Fashion Is Emotion, From the Catwalk to the Boudoir to the Arthouse
If one combines the attendance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and that at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, over one million people attended the exhibition on Alexander McQueen's life and works, entitled "Savage Beauty". It was a stirring showpiece of creativity that lives on past his untimely death. Lately, Creative Director Sarah Burton of McQueen presented a new collection and described her vision as "Almost sleepwalking, in a state where reality and dreams become blurred." Her dreamy lingerie-inspired creations ranged from gowns to floaty layered dresses, sheer tulle skirts to romantic bustier tops and whimsically oversized satin bed jackets.
The Google trend report for spring 2015 showed a large increase in interest in tulle dresses and demonstrates quantifiably that fanciful femininity has not been lambasted by a rise in designer sweatpants. It seems unlikely that one million visitors would queue for hours to visit an exhibition on, say, sweatpants.
Didn't Karl Lagerfeld once say that "Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants."? And Marie Kondo wrote in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing "If sweatpants are your everyday attire, you'll end up looking like you belong in them, which is not very attractive. What you wear in the house does impact your self-image."
Layered, gossamer styles that dance in the boudoir still have a role in a woman's collection and may dampen the rise of the sweatpants, best suited for wearing in the garage when changing a McPherson strut.
If you picture yourself as someone who doesn't care about appearances, ever, then that surely drives your behavior.
There is a wonderful acting exercise in drama schools that consists of walking or performing any action with a particular adverb in mind. For example "walk tidily", "skip fastidiously" or "run gloomily". The students spend time enacting that motion and emotion. The outcome is as predictable as it is disheartening. You need only behave in a particular way to reinforce the personality embodied in that action.
It is not a stretch to claim that if you wear something "thoughtlessly", your very being will be of a person who has indeed dismissed a mindful approach to their attire. If you don't care what you look like, it is likely that your partner or spouse will notice, and not in a good way.
If your idea of bedroom attire is indifferent, then we have nothing to discuss. If you want a dreamy, sensual feeling to permeate the room, your emotions and your being, then we may have the perfect accompaniment.
At Frances Smily Lingerie, we encourage thoughtfulness and care in your clothing choices. Ditch the sweatpants, and slip on some dreamy lingerie instead.
The Great White Way is the nickname for that section of Broadway in the Midtown section of New York City, between 42nd and 53rd Streets. Its name dates to 1880, when that section was illuminated by Brush arc lamps, making it among the first electrically lighted streets in the United States.
Now, enthralling and mesmerizing (some would say gaudy) billboards pour light onto Times Square and the surrounding Theater District. The redevelopment of the area (that by some measures took thirty years to complete) means that “to make it big on Broadway” no longer has the dark, seedy connotation it used to have.
Frances Smily Lingerie has been making it on Broadway for about the same amount of time it took Theater District to clean up its act. When you leave Times Square and head south on Broadway beyond Herald Square, the diagonally planned thoroughfare cuts through garment district. The neighborhood (and it feels like a neighborhood) has garment warehouses and workhouses atop store fronts. There are clothing stores, perfume stores, local eateries and hookah bars (note that we didn’t say “hooker bars”).
There are parts of Garment District that are showy and gaudy (“the neon tights are bright on Broadway”!). But at Frances Smily Lingerie, we operate in an oasis of genteel, vintage stylishness. Just because you’ve made it on Broadway, doesn’t mean you have to make a spectacle of it.
Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman festival observed for a couple of days around February 14th to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. The pagan festival involved nudity, revelry and some flagellation.
When the date was appropriated by Christians in the Middle Ages to celebrate Saint Valentine, the rituals probably didn't change much initially but maybe more clothes were gradually involved. The celebrations became X-rated, rather than triple-X.
Create your own minimalist ritual in the privacy of your boudoir with our oh-so-pagan thong.
No sooner has the holiday turkey gone cold than the forecasters are making predictions for the New Year, covering topics as far ranging as the weather to politics. What kind of year will 2016 shape up to be? That is the question! Economists and Financiers are always particularly effusive on what they foresee for the year.
I will tell your future....
We at Frances Smily, have our own forecasting index - the Hemline Index. The Hemline Index dates back to 1926 and proposes that hemlines rise during economic upswings, and head towards the floor in downturns. The theory has largely been debunked, but financial pundits are a tenacious bunch and any correlation tool, no matter how factious, is useful, until it isn’t.
So we propose an act of selflessness to help boost the economy, treat yourself from the Frances Smily Lingerie range of gorgeous baby dolls. These pretty, feminine undergarments offer a hemline so short that, following the logic of the Hemline Index, the economy can’t help but skyrocket.
So, on those down days when market indices have taken a tumble, slip on a baby doll and watch the economic activity go up and up and up. When you look that good, who cares about volatility?
After a day in work clothes that can be, well, constraining, the natural temptation as soon as we get home is to strip off the straight-jackets of the modern world and slip into something more comfortable. Oh the relief, off with the heels, off with the Spanx and on with the sweat shirt and sweat pants.
But hang on, is that sweat suit really the evening antidote to day wear?
The word “sweat” should give you the clue that these clothes are not as liberating as all that.
We, at Frances Smily, recommend clothing that floats on your body, glides across your skin, yields to your contours, and empowers your movement. Now doesn’t that sound more like a liberation?
Don’t sweat it! Slip on the deliverance that only a robe or a chemise can give you!
Illogical shopping decisions - we all make them! And my theory is that it occurs because we all suffer from what I like to call "Random Cheapness". (It's very similar to the "Random Calorie" theory where calories accidentally consumed between midnight and 6am don't count.)
8 signs you suffer from Random Cheapness:
1. Spend $7 twice a day on a Starbucks beverage, $18 on a bottle of wine, but you will only drink Happy Hour cocktails.
2. Or, will only buy $5 wine from Trader Joe's but on the way home buy a $9 organic cold press juice.
3. Shop at Bloomingdale's and you don't think twice about buying any item under $100 because, darling, it's a steal.
4. But shopping at Cheap Jack's, you refuse to buy anything priced over $3.99 because it's a rip-off.
5. Spend hours doing price comparison research and then you buy on Amazon because you paid for their free shipping plan.
6. Stand in line for the popup DVF sample sale, buy 4 things that don't fit correctly, and take a taxi home because you're exhausted.
7. Agonize over holiday gift purchases for weeks, going from store to store searching for affordable presents for your loved ones. The day after Christmas, rush to the sales and spend lots of money on yourself. (Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that together laid the foundation for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to said forces.That is, a body and Sale, and how quickly a gal can get to said Sale!)
8. Spend the entire year eating the cheaper chicken, and then blow out your bank account over a weekend in Vegas.
Mlodinow says, “we can improve our skill at decision making and tame some of the biases that lead us to make poor judgments and poor choices ... and we can learn to judge decisions by the spectrum of potential outcomes they might have produced rather than by the particular result that actually occurred.”
In other words, what I think Mlodinow means is: keep an eye on your patterns of random cheapness...and stay out of the casino!
"My mother was right: When you've got nothing left, all you can do is get into silk underwear and start reading Proust."
A couple of years ago, the literary world was celebrating the centennial of the epic work by Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way (Du Côté de chez Swann), the first volume of In Search of Lost Time. Which brings me to wonder about celebrating silk and its long history. Chinese legend gives the title Goddess of Silk to Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor, who was said to have ruled China in about 3000 BC.
So next time you want to read an epic literary piece, or some tittle-tattle mag, do so in the style of a Chinese Goddess, enveloped in a silk kimono.
Is the thought of hauling out the boxes of old seasonal decor leaving you flat? Just can't get excited about running from store to store, exhausting yourself, to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones?
Is it too harsh to say it's because you're spending your hard-earned money on the same bunch of people who, frankly, wiped out your bank account all the other months of the year?
Yes, them. You know who I mean: the ones you gave, for free, a year's supply of toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap, band-aids, Q-tips, Scotch tape, printer ink (that's a big one - that stuff costs more than precious metal), a fully stocked fridge, endless pots of organic coffee with cream and sugar, internet, electricity, light bulbs....and "do you by chance have a stamp?" Yes, of course I do, because I went to the post office and bought them - they are in the drawer. Those people who got dinner every single night, and a sandwich-to-go for lunch, too, had laundry & house cleaning services, and a shoulder to cry on. All this amazing stuff you provided in exchange for some hugs.
And now, because you just aren't that excited that the Gift Giving Holidays are around the corner, they begin to resent you for spoiling all their fun with your selfish "Humbug" attitude! Then they ask you for some wrapping paper so they can gift wrap a present they bought for you with points on Amazon, and a scarf that someone else gave them which wasn't quite their taste so they have generously re-gifted to you.
Remedy! Shop for yourself first, because you really deserve it the most! You don't believe me?A little voice is saying, well that's selfish? It's not! Oprah says it this way:"Taking care of yourself so you can better care for others is an idea many women I talk to still can't embrace. But think of it in terms of the oxygen-mask theory: If you don't put on your mask first, you won't be able to save anyone else."
So Oprah and I say - get out there an buy something absolutely stunning that you didn't buy all year long because you WERE so busy buying groceries (lugging them home, putting them away, and then later on cooking!), household necessities, paying bills...for everyone!
I swear, after you spend the first $500 on yourself - don't even wrap it up with a big bow, just put it in your closet or, even better, wear it immediately - you'll feel a lot better. That's a promise.
Then you can order the stuff on Amazon with points for everyone else.
This is a delicate subject for the ladies, and what is a girl to do when all the push-ups and inch worm exercising isn't producing results? I have personally designed what is definitely is the fastest solution for that vexing problem of UADD (underarm dingle-dangle)...
Lately I've been reading on the forums that a lot of women find after dieting, alarmingly, that their underarms have become a bit flabby, and even become wrinkly! GAWD! Not the look one strives for after summoning the gods of Willpower and struggling through weeks or months of low fat, low carb menus. It often seems to appear suddenly and everything I have read on the topic says that this is due to a loss of collagen...okay, it sounds probable, I guess. but I am not a doctor or scientist so I can't confirm or refute that analysis here! But if its true, all I want to know is - who stole my collagen and how do I get it back?
Some muscle toning technique such as building up the deltoids (shoulder muscles) as well as some work on the triceps could eventually firm things up - as long as you stick to it. I'm working on that! Also, vitamins, and lots of water, and adding back some of the fatty foods you just cut out to slim down. (So frustrating!)
But in the short term, what to do? It's awfully discouraging and hard on the ego to go to all the effort of losing 20 pounds so you can fit into some cute styles and then winding up with a different problem which rules out wearing all those clothes you were dieting for.
Solution: I have designed many chiffon jackets over the years, just because I love them. I love the proportions and designing endless variations and combinations of lace and colors. But recently I found that they also provide a real solution to an emergency problem! Underarms rescue remedy!
Summertime weather is here and no way I could think of wear a long sleeved t-shirt. Maybe a short sleeved top but that isn't a look I go for ordinarily. I wanted to wear a slim-fitting tank top and Capri pants with a pair of strappy wedges - what on earth to do?
Suddenly inspired, I pulled a little chiffon shrug off my sample rack. It was the absolutley perfect go-to item! I slipped it on and a smile lit up my (previously anxious) face. VOILA! Underarm issue completely vanquished.
These little chiffon cardigans are so light and airy to wear, and uber flattering - a great Band aid on the problem of underarm dingle dangle. In the meantime, I'm doing the push ups and so should you...but have a couple of these in your closet for back up.
Anyone who knows me, knows about my love of jackets. There really is no fashion rescue like a jacket - long, short, or even shorter. I love them in velvet, I love them in fur (faux fur, if you prefer) I love them in cord, tweed, cashmere, lace...even little puffy ones under certain circumstances.
It really says something about the wearer, don't you agree? Such as... "I am stylish." & "I am flirtatious." Of course, it might also be saying "I am wearing the same t-shirt I slept in while I walk the dog" but no one needs to know that. There's the beauty of the concept. What I believe is that too many ladies have been overlooking is the charm of the little jacket. In fact, I have lately gone on what can be described as a MISSION to enlighten the world to the true benefits of wearing them. Wearing cute jackets will make you feel better. When you feel better, you are more productive. You will do more good deeds because you look nice.
Will it stop crime? Yes! Statistics show that more crimes are committed by people in hoodies than cute jackets.
Here is one that I have designed below - a vintage-y Victorian chiffon jacket and it really is, I promise you, the perfect add to quite a few outfits. Ethereal in ivory, goth in black.
Final note: long jackets (Dusters) are also fabulous but not as practical for the day to day, of course, so should only be worn when taking a taxi to your destination.
So, you think that luxury lingerie is expensive. It's completely out of your budget, right?
Wait just a minute. How much does your daily Starbucks purchases add up to in a month? Over $150? And have you lately added up your monthly Happy Hour expenses? How much less than $300? Cut that in half or even by a quarter - and VOILA! Now you CAN afford new silk and lace lovelies - and save the planet.
"AND save the planet? What on earth is she talking about?" you ask with annoyance, getting ready to X out of the tab.
Unless you've been living in a cave, you have heard the term "Fast fashion". As frequently reported by the experts, including Green Peace, it has produced a lot of terrible effects, not the least of which are the unethical working conditions, negative environmental impact, depletion of natural resources - and the murder of factory workers is perhaps the most shocking side effect. Remember the building collapse that housed several clothing factories at the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh? On June 30th 2015, the police in Bangladesh filed formal murder charges on Monday against 41 people accused of involvement in the 2013 collapse of a building, leaving more than 1,100 people dead in the worst disaster in garment industry history. And for what overall end result? To flood the retail market with a lot of really poorly made clothing!
Of course they can't sell it all. So have you asked yourself what happens to all of that mass produced clothing that they have to get rid of to make room for the next batch? They destroy it. It's not good for brand identity to give it to charity.
Unfortunately, it usually takes a disaster for us open our eyes to the awful working conditions that make such cheap clothing possible. No, you don't have to run around naked (unless that's your choice, which also seems to be an option these days) but you can ease your conscience, AND be fashionable by supporting the independent side of the industry. Not only can you ensure that your clothing is made ethically, you can have the satisfaction of wearing something original and supporting your favorite small designers who are producing (with love) the clothing themselves at incredibly tight margins. Small designers are cutting to order, working every piece of lace and fabric by hand, and nothing goes to waste.
It's a wonderful thing. As a consumer, you can actually begin to save the planet - one camisole at a time.
Readers: Would you give up Starbucks to start your own collection of beautiful designer lingerie?
When you got up this morning, rummaging half asleep through your underwear drawer (or tearing through it, if you already pumped yourself full of caffeine), you probably asked yourself "What's new in the world of Fashion?" No? Well, anyway, I did - because that's the life of a designer, forever tangled up (mentally AND physically) in tiny pieces of lace & ribbon & silk...
Bed Jackets are a wonderful item that can be overlooked when locked into the typical box of thinking of lingerie as only bras and panties, and the occasional bold foray into slips. OH BED JACKETS! You can wear them with fabulous effect, as sensual nightwear...light a candle and spray a little perfume on your sheets, open a bottle of champagne, slip on a tiny bolero bed jacket and let the romance begin.
But I hate to relegate something so enticing to only the bedroom and I recommend the wearing of a bed jacket in place of a cardigan or sweater...worn below by the inspirational Megan of Melbourne (follow her blog for some great fashion and food ideas!) - which debunks a popular myth that French women are the only ones who know how to wear lingerie every day. Love the bowler hat, Megs Simplicity and style.
And click here to purchase the delicate Parisian Chiffon print Bed Jacket as worn by Megan - and begin to build your legend life as a fashion icon.
Also, for brides, a divine little bed jacket can be worn as a shrug over a strapless wedding gown and double as a honeymoon trousseau item...what better surprise on your wedding morning than to appear in something as romantic and sexy as this?
I've been watching this is a popular trend, and I love to see the kimono really confident enough to come out of the bedroom and flaunt itself out of the street. Girls, a stunning, sheer, vintage-style kimono is the new go-to piece to add to your wardrobe and this fashion is not just for the low budget festival crowd who shop at H & M and URBAN.
The word "kimono", which literally means a "thing to wear" (ki "wear" and mono "thing") now has become in fashion "THE" thing to wear. No longer relegated to the hook on the back of the bathroom door, it can been seen going out to dinner, to the beach, to the Opera!
We have a large selection of them in beautiful prints & colors.... as outwear kimonos so they can be layered creatively over/under any outfit. We've found that poking out from under a jacket or over the perfect little black dress, it's the perfect touch of 'texture' to any outfit.
HOW TO WEAR A KIMONO as styled and worn by Megan Desmond, Melborne's unique fashionista, model, & stylist!
Wash and curl your hair with a casual natural loose curl that looks effortless.
Slip into the perfect little black dress and new sheer stockings.