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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Culinary & Couture Issue 2015

by Lisa Burwell

The joy of the Lord is your strength. —Nehemiah 8:10

Joy. This little word has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s usually seen in abundance around the holidays, but I keep bumping into it in my daily travels. When I think that somebody is trying to tell me something, I pay attention, listen, and learn. Webster’s Dictionary defines joy as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” It’s human nature to seek happiness, but I’ve come to realize that joy is something more than that. Joy is an acceptance that everything is going to work out for the better, and that even if your day isn’t going your way, or if things are stressful, it’s all right. When you really think about it, there is so much that is not really in our control. So, when you have those hard moments in life, if you appreciate the good happenstances, both big and small, joy can be found all around you.

You may ask how my musings on joy pertain to our annual food and fashion issue, which we’ve rebranded this year as “Culinary and Couture.” It’s simple—joy is the new black. All kidding aside, when someone labors over creating a delicious meal, focusing on the correct procedures and sourcing the best ingredients, I take joy in savoring each bite knowing that so much love and care were poured into its preparation. It is a feeling I experience when I don’t have enough time to plan dinner, and my husband steps up and prepares a meal with flawless execution. Or when Roux 30a’s owner and executive chef, Nikhil Abuvala, creates a meal and every bite feels like it was not only delicious, but also filled with goodness. I’m the one who usually cooks in my family, so when someone else does this for me, it can be a big deal and an experience filled with joy. With our harried American lifestyles, it’s so pleasurable to sit down to a peaceful meal with friends and loved ones. My new definition of “enjoying the finer things in life” is having the time to take care of one’s own well-being—something many Americans forfeit on a daily basis.

Fashion Designer Tieler James with Model Miranda Abney Strike a Pose

Achieving a level of excellence in anything takes time, talent, and effort. It takes going the extra mile to excel in life. This is true in the culinary world just as much as it is in the world of fashion. To look your best—to don a beautifully constructed garment—can be a joyful experience. Recently, a friend blessed me with some designer clothing that she was purging—the items ranged from Prada to Zac Posen to Manolo Blahnik. (My friends and family know that I have a penchant for clothes.) The fabric of a well-made piece of clothing, its construction, and how it forms to the body—these are the characteristics that make it a work of art.

Jewelry Designer Mary Kay Samouce of Adorn by Samouce Styling Model Miranda Abney During Photo Shoot

Publishing a magazine is an art as well, and that is how we approach VIE—with a craftsman’s passion and a creative perspective. All the extra design tweaks, the photo shoots, the travel to locations that allow for the best backdrops to tell our stories, and the selection of topics that our readers want to read about takes a lot of effort. Each member of our team has passion and excitement for his or her craft. I’d like to praise VIE’s art director, Tracey Thomas, and managing editor, Jordan Staggs, for pouring their dedication and talent into this publication and for instilling those same values into their respective teams, making VIE stand taller with each new issue.

Cinderella Story When Designer Tieler James Helps Miranda Abney Put On Shoes
VIE's Founder Lisa Burwell and Editor Jordan Staggs Having Some Photo Shoot Fun

VIE Team photo shoot with South Walton Fashion Week model winners and Tieler James

To partake of life and to enjoy it with appreciation and gratitude is my goal. It’s fitting that in this issue we are able to showcase the young and gifted winners of South Walton Fashion Week (SWFW) 2015. Model winners Miranda Abney and Xinbang “Simba” Tang and emerging designer competition winner, Tieler James, make their magazine debuts in our feature fashion story, “Let Them Eat Cake.” They are talented beyond their years: at seventeen, Miranda has the grace and professionalism of a seasoned supermodel; at the ripe young age of fifteen, Tieler’s talent is evidenced by the flawless construction of his exquisite garments and his fresh interpretations of fashion; and Simba is a fresh new face and a gracious and elegant young man. VIE is proud to have been a media sponsor that awarded scholarship money to the winning models and provided the elaborate Marie Antoinette–inspired photo shoot, which took place in the magnificent New Orleans Auction Galleries. The historic loft-style warehouse, located in the heart of the Big Easy’s Lower Garden District, was recommended by Lori Eckert, who authored the feature story. We offer tremendous thanks to Lori, auction gallery owner Susan D. Sarofim, and the entire team at the gallery, along with our wonderful SWFW 2015 winners! We’re proud to know you all and wish continued success to each of you!

It is our great joy and privilege to create VIE, a labor of love dedicated to our readers and advertisers. Without you, it could not exist!

To Life! —Lisa Marie

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