Let’s start with an introduction to Dede Wilsey. Her contributions and actions on behalf of the Fine Arts Museums (she serves as board president), local hospitals, countless children and family support agencies, the opera, the symphony, and the ballet, enhance and improve lives and the Bay Area lifestyle. Wilsey has two sons and daughters-in-law — Trevor Traina, married to Alexis Swanson Traina, and Todd Traina, married to Katie Traina. In addition to her philanthropic activities and extensive travel, Dede says she is having a lot of fun with her three grandchildren.
A peek at Dede Wilsey’s red carpet style in 2009:
Photos by Drew Altizer Photography
Style Q&A with Dede Wilsey:
Do you have any wardrobe challenges: Yes, evening or daytime shoes that are chic without outrageously high heels.
Who are your current favorite designers? I have long been loyal to Oscar de la Renta, though I wanted to branch out in 2009, so my daughter-in-law, Alexis, introduced me to Monique Lhuillier. I worked with Monique on some gowns, one of which we changed into a cocktail dress for my sons’ holiday party. Todd and Trevor typically invite a lot of young people who dress up for the occasion, and I didn’t want to bore them!
Beauty must-haves: Lipstick! CHANEL had two colors I adored and wore for years, one pink, one coral, that were discontinued awhile ago. I bought all I could find at the time, and once they began to run out I tried so many lipsticks until I finally found a solution — Revlon’s Color Stay — which I use as a base and apply the color over so my horde lasted a lot longer, and through dinner.
Beauty secret: Hair powder. Scented white bath or talcum powder adds volume and does not cost a small fortune. I don’t like to spend a lot on cosmetics — I use Oil of Olay moisturizer and Noxema — and I do my own hair and makeup when I go out. I’ve had the same hair look forever. When I get older I may change to Catherine Deneuve’s style.
Fashion tip: Dressing for your age is important. Make an effort to look your best no matter your age and enjoy yourself — beauty comes from within. Time well spent will be reflected in your face, how you walk and your attitude. Never waste a moment. My mother is 92 and I still heed her advice: go out and make your own fun — the world doesn’t come to you!
Whose celebrity style do you admire? Meryl Streep is a great looking woman, I like her character and personality, but I don’t like her taste. It doesn’t matter what she wears, she has great talent, charm, and confidence.
More local women whose style we admire (in alphabetical order): Joy Bianchi, Barbara Brown, Lindsay Bolton, Karen Caldwell, Paula Carano, Carolyn Chandler, Dr. Carolyn Chang, Juliet de Baubigny, Samantha DuVall, Vanessa Getty, Angelique Griepp, Hasti Kashfia, Stephanie Marver, Sonya Molodetskaya, Deepa Pakianathan, Yurie Pascarella, Komal Shah, Sobia A. Shaikh, OJ Shansby, Charlotte Shultz, Sarah Somberg, Christine Suppes, Elizabeth Touw, Katie Traina, Vicky Tsai, Dede Wilsey, Victoria Yeager