40 x 40 Days of DVF: The Words Behind the Images: Days 1-9

Forty Days of DVF Instagram: bffbybetina

 

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Day 1: January 1, 2014: My rose wrap sweater is the perfect piece to kick off my 40 x 40 days of DVF. DVF’s Fall collection was punctuated by roses of different shapes and sizes. The placement and sizes of the roses varied from piece to piece, but the motif of something spring like during the fall months inspired me, and gave me hope. In the changing of the seasons, we watch as something ends. Leaves fall. The heavens open up with rain. The mountains become encapsulated in snow. There is death in perrenials, and yet, death brings rebirth. Even though there is a sadness in seeing the blossoms of spring and summer come to an end, I also know that when something ends, it facilitates something new.

At a recent speaking engagement, Diane Von Furstenburg recounted the advice she gave Stanford Business School students: when you enter the business world, every door is worth going through because every door marks an opportunity to learn about something or someone new. It also means that with every door that closes another opens. That optimism, seeing possibility in everything, now guides my every move, thought, and life decision. As 2014 ended and 2015 began, so did a new door, a new chance, new people, new experiences, and the hope of making big dreams come true. Dare I even say it out loud: my biggest dream this year would be invited to attend DVF’s fashion show during Fall 2015 Fashion week. There it is. I put it out there into the universe. Perhaps a door will open. Perhaps it won’t – but I know another is not far behind, so with that optimism, I enter and embrace everything that comes my way this year. Can’t wait! Xo Betina

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Day 2: DVF black leggings with blue leather side stripe. I love contrast – in life and in fashion. With less obvious pairings comes elucidation of the most subtle things – especially the notion that the law of attraction has no bounds. Even the most disparate of things can find common ground, even if it’s just resting side by side. Take these pants — athletic inspired, comfy with a bit of edge, paired with the most conservative of tops and accessories: a white blouse, black sweater and Chanel inspired pearls. I love softening the edge and making bold statements just a bit bolder by softening them a touch. Somehow, the unexpected feels b’sheret, or meant to be, even if it feels out of the box. It’s all about perception; and embracing that juxtaposition may actually mean a perfect pairing after all. Today, it was for me. Xo Betina

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Day 3: The snake print wool skinny pant. Last fall, I was immediately drawn to these pants because of subtle pattern and edge of the pattern and texture of the fabric.

There is order and geometry in what seems so abstract and organic — something I love in design, but that I also appreciate in my life. Whenever things seem chaotic or spiraling when I consider all of the factors, forces, and figures at work, I try to remind myself that there is a method to the madness, order in the chaos. It’s just a matter of how I chose to look at it and approach it. Enter these pants. The tactile pattern has such intricacy up close, yet like look like an elegant dress pant (that can go day to night) from afar. It’s like the chaos – if you appreciate it for what it is up close, you can better appreciate how orderly it actually is from afar. And so it goes! Xo Betina

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Day 4: The olive cargo dress. This dress is a classic go-to in my wardrobe. Whenever I need to look put-together in one foul swoop, this dress works overtime for me. It goes day to night, and I love the way it embraces the military trend in a completely feminine way. The silhouette commands strength, yet the washed silk fabric adds something fluid to the look. In true form, I love the subtle juxtaposition and yet symbiosis of its elements. I think that’s why I am so drawn to it — it’s deceptively strong, much like DVF. Her inner strength came from confidence, true self-acceptance — and even more than that, a true, deep, authentic love of herself. I don’t mean that in a narcissistic way. It’s the sentiment that comes with long hard looks at who you truly are – good, bad and ugly. It’s the self only you know, the one that embraces your bad traits as tightly as your good ones; and recognizes that without one another, you would not be the amazing person you are. Sadly, it’s a self-assuredness many women don’t acquire until much later in their lives. For me, it’s the one I vowed I’d acquire this year. And DVF is helping me get there. Xo Betina

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Day 5: The printed silk tee. The silk tee is every woman’s dream come true. There came a time after my second child was born when I felt frumpy no matter what I did or what I wore. Enter the silk tee. It was a lifesaver for me. It made me feel casual but put together in a completely effortless way. This tee was a souvenier from my trip to DVF’s Las Vegas boutique for a work conference (among a few other pieces!) – and it’s a staple in my closet. I paired it here with washed grey jeans to dress them up, and with my favorite black blazer to dress it down. I love wearing great pumps with jeans to give them edge, sophistication and femininity, making this a great combination for a casual coffee meeting.

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Day 6: Throwback Thursday: My first DVF wrap dress, standing in the Journey of a Dress exhibit in Los Angeles.   Standing in this room, in and amongst her wall of history, I have never felt more in awe and more inspired. Learn more about my journey and the wrap’s in an earlier blog post.

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Day 7: The navy and pink chain link wrap dress: It only seemed fitting to juxtapose throwback Thursday’s look with today’s. Though the print is a variation of a DVF classic, the color pallette is fresh. Pink has long been emblematic of DVF – but paired with black and white. The navy and pink pairing truly gives the print and the classic wrap dress both a dress-up and dress-down vibe. It’s so me it hurts. I love pieces that go the distance, that just by switching out my shoes, I can go day to night in a millisecond. I love something that is as easy to put on, as it is to pack. And I love that it was the first and likely the last piece of clothing my husband will ever give me (likely because I have too many clothes as it is!). He did not know that the first wrap dress I ever bought also featured the chain motif. As much as that first dress was a symbol of the woman I wanted to be, it was also how I saw the world: black and white. Enter my husband – my best friend, the love of my life. He is solely responsible for bringing the color into my world. With a pop of pink, and a twist on a neutral, he gave me the chain link wrap for my future. Chains bind as much as they link — and though some may think it’s just a dress, I like to think of it as his way of linking himself to me, my passion, my love of DVF and our future. Xo Betina

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8: The Camilla bootie. This bootie spoke to me the moment I saw it. And I owned it once before – briefly.  I ordered the wrong size and despite trying to convince myself that my crammed toes would get used to it, I let my mind silence my heart, and we broke up. Even the guy at the Bloomingdales shoe department looked at me and said out loud, “are you sure you want to return these??” Of course I was not sure. I felt like I was breaking up with a guy that you love so many things about and feel good when you are with him, but know you guys are just not compatible long term – but you still don’t want to let him go. But you have to, and you do. You know you’ll be friends eventually, but it may just take some time to reconcile and get past the feelings that drew you together to begin with. And so, they went back. After returning them, I walked away – more like sulked—as I left the store. Regret instantly set in. I could not stop thinking about them. Did I make a mistake? They could be my restaurant shoes – you know, the ones you only wear when you are going out for dinner and that’s it; aka the shoes you don’t wear when you know you are going out and having to actually stand or walk a lot.   Heart vs. mind, mind vs. heart. Mind won.  But the heart still clamored.

I heeded the clamoring. When I got home, I searched and searched online for the larger size to no avail. I even called DVF’s headquarters to see if one pair happen to be laying around, or was miraculously left behind. No such luck! I knew I had to let it go – at least for the season. But Camilla stayed in my heart and my mind — and in my saved Ebay searches online. And like that lost love you pine for, Camilla size 6.5 popped up one day when I was busy searching for other things. There she was. The irony was that I gave it pause. I did not automatically pull the trigger as I thought I would have without a second thought two years before. But what did happen was a mental flip book of all of the things I would wear with them, starting with my favorite jeans. I never did let go. I don’t think we never truly let go of those loves that get under our skin, and bury themselves in even the tiniest of places in our heart. Sometimes, though, its just about the timing. And clearly, the timing was right this go-around. So here they are, and here they will stay. Xo Betina

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Day 9: The camouflage knit moto sweater jacket. When I first saw this piece, it hung in the DVF boutique on my infamous trip to Vegas with my dear friend Lindsay, who, at the time, was a DVF newbie. One afternoon in the store and I had her hooked. This sweater spoke to us both – it was a jacket, a sweater, it was camouflage, but with on trend colors; it had great hardware, and the piece was strategically accessorized with zippers in places that gave the piece versatility, edge, and life. Budgets being what they are these days, we passed on the sweater – until I saw in on consignment–with tags–and it became mine. I’ll confess that the reason I bought it recently differed from the reason I wanted it initially. I wanted it then because it was unlike any piece I had seen DVF do for some time — and unlike most, I’m always on the hunt for great pieces because you just never know what occasions life throws at you that you may need something great — or even something that just fits and makes you feel great. While those reasons still hold water, I bought it this time because it is that piece that will just roll with it. When I say “it,” I meant everything – my crazy busy life and the extremes in my style.

Mornings, I think, are like a houseguest that overstays their welcome. You are thrilled they are here when they first arrive, but the longer they stick around, the more annoyed you get. When the alarm goes off at 6 am, I welcome the day with open arms. I meditate, stretch, and make my coffee. I say that my morning does not officially start until that first sip of my Joe hits my lips — but for my kids, I say mommy is not on duty until 7 am. How I wish I could indulge in my pre-kids morning routine of the gym from 5:45-7, shower until 7:15, coffee and the newspaper until 8, then off to work. I use that time to indulge in MY life – email, schedules, fire extinguishing, and confirming the days’ plans. And that’s on a good day.

Alas, there are the days when my day does not start until much later, and chaos ensues. Like today, when I woke up at 7:15. I had 30 minutes to get the kids dressed, fed and packed for school; me dressed, packed and ready for two different meetings, and be in the car so I could hit the gym for exactly 45 minutes, before I had to shower and prepare for a call. On this occasion, like admittedly, so many others, when my plan goes to pot, and I’m left scrambling, This sweater fit the bill – I could not find my jacket, I did not want to overpack and then schlep to the gym a bunch of outfit changes in an oversized bag that already dwarfs my frame. I threw it on over my gym clothes, grabbed some athletic inspired pants and a tee shirt, a great necklace, and was off. I look athleisure casual and put together, was warm, but still had a little something something that screamed this is intentional, I planned this, and yes, I’m a sleep deprived, tired mommy, but I do care about how I look. And by the way, don’t mess with me, please. The bold pop of cobalt in the camouflage print reminds me that even when I’m battling to control my day and the uncontrollable, I can do it in unexpected ways that make it look like I planned it that way. It was, and I did. xo Betina

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