It seems like every fall, I have the opportunity to meet one of my style gurus. Last year, it was long-time Essence Beauty Editor, Mikki Taylor. This year? The oh-so-fabulous Stacy London of TLC’s What Not to Wear.
Stacy recently visited Washington, DC to promote her new book, The Truth About Style. Because I missed out on meeting Stacy the last time she visited the area, I made sure to arrive in plenty of time to nab a decent seat. The audience was full of ladies of all different colors, shapes, and sizes, including a 70 year-old who could easily pass for 50 (she asked a question about “mom jeans”) and a curvy 19 year-old who tearfully approached the mic asking how she could improve her self- esteem. I so wanted to just hug her. She was actually quite pretty and very stylishly dressed, but she confessed to “not liking [her]self….” Stacy brought her on stage, gave her a huge hug and used that as an opportunity to talk about some of her own confidence struggles. (More on that a little later.) It was quite the moment for all of us.
In describing her book, Stacy made it clear that this is not a how-to book. “There are a zillion of those….Plus you can always watch What Not to Wear,” she quipped. Rather, this book was an attempt to tell her own philosophy of style, which she says comes from parts of her that aren’t that confident. She drew upon the experience of working with other women (including Ty of Gorgeous in Grey) to tell the story in her book.
More than anything, Stacy wanted to knock herself off of the proverbial pedestal the public had placed her on. [/alliteration] “I want to be in the trenches!” she said, because that’s how she started her career – working in fashion at Vogue magazine. Going in for the interview as a college senior, she said, “I knew I was going to get the job because I looked the part — 5’7″ and 90 pounds.” Stacy went on to explain to the stunned audience how she suffered from anorexia and eventually landed in the hospital. At her doctors’ insistence, she began to eat again…and kept on eating. “By the time I started my job, I weighed 140 pounds. A year later, I was 180 pounds and miserable.” She stated that the reason she is able to be so snarky on WNTW is because she “spent years practicing on [her]self.” Ultimately, it took about seven years for her metabolism to stabilize and her weight to even out.
Once she finished sharing her personal story, Stacy laughed and talked with the audience for a good hour and change before signing books. Here are some of the highlights….
ON DRESSING FOR VARIOUS OCCASIONS/STAGES IN LIFE
And then, there was my favorite quote of the evening. In talking about her own career path and life in general, Stacy declared, “The funny thing about life is that you take steps and then the path appears….” Fabulous!
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