Page 1

All Dresses! All the time!

10.2010 CONTENTS: 10.2010 EDITOR‟S NOTE


Sonia gives you a preview of what your eyes will see in the pages of the 10.2010 Issue. Photographed by Lauren Gherardi featuring the charming Nina Alvarez. Hair, makeup and styling by Sonia Garza.

Ladies‟ Night Out with Chateau Vintage and was fabulous! We bring you Street Style from the sidewalks outside of Walker‟s Wine Bar during „Oh Darling‟. By Sonia Garza



Artist of the Month Melany Wimpee shows us her talent and spills about her love for design and overcoming the many challenges that today‟s designers are sure to face. By Sonia Garza

Artist, model, creative beauty Katie Smith brings us a taste of conversation worthy grooming trends for men who trim a little here and a little there. By Katie Smith



This month‟s Art Walk Style File brings us style inspiration from Jacksonville to Harajuku. Escape into a distant fashion capital and experience some of Art Walk‟s fashion stories. By Sarah Papke

Find out what items you can get the most out of this season in men‟s fashion. By Carl Harper

BACK IN TOWN On The Cover: READY FOR MY CLOSE UP Ceejay Blake, 10.2010 Model of the Month. Photographed by Lauren Gherardi. Hair and make-up by Sonia Garza. Styling by Becca Bussert. By Sonia Garza

Raiding the Dreamy Closet of the fabulous fashionista Cassandra Ryder of Jacksonville… and Savannah. By Rena Rettinger


LA FASHION WEEK A taste of Fashion‟s Night Out in Los Angeles. Photographed by Mireta Khalil.

SPY IT… BUY IT! Hot, HOT winter lace and boots! By Danielle Downing Pagett

OVER THE CARLING This Girl‟s F/W 2010 Preview. Photographed by Heather Whitson Blackwell. Featuring models Tiffany Ashley and Carolyn Jernigan. Make-up by Michal May and Hair by Margo Nelms.

FRESH FACE F/W Make-up trends explained. Photographed by Lauren Gherardi. Featuring Nina Alvarez and tips by make-up pro Sonia Garza.

POSED TO DEATH Chabri Fashion Special Edition. Photography and creative direction by Lauren Gherardi. Featuring beauties Sarah Papke and Lauren Gergen. Hair, make-up and styling by Sonia Garza.

333 East Bay Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202. (904) 424.3531


Traditionally, La Vie Est Belle will always be a platform for up and coming fashion artists, especially designers. This month we have displayed an array of northern Florida‘s talent, but we have also ventured out into NYC, and we‘ve included images of locals wearing items purchased in Japan and LA. This issue is meant to be a springboard into fashion found in other areas of the United States as well as international fashion capitals which will be featured along with our beloved local fashion creations in issues to come. The fashion editor team at L.V.E.B. has expanded to include more local writers and also writers from New York and Canada. For this issue, we have delivered a what-to-wear list that includes some of the hottest clothing, make-up and grooming trends of the season. -Sonia Garza


Artist of the Month:

When Melany wrote to La Vie Est Belle telling us her story, we could not have been happier to have her as our October artist of the month! This Jacksonville native is a talented jewelry designer with some bold and beautiful statement pieces that are still remarkably dainty, charming and very wearable for the careerist who must have a bit of fashion in her daily routine. Here‘s our exclusive interview with the designer ‗MelanyBE‘.

What words would you use to describe your personal style? My style is very edge-y while being rooted in classic elegance. I grew up watching Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly and I incorporate that timeless sense of fashion into what is current. Where do you like to shop? I love shopping with my mom so I do most of my shopping in Jacksonville when I come to visit. We always go to the town center. Honestly our favorite store is Target. I am always excited to see their designer collaborations and am obsessed with the brilliance of their promotions. What inspired you to start designing jewelry? It was really exciting to me to work at such a small scale. I went to school for interior design and would spend countless hours in studio creating drawings of things that could never become real. I started designing jewelry as an opportunity to come up with ideas and create them and use them. With jewelry you can be as wild as you can possibly imagine and it is still obtainable to bring it to life. How long have you been selling jewelry? I started selling jewelry just about a year ago. Continued on the next page.

To the right: A photo of Melany

What was the biggest challenge that you had starting your line and how did you overcome that challenge? Starting a fashion line requires a lot of sacrifice of time, money, and opportunities and there is no guarantee it will turn out well. However, for me creating things and having the opportunity to put them into the world is addicting. Really it is the genuine satisfaction that I get from doing it that gets me through all of the challenges I have overcome. What was the response to your jewelry in Jacksonville? I have had much more response than I ever expected in Jacksonville. I have really found that there are so many people in Jacksonville excited by new things. I would really love to have MelanyBE in stores in Jacksonville. Has the reaction been different from people in New York? There is always so much going on in New York that it harder to stand out but it is inspiring to have to respond the challenge. I have been really lucky to have an overwhelming response both professionally with buyers, stylists, photographers and by strangers on the street. What accomplishment are you the most proud of right now? I am really proud of the foundations I have built for MelanyBE, but I am the most proud of work that I did with Habitat for Humanity in high school and college. Not only was it very instrumental in helping me discover my love of architecture and building but it really taught me the importance of helping others. I think it is difficult to find a similar opportunity within luxury fashion but I am working on finding a unique way to share my passion for design.

What is most important to you when selecting a model for your line? Modeling is really an intensely specific skill and it is most important to have someone who has a great knowledge of positioning and lighting. It is very important that the model be very comfortable and has a personality that shines through. Do you have a philosophy about fashion? The philosophy that drives my work is more about design in general. My experience includes Architecture, Furniture, and Fashion and I love to look for opportunities to combine these disciplines in atypical ways. I believe that great design concepts can easily overlap and items should be produced without constricting them to strict categories.

-Sonia Garza

Designs by MelanyBE


Shirt & pants: Forever 21 Shoes & handbag: Old Navy Shades: Dollar Store

Downtown Vision‘s First Wednesday Art Walk was an array of fashion and inspiration as usual! Here‘s what the L.V.E.B. E.Mag team found on the sidewalks this month!

Staci Bushea

Shirt: The Gap Shorts: American Apparel Handbag: Fossil Earrings & Shoes: Tokyo

‗ORIGIN‘ By Kalin Allen

Continued on the next page.

Devin Balara

Tank top & shorts: Nordstrom Shoes: Old Navy Handbag: Target Necklace: Her Grandmother‘s pendant Shades: 5 Points, Atlanta.

-Sarah Papke

Cover beauty Ceejay Blake was ready for her close up as she stood on set in a rustic, dimly lit garage wearing her ‗first look‘; a heavenly floor length, lace gown made by Zara. Ceejay found this amazing piece during her stay in New York City. The L.V.E.B. team couldn‘t wait to photograph her wearing it! Ceejay‘s poses were effortless and graceful like always as she twirled in front of the camera and her dress circled and flowed all around her. She does what she feels the clothes tell her to do, and her glamorous pink and black gown was telling her to spin in circles so that its captivating layers could show off for the camera lens. –Sonia Garza Photographed by Lauren Gherardi. Hair and make-up by Sonia Garza. Styled by Becca Bussert.



Sandy Lark Haltiwanger Dress: Anomaly Belt: Katie Smith‘s Closet

HITTING THE CURRENT STREETS! On September 9th, Jacksonville fashionistas gathered at Walker‘s Wine Bar to shop, shop, shop! The fabulous ladies‘ night out event was hosted by Tiffany Hager from and the Chateau Vintage team, Meredith Gieger and Kayleigh hair. There was an on sight photoshoot with Brittani Bowman and Make-up by Becca as well as beautiful music played by Jessica Pounds. We captured photos of guest‘s attire as they entered the party. Here‘s what the ladies wore to shop and play at ‗Oh Darling‘. -Sonia Garza

Broach: Vintage Pumps: Target Earrings: Made by Sandy

Nicki Hebertson Dress: Forever 21 Ring: Baker‘s Pumps: Vintage Purse: Vintage Italian leather Lipstick: Rimmel London‘s Berry Queen Continued on the next page.


Sarah Hair

Becca Bussert


Necklace: Luellabird

Made by Sarah



Lux- Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters




Vintage Rera


Shoes: Forever 21

Viviane- Baker‘s


Tickling my Fancy You may have noticed a bumper crop of furry-faced young men roaming the city in recent years. Like the ―ironic‖—or more accurately: sarcastic—mullet, serious facial hair on twenty-somethings seemed at first to be a novelty trend aimed for kitsch and giggles. However, its persistence has us thinking that whiskers may be the newest style with staying power. What‘s the appeal, when just a few years ago, the moustache was relegated to creepy uncles, porn stars, and paper-towel lumberjacks? Maybe we can attribute the trend to a big ―up yours‖ to the traditional business establishment, but perhaps it has to do with a latent awareness that facial hair MEANS masculinity. (Go ahead, check your thesaurus.) There are a few ladies with some errant stubble, but in general, the ability to grow facial hair is one of those gender-specific characteristics that lends assistance to cultivating one‘s persona. Just consider some of the famous faces in history to see that the style can become a symbol of the man behind the whiskers. Lincoln, Freud, Hitler, Chaplin, Guevara, Dalí, Hemingway, Frederick Douglass, and every artist‘s rendering of Jesus Christ. Not to mention more contemporary pop culture legends: Tom Selleck, Chuck Norris, Hulk Hogan, Ron Jeremy, and two-thirds of ZZ Top— although we‘ll give the drummer an honorable mention for the moustache and the fact that his name is Beard. All, of course, memorable for their exploits in leadership and politics, entertainment, literature, art, and science, but also recognizable by their distinctive facial hair styles. Some are identifiable by their iconic facial hair alone.

Beyond an accessory to personal style, facial hair can easily become a habit, drifting into hobby territory. Just ask the competitors in the whisker-centric competitions around the world. Devon and Sam Holcombe, Jacksonville Beardsmith Society members and Beard Team USA representatives to the 2009 Beard & Moustache Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, placed 2nd and 3rd in their respective categories of Freestyle and English moustaches. Neither is your typical mountain man, but they have nonetheless found camaraderie and friendly competition through nurturing their respectable moustaches. Facial hair is as unique as the man who wears it. From second-day stubble to a full, natural beard à la two-time World Beard & Moustache champion Jack Passion, it‘s an individual decision and a reflection of your personality. Leave it natural, slap some moustache wax in to sculpt the lip-warmer of your dreams, or trim your cheek shrubbery into something the Topiary Club would envy. But please…care for your hair. Continued on the next page.

On that note, if your own foray into fleece becomes tantalizing, we highly recommend The Facial Hair Handbook by the aforementioned Mr. Passion. From our unwhiskered perspective, impressive facial hair might seem an inevitable consequence of neglecting the regular razoring regimen. But there‘s a right way and a wrong way to approach every challenge. Passion‘s book provides a seasoned beard-grower‘s insights into everything from hygiene and nutrition to styling, offers encouragement to the despairing hair-cultivar on such roadblocks as razor burn, patchiness, and smooth-chinsnobbery, and serves up a swashbuckling attitude on bearding in general. His ―Laws of Facial Hair‖ provide the guidance you need to develop your very own facial fashion while avoiding common pitfalls and discouragements.

To beard, or not to beard… “Growing a moustache was not so much of a question of why but of when. Due to a series of bad haircuts, I decided to try to fight the trend with a classic moustache,” divulges Sean Todd, co-owner of Sargent Upholstery, micro-brewer by avocation. The Florida humidity is devastating to structured moustaches, so to get the ideal consistency to craft his symmetric curlicues, Todd blends his own styling product from organic beeswax and petroleum jelly.

Why a moustache? “When you’re a man, from time to time it just happens,” says artist and graphic designer Ryan Strasser, above. Affectionately dubbing his moustache style “the dirtbag”, the more widely-accepted appelation is— appropriately—a painter’s brush. Advises Strasser: “Grow it when it gets cooler because moustache sweat goes right in your mouth.”

Passion‘s most important lesson: the best accessory to pair with your facial hair is confidence. Without the poise to wear your whiskers with gusto (certain that you‘re wellgroomed and looking manly), you‘ll be better served with the simplicity of a smooth chin. A sheepish demeanor reveals your discomfort with your hairy face, and your fuzz will only lend itself to an impressively creepy Halloween costume. As a representative of the less follicularly-prolific sex, I enthusiastically support personal explorations into creative grooming. Though stereotypes surrounding facial hair abound, most are myths easily dispelled, and the rest are more minor concerns than one might think. Eye-catching facial styles aren‘t for everyone, but as they say, don‘t knock it ‗til you try it. Now I…ahem…must-dash. -Katie Smith Continued on the next page.

Still have doubts? Let us address your concerns:

Aspiring pogonologist? 

Chicks don’t dig beards? If it makes you happy, why shouldn’t she learn to appreciate it? Too hot? It’s October! With cooler weather coming, it’s the perfect time to try out facial hair.

Sensitive skin? Growing facial hair gives your skin a break from irritating razor burn.

(Loosely translated, that‘s beard scholar.)

Jacksonville Beardsmith Society: World Beard & Moustache Championships: The Facial Hair Handbook

Office dress code requires a clean shave? Find a work environment that appreciates your self-expression.

Beard smells funny? You’re dirty. Go wash yourself.

Facial hair is old fashioned? So is animal magnetism.

by Jack Passion


“Like” our Facebook Page to post your own beard & moustache (or soul patch, chin strap, mutton chop, or goatee) photos!

Since its inception in 2004, Movember has become a remarkable success, encouraging cleanshaven men to grow their moustaches and raise funds (over $42 million in 2009) throughout the month of November in order to benefit prostate cancer research and charities. With all of October to mull your potential growth, we think it’s a great reason to get a jump on yours.

Local Movember activities include an exciting Movember Art Show during the First Wednesday Art Walk in downtown Jacksonville. Check out the poster and visit for more information.



UTILITY VERSATILITY Men‟s Fall Essentials This Fall, there are a few items that can enhance your wardrobe in a myriad of ways. The key is to aim for versatility. One need not spend mounds of money in order to pull off different looks that can work for just about any occasion. All you have to do is focus on the essentials. Grays, browns, and blacks are the way to go. Wool is the favorite fabric of the season; whether it‘s a tie, a jacket, or pants, you can‘t go wrong with wool. Stick to slim cuts and clean lines to ensure that you look crisp and cool. Make sure your selections are complimentary, and remember to keep in mind all the ways an item can work to complete your look. When you‘re looking at anything, be it a shirt, tie, jacket, pants, jeans, anything. Make sure it will work together with what‘s in your closet. Don‘t buy something unless you can wear it in a variety of ways and styles; you simply will not get your money‘s worth out of it. Check out the higher-end outlets, do some digging at vintage shops, and you‘ll be able to put together the perfect look for the season and still have money left over to buy presents for all those people you don‘t really like. -Carl Harper

Henley: On those days that aren‘t quite cool enough for an outer layer, try something different from the run of the mill tee. Find yourself a henley, long sleeve or short, it doesn‘t really make a difference. It‘s a throwback for sure, a slightly more masculine version of the ultra-deep vneck tee if you will. Classic henleys usually come with a three button neckline, but most modern ones are around five. Whether they‘re all unbuttoned or not is up to you. Either way, give it a shot, you won‘t regret it.

Continued on the next page.

UTILITY VERSATILITY: Items that you will get the most out of this season. -Carl Harper

V-Neck Sweater:


Don‘t put this one over a t-shirt. This sweater should be worn over a button up with a starched collar; otherwise you‘ll lose it in the sweater. The tie is optional; with or without it goes great under a jacket or on its own. The v-neck is a little more formal than the cardigan, but ultimately it all depends on how you wear it. If sweaters aren‘t entirely your thing, then a tailored tweed jacket is the way to go this season.

This sweater can be dressed up, with a button down shirt and tie underneath, or dressed down over a t-shirt. It can be worn with jeans, or pants, there is certainly not much it can‘t do. Keep it on the short side; it should hit right at the waistline. To avoid the Mr. Rogers comparisons, buy one that is snug with high armholes. This tailored style, (high armholes, slim fit, correct length) is what will make the difference in always looking disheveled or always looking cool. Look for it in all of your purchases.

Back In Town! Raiding the Dreamy Closet of Cassandra Ryder. Fabulous fashionista Cassandra Ryder is back in town after spending a year in her beloved Savannah, GA. Her style is truly one of a kind and always on trend. It was a privilege to write about and shoot one of my favorite clients. We both agreed that her look could be compared to the two Eva's, Mendes and Longoria. To get a real insight on what it means to be a trendsetter, I decided to show you some of my favorite things from her tremendously extensive wardrobe. I nicknamed Cassandra the "queen of shoes" and dresses and tops and jeans and, well you get the point! Cassandra loves to shop, so I asked her what it is that she loves about fashion. She paused and after a moment of thought she replied, "clothes can take you anywhere, the right outfit can take you where you want to go." As a personal stylist, I couldn't agree more. The right outfit can make you or break you. You could be the best candidate for a job; however, we live in a visual world and if you are dressed inappropriately, you could easily be passed over. Cassandra wears many hats and therefore needs great fashion to support her different roles. She is an entrepreneur and has joined forces with the talented Erin Healy, internationally renowned fashion designer. She is also a professor and "super-mom" of three. -Rena Rettinger

A TASTE OF L.A. FASHION WEEK Fashion's Night Out at the Beverly Center Los Angeles, CA Photographed by Mireta Khalil Š





Spy it:

Buy It:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Bronte top retails for $398

Free People Long-Sleeve Lace Top retails for $58.00

Dolce and Gabbana F/W 2010 Runway Show.

“Lace, the invention of a goddess and the occupation of a queen.” Vinciolo


Spy It:

Buy It:

Gucci's Kills platform stretch leather bootie retails for $990

Colin Stuart Stretch Bootie from Victorias Secret $69 More peep toe booties by Jeffry Campbell:

The fall shoe trend: Peep Toe Booties! Danielle Downing Pagett:



SONIA GARZA Executive Editor

LAUREN GHERARDI Key Photographer, Creative Director

SARAH PAPKE Senior Editor, Creative Director

JESSICA GOLDING Executive Editor, LA


TARA BALDREE Fashion Photographer

KATIE SMITH Fashion Journalist


RENA RETTINGER Fashion Journalist

CARL HARPER Men’s Fashion Journalist



Continued on the next page.



EDM Designs

THANK YOU! Letters to the Editor can be sent to: Editor: Sonia Garza Also, Please contact us with inquiries about being featured as a/an: Artist of the Month Cover Model Editorial Fashion Spread Closet Raid Fashion Journalist Company Advertisement PHOTO ABOVE BY LAUREN GHERARDI FEATURING MELANIE KAY GRIFFIN


10.2010 L.V.E.B. E.MAG  
10.2010 L.V.E.B. E.MAG  

Fall/Winter Fashion issue of La Vie Est Belle Magazine! Features local fashion designers and boutiques.