T'sey-Haye Preaster is a woman who loves gowns. When the University of Maryland College Park American Studies PhD student made her entrance at "An Evening of Unexpected Delights" -- a fundraiser for The Journey Home, a plan by Baltimore, the United Way and other organizations to end homelessness in the city -- it was clear gowns love her back. Much of that has to do with how clear this Bethesda resident is about her style priorities. It's not about labels. It's about strong lines, good fit and comfort -- all on a grad student's budget. "I used to be an athlete, a runner. And if I can't move in a dress, it's not worth it to me," she said. "But I like structure. If I had a designer that I could afford at this point in my life, it would be Zac Posen because his style is so structured. His stitching is amazing. I love good tailoring. So, if it fits your body well, that's for me." HER STYLE: "Classic. Contemporary. No frills. It's almost minimalist. I don't like a whole lot of fuss and muss when I get it together." HER ENSEMBLE: Red crepe gown with peplum and fishtail hem from the BCBG Max Azria store. Silver and glass bead necklace from the Zara store. Vintage Tiffany silver bangle. Black patent Cathy Jean peep-toe pumps she's had for about 10 years. Black crocodile pattern patent leather envelope clutch. "This is actually from Papyrus. They make gift cards. A friend of mine said I could have it. I'm not sure if this was made to be a pocketbook, but I use it as one. It could have been a stationary holder." FASHION FAVES: "I love Karen Millen, Zac Posen and BCBG -- companies that make clothing that fits my style, and my budget. Georgetown is my favorite place to shop because they have BCBG and Karen Millen all in one area. So, I go there all the time. ... Kerry Washington [of the show "Scandal"] is my style icon, thank-you-very-much. Her style, her color scheme -- all that. It works for me."
Daniel Kucin Jr., For The Baltimore Sun