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fEbruary 2012 FrEE

Lonely Hearts and Romantic Outings Take Your Best Shot Photos that Flatter Little Luxuries for Self-indulgence Wardrobe Makeover with a Fashion Pro


Examined The New Narcissism

NEW patiENt appoiNtmENts

WithiN 24 hours

Dr. Eileen Kitces: Named one of richmond’s top 3 Dermatologists

Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology

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Edward Kitces, MD, PhD, FAAD

Comprehensive Skin Cancer Evaluation & Treatment Melissa Schwarzschild, MD, JD, FAAD

riChmoND DErmatoLoGY & LasEr spECiaLists

Victoria Gross, MD, FAAD

In celebration of

Margaret Terhune, MD, FAAD Suzanne Peck, MD, FAAD

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Richmond Dermatology is happy to offer Botox® Cosmetic for only $12.00 per unit!

and on January 26 only, enjoy your Botox® Cosmetic treatment for the special one-Day price of $10.00 per unit. Call us at 282.8510 today to make an appointment!

Follow us online For updates and specials!

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february 2012

belle Publisher: Lori

Collier Waran Editor in Chief:


Style & Substance

Editor: Deveron Art Director:

Fashion Editor:


photo illustration by Joel Smith.



Contributing Writers:

Ellie Basch Julie Geen Valley Haggard Elizabeth Jewett Hilary Langford Karen Newton Melissa Scott Sinclair Copy Editor: G.W.



Dana Elmquist Marketing, Sponsorships & Events:

Tonie Stevens

share a passion for the well-styled photo, even when it’s your own. by Karen Newton


Hannah Huber


large and small. by Lauren Healy 12 Wardrobe: A stylist and client revive a wardrobe staple, the white shirt. by Deveron Timberlake 14

Scott Elmquist Lauren Healy

Ed Harrington


Details: Indulge your cravings with luxuries

Joel Smith


Profile: Chris and Heidi Winton-Stahle

Fashion Cues


Photography Editor:

Sweet pleasure dome … three romantic restaurants … just browsing with single star Catherine Gryp … designing with Dana Gibson … children’s bookstore besties … a dietitian offers new twists for an old problem … matchmaker confidence builders. By Elizabeth Jewett Lush life: Silent film, tasty mussels, sentimental singers and more make February just fine for going solo in Richmond. by Karen Newton 10


Jason Roop




Toni McCracken

Mirror, mirror, show me myself. by Melissa Scott Sinclair

Arts and Entertainment


Gracie McGurn


Agenda : Wine, faith and revelations in sound

make February the coolest month. by Julie Geen, Elizabeth Jewett and Hilary Langford

Body and Soul


Fitness: A new work-out takes a familiar




Chris Kwiatkowski

apparatus into different territory. by Julie Geen

Great Taste


An Educated Guest: Looking for local

vegetables is easier than ever. by Ellie Basch


First Person


The attraction is mutual and the admirer is curious. by Valley Haggard

Belle is published monthly and is free. One copy per person. Belle may be distributed by authorized distributors only. Style Weekly subscriptions are available for $49 (third class mail) and $99 (first class mail). Style Weekly, 1313 E. Main St., Suite 103, Richmond, Va. 23219, 804-358-0825; General fax 804-358-1079; News fax 804-358-9089; Classified phone 804-3582100; Classified fax 804-358-2163. E-mail: Copyright © by Style Weekly Inc. TM 2011 All rights reserved.


FEBrUARY 2012 | 3 |

Dancing is a fun and easy way to get heart healthy. This February, join us and our community partners across the region for Day of Dance. Each location will offer FREE screenings and Day of Dance activities open to the public.


Visit for complete details by location. Get your groove on with HCA Virginia!


11621 Robious Road Midlothian, VA 23113

CHILDRENS’ MUSEUM OF RICHMOND 2200 Old Brick Road Glen Allen, VA 23060 2626 West Broad St. Richmond, VA 23220


8324 Bell Creek Rd, Suite 500 Mechanicsville, VA 23116



6004-A West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23230

CHESTERFIELD DANCE CENTER 4806 Market Square Lane Midlothian, VA 23112

GLEN ALLEN CULTURAL ARTS CENTER 2880 Mountain Road Glen Allen, VA 23060


8009 Buford Road Richmond, VA 23235


12201 South Chalkley Road Chester, VA 23831

AMERICAN FAMILY FITNESS – COLONIAL HEIGHTS 501 East Roslyn Road Colonial Heights, VA 23834

AMERICAN FAMILY FITNESS – FREDERICKSBURG 10020 South Point Parkway Fredericksburg, VA 22407

AMERICAN FAMILY FITNESS – MECHANICSVILLE 6337 Mechanicsville Turnpike Mechanicsville, VA 23111

AMERICAN FAMILY FITNESS – MIDLOTHIAN 12900 Amfit Way Midlothian, VA 23114


5750 Brook Road Richmond, VA 23227


11760 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23233


4751 Brad McNeer Parkway Midlothian, VA 23112


5137 Main Street Williamsburg, VA 23188


5470 West Broad St. Richmond, VA 23230


7223 Stonewall Parkway Mechanicsville, VA 23233


3549 Courthouse Road Richmond, VA 23236

SOUND MOVEMENT STUDIO B 1795 South Creek One Suite D Powhatan VA 23139

STARLIGHT DANCE STUDIOS 23225 Airpark Drive Petersburg, VA 23805


7027 Three Chopt Rd, Suite 203 Richmond, VA 23226

WEST END LATIN & BALLROOM DANCE CLUB 2313 John Rolfe Pkwy Richmond, VA 23233

StylE &SubstancE Hot products, new ventures and local discoveries.


Elizabeth Jewett

photo by scott Elmquist

Icing Around February tends to make us crave the sweeter things in life. You can display them with a wink in this etched glass cake stand by Richmond artisan Sarah Parker. $50 online at Cupcakes from Frostings, recently featured on “Cupcake Wars” on Food Network.


FEBRUARY 2012 | 5 |

st y l e & s u b sta n c e

Just Browsing

Website picks from Richmond women.

single valentine's edition

Catherine Gryp Richmond blogger Catherine Gryp knows a thing or two about what it means to be a single woman in today’s world. On her blog, Simply Solo (simplysolo.wordpress. com), Gryp chronicles the ups and downs of her life after a canceled wedding and the end of a seven-year relationship in 2010. In honor of Valentine’s Day she shares her top website picks and one Twitter account to help single women navigate the yearly overflow of candy hearts and sappy movies.

Pink Kisses Pink Kisses is a community and blog for single girls, especially those who have recently gone through a tough breakup. With Pink Kisses, you don’t need a man to get chocolates, flowers and sweet texts on V-Day and year-round. Sign up on the site to get all sorts of treats delivered directly to you.

The Single Woman

Defined by Design While teaching English at a high school in Louisiana, Dana Gibson, inset, enrolled in a ceramics class at a nearby college. For most people this would lead to a new hobby. For Gibson it led to an order from New York’s Henri Bendel store and with it a career change. Years later, the small ceramics production she ran out of her basement has turned into a full-fledged home design line, sold in retail spaces across the country and the flagship store in Richmond. “A lot of the designs come from my aesthetic,” Gibson says. “I like color and I like interesting, elaborate designs. But I listen very carefully to what the customer really wants, and that’s helped me keep going.” After focusing exclusively on ceramics early on, she grew frustrated with the medium’s limited color palette. “You cannot get really rich colors firing at the temperature I was firing at. It wouldn’t be lead free. I started with | 6 | FEbruary 2012


wastebaskets. I could put a neat design that nobody else was putting on. If the design looked good on a wastebasket I put it on a picture frame or a lamp.” Gibson produces and sells a diverse line of home accessories, all informed by her unique Southern design sensibilities. At her Richmond location on 6414 Horsepen Road she also sells reworked furniture. For Gibson the store and the brand represent an extension of her personality. “There’s a boldness to it that might not be in some other spaces in Richmond. I like oldness. I like being different. I like giving people that option. It’s not cookie-cutter. It’s traditional with a little bit of pizzazz.” For information visit photos by scott Elmquist After ending a toxic relationship, Mandy Hale was looking for a strong, single, female role model, but found that none had filled Carrie Bradshaw’s fabulous Manolos. So she started the Single Woman Twitter account to inspire women around the world to embrace their singleness.

Wink’d Instead of sitting at home on Valentine’s Day bemoaning your lack of a partner, get out there and recklessly flirt! Wink’d makes flirting fun with its unique dating business cards. When someone catches your eye, simply give him your card, which includes a quick-response code that will take him to your online dating profile. Get out there, strut your stuff and love every second of being single on Valentine’s Day.

st y l e & s u b sta n c e

On paper it made a certain kind of sense for old friends Jill Stefanovich and Jenesse Evertson to take over Narnia Children’s Books from longtime owner Kelly Kyle in November 2010. “When we first met each other,” Evertson recalls, “we knew we had similar goals and a similar aesthetic and we knew we wanted to open up a shop together.” With Evertson’s background in children’s literature and literacy and Stefanovich’s business experience, the women agreed it was the right fit. But like the rows of children’s and young adult books inside their Kensington Avenue business, it was never just about what made sense on paper. “We both knew we couldn’t live in this community without this bookshop,” Stefanovich says. “My children have grown up here. Jenesse has been a customer of the shop forever. Ukrop’s is gone. We couldn’t let Narnia go.” That recognition of the symbiotic relationship between a bookstore and a community has infused the way the two women run the store. In addition to changing the name to Bbgb, physical changes were made to open up the space to provide more seating areas and places where kids can draw and eat cookies. The shop also now has a website and a social-media presence, and the owners have taken care to expand and personalize their book fairs and author events. “We’re at the point in the book industry where there’s been a lot of change,” Evertson says. “So one of the things we saw going forward was really working on and tightening our collection and making it a community space.” While the two friends have made numerous changes, what’s immediately apparent to any Rich-

photo by ash daniel

Keeping the Books

monder raised on Narnia is what hasn’t changed — a palpable love for paper and ink books and a deep-seated belief that even in an increasingly electronic world, kids will continue to read. “Kids are readers,” Stefanovich says. “If you let them, and you give them that space, they want to read. That’s what we see every day.” Evertson adds: “We also know where to push kids. We know our customers so well we know when it’s time for a change and give them a little bit of difference.” A locally owned bookstore can seem like the ulti-

mate Goliath in a world of chain stores and Kindles. But the owners of Bbgb took over Narnia because they believe that kids need books and communities need local bookstores with staffs that know their customers. “What matters to us is that people are reading,” Stefanovich says. “We’re in this niche where we have to believe a parent is not going to put “Good Night Moon” in the hands of their 1-year-old on an iPad. Kids want books in hand.” bbgb is at 3100 Kensington Ave. For more information visit or call 353-5675.

Dream Dates Whether it’s Feb. 14 or 15, your first first date or your hundredth, most of us could use a few pointers to avoid awkward silences and wine-induced overshares. Central Virginia matchmaking service It Takes 2 (, 9679911) has some suggestions: The basics. No cell phones, unless you have kids or a special circumstance. Remember to listen and share the conversation. Mind your manners. Don’t drink too much or eat messy foods. Maintain eye contact. Groom in the bathroom, not at the table. Balance confidence. Confidence is one of the most attractive things you can have going for yourself. Highlight the positives but make sure that it doesn’t turn into bragging.

Check your luggage. You spilled your coffee down your front this morning, you sat in traffic for an hour on the way home, and your dog decorated the kitchen with the contents of what used to be the trash bag. We’ve all had bad days, but the last thing your date wants to hear about is your baggage. A date isn’t a therapy session. By design, a first date is a meeting with a stranger. Do not over share or make confessions to someone with whom you may or may not be compatible. You can’t fix him. If he’s Prince Charming minus (insert value here), you must be honest with yourself and decide whether it’s a dealbreaker. You can’t change him and you can’t make yourself be OK with something when you really aren’t.


FEBRUARY 2012 | 7 |

st y l e & s u b sta n c e

Love at a Two-Top

Richmond may not be as overtly romantic as Paris or Rome, but that doesn’t mean romance in the River City doesn’t exist. On closer inspection, in many spots Richmond proudly wears its heart on its sleeve. Here are three picks for the city’s most romantic places to dine, in February or any other time of the year. Amour Wine Bistro 3129 W. Cary St., 353-4020, At Amour, love isn’t just in the name. It’s in the changing, lovingly prepared menus inspired by seasonal ingredients and carefully paired with wines. Owner Paul Heitz is a native of Alsace who brings French passion to the heart of Richmond.

Edo’s Squid 411 N. Harrison St., 864-5488 This classic Richmond Italian spot is always packed, making it impossible to keep your distance. Plus, the family-style portions are perfect for recreating “Lady and the Tramp” moments. Just be careful of the garlic.

photo by scott elmquist

The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing 4708 E. Old Main St., 622-2628, The seafood-heavy menu is appealing, but the romance comes from that view. Simply put, in Richmond it’s unparalleled. The sight of the twinkling skyline over the James will turn even the most stoic Richmonder into sentimental mush.

Health by the Bite Most diets start at New Year’s and fail by February. But there’s new thinking on how to get healthier, stay sane doing it, and achieve your goals. Lisa Raum, a registered dietitian and owner of R.D. to Go, offers these suggestions: • Forget about counting calories. Instead of focusing on the calories in your choices, choose to focus on the nutritional value of your choices. There are plenty of low-calorie processed and manufactured foods that offer little or no nutrition; if you select nutrient-dense whole, real foods instead, the calories will take care of themselves. • Stop focusing on the scale and start focusing on the health of your body. Physical wellness is dependent upon the health of your blood vessels and organs – the internal environment. Caring for the internal environment requires provision of adequate food nutrients and plenty of physical activity. What you do to the inside will show on the outside.

| 8 | FEbruary 2012


• Follow the sodium. Nature’s foods contain some naturally occurring sodium, because it’s a mineral, but only in small amounts. If you choose foods low in sodium, you’re choosing foods closest to nature, which means foods with maximum nutrition. Choosing items high in sodium means choosing things created in a factory. • Want to treat or prevent illness? Think color. The colors in nature indicate the presence of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals – the tools your body requires for healing and immunity. Base your daily choices on insuring that each day includes all the colors of the rainbow. • Want to spend wisely and avoid falling prey to misinformation? A registered dietitian can be a resource to teach clients to interpret the information on food labels and explain why the body needs certain food components.

Knowing the signs of vascular disease can keep you in the swing of things.

The recurring pain in your leg that slows you on the dance floor might be more than a cramp. It could be a warning sign of peripheral vascular disease. The VCU Baird Vascular Institute offers state-ofthe-art diagnosis and treatment of vascular diseases and conditions.


March 3, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Call now to reserve your spot (804) 828-2600.

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1/10/12 2:13 PM


FEBRuary 2012 | 9 |

Lush Life

Celluloid, singers and mussels are worth swooning over.


Karen Newton


h, February. Is there a crueler month? If you’re mated, the expectations are huge, and if you’re flying solo, it’s bound to be a disappointment. Why not look in the mirror, put on your brightest lipstick and spend February reveling in being a woman? There’s no shortage of good things to keep you occupied.

Scene from Godard’s “Breathless”

Cinema with an Accent: The French are known for their romantic ways, so it’s fitting that Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” will be shown as part of the Biograph Theater’s 40th anniversary celebration Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Grace Street Theater. The James River Film Society is kicking off a three-part series, “The Golden Age of Repertory Theater,” as a fundraiser for the nonprofit film society, and to launch its campaign to establish a small storefront cinema in downtown Richmond. It’ll be a double feature with “Lonely Are the Brave,” and parties before and after the movies, making this an evening of thought-provoking romantic films and a chance to mingle with other movie fans. You know, I’ve heard that French new wave is for lovers. Sing On, Sweet Someone: With or without a date, the Valentine Cabaret by the Richmond Men’s Chorus at Richmond Triangle Players on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. promises to be a lovely night of romance-themed music. The cabaret series features individual members being spotlighted in song, so even if you can’t find the man of your dreams, you can listen to men sing love songs to you. If you’ve never been to the theater in Scott’s Addition, it has a lot going for it; there’s plenty of leg room, the seats are comfortable and the bar has desserts as well as cocktails.

Richmond Men’s Chorus does cabaret

Princess with a Problem: Doesn’t every little girl want to be a princess when she grows up? But sometimes even a princess ends up with the wrong guy — and therein lies the premise of “The Princess of Montpensier,” a film by French director Bertrand Tavernier and showing as part of the Virginia Commonwealth University Cinematheque series at the Grace Street Theater on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Sit back and watch a spectacular cast in period costume unfold a romantic drama set in 16th-century France. The beautiful Marie de Mezieres finds herself married to the wrong man (hey, it happens) and looks for an escape to be with the right one. We’ll call it a romantic fairy tale for grown-ups and leave it at that. Arts.vcu. edu/cinema/cinematheque.

Cinematheque comes to Grace St.

Gone to the Bar for a Nosh: The Southern Film Festival arrives at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. with a new documentary about a fascinating woman, the author of “Gone with the Wind.” A look at how she both defied and epitomized the Southern woman, “Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel” offers a glimpse into Mitchell’s personal life as well as the writing of the novel of the century. The film will be followed by a panel discussion, but you may want to be the rebel Margaret was and instead skip upstairs to Amuse for a cocktail and those succulent mussels with ham that they’re unable to take off the menu because they’re so popular. I feel sure M.M. would approve. Vmfa.

So there you have it, myriad ways to experience some vicarious romance during the month of boxed chocolates and overpriced roses. Karen Newton blogs about almost everything she does at

| 10 | FEBRUARY 2012


Mussels at Amuse in the VMFA Eric Russell “POP MY FLASH!” Photography photo by scott Elmquist

Derek Machado, art direction, Five19 Creative; fashions by Lili Forrest; models from Liquid Talent; photo-illustration by Winton-Stahle Photography


Chris and Heidi WintonStahle, center, pose for a promotional shot for their photography business.

Look at Me When did we get so self-absorbed? A photographer and stylist face up to vanity.


Interviewed by Karen Newton

hris and Heidi Winton-Stahle, a photographer and stylist based in Carytown, are in business to make other people look good. The husband and wife offer tips on how to photograph yourself to the best advantage, and Chris talks with Belle about our collective desire to see and show ourselves.

Belle: It’s the new normal to document everything we do. How did we get to this point? Chris: As a people, we’ve always had that desire, and now we can document and share so easily. It makes us feel close to people. Through technology, everyone can be a rock star. You don’t have to work through a series of luck and pluck to get noticed. It levels the playing field for a lot of people.

How has this self-absorption changed us? There’s more of a willingness to put yourself out there because there are rewards. And there’s more of an acceptance. Like the first time you ever left a message on an answering machine and hated how you sounded, but you got more comfortable with it. We’re now more comfortable with our own images. It’s helped people to explore who they are and be more comfortable in their skin. But hasn’t it also fed into a culture of narcissism? People have an overwhelming desire to put part of themselves out there because they’re lonely for connection. And everyone has that misconception that people won’t like me

unless I’m beautiful, awesome and cool. At a time when everything is so negative — the violence, the economy, doom and gloom — if enough people got together and spread confidence, love and positivity would be part of it, is that narcissism? Vanity? Or just spreading love and joy? How have our perceptions of ourselves changed? People began to reject the idea of perfect beauty that was supposed to exist. We used to think that actors and stars really looked that good, but now we know differently. It’s definitely a generational thing. They’ve grown up with this technology and it’s as natural as breathing to them. We’ve learned through putting ourselves out there to have more confidence in our looks. And yet, putting a bunch of pictures of yourself doing things out into the ether isn’t the same as doing things with others. Aren’t we more isolated for sharing online instead of interacting? We were at a family holiday gathering and people were sitting on two couches, all using their phones to play Scrabble online with other people. But everyone was having fun virtual-gaming and laughing in the same room. It breaks down the barrier of distance, breaks down the barrier of insecurity, the timidness of looking someone in the eye. You’re allowed to be who you want to be and that translates into real life. It’s about manifesting who you want to be.


Capturing Yourself at Arm’s Length The Winton-Stahles’ first advice to getting a good photo to post online is simple: “Get someone else to take the picture.” But when you’re shooting yourself, use their pro tips: 1. Your picture is an online avatar. “Create an aura of who you want to be.” 2. Smile, laugh, be goofy. “Your energy should always be positive. Have a glass of wine first if that’ll help.” 3. Be aware of the angle. “Shooting from below will make you look powerful and shooting from higher will make you look submissive.” Both are fine, as long as that’s what you’re going for. 4. Align the camera with the plane of your face. “No shooting up your nose.” 5. Seek out even light. “Avoid overhead florescent lighting like in an office. It’ll make you look sallow. Inside, stand in front of a window without direct light. Outdoors, find some shade.” photo illustration by kira jenkins


FEBrUARY 2012 | 11 |

fa s h i o n c u e s

details Blanc de Blanc brut methode champenoise by L Mawby, Leelanau Peninsula, Mich., ($22) from Free Run Wine Merchants at J. Emerson, Strawberry Street Vineyard and Once Upon a Vine.

Multicolored fundies by Xirena ($44) at Pink.

Aluminum alloy ice bucket by Beatriz Ball ($182) wooden base ($24) at Janet Brown Interiors and Antiques.

Urge To Splurge Bring some fabulousness into your life. by

lauren healy

Eighteen-karat rose gold, pink tourmaline, sapphire and diamond cocktail ring by Roberto Coin ($6,100) at Schwarzschild Jewelers at Alverser Plaza and Cary Court Shopping Center.

Gold sparkle platform heel by Jimmy Choo ($995) at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Sapphire, diamond and platinum dome cocktail ring by Oscar Heyman ($26,595) at Schwarzschild Jewelers at Alverser Plaza.

| 12 | FEBruary 2012



Diamond multifabric bracelets by Shashi ($82) at Pink.

Birnn Transfer and Gerti Signature Truffles (59 cents) at For the Love of Chocolate. Nickel plate and stainless steel candy dish with black orchid accent by Michael Aram ($99) at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Handmade glass champagne flute by Simon Pearce ($65) at Fraiche.

Multisparkle makeup bag by Deux Lux ($65) at Peyton Hall.

White, coral and deep plum Mongolian fur pillows ($128, $148, $188) at Anthropologie.


Gold-painted, 5-by-7-inch wood frame by Roma Living ($88) at Janet Brown Interiors and Antiques.

Anthropologie 9200 Stony Point Parkway 330-3331 Fraiche 304 Libbie Ave. 282-4282 For the Love of Chocolate 3136 W. Cary St. 359-5645 J. Emerson 5716 Grove Ave. 285-8011 Janet Brown Interior Design & Antiques 3140-B W. Cary St. 358-9548 Once Upon A Vine 4009 MacArthur Ave. 726-9463 and 2817 Hathaway Road. 864-9463 Peyton Hall 9200 Stony Point Parkway 272-0833 Pink 3158 W. Cary St. 358-0884 Saks Fifth Avenue 9214 Stony Point Parkway 320-6960 Schwarzschild Jewelers 3124 W. Cary St. 355-2136 and 1200 Alverser Drive Midlothian. 344-0150 Strawberry Street Vineyard 407 Strawberry St. 355-1839


ď Ź

FEBRUARY 2012 | 13 |

fa s h i o n c u e s


Pam Anderson wears a white Theory shirt, $215 at Saks, with Hermes scarf; the same shirt over a Target tank with bold jewelry; and a shortsleeved white top, $3.99 from Salvation Army, with vintage necklace and belt.

White Now A wardrobe makeover begins with a new shirt and a clothing pro. by deveron timberlake


anee Kamens gave up New York for love, moving to Richmond with a desire to use her fashion-industry experience in a helpful way. She launched a business, Simplify Me LLC, finding a client base of women who wanted help to purge their wardrobe mistakes, edit the oldies, rework what remained and add pieces strategically. “Once I perfected my own closets and rules,” Kamens says, “I began doing this for friends and friends of

friends, and realized that I really can help women — and men — feel better about themselves. Sometimes it’s just a retooling of their existing items — hemming, belting, layering — and sometimes we need to make a list and take it to the stores for shopping.” To show how she works, Kamens goes through client Pam Anderson’s closet in Midlothian. By bringing in one new item — a white shirt — she gives several outfits a crisp boost that transitions with the seasons. photos by scott Elmquist

| 14 | FEBruary 2012


photo by scott Elmquist

Wear It Well Wardrobe tips from Ranee Kamens.

• If you haven’t worn it in five years or more there’s probably a good reason; put it in the out pile or explain why not. • If it’s stained or ripped or missing a button, take it to the dry cleaner today or it should also be in the out pile. • If you have a whole rack of skinny clothes, forget them. Give them to someone who can appreciate them now and learn to appreciate your body now. It’s now or never! • If you’re keeping something because you hope it will come back in style it probably will, but in a new way (new cut, new fabric) so don’t hold onto garments you aren’t wearing. • A good foundation is critical. Make sure you have four good bras (two black, two nude) that fit and look good under clothes.


o woman feels the same about her wardrobe and body issues. Some women don’t like their legs, for some their upper arms are the problem, some just dread shopping while others buy anything on sale regardless of size or style. Some women’s wardrobes haven’t changed since college and they forgot how to care about themselves after having babies and extra bellies or marriages or other scars, emotional or physical. If you look in the mirror on a regular day and your hair is neat, blemishes covered, you are wearing an outfit that makes you feel proud and not sloppy, fat, too thin or out-of-date, your confidence level will be higher. You may not mind talking to your boss about a raise or flirting with the guy you like. If you wear sweatpants and a ponytail every day because you say it’s comfortable, it’s true, but a sleeping bag is comfy too, and it doesn’t make you

feel good when you catch your reflection. I am not talking about looking like a model every day or wearing 6-inch heels to go grocery shopping. It’s putting in that extra time to feel good about how you are presenting yourself to the world. Not every appointment is a therapy session either. Some women just need to cull through their things with an eyewitness and a sounding board. Just because you bought it in Paris does not make it flattering on you today. Just because it says Gucci on the label does not insure that it will fit and look good on your body. Like anything else it’s a process and not just some shallow thing to do. We all want to feel good about ourselves and try to improve ourselves. Clothes and fashion can be used as a tool to help.

Ranee Kamens’ Thoughts for a Wiser Wardrobe

Ranee Kamens’ website can be found at

• If your underwear is old and looks that way, splurge on pretty new undies that don’t show panty lines beneath your clothes. • If you have a favorite fit denim brand, be loyal to that fit. I am loyal to two or three so it cuts out crying in the dressing room. • If your breasts are large and shirts won’t button or stay buttoned, invest in sweater vests and always buy shirts with stretch in them. • Experiment with accessories; this is a great way to change an entire outfit without buying new clothes. A yellow belt and statement necklace can make a boring outfit sing. • Spend money on items you wear every day such as handbags, sunglasses and shoes.


FEBRUARY 2012 | 15 |


This is one moment and one place you’ll never forget.

Two mornings of testing and 8 monthly visits required

Surround yourself with the timeless beauty and romance of

Monetary compensation provided

detail, from your flowers to your menu, and then let us take

the Jefferson Hotel. It’s where you can personalize every care of the rest, including complimentary wedding night

You may qualify for this study if you: • Have 8 or fewer menstrual cycles per year • Are willing to take Metformin for 9 months • Are between 18 and 45 years of age

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f e at u r e

Free Yourself T

here once lived a lovely damsel named Narcissa. She was exceedingly fair of face — and girl, you better believe she knew it. Narcissa was lounging on her damask sofa when she happened to glance at her iPhone. Lo, her friend Persephone had tagged a picture of her from last night. “OMG,” Narcissa said. “I look so hot in this photo!” She stared at it, wondering if indeed, it might be the most beautiful picture ever taken. Narcissa gazed so long at her own face, the mighty gods grew irritated by her vanity. They turned her into a daffodil, so she could never again “like” her own picture on Facebook. The temptation of self-obsession never has been stronger. When your own face — along with faces more lovely than yours — is reflected in so many mirrors, what can you do? It’s “relentless. Inescapable,” says Jennifer A. Johnson, chairwoman of the sociology program at Virginia Commonwealth University. “I don’t think anybody is able to build up a thick enough skin or enough cynicism to recognize the myriad ways that the pressure can come at them.” It’s not just Facebook. Remember when your women’s studies professors would hold forth on how the models in fashion magazines damaged women’s self-esteem? That seems almost naive now. Models aren’t just airbrushed; they’re Photoshopped to look like hipless aliens. And young women aren’t getting idealized images from mag-

by Melissa Scott Sinclair

azines — they’re getting them from pornography. Porn? That’s right, Johnson says. The ubiquity of online porn means that now, women have yet another part of their anatomies to obsess over. Johnson says virtually none of her students has pubic hair. “And boys will completely reject them if they have, quote unquote, a hairy box.” Most of her female students feel powerless to resist the beauty standards imposed on them, Johnson says. She suggests a three-part remedy. First, she pushes them to become acutely aware of how external pressures work on them, whether critical comments on Facebook or television marathons of pouty Kardashians. Then, she says, “I try to get them to withdraw from pop culture. And just say: ‘Put down your magazines. Put down media, and actually begin to live your life in the real world.’” When you look at people around you, instead of on screen, you’re reminded that imperfection is universal. And finally, Johnson says, decide how you will liberate yourself from the world’s impossible expectations. For Johnson, the answer is “collective political, social action and discussion.” But what if self-obsession goes deeper than looks? Richmond psychologist and therapist Anne Creekmore specializes in treating narcissistic personality disorder, a psychological condition that can develop when a person is abandoned or ignored in childhood. “They learn, basically, to develop a false self,”

Creekmore says, “a grandiose self that has to be fed, like a junkie” — fed with attention, love and compliments. There are two types of narcissists, Creekmore says. The exhibitionist narcissist is always the center of attention. She shows off; she competes with others; she invariably turns the conversation back to herself. The closet narcissist is harder to spot. She is “a very underassertive, pleaser type of person who can often appear very saintly.” She might throw a surprise birthday party for you, and then sulk when guests fail to thank her. Or she might attend a play you’re starring in, and then criticize your performance. “You feel frustrated with that person,” Creekmore says, but you don’t understand why: “How can you be frustrated with somebody who’s so nice?” You probably know someone who fits one of these descriptions. Or could it be you? Therapy can be effective in helping the narcissist understand the roots of her problems, as well as teaching her loved ones how to communicate effectively, Creekmore says. But narcissistic personality disorder is very difficult to treat, because the narcissist first must acknowledge they have it. That goes against the very nature of the disorder. “It’s almost like they’re wearing a tri-fold mirror around their head,” Creekmore explains. All the narcissist can see is her own face, she says: “And that image has to be good. It has to be great.”

belle photo illustration by joel smith

FEBRUARY 2012 | 17 |

Kick It

Denver’s Tennis charts soulkissed territory on “Young and Old” (Fat Possum) with the help of producer Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. Some songs flutter with coy, girl-group doo-wop while others kick and stomp. The undulating bluesy bass and percolating beats are Carney’s mark on the album and a nice addition to the band’s developing sound. — HL



J u l i e G een , H i l a ry L a n g f ord a n d D everon Ti m b erl a k e Compiled by

Glass in Hand What







weekend than indoors drinking great Virginia wine? Now in its fifth year, this popular expo, Feb. 24-26, features tastings, seminars and events at local restaurants. Individual event tickets are sold online and range from $20-$65. To buy tickets or for a schedule of events visit or call 349-6909 . — EJ

Big Enough

| 18 | FEBruary 2012


Seven years ago Norah Jones and a few of her friends formed the Little Willies and released an acclaimed debut. Their second effort, “For the Good Times” (Blue Note), finds the first-rate quintet putting a sparse spin on classic Americana tracks. Jones’ vocals often are at their best when paired with bandmate Richard Julian on crisp harmonies. The Willies are at ease with big songs, and there’s nothing diminutive about them. — HL

In a Fix Addiction is anything but “Pretty,” the title of Jillian Lauren’s new novel. Not for the squeamish, this compelling, brutally lovely book takes the reader into the mind of a young woman struggling to get clean and sober in the underbelly of Los Angeles. This is a sadly common tale told with grace and the barest glimmer of hope. (Plume, $15) — JG

Saving Faith

If you didn’t know that America’s largest faith-inspired theater event was held in Richmond, it’s time to get acquainted. Throughout this month and next, Richmond’s religious and theater worlds collaborate with productions featuring an array of themes related to religion, spirituality and things in between. For a schedule and information, visit — EJ


Drinking Tales Join Natalie MacLean on a bender in “Unquenchable: a Tipsy Quest for the World’s Best Bargain Wines.” Her gorgeous, humorous writing explores wineries and the cast of characters behind every bottle. Each chapter includes enough insider tips, pairings and best-value wines to make you sound like an expert. (Perigee, $24) — JG

Jungle Boogie Get ready to hear a lot of people around town humming “Circle of Life.” Broadway’s award-winning “The Lion King” hits the Landmark Theater at 6 N. Laurel St. for a four-week run Feb. 15 to March 11. Tickets are $25-$127.50 and can be purchased online at or at the theater box office. 646-0546. — EJ


FEBRUARY 2012 | 19 |

Sl ip into somet hing


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| 20 | FEBRuary 2012


b o dy & s o u l

Built for the Barre


hen Terri Thomas tried a free class at Local Barre, she had no idea she was about to transform her life. All the rage on the West Coast, the barre technique is a powerful new workout that uses elements of pilates, yoga, ballet and calisthenics. Low-impact and safe for any fitness level, the exercises use the body’s mass and very light weights. The seductive list of benefits includes toned abs, legs, back, arms and the holy grail of fitness: the “lifted seat.” In other words, a brand new butt. Although Thomas was thrilled with the physical changes she noticed after a few months of attending classes, she experienced something deeper, she says: “This has helped me calm my soul.” When Thomas’ father died a year and a half ago, her stress level reached a critical point. “I had medication to help me calm down,” she says. “When I lost my father, I felt like I lost my best friend. And then two months later, I lost my stepmom.” When her co-worker Alex Gibson, a lawyer at the corporation where Thomas works as a legal analyst, opened Local Barre in October, she offered an introductory class to everyone in the office. Thomas, at 52 an admitted workaholic, knew

photo by scott Elmquist


A new fitness routine works the butt and the brain. by Julie Geen

she needed a respite from the grind of 12- to 15hour workdays and decided to give it a try. Walking into a studio with a wall of mirrors on one side and a ballet barre on the other was intimidating, but the most difficult part for Thomas was being in a group outside of her work environment. “I was scared because this was a whole new experience for me,” she says. “I’ve never really been in a social situation like this. It’s different from being in meetings and at work. I was afraid of mistakes. And then I thought, no, that’s not what this is about. This is about me, my health and getting to a point where I want to enjoy life.” Her previous fitness attempts failed. In her garage sits an abandoned bike, ridden once, and a treadmill gathers dust. When she tried to work out at the company gym, she felt it created only more stress because she began competing with herself to lift heavier weights. She tried walking but lost motivation. Much to her surprise, Thomas loved her first barre beginners’ class and couldn’t wait to go back. “I feel like a different person when I leave here,” she says. “Normally, my mind races. It never seems to slow down. In here it’s like my mind goes totally blank.” Gibson and co-owner Bronwyn Conway have

seen the transformation in Thomas. “She’s a lot more secure with herself now,” Gibson says. “I knew the technique worked after losing 45 pounds of my baby weight,” Conway adds. “But the mental benefit people get really surprised me.” For Thomas, there’s no going back. When her husband left after 20 years of marriage, she went back to school while working full-time. “I’ve raised three boys basically on my own and I did a good job and they’ve been my strength, too,” she says. “This is my time, now.” Thomas has remarried and is grateful that her husband, Les, is on board with her fitness program. “He’s been very supportive,” Thomas says. “It was almost like a shock to him because I never do anything for myself.” Her therapist also has seen a 100-percent turnaround in her, Thomas says, and she takes less medication for anxiety. “People at work have seen such a difference in me. I think they see me smile more. … You can’t put it in somebody else’s hands. You have to take control.” For information on classes, see localbarrerva. com or call 360-3820.


FEbruary 2012 | 21 |

g r e at ta s t e

An Educated Guest Do you know where your food comes from? by

Ellie Basch


aise your hand if you’ve heard someone mention CSA in the past year. Did you wonder what was being discussed? The acronym is short for community-supported agriculture. With the proliferation of farmers’ markets and the growing locavore movement here, the term has become part of the lexicon. During the next few issues of Belle, I’ll help you explore the different farm-to-table models in metro Richmond: farm CSAs, third-party CSAs and farmers’ markets. Farm CSAs, sometimes called farm shares, are members who pay for shares of the produce from farms or farmers’ co-ops. The shares are usually paid in the winter months, in exchange for a weekly harvest of produce during the growing season. Members give farmers the upfront capital needed to prepare the land, purchase seeds, fix the irrigation system and so on. Members act as built-in buyers for the harvest, paying for it in advance. Members also shoulder the farming risks. If Mother Nature deals a devastating storm, members will get less harvest. On the other hand, if Mother Nature smiles upon the earth, farmers usually put extra yields in the weekly shares. It’s one of the ultimate ways for consumers to support local farms.

| 22 | FEBRuary 2012

belle scott elmquist photo

Going Local A good resource to find a CSA near you is csa. Here are some farms and farmers’ co-ops that serve the metro Richmond area. • Amy’s Garden,, Amy Hicks, 896-6446. • Byrd Farm (a co-op also known as Rural Virginia Market), Deb Stoneman, 434-842-3954. • Epic Gardens, epicgardens. com, 272-0725. • Fertile Crescent Farms,, Darbi Jewell and Adam Bresa, 434-392-6997. • Frog Bottom Farm,, Lisa and Ali Moussalli, 434-248-5525. • Root Force Collective Farm, rootforcecollectivefarm. com, 883-0033. • Victory Farms Inc.,, Alistar Harris, 559-8833. CSAs aren’t limited to produce. Meat and dairy often are add-on options. Here are some contacts: • Ault’s Family Farm,, Steve and Chris Ault, 434-248-6739. • Faith Farm, FaithFarmsFoods@, 434-298-7178. • Sub Rosa Bakery offers CSA for its terrific artisanal bread:

Community-supported agriculture isn’t new, but it’s enjoying a resurgence. It attracts and enables a younger generation to make a living on small-scale farming, and these farmers are our hope for farmland conservation for the future. The practice has flourished in Japan, Chile and Europe since the 1970s. And in the United States it started simultaneously in 1986 at Indian Line Farms in Massachusetts and at Temple-Wilton Community Farms in New Hampshire. Most farms offering the option are small, family-owned and practice sustainable farming methods. Most small farms offering the practice aren’t certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because of the cost, and as you should use caution with any investments, you should learn about the farm before you put down any money. Models evolved through the years. Some farms put together the weekly bag for pickup, usually at a farmers’ market; some offer a debit system where every week you get to pick your own produce from tables laden with “CSA-only” harvest and your tally is deducted from the prepaid amount. Some farms require members to volunteer a certain number of hours at the farm, some give discounts for volunteer hours, some prefer you leave the farming to them — but almost all hold a day when

members can visit to learn more about the operation while enjoying a picnic and music. A strong community bond between the farmers and consumers is what drives such business. The variety, quality and quantity of the weekly harvest vary from farm to farm. As a general rule, a weekly harvest will feed four adults or two hungry vegetarians. Some farms offer two prices while other farms have only one option, but consumers can split the cost and harvest with a friend. Some CSAs have added value options, such as a fresh flowers, dairy products, free-range eggs, meat or poultry from neighboring farms. And some farms offer only meat and dairy shares, with a range of options and prices. The veggies cost from $350 to $600 for about 15 to 25 weeks, equaling about $24 per week. My husband and I get certified organic produce from my Amy’s Garden CSA that we split with another couple, and I’m confident that we would spend more than $12 a week on produce at the grocery store. The variety of produce also enables us to eat a wider variety of vegetables. Most farms have websites with recipes so you don’t need to worry about what to do with the Russian kale, purple yard beans or tromboncino squash. With CSA, it’s easy eating greens.

Questions to Ask From Local Harvest, here are some suggestions about what to ask your farmer: • How long have you been farming? • How long have you been doing a CSA? • Are there items in your box grown by other farms, and if so, what farms? • How did last season go? • I’d like to talk with a couple of your members before I commit. Could you give me contact info for a couple of references? • I’d also ask: Do you practice organic, natural, or conventional farming? And what’s your vacation or missed-pickup policy?

belle scott elmquist photo

FEBRuary 2012 | 23 |

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FEBRUARY 2012 | 25 |

f i r st p e r s o n

I Was a Teenage Bisexual One size doesn’t fit all.



hen my stepbrother and I were highschool juniors, we each made an announcement one night at a family dinner. “I’m bisexual,” I told “the parents,” as we called them. My stepbrother added, “And I’m dropping out of high school.” “Oh! Well isn’t that wonderful?” they exclaimed, my dad launching into a story about hitchhiking from rural Virginia to Florida, finding work in an orange juice factory and returning home to make straight A’s after the acid ate away the soles of his boots. Later, my mother stopped just short of rubbing her hands with glee. She’d already introduced me to her friends who wore short hair and flannel: She was prepared. My brother did want to pursue a life of unadulterated freedom and I was as curious and nervous about girls as I was about boys. But our parents’ reception knocked the wind out of our sails. After graduating high school, my brother went on to college and in the end, I married a man. But not before exploring my options. My friends were smart, beautiful, creative, funny and kind, making them obvious choices over, say, the | 26 | FEBRuary 2012

valley haggard

hairy boy who reeked of Drakkar who asked me to accompany him to Red Lobster. In high school I dated boys and even had a boyfriend — although I refused to name it that then, shunning such labels like the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t want to be easily pinned down or classified — none of us in our ragtag group did. Banding together, we created a category of our own, just like millions of other suburban fringe kids across the country. Just as soon as I tried on one identity I outgrew it, like a haircut or jeans. A part of me secretly longed to be the cheerleader adored by the football team, but falling short of that, I did a 180. Bleached dreadlocks and a girl one week, crimson curls and a long-haired boy the next. For me, one size did not fit all. And then, during my junior year abroad in Italy, along with my first apartment I had my first girlfriend. I think it was a course requirement at our particular liberal arts college. I still refused to use labels, but after moving out of the homes of our host families and in with each other, we were more than roommates and more than friends. We shared not only espressos and homework assign-

ments but also living expenses and beds. I wrote poems for her, she painted me. We gave each other jewelry. We took weekend trips to remote villas, exploring both the country and largely hidden sides of ourselves. It could have been that we were young and in a foreign country, but I count it as one of the most romantic and devastating relationships of my life — certainly one of the few that’s taught me the most. It was far from perfect, but that’s why it fit perfectly into my life. A few heartbreaks and adventures later, I’ve chosen — at least from the outside and compared with many of my friends — a fairly straightforward life, one that includes marriage, motherhood and a mortgage in the suburbs. Most days I feel lucky to have found another person I want to spend my life with; I can’t imagine not having been allowed to do so based on his gender or mine. Yes, my parents made it more difficult to rebel, but I’m infinitely grateful to them for their acceptance of my choices regarding not only who to be, but also who to love. I have little doubt that I would have done everything I was going to do anyway, but having their blessing went a long way.

belle photo illustration by joel Smith

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Belle Magazine February 2012  
Belle Magazine February 2012  

Style Weekly's Magazine for Richmond Women.