David Ferron: Custom Cat Suit

Last Christmas I was given an incredible gift. After visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art ‘Fabulous Fashion’  Exhibit – I was inspired by the Christian Lacroix catsuit on display.

Christmas Gift: design a custom catsuit to wear to Monte Carlo for the tennis tournament.

We started to look for for a designer that would inspire. David Ferron is from Unionville, PA  and a graduate of Parson’s School of Design. He has worked for Calvin Klien, Behnaz Saraphour, Bibhu Mohapatra, Tomas Maier, and Nicole Miller. Excited to start the process – we looked for a fabric source. Ellen Catanzaro’s fabric spoke to me from the moment I saw her work!

We sat down to discuss my design ideas. Catsuits first made an appearance around the 1940s. Lacroix is known for eye-popping ’60s Pucci pattern-on-pattern design extravaganzas. Lacroix designed for Pucci for three years, Pucci is considered the inventor of the Capri pants, which were extremely popular  during the 1950s. The designer is well known for psychedelic patterns in a kaleidoscope of colors.

“Throughout my career as a designer, I have always thought that the difference between art and design is that the former did not have a function. Art could simply be, whereas design has to serve a purpose, it has to fit a body. There is a point where fashion design can become art, that is when a garment affects someone on an emotional level. Then it is art. Some of the best designers can fit the body beautifully while evoking an emotional response.

Recently, fashion design has become the focus of extremely successful exhibits in art museums around the world. From the monumental “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011 to “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” at the MoMA in 2017 or “Fabulous Fashion,” at Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2018, it is clear that fashion and art are deeply connected. Fashion and art both have the power to help a viewer understand the depths of their own conciseness, pulling references from the past while showing glimmers of the future.” – David Ferron

The inspiration is the process. Thank you David Ferron and Ellen Catanzaro for making this gift an incredible experience!

Look for David Ferron’s fashion show in March at the Brandywine River Museum!

p.s. Thank you Doug Ingerson – best gift ever. xoxxo

 

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Inspired by Design

I was date raped in high school. As I read the news of Jeffery Epstein (and thousands of other stories) unfold, I find myself thinking why have I never had the strength to talk about my experiences. I realized I there have been countless times for decades that I have been a victim. I found myself wondering why I have never had the courage to speak up.

I no longer feel powerless. As a single mother raising two boys, teaching them respect and accountability for their actions has been my top priority. The feminist writer Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object, has some valuable advice: “It’s important to normalize a healthy reaction to the rejection of affection.

Thank you Leigh Ann Barnes for inspiring me to find my voice. Leigh Ann who was a victim of date rape in college found her passion designing handbags.

Let’s rewind….
Leigh Ann Barnes was sparked by a challenge from her family: create a transparent stadium-approved bag that is stylish, functional and fun. What came to be: a dynamic accessory collection providing jobs for women in-need.

Hit play….
Emboldened by the challenge, Leigh Ann harnessed her ingenuity and created a chic convertible handbag. During the creative process she realized a sense of purpose was needed that went beyond the Gamechanger Bag.

The Aha Moment: connect ideas with action, need with purpose and, ultimately unite women of all ages. The smaller leather goods could be made by survivors of abuse. Creativity, kindness and compassion through hands-on manufacturing.

Fast forward…..
Leigh Ann Barnes is defined by transparency, creating joy and making change happen. Her long-term goal is to introduce other brands to the Cottage Manufacturing Model in Los Angeles and Georgia.

The end [but really, it’s just the beginning]…..

Leigh Ann Barnes business model is more than a handbag or an accessory; it’s about recognizing and embracing that we are all equally important and deserve the same opportunities. Though Leigh Ann Barnes is only one step in the journey to these women restarting their lives, it connects ideas with action, need with purpose and ultimately unites women of all ages.

From this game changing foundation, Leigh Ann Barnes partners exclusively with accredited factories when manufacturing overseas to ensure women working abroad have a safe work environment.

In the U.S. company aspirations include growing the Survivors Cottage Manufacturing Program in Los Angeles and Athens, Georgia. The goal is to incorporate brands and manufacturers into the Program as a resource for reclaiming and repurposing their own excess materials. A duality of doing good as they support work for women in need of reclaiming and repurposing their lives.

image: @photo_flo

You can buy her bags at Neiman Marcus, via her website or her pop up shops {where you can find Leigh Ann telling her story and inspiring other young women}.  Cast your vote for Leigh Ann via the Accessories Council Design Excellence Award.

Game on.

  • Bonus for all readers. Save 25% off your purchase through September 30th, 2019. Use code #sostylate at check out.

 

 

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Tennis Travel Heaven: Monte Carlo + San Remo

Completing a Grand Slam dream tour in 2018 was beyond my wildest dreams. This was our plan when we started this journey. We would dream about it, make visions boards – and watch them play out in real time.

We decided to design the most epic tennis retreat. We had some help customizing the itinerary around tennis in Monte Carlo and San Remo Italy {during the Monte Carlo Open of course}. Playing and watching epic tennis = the most incredible adventure.

Working alongside Harry Hamilton (we have been designing tennis retreats at Jade with Harry) we incorporated the Monte Carlo Open + playing tennis in San Remo, Italy. Home to Djokovic, Cilic, and Fognini, who have all played here as teens. This is also home to Bob Brett tennis academy. Pinch me – a dream come true.

Fun with Harry Hamilton and Laila Lazdina at a local vineyard in Provence.

The last Italian to win the Monte Carlo Open was Nicola Pietrangeli in 1968. The 85-year-old Pietrangeli, a two-time French Open winner, watched court side as history was ,made. I am dreaming of next year’s return.

 

 

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Creative Retreat: Journey to Discover

Surfers Journey at Jade Retreat

I don’t surf. I play tennis and run religiously. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the ocean. I dream dream of endless summer days full of waves and sunsets.

Two years ago my life changed forever after a trip to Jade Retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica. Created by architect Donald Loria Prendas, the five free standing master suites are arranged around the covered Yoga pavilion and large swimming pool which also serves as a soothing water feature.

I have not started surfing (yet…). This past week we designed a creative retreat at Jade with Dr. Don Kennedy author of the Surfers Journey. What an incredible week of discovery.

The Surfer’s Journey is a personalized symbolic book melding the sport of surfing, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and Bass and Burn’s principles of transformational leadership into a mythological story that teaches readers, students, educators, and leaders how to become and develop others into transformational heroes; individuals who are cause-driven, who inspire followers to achieve beyond their present capacity, and whose life purpose is to improve the human condition.

We were lucky enough to wake up and play tennis every morning on the red clay courts, just a few minutes down the jungle path from Jade.

One of the highlights for me was the art therapy session with Belle. The principle of the Surfers Journey addresses the need for mentors, those that see who we are before we do.

Working out while I am away from home is always a priority. Our custom itinerary was complete with daily workouts and wellness in mind. Long walks at sunset, foundational training, tennis and pilates, fresh coconuts courtside, tumeric tea, plus private chefs.

As they say in meditation, when the thoughts & distractions come in, begin again. “Changing places, changing time, changing thoughts, changing future.” -Peggy Guggenheim

Here is to a new beginning…

For more information on how to design a creative retreat email info@jaderetreat.com

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