My name is Melissa Kaplan Guarino. Welcome to Turning Fashion Inside Out! I believe there is a connection between fashion and self-esteem and I am interested in understanding that relationship. Tell me … What is your story?
When I first met and interviewed Lauren Singer, the creative force behind the Zero Waste movement Trash is for Tossers, I knew she was dedicated and committed. I knew she was enterprising. And I knew that Lauren was only 23 years old. What I didn’t know was the depth of her passion: on Monday, October 27, Lauren will launch her own clean-home products line, called The Simply Co. I knew that I had to get into her head and find out what makes this young phenom tick! That’s why I spent the best morning with my new friend, Lauren Singer, as we hung out and shopped at her favorite vintage shop in New York City, Beacon’s Closet. It was a wonderful reminder that we are all connected, no matter our age, no matter where we live, or where we are in our lives …
MKG: Lauren, you are only 23 years old! How did you discover such a deep-rooted passion for Zero Waste living? Was there a life-changing moment for you?
Lauren: I am a really sensitive person and I always have been; I am highly aware and my emotions hit me intensely. With all of the different experiences in my life, I am constantly learning and as I do, everything affects me deeply. I can’t not keep growing, and once I learn something, I can’t undo it. I have to keep moving forward.
MKG: I love when you say, “you can have strong ethics, live a sustainable life, be Zero Waste, and not sacrifice style. One of my favorite things ever is that when people meet me, they expect me to LOOK like I lived in the woods for 23 years!” That is brilliant, Lauren! How do you marry Zero Waste with style, and living in NYC?
Lauren: I am me first; Zero Waste second. I have always loved fashion and being stylish. Continue reading
I bought it. I kept it. And then I returned it. It’s a fashion story that must be told: what happens when you buy something that you really like … a lot … but in your heart you know you shouldn’t keep? You let it go and send it back, and make room for better. Why?Because you’re worth it. Because you know that almost-good-enough isn’t good enough for you. I have bought clothing on impulse, because I needed a pick-me-up, when I didn’t think it through, and when I had a little cash in my hands. I have bought clothing for all of those reasons. But the best and really the only reason to buy clothing, is because it brings out the best in you and helps you feel like the most brilliant version of yourself. Today I interviewed Lauren (who will be featured on TFIO this Friday), who told me that she would rather wear the same thing over and over, if it is the right thing. Alright, Lauren! We don’t need to have so much mediocre in our closets. We just don’t.
And although my mistakes come fewer and farther between, I still make them. Until I won’t. And that will be a great day for me. Because almost-good-enough is not good enough for me. Or you.
It’s always best to follow your style. I like a simple, classic style. I guess because I am on the petite side, clothing that is full of detail or too trendy never works for me. If I don’t keep it simple, I feel like the clothes are wearing me. And that’s never good. What I like to do is focus on a good fit and color. And when Rivka said that we should refrain from wearing too much black, she was speaking to me. So this yellow, pea coat-style jacket is a classic, and pairs well with other favorites: jeans and a striped tee.
Jacket: Ralph Lauren Polo
Photos by Sophie MacMillan
“What I do is not about clothes.” ~ Rivka
Rivka Grubb has been blessed with really good eyes; eyes that see things that help women feel and be their best selves. Not simply a fashion stylist or a fashion consultant, Rivka is more like the vehicle that strips away the black coal, to reveal the “diamond” that is the woman underneath. Rivka told me that it all began when she was a young child growing up in Israel with a doll make-over! Here is Rivka …
“I was born in Israel and grew up there, until I moved to The United States when I was 13. My father was a furrier; my mother was a Paris-trained dress-maker and designer. They both worked from home. My father worked with fur pelts and my mother worked with people who had the money for custom dresses; she designed dresses for these women. From the time I could crawl around the floor, I was surrounded by pieces of fur, silk, brocade, ribbons, and buttons. As a young child, I had a doll. Not a fancy Barbie Doll, but a plain, Ruth Doll. With Ruth, I began to play with the fabrics in my house: I gave her a fur stole, a new dress, and accessories. My mother says that when I was four years old, and I brought her the new version of Ruth, I looked at her and asked, ‘Doesn’t this look better?’ And I have been doing this ever since! I guess you could say that it is in my DNA. It’s in me. I have both the knowledge and the God-given talent to see things and know how to translate them for others …
What women need to know is that they are attractive just as they are. They have more inner beauty than they realize and it is possible to go from good to better, to shine through beyond. When I work with a woman for the first time, I ask her to look in the mirror and start with what she likes about herself. Women are so disapproving of themselves and it is essential to identify with the good things, first. Only then, can she accomplish a higher level of confidence … Continue reading
My skull sweater! I couldn’t be happier that it’s October, and I am pulling out my skull sweater! I love my skulls, and although I wear this sweater the entire fall and winter, nothing feels better than wearing it this month. Today, I pair the sweater with black pants, and my first-ever Manolo Blahnik’s that I purchased … where else? At my favorite consignment boutique; on sale, no less. It was a good day. Are you pleased with me, Carrie Bradshaw?
Do you have a favorite October item to get you in the mood for Halloween? Do tell …
Here is news to celebrate: Nicole, founder and creator of the website, Body Boop, got married last month! I met Nicole last June, when I featured her on TFIO, sharing her message to love and accept ourselves just as we are. Nicole, who struggled for years with anorexia and bulimia, has been building back her life with courage and conviction. I later followed Nicole as she shopped for a wedding dress and dealt with the body issues that came with that process. And now, I am thrilled to share that Nicole is happily married! I am so impressed by Nicole’s ability to not only tell her story, but also to help so many others who may be struggling at this very moment in time. What a difference Nicole is making, and I can’t wait to see how far she goes!!
Here, in her own words, Nicole talks about being a bride:
“So, no, I was not the skinniest bride. There are those out there who might think, oh, she could have lost a few lbs. for something like this. And they can say that. I have to keep reminding myself, even as I’m looking through the photos that are coming in, that I am so incredibly happy in my life right now and that I felt the most beautiful I have ever felt on that day. I can criticize my stomach or my arms or my double chin in those photos all day long, but that day was magic and I felt gorgeous. It will be a mission of mine to keep that feeling with me at all times.” ~ Nicole
Sophie and I just met, and I am lucky that she will be shooting the images for my blog. Sophie is a gifted photographer, a high school senior, and a blogger. And she and I share a passion for fashion, self expression, and red lipstick! Sophie shared with me her dreams for the future, why she became inspired to express herself the minute she started high school, and why red is her new favorite color …
MKG: Were you always interested in fashion and photography?
Sophie: Ever since middle school I have loved the idea of being able to dress anyway I liked. I watched my older sister get ready for high school every morning, envious of her creativity and individuality, as she put an outfit together. When I started high school, I instantly fell in love with creating an outfit, and for the first time I enjoyed going to school, because I felt good in my skin, because I had discovered my personal style. It was then that I realized how much I loved fashion and that I wanted to be involved in the industry in some way. During my sophomore year I took my first photography class, and fell in love with creating pictures and watching film slowly develop.
MKG: What inspired you to start, The Adventures of S? What is your intention for the blog and how long have you been blogging?
Sophie: I started my blog, The Adventures of S, in 2013, because I felt that I had something unique and inspirational to offer. Through my blog I want to show that you can dress however you like as long as you are always happy with what you do. I also stress the idea that ‘Confidence is Key,‘ with weekly inspirational posts, illustrating that when you are confident anything is possible. Continue reading
Earlier this week, I was witness to a beautiful transformation of my mother, Claire, by simply adding a few key makeup essentials. In this week’s podcast, The Magic of Makeup, I talk about that magical moment with the gorgeous Claire, and my go-to makeup of choice, Bobbi Brown!
I know that the Crossbody bag is ‘the new essential‘ accessory. It was a major look for spring and now, fall, but I will never crossbody. I have tried, but I just can’t. At 5′ 4.5,” I seem to be too short to carry it off successfully. Even with the introduction of smaller, more feminine styles and details, wearing a handbag across my body feels awkward, and the bag always seems too long for me. And you can’t wear a crossbody when the weather really cools, because it just doesn’t work over a coat – too bulky and impractical. There are certain wardrobe essentials that I have tried to like (trench coats are another one), but just can’t make them work.
No, I will never crossbody. I’m not buying it!
On the East Coast, this is the first day that really feels like fall. The snap of the wind has brought cooler temperatures, and everywhere I go I see the orange of pumpkins and smell the pumpkin spice. My orange sweater and I (a vintage Dolce & Gabbana) found ourselves at a local farm today, picking pumpkins and taking in the orange landscape.