All You Need Is …

When I saw this Lisa Perry sweater it said everything that I want to say this holiday season – and frankly, every day. The fact that the sweater is bright red is just the icing on the cake! LOVE is the answer for us; a chance to feel love, to give love, and to wish for love throughout the world. How meaningful to spread this uplifting message in something I am wearing. And even more special that it is a Lisa Perry sweater. This year marks Ms. Perry’s 10th in business, and the last two years are exclusive to Barney’s New York. Ms. Perry, a New-York based designer and a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, has a passion for art and design, and a penchant for 60s-era fashion. Friends kept asking her where they could get a similar look, and the hobby morphed into her label in 2007: “It all started when I fell in love with vintage clothing. I actually fell in love with this vintage clothing from a very specific period in the late 60s. It felt so futuristic, so out of this world. For ten years, I really only wore vintage. During that time people would comment on what I had on and they’d say, ‘what designer is that?’  … that sparked the idea – you know what – I think I could do something here, I think I could turn this into a small collection of my own.”

“With a nod back to my love of Sixties vintage, it is about timeless, classic shapes and fabrics that really, I feel, live on … I want to bring this look that I love, that was so modern at the time, to today’s women. I think that [designers such as Cardin and Courrèges] were visionaries. I want to celebrate that in what I do.

Yes, all you need is LOVE. LOVE is all you need. Well, and a burst of Lisa Perry whimsy!

Sweater: Lisa Perry

Photos by Serena Chmelar; shot on location at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

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My Clothes are Working Overtime

My Baccarat crystal heart

It has been a difficult week for me as I have learned of the tragic passing of a young 14 year-old girl. I did not know her personally but I was connected to her through my work. My heart has been very, very heavy. And my clothes have been my best friends. They have had to work overtime, carrying me into my day and pushing me forward, even when all I have wanted to do is crawl back into my bed with my pi’s. They have been my armor, giving me strength when I feel weak. I started to wear my red crystal heart every day – something I bought my brides maides and me when I got married 22 years ago, because I felt an overwhelming need to wear the one thing that is a reminder of what we all need  today- LOVE.

And now, I pull out the outfit that I may or may not be wearing to a funeral service. I am not sure if I will attend, but I know what I will wear if I do. This dress will do what I have needed my clothes to do all week – to stand up for me and to be there for me, when it is a struggle just to be there for myself.

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Love is on at Revlon!

Revlon

Revlon’s relaunched campaign

Revlon is about to launch a brand new look. And the look, and the word – is love. A new 60-second video manifesto highlighting the desirable effects of love can be seen exclusively at Yahoo! Beauty, a favorite destination. New President and CEO of Revlon Inc., Lorenzo Delpani, told Yahoo! Beauty that Revlon was too similar to its competitors and needed a way to distinguish the brand and “impact the consumer in a positive way.” Says Delpani: “In a world full of negativity and conflict we have a role to play and a desire to spread a positive message. Many marketers leverage antagonism, but we want to impact the consumer in a positive way.” In fact, this new campaign and relaunch has become “a brand cause.”

Love as a mission and a brand cause? Choosing positivity over negativity? I’m buying it!

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Joan Rivers: Beeautiful!

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

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

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.” ~ Joan Rivers speaking on  QVC

I am heartbroken at the loss of Joan Rivers. I celebrate her life today, with my own Joan Rivers signature bee pin from QVC. Thank you for this beautiful, meaningful piece, which I will wear and think of you. And no, I won’t give up, nor say ‘I can’t.’ Rest in peace, Joan.

Photo by Alexandra

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J’adore February!

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P1030211February is one of my favorite months: Valentine’s Day illuminates the soul; Fashion Week kicks off; The Winter Olympics arrives; and my blog, Turning Fashion Inside Out, turns two years old. In this podcast, I feel nothing but gratitude for the beauty that is February. xx Kisses!

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Coming of age in leather sweatpants

My $28 leather sweatpants from Loehmann's

My $28 leather sweatpants from Loehmann’s

The wonderful Belly Dancing at Le Souk Restaurant, NYC

The wonderful Belly Dancing at Le Souk Harem, NYC

What do the following have in common: celebrating a special birthday, New York City, Belly Dancing and making memories-of-a-lifetime? The answer: my leather sweatpants! When my dear friend Lisa celebrated a birthday milestone, I decided to follow my stylist’s lead and wear leather sweatpants! I took it to heart when Kim Naci said her obsession for 2014 was leather sweatpants; more comfortable than the leather jegging of 2013, leather sweatpants have just enough cool to be different. I found these at Loehmann’s for $28, during their going-out-of-business sale. Birthdays are a reminder to celebrate and what better way to do that than with friends, and of course …. fashion! Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Photos by Lisa Reznik

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Five Days of Dressing for Success: Tamara’s dream to be free

Tamara T, speaking at The Dress for Success Transforming Lives Gala

Tamara Trotz, speaking at The Dress for Success Morris County Transforming Lives Gala

The minute I slipped that dress on, it brought the entire equation together. I thought: ‘maybe people can see my ambition now.’ I felt that people had no choice but to take me seriously. You see, I never felt that I was being taken seriously. And to know that the clothes were a gift to me, made me feel worthy in a new way. Dress for Success did that for me. ” ~ Tamara Trotz

Tamara Trotz is a remarkable young woman. She is a poet. At age 24, she is designing her life and her future with the grace and maturity of a woman much older than her years. Everything she is, everything she values and holds dear, Tamara received from her mother, whom Tamara lost last year to cancer. Her mother had just turned 50. When you meet Tamara you feel the love she has for her mother and you know that she is growing up with the same courage, strength, faith and hope that her mother had. This is Tamara’s remarkable story in her own words: how she grew up with 3 siblings and a single mother who was a victim of domestic violence, how she found her ambition at 15, graduated from high school and college, and learned to appreciate her outer self when she found Dress for Success Morris County. I only hope that I do Tamara justice …

I never really understood the difficulties my mom had endured until later in my life. Growing up was isolating and I was forced to grow up long before my years. I am the oldest of three girls (my brother is a few months older than I am) and I became the caretaker. I was six years old when I understood that my mother was being battered by my father. That was the point when I started to feel the need to protect my mother. She was an amazing, strong and capable woman and mother. She gave her children everything she had and took such good care of us; her life’s dream was to give to us. And I wanted nothing more than to protect her – always … Continue reading

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Alina’s Love

Alina Villasante, owner and visionary of Peace Love World

Alina Villasante, founder and visionary of Peace Love World

Alina Villasante is the founder and visionary of Peace Love World, a retail brand that is taking Florida and the world by storm. Alina believes that she is here to tell a story, a story of peace and love and good will. That is why every PLW item is infused with positivity. But it’s more than an image on a shirt. Alina says, “Peace Love World is about experiencing fashion in a soulful way – mind, body, spirit.” I asked Alina how she came to tell this amazing story …

MKG: Alina, you moved around as a child – born in Cuba and raised in The United States. How old were you when you and your family moved to the US? How did growing up in the various environments affect you?

Alina: I moved from Cuba to New York when I was 8 months old and after twelve years my family moved to Atlanta. Growing up in New York and Atlanta made me realize that everyone is looking for the same thing no matter where you come from. I learned how to love and appreciate all types of people, personalities and ethnicities. Continue reading

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Prom: 2006

Daniel in his Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and his four friends with hand made original designs

Daniel in his Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and his four friends with his hand made original designs

My final prom feature is a sweet story about generosity and kindness. In 2006 Daniel was a senior in high school. Already a fashion designer and a creative original, Daniel hand made four prom dresses for his friends, including his date for the evening. The Great Gatsby was the inspiration for his date’s dress – a dropped waste and a soft, silk fabric pillow of a dress. For himself, Daniel had ordered a rental tuxedo. When the day came to pick up his tux just one day before the prom Daniel was dismayed to discover that the tux did not fit him and was far too big. When he brought it home his mother took one look at the tux and said that it would not do. He had just made four exquisite dresses for his friends and he needed to look just as sharp. She said to Daniel, “let’s go!” Together, they returned the rental tux and marched over to Dolce & Gabbana: Daniel tried on an amazing tuxedo that fit him perfectly. His mother bought the outfit for him then and there, as well as a shirt, shoes and accessories. Daniel was so touched by his mother’s generosity and extravagance, but his mother told him that it was her joy to do this for him and it would be his graduation present. Daniel owns the tuxedo today and counts it among his treasures. His mother sounds like a treasure, too.

Thank you to Daniel and Samantha and Miranda for sharing their prom stories. I learned a lot about high school prom in the process; some things are quite different from when I attended my prom. The things that are the same are simple: feeling special for the day and being with your friends to mark the growing up process in a completely unique way. And Ashley? She is holding off on this year’s prom to attend her senior prom next year: she and her friends will instead make a trip into New York City for a special dinner. Sounds good to me!

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Happy Birthday, Grandma!

My Grandma Eleanor on her engagement day - what a fashionista!

My Grandma Eleanor on her engagement day – what a fashionista!

Although April 15th may bring fear to the hearts of many as the official day income taxes are due, for me it will always be a day of sunshine: April 15th was my Grandma Eleanor’s birthday. She passed away in 1991 at the age of 85, and had she lived she would be 106 years old today! My mother has always said that the trees start to bloom on my Grandma’s birthday and I know she is right. My Grandma Eleanor was not only a light in my life, but a burst of color for the world. Born in Hungary, she moved to New York City with her family when she was just seventeen, and changed her name from Elona to Eleanor because I guess she thought it sounded more American. Eleanor had vibrant red hair and with her long, lovely legs, she wore clothes so beautifully and elegantly. And her inner beauty truly matched her outer self.

Here she is on her engagement day, with my grandfather. The year was probably 1926. People dressed so much more formally in the 1920s. You can see the style of dress for the times in her cloche-style hat and coat.

Oh, and yes – I see the trees outside are starting to bud! Happy Birthday, Grandma!

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