Victoria Lopez Castro creates styles for women who want to look chic and elegant with a subtle punch of sexiness — and she’s been doing it for a long time. “I knew at a very young age that fashion was my calling,” she says. “I tried every facet of the industry until I decided that design was what I wanted to do.”
So it came that in 1992 she opened a store in Coral Gables while simultaneously showing her collections twice a year in New York. Today, she showcases her versatile evening wear and bridal collections from her haute couture salon at 2947 Coral Way. “I pride myself in producing a fresh, classical-modern approach to dressing that affords women a sense of style and individuality,” she says. “My driving force is timeless, elegant design that uses luxurious fabrics and a high standard of detail.”
It was from her Coral Way location that she dressed all the women for “The Most Beautiful People” cover story. How’d she do it? Easy. “Once the women tried on their favorite outfits, I gauged how the style, cut and color looked on each woman’s body,” she says. “Their personalities were also an important factor…you have to feel good wearing a piece because it inevitably reflects in your body language.”
The day-long shoot yielded three wardrobe changes, constant hair and makeup touch-ups and endless leg cramps, but in the end, Lopez Castro says she was thrilled with the results. “Watching the women pose was a pure pleasure,” she says. “They were all looking gorgeous dolled-up with their hair, their makeup, and, of course, their beautiful gowns!”
The good news is that you don’t have to be nominated to be one of Key Biscayne’s “Most Beautiful” to look your best. “Besides designing clothes for my clients, I help them learn how to wear each outfit, which is extremely important to complete a look,” she says. “Nothing satisfies me more than seeing my collections come to life on a delighted client.”
For a private appointment with Lopez Castro, call 305.447.9975.
Mani Sirvanti’s clients make it a point to visit his showroom regularly so they can sit by the bar area and sip an espresso, scotch or beer while they peruse his latest looks or create their own custom-made suits, jackets, pants and shirts. “We’ve created a comfortable environment that allows for conversations and friendships to blossom,” says Sirvanti. “I have guys I’ve been taking care of since I was a teenager.”
Sirvanti started working at an internationally renowned men’s store when he was 16, eventually traveling to Italy with the owner to launch a new location before opening his own store in 1992. “My eyes just couldn’t believe the beauty and craftsmanship that these family-owned clothing manufacturers had,” he says. “It’s been almost three decades since I caught the fashion bug and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
When dressing the men for the “Most Beautiful People” photoshoot, Sirvanti took much into consideration in order to make each look his best. “I took into account each man’s outward personality and their profession to arrive at the perfect look for each,” he says. “Their skin, eye color, hair and their build were also important factors.”
Sirvanti says that when he helps his clients choose whatever look they’re after — from casual wear to business wear and formal wear — he mixes classic looks with an unexpected twist.
“I like to add something that will cause a pleasant reaction at first glance,” he says. “I get men coming back telling me how they went out somewhere and people came up to them to complement their look. Most can’t believe how effortlessly it all comes together.”
In short, he says, he’s a combination of old-world tailor with a modern stylist’s sensibility, without following any other designer’s idea of what’s hot now.
If you want to increase your chances of being nominated for next year’s “Most Beautiful People” cover story, stop by Sirvanti’s flagship store at 5744 Sunset Dr. in South Miami or call 305.665.7353 to set up an appointment.
Patricia Martins (left): Fashion: Black silk taffeta gown with multi-pleated hem, $2,575. Milena Giraldo (top): Fashion: White silk crepe gown with black feather detail, $2,100. Jewelry: White gold chandeliers with diamond and pink topaz and matching rings. Violette Sproul (center): Fashion: Red silk chiffon gown with Swarovski crystal bands, $2,725. Jewelry: Extravagant diamond earrings in white gold. Marcia Martinez (right): Fashion: Black crepe gown with white satin stitched bands, $1,995. Jewelry: Color stones bracelet in white gold with matching purple ring and signature oval pendant. Fabienne Brochard (bottom): Fashion: Gold silk organza panel gown with feathered hem, $2,695. Jewelry: Lemon Citrine pendant and ring with diamonds in 18 kt. white gold. All fashion available at Victoria Lopez Castro, 2947 Coral Way; 305.447.9975. All jewelry by Patricia Martins Jewelry Design; Available at Place Vendome, 328 Crandon Blvd., Ste. 116, Key Biscayne; 305.725.6297.
Fabienne Brochard is at once exotic and beautiful. The owner and founder of Surmesur in Key Biscayne, this French transplant has made the island her home, to the benefit of all those who see her around town. “Beauty is subjective, relative and cultural,” she says, continuing the thought with a quote from one of French writer Voltaire’s most famous metaphors. “Ask a toad what beauty is, the supreme beauty, and he will answer you that it is his lady toad — beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Black jersey Bombay gown, $2,295; Available at Victoria Lopez Castro, 2947 Coral Way; 305.447.9975. Platinum pendant and ring with rare aquamarine stones and diamonds by Patricia Martins Jewelry Design; Available at Place Vendome, 328 Crandon Blvd., Ste. 116, Key Biscayne; 305.725.6297.
For most of her life, Patricia Martins has been decked out in jewelry, exuding a sense of modern celebrity that turns heads. But what many don’t realize is that the signature jewelry that has made her stand out for the past few years are all made by the creative genius that hides behind her flowing locks and winning smile. “Designing jewelry is my passion and pastime,” she says. “There’s nothing that fulfills me more than making a piece that will take someone’s natural beauty to the next level.” Raspberry-fuchsia chiffon ruffle gown, $2,595; Available at Victoria Lopez Castro, 2947 Coral Way; 305.447.9975. 18 kt. gold necklace with black South Sea pearls and ruby beds; Black South Sea ring with diamonds and white gold; and black South Sea earrings; All jewelry by Patricia Martins Jewelry Design; Available at Place Vendome, 328 Crandon Blvd., Ste. 116, Key Biscayne; 305.725.6297.
Many consider Milena Giraldo to be the epitome of physical perfection. As the owner of Crepe Lounge in Key Biscayne, her aesthetic savvy is apparent in every detail of her business. But this Latin Barbie doll’s perception of beauty is not as far-fetched as you might imagine. “For me beauty is the essence of one’s soul,” she says. “I’m a very spiritual, giving and hard-working person who strives each day to be the best mother, wife, daughter and sister I can. Most importantly, I have God in my heart at all times to keep me going no matter what obstacles may come my way.” Black silk crepe halter gown, $2,100; Available at Victoria Lopez Castro, 2947 Coral Way; 305.447.9975. Handcrafted white gold long earrings with nectar and onyx flowers with South Sea pearls by Patricia Martins Jewelry Design; Available at Place Vendome, 328 Crandon Blvd., Ste. 116, Key Biscayne; 305.725.6297.
Heart of Gold
One glimpse into Marcia Martinez’s soul through her big green eyes is enough to make anyone a better person. Growing up in Key Biscayne, she gives back to the community that molded her through organizations such as Fashionably Conscious, a fundraiser that collects and sells vintage couture and luxe labels from the coveted closets of South Florida socialites to benefit children’s programming at the Coconut Grove Cares Barnyard Community Center. “The joy of beauty is not in its definition or composition, but in its effects,” she says. “It ignites a deep sense of appreciation, connects us to whatever we are recognizing, and inspires us to be greater.” Turquoise chiffon Grecian wrap gown, $2,395; Available at Victoria Lopez Castro, 2947 Coral Way; 305.447.9975. Exquisite 18 kt. white gold full moon pendant with diamonds by Patricia Martins Jewelry Design; Available at Place Vendome, 328 Crandon Blvd., Ste. 116, Key Biscayne; 305.725.6297.
If you want to meet the who’s who of South Florida’s power players, Violette Sproul is the woman who can make almost any introduction happen. Modestly accepting her nomination as one of Key Biscayne’s most beautiful women, Sproul kept it a secret from her husband, Steve Sproul (who was nominated on the men’s side), up until the very last minute. “I knew he’d be completely surprised,” she says. “Surprises after so many years of marriage are few and far between, so this was the perfect opportunity to let him know I still have some tricks up my sleeve.” Black-and-white silk kimono gown with trapunto waist, $1,550; Available at Victoria Lopez Castro, 2947 Coral Way; 305.447.9975. Majestic platinum diamonds earrings by Patricia Martins Jewelry Design; Available at Place Vendome, 328 Crandon Blvd., Ste. 116, Key Biscayne; 305.725.6297.
Dr. Juan Remos (left): Tan gabardine wool suit, $795; Light-blue Egyptian cotton shirt, $145; Purple/tan/blue silk tie, $95. Antonio Viejo (top): Blue striped satin shirt with collar and cuff trimmings, $350; Charcoal-grey flat-front Super 150’s pants, $195. Steve Sproul (center): Single-breasted peak lapel blue striped Super 150’s suit, $975; Sea Island cotton dress shirt, $145; Blue silk paisley necktie, $95. Fred Joch (right): Beige/mint windowpane Super 130’s wool suit, $795; Sage Irish-linen shirt, $155; Mint linen pocket-square, $25. Cristian Gonzalez-Black (bottom): Black silk and linen soft-shoulder sportcoat with patch pockets and side vents, $475; Cream silk and linen flat-front pants, $185; Mint Irish-linen long-sleeve shirt, $145. All available at Mani Sirvanti, 5744 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305.665.7353.
As a wellness and prevention pioneer in Miami and an active member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Dr. Juan Remos of The Miami Institute for Age Management & Intervention is no stranger to the rules of attraction — at any age. So what’s the one beauty secret he lives and works by? “True beauty has all to do with how beautiful you feel you are.” Blue-and-red striped spread-collar shirt with military epaulettes, $195. Available at Mani Sirvanti, 5744 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305.665.7353.
You can see Fred Joch at almost every party in and around Key Biscayne, and as such, his face has become a brand of sorts not only around town, but throughout the world. But don’t think this Frenchman’s popularity has gone to his head — he’ll make sure to tell you how he really feels in three languages. “I don’t make any money from all of these appearances, but I sure enjoy myself!” And with that, he’s off to RSVP to another event. Cream silk and cotton soft sportcoat, $475; Orange Irish-linen shirt, $145; Wheat flat-front linen pants, $185. All available at Mani Sirvanti, 5744 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305.665.7353.
Steve Sproul is considered by many to be the Superman of Key Biscayne. Even his initials evoke images of that iconic “S” that Clark Kent so cleverly hides under his clothes. So how does he feel about his superhero status? “I’m told that I look like a lot of different people all the time but to be called Superman, that’s an honor,” he laughs. “But which Superman do I look like?” Blue silk and cotton sportcoat, $475; Blue-and-white striped shirt with contrasting while collar, $155; White flat-front linen pants, $175; All available at Mani Sirvanti, 5744 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305.665.7353.
As the owner of Andu Restaurant & Lounge in the Brickell Corridor, Ocean Club resident Antonio Viejo barely has time to get ready in the morning because of his busy schedule — but rest assured, it hasn’t affected his luck with the ladies. “My girlfriend says she loves me regardless of if my hair’s all messed up or if my clothes are a little wrinkled,” he says. “I love her for that.” White-and-black satin shirt with collar and cuff trimming, $350. Black Super 150’s wool pants, $195. Both available at Mani Sirvanti, 5744 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305.665.7353.
With his boyish good looks, winning smile and natural confidence, Cristian Gonzalez-Black sells homes on Key Biscayne that are as attractive as he is. From waterfront condos to sprawling mansions, he has a home for every taste — and family. So is he on the market? “No way,” he says. “My wife snatched me up years ago and I’ve been hers every since!” Sorry, ladies. White collar and white cuff floral-print red shirt with satin trimming, $195; Black Japanese denim jeans, $175. Both available at Mani Sirvanti, 5744 Sunset Dr., South Miami; 305.665.7353.