Making Space

When my daughters went to college at the end of September, I realized there would be a space to fill in their absence. The question then was what would I fill it with?

The end of the summer had been very busy. I was getting ready for my first Fashion Week and my solo art exhibition at The Wilder Gallery, in addition to getting my youngest off to her first year of college out of state. These were the larger themes, but I still had my column to write, my work at the Learning Space, a company to run and a home to manage. Additionally, I had to get my older daughter back to school. In early August I flew home from LA after dropping her at college, and went to work on the next thing. It was pure madness. By the time autumn came I simply wanted to be alone. I wanted to spend time in my empty house before I filled my time and space with something new.

During times of transition I do like to clean. Typically, I do not like to clean and rarely have time for it. During this time, I turned my attention to my closet. I read Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up several years ago and at that time I made a sweep through my house ridding myself of unloved items. However, I was less ruthless then, this time I hit it really hard. I gave away approximately 50% of my closet, then I moved to my ski gear selling two of my three pairs of ski’s to my neighbors. The problem was that afterwards I had no casual clothes to wear.

As an ethical and sustainable clothing designer I wanted only these types of clothes in my own closet. Of course I wear my own Ocean SF designs everywhere, but they are sportswear and I had basically given away everything, but my own designs, jeans, cashmere sweaters and vintage clothing.

At home I act as a stylist. I’ve always loved dressing my daughters. I’ve picked out prom dresses and most of their clothing. When my daughters came home they were appalled to find I had very few things for them to borrow. For a long time they used my closet like a lending library. We all wear the same size clothes and shoes. Each of them has been known to come home with just a backpack. Recently, I styled them for an event in San Francisco. Siena (left) is wearing a vintage jacket, my boots and Paris’ jumpsuit. The bright pink purse was her idea. Paris (right) is wearing the pants I recently bought her and the crushed velvet boots I picked out. Both looked lovely and wear anything well.

As this is my business I have access to the research. I targeted Everlane and Rent the Runway to begin filling in my business casual gaps and then decided to make a trip to Ann Taylor as I’m happy to report they have made major strides in ethical production (see The Good Guide). I’m slowly adding back what I gave away carefully choosing only the things that I love.

Love and blessings to all.

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