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A New Low.

January 23rd, 2014

Two days ago I was perusing my feed on Facebook when an image a friend/colleague posted stopped me in my tracks. I clicked on it to get a better look and was beside myself to see that this image of what I thought was a severely anorexic or sick woman was in fact an ad from Saint Laurent’s spring campaign.  Before I continue take a look:

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To be honest, I almost didn’t believe it.  I knew that before I could write anything about it I had to confirm it was real first, even though the source of the Facebook image was a trusted one.  I have made the mistake of skipping this step before and learned my lesson from it. Sadly, I confirmed it yesterday by going to Barnes & Noble and seeing it in person in the February issue of Harper’s Bazaar. I don’t even know where to begin to describe my rage and disgust over this image.

But let’s start with this. There is a picture of me taken about two weeks before I was committed to a mental hospital for my anorexia that looks like this picture. Less glamorous, for sure, but the knobby knees, reed thin thighs and sunken eyes are the same. I was about 95 pounds and 5′ 9″ to put this model in perspective (if I could find it I would post it).  I am not saying definitively that she is sick, nor am I “thin shaming” anyone, but I AM suggesting that to portray this image as glamorous and high fashion is brutally irresponsible and dangerous. Yes, there are members of society who are naturally very thin or drastically underweight due to illness or factors beyond their control (like the fabulously inspiring Lizzie Velasquez), but that is not what is being presented here.  This is the kind of image that could (and will) be circulated on the bevy of pro-anorexia sites out there as an example of extreme thinness promoted and accepted by the fashion industry.  Even more heartbreaking is the idea that young girls everywhere, otherwise healthy girls, may see this during a time in their life when they are easily influenced and allow it to make them feel badly about their bodies. It could ignite a dark place inside one of them, a thought, a behavior, a pattern, that could spiral into something devastating. Just as it was ignited in me.

No, one ad will not cause someone to be anorexic, but our society’s  ideals and attitudes towards what is a beautiful body could.  No one could pinpoint what exactly it was that caused me to fall ill- I was never abused, neglected, bullied or tormented- I was just like any other young girl.  But one day I started comparing myself to others and thought maybe I should lose some weight. And then some more. And then even more. Until the prospect of having to eat a single strawberry would reduce me to hysterical sobs of fear. And this was during a time when models like this were not part of mainstream media- in fact, today the girls I admired on TV in the early 90′s would probably be considered “chubby”.  If we allow these kinds of images to become acceptable I am scared of what the future holds for young women- our daughters, nieces and grandchildren. THIS IS NOT OKAY.

Years ago I went to talk by the Council of Fashion Designers of America at Mass General’s Eating Disorders Program in which some famous designers made all sorts of claims about committing to using healthier models in an attempt to promote a more wholesome body image and protect the young models who feel forced to be a certain kind of drastically thin in order to get work.  Well, it seems those statements and assertions were not ones they took seriously.  This image had to go through SO MANY hands to be approved to run in Bazaar- the fashion house, their marketing department, the model management, PR people, the photographer, producers, magazine editors and publishers. This model was lit purposely to exaggerate her breathtaking thinness. The fact that this was PERMITTED to be published is flat out disgusting.  The fact that all these powerful people in the media could look at this and think “Yes, let’s put THIS out into the universe” is baffling.  To be in a women’s magazine is doubly insulting.

For all the progress that the fabulous pro-women ads from Dove and others out there have made, one like this can set us so many steps back.  I have no idea how we can affect change in the fashion industry, but I certainly hope that small efforts to stand up to things like this are a place to start.

Local Love: Priley Lane

January 22nd, 2014

I love sourcing goods from local companies, and recently we discovered a new Boston based furniture Priley Lane that we have fallen in LOVE with.  These transitional pieces are all customizable- you choose the finish (a variety of lacquers, grasscloth, linens, skins or wood stains) and even different metal feet, nailheads and other details! It’s so fun!

Love this coffee table done in lacquered grasscloth in a natural color…

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These amazing modern dressers remind me of some MUCH more expensive ones I’ve seen. I may have to use these in my new master bedroom!

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A fabulous console in a fun color.

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We are ordering one of these simple and modern demilune tables in navy grasscloth for a client in NY! Classic meets cool!

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Runway to Room: Valentino

January 21st, 2014

I love translating fashion from the runway into interior decor- it really stretches my design muscles and allows me to think outside the box. When I saw this Valentino look I was SO drawn to the unexpected color combo! This look isn’t exactly one I’d rock to go to a meeting, but I adore the unique mix of light blue, merlot and leopard with gold and black accents. I wanted to try to replicate this interesting combination in a living room….

THE OUTFIT:

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THE ROOM:

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I typically don’t use the color cranberry/merlot in homes, it always feels so dated to me, but in this application of a velvet sofa against a grey blue wall anchored by a leopard wool carpet I think it works!  It’s a rich, luxe space that has a few statements and combines modern and traditional items. I never would have thought to try to put these colors together in a space, proving that looking to the runway can help your creativity when decorating!

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Trend Explosion

January 20th, 2014

We all spend lots of time pinning and pulling images of things we like, rooms that make us swoon and inspirational spaces.  But sometimes you can learn a lot by studying rooms you DON’T like.  I actually ask some clients to pull images of spaces they hate alongside ones they love because together they create a clear picture of what they want out of their space.

So here is a space that I straight up dislike. And no surprise, it’s a Kardashian home (not a fan of them, AT ALL) via Domaine Home. So let’s take a gander at Kourtney’s home, shall we….

Here’s the thing about this house, EVERYTHING is a statement. Everything. There is no place for your eye to rest and make the next statement feel special. It’s just an assault on your eyeballs in every square foot of space.  You know I love black and white stripes but this room is TOO much with the patterned floor as well and the crazy lighting topping it off.

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MORE stripes! This room feels a little less offensive to me but again, with the bold art and the urchin light fixture it’s all just too much for me.

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OMG, this kills me. The rug plus the wallpaper plus the primary colored sculpture and art. This is exactly what I would show someone if they asked me what I disliked in a home. Let the wall be the statement and pair it with simpler, classier art and accessories! GAH.

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Fashion Friday: Olivia Pope. It’s Handled.

January 17th, 2014

If you’ve been perusing my Facebook or Twitter you know that I am currently obsessed with Scandal. I’m midway through season 3 and VERY stressed that Jake Ballard is about to bite it (how cute is Scott Foley? I’ve loved him since Felicity.)  Anywhoo, I both love and am epically annoyed by Olivia Pope. She’s bad ass, but also has a meme-worthy cryface/ stressface that drives me nuts. But she also has some killer fashion.  So let’s take a peek at some of my faves and then I’ll show my OP picks….

Girl has some seriously awesome coats and blazers…

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And she loves a good bateau neck top (also she makes me want to replace everything in my wardrobe with white stuff). Hi Fitz.

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More killer jackets. That pink one at right made me weep with jealousy.

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