Elizabeth Lavin

Shopping & Fashion

Michelle Nussbaumer’s Look Can Range From a Mexican Serape to Valentino

The renowned interior designer describes her style as “exuberant and probably a little eccentric.”

Once described as “a modern Marco Polo who revels in being a 21st-century explorer,” Michelle Nussbaumer’s global adventures play a big role in her fashion choices. The owner of a globally known interior design firm and Ceylon et Cie (an art, furniture, décor, and textiles shop), she says she is most inspired by color.

Nussbaumer discovered a love of antiques early on, as her mother was an artist who loved antiques, her aunt was an antiques dealer, and her grandmother had a house full of antiques (along with leopard carpet and purple satin couches).

“My style icon is my mother,” Nussbaumer says. “I remember in third grade she would pick me up in her convertible, wearing striped hot pants and over-the-knee green suede boots. She was always so chic and way ahead of what was happening in West Texas.”

What I Do: “I am an interior designer and collector of antiques, as owner of Michelle Nussbaumer Designs and Ceylon et Cie.”

 Style Icon: “My mother. When I was in  third grade, she would pick me up in her convertible, wearing striped hotpants and over-the-knee green suede boots. She was always so chic and way ahead of what was happening in West Texas.”

On The Job: “Fashion meets design so often in my world. I love pattern mixing, color, and prints.”

Inspiration: “I am most inspired by color. If it’s a rainy day, I like to wear bright colors. In Paris, I seem to wear a lot of black. While in India, pink is my go-to.”

Style Defined: “I’d describe it as very personal, exuberant, and probably a little eccentric. I was a huge fan of Christian Lacroix in the ’80s but now tend toward Celine mixed with Molly Goddard mixed with ethnic pieces found on my travels.”

Fashion Essential: “I never leave home without a red lipstick.”

 Go-To Look: “For work, it’s often a cotton caftan that I made in India with some kind of shawl from Morocco or Russia. For evening, anything goes—from a Mexican serape to Valentino.”

 Accessories: “I love accessories and have a whole closet devoted to them. I love ethnic jewelry and have collected pieces for years. I like turbans, cowboy boots, vintage evening coats, and pretty shoes.”

 Weekend Look: “I don’t have a lot of downtime, but when I do, it is usually a sandal and an Italian printed dress from my favorite, La DoubleJ.”

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