Vanessa Traina – classic, polished cool

Over the past year or more I have been increasingly drawn to the stylings of Vanessa Traina, the always elegantly clad Vanity Fair Annual Best Dressed list alumni, fashion editor of the New York Times T Magazine and face of French label Maje.

I am not interested in the fact that Vanessa Traina is the daughter of super successful romance novelist Danielle Steele, nor that as such she has been touted as a society princess and is therefore, privileged.  What I am interested in is Vanessa’s uniquely cool sense of style and the capsule collection she designed earlier this year for Maje.

“I think they were a little surprised when I showed up to the first meeting with my inspiration folder and the silhouettes already plotted out and pretty ready to go,” Traina says with a laugh.  “This was a fun experience for me, but I see myself more as a stylist than a designer.” – T Magazine

Her 24-piece collection focused on season-less dressing, which is appealing to me because I live in a part of the world where the seasons tend to melt into one and the idea of having one wardrobe as opposed to one for every season is not only exciting because I get to wear my favourites year round, but thrifty, nest -ce pas?

Vanessa photographed in her apartment for Harper’s Bazaar.

Vanessa’s personal style has been quietly and expertly refined over the time since she appeared on my radar.  She has evolved from dressing with more femininity to dressing with a more overtly androgynous tone.  She also likes to stick to what I call the stylist’s uniform – basic black.  I have found that it’s not easy to find a anything recent of Vanessa in colour unless it’s for Maje.

 Vanessa wearing Altuzarra at the 2010 CDFA fashion awards.

“Today as all the days my style is rather androgynous. It is a mixture of pieces, both men and women. Definitely things comfortable to wear. – l’officiel magazine sept 2010

 Vanessa in 2008, image from
 Image from Hanneli.

I recently read an interview with Vanessa on Into the Gloss where she expressed her concern for an impulsive piercing that at 26 she thinks may have not been such a good idea.

Image from Into the Gloss.

“I just got my ear pierced—I went with my little sister who is covered in piercings, she’s super punk rock—to Haight Street in San Francisco just to buy jewelry and I walked out with this piercing. I felt so cool for a day, and then I woke up the next morning and thought, ‘Am I an idiot? Did I really just get a new piercing at 26?’ But now I kind of want to do the other side to match!” – Into the Gloss.

 Image from Hanneli.
Image from Maje.

I guess I am drawn to Vanessa’s style because even though she looks polished and cool, she has that air of nonchalance that French women in particular seem to have – well the ones whose photographs end up online seem to, and it’s their pulled-together insouciance that I find so infectious and appealing.



Sources: Into The Gloss,,, tfs, T Magazine, Hanneli, L’officiel.

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