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Archive for July, 2017

img_20170724_161221288.jpgEvery female student in Iran wore the same uniform, which consisted of pants, a manteau, and a scarf that covered the hair and neck. Imagine a throng of one thousand teenagers in the same color uniform only showing face and hands. We looked like replicas of one another … I hated blending in with the rest of the crowd, and most of my friends felt the same way. This meant that our shoes, backpacks, and jewelry really mattered. They were the only way to showcase our fashion sense and individuality … My friends and I usually wore matching colorful friendship bracelets, trendy backpacks, and funky shoelaces; we rolled up our sleeves and opened up our manteaus to reveal our shirts underneath. Being fashionable trumped any other responsibility. 

(A manteau is a loose fitting gown or cloak.)

Tala Raassi, swimwear designer.  This quote is from Ms. Raassi’s memoir, Fashion is Freedom (Sourcebooks, 2016).

I picked up this book at the library because I can never resist a fashion story. But Fashion is Freedom is more than that. It’s a compelling read about Ms. Raassi’s struggle to overcome restrictions in her homeland of Iran and the fascinating ups and downs she faced in the American fashion industry.

Oh, and there’s a very interesting section about Ms. Raassi’s experience as the swimwear sponsor of the Miss Universe Pageant in 2010 – it wasn’t pretty!

An informative read.

 

 

 

 

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nipar-bonnie-370wNot a believer in idle hands, my grandmother presented me with a small sewing box when I was nine years old. She taught me rudimentary hand stitching, cross-stitch, embroidery, and how to darn holes in socks. Soon, I was making clothing for my dolls out of her old aprons. A year later, she announced we would move on to the sewing machine. I felt a thrill of adventure as she pulled down the hideaway ladder in the upstairs hallway and we climbed to the attic sewing room, complete with a large cutting table, bins of fabric and patterns, and nestled close to a dormer window, an old Singer sewing machine with a knee pedal. This room became my haven growing up. My grandmother was the first person to recognize my passion for clothing and design, and foster my creativity. I will always be grateful to her for teaching me how to sew.

Bonnie Nipar, Hollywood costume designer.

Ms. Nipar shared her story with the recent edition of The Costume Designer (the official magazine of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892). Her work can be seen on television shows Grace Under Fire, Dharma & Greg, and recently Are You There, Chelsea?

 

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"Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals

Not an easy gown to wear.  No wonder she’s selling it.

WWD reported last week that actress Lena Dunham teamed up with online luxury consignment platform The Real Real to pass along some of her wardrobe goodies.

Included in the sale were several of the pieces she wore on her television show, Girls as well as shoes, graphic t-shirts, and the Elizabeth Kennedy gown (priced at $4000) that Dunham sported to this year’s Met Gala. So far the sales total over $26,000, which will be donated to Planned Parenthood. 

The Real Real often works with celebrity clients, who donate their commissions to charities.

Great idea!

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Ayesha Curry

Ayesha has the best energy and is truly one of the kindest women on the planet … If she’s in LA, we might shift gears and do a short Isabel Marant dress or a Stella McCartney jumpsuit with a sexy heel or a cute bootie and layer a bunch of jewelry. In the Bay, depending on weather, she might throw on some high-waisted jeans, a bodysuit and a faux-fur jacket with a cross-body bag. Her look is chic, transitional, and real – just like her life.

Mary Gonsalves Kinney – San Francisco based stylist.

Ms. Kinney is speaking to the Nob Hill Gazette about her Bay Area celebrity client, Ayesha Curry (cookbook author and wife of Warriors basketball star, Stephen Curry).

I tip my hat to Ayesha for choosing faux-fur.

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Screenshot_2017-07-04-18-46-12I met Amy Woodbury recently at Whole Foods. I was shopping for a natural face moisturizer and Amy helped me to sort through the numerous options.

A holistic nutritionist and brand ambassador for skincare products, Amy educates store staff and customers on various good and healthy products.

There is a lot of talk lately about changes in the beauty industry – new organic and food based products and customer shifts in wants and needs. So I thought a Q&A with Amy would be of interest to OverDressedforLife readers.

As a Holistic Nutritionist, how to do see skincare and beauty products as part of healthy routine?

Your skin is an organ. What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your mouth.

I have noticed that lately consumers want not just say, a moisturizer, but one that will do more than moisturize. In makeup I now look for lipsticks that will put a lovely shade of red on my lips AND also condition, heal, offer anti-aging properties. We’ve gone beyond “no parabens … no bad stuff” we want all kinds of good-for-us ingredients. What do you think about this trend? And are you finding the industry is responding?

I don’t think its a trend. I think it’s an awareness that will never go away. Now that humans have learned their skin is an organ and ingests what is put on it, there is no way chemicals will be acceptable or a conscious choice. Yes, the skin care and makeup industries are responding. How can they not? Making products that poison a human organ is an irresponsible business.

As we shop for skincare and beauty products, what are some key ingredients we should look for?

Aloe as a top ingredient in lotion. It allows the oils to be absorbed into the skin tissue. Olive oil. Algae. Flax oil. Green tea. In makeup look for ones made from plant waxes.

How about the inside? What foods should we eat for healthy skin?

Foods for healthy skin: Water, sardines. Lots of raw greens. Bone broth and all root vegetables.

What are the three must-have makeup products you carry in your handbag?

The 3 must-have beauty products in my bag are:

  1. Sea Kind facial toner
  2. Ingenues eye gel for bags and wrinkles
  3. Acure lip gloss

From your perspective working with customers, where do you see the skincare and beauty industry going in the next five years?

The future of skin care is going to be all food based and collagen producing, like polypeptides from plants. Algae. Hyaluronic Acid. Ingredients that our body can ingest and thrive on, while looking younger and fresh.

Great information and tips! Thank you, Amy.

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11c3e166487071f95963f05fed3b8721--lucinda-chambers-style-unique-fashion-styleThere are very few fashion magazines that make you feel empowered. Most leave you totally anxiety-ridden, for not having the right kind of dinner party, setting the table in the right kind of way or meeting the right kind of people. Truth be told, I haven’t read Vogue in years. Maybe I was too close to it after working there for so long, but I never felt I led a Vogue-y kind of life. The clothes are just irrelevant for most people – so ridiculously expensive. What magazines want today is the latest, the exclusive. It’s a shame that magazines have lost the authority they once had. They’ve stopped being useful. In fashion we are always trying to make people buy something they don’t need. We don’t need any more bags, shirts or shoes. So we cajole, bully or encourage people into continue buying. I know glossy magazines are meant to be aspirational, but why not be both useful and aspirational? That’s the kind of fashion magazine I’d like to see.

Lucinda Chambers, former fashion director at British Vogue.

Last week Vestoj online magazine posted an interview with Ms. Chambers in which she discusses how she was abruptly fired from her position at British Vogue by the new editor, Edward Enninful. She had worked at the publication for 25 years. She says it took Mr. Enniful three minutes to fire her.

Since the interview first ran it was taken down once, re-posted, and then edited as requested by Conde Nast.

As a fashion magazine reader myself, I find what Ms. Chambers says quite interesting. Many people have issues with fashion mags – I’ve heard friends of mine make similar comments. I understand her point, but I have a different view.

To me they are guides for what the trends are and inspiration for a little DIY. Yes, the brands advertised and fashions highlighted are way too expensive but that’s where creativity kicks in. The models are too skinny and photo-shopped but actually, I don’t look at the models. I focus on the clothes and how they’re styled. I don’t live a Vogue-y lifestyle but I don’t feel bad about that. Nor am I driven to buy the latest anything. Fashion magazines offer a study of current fashion and I’m thankful they’re out there. I find them informative, artistic, and entertaining. (Plus they provide excellent material for collages.)

I think it’s important for readers to keep these magazines in perspective. What’s portrayed is not real. It’s fantasy. Most people cannot afford the clothes and the even the models don’t look like “the models.” Let’s not take it too seriously or personally.

Having said that, I also must say that I am fully aware that the fashion industry is not a nice place. It’s a corporate-run, greedy business that sadly, is harming our environment. Lots of people are exploited from designers to factory workers. Although it looks from the outside to be a glamorous world in which to work, it’s not really. Fashion is tough, it’s cut throat and unforgiving. Ms. Chambers says, “You can’t afford to fail in fashion.”

I applaud Ms. Chambers for speaking out and I look forward to what she does next. Perhaps a book? Or her own fashion publication – one that is useful, empowers and inspires.  I’ll subscribe!

 

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New handbag choice as well. Gone is the clutch replaced with a handle bag by Victoria Beckham.

A new do and polka-dots, too! (Dress by Dolce & Gabbana).

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is looking fabulous this summer with a (slightly) shorter hairstyle. It’s amazing how a few inches can make a difference. (The color might also be a bit darker.)

It’s about time for a change, which offers the Duchess a style uplift.

But I’ve been wanting Kate to cut her hair for years and even shorter. She has a beautiful mane, but too long it lacks style and drags her whole look down. I think something with more shape, perhaps a shoulder-length bob, would be much sharper and keep the Duchess looking updated and chic.

Still, one can’t quibble too much about this modern style icon. Go Kate!

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