About the series: 'In My Closet' is a Sky Blue Window feature, taking readers inside the wardrobes of some of the city's most fashionable women and men. Clothing budgets, big and small, are included. But the owners of the closets you'll read about have at least one thing in common: wearable art.
Name: Bronte Tagliani
Her work: Model with the Helen Wells Agency, business manager for her husband, Alex Tagliani, a race car driver who plans to be in the Indianapolis 500 May 25, and the Style Setter blogger for the Fashion Mall at Keystone.
Her play: Exercise, eating and window-shopping.
Closet CliffsNotes: Animal prints, leather, high heels and pieces from around the world are staples of Tagliani's classic-but-edgy clothing collection.
Favorite pieces: A black Roberto Cavalli blazer and collection of leather jackets in a rainbow of colors.
Something she'll never have in her closet: Cowboy boots. "I tried that style, and it was so not me," she says.
Bronte Tagliani's prized Roberto Cavalli jacket was almost someone else's.
A consummate shopper, Tagliani was doing just that earlier this year in Daytona, Florida, when she came across the black blazer she wears everywhere from high-end cocktail parties to casual outings. Taking a break from activities around the 24-hour sports car endurance race her husband, Alex, was driving in, Tagliani first thought the piece a possible addition to her friend, Debbie Gentilozzi's, wardrobe.
But after Gentilozzi passed on it, Tagliani couldn't. She slipped it on and that sealed the deal. Combining classic lines with edgy detail -- standard for Cavalli -- the jacket is a fitting symbol for Tagliani's clothing collection.
"I had to get it," she says.
Of course. It gives anyone who looks at her an eyeful.
"People are going to look at you, regardless," she says. "You might as well make it worth their while."
Running her fingers over the slick as satin lapels, Tagliani remembers the day she met Cavalli. The big occasion came more than a decade before the jacket purchase when the Taglianis attended a party in Las Vegas for a Cirque du Soleil show and the iconic Italian designer was there. Star struck, Tagliani, who meets her fair share of famous people in racing circles but rarely asks for photos or autographs, introduced herself and asked him if he would pose for a picture with her.
"I happened to be wearing Cavalli boots," she says, adding that they created a convenient entry point into a conversation with the designer. "He gave me a hug!"
Once you know of Tagliani's affection for most things Cavalli, it's easy to understand the rest of her clothing collection. Like Cavalli's designs, Tagliani's wardrobe includes a lot of leather, European cuts, high heels, and eclectic accessories.
Her favorite things include:
Tagliani buys baubles when she travels to races with Alex and loves watches, like most of her counterparts in racing. Alex scored a special edition Jorg Gray timepiece when he won the Indianapolis 500 pole position in 2011. But Bronte got a racing-inspired TAG Heuer, a Formula 1 design with a tachymeter and diamond bezel.
"This was a gift from friends here in town and I love it and wear it all the time," she says.
One bracelet, a Tibetan-gold and silver cuff she bought for about $250 at an antique store in Quebec, says "Live a long and happy life" in Tibetan on top and has intricately-carved dragon designs inside.
"I bought it myself for my birthday," she says. "I think it is pretty amazing, and it's so comfortable to wear."
A pair of Sam Edelman heels with studded ankle straps and a slightly curved heel that looks something like a banana.
"Alex gave me these shoes for Christmas, and he got them in my size and brought them to Australia for me (Bronte is Australian)," she says. "They were a great surprise."
An everyday outfit that goes to the mall and the grocery and lots of places in between.
It reminds Tagliani of her career as a model -- she has been photographed in everything from business suits to bikinis. The ensemble includes a pair of black J Brand skinny jeans, patent leather Armani Jeans booties and a T-shirt that says "hair" and "make-up" with an arrow.
The shoes, she says, are versatile because they are made of patent leather.
"They are water proof, which is great for the spring and fall," she says.
A Hereford cow-hair travel bag gotten in Australia, Tagliani's native country.
The small carry-on, which she named 'Daisy' goes on overnight trips and to races with her.
"I just love it. It's synonymous with Australia," she says. "I take it when ... I don't have to take too many pairs of shoes."