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?
I discovered Maya Albanese through her work, watching her film on the website, PopSugar, about a day in the life of celebrity fashion stylist, Anita Patrickson. I enjoyed it so much that I shared it on TFIO. It did not take me long to see that there was much to admire about Maya – her talents and her passion for justice guide her in a most positive way. Maya is a multimedia reporter, producer, and film director, who covers music, social justice, sustainability, Latin America, and innovation in food, fashion, and technology. But there is something bigger, something that enables her to delve deeper into the world: her warm and inclusive heart. Here is Maya …
MKG: Tell me a bit about how/where you grew up?
MAYA: I always say “I grew up in the world”…I was born in Vermont, but I have lived in 4 states and 5 countries up until today.
MKG: Your passions are far-reaching. What do you consider the important issues that guide you?
MAYA: I wake up every morning concerned about how the world can be a better place for people, and that involves maintaining a healthy planet and environment. The connection between people and nature, and how we can resolve dissonance occurring between the two right now – that is just one of the issues that drives me.
MKG: What inspires you?
MAYA: Art. Film. Music. I’m inspired by anyone who speaks through his/her creative self, whether that’s painting walls or singing from the heart, or producing media that is outside-of-the-box, making people think in new and different ways. Continue reading
My 16-year old son’s eye test proved that he needed glasses for certain things, including driving – which he has just started to do. My own prescription needs to be updated and I know it will result in not only a new prescription but possibly new glasses, as well. Even though I now have vision insurance, I hesitate to see the doctor. Why? Because glasses cost so much money! Who hasn’t asked the question, ‘ why are glasses so expensive?’
That is just what four friends, four students at the Wharton School of Business, did. In their hangout at the Roosevelt Pub they asked the question ‘why?‘ Why, after one of them had lost his $700 pair of glasses and couldn’t afford to replace them. The year was 2008 and in that moment, in that pub, an idea was born: those business school buddies would find a price-effective alternative and change an industry with the creation of Warby Parker. Continue reading
“Amongst American retailers, discounting has become so common that it’s a challenge to walk past specialty stores like J.Crew and Gap, or traditional department stores like Macy’s or JCPenney, without seeing red sale signs.” ~ The Business of Fashion
Apparently, American retailers have jumped in too far with the constant discounting. And though it appears to be a win for the customer, it’s actually unhealthy for the retail industry itself, “shrinking profit margin and diminishing brand value, making the path back to growth more difficult,” says The Business of Fashion. It’s especially hard in the United States, where European stores like H&M and Zara are eating into its market share. In addition, the discounting model in Europe is much different from the United States. “It’s almost like a drug,” says Tiffany Hogan, a retail analyst for Kantar Retail. “We’re on this 40 percent off drug that we pulse every weekend or even more frequently. What happens when you take away your promotions? Your shopper just kind of melts away because you know that you’ve trained them to come back on that 40 percent off day.” Many retailers are opening outlet stores to get out of this vicious cycle and to create off-price stores without upsetting the old brand models.
But what does all of this mean for the future of the American retail market? Discounting in and of itself is not a bad thing, right? But the future model for Amercan retailers may have more to do with promoting loyalty programs and creating a unique shopping experience and promoting benefits for its customers – and away from the price slashing.
Chris Craymer, London-based photographer, who specializes in fashion, beauty, and portrait photography, decided to go beyond the photos and interview his subjects in his new book, From the Heart. The results were surprising and brought a new level of meaning to his relationships and a complete portrait of the individual. Among the people he interviewed was American model, Niki Taylor, with whom he had worked for several years, and who was a great source of inspiration to Craymer. In an excerpt from his book, Craymer describes the essence of Niki: “Niki is often thought of as the quintessential all-American girl—sweet, confident, open and energetic—but I am intrigued by her as a woman whose life has been full of huge career accomplishments and extreme personal challenges … I’m most moved by people who face huge struggles and persevere, through force of personality and will and strength.”
I had read about Niki’s life and tragedies, including the loss of her younger sister, and her debilitating car crash, and I am moved by her will to go ever-forward. I am intrigued to know more. This sounds like a book I want to read! I’m buying it!
The news of Prince’s passing last week brought images of him to the forefront of our minds. The Washington Post described this one-of-a-kind person and performer and his striking looks: “Prince was pretty — with his coiffed curls, magnificent afro, blow-outs and shag. He was not a performer who wore his clothes like armor. He didn’t hide behind them. Instead, no matter if he was slipping into a chiffon shirt, a fringed jacket or a purple metallic redingote, he was stripping himself bare. He expanded the language of menswear. It didn’t have to be stoic, he-mannish or boho. A man could be raunchy, beautiful and divine.” Prince took the color purple and owned it – he wore high heels often. He fearlessly wore elements considered the ultimate in femininity and turned them into maximum masculine sex appeal. Prince challenged the ideas of gender with attitude and bravado. His purple reign was epic and will live on …
“The passion for fashion comes from the Missoni women.” ~ Angela Missoni
It was the second time I had spent an evening at the 92nd Street Y in NY, in the audience of Fern Mallis’s Fashion Icon Series (the first conversation was an interview with Barney’s Creative Ambassador at Large, Simon Doonan). Last night, I witnessed a warm and wonderful conversation with the two powerhouse women behind the Italian brand, Missoni: matriarch Rosita, and her daughter, Angela. A fashion icon herself, Fern Mallis, knew what to ask of these remarkable women, in order to tell the true story of Missoni. Here is what I now know:
Rosita Missoni is now 84, born under the sign Scorpio. Rosita met Ottavio Missoni when she was just 16 years old (he was 27) in London; he was an Olympic athlete – track and field. Then, and now, Rosita Missoni follows the signs and is somewhat superstitious. When she saw Ottavia’s number (3-3-1) on his track uniform she knew it was a good sign – 7 was her lucky number. She fell in love with him at Picadilly Circus in London, under the Statue of Eros (cupid) and to this day she wears a cupid necklace around her neck. Rosita grew up reading fashion magazines and says she learned a lot about patterns and style from those magazines.
Angela Missoni is 57, the youngest child of Rosita and Ottavio, and the only girl. She was there for the very first Missoni fashion show in 1965 and has been to every fashion show since. She describes herself as late bloomer and a silent observer, and says that it took her a while to find her path. She always knew she wanted to be a mother at a young age, and had her three children: Margherita, Francesco, and Teresa, before she seriously contemplated joining the family business. Continue reading
Yesterday was Tuesday Shoesday! This wave of warm weather is enticing me to expose my toes and find that pair of sandals that I can wear well into the sumer. I love these; super-simple but chic, with a bit of a heel that isn’t too high. I will be pulling them out often. I encourage you to do the same! #FavoriteThings
Photo: Sophie MacMillan
“From the point where a designer comes up with the idea for a dress to the place where you see it on the red carpet is a huge journey, with so many steps.” ~ Celebrity stylist, Anita Patrickson
Here is a fun behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of Los Angeles celebrity stylist, Anita Patrickson, via Popsugar. “You’re creating a story for a snapshot moment,” says Patrickson, who herself, has her own story. Born on a farm in South Africa, the world of fashion styling was far from the one she knew. But she she grew up a stylist in the making, dreaming up outfits and fashion scenarios as a child. Patrickson eventually came to the United States via London. Not knowing anyone, she applied for a stylist assistant position in LA via Craig’s List – and the rest is history.
The first step of the journey to select the perfect outfit, begins with New York Fashion Week. That is where a celebrity stylist can review the designer collections, and make selections for her clients, before any one else even sets eyes on them. Patrickson views each celebrity body type individually, which is why she inspires such trust from her clients; celebrities like Hillary Duff, Chrissy Teigan, and Julianne Hough.
Once the celebrity decides on a look, alterations are done immediately to get the outfit “red carpet ready.” On that big day, the celebrity walks the red carpet, the cameras flash, the look is revealed, and that is it. Afterward, the outfit is never seen again on the red carpet.
I often wonder what it is really like to be a celebrity stylist. I see now that many elements go into creating that one glimpse on the red carpet. Oh, but what a glimpse it is!
Now midway through her weeklong royal tour of India and Bhutan, Princess Kate is setting the fashion forecast. So many of her dresses and outfits are beyond our budgets, but the latest look from the Duchess of Cambridge is affordable: spotted in Dehli wearing Glamorous’s Red Navy Border Print Lace Up Maxi Dress ($71). Completely wearable, this boho-chic look can be worn to a garden party, to the beach, or for afternoon strolling. The website says the dress is available now for preorder, with the selected delivery option for the 30th of April.
I wonder what it feels like to be Princess Kate – knowing that you are setting fashion trends the minute you step out your door. I wonder …
Yesterday’s New York Times Style Section posed an interesting question: is today’s bride choosing to wear pants instead of the classic bridal dress? The answer is – in some cases … yes. For women who simply don’t want to wear a dress or want to make a different statement on their day as a bride, designers are creating more bridal options, including pants. In the article, Edwina Ehrman, the Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, who was also curator of the exhibition, Wedding Dresses 1175-2014 for the museum, explained: “Wedding dresses, like every other garment in our wardrobes, reflect social and cultural change.”
Could it be a sign of the times? The need to be less restricted and conventional? Or could it be something more fundamental? Continue reading