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Signature Events

features Meet the Carrs .................................................... 3 “Hard Hats, Soft Hearts” Gala to support Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity ................ 4 Pink Ribbon Fund Helping breast cancer patients cope .................................................................... 6 Ribbons of Change for 2010 AIDS Services Coalition changes attitudes, behaviors and lives .......................................................................... 8

Sweeteas: “Tea for Mum and Me!” Author Rochelle Frazier and Forrest General's Spirit of Women launch the very first Sweeteas Club! ..............

.................................... 43- 56 Johnson/Miller Engagement Party .................................. 43 Bachannal ........................................................................ 44 Night of Sweet Dreams .................................................... 45 Lamar Jr. Miss Trunk Show ............................................ 46 Petal Jr. Miss Trunk Show .............................................. 47 Miss Hospitality Reception .............................................. 48 Miss Hospitality Brunch .................................................... 49 HHS Reunion .................................................................. 50 Back-to-School Breakfast ................................................ 51 100 Years of Broadway .................................................... 52 Wesley Nurses Reunion .................................................. 53 Wedding Celebration ........................................................ 54 Trunk Show ...................................................................... 55

Signature Q&A 9

Fashion .............................................................. 10-36 High fashion to Hoovers New York photographer has seen it all .......................................... 10 BRA-zen Calender supports Waiting for a Cure ...... 12 Katrina A fashion whirlwind ...................................... 14 Fashion forward Dramatic prints to embellishments, the fashion world is seeing anything but dark and dismal days ..............................

18 Photo Feature Trends captured on film ...... 22-36 Resolve It’s not too late to fulfill those resolutions.... 37 Walk for Diabetes Walk for a healthier Mississippi in Mississippi’s Walk for Diabetes................ 39 Food .................................................................... 40-41 Smart after-school snack............................ 40 Top Chef Q&A .................................................... 41

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About the photographer This month's Fall Fashion edition features the photography of Jill Norris-Deakle, owner of Jill Norris Photography. Deakle is an award-winning writer, photographer, and graphic artist who graduated from Southern Miss in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. She has been photographing weddings, portraits, and events for the past 11 years. She is married to Craig Deakle, and they have one son, Nicholas. When she is not working, Deakle enjoys spending time with her family, attending football games, reading, and enjoying her pets.

Signature Magazine • September 2010 • vol 5 number 6 Published by Hattiesburg Publishing, Inc. publisher David Gustafson editor Beth Bunch contributors Dana Gower • Marlo Matthews advertising representatives Emily Hall • Missy Pickering • Jessica Wallace production manager Bill Benge • production assistant Jean Prine © 2010 Hattiesburg Publishing, Inc. Signature Magazine is a product of Hattiesburg Publishing, Inc., publisher of The Lamar Times, The Petal News, Signature News, Camp Shelby Reveille and Signature Magazine. Monthly subscriptions are available for $30 annually. For all subscription information contact us at (601) 268-2331, including change of address or other related services. For information on submitting weddings, engagements, party/event coverage or features, contact Beth Bunch at (601) 268-2331 or email to To mail information or photos, send to Signature Magazine, 126 Westover Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39402. Our offices are located next to Gander Mountain on Westover Drive in Hattiesburg.

september 2010


about this issue... Fashion has always been something of an obsession of mine. Just ask anyone who has seen the custom closet my husband had to build to fit my extensive collection of clothes, shoes, handbags, scarves, etc. So, when David asked me to head up the fall fashion issue, I was thrilled. I found out later it was just a ploy to get out of doing it himself, but that did little to quell my excitement. My first duty was to hire a photographer and partner in crime for the day. I immediately called my old friend, Jill Deakle, and offered her the job. After a little coaxing on my part (and a free treat from Sonic), she agreed to do the shoot. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into... When I met Jill at the Train Depot the morning of the shoot, the temperature was already well into the upper 80s. As the models started arriving, though, I didn't feel too sorry for them. Most of them had on sleeveless dresses, which definitely qualifies as fall fashion here in the Deep South. Then came the guys in suits and the girls in sweater dresses and suede boots. I watched them eyeing the cool water spraying from the fountain and prayed none of them would make a run for it. The first hour of the shoot went flawlessly. Then we took several of the girls over to what we all thought was an empty house. We thought wrong. Fortunately, we got some great shots of the girls before we were strongly urged by the homeowner to get off his property. Watching the girls make a run for it in their 5-inch heels was one of the highlights of my day. After a short lunch and a 10-degree spike in the temperature, Jill and I headed to our second location – USM. After 15 minutes and no models, one of the store managers finally let us know the girls were all camped out in parked cars enjoying the A/C. Once we convinced them all to brave the heat and get out of the cars, we were ready. As I was rounding up everyone, I ran into an old professor. He wanted to know why I didn't ask him to model. When I told him we had mainly women's clothing, he told me to buy him a few drinks and ask again. That was the second highlight of my day. My sympathy levels were much higher this time around as I watched girls in jeans and turtlenecks and guys in jackets try their best to smile and look good while pouring sweat. I probably wouldn't have stopped any of them from diving into the fountain at that point, because I was seriously debating it myself. Despite the miserable heat, the second shoot was a success. I just feel sorry for the store owners who undoubtedly had to get those brand new outfits dry-cleaned after our outdoor adventure wrapped up. Dripping with sweat and probably smelling terrible, Jill and I headed to our final and most challenging shoot – the kids. They were definitely the cutest models of the day, but you try telling a 15 -month-old to sit still and smile. Fortunately, Jill has a toddler of her own, so she handled them perfectly. This shoot was inside, so I was totally fine letting her run with it while I basked in the cool air. She did an awesome job with the kids and got some precious pictures out of them. As we took our last picture, the rain started coming down in sheets. I was so thankful that it held off until the end of the day. And standing in the rain proved to be a great way to cool off... and catch a cold. All in all, it was a great day. Thanks to Jill, the models and the store owners who all helped to make this issue a success. While my husband (and our bank account) is not too thrilled with all of the new fashions hitting the stores, I personally can't wait! See you in the spring!


Emily Foley Hall Emily Foley Hall is an account executive for Signature Magazine and its affiliated newspapers - The Lamar Times, The Petal News, and Camp Shelby Reveille.




pon meeting Robin and Matt Carr at their home in The Avenues, you would probably be at ease with their casual demeanor, love of cats and interest in knowing more about you. Robin moved to Mississippi in the summer of 2002 to teach in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi. She had previously worked at Old Dominion University in Virginia and holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Connecticut. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London for a summer, Robin met Matt through a mutual friend. Matt had settled in Hattiesburg a few years earlier after ending a yearlong and adventurous trip across the country painting signs from one town to the next. He decided to stay in Hattiesburg due to its geographical location, close distance to his family and the welcoming attitude only found in Southern Mississippi. Matt and Robin were married in August 2007 at the Crawford House in Downtown, Hattiesburg. Robin is actively involved in the arts community in Hattiesburg. She is an Associate Professor of Voice and Acting in the Department of Theatre and Dance at USM. Since she has been at Southern Miss, Robin has directed such shows as Urinetown The Musical, Songs for a New World, Voice of the Prairie and

Little Shop of Horrors (winner of Hattiesburg's Burger Award). Most recently as part of the Centennial Celebration at USM, Robin directed Ragtime, a collaboration between The Department of Theatre and Dance and The School of Music. A member of Actor's Equity, Robin is president of the Voice and Speech Committee for the Southeastern Theatre Festival and was recently awarded a National Teaching Artist Grant from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, featured in American Theatre Magazine this past spring. She is also the co-director of Midsummer Musical Theatre Experience, a musical theatre youth camp held on the campus of Southern Miss, now in its seventh season. Upon moving to the Avenues, Matt reestablished, and became president of the Kamper/Avenues Neighborhood Association. During his two-year term, Matt looked for opportunities to improve The Avenues, which includes the Hattiesburg Zoo. This interest led to his election as a board member of the Hattiesburg Zoological Society, where he was later voted in as their president in 2008. As the Zoo Board president, Matt has worked hard to improve the Zoo's overall appearance and its welcoming atmosphere. As an effort to raise money for Zoo improvements, he revived Zoo Blues, a blues festival held in Kamper Park which attracts more

than 5,000 people each spring. Matt also served two years as vice president of Hattiesburg's Council of Neighborhoods and then as president. The Council of Neighborhoods is a group of community organizers and concerned citizens which covers 39 neighborhoods and about 55,000 people. His work with the Council included listening to community concerns and then helping to initiate positive changes for the City of Hattiesburg. In 2009 Mayor Johnny Dupree nominated Matt for a national “NUSA Notable” award for all of his work and dedication to helping Hattiesburg's neighborhoods. In May of that year Matt was one of seven people in the country to win the award, which was presented in Spokane, Wash. Robin is a Certified Lessac Voice Trainer, one of 33 individuals in the world qualified to teach the Lessac System. This training enables the individual to connect with the power and versatility of the human voice on and off stage. Robin was the Conference planner for the 2010 Lessac Institute's International Conference held in Hattiesburg. The conference brought in visitors from as far away as South Africa. In May 2010, Robin won the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education Excel-lence in Higher Education Award in recognition of her commitment to theatre and theatre education in Mississippi.

During his 20 years in the sign industry, and after owning and managing several small businesses around the country, Matt enjoys helping individuals and small businesses anywhere he can. He is currently helping out at Sign-A-Rama on Hardy Street. Last summer Matt became one of Mississippi's Dave Ramsey trained financial coaches. As “Mississippi's Money Coach,” Matt is fulfilling his calling to help families and small businesses by guiding them through their immediate financial problems and stresses brought on by this recession and the troubled economy it has caused. He uses a kneecap-tokneecap approach to financial coaching and is something he has found to be a necessary part of a healthy financial life in today's society. Together the Carrs enjoy all that Hattiesburg has to offer, including cultural arts events, festivals and community activities. They enjoy long walks through The Avenues and Kamper Park, visiting the Zoo on the weekends and meeting with friends at area pubs. The couple recently enjoyed the KamperAvenue's Night Out Against Crime celebration and are looking forward to Zoo Boo, the annual Halloween festival held the last week in October at the Zoo. Matt and Robin are members of Main Street United Methodist Church and have two cats – Tuff Stuff and Roxie.

september 2010


“Hard Hats, Soft Hearts” Gala to Support Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity will celebrate 20 years of dedicated service to the local community with the inaugural “Hard Hats, Soft Hearts” Gala on Sept. 30 at the Lake Terrace Convention Center. The goal of the night is to raise $50,000-plus to meet the increasing need for affordable housing in the Hattiesburg community. Proceeds raised will help to continue construction of homes, generate community awareness and involvement, and strengthen partnerships, programs and services to continue assisting local lowincome families for the 2010-11 fiscal year. “Twenty years ago people looked at poverty housing in Hattiesburg and had had enough. They decided to do something about it,” said Lee Ann Venable, Habitat Board president and Forrest General employee. “Today, we are following in their footsteps and hopefully we will continue for another 20 years.” More than 9,000 volunteers from every walk of life have joined forces with Habitat totaling more than 108,750 hours of work in the community. Since 1990, Habitat has helped 53 local families build and purchase their own homes by working in partnership with community volunteers. Funds raised at the gala will help support the continuation of Habitat's mission of empowering families, building community and creating hope in Hattiesburg. “I believe when a person has a home, they take ownership in the community and that makes it great for all of us,” said Johniece DuPree, longtime Habitat volunteer and wife of Hattiesburg Mayor Johnnie Du-Pree. “This organization provides an invaluable service to the community and an event like the “Hard Hats, Soft Hearts” Gala will only mean more happy endings for Hattiesburg families.” From 7 p.m. - 10 p.m., guests dressed in semi-formal attire, will enjoy a bountiful feast, great music, a silent auction and a brief heartwarming program featuring Habitat families and community supporters. The “Hard Hats, Soft Hearts” Gala is part of Habitat's “More than



Houses” campaign that will spotlight families and volunteers from now until the event. Sponsorships and donations are still being accepted. Sponsorship packets can be downloaded online. Tickets are $40 each. For more information, visit, email or call 601.582-4663.

About Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organization committed to assisting low-income families in need with the life-changing opportunity of buying simple, decent affordable housing in partnership with a team of enthusiastic volunteers and staff guided by Christian values. For 20 years, our ministry has provided a hand-up, not a hand-out to 53 families in the Hattiesburg community and an additional 10 families internationally through our tithing program. Our families purchase the houses from us through ZERO interest loans and at no profit to Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity. For more information, please visit

Please join us for our Fall Celebration Gala “Hard Hats, Soft Hearts” Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity has been helping local families build and purchase their own homes since 1990. The organization works in partnership with low-income families and community volunteers to build affordable, decent housing within the Hattiesburg metropolitan area. Our affiliate has served 52 families locally, consisting of more than 200 individuals from our community. During our 20 years of service, we have also helped to build houses for 10 additional families in Guatemala, Romania, Haiti and Chile!

Hattiesburg Area's 20-year Impact in Hattiesburg: Families: • 53 families have affordable housing equating to more than 200 individuals • 154 children impacted • These families have paid $91,484.39 in property taxes in our community • 22 Hurricane Katrina-affected families have been served • Our families work at: Forrest General, Wesley Medical, Wards, City of Hattiesburg, USM, Pearl River Community College, Save Rite, etc. Volunteers: • More than 5,700 local volunteers contributing more than 35,800 hours • More than 2,800 volunteers from out-of-state coming into our community to serve con tributing more than 60,450 hours • More than 20 collegiate challenge student groups totaling over 500 students contributing more than 12,500 hours in our community • Total hours worked in our community: 108,750 • Total individuals volunteering in our community: 9,000 Neighborhoods: • North Main Street • Tuscan Avenue • Annie Christie Drive • Grace Court • McCall Street • Lurlyne Street • Collins Street • Duke Avenue • Palmer's Crossing • And a few more… Partnerships: • Habitat for Humanity International • City of Hattiesburg • United Way of Southeast MS • Camp Shelby • Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center • R3SM • Housing Alternatives

• The Bethesda Project • ADP • P.A.C.E. Headstart • USM Office of CSL • And so many more… Faith Community: • Oak Grove UMC • First Presbyterian Church • West Point Baptist Church • Court Street UMC • Main Street UMC • Westminster Presbyterian Church • Parkway Heights UMC • Heritage UMC • First Baptist Church • Sacred Heart Catholic Church • St. Thomas Catholic Church • Word of Faith Church • And so many more… Education Community: • Sacred Heart Catholic School • USM • William Carey University • PRCC • Jones County Junior College • And so many more… Business Community: • Hattiesburg Coca-Cola • Copy Cats Printing • JMH Graphics • UPS • Lowe's • Big Red Supply • Andersons • And so many more… Medical Community: • Wesley Medical Center • Forrest General Hospital • MedPay Assurance • Will's Way Financial Community: • Trustmark National Bank • The First • Citizens Bank • Citizens National Bank • Bancorp South Restaurants: • Fox's Pizza Den • Krispy Kreme • Caliente Grille • Subway • Seattle Drip • McAllister's Deli • Chilli's • Bops • Wards • And so many more…

september 2010


This is the story of two Pine Belt women facing the battle of their lives, traveling in parallel paths towards a single goal – A permanent remission of their breast cancer. The first, who we'll call "Sarah" is a 41-year-old Pine Belt professional woman, and the single mother of three. The second, "Patty," is a 47year-old grandmother. Their stories epitomize the fear that hundreds of local women face upon receiving the dreaded diagnosis of breast cancer. "Sarah" initially tried to fight the sense of dread, to convince herself that there was no way she could possibly have breast cancer at her age, mainly because she had no risk factors, including only one ancestor, a great aunt, to whom she was not directly related, who had had breast cancer. "When I made my doctor's appointment to get the lump checked, I knew deep inside that it was cancer." "One look at my gynecologist's face when he saw the dimpling in my breast confirmed my worst fears." Even more convincing was the immediate series of appointments for a mammogram, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and a breast MRI over the next three days. Throughout that weekend waiting to receive the results, she tried to tell herself there were other possibilities that could account for her unusual symptoms. Every time the phone rang, her heart raced and her palms got sweaty. She was scared, and wanted to be with her family all the time. Yet, she couldn't bring herself to tell them how frightened she was. So, she tried to act normal. But, her unusual quietness and the look on her face weren't fooling anybody. "Monday afternoon, six days after my initial appointment and right before the end of my workday, my surgeon called me with the news, but immediately reassured me that I was in the best of hands and that my team of physicians would take good care of me." As soon as she could, Sarah left work and headed straight to her parents' home. Her dad was walking out the side door as she walked up the driveway. When their eyes met, he knew. She walked straight into his arms, telling him that it was cancer. Soon, more family arrived, and they all gathered around to comfort Sarah, cry and pray together. "I tried to reassure everyone that I would be O.K., reminding them that I am a scrapper and far too ornery just to give in to



cancer." The next week and a half were days of tests, doctor visits, more tests, and the revelation of her official diagnosis and treatment plan. "One thing that impresses me most about my oncologist is that she gave me the facts, but never once talked about stages or statistics or prognoses. She just told me what the tests thus far had shown, how chemo and radiation work, what the different drugs help accomplish, and how cancer dies." Through all her successive visits, her oncologist has remained strong and positive, inspiring Sarah's complete trust in her judgment, with phrases like, "I can't cure you. I'm just a doctor. The drugs can't heal you. Only God can heal you," to which Sarah replied, 'O.K., let's start fighting.' " As one who had always enjoyed the best of health, Sarah hated her doctor visits, being poked and prodded. "But, I especially hated those awful paper gowns that were made to cover a Popsicle stick, and certainly did not cover all of me." Now that she's in chemotherapy treatment, Sarah still has those awkward moments, like cringing because she thinks she knows exactly what the next "stick" (with a needle) is going to feel like, occasionally wincing because "it went in a little wonky and I know I'm going to have a bruise." Little things she used to tolerate with ease cause apprehension, too. Like the time her infant niece accidentally grabbed her port (a temporarily installed device for the chemotherapy) in a way that made it sting. But, she knows that the inconveniences, like the needle sticks, the cramps in her arms from having to sit perfectly still through a 30-minute test, are all part of her treatment and healing process. With good humor and a positive attitude, Sarah recognizes that her physical appearance is changed, but that one day she will look like her old self again. "My sisters tell me my little halo of hair that never fell out from the chemo makes me look like a baby bird." Her faith has played an enormous role in her recovery. "I thank God that He has seen fit to reveal as much as He has to the scientists

who have created the medicines that are killing the cancer in my body and that will hopefully keep it at bay in the future. I have never questioned that I would get well." Her best advice to all – not just those battling breast cancer, demonstrates her true character: "Finding out you have cancer is scary and heartbreaking. Fighting it is not. If I had it to do it over again, I might make the same mistake to wait before going to the doctor, because I'm stubborn and hardheaded. But, I hope that the women reading these words who may find a lump, an unusual rash, or other breast irregularities, will not wait. Before I was diagnosed, I didn't really pay much attention to breast cancer. I felt like I had a safety net. After all, you don't get it if your family has never had it and you don't have risk factors, right? I know better now. I now realize just how many women like me contract this dreaded disease. But, the amazing thing is that, if you catch it in time, you will be cured. I can't say that the cure is much fun. But in the long run, it's a small price to pay for a second chance at life." When Sarah's sister called the Pink Ribbon Fund to inquire about financial assistance, they sent Sarah a Grant Application (found on their website They continue to assist her with deductibles and other bills related to her treatment. "Patty" is a 47-year-old local professional woman who was diagnosed 10 years ago. "When I heard 'breast cancer stage II,' I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. At first, my life became a whirlpool of confusion. This diagnosis changed me physically, emotionally and spiritually." First, Patty had surgery, followed by chemotherapy. Then, she en-dured the side effects and the pain of reconstructive surgery. "If it weren’t for my faith in God, my parent’s never-ending support and prayers, I wouldn’t have made it. God was, and still is, my healer." Then, in April 2009, just one year after Patty's original breast cancer diagnosis, she heard those dreaded words again. This time,

the stage IV cancer was in her lungs. "You cannot imagine – unless you've been where I was – how I felt when my doctor asked me if my family was nearby, if my affairs were in order, and suggested that I inform my church family of my recurrence." At first, she was angry – sad and angry, crying "Why me? Why again? I did all I was supposed to do. Why God? Why didn’t you heal me? I prayed for time, time to see my youngest son graduate, time to see my children become totally independent." Although the doctor's words "knocked us to the ground," she found courage in her faith to get closer to God and trust in Him again. Once again, her family and friends rallied around, standing strong beside her. "And, thanks to the support of the Pink Ribbon Fund that helped me with the various medical/hospital bills that had accumulated, I am back on my feet physically and financially today. They even helped with transportation, since I wasn’t able to drive." Now, Patty is facing another hurdle – after having minor surgery, unrelated to her breast cancer, she contracted an infection, which spread to her breast, and necessitated the removal of one of her implants. She has experienced many setbacks to test her perseverance. But, her unrelenting faith has kept her strong. "God’s love and mercy for us is infinite. Since my experiences, I have learned to be more patient, and to surrender my life to God's will. My advice is, When you think there is no hope, pray. Pray with all your heart. Seek God. He will answer your prayers. He never gives us more than we can handle. We may not understand why, but everything happens for a reason. I know my time is in his hands, I must let it be His will, not mine." Once again, Patty has had to seek help from the Pink Ribbon Fund to cover the enormous cost of her recent surgery. "I am so grateful for the compassionate ladies of the Fund. Thanks to their generosity I, and many Pine Belt women like me, are being helped." This year’s Pink Ribbon Ball, which supports the fund, is set for Sept. 18 at the Canebrake Clubhouse. For more information contact Susan Light, co-founder, 6068 US Hwy 98 West, Suite 1305, Hattiesburg, MS 39402, call 601450-PINK (7465) or visit

september 2010


Since its inception in 2002, the AIDS Services Coalition has always been about change – changing attitudes toward persons living with HIV/AIDS; changing behavior so the pandemic will stop affecting our community; changing the lives of homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS through its housing facility, 1-2-1 Haven House. Now, its premier fundraiser, An Evening with 206 for 1-2-1 Haven House is undergoing a change. For five years, Tom White and 206 Front Street have generously been its champion – helping raise monies to continue operations of 12-1 Haven House. “Without the Whites and 206 Front, I am not sure that we’d have made it through those first few years” said Board President David Sheley. As this event has grown, the number attending has risen from 60 to 360 and has changed locations from 206 Front Street to the Historic Hattiesburg Depot. With this growth, an exciting transformation is occurring. An Evening with 206 Front Street for 1-2-1 Haven House is becoming Ribbons of Change. In addition, 206 Front Street will be joined by Crescent City Grill and other local restaurants, showing a broader support for the efforts of the AIDS Services Coalition. What hasn’t changed? It is still a really fun party! Just what is the event? The annual fundraiser features local cuisine, a silent and live auctions, and music performed by the local artist Charles Carter. “This is a fun and exciting event – for everyone – that, in addition to raising funds for our transitional hous-



ing facility for homeless persons living with HIV/AIDS, raises awareness within the community”, said Kathy Garner, executive director for the AIDS Services Coalition. Mari Swanson, ASC board member and Art Chair for the event, is looking forward to this year’s artwork. “We are blessed with very talented friends of the Coalition. The South Mississippi Art Association and many others contribute to the success of our silent art auction each year,” she said. During the past five years, the art has been the star of the show. Sculpture, paintings, photography, cloth work and other media have graced the auction floor. Incredible offerings by nationally-known artists such as Kym Garraway and Joyce Bradley have graced the auction. “I hesitate to name artists because we have been fortunate to have more than 80 artists provide art for the auction of the past five years,” said Jim Dukes, chair of the Fundraising Committee. “We are pleased to have worked with SMAA to introduce many new artists to our community. This year, we are adding a few new tricks to our bag as well. We are branching out and soliciting more new and outstanding art, but also adding more out of the ordinary offerings such as specialty trips and jewelry. I want people to know that the AIDS Services Coalition is doing work in our community that would not be done were it not here. That is why this fundraiser is so critically important.” A sprinkling of comments shows not only has the experience been entertaining to those who attended over the years, but show that its rel-

evance has hooked them. • “ An Evening for 1-2-1 Haven House keeps this incredibly important issue at the forefront. • “It’s a great party…with a purpose!” • “Without the work being done by the AIDS Services Coalition, many people would not be aware of the toll this deadly disease takes on our community.” • “If ASC didn’t do the things it does, who would? Nobody. Tickets are $50 per person and $90 per couple. A special rate is available to college students with valid ID for $35. More information on ticketing can be obtained by calling the AIDS Services Coalition offices at 601-450-4286. Beginning in 2002, the mission of the AIDS Services Coalition (ASC) is to provide housing, case management, and HIV education/prevention to those persons living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by HIV/AIDS. Other activities of the ASC include recognition of World AIDS Day in December of each year with memorials and services being held throughout the world. ASC— in collaboration with other agencies—coordinates the annual event with speakers, memorials and a candle light vigil. Participation is sought from community leaders, service organizations and elected

officials from our service area. ASC also sponsors the Annual AIDS Walk for Life with other resources from the community, the university, service organizations and volunteers. HIV screening is available in a confidential setting. In 2009, an outreach center, Bruce’s Place Out Back, was dedicated in the memory of the ASC’s first champion, Bruce Van Nostrand. This center acts as an education center, a home for the Positive Living Support Group, HIV testing office, and location of Food for Life, the only pantry strictly serving HIV+ persons in Mississippi. The AIDS Services Coalition draws many groups together to increase awareness and provide an opportunity for the community to become better informed about HIV— truths and myths.

Mothers, grandmothers and aunts are invited to bring special little girls and join author Rochelle Frazier and Forrest General's Spirit of Women as they launch the very first Sweeteas Club! This special event, “Sweeteas Tea for Mum and Me!” will be held on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 2:30 - 5 p.m. at the Canebrake Country Club. The event, which is designed for young girls in grades Pre-K through 6th grade and their chaperones, will offer a special time to learn about the essence of a true Southern Girl – charm, character and charisma. Rochelle Frazier, author of the Sweeteas books for young girls, will offer wit and wisdom from her successful books, as well as a special “tea-time,” including a tea-tasting

session and interactive information on how to host your very own perfect tea party. The event will also include delightful crafts and live music for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that promises to refresh the gift of Southern charm in little girls and their chaperones alike! All attendees are asked to come dressed in their best “tea-time” attire. Little girls attending this event will have the special opportunity to become members of the very first “Sweeteas Club,” which will include fun events for girls throughout the year and exclusive benefits available only to members. “Even the youngest Southern girls possess an innate charm that sets them apart,” said Millie Swan, Forrest General's chief of Marketing and Medical Staff Services.

“This event and the Sweeteas Club are great ways to encourage young girls to embrace those qualities while offering an opportunity to spend special time with their moms, grandmothers, aunts or other important women in their lives. As Southern women, we all learn that friendships are the key to having a well-rounded, healthy life, and Rochelle Frazier teaches that lessen to our youngest girls through her Sweeteas characters. We hope that all young girls will join the Sweeteas Club and see the wonderful fun it brings!” For more information or to register for this event, call Forrest General Marketing and Communications at 601288-1300. For more information on the Sweeteas book series and other products, visit

Author Rochelle Frazier, born and raised in Magnolia, has a mission to inspire creativity, promote the search for passion and God's gifts, and to instill faith, hope, charity and a little Southern charm in girls across the South. Frazier created the charmingly-written, beautifullyillustrated book series as her way to refresh the natural gift of charm possessed by all Southern girls and ladies. Frazier hopes that this event will spread her message to young girls in the Pine Belt as well as their moms, grandmothers and aunts. “I am so grateful for the Spirit of Women of Hattiesburg and their support in making the Sweeteas Club Launch so memorable,” said Rochelle Frazier. “We hope this precious little club will help us touch the world with our Southern Grace, and I am so excited about it beginning here in Mississippi. You will surely want to be a part of this special day.”

september 2010


By Dana Gower Whether New York photographer Rachel Jerome Ferraro is shooting high fashion or a vacuum cleaner, you can bet the



resulting photograph will be imbued with a special quality that makes it uniquely her own. "There's not much in commercial photography that doesn't involve fashion," Ferraro, a

native of Hattiesburg, said, but added that – for now – it's not her main focus. "My main focus is advertising," she said. "My subfocus is humor." It is that subfocus that has led to some of her more interesting photos, as well as photo shoots. In the past, especially when she was living in Los Angeles, Calif., around 1994-96, Ferraro took a number of celebrity photographs, including idiosyncratic musician Beck and Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet. She also took photographs of President George H.W. Bush while on the Gulf Coast, and of his son, President George W. Bush, at his inauguration. While working on a fashion series of 12 New York Stories, Ferarro and her collaborator, fashion stylist Joe Delate, had the opportunity to work with New York fashion icon Amanda Lepore, nee Armand Lepore, a transgender model and nightlife hostess at the height of New York society. "The fashion stylist and I wanted to do something for fun," Ferraro said of working with Lepore, who they tracked down through agents and other profes-

sional contacts and convinced to participate in the fashion shoot. "I had to send a limo to pick her up," Ferraro said. But it was worth it, she said. A photo from the shoot was included in the 2009 American Photography Annual 24, basically a juried photography book that is accompanied by a Web site and gallery showings. "It's not exactly an award, but it is an honor," she said. Although celebrity photography isn't one of her priorities, there is one type of celebrity that does continue to pique her interest. "I will always photograph comedians," she said. That led to one of her more entertaining photo shoots, Ferraro said. "Radar Magazine called me up" and asked her to photograph "Saturday Night Live" cast member Kristen Wiig, she said, adding that Wiig "was up for anything" during the photo shoot. That resulted in a series of photographs of historical figures, including Lady Godiva, complete with flowing golden tresses and a rocking horse. Ferraro said she enjoys working with wardrobe as part of her photography, even when she is

working on more traditional commercial campaigns. Wardrobe and styling was an important part of the overall effect of a series of ads for Hoover, she said. The campaign was about the "Clean Freak" characters, and wardrobe played a very important role in establishing the characters. That campaign won her first place in the advertising category in the 2009 Photo District New Digital Imaging Awards.

"Any time you win first place in the very competitive photo world, it's exciting," Ferraro said of that award. A few of her other clients and advertising campaigns include photos for M&Ms, Orville Redenbacher, Verizon, Dell and Yahoo! Her work has appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, Life, Time, Newsweek, People, Esquire, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, among many others.

Although she is continuing to stay busy with her photography, Ferraro has recently taken on a new challenge – teaching advertising photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1994. "Teaching is in my blood," Ferraro said, noting that both her parents, Raoul and Althea Jerome, who still live in Hattiesburg, were professional educators.

"It's a bit of a challenge," she admitted, but added, "I'm just going to have a couple more balls in the air as I'm juggling." In addition to her teaching duties and photography work, Ferraro also balances her home life with her husband, Brian, and two children, three-year-old Sawyer and two-year-old Ivy. Living with very young children is definitely challenging, but every day gets easier," she said.

september 2010




By Beth Bunch Their fundraisers have included the standard cookbooks, T-shirts, ornaments and other traditional modes of raising funds. But this goround members of the Waiting for a Cure Foundation were looking for a different type of fund raiser – something different, but unique. Something up-lifting, so to speak. After seeing the bra art designed by quilters in the Carolinas, these brazen WFC members decided they could come up with their own works of art. So, they put their best chests forward and came up with some titillating designs. “ I n

January of last year we began having design meetings, selecting names and designs for the bras we wanted to create,” said Dawn Gillis, foundation ringleader and biggest supporter. “After a series of meetings our ladies took it upon themselves and worked on their creation at home, using everything from feathers and sparkles to nuts, bolts, washers and screws.” And with names like “All Aboard,” “Show Me Something,” “On the Mounds,” “Grand Deposits,” Lollipops and Roses,” “Under the Sea,” “Stars and Stripes on High,” “It’s the Real Thing,” “Getting to the Nuts and Bolts,” “Whey They Come Marchin’ in,” “Flying Like an Eagle,” “Geaux Tigers,” “Early Detection,” “Those Webs We Weave,” “A Hunting They Will Go,” and “Snowflakes On High,” you can only imagine what these creative designers came up with. By September of 2009, foundation members, who are all breast cancer survivors of anywhere from one year to 20 years, had created 54 unique and unusual pieces of art, each with its own special design. “We introduced them at our Masquerade Ball and held an auction to raise funds,” said Gillis. Models for the evening include husbands of survivors, a male student at Southern Miss and a radiation oncologist. “They paraded around the room and hammed it up and helped us raise $2,000 for Waiting for a Cure,” she said. So, what do you do with 54 volup-

tuously decorated bras? You accentuate the positive. Foundation members selected the best-of-the-best and those will be featured on Calendar Girls 2011, which will debut in the next month or so. Gillis explained that for the past year “we have been taking pictures and selecting those photos to appear in the calendar. We wanted the pictures to be taken in places that would compliment the bra themes,” she said. So, who would have ever thought you would see three women in the middle of Faulkner Field at Southern Miss’ MM Roberts Stadium in their bras representing three extremely popular South Mississippi football powerhouses. Or did you ever think you’d find such designs on the Zoo carousel or next to a Mardi Grasthemed tree. Or how about 12 braclad women in a poinsettia hothouse at Christmas. “Marlo Matthews agreed to be our photographer for this project, and oh, the things we put him through,” Gillis laughed. “But he was a real trooper.” Matthews said all of the women who took part in the photo shoots really wanted to be a part of this special project and were completely at ease with the whole process. “All the photo shoots were a lot of fun and a learning process for all of us,” said Matthews, who came away with some new friends because of this opportunity. He says the most enjoyable shoot for him was the December shoot which featured all 12 women. “It was

cold and raining outside, but we were nice and toasty in this warm and steamy greenhouse,” he said. The featured women are breast cancer survivors of all ages and had a blast posing for the photos, some with props that correlated with their creations. Gillis said the foundation secured sponsorship to cover the cost of printing, so all proceeds would be strictly profit. The calendar went to print in August and will be available in mid-September. The mission of the foundation is to raise money to benefit the needs of breast cancer patients, survivors and their families in Southeast Mississippi. “The Foundation knows that approximately 2,400 Mississippi women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone,” said Gillis, and many of these women do NOT have a source of payment for their diagnosis, much less their treatment. WFC offers financial support for bras, prostheses, wigs and counseling. Other support is handled on a special request basis. In addition, WFC offers numerous program presentations conducted by qualified speakers and physicians. Patient support services offers telephone contact for newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients, and individuals undergoing treatment, with follow-up, as well. A certified Patient Navigator is available to assist with these services. For more information, contact Waiting for a Cure, 601-543-5719 or

september 2010


By Beth Bunch Katrina Guevara is a spitfire... a whirlwind...a ball of energy with creative juices that flow non-stop. And her fashion designs are along the same lines....nothing you’d see on the streets of Hattiesburg or Mississippi for that fact, but a fashion statement, nonetheless. Born in the Phillipines, Katrina moved to the states at the age of 14 when her mom married a military man. The family landed in Tylertown. “It was culture shock and I didn’t understand a whole lot,” she remembers. She graduated from Tylertown High School, Southwest Mississippi Community College with an Associates degree in prebusiness administration. and started a business degree at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 with a minor in nutrition and exercise science. She currently lacks one year finishing a fashion merchandising degree. If you weren’t sure about her likes and dislikes, there would be no doubt about her passion. “It takes awhile for people to find passion, but I have always had a passion for fashion. I loved medicine, but I was not in love with it,” she said. “With fashion I zone out...just disappear. And I don’t care how much money I do or don’t make. Continued on page 16



september 2010


Continued from page 14 It’s what I love...what makes me extremely happy.” And she exudes happiness. As a child, Katrina was a girly girl who liked to play dress up. As a teenager she might change clothes four times before deciding what to wear or how to style her hair. And as typical with most teens and their moms, they usually disagreed about what Katrina would walk out the door wearing. “Fashion has always been in me. I’m not a big shopper when it comes to labels,” she said “I like to shop at thrift stores and vintage places where I can get stuff that nobody else has. Then I change it up and make it my own.” The designer describes fashion as “how somebody puts it all together and how they wear it. Not what is on the hanger.” Working as a public relations liaison for Polly Esther’s Closet located in the Calico Mall in Downtown Hattiesburg, which carries 1930s-1980s vintage clothing, Katrina has the inside scoop. “It’s the most retro spot in Hattiesburg,” she said, “and you definitely won’t meet yourself coming down the street.” Profits from the sale of the clothing help with expenses at a private Pine Belt animal sanctuary, Operation S.O.S. Her love of fashion and the goodness in her heart have prompted Katrina to once again step up to the runway for t h e



2nd Annual Fashion Revolution, a fashion show on the Southern Miss campus featuring local models and designs. The event was created by Guevara, as a way to support charities around the world. This year’s show, Welcome to Paraiso (Paradise), is set for 7-10 p.m. p.m. Sept. 22 at Lake Terrace Convention Center. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door. Denise Brooks and Don King will host the show, which will feature some very tribal and ethnic fashions, a throwback to Guevara’s upbringing in the Phillipines. “Many of the ideas for these fashions come from my native country,” she said. “These are designs Hattiesburg really needs to see, especially boutique owners. It’s good for a cause and good for fashion. According to Guevara, Mayor Johnny DuPree is backing the project which benefits Feed the Children, with 20-25 percent of proceeds going to the charity. Feed the Children is a Christian, nonprofit relief organization that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disaster. Those attending the show are asked to bring canned goods, overthe-counter medications to the show to be donated to Feed the Children. Donations will also be accepted. Representatives from the charity are scheduled to be at the event, according to Guevara. “Food and medications are things some people don’t have. I know, I’m from a Third World County. I give back what I can. Don’t complain because you don’t have a car or designer clothes. You have hot water, food and a place to sleep at night and keep you warm. Lots of people don’t even have these basics. Because we struggle doesn’t mean we can’t give back. If I could save the world I would. God uses me to bless others.” “I want to use my talent to give back and bring younger people together to do something positive in the community,” she said. “They need to learn to help others. Because young people are our future leaders they are who we need to target. I want to be an example. I hope young girls will look up

to me and see what I’m doing or trying to do for charities and that will get them busy in Hattiesburg.I want them to know that life is not just about glamour and fashion, but about caring and having a cause, no matter what disappointments come your way.” Guevara also wants local girls with lofty aspirations of a modeling career to know that runway work is hard. “You have to pursue what you want. Nothing is just handed to you. And you have to work your way up the ladder,” she said. “Big name models and celebrities didn’t just start at the top.” The local models, ages 15 and up, had to audition for the opportunity to walk the runway sporting Katrina’s fashions, known under the label, LaBella, as well as the designs of others. “Just because they are in some small town doesn’t mean we don’t set some high standards. “They practice, have a modeling coach and work with hair and makeup artists. We teach them a work ethic, how to be positive and be professional. It really gives them something to think about, is this something they really want to do?” Another motive behind the Fashion Revolution event is to showcase the works of many talented people in Mississippi, whether they are models, designers, hair stylists, makeup artists or fashion photographers.” This year’s fashion show will feature the works of five designers, including LaBella by KGuevara, swimsuits by Melissa Nichole Fowler of Hattiesburg, vintage clothing from Polly Ester’s, plus two other designers. So, where do all of these designs ideas come from? “I have a vision and transform it,” said Guevara. This year’s show will showcase 10 new designs by Katrina and will also feature some of last year’s designs.” “Fashion is so competitive. You have to have an eye and vision for it, be passionate and love it. I Sleep, eat and breathe fashion, sometimes working 15 straight hours on my designs. Me and fashion get into it and I don’t see myself doing anything else. I don’t know what the word “quit” means. And because of that dedication and true love for her craft and artform, she’s counting on people knowing her name one day. That’s her goal.

september 2010


By Beth Bunch While tough economic times, doom and gloom may be plaguing the country, the fashion world is seeing anything but dark and dismal days. While black will always be a fashion staple, reds, oranges and blues in a plethora of shades are joining the ranks of grey, which is prevalent this season, a neutral color palette and brown and navy, which have found their place in fashion alongside black. Expect to see lots of dramatic and feminine prints during this cooler weather season and lots of detailing, whether in the form of embellishments, embroidery, fringe or ruffles. Hub City boutiques each have their own styles and unique collections, and for the most part, the fashions they are seeing for



Fall/Winter 2010 overlap to some extent – whether in styling, color choices, fabrics or embellishments.

The Abbey “We’re seeing and carrying a lot of military-inspired looks, even the color palette,” said Jennifer Clark, buyer for The Abbey. “The military is big in literally everything – cargos, jackets, trenches and blazers.” And if you’re going to put your best foot forward, you better have a pair of clogs. “Leather with wooden heels, closed or open toed. They are easy to transition. And anything chunky,” she said. “Kind of that BoHo ‘70s look.” She even talked up booties, those stylish ankle boots that are great paired with jeans, skirts, widelegged pants or pretty much anything. She also mentioned the overthe-knee boots. “They were big last

year, but are just starting to pick up this year,” she said. The store’s color palette includes the olives, browns, blacks and neutrals, which includes the blushes and nudes. To accessorize, jewelry is “chunky and baubly.” She recommends the layered statement necklace paired with a T-shirt and jeans. “And denim will always be a staple,” she said. As far as jeans, “We’re still seeing the deconstructive skinny jeans of previous seasons,” On the dress front, you’ll find hemlines shorter and many with oneshoulder styling. The bare leg look remains “in,” but Clark says you’ll also see textured tights and some leggings. If you are a purse carrier, then this year you’ll find something a little

less big and chunky. Clark has seen a lot of smaller leather messenger bags, complete with studs and chained handles. “They are great for going out, because they aren’t so big.”

Randy Price Your basic colors like black and grey are here to stay, while your Army-inspired colors such as dark green, brown and camel are new this season, according to Lindsey Price at Randy Price and Company. “We also are seeing a lot of neutrals like taupes, light pinks, creams and tans.” If you want to stand tall this season then you won’t have trouble in the platform shoes styles, which the business is seeing as a trend. “And with pops of animal print,” Price said. “Boots are still really big this

fall and in every color. From ankle booties to tall, over-the-knee styles – we love them all.” Price said they are “really excited about the new fall trends, everything from edgy to feminine and a combination of the two. There are a lot of military-inspired styles here as well.” She said in denim “anything goes – from the skinny jean to bell bottoms and everything in between. Sequins paired with denim for a day or night look is also a hot look.” You’ll also find chunky sweaters to the more tailored looks. “This Fall is going to be filled with new options,” Price said. Also fur and leather are still on the scene...faux of course! And on the forefront, to add flare to any outfit, are statement necklaces. For the dapper man in your life, “the business is seeing everything more tailored like slim-fit suits and skinny ties.” She suggests for a more casual look, “grab your favorite pair of jeans and pair with a fitted button-down shirt and blazer.” Did someone say denim? Just everybody! “DENIM, DENIM, and more DENIM, from relaxed to the more fitted,” Price said.

Irie Boutique Ashley Page, owner of Irie Boutique is on course with other area businesses as far as this year’s cooler-weather fashions.

“Get ready to see some fur,” she urges. “Faux of course! This fall we are spotting fur shrugs, vests and leather jackets and sweaters with fur trim. The popular fall color choices again include olives, chocolates, greys, navy and of course, black! “Most everything is in bold neutrals, but you will see deep reds, teals and purples here and there.” Page suggests that you accessorize your wardrobe with thigh-high boots and clogs and grab a handbag that makes a statement! “You will find handbags in gorgeous neutrals like tan, chocolate and olive, but don't be afraid to throw in a splash of color with a red or mustard shade tote.” For a city that welcomes so many military men and women to its ranks, the military-inspired clothing for fall fits right in. “Expect to see militaryinspired jackets and pants in shades of blue, olive and tan,” she said. Page says we can't talk about fall trends without mentioning denim! “It's all about the denim legging or jegging this season! The jeggings are great in shades of charcoal, black and dark blues. They are great to wear with your boots or dress them up with a stacked pump!”

B.T. Threads At B.T. Threads, color trends are a rich palette of emerald green, sap-

phire blue, amethyst and teal, according to owner Tessie Happ. “Feminine shapes on tops and dresses are taking a front seat this season,” she said, “and anything that accentuates the waist is really now.” Happ agrees that military details in clothing are really in this season, for example, cropped military-style jackets, cargo pants and tops. In addition to the embellishments so many of this year’s fashions are sporting, Happ is seeing lace accents on clothing, shoes and accessories. “Lace is big and just a hint of it goes a long way,” she said. For an easier look, slouchy and flowy cardigans in short and longer lengths are really on trend this season. Happ suggests they be “layered with more structured and fitted pieces underneath.” For your shoe wardrobe, “styles are more ladylike, pumps with pretty details like bows and tassels in either a pointy toe or round-toe style,” she said. “Lace-up boots are also going to be really big.” To accessorize your wardrobe, this season’s handbags are seeing top-handled structured bags with bold, elegant hardware. “Also oversized bags with fringe details and studs are important,” Happ said. Gray is going to be a “hot” cooler color, especially in accessories. Continued on next page

september 2010


Continued from page 19 “Gray is really big. And designers are breaking away from basic black on shoes and handbags.”

McB’s At McB’s the air is vibrant with beautiful shades of taupe, rust/burnt orange, grays, neutrals and greens, much like the trees when the leaves start to change. “We’re seeing more neutral tones than black and lots of navy,” said buyer Stacy Pace. And amid the rich colors are the embellishments – “lots and lots of embellishments” including everything from feathers and stones to intricate beading. And you’ll find this bling on everything – skirts, dresses, shirts , blouses and even accessories. “You’ll find feathers on oneshouldered dresses, as well as stones, beads and sequins decorating shoulders, necklines, sleeves and hems,” said Pace, who enjoyed picking out fashions for the business at this year’s New York market. Embellishments also include leathers and snakeskin prints. Another fashion staple she’s seeing is gray jeans, “but the skinny leg, which we are seeing in dress pants and not just jeans, has not gone away,” she said. “And leggings are still big, especially when paired with boots, of any style – flat, booties and the taller boots.” Pace said dresses are flowy, many with ruffles on the sleeves. “Almost peasant,” she said. And she’s seeing lots of big sleeves, as well as bell sleeves. Another fashion statement is fur. “We saw a lot of fur on jackets, vests and mini coats,” she said. On the accessory front, Pace suggests leather strap bracelets as a hot accessory, as well as wrap bracelets. These bracelets look like a necklace, but wrap several times around the wrist, featuring a plethora of decorations. Embellished rings are also stylish as is anything with “sparkles, studs and stones.” Purses can be found with beading and woven straps. And the acrossthe-body messenger bag is showing up, but the hobo purse is still on the fashion front.

Eve Maries If your fall and winter fashions aren’t adorned with some type of embellishments – faux jewels, beads, stones, sequins, buttons and the like – at the neck, hemline, shoulders or sleeves, then you’re going to be grossly underdressed. “Embellishments are everywhere,” said April Bullock, owner of Eve Maries. “And designers are using lots of fringe, even sideways down the fronts of shirts. They are doing



all kinds of things with it.” Starring front and center this season will be military-style fashions. “Military is huge on everything with colors from olive green and camo to patches and other military-type insignia,” Bullock said.” “While the military look is going overboard in big cities, it will be more subtle in this part of the country. It’s just awesome!” Holding their own against the military look will be the rich jewel tones, whether with shoes, purses or clothing. “Designers are steering a little further away from black and brown and leaning toward grey, in everything from suedes to leathers. Bullock said other big hits this fashion season will be the neutrals, such as camel, lace on everything from shoes to clothing, one shoulder shirts and dresses and chunky knits. “Sweater dresses will be good, paired with tights and boots, another big fashion statement,” she said. “It’s a cute, but easy look.” And don’t forget jeggings – leggings which look like a jean, but are made of a stretchy denim. They come in every color and are great with big oversized sweaters, according to Bullock. To accessorize your wardrobe, she suggests the layering of lots of jewelry, including pearls and an armful of bangles in gold, silver or bronze. And for the Peg Bundys of the world, animal print is still out there.



Signature Magazine - September 2010  

Pages 1-24 of the September "Fall Fashion" edition of Signature Magazine.

Signature Magazine - September 2010  

Pages 1-24 of the September "Fall Fashion" edition of Signature Magazine.