Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Letter to the EditorS

After seeing another Kardashian cover coming to a news stand near you I had to sit down and offer my digital two cents to the cyber space goddesses. I wanted to reach out to the Editor's of the top Fashion publications for answers or some kind of clarity.

Dear Fashion Magazine Editors,

I am writing to request that you broaden your scope for cover stars and ask why they have become so limited. You have left behind the supermodel (or any model) for more than a decades faux-love affair with people whom our homogenized society refer to as "celebrities". I understand that they are selling magazines because of societies fascination with them and lives everyone wished they had until they really had them. I also understand fashion is about fantasy, which is what many of the cover starts offer and project.

To me, fashion magazines are about breaking rules, innovation, evolving forward and what I have seen is the same scenario, same people, same stories, recycled over and over again.

Kim and Kanye on the cover of VOGUE?
The Weekend on an anniversary issue of HARPERS BAZAAR?

I don't understand.

What about a revolutionary idea? What about casting cover models who have a real story, who have contributed to our society and the progress of humanity in a positive, real and forward manner? those who have various body types/sizes? with no restriction or limit on age?

Where are the women my daughter is supposed to look up to? to aspire to? to connect with?

In the midst of the #MeToo Movement, I am confused by a crop top (no disrespect to Jeremy Scott - I adore his work) and leather leggings being a high fashion magazine cover worthy look? I understand the subjectivity of fashion as an art form and I adore it, but really? 

I don't understand.

What if your magazines became places women could go to become inspired about social justice, activism, female community AND beauty, style, and fashion all at the same time? This is why I subscribe and read them. This is also why I am letting my subscriptions lapse. If I would have seen this cover last week when I renewed ELLE I would have passed on renewing. It is nothing personal against Kim, I don't know her but it is what she represents from a cultural perspective. People being held in high regard for nothing, literally. The endless quest for money, fame, 'power' when at the end of the day when one does not use it for good or for service to others it also means nothing. The herd mentality that our society appears to be operating from.

Why can't women who are accomplished; scientists, activist, advocates for marginalized communities, social justice warriors, environmentalists, writers, business owners, hard working mothers, champions for change, women fighting for equality, survivors of violence, those who have beat breast cancer, etc be given couture or high fashion, styled looks, a glam squad and a PLATFORM to share their stories, inspire your readers and look good doing it. I would applaud a ground breaking cover like that.

You could still sell advertising in a magazine that doesn't have a celebrity on the cover every month. It would be refreshing to see a face that I did not know on the cover so to inspire me to purchase the magazine to learn more. It could be a stylish vehicle to promote change and forward progress not just consumerism by putting educated, accomplished, brave women on a pedestal and show young girls that aspiring to a meaningful career they are passionate about, participating in service to others or standing up for what you believe in never goes out of style! 
My peace sign (L) &
My daughter and I walking in the Women's March - Jan 2017

Some "celebrities" are doing a lot of good for women and social justice causes like Angelina Jolie, Oprah, and Michelle Obama. What gorgeous cover stars they are, with substance and a story behind them. It is something that readers can really be inspired by.

I think of the pioneering editors like Diana Vreeland who I would imagine would be rolling in her grave to see how boring and generic everything has become. The endless parade of celebrities, more advertisements in magazines than articles or artistic editorials. No one taking risks, pushing the proverbial envelope, trying something NEW or re-inventing the past in a new and fresh way. She chose models who looked different, she highlighted and accentuated those differences, she started conversations, she invested in artistic editorials and moved the industry forward.

What I seem to be continually asking myself as I let each subscription run its course without renewing them ...

Shouldn't fashion magazines become part of the larger global female conversation? become a tool to also educate and inspire women on more than what to wear? Could advocating and change making in style become a trend? Why can't 'ordinary' women doing 'extraordinary' things be celebrated on Magazine covers? are we forever stuck in an over air brushed, celebrity, one dimensional culture?

Please help me understand.



Speaking at the Women's March Voices of Resistance Rally about Disability Rights, January 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Evening Ruffle: Then & Now

Fashion is constantly changing and evolving. Sometimes it goes to an extreme one season and paired down the next. It also varies from era to era with traces of fashion's past always present in today's collections.


This is how an evening ruffle was done in the 80's - nothing at all understated, major volume, extreme ruffle layers. Nothing was really understated about the 80's, big hair, bold colors and volume/embellished evening wear.

Shop this 1980's 'Bonny Fashion' Gown HERE $150

With the spaghetti straps gone, the ruffle is minimized for cocktail hour with this Badgley Mischka dress

So what's your evening ruffle style? EXTREME 80's or Understated 2018?

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Dear Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson

I wanted to write a post to Katheryn Hudson known to the world as Katy Perry after spending my birthday (and celebrating my daughter's 10th) at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to WITNESS her latest tour spectacle. I brought along my 15 year sold step-daughter and both girls enjoyed their very first concert.

This is a post of gratitude. 

Dearest Katheryn,

As a parent (and step-parent) of girls it is important that they have real role models. I work hard to lead by example but girls like to rebel against their mother's best efforts and guidance to forge their own path. I did it (sorry mom) and now so are my girls.They need to look to strong women outside of their home. That someone was you on the stage in Sacramento, swathed in sequins and Swarovski crystals. My girls hung on your every word and I was impressed by the series of messages you had throughout the show.

Clearly you are talented and creative but I was so pleased and inspired to see what a great sense of humor you have and a humbleness and wisdom that only comes from experience and getting kicked around by life and loved ones and getting up again, stronger and better. 

The call to your father was a great example. It is a sweet, humorous gesture that had an impact on my girls. To remind everyone in the audience to spend more time with loved ones, to always tell them that you love them was extremely important. It also inspired my girls to turn to me in the midst of your giant telephone moment and tell me that they love me and thank me for bringing them to your show.

After sitting on Saturn and orbiting over our heads you chose that boy from the audience and discussed the importance of collective energy, positive energy, intention, and putting it out there for manifestation by wishing on your star, again so eloquently done dripping in diamond hair, a silver sequin bodysuit and sparkle intergalactic footwear. I trust someone in sequins over an asshole in a suit any day and apparently so do my girls. Your discussion about material items not being the symbol of success but how happiness is truly all that matters in this life was a poignant one. It is sad that many (including your on stage guest) envy the fame and fortune you have but fail to see the other side of the proverbial coin. The shit you take, leeches you deal with, things you have sacrificed to be in the position you are in.  It was striking when above all your declaration of happiness is all that matters. These statements resonated immediately and I could see it in my girls eyes. All that society celebrates isn't what is important at all, but their eyes collectively glaze over when I start preaching about this simple truth but somehow your message got though to them. 

 And most of all, Thank you for sharing your music, joy, pain, talents and triumphs with the world. The look on my daughters face is the most meaningful manifestation of your work. The people you help with your lyrics/music and message. The girls self esteem you assist in building. The people going through hard times that your songs uplift and elevate. The singers, songwriters, poets and performance artists that you inspire to keep following their dreams.

When we put ourselves out there what we risk in vulnerability and judgment pales in comparison to the happiness and inspiration we can give to others. So when you feel unmotivated, judged, exhausted and wonder why the hell you do all of this whilst icing your knees and rocking those yoga toes .. please remember my daughters photo above and my gratitude as a parent and a woman. The future is FEMALE because of women standing up and sharing their truth, lessons, mistakes and inspiring those to do the same, to heal and to live their best lives.

I wish I could have said all of this to you in person in Sacramento ... next time.

Thank you.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Dress DIY

Anyone who has visited me recently knows that I have a stack of fashion magazines piled up beside my bed waiting to be read. If I have time I enjoy pouring over them for both image and article. This image in particular from the Dolce and Gabbana  Palermo 2017/18 eye wear campaign leaped off of the page. 

I love the simple 'Little black dress' and the mix and match array of adornments on the front bodice and back sleeve.

After realizing that I don't quite have the money for a Dolce Dress and I likely wouldn't fit into one if I did it inspired my DIY side. I immediately recalled that I do indeed have a black dress of similar silhouette and a wide array of Vintage brooches to work with to create my very own version of this look.

Time for a Dress DIY

I dug into my Evolution Vintage brooch stash and was able to find some interesting (and similar pieces) as seen in the ad.

I chose one of my many EV Black Dresses and pinned the brooches on in a similar way/

This DIY dress will be available soon for sale with or without the brooches. Individual Vintage brooches are also for sale in this lot or separately. 

Remember creativity doesn't always require consumption. Think about what you have on hand that you can add to or transform in some way. If you don't have materials on hand how can you acquire them second hand or re-purpose something to suit your style? 

What can you use in your own closet to DIY this or any designer look that inspires you?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Beethoven

I am sharing the series of family masterpieces that were the elements of this years family Christmas Card this week. I have shared my Girl With The Pearl Earring and now it's time for Beethoven.

This year I realized how diverse each of my family members are. Each their own work of art, different strengths and skills like the different skills poured into the iconic paintings they represent by the respective artists. Differences in style, era, and color pallets much like a metaphor to illustrate each individual.

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite classical composer. His fury and passion you can feel through his music. He also had a serious hearing impairment and wrote his most famous work, 9th Symphony - Ode to Joy when he was completely deaf. An amazing example of overcoming obstacles associated with "disabilities" and creating a unique masterpiece.

I wanted to present my interpretation of Joseph Karl Stieler's Portrait of Beethoven,  painted in 1819, with oil on canvas - 62 × 50 cm (24.4 × 19.7 in)

Journey of the portrait:
*Commissioned by Franz and Antonie Brentano in 1819/20
*Purchased by raffle by the brother of Louis Spohr at a raffle run by the Art Association of Brunswick
* Following Spohr's death it was inherited by his daughter Rosalie, the Countess Sauerma a harpist
* 10 February 1909 Purchased by music company C.F. Peters Henri Hinrichsen
*Mr. Hinrichsen was murdered in Auschwitz 17 Sept 1942 and the painting went to his son
*Walter Hinrichsen took it to New York to hang in his office
*1981 it was sold to Beethoven House in Bonn Germany where it still hangs

Information about the painting was taken from Beethoven's conversation books, "Stieler was permitted four sittings between February and April 1820. This "concession" - Beethoven considered such sittings to be a kind of penance - was not only due to Stieler's artistic ability but also to Franz and Antonie Brentano, who commissioned the portrait. Beethoven was happy to grant them this concession as he had been close to them since 1809 and once referred to them as his "best friends in the world". source

The painting was created on commission by the married couple Franz and Antonie Brentano, who had been friends of Beethoven since around 1810. Beethoven's conversation [sic] books give rather detailed information on the origins of the painting. The composer was sitting for the painter four times - a very unusual high number of sittings, since Beethoven is said to have been unable to sit still. The hands in the painting had to be painted from the artists memory as Beethoven could not be persuaded to sit any longer.

Stieler's portrait of Beethoven distinguishes itself above all through two novel elements. First of all - in contrast to all other contemporary paintings - it shows the composer while he is performing his art. Beethoven is holding a pen and seems to be working on the Credo of his "Missa solemnis". The face of the manuscript he is holding says: "Missa solemnis / From D # (# stands for Major)"; on the page facing the composer, the word "Credo" can be recognized. Further on, Stieler shows the view to a forest landscape in the background and by doing this, he - for the first time - combines a portrait of Beethoven with the romantic motif of nature. Beethoven's well-known love of nature and his famous "Sinfonia pastoral" op.68, with its haunting musical description of nature, provided him the biographical clues for such a depiction. Both motifs - "Beethoven composing" and "Beethoven in nature" - became very popular during the further course of the 19th and 20th century, and until today, fine artists again and again were depicting those motifs. source  

Unedited original of my step-son as Beethoven

Edit #1 With the painting background

*Wardrobe: I.N.C. Military style jacket (similar trim to Beethoven's in the portrait)

*Red Cashmere scarf - tied slightly different than the painting to cover the ruffled bodice of the 70's men's tuxedo shirt used.
*The book prop was created and the actual sheet music placed inside the book.

All of the makeup, wardrobe, digital editing, card creation and images were created and taken by me.

Edit in frame and used in the gallery of our card.

Watch our Masterpiece Theatre, Journey of a Card:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Girl With The Pearl Earring

Every year my family and I produce a themed Holiday Greeting which also doubles as our family photo for the year. I have posted about previous years; Alice in Wonderland, Game Of Thrones, Candyland and 101 Dalmatians. Each theme represented something to us during that time period.

This year I realized how diverse each of my family members are. Each their own work of art, different strengths and skills like the different skills poured into the iconic paintings they represent by the respective artists. Differences in style, era, and color pallets much like a metaphor to illustrate each individual.

I chose "Girl With The Pearl Earring" for my daughter Kaleigh because the complexity if this piece is found in its simplicity, just like her. She is so beautiful and this painting really had the ability to showcase my daughters beauty. She is the center of our gallery as she is the center of my universe. She is thus, My Girl With Pearl Earring.

I did all of the wardrobe, makeup, photos and editing this year. A huge mountain to climb so I did 6 individual shoots. Her (clip on) pearl earring is Vintage and didn't have a mate. The mustard fabrics are actually large linen table cloth pieces that I found at a thrift store as well as the blue stretch fabric for the headband. I spent $3.50 on both and as a wardrobe stylist for Evolution Vintage I had the earring on hand. With time and imagination, anything is possible. We shot hundreds of images and chose the one above as I felt it most resembled the composition and the spirit of the original work.

The original was painted by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and estimated to be painted in 1665, the painting was signed but not dated. It became part of the Mauritshuis in The Hague in the Netherlands in 1902. It is a small piece, 17.5" X 15", oil on canvas. 

There has been much speculation about who the model was for this painting (actually called "tronie" - in dutch it is a study of head and shoulders dressed in exotic clothing - it is not technically a portrait). Because it is an unresolved mystery people for centuries have projected their own story onto the figure. It spawned a novel (that has sold over 3 million copies) and a feature Hollywood film adapted from the novel/ I feel one of the most beautiful elements of the work is the mystery. who do you think the girl is? So much is open for interpretation.

Details are important in my projects. I placed my daughters finished photo in the same frame that hangs in the Hague.

Watch how the entire card was created! *Sound Up*

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lisa's Gift Guide: 2017

We are one month away from the big day. We make investments of our money and our time into the Christmas season. For me time is always in short supply so I post a gift guide annually to share what I am buying for the loved ones on my list. I love to share the businesses that I support and purchase from. None of my posts are ever sponsored and are places I actually shop from.

1) Seanese I love this fun T-shirt business! I am a sucker for a clever graphic tee during the holidays and beyond. I am also a fan of wearing said t-shirts in non "traditional" ways. They are not just for jeans or lounge wear. You may have read my last post on the company (if not see it HERE). For the holidays they have a new collection of shirts for EVERYONE. It is an inclusive collection, with something to fit everyone and a wide variety of colors and classic "Sean-isms". He also gives back to a different charity every month! Use CODE: GIFTTEN and save 10%


This is a special shirt for me as the eyes of the elf were taken from a photograph of my son Blake and resemble the beautiful eyes he, Sean and most people in the Down Syndrome community share!

Betsy Johnson Velvet Booties
Kacey Bootie with Glitter Heel (On Sale HERE for $60)
They also come in BLACK
My personal bootie of choice for this holiday season!

This entrepreneur's mission is to spread JOY though fun socks! John's also happens to have Down Syndrome, he employs people with disabilities AND gives a % back from every sale to various charities through the year! WIN-WIN-WIN!! 
There is over 1300 different designs and the prices are amazing. Stuff your stocking with SOCKS! 


Time to awaken your deepest desires and realize your ultimate dreams! Let Dr. Tererai Trent guide you home to yourself and the life you deserve. A great gift for any 'Sacred Sister". I as left realizing that the world needs me to realize my dreams and reminded that "It is Achievable" AKA "Tinogona" (Read more about the amazing Tererai HERE)
Buy it HERE

 The Universe Has Your Back Cards! A unique gift that can be used for daily inspiration!

The real life tale of a former model turned member of a Saudi billionaire's harem.


Artist: Luanne McGee-Turner
Pet Portraits

I will be comissioning a fun portrait of our puppy Leo this year. Buy one for the pet lover on your list or treat yourself and commemorate your fur baby! Portrait start at $200 CAD plus shipping EMAIL her for more info. PS - She just happens to be my talented and beautiful cousin! 

Tara Deetscreek

Tara is a talent portrait artist and fashion illustrator who works with mixed media (paints and pencils). I have purchased the most amazing Mother's Day gift from Tara (A custom birds nest with an egg representing each of my mothers grandchildren) which could also double for a cute Christmas Gift. 

She has also been a gracious donor to the National Down Syndrome Society Gala Auction for 2 years in a row! I also have a gorgeous custom portrait hanging in my living room as I type. I adore her Winter wreaths she is painting this year. For only $25 you can gran a chic monogramed wreath for your wall or mantle. This also makes an amazing hostess gift to take to any holiday gathering. You could also purchase sevral to make your last name, or the monogram for each of your children. The possibilities are endless!


I acquired the most amazing winter coat from this sweet Vintage Shop. A vintage Hudson Bay Company Blanket Coat just in time for my holiday trip home to Canada! Christy has a wide variety of vintage clothing, shoes and more! 

Evolution Vintage
I have personally curated a collection of Vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories in my eBoutique. There is literally something for every woman, every taste and every budget. 
Shop my new fit finder and immediately see what is available that fits you! (or the lady on your list)

SAVE 30% on EVERYTHING through tomorrow with code: CYBERSALE

YSL Skirt $250

You also have the uniqe opportunity to shop pieces from the Paul Brockmann 55,000 Dress Collection!