A Styling Interview with Carson Kressley

The new Outlets of Des Moines presented a “Makeover Miracles” fashion show—in conjunction with Carson Kressley and his styling team—gifting new to looks to five Des Moines-area people with garments and accessories from the participating shops. I caught up with Kressley after the show to discuss easy wardrobe transitions for cooler weather.

Here are Kressley’s favorite outwear options:

“Your outerwear piece is really the workhorse of your fall and winter wardrobe. It’s one of the few things, along with the handbag, that you wear every day. Almost everything else you wear once a week or every two weeks, but your coat is your go-to. I like coats that are a little longer, so if you’re wearing a dress, the coat gives you coverage. Puffer jackets are cute; save those for your second weekend warrior jacket. But if you’re going to invest in one coat, have it be like a wool or wool-felt with some length. And do a chic color! You don’t have to [stick to] black, gray, taupe or brown. You can do a beautiful baby blue or a soft pink. You could do an Hermés orange. [Color is a] fun way to make something that’s [utilitarian] look fresh and fun.”

You can read the full interview over at DSM Magazine.

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Body+ DSM and Women’s Equality Day

“Sexy does not come from the shape of a body, but the fire in a soul.”
– J. Iron Word

The first annual Body+ DSM, the brainchild of Flyover, was held at the Des Moines Social Club on Saturday — bringing together activists, progressives and creatives from across the Midwest. And fittingly, on Women’s Equality Day.

“The takeaway is people that join the day event will find themselves part of an affirming, supportive and inclusive community,” Flyover and Women’s March Iowa said in a joint statement. “(Body+ DSM is) part of the movement of changing politics, economics and social ideals by giving a voice to those that are underrepresented in our communities. Creating a safe, positive attention to our minority groups will inspire people to learn and opportunity to engage in the needed self-care that is a radically political act in the fight for progressive change.”

I was delighted to join political organizer and As Seen On M.E. founder Megan Evans and Women’s March Iowa organizer Lyra Halsten on a panel, for a discussion about fashion and political protest. While the bulk of our conversation was centered on the impact of the 2016 election and women leading the grassroots resistance, it is impossible to overlook the contributions of our female forebears from the Suffrage Movement and 19th amendment of 1920 to the Civil Rights movements, and all of the generations in between that helped move the needle forward on gender equality and more opportunities for the next generation of women. And while it seems that we’re living in an alternate universe with Trump as president, I am thankful that we have an opportunity to shape a new movement in history with activism and action. Now is a time to use fashion as a self-expression for your cause from “Stay Nasty” pins to giving new life to vintage finds (see cutting down on fashion industry/fast fashion waste) and beyond.

Me & Megan Evans on stage at the Des Moines Social Club’s Kum & Go Theater.

Tatiana Giacinti & Megan Evans outside of the Des Moines Social Club (multimedia mural and photography by Jami Milne).

 


As Seen On M.E. accessories table plus my laptop and new Millenial pink lip purse from Aldo(!!!).

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The Women’s March and Activism in 2017

The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled the more I gain.

– Susan B. Anthony

In the early days since the inauguration, the world has overwhelmingly responded. I woke up on Saturday morning to pictures and headlines of Women’s Marches happening from every corner of the globe — hours before our Des Moines, Iowa rally was to kick off. It was so heartening to see demonstrations of solidarity from other nations.

The Women’s March drew impressive numbers: 2.9 million participants in the United States alone — the largest in U.S. history! I was struck by the 26,000+ participants at the Iowa State Capitol and how kind, accommodating and positive the crowd was. Chants of “Women’s rights are human rights!” and  “Every nasty woman here: Roar!” filled the balmy-for-January air.

Since the election, it has been hard not to feel alone, frustrated and helpless. Yesterday was an antidote to all of those negative emotions.

It’s More Than Just Feel Good, It’s Democracy in Action

Our founding forefathers knew that the road to democratic progress is filled with many types of people from different backgrounds with different belief systems. That’s why they began the Constitution with the First Amendment – freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of press, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition.

Yesterday was an impactful day that sent an overwhelming message to Donald Trump and his administration that he would be held accountable for his words, his actions and his policies. Messages from the Women’s Marches were wide-arcing as they called for human dignity and decency, respect for women’s voices and bodies, access to healthcare and reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, Black Lives Matter, and more. All messages shared the central theme of respect and inclusion — two things that Trump has struggled to reassure all Americans that he cares about based on his past behavior and the ongoing thin-skin defensiveness and attacks that permeate his communications/Twitter feed.

There is room for everybody’s opinions at the table. Just because we don’t agree, doesn’t mean that we can’t be civil. I’ve seen a lot of comments online from friends and from strangers that say that it was “women bashing men” and a lot of copy-paste generalizations that allude to extremism and that “liberals should go get a job.” Bottom line: That’s ignorant and it’s divisive. It was not just women at the rally, it was not just liberals. It was a wide and varied group of people – women and men – standing up to a bully that has made no secret of his disdain for others not like himself or that question his motives.

Caring about our leadership is not extremism, it’s about accountability and exercising American freedoms. When my daughter reads about the 2016 election in her history classes, I want her to know that her parents did not stay home and complain.

It Doesn’t End On January 21st

“Yesterday, Donald Trump was sworn in as President. That sight is now burned into my eyes forever and I hope the same is true for you. We will not forget, we don’t want to forget. We will use that vision to make sure we fight harder, we fight tougher and we fight more passionately than ever.”

– Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

By showing up to marches, rallies and school board meetings, calling our legislators, signing petitions and helping fundraise for causes — it keeps democratic principles in action and doesn’t allow fear to dictate progress and action.

Now, more than ever before, there are organizations that need your support, advocacy and attention. Whether its attending the Planned Parenthood fundraiser or door knocking for a city council candidate or gearing up your own campaign or mentoring at an after-school program or donating art supplies to a local elementary school — there are many ways to get involved and positively impact our communities. And yes, by showing up yesterday, and adding my presence to the 26,000+ gathered at the Iowa State Capitol, I was part of the message and the progress.

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