Says Colette: “I plan to start with a new pair of shoes!”



Colette de Jounge is at a crossroads in her life: she must reclaim her style, and with it, her sense of self. It all starts with finding the right shoes …

Here is Colette
For the last nine years I have been living in rural Virginia, in the country. The real country, with cows and horses, vineyards, and large, open spaces. It has been a completely different lifestyle for me. All my life, I have lived an International and sophisticated lifestyle: Mexico City, Mexico, Sao Paolo, Brazil, Caracus, Venezuela, and also worked in New York City as a bonafide commuter. Virginia represented a completely different lifestyle  …
At first, whenever I went out, I dressed as I always had. It was not something that I thought about, but was completely natural to me. People noticed that I looked different and would tell me that they could tell that I wasn’t from the area, from the way I dressed. Eventually, I realized that I was standing out, and slowly and surely, I started to dress down. My dissent happened slowly: first, I simply started to wear whatever I wanted. Soon, I lost touch with how and where to shop for clothes. I think that we always have a point of reference, or an ideal to work from when it comes to fashion. We can see the cut of dress or the heel of a shoe that is in fashion by observing others, particularly in a big city. This gives us insight, a clue, and an idea for how we can make it work. This is especially true for me because I am a visual person. But in my new circumstance, I had been cut off from this entirely. I was now at a disadvantage….
My mood was affected. I started to second-guess everything, and became unsure of who I was. I could no longer picture myself in style. I ran around in workout clothes and jeans, and not modern jeans, at that. I began to feel displaced. In all the time that I lived abroad, I adapted to the new cultures. But here and now, in rural Virginia, I have felt more like a foreigner, like an alien …
In a few months I will be launching a Brazilian fashion jewelry company, Francesca Romana Diana, in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Moving forward, I will have meetings with potential clients. It is time for me to legitimize the brand, and legitimize myself by dressing the part. I have the chance to reinvent myself and I need to take it …
Now is my time to reclaim who I am. I am excited to stand taller and feel bolder. To be like me, again. I think it’s not a mistake that this is happening when I am in my early 50’s. This is a very creative time and I think clothing will once again play an important role in my life. Life-changing, really.  And I plan to start with a great pair of shoes!
~ Colette

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