The Pin and The Message for 2015

My lady bug bee pin, by Joan Rivers, paired with a tee by Missoni (for you, Joan)

“The bee pin has been my signature.”  ~ Joan Rivers

As I move into 2015, I look back at TFIO 2014 for the stories and the messages that meant so much to me. I treasure stories like Ilene Beckerman’s who created the book which later became the play – Love, Loss, and What I Wore – as a way to document the clothes and the moments and memories of her life; like Isabella Rose Taylor who as an artist and a fashion designer at 13 was told she was never too young to dream; like Daniel Silverstein, a New York designer who is 100% committed to creating beautiful clothing with Zero-waste technology; like Pro-Age revolutionary Cindy Joseph who wowed me (again) with her outlook on life and true beauty; like Lisa Curran, a swimsuit designer who never forgets the importance of bringing out the best in a woman’s self esteem, and like my dear cousin Drew Ann Rosenberg, who as a Director and Assistant Director of films and television, is a woman working in a male-dominated profession.

But perhaps the single most important message came from comedian Joan Rivers. On Labor Day we heard that Joan Rivers, one of America’s hardest-workers (forget the fact that she was 80 years old!) was in critical condition following a medical procedure, and finally the news followed that she had passed. To honor Ms. Rivers I wrote about her in a piece I titled, “Joan Rivers: Beeautiful!” As a designer for QVC, Joan Rivers had a signature bee collection as part of her jewelry line. With a name like Melissa, which means bee in Greek, I have collected several of Ms. Rivers’s bee pins. But I never understood why the bee meant so much to her until I heard her tell the story: “The bee pin, for those of you who don’t know, has been my signature. It represents achieving the impossible because the bee absolutely cannot fly, cannot get off the ground, the way it’s built; yet it flies and makes the world beautiful. So it gives you hope … When people say, ‘give up,’ … no, no, no, no, no … don’t give up, up and at ‘em, make the world better.”

That is the message that I carry with me into 2015 and I happily share with youDon’t give up, never give up – even when people say you can’t or you shouldn’t. If you believe in it, do it. Do it. And make the world better for it. The bee somehow finds a way to fly. Joan Rivers did it. And we can, too!

Photo by Alexandra

 

 

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A triumphant Isabella Rose Taylor!

Isabella Rose Taylor at the launch of her collection: Nordstrom BP

Isabella Rose Taylor at the launch of her Collection: Nordstrom BP

What a week for Isabella Rose Taylor! Following her first-ever show at NY Fashion Week, 13-year old designer, Isabella Rose Taylor, came to New Jersey on Saturday, to launch her Collection at Nordstrom BP. I was lucky enough to catch her, where she practically sold out in one hour. The Collection obviously rings true for Isabella’s contemporaries, for whom she designs. That is the magic of Isabella Rose Taylor: she doesn’t have to imagine what young women want to wear … she just has to ask herself. Continue reading

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Meeting Isabella Rose Taylor!

Isabella with the fashion campers

Isabella with the fashion campers

Can you imagine being a teenager with an interest in fashion, lucky enough to meet someone your own age who is a bonafide artist and fashion designer? That’s what is happening this week in New York, at Fashion Camp NYC, with guest speaker, 13-year old Isabella Rose Taylor. And can you also imagine being me, creator of this blog, meeting Isabella and her mom, Sherri, while they are here in NY? It was beyond special!

We spoke about her message to the girls at the fashion camp and the issues facing young designers of Isabella’s generation. According to Isabella, “It’s important to know the basics of design, including pattern-making, but at the same time, understand that everything will be streamlined very soon. You must know the technology of fashion.” Continue reading

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What does being a fashion designer at 13 look like?

IRT2014 springBhaman03Isabella Rose Taylor – Bella – is a fashion designer about to launch her first collection to a top retailer. That statement, in and of itself, is remarkable and so very impressive. But there’s more remarkable, because Bella is only 13 years old. Yes, thirteen. What’s extraordinary, however, is that when you meet Bella, you aren’t aware of any age; just that you are speaking to a beautiful, creative spirit who is making her dreams happen …

MKG: What was it like growing up in Austin, Texas? What were the influences on fashion?

BELLA: Austin has always been known for its food and music, and now fashion is making strides, as well. Austin Fashion Week is an established annual event, and the city is up-and-coming when it comes to fashion. There are some great designers in Austin, too; Ross Bennett has been very supportive of me.

MKG: What happened when you went to sewing camp at 8 years old? Was a dream born?

BELLA: I began painting when I was three years old. Continue reading

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