Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Style-List" 1: Rock Against Cancer

"What should I 'Rock'?"

     A couple of weeks ago, one of my good collegiate friends asked for my stylistic opinion. My friend just landed a job as a Radiation Therapist for a newly opened cancer clinic in NYC by the name of The Faber Center of Radiation Oncology. The Faber Center was holding a benefit to raise money for cancer research by auctioning off precious stones and diamond jewelry along with a Rock concert; hence the event being named “Rock Against Cancer”. My chum felt he needed assistance with fine tuning what he would be wearing to the event and so he called upon my expertise (HA!).

     I was more then delighted to assist my comrade, or any of them for that matter, especially with advice pertaining to seeking a sound outfit which they will feel comfortable in and will display their personality or “fashion identity” as I like to call it. My cohort was off to a great start because he had approached me with a basis already in mind and therefore just needed my assistance with certain details. It is good to see your client have a foundation because as a stylist it is hard to dress people without commandeering the creative process with your own style. The final product can easily become your concoction rather then a reflection of the individual’s personality. This is why when assisting in another person’s sartorial decision-making process it is important to ensure that the person reaches their own conclusions through the use of “deductive questioning”, as I have coined it. The answers to most of our questions are usually within us. Therefore, the “deductive questioning” process is when the stylist allows for their client to come to their own conclusions and decisions based on the choices available to them. So instead of giving them the answer or making the decisions for them I rather ask them the right questions to help them deduce the best answers. But then again you have those that just want someone to dress them which is fine too. Although sometimes pushing people out of their sartorial comfort zone is not a bad thing, it is however, important to do it at the client’s pace so as to ease them into any drastic changes with baby steps.

     However, let's get into how this particular processional viral and mobile conversation with my friend occurred and how the final decisions were eventually made. First, he had presented me with a shiny blue-black fitted suit which he purchased at Zara Men, along with the options of a white collar shirt or a black pleated tuxedo style shirt. And for the shoes he had a choice between a pair of all black Gucci monogram lace up shoes or white sole, black suede and patent leather Louis Vuitton sneakers.

Outfit 1:

Outfit 2:

     Outfit one was my friend’s main choice; the white collar shirt with the black and white LV’s. However, he was afraid that this outfit consisting of borderline sneakers and no necktie would be too casual for the event and I agreed. But he presumed that since it was a rock concert of sorts he could get away with dressing his suit down a bit. He reassured himself that the white and black ensemble was his “safe” bet because everyone else would be wearing close to the same thing (being that it was a black and white affair). I cringe at the sound of  the word "safe" when pertaining to fashion so I told him that if “you’re going to get high then get high all the way!” because there was no way that he was going to play it “safe” like everyone else yet be dressed down in sneakers and no tie. So in order to push him out his comfort zone I suggested outfit two since the all black pleated tuxedo shirt which wasn’t as blah and expected as the white shirt. The black shirt, in my opinion, added character to an otherwise “safe” outfit; a sort of Pizzazz that still allowed for the outfit to maintain the classy feel of a black and white affair despite not wearing a white shirt or necktie.

     Now when it came to picking the shoes, he was sold on wanting to wear the black and white LV’s. I felt that with the white shirt, the LV’s might have been a great color coordination along with the accentuating red pocket square. But if he were to go with the black shirt then the white soles would take away from the sleekness of wearing all black as well as throw off the accent color of red (pocket square). However, I wasn’t too sure if the Gucci, seemingly ashen, shoes with their loud monogram would flow with the polished and dark sleekness of the shirt and suit. Although I did prefer he wear something more formal then casual which the Gucci’s were in comparison to the LV’s, which he had still been aiming for. He, at first, didn’t like my suggestion of the all black because he unfortunately felt that his dark complexion accompanied with the all black wouldn’t be a suitable look. I understood what he meant in that the white shirt would bounce of his skin tone and better compliment his dark complexion. But I begged to differ and suggested that his dark (Black) skin was beautiful and that he should get the idea that it wasn’t out of his head. He still pushed for the white collar with the LV sneakers. Although I begged to differ, I didn’t hate his choice of outfit and so in the end I agreed with his outfit because I realized that he wasn’t feeling confident enough to pull off the all black and so I didn’t want to push it because in the end it is always the clients’ choice. However, after I seen the pictures of the night I was surprised to see that he ended picking the all black look after all! Glad I could’ve been of assistance. Given the opportunity tell me what would you as an EF had chosen?

*Great touch with the red pocket square.
**Might style a female next :0)

End Note:

To all my EFs:

     I recently took a poll on facebook and twitter to answer the everlasting question of “what should I wear today?” Whether you consider yourself fashionably inclined or not, we all come across the bump in the road of "what should I wear?" So to help my fellow EF's, here are the bullets that others as well as myself take into consideration when getting dressed for our days:

1. Weather: it’s important you don't get caught out there with no umbrella or your water repellent apparel (pancho, columbia rainsuit, rainboots or rain hat) and make the mistake of wearing your favorite suede jacket. Nor do you want to get caught wearing your butter soft leather loafers in the snow.

2. Mood/color scheme: mood can determine how extravagant the outfit and overall getting ready process will be. My mood will in turn determine the colors I may want to wear; such as if I want the world to see me and my smile with bright colors or if I want to stay under the radar with dull colors. Although weather can affect your mood because you may of wanted to wear something but the weather has now pissed you off because you can’t. It is hard to be fashionable in the pouring rain or blizzard but we still find a way. It also works in the reverse when you wake up in a grouchy mood but yet the sun changes your temperament.

3. Footwear: I begin my outfit from the bottom, up. Usually after knowing the weather you cross out what you can't wear and work with what you can. I pick the footwear which I want to wear, considering the weather, and then after a couple of minutes or even hours in front of the mirror everything eventually works itself out and falls into place.

Hope this all came of some assistance. Enjoy and feel free to comment! Thank you for reading and sharing with others!

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