INDStyle is a cut above the stylish rest. It’s a way of living, a way of dressing that’s less about sartorial rules and more about expression.
This year we honor eight local style makers for their ability to show the world who they are without saying a word. From a dapper attorney and rambling artists to a western Donna Reed and gals with swagger for days, the honorees for the 2015 INDStyle Awards are as eclectic as it comes. Pure Lafayette.
Ours is a city teeming with stylish personalities as varied as the landscape of art, music and food — not an easy place to pick but a fashionable few. We managed, however, and the results are a list of rebels each in their own way.
Join us Sept. 17 at the Acadiana Center for the Arts when these honorees join the fray of local stores for a runway and awards show done only the way The Independent does things — with substance, style and that bit of edge.
Bobby Hines is an unlikely INDStyle candidate by his own admission. But take a look at his wardrobe and you’ll probably disagree. This man’s effortless style truly is effortless.
The businessman who owns a slew of Anytime Fitness gyms and serves as the national office’s head of personal training takes a Steve Jobs approach to daily dressing — the laid-back uniform. And when it comes time to hit the town he pulls pieces from modern men’s spots like Maven Menswear.
“It’s a T-shirt and jeans most days. I don’t mind spending money on jeans. I like a fitted black T-shirt,” he says. “I don’t want to spend all day getting dressed.”
When it comes to unique style, however, it’s Hines’ footwear that takes center stage. He has a particular penchant for purple shoes — Anytime’s signature vivid color. He even had a pair of boots remade with a custom purple sole.
He’s into boots of the Cole Haan and J Shoes variety and has done his fair share of modeling for both print and runway shows. On the night of the INDStyle party he showed up in classic Hines — jacket and shirt that managed to look pulled together perfectly without an ounce of pretense.
“I like style. But I don’t want it to look over the top,” he says. “I’m more reserved and don’t like the spotlight. I like things that are fashionable but timeless.”
You can’t miss Chelsea Brown. The cohost on air at Z105.9 and host of The Jump Off Show on AOC has a comfortable glam style that fluctuates from vivid hued hair and earrings the size of bracelets to sexy printed dresses and snug little jeans.
“I have curves, and I like to dress for my size, my shape,” she says.
She models, she hosts music shows and she’s not afraid to ask you to “Please Say the Miss” as part of her name proper. She considers her hair an accessory, and she’s walking proof that size and budget are not an impediment to serious style.
“I’m a single mother and I’m stylish, but I do it on a budget. I recycle clothing, thrift shops and vintage pieces I can wear over and over. I change my hair — a lot,” she says.
Her mother is a lady who was always “classy and sophisticated” on a budget, and the apple didn’t fall far from the fashion tree. The INDStyle honor is one that is especially dear to the curvy beauty.
“People have an image of single parents or plus size or minorities — it’s all about class and doing it all on a budget,” she says.
Helping her pull off the fl awless look is her best friend and makeup artist Ashley Breaux, who has a way of reinventing Brown’s features again and again no matter the ensemble or the event. Proof that beauty comes in many shapes and shades — and sometimes all within one person.
To say Harold Bernard is a character feels like an understatement. The signature on his email perhaps best sums all that is Bernard — “Southern-Gun slinging-Artist- Honky Tonkin-Dance Gypsy Stylin.”
“I consider myself a bit of a chameleon,” he says.
On the night of the INDStyle party he arrived in what was the perfect representation of Bernard’s style from the Parish Ink T-shirt to his boots and a oneof-a-kind jacket. Like the man himself, there is ever a variety of sources and directions in his clothing choices.
“I always saw clothes as a way of expressing yourself and a way of putting different things together. I wear a lot of different kinds of clothes,” he says before identifying the source for each piece of his outfits pictured above. “The shirt was, of course, from Jillian [the late Jillian Johnson — co-owner and designer at Parish Ink, musician and renaissance woman], and the belt I bought at Jazz Fest — African and made of bull horn. The boots are from Austin from Heritage Boots. The jacket was a vintage jacket circa 1945 that Cowboy Phil sells out of the back of a car at Black Pot Festival.”
When asked to describe his style Bernard says he’s been accused of being a hybrid of Karl Lagerfeld, Jeff Bridges as “The Dude” and Colonel Sanders. It’s an apt description for a man who in one conversation mentions living across the country in an Air Stream from Santa Fe in the ’70s to Arkansas and Austin to restoring homes locally.
Eclectic style that goes on and on in a variety of directions seems well suited for a life that has been (and certainly will be) full of more twists and turns than the Zydeco steps he teaches in a dance class.
There’s something about a sharp-dressed man. Frank Neuner knows this. He learned it at a young age. The NeunerPate attorney with far flung travels is the essential polished professional day and night.
“I always liked to wear things that matched and are nice … where you wouldn’t be embarrassed whoever you run into, whether it’s a client or a priest or your mother. It’s how I’ve always been.”
It was in the ’70s at LSU law school that perhaps the greatest influence of his life would come: at a now closed store called Gilhe’s.
“It was my biggest influence. When I was in law school and even when I first moved to Lafayette I shopped there; it was required back then that you wore suits to work every day.”
When he and partners began their law firm in 1987 it was standard that everyone wear a long-sleeve, starched shirt and tie each day. It’s changed over the years, but there are elements of dressing well that have certainly stuck. One lesson in particular from Joe Onebane — a founder of the Onebane firm who had a custom in the late ’70s of taking young lawyers to Don’s Downtown.
“I remember getting on the elevator with him one Friday and there were two other lawyers on the elevator wearing golf shirts and he said, ‘I don’t know how anyone can pay you $100 an hour when you’re wearing a golf shirt.’ That stuck with me.”
Today Neuner’s go-to spot is F. Camalo (although he’s been known to hit up Nordstrom Rack from time to time). His style hasn’t changed tremendously over the years. But he does continue to cultivate his preferences.
“I buy a lot more quality rather than quantity,” he says. “Suits and sport coats, Italian brands, nice materials.”
In Lacey Broussard what you see is what you get. Whether that’s behind the deep fryer at Laura’s II in a T-shirt and tennis shoes or after 3 p.m. in a svelte dress and serious heels.
“I get a lot of my drive from my grandmother. Growing up I always remember her being so on point in her heels. I would go in her closet and see her mink coats. At 5 years old we were going to Abdalla’s, and I remember that being the first place I would see shiny things. I remember running my hands through the gowns and all the beautiful things.”
Broussard is a self-professed girly woman (“minus the pink” she is quick to add). Her style is modern, sophisticated. Think Victoria Beckham’s distinctly uptown posh vibe post Spice Girls.
“I love a sleek look,” she says. Her go-to spots locally are kiki and newly opened Amor. On the night of our INDStyle party she wore an LBD that epitomized that combination of timeless and trend with a cape-like detail. It was a short little number that showed off her legs, including a scar that snakes from her ankle to knee following a car accident at 19.
“I was going to come out of surgery without my leg, and I woke up and still had it and for a very long time I was very insecure about it. For a year or two I didn’t show my leg in public,” she says.
Her supportive boyfriend Harry and his son were the catalyst that brought back the skirts.
“They are so amazing and helped me to get over it,” she says. “It’s a very small part of me, and it doesn’t define me. Now I show off my scar and have no problem with it.”
Like I said, what you see is what you get with Broussard — a tough beauty.
There are those people so attractive it’s a bit like looking at the sun. Sometimes two people just that way get married. And blind us all with their relentless beauty. Meet the Gaspards.
The owners of The Cut House have a combined style that’s a blend of beauty and edge — a remade James Dean and Marilyn Monroe mash up — retro and modern and polished with a smattering of sexy tattoos for good measure.
On the evening of the INDStyle party the couple arrived in cool neutral hues — Matt in a black jacket with a sleek cut that was laid-back effortless and Catherine in a skirt that harkened to the past with a modern cropped shirt that showed the slightest slice of skin.
“We both like to be sophisticated meets edgy,” Catherine says.
While Catherine has a side that goes a bit boho, hippie or vintage, Matt sticks to a sleek aesthetic with a rebel edge.
The two do few things without panache.
While their relationship was a slow simmer (she began working at his salon as a stylist where the two worked together for three years before anything got romantic), most will remember Matt’s stellar proposal video that was a seriously orchestrated flash mob.
Theirs is a style that is beautifully done with a twist. Like the romantic photo shoot months ago with a local photog where they portrayed Bonnie and Clyde, the love birds are a combination that’s effortlessly sultry.
Rachel Chigoy’s style never quits. There’s a quintessential ’50s aesthetic that surrounds her from the kitschy kitchen wares she collects to her signature little vintage dresses.
“The ’50s housewife and Mexican culture inspire me. I’m into texture, color, and Mexican embroidery is one of my favorites. Femininity really inspires me,” she says.
As a child her parents watched a lot of Louisiana Hayride. And it’s this TV show she blames for her never-ending hunt for certain pieces from the past.
“I have a love of fringe, and I’m always kind of searching for old Country & Western Wear,” she says.
Chigoy’s love for the ’50s hourglass figure-flattering pieces runs deep. It’s all about fit.
“It works best for my figure. I’m always looking for that silhouette,” she says.
For Chigoy, the vintage hunt is about more than snagging a new dress. It’s the experience and acquiring a well made piece you can’t find anywhere else that will stand the test of time.
“The patterns [of vintage] are unique, and the texture and the personality … these are things that are built to last and that have been passed down,” she says.
She reworks the pieces for a perfect fit.
And when she sees something she loves but it doesn’t work for her? It finds a home at her Etsy Shop Mojohandvintage where someone else can breathe life into it again.
“This is too good to leave behind, and someone else can enjoy this,” she says.