San Antonio style maven Erin Busbee founded her own fashion consulting company, Busbee Style, through which she offers fashion styling, personal shopping and closet organizing. She also serves as the regular style expert for the popular south Texas TV show, San Antonio Living and is the on-camera fashion stylist in more than a hundred videos for Tyra Banks’ new business venture, TypepadF and she writes her own fashion and beauty blog, Busbusbeestyle.com
Published by local and national media since 2006, our entertaining cover story photographer Russell Thomas Clayton is a self-trained free-lance photographer from South Austin. When he’s not behind a camera shooting dazzling images, he is an accounting systems professional. With an eye for the often overlooked and a preference for natural beauty; details pop and stories unfold in his imagerythat can be seen at a selection of his work at Russellthomasclayton.com.
Sophia Batson, stylist and fashion consultant for our All The Right Moves fashion feature, was born in England and raised there and in Jamaica. She is currently based in New York and has lived in most of the major fashion centers, including Milan. Batson started her career as an assistant at Women’s Wear Daily and owes her eclectic sense of style to her parents and her background in science and psychology. When not consulting or styling for shows, advertising or editorials, she enjoys yet more travel. For more of her work, see Sophiabatson.com. Photo By Brian George.
Based in Austin and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, globetrotter and this month’s feature writer on Kenya, Rebecca Rooney is a travel and lifestyle freelance writer whose work has appeared in Brilliant, Austin Monthly, and Austin Woman magazines as well as doing research for National Geographic magazine. She’s traveled extensively in East and Southern Africa over the past twenty years and currently serves as a Trustee of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International based in Atlanta, Georgia and Kigali, Rwanda.
Jennifer Roosth has a degree in “People Watching” from Princeton University. Literally. While the academic discipline is officially referred to as Anthropology, Jennifer loves using ethnographic research methodology to understand patterns and meaning in the fascinating social worlds of fashion, art, and society. She conducted this month’s interview with Tinsley Mortimer while Tinsley was in her natural habitat, getting highlights at the Oscar Blandi salon in New York. Roosth grew up in Houston and lived in New York, London, Geneva, and Beijing before returning to Texas to people watch. Photo by Kim Coffman.
Austinite Dee Covey is a feature writer and national public relations and media training expert who heads the global crisis consultancy, PR/ER, which protects reputations under pressure worldwide. She is the author of The Economy Sucks But YOU Don’t: How Any College Grad Can Land a Great Job Even in Tough Times and co-author (with Greg Wright) of Daddy Dates: Four Daughters, One Clueless Dad and His Quest to Win Their Hearts, available in 2012 on Amazon and in Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.
Our fashion feature photographer this month is Houston-born photographer Jenny Fu who has been shooting professionally for four years, specializing in fashion and wedding photography. The University of Texas at Austin graduate discovered her passion at a young age, foregoing sleep to teach herself Photoshop, HTML and web design. She recently hopped on a plane to capture Nautica’s behind-the-scenes moments during New York Fashion Week. Fu says she loves shooting high style pieces from New York and LA, and hopes to see them on more Texans. “My motto is: don’t be afraid of fashion… embrace it” she says.
This month’s home feature and Hot Wheels writer Danielle Kaplan discovered her love for fashion as a child, where she dressed herself, mix-and-matched clothes and took a stand against pants at the ripe young age of three. Kaplan’s desire to stay in the know about luxury, entertainment and style has shaped this native San Antonian into a contributor to The Society Diaries as an Associate Editor.
Relationship expert Julia McCurley is the founder of Something More (www.trysomethingmore.com), a professional matchmaking service. As a former executive recruiter and professional business development expert, she realized that her expertise in matching six-figure professionals with Fortune 500 companies utilized a similar skill set to that of a professional matchmaker. As a dating veteran herself, Julia understands first-hand how difficult it can be to balance one’s career and personal life. The combination of these two factors motivated her to establish a unique matchmaking service for singles that uses a best practices approach from the executive recruiting world and applies it to finding ideal partners in love. Julia has lived in Austin since 2003, is happily married and a mother of three children. Helping people find true love is her passion.
Our Austin-based style guru Camille Styles is the founder and editor of lifestyle blog Camillestyles.com, where she shares the creative entertaining ideas that inspire her parties and her life. She is a regular lifestyle contributor to the HGTV network and owns Camille Styles Events, a design & planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences. Her modern aesthetic and eye for detail come together to create parties that are simply chic and all about fun.
Madeline Cummings Noal
Debutante Confidential feature writer Madeline Noal is a proud Austin native and is currently a senior at Ole Miss. Recently this editorial prodigy worked as a fashion intern for Plum Hamptons magazine in Manhattan. Noal is currently contributing to Brilliantmagazine.com and is an Associate Editor at The Society Diaries where she is currently working on dazzling stories for a chicer 2012.
Our fashion photographer for this holiday issue is Los Angeles-based Mark Oberlin. Mark has also shot the collections of many of the West Coast’s top fashion designers. He is an acclaimed painter as well and has exhibited his paintings in Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco galleries. More of Mark’s spectacular work can be found at his website at www.markoberlin.com
Ellie Leeper is a recent college graduate from Trinity University in San Antonio. As both a native San Antonian and social enthusiast, she is a natural networker who utilizes her affinity for connecting others as an Associate Editor for The Society Diaries. In addition to her contributions to the magazine, Leeper works for the Downtown Alliance San Antonio.
ROSE BETTY WILLIAMS
Wherever there is a wonderful party, there is usually social chronicler Rose Betty Williams, our author of this month’s inspiring French Tips feature on Paris and her winter travels there recently. She leads symposia, plans events, serves on boards and supports organizations from OperaAmerica to the Helping Hand Home for Children and facilitates networking for project and product development.Williams is a longtime Austin resident, freelance writer and photographer with a passion for fine art, music, wine, food and life and a deep love for her family and community.
Our Drive feature writer this month is Scott Black, a public speaker and an active freelance writer. His articles have appeared in the Robb Report, American Driver, D CEO, Blue Sky Journal, On Magazine, Dallas Business Journal and other publications. Scott’s quirky credentials include being a factory team driver for Shelby Automobiles, being an official judge for both a chili cook-off and a Concours judge, helping the show “Jeopardy” with a question and earning a black belt in Karate.
Geoff Connor has traveled the world as Texas Secretary of State and as an international lawyer and business consultant. This year he took a big step up – climbing up Mt. Kilimanjaro. This month he tells us not just about the grit and glory of the adventure, but about the importance of creating goals and accomplishments.
Fashion and beauty guru Andru Wallace, who styled this month’s Come & Get It fashion feature, believes the business of fashion is true embodiment: it begins with being sultry and sleek from the inside out. For Wallace, everything is a source of inspiration and he is constantly in the process of creating and capturing eccentric ideas and using the stories that fuel them to produce three-dimensional embodiments. He believes that a true artist can never rest, because even in their sleep they are in the act of creation. His work can also be seen at Stylingbyandru.com.
Andra Millian M.S., L.Ac., C.H. is a master of Traditional Chinese Medicine who weighs in with our Restore column this month. She is a graduate of the prestigious Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Monica, California. Her rigorous training includes postgraduate work at UCLA Medical Center Pediatric Pain Clinic in Los Angeles, California and specialized training in Neuro Acupuncture for Spinal Chord Injury at Project Walk in Carlsbad, California giving her a unique working background in Integrative Medicine – acupuncture applied to a Western Biomedicine environment. She has been happily living and practicing in Austin, Texas since 2001 and can be reached at AustinOnsiteAcupuncture.com.
John Conroy John Conroy, who has over 25 years in the model and talent industry as both a model and a photographer, has work that is recognized on an international level. Whether he is shooting Carrie Underwood for American Idol or doing a editorial shoot for The Society Diaries or Architectural Digest, Conroy believes in the collaborative process.
Our polo feature cover story writer Sydney Fazende is a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin. With an eye for style that transcends from clothing to the home, it comes as no surprise that a taste for interior design should burgeon from her love of art and fashion. Having been an editorial assistant at Brilliant magazine and contributor to Locale Digital magazine, she now loves her role as an Associate Editor for The Society Diaries.
High tech professional by day, social commentator by night is what best describes Associate Editor Rob Giardinelli and his multi-tasking when covering the Austin social stories. What may appear seamless takes hours of research, interviews, and photo gathering to accurately chronicle the Capital City’s charitable event stories. Giardinelli himself is involved several charities and loves sharing how Austinites so generously and passionately give back to the community they love, as weaving interesting social commentary while showcasing the many who work tirelessly to raise awareness to important issues in the amazing community that is Austin.
Clardy Malugen, MA, MFA, author, speaker, former CEO and award-winning documentary director is a brilliant, funny, quirky visionary and an emerging leader in the field of human consciousness. Check out her book Let’s Manifest Miracles and check-in to an unlimited, miraculous future. Don’t be fooled by the profound simplicity of her message, she’s become the catalyst for mind-bending miracles that seem to turn up wherever she goes. Malugen will be appearing In Austin May 5-6 at Casa de Luz and Unity in the Hills and is available for private consultations via Skype.
Our West Coast Lifestyle Editor Lara Shriftman co-founded Harrison & Shriftman in 1995, an agency that specializes in public relations, marketing and events for high-profile luxury brands (www.hs-pr.com). Lara has served as a contributor and editor to Tribune Media’s Distinction magazine, The Miami Herald’s Home & Design, Brilliant, Q, Departures, LA Confidential, Quest and Hamptons, and has been a featured guest on The TODAY Show, E!, Extra, The Megan Mullally Show, and FOX’s Friends and Family.
Dexter Fletcher is a New York based commercial, fashion and portrait photographer who shot our All The Right Moves fashion feature is originally from the island paradise of Jamaica. Fletcher grew up always knowing he wanted to be a photographer and when his mentor got him his first camera, he was hooked. Fast forward 18 years later, he’s living his dream in the fashion mecca of the world photographing beautiful models and amazing clothes. More of his work can be seen at Dexterfletcher.com
Pamela Lillquist and Ariella Levitan
Our Venetian Class feature writer Pamela Lillquist, the original exotic traveler, has worked in various aspects of the travel industry for 20 years, visiting 96 countries… and continues to be fascinated with the place she hasn’t been, the food she hasn’t tried and the person she’s yet to meet. Ariella Levitan is an enthusiastic globe-trotter who has photographed destinations on six continents. A Creative Director with a background working in film, marketing and writing, her passion for photography and capturing unique moments in far away lands is what truly inspires her. They both reside in Los Angeles.
Mary Schneider has been studying alternative healthcare modalities for over 20 years and is certified in Holographic Repatterning and Touch for Health. She has studied homeopathy, the Chinese 5 Element Acupuncture System, The Work of Byron Katie and numerous other modalities. Her practice is the Holographic (Resonance) Repatterning Institute (www.repatternit.com) and she happily resides and practices in Austin.
Paul Bradshaw is an award-winning writer/director/photographer who travels the world seeking out interesting people and new experiences. His career path has moved seamlessly between the worlds of advertising, politics and entertainment. His blog, Attack of the Stupid People is read by dozens of people, only some of whom he has to pay. His work has also appeared in HOW, Brilliant magazine and a television screen near you.
Our Suite Dreams photographer shoots for editorial clients ranging from Ocean Drive to Vogue and his advertising clients include Levi’s, Eddie Bauer and Sony, to name a few. He loves shooring the pinnacle of Hollywod’s biggest talent in a studio or a barefoot child walking in the muddy streets of Rio de Janeiro. For more of Reinsdrof’s work, visit Richardreinsdorf.com
Young fashionista Annie Kreighbaum is an Austinbased artist and vintage collector, hence her love of
Enid Collins, on whose talents she writes this month. Her love and knowledge of fashion stems from years of experience as an editorial assistant for Brilliant magazine and a freelance writer for international fashion publications where she has covered events such as New York Fashion Week and Paris Haute Couture Week, and worked for designers Alexander Wang and Adam Lippes in New York City.
Laura Villagran Johnson and Kevin Smothers
If there’s an event or gala worth attending in our region, count on Laura Villagran Johnson and Kevin Smothers to keep you in the know. As the founders of the social guide and online calendar Austin Social Planner, Austin’s definitive online source for society events, they know where to go, when to be there and how to dial in to the particular charity behind it. The founders have a combined an events background of 28 years background across Texas, New York and Los Angeles. Plans to launch a full-blown San Antonio Social Planner are in the works for this year.
Author, journalist and the creator and host of EpiphanyChannel.com, Ballard’s first book, Epiphany: True Stories of Sudden Insight to Inspire, Encourage and Transform (Random House/Crown Publishing), is a collection of over 50 interviews with people from all walks of life recounting the stories of their greatest epiphanies. Her interview with Ali McGraw is featured this month. She is a TEDx speaker and a regular contributor to Psychology Today and the wildly popular website, Positively Positive. She currently is in development on several projects, including more for EpiphanyChannel.com, film and television versions of the Epiphany project, and future books for the Epiphany series. She resides in Los Angeles.
Our author for our F-1 feature, Victory Lap, started collecting wine at an illegal age and later discovered the salutary effect of taking girls to his college dormitory room to show them his ill-gotten wine collection (“You drink wine? How interesting!”). This pursuit led to a career writing about wine, three books, most recently What’s a Wine Lover To Do? (Artisan), a column in the Austin Chronicle, abundant travel to exotic destinations, and so many happy days it still feels illegal.
With over 30 years of journalism experience, San Antonio-based contributing writer John G. Bloodsworth has covered the gamut of social events from black tie fetes for World Wrestling Federation to the Fiesta functions of the Battle of Flowers Association. He has written for both national, regional and local publications. Currently he is a contributing writer to four magazines covering architecture, design and cultural trends. Bloodsworth also runs a design firm, Little Cabin, that sources well-worn heirlooms and unique finds for rustic ranches, coastal beach getaways and urban environments creating repurposed lifestyles, events and media attention for his retail and residential clients.
San Antonio native Brandon Mills is our Exceed column contributor this month. He is a physical fitness and elite health expert who has been training in the greater Los Angeles area since 2010 and holds the nationally recognized Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (C.S.C.S.) title, allowing him to provide fitness education and promote healthy lifestyle guidance to children and adults alike. Using The Mills Method to help others, Mills encourages individuals to focus on exercise as a way of life while making consistent healthy choices to attain new goals.
Social chronicler extraordinaire Robert Godwin looks back at Austin’s rich social heyday this month in our The Ways We Were feature. Social arbiters from the 1970’s to the present are seen in this exclusive excerpt from his book, Austin Faces, focusing on stories devoted to the pictorial aspect of the city’s past gala events. As an Air Force “brat,” Godwin traveled the world as a child and after a medical retirement from the Air Force, he settled in Austin. He then graduated from the University of Texas and has been a fixture covering the non-profit scene for over three decades.