I really enjoyed being interviewed about style by one of my favorite jewelry designers, Leslie Lawton. It made me think about how much I love what I do. Do visit Leslie’s site to see her new spring styles and designs that express the feeling of a new season and your own feminine warmth.
A Burning Issue and Other Questions for Gwen Mazer
We hope you find gems of wisdom in this interview with one of the country’s style icons. Gwen’s philosophy suits ours to a T.
LL: You’ve spent a lifetime creating style, and recreating your clients’ sense of self in the process. How does that work? You help your clients make choices in clothing, accessories, makeup, hair… getting it all right. How does that inspire confidence?
Gwen: All of us resonate to beauty. Clothing is a visual language, and we are continually interpreting who someone is by their visual presentation. I love working with women to assist them in being their best selves. Each woman can bring out her most authentic self by the way she presents herself and enhances her sense of her own beauty. Her presentation can also reflect a life change. I know I’ve hit the mark when I hear the words, “I feel wonderful!”
LL: How do you always turn yourself out so beautifully? Do you ever throw clothes around your bedroom, until you get it just right?
Gwen: At the beginning of each season, I spend some quality time with myself in front of my mirror and in my closet. You should try it. Get your presentation organized, so the things in your closet actually work, so you’re not standing there looking for the right outfit for a meeting or an unexpected event. It’s something you can take off your to do list.
LL: Dove’s new campaign about real beauty is a social experiment that shows how women spend more time focused on what doesn’t work rather than what does. Care to comment?
Gwen: We are so hard on ourselves in terms of recognizing how lovely we are. Every woman has her own authentic style and glowing beauty. For you to sense your best self, from the inside out, is a gift. It helps to get an objective point of view, from someone who sees you as a whole person. Could be your partner in life, your best friend, or the objectivity of a professional stylist.
LL: Here’s the burning issue I struggle with. Summer is coming. How do you suit up and look professional, without being too hot? Since I tend to run warm anyway, dressing for hot, humid 90 degree weather is the ultimate challenge.
Gwen: Focus your look on looser, softer clothing that flows over the body. Soft, washed linens or linen/silk/synthetic combinations. You don’t have to wear a structured jacket or suit to be taken seriously. There are beautiful, easy, unconstructed jackets that can be worn with straight leg pants and a beautiful skimming top underneath. This is where the finishing touches are critical: The right shoe, jewelry that expresses your essence, a handbag that suits your size.
LL: So I’m sure there must be different looks for different business and social settings.
Gwen: Yes, you have to be mindful of the culture you’re working or appearing in. You’ll have more leeway in a creative environment. The insurance, financial, and legal world have a stricter dress “code.” But you can still wear fluid clothing that eases over the body.
LL: I’ve heard you talk about color and neutrals in such an interesting way. For instance, white is going to be BIG this summer, and I for one never touch the stuff.
Gwen: I’m inspired by clothing in the colors you find in nature. Even a puddle of water has neutrals and iridescent colors that are gorgeous. Look for basics in the color of rocks, stones, and seashells. Think greens in soft khakis and olives. These are the building blocks, the colors in nature that bring out the beauty your skin tones. Then you can add white or cream judiciously or softer jewel tones in a top or with your accessories.
LL: What are your beauty secrets?
Gwen: Rest and sleep. For 24 hours, just disconnect. No food, just water, perhaps with a little lemon. Give yourself time to simply come into your own rhythm. Even a 48 hour retreat where you can listen from within. You really have to spend quiet time on your own, not talking to anyone else.Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
If you can’t get away, get a really good massage. It’s critical to deeply relax the body.
LL: We’ll be back in the fall with more from Gwen. We’re going to tackle the meaning and purpose of fashion, trends and style.
*I’ve known Gwen Mazer for many years and follow her wise advice religiously. I’ve also had the privilege of working with her, making custom jewelry for her clients. She is a thought leader and a personal style and image consultantwith a wealth of experience in the beauty business. She understands that style is not only a visual and social element of expression but that it can be a powerful emotional element as well. With that in mind, she helps her clients create a personal, authentic, and empowering style.