LA Style: Power

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The Dress Codes exhibit at the Autry Museum is about fashion and self-fashioning. My look is in line with the exhibit in my electric blue satin blouse, Zara, a bright ruby red bias-cut skirt, Tracy Reese, and my platform sling-backs, Sam Edelman. I’ve turned up the bling with this rhinestone ankle bracelet, Melinda Maria Jewelry and of course my, never-leave-home-without-them, Ray-Ban, sunglasses. Big, bold, and bright colours have been trending for quite some time. I often think about fashion as a reaction to the times we live in. We walk around, heads down, reading our phones rather than “seeing” those around us.

Our heads may be up when we’re talking on our phones but are we really “seeing” anything or anyone? Do you think we’re using the power of colour to scream, “see me”? When we were kids, our Mothers would shoot us a “particular” look, didn’t we “get the message”? That’s real power! As much as I love fashion, I don’t ever want “it” to be my voice. My style is my voice and I love seeing, sharing and hearing all of our individual voices. That’s powerful!


Detail Oriented

This group of photos display some Poblana embroideries and embellishments that are traditional to certain regions in Mexico. In line with this exhibit, I’m wearing an off white cotton lace dress, Mage Paris, with my, Steve Madden, platforms in the same colour way. My monochromatic look is clean, simple and allows the eye to stay focused on my dress. My accessories include a woven straw hat, Lanzom Hats, and a straw bag, Bohemia Marrakech. Both of these items are handmade by talented craftspeople in their traditional style. The Poblana style of highly decorated garments, once made by hand are still labor intensive even with the help of a machine. If we can take a minute and really look at a garment, like my dress and think about creating the actual design/pattern of the lace then producing rolls and rolls of it. I can assure you the amount of work, time and manpower involved is massive.

Now, let’s think about what it takes to turn that lace into an actual garment. When I attend fashion history exhibits it really gives me pause. I think about the sewers and their painstaking hours behind a sewing machine and the cutters, on their feet all day with their electric knives, cutting through thick stacks of fabric as well as the many other hard working people involved in producing our garments. As a designer/merchandiser, I spent a lot of time in some of the many factories in downtown, Los Angeles and in New Delhi, (where much of the beading, embroidery and fabric dying is still done, the old fashioned way…by hand), and was and will always be, aw-struck, at how many people it takes to turn a concept into a garment.

*please treat your wardrobe well. many people worked very hard to get it to you.


  • Felicia Arlin

    Felicia Arlin’s work as a stylist and costume designer has been featured in print, tv, film and on the red carpet. As a 20+ year veteran designer/merchandiser in the LA/NY garment industry her work has graced the racks of every major department store and specialty chain in the country. She is passionate about helping women look and feel confident no matter their age, shape or socioeconomic status. Her hope is to empower other women by sharing some of the things she’s learned along the way to better cultivate and express their own individual and ageless style.

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