Diane Restaino is founder and president of Joedance Film Festival, a foundation supporting rare pediatric cancer research. The organization was founded in honor of her son Joe, who died in 2010 of osteosarcoma. The Restainos, including Diane’s husband, Mike, and twins Tony and David, always enjoyed seeing movies together, so “we felt it would be the right fit,” she says. This year Joedance Film Festival donated $30,000 to Levine Children's Hospital.
Q. What’s the first piece of clothing you remember choosing yourself?
A. It was a pair of Frye boots. They were tall, and they were the ones that laced up the front. I was about a senior in high school. I bought them with my own money.
Q. What does style mean to you?
A. I think it’s the way to project your personality.
Q. How does your sense of style help you do your job?
A. It makes me feel confident. If you want to describe my style it is classic with a punch.
Q. Tell me a few key pieces in your wardrobe.
A. I always have a great pair of black pants, a crisp white shirt, a great bag, and always, always, a great pair of shoes.
Q. Where do you get a crisp white shirt?
A. Belk, Evan Picone, non-iron.
Q. How do you shop?
A. I like to do investment clothing. I have all my basics, and every season I add something that has a little bit of a twist to it. This autumn I bought two pieces. One was a pair of chartreuse pants, and the other was a pair of bright blue suede heels.
Q. Where do you shop?
A. I mostly shop at J. Crew. But I’ve been known to pick up something at Salvation Army, where I bought a locket that I love. And I’ll shop at resale stores, like Sweet Repeats, and Junior League.
Q. Are you loyal to any cosmetics?
A. I’m in love with Origins.
Q. What scent do you wear?
A. Chanel No. 5. I have for 30 years.
Q. What sort of bag do you carry?
A. I am actually carrying a briefcase. It’s dark green and I bought it at Revolution.
Q. What’s always in it?
A. A small black notebook, a zip wallet I can take out when I don’t want to carry my briefcase, my iPhone and my iPad.
Q. What’s your everyday uniform?
A. It depends on who I’m having meetings with. If it’s filmmakers, I’m very dressed down. If it’s doctors or sponsors, it is more corporate. I never wear a suit. I’ll probably wear a dress or a skirt with a blouse and a sweater. I always try to wear heels because I’m short.
Q. Do you have any particular fashion quirks?
A. I think everyone should look at the back of yourself before you leave the house.
Q. Tell me about a favorite piece of jewelry.
A. It is a necklace that was given to me. My husband bought the stones in Hong Kong. They are the birthstones of Joe, Tony and David, and they are all different cuts.
Q. What are your family’s favorite movies?
A. If you asked my husband and my sons, it would be “Lord of the Rings.” If you ask me, it would be “Gone With the Wind.”
Q. What fashion advice can you give to women?
A. Make sure your clothes fit correctly. That’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
Q. Who inspires you?
A. My son Joe, because he lived so much even while he was dying. He inspires me to help other kids, and to find a better way to treat childhood cancer.