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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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Caution: Watch the clothes on your back!

Margarete Hyer

Margarete Hyer

Wellness is a mindset and a lifestyle. With an open mind, desire, and persistence, so much dis-ease & dis-comfort can be overcome.” ~ Margarete Hyer

On this eve of Earth Day, we meet Margarete Hyer, an educator and founder of the website, The Essential Classroom.  Margarete’s mission is to help inform the public and the planet about how the products we use affect our health and wellness. This live fashion, print and film model, who has modeled high-end designer fashions herself, is now bringing forward information about dangerous chemicals lurking in our clothing. It’s a wake-up call for us consumers, and hopefully, for the fashion industry itself. Here is Margarete

MKG: Tell me about your passion for health and wellness. When did it start?

MH: My journey started when I was 23 years-old and I contracted (mono) mononucleosis. I was confined to my bed for two weeks and I almost died. Continue reading

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Betsey Johnson at the wedding

Betsey Johnson 's magic dress

At the wedding

When I planned my outfit for this wedding, I knew in my heart there was only one dress to wear: my Betsey Johnson black velvet wrap dress. Sleek and slimming, sophisticated yet flirty, this dress is the perfect choice. I have had a long-standing love affair with designer Betsey Johnson; ever since the 1970s, when I was a teen shopping with my mom on our Saturday morning adventures. My mom introduced me to Betsey Johnson, who, at the time, was designing under the label Betsey Johnson Alley Cat. It was not long after that I began to borrow her Betsey Johnson treasures. Eventually, the much-coveted red-plaid corduroy jacket with puffed sleeves became mine. Thank you for that, Mom. I wish I had it now.

It’s so nice to know that Betsey Johnson is still sharing her designs for new generations to enjoy. Perhaps there is a mother-daughter team out there right now, shopping on a Saturday morning, and the mother is introducing her daughter to the magic that is Betsey Johnson.

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Overalls, it’s over. I’m not buying it!

Princess Diana made overalls sexy

Princess Diana made overalls sexy                                                                                                        Photo courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar #TheList

Harper’s Bazaar #TheList, highlights the women on the street having a love affair with the all-in-one denim piece called the overall. For several years overalls were my best friend. They were my best friend when I was pregnant with my first baby 18 years ago; they were my best friend after baby #one was born and before I could fit comfortably in my regular clothes; they were my best friend three years later when I was pregnant with baby #two, and kept me company, again, for the first few months post-delivery. A tried-and-true best friend. But then … not. There was the day my mother looked at me (as only a mother can) and said, “It’s time to say good bye to the overalls.”

I haven’t worn them since. I think overalls have a shelf-life. You have to be at a certain place in your life to wear overalls successfully. Otherwise, you end up looking just a little weird, with droopy drawers. If now is your time, go for it. For me? It’s time to find a new best friend. I’m not buying it!

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Camo is the new khaki

IMGP0662 2IMGP0698IMGP0677As the weather warms and the daffodils burst onto the spring scene, I pass over my jeans for a lighter weight pant. In the past, that has meant a pair of khakis: cropped, long, bootcut or slim leg, khakis have been a spring staple. But I am bored with khakis this year, and I couldn’t find a pair that had the perfect fit. My solution: camo pants! I wear them the same way I would wear khakis, with a t-shirt and sandals, or in this case, nude pumps, and I am good to go. This outfit: camo pants by Madewell, v-neck tee by Splendid (recommended by Cupcakes and Cashmere…thank you, Emily!), and shoes by Vince Camuto, because every girl needs a pair of nude pumps.

Photos by Alexandra, shot on location at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit, New Jersey

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Do I keep beauty secrets? From you? Never …

IMG_5653Cosmetics industry veteran Andrea Robinson’s new book, “Toss the Gloss: Beauty Tips, Tricks & Truths for Women 50+,” has me thinking: do I keep beauty secrets from you? Never! Here are my tried-and-true beauty (and a few fashion) tips: I never leave home without my lipstick – CoverGirl #355; I try to wear color around my face (I recommend choosing colors that bring out the best in you – mine is always a cherry red); I keep a favorite pair of jeans at-the-ready at all times; For my face, I cleanse with an exfoliant and moisturize often during the day with Bobbi Brown and Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil and at night with La Roche Posay; I always use WEN® cleansing conditioner (Pomegranate) on my hair. My go-to’s in my arsenal? A trusted dermatologist and tailor!

Photo by Lisa Reznik

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Accepting who we are, according to Jillian Veran

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Jillian Veran

Jillian Veran

Acceptance. Who am I? Where am I in my life?” These are the words of my friend, Jillian Veran, who recorded this podcast last September. Jillian is a beauty authority and media spokesperson, and in this conversation we talked about what it means to age gracefully and how we can keep our inner and outer beauty alive. It remains one of my all-time favorite moments on Turning Fashion Inside Out.

I share it with you again today, because not only is it a special conversation, but because Jillian has been battling a very difficult personal issue: she is fighting cancer. At the end of our talk, Jillian says that she sees so many possibilities for herself. And as we listen today, I am hoping that we all create these infinite possibilities for wellness for Jillian. And when Jillian is up to it, she and I will meet again, and take our conversation further.

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I’m not buying that!

P1000049 3Reported by Fashionista.com: After struggling with bankruptcy for years and finally closing its doors in February, Loehmann’s is coming back. What? Really? Apparently, Loehmann’s was given a second life when hedge fund Esopus Creek Value Series Fund LP acquired Loehmann’s name and intellectual properties in bankruptcy court. Now, Esopus has brought on brand development and advisory firm CAK Entertainment Inc to launch a new Loehmann’s in May; as on online-only retailer.

Here is where you have me. I am very pleased that they will be carrying the same brands. And I understand the importance of online shopping, especially when research shows that the younger market shops online. But then, I say, don’t call it Loehmann’s. Loehmann’s can’t be about online-only shopping!! Where are the dressing rooms? Where are the almost-naked women? Where is the camaraderie; the other women telling you to buy-that-outfit-because-it looks-so-great-on-you-and-you-will-regret-it-if-you-don’t-get-it?

Who are they kidding?! Loehmann’s is not an online-only shopping experience. And if they think we don’t remember what Loehmann’s was, I’m not buying that!

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Where is Emilie now?

Emilie Sobel

Emilie Sobel

In December, I interviewed Emilie Sobel, senior at The Savannah College of Art and Design, and creator of the blog, Soul in Stilettos. She was about to graduate and full of excitement and hope for her future. Well, she did it! I asked Emilie to give us an update on her graduation and tell us what’s happening. Here is Emilie …

Just a few short weeks ago, I graduated as a Fashion Marketing major from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Growing up, I always knew that my life would move in a creative direction because art and fashion have always been a part of my life. Now that I am 21 and have just earned my BFA, I find myself asking, Now What?? Continue reading

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A swimsuit conversation with Lisa Curran …

Lisa Curran and me during our interview; Lisa is wearing The Beach Party

Lisa Curran and me; Lisa is wearing Lisa Curran Swim’s The Perfect Beach Dress                       Photo Credit: Lisa Reznik

It’s finally spring and we are all starting to think about swimsuits and swimsuit shopping. But first, we must address how we feel about who we are and how we see ourselves. Who better to dish with than Lisa Curran herself, designer and founder of Lisa Curran Swim. Lisa and I met a year ago and today, we are back, recording a video that goes beyond our first conversation; talking about body image and the connection between swimsuits and self esteem, and how women and girls can feel empowered rather than discouraged by shopping for swimwear. Continue reading

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“There are a lot of favorite parts to being a costume designer”

When Alexandra Regazzoni and I first met a year ago, I told her that she had my dream job. As I see it, a costume designer is the ultimate storyteller. After today’s interview, we can all live vicariously through Alexandra, and follow her passion. It wasn’t always clear to her that she would be a costume designer. This Florida native grew up interested in many things. Her education is extensive, beginning at Florida State University, where she graduated with a BA in theater, and a BS in anthropology, with a minor in French. Alexandra became more interested in clothing, while performing and working as an aerialist in FSU’s Flying High Circus, where the performers would do their own rigging and make their own costumes. This was Alexandra’s first introduction to the world of costume design. She would go on to obtain an MFA in production design with a secondary degree in costume design from Ohio University.

Today, we return to the setting of one of Alexandra’s 9 short films she has designed: Left Bank Books. In the heart of Greenwich Village, New York City, we hear from Alexandra what it means to be a costume designer

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