Fashion is what you have, Style is who you are.

Betsey Johnson
Donna Karan
James Perse Enterprises
Lavish Alice

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Every Woman Needs A Mentor

I think every women needs a 'mentor', a woman you admire and aspire to be like, actually you might need a few for different reasons. We all know the 'would Audrey wear this' and up to a year ago I really pushed that but I don't think that is true anymore. It is ridiculous to choose her as your 'fashion mentor' if you look nothing like her because what works for her 000 frame won't work for a women that wears a size 16 and if you are not demure her style won't fit you. If your goal is to be force of nature, to break all of the rules and sterio types look for a woman that has accomplished or is accomplishing this. She could be someone famous or she could be your grandmother, look around you there are amazing women all around you. As a very young girl I was inspired Katharine Hepburn, I read her book over and over again until it started falling apart. I choose Katharine because something about her spoke to me, her stregth, beauty and her ability to fight even when the odds were against her but you need to find someone that speaks to you. I grew up surrounded by strong women so now I can see why Katharine sparked passion for me.

Finding a mentor is important when it comes to career, even if your career choice is to stay home and run the household. Pick someone that speaks to you and comes from a similar background, if you are wanting to start a fashion line and come from a blue collar back ground, Ivanka Trump is probably not the mentor for you. You won't be able to start where she did so she can't really mentor you. Remember she doesn't need to be famous there are amazing women all around us but keep in my mind they are only human so they are flawed just like us. Don't be afraid to send a letter or an email to someone you admire or aspire to be like and ask for any advice they can offer the worst thing they can say is no. When you fail look to your mentor for inspiration to get up and to learn what you did wrong because every successful person has failed. The heroine never gets to the end without some struggles.

I recommend finding a fashion 'mentor' it will help in finding the right look for you but you need to choose her/him carefully. They should be similar to your age if you are 20 you don't want to look to Iris Apfel for fashion inspiration. She should also have a similar build to you which I understand can be difficult especially with the new 000 standard so I will tell you what a modeling agent told me. Look through magazines, catalogs and now the internet and pull out images/pictures of women that look the most like you. This works well for finding your perfect beauty look too. This will help you find what cuts will look best on you as far as what types of clothing you pick out, well it's an old saying but it is the most important piece of advice I can give you. Don't dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want so look at the person that has that job and take your cues from them. If you want to be taken seriously you need to look serious. The internet is also a great resource for fashion inspiration based on career goals.

Aspire to be a great woman, not the 'best dressed' woman. In the end when you are gone it won't be the expensive home or extensive wardrobe that they will remember it will be how you affected the world around you. It's called you legacy so build your legacy by the foot print you leave because this is what you will be measured by. Be the kind of woman your kids will be proud of, that makes a difference whether it is small or grand and change the world you live in. The women in my family are strong, they have lived a life of style and no matter how hard it gets they make it all look easy. They are the reason I get up and fight even when it is hard because they have not ever shown me anything other then that, there is no other option. So pick your mentors wisely and pick them for the right reasons it's ok if you change them as you learn more about who you are becuase life is constantly changing and you need to change with it.

Why I Chose Katharine Hepburn:

It is no secret Katharine was flawed, she was the other woman which is not necesarily admirable. She failed several times in her personal and professional life but she never stayed down for long. She never slinked away and hid, she fought to get back up to get back on top even when all of the cards were stacked against her. Katharine was beautiful but she was also intelligent, strong willed and always spoke her mind even when it was not pretty.

She was a feminist, she was one of the first women in movies to wear pants. Doesn't seem like a big deal today but at the time it was empowering.

Her parents use to give 'seminars' in their home about safe sex, use of condoms and STD's and were pursicuited for their progressive beliefs.

At one point she was considered 'box office poison' no one would cast her for a movie but that didn't stop her. Katharine went out and bought the movie rights to The Philidelphia Story and shopped it to several movie studios refusing to sell it unless she played the lead.

She was a tomboy and brought that to every role she played. She was not a weak woman or overly feminine and being a generation were women were suppose to be pretty, quite and demure she was strong, opinionated and outspoken.

She had a long relationship with Spencer Tracey who was married with children. He would not 'officially' leave his family and she respected that. Not exactly something I admire but she was strong enough to be ok with him leaving her every holiday to be with his family. I think she admired his love and devotion to his children so she never complained or made ultimatums.

When Spencer Tracey passed in the house they lived in she called his wife and took a back seat even leaving her home so his wife could see him without his mistress being there. She did not attend the wake or funeral out of respect to Spencer and his family.

Fashion Mentors:

They have changed through out the years as I have changed but there are some basics that have never changed.

This is the best advice I think every women needs to know. What every man wants in a woman 'Be a whore in bed and a lady in public'. I know it sounds a tad vulgar and even a bit out dated but it holds true so leave the 'Pretty Woman' thigh high patent leather boots in the budoir where they belong unless you work in the red light district.

I have always lived a bit with the question 'would Audrey wear this' but I don't mean literally or imply you should be an Audrey clone. Audrey, Grace and Jackie were always elegant and lady like. They would never show more then one asset at a time or wear a dress that showed too much , well just too much.

Your clothes should accentuate who you are not overpower you.

Trends are great, I buy trends but too trendy and you look frivilous so keep it at a minimum with just one or two trendy items.

As Donna Karan said 'dress to be the woman you want to be'.

I admire people that have taken a big fall and decide to get back up and fight. It's an amazing quality and one of the hardest things to do especially if it is public and everyone is against you. We are not judged by the fall but on how we get back up.

I admire women that take on fights that they know will have a consequence but choose to stand up for themselves whether it is sitting at the front of the bus or a young girl fighting for her right to an education. They bare the burden for women all over the world and risk their lives in order to pave a path for us, our children and our childrens children. Without these women we would not be where we are today and if you look around their are women that are making a difference all around you. They are standing tall, they are getting back up no matter how many times they are knocked down and they are paving a path for the women that follow.

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