What’s in, what’s out for spring

Sheath dresses

If I had to pick one thing I have learned over the years in our store, in my travels around the country and the world, and in many conversations with other women’s apparel retailers, most women share one strong preference when shopping.

Most women love staying fashionable and current. Whether they verbalize it or not, most women truly enjoy the “newness” of the latest styles.

When a woman is wearing a new outfit that is on trend and stylish, she just plain feels great. She invariably looks more confident and more comfortable, knowing that she is wearing the right thing for that season’s fashion. Many women hate to be caught wearing something that is clearly out of style!

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Celebrate the women of our border

Faces of Tres

We all know what runway models look like. They are thin, young and beautiful.

They portray whatever attitude is au courant at the time.

Professional models may not all look alike, but generally, they follow a not-too-secret standard formula. They fulfill what designers are looking for: models who can showcase their latest fashions to the media and store buyers to ensure success for their businesses.

I don’t mean to downplay fashion models’ skills and hard work. As Yves Saint Laurent once said, “a good model can advance fashion by 10 years.”

It’s just that 99.99 percent of us women will never be fashion models – and we real women don’t need to compare ourselves to them.

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Museums cash in on fashion with new exhibits

Jean Paul Gaultier

French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier at the Dallas Museum of Art.

While in Dallas for market last week, I took in the Jean Paul Gaultier retrospective at the Dallas Museum of Art. You may remember that my friend Cindy Graff Cohen did a guest column here about it in December. I couldn’t wait to go and it didn’t disappoint.

Just as I felt last summer after seeing the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, I was exhilarated and amazed at both these designers’ genius and grand intentions to challenge entrenched societal codes. They were true visionaries.

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Nelson Mandela: Surprising lesson on appearance

Nelson Mandela

www.wireimage.com (web site)

I recently read “Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage” by Richard Stengel.

I loved the book: it’s inspiring, informative and uplifting. It’s a landmark book that transcends time periods and crosses cultures to show us a better way to live and to love our fellow human beings.

As we all know, Nelson Mandela’s life experience is truly one of the signature life stories of the 20th century – a story that encompasses injustice and resistance, imperialism and democracy, suffering and triumph.

In his childhood, he was a tribal king’s protégé in South Africa, learning the ways of an ancient people. In his adulthood, he fought apartheid – the total segregation and domination of black Africans in their own country – and spent 27 years in prison for his rebellion.

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Change is challenging, but worth it

Thank heavens for the dawn of a new year and the opportunity to put the past behind, stop the holiday excesses and think to the future.

As we use that new number on our calendars and checkbooks, we tend to think of it as a chance for new personal improvement.

However, for all of you who own your own business, we inevitably think of our new fiscal year and how we can make 2012 an opportunity for business growth.

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