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?
This week I was reminded of something my mother taught me: when it comes to clothing, almost good enough is not good enough for you! I had purchased a turtleneck sweater (my favorite piece of clothing!) in a deep, lush eggplant purple. It was part lambswool and the color and feel were divine. But there was one thing wrong – it was a longer, tunic style. I don’t wear tunics. I tried to imagine how I could shorten it, speaking to friends and experts. What it came down to was that it wouldn’t look right after altering it and I would be left with a less-than-perfect sweater. I then tried to see myself in a tunic and style it in various ways. It became clear – I was putting too much thought and effort into this. The thrill was gone. I returned the sweater and exchanged it for a a gray-knit dress that was more ‘me.’
You should love what you own. Truly love it. When you are shopping for something new, make sure it is worthy of you. Make sure that it brings out the best in you. Make sure it is as special as the things you already own (which hopefully are worthy of you, too!). If not and if you don’t love it, then lose it! My mother was right.
I Scream. You Scream. We all Scream for Scream Queens! I am super-obsessed with last night’s new show, Scream Queens (Tuesdays on FOX). Part horror, part comedy, the show takes place on a college campus and focuses on a series of serial murders at a popular and snooty sorority house where the leaders call themselves, appropriately enough – The Chanels. The president of the sorority is played by Emma Roberts, the queen bee herself. Fashion takes the lead as the main characters are dressed in vintage Chanel and Moschino. As they deal with blood and gore and murder, these Chanel girls are killing it.
Last August I was drawn to an article in The New York Times Style section, about the transformation of the The Colombian city of Medellín. One half of me is Colombian – anything having to do with this mysterious country both fascinates and mesmerizes me. Twin sisters, Amelia and Elisa Ochoa, were interviewed in the article and I tracked them down to see if they would share their story for my blog. These sisters describe themselves as “twins and soul mates, passionate about fashion, style, healthy beauty, and LIFE.” Their blog, Sisterly Style, is not only a tribute to their love of fashion, but is also a testimonial to their love as sisters and best friends. How exciting it was for me to connect with them and hear about their life in Medellín and their dreams for the future!
MKG: You are twin sisters with a passion for fashion – when did this passion start?
Amelia y Elisa: Since we were little girls. We have always loved fashion, it is our major passion. We have always read magazines and have been aware of fashion shows and fashion news from all over the world. It all started when we would go with our Mom and our Grandma to the seamstress and the fabric store. It was something that we just LOVED.
MKG: What inspired you to start your blog, Sisterly Style?
Amelia y Elisa: Our blog was an opportunity, a way to enter the fashion world as ourselves. At the same time, it was a chance to start doing what we’ve always wanted to do. It was our time to act and to make our way into the fashion world. Continue reading
Since hearing the news earlier this week that Ralph Lauren is stepping down from his post as CEO of his company, I am pondering his legacy in the world of fashion. I think it comes down to his ability to feed our imaginations. Today we hear so much about branding and developing one’s brand, but the truth is that Ralph Lauren did that better than anyone and before it became “a thing.” What comes to mind most about Ralph Lauren are the iconic images he created that made you want to jump into the pages of every photo. Said that his style is modeled after the clothing worn at America’s Ivy League colleges, he became known for classics like collared shirts and colorful sweaters. In his biography Ralph Lauren wrote: “I loved the oldness, the custom mood of navy blazers, school crests, rep ties, flannels, and saddle shoes.” It may come as no surprise, then, that Ralph Lauren designed the clothes for the classic 1974 movie, The Great Gatsby.
When I was in my teens and early 20s there was one Ralph Lauren model, simply known as Clotilde, who captured the Ralph Lauren brand perfectly. I wanted to be Clotilde – she was strong and noble and fierce, and yet soft; I wanted to dress like her and look like her and step into that make-believe world of Ralph Lauren. Clean. Crisp. Beautiful.
That is what I think about Ralph Lauren. What he did for a young girl trying to find herself and create the life she wanted. It was so much more than clothing. It was imagination. And dreams.
Beautifully said, Zendaya. Barbie® honored Zendaya for encouraging girls to “raise their voices” with a one-of-a-kind doll, presented recently at the Barbie™ Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience on September 26 at the Hollywood Palladium.
The doll, created in Zendaya’s likeness, commemorated her iconic Vivienne Westwood look from the 2015 Oscars Red Carpet where she inspired us all to simply be ourselves. Zendaya hosted the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals concert, an experiential event benefiting VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Said Zendaya: “I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices.”
Earlier this year, Barbie® introduced more diversity into their Fashionistas® line, including twenty-three new dolls, featuring eight skin tones, fourteen different sculpts, eighteen eye colors and twenty-three different hair colors. Yes! I’m buying it!
I have come a long way as a Target/designer collaboration shopper. This summer when I heard that fashion designer Adam Lippes (former designer for Oscar de la Renta) was launching a plaid collection with Target I planned carefully. I took my time reviewing the look book, noting only the things I would actually want to wear. It turns out there was one thing: the black and white plaid bucket bag. The quality looked high end and at $39.99 it was a great price. When the collection launched, I ordered it online to make sure that it wouldn’t sell out, followed by an early morning visit to Target to see it in person. This time, there were no lines and no hassles at the store; I found the bag easily, brought it home, and canceled the online order. Everything about the purchase was calm and controlled.
I continue to try these collabs because I do find special pieces. But I now understand that just owning a piece is not enough – I have to really see it working in my wardrobe. I guess that is what is called, shopping wise.
I was excited to see fashion icon Rachel Zoe back on television. I had fallen in love with Zoe and her brilliant abilities as a fashion stylist while watching her reality show, The Rachel Zoe Project. The show was intimate and fun, a glimpse into her life and her world and I felt a part of it from the start. Last night her new show, Fashionably Late with Rachel Zoe, premiered (Thursdays at 10:30 on Lifetime). The format is a 30-minute weekly talk show with Zoe and fashion writer and Harper’s Bazaar Editor-at-Large Derek Blasberg joining her each week. The show will also feature Zoe’s celebrity clients and fashion friends (last night, it was Jessica Alba).
There were moments of pure fashion fun and witty banter, like the costume-talk about Fox’s new show Scream Queens. And hearing Rachel Zoe-isms, like “I can’t even!” was a big plus! But something was lost from the documentary-style, getting-to-know-Zoe from The Rachel Zoe Project. At times, this show felt disjointed, unfocused, and a bit forced. And at the end when Zoe gave a few much appreciated fashion tips it felt condescending. I will give it another try next week but so far, I can’t say I am “ba-na-nas” over it.
“I want my Channel to be a place of inspiration for women 35 years and older, to show them that we don’t have an expiration date. You can have new dreams and goals at any age.” ~ Maryam Remias
It all started when I connected with Maryam Remias on Twitter. Her message of positivity led me to her YouTube Channel and that was the moment Maryam blew me away with her warmth, her honesty, and her bravery. Maryam, who lives in Los Angeles, was born in Iran and migrated to the United States with her family 30 years ago. These days Maryam is on a mission to share her story and encourage us to accept and feel good about who we are. Her background is in art and graphic design and Maryam worked in the entertainment industry for many years. Six years ago she left her career as a graphic designer to raise her daughter. Just last January she stepped out of her comfort zone to start her own YouTube Channel sharing her personal journey about how she transitioned to gray hair and revealing how the art of applying makeup inspires her …
MKG: How and when did you develop a passion for makeup and makeup artistry? Was this your childhood dream?
MARYAM: I always liked putting on makeup but I didn’t consider it my passion. At 9 years old, I thought about becoming a special effects makeup artist because of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.
MKG: What was the turning point when you turned you passion for makeup into your own YouTube Channel?
MARYAM: I started watching YouTube videos on facial DIY and makeup review. Continue reading
It has become my tradition and ritual. A few times a year I prepare for awards shows by putting on my blinders, removing myself from the rest of my family, and turning on the television – to hear the words, “Live from the red carpet!” What I see is the red carpet style and sizzle that I have come to appreciate as much as the shows themselves. Those moments in time when actors come to talk about their shows or movies and yes, share information on ‘who they are wearing‘ as Joan Rivers used to say.
This morning, while trying to make a transaction at the bank (and with several people behind me) I shuffled through my handbag in search of what I needed. Of course I apologized profusely to those behind me as I kept coming up empty in my search. Finally, after finding what I needed I realized that this simple task of trying to find my missing piece in my all-too-large handbag has been my story well, for forever. And then something else hit me: it doesn’t happen with only my larger handbags – it happens to me with handbags of every size. Why am I always searching my bags for the right item? Is there a part of me that loves the hunt? Am I doomed to be unorganized with the one article of clothing that is supposed to keep my life neat and compact? And here is another question: Does anyone reading this relate?
Maybe it is because my life is more complicated than ever and having my “things” in my handbag helps me to feel safe. Maybe not. I cannot say for sure. What I can say is that it happens more often than I like and I’m not sure this part of me will ever change. So, to those people at the bank this morning – I am sorry for keeping you. And to those whom I might put out in the future … again, I am sorry.
Photo by Alexandra