40 x 40 Days of DVF: The words behind the Images Days 10-20

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Day 10: The suede T strap bootie. My favorite way to make classic pieces feel fresh and dare I say it, sexy, is to pair them with an amazing shoe. The white crisp man’s button down shirt is a staple in my closet all year round. I wear it with jeans, long skirts, slacks in the winter, and with shorts in the summer. It’s great as a cover up, and what man does not want to come home to find his woman in nothing but? I love pairing it with jeans for that classic american sportswear look, and the finishing touch: pearls. But, to make it feel less East Hampton and more va-va-voom, I paired it with these sexy DVF booties. In a stretch suede, they are perfect with jeans or dresses and skirts; and add just the right amount of sex appeal tempered by the conservative whisky color. On a day like today, where I needed to be productive, I dressed the part and hoped the productivity would follow suit. It did. There’s nothing I can’t do in an amazing pair of DVF heels. So grateful! xo Betina

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Day 11: Throw back Thursday: I wore this vintage wrap dress to DVF’s speaking engagement at the JCCSF in November 2014. The evening was one of the highlights of my year, maybe my life. I had only learned about the event less than 10 hours before it started — and it had been sold out for weeks. Since I never take no for an answer, I do what I always do: be resourceful. I stayed up most of the night contacting every person I knew, or that may know anyone connected with DVF, the JCC — including phoning the box office, the JCC volunteer center, and even perusing through Facebook to see if I could find anyone who may have tickets and want to sell them, or if they knew anyone who had an extra ticket. At 2 pm, not only did I get tickets to the event, but front row seats. When I arrived, the woman in front of me in line at will call was wearing the leopard coat I coveted this season. Imagine my surprise when she turned around. There I stood in her vintage print staring at the future of her brand: her brand ambassador. Though she had not yet been crowned the brand ambassador, she was a shoe in — and I told her so. It was a truly incredible moment — a dress from the past that dresses women of the present and future. And that is but one of the reasons DVF is truly iconic. xo Betina

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Day 12: My color block blouse: Pretty in Pink was one of my favorite John Hughes movies from my teenage years. The girl from the wrong side of the tracks falls in love with the high school heartthrob only to lose him because he succumbs to peer pressure. She rises above her critics, and he above his, and they unite in the rain, in perfect dramatic fashion — and Molly Ringwald in her pink dress. How different the movie would have been if it was entitled “Pretty in Purple?” Likely chosen for its alliteration, but perhaps pink was chosen because it’s a color of love.

One of DVF’s favorite trademark colors are the colors of love – pink and reds. Other than her initials, the most recognized non-alphabetic trademark is her lips – also pink and red. “Love is life and life is love,” she says. I never really embraced the color pink until I had my daughter. Frankly, after having the girliest of girls, I had no choice. But truthfully, my heart, because of the birth of baby boy, and then 3 years later, my baby girl, had opened and grown in ways I could have truly only imagined and it overflowed. I think that was because I was hopeful but never had a Molly Ringwald like happy ending in high school, or college really. Perhaps that’s why I still won’t surrender my edge even though I’ve embraced love and the color of it. So, I guess I can still too be pretty in pink – as long as it’s paired with some rock stud flats and leather pants. xo Betina

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Day 13: This knit skirt was a no brainer. I love feminine pieces that have structure to them. It’s akin to my personality, actually. I’m very petite. In my former life, that was ill perceived, especially when I was younger. When I interviewed for jobs, the interviewers, mostly men, often remarked that they were not sure I could hack it because I was a “little girl.” I won’t even elaborate on the obvious ( how unbelievably sexist the comment was — and from an attorney while interviewing for a job! There, I said it!), but the truth was, it’s what defined me and gave me my shape — just like this skirt. It would have been “obvious” to craft a skirt with movement from a draping fabric, like silk. Such a fabric lends itself to that kind of movement. What drew me to this skirt was the structure that still embraces movement. Sure, the movement is less fluid, but like me, it does not succumb so easily to the elements. It remains steadfast in its shape, and bends only enough to remind you that sometimes, in life, you have to go with the flow.

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Day 14: This blue dress makes me feel everything but! I love shirt dresses — they are the easiest way to feel chic yet comfortable. They are perfection with heels, but great with flats or leather flip flops/sandals in the summer. They feel, dare I say it, even more than the wrap dress, like the absolute easiest day to night dress. What I especially love about this shirt dress is the boho detail – the gathered fabric in the front, secured by gold rings, gives a typically conservative, classic silhouette a 70’s vibe circa Studio 54. It gives the dress — and me– some soul. Who doesn’t need a little extra groove in her day? This seventies chick digs it….can you dig? xo Betina

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Day 15 : Ah, the back wrap dress. I bought this dress for the first valentines day my husband and I spent as a married couple. It was also the first year I truly exhaled on Valentines’ day. I never really had a valentine before I met Adam. And though we spent our first valentines together about 5 weeks after our first date, we did not spend another one together until we were married. And the back wrap was the perfect dress for all the reasons you can see and all the ones you’d never guess. I love it because it’s a wrap – but like our love story, it’s turned on its head: the wrap is in the back. And while our love story looks classic on paper, few know that we were actually apart long before we were ever together: we were in a long distance relationship for five years before we got married. Now going on 18 years, like the dress, we’ve gone the distance. While I don’t wear it often, I photographed it today as a reminder that sometimes you need to look back to see how far you have been to remember how far you two can go. xo Betina

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Day 16: For this throwback Thursday, I chose the navy orchid print dress from spring 2014. In a more modern silhouette, this print is all disco, yet with a hint of an asian flair. Diane pioneered previously unchartered territory by entering the Chinese market. An astute business woman, she always knew of the allure the orient presented — and after years of developing relationships, launched there in 2012. This dress reminds me that pioneering new territory remains about relationship building. It’s something never to be taken for granted – but in this world where we are often together, but alone, connected only through the mysterious internet communication veins that will forever be intangible, we cannot mistake those for a human connection. This dress, as much as it pays homage to the era of disco, the era in which I was born, reminds me that as much as communication has changed from the 1970’s until 2015, people remain people – and that strong interpersonal relationships is what defines the human experience. All that in a dress, hey? xo Betina

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Day 17: For casual date night, I decided to dress down a “dressy” top. With a bold color on top, I paired it with a pair of faded AG light grey jeans. Shoe choice was really important here – and perhaps not for the reason you’d think. To elongate, you always want to maintain the line. You can achieve that with a monochromatic look head to toe; or all on top; or just on the bottom. Here, I elongated the line with my grey suede bootie. Sure it’s a tad darker than the jeans, but the effect is the same. And I bet you thought walking the line would be boring! I dare to disagree! xo Betina

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Day 18: Print Mixing! Today, I felt like mixing it up. I had planned to wear the snake print jacquard pants in a more casual way; but I had not quite figured out what to pair with them. When I woke up and checked my email, there was a marketing email from DVF, announcing her Valentine’s day collection. Inspired by her motto, “love is life,” the collection is all things love as much as it’s so very Diane – her hearts, her lips, pinks, reds, flesh tones. I immediately was inspired to embrace that in my look for the day – a day full of errands in San Francisco, my home away from home, and my urban jungle. Pairing the leopard inspired heart print DVF inspired scarf with the snake print pants felt like the perfect combo to take on my urban jungle adventure. It takes the phrase “jungle love” to a different level. The way SF lights up is like no other city I’ve ever lived or been to. It energizes me like no other. They say home is wherever your heart lies. My heart has been and always will be in that city by the bay, where we bleed orange and black and embrace the fog that blankets us all year round. As much as the saying goes about leaving your heart here, mine is forever, tried and true, there, in the city by the bay. and that love never dies because home is where your heart is. And mine was born and raised in SF. xo Betina

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Day 19: The swing coat. I bought this coat at a designer consignment store after years of searching for something just like it. The swing coat is the perfect hybrid of structure and fluidity. In perfect DVF style, the fit flatters the physique, and the arms give it the flair that most structured coats lack. I love that it has movement to it – and it has just enough volume that it flatters slim silhouettes, like my favorite AG skinny jeans. In my over-scheduled, crazy busy day, I can always use a little spring – and swing–in my step. This coat fits the bill, and then some. What will you wear to put some swing in your step today? xo Betina

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Day 20: For today’s look, I paired two iconic DVF designs – the chain link necklace, inspired by DVF, with a DVF print silk blouse. A bold pairing, some might say. But, somehow, in some way, it did not feel bold in the least. It felt symbiotic. What I love most about DVF is her fearlessness. She challenges what others may see as bold, out of the box, and makes it feel effortless. I love making what seems bold feel natural and fluent. While some may regard a silk blouse as “dressy,” I use it to make casual wear feel elevated. I love the flow and ease of it; and wearing a printed top makes me feel sophisticated and stylish — even if it’s just with distressed jeans and flats. Finishing the look with a bold necklace is just like the cherry on top of a decadent sundae – it’s delicious without it, but doesn’t it just look that much better with that little pop? The anatomy of an outfit! xo Betina

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