Monday, April 9, 2012

Style and Strength - The Italian

(The bag is so wonderful. And the skirt, for that matter.)

It does at times feel entirely self-indulgent to be interested in fashion ... then you become a devotee of Italian Vogue's Editor-in Chief, Franca Sozzani. She invests her blog with thoughtful commentary on a wide range of subjects, including but in no way limited to fashion. Her twitter feed (> 88,000 followers) is so active and interesting you wonder when the woman sleeps. And she uses her platform to raise awareness on issues that affect women in the developed and developing worlds. She manages to do all this and look exceptionally stylish and a model woman in l'age.

(Print plus twisted scarf, and sweet, travel-friendly flats - love it)

Taking her readers out of Milan, Paris and New York and into Africa, Franca introduced readers (like me) to Africa's fashion business as it is worked by small, independent designers and craftspeople. Fashion is a local business in this world (and India) and is deeply rooted in each country, culture and village. Recognizing the strength of her platform, she is using it to first raise awareness, bridge divides, create opportunities, and enlighten the less-traveled on the contribution African designers can make to the cultural development of fashion. How wonderful for readers rooted here in the great white north!

(Have I mentioned she makes long hair on women in l'age completely acceptable?)

As if bringing awareness to African fashion weren't enough, off she flies to Harvard to tackle the growing phenomenon of pro-anorexia websites. Franca is promoting a worldwide petition to close these sites (as pernicious as pornography) and continues to address the mixed-messages sent by the fashion world to women and particularly young women around acceptable body types. It's a fine line to walk but she puts her magazine where her will is and offers a curvaceous version of Italian Vogue. (I could kill for Nigella Lawson's figure.) Not afraid to be a leader.

(Nice skirt - big stripe, small woman - it works)

Sign the petition here. Follow the evolving story on Twitter here.

Now that we've covered the Strength part of this post, let's focus on the effortless Style of this woman.

How is this not the best cocktail dress for a women in l'age? Adjust the colour (remove the side gathering if you've got hips) just keep it simple. And the touch of green ....

Because one must get from point a to point b and still look like a fashion editor ... no teetering on 5" spikes here. I like that the hair and makeup are always reliable, and of course, lovely.

Although firmly in l'age she's not afraid of a little colour.

Casual, current but not teenager-ish.

Unapologetically tiny. Powerful and small. Strength and style. You get the picture.

Not eccentric. To each his own, but I know which direction I'd rather go in.

And the most important aspect of her style is her


More often than not she's smiling and laughing - being cool never looked so friendly. Franca looks like a nice person and I can't imagine anything more stylish and attractive than that.

I would love to have a cup of coffee with her. Anytime. In the meantime, I remain an avid follower.

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