Tag Archives: fashion designer

March 29, 2015

I first met Monica when our children were at preschool together. As I dropped my then 4 year-old Theo off, she would be there saying her goodbyes to her 2 year-old Diana. From the first time I met her, I admired how exquisitely dressed she always was first thing in the morning. I was usually wearing my walking/yoga gear as I exercised right after dropping Theo, while Monica always looked ready for a party, in beautifully tailored blouses and jackets, fabulous high-heeled shoes and bold, silver jewelry. When there was time, we’d occasionally chat for a few minutes, and I found out that she was a fashion designer working with some major labels while also developing her own line of elegant and romantic women’s apparel. I was very impressed by her creativity and glamor, but even more than that, I admired the positive energy she always seemed to exude when we met. In fact, I liked her so much that when it was time for us to leave the preschool, I told her I really wanted to stay friends somehow. Fortunately, this worked out, as she and her husband Chris and their daughter Diana (all previously mentioned in this blog!) moved into a house on our street and became our wonderful neighbors.


Even though we only live two doors away from each other, however, I very rarely see Monica for more than a few minutes at a time. This is in part because Monica’s work schedule had her flying to China for several weeks at a time a few times a year, and when she’s back here, her plate is very full. Fortunately, the China position drew to a close and now she will be home more. We have been meaning to walk together around the lake, and once I’m up to it again we’ll schedule that for sure. In the meantime, Monica has been sending sweet texts and emails wishing me well and today she stopped in to see us all. I have been saving a neat little jacket for Monica because it is something so artistic that not many other people could wear it. Made from extremely thin, dark blue fabric, the jacket looks like it has been pieced together from paper, its long fibers swirling around to create surface pattern on the cloth. It’s very delicate but I have managed to wear it without shredding it, it must be fairly tough. When she tried it on, it fit her perfectly. In ways that I would never have the confidence to try, I imagine her matching it cleverly with the right t-shirt, skinny pants and necklace and wowing people in it with the strong, beautiful, intelligent style that is uniquely hers.


February 7, 2015

I gave away another blouse today – this one made from a single rectangle of diaphanous blue-and-white tie-dyed fabric. I bought it in the hope that it could replace a similarly flowy blouse I bought years ago in Japan from Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please line in Japan. I loved the top madly but tragically lost it in a hotel room in Spain because I was pregnant and forgot I’d hung it in the closet. I’ve been trying to replace it for ten years but this blue-and-white one didn’t work for me. However, I thought of someone it would look stunning on, a new friend Karlee, a beautiful young mother of a fourth-grader at our son Theo’s school who is also fashion designer and is developing a line of elegant tie-dyed cotton pants, dresses and shawls. Not only would it fit with her style but it might also inspire her to add another design to her collection. When she pulled it out of the bag and said just that, I was thrilled.

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Dress designed by Karlee, front and back

Karlee and I have had very different life paths. A Southern gal almost twenty years younger than me, Karlee had her daughter Isabella when she was 18. I was 38 when I had Theo. She is now raising her daughter almost entirely single-handedly as she launches her career in the world of fashion. At her age, I was trying to launch my career too, but I didn’t have a child to care for at the same time, so I could move 6,000 miles across the world for a job. Now I am trying to keep my career alive while I struggle with parenting. Like me, though, Karlee lives far from her family, a family that is getting smaller. At the end of the summer break, I bumped into her in the grocery store she told me that she had just lost her step-mother, with whom she was very close. At that moment, I felt our lives connecting. I lost my mother when I was her age, and summer break last year, I had been feeling my father slipping away further mentally. As we stood by the olive bar, tears filling our eyes, feeling each other’s loss, I realized that in life there is never a perfect time in life to become a parent and there is never a good time to lose a parent, but every moment is a good time to give someone a hug and make a new friend.