Back to School in my Fair Isle Sweater!

IMG_5829IMG_5836IMG_5837I have a history with the Fair Isle sweater: it involves a short-lived obsession my freshman year in college and my beautiful and devoted mother – you may remember that I shared it with you in a podcast with my mom on TFIO. At that time, I had at least four Fair Isle sweaters in my possession (thanks to my mom), only to lose them by the end of that freshman year. I have no recollection where they went but the memory of them has lingered, almost as if I was waiting, anticipating owning another one sometime in my life. Here it is, 30 years later – what?! – and I have finally found a Fair Isle sweater again! It is Italian-designer Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and more sophisticated than my college sweaters – but a Fair Isle sweater just the same. I went back to school on this snowy day, to recapture that moment so many years ago and to finally give this fashion story a happy ending!

Sweater, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini; pin, Joan Rivers for QVC, skirt, Altuzarra for Target, boots, Dior

Photos by Kendra OlsonIMG_5845

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I am a Bootlegger!

img_4942img_4940-1img_4941img_4924Well, no, I am not the whiskey-smuggling, illegal-activity kind of bootlegger, but for the number of times I wear boots when the weather cools, I feel that I must redefine the term! (Fashion) Bootlegger: noun. 1 a: someone who wears boots to ward off cold feet and legs. verb. Bootlegging 1 a: the art of wearing boots as a replacement for stockings and and sock wear.

The truth is that when the weather cools you need a go-to type of shoe; something that does more than add height to your look but actually redefines how you warm your legs. Boots are your answer. You will need to remember the following when purchasing a pair (or two, or three!) of winter boots: find a color that is versatile and will go will most things (black is always a good idea), a little heel (like a wedge) is a perfect compliment to both pants and skirts and dresses, and a weatherproof boot will be your new best friend if you get caught in drizzle or rain or snow. And remember to make sure your boots aren’t too tight-fitting – you want to have enough room to accommodate heavier socks and tights. When you do, you will find yourself wearing boots dressed up and dressed down, always and in all ways. Become a bootlegger, like me, and give this naughty word a whole new meaning!

Wearing my two favorite black boots; suede wedges by Dior and waterproof wedges by Taryn Rose

Photos by Kendra Olson

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Oscar Zoe!

Rachel Zoe, courtesy The Zoe Report

Rachel Zoe, courtesy The Zoe Report

My hope for the Oscars’ Red Carpet is that people bring it, that they’re not scared, that they take chances, they do something adventurous and not predictable, and just have a lot of fun.” ~ Rachel Zoe

Rachel Zoe speaks and I listen. Zoe, editor in chief of The Zoe Report, is speaking out about her predictions for the Oscars’ Red Carpet. The Oscars air this Sunday and Zoe is ever the fashion force. She calls out designer names Giambattista Valli, Armani Prive, Givenchy, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, and Dior.

Dressing major a-listers for Awards Season on her original show, The Rachel Zoe Project, was the first time I saw Rachel Zoe. At the time she was a well-known celebrity stylist from Los Angeles, and the show captured her day-to-day life; it was the first time I saw the inner-workings of a fashion stylist and I was hooked. And now years later, Zoe is the editor in chief of The Zoe Report, returning to her roots on The Red Carpet!

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High school girls represent

Leaders of the Fashion Club and the Diversity Club: from left, Linden, Denver, Anisa and Ashley

Co-Presidents of the Fashion Club: Linden, Denver, and Ashley, and the Diversity Council,  Anisa (missing: Shayla, Diversity Council)

As you know, I am the mother of teenage boys. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, but there are times when I really miss having important conversations with young women. That is why writing Turning Fashion Inside Out continues to bring me so much joy. Today was one of those days, and I was honored to join a meeting with a group of spirited and thoughtful high school women of Kent Place School. The meeting was a combined effort of the Fashion Club and the Diversity Council and the topic was diversity (or lack thereof) in the fashion industry.

The leaders first identified startling facts and then they opened the floor for discussion, feedback and conversation. The facts are these: that even though white people represent only 16% of the global population, white people dominate the runway at 94.6%. There is a very small representation of women of color on the runway, including black, Asian and Latina models. Continue reading

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