Eyes wide open for this lady of liberty

For those ladies who have felt the pleasure (perhaps initially mingled with a little anxiety) of successfully working through a wardrobe and personal style overhaul, will know there’s little to beat the intense feeling of liberation and empowerment this defining process gives the revitalised ‘stylee’. There’s certainly nothing frivolous about breaking out of one’s limiting habits, insecurities and outdated beliefs.

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Along with so many of my personal style clients, I hear women comment that seeing their clothing choices, and indeed their bodies, through fresh eyes not only opened their eyes to new styling possibilities, but washed away misguided opinions, advice and perceptions they’d once held as gospel; for instance, judgments, fears and insecurities which were ultimately blocking them from owning their individual style.

In all my years of personal styling, while keenly observing women, it’s apparent that there’s a strong notion that just because we undertake to clothe ourselves every day, this activity should somehow make us experts on the matter of dress. It doesn’t! Rest assured we’re not all born with an innate knowledge of how to build a stylish wardrobe around colours best suited to our complexion, and styles complementary of our body shape, personality, lifestyle and budgets.

Just as we choose, consciously or unconsciously, our daily ‘what-to-wear’, we do the same, albeit three times a day, with what we put in our mouths. We do it so often that we know what’s best for us, right? Maybe not. Because, just as with our dress selection, what we choose to eat is frequently based on habitual behaviour, convenience, comfort, and how our society influences us. (Come on, admit it, doesn’t this ring true for your clothing choice criteria too? “But I always wear these denims, I’ve always looked great in them. They’re so comfortable and they’re still on-tend, I even saw Kate (Duchess of Cambridge, Holmes or Hudson, take your pick) sporting a similar pair!”

Surprisingly enough, in spite of me being well versed, trained and experienced in personal styling, my liberating “ah ha” moment still began in front of my wardrobe’s open-flung doors. I saw my comfortable leathers, warm furs, soft silks and cosy wools with new eyes, sparked by those of fellow vegan stylist, Ginger Burr.

As with the momentous power of knowledge, developing enlightenment, coupled with the liberation of being conscious, open to questioning old beliefs, all while embracing a compassionate ideology, has moved my understanding far beyond my clothing cupboards, right into my pantry and fridge!

I’m beginning to clear the blurriness from my eyes (and body), which began to settle there half a lifetime ago, ever since being weaned off my mother’s breast and onto, what my parents and society were taught, or believed, to be the most nutritional, healthy and well balanced diet. With almost a year of book subject reading, plant-based recipe experimentation and a strong sense of ethical well-being supporting my new vegan lifestyle choices, it’s time to take my level of learning further, by training as a certified vegan lifestyle coach & educator.

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So this coming week I’m off to Manhattan, New York to attend an intensive five-day course hosted by Victoria Moran, bestselling author of eleven books and founder of Main Street Vegan Academy.

P.S. I’m also set to meet Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart, the designer who debuted her first ready-to-wear line in a solo show at New York Fashion Week earlier this month. A big congrats to Leanne and her team for their love and success in brining New York’s vegan fashion label, Voute Couture to the forefront of fashion!

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