As someone who’s always wanted to be in her thirties, I was grieving a bit in the weeks before my 40th. Then a few days before my actual birthday an older friend gave me a card with a pack of post-it notes because, “It’s hard to remember anything these days!” Next, a large box arrived, sent from my best friend from middle school, with a tiara inside and the note, “Welcome to the Big Kids Club!” The gestures were both so fun, it made it hard not to embrace the day. And not to laugh.
After a family breakfast out on the actual day (tiara on head) followed by a fancy holiday party lunch, I went to the Fibershed Fashion Gala , at the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Sonoma. Please, take 20 seconds to read this blog and see its photos as I can’t describe the concept behind Fibershed any better, any faster or with more beauty. More details are here. Pretty cool, right?
I was curious to see locally made clothes and to meet the designers that made them. Would there be colors within my palette? Styles that would suit me? At prices I could afford? You see in my dream world, I’d not only tell clients their best colors and styles, but which local (to them) designers to turn to for investing in new pieces.
Currently I buy most of my clothes nearly new, really thinking about how much value each piece will add to my life. That’s how I do Slow Fashion. But I wanted to know how else it could be done, both for me personally and for my local clients.
There were not as many garments and accessories to see as I’d envisioned, but there were plenty of surprise discoveries. For instance, I was expecting only to see photos of furry beasts and then the woolen creations made from them. But this woman uses only mushroom based dyes!
I liked this designer’s trail-on-the-ground-urban-rather-than-bridesmaid-convertible dress.
These hangers were part of a raffle prize, but apparently everyone (not just me) was asking about them, wanting to buy them. Earth friendly and -for those of you with minuscule storage space or who want more of a boutique, airy and spacious feel in your wardrobe – they DOUBLE your closet space! Ditto sells them in plain brown in three sizes – adult, children and infant, and their site has a sale through January. Perfect as my daughter’s clothes have outgrown the hangers we have for her. The Container Store sells them fora bit more in black in the adult size only. Rave reviews here.
There was a bounty of gorgeous food that I was too full to actually relish. And look how unexpectedly gorgeous wine barrels are serving as a backdrop for fashion!
And then, I stumbled across a woman selling the most wonderfully scented spray. Ever since pregnancy, I’ve been exceptionally sensitive to scents, disliking most of them but this was incredible and I didn’t even know what it was. Room spray? Body spray? Something called “Cloud of Protection” it turned out, and typing this I’m laughing at the name, but if you smelled it first, as I had, you’d understand. Both nurturing and cleansing, with a brightening and uplifting result. I was hooked and intrigued: the maker seemed to understand scent in a way I’d never encountered. I bought the sample kit for $20 and have since purchased the full size of The Balm (excellent for smoothing my hair into a ponytail) and “C” Perfect Skin , the oil, even though I’m not actually out of either yet. The oil is the best I’ve tried (I swear I look younger! Best birthday gift to 40 year old self ever, right?!?) and truly affordable.
Plus the packaging is charming. By Nieves is sold here.
Dinner out completed the day.
In conclusion: the yarn for sale was beautiful but knitting isn’t my thing. The prices of the garments I saw were too high for me personally, and the colors and styles weren’t my best. The kids clothing I looked at for my daughter was cute but not soft enough. (She’s very particular.) So while I can’t say I’ve found new designers to go to or locally made yarn to create with, I can say I continue to be inspired by Fibershed and by Slow Fashion in general. I enjoyed taking the time to go see what was being made. I’ve found a smarter way to hang my family’s clothes. I’ve got happier skin. I spent time on my 40th birthday doing something I feel strongly about and something that makes me happy. And, I realized that if what I want to buy to wear isn’t available locally YET, then I’m inspired to make it! And while I think that’ll involve up-cycling old clothes, I’m letting my ideas on how to do that exactly percolate SLOWLY. (Why rush, right?) I want to savor the second half of my life more than I have the first. After all, I just had the pleasure of turning 40.