This beautiful mother-to-be has a big heart and a feminine and polished air. The past president of Designing Daughters of Sarasota and the co-owner of 530 Burns Gallery, Taplinger, a Sarasota native, tells us the secrets behind her signature style.
WHO: Montana Ross Taplinger, 31, co-owner of 530 Burns Gallery
EDUCATION: Graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in public relations with a dual minor in organizational leadership and marketing
WHAT I DO: I oversee the day-to-day operations of the gallery, including the sales team, and I’m responsible for all marketing and special event planning. I also work on community partnerships and serve as a buyer for the jewelry lines that the gallery offers.
My mom, a co-owner, has been designing jewelry for 20 years and curates most of our artwork. Her jewelry line is available inside the gallery, too.
FAVORITE ITEM IN THE GALLERY RIGHT NOW: I love the blown-glass wall sculpture. The pieces are sold individually so you can create an installation that is custom to your space. It just creates such a unique look and the colors are so sea-inspired, which I love.
MY STYLE: I’m in a transitional point in my style. I’m really building the basics in my closet right now and focusing on purchasing pieces that are quality, tailored pieces that will stand the test of time. To me, fitted and tailored pieces always look so chic even if it’s not an expensive item. I try to incorporate trends and have fun with it.
I love accessories--shoes and jewelry. I dress for work every day, but I’m also a mom. I try to style my outfit to transition from day to night, and I’m big into layering. I love those pieces you can throw on over something else and change an entire outfit.
HOW HAS YOUR STYLE EVOLVED? I’m looking for quality over quantity at this point. I attend a lot of events so I try to find things that I can re-wear in different ways – from casual to dressy. I look for pieces that fit me well and are unique and are true to me and my style. If it doesn’t fit right or if it’s off in some way, then I don’t allow myself buy it. I don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing.
FAVORITE DESIGNERS: Every designer has a different purpose. I may love a designer but not necessarily wear it every day--like Valentino. I really appreciate his sense of style.
Others include Christian Louboutin, Balmain, Trina Turk for rompers and jumpsuits, Milly, Julie Vos, Alexis, JBrand and Elizabeth and James are my go-tos for basics.
I love to watch award shows and appreciate fashions on the red carpet.
MY GO-TO ITEMS: I always reach for an armful of bangles and big earrings. The ones I wore today are by Julie Vos out of New York. She is an up-and-coming designer and is getting some great coverage on a lot of fashion blogs. We have carried her line in the gallery for a year, and every season it gets better!
I also love a pair of versatile nude pumps. It’s totally worth investing in a great pair. They pull together any outfit.
FAVORITE ITEM I OWN: I love my wedding ring because my mom and husband designed it together. I never even told them what I liked, but it’s super feminine and vintage inspired. They selected the stones and designed the entire thing, making it even more special. It was a total surprise to me, and it’s a piece that I never take off.
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: I love jumpsuits or rompers. I believe in dressing for your body type, and for me, that’s a comfortable design. Then I always accessorize and add fun pieces.
Whatever I wear, I want to feel good in it. You can tell when someone is comfortable. That confidence is exuded, and that’s the most beautiful and attractive thing. Well, and a great pair of shoes always helps, too!
Montana is wearing an Elizabeth and James sheath dress, pumps by Schutz, a necklace and cocktail ring by Nikki Sedacca, statement earrings and bangles by Julie Vos, a Rolex watch, lip color by MAC in Viva Glam (her favorite) and gloss by MAC in Partial to Pink.
A Florida native, Alicia King Robinson is the director of public relations at Sarasota-based ThreeSixOh Public Relations and the blogger behind New Version of You. Her love of fashion and eye for stylish living began at an early age. Meant to inspire, she explores fashion and the evolution and ever-changing versions of ourselves with style-inspired content.