I remember the first time I came to Europe in 1983. I was a fairly unsophisticated young lady from Miami, in Paris for 2 weeks. Un-chaperoned, didn't speak a word of French, didn't know a soul, probably hadn't eaten a meal alone at a restaurant in my life. Green, I was green. But I was excited and ready for adventure, and I sure had one. Better not share all the details here. Today, I am married and live between London and New York and have the great opportunity of visiting the capitals of Europe on a regular basis. A lot has changed since I first came. Global village comes to mind :-)
When I first visited Paris, the US was 6 months behind in fashion trends (no internet friends, no Style.com). You weren't in style unless you were rich and could make it over to shop. The exchange rate was pretty amazing then - 7 Francs to the dollar (this was before the Euro). But still...
I was concerned this go around, many years later, that the global village would have destroyed the beauty of the individual cultures. Sure there are chain stores everywhere - food and fashion, but the heart of each nation remains. I picked up some gorgeous coffee cups in Copenhagen (I'm a big fan of Danish design), had delicious potato dumplings (along with a native red wine) in the Czech Republic and Vienna is a great spot for coffee and chocolate – not to mention that the people there are warm, even when you don't speak the language.
Loving this new European adventure. You should come over!!
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This week we've put together a short list of the most influential and entertaining blogs that we like to visit on a regular basis. Just click on one of the blogs below to be taken directly to their site. Enjoy!
There was a song with a catchy little phrase about "short shorts" written in the 50's or 60's and used for a commercial at some point that could have been written about my office this summer. With a staff that literally includes a bevy of beauties (plus an army of interns) what's a biz owner to do when EVERYONE shows up in very short shorts? I had a little pow wow and explained that yes it was 100 degrees outside, but still this IS a business. We DO have clients coming in for meetings and NO I don't want to project the wrong image, because we ARE a strategic public relations firm and we take ourselves seriously. I'm just hoping others do too. Honestly. But after my pow wow the shorts just kept on coming. And if it wasn't the shorts then it was the show of short dresses, of which I am a culprit. When asked if the dress my associate was wearing was Philip Lim I was told, no it's Haute Hippie. Of course it is! Anyway, it is what it is. These ladies are going to do what they want when it comes to dressing, just so long as they get their work done and keep the clients happy, who cares if they look a little too cute for their own good? So short shorts, bring 'em on. It's summer, after all!
Well, that depends, doesn't it? The green wave is in full force and its popularity is creating a volume game. That's where it's at - volume. If you want to make a change you can start small, the grass roots level is excellent, but you have to grow. Because to change things you need mass volume. So, do I care if my clothes are eco-friendly, yes! But am I going to go out of my way to only purchase eco-friendly clothing? Probably not, unfortunately.
One of the BIGGEST perpetrators of our potential environmental demise is the cotton crop - it saps water from the world in remarkable amounts. And we all know, or should know, how scarce water is becoming. At least the kind you can safely drink.
To make a difference we would ALL have to start ONLY buying eco-friendly clothes. The demand in volume would be a game changer. First place to start, in my opinion, is with cotton items. If we only purchased items that came from sustainable farms AND factories that would create a massive shift. But that's not so easy to do. Chicken or the egg, wait for the good stuff to become readily available? Or, demand it now and forfeit ease in the process. I know what my heart says. I wish I could always follow my heart.
So, I guess our favorite lady of fashion, Anna Wintour, and our runway critic extraordinaire, Michael Kors, are making news these days debating, or maybe agreeing, (can't keep it straight) on whether or not 16 years of age is an appropriate cut off time for runway models. First of all, is it ever a good age to be a model? Maybe that's the real question. Tough life, ultimately, bad on the ego, generally. But that's another story...
16, what was I doing when I was 16? What wasn't I doing when I was 16 is more the question. Honestly it being the 80's in Miami and me being your normal teenager, I'm sure I was doing more than I should have been doing.
Which gets to the point (at least sort of) here. 16 is actually both very young and quite mature in today's society. With access to just about everything thanks to the internet and a general sophistication in terms in what these kids know and are often exposed to (think proliferation of media and relaxed "standards") 16 really is like going on 40, not to mention 13, 14 or 15.
If you're under 16 and your parent consents to your involvement in a runway show have at it. BUT PARENTS BEWARE you may be setting your young one up for a future of insecurity, bad body issues, etc. Oh gosh, was I a runway model and didn't know it? Lol...
Best age yet? 47!
December 8th marks the auction of a Hollywood icon’s personal effects to benefit charity: Audrey Hepburn. What a lady. She started her career as a ballerina and ended it doing good, charitable work for the world. Of all the actresses in Hollywood she has to be one of the top inspirations for fashion designers. She had a model figure after all and had that lost, faraway look in her eyes. She could wear clothes like a hanger, in a good way. And she was always obliging, especially for her favorite designer Hubert de Givenchy, from his gorgeous dresses to his fabulous hats. Her measurements? 32-22-34 (gosh!) Someone has suggested an upscale department store do a line of apparel inspired by her. I think the only one that could do it and do it right would be Bergdorf Goodman, but don’t quote me. Audrey always said her look was attainable and I suppose it was. Simple black dress, dungarees with a crisp white button down—this was the epitome of her style. Definitely attainable, though without her remarkable figure the look may not translate. 50 percent of the proceeds of the sale will benefit UNICEF, her charity of choice. Perhaps the most intriguing items to be posted for auction are a collection of her personal letters. Sigh, wish I could bid…
So InStyle Magazine is opting for a 3-D approach to make the magazine more, hmmm... I don’t know, more accessible? More high touch, more “out of this world?” There is a lot of research right now that suggests that showing clothing in video can really help sell fashion. Maybe they are going the 3-D route to make what they’re doing even more real...
Anyway, I remember when the magazine launched. It was a wonder in the industry because it could SELL your clothes. It not only showcased fashion in a great, “easy to connect with“ way it featured CELEBRITIES! And we know how INFATUATED America is (and the world, for that matter) with FAMOUS PEOPLE. It just did it right. There was even talk in the industry that the magazine wasn’t a consumer pub, it was a TRADE pub because it could SELL clothes. If your brand was included in its editorial pages you were sure to sell. Just like being one of Oprah’s very favorite things.
So, 3-D. Hey look, publishing is in a bit of a pickle, and it remains to be seen who is going to make it. Historically, some of the biggest, brightest brands have gone away because there was a sea change. It happens, it’s part of life. InStyle, I’m voting “yes” for your future! I think you’ve got what it takes to make it, 3-D or no 3-D. LOL!
I remember when I first starting looking at Vogue in the 1970’s. I was in junior high school, living in Miami (which was super sleepy, almost a hick town, honestly) and living on my mother’s seamstress salary. Obviously, I wasn’t shopping for anything in Vogue, but I was dreaming. And here’s the thing, it wasn’t all about the clothes. The 70’s was a pretty dismal time economically, gas lines, etc. Vogue was an escape, especially for a young girl who had a desire to “get to the big city.” And that big city would be New York, of course. Oh, and throw Paris in while you’re at it. There were plenty of sexy, cool images (think Helmut Newton) and there were exotic locations and SUPER skinny models and everyone seemed to be dating a glam rocker (like Bryan Ferry). It was cool, and far away and UNDERGROUND. Because there was an underground then. Word of mouth was it, back then. If you weren’t connected you were out.
True, we often look back on our life and think it was better back then... Everyone does it, and ultimately it was never much better and often it was worse. But if I was a fashion magazine I’d work toward making things a bit more surreal, a lot more out of reach and as underground as possible. This concept may fly in the face of current thinking — we are all citizen reporters, aren’t we? Everything is accessible, right? BUT, that’s what made those books interesting in the bad old days. Or, I guess fashion can just accept that their bibles are on the way out. I sure do hope not, ‘cause there are still a lot of dreamers out there. Little girls, and big girls.
Whenever my roommate has a date, work event, family holiday, trip to the grocery store, she declares: “I need a new outfit.” I, on the other hand, declare that I need new shoes. We all have our thing (or in my case things…lippies and shoes). If you relate to this, click as fast as you can to Endless.com. EVERYTHING is here from Dolce & Gabbana to Dolce Vita. Free overnight shipping and the best prices around. Trust, I’ve looked.
We ladies always try to present a veneer of perfection. Women don’t sweat, grow hair in any other place beside their eyebrows and top of their head, and certainly don’t pass flatulence. Ahem. Just like we don’t pit out our white shirts. Riiiiight. Well, instead of resupplying at Theory this year, I was pleasantly surprised to find adequately classic, tailored white button downs, henleys and t-shirts at Old Navy. I loaded up and didn’t break the $50 mark. For clothing I replace seasonally, the price is right, Bob Barker.