29 December 2010

Time to Make a Change?

Sadly, it's too late for model Isabelle Caro who is gone at the age of 28. Though her death is just making the rounds today, she reportedly died in Tokyo in early November.

Why is the death of this particular model so poignant? Well, because Isabelle suffered from anorexia -- she, like so many in the fashion and entertainment industry, was the victim of a mentality that needs to stop. The mentality that to be beautiful, one must be thin.

From the early couturier houses in France, the need for a model to be thin can be documented. But there was a reason for that -- rations, manhours, expense, and the simple fact that the industry then was an 1/8 of the size it is today. Say you are starting a fashion house in the early 20th century, we've been through one war and about to enter into another one. You have little money, maybe one backer, a cramped room full of seamstresses that need pay, and, if you are a lucky, a small list of clients. Makes sense for your models to all be a size six, no? Less cloth? Less time on the machines? A quicker line to walk out to a potential buyer? Sure. I can appreciate that.

But we aren't exactly in those times now are we? And to throw in more causation, we certainly didn't have the media then that we have now. So you then throw in the Karl Lagerfeld's (who seems to be changing ever so slowly on this subject) and the Kate Moss' with their elite commentary on how important it is to be skinny and it makes the rounds to hundreds of thousands of young girls and women and you have yourself an epidemic of eating disorders, dysmorphia, obsession, body issues and low self-esteem.

Thankfully there are some in the industry that are doing things to change the perception of what makes a model, or a woman, beautiful. Those people I salute. But it's not enough. There needs to be an all out strike when fashion industry insiders take time away from the Starbucks or Grey Goose long enough to insult a 14 year-old reading Vogue in Wisconsin who then decides not to eat for a week.

Or, as in the case of Isabelle, a law needs to be passed. After losing friends to the disease and struggling with it herself, she offended the Milan fashion set in 2007 with these No Anorexia Ads:

Additionally, Isabelle was lobbying the French government to pass a law that would prohibit models from working in the fashion industry if they did not weigh enough. Her bravery, amazing. Her death, unnecessary.

Surely her passing will not be in vain and the example she was trying to set in France will resonant in the other fashion capitals. If not, I feel even more sorry for what we are doing not only to the beauty and innovation that is/was the fashion industry, but what we continue to do to our kids. And, let's face it, the adults. Afterall, we are just kids in grown-up skin.

Be healthy but most importantly, be you. That's really the most beautiful thing you can do. Let Isabelle be a reminder to us all that fighting for what you believe, standing up against antiquated principles, and embracing who you are are what make us strong and beautiful -- it's quite simply not your dress size.


22 December 2010

Ringing in my Ears

No, this is not a post about jewelry (speaking of which, I cannot bring myself to wear more than one kind of jewelry at any one time but that is another blog for another day). This is to refresh my presence in the blogosphere and perhaps to reaffirm for myself why I maintain this site.

And how did I happen on this little nugget of enlightenment today? Well, I'd like to give my thanks to Nashville. Having moved here six months ago, I wasn't entirely sure what I was in store for. The first few months proved to be a tremendous acclimation not only for myself but my family as well. Nashville is truly unique -- in a lot of great ways and a lot of ways that make you occasionally speechless.

Well, now that I'm over the hump of adjustment and have developed my very own personal Nashville (read: outskirts and neighboring counties) filter, I can finally see the budding cultural delicacy for the trees.

Even still, I have moments where I wonder...what am I doing here? There has to be a bigger meaning to why my path kept steering itself in the direction of this city. Yes, for starters, it was the job; and certainly having family here only made the path shine a little bit brighter but, being the introspective thinker that I am, I knew there had to be greater meaning somewhere.

I don't seriously deign to think I've discovered all of my silver-Nashville-lining but I know I've discovered part of it and that is in this wonderfully encompassing, bohemian, supportive, artistic, proactive, ambitious community of designers, artists, musicians, stylists, and all-around art enthusiasts that continually find their way into my day. Have I delved in deep? No, not yet. Do I want to become a part of what will utlimately be the shift for this city to not just been seen as a country music haven? Absolutely.

I am quite blessed in my job to be around so many artists -- people I work with and who frequent our building. I've met so many singer/songwriters, artists, writers, designers...it seems like every day I find myself being inspired by what's around me. And that, my friends, is quite irreplacable.

I've suffered from writers block for many years now -- off and on -- and if there is such a thing as a creative block, I'm pretty sure I've suffered from that as well. But maybe it wasn't so much about what I could or couldn't do but more about where I was or where I wasn't. Not to say that my previous residence didn't have its very own distinctive creative vibe but it was never one that I fit into rightly.

So...this is a fashion blog, where's the fashion in this post? Well I've just stumbled across a post on elle.com celebrating some of the popular hotspots in Nashville for just the thing I've been talking about. Nashville also recently announced their nationally recognized and corporate sponsored Spring Fashion Week. And I say, it's about time!

Will these things pacify that artists' nature that's starving within me, you know the one you repress time and time again because of those things we know and love that people call "grown-up responsibilities?" No. Not entirely. But I certainly hear, ringing in my ears, this line which has followed me around for many years: "go confidently in the direction of your dreams; live the life you've imagined!"

best wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and successful new year! may it be all that you wish it to be!