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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Love My Job (Still)

The Grammy's! Every stylist dreams of the moment their work will show up on a red carpet, on a runway or as a Do in any publication. And I get that chance. Again. Yay me! How much fun is this?

You have no idea how much fun it is to style someone for a red carpet event, while retaining their identity in what you dress them in. And there's a wide range of styling opportunities out there, but you have to understand the medium, for lack of a better term. If you're styling hip hop or rap, that's a whole different look than folk, rock or country. Thankfully I get that kind of request from my diverse group of clients every day, so I am well prepared for this.

What are the elements of a stunning Grammy look, you ask? First you start with the jewelry...no, just kidding. As with any other client, I sit down with them to see how their fashion has evolved, what emotion they may be looking to evoke in their outfit (outright glam, toned down class, risky and edgy - you see where I'm going with this) and the most important thing, whether they are willing to sacrifice personal comfort for the best look EVER. You think I'm kidding. How many uncomfortable skirts, pants, shirts, dresses, girdles, or whatever have you squeezed into so you can look spectacular for one of the most important events in your life? Well, part of my job is to make sure you are as comfortable as possible, wearing a look you love, is appropriate for the occasion and that you feel like a million dollars in.

It's often easiest to start with a piece you love and work from there. If you have a color or fabric you love, we'll work with it. In the everyday wardrobe, that frequently boils down to one piece. It may be a piece with a collarless lapel that you love, and you start from there and work the look from there.

Things to think about are what accessories are you planning on wearing? Less important for guys maybe, but with shoes, are you going with mile high heels or ballerina flats? If your look is more eclectic, can you wear anything with your starter piece? These are the things that occasionally cause me sleepless nights. I do think about these things for my clients, whether you are being photographed on the red carpet or you're hanging out with your kids at the park.

End of the day - you still have to love what you do and love what you are wearing.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beauty is Definitely Within

I am regularly asked to speak to groups, mostly women, about fashion. I while ago, I was asked to participate on a beauty panel with the Chabad of Cary Women's Fellowship Circle. The event was Tuesday evening, and while my experience is fresh on my mind, I thought I would share.

The Cary Chabad is a Jewish learning center that offers all sorts of programs and support for Jewish families in the area. Chana Cotlar and her Rabbinical husband moved here three and a half years ago to start the program. Chana is probably one of the sweetest, most considerate and endearing young women that I have met in a long time. She outwardly expresses her love and zest for life. For those around her, they reap the benefit quickly, as I did the other night.
Despite having a cold and being on cold medicine, I was determined to offer the best of what Wardrobe Consulting was all about. First Helena Herman, Raleigh's orthodox Rabbi's wife spoke on what beauty means for women. Helena is a life coach, and certainly left us all thinking about ourselves from the inside out. Next, the thirty plus women attendees had an opportunity to meet with the each of the four beauty panelists. The other panelists were women that discussed hair and make-up. I greeted and spoke with over ten women (yes, I ran out of time). I marveled at how we, as women, have the same body image and dressing concerns regardless of age, religion or ethnicity. Woman after woman and I talked about embracing parts of our bodies we aren't thrilled with, and redirecting the eye away from those parts of our bodies with certain styles of clothing, color and accessorizing. No surprise to most, my biggest discussion is always about dressing for your lifestyle and how to build that lifestyle wardrobe.

On the way home, I reflected on how much I enjoyed connecting one on one while engaging with women who obviously were passionate about their religious involvement as well as their own inner beauty. I have to say one of my biggest giggles of the night was one of the women asked if I worked with men, and of course I said yes! They were shocked enough to ask what that was like and why the men might need help. I acknowledged that men generally don't have the same body image issues or certainly admit it, but have other agendas when it comes to dress. I reflected on my recent drawer/closet clean out I did for my adult son last weekend. I actually don't think he has thrown anything out since he left for college! It got me thinking...

It really was a wonderful evening and if you are the least bit curious, as I certainly was, about the Chabad of Cary check out their website!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pink - the Color, Not the Singer

It's getting into playoff season for the NFL, which is a big deal for some and not so much for others. I've noticed a lot recently, meaning in the last year or so, that professional teams who have worked very hard to establish their brand identity using colors, like football, basketball and baseball teams, are selling a lot of pink jerseys. Not just for breast cancer awareness, either. I have to wonder...

There are a lot of beliefs associated with the color pink, and none of them have anything to do with a gritty, hard-working, rough and tumble sport. Pink is traditionally associated with femininity, and while I'm a big fan of supporting your team and breast cancer awareness, I just can't help but wonder about taking a brand and making it pink. You know the guys on the team aren't wearing it!

Does every pink jersey purchase donate money to breast cancer research? Or is it a marketing ploy to get women to purchase jerseys? Would you buy a pink jersey? If you're a diehard Bama fan, are you more likely to purchase a jersey in the school colors, immediately identifiable in the crowd, or a pink jersey with only the distinctive Bama A to identify who you are supporting?

There are some writers, like Joshua Hayes, who understand that pink appeals to women, but believe that wearing pink jerseys is an unseemly color for any athlete, and doesn't really equate with the reputation of the athlete. Along with Joshua, I have to wonder what a pink and pink camo jerseys do for team images. Sports has never been about stealth, which is what camo was designed for, and making a pink camo jersey just seems beyond the pale.

I'm not against pink, just so you know. Pink fits nicely into a lot of closets, including a man's closet. And it's a complementary color for a variety of skin tones and color palettes. I am serious, though - any thoughts on pink? Pink sports jerseys? Anyone? Buehler?

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