Top 6 Fall Trends by Ming Wang

Stylish women have been counting on the versatility and functionality of Ming Wang knit pieces for almost three decades, so FOF wanted to learn what gives the brand such staying power. Monica Escamilla, a Ming Wang product specialist, explains:

What is the Ming Wang design philosophy?

When you buy two of Ming Wang’s separates, it’s really like buying four or even six, because every single piece can work with most anything hanging in your closet to create a range of looks. We pair seasonal color trends with our timeless statement pieces, so even when a color is no longer at the height of fashion, you will be.

Can you give us an example of the brand’s versatility?

Jackets create great points of interest and can transform your wardrobe, whether they’re dressed up or down. They add extra flair that other tops and bottoms can’t. Pair them with dressy black pants or denim. They also can easily make the transition from day to night.

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{Big Giveaway} Win This Makeover and Shopping Spree!

FabOverFifty.com and Dressing Your Truth are partnering up to bring you an incredible giveaway. One lucky FOF will win a Dressing Your Truth online makeover course, where you’ll find out your Type of beauty, and receive $200 credit to the Dressing Your Truth store, chock full of beauty products, clothing and accessories organized for the 4 Types of beauty. The winner will also receive the Dressing Your Truth for Men course for a special man in her life!

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Kickstarting Your Wardrobe

First Lady Michelle Obama loved wearing Maria Pinto clothes long before she stepped into a stunning purple Maria sheath for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In an instant, the Chicago-based FOF designer became an international sensation. Maria’s newest collection, M2057, is being launched on the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter, and is designed to appeal to real women of all body types. Women like you and I.

FOF talked to Maria about what she’s been up to since the heady days of 2008 and the genesis of her new collection.

Why did you close your previous design and retail business, what have you been doing since then and what prompted you to take this route with the design of a new collection?

The economic situation in 2008 and 2009 led up to closing my business in January 2010. I was then contracted to be the creative director of Chicago retailer Mark Shale, where I was charged with rebalancing and resuscitating the brand. I gave it a year, and I was really excited about what I was able to do, but I subsequently felt that I needed to move forward in my process.

During this time, I continued to create art, painting and drawing. I was co-curator of an exhibit at the Field Museum, which ran from last September to this September. It was an amazing experience. All these endeavors have built up to where I am today. I have to design. I love designing. I recognized the opportunity to create a clothing line that’s the nexus of form and function.

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You tell us!

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{Giveaway} A $300 ravishing red necklace from Bess Heitner

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bessheitnerFOF Bess Heitner wears many hats, but we wanted to showcase her jewelry business, Bess Heitner Jewelry Designs, which features stones and gems from around the world in colorful and distinctive pieces. Ranging from $58 earrings to necklaces for more than $2,000, Bess keeps FOFs in mind when designing her collection. Today, she’s giving away a ravishing red necklace, “Multi-Coral Torsade” (retail value: $300), which is made of coral “in every shade,” freshwater pearls, and lacquered bone toggle. To win this beautiful necklace, first visit Bess’ website, then comment below with the name of your favorite piece and why. 1 FOF will win!

How old are you?
68

How did you launch your business?
Even as a kid I tinkered with design. My mother was a millinery buyer at Bloomingdale’s in the days when no fashionable woman would be seen outside without a hat. Our home was filled with brightly colored ribbons, flowers, pins, felt shapes and all the fixings for elaborate bonnets. I discovered I had a flair for combining forms, textures, and colors. Before long I was helping my mother concoct her elaborate creations. After my husband died in June 2000, I began taking jewelry courses to help me figure out what to do next. I have never enjoyed anything as much as this. In my “second act,” I found my true passion that I love more than anything I’ve ever done.

What were you doing before?
I taught English in Japan and at the New School for Social Research in New York. I was a professional writer and worked with my husband, a Japanese TV producer, on documentaries. I also created costumes for several feature films.

Where are you based?
My studio is in Manhattan where I make each one-of-a-kind and limited edition piece by hand.

What is your typical workday like?
Designing and jewelry making take up a large part of each day. I also write blog posts and do other business and PR tasks. Some days I have private appointments with clients. And I always spend an hour or two studying fashion magazines and favorite websites for inspiration.

opulentpearls-citrineWhat jewelry do you sell?
I sell necklaces, earrings, pins, and bracelets in a wide variety of styles.

Where do the stones and gems come from?
I get my materials from a few trusted vendors. Most of my top quality gems and minerals, such as Peruvian Opal, Brazilian amethyst and tourmaline, rubies and other interesting stones come from Brazil, Australia, Africa and India. The pearls come from China and Australia.

What trends have you noticed with jewelry this year?
I like the bold statement pieces that are in now because I favor drama, bold shapes, and vivid color in my own work. Chains and ropes also are popular and have
South Sea Pearl Brazilian Citrine Collar

always been favorites of mine. Long before the Gatsby and Boho trends hit, I began offering many kinds of ropes with clasps that are versatile and can be doubled, tripled, worn as lariats, or wrapped around the wrist many times.

What are your best-selling items?
The multi-coral torsade I am offering is very popular because it looks great with bright white, picks up the colors in strong prints, and perks up almost every shade. Genuine coral is becoming extinct so people are glad to get this. A raw iridescent quartz collar I designed in several colors has been selling well because it makes a dramatic statement.

Why does your collection looks good on FOFs?
Women over fifty know who they are and aren’t afraid to make unique statements at work and in their personal lives. I design wearable artwork, pieces that are both contemporary and timeless, that echo the qualities of the women who wear them. I use stones, pearls, and tiny crystals that flatter the skin. And my pieces are versatile; easy to wear in a work setting, in casual surroundings or on a dressy occasion.

To win this necklace, first visit Bess’ website; then comment below with the name of your favorite piece and why. 1 FOF will win!

P.S. Want to get your hands on one of Bess’ designs now? All of her products are 25% off until July 24.

1 FOF will win. (See official rules, here.) Contest closes July 24, 2013 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.

{Big Monthly Giveaway} Women at Woodstock Getaway

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Rest, relax, and restore!

FOF is excited to attend another sensational getaway with Women at Woodstock East! Join FOFs from across the country this October for a transformative fall retreat in tranquil Woodstock, NY. Enjoy empowering workshops, performances, and great networking at the luxurious Emerson Resort & Spa. Your retreat also includes three nights at the resort, as well as gourmet meals and a luxe gift bag. You’ll leave inspired, relaxed, and rejuvenated. ONE FOF WILL WIN!

The reinvention retreat includes*:

• 3-nights private accommodations at the Emerson Resort & Spa

• Full admission to the Women at Woodstock retreat, including a ticket to the opening night performance of Alice and Elizabeth’s One Woman Show, a welcome party, intimate workshops and speaker presentations.

Dates: October 6-9, 2013

To enter to win, comment below to this question:  Why would you like to attend the WAW retreat?

1 FOF will win. (See official rules, here.) Contest closes August 20th, 2013 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.

*Does not include transportation.

{Fashion Flash}

Fashion Flash time! This week, it’s hosted by Menopause Makeover, the go-to site for tips on weight loss during menopause, researched and written by FOF author Staness Jokenos who successfully executed her own 12-week menopause makeover and ended up in better shape than she was in her twenties (see her amazing before and afters). Check out her advice and enjoy all the other links from our fab Fashion Flash friends.

{Fashion Flash}

Fashion Flash time! This week, it’s hosted by Female Fat Loss Over 40, the go-to blog for tips to jump start weight-loss, researched and written by Shawna Kaminski. Check out her fat loss tips for busy FOFs and enjoy all the other links from our fab Fashion Flash friends.

{Fashion Flash}

It’s Fashion Flash time! This week, it’s hosted by leading health and fitness expert Mirabai Holland, of Moving Free with Mirabai. Check out her exercise clips, health and wellness tips, and enjoy all the other links from our fab Fashion Flash friends.