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
Several years ago on my evening walk along a busy and trendy Los Angeles street, I stumbled upon a woman’s boutique. It sat back from the street, surrounded by a manicured lawn and pristine white flowers. The beautiful wood floors and Shakespearean décor beckoned me. I tiptoed in. Once inside, I was instantly overcome with the beauty this room held. Can you imagine being overwhelmed with beauty? Awed. Dumbstruck. Frozen. Only my eyes moved — slowly around the room. The Marie Antoinette-style chandelier, the floor to ceiling mirror with the gilded gold frame, the plush ottoman, and those gorgeous clothes elegantly hanging like works of art on gold painted racks. Nope, not even breathing now.
The lovely saleswoman walked over and said “Hello, may I help you with something?” “Ah, no, thank you, I’m just looking.” Her friendly smile and warm demeanor calmed me, yet the level of beauty emanating from the room surrendered me motionless. It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but I couldn’t even turn around to walk out the door – I simply backed out of the door – backed out! As I continued my walk home, I could still see the glorious vision. Skirts in a shiny “bling” fabric, wide leg cotton pants with pockets from hip to hem and bronze studs. A bright red jacket with intricate beading along the arms and down the back. Dresses with floral necklines in soft, romantic colors. Luscious blouses with ruffled collars and wrists. Pants in “wrap-yourself-up-in” jersey, with matching tops, shrugs, jackets and coats. It was like looking into a room of divine deliciousness!
Why couldn’t I walk into this boutique?
I didn’t have the capacity to hold and contain such beauty within me. Shortly after this experience I had my personal color palette and style profile created. Now, armed with “my colors” and clothes chosen for me, I still didn’t have access to my inner beauty (value of self, confidence, knowing me). It took another 3 years of personal growth work, classes, reading and a willingness to journey deep within before I began to understand the expression “As Within, So Without” and the relationship between what you carry inside being reflected back to you in the outside world. The world mirrors what we are modeling and returns it to us – when we least expect it!
I have since become a color consultant and stylist. I know that I cannot tell a woman what colors or clothes to wear. I can only suggest, guide and support. She must be willing to take her own journey and discover her inner beauty. It is an organic process, not a linear one. It isn’t always an easy process, but a rewarding one where you can emerge with strength, clarity and the ability to approach your beauty from a place of authenticity.
The saleswoman in the boutique is now a friend. My closet is host to many beautiful garments from the boutique and I feel radiant when I wear them.
What stops you from expressing, feeling or tending to your inner beauty? How does that affect your outer beauty?
I invite you to leave your comments below so we can continue the conversation.
Walk in Beauty,
After the great push of Spring that brings us glorious flowers, rain showers and a warm welcome from the Winter, Summer summons our soul. A time to slow down and reflect. Our bodies know. It’s Summer. For many, Summer is a signal that it’s time to play, a vacation with friends at the beach or simply a time to slow down in the heat of the season. Summer can be a reminder of long ago when that last 3 pm school bell rang in June, not to be heard again until September. And that joyous rush home with the anticipation of an entire Summer to create memories that would be fodder for our sure assignment in Fall — How I Spent My Summer Vacation!
I don’t know about you, but it’s been many a year since I experienced the rush of 3 months off with nothing but free time, lemonade and weekend trips to the beach. Although I do not long for my school days, I often ponder having my Summer off with plenty of time for the adult version of play — weekend road trips with friends, a wine festival, a jazz concert in an open field with finger sandwiches, wine coolers and lots of laughter. In our high tech lives, the iPhones never stop ringing or buzzing with a text message and the emails are endless. It takes a determination to carve that Summer time out for ourselves. Will you take a stand with me for having some down time this Summer? I say, let the Summer sun kiss our skin and the Summer fun begin. And, of course, that means preparing a wardrobe that supports various activities, having a great time and looking terrific!
I’m headed to Northern California for a weekend wedding in July, followed by hiking in the surrounding mountains, then back to San Francisco for shopping and dinner with friends. My last stop is Los Gatos for a visit with one of my color teachers and mentors. Packing for this trip is tricky. I will be wearing very different types of clothing in a short span of time, along with varying temperatures and terrain. A client introduced me to wonderful bags that take the angst out of packing. They are ideal for lingerie, tank tops and sleep wear, leaving lots of room for the bigger, bulkier items. Eagle Creek Packing Sets.
1. Store clothes in the main part of the home; avoid storing clothing in attics and basements. Clean garments before storing.
2. Hang clothing on good quality hangers, not thin wire ones.
3. Never store clothes in plastic dry cleaner bags; the chemicals in the plastic will damage garments. Use fabric garment bags.
4. Don’t hang knits or beaded garments that will stretch out. Store them in acid-free cardboard boxes or sturdy plastic bins. Lay sweaters flat or use acid-free tissue between folds to avoid creases.
5. Don’t use mothballs; the smell is almost impossible to remove and the chemicals are harmful to skin and eyes. Use bags of cedar and herbs. Don’t put cedar blocks directly on clothes (the oil might stain fabric); instead wrap them in acid-free tissue.
6. Store pricey cashmere in the freezer. Put the item in a zip-top plastic bag with some cotton batting to absorb moisture. The cold will kill insects and keep fabric fresh.