Capturing Self Love in a Selfie

Selfies, the good, bad, and the ugly, are here to stay. Like it or not, they are the backbone of Social Media. What surprises me about this visual collateral, is why the general public is not more interested in using their social media platforms to better themselves, their images, or more basically, present their precious individuality or unique selves? 


Rather than taking that same selfie over and over again, why not pose in front of a stir fry that you are creating for dinner, or cutting a slice of that cake you just finished decorating. Or post a picture of you arranging flowers in a vase, or harvesting tomatoes from your garden? Selfies that illustrate you engaging in your passions are much more interesting to the rest of us, and give you a topic that helps us know who you are.


Posts that lead with "I would like to share a picture I just took" are about as shallow and interesting as the TV test pattern that was broadcast in North America from the 1940s to the mid 60s, just so that the average household knew that their TV worked during the middle of the night. I have to believe that each and everyone of you are more interesting than that.


It also helps to think of your audience. While people who follow you on FB will know your friends and family, most people in a  group will not, so lead with something that might interest a larger group. Everybody has met a cat or a dog that they loved of admired over the course of their lives. so show us a picture of you loving your furbaby!


I am a Slow Fashion advocate, so love to share my makes and upcycles, but I know that not everyone resonates with fashion. Sew for my sewing and design groups my content is on point with fashion; with my 'old lady' groups, my content is more about aging and on topic with various aspects of self love. 


Self love is just that. SELF LOVE. If you love a photo of yourself, my intuition tells me you love yourself. I obviously did not dress up for this photo, yet I am proud to feature it next to this article.   


Fashionably (or unfashionably) Yours,




Is There Beauty in Age?

Yes, the image of Martha Stewart is disturbing. And after reading everyone's reaction to these two pictures side by side, I get the the disturbed reaction to Martha's and not Apo's image. Martha, in her 80s, looks decades younger, and when placed side by side with candid media shots, she has been misrepresented. The media outrage has to do with the notion of beauty. There is beauty in age. It is not reserved for the young only. Seeing the beauty in Apo makes this abundantly clear.


But then again, comparing the two is not particularly fair. Sports Illustrated misrepresented Stewart, yes, but how often does a 106 woman that looks this good grace the cover of Vogue? Stewart had no hope of winning this competition.


Reality checking helps in this discussion. Vogue has been in the business of covering beauty, fashion, and lifestyle for 131 years. Sports Illustrated's first Swimsuit Edition was released 59 years ago, and only features models, celebrities, and athletes. Again, Stewart represented a well known celebrity/model, not a standard of beauty.



Snappy Ol' Gal by Ken Fowkes Photography

My brother Ken Fowkes is an amateur photographer. We have one of his photos, an ancient oak from the Russian Ridge Ancient Oak Forest between our house and the ocean, above our couch in the living room. That room has a 12 foot ceiling, and a huge 4X5 foot window up high that frames an oak tree out front. Ken's photo compliments that view and brings an even more beautiful oak tree into our living space. 


I am smitten with another one of Ken''s photos, his "Snappy Ol' Gal" sunflower. We have a family wedding to attend this August in Massachusetts, sew I decided to create an ensemble with this photo. Now I get to be my version of that snappy ol' gal during the wedding festivities!


This Slow Fashion ensemble promotes SLOW FASHION in a number of ways. One, it's zero waste. The fabric left over from the top will be repurposed into a bathing suit. Two, the hat was created from a couple of linen upholstery samples that were rescued from landfill. And three, I am much more likely to keep this garment for the rest of my life, because it has personal meaning for me.


Keeping fabric and fashion out of landfill is critical in protecting our planet. FAST FASHION, as the planet's 2nd biggest polluting industries in the world today, produces an alarming amount of waste. If any of you can take the reigns of fashion into your own hands, and slow your consumption and waste down, the planet will be better off.


Please consider boycotting fast fashion companies that, while offering you cheap clothing, do so at the expense of child labor, unsustainable hourly wages, and working conditions that are unsafe and unhealthy. The stories of this modern day slavery industry are well documented and easy to find.


You can look even better if you embrace your own style rather than purchasing cheap fashion from a fast fashion company. Cheap fashion today is not only harming our planet, the fact that it is mass produced also means it is not YOU!






The Fabulous Elliott Night!

My favorite Fashion Artist has , up until now, consisted of one artist, Raven Amber, who I have featured in this group a number of times. She is colorfully brilliant, and curates a whimsical bohemian fairy princess vibe with her makeup and clothing.


Now added to this list, who Sandra Gail Taylor tagged as "Assemblage fashion … when textiles, shapes, colors, styles, patterns reunite as long lost friends" is Elliott Night, who specializes in pre-loved clothing. Thrift stores are her outlet for slower fashion AND provide her with plenty of combinations and permutations to impress us with. Frankly, I can't even imagine being able to dress so uniquely using department store or even boutique merchandise.


You can see her creations on her page at, or in the FB Group Iris Barrel Apfel; Who says old broads can't look fab? She also posts in Moody Maximalism: Clothing Edition. I scanned her media outlets and prefer her own page for more of her 'looks'. 


Very different from Amber's style, Night prefers a more tailored and androgynous profile. Amber seems to prefer combining and juxtapositioning colors and pops of colors to accomplish her unique artistic style; Night is a master at putting textures and patterns together. In addition, Amber knows just how to pose for her most flattering figure and facial profile. Night is all about the drama when she models her fashion. In other words, she is a total 'hoot'!


I hope you enjoy Night's ensembles as much as I have!







The Power of Fashion!

FASHION SELLS. It sells magazines, people, movies, products, events, you name it. Fashion is big business.


The bigger the business, the more desirable it is for designers and international jewelry brands to participate. Both have been courting the red carpet crowd for decades. I see Dolce and Cabbana all over the stage in the music industry these day, hoping to capture wealth from the younger generation. 


The co-dependence between celebrity and designer goes two ways. If you are a rising star, sporting designer labels and expensive jewelry only helps you get the eyeballs and following you need to climb further up your ladder. I buy your brand to get more eyeballs; you gift me fashion to exploit my eyeballs.


Because social media has put us all in charge of our own images and followings, and because I would personally prefer to have people 'like' or comment  on a post than no response at all, fashion gives me the boost I need to stand out from the crowd. Take the hat, glasses, and matching bathing suit away in this picture, and replace it with a crew neck t-shirt.  Most people would definitely scroll right past.


To me, posting on social media is the equivalent of going to an event or party. Posting your best self is a matter of self respect. Believe me, you are worth it!! 


‘Identical Twins’ Model Sustainability with Thrift and Repurposed Fashion Ensembles

Designer Darcy Fowkes dresses identical 'twin' models in the same garments coupled with different tops and accessories  to illustrate how extensible a few core garments can be. In this photo above, Darcy couples a repurposed pashmina scarf with baggy hammer pants (made from damaged linen yardage) as her core ensemble. 


Both outfits are coordinated with different tops, hats, and belts. The outfit on the left picks up the blue in the vest, for a more spring/summer look. This outfit's cloche style hat is trimmed with a thrifted men’s silk tie that also picks up the detailed pattern on the vest.


The outfit on the right supports the brown colorway in the ensemble and a longer sleeved top for a more fall/winter look. Fish leather belts in blue and brown add detail at the waist for final accessory touches.

In this photo both models are wearing home sewn tie-dyed jersey capris coupled with two different tops and headwear. The oversized green linen top on the left is accessorized with a green snood scarf, repurposed from a t-shirt. The thrifted orange tank top on the right is accessorized with a hemp linen cap designed from seasonally discarded upholstery samples. 


Again, the outfit on the left features fall colors and styles, while the one on the right is clearly a summer ensemble, complete with bare feet! Just by adding these two tops and their corresponding head wear to this one pair of pants, these capris can now be worn from summer to fall.

In this photograph Darcy dresses the twins in a pair of repurposed capris cut from a thrifted pair of bell bottoms. Darcy tops the outfit on the left with a gifted, altered top, and a matching cap and neck scarf designed from a piece of scrap lace. The model on the right wears a thrifted tissue jersey cap sleeve top with a coordinated thrifted scarf. Sandals are upcycled/painted with Jacquard Lumiere leather paints.


While both outfits are indeed summer attire, they do not look anything alike. Refreshing one pair of pants/capris with different 'looks' helps us keep our clothing out of landfill. 


All three photographs illustrate how extensible any one item of clothing can be when you style them into different looks. This is an effective tool for updating core garments, keeping your wardrobe fashionable fresh all year long. Bottom line: by thrifting and repurposing, you can use extensibility to practice sustainability. 


Photo Credits: Suz McFadden