At the Expressions gala that raises money for the city high school that combines pre-professional arts training with a college prep curriculum, Rosie Dilli-Smith, 52, showed that Baltimore School for the Arts students weren't the only ones who could be creative. The Poplar Hill resident combined several interesting pieces to create a great, bold look that showed the influence of her favorite designers: Helmut Lange and Ann Demeulemeester. Fashion is a passion for Dilli-Smith, which also makes her a visual standout at work, where she is vice president of finance at United Book Press. "It's a manufacturing company, so it's ink, and dirt, and it is just a mess there. I'm the only one who dresses up there," she said. "The quote I live by is from Coco Chanel: `I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness. You never know. Maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.'" HER STYLE: "I really don't have a particular style. I like anything with a little edge, just enough to make it interesting. And if it doesn't have an edge I try to create one." HER ENSEMBLE: Faux leather infinity scarf wrapped three times around her neck from Marshalls, "It was $18." Vince black fine cotton jersey turtleneck from Nordstrom. White leather pleated skirt she got at the Christian Siriano trunk show at Expressions 2013. Black leather belt that's "really old, probably 25 years old." Black tights. Roberto Cavalli black leather sling back pointy toe pumps from Saks Fifth Avenue that are "easily 15 years old." New York & Company gunmetal cuff ("My mother found it. She said, you've got to go in there and look at this gunmetal cuff. It's fabulous.") Betty Cooke silver hoop earrings from The Store Ltd. Vintage black satin evening bag with scalloped top. "It was my grandmother's. There was a piece of paper inside that said it was from 1942." HER STYLE INSPIRATIONS: Fashion blogs The Sartorialist and Garance Doré. "Come Fashion Week, I go on style.com and Sartorialist and look at all these fashion shows." Also, "my mom, M.K. Dilli - a painter and jeweler - and my good and extremely fashionable friend Eric Walch." WHERE SHE SHOPS: Village of Cross Keys and Green Spring Station, Chevy Chase, Tysons Corner Center and New York City. IF THERE WAS A FIRE IN HER CLOSET: "I have a Céline coat in salmon cashmere. It is the most breathtaking thing I own and I love it to death. I would take it first."
Photo by Karen Jackson, For The Baltimore Sun