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?
Announced last week that Victoria Beckham will be the latest designer-collaborator with Target (scheduled to be released April 9th), I am left with the question … do I have it in me one more time to shop the frenzy? Yes, is my answer – if the designer is Victoria Beckham. I would love to have the chance to own one of her beautifully-fit classic prints. And thanks to these collabs, I may just have my chance.
The opportunity for inclusivity was essential to Beckham. In an exclusive interview with the Business of Fashion, Beckham says, “I can reach so many more women through working with Target. It’s not just because of the price point but because of how many stores that they have, located all around America. These are women that I haven’t been able to reach out to in the past, and I always say that I want to empower women and make women look like the best versions of themselves. That shouldn’t be only people who can afford to spend a certain amount of money.”
Shouldn’t be, indeed! But so often is, and that explains the success of these collaborations and the draw for me. Victoria Beckham for Target will be available April 9 through April 30, 2017, or while supplies last, at all Target stores and online at Target.com. Princes will range in price from $6-$70, with most items under $40, and will be offered in sizes XS-3X for women and with the introduction of a baby and children line, NB-XL.
With the limited timeframe and the popularity of Beckham it will be a challenge for me and for others. But the collection, which promises to be fun and playful, similar in essence to the Victoria, Victoria Beckham, VVB line, arriving in time for spring – is definitely alluring. I’m buying it!
The stars aligned for me as Indian Summer returned on this fall day – just in time for me to choose an outfit for my meeting. I was pleased to have the chance to wear my white suit. And yes, I did say white! It is always okay to wear white – no matter the time of year.
Today I led a business meeting. I was prepared, but I was also nervous, for sure. This was the moment to peruse my closet for an outfit that was strong and solid and could give me the boost I needed. I found it in my tried-and-true white pantsuit. Every time I wear it I feel good. There is nothing like a pantsuit to work its wonders. Continue reading
I In 2018 Delta Airlines will rollout new uniforms designed by Zac Posen – with the striking colors – plum, thistle and cardinal – that will bring back some of the glamour of days gone by. Posen said he wanted to do it for a variety of reasons, and was inspired by his love of travel and his belief in the power of a good uniform. The company and its employees wanted a change and Posen was the one to provide it: “These are people who have multiple tasks to do in their jobs. It takes great mental and physical concentration to do those tasks, and to be poised at the same time.” Says Posen, “How you dress helps heighten your performance.”
Delta Airlines’ very first uniforms were designed by Paramount Picture’s chief designer and Academy Award winner, Edith Head, in 1959. Later, in 2006, Richard Tyler designed the current styles, which Posen will replace. Posen heard feedback from 20,000 employees and designed with durability in mind. Not to mention style. Of their feedback that the old uniforms were too frumpy, Posen worked to make the lines of the new ones elegant and modern: “Making all bodies look beautiful is really key,” he said.
To look at Jess and me is to see two very different people. Jess is a 16 year-old high school junior with an edgy look of youth and fearlessness. I am a 56 year-old woman in the middle of my life, with a less-than-edgy look but a strong desire to push boundaries. The thought that the two of us can connect on any level is questionable. But then it happens. We start to speak. Jess tells me how fashion has changed her life and given her confidence and courage. And Jess tells me about her ritual of selecting her clothes for the next day the evening before. And then I knew that we have a lot more that connects us. I knew that we are not bound by our ages or our appearance or life experience. I knew that we are, in fact, soul sisters. Because like Jess my clothes are my salvation and the most important way I express myself. And because I also pick out my clothes the night before. I asked Jess about her story of expression and evolution …
“I never thought very much about fashion until the 7th grade. That was the year that I started to window shop with my best friend and she and I began to play with clothes, and have fun dressing up. That gave us both a feeling of confidence. Freshman year of high school was tough for me – I was very shy and didn’t have many friends. But something happened in my sophomore year that changed my life. I started taking a fashion class at FIT in New York; this class made me think that fashion can change what you think about yourself. The teacher talked about the importance of clothing and self expression and I began to believe it. I started to dress up and experiment with my style. I began to dress for school and to get compliments about my choices. It was such a nice feeling … Continue reading
There were numerous, “I have to have that!” fashion moments watching Sex and the City; sometimes it was Miranda or Charlotte or Samantha, but mostly it was Carrie moments. She was over-the-top, yes, but I related to her fashion-forward style. Her pieces, especially her accessories, were unique and expressive – they identified her persona and character. Certain moments come to mind, especially those of Carrie wearing a series of flower pins. I had my own Carrie Bradshaw moment today when I added a vintage Dolce & Gabbana flower pin to my blazer – just for the fun of it. No one had seen anything like it and I was happy to wear something unique. Don’t be afraid to have a good time with your accessories; they are what set you apart from the crowd. They will give you that edge and confidence to be your most individual self. And that is what clothes do best.
Photo by Abrina
“Look, I love makeup too. It’s about how you feel. It’s about who you are. It’s about just being who you are and not letting anyone tell you who you should be. Even this conversation shows our obsession of the standard we hold women.” – Alicia Keys
I have been drawn to this season of The Voice – and to Alicia Keys in particular. There is something about Keys: her warmth, her genuine encouragement, her appreciation of the artistry, and hearing her own voice. But there has been something more – I couldn’t put my finger on it until I finally realized – she wasn’t wearing makeup! What I didn’t know was that Keys made the announcement she would be going without makeup last May. Keys has explained that the decision came after years of growing as an artist and reaching a point where she felt content in her own skin: “I don’t want to cover up anymore.” The result has been incredibly inspiring to others.
Inspiring, too, is Keys’ skin regimen. W interviewed Keys’ longtime makeup artist, Dotty about what keeps it looking so fresh and beautiful. On the list was the use of oils and how it’s important not to be afraid of using them. “People get freaked out about oils. They think if they’ve got oily skin they don’t want oil,” Dotti complains. “But yes you do!” I agree wholeheartedly, and love using oils in my daily regimen. In fact, I have noticed a huge difference in my own skin.
I love how Alicia Keys is inspiring women everywhere to embrace who we are, just as we are!
Here is how our conversation began: I told Lisa I loved her trousers. I was first drawn in by their color – a soft, blueish-gray – but soon I noticed the sharp lines. Lisa surprised me by saying they were men’s pants she purchased from J. Crew. Then the conversation took off! Lisa shared with me that she buys a lot of her clothing in the men’s department where the clothes are generally better-made and well-tailored, and certainly, less expensive. Less expensive? You bet! I have often thought about this generally unacknowledged reality; we as women are paying much more for our clothing than men, and in many cases, for the same item of inferior quality.
Then I saw Lisa’s cool shoes. Lisa said they were Cole Haan – women’s shoes – but the male version of the same shoe came with an extra piece of leather padding at the back of the heel. Lisa wanted that extra padding. I would have wanted that extra padding, too. Lisa knows that there are certain items of clothing that she can purchase in the men’s department. And I ask – what is going on? Why are we women being gipped? And we don’t even know we are being gipped. That is the worst part. It’s a subtle sexism.
I have a fashion favorite this time of year, when summer has almost faded. It is the blazer – my tried-and-true workhorse. This one item of clothing is all that I need to transition to slightly cooler temps. Light enough to pair with a tee for the warmer afternoons but cover enough to ward off the chill in the brisk mornings and early evenings, the blazer is the one item of clothing that can go with most things and fit with everything. If you don’t have one, start with a classic. You will find yourself grabbing it before you head out the door – guaranteed!
Photos by Abrina Hyatt
In the half-century that I have known my Dad, I have never seen him wear jeans. Never. Until today. There he was, in a pair of jeans he bought at Marshall’s – and I couldn’t believe my eyes! When I asked him why he decided to try them now, he said, “I don’t have anything against jeans!” And yet, it was a first. He told me that they fit a bit too big in the waist … my fashion advice? I told him to put them in the dryer from time to time and let them shrink a bit. I went on to advise him that I have been doing that with my jeans for years. Too funny, really, to be giving my Dad advice about jeans. A fashion moment for sure. Dad, I’m buying it!
So, the conversation started this way: my son Cameron, who is 17, looked at me in ernest and asked, “Why do women wear high heels, even when they know it’s bad for their feet?” We were leaving for school/work, and I had just explained to Cam that the reason I was a few minutes late was because I needed to add bandaids to my feet – as a result of hard wear-and-tear caused by shoes. His question was simple and to the point. My answer, however, gave me pause. And it was not simple, that is for sure.
For the rest of the drive to school we talked about why women continue to wear high heels even through the pain. I explained that it’s never been fair for women who feel the societal pressure to do what it takes to be considered feminine and beautiful. I told him about the ancient Chinese tradition of young girls bonding their feet so that they would remain smaller as they grew, which was considered to be a sign of beauty and status. Bonding was eventually banned in China in 1912 but women had endured this painful tradition for 10 centuries. He was shocked. Cam then mentioned the tradition of wearing corsets. By the mid-16th century wearing corsets was common for European and British women. These uncomfortable undergarments restricted breathing and caused great distress, all for the purpose of raising the shape of the breasts and tightening the waist and midriff.
And then there are high heels. Continue reading