Good morning, Tuesday. How we doing?
One of the things giving me life right now is the inauguration of a personal project I'm doing with photographer, Adriana Favero, who lives in my Brooklyn neighborhood and is beyond a kindred spirit. Together, we're exploring personal pandemic style and how we are dressing to soothe, inspire, and find ourselves with a new project called "Styled in Place". We've been going around the neighborhood (at a safe social distance of course) to photograph the beautiful women (and a few men) of our Brooklyn nabe wearing something that speaks to their sartorial approach. I have wanted to document my lovely neighborhood for a long stretch now, and this soothes my soul in so many ways.
I know there are many people suffering tremendous losses right now- from income to family members to a sense of sanity. But I was so taken by a woman when this first began, sitting around the corner from me on her stoop wearing a sparkly Rachel Comey dress, and it just made me feel amazing to see her dressed to just be dressed. I am a woman who thinks personal style is anything but shallow or surface. It's how we communicate to the world and express ourselves and bring joy and delight. And at this time while we're all maybe being a bit more fiscally responsible, it's fun to shop one's own closet and find things that work, or purchase mindfully when it comes to buying things you can actually wear right here, right now. So without further ado, I give you my first foray into this project. I hope you enjoy it- look for a new post every Tuesday for the immediate future.
Oriana Reich: The colorful collector
I first met Oriana in the late 90s and was always impressed by her artful approach to dress. As often does, life happens and she moved on to big things in Hong Kong, and a few years ago, she moved back to New York, and as luck would have it, she moved to my neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, in Brooklyn. She is a creative director and brand strategist.
I remember when she came back to the city, she was taken by how casual we had all become. Oriana is a woman that really appreciates an artful approach to dress, as well as a strong, bold lip and an encyclopedic knowledge of everything tasteful, creative, and generally fabulous, with the well honed eye of a global citizen. Here’s what she told us.
Tell me about your look today.
My look today is colorful and confident and very comfortable. I felt like I needed to be optimistic about what is going on at the moment and this color reflects that. It also reminds me of the evil eye, so I also feel protected and that’s the vibe. The dress is from COS Spring/Summer of 2019, and the shoes are from Paloma Barceló of Spain. My necklaces are a combination of vintage amber and glass beads, and the thin long green necklace is vintage Miriam Haskell. The rings are from Marianne Anderson in Scotland and Mouritzen in Denmark.
What about the lipstick?
It's “Marlene” by NARS (but I think it's discontinued!!!).
What do you collect?
I collect a lot of different jewelry and I have everything organized by color, so today it was the green and blue day. These are three different necklaces, worn together.
How do you use color as a form of therapy?
I think you reflect the colors you are wearing on to other people. It affects people’s mood when they look at you.
Who or what influences your style?
There are so many to choose from. I love the 40's & 50's for silhouette and form and femininity. I also love hand woven textiles from Mexico, India and South East Asia for pattern and color. Dries van Noten for magical color palettes and pattern extravaganzas. Carla Fernández for her contemporary interpretations the hand made crafts and traditions of Mexico. Maria Cornejo - powerful and classic and from NYC!I love vintage and everything from the 20's like Maximalism and I love mastering color, texture, and pattern. I like playing with accessories so I can just be creative. Usually I look to art and interiors for fashion inspiration versus fashion design itself.
You have the challenge of being pregnant and being under quarantine. In terms of dressing, how are you deciding what to wear?
Well this shoot prompted my closet clean-up, so I took everything out of my closet. I don't fit into 95% of the things in there and then I haven't been going out. I had to really dress to accommodate my belly, so that is sort of interesting.
You’re 22 weeks pregnant. How have you found quarantine, and what have you learned or what taken from it?
There are a lot of voices in my head during this, so I think I’ll learn how to be more forgiving with myself. I always want to be productive, but it’s tough at this time. At the moment there are a lot of dots to cross.
What’s keeping you inspired?
I'm inspired by thinking about how this thing is affecting everything, like I'm really fascinated.
So thinking of these big ideas all the time has been really interesting.
What are some of the things you miss?
As humans, we're social creatures. So now all these new ways of looking at your physical gestures and movements that indicate different things. And people say that the eyes are the door of the soul but when people are wearing their masks, it takes on new meaning.
It's amazing how you adapt, I think it scares me; you cannot go and talk to people and you can manage it when you do have that one video call.
How are you taking care of yourself now?
I'm just trying to be forgiving. Like being ok with not feeling productive if your energy level shifts because things are roaming, so just be gentle and taking hot showers. I have been doing some yoga and breathing staff but then I found that really challenging. But I have been doing more like active cardio exercises that gives more energy. I find myself dancing around my apartment.
What do you most looking forward to returning to when this is all over?
On a simple level, I think it's the social aspect and being able to feel happier and less stressed. Otherwise I still feel relieved to be at home and it's not the end of the world. I think beyond that there is so much uncertainty around not going back to something exactly as you knew it; like after 9/11. I can only say that I look forward to things that might make life more positive and that maybe some sort of correction needed to happen. That’s me being optimistic.
What are gravitating towards now what kind of style? If you were buying clothes right now what do you think you would buy?
I think now because of pregnancy I only like natural fibers with really clean lines and great colors and really good quality fabrics.
What's something you would never wear?
A brushed polyester lining; that would be a nightmare.
For more photos from this project as well as more amazing work, check out Adriana's site here. I've rediscovered my love of interviewing people (once the journalism major...) and feel super inspired, even in these tough times. And if you know someone with stellar style in the BK area, (particularly BK Heights/Cobble Hilll/Carroll Gardens/Red Hook/Slope/Fort Greene or anywhere walkable from those spots, let me know.
Cause that's what's up this well dressed Tuesday in beautiful Brooklyn. Yours, in sartorial therapy. XO