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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘fashion’

Jewish Fashion Magazine Targets Orthodox Women

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The one-year-old, glossy, high-end Hadar Orthodox women’s fashion magazine is capitalizing on Orthodox Jewish lifestyle becoming more upscale and will publish its third edition just after Purim.

The magazine is the brainchild of a Yeshiva University Stern College for Women graduate and the product of hers and a good friend’s creativity and entrepreneurship.

“I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” says Bari Weizman, owner and content director of Hadar, who explains that her magazine embodies the essence of the modest Jewish woman while exploring her desire to remain current and fashionable.

The idea came to Weizman one Shabbat when she was schmoozing with her sister about how all the little girls in their hometown of Monsey were wearing the same headbands with big, poufy bows, and the women were dressed in the same black boots on their walk to shul.

“I started thinking about all of these different fashion bloggers and how there is such a big interest in the Jewish community to add more fashion into one’s wardrobe, instead of just putting a Kiki Riki [shell] under everything,” Weizman tells JNS.org.

As she grew more excited about the idea she reached out to a former colleague, Shevi Genuth, and invited her to be a partner. Genuth now serves as editor and publisher of Hadar. The team also recruited Jessica Gugenheim, one of Weizman’s family friends, as fashion editor.

Gugenheim, who lives in Manhattan, describes the magazine as individualistic. “I don’t think our style is trying to follow any certain drum,” she says. Gugenheim looks for a combination of elegance and high-fashion at price points that are affordable for the average Orthodox Jew, who likely has to pay for day school and feed numerous children.

“I love working with pieces from H&M or Target and making them [the models] look like they just walked off the runway,” she tells JNS.org.

The magazine uses the developers’ religious friends instead of professional models, although flipping through its pages of spiked heels, creative layering, and trendy colors, one would never know.

Gugenheim worked previously at Anthropologie, a popular national retailer. There, she says, she “dressed the customers.” While each client had her own concern – a petite figure, recent weight loss – she says finding fashion for Hadar is a more sophisticated challenge. Hadar only features skirts, long sleeves, and high necklines. Gugenheim, who has a degree in art history, works with national brands to get samples that fit the frum bill.

“I just see fashion as a different expression of art,” she says. “As opposed to painting on a canvas, the designers are painting with fabric.”

Her first fashion tip: confidence.

“Anything you wear with confidence will look better,” she says.

But can Hadar Magazine survive the huge transformations occurring in all media sectors, from media owners to modeling agencies, from marketers to advertisers? Media channels are becoming more fragmented and the consumer is more empowered than ever before. Individuals become media in their own right, through blogging and social media. Is there a place for a new print magazine?

In the Orthodox community, says Weizman, the answer is yes. Using an iPad or a Kindle on Shabbat is still—and will likely always be—forbidden. Hence, the Orthodox community turns to print. Hadar reader Yonina Leibowitz of Monsey, NY, is one example.

“During the week, I don’t have time to sit and read a magazine,” Leibowitz tells JNS.org.

“I work full time. On Shabbat, I read all my magazines, the books I want to read. I don’t think print will really go out of style in my community,” she says, noting that she looks to Hadar for clothing trends she can easily put into practice.

Notes from the Shmata Gang

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Hi there, how have you been?

We are close to the end of our body type series. What comes next? Fashion is like life, a universe in itself… it means we probably will be here for a while.

Do you prefer RTW (ready to wear) or CM (custom made)? Do you know what is a knock-off?

Who buys a $150,000.00 haute couture gown and the most important question, why do they do that? It’s not a matter of vanity only. Fashion is personal, so the haute couture matter is way more complex than that. The cult of couture goes way back in History. (If any dressmaker ever charged you more saying that they do “couture” garments, believe me, they probably don’t.)

Mass Production, Low-End, Mid-Low, Mid-High, High-End… what is the meaning of all this? How can that affect your life and your wallet? Are you paying the right price for what you’re getting?

Who is considered a fashion designer? Can you be a designer? Remember that designers do not need to know how to sew, draw, cut…

Now the question that everybody must have thought about at least once in their lives: who decides what is fashionable or not? Two weeks ago I visited a Fall 2014 fabric trade show with my 17-year-old niece. She was astonished to see people buying fabric a year and a half in advance of a season.

Following these explanations, I would like to take you on a tour into our North American garment industry. Although smaller, we are still here. And you know what? Some segments that remained from our local garment trade business are very strong.

Ok, you must be asking me now, “Why buy local if I pay half the price or less by buying products manufactured overseas?”

I’m not telling you to abandon your shopping habits in order to buy local, but it’s fair for you to know the power of your shopping decision. We feel better when we understand our actions, in fashion as well as in all aspects of life.

Let’s break some fashion myths and share some truths about our beloved fashion industry. Are you part of the shmata trade gang? If yes, please share your experiences with us. If not, grab that delicious cup of tea, a few biscuits, enjoy the conversation and let’s us know your insights.

And all of that accompanied by inspirational styling tips, because if you understand yourself better, you will dress better.

Thank you for reading Styling with Esther! See you next week!

If You Knew your Body Type, You’d Be a Happy Dresser

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Having received more than 7400 views in less than two weeks for a single topic on the popular internet blog imamother.com (connecting frum women everywhere – tell them we sent you!), two very important facts came to light that should be explored and discussed within the Orthodox Jewish world:

1. Many of our wonderful ladies would like to receive more information about their body types and how to better balance their figure with the clothes they wear.

2. Many women never had the chance to discuss styling issues with anyone, and, as a result, they carry a negative image of themselves which affects their self-esteem.

Is looking good a superficial aspiration? Is being fashionable a stumbling block in our spiritual path?

You are Beautiful. Stop hiding who you are.

Beauty is a state of mind. In other words, the most impressive garment ever made would lose all its beauty if the person wearing it did so with a sad face.

The same can be said about uncomfortable clothes. Yet, what if being uncomfortable doesn’t really have anything to do with the garment itself? For example, a flared skirt is one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing, however… what if a woman doesn’t feel good about it and ends up feeling uncomfortable in her inner self… is it really because of the skirt?

In other words, she could be wearing the most beautiful flared skirt and yet it wouldn’t mean anything to her if she is not feeling good about herself.

At the same time, the most intriguing aspect of this situation is that she might have no idea why she is not feeling good, she just knows something is not right. The same experience can be felt with other garments, and a repetition of frustration over clothing choices may eventually lead this woman to wrongly believe that there might be something wrong with her, instead of the skirt.

Experienced and professional Fashion Styling is the art that could help.

I say it’s an art because a vast knowledge required in mixing colors, shapes, lengths and widths, thereby unleashing a garment’s power to touch the human spirit. Isn’t that what art is all about, bringing feelings to another level?

Fashion Styling, if done in the right way, has the power to reveal our hidden beauty, increase our confidence, and guide us on how to combine what we already have, helping us to feel good, empowered and happy with ourselves and with the world.

Does it sound superficial to you? Perhaps an exaggeration?

Let’s explore this from another angle: how many times have women all over the world chosen to stay home instead of enjoying a night out on the town because of lack of confidence in their wardrobe?

How much money has been spent in vain on clothes that get pushed to the back of our closets, never to be seen again?

How many times has a woman been invited to a simcha only to regret her choice of clothing once she sees the photographs?

How many women have simply given up trying to look good?

How many women have naturally changed their body types over the years only to become depressed about it because their clothes don’t fit their new body shapes any longer?

How many women have cried after realizing that what they were told to wear actually made them look so very different from what they had expected?

There are a lot of feelings regarding the styling business, coupled with many doubts and misunderstanding. Although it’s easy talking about the doubts, it is the misunderstanding which really compels me to write this article.

I once had a client who was so frustrated about dressing up that she decided to wear clothes bigger than her actual body size. In the beginning, she was happy about it, because larger clothes do feel comfortable. But over time this idea of wearing larger sizes started to affect her self-esteem and painfully distorted the image she had of herself.

On our very first meeting, I explained to her that she was a beautiful woman and had no need to wear larger garments which didn’t accurately reflect who she was. I further indicated that what she needed to do was simply wear different size clothing for the upper and lower halves of her body. Her response was an expected anger.

Basically, this young lady was so brainwashed regarding the false outer image which she had been imposing on herself, that she could not accept the notion of looking, in her words, “normal, like everybody else.” Her misunderstood external self had taken control of her inner self. As a result, she was depressed, angry, could not let go of old traumas, and simply refused to accept the new opportunity presented to her.

It took a lot of talking and some good laughs to bring back her good mood. Slowly, she learned about her body type and which fashion choices were in harmony with her figure. After a few weeks she confessed to me that, for the very first time in her life, she was actually accepting party invitations with a big smile and a desire to go.

Another woman explained to me that she was wearing the same clothes for the past 20 years. I asked her why, and she answered: “Because nothing else is good and I hate shopping.” I asked her if she was happy with this choice and she said, Yes. Before leaving, I asked her, “Don’t you miss going out and shopping for something new?”

She sighed heavily and said she would love to do it. “So why don’t you?” I asked.

“Because there’s nothing for me out there besides frustration. I’m good the way I am.”

HUSBANDS, FEAR NOT!

Before proceeding, I would like to reassure the husbands, fathers and boyfriends who are worried that I’m sending their lovely ladies to go wild in the mall and shop as never before: you can calm down, it’s not like that. What I’m saying is this: get to know how and what to shop. This will actually saves a lot of money and improve everyone’s mood.

Also, thinking on a larger scale, the garment industry would benefit from this new approach of customers shopping for their body type, since our lovely ladies who were until now frustrated about their shopping experiences would most likely patronize those stores.

A FRAGMENT OF HAPPINESS?

Happiness is a state of mind and I would define it as being in harmony with our inner and outer self. When talking about how clothes fit into the picture and help improve our self-esteem, I’m presenting just one, single fragment among many others in our journey towards happiness. Dressing well in itself does not bring happiness, like anything else in the physical world. However, knowledge brings power, and by feeling empowered, we overcome fear.

Yes… fashion and life insights have a lot in common. Why? Because the way we dress is an essential part of our lives.

Do you feel happy when you open your closet and select something to wear?

I’m talking about feeling empowered. Feeling confident. Feeling happy. Having a voice.

Do you?

Clothes talk. Oh, indeed, they do. And their voice is powerful. Do you think your clothes and your body are talking the same language? I would love to hear from you about that.

Getting practical.

Although there is much to say on the subject, we also need some (as my mother says) substance to the conversation.

Basically, there are 5 main body types, and most women are a mix of two of them. They are: the Apple, the Inverted Triangle, the Rectangular, the Pear and the Hourglass.

On our quest to shop wisely, we should always take into consideration which of these 5 body types relates best to ourselves. It will make the shopping experience easier, faster and way more economical.

Yes, economical. Because by knowing what we should wear we also get to know what we should not wear. Much like keeping kashrut: we know what we should have and so we don’t waste any time or money thinking on what we shouldn’t have. It’s as easy as that.

Thank you for reading and please let me know if this article interests you. If it does, we’ll start an interesting journey talking about the importance of feeling harmonious with our inside and outside worlds.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/styling-with-esther/if-you-knew-your-body-type-youd-be-a-happy-dresser/2013/05/13/

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