Abby recently requested that I add her Silk and Purple blog to the Fashion Belle blogroll, and after seeing the quality fashion, etiquette and recipe material she posts with the help of several other contributors, I was happy to do so. Abby also publishes an individual blog called La Vie est Belle (French for "Life is Beautiful") with even more photos of cute, modest outfits. While reviewing the Silk and Purple blog, I was impressed with a post by Abby and wanted to share it here. Thanks so much to Abby for giving me permission to re-publish her quote for this article.
On September 15, 2012, Abby commented on New York Fashion Week and the Spring 2013 collections in the news. She reflected on the anger that some of us may feel about the influence high-profile designers have on what types of styles infiltrate the stores and that are then worn by women around us. I identify with Abby's disappointment, because shopping for stylish, modest clothing in our culture is tough. Designers could do more to swing trends back to more coverage, but they rarely take the opportunity to do so. Abby recommended that rather than stagnating in resentment, a better way to deal with the frustration is to reach out in positive ways to designers. She suggested the following:
Take some time in your prayer life for these souls. Think of a creative way to spread Christ's love to them! Write prayers and periodically send them to a famous designer or celebrity, or encourage them through their Instagram or Twitter feeds. Or if the Lord calls you to become a fashion designer, design for HIS glory and lead hearts to HIM!
As a patternmaker who has worked in New York's fashion industry, including for one designer runway show, this suggestion meant so much to me. Designers and the people who work for them are usually exhausted after runway shows from work weeks that easily run between 60 to 70 hours or even exceed 70 hours in the months preceeding shows. Had some anonymous person taken the time to send a card of encouragement to my designer boss and his staff, it would definitely have been noticed and appreciated. While it may seem that most high-end designers have little respect for religion, my experience is actually the opposite. While working for three different companies in New York, I encountered many Jews whose lifestyle standards covered a wide range but most of whom observed the Sabbath and held a high respect for God (or G-d as they usually print it, to show respect by never destroying an item on which the full Name is spelled out). I also encountered female co-workers who did not dress modestly by average standards but who initiated conversations with me that showed they were seeking God related to various issues in their lives.
If a fashion designer is male, there is a regrettably large chance that he is also gay, though this is not always the case. I worked alongside a number of people who were openly homosexual who grew to respect my own expression of faith through modest dress and conservative lifestyle. Many gays in New York are involved in religious pursuits, though they may doubt the power of that religion. While my life probably spoke louder than any words, I had a memorable chance to speak about my faith to one gay man when he asked me a specific question about the Old Testament story of Abraham and Isaac. I later learned that he had been raised a Methodist. Many people may not realize this, but a fairly strong number of Christians work in New York's fashion industry. The Models for Christ organization enjoys a strong attendance at activities hosted throughout the year in major fashion capitols of the world. A card with an expression of faith sent to any fashion organization may garner more respect than you think.
Abby's two blogs and the others listed here on our site provide a constant stream of modest fashion inspiration that should encourage shoppers of any age to know that style and modesty can co-exist. Thanks for your insight, Abby!