She Can’t Do It

Gymnastic equipment

I took an introduction to gymnastics class when I was a kid. They held it in the gymnasium at the elementary school I attended. We took turns jumping on the vault (my favorite), we tumbled on the floor mat, and we attempted a few maneuvers on the uneven bars. During my turn on the bars, one of the instructors said (as she was standing directly beside me), “She can’t do it.” The other instructor quickly reprimanded her, but the damage had been done. Her words hurt and discouraged me. Otherwise, it was a mostly forgettable day in the life of my youth. I am not sure if I ever returned to gymnastics, but I would have learned on my own I was not suited to it.

Although this memory has stayed with me, I have no hard feelings about it. The instructor was frustrated and blurted out the first thing that came into her head. Been there and done that. During a class at my church this past Sunday, I gained valuable insight from the upbeat guest speaker, Dr. Julie Bell, about correction. She said, “Tell them what to do, not what not to do.” Wow! How many times have I made this simple mistake with myself, with my children, and with my loved ones? Well-meaning advice and instruction/correction has focused on what not to do, creating a negative mindset.

I wonder how often I have made this mistake with my clients. My passion is helping others look and feel better. By finding ways to improve a client’s image, aligning their external and internal selves, their entire life experiences improvement. By avoiding the what not to dos, my clients will be more relaxed and open to trying new things, and the appointment will feel positive. Thank you, Dr. Julie, for this eye-opening moment. I will keep this in mind with all of my encounters.

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“There is always a way to do what you’re doing better. Every day you have to improve your work and try to learn from everything.”—Sergio Rossi

Photo of me by Christina Childress.

The Day the Clouds Parted: Remembering Lancaster R5682

I am not certain what I expected when we started the second leg of our family trip to The Netherlands in Leeuwarden, located north of Amsterdam in the province of Friesland, but it became clear quickly this would be a very special time of remembering the airmen on the last flight of Lancaster R5682 of the 61 Squadron Royal Air Force. Located in our room were several items about our weekend, including a booklet containing remembrances of each airman written by their families. As I read the texts, a sadness enveloped me as I became more aware of the great sacrifice each made to liberate Europe from Germany’s tyranny. The texts were placed in order that each jumped from the crippled bomber on September 5, 1942: James Francis Cooper, Ted May, Philip James Bridgeman, Eric Underwood Booth, Neal Douglas Mullins, Bertram Arthur Farmer and Peter Clement Vellacott Joslin, the pilot, who remained on board until the last moment to release the four bombs on board the aircraft.

The people of the province of Friesland went to great effort, first of all, to salvage what remained of the aircraft last fall in September/October 2017 in what was once a landfill in the early 20th Century. Not only was the land contaminated, it is also marshy. Therefore, this was no easy recovery. It had to be carefully planned and smartly executed. After five weeks of digging, this phase of the project was complete.

IMG_9534Architect Nynke Rixt Jukema was tapped to create a monument at the site of the crash, which is now a nature reserve. Her firm, NRJ Architecture, focuses on environmental design. The large brick memorial is the same length as the wing span of the Lancaster bomber. Inside the memorial are 251 holes, representing the 251 aircraft which were airborne from England to Germany the night Lancaster R5682 was shot down. All but 12 of the holes were filled with sand in the hopes that swallows who nest in the area will make homes there. Thus, the monument not only honors the airmen of R5682 on its final flight, but it also represents the return of life.

On top of the monument is the text, “Thundering through the clear sky,” a reference to the motto of the 61 Squadron.

IMG_9532On Sunday, April 15, 2018, all of the family members of the crewmen, along with various members of The Netherlands military and Frisian civilians involved with the project, gathered for a memorial ceremony and unveiling of the monument. One by one, the family members read the texts they had written for their loved one. 12 metal cylinders, made from metal from R5682, were placed inside the monument with these special messages inside, twelve representing the number of aircraft which did not return from the mission that night.

IMG_9519As pilot, Peter Joslin’s, son and two grandsons came forward to read their text, the clouds parted, and the sun shone brightly on their faces. Joslin’s grandson, Andrew, remarked that it was the second time they had visited this site that the clouds had broken. The first time the clouds parted was when a Lancaster bomber flew over the site of the crash on October 3, 2017, during the recovery of the remains of R5682. Some say God does not speak to us anymore. I say you need to open your eyes, hearts and ears because God does speak, and he spoke quite clearly those two days.

 

We lost three brave men from R5682 on September 5, 1942: James Francis Cooper, tail gunner, who remains MIA, Edward Joseph “Ted” May, bomb aimer, whose parachute did not open, and Peter Joslin, who remained with the aircraft until almost the end so his crew could abort and the bombs dropped to minimize damage. The weekend we enjoyed together as families would not have occurred if not for his valor, and quite a few in attendance would not have been born had he not made this sacrifice, including my twins, Nathan and Vivien.

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The words “thank you” do not suffice.

 

The four who survived their jumps: Bridgeman, Booth, Mullins and Farmer, were arrested, interviewed and imprisoned by the Germans until their liberation in 1945. Each one found his own way of rising above those horrendous years, living long, full lives following the war. Philip James Bridgeman, navigator of R5682 and a gifted writer like his father, James Newman Bridgeman, began a memoir before his death. In it he wrote, “One should not expect more from anyone else than one is willing to give of one’s self.” These seven men gave more.

With admiration, love and respect,
Bethany Siggins

Wife of John Siggins, grandson of Neal Douglas Mullins, mid upper gunner of R5682

Post Script: A tremendous thank you to everyone in Friesland who were part of the recovery of R5682 and the planning and execution of the events of the weekend, which included meals, lodging, transportation, receptions and the memorial ceremony, not to mention the thoughtfully designed memorial and the beautiful swallow sculpture, a parting memento for the families, crafted from metal of R5682. IMG_9769We know you feel bound to honor the men who had a hand in liberating you, so we understand the thanks works both ways. But you went above and beyond. Thank you for everything. These are special memories we will have for a lifetime.

 

When Life Demands a Pause

We live our lives in a great hurry. We run from this activity to the next, from this meeting to the next one, and we look back on a completed year with a smug, satisfied smile for all the things we accomplished. Yet, what was truly accomplished? Were important things getting done, or were you just busy? The way we spend our time, and the goals we set for ourselves become our legacy. It is my hope for 2018 and beyond that I am more focused on wisely using my time.

IMG_2061I became scattered and lost when we moved from Dallas to Seattle three years ago. My husband went to his job every day, the kids went to their school, and I didn’t know where to go except home. I was mildly depressed, and I perfected the art of time wasting. My days were a blur of household chores, text threads with friends back home and lots and lots of social media scrolling, liking and commenting. I can reflect on that time as a terrible funk, a semi-dark time in my life, or I can also choose to look at it as a giant lesson in embracing changes and slowing down.

 

IMG_0222Slowing down was an inevitable result of the move. Starting over in Seattle means I have fewer social engagements and clients. These days you can find me writing, reading blogs, taking photos, planning what I will write and so on (all solitary activities). This slower pace has meant I can pick the kids up from school, take them on afternoon adventures and spend more time with them in general. I had a lot of support in Dallas, and my image consulting business was beginning to take off. As a result, I saw my children a lot less than I see them now. So, this forced pause was good for us. What a blessing it has been to enjoy them during these sweet, young years. My business can always get a re-boot. I can’t get time back with my kids.

The “slowing down” part was easier for me than the “embracing changes” part of this lesson. I do not like change. I do not enjoy the thrill of a new challenge. I freeze, fearful of the unknown, desperate to go back to what I know, my comfort zone. Moving to Seattle, a city that is quite culturally different from The South where I had lived for 42 years, was about as big of a change as I have ever faced. I had to put myself out there, making many efforts to build a social and a professional network from nothing. Three years later, I am relatively well-connected in the Seattle fashion industry, and I have lovely, supportive friends. I am proud of that accomplishment. I love that I have these new connections. I would not know them if I had not been forced into a dis-comfort zone.

The Bottom Line: Life always has a few tricks up its sleeve. I am sure it has blindsided you on many occasions just as it has me. When life tells you to stop or slow down, do it. Have faith that there is a greater purpose for it than at first meets the eye. Try not to be angry or resentful about it, though these feelings are normal and you have every right to feel them. Just don’t stay at the pity party for more than one drink. (My thanks to Stacy for that great illustration.)

IMG_8167You will arrive at the right places at the right time. All the things that are meant for you will be yours. You don’t have to sprint. No one will take them from you. Learn and grow in the “pause” moments. Happy New Year!

Fiercely You in 2018

I have written a lot over the years about personal style and fashion. You could say I am fierce about others discovering their own style. If you were to look up “fierce” in the dictionary, you’d see: wild, savage, hostile and intense in the definition.

We began using “fierce” to describe fashion around the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Supermodel Tyra Banks and fashion designer Christian Siriano seized upon “fierce,” and it sort of became tired from over-use. However, I love the word, and I believe “fierce” remains relevant as a fashion term when used in the right way.

IMG_0725I like to think my personal style is fierce, and I would definitely describe my style icons as those who are fiercely themselves: Daphne Guinness, Iris Apfel, Isaac Mizrahi and Simon Doonan. You may be surprised to see two men on my list. My style icons have an attitude toward style that I adore, rather than a style I wish to copy. Over the years, I have pulled inspiration from my style icons, as well as from friends and people on the street. In fact, Isaac, in his 2008 book “How to Have Style,” said, “You can’t have style without being inspired.”

What is style? Everyone has their own definition of style. I find it difficult to define, but, in short, your personal style is you. What you wear tells us who you are. I love what Iris Apfel says about her image: “I do not intellectualize what I wear. I just put on what I feel like.” Iris understands herself. She buys what she loves, and she mixes it on her body in creative and interesting ways.

For those of us who are not artists, honing our style takes more reflection and effort. As Isaac has said, “There’s only one way to be excellent at something. You have to practice. Having style is no different. The more you do it, the better and stronger you become.” For 2018, take time to find your sources of inspiration whether they come from fashion, nature, art or other areas. Make a mood board (I have a three-ring binder). When you have a visual, who you are, and thus, your style, becomes readily apparent. Then, start dressing in a way that reflects the vibe of the photos. This process is personal, not cookie cutter, and it takes time. Be patient. Keep your eyes on your board, and allow your style to come to you.

Danielle Steele wrote a lovely piece titled “Ageless Style” for the November 2017 issue of Harper’s Bazaar. Here are some excerpts: You can’t buy it. It really is ageless. It’s a gift. Women need to be braver about wearing their own style. The mistakes can be cool, too! Fashion and style should live and breathe. I have much more fun with fashion now than I did at 25. I’m more daring. If not now, when?

I could not agree more. In an article for Elle magazine about nine years ago, writer Alex Postman interviewed Isaac Mizrahi and went through his process of creating a mood board to discover her style. Alex was bored with her look, and I love what she said about her style, “I’m just passing. At least passing isn’t failing! Yet, it is a failure – of the imagination, of courage…” Yikes!

Don’t just pass! Try new things, make mistakes and have fun. And don’t worry what others will think. I could not put it better than Simon Doonan when he wrote, “As you experiment with your appearance, you must remember that by feeling self-conscious you are merely indulging yourself. Nobody is judging you… People are much too busy worrying about their own lives to ask why you are dressed like Wolf Blitzer.”

Metropolist -70Have a fantastic holiday season, and, by all means, make them look twice!

Why would you want to look nondescript when you could look fierce?–Simon Doonan

 

Looking Back and Moving Forward

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Sometimes you have to look back in order to move forward. I have been doing a lot of looking back in the almost three years we have been in Seattle. At first, my looking back was because I was lonely and homesick, which I still feel at times. Now, with year-end upon us, I am looking back to better understand why I am where I am and to determine what I should do next.

There is a lot about life that does not make sense. We have seen a lot of chaos, heartbreak and disaster this year, more than I recall in my lifetime: hurricanes, wildfires, wars, bombings and the threat of nuclear attack are daily topics of conversation, real occurrences in our lives or in the lives of those we hold dear.

We imagine our life will go a certain way, and it rarely, if ever, plays out the way we pictured it. Why? Because that is life. Life cannot be pinned down, and it cannot be predicted. In the end, life is a compilation of one unexpected moment after another. You can fight against it, or you can work with it. Over and over life is teaching me this.

I am a reformed people-pleaser and a reformed planner. As for the former, I still like people to like me, and I work a bit too diligently at it at times. However, I do accept that some people will like me and others will not, and there is nothing I can do to change their minds. As for the latter, I feel the pendulum has swung too far the other direction. Much to the dismay of my data-driven, super plan-y husband, I plan and prepare for almost nothing. I let the day take me where it will. I do not make New Year’s resolutions, I do not make a to-do list for the day or the week, and I do not write down personal goals or goals for my business. Now, I am the last-minute girl who is always 5-10 minutes late to her engagement, under-prepared and slightly frazzled. There must be a happy medium, don’t you think?

I was telling a trusted colleague about this swing from one end of the spectrum to the other, and she observed that I needed to give myself permission to let my hair down. A great deal has occurred in my life, in the last seven years especially, that were far beyond my control: giving birth to twins at 32 weeks, my mom’s diagnosis of a non-curable blood cancer (she has been in remission for five years), and our move to Seattle, Washington from Dallas, Texas, where I had spent 21 years building my social and professional life. So, yes, I needed to stop planning for a while, and just be in the moment.

future and pastBut I don’t like the feeling of not being prepared, so, for the first time in a long time, I am going to make a list of 2018 personal goals, as well as a list of goals for my business. I have always feared writing goals because I felt I was setting myself up for failure. On the contrary, written goals are guideposts designed to help me succeed. I may not meet them all, but at least I know the direction I am heading. One thing my younger brother said a few years ago that stays with me, “An anxious mind is an unfocused mind.” If I want less anxiety in 2018, I have to create focus for myself. While I still want to flex and bend as life throws me curve balls, I need tangible goals to keep me moving forward and to keep me grounded.

I have shared a lot of my heart with you this year: a day of heartbreak, a big change for my daughter and my insight regarding social media. You have been very kind to read these posts and to offer wisdom and encouragement. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I will leave you with a quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which gives me comfort: “For what it’s worth, it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over again.”

Black and white photo of me by Christina Childress.

Seattle’s Best Holiday Gifts

Let’s be honest. One big reason we are stressed during the holidays is we have no idea what to buy those people in our lives who seem to have everything they need. For those individuals, we must go the extra mile, do a little more research, to find just “the thing.” Who has time for that?! On the eve of Small Business Saturday, I am saving your hide with my short list of the best gifts in Seattle from some of our finest small businesses.

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Buki Blanket (Travel Wrap) – I have been in love with this luxurious blanket/wrap since I laid eyes on it earlier this year, vowing to buy one for my travels. I am happy to report I finally nabbed this beauty (in red trim, naturally) just in time for cozy nights on my couch watching holiday movies (Home Alone, anyone?). In my January post about Buki, I explained about the fabric Joey Rodolfo, Buki co-founder and designer, has developed, which they call Kinoki-3.0. This fabric does not pill, does not stretch out (though it moves easily with your body), warms and cools your body depending upon the atmosphere (indoors or out), and, best of all, it is wash and wear! This blanket is a must-have for your favorite gal on the go. I just took it on a trip, and I can attest to its comfort and thermal regulation. The soft gray fabric is trimmed in your choice of cobalt, red or silver (allow the photos above to scroll to see all three). Looking chic while covering up isn’t easy. Buki has nailed it. Buki is offering 20% off site-side this weekend with the code BUKIME. Or go into the store downtown to see it for yourself (1826 6th Avenue).

Salua’s Classic Cotton Pajamas – When I travel, I love buying something for my wardrobe because it means I will have something no one else will have. We are in luck that Shadia, owner Salua Atelier Lingerie, brings us a little bit of Columbia right here to Seattle. Shadia’s mother founded the company in her home country in 1993. Her luxurious lingerie swiftly gained popularity in Columbia by women who wanted the country’s finest sleepwear. Shadia’s beautiful little boutique has been open in Madrona since 2009, and Salua’s classic pajamas in Rayita Stripes are the most recent to hit the store. Hurry in or purchase online. They will go fast. Shadia is offering 20% off store-wide today! If you need something “special” to go under your pajamas, Shadia and her staff will be happy to assist you.

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flora and henri signature fragrances – The flora and henri concept lifestyle shop, which opened this summer in a gorgeously renovated Pioneer Square space on First Ave., has recently launched two signature fragrances they developed in collaboration with Chelsey Owen of Atelier Madrona. Alcazar Palace opens with orange blossoms, settling into orange flower, jasmine and violet, and finishing with vetiver, white musk and ambrette. Isle of May has a lemon top note, heart notes of violet, raspberry and marigold, and background notes of vetiver, rose, iris and ambrette. These fragrances are available in three sizes, and I love both. They are approachable, yet unique, leaving a dazzling impression. Trust me, you will want one of these as your new signature scent. Beyond fragrance, flora and henri has a tightly-curated selection of unique items for all ages, starting with babies. If you need something special for someone special, flora and henri is your shop.

IMG_1477Sharply’s aviator sunglasses by Randolph Engineering – There was a little film released in the summer of 1986 called Top Gun. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The main character, Maverick, made the life of an Air Force fighter pilot look very cool. At the heart of his look were those supremely cool sunglasses made by Randolph Engineering for the U.S. Air Force. In 1986, there was no internet, so getting your hands on those coveted shades was no easy task (but I managed it). Thank goodness times have changed, and thank goodness Sharply knows what the ultimate cool man wants to wear. You will find these fantastic sunglasses on Sharply’s website under Other Stuff. Beyond having the coolest shades on the planet, Sharply offers a smart selection of menswear, luggage, bags and small accessories unmatched in Seattle. I guarantee Sharply has something your guy wants. Sharply, located in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood, is offering 25% off in the store and online this weekend with the code TURKEYCOMA25 (fitting).

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The four shops mentioned here not only offer the coolest stuff in Seattle, but they are also run by the nicest people you will ever meet. Who doesn’t love doing business with awesome people? Happy Shopping! Shop local, shop small. Actual people do a happy dance when you do!

My best,

Bethany

(All in-store photos by me.)

Faux Fur is the Current Direction

IMG_0756If you’re concerned about faux fur as a dying trend, don’t be. Faux fur is one of the biggest trends of Fall 2017, as I mentioned in my previous post. In fact, faux fur, with the advancements in fabrication technology, is getting better each year, almost indiscernible from the real thing.

You could argue faux fur is hotter now than the real thing. Many designers are shunning real fur from their lines completely, Gucci being the most recent design house to announce a fur ban. Gucci chief executive and president Marco Bizzarri told Business of Fashion, “Do you think using furs today is still modern? I don’t think it’s still modern and that’s the reason why we decided not to do that. It’s a little bit out-dated.” I agree. For the record, I own furs. I have always purchased vintage pieces, which is marginally better than buying from the current fur market, but I know some may find my ownership of any real furs to be offensive.

It is, perhaps, with the new direction of the industry in mind (and the ethical treatment of animals) that I have recently purchased two pieces of faux fur: a black jacket (photo above) from H&M and an off-white vest (photo below) from Top Shop, both of which have already seen airplay during this chilly fall in Seattle.

My readers have asked me to start linking pieces similar to those I wear in Instagram and Facebook posts. With that, here is a run-down of similar faux fur pieces.

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My black faux fur is sold out, but I am totally digging the dramatic flair of this oversized black and white fur, also from H&M.

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And this one from Forever 21 is giving me all the feels! It’s chic, sophisticated and looks luxurious, and it comes in three color choices.

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If you love my vest above, I am linking the same one here.

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And I love this one in the color of the season, also from Top Shop.

I have been on the hunt for years for a leopard faux fur jacket like the one Kate Moss has been known to wear. While I cannot justify yet another purchase of outerwear with my jacket and coat closet beyond full, I have found a few to entice you. Allow the photos to scroll through to see them all.

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The short hooded one is Ann Taylor, a great length for not too cold days. The longer, classic style (like Kate Moss’s) is by Vince Camuto, a line known for on-trend, good quality fashion. Lastly, the thigh-length car coat style by Forever 21 is my favorite and the best value!

I have given you much to consider. If you did not see a faux fur here that you love, let me know, and we will hunt together for one that is just right!

Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you have snuggle, faux fur weather soon wherever you are!

Best,

Bethany

 

 

 

Fall 2017 Must Haves

Some might say this blog post is late. We’ve been talking fall trends since late summer. However, the way that I like to shop, which means waiting for sales, this blog post is just in time. Make your list and, if you are a particularly patient kind, wait for the bigger mark downs in November and December, my favorite time to shop for fall fashion.

Now that you are aware of the vibe of the season from my previous blog post, let’s get down to specifics.

There are always a lot of themes floating down the fashion runways, but the one that stood out as the most ubiquitous for Fall 2017 was the 1980’s, the decade where more was more. Fall 2017 gives us metallic fabric; sharp, exaggerated shoulders; oversized, menswear-inspired blazers; slouchy boots; bomber jackets; studs on everything and colored fur. The list continues with pointy toe ankle boots, berets, stirrup pants and slash pumps.

I sometimes wonder if we have collectively stepped into a time machine back to the 80’s. However, before you go digging through your trunk of old treasures, remember when a trend returns, it is usually much different than the original. In fashion, things are rarely the same way twice.

Beyond the 1980’s theme, here are the big hits for Fall:

IMG_0554Dark floral – This can be anything from a pair of pants to a blouse or a dress or a pair of boots. You decide. Dark floral means the background color is dark, either black or navy, generally. I love this Joie shell, which is on sale and would be gorgeous under a blazer. My pants are Zara. They are sold out; however, I adore this Zara pair, and for a similar color scheme and look, this pair works.

Red – Again, this is one where you pick. Red is everywhere from garments to accessories. I found it difficult to decide since red is my favorite color. For now, I’ve invested in a dark red tote similar to this one, a pair of bright red rain boots similar to this style, and this pair of wine-colored suede booties. I should stop right there.

IMG_0812Velvet – It is the fabric that refuses to go away. It is everywhere this season, especially on bags, boots and heels. Aren’t the Prada sandals here super dreamy? I’ve linked it in case you must have them. ; ) I would love a long velvet skirt to take from day to night, or a dark blue velvet blazer would be dreamy. You could combine two trends into one by investing in a dark red velvet blazer!

IMG_0763Faux fur – If you happen to live in a climate that is warm, maybe you go for a faux fur vest, a denim jacket with a faux fur collar or a bootie with a peek of faux fur. But if you live in a place where winter is truly winter, go for it with a cool, faux fur jacket or coat.

For those who like a feminine style, there is so much for you to love about Fall 2017, including lace, sequins, crystals and lots of glitter, along with sheer stockings, bows and knife pleat skirts. This Ted Baker pleated skirt is especially eye-catching!

For those with an edgier, modern style, you’ll find white boots, leather everything, high-waist denim and lots of words and messages to communicate your causes. Prabal Gurung put out quite a few graphic t-shirts if you like that sort of thing. As far as white boots go, a friend of mine said they look like what the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders wear. Well, she has a point. But how about this gorgeous pair of off white booties?

Every season, there is something for everyone. If you need help navigating the sea of trends, I would be happy to sit down with you to pinpoint your best ones. Send me a message! Happy shopping!

The Vibe of Fall 2017

Before I run down the list of the Fall 2017 trends (in a follow-up blog), let’s talk about the mood of the season. It is helpful to lasso the season’s energy, its vibe, because each fall you will find your favorite trends in someone’s collection whether it’s fur, leopard, tweed, trench coats, etc. The trend list may look the same year to year, but the mood of the season is what truly defines it.

Here are the biggest feels from Fall 2017:

  • Dare to be noticed.IMG_0723 Red is once again the color of the season. Red never takes a fall season off. However, it is a bolder, brighter shade of red this year, and it is ubiquitous. It is on bags, boots, tops, and head-to-toe outfits. On top of red’s popularity, yellow is fast on its heels, and if there are two “hello, I’m here” colors in this world, it would be red and yellow. Pick one and rock it. There are many ways to stand out this season beyond color. Designers outdid themselves with carefully and intricately designed boots, bags and clothing, mixing textures and colors in new ways. If standing out to you is more about the design than a color, you will find many choices this season.

  • Dare to be different. IMG_8832This season has thrown fashion rules a giant curve ball. We are wearing sequins to the office, leather to the grocery store and velvet from sun up to sun down. Rules?! Please, those days are over. We make our own rules now, and we wear what pleases us. What have you always wanted to try but have dared not? Well, this is your season to step up and give it a go! Fall 2017 is playful and happy. There is no room for rules when you’re having this much fun.

  • Dare to be kooky. IMG_0806This vibe builds upon the two above. Designers are asking us to get a little bit crazy. There are countless wacky combinations this season: tweed and feather skirts, head-to-toe denim (in the same shade of denim) and all-white outfits (including white boots) to name a few. I love what Simon Doonan wrote for the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, “Strange is the new black. When you dress strangely, you keep the spotlight where it should be – on YOU. Everyone else on the planet is so busy trying to look normal that you, with your eccentric fashion choices, are able to be an utter raving, screaming standout.”

If all of this sounds and feels a bit overwhelming, take the advice of Lisa Armstrong, also in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar, who wrote a piece on the season’s trends, “The Best of What’s New.” Lisa wants us to look at trends in a new way. Rather than viewing trends as those things you have moved beyond with your style, think of them as your updates for the year, the wardrobe refreshers. Lisa wrote, “Trend awareness is not about being a literalist but about tapping into moods and keeping current in your own way. You don’t have to radically upend your style each season. Sometimes the subtlest switch is all it takes to reset.”

IMG_0823As you approach the new season, keep these things in mind. Let’s make this the season of “make you smile” style! Lastly, if you need help navigating the season, call me! I am always ready to help! Have a fabulous week. Fall Fashion Trends 2017 is up next…

Thank you to the amazing Jenna at Styled Out West for the photos of me. xo All other photos are by me.

Local Fashion Designers Shine

IMG_0986Anyone who knows me even just a little bit knows that I am a champion for small businesses. My love for fashion and my desire to help further the dreams of others drive my support of local fashion designers. That is why I love the Independent Designer Runway Show at Bellevue Fashion Week. This show features designers who are looking to break into a wider fashion market. The show that is presented each September is six months in the making from the selection of the designers to the mentoring of them by the panel of judges.

I will keep my commentary short and focus on showing you what each designer showcased last night. Terri Morgan and her team at TCM Models & Talent did another stellar job with the show. Enjoy.

Jersey Virago by Meagan Kruz:

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Poppyseed by Rebekah Adams (the eventual winner!):

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Stone Crow Designs by Jennifer Charkow:

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Lourdes E Eva by Nora Suarez:

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Paloma Hurtado by Paloma Hurtado:

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Gustavo Apiti Couture by Gustave Apiti:

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The last designer to show, Chany Venturini by Maria Venturini, was also voted the fan favorite:

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I was honored to wear Cute Like Mad’s Hedvig silk dress by Jeanette Svensk Li:

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Congratulations to all of the designers! The show was such fun to watch. You should be very proud of your hard work. (All runway photos are my own and may not be used without express permission.)

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!