For many years, I’ve attended a lecture hosted by a fascinating and intelligent woman who thoroughly understands (and very accurately translates) the meanings and messages for the Chinese New Year using Chinese Astrology. According to this ancient concept, there is an animal assigned to each year and 2016 belongs to the Red Fire Monkey. This is one clever, active, unpredictable, social guy and he invites us to have fun and play this year.
As I listened to her lecture, I decided to take the monkey up on his offer! I won’t be sitting on branches and tossing banana peels, but I will be swinging from social event to fun times with friends and a few planned vacations this year. Will you accept this invitation to play, travel and make merriment? If so, what will that look like for you? A trip abroad (it’s supposed to be a good year to do that), play dates in nature with friends (remember, Mr. Monkey is a very social fella), a new dance class (Salsa, maybe?) or a course at a local college? (Monkeys are so smart).
Through this offer to play and have fun, the Red Fire Monkey, encourages us to wear creative, colorful outfits this year. I pulled out my palette and focused on the dramatic colors (they look as if they could pull off fun nicely) — Crimson Red, Royal Blue, Pansy Purple, and Peacock. No monkeying around for me, I’m going COLORFUL this year (not sure I can imagine having fun with too much black). What colors on your palette shout FUN to you?
Now, onto Play. Can I make this happen with Romantic/Dramatic element being a big part of my style? Give me rolled, up-the-neck collars of color, flared skirts that dance in the wind, wide beautiful belts, soft sandals and ballet slippers, silk pants and ruffled tops.
How will the Monkey inspire you to dress for fun and play this year? Are you inspired by natural and relaxed clothing based on comfort? Perhaps light and youthful with patterns, prints and accessories? Possibly bohemian, draping clothing with eclectic jewelry? And maybe your play time is really dramatic! This is the year to pile on the jewelry! Find that just-right red party dress, pretty pumps and anything else that induces frolicsome fun with the mischievous Monkey. Nothing is too bold for our Monkey. We can also look to Lady Monkey for hair inspiration! (She is very vain about her hair!)
Per the lecture, the Monkey is red hot this year generating lots of heat and fiery energy, so temper your red frocks with a touch of gold, a hint of black or a bit of green.
Why not allow the monkey to entertain you this year with it’s antics, mercurial ways, constant movement and quick wit?
Let me know how your 2016 Red Fire Monkey year unfolds and what colors you’ve chosen to colorfully celebrate. I invite you to post below and share.
And if your goddess is greying and you’re confounded on what colors are more harmonious with your new hair color, contact me to talk about my Beauty Beyond 50: Personal Color Palette Revamped Session.
Here’s to mastering monkey business this year for much fun and lots of inspired play!
Walk in Beauty,
We live in a culture that idolizes perpetual youth. This not-so-subtle pressure can compel us to drive our external aging process underground and avoid the challenges and glories (yes, there are benefits) of going grey.
Grey is a catchall name and color for losing hair pigment as we age. Are you a bit curious what your dye is covering? What color is your grey?
I recently posted a question on Facebook asking:
Men are referred to as “distinguished” as they sport grey hair.
I want to be described as dynamic and I want to feel comfortable in my body, alive, creative and sexy! I hope to inspire women to be a change agent around attitudes of aging women in this country. I want to harness my courage around maturing, and the chance to claim the wisdom and power that comes with aging.
Can you …
see yourself squarely in the middle of cultural change by daring to buck the perpetually youthful system and standing in your confidence and fearlessness, showing up as your version of the Greying Goddess?
Today I saw a VERY YOUNG, attractive woman wearing grey hair. She noticed me, noticing her dyed grey hair. She smiled. I wryly returned the smile and thought: “No, it isn’t the same. She can go home and wash out the grey. My grey/silver strands are permanent.” She is welcome to her fad, but I’m faced with my reality. And the “real” in my reality is that I want to embrace my changing hair color with authenticity. What an incredible time to unpack our new identities that align with our innovative ideas, interests, commitments, lifestyle, self-discovery and new form of beauty!
Why not open the door to maturity, aging and living full out in mid-life with a wealth of history and knowledge at our back, and the ability not only to be visible, but vibrant and radiant beyond 50? (I’ve enlisted two friends to share this journey with me, as I need support, despite my pluck!)
Now that you have decided to EMBRACE the new gorgeous YOU, I’ve created two programs that you are going to LOVE!
Do you know the most beautiful colors that will beam your radiance and complement the changes in your hair? Colors that will add excitement, elegance, fun, sensuality, dynamism and energy to your wardrobe?
If you are ready to “go natural” and look vibrant in your new hair color, then now is the time to have your personal color palette reviewed, adjusted or overhauled. When you wear colors that dance with your version of grey hair, you will be stunning. You will glow and exude your Beyond 50 Beauty. And you will contribute to changing the world’s view of the aging woman!
Radiance is up to you. Creating the best personal palette for your changing hair color is in my wheelhouse. Let’s get you glowing!
This customized session is designed for the woman whose hair color is changing and
will be held in-person in the Los Angeles area.
This 30-day program includes 4 one-on-one sessions from the comfort of your home via phone or Zoom
Going Grey by Anne Kraemer
Skinny Dipping in the Fountain of Youth by Dr. Elizabeth Lambaer
Goddesses in Older Women by Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
During the last several years as I have worked, studied and socialized with many of you, I began to think about the concerns and challenges women face around aging – from greying hair to body changes to a shift in how we, as mature women, want to express ourselves in the world. This includes, of course, how we dress; yet our concerns are much deeper than that. Our culture has had a profound effect on the way we perceive older women and how society, in turn, perceives us.
My intention for creating this program is to help women give voice to their fears around aging, to establish a bonded and thoughtful relationship with their aging body and to cultivate a new, different and creative approach to aging – as an opportunity to be explored, rather than a problem to be solved. This is the essential inner shift that supports you in claiming and expressing your authentic beauty as the glorious woman you are, no matter what the rest of our world says about how older women are “supposed to” look. This is the crucial foundation upon which you can throw off the cloak of invisibility modern culture puts on older women, unabashedly stand strong in your feminine power, and share the wisdom you’ve earned from life.
My big vision is to help and support as many maturing women as I can through this new program. Think about all the women you know that are aging but are confused and frustrated because they’re no longer part of the matrix of society in the way they were as younger women. Have you been shopping lately? Seen anything that is striking and made specifically for the mature woman in color, cut and style? Have you seen women in the media that you can relate to, that you feel aligned with – a woman that would understand how you feel? Most marketing is tailored to the younger woman. An interesting juxtaposition because the older woman has more purchasing power than most younger women, yet we are no longer being considered at the table where products are being developed.
“At 63 years young, I am choosing to be seen on my terms and to spend money in ways
that support my well-being. I am taking my place in society as a woman of beauty,
wisdom and power. I wish this for every aging woman. I want it for you!” – Denise Lampron
Often it is the changing color of our hair that signals to us our aging process. When, actually, we are always aging from the moment we are born. Yet, it is on the first sign of grey, white, silver or platinum hair emerging from our temples, when we seriously begin to think of aging. Aging! And those strands of silver, grey, or white arrive with powerful, cultural messages: “Grey hair is a sign of old age.”
We then begin the personal conversation, “What does this mean?” “How will I be perceived at work, among friends, my lover, husband, partner?” “Am I still attractive?” “Will I be cast aside for my younger counterpart, both professionally and personally?”
Not one woman I have spoken with about this topic has avoided using the word “fear.” As if changing hair color is a clear warning sign that danger lies ahead. We are turning a corner we don’t yet know how to navigate in our bigger world, or our inner world. We know in our bones and in our hearts that something is changing and we are powerless to stop it. Yes, we can dye our hair, get Botox injections or tummy tucks, but it does not change the underlying process our precious bodies are undergoing; and on some level we know this. If not done with awareness, each attempt to thwart the aging process can potentially rob us of an opportunity to gain the wisdom, power and beauty of this time in a woman’s life.
Aging, like living, is a verb. It is action-oriented and implies movement.
Aging does not happen overnight. It is a process.
The “greying” is to honor the time involved in the aging process. When stepping (either willingly, hesitantly or with resistance) into a timely process – like aging — it can allow for curiosity and personal growth. And this is where your Greying Goddess experience can begin. Where you can experience the physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and energetic shifts of aging. Where you can be present and participate in all the processes, progressions, setbacks (yes, that can happen too) and developments offered by your greying goddess. Where you can meet this powerful new force of woman that desires to take up residence in your life. Where you can open to liberation and different choices for the next chapter in your life. It takes patience and understanding. And sometimes it involves a scary ride, a dark moment, and a new way of being, all leading to a transformation. You can bypass the impossible standards of our culture. You can create a new identity. You can feed your deepest desires.
Why Goddess? I had a Native American great grandmother. She spoke of “elders” with reverence. I remember her using the term “white hairs” with respect. I desire to bring great honor and dignity among aging women in our culture. And what better way to suggest the divine feminine than to use the word Goddess. I believe every aging woman (and it’s hard to place an age to “aging,” you will know when you have arrived) has earned this distinction. My intention is that every woman finds the courage to embrace her Greying Goddess.
Greying Goddess is a space, a forum and place where mature women can visit who are ready to liberate themselves from the clutches of an age-averse culture and the confines of how modern culture says older woman should look and live.
I encourage you to say YES to your Greying Goddess and wholeheartedly embrace her!
What If …
The intention of this program is to help YOU, the aging woman, gather your gifts, embrace your evolving wisdom, discover the most exquisite expression of your aging imperfect beauty (wabi sabi style), harness your power, and savor this truly extraordinary time of life. Claim and live your fully glorious self as you age! Learn more about this program and why I created it.
Hark! There is a new lady in town and her name is Marsala. She is the 2015 Color of the Year. Marsala is spicy and enchanting. I know you are going to fall for this sultry, wine-inspired color.
Along with Marsala’s arrival, this week brings us the Fall Equinox, and the official end of Summer — Wednesday, September 23rd to be exact. It is one of the two days during the year in which day and night are of equal length, reminding us of the potency and power of balance.
This seasonal shift also offers cooler days the Earth feels and appears more abundant and there is a richness of color, as contrasted by the Summer warmth and her muted colors. There is a bit of excitement in the air with a hint of anticipation of something to come. Marsala is the ideal hostess of color to transition us to Autumn.
I encourage you to consider this sumptuous shade. She is dramatic, yet earthy, elegant and refined. It is pleasing to many skin tones and with a hint of brown, it works for you lovely ladies of warmer palettes. And since she is the child of Red, those of you who lean toward passion will benefit from her lusciousness too. If not a gorgeous tulle skirt or sexy silk gown, then try Lady Marsala on as a lipstick, or nail lacquer. Invite her in, your experience will be enriched by her.
Walk in Beauty,
|Dried Herb and Desert Sage|
|Which of these colors “pop” for you? You can choose as many as you like. Leave a comment below. We’d love to receive your feedback!
** New colors added daily. Come back and visit often!
Can you remember when you noticed someone in colors or clothing that seemed to “identify” them and completely captured their spirit or personality? To you, their outfit may have appeared kooky, inappropriate, and loud or lacking class, yet their walk, demeanor and attitude conveyed a comfort and confidence that had you smiling at their moxie and almost appreciating their style? I sure can (but, hey, I live in LA).
Last year I discovered New York’s Advanced Style “movement” via Ari Seth Cohen (courtesy of his grandmother). These women are pure inspiration! Neither age, nor “appropriateness” have thwarted a keen sense of themselves and how creatively they showcase their outfits. They have mastered their personal style.
I created a color palette for a lovely woman who fell into the Autumn category (warm coloring, gorgeous red hair, smart and capable, with a small frame and large personality). I also created a Pinterest Board for her loaded with Ralph Lauren velvet jackets, rich brown boots, textured vests, and all manner of the Autumn woman. It was an enjoyable project, and I thought I had depicted her style. She recently showed up sporting a Kelly green (admittedly, an Autumn color) denim jacket. I was slightly surprised at the brightness of the hue and style (she had swapped clothing with a “Spring” friend), but I liked it on her. She spoke of having grabbed wild attention in her harem pants at a recent event, and tales of another admirer on her polka dot skirt — huh? I was momentarily baffled. Then I realized this woman is brilliantly expressing her essence! I had overlooked this important aspect of her style.
Afterwards, when we talked about her clothing choices, FUN was at the top of her list (she has recently announced that she will be going to “Clown School’), and her clothing choices must make her feel happy. She also wants to look chic for her TV script meetings, as well as her frequent trips to France. She is an Autumn woman with a Fierce Fun Factor! And this combo of Fire and Fun must be present in her clothing.
It may need teasing out, or full on permission to take up space in your style profile. Or perhaps you simply stumble upon it with fascination, and want more. However it shows up in your life and arrives at your wardrobe door, this is the key to your individuality and unique style.
Have you ever tried on a hat and knew immediately this was your look?” How about a dress that landed solidly around your curves with a pattern that pin-pointed your personality? Or little black booties with skinny leg jeans that let the world know you’re an edgy kind of woman? A flowing skirt with ruffled blouse that softly suggests your romantic nature? An elegant, perfectly-tailored suit announcing your classic, capable, confident self? You are following the Whisperings of your Soul and discovering your personal style.
So, what is this quality that can turn mere clothing into a form of pure creativity? A pair of shoes whose pointed toes and metallic patina turn your walk into a self-expressing skip? It is our Essence. Essence lives in our core. When we express our Essence, we show our Soul.
My client’s Soul wants kelly green, polka dots, harem pants, along with a dose of chic. And now, I clearly understand that “playful” is part of her style. She gave me a great gift — as a colorist and stylist — look way beyond the obvious to find that spark that wants to come forward and show itself in a client’s wardrobe. The Soul will now have its rightful place in my client’s colors and style, because Essence surpasses everything.
Some of us intuitively know how to stand apart and distinguish ourselves, as illustrated in the photos to the right. For others, such as myself, it takes time to discover the tone of your Soul, the creative call of your core. A great place to begin is with “Essence” words, such as: ALIVE, ANIMATED, BRIGHT, REFINED, DELICATE, FLOWING, FUN, EARTHY, BOLD, RICH, DRAMATIC, STRIKING, SERENE.
If you intuitively respond to an essence word, then you know this is a key to your Essence and Style. Once you have a list of words that you and your Soul relate to, begin to match them with clothing. Look for confirmation of your choice — a “ping” experience, your eyes sparkle, you feel great wearing this garment or there is a deep satisfying “YES” that emerges when you see yourself. Scarves are one key to my Essence. They provide the lightweight, drape and abstract pattern I demand. Give it a try. Discover your Essence.
Contact me for a list of Essence words.
To your Essence,
Ever since I hit a forklift while learning to ride a motorbike – when my intuition clearly and loudly warned me “You will crash” – I have been paying much more attention to that small voice that comes with a wallop when ignored (I have the lump on my leg to prove it)!
It’s about one month into my “listening experiment” and I’m running late for an appointment, yet it was imperative that I choose the right shade of red lipstick for my new mesh t-shirt.
I’m on my way. Then, “Stop at Whole Foods for a breakfast beverage.” The voice was speaking. “But I’m running behind schedule.” Denise wasn’t listening. Once again, the voice suggests, “Stop for a breakfast beverage.” I stopped.
The moment I walked in the door, I saw a young man eyeing me. “Good morning …” he announced.” I smiled at him and was about to return the greeting when I heard his last word – “… gorgeous.” Gulp. This red lipstick works! “Hey, there! Good morning and thank you.”
Next, I jostled with a clerk for aisle space. And he said, “Wow, next time, let’s dance.”
By now, I was feeling really good. Isn’t that the whole point? To feel good? Suddenly, I realized the wild and wonderful possibilities that lie at the intersection of intuition and red. Well, intuition and any street, really. It took hitting the wall (quite literally) to drive home the message how vital listening to my intuition can be. And it took years for me to embrace the bright red crimson shade in my color palette. On one rainy Los Angeles morning, red packed it’s powerful punch into my awareness. It can happen anywhere, anytime. And wearing red helps.
We all know the power of red and the demanding presence it creates. Red will not be ignored! It’s the most physical color and activates our body and senses. Studies show that men find women more desirable when she wears red; and we’re told it’s not a good idea to wear red to an interview (too overpowering). With many hues, red can be romantic, soft, subtle (light pink), theatrical and playful (bright pink), exciting, provocative sexy (bright red) and rich, elegant, luxurious and robust (deep red).
Many months ago I uploaded an image to Pinterest, illustrating the dynamic, hot, passionate, and energizing quality of red. This image has been the highest-ranking pin on my Pinterest account with 100s of re-pins and over 4,000 views. People are attracted to Red!
Red weaves itself throughout the year in various celebratory forms: pinks for Easter (a tinted version of red), the soft dusky rose colors of the hot summer holidays (a greyed red), the spicy oranges of Thanksgiving (a toned or browned version of red), and the call to pure red with Winter’s arrival and the holiday season.
So, how best to express your Red? In color analysis, red is often referred to as “romantic red” and is worn when one wants to be emotionally persuasive or just romantic! Everyone can claim a shade of red. The clue lies in your skin tone. Take a look at the palms of your hands and squeeze your fingertip. Voila! You are looking at your hemoglobin skin tone or romantic red.
Pinch your finger or call for a professional color analysis.
Walk in Beauty,
Are you capturing your optimum style each and every time you get dressed? Whether for a board meeting, social event or casual outing? Looking at your closet, is there an easy-to-recognize theme and color scheme?
I recently had the opportunity to work with a wonderful client who needed a wardrobe overhaul. Our strategy was to cycle out the “7” rated pieces (on a scale of 1-10) and identify all the “10s”. This way she can always grab her best looking pieces/combinations. A little painful at times, but the end result was very satisfying!
What takes your wardrobe from ordinary to extraordinary and highlights your personal style? YOU! You take it there by honoring your coloring, body shape, and your personality.
Let’s not rely on the media for mentors. Nor look to fashion to be our friends. They don’t know you. Only you (perhaps, with the assistance of your image consultant) can uncover, explore and find the right aspects in your clothing that perfectly translates into your style.
— Determine your best theme. (Dramatic, Elegant, Sporty, Romantic, Creative, Alluring, Traditional)
— Find words or expressions that relate to you, and your personality. Keep these words close by when you shop, holding each item up to scrutiny against your words or expressions. For example, if your words are light, buoyant, fun and you come across a dress that’s perfect for your body shape in a conservative, darker color, what should you do? PUT IT BACK ON THE RACK AND MOVE ON.
— Be authentic. Don’t be afraid to let the real you surface. It will provide inspiration and creativity toward cultivating your style.
— Courage in Your Closet. Keep only what works and let the rest go. You will be on your way to stunning style and a fabulous wardrobe.
If you’re hitting the stores on Black Friday, be armed with your personal toolkit tips and bring home the bargains that are real beauties for YOU.
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
Walk in Beauty,
The rich, warm colors of Fall are irresistible: flaming oranges, bold yellows, spicy cinnamons and forest greens. Mother Earth is vividly alive with intense color. Having shifted her wardrobe from the softer hues of Summer, she is filled with fire, and urging us toward bolder expression.
Living in Los Angeles, I must be content with the “spirit of Fall.” Although still warm in Southern California, I’m preparing for Autumn. Pulling out sweaters, organizing scarves and looking for patterned leggings to pair with my “foundation pieces” (basic skirts and dresses).
Ideal time of year to find the darker colors on your palette in the stores. Deep rich browns, greens (from olive to blue-greens), and of course black. Also a great time to find the more opulent, textured fabrics that are the hallmark of the Autumn woman’s design style.
If your palette doesn’t support the fiery colors of Autumn, you can still celebrate Autumn by wearing your shade of red in clothing and cosmetics.
I believe we have a bit of all the seasons within, so stoke your fire light and enjoy Autumn.
Determined to experience the seasonal shift, I am bound for Massachusetts and Maine where my friends and I will have front row seats as the leaves change into their brilliant golds and greens. Stay tuned for Facebook photos. Be sure to “like” my page so you’ll receive my colorful updates!
Walk in Beauty,
There are many ways to chronicle the passage of time, but nothing more dramatic and certain than the shifting movement of Mother Nature every three months when the light changes, temperatures rise and fall and landscapes blossom or lean down against the cold and rain! And it’s almost time for another seasonal shift, as we think about rolling up the beach towels, storing the picnic baskets and packing away the pastels to make room in our closets for the rich colors of Fall.
Summer certainly brings out our desire to wear white, as it psychologically represents a lightweight and airy feeling which is ideal for the summer months. I don’t know about you, but where I’m from (and my mother, her mother and her mother), white was not right after Labor Day. What? It’s a color — not like giving up chocolate for Lent or Thanksgiving without some form of celebratory meal.
This myth got started by society ladies who felt the need to define fashion rules: you can’t wear white after Labor Day if you were “in the know” or part of the upper class. White was for resort wear and weddings. The beginning of summer was after Memorial Day and end of summer was the first weekend in September. So, if you wanted to be fashionable and a member in good standing of the elite, you had better vacation and get married between the end of May and the beginning of September! Like Coco Chanel, I believe that we can wear white any time of the year.
There is one thing Mother Nature won’t be changing come Fall – the color White. Let white claim it’s right place in your wardrobe all year long.
All whites are not created equal when it comes to wearing the right white. The right white will look best and be most complimentary if it is keyed to your teeth and whites of your eyes. If you have bright, clear eye whites and white teeth then you will look marvelous in a snow white. If your teeth or eye whites are ivory or creamier, then do not wear a snow white color, at least not close to your face, as it will make your teeth and eye whites look dull. Wear an ivory or cream color and you will look harmonious and fantastic. Remember to take a quick look in the mirror before purchasing your right white!
Quick Tip 1: White has a “friendlier” and “approachable” quality when it is paired with another color, especially warm colors or when it is not a pure bright white.
Quick Tip 2: If you are whitening your teeth, be careful not to over whiten, thus losing a natural look.
I would look best in the ivory. Which one is best for you? We’d love to hear how you are wearing your whites all year. Let us know in the comments section below.
Walk in Beauty,
“White is gently romantic or starkly modern, depending on how you use it.” – Hilary Mandleberg