Let it shine


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?

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Kate Winslet on Beauty, Aging, and Self-Esteem

Kate Winslet; Credit PETER LINDBERGH

I admire actress Kate Winslet for her honesty and her approachability. She has always seemed so refreshingly real, in the brightest spotlight. In an interview with British Vogue, Oscar-winner Winslet, who has been the brand ambassador for cosmetic house, Lancome for 10 years, spoke about her personal beauty regime, aging gracefully, walking her “lovely dog,” and why she is worried about the negative impact of social media on her daughters’ self esteem. On her approach to her beauty regimen, her words inspire me: Honestly, I have learned that health comes before reaching for a mirror or a bottle of product. And if anything, I do look in the mirror less and less as I get older. In my twenties I probably thought about my appearance more than I do now, for the simple reason that as I get older I have more important things that concern me than how I look. Like family, happiness, and having fun! Priority kicks in when you are a parent and my approach to beauty these days comes from a place of wanting to feel happy and healthy.

Well said, Kate Winslet! I’m buying it!


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First Snow, Cold Temps, and Faux Fur!

This weekend blew in the first snow and really cold winter temperatures. It was the perfect moment to bring out my faux fur coat by J.Crew/Exclusively for Net-A-Porter! There is nothing like wearing faux fur for super-warm coverage. It’s the next best thing to cozying up by the fire; faux fur is soft to the touch, luxurious to the eye, and comforting to the soul, knowing that you are dressing cruelty-free.

And best for me? This coat is so warm that I was able to pair it with my favorite lighter-weight white lace blouse from Maje! A perfect outing (with a hot chocolate on the side! ). Now I am ready for the season with my own substantial faux fur coat!

Coat, J Crew/Net-A-Porter; blouse, Maje; boots Laurence Dacade Paris

Photos by Emma Cho

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Purple Hope for the Future

Pantone’s 2018 color of the year: Ultra Violet

From left, the Balenciaga men’s show, spring 2018; Gucci, spring 2018; Marni, fall 2017.

From left, Loewe, fall 2016; Moschino, spring 2018; Marc Jacobs, fall 2016.Credit Francois Guillot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images; Nowfashion; Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra-Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” ~ Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone® Color Institute

As Pantone® announces Ultra Violet, its color of the year 2018, my thought is that it could not have come at a better time. Creative expression and artistic brilliance are connected with this purple, and I somehow imagine that rock icons Prince and Jimmy Hendrix are smiling down on us right now. In addition, according to Pantone®, “Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world.” As I read the hopeful message from Laurie Pressman, vice president of The Color Institute, when she says: “The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” I note her words, “what is needed.” I know that color holds strong messages. Let’s allow this brighter, sparkly version of purple to renew and restore us to our future.

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Fashion Institute’s New Exhibit is About Body Politics

Courtesy: FIT

New from the museum at Fashion Institute of Technology: The Body: Fashion and Physique, is an exhibition opening this week that examines the complex history of the “ideal” body in fashion and considers the relationship between the fashion industry and body politics from the 18th century to the present. “Garments are supplemented with images from the popular press, fashion media, film, and other sources to demonstrate how the fashion industry has contributed to both the marginalization and celebration of certain body types within our culture.” When curator of the Museum at FIT, Emma McClendon, was asked about where our society is now in terms of the ‘idea body image,’ her response was deep and thought-provoking: “I think that increasingly there is no single ideal fashionable body. Most runway shows and magazines continue to feature primarily white, thin, young models, but the internet and social media have opened up the industry, giving bloggers and consumers a much more powerful voice to challenge normative body ideals and expand our notion of what a fashionable body is. Several young designers, including Becca McCharen-Tran of Chromat and Christian Siriano, are using their brands to promote a much more inclusive view of the fashionable body. I hope that other brands will join them so that we can continue to expand the fashion industry to make it much more inclusive.”

I am seeing this exhibit! I’m buying it!!


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Dressing With Texture

The right color and proper fit are essentials when it comes to dressing. But it’s the texture that makes clothing pop and turns simple pieces into an “outfit.” On their own, the individual pieces of this outfit are fine; together, they are magic. Add texture and celebrate the meaning of deliberate and thorough dressing. Allow your clothes to reach their full potential!

Wrap dress: Diane von Furstenberg; stockings, Wolford; jacket, vintage Christian Lacroix; boots Belle Sigerson Morrison

Photos by Abrina Hyatt

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My Cousin Drew, the Film and Television Mogul!

On set: Drew Ann Rosenberg

Drew Ann Rosenberg with Sex and a Girl cast members Angela Gots, Soleil Moon Frye, Alison Lohman and Lisa Brenner

Last night, as I watched the new show, Young Sheldon, on CBS, my heart filled with pride! Because my cousin Drew is one of two First-Assistant Directors on the show, who alternates running the set. I have always been proud of my cousin Drew and the tremendous work she has done to forge the way for women working in a male-dominated profession. With television, Drew explained that there is more of an opportunity for community, more connection as a family, and more women. And more of Drew! This is a very good thing. Several years ago I wrote this feature about my cousin Drew on TFIO. It seems like the right moment to share it again …

Drew Ann Rosenberg is a woman working in a male-dominated profession. She is in a unique position to lead the way for other women and inspire both women and men. Her fashion sense is thoughtful; as Drew puts it, she follows “a studied casualness.” In other words, every decision that Drew makes has purpose and consequence. Drew is a dynamic force: strong, confident, talented, beautiful, a leader, a creative visionary, and incredibly warm and loving. And I know, too, because Drew Ann Rosenberg happens to be – my cousin!

MKG: I remember growing up, you always had your distinctive look – completely you. A little boho-chic. Casual, but always cool. You are my younger cousin, but I looked up to you! Has your style changed over time? How would you describe it?

Drew: I would say that’s pretty much it now. The work I do is very physical; I am on my feet all day long, there is a lot of heavy equipment, lights, people moving, sometimes in tight spaces. I love to come up with something unique to wear with low-impact financially, in case it gets destroyed. That’s why I love to shop at used-clothing stores because I can find funky things at reasonable prices.

MKG: You are a woman in the film industry, which is uncommon. How does this affect how you choose to dress on set?

Drew: I work in a male-dominated world. And I am in a position of leadership in charge of the filming and the film crew. I am always conscious of that and of my need to look professional at all times. I choose to wear things that aren’t revealing or too tight, and stay away from anything that would distract the guys or cause them to stare. In other words, I need to tone down any sexuality. My goal is to remain attractive and commanding but not seductive.

MKG: Do you feel that clothes have power?

Drew: Absolutely! I think that clothes can express the very essence of who we are. My friends who have young daughters who are coming-of-age, often talk about their concern about the styles today; that their daughters are wearing clothing that expose too much. In my situation, I have to do the opposite. I want my clothes to say: confident and understated. Continue reading

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All You Need Is …

When I saw this Lisa Perry sweater it said everything that I want to say this holiday season – and frankly, every day. The fact that the sweater is bright red is just the icing on the cake! LOVE is the answer for us; a chance to feel love, to give love, and to wish for love throughout the world. How meaningful to spread this uplifting message in something I am wearing. And even more special that it is a Lisa Perry sweater. This year marks Ms. Perry’s 10th in business, and the last two years are exclusive to Barney’s New York. Ms. Perry, a New-York based designer and a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, has a passion for art and design, and a penchant for 60s-era fashion. Friends kept asking her where they could get a similar look, and the hobby morphed into her label in 2007: “It all started when I fell in love with vintage clothing. I actually fell in love with this vintage clothing from a very specific period in the late 60s. It felt so futuristic, so out of this world. For ten years, I really only wore vintage. During that time people would comment on what I had on and they’d say, ‘what designer is that?’  … that sparked the idea – you know what – I think I could do something here, I think I could turn this into a small collection of my own.”

“With a nod back to my love of Sixties vintage, it is about timeless, classic shapes and fabrics that really, I feel, live on … I want to bring this look that I love, that was so modern at the time, to today’s women. I think that [designers such as Cardin and Courrèges] were visionaries. I want to celebrate that in what I do.

Yes, all you need is LOVE. LOVE is all you need. Well, and a burst of Lisa Perry whimsy!

Sweater: Lisa Perry

Photos by Serena Chmelar; shot on location at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

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A Pop of Color in a Sea of Black

Photo by Alexandra

EILEEN FISHER and COVER GIRL saved me from a sea of black, with pops of color to warm my day. I love wearing black and it’s a staple for sure but it’s also true that I tend to overdue it as the weather cools. It’s about this time of year that I begin to watch the amount of black I wear and the potential for adding to the winter blues. Ever since I interviewed Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone® Color Institute – I am aware more than ever of the psychological impact of color and how wearing color affects our mood. Can wearing color actually make you feel better? In a recent interview, Eiseman said that when other people see someone wearing a bright color, they, too, might feel happier: “It’s interesting that it can start a chain reaction that creates a more positive energy for the person wearing the colors as well as those who observe the color.”

Eiseman also said if you’re feeling like your wardrobe (and your spirit) is a little under-the-weather, the addition of a bright scarf, colorful jewelry, or even vibrant shoes can go a long way. It needn’t be bright color top to toe, either; a little pop of color provides benefit because you know you are wearing color.

My pops of color? Blouse, EILEEN FISHER; lipstick, COVERGIRL

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“But this is an Alaïa!” ~ Cher Horowitz

This is the scene from Clueless-Cher, wearing Alaïa; photo courtesy of Paramount

The first time I heard the name of famed fashion designer, Azzedine Alaïa, was in a movie.  I remember it well – the year was 1995, and I was sitting in a theater in Greenwich Village – watching a funny and charming movie called, Clueless. In one scene, Cher, was being held up at gunpoint in the seedier part of LA and asked to lay on the asphalt. Protested Cher, “But, this is an Alaïa,” and she began to cry. “He’s like a totally famous designer.”

Azzedine Alaïa was a famous, uncompromising designer – known for his sculpture and silhouettes, molding his dresses to women’s forms – but he was equally famous for his rejection of the fashion system and his insistence on going his own way. Last Saturday, Azzedine Alaïa passed away at 82.

Alaïa held intimate shows in his Paris headquarters off-schedule that had nothing to do with designated fashion weeks or with following what the press and retailers demanded. He rejected the official calendar, preferring to reveal his clothing as he deemed it ready. Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times, says Alaïa “dedicated his life to the belief that fashion was more than just garments; to him, they were as much an element in the empowerment of women and of a broader cultural conversation … He used leather and knits to shape and support the body, transforming it into the best version of itself. He eschewed external decoration for internal integrity, weaving pattern and adornment into the weft of the garment itself in ways that were almost undetectable to the outside eye.” Continue reading

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