As some of you have noticed I once again disappeared from my blogging in 2017. I have spent the last two years working on what I hope will be my “LUCKY” 13th book. As some of you have remarked, I have never written about my time in the world of fashion. From my childhood days to the day I left the business in 1995, fashion had consumed my time, my attention, my education, my growth, and the years I spent as a professional as only a true passion can. I can now finally say I am back with a new book to share with you.
It has been a very challenging experience to sift through over 65 years of my life, culling the endless piles and boxes of pictures, notes, letters, and articles. Then there are the memories, which take on a life of their own. The exciting and thrilling ones, the highs of success and a job well done, both alone and with with friends and comrades, and of course, the lows of disappointment, defeat, and at worst even despair. When I began this book I had no idea how long and arduous it would be. I suppose if I had known I wouldn’t have started this journey. So what began as a retrospective of a career spent in many fields of design has evolved into a reflection upon life. At the end of the day I discovered that none of us come out unscathed in our life journey, but how we survive the potholes and curve balls thrown at us is as important as how we soar through the successes.
Perceptions, assumptions, and judgement are dangerous undertakings; so often what we perceive to be someone’s story or truth is a veneer or an illusion. As the saying goes, “You can’t understand someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes” (even if they are Manolo Blahniks).
Throughout the process, the intertwined connections between my inspirations and pursuits became abundantly clear. The path followed by my career and life, blessed as it has been, has by no means been not without it’s challenges. The personal and the professional have been woven together to such an extent that at times the boundary between the the two is interchangeable.
Another happy moment for me was discovering the lovely fashion illustrations by my assistant Peter Speliopoulos that so beautifully captured my work in fashion design.
I have always turned to the colors, patterns, and textures of nature for inspiration. When I see and touch the delicacy of an iris petal, I hear the rustle of silk taffeta.
The grace of the natural world permeates so many facets of my life and designs, appearing everywhere from décor to my own paintings.
I hope you will join me as I reminisce about the people and places that have influenced me, and have informed my experience as a fashion designer, and through my books, gardening, entertaining, and décor. And, of course, how the constant threads of character and creativity, and a passion for nature, color, quality, and classicism have influenced and transformed my life.
Design & Style: A Constant Threadis available for purchase.