Be The Change You Want To See

The fashion industry is as equally beautiful as it is ugly. It's beauty is displayed on runways and plastered throughout magazines. What is so ugly about it is a little less obvious but highly absorbed by so many women. There is a pseudo standard for women that all should attain. Before Halls Of Style, I have spent my entire career on the corporate side of the fashion industry pushing this very agenda and hated every bit of it. Though I loved the pay and the perks, I knew that real women, women who looked like me, do not look like the women on billboards or lived the lifestyle they were promoting . As a matter of fact, it wasn't until recently, women who looked like me were not even regulars in magazines. So in 2013 when the fashion line that I worked for closed, I choose that as an opportunity to launch my consulting agency where I would be the change I wanted to see when it comes to women’s relationship with this beautiful beast of an industry.

With this in mind, just image my joy I felt when I discovered the Darling magazine (@Darling)! I recently found last summers edition as was completely taken by Ms. Poppy Okotcha on the cover.

Yes...I know I'm a little late, but so what! It was the first time I have seen a printed publication that screams from the same soap box that I do. They "challenge cultural ideals of beauty", see "modesty plus excellent fashion sense as sexy", and they "NEVER use Photoshop to alter women's faces or bodies". It gave me solace that it's not just me with a lone voice of hope. That Darling and its hundreds of thousands of readers also dare to be the change they want to see and value the art of being a woman!

So how did I spend my weekend? Strutting around in my new favorite coat by Tracy Reese with my new favorite magazine.... I just had to snap a few shots! Not being one that wears a lot of bright colors, I really love the intensity of the kelly green in the coat, mixed with the bold navy blue pattern. To add to that, the navy and white polka dot dress provided a great mix of pattern on pattern, I felt the look had to be captured while holding this beautifully photographed publication.

Every article, photo spread or interview I read so was dynamic in it's own right, but I was especially moved by the brutal sincerity of Maria Korovilas in the "Process and Price: KOROVILAS" article on "fast fashion" and the lack of respect for the design creation process. In it, the designer challenges the reader to re-evaluate themselves by asking: "If art is always an expression of our time, what does this time say about us? You are what you love".

On the heals of my most recent birthday, I'm excited to see how the scope of this world will change through platforms like Darling and what I will do next in this 36th chapter of life.


M. Renee

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