If you've been catching any glimpses of my Instagram lately then you may have seen some of my cryptic teasers of a 5-part series I've been working on. Well today it's no longer cryptic, because I'm about to shed some light on this thing once and for all. Some of you have been following me for years and this will feel like a throwback to you. To others, this will be new and foreign. Whichever category you fall into, I want to thank you for being here to read about it, just now or at any point since 2009. I'm so glad you're here.
This topic makes me nostalgic because it's the first thing I did to turn my corporate career on its back and do what I love most: run my own small fashion business. A little history: in 2008 I moved from New York to LA. I had no job set up, but I knew that I wanted something different for my life plan than the event marketing path I had kind of fallen into. Right around that time, my mom (a Feng Shui practitioner) told me that she discovered something that sounded up my alley: Fashion Feng Shui. On a whim, I signed up for the 3-day certification course and flew to Boston for it. During those three days, I was in my element (no pun intended). I was the youngest person in the class by a good 20 years but I was inspired and my eyes were opened to a world of possibilities for my style, my career, my well being, and that of others.
In the coming years, Fashion Feng Shui became the unspoken base of my business. It's a concept I bring into everything I do - from blogging, to working with personal clients, and wardrobe styling. But even if you've been following along, you may not know about its existence. Frankly, while I have always stood by it whole heartedly, I couldn't quite figure out how to share it in a way that was tangible. It's a lot of information - too much for a single blog post, and I didn't know if people would care enough to follow along through a series of posts. So I stuck to offering it as a personal consultation service, which did bring some clients, but for the most part it remained a mystery to most people who were curious. What IS this, really? Is it weird or is it a real thing? Will I walk away with something valuable from it or will it feel like I got sucked into something? But then I realized something : holistic concepts are meant to be shared openly. Discussed publicly. Explored. This is a whole new approach to fashion from the usual street style inspiration. This is fashion for the soul.
How does one figure out their style? What makes you different than the rest? It's a big question. These days, there is so much out there. Pinterest and Instagram are chock full of outfit ideas, and we can all easily find our favorite bloggers to follow. But after a certain point, doesn't it get a little stale? Sure, there are plenty of cute outfits out there, but sometimes when you go to recreate it, something feels off. What's REALLY right for YOU? What makes you strut down the street rather than just walk? What makes other people look at you and go "she's really got something"?
The answer is simple : when you are honoring your authentic core self and your goals through what you wear, it's like fashion fireworks. The world knows it, and more importantly, you know it. This is what Fashion Feng Shui is about. OK enough vague talk. More specifically, it's about:
1. Feng Shui. The ancient Chinese art of harmonizing yourself with your surrounding environment. While we're used to this mainly applying to interiors, think of it in terms of our clothing being our most intimate environment.
2. The 5 elements. WATER. WOOD. FIRE. EARTH. METAL. Everything we wear has an energy, a vibe. Every garment or outfit is made up of the energies of one or more of the elements. It's how you use them that makes the magic happen. Each one gives off a totally different feel through fabrics, textures, colors, styles, shapes, and patterns. It sounds new agey, but it's legit. Your clothing makes the ultimate first impression, and the way people perceive what they see is more universal than you might think.
3. Your essence. Each one of us has an essence, which is based not on how you are already dressing per se, but on your personality. Your inner self. Our essence is made up of some combo of the 5 elements (usually with one of them as your main driving force). Say you're a free spirit, and your friend is a perfectionist. Your sister is a drama queen, and your mom is traditional. These are parts of what make up our "essence" and the elements help us put the categories into words.
4. Your intentions. Whether it's a goal for the year or for the day, these are the intentions which the five elements can help us achieve. I know, I know. It sounds SUPER hippy dippy. But you guys, this isn't me being cray. The power of dressing with intention is no small thing. It's about showing the world who you are, and who you want to become.
5. Your appearance. Every person is different on the outside too. The combo of your hair, skin, eyes, body type, and general visual vibe contribute to what makes it all come together.
Next week, I will be starting to introduce each of the five elements one by one, through a series of photo shoots I've created with my talented friend Heather Kincaid. She really has been the ultimate collaborator in this project and was amazing in helping me bring these five elements to life. Through the photos, I'm going to share with you everything each element represents, the personality types it appeals to, and the clothes that carry its vibe. By the end, I hope to enlighten you to your own essence, and how you can put the elements to work creating a wardrobe that makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Or at the very least, get you thinking about your style in a whole new way.
I have lots more fun surprises up my sleeve with Fashion Feng Shui, and I can't wait to share them with you! Follow along, ask questions, and give me your feedback! This is going to be fun.