Haute Couture

Haute Couture literally means “high fashion” or “high dressmaking”.  This term is used in such a ubiquitous way that most people really don’t understand its true meaning CCworkinganymore.  This elite category of fashion is literally constructed by hand from start to finish. This is why it is beyond expensive. No machines allowed.

Haute Couture is also a “protected name” and can only be used by companies that meet specific well-defined standards. They are members of the “Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture”.  This is museum quality art, using hands as a tool much like a painter or sculptor.  Simply awe-inspiring.

This isn’t exactly “anti-aging” but I know that we all appreciate this art form.  Many, including myself, did sew in their younger years or still do.  I always enjoy fashion videos on YouTube and this is yet another one I had to share.  Enjoy, appreciate . . .  and drool!

A Monument to Love . . . The Legend of Shalimar

When perusing YouTube or LuxeTV, I occasionally get really inspired to share.  If this isn’t the sexiest commercial film for a perfume I have ever seen, I don’t know what is!

An Indian princess awakened by Shah Jahan (Mughal emperor in the 1600’s who built the Taj Mahal for his beloved) sets the tone for this visual feast. Natalia Vodianova is in full-blown couture by designer Yiqing Yin with score by Hans Zimmer – Chevaliers de Sangreal . . . nice job Guerlain.

P.S.  if you get a commercial, click off quickly you don’t want to miss a minute of this.

A Fashion MUST

I have always said there are specific fashion “must haves”  (this predominately applies to the “fashionistas” out there) . . . great fitting jeans (never out of fashion and at any age), great fitting crisp white shirts, a leather jacket, a fabulous trench coat, the perfect “LBD”, killer black pumps (I still believe no one does a more perfect pump than Christian Louboutin), a killer bag . . .  and then the splurge of all splurges . . . a Chanel jacket (unless you really want to go to the next level and throw in an Hermes Birkin!).

Many don’t really know the history of THE Chanel jacket . . . they just know it’s a highly coveted item. Well . . .  here’s a little snippet for you . . .

Now I realize we are talking at least four figures here . . . so I’m not saying to go out and max out your card or do anything you are uncomfortable doing . . . I have seen over the years many second hand shops that resell wonderful used Chanel pieces . . .  even the perfect jacket.  It’s worth the investment brand new or used as you will have it the rest of your life!  It’s THE classic jacket. Cost per wear Ladies!

Interview with model Maya Alex

MayarunwayI had the pleasure of interviewing the beautiful and oh so tall Maya Alex in San Francisco recently. I’m 5’10” and felt short! She has walked the runways in Europe and has been represented by Elite Model Management and Women Management in Paris. She is one of those rare ladies who truly is beautiful on the inside and out!

Maya1

Modern Chic

MO2What is chic?  By definition . . . elegantly and stylishly fashionable.

I have been on a “fashion mission” for the past decade as I am trying to keep our baby boomers hip and relevant (me included!).   I have had the pleasure of reorganizing many closets and assisting my friends and clients in obtaining a “new look”.   I can’t help but bring attention to our first lady, Michelle Obama.  I’ve been talking it . . . she’s in it and on it!   She so gets the high-low vibe . . .  pairing high-fashion pieces with mainstream retail items.  I can’t think of anything more aging than wearing a total designer look head to toe.  It’s just not current.  How cool that Mrs. Obama paired Thom Browne with J. Crew at the Inauguration?  Fabulous!   Even the great Carolina Herrera buys some of her signature white shirts from Banana Republic among other mass retailers.  That’s stylish . . . that’s fashionable.  My advice is to splurge on a few classic designer pieces and mix up the rest of your wardrobe with everything else.  It’s not about money, it’s about being cool and current.

Now for elegant . . . that’s a fine line.  That word alone conjures up “old”.  It needn’t be.  Elegant is simple, elegant is accessible, elegant is confidence.  There is nothing more painful to me than to see a beautiful woman trying too hard.  It screams insecurity and it’s obvious.   If you’re not comfortable in your own skin by now . . .  pass on buying new clothes and go see a shrink!  Yes, I have strong opinions!  Even the fabulous Oprah is nailing it lately.  She wears color beautifully and pairs fabulous but minimal accessories with her outfits.  One of my favorite looks of hers is below, I just had to look at it again!  Simple, monochromatic, beautiful!   PS and BTW . . .  there’s a reason women favor solids . . . it’s simply more flattering.  Crazy, wild prints are for the younger gals, for the most part (except when it comes to animal prints, which I am a major fan of, as it’s a neutral and just one piece can hip-up an outfit).

If I could give one piece of advice and I use it a lot, I would say be INTUITIVE with everything you do.   From dressing, to makeup, to how you interact with people . . . trust that how you put yourself together is making the world a prettier and better place!

Oprah2Carolina Herrera

DVF

 

Fashion 101 @ 40+

fashion9Before I start blogging about fashion, which is one of my favorite topics as it’s so much fun, I need to explain my position and opinion.

I am a graduate of FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) and have modeled off and on since I was a teenager.  I have walked the runway in my younger years (attempted it in Paris but took off to travel instead!) and ended up doing commercial print jobs in the “lifestyle” category in my forties.  I have been around some of the coolest stylists and makeup artists and have picked up so many tips and advice.  I also sewed a lot of my own clothes when I was young as I loved buying patterns and fabrics and creating something beautiful.  I wore matching shoes and bags when I was really young (why I needed a bag at 7?) and can say that fashion has been a big part of my life from early on.  Moving forward, I wish to impart my personal philosophy as I truly believe that getting older (not a negative!) does involve some scrutiny on the fashion front.

I now come from a place of maintaining class and sophistication while embracing trends and being current.  There really are no “rules” anymore in fashion but “trends” can be dangerous!  Proportion, color, classic and hip (high/low pieces . . .  think Chanel, Hermes and J Crew, Banana Republic, H&M), and being age appropriate are where I come from.  My first rule and piece of advice is to be intuitive to what you are wearing and what you look like as you head out the door every day.  I see so many women trying too hard to look young and cool, they end up looking foolish and pathetic.  Sorry for being so blunt here, but it really is a sad site to see.  Just the other day while sitting at the airport waiting to board my  flight, I saw a woman that looked like she was in her early 40’s, wearing a top that was all cleavage and jeans that were too tight and too low, she kept bending over and all you could see as her jeans pulled down (way down!) was a bright red lacy thong!  (PS and BTW . . .  she wasn’t exactly in shape either!)  The looks on all of our faces said it all . . .  sad!  Trying too hard (and being totally clueless) is not the way to go . . .  being confident in how you look and present yourself to the world says everything about you.  A perfect example . . . my two SHEros . . .  Carolina Herrera and Diane von Furstenberg.  Class and cool!  So again, moving forward, this is where I am coming from as nothing gives me more visual pleasure than to see a 40+ woman looking confident, sexy and fabulous!