Woman Wins Glamour Moment in Vogue

By Yawandale Birchett-Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Let's say you live in Gainesville and are flipping through this month's Vogue magazine. That might be your neighbor in one of the pictures.

Kristina Deignan, a Gainesville stay-at-home mom, was one of eight women nationally to win a contest to appear in an advertising-editorial section wearing a mix of clothes from their closets and Wal-Mart's fashion racks.

"This was a dream come true for me," said Deignan, 35. "My mom gave me my first Vogue magazine when I was 14, so Vogue is special to me."

Deignan's personal story won over the judges, said Vogue designer Jane Nesbitt Gale.

The Wal-Mart/Vogue contest called for real-looking women who shop at Wal-Mart and lead everyday lives.

"Kristina had a really nice story," Gale said. "She was a former Mrs. Virginia [2003], had a child and spoke to us about how in a day she goes from being a mom to playing softball. She's a multi-tasker, to say the least."

Deignan's trip to New York for the photo shoot came in February at a good time, two days after her divorce from her husband of 11 years was finalized. She got the full glamour treatment and took part in matching her accessories and clothing with those that would be used in her photograph.

"Key pieces are so important," Deignan said. "If I can buy a neutral shirt at Wal-Mart and pair it with a $200 jacket from Saks, then I'm happy."

Deignan, who describes her style as "very girly-girl," said she gives equal play to pieces from Marshalls, Bloomingdale's, Target, Saks Fifth Avenue and Wal-Mart. "Fashion is about what you make, not what's thrown down our throats every day," she said.

Deignan went to the shoot dressed in her Saks brown pencil skirt, Hype rhinestone and satin-bow crocodile heels, a pink Bloomingdale's suede jacket with chiffon ruffle edges and a shell to match.

The skirt and her Banana Republic bracelet were in; the suede jacket and shell were out. Vogue designers replaced them with a black halter top from Wal-Mart, as well as Manolo Blahnik shoes and a Prada bag to complete the look.

The shoot has inspired Deignan in what she calls her "new life as a single mom." She plans to move to Bowie and start an image consultant business.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company