Fashion is fleeting, cyclical, and sometimes downright finicky. Personal style, on the other hand, is timeless. It’s about taking a trend and making it your own—and sometimes, it’s about knowing when not to. Each of the five locals on St. Charles Avenue’s 2007 list of “Stylish New Orleanians” —a restaurateur, decorator and avid equestrian with a dash of cowgirl; a musician and designer with a rock-solid approach; a Saks Fifth Avenue sales associate who knows what it means to be well-suited; an interior decorator and shop owner with a flair for details; and a Ritz-Carlton Hotel executive who knows the classics has their own particular brand of style and the confidence to wear it well.


Penny D. Francis
STYLE-WISE THEY WEAR IT WELLAge: 43
Occupation: Interior decorator and owner of Eclectic Home.
Where do you shop in New Orleans? Saks Fifth Avenue, Spring, Azby’s, Hemline, and FeBe.
Favorite designers: Tory Burch, Kay Unger, Diane von Furstenberg and Nannette Lepore
What’s your favorite thing to wear? Dresses. All the designers I like have classic styles, but use interesting fabrics and details to make them more modern. The Kay Unger line is very feminine and sophisticated. She uses unusual prints and detailing in her pieces. Her dress cuts are simple, yet she pays close attention to the contours of a woman’s body. Nanette Lepore is also feminine and her pieces often look vintage. She has sort of a bohemian flair and that is sometimes reflected in her dresses. Diane von Furstenberg is just the best. Her wrap dresses are great on any body type and can transition from work to evening. Her forms are timeless.
What’s your least favorite thing to wear? Leggings.
What fashion trend do you dislike? Crocs.
Great for kids and the garden only.
What fashion trend in New Orleans do you dislike? Flip-flops for all occasions.
What’s your favorite accessory? I love jewelry, especially large rings. I think they add that pop to an ensemble and something unexpected. I am fond of pearls and rare stones in unique settings. I have a Stephen Dweck ring with a large pearl that has been carved on the face to resemble the petals of a flower. A Konstantino ring has a mother-of-pearl face with a ancient Greek cross. Konstantino is from Greece and all his pieces have amazing detail and an Old World design, which I am drawn to. While I was in Italy I found a wonderful jewelry line called Del Conte (delconte.com). Made in Florence, the jewelry line has clean contemporary settings that
highlight large stones like lemon and rose quartz.
Whom do you think has personal style, one that’s all their own and not the work of a stylist? Diane Keaton.
Is your significant other well dressed? Yes, he is. I think he has great taste. I rarely return any clothing that he buys for me.
Was there a point in your life that your parents and you clashed over what you wore? Yes, the 1980s. My parents hated the large bamboo earrings and shoulder pads. They said I was too tall and looked like a linebacker.
What’s so great about your closet? Well, since I lost my entire wardrobe because of Katrina, I guess the only good thing about my closet is that it is not full yet!
What Penny is wearing in the photograph: Dress by Kay Unger, shoes by Calvin Klein, large pearl rings by Stephen Dweck and Konstantino.

Freddy Perriott
STYLE-WISE THEY WEAR IT WELLAge: 59
Occupation: Salesman in Saks Fifth Avenue’s men’s suit department
Where do you shop in New Orleans? All over, but mostly at the Shops at Canal Place.
Favorite designers: Giorgio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss.
What’s your favorite thing to wear? I love linen.
What fashion trend do you dislike? Baggy jeans, oversized clothing, sun shades at night.
What fashion trend in New Orleans do you dislike?
Same as above.
What’s is your favorite accessory? Beautiful neckwear.
Whom do you think has personal style, one that’s all their own and not the work of a stylist? My co-worker Steven Putt.
Was there a point in your life that your parents and you clashed over what you wore? My mom always had an opinion. Most of the time it was a good one.
What’s so great about your closet? Easy access and I’m able to see everything I own.
What Freddy is wearing for the photograph: Striped jacket and slacks from Brooks Brothers, Dsquared shirt and tie by Zegna.


Rebecca Singley
STYLE-WISE THEY WEAR IT WELLAge: 39
Occupation: Public relations and marketing director for Gautreau’s, mother, graphic artist and decorator.
Where do you shop in New Orleans? Snap for signature pieces; LF for belts and bags; Weinstein’s for my python flip-flops; Urban Outfitters for everything; Saks Fifth Avenue (with my mom’s charge card); and Congo Square at Jazz Fest.
Favorite designers: Labels that I live in are Vince, Sanctuary, True Religion and Tory Burch. Designers that I love are Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford.
What’s your favorite thing to wear?  Jeans, boots and a plain white T-shirt.
What’s your least favorite thing to wear? Anything that’s too tight or uncomfortable, although I do make sacrifices.
What fashion trend do you dislike? Sweat pants/shorts with words like “Juicy” written across the rear.
What fashion trend in New Orleans do you dislike? The Uptown prep look, because it hasn’t evolved at all since I was in grade school.
What’s your favorite accessory? My stingray cowboy boots, my Led Zeppelin belt buckle, and my new fleur-de-lis pinky ring from Katy Beh Contemporary Jewelry.
Whom do you think has personal style, one that’s all their own and not the work of a stylist? In Hollywood, it would be Sienna Miller. Here at home Ann Barnett, Dr. Nia Terazakis, my cousin Trudy and my parents.
Is your significant other well dressed? When he wants to be.
Was there a point in your life that your parents and you clashed over what you wore? Absolutely, the 1980s.
What’s so great about your closet? That it’s massive and well designed, but I have to share it with my husband’s shotguns and waders.
What Rebecca is wearing in the photograph: Alice & Olivia vest from Snap, T-shirt from GaeTana and True Religion jeans from Jean Therapy.

Rebecca Singley
STYLE-WISE THEY WEAR IT WELLAge: 39
Occupation: Public relations and marketing director for Gautreau’s, mother, graphic artist and decorator.
Where do you shop in New Orleans? Snap for signature pieces; LF for belts and bags; Weinstein’s for my python flip-flops; Urban Outfitters for everything; Saks Fifth Avenue (with my mom’s charge card); and Congo Square at Jazz Fest.
Favorite designers: Labels that I live in are Vince, Sanctuary, True Religion and Tory Burch. Designers that I love are Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford.
What’s your favorite thing to wear?  Jeans, boots and a plain white T-shirt.
What’s your least favorite thing to wear? Anything that’s too tight or uncomfortable, although I do make sacrifices.
What fashion trend do you dislike? Sweat pants/shorts with words like “Juicy” written across the rear.
What fashion trend in New Orleans do you dislike? The Uptown prep look, because it hasn’t evolved at all since I was in grade school.
What’s your favorite accessory? My stingray cowboy boots, my Led Zeppelin belt buckle, and my new fleur-de-lis pinky ring from Katy Beh Contemporary Jewelry.
Whom do you think has personal style, one that’s all their own and not the work of a stylist? In Hollywood, it would be Sienna Miller. Here at home Ann Barnett, Dr. Nia Terazakis, my cousin Trudy and my parents.
Is your significant other well dressed? When he wants to be.
Was there a point in your life that your parents and you clashed over what you wore? Absolutely, the 1980s.
What’s so great about your closet? That it’s massive and well designed, but I have to share it with my husband’s shotguns and waders.
What Rebecca is wearing in the photograph: Alice & Olivia vest from Snap, T-shirt from GaeTana and True Religion jeans from Jean Therapy.

STYLE-WISE THEY WEAR IT WELLSean Yseult
Age: 41
Occupation: Designer/Musician
Where do you shop in New Orleans? UAL, Saks Fifth Avenue, thrift stores and Target.
Favorite designers:
I come from a graphic design background, so I have
to say Peter Max, Henry Wolf and Art Chantry. But as far as fashion, I like to
see what Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson and Nanette Lepore are up to. The only designer things I own are mostly suits and jackets, and brands such as Theory and BCBG.
What’s your favorite thing to wear? My Levis.
What’s your least favorite thing to wear? A dress.
What fashion trend do you dislike? The deconstructed ‘80s “Flashdance” look.
What fashion trend in New Orleans do you dislike? None—people don’t follow any fashion trends here, which is one of the many reasons I love New Orleans. People here look great in their slips and “wife beaters” and flip-flops, crawling out of bars at 6 a.m. If someone tried to cop that look in L.A. or N.Y. they would look so lame, but everyone here always looks cool, and they’re not even trying. I really like the random “umbrella-used-as-parasol” look, too—the ladies hold them so daintily, even though it’s a huge ugly oversized umbrella. I might have to revive real parasols—lord knows everyone needs one in this town!
What’s your favorite accessory? A muff—I found one in a thrift store in Brooklyn recently, and have a new obsession with them. Anything that doubles up eliminating  gloves and a purse is cool in my book. I still am trying to get over the issues I have of carrying a purse.
Whom do you think has personal style, one that’s all their own and not the work of a stylist? Lux and Ivy (of the Cramps), Johnny Depp, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Andre Williams and maybe Kate Moss.
Is your significant other well dressed? Three out of five times—it’s a crapshoot. I just try to get him to wear clothes that fit!
Was there a point in your life that your parents and you clashed over what you wore? Big time, but not in the way you’re probably thinking. They were always bringing me home hippie tie-dyed shirts, Indian batik skirts, and leather sandals, all of which made me miserable. When I was 10, I got to pick out my own clothes at a department store: I came home so happy in my electric purple straight-legged wide-whale corduroys, a sky-blue long sleeved, button-down shirt, and a thick white belt. Very Peter Brady. I would wear that outfit today if I could find it!
What’s so great about your closet?
Nothing really, except it is near where I roll out of bed.
What Sean is wearing for the photograph: Theory jacket from Saks Fifth Avenue, vintage T-shirt, Serfontaine jeans from UAL, John Fluvog shoes from Winky’s, Jeff Gallea belt and Linz handcuff purse from Trashy Diva, scarf on purse by Sean Yseult (yseultdesigns.com) and New Orleans watermeter necklace by Mark Darcy from Thomas Mann’s Gallery I/O.

Michael t. Kochie
Name:
Michael T. Kochie
Age:  43
Occupation: Director of Sales, the Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New Orleans
Where do you shop in New Orleans? Saks Fifth Avenue, Vegas and Style Lab for Men
Favorite designers: Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and G-Star for jeans
What’s your favorite thing to wear? Jeans, T-shirts and flip-flops
What’s your least favorite thing to wear? Underwear
What fashion trend do you dislike? Fashion trends
What fashion trend in New Orleans do you dislike? Certain hairstyles, such as the mullet or the wedge.
What’s your favorite accessory? My two dogs, Zeke and Dakota
Whom do you think has personal style, one that’s all their own and not the work of a stylist? Jeremy Davenport
Is your significant other well dressed? Very

Who else has St. Charles Avenue deemed fashionable?

1998
Sallee Benjamin
Ellen Brennan
Georgina Callan
Ellen Johnson
Ricky Lemann

2001
Michelle Reynoir Carrere
Celeste and Harold Judell
Thea Pagel
Brian Perkins
Rayne Reynoir Reynolds

2002
Helen Gilbert
Claire Harth
Lee Ledbetter
Lisa Pulitzer

2003
Dr. Corey Hebert
Lisa Tudor Stoller
Beth Trotter
Dot Weisler

2004
Chris Fransen
Steven Putt
Lindsay Ross
Phyllis Taylor

2005
Cristy McNabb
Irvin Mayfield
Jon Vaccari
Jane Schramel

2006
Jane Casbarian
Jill Dupré
Natalie Finnegan
Orlando Gonzalez
Blayne Laborde
Norman Robinson
Tricia Vitrano

Was there a point in your life that your parents and you clashed over what you wore? My Dad thought that spending over $50 dollars for a pair of jeans was excessive—and that was 10 years ago.
What’s so great about your closet?  The size of my closet demands efficiency.
What Michael is wearing for the photograph: Hugo Boss jacket, pants and shoes.