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Comfort, simplicity are just her style


When you show houses, save animals and sell jewelry for a living, you don't have much time to worry about your wardrobe. But that doesn't mean Gillian Gabrielle sacrifices on style. The former model -- who works for O'Conor Piper & Flynn, and Amaryllis jewelry store -- favors flowing skirts, lots of black and a good bargain. Her weekend uniform of leggings and a T-shirt allows her to comfortably search her Franklintown neighborhood for abandoned pets.

Her greatest asset? Being 5 feet, 10 inches and a perfect size 2.

"In the winter," she confides, "I'll sometimes go to a size 4."

How would you describe your style?

I'm part of the monochromatic set. Everything is based on black and white. Then I add primaries. I take my cue from children. They put together the wildest colors. The main thing to me is comfort and simplicity. If I'm getting in and out of cars to look at houses, I don't want to have to deal with, "Is my hem straight?"

What do you have more than one of?

Black skirts. I have four long summer black skirts, three long black ones for winter and two or three short ones.

Who would you most like to go shopping with?

Lucille Ball. She's a perfect example of someone whose clothes always suited her body. A lot of times I'd watch "I Love Lucy" and draw a sketch of what she was wearing so when I went shopping I could find something like it.

What was your most traumatic clothing experience?

One of my first Twiggy outfits was this super short dress with belled sleeves and a wild design -- turquoise, bright pink and chrome yellow with yellow tights. I got on a bus and thought I looked really cool. This woman came up to me and said, "You look like a streetwalker." I was probably 13, and Twiggy was my idol then. I think I cried.

Your biggest splurge?

I just bought three necklaces from Amaryllis that cost $300. One is very Gothic. Another is a floating pearl necklace. And another is a Chanel necklace. I just charged it and said, "I won't think about it."

But I make jewelry, too. It all goes back to when I worked at a toy store. I'll take antique or plastic toys and make pins or earrings out of them.

Who would you most like to see wearing something you ownAnd what would it be?

Katharine Hepburn in one of my older dresses. It's from the 1940s, black and white with a small floral print and a tight bodice. When I bought it, the first thing I thought was, "This looks like something Katharine Hepburn would wear."

What wouldn't you be caught dead in?

An alligator shirt. Probably anything that's got a little label on it. When I wear something, I want to make it feel like it's mine, not like it's free advertising or a status symbol.

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