Having lived & breathed Fashion for a number of years as a young woman, I consider the métiers of Fashion, Art & Design as part of my roots.  Lately, since I’m feeling a bit rootless with this change of season and all of the planetary influences, I have been researching through the new season of ‘la mode’ just to shift the view, the perspective. I thought that I would take a moment to recognize a couple of well-known people whom I consider ‘Influencers’ and icons, at least in my history of watching trends and my love of fashion, beauty, placement, and styling.

https://m2m.tv/watch/opening-sequence

To begin, Grace Coddington, is the end all and be all, the Queen Elizabeth I of cinematic fashion editing and styling. For 30 years she has modeled and styled for the likes of Vogue UK & US. I have followed her since my days at FIT. Her settings, some of them, fairytale-like, speak to the romantic in me. For many, she was and is one of the most influential women in the concept of design, creating many of the most beautiful images for print.  Still a living legend, and now a Creative Partner with TIffany’s as one of her independent projects, I found her recent foray into video interviewing refreshing and off the cuff. Held at the infamous Mr. Chows restaurant (he was one of her husbands when she was younger), her shyness, yet wealth of knowledge gives us another view of the iconic symbols in the industry. Here she is speaking off the cuff, with friends & acquaintances, some of the ‘Influencers’ in the world of design, film, and fashion. This is the link to the interview with her equally famous cohort at Vogue, Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue a well as the artistic director for Condé Nast. The rest of the interviews which are just as interesting can be found on M2MTV.

When I was a younger woman, I went from going to finishing school to studying design to a bit of modeling to retail and merchandising, and then I walked away. I see Grace’s images and dedication, her talent, her ability to walk through her fear before every shoot, and sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had a bit more courage at that time…but I chose another circuitous path and have incorporated this base and love of colour, design, and form along with my other formations in the realm of the esoteric, the alternative and healing arts into my practice of Feng Shui and Redesign. Thus, I get to use this whole ‘paint box/tool kit’, in very interesting and unusual ways. I love what I do, plus I have always kept my toe in the water with my occasional styling for friends and clients.

If you like image and beauty, and gorgeous photographs from some of the worlds very best, Grace is your gal, and there are many ways to get a taste of the world of which she was a part! If you are intrigued and want to know more, there are several books in print and one with illustrations of incorrigible cats written with her longtime partner Didier Malige. for kitty lovers out there – she adores them!

Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue
https://www.phaidon.com/store/fashion-culture/grace-collection-collect100047/

I could not write this piece without paying a tribute to the Grand Kaiser of fashion, Karl Lagerfeld who was the designer for three famous fashion houses at the time of his death: Chanel, Fendi, and his own label. He took Chanel from a languishing house to one of the most marketed logos in fashion history, from workout pants to the iconic ‘Chanel’ jackets, he had the famous ‘CC’ initials and his name everywhere. A true Renaissance man, not only did he draw & design, but he created interiors, DJ’ed and chose the music for his shows, made his cat, ‘Choupette’, as equally an iconic figure as himself with her own beauty contracts and Instagram feed.

Jonas Gustavsson/MCV Photo for The Washington Post

His caustic tongue and mercurial nature laid a few flat, but one cannot say that he wasn’t prolific or talented or kind and generous to friends. Writers were exhausted when following him and often said his workload was “staggering.” Judging by these gorgeous last and final shows for Fendi & for Chanel he was still at the top of his game. The recent show at Chanel was a winter wonderland set in an Alpine Village. It was beautifully designed, set in the Grand Palais, and the clothes were equally so.  It so evoked Queen Elizabeth’s comment to him from a much earlier show, “It’s like walking in a painting.”

And for those Marie Kondo lovers, I adore this image of him at his desk in the midst of his research and correspondence under a deluge of paper. It certainly didn’t stop him from being one of the top creators of the last century. Something to think about for all those extremists out there, being someone with Libra Rising, I have to have balance and my office is lovely, but I have a pile of research to my left in the Knowledge & Career guas and on my computer.

Lagerfeld chose David Bowie’s hit “We Could Be Heroes” to blare through the venue of Fendi and Chanel for his finale, perhaps he had an omen, as he was truly one of the last of his kind.

program of last show

I had the most superb experience the other day. I attended a FIRE workshop and launch party given by GHOST FLOWER, a new company by an amazing group of women along supported by some wonderful men who believe in this concept. They have pooled their talents and come up with active wear designed and based on and incorporating the Five Elements from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with emphasis on the meridians and their corresponding body points for each element. Their designs representing WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, METAL and WATER use fabric and colours that are sublime. Since I work with Colour and the Wu Xing, the Five Elements in my practice with FENG SHUI, I was intrigued.

To start with their active wear assists us in becoming more aware of the meridian energy lines on our bodies and they have raised the bar by creating an integral practice with workshops around these Five Elements. My daughter attended the WATER workshop first and came out feeling that the process took her very deep and that is exactly what WATER does. She recommended that I try the FIRE workshop. I am mainly FIRE in my elemental makeup and since we were being doused under a sky full of WATER at that moment (7 objects in Pisces), I needed a reboot and off I went. Well I sweated ‘my booty off’ and that began in the first twenty minutes as we sat in a large circle and investigated our meridian points before we even started moving our bodies! This concept incorporates techniques I adore – yoga, fascia/resistance work, acupressure, TCM and QiGong. Full of ancient wisdom and it’s fun!

What really got me thinking was that in their designs they are incorporating FENG SHUI with cloth and colour that interacts with the body. I love this idea because we could use their clothing as an adjustment. Each of these elements represents one aspect of the universal life energy – chi – that also connotes movement and change.

In the relationships of the Five Elements we have a Constructive, Creative, Generating Cycle: Wood fuels and feeds Fire, Fire becomes ash which creates Earth, Earth contains or bears Metal, Metal through the process of condensation collects Water, Water nourishes and feeds Wood, thus growth and the cycle recommences.


Now lets say, just like today, my FIRE element was depleted and I really felt overwhelmed by my emotions or the wet weather. I could choose something of a fiery colour that would help bring that FIRE right back up and GHOST FLOWER has a gorgeous ruby red jacket that I was eyeing. I could also choose green, a WOOD element colour, which would feed my FIRE element and their ensemble is stunning like bright dappled sunlight through an emerald forest.

Then there is the Overcoming, Controlling, Destructive Cycle of the Elements: Wood parts or pierces Earth (think of tree roots that hold the soil and help stop erosion), Earth dams and absorbs Water, Water extinguishes Fire, Fire melts and destroys Metal, and Metal chops or cuts Wood.

So what if my FIRE is up and I’m in an angry, prissy, intense mood today, like a Martian warrior ready to pounce – think hot under the collar and by the way Mars is active right now. Well, I could choose to wear their beautiful WATER element ensemble to bring down my fiery nature for the day because WATER puts out FIRE. Or I could use all that FIRE and wear a METAL ensemble to pull and use up any of that excess energy.

On another day, I might be overly emotive, sensitive, overwhelmed and fearful and that corresponds to the WATER element. I could then use the EARTH coloured ensemble to balance and absorb some of that inundating WATER. This concept works wonderfully with the rest of your wardrobe by the way. Try it at home. You can really get very creative and have lots of fun with all of this.

I do love that this company, GHOST FLOWER, is using ancient wisdom with new technology and oh, that amazing Italian fabric they use. They have created an interactive active wear that can help us be more present in our bodies. Those lovely lines on the clothing are not just a design detail but a gentle reminder of the meridian you want to work on. Little ghost flower symbols relate to certain acupressure points of the body and are strategically placed on the clothing showing you what point to press to support yourself throughout the day. This wonderful use of jewel-tone colours to heal and balance does not just make our bums look good but that is a definite plus ladies! Remember this is the time of WOMEN my friends, and it is beginning to show up in wonderful and powerful ways like this fantastic group of women bringing beauty, health and healing to the world. Do look out for a GHOST FLOWER workshop and their clothing coming your way – you won’t regret it!

 

 

 

“…Beauty, like love, has the power to change things. It can also help us make decisions and unite the disparate elements in our lives”. – James Hubbell

As someone with Libra rising in her chart, beauty and elegance have always held a central connection to my nature. Passing through many stages of refinement mydesigningeye has hopefully developed and become somewhat more sophisticated over time. Like fine wine with age.

True beauty is not relative to the eye of the beholder as we have been told, but is an innate sense of the holiness, the sacredness in a given image, object or view, be it the essence of nature, a tableau of art, a beautiful sculpture, the curvature of the human body, or a gorgeous woven textile. This is the beauty that can take your breath away when viewing a newborn infant or animal, a fresh snowfall in a country landscape or a zen meditation garden.

In Feng Shui one our main precepts is the yin/yang principal, which symbolizes the light and the dark, the strong and the weak, the feminine and the masculine, the centre of all things. From this centre we find the balance within space and create an environment that hopefully transcends our mundane daily existence. We compose a serene sanctuary that allows us to let the cares, the trials and tribulations of our day slip away once we pass the threshold.

“The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. No one would desire not to be beautiful. When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming.” – John O’Donohue

Beauty can seem elusive in this fast-paced Internet/social media, “look at me first” world and there is such a wealth of image that it can be overwhelming – we miss the essence as we quickly drive by and scan so quickly with our “I’ve got this” or we are so obsessed with the “look at me, only me” attitude of continuous selfies that we miss the actual exquisiteness of life passing us by. To really bathe oneself in beauty, to immerse oneself in nature, to just sit and take in one image in a museum can change our whole day, our whole week if not our whole year.

A summary of Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek’s book, ‘A Beautiful Question: Finding Natures Deep Design‘ asks what the author demands,

Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this “beautiful question.” Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. In fact, every major advance in his career came from this intuition: to assume that the universe embodies beautiful forms, forms whose hallmarks are symmetry–harmony, balance, proportion–and economy. There are other meanings of “beauty,” but this is the deep logic of the universe–and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring. As he reveals here, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras, the ancient Greek who was the first to argue that “all things are number,” to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentieth-century physics.

Periodically I will post and write about images, theories and ideas that have touched me in some manner and this will be my way of bringing a bit more beauty to the harshness and velocity of the everyday world. May you walk in Beauty every day.

Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” – Rabindranath Tagore

FOREST PHOTO F DEEDERS/FLICKR

FLOWER YIN/YANG/MANDALA VISIONS