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25 Most Stylish Bostonians of 2008 -- Jane M. Burke

(Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
By Hayley Kaufman
Globe Staff / November 18, 2008
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Jane M. Burke

Age: 66

Profession: Chairwoman of the fashion council at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Residence: Cambridge

How would you describe your style? Classic. Very classic. I like things with really good lines, really good quality. I like to mix up different designers. I keep things as long as they fit me or until my nieces get ahold of them. I like to mix J. Crew with Chanel with Akris - whatever. In this environment, it pays to buy good and keep it, because you can freshen things up really easily.

Do you have a favorite designer? I actually do, it's Chanel. My old favorite was Saint Laurent. My husband and I collect art - contemporary art, color field art, simple sculptures, and I realized that my style is very much like the art. It's very simple. I wear a lot of black, but I love jolts of color.

What are your goals for the MFA fashion council? We started the fashion council three years ago. It's been wonderful because I feel like fashion is art and art is fashion. The MFA has a wonderful collection of older textiles, 17th and 18th century, because New England had so many textile mills. Now, we're trying to acquire more 20th and 21st century pieces, either by donation or with funds from the department.

Is there a push to exhibit those fashions at the museum? Well, there's a show next year of the '70s - '70s fashion - which should be really terrific. I think fashion represents the history of the period - any period.

What's the one piece of clothing you couldn't part with and why? You can name two if you need to. Probably a black Chanel jacket . . . and an old, bright pink Saint Laurent satin jacket.

Whoa. When did you get that? In the '80s - absolutely classic. You wear it with . . . well, you can imagine - anything you want.

What's the best part and the worst part of getting dressed up for charity events? The best part is deciding what you're going to wear. The worst part is when your feet hurt.

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