10 April 2011

Nashville Fashion Week: Day Four

Sadly, I only made it to one event on the next to last day of Nashville Fashion Week. As I drove around in circles for nearly 30 minutes trying desperately to get a parking space so that I could make it to see Kelly Cutrone speak at the Belcourt Theatre, I wondered if maybe I should give up.

Luckily, I have a ridiculous amount of patience and special ops parking skills and, at the last minute, I squeezed the stealth Jeep into a parking space made for a Vespa. It was legal, that is all that matters; and although I wound up at the end of a very long line of ladies dressed in black, I made it on time.

I've long admired Kelly Cutrone's tenacity (she is, essentially, the proverbial badass of the PR world...who are we kidding, of the whole world) and while I had watched her show Kell on Earth religiously, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Yes, I knew she was smart; yes, I knew she was funny; yes, I knew that she does not tend to take crap from anyone (living or otherwise), but I was unprepared for just how much this speech?...lecture??...hell, soliloquy...would inspire me, move me, possess me. She's kind of Queen, people. All hail.



Among the many things Kelly spoke of (her family, her start in the business, how to get into fashion, how to rock your brand and work the PR star fantastic) the things that resonated with me the most were what she told us about tribes and how she illustrated her version of "never giving up."

She's a fighter, that's for sure, but then something about her makes you believe her stars were laid out so long ago, that no matter what got thrown in her way over the years, she was destined to be who she is right now, in this moment. That, in and of itself, is inspiring. Although she went to school to be a nurse and later went on to go up and down the ladder of success (eventually just staying "on up there" hovering above everyone else), she always figured out who she was, what she had to say, how to get it out there and how to just stand solid as a rock on her own feet in each and every instance.

Yes, I'm a hard core feminist though probably not in the sense that most people think when they hear those terms (read: I love makeup, French lingerie, killer heels, and other various and sundry items I probably don't really need) so any time I see a woman coming at success from the angle that Kelly does -- straight forward, no pretension -- while at the same time incorporating her wish for tribal living, unconditional love, forgiveness and basically being the "mama wolf", I have to say I am kind of speechless. Or rather, I'm in awe.

I don't believe in accidents or coincidences. I never have. I believe I was meant to hear these things on this day at this particular time in my life -- a time where I finally find myself in a place to explore my creativity beyond where I could before. You see, since I saw Kelly, I've been on kind of a buzz. Everything she said was so right -- ok, now you may be thinking next I'm going to offer you the kool-aid but it's not like that.

I implore anyone reading this blog right now to pick up Kelly's book, If You Have to Cry Go Outside. I picked it up before going in to see Kelly and finished reading it three days later (probably would have finished it in a day but I have a 7 year old -- reading isn't what is used to be). I've read a lot of books -- a lot of lit, a lot of fashion, a ton of self-helpy spirituality types -- this one is definitely going in my "favorite" pile. And not just because I love fashion; but also because I love to work, and I want to cultivate the voice inside of me to get to where I ultimately want to be with my career, my life, my place in the universe.

I'm more than likely not doing this whole thing justice. For instance, I didn't even begin to tell you Kelly's take on tribal living, the Mother, the earth, taking care of each other -- moving toward someone who is in need of help instead of moving away from them (sometimes people are too scared to ask for help or maybe unaware that they need it, right?).

I particularly loved the idea of tribal living. In this house, we call ourselves a tribe; always have. So I get that -- but I never thought about it in terms of the support you need outside the walls of what is your immediate familial context to get to where you want to go. I'm probably the worst for asking for help and support and maybe if I had years ago, I'd be turning out a collection every season instead of perusing longingly for hours over the shows after they come out on Style or NY Magazine's respective websites.

Maybe I should have given more support to people around me who also have unanswered creative voices living within. I'm going to make that a goal from now on. It's so important -- there is so much to be had. So much talent out there, so much vision. We really are incredible animals, aren't we?

Ok, so I'll stop waxing poetic because right now a member of my tribe needs to have the Wii remote taken out of his hands and his mama needs to read him a book. Hopefully, all of this creative juju that's floating around the house right now will lead us to very wonderful places -- together.

I'm so glad I moved to Nashville. Thanks, Kelly. And thank you to the folks at Nashville Fashion Week for bringing Kelly to us. There's a lot of love for her in this city now.

xoxo, kvlm

p.s. Kelly also has a new book out, Normal Gets You Nowhere (ain't that the damn truth). You can pre-order a copy now; it hits the shelves May 3.

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