Fashion Insider Jo Ellison, Speaks

Jo Ellison

In July, I read a fascinating piece in Financial Times, by fashion editor Jo Ellison. The subject of the feature: Why fashion isn’t always as silly as it seems … Irrelevant? Elitist? The fashion industry makes mistakes, but we should still take it seriously. I loved reading it and was drawn to the writing of Ms. Ellison. And then I thought … what if I could track down Ms.Ellison and ask her to share her thoughts on TFIO? Never mind that Jo lives in London, never mind that she is a true fashion insider, living a fashion insider’s life of interviews and fashion coverage, and getting access to top international fashion shows. I reached out to her. And reached out again. And after several months of not giving up, Jo Ellison answered my questions. What a coup! Now my next goal is to meet Jo in person – London? New York City? Here is a fashion insider’s look at fashion and self esteem …

What is your personal fashion story? Did you always love fashion and think of it as your destiny?

I always loved shopping, and clothes. But I wouldn’t describe myself as one of those people who always saw fashion in their destiny. I was more of an enthusiast. Fashion, to my mind, was always a bit remote and inaccessible. I have always been more interested in the broader societal impact a piece of clothing might have – what it says about us and the world we live in. Whether that’s Theresa May in a leopard print pump, or Julia Roberts winning an Oscar in vintage Valentino.

You worked at Vogue – tell us something about Vogue we don’t know.

Everyone there was far friendlier than people might believe. There seems to be a popular misconception – much mythologized by films like The Devil Wears Prada, or shows like Ugly Betty – that women working in fashion are all horrible to each other. In fact, the office at UK Vogue was one of the most encouraging, team-worky and supportive I’ve known. Continue reading

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Put a Pin In It!

optimized-2016-10-13-01-16-45-2There were numerous, “I have to have that!” fashion moments watching Sex and the City; sometimes it was Miranda or Charlotte or Samantha, but mostly it was Carrie moments. She was over-the-top, yes, but I related to her fashion-forward style. Her pieces, especially her accessories, were unique and expressive – they identified her persona and character. Certain moments come to mind, especially those of Carrie wearing a series of flower pins. I had my own Carrie Bradshaw moment today when I added a vintage Dolce & Gabbana flower pin to my blazer – just for the fun of it. No one had seen anything like it and I was happy to wear something unique. Don’t be afraid to have a good time with your accessories; they are what set you apart from the crowd. They will give you that edge and confidence to be your most individual self. And that is what clothes do best.

Pin, Dolce & Gabbana; Blazer, Valentino; Blouse, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti

Photo by Abrina

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Sofia Coppola and Valentino Take to the Opera!

Valentino Garavani and Sofia Coppola with designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo  CREDIT: DANILO SCARPATI

Valentino Garavani and Sofia Coppola with designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo  CREDIT: DANILO SCARPATI

When I was in my last year of college, I spent a January in Rome, Florence, and Athens. It was called a January-Term and though it was a long time ago, my memories are hidden just below the surface of my heart. They came to life when I read that the talented Sofia Coppola is directing her first operatic venture which debuted over the weekend: the production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La traviata, at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. With costumes designed by Valentino Garavani himself, and his protégés Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the visual splendor is palpable. Coppola was persuaded to take on the challenge by Valentino, who is a patron of the opera house; Valentino invited Coppola to direct La traviata after seeing her 2006 historical drama Marie Antoinette, and was impressed by her creative aesthetic. Continue reading

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Look Who Strut the Runway at the Valentino Show – Zoolander!

main.originalParis Fashion ValentinoParis Fashion ValentinoThose attending Valentino’s Paris Fashion Week were treated to a real surprise and big smiles; Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, aka Derek Zoolander and Hansel, walked the runway in custom suiting and pieces from Valentino’s fall 2015 collection.

This is how they announced the sequel, Zoolander 2; production began last month and filming is set to begin in Rome very soon.

It’s fashion meets art meets life! Valentino scooped them all!

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Consignment treasures

My consignment treasures: a Hazel sundress and Tory Burch gladiator-style sandals with gold detail

My consignment treasures: a Hazel sundress and Tory Burch gladiator-style sandals with gold detail

Change is here – welcome to Turning Fashion Inside Out! New name, new weekly podcast (launching soon). I made the name change because … fashion is not always for those on the inside. Many of us feel left out of the fashion industry if we don’t look a certain way or purchase certain clothes or travel in the fashion circles … what’s inside is expressed by our fashion choices on the outside … and because some feedback from participants have noted that “your blog is really helpful to understand that fashion and confidence go together and always involve change.” What will never change, however, are my guiding principles and who I am. On to consignment treasures …

For my birthday, my mom treated me to some treasures from a new consignment shop in her town. I was reminded once again of the value of consignment shopping. In today’s world of ‘cookie-cutter’ department store fashions where so many stores carry the same look, adding a consignment shop to your shopping repertoire is a must. You can find one-of-a-kind things that simply aren’t available anywhere else and if you happen to love labels this is the most cost-effective way to buy a specific brand. You can get luxury goods at a fraction of their original cost. In the past I have purchased beautiful handbags that I could never have afforded otherwise, including a classic black Prada, shoes, and several high-end designer brand named items, including Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino (seen here), Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, and Theory. Continue reading

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Oh, Valentino!

Oh, Valentino!

Oh, Valentino!

Consignment shopping is the best – especially when you happen to hit a sale. If you don’t already have a tried and true high-end consignment shop near you, find one now!

Years ago I worked part-time at a local shop. It was a little dangerous for me. I was always first to spot the finds as they entered the store. It was also a life-changing experience because I learned a new way to add to my wardrobe and shop with distinction. What a thrill to find beautiful, often couture pieces that I would never be able to own at the original prices. As it happens, I’m not often impressed with labels and I love to mix high and low end fashion – it’s my favorite way to dress. But there is a reason that couture is what it is; generally speaking, the fabrics are exquisite and the fit is perfection. That’s what you are buying – quality and longevity. To be able to own a few noteworthy gems makes me feel special, too. And I know that if I care for and preserve them, they will be with me forever.

That is just what I did today. I bought my first (and perhaps my only) Valentino piece – a white, eyelet blazer! I bought it on sale, 50% off an already majorly-reduced price: a jacket that retails for over $1700. It’s in perfect condition and what can I say, but oh! oh! oh! Valentino!

And there is more … I found an edgy striped sleeveless COMME des GARCONS shirt, again 50% off. It’s fitted with an uneven hem giving it the feel of a peplum, a current fashion trend. Another benefit of consignment shopping is that not only can you find high-end designer names at much lower prices, but you also acquire unique pieces that you cannot find anywhere else. This is remarkable in today’s cookie-cutter shopping experience where it is virtually impossible to find variety and one-of-a-kind dressing. Here is a way for you to truly stand out while building a wardrobe.

My advice? Run, don’t walk to your nearest consignment shop. Go with my blessing!

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