Exciting exhibit that is moving around the Netherlands. First in Den Haag (Gemeentemuseum) and then to Hasselt in April, 2019. This is the first exhibition to focus on women designers.
Viewing entries in
Exciting exhibit that is moving around the Netherlands. First in Den Haag (Gemeentemuseum) and then to Hasselt in April, 2019. This is the first exhibition to focus on women designers.
In this article we explore styling and fit of jeans and pants for the curvy woman.
Gillian Armour, Certified Master Stylist
What does it mean to dress well and how does one do it? Dressing well means knowing exactly what type of body you have and knowing exactly how to clothe it, maximizing and accentuating the positive aspects of it; nothing more, nothing less. But, how does one get this knowledge if not blessed with knowing it naturally? One consults professionals. That’s it – if you want to look your absolute best you must find the best to show you how.
Whole industries are built around this – Hollywood stylists are billed as the current “experts.” However, there are other experts more accessible to those of us not in the glamour loop of Hollywood. They can be found in Google under “Image Consultants.” Or, check out FSI’s directory of over 3000 consultants to find the best one for you.
You can also find good “Personal Shoppers” at the better department stores (for free) but I recommend that you find a “Personal Stylist“ interested in YOUR needs and who knows a thing or two about style and color. Their goal should be a well-dressed you. Sure, you will have to pay for this but consider it a one-time investment in yourself.
Think of all those times you bought clothing, accessories, makeup etc. that you seldom wore or used because, deep down, you knew they weren’t quite right for you. Stop wasting your time and your money. Invest in a good consultant and join the best dressed!!
The business of image and style consists of more than just knowing how to shop, style and sell. Consultants also need to be schooled in fashion thinking. This week we have chosen a selection of deep thinking/ journalistic based web sites. These will give you professional knowledge and inspiration. After all, keeping up with fashion is what our clients expect of us so have a read of these quality writers:
Vestoj.com – the fashion journal for “critical thinking on fashion” with both fiction and non-fiction deep thinking articles.
Fashionista.com – pop culture references to all things fashion
Heartifb.com – fashion writers (ie: bloggers) join to network and show off their work. Most of it amateur but a few bright spots of exceptional writing. Like YouTube – you must hunt and peck through the content.
CupcakesandCashmere.com – Emily blogs about fashion and all its aspects – how to wear, what to where, when to where and why!
Suzymenkesvogue.com – long term leading fashion journalist gives perspectives on fashion that are quirky and original AND well-informed. She’s got the fashion lingo down and can teach us many a thing about Fashion Week, fashion history, sartorial references and more!
BusinessofFashion.com - the updated and modern take on Women’s Wear Daily but less industry and more lay-person. A decent selection of fashion people podcasts. Requires membership after first five free articles.
Everything from your hair cut and color to your home décor is in need of a refresh, and we will dive into the details to get you there.
By Gillian Armour, AICI CIP
Our work as image and fashion consultants takes us down many paths with our clients. Recently I’ve been doing quite a bit of consulting with Plus Size female clients. My clients tell me they want to look fashionable and yet are constantly challenged with finding "fashionable" clothing in the market place today. It can be very disheartening for them to watch fashion shows, admire the clothes, and realize that not a thing on the runway will fit them. Despite this realization, they can definitely recreate the looks while being body conscious and fabulous.
Here are a few tips I offer and that you can use to help your clients find great fashion in any size:
It is quite simple and affordable to look "high fashion" no matter what your figure. You'll need 3 things: current fashion magazines, a notebook, and patience to wear your dream outfits!
After you've seen a look that you would like to recreate from a fashion magazine, deconstruct the outfit in your notebook. With great detail, list the components of the outfit including all accessories. Note the color, fabric, cut, and embellishments for each article that constitutes the outfit. This list will be your guide for the rest of your "scale up" adventure, so every detail is important. List accessories in the side margins as you will be shopping for these later on as well.
From client experience I can guarantee that you already own at least one article of clothing on your list. So, your next step is to shop in your closet. Pull garments that are the colors of your desired palette. Gather accessories and shoes that are similar to the ones you've noted. If necessary, take any existing garments to the cleaners in preparation for assembling day. Once you've taken an inventory of what you already own then it's time to do some online shopping to fill in your list.
There are great "as seen on stars" websites as well as trendy plus size online shops available. Comb through these shops using keywords from your detailed list ("wide-leg trousers" "bow tie blouses" etc.). You may find a comparable outfit already coordinated and ready to wear, and in your size on these sites and will be able to accessorize with picks from your closet. A few sites I recommend include: modcloth.com, Amazon.com’s Plus Size Shop
Alas, if you don't find what you need online, you'll have to visit department stores (alone or with your fashion consultant). This can be a little tricky if the look you seek is for next season. Don't fret! Sales racks will have clothes from past seasons that can be used. For example, if it's the dead of winter and you're looking for a cute summer ensemble you saw in a Spring/Summer spread from fashion week, check out the sales rack. You will be able to find linens and lighter weight fabrics for a fraction of the price. Furthermore, if you hold out until March, you'll be able to find exact looks for the next season trickled down from the runway, hopefully in your size. If not, you will find alternatives with the same color palette. Keep in mind also that in late July and early August many department stores are marking down Spring/Summer in anticipation of the new Fall collections coming onto the sales floor.
Your last course of action to "scale up" runway fashions is to hire a skilled seamstress. You should have a seamstress on call anyway for your clothes to fit you perfectly. In this case, you need a highly skilled seamstress with a keen eye for detail. You'll be presenting her photographs, a Polyvore collage or your magazines tear outs of what you need to complete a look. You may already have the jacket, accessories, and shoes, but you need the blouse and trousers made. It is imperative that she is able to free hand a pattern and craft you well fitted clothes that match the expensive, authentic look of the designer outfit you desire to replicate. Ask for work samples and references. You'll need to do some research about her background in working with various fabrics and techniques, as well.
Assembling day will be exciting! You've put in the work and now you finally have all of the components for your look straight off the runway. It may have taken some time, planning, and money, but plus sized women should be able to wear high fashion. Let the work you put into getting the stylish finished product be you and your image consultants little secret.
editors note: We recently asked our working graduates to guest blog. We asked them to share tips and advice for stylists. This week our guest blogger is Janene Stone, Certified Fashion Stylist, Hong Kong Hi - if anyone would be interested in working with a contact in Hong Kong - I am Australian and prices of products in Australia are not cheap. Thus, over the years people have whatsapped me with a picture of what they want and I scout around to find that product at a cheaper price. The client pays for the mail [shipping] and my 10% of the cost of the item. It really is an easy fun way to shop. As an example my Mum has not bought her Lancome skincare in Australia for years because I pick it up much cheaper here.
How often have you thought you had found a great deal on a blouse or a dress and bought it on a whim, only to get home and discover that it practically disintegrated with the first washing? All too often, we are taken in by these so-called deals that are really just low prices for low quality clothing. It is a waste of money and time as well. Spending $200 a month on these poorly constructed clothes means you are wasting $2,400 a year! Investment dressing requires you to pay more money per item of clothing, but you are going to be getting high quality items that will look and feel great and last a long time. The trick is to spot these smart buys that will help you build up an investment wardrobe that you can use for years to come.
Know Your Colors
Getting your colors done does not seem to be as much the rave as it has been in years past. This is a mistake. One of the smartest investments you can make to always look great and to not waste money when you shop is to get your colors professionally done so you feel confident a color will look good on you before you make a purchase.
Look for Timeless Pieces
There is something to be said for the little black dress that is appropriate for all occasions. If you look for clothing that has lines that aren´t trendy, but always look good, no matter the latest style, you have a winner. This includes pencil skirts, sheath dresses and simple blouses. These are items of clothing that could hold their own in any decade, not for being at the height of fashion, but for their simplicity and quiet class.
Go for Quality Fabrics
Paying more for clothing that is made of better fabric is a smart decision. In fact, the type of fabric used in your clothes can make all the difference in how good you look. A cheap polyester dress will look far worse than the exact same design in a classy linen blend. Choose the better fabric and you won´t regret it. Real silk, linen and wool are all fabrics that look terrific and will help build your investment wardrobe. Blends are fine too. Wool blends will be less itchy, linen blends will wrinkle less and silk blends will usually breathe more.
Remember That More is Not Better
Having a few expensive, classic pieces of clothing in your wardrobe is worth far more than having two or three closets full of cheap clothing that will never pass as good quality. Make sure you remember this when sticker shock hits!
If you have traveled to Europe, you have probably noticed how great the men and women look. They do not have as many clothes in their wardrobe yet everything they have is made of the highest quality.
Make It All Work Together
The best way to build your investment wardrobe is to plan your entire wardrobe for versatility. Having two or three pairs of pants, three to five blouses, a couple of skirts and a nice jacket and suit can actually work for you if you plan it. Choose just two or three classic colors that all complement each other and you´ll be able to mix and match your entire wardrobe, creating dozens of different outfits. Throw in a scarf or two and a couple of different belts and accessories and you can have even more looks, all with just a few select items. Opt for mostly solid colors rather than prints and you´ll have more combinations available to you.
Remember the Shoes
Choosing the best shoes available will also enhance your look. Invest in a few pairs of good quality, sensible shoes and you will be able to wear them with every outfit. A couple different high heels, a pair of flat shoes and perhaps some boots or sandals, depending on where you live, will serve you well and when chosen in classic colors that suit your wardrobe, you´ll never have any problems putting together a great outfit.
Investment dressing is not a trend it's a classic way to create your wardrobe and it´s one that is well worth jumping on. Take a few minutes to plan out a cluster wardrobe and choose a couple of colors to base it on. Then it´s time to go shopping. Stick to the plan, choose high quality items and at the end of your day, you´ll have a wardrobe that will last you a long time and suit any occasion.
editors note: this month we are posting our top ten MOST ASKED questions students list when they are in our Image Business Start Up course.
It took me the first two years of blindly managing my business before I realized the power of having a plan on paper. Once I committed my plans to paper a focus came and my business started to take shape much quicker. I do not advise that you start a business without a structured, well thought out and developed plan for growth. Creating a business plans helps one to focus on the who, what, where and why of the business. It gives the owner of the business a focused intent and establishes the steps to take to achieve success.
A business plan is also required if you are seeking any kind of financing or financial backing. Creating a business plan establishes the sales, profit (or loss) goals for the business and outlines the steps needed to achieve those markers. A really good business plan will also include any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats (S.W.O.T. analysis) to the current business model, to the future growth of the business and to its long term success.
A business plan is also a way to measure the growth and success of the business once it’s been active for a while. Going back to review the plans you made for the business gives you a checks and balances picture and can then help you to take steps to adjust for increasing marketing and therefore increasing sales. My business plans used to be one year in length, now they are thirty days maximum and sometimes I do weekly plans to keep my business goals in check.
Next week we review the question "What are the tools a fashion designer can use to market, promote and sell their work?"
An Image Stylist makes you look good! She works closely with her clients to style favorite looks, elevate taste levels, and counsel on the elements of fashion image (taste, style, relevance) and the principles of fashion design (proportion, fit, color). In essence an Image Stylist is just that – she styles your image. Her methods are entrenched in the fashion world – not the “executive image” world. She has a passion for fashion and for the creativity involved in fashioning her clients. She is an expert on clothing silhouettes, personal color, editing a closet, clothes shopping and wardrobe management. Her modern take on style includes updating you on what’s in and what’s out. She works closely with a client on grooming style, speaking style and fashion style. She has a broad knowledge of designers, brands, trends, and styles (from couture to street) and probably has a thriving blog all about the OOTD. She has a keen eye for detail, fit, tailoring and construction along with an innate understanding on body image issues, esteem challenges and confidence factors that can be impacted by a positive image.
Think you are ready for this exciting new profession? If you’d like to learn how to certify and earn education credits as an Image Stylist Professional then visit our course catalog and read more here Certify Me.
As the economy heats up more people are returning to traditional work (as opposed to gigs) and will be seeking career advancements. There will be an increased need for standards in appropriate dress. While appearance standards in recent years have trended toward the casual, as more people started working from home, the overall fashion trend is toward a higher level of style. This was obvious on the recent Spring Summer 2015 fashion shows where a ladylike sensibility prevailed. Current fashion is also being influenced by eco movements as can be seen in the proliferation of organic and sustainable clothing coming on to the market. This look, while trending, is a casual look and suits the client who works in incubators, collectives, and casual environments but not in the corporate world.
Let’s take a look at the generational needs of our clients for insight into how we image consultants can be of service to both the casual dresser and the corporate one:
The BOOMER generation (age in 2014 = 50 to 68) is becoming focused on the slow fashion movement; the “maker movement” of handcrafted, handmade, one of a kind, custom and “reuse, recycle, reduce.” This generation of client is turning her wardrobe over to re-sale shops and investing in higher priced, higher quality clothing (some prefer luxury labels, others the upscale contemporary designers such as Donna Karan, Eileen Ford, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein etc.). She is a fan of the swap party – trading in unworn clothing for new looks others are also swapping out.
This generation's woman is also aging and her body most likely changing. She is looking for comfort in clothing, preferring a relaxed fit and style. For this age group the ath-leisure clothing style works well. “No matter how absurdly silly that sounds, there’s a huge audience right now for this “new” category. Apparently, roughly half the people buying “activewear” these days are buying it for “nonactive use, as casual and everyday-wear,” according to a recent study.” Kristin Tice Studeman, blog post, Style.com
For the GENERATION X demographic (age in 2014 = 38 to 48) there are micro-trends taking place. This demographic is experiencing second and third careers, venturing into a business of their own or entrenched in a long term career. Their fashion needs reflect their budget and clothing choices are less about what is trending than about what can become a classic item to add to her wardrobe. Gen X has matured out of the trendy fashion scene but still likes fashion, in particular fashion that creates a unique image since attraction is still relevant to this age group.
Bloggers are becoming more influential with their extreme focus of such things as OOTD (outfit of the day) and social causes. Their influence impacts the street style and what is worn by GENERATION Y (age in 2014 = 20 to 37 years old). This demographic group is now becoming the most powerful shopping group of any generational demographic and fashion trends reflect this pattern - styles are trending toward a 1970’s vibe (vintage to this age group, sexy, powerful and speaks to liberation and freedom). Gen Y also seeks unique, hard to find looks. Some in this age group love to mix up their looks with clothing and accessories from fast fashion stores (Gap, H&M, Zara, Cos etc.).
All three of these generations can be found in the corporate work world. At the corporate level more and more women continue their upward striving toward the glass ceiling. Although the numbers are low (women currently hold 5.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 5.4 percent of Fortune 1000 CEO positions) these women influence others to excel. Their personal image sets the tone for other women working within the company. Yahoo employees saw an uptick in dress standards when Marissa Mayer took the helm (Wall Street Journal, May 2013) - “It’s exciting to have a female leader that you can all sort of look up to, and she is stylish,” said Jennifer Romolini, editor in chief of Yahoo Shine. “We’ve all upped our game.” Your clients will benefit from upping their image game with your help.
In 2015 consultants will have ample opportunity to tap into new markets. If you have been working with one generation it may be time to explore the needs of others. Your services are always needed and you can grow your business by focusing on these targets this year.
©All rights reserved: Gillian Armour AICI CIP
Professional training means training you for the image industry as it is today – not how it was ten years ago. Markets have changed; clients demand specialization. Don’t rely on trainers with no experience in personal image consulting. Look for certified experts in the field who can train you and give you answers to the following: If your client asked for a specific type of makeover would you be prepared? Clients may want a couture makeover, milestone makeover, trend overhaul or accessory edit and style.
Are you prepared to give fashion advice, freestyle makeovers or just prepared to discuss fashion trends?
Have you prepared your styling station? Is your style studio ready to accommodate different groups - teen, plus, man, LGBT, religious?
Are your social and etiquette skills up to par and are you ready to interact at an intimate level with clients?
Your consultations will explore details of your client’s personal life story – are you ready?
Can you do style parties or group workshops? And are your speaking and social skills ready?
Can you discuss image trends, styling needs, give compliments and critical feedback?
If you can then you are a professional. If you can’t then we are here to get you there.
Green careers in fashion may seem like a futuristic ideal, but many are available right now. Why not be a green fashionista and support the present and future environment by addressing environmental issues while showing a love for fashion? Here are five basic careers to get any fashion-lover started in the industry of fashion and environmental protection. 1. Designing Comfortable Clothing Using Only Renewable Resources
Green fashion for the masses is the ideal way to both fuel a love of fashion and the environment. Become a fashion designer who utilizes textiles made of traditional renewable materials like organic hemp and cotton, or be innovative and create fashion from milk proteins, bamboo, and even TEA! Creating non-traditional fabrics using proteins to create threads from milk, flax, bamboo, and fermented tea are set to be a huge fashion trend. Bringing renewable textiles to the wearable daily fashion industry is an exciting avenue for any budding fashion designer.
2. Fashion Blogging About Green Fashion
Fashion blogs are a dime a dozen, but real fashion blogs about green fashion are rare. There are many blogs whose niches do cover reviews of renewable organic cotton or hemp fashion textiles, but not many covering alternative fabrics made from milk, tea, bamboo, or flax. There are many green fashion trends not being reviewed for the masses. People with a flair for fashion and writing can build exciting part or full time incomes from reviewing trendy products in many new areas of green fashion.
3. Blogging About Organic and Green Makeup Trends
Organic and green makeup reviews abound on the internet, but which are real and which are hype? Further, which companies are telling the truth and which products work as well, or better than, conventional chemical cosmetics? Investigating the trends, styles, and companies, which make up the relatively new “green fashion” market, can be a fun way to launch a career in chemistry, makeup artistry, or even investigative journalism.
4. Green Fashion Writing
The real money to be made is writing for fashion magazines and green trends magazines. Writing about trends in renewable fashion for major magazines is a fantastic way to launch a career in fashion, design, or journalism. Find or create a columnist position in a local paper or smaller fashion magazine that covers unusual organic and alternative textile materials and fashions and work your way up the fashion writer ladder to huge possibilities in major magazines.
5. Fair Trade Advocate
All of the above jobs tie into a major job application as a fair trade advocate. In addition to designing, testing, and writing about fashion made from renewable textiles comes the big responsibility of being an advocate for the sources of such materials. A fair trade advocate can be a public speaker, blog writer, journalist, lobbyist, business advocate, or legal entity who fights for fair trade principles and renewable sources of green materials. A fair trade advocate also fights for the people and communities who produce such materials, in addition to the people in between who work to get the products from farm to customer.
How to Get Started in Green Fashion
The great thing about working in green fashion is that a person does not need to have advanced degrees or certifications to get started. In fact, great fashion careers have started out as small hobbies of sewing, writing, and testing out products. These hobbies have led to jobs, careers, and even certificates and degrees in the fashion industry. People with a flair for the art of fashion and a passion for using renewable resources should foster these passions and use them as a driving force to break into this ever-growing new niche in the fashion world.
By Gillian Armour Have you always secretly envied some women’s ability to look effortlessly chic? Follow these 10 simple steps to help you and your clients achieve that look effortlessly!
1. Look behind you. It is very important to review how you look before leaving your house. You never know, you might have tucked your jacket into your waistband or there is a big bleach spot on the back of those jeans. And, as happens more commonly, your clothing fit from behind looks awful. Always double check by holding a hand mirror and looking to see how good (or bad) your rear appears!
2. Color-coordinate your outfits. One of the easiest ways to color coordinate your clothing is to choose clothes in the same color family. For instance, wear a cream blouse with a cream skirt or a white blouse with cream pants. Likewise a gray jacket with black pants. Learn to work with neutrals. If you know how to use neutral colors as the base of your wardrobe you can add color via accessories, bags, scarves, jewelry etc. Experts rely on color wheels to coordinate. If you do not own a color wheel go out and buy one. They save you time and money when learning to coordinate a chic wardrobe. To use effectively - choose neighboring colors on the wheel to coordinate outfits.
3. Find a signature piece. Pearls, scarves, hats, colors etc. these details can become your “signature”. Many celebrities and style icons are memorable for their signatures and creating your own doesn't have to be difficult. You can start with something as simple as a colorful necklace. Does this signature (symbol) define your colorful personality perhaps? Do you see your “self” as romantic? Conservative? Casual? Sexy? Or dramatic? For example, Sophia Loren’s style is dramatic. Her features are very prominent, her face distinctly Roman; her hourglass figure voluptuous and her personality passionate. Her signature look “dramatic” is a true reflection of who she is. Once you define your personality it's easy to find a signature to stamp your style.
4. Tailor your clothes. To create a chic look wear clothes that fit you perfectly. This requires you pay attention to detail. Sleeves need to be long enough, pants, not too short, jackets fitted at the shoulder and waist, blouses tailored to your body shape. But be warned -when you buy off-the-rack clothing you run the risk of improper fit. I’m not saying don’t buy off-the-rack, just that you’ll need a good tailor to fit them to your shape. Make sure the clothes you’re wearing are comfortable otherwise you project discomfort and restlessness.
5. Get a stylish hairstyle - a little bit of research and consultation with a great hairstylist will lead to the perfect haircut for your facial shape. Unless you’re a quick study, you do not know your facial shape and without knowing it you’ll never know which styles are flattering for you. Consulting with a pro is free. There are also on-line sites that help you determine your facial shape. You can try on virtual hairstyles suitable to your facial shape. As in clothing, your hairstyle should reflect your personality.
6. Pay attention to details - your hair, your smile, how you feel when you wear a beautiful dress, little, but important details help you feel confident, empowered and positive. Paying attention to details is not just about whether your buttons are buttoned, your snaps are snapped, or your belt is belted, it's about the relevancy of detail: from beautiful buttons, quality belts and fabrications, to excellent tailoring and fit. And, don’t forget accessory details - socks should match your shoes and pants, your handbag style should be congruent with your clothes etc.
7. Wear good jewels. I recently reviewed an international publication's best-dressed list. What caught my eye was that each of these best-dressed women wore important jewelry. Chic jewelry does not have to be a big investment but an investment in chic-ness is always great. Three strands of pearls or a gold cable chain necklace, an elegant watch or a pair of pearl (or gold) earrings are all you actually need to look chic. Costume jewelry is rarely chic (unless it’s vintage). Stick with the classics, and you cannot go wrong.
8. Speak Chic. Many chic women I know are multilingual. When they converse in English they throw in a few native words for effect. If English is your only language it's still easy to incorporate foreign words into your conversation. This will make you seem incredibly chic, worldly and accomplished. Compare how “ I love the way you look today” sounds to “J’adore how you look” and you’ll hear what I mean!
9. Manners and etiquette. These are at the heart of what chic is. If your manners and etiquette skills are impeccable you can get by with a relaxed appearance. However, for our purposes (creating a chic look) let's decide that manners, perfect etiquette and a chic appearance add up to one very chic woman. These days there are so many etiquette professionals and classes, both in person and online that no one can use the excuse that they never learned how to be socially appropriate. To me perfect manners transcend other imperfections. If your manners are perfect you are too!
10. Be Charming. Charm is one of the most important aspects of a woman's personality and one of the greatest contributors to being chic. When you can turn on the charm and incorporate it into your overall image then you will be chic. Even in this world of “all business, all the time” don’t fear using your feminine charms. Best dressed women always rely on charm as the path to chic-ness!
And if all else fails you can consult one of our professionals or train to become a professional consultant in style, fashion, etiquette or color style. Visit our campus courses online 24/7/365
by Gillian Armour
Even if no harm is meant - I have a hard time with being called an apple. Or a pear, a tomato, a strawberry or a banana. When did it become acceptable to define women like this? I am not a fruit or a vegetable! Yes I am a shape, I have a body shape but who made it a rule to define me by something I can find in the grocery section?
You see I am a professional image consultant, trained and certified with years of experience working with men and women on defining their body-shapes. In all my years of training I was never encouraged to call clients I am counseling by a fruit or vegetable term. In our profession we use proper geometric terms – a more respectful and empowering way to describe the human body shape. So a “pear” is actually called a triangle shape and an “apple” shape is defined to our clients as “round.”
Moreover, our male clients are never identified as eggplant, carrot or kiwi etc. Can you imagine the shocked look of a male client if I told him he measured as a tomato?
Please, all you writers and wanna-be consultants out there – pro up and call your client's body by its geometric shape please – square, inverted triangle, triangle, round, hourglass or rectangle. Your readers, clients and listeners will appreciate your show of respect. And I will like it very much!