Rear Window

A Look that Say’s I’m Self-Confident

edithhead_gracekelly_rearwindow
Sketch from Pinterest (www.alovelybeing.com)

During last week’s Wardrobe Wednesdays I said that I don’t bother with New Years’ resolutions because I know that even with the best of intentions I won’t stick to the promise. I also said that I could use a little help in dressing down for a more casual look. Well, today isn’t that day and I knew over the weekend what I wanted to share with you is one of my favorite outfits of all time.

To set the stage for the unveiling of my favorite outfit, I have to search the foggy recesses of my memory to a time when I was still married to my most recent ex-husband who was an avid collector of VHS movies. This man had a library full of movies which he carefully and lovingly catalogued (even to an obsessive compulsive person such as I this was a tad bit over the top and drove me a little insane). At any rate, we used to have movie night every Friday where my two younger sons, his daughter, him and I, would indulge in an unhealthy dose of popcorn and other snacks as we gathered around the television to view the featured film for the evening.

Like the average married couple (and I suppose it could be said that I was a little disagreeable) we would, at times, butt heads over which movie to watch. On this particular Friday I lost the war and as I sulked at the beginning of the film I was irritated that I found myself being sucked into the storyline. The Alfred Hitchcock (who by the way I’ve always greatly admired) movie was the 1954 Rear Window. If you’re even remotely familiar with Hitchcock’s films you’ve probably guessed that my all-time favorite outfit or in this case, costume, is one worn by Grace Kelly and you would be correct.

Photo of Grace Kelly in eau de nil suit
Photo Credit http://www.clothesonfilm.com

The outfit in Rear Window that screamed out to me was the eau de nil suit. The literal French translation of eau de nil (a color described as a pale yellowish-green from www.collinsdictionary.com) means water of (the) Nile. This very chic, tailored 50s style look consisted of 3 pieces of clothing and 7 few well-placed accessories. The website Clothes On Film has some wonderful pictures and descriptions of the suit however I wanted to give you an overview of the different pieces here:

  • Hip-length jacket with a stand-up collar
  • Calf-length pencil skirt
  • White silk cross-over wrap halter top (without a display of cleavage I might add)
  • White belt
  • White gloves
  • White veiled pillbox hat
  • Choker length pearl necklace
  • Chunky pearl bracelet
  • Earrings
  • Black heels

When Grace’s character took off the jacket I fell in love with the halter and made a vow that I would look for something similar and with the passage of time forgot. By virtue of sharing this favorite of mine with you today the halter will now be placed once again on my list of items to procure.

I leave you today with a quote from Edit Head, one of Hollywood’s greatest designers and the creator of this suit as it is most fitting.

“Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to show you’re a lady.” Edith Head

Color 2

Hear No Color, Speak No Color, See No Color

Color for the totally blind is an abstract concept. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary Hear, Speak, See No Evil Imagedescribes color as “the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light…” So based upon this definition if one is totally devoid of light then they cannot experience color in the true sense of the word. I also think that it bears mentioning that even for sighted people, color is very subjective to a specific person’s taste. So how then can I get past this barrier to help my blind female friends understand color as it relates to current fashion trends?

I know it’s a thought-provoking question and it’s also a challenge to all of us to think outside of what we know from experience and develop a way in which everyone can enjoy this thing called color. In last week’s Trending Tuesdays post I talked about the color of the year which is Radiant Orchid, and I also provided Pantone’s splendid description of what this color represents. This week I promised to follow-up with additional information on 2014 color trends and how you can incorporate some of these colors into your wardrobe to add a little panache. I think the easiest approach would be to list the colors and then we can talk about specific items of clothing and accessories. Since there are 13 total colors I chose 5 for today and I’ll list the remaining over the course of the next two Tuesdays. I pulled the following colors and descriptions from Pantone’s Fashion Color Report Spring 2014:

  1. Placid Blue – like a picture-perfect, tranquil and reassuring sky, induces a sense of peaceful calmness
  2. Violet Tulip – a romantic, vintage purple, evokes wistful nostalgia
  3. Hemlock – Similar to the verdant shade of springtime foliage, Hemlock, a summery, ornamental green, provides a decorative touch that’s very different from the greens of recent seasons
  4. Paloma – serves as a quintessential neutral, interesting enough to be worn alone or combined with any color for sophisticated poise.
  5. Sand – a lightly toasted and amiable neutral, conjures images of the beach and the carefree days of summer. Try pairing Sand with Hemlock for perfect, natural balance.

Okay, there you have it, the first 5 colors for Spring 2014 and while I have some functional vision and I like the overall palette, there are at least 3 of the 14 13 total that I’m not crazy about as standalone colors. To be completely objective though, there definitely is a difference in viewing colors on a computer screen as opposed to seeing them in a store. Also, keeping my blind friends in mind, the colors mean little without outside guidance as to what colors works best together and for a specific person.

Out of the 5 I’ve listed, the color that really speaks to me is Hemlock and I would probably use it as an accent color in perhaps shoes, scarf and a piece of jewelry.

Next week I’ll list the next 4 colors from Pantone’s Fashion Color Report Spring 2014, and give ideas on how you can enhance your spring wardrobe. Until then I have one request and that is to think of more meaningful ways to describe colors for those who cannot see.

Thank you

“The difference between style and fashion is quality”. ~Giorgio Armani

Is It Magic? Nah, Just Color Adjusting Foundation

The “KISS” of Foundation

“KISS”, not to be confused with smooch, I always thought was short for “Keep It Puckered LipsSimple Stupid” but little did I know there are so many variations of this acronym. Since I have an aversion to the word stupid I will choose for today’s post Keep It Super Simple.

I like choices, they’re a good thing but when I’m faced with too many choices I begin to hyperventilate and almost go into a full fledge panic attack. So when faced with the prospect of searching for new makeup foundations I just cringe. Throw in the fact that I can’t see my face very well and, well, it can be an upsetting proposition.

When it came to using makeup, and more specifically foundation, after I started losing my vision it was easier for me to give up my frustration and go bare-faced. I mean, I hated having to search for the perfect shade of foundation when I could see; so now with the element of vision loss my thing was “who needs this aggravation?” This was around the time when I had many hissy fits and pity parties because I thought “woe is me I’m losing my vision how can I possibly go on? And more importantly how can I go on without makeup?” Looking back now it sounds so pathetic I mean there were bigger problems in the world and here I was worried about makeup application because I was so concerned about my appearance. As time went on I went into a zen-like state where my appearance didn’t take such a high priority and I began to focus outward. Make no mistake this was not a quick fix it took some time, however once I pulled up my ‘big girl panties,’ I once again experimented with different foundations, sometimes they worked and sometimes not but it wasn’t such a big deal.

Over the years I’ve used quite a few different foundations from liquid, cream, powder, sheer, pancake to stick formulations. Some I’ve liked more than others and my reasons for changing from time to time was due mainly to more choices becoming available. Currently I’m using a mineral powder foundation because of the ease of application and it looks good or so I’ve been told. Which brings to mind the one thing I forgot to mention; it helps to have a very good friend or relative that you can trust, to help you with choosing what works best for your skin tone/type.

cosmetic brushes and make-upWhen I was asked to do a makeup presentation to a group of women at the Pennsylvania Council of Blind’s 2012 Annual State Convention I shared with them products I found that could be easily used even with blindness/vision impairment. Earlier in this post I mentioned Keep It Super Simple and what could be simpler than color adjusting foundation? It’s been a few years but I used Almay’s Smart Shade and one of the things I like most about Almay products is that they are hypoallergenic and I had no issues with the foundation. Following are a couple of other like products including websites. When it comes to color matching I always try to do this in person to get an idea of how the product may or may not work.

Stay tuned next week when I delve into BB and now, CC creams.

Remember be true to yourself!

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” ~Audrey Hepburn

Premier Designs & Park Lane

All that Glitters is not Gold

I know that the intended purpose of “all that glitters is not gold” refers to things aren’t always as they might seem and as long as we’re talking jewelry I really don’t mind. In an earlier post I mentioned that I prefer fashion jewelry to the real thing as a matter of personal preference. Also I’m not quite sure when it happened but I’ve converted from gold to silver jewelry finishes.

Botannical Floral Necklace
Premier Designs Botannical

Last Sunday I promised to show some more of my Premier Designs pieces and today I picked one of my favorite necklaces called Botanical. Botanical is an Antiqued Matte Silver Plated Necklace 16 inches long with a 4 inch extender. The necklace has 5 flowers and 1 leaf, each ranging in size from 1 inch to 2 inches. Two of the flowers and the 1 leaf are sort of an open weave design and all of them are highly tactile, each providing a different feel from the petals on the flowers to the little nubs on the leaf. This is a statement necklace that I earned last year from hosting one of two jewelry shows and while I was initially hesitant in selecting it I can say that it was a very good choice. The reason I was hesitant in buying the Botanical was I thought it’d be too bulky and while it sounds rather big (and I suppose it is) it’s not heavy and it will draw compliments. Also, if what my jewelry consultant said is true, it gives the illusion of making me appear 10 pounds less and I need all the help I can get in this area. This really is an illusion because chunky jewelry draws the eyes of onlookers to your neck/face thereby, in my situation, lessening the attention to problem hip areas.

Shells & Pearl Necklace
Shellicious Necklace & Earrings

My second choice for today is a necklace and earring set that I bought from Park Lane Jewelry. The fish-hook style 2 inch long Shellicious Pierced Earrings and 16.5 inch with 3 inch extender necklace are “inspired by the tropics, this unique necklace is a stunning cascade of faux pearls and genuine seashells anchored to ornate silver filigree beads. The mother-of-pearl finish shimmers and reflects a rainbow of color. A four-strand ivory string cord fastens the necklace to your neckline. A cluster of lustrous pearls and silvery gray and taupe shells fashion Shellicious earrings.” Like the Premier Designs Botanical necklace, the Shellicious necklace and earrings are highly tactile and since the seashells and faux pearls dangle they offer the extra benefit of sound when they move with my body movement. The picture I took of these pieces can’t do justice to how they really look when wearing them.

The jewelry I talked about today I can see myself wearing until I either a) break or lose them or b) the finish wears off the Botanical (which can happen if not properly cared for). As I said from the outset I am not concerned with real silver and knowing this, since fashion jewelry can have the tendency to tarnish over time, I still feel I get my money’s worth from the pieces I’ve bought.

The good news is after checking sites like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue I found that statement necklaces are trending in 2014. From links on Elle I found some nice necklaces at www.target.com and www.buckle.com which incorporate color, so if you tend to prefer neutrals you can easily give your wardrobe an extra boost with a colorful necklace, bracelet and earrings. Add a complimentary handbag and you’re all set.

Remember, be true to yourself!

“Classic, to me, is something that’s timeless, enduring. The things that never go out of style. Polo, the kinds of clothes I design are the kinds of things I believe in, the kinds of things that last forever. I love things that stay.” ~ Ralph Lauren