Fashionista – I’m NOT!
For Michelle Obama, the woman whom she relied upon to select her wardrobe and the wardrobe of her daughters was Meredith Koop, a women who explains that “being part of a community of people who navigate life together, show up for each other and help each other work towards their goals is a gift.” Mrs. Obama, by then a politician’s wife, met Meredith at Goldman’s Boutique, owned by Ikram Goldman, when she lived in Chicago. Meredith was a young sales associate, but they hit if off very quickly.
This is Meredith Koop in her LBD – little black dress posing in front of the White House dressed in a dress by designer Jason Wu and wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes.
Meredith had her pulse on Mrs. Obama’s styling needs. What was most noted was the attention to detail, the moment, and the message. Meredith Koop is also interested in the sustainability movement of fashion – this woman is well-versed in all aspects of fashion.
There is more to fashion that sustains Meredith Koop, however. She surrounds herself with close friends who support each other with unconditional faith and honesty, meeting for coffee to share life’s events, ensuring that these coffee breaks occur on a regular basis; face-to-face interactions are imperative. “As humans, we’re wired to connect; having shared experiences amplifies those connections because we can see and understand each other in an empathetic way,” Koop explains, adding that building new relationships, being authentic, while maintaining old ones takes a lifetime, always setting realistic expectations.
Like many of you, my personal dresser has always been me! The night before a workday, not as a fashionista but selecting clothing that was as comfortable in a desk chair or on the floor, getting down to basics with my elementary-aged students. I laid out my clothes from top to bottom, including the shoes, (most often my Dansko clogs) the night before knowing that making early morning decision was problematic for me; I’ve been told I’m not a morning person – I wonder how they know! But the deeper meaning of dressing is connecting and that’s exactly what Meredith Koop always kept in mind. Connecting!
With holidays coming around the next corner, think about your wardrobe and what it shares or discloses about you. This is a time to connect, to be comfortable, and to communicate with friends and family in a relaxed and supportive way. “Celebrate your connections,” my dear friend Maggie Marshall wrote on the title page of her book Food is the Frosting, Company is the Cake.
LBD= Little Black Dress was featured in Vogue Magazine in the 1926 when Coco Chanel and Jean Patou created the alluring design, becoming a wardrobe essential, ascribing to the notion that it could be dressed up or down, depending upon the occasion and it has never gone out of style.
An iconic image of Audrey Hepburn wearing a LBD in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961.