Many questions came to the surface in these discussions; to which some of my recent rants are summarized as follows:
One customer wants more information on dressing the more mature, seasoned, older women.
My answer to that dilemma is that style is ageless. Fashion has certain age restrictions, style is timeless. Let me use an example:
Although I personally love Christina Aguilera’s voice and think of her as an enormous vocal talent, I dislike her style. I think her style is unique to her and her alone. It would be futile to attempt to emulate her look. Most of us would look ridiculous prancing around town in that sort of thing. Her fashion is very much age, body and attitude specific. She will have to evolve that style as she ages and changes.
If you find your own unique style it evolves with you as you grow and change and ultimately age. Personally, I favor classic product lines. One great thing about the Eileen Fisher product is that it offers styles and sizes for every woman. You can see the pre-fall collection this month and judge for yourself. The product is classic and timeless.
There are many ingenious ways to create your own style at any age, shape or size. Look in your armoire and discover the logical trends. What is inside that you love and what are your constant go-to pieces for dressing? What is it that you always seem to reach for? What trends emerge as you look at that inventory? One good question is “What do you want to be wearing in five years?”
You want your look to emerge and then evolve over time. I am happy to report that it is possible to have that style on a budget. Do not despair if you think everything needs an overhaul, there are cost effective methods to rebuild an entire wardrobe.
First rule of thumb is to choose signature colors. This will make buying pieces so much easier. Buy seasonless fabrics. Knowing your aesthetic will ease the process of what gets added season by season into your closet.
If I were going to try to describe my own aesthetic I would call it an eclectic, 21st century, romantic. I like feminine clean lines, I like to make them soulful style. I only purchase sensual fabrics that are organic or cottons, linens, cashmere, silks. I want them to constitute traditional pieces with elegant simplicity. Hardware for me is a must. I love to add fun and frivolous jewelry. Alexis Bittar jewelry designs www.alexisbittar.com is one of my great loves.
In terms of designers I love Eileen Fisher! I adore Norma Kamali, a designer who has had staying power for the last 40 years. When I think about who inspires me I say everything from Coco Chanel (whose 1926 little black dress concept is still alive and well in my closet today) to the early Lucille Ball fashion she portrayed during the late 40’s early 50s. In the 60s there was a great look worn by Laura Petre aka Mary Tyler Moore. Jackie Kennedy, need I say more. The key to this game is knowing what you love and what looks great on your body. Be unique.
Another interesting question that was posed to me last Thursday by a client was how to mix expensive brands and ordinary mass market items. We were discussing how to decorate her new home by blending expensive pieces with the likes of www.Ikea-usa.com or www.smithandhawken.com
This discussion also came into play on the sales floor on Saturday. I say mix and match. Target has some great brand designers who design lower end goods for mass introduction such as Loeffler Randall designing for Target, Gryson for Target & Converse One Star for Target. Picking up fun, low cost goods at Target and mixing them with higher end designer items is a great style option.
Buy a few high end investment pieces. Example: Rag and Bone jeans at www.Niemanmarcus.com or the jacket/topper called Janie by http://www.heidimerrick.com/collection/08/index.html $594.00 and pair them back to inexpensive goods.
When you travel anywhere bring back one great thing that can be a sentimental remembrance of the trip and a great addition to the armoire. If you are finding yourself in London go shopping once on Carnaby Street in Central London and pick up something great that you cannot get back here in the States.
A week after an earthquake devastated China's Sichuan province in what was a terrible tragedy many of us our shaking our heads wondering how we can make a difference. It pains me to even listen to the reports on NPR every morning. One organization mentioned in the reporting on the matter in Mayanmar http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ is also involved in assistance in China. What else can we do but support those out in the field.
Film of the week: Martin Scorsese directs Shine A Light/Rolling Stones documentary. http://www.shinealightmovie.com/
I now love Jack White. I must find a way to marry him.