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?
Television programming is enjoying a surge of popularity, sophistication, and support of highly-visible film actors. No question. Film was always considered more glamorous and fashion designers were quick to recognize the impact of film on an audience. So, too, was costume design in film considered more glamorous, and well simply, more considered. Fashionista brought this issue to light: “By the 1930s, 75 million Americans went to the movies weekly, film becoming a primary source of fashion for many. Costume is understood to be critically important to a film’s success, and is honored as such; at the Oscars, the prestigiously singular costume design award is presented at the main ceremony. Film and the fashion industry mutually inform and benefit from each other.”
But where does leave costume designers in the television industry? Continue reading
It was a morning of surprise. Faced with a warm, Indian summer day, I ventured into my closet – not knowing what I would find. I moved hangers, pushed away options, and pondered over choices, until I found, tucked at the far end and almost invisible, this whimsical Eva Franco dress, with feminine touches. Excited to see it after many months, I tried it on and fell in love all over again. I knew it would be a perfect choice for the day.
Nothing is quite like finding a long lost fashion friend to awaken your sense of style. I recommend you check out your closets for hidden treasures and see what you’ve been missing, too!
Photos, Abrina Hyatt
I watched the red carpet arrivals at last night’s Emmy Awards just in time to see the ageless beauty, Michelle Pfeiffer. I haven’t seen Michelle Pfeiffer in a while, and she made a stunning return. At 59, she was inspiring, looking very soft and elegant in a gossamer Oscar de la Renta dress – and very much herself. It was my favorite look of the evening.
Something important happened a few days ago at New York Fashion Week; it had nothing to do with “it girls” on the runway or strategically-placed in the front row. And it had nothing to do with being a part of the unattainable world of the fashion insider. Torrid, one of the largest clothing brands to cater to women who wear sizes 10-30, made its NYFW debut. Featuring 40 curvy-sized models walking the runway, Torrid came to level the playing field and represent. In an interview with Reuters, Elizabeth Munoz, head of product and design for Torrid, said: “The fashion industry can keep passing and keep saying I‘m not going to acknowledge that but there’s going to be a point where we can’t ignore the fact that most of the available population to sell to is a size that they don’t make.”
The Spring 2018 collection featured the models wearing floor-length, Bohemian-inspired maxi-dresses paired with leather jackets and embroidered denim jackets with floral prints. Torrid reworked the corset trend by introducing a black leather version detailed with intricate floral embroidery styled with sheer blouses and long floral gowns. The looks were soft with a hard edge and nicely modern. This was a first step in the direction of inclusivity for New York Fashion Week. Hopefully it will start a movement that continues to change the way people think of fashion for all. But it will be even more of an achievement when this news is no longer the exception and in fact, isn’t even a big deal at all.
I was reminded of the magic of consignment shopping last week when I attended the launch of Gabrielle’s boutique, The Collective: the joy in finding the unexpected. And even more joy in bringing it to your home and closet. This whimsical Balenciaga Paris knit dress caught the corner of my eye and I knew it was special – but something I never imagined owning. The minute I tried it on I knew that we were meant to be together! Go to a consignment shop looking for something specific and you will never find it. But go to a consignment shop with an open mind and you may find a treasure of your own!
With a background in psychology, art, and philosophy, Gabrielle Newkirk, left her full-time job for a retail position as Manager of Anthropologie. But that wasn’t enough for Gabrielle – she wanted to be closer to the customer, closer to the connection between customer and clothing. And closer to the shopper who wants to shop without expectation, but to shop with purpose to find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that will reflect her personality. With inspiration from watching her Aunt Margie, who had a strong sense of style and never listened to body type rules of fashion, Gabrielle became a collector of beautiful things for herself. And eventually, Gabrielle was drawn to the world of consignment shopping.
This week, Gabrielle’s dreams of sharing her collections and owning and running her own consignment shop come true, as she launches her own boutique – The Collective. The Collective will be a place for designer and on-trend pieces – clothing and accessories – from established stores like Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, to smaller, modern stores like Madewell. Gabrielle wants to build a community of women – consignors and customers – with the hopes of building relationships and providing them with options they will not see anywhere else. Gabrielle’s own style is eclectic with a touch of bohemian. Someone once described Gabrielle’s look as if she rolled out of bed looking great, without giving it too much thought. Don’t we all want that, to be our own collectors, too??
As I watched the last hours of summer fade into the sunset, I wore my super-happy outfit … jeans and a tee and sandals … with the beautiful scarf Myriam brought back from Paris just for me. On to a new fashion season!
Photos by Abrina Hyatt
The answer is … No! I have a favorite pair of denim cutoff shorts I purchased at Kohl’s (for a great price, by the way!) – I continue to pull them out every summer. They are still my go-to and I don’t see the need to change that now that I am 57. And Vogue agrees!
September marks the 125th Anniversary of Vogue Magazine and tucked in its many pages is a question that has reared its head for me and other women: what’s the age cutoff for denim cutoffs? Vogue contributor Alexandra Macon asks her colleagues their opinions about when to stop wearing denim cutoff shorts – 30? – younger? older? Though she finds differing opinions in the answers, Macon settles on the wise words of Vogue’s denim editor, Kelly Connor: “The bottom line is the look can be achieved at any age as long as it’s done right. This means keeping problem areas covered by taking shape into account with distressing kept to a minimum. And, ultimately, as with most looks that are somewhat fashion-forward, it’s all about how you carry yourself. If you can wear a shorter cutoff with sophistication and confidence, then all the power to you—no matter what your age!”
It must be true if it’s Vogue!
Any New Yorker knows Zabar’s, the one-of-a-kind food emporium on the Upper West Side: New York is Zabar’s and Zabar’s is New York. Though Rachel Zabar spent her childhood and teenage years working at Zabar’s (her father, Saul, and her uncle, Stanley, took over the store from their immigrant parents who founded it in 1934.). She says her father insisted that his children work in the family business from a young age. Rachel, however, could never make Zabar’s her career like her older sister and younger brother. Says her father, Saul: “The store was never part of her. We knew that from a very young age. She was artistic. Even as a child, she had a natural talent for color and style.”
And, apparently, a sophisticated eye. Now, after years of trying her hand at photography, screenwriting, and documentary filmmaking, she is finding her niche as a dealer of high- end vintage clothing and accessories. And she is doing really well. After leaving New York to find her home in California, known for the vintage-obsessed, Rachel got serious about her own business five years ago. What I love is that she showed tremendous determination to make it work, as there was very little room for a newcomer in the industry. “It’s a sharp-elbowed little world, for sure, and I have learned some business lessons the hard way – who to trust, how to price, what to focus on,” says Rachel. It was at the California flea markets where Rachel started selling vintage clothing and accessories, where she learned so much. And at the heart of her present business success is her enthusiasm for her work and her passion for the clothes and accessories themselves.
Rachel Zabar fought hard to get to where she is. From ‘caviar girl’ to vintage couture dealer, she is finally seeing her vision come to life.