In my fashion, I can't remember a more pretty Spring than the one we have had so far in 2014. It seems to me that the flowers have come into bloom full force, and with maximum impact. I like to think that the flowers felt just like how we all were feeling: fed up with the cold weather! I can't decipher if flowers are really on full scale blossom with a vengeance, or could it be because we spent so long without them that the sight of them is so welcomed compared to the arduous winter we just had. Either way, perhaps we could have known this was to happen when we turn our heads to the Spring/ Summer 2014 collections. Even though this is the beginning of the hot season, flowers are already a MAJOR trend this season. If you haven't been to Forever 21, I will tell you that there are some pretty dresses to choose from in the most refreshing of floral and tropical prints. They fall in line with what was shown on the runway this past season. Tabitha Simmons shows us that in the new Vogue series, "Vogue in Motion" where we are taken behind the process of creating a Vogue fashion story. Her story, "Petal Pushers" in the March 2014 issue was focused around the influence of flowers in the collections in that they were incorporated in a strong, modern sense with fragmented prints and strong shapes, instead of the normal "Hippie-ish" way we typically come to think of flowers. It's one of my favorite spreads of that issue because its so fun, youthful, and bubbly in a sleek way. The presence of flowers on the runway definetly serves as a foreshadow to what Spring has to offer. I have been able to get out again and enjoy the outdoors finally, and I couldn't help but to take photos of the flowers that seem almost elated and proud to be able to show their colors.
As I took my photos, I couldn't help but think to myself that if you were to take these flowers and turn them over, the way they bloom with their brilliant colors resemble the dresses made by the late American couturier, Charles James, who is the subject of this years MET Costume Institute Exhibition entitled, "Charles James: Beyond Fashion", in which the MET Gala occurs tonight! This will be a Cinco de Mayo to remember, and is why I chose to wait 5 days into the month to post this here Editor's Letter, for this is definitly a day of celebration I wanted to support today. Vogue, of course, has been the premier source for more information on Charles James. In the May issue with Emma Stone on the cover, Intentional Editor-at-Large, Hamish Bowles, writes a telling feature entitled, "Charles James: The One and Only" where he recounts how James was acclaimed by his peers and designers in the 1930s including, Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and Paul Poiret. I also suggest that you go to Vogue.com and watch "Vintage Bowles: The Dresses of Charles James in Chicago" to see how his beautifully, and artistically constructed dresses remind me of the flowers I took pictures of above. In my fashion, they are almost poetic.
I'll be excited to see the MET Gala Red Carpet Coverage, but also to continue to learn more about Charles James as a designer and stylist. I have thought very long and hard about the subject of “The Secret of Stylists” these past few months. After reading all the books I have read, and all the videos I have watched, as well as other various sources of information, I have been searching for the bases behind developing a strong, recognizable, and authentic style. In my research, the question I seek to answer is: how can we apply the experiences of successful stylists to improving our own style sensibility. I really want to discover if there is a general approach to cultivating style, and what philosophical conclusions we can draw from how stylists see the world. As is said in the biography I picked up, “Living for Design: The Yves Saint Laurent Story” by Axel Madsen, "To have style is to have ascendancy, personality and a feel for the pleasures of society.” Style is what helps one enjoy one’s life, and through the work of stylists we are introduced to new ideas of enhancing our style and enjoying what life has to offer. Stylists anticipate the mood of society and translate ways to adapt and stay current with all of life’s changes from a particular point of view. I've tried to gather opinions and experiences from all perspectives of styling including celebrity stylists, designers, interior decorators, editors, visual merchandisers, and hair/make-up stylists to figure out if there is a common thought process between them in reference to being advisers of style. Personally, through all my studying, I have been building my sensibility as a stylist and have been conditioning myself to be a most effective and efficient stylist/style mentor. Just as InStyle did with their Big Buy Theory, this month I will bring all my observations together to create an IMFblog theory of styling that we can all follow that will further outline what I find to be the most important considerations when thinking about how one will style oneself.