Our 2014 IND Style winners celebrate classic looks with modern flair.
From repurposed cymbals to custom cobalt suits, the choices of our IND Style Award winners are more diverse than ever on this third year of IND Media's tribute to one-of-a-kind style. Each year we hand-pick a group of fresh dressers who represent the sort of fearless love of fashion Acadiana fosters. We have groovy guys in vintage polyester, dapper dudes in suave suits and bow ties and gals in classic shapes with personality. The quirky fashionistas will hit the runway come September along with glamazons and a lineup of Lafayette's best boutiques introducing fall's best new pieces. It's an evening devoted to style in a city that cultivates creativity in a rare way. Take a look at our lineup of 2014 IND Stylers, who joined past winners in late-August at a Moss Motors reception in their honor, for a preview of what's to come in just weeks.
by Amanda Bedgood photos by robin may
Rozalyn Galyean is a little bit rock and roll. She's a lot of artistry. And while she has style in spades she is not someone who names brands or someone you're likely to spot shopping.
"I love vintage. They don't make clothes like that anymore," says the eclectic mom and owner of Second Line Jewels. "I have to be comfortable. I like to make something just for me."
Galyean doesn't wear a trend until it turns the corner into a classic, and while she aims for comfy in the everyday, the girl likes to "do it up." She has appreciation for, not obsession with, clothing. It could have started years ago as one of five girls in a world of hand-me-downs. Today, she's found her calling by marrying her appreciation for thriftiness, her love of percussionists (her hubby is one) and her love for style - she remakes drum cymbals into jewelry.
Mary Ann Mirian
Mary Ann Mirian is that rare blend of classic, chic and, yet, never boring. The real estate maven is a Southern lady in her own sort of way - the kind of gal who considered her dressed down day blue jeans and a starched shirt.
On the night we met up she wore a beautiful green dress with a standout embellishment on the neckline. Just the sort of look expected from the lady who loves color.
"I would say I'm classic with a touch of style," Mirian says. "You have to have fun. I have fun with clothes."
She credits her aunt from California for lighting her love of fashion in her youth. She would get into modeling as a young girl, even competing in New York and doing commercials in Baton Rouge.
"I just like fashion," Mirian says. "I think dressing up is half the fun."
Stephen Ortego represents young professional style. Gone are the days of the straight-laced in a literal way. Ortego represents an utterly conservative way to dress with some attitude that's subtle but distinct.
The man who spends his time between designing in the world of architecture and passing legislation wore a perfectly proportioned suit and textured tie the night we met up. Add shoes with some personality and a funky sock and you've got a look that's pure Ortego. One he calls "energetic, young, professional." Three words that clearly rep the rising rep in more than the arena of style.
At 30 years old, the state legislator from Carencro is leaving his mark in the world of politics and says fashion can be a part of his approach to dressing thanks to the industries in which he works.
"I can have a little more fun. I'm designing communities and I'm passing laws - creative industry and politics."
Creative and clear cut from career to closet.
Bill Bacqué. Never a dull moment. And we don't just mean that electric cobalt suit he rocked at our IND Style party. The man at the helm of Van Eaton & Romero/Latter & Blum truly does style his own way. Bold and fearless and a lotta fun.
He's been calling on the Martinez brothers in Baton Rouge for years to create his closet of custom suits. But he easily recalls his first love for style and the job that funded his new interest.
"My brother dressed nicely and that kind of made me think, That's cool.' I worked at a filling station one summer for 12 hours a day and six days a week for a dollar an hour. I would hoard the cash and buy clothes. In 1969 my brother Don left for the army and left all the clothes behind," Bacqué says.
As Bacqué found success he was able to have things made for him.
"I don't want to look like anyone else," he says.
Lainey and Rye Tuten
The Tutens do style in a major way. Rye does the bow tie thing with a kind of panache that marries the traditional Southern gentleman to a new generation while Lainey arrives in a look that's always eclectic and often unexpected.
She's the first to say she focuses on the inward more than the outward.
"I want people to see Christ. That's what's important to me," says the woman with a fashion merchandising degree.
It's one of the things Rye says he loves about her.
"She always dresses very fashionable but appropriate," Rye says.
A mother of three, Lainey says she doesn't have time to obsess about fashion. But she knows what she loves, and it's clear style is something that simply comes naturally. Rye was first introduced to his signature bow tie in college and now incorporates what he calls Southern with a modern flair. Two styles, much like the Tutens, that work beautifully when combined.
Clyde Simien and Rickey Miniex
Clyde Simien and Rickey Miniex are two sides of the same style coin. The law partners both nail the sharp dressed-man look. Simien does it with a kind of suave elegance that skates on the edge. Miniex does it with a conservative vibe and weekend wear devoted to his beloved Saints. Think Ferrari versus Mercedes SUV.
"I love different colors and anything modern and contemporary," Simien says.
The dapper dude recalls laying out his clothes in elementary school to prepare for the week. Fashion, it would seem, has always been high on his list.
"I want to be ready! I would tell my mom," he says with a laugh. "It was a uniform."
Simien's father was not a wealthy man but always dressed well, and he gleaned much from that influence.
Miniex's greatest influence comes from his fashionable wife. But he insists he's been doing the well-dressed thing for so long that he can pull it off on his own now.
"I try to show some elegance but also show some of what I call Southern common sense - trying to be part of what's going on now in fashion but not so far out there that it is too far out there. I always try to have some type of Southern type of flavor, too," Miniex says.
Mike Larson is a character - and one of the most authentic people you might meet. On the night of our IND Style party at Moss Motors, he arrived in some seriously cool cowboy boots, cooler jeans and a vintage shirt. Don't forget the shades.
The instructor of psychology does effortlessly cool style with a vintage flavor inspired as much by an era as by geography. He doesn't do jeans in the summer unless it's a cool night. He definitely cares about comfort in our Louisiana heat. And, yet, his vibe harkens to locales far from the borders of Acadiana.
"Southern California meets Austin," Larson says.
He has an appreciation for oddities like shag carpet (he was devastated when it was replaced at his parents' home), Johnny Carson and claims Eastwood under his influences. He is a big kid. He loves people. But, he's an introvert. He has a man crush on Paul Newman (the early years) and plays the guitar and sings and writes music.
His music? "Very raw, unfiltered. I love old soul. But I'm a white guy from South Louisiana," Larson says.
Makes total sense to us.
The style of Tori Toups depends on the day you see her. It's sometimes vintage, sometimes modern - uber girly at moments and androgynous others. Always, though, always pure Tori.
"I think my style is kind of schizophrenic ... it's just all about what kind of mood I'm in and what makes me feel good that day. I think style should be like that for everyone. If you feel good about yourself when you're getting dressed in the morning then just go with it. Don't worry about too many rules," Toups says.
On the night we met up, Tori was rocking her version of Donna Reed comes to town 2014 - vintage dress found online with some serious Fendi heels. A marriage of the old and new and an ear-to-ear grin (we suspect, for once, that smile came from the man by her side that night - Spencer Hoyt - rather than her dress).
"As for style inspiration I think I get most of it from the clothing itself. I'll see a high-waisted midi skirt that I can't live without and just immediately picture it with a neon crop top and super high pumps. Which means I now have to buy all three."
But, of course.