A Parisian Treasure

Sonia Rykiel

Sonia Rykiel: copyright Sonia Rykiel

First I made a dress because I was pregnant and I wanted to be the most beautiful pregnant woman. Then I made a sweater because I wanted to have one that wasn’t like anyone else’s. ~ Sonia Rykiel

And it wasn’t like anyone else’s. Fashion designer Sonia Rykiel designed with women and beauty in mind; in a career that spanned nearly 50 years, Ms. Rykiel created clothing for the woman who wanted great style and value. The sad news from Paris yesterday that Sonia Rykiel died at the age of 86 leaves the fashion world a little darker. Reading about the life of Ms. Rykiel I am struck by her creativity and willingness to take risks.

In 1961, when she was pregnant with her second child, Ms. Rykiel began designing clothing that celebrated her body and the joy she felt to be pregnant. She wasn’t seeing maternity clothes that reflected her attitude – at that time maternity wear was designed to cover and hide. She started with a single dress: “I wanted to show the world how happy I was,” Ms. Rykiel told Newsweek in 1976. “My mother-in-law was scandalized, but my friends asked how they could find one like it.” She forged ahead without any formal design training – just her instinct – opening her first boutique on Paris’s Left Bank in 1968 with maternity wear and poor-boy knits (for which she was best known), developing a following and huge popularity. She continued to design chic, ready-to-wear pieces that were appreciated by women of all ages, without an age group in mind.

I find it interesting that Sonia Rykiel is likened to Coco Chanel because of the way their designs freed women from the outdated fashion restrictions of their day. Both were risk-takers and pioneers. And quintessentially French. In 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy named her a grand commander of the legion for lifetime service to the French fashion industry. Yes, a true Parisian treasure.

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Gwen Stefani Speaks Her Truth

Gwen Stefani, LinkedIn

Gwen Stefani, LinkedIn

I’ve come to realize that there’s a real spiritual side to creation. Understanding this has allowed me to remain conscious of a particular feeling or mindset and to honor when a passion is driving you to be creative, whether that is professionally or personally focused. Throughout my life’s endeavors, from making music to designing clothes, three constants are: I remain real to myself, pure about the project and true to my whole aesthetic.” ~ Gwen Stefani

I want to be Gwen Stefani’s friend. Every time I see her, I am touched by her warmth, her California vibe, and her vulnerability. She is a creative force and in this feature on LinkedIn she shares her key to creativity and success: truth. Music artist and performer as well as fashion designer, Stefani’s creativity comes from focusing on the present and living with her truth. I relate to her when she says, “The process of creating a look has always been a passion, since I was a little girl.” A girl after my own heart!

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In search of the Color of The Year

Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.”
Leatrice Eiseman
Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute®

Each year Pantone selects a color to inspire and provide a catalyst for creative spark. Last week, Pantone selected its Color of the Year: Marsala, an earthy red-brown, like the red wine itself. I hesitated at first because the red I favor is more of a clear, bright apple-red but I kept an open mind as I went in search of a richer, deeper red – to see if it has a place in my wardrobe.

I searched clothing: P1050408P1050430P1050413

I searched accessories:P1050457

I searched outerwear:P1050424

I searched underwear:P1050433

I even searched Chanel:P1050454 Continue reading

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