Karan, Dries Van Noten, and Prada were my idols. I think of my style as the blend of these different worlds.
What accessory Can You Not Do Without?
My glasses. Once I became a full-time glasses wearer at age 62, I knew that glasses were a new accessory opportunity. As with other functional items, such as shoes, a piece has the chance to take care of you AND make your individual style statement at once. My glasses are now part of my signature.
Vain as it is, I also can’t do without my curly hair. After the early years in my career when I kept my hair closely cropped so that I would “blend in”, once I allowed my curls to grow, they became an important part of my style statement as well. I like that they express a playful, exuberant, non-conforming attitude.
I love orange, the audacity of it. I’ve painted walls in my houses and offices various shades of orange and it never fails to excite me. My orange sneakers make me smile when I wear them, add some immediate oomph to ordinary weekend clothes.
Do you have a signature piece that defines your style?
My Issey Miyake Bao Bao tote is probably the best definition of my style. It is supremely functional and acts as my briefcase (hah!), my carry-on on planes, my farmer’s market bag, and has even been known to serve as a beach bag. But enough about its functionality. It is this bold blast of lipstick-red in a super high-tech unique “fabric” that constantly changes shape depending on what I’m carrying in it. It is attention-getting in a world of black nylon and leather.
What are your style strengths?
I think that what I do best is pair clothes and accessories in unusual ways. The power of shoes, boots, belts, bracelets, and necklaces to change clothes is incredible. I’m constantly being told, “Oh, I never would have thought of wearing xxx like that”.
Do you have a style icon?
No. I love strong women, from “Accidental Icon” Lyn Slater to Lauren Hutton to Diane Keaton, Iris Apfel (though I don’t like her politics!) to Zana Bayne (my daughter). Women who are comfortable in their own skin and who enjoy playing with fashion intrigue me. I have nothing in common with Michelle Obama’s style but love her comfort in playing with fashion.
What are your beauty essentials that you can’t do without
Laura Mercier Radiance Primer, Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bahama, Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Creme, and Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate.
Do you have repeat offenders in your closet if so what are they?
My Spirithouse Truffle Travel Jacket – Great shape, indestructible fabric which doesn’t wrinkle;
Planet Matte Jersey Cocoon Dress and Scoopneck Tee– I can layer under both pieces or wear alone in warm weather. They drape and wash like a dream
AG boyfriend jeans
Jimmy Choo high rabbit-fur-lined motorcycle boots – hip, chic, and warm – perfect for Midwest winters
Eileen Fisher Sport Sandals – great style with the comfort of a sneaker. I’ve trekked miles in them!
What advice do you have for women over 50, or over 40?
I think my 50’s were my best decade. With the confluence of several events in my life (professional, hormonal, empty nest) I had the chance to ask myself who I had become and who I wanted to be. The great thing at 50 is that you really know yourself – what you like and don’t like. Using that knowledge to determine how you want to live for the “second half” is truly liberating. In my 50’s I transformed my career, I left one marriage and gloriously fell in love and re-married, I learned to scuba-dive, I walked the Brest Cancer 3-Day 60 mile event, I attended Burning Man – all things I never ever would have imagined happening in my 40’s. It has made my eyes wide open now that I’m in my 60’s.
As for style advice, which is probably what you are looking for, I think the best advice is to do two things: feel comfortable in being YOU the you that you have grown into over all these years while at the same time, let yourself experiment. Cowboy boots? Why not. A different color that you usually wear? Absolutely.
Do you have any style rules that you live by?
As long as you have to get dressed, you might as well look great.
Never leave the house in something in which you are not comfortable. It doesn’t get better all day and will distract you.
Be careful buying clothes while on vacation. They rarely look right once you are home.
Don’t try to dress like someone else. Be yourself.
What are your favorite online go to sources?
Artful Home, of course. Yoox for shoes. 1stDibs and Chairish for vintage furnishings for my home.
Do you have a particular designer that you are drawn to?
Dries Van Noten – always.
Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing your wisdom with us. You are an inspiration to those of us over 50 who believe great style is ageless. Here is a photo of Lisa and me with bloggers Brenda Kinsel, of Brendakinsel.com , and Jennifer, of a Well Styled Life , at a recent business lunch.
Be sure and stop and visit my “partner in crime” Elizabeth at The Vintage Contessa, to see who she is interviewing this month. I never know until we publish, but I am always intrigued!
**Note if you still would like to do a little Christmas shopping for yourself or a friend, Artful Home is having their annual free shipping event from December 10th-15th.