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Ask Sam: Thoughts on Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017

Ask Sam: Thoughts on Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2017
Anna Leigh Ashford, Masters of Sex

Anna Leigh Ashford

As I crawled into bed after an exciting, yet long day in the front row at the Nolcha Shows, (I know, champagne problems!) I reviewed all the many moods and feelings that were created in each collection, each look.

I turned up the volume on “Masters of Sex” (I love the work of the wardrobe department for the show), to drown out the sound of the pigeons getting it on around the AC unit sticking out of the bedroom window. I don’t have the heart to shoo them away, even though I want to sleep. After all, the outside of the air conditioner is their perch, their little piece of the rock. No one likes to be interrupted in the throughs of passion and honestly with all their ruckus, felt uncomfortable to interrupt.

We all want to make ourselves attractive to the object of our desire. Birds have feathers, but we have clothes!

We want to wear clothes that make us feel gorgeous. Fashion shows are ‘fashion as theater’, as art. Exciting, interesting, but not necessarily wearable. It’s not just about creating a mood. I believe the consumer wants clothes that make them feel great in their skin.

Fashion week was a mix of both great design and looks that had no appeal. Much of what I saw was magnificent on the runway but in real life not so much, especially if your not a model and not all silhouettes are flattering.

We must not be slaves to fashion or swayed by the egos of designers, especially if they lack taste. Taste like talent can be honed, nurtured and developed, but like talent, taste is one of those elusive traits you either have or don’t.

Designers have a responsibility to develop good taste as much as possible because the masses of people that have questionable taste are looking to the experts to dress them. The fashion disasters that we see on the streets are not only the fashion faux pas of consumers but the faults of designers with bad taste making ugly things, further aggravated by poor styling choices from the wearers.

You might think, “Wow! That “AskSam” gal is such a bitch!  Taste is subjective!” But no, not really. There are limits. We want fashions that makes us feel great! A garment, like a favorite jacket that we literally live in, has the magic to lend us emotional well-being.  A favorite pair of stilettos that makes us feel powerful and sexy without killing our feet (at least not immediately) can give us the courage and the confidence to face interviews, first dates, breakups and a host of life’s moments… when we need to channel our inner fabulousness with a little external boost.

If the game is to compete in a market that seems more competitive and saturated with each passing year, then originality, wearability, quality, a pulse on the times and a feel for what people want are good strategies. I wish more of that would be evident on the runways.

In the end, designers want to sell clothes and we consumers want to buy well-made garments that make us look and feel great!

Ask Sam

Samantha von Sperling is a lifestyle guru who has spent her entire career going above and beyond to help her clients achieve their goals. “When asked what I do, I will tell you that I “Spit shine” people and things for a living. My arsenal of expertise helps smooth out the rough spots, whether it’s your look, the space you inhabit, or how you interact with the world around you. Our goal is to help you feel more comfortable in your skin and confident in your ability to handle any social situation with panache! Keen insight and fresh perspective is the first step to attaining your goal. Everything in life at some level is a matter of packaging and a game of seduction, a new job, a step up a ladder, the winning over of clients and friends or the conquest of your desire. Tell me what you want, what you need, even if it seems trivial, personal or impossible. If I can’t help you, I’ll tell you. If I can, it shall be done.” Samantha was raised in a sophisticated family where entertaining international guests was de rigueur; refined manners, elegant dress, proper posture, the art of conversation, and ballroom dancing are second nature to her. Her education is a continuation of a lifelong passion for the arts and a foundation for her business. Armed with a degree from New York University in Educational Theatre with a concentration in Speech Communications – also a classically trained ballroom dancer and actress – von Sperling set out the offer the world a new approach to the old concept of finishing. She uses her diverse talents through innovative group seminars or with one-on-one consultations. By utilizing all her skills and training, von Sperling has fulfilled requests from royal families, diplomats, politicians, celebrities, CEOs, companies big and small, regular joes, and soccer moms. Ms. von Sperling has appeared in print publications such as The New York Times, TIME Magazine, O The Oprah Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, and The Wall Street Journal, to name a few. She appears as a guest expert on numerous television programs, and currently contributes as ImageGal for and writes her own column, “Ask Sam” for Time Square Chronicles which she counts amongst her great joys in life. Samantha von Sperling from POLISHED Social Image Consultants has been on the forefront of the image consulting industry for a decade, helping to bring out the best in you – from the boardroom to the ballroom.

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