Where do people find their style, at the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival or HSN? The world is changing at a rapid speed. Anything that crosses our palm pilots can grab our attention and steal away with our most private moments. Our attention spans are limited and so we work fast, eat fast, dress fast and even sleep fast. The Millennial generation today spends much of their time looking down into their phones for everything from music, to food, to fashion. Parents are worried that their kids are missing the beauty of a natural life. Network television is worried that they are not watching their TV shows, while name brands are worried they won’t wear their labels as they gobble up fashion like fast food. The only people who are not worried are the advertisers. With everyone staring at their phones – advertising is literally in their faces!
The greatest quality of life is love. The next best thing is beauty. Beauty represents love in a more physical form. We see love when we see beautiful things. That is why Eckhart Tolle, best known as the author of “The Power of Now,” encourages us to stop and smell the flowers; to be present with ourselves and find the beauty within. That is an experience no one, not even a millennial’ can find in their phones, tablets, or iPads.
La Jolla Fashion Film Festival aka: LJFFF is the largest gathering of fashion filmmakers in the world. It is so exclusive that you have to be invited to attend and you won’t find “in your face” advertising there either. Why? Because Fashion Films were born out of beauty. Fashion for the sake of style. These films represent the beauty of subtlety, and the impact these films have on the viewers subconscious is far more potent than the advertising industry could have ever dreamed of. The founder and producer of LJFFF Fred Sweet knows this, and so do I.
When I was a young model living as “an American in Paris,” one of my favorite past times was to go to the cinemas on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. As I struggled with the French language and my American accent, the cinema was my safe place. I could go there to watch movies in English with French subtitles and see images of home. But, they had something more, something different, something special at the movies there…. something we did not have at home. They didn’t show advertising before the films. They didn’t try to sell you coke, cars or candy. They showed beautiful, stunning, glamorous short films made for the fashion houses and perfumeries like Cache, Lolita Lempicka, Cacharel, Guerlin, and other brands that have long since disappeared. They were slow, romantic, and almost dreamlike. They told stories without words and they took the audience on a journey to a place inside themselves. It was an experience to have – but not to hold. Those vignettes drifted away in front of my eyes but remained in my consciousness to this day. What the French did was connect the viewers with their brands through beauty. It was elegant, sophisticated and priceless.
After ten years of living in Europe I became more refined. The American edge I had gone there morphed into a more graceful and sophisticated sense of style. Working as a couture muse in front of the iconic designers Yves St. Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian LaCroix and others, taught me to be more conscious of what goes into fashion and what separated the men from the boys. As far as image and branding was concerned it was all about beauty.
I learned so much standing there behind the scenes in those ateliers in Paris, Rome and Milan being pinched and pinned into those glamorous gowns. I lapped up everything I saw from the” tailleurs,” (tailors) to “le petite mains, ” (the one’s hand stitching fine fabrics) to the ones who did the embroideries, the shoes, the hats the accessories…like a thirsty little kitten. I was enthralled at how everyone paid such attention to every detail of beauty and magnificence. It was no wonder these garments were selling for thousands of dollars a piece. Everyone who touched them – blessed them with their presence. There was dignity, dedication, and life, sewn into every single creation. I left Europe completely nourished by the art of fashion and style, as if I had been to the grandest banquet of all.
The nutrition guru David “Avocado” Wolfe is quoted saying, “The subtle energy of your food becomes your mind. The ultimate conclusion of “you are what you eat” is that everything you put into your mouth is going to affect your mind, body & spirit.” Well I say the same thing about fashion: “You are what you wear. The way you show up in the world expresses who you are on the inside – and sends that message to the world outside.”
So what are you feeding yourself and what are you buying into? Is it fast food and fast fashion?
In this blog you will see my own review of LJFFF. I share this with you because it is special to me. One year I was honored to be asked to host and emcee the three-day festival. There I met directors, producers, stylists and make-up artists from around the globe. I enjoyed hearing their personal stories of what brought them to this unique métier. This year I interviewed Linda Comer, director of San Diego Model Management and right hand to Fred Sweet the founder of LJFFF. Linda is a hard working, dedicated, and beautiful woman who started her career in fashion as a perfume model. Comer knows the sweet and sensual scent of the the sweaty fashion industry inside out.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Simone Cipriani, CEO of the Ethical Fashion Initiative which is the operational arm of the International Trade Centre and the Poor Communities Trade Program (PCTP). EFI’s mission is to empower the women who live in third world countries earn fair wages in safe, dignified working environments’. Brands like Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood, are partnering with EFI and having their designs manufactured in this more caring way. It is the only answer to the global problems created by fashions made in sweat shops. When a shopper marvels at a soft cotton T-shirt selling for $3.95 – I hope they ask themselves how a company can they make and sell something for that low a price? You will be surprised at what the answer to that question is. What is the cost to all of us…really?
I love fashion and I love to express myself through the way I dress in the best way I can. I also love to design minimal items that encompass all one needs to live a life of luxury sparingly. The luxurious life I lived meant traveling to the “collections” in runway of fashion. Literally living out of a suitcase jumping from taxis to metros, and from trains to planes. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds – carrying those bags yourself -so I learned all I really needed to be presentable was a few select items. That is why I have created the Runway RunAway Collection (®) and The Dream Dress (®) for the entrepreneurial woman on the go! The Dream Dress (®) will take you anywhere. With your RRC(®) Travel Totes in tow, you’ll have all you need. The unfortunate thing is here in America we don’t have the cinematic Champs-Élysées subtle style of selling fashion. So, my intention is to launch my Runway RunAway Collection (®) at LJFFF in full fashion film form next year. Next, I will air it on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) where you’ll find it on your phone!
From fashion to film to you!