Apr 13, 2013

Q&A with Carlotta Cataldi

In the series of showcasing the contributors of Dear Fashion Journal, we now introduce you to our fashion cartoonist, Carlotta Cataldi. She adores polka dots and, being one of the members of the Slow Fashion Forward initiative, never gets tired of talking about sustainable fashion!

1. Name: Carlotta Cataldi

2. Age: 34

3. Please fill in: I am a ______ because ______.
I am a illustrator, consultant and educator in the field of sustainable fashion because I want to help people understand that we can truly live and love fashion without hurting the planet or the people working in the fashion supply chain.

4. What would be the name of your autobiography?
”The Diamond Quest”

5. What was the latest thing that inspired you?
A fantastic training for facilitators called ”the Art of Hosting”. It’s the second time I attend and it never fails to surprise me, move me, and inspire me.

6. Your biggest fashion fetish?
I don’t have any, I think. Or maybe I could say polka dots. They make me feel playful and elegant at the same time. I have tons of polka dots dresses.

7. What is your first fashion memory?
As a teenager, trying on dozens of vintage dresses that belonged to my centenary auntie, so that she could have a little fun from her armchair by looking at me catwalking.

8. What have you learned recently?
I have learned that I want to learn to forgive myself, because I am not perfect, and it’s ok not to be.

9. What are you known for amongst friends?
I am a big sustainability fanatic. I talk about it all the time.

10. What is the most important thing to have around you when working?
Music, and tea.

+1: What would your dream project be like?
I have many dream projects on my mind. One of them is to create a centre for sustainable fashion production where designers and different brands work in one open space and where manufacturing and finishing happens right on the same floor, in another large space. No need to send stuff on the other side of the world to have it made. So, more local employment, less kilometers, possibly spreading education on how to make real fashion etc. This is something that is hopefully about to happen in NYC! Check out this project here, and support it if
you can.

Excerpt from Carlotta's cartoon "Story of the Sad Pants", published in Dear Fashion Journal

Apr 10, 2013

The greatest of the great fashion tips

As mentioned before, last weekend we got to be part of a clothes swapping event called Krijg de Kleren. We spent the days before the occasion cutting, pasting, gluing and tinkering, making accessories for what was going to become Dear Fashion Journal's tip writing corner. Yes, we were on a mission - a mission to fill the wall next to our spot at the event with the greatest fashion tips from the fashionistas of Amsterdam. Here is our tip writing and reading corner and a glimpse of the Great Wall of Tips!

We promised to award one of the submitted tips with a surprise package filled with goodness from Krijg de Kleren, Essyello Jewellery and us! To select the winner, our critical jury put their heads together to make selection of the greatest tips that the fashion lovers of Amsterdam pasted on our wall. Here are our favourites:

Left: Let your new jeans soak overnight in water-vinegar mixture to keep their colour nice for longer!
Right: Soak your new stockings in warm water before wearing to make them last longer!
Right: Don't trust stores that call themselves "trendy" - trendy was cool in 1950.

Buy good (bio) basics and complement them with vintage and swapped clothes!
Right: Yellow stains under your armpits? Using baby powder and then deodorant will prevent stickiness and therefore also yellow stains! You can also soak your clothes in vinegar to get rid of yellow stains.
Right: You know a colour doesn't suit you when it only brings out the bags under your eyes!
Left: Use transparent nail polish to protect the colours on your jewellery from fading.

And the tip that put a big smile on our faces and will receive a surprise give-away is...
(insert drums of excitement here):

Don't bother matching your bra & panties - your cat won't notice.

 Congrats - we'll get in touch with you via email!

Afternote: In addition to many handy tips for preserving the colour of your jeans and making your stockings last longer, we also found some interestingly opinionated views on fashion on our wall. Apparently, the Dutchies aren't very big fans of their national shoe, Crocs. Some of them would also advice people to avoid wearing beanies, Uggs and leggins (as pants). However, we are not Trinnies and Suzannahs and won't tell tell you what not to wear. Instead, we will end with this tip:

Apr 4, 2013

Defeat closet blues & swap till you drop!

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of your wardrobe, staring at its contents, putting on an outfit, changing it into another one and repeating this until a desperate long sigh disrupts the routine? You say "what ever",  change into the same clothes you wore yesterday (and the day before) and leave the house uninspired by your outfit. It happens. It's called garderobe boredom, which is most often caused by the different seasons in our lives; the ones that begin when get married, change jobs, become groupies of a rock band, start a new study or simply realize that after a long and dreary winter, spring is finally here and we have nothing to wear.

Being bored with your closet can be risky: it clearly calls for reinvention, but sometimes we might end up reinventing ourselves in a way that wears off quickly (pink pants, anyone?), leading us back to the dissatisfying daily routine of changing from one outfit into another and grunting at all of them. A better way to freshen up your wardrobe is to invest on a few seasonal pieces that a) fit your style and b) will fit it also next year. Those pieces will allow you to rotate your garderobe just like your grandmother rotated her house decor by having a different set of curtains for each season. The trick is that after four months of staring at the winter drapery, some light green summer curtains would always give a feeling of something new even if they weren't new per se. The same applies when talking about wardrobes.

So, here's a golden tip on how to refresh your looks sustainably with new items: swap your clothes! It's not only fun, but also a safe way to go outside your comfort zone and do some outlandish style experiments without having to charge your wallet or our planet for it.

Swapping is also close to Dear Fashion Journal's heart (and mine, says Emmi The Editor whose favourite striped sailor shirt is swapped), which is why we are psyched to be part of Krijg De Kleren, a clothes swapping event that will take place in Amsterdam this Sunday (7th April)! If you will be around, drop by for a fashionable treasure hunt and come share your best style advice on The Great Wall of Fashion Tips that we'll be putting together on the spot - a surprise give-away filled with awesomeness might be awaiting you!

More about Krijg De Kleren here

Psst...Remember our earlier article about defeating garderobe boredom? You can read it here