Last summer I started my Spreading the love-series where I feature lovely bloggers of all sizes. I started this series as a response to some of the drama going on in the blogosphere about what women are real and not. It was important to me to actively do something, to be clear on where I stand in my life, on and off line. I welcome all people in my life and in my blog. All I ask that we be respectful of each other.
I am a self worth activist, supportive of everyones right to define their own worth and use what ever labels on them selves they choose, be that fat, curvy or straight sized, homosexual, heterosexual or transgendered. It is not the label I am interested in, it is the person. I have chosen to ask everyone I feature the same questions, regardless of their amount of followers and size, something that has caused some controversy, but that is ok. I welcome dialouge, that is what expands our horizons, love and understanding of each other. You can read my manifesto on self worth here: “Who gets to label my self worth? I do!”
Today I am so happy and proud to spread the love for my adorable blogger-friend Casee Marie of The Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower & SHE! Casee Marie is a talented writer, and we share a great love of Jane Austen and Paris. Casee Marie doesn`t do OOTDs, but she agreed to to it for this feature, and even moved her dining room table to get good shots. How sweet is that!
Could you share with us your thoughts on fashion vs fatshion?
I see the former as a foundation, a history and a tool for self-expression. I don’t like that fashion as a word has come to encompass only the industry and its controversies. For me it’s a bit more unlimited. The latter I see as more of a movement, one built on empowerment and self-appreciation. I respect that very much. Those of us who are perhaps criticized for being of a size that isn’t entirely compatible with the fashion industry’s standards are, I think, some of the bravest bloggers. There’s a voice in your head in the beginning that tells you you’re not supposed to be here, you have to change first. Getting over that and realizing that you have every right to be a part of something you enjoy is an unspeakable accomplishment.
What is your philosophy with regard to fashion?
Fashion is a facet of my personality. The clothes I wear, the make-up, the music I listen to, the films I watch and the books I read, all of it makes up my own style and represents who I am to the rest of the world. I guess my philosophy is to get personal, be true to yourself and find the elements of fashion that you most enjoy (or create your own). Then flaunt them! I wouldn’t know who I am half so well without the use of fashion to help me create and establish a bit of my identity. I like to look at history, how women dressed and explored fashion. I like being able to draw inspiration from that while also having the new ideas of the present and my own imagination to work with. I think that’s what fashion should be about, doing your own unique thing.
I would love for you to share three of your fave looks.
I’m a largely editorial blogger – outfit posts aren’t my forte – so these pictures were a first-time venture into that area (anything for Anika!). And I’d just like to thank my mom who played the part of photographer with aplomb. Thanks for making me look cool, Mom!
Outfit #01 – I like to call this my Joan Holloway look. The 1950s and early 1960s are a big inspiration to me in a plethora of ways. I love the films, the music, the fashion and the overall sophistication. I love a timeless red lip and black winged eyeliner. I love a time when women as differently shaped as Audrey and Marilyn were both admired by the public and the fashion industry.
As for the outfit, here’s the rundown… Dress: Studio I; cardigan: Kersh; pumps: AK Anne Klein; bag: Ecko Red by Marc Ecko; necklace: Marshall Field’s
Outfit #02 – This is another version of the Joan Holloway, but I suppose with a bit of an edge. I don’t get excited about the prospect of putting on stockings (show me a woman who is), but I can be rather stubborn about the necessity of them with certain skirts. I think I owe my obstinacy to my rather old-fashioned personality. Sometimes I think most young women of my generation have entirely forgotten the idea of stockings. It’s rather a shame.
The rundown…Skirt: ELLE; camisole: Apt 9; blazer: Jones New York; shoes: Nine West; clutch: Mundi; necklace: Marshall Field’s
Outfit #03 – This is a more modern look that I love to wear. I really enjoy playing with my make-up, but for the most part I’ll either be seen with the previous retro-inspired look or this one, a smoky eye and nude lip. I like to move between eras, time travel through fashion, as it were, and I love bringing in all the elements I most appreciate.
The rundown…Tunic: BCBGirls; leggings: Simply Vera Vera Wang; camisole: Apt 9; shoes: MaddenGirl; bag: Strada; bracelet: White House Black Market; necklace: Sushi Flower; earrings: Cookie Lee
Outfit #04 – This was an outfit I got for the fall – it would be my Strolling through the Apple Orchard look if I were the sort who is often inclined to stroll through apple orchards. The boots were something I was craving for fall, and the rest of the outfit just fell into place around them. The bag – by my favorite handbag designer, Bruce Makowsky – is perhaps my favorite purchase in all my years of styledom!
The rundown…Tunic: Apt. 9; leggings: Simply Vera Vera Wang; boots: ELLE; bag: B. Makowsky; hat: Croft and Barrow
How does blogging impact your life?
Being the author of a blog has taken me to places and shown me things about myself that I may not have otherwise discovered. I have a passion for writing so having a blog has proven to be a great tool for reaching an audience. It means having the confidence to publish my writing in a public forum, which isn’t something I’ve been particularly good at in the past. I’ve written several novels that I’ve rarely had the courage to share with anyone, but the consistency of putting myself out there with every blog post I write is helping me to understand my own ability and – dare I say it – talent. Aside from the many lovely comments I receive on The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower I’ve also been fortunate enough to be invited to write guest posts for other blogs whose authors I greatly admire and who all expressed an appreciation for my writing. I’m truly blown away by the reception I’ve had and continue to receive.
Being also a joint contributor to SHE, StylethroughHerEyes.com, has been an amazing experience. SHE is authored by myself and the blog’s creator, my dear friend Jen, as well as occasional guest contributions from our friend Karen. Our goal for SHE is to provide a fun and positive place for young women online to find fashion inspiration that inspires and raises self-esteem. It was Jen’s invitation to join SHE that introduced me to the prospect of blogging in a public capacity, and I’m eternally grateful to her for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. It’s also tremendous fun to chat about our inspirations and aspirations for the blog. It’s amazing to me that, from completely different parts of the country, we’re able to work together and have this lovely result to show the world.
Do you have a message for all the fashion loving ladies out there, whatever their size?
Have fun! Enjoy fashion – enjoy the endless clothes and bags and shoes (oh, the shoes!). Embrace yourself, express yourself, do what you do and love who you are. Don’t let yourself believe for a moment that we live in a world where every woman strives for the same unreachable ideal. It’s not always easy, staying a step ahead of our own inhibitions, but it can be done and you’ll feel so much better for the effort.
Fashion is one of the best ways to curb your inhibitions too, I think, because appearance can sometimes play a big part in our overall self-acceptance (whether we want to admit it or not). When you feel confident about how you look it extends beyond your own consciousness and touches everyone you meet.
I can’t think of a more appropriate occasion to write those words; Anika is the embodiment of confidence and the things it can do. Seeing her beautiful face and reading her inspiring (and often hilarious!) words every time I visit her blog leaves me with a level of renewed confidence that is nothing short of magical. I’m so grateful for the invitation to have a little bit of Casee Marie nestled into the pages of a place that brings me such joy and empowerment!
Thank you so much Casee Marie, I was really moved by your kind words!