After marching at the women’s march in New York City on Saturday, I can’t help but feel it was only the beginning. We have a responsibility to continue to fight, and here’s how. The poetic imagery of Solange’s ‘Cranes in the Sky’ video fits with how I’m feeling today; Empowered by the support of women across the world, being part of something bigger than myself and ultimately making strides towards a better future.
After listening to Li Edelkoort speak at the BoF Voices conference, I immediately ordered her Anti_Fashion manifesto. I have followed her trend forecasting career for years and have always had great admiration in the way she gathers, processes and presents information. This Anti_Fashion manifesto highlights ten reasons why the fashion system is obsolete. It was refreshing to hear from someone so influential in the fashion industry scold editors, schools and manufacturers on the way the industry is run. You will have to order your own copy to read about all ten reasons, but here are some of the highlights:
On Marketing: “Marketing has taken over power within the major companies and is manipulating creation, production, presentation and sales. All aspects are seen from just one perspective, which is how to produce better figures. Not to bring out a better product or to generate a better culture, let alone to stimulate a better human working environment.”
On Presentations in showrooms: “The clothes are rapidly shown by style and color so that the buyer is able to create his or her very own collection. All beige at Harrods, all navy at Dover Street, all bright at Barneys… difficult for the average consumer to even recognize the brand.”
On Advertising: “All pictures in all magazines, all the same…The same clothes, more or less, are used in the editorials that are heavily art directed by the economy of advertisements; a new brand has little to no chance to be featured. Halting the progress of the fashion economy that used to hunt for the new and exciting.”
On Retailing: “More than often one can overhear visitors to select department stores sigh that there is nothing to be found… the few thousand references patiently waiting on hangers apparently did not register anymore… Therefore we can conclude that too much merchandise is killing the taste of the consumer and that edited store environments such as Dover Street Market are able to reinvent and rekindle a multi-brand environment. Suddenly shopping becomes fun and entertaining again.”
Building an edited wardrobe takes time, and patience. Trying to find that perfect piece at the right price, in your size and desired color takes time. When the January sales hit (i.e. now) you must strike while the sartorial iron is hot, but try to refrain from impulse purchases. Take time to research the fabric, fit and care for each item before adding to cart, as many of the deeply discounted duds are final sale. I’m a huge fan of uniform dressing, so my January sales picks add longevity to my existing wardrobe. I’ve rounded up some of my must-have sale items that are up to 70% off from Net-a-Porter and Farfetch.
This collarless Lemaire blazer has just the right amount of monastic meets boyish charm vibe. Opting for an update to the classic blue poplin shirt, this Marni top boasts seasonless potential. A reimagined classic hoop earring feels fresh yet timeless. Schoolgirl nostalgia meets sophisticated comfort in these Mary Jane shoes by The Row. A nod to the 90’s bucket bag, this update from 3.1 Phillip Lim adds structural integrity to any look. Raw edge denim is here to stay, but choosing a silhouette with longevity is key, enter: Rachel Comey jeans.
My husband grew up in Ireland where home remedies trumped prescription medicine and doctor visits. We’ve adopted the same school of thought even though we don’t have the fresh ingredients right outside our doorstep. It may take a google search, time spent reading reviews and a subway ride to hunt down the dried ingredients needed to make the home remedies of yesteryear, but it isn’t without cause. My mother-in-law remembers being forced to drink nettle tea as a child, but never knew why. Last year, a friend of mine told me about the women’s health benefits of drinking raspberry leaf and nettle tea. Most people assume red raspberry leaf and nettle tea is for women who are trying to get pregnant, or who are already pregnant, but that isn’t the case. I don’t fall into either group, I simply want to drink a tea that has health benefits opposed to sugar and caffeine which work against me.
Red raspberry leaves and nettles are high in iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamins B and C, and phosphorus. The combination of these vitamins and minerals help aid in preventing hormonal acne, regulating mood, lessening painful and heavy periods, reduces inflammation, alleviates diarrhea, supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid and spleen.
Once I began drinking it, I couldn’t stop. The hardest part was locating the ingredients. I ended up at Flower Power in the East Village, they have been there for over 20 years. It is a bit dusty and crunchy inside, but the women who work there are very helpful and knowledgable about healing any ailments you may have.
The simple steps to making Nettle Tea:
1/4 cup red raspberry leaves
1/4 cup nettles
4 cups of boiling water
Add ingredients to a bottle or jar, cover and steep tea for a minimum of 4 hours. Strain and store in the fridge for up to one week. If the tea tastes too strong, simply add more water. Enjoy hot or over ice. It’s safe to drink up to 3 cups a day. Feel free to add other ingredients including lemon or ginger.
As the temperature drops, the layers of clothes we wear increases. At times, you may feel like an overstuffed sofa. Lately, my uniform has consisted of high-waisted jeans, the Tie Cuff Shirt from DE SMET and this chunky cropped sweater. The joy of the chunky cropped sweater is the warmth it provides without excess bulk. If you get too hot, simply take it off and drape it over your shoulders, granny style. Another favorite look of mine. Made of 100% wool, you won’t miss the length. The neckline of this style is slightly higher than a crew neck, which is ideal.