The Sartorialist

There are, no doubt, endless definitions, meanings, and interpretations for the word, “Style.”  Simply to list a few…

1. [noun] how something is done or how it happens;

2. [noun] a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period;

3. [noun] the popular taste at a given time;

For me, style is how you carry yourself; express yourself; and live your life.  Scott Schuman, a fellow native from Indiana, is the epitome of the word.  Graduating from Indiana University with an apparel merchandising degree, he has explored different realms of the industry, climbed each ladder, and yet years later, left it all to combine his love for both fashion and photography by starting a blog and posting his pictures on it.  What I admire most about Schuman is that fact that he didn’t have professional training in photography, classes on how to Photoshop, or even a job offer to get started.  He picked up a camera, walked the streets, and started capturing images that caught his attention.  I encourage all of you to check out his now incredibly popular blog and be inspired for yourself. I know I am.

thesartorialist.blogspot.com

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A Bit of European Inspiration: Stella McCartney

It would be difficult to state simply one thing that I loved about living in London.  Forget that there are more than a handful of different nationalities and cultures to experience within the city, the uniqueness in which each borough brings from trendy Islington to characteristic Camden, or the fact that each street has a deep and rich history behind its name.  London inspired me in every way from the architecture, people, museums, and parks.  Each weekend I would hop on the tube, travel to a stop unknown, hop off and find my way back by foot.  By doing this, I was able to explore the little spots that are not typically found in your Frommer’s travel guide.  I found great restaurants, intricate pubs, and of course…shops! 

I believe that where you come from and the experiences you collect throughout your life influence who you are, what you do, and what lies to come.  Each fashion designer has a different background, a different perception of what fashion is to them, as we all do.  To understand a designer’s collection, you must first understand the designer.  Since this week we are speaking of London and what inspires, I find it only appropriate to include one of my favorite designers in the topic.  She is young, inventive, and ambitious in helping women dress stylishly with ease.  Not only do her stunning collections take over the runways, but they do so being Earth friendly as well, not harming animals and opting for organic fabrics when possible.  She also just so happens to be the daughter of one of the most iconic men who ever lived, Sir Paul McCartney, one of four members of a band you might possibly have heard of…the Beatles!

Designer, Stella McCartney (shown far right with father, Paul).

Stella McCartney was born in 1971 and although she had a bit more than normal upbringing, she found that her passion in life was not in music, like her father, but in fashion.  In 1995, Stella graduated from the well known Central St. Martin’s college in London and immediately began creating her own collections.  Showing her keen sense of style and eye for fashion, she was appointed Creative Director for the chic design house, Chloé for Paris, in 1997.  While some believed she was not accomplished enough and too young to take control of such a large name, Stella drove forward and succeeded in redefining the company’s image and greatly increasing revenues. After four years, she decided it was time for a change, starting up her own company alongside Gucci.  She then opened up her own boutique to sell her designs in Mayfair, London. 

McCartney's Store Front in Mayfair, London.

Having been in her boutique, it is truly one of the most beautiful stores I have stepped into.  The house offers a home appeal with her pieces of work shown throughout various rooms in unique forms.  For instance, as I climbed the spiral staircase to the second floor, I entered a dining room with a table set with exquisite china, fancy glasses, and on top of each decorative plate setting, a pair of shoes from her latest collection.  Stella designs for the everyday woman.  She creatively mixes strong, masculine pieces alongside feminine ones to offer a fresh take on the look.  She shows in her collections that fashion need not be over the top, extravagant, and out of the ordinary to be in style but designs with clean lines and an idea that a well made garment speaks for itself. 

Pieces from McCartney's '10 Collection

As Stella McCartney’s pieces of work speak for themselves, Stella is influential in showing the world of young go-getters that anything is achievable if you believe in what you are doing.  Inspiration is everywhere; in the lines of your favorite book, the fantasy of motion pictures, and in the individuality of people.  I find it inspiring to know the history and background of those who have accomplished so much in their fields and feel it offers a greater sense of what you are capable of in life with a little patience, a generous amount of ambition, and a giant heap of passion.