My Grandmother the Style Icon

A Russian model lands in the Gulf Coast and finds a new style, midway between the Lone Star State and the mother country.

In a sea of conservative cocktail dresses, I could count on my grandmother, Natasha Rawson, to be the one lady wearing an I Dream of Jeannie outfit. My grandmother was born in China to Russian parents and moved to Houston in 1940. This photo was taken 25 years later, during one of the parties she and my grandfather hosted at their home. My grandmother was a Broadway actress, but in spite of her cosmopolitan lifestyle, she never lost touch with her roots. While this jumpsuit’s stripes and the ball-drop earrings were the height of mod, the belly chains are a call-out to her Russian background. At most of these parties, she’d end up at the piano, singing the folk songs her mother had taught her long ago. I always admired the way my grandmother made her heritage a part of her life—and of course, I love that it inspired amazing outfits like this.

—Alexis Bryan Morgan, 35, Lucky executive fashion director

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