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My name is Melissa Kaplan Guarino. Welcome to Turning Fashion Inside Out! I believe there is a connection between fashion and self-esteem and I am interested in understanding that relationship. Tell me … What is your story?

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Beauty lives in Notting Hill

The real Notting Hill garden

The real Notting Hill garden

Alex is a 40-something beauty blogger, who just happens to live in Notting Hill, London. Yes, that Notting Hill of movie fame: the Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. In the movie, you may remember when our characters discover a charming hidden-away garden? That’s where Alex lives; near that very garden! But I digress … Alex has started a wonderful beauty destination filled with practical product nformation, especially designed for women over 40. And that’s important, because things happen to our skin as we age, and it’s a good idea to nurture and care for our skin properly. More from Alex …

MKG: Alex, what compelled you to start your blog, I Heart Beauty?

Alex:  I wanted to do something that fit in easily with having a young daughter, and blogging does that perfectly. It’s a great way to keep your brain ticking, learn new things, indulge an interest, and make contact with like-minded people.

MKG: Why focus on beauty products and information? Is your background in beauty?

Alex: My professional background is in the music and media industries, but I’ve been interested in beauty since I was a little girl. My father worked in advertising, handled a lot of beauty accounts, and was always bringing home interesting products for me to play with. He became Managing Director of Vidal Sassoon, and after that he had his own toiletry companies. Basically, it’s a world in which I have always been aware, and my passion for beauty products has never waned. In fact, if anything, it’s grown stronger over the years.

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My Loehmann’s Woe: Where did you go?

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Loehmann's, January 10, 2014 - liquidation has begun ...
The old Loehmann’s; an actual store
The New Loehmann's - online-only shopping destination
The New Loehmann’s; an online-only shopping destination

In the past few days, my mailbox has been filling up with messages from Loehmann’s. You heard me: Loehmann’s. At first, I was thrilled. Could it be that it had all been a bad dream, and Loehmann’s never really went out of business? Was it all in my head? The thrill quickly turned to extreme disappointment, when I reviewed the advertisements more closely and saw that they read: The New Loehmann’s. In the back of my mind, I remember that this was coming: the new online-only version of Loehmann’s. And yes, I remember saying to myself then, and here on the blog as well, that an online only Loehmann’s is a contradiction. It does not make sense. Because the magic of Loehmann’s was in the store itself; in the aisles and in the dressing rooms. Especially, the dressing rooms. Join me in today’s podcast as I ponder this sad-but-true new reality for Loehmann’s and for us shoppers …

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LONDON: “Give me a snapback and a ripped pair of jeans, and I am happy.”

London McKenzie, wearing his snakpack

London McKenzie, wearing a favorite look: the snapback – Photo by Becceropolis

Meet London Mckenzie, a 22 year-old British fashion blogger, with a strong voice and passion. I spoke with London, who told me about recently graduating with a degree in journalism, and why London’s own dream is to live in London someday …

LondonI graduated from University last year after completing my 3-year degree, and I loved every minute of it. From a young age, I had a passion for writing, so studying journalism seemed like the next logical step. I originally intended to pursue a career in celebrity journalism but I soon realized that I wanted to create my own original content. I currently live in my home town of Sheffield, but living in London is my ultimate dream. I visit as often as I can but wish I could be there more.
MKG: What prompted you to start your own fashion blog? What did you feel was missing in the blogging community?
London: I actually started blogging in 2011 on Buzznet. Continue reading

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Sagging pants: Florida’s not buying it!

 

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Cher* (from the movie, Clueless. 1995): ”So okay, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don’t get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair (eww!) and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon? I don’t think so.

It’s been a look for almost 20 years: boys wearing baggy, sagging pants with their underwear exposed. And ever since I heard these words uttered by Cher, the main character of the movie Clueless, about the grodiness of it all, I have been aware of this particularly offensive look. But now, there is a growing trend in some cities to change it with legal ordinances. News today via Fashionista, that in Ocala, Florida, the City Council has voted that wearing sagging pants and exposed underwear carries a punishable fine: up to $500 and up to six months in jail, the maximum punishment. Specifically, Ocala City Council defines ‘sagging’ as pants hanging “two inches below their natural waist in a way that exposes underwear or bare buttocks.”

But, according to Fashionista, the question is raised: can this ordinance be misused as racial profiling? Continue reading

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Meeting Isabella Rose Taylor!

Isabella with the fashion campers

Isabella with the fashion campers

Can you imagine being a teenager with an interest in fashion, lucky enough to meet someone your own age who is a bonafide artist and fashion designer? That’s what is happening this week in New York, at Fashion Camp NYC, with guest speaker, 13-year old Isabella Rose Taylor. And can you also imagine being me, creator of this blog, meeting Isabella and her mom, Sherri, while they are here in NY? It was beyond special!

We spoke about her message to the girls at the fashion camp and the issues facing young designers of Isabella’s generation. According to Isabella, “It’s important to know the basics of design, including pattern-making, but at the same time, understand that everything will be streamlined very soon. You must know the technology of fashion.” Continue reading

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Here is Kim Naci, my friend, the Style Storyteller!

Kim Naci

Kim Naci

1512363_10152153059928687_3708860198928021917_nI am double-lucky to know Kim Naci; not only is she my friend, but she is also my fashion therapist. Kim is the person who has seen the inside of my closet and likes me anyway! She is stylish and chic and oh-so-fashion-wise and knows that everything about the way your clothes fit and feel relates to how you feel about yourself. Continue reading

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What’s in a quote? Sometimes, everything!

Karl Lagerfeld, via Harper's Bazaar

Karl Lagerfeld quote, via Harper’s Bazaar

When I first created my blog, I thought a lot about my message, content, and purpose. So, I created a page called “Fashion Quotes.” Why? Because I love words of inspiration, and want these words to carry us forward, as we start the conversation about fashion and self-esteem. How excited was I, when I saw that Harper’s Bazaar thought the same thing! Recently released: Famous Words of Fashion’s Greatest: Part Two.

One of my favorites is a simple quote from famed designer, Vivienne Westwood: “Buy less, choose well.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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I’m easy like Sunday morning

IMGP1471IMGP1481IMGP1482IMGP1486That’s why I’m easy, I’m easy like Sunday morning” ~ Lionel Richie

Sunday mornings are special. Sleep in, wake early; the morning is yours to do as you please. My new favorite treat is a cup of coffee with half-and-half, and a trip to town – sometimes to the farmer’s market, sometimes to the local cafe to read the paper, and sometimes to do both. Yesterday it was The Wall Street Journal, for a change.

My easy outfit of choice? Shirt: Juicy Couture; hat: Nordstrom; shorts and espadrilles; Kohl’s.

Photos by Alexandra

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The Good Man Behind The Good Men Project

cc photoCameron Conaway is enlightened. He is a human rights activist and a concerned citizen. He is a prolific poet. And he is a good man. In fact, he is the perfect good man: Executive Director, behind The Good Men Project, an International online destination for conversations about what it means to be a good man in the 21st Century. Cameron and I spoke recently about this important opportunity for men, for women, and for all of us …

MKG: The Good Men Project was founded in 2009 by Tom Matlack. What did the site envision at the onset and why did your team believe the time was now for this vision to come true?

Cameron: Tom had an awakening. Here he was on the cover of magazines and being featured all over, and yet he was struggling personally. He was a successful businessman, but it wasn’t until a series of major personal struggles that he found the error of his ways: He’d confused being a successful businessman with being a successful man. Continue reading

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So this is what 50 looks like!

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Celebrating my age!

Celebrating my age!

Today is my birthday; I find it hard to believe that I am 54, but life has had a way of sneaking up on me! One thing is true about being this age; I try to be grateful every day, and more mindful about experiencing each joyful moment. Join me in today’s podcast and hear more of my musings about what it means to age well (hint: a good fitting bra helps!).

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