Please enjoy a guest post by Therese Ambrosi Smith, published author and
friend, about how fashion can inspire us.
- Neal and Rhonda
For as long as I've known Rhonda, she's worn great shoes. We were neighbors, and when she wasn't around to take delivery of new Spanish espadrilles or Italian boots, I'd sign for them. She knew how to shop for value. No one was surprised when she started blogging about shoes and developed a fan base.
I started writing fiction about the time Rhonda started writing about footwear. We used to take long walks at five in the morning, before setting out on our commutes to "real jobs", and we talked about needing time for things we really liked to do. We talked about living more creatively. That was five years ago.
Last year I published my first novel, a WWII coming of age story about women who built Liberty ships. Rhonda and Neal were busy taking their first on-line shoe venture to the next level, and making plans for a bricks and mortar store: Crush Footwear. Rhonda's emails were full of plans and possible logos and updates on new shoe designers.
Fashion, like fiction, has the power to transform and transport. We identify the decades in terms of popular culture and the clothes we wore. Pastel leisure suits and disco balls are forever linked to the Carter Administration; love beads and peace symbols with LBJ. My interest in the 1940s started as a teenage affinity for vintage dresses with shoulder pads and fitted waistlines. Later I learned that sugar and meat rationing, and eating from the Victory garden, kept a heroic generation slender and fit. While I grew to respect the history, it was the fashion that first captured my imagination.
As I peruse the Crush Footwear on-line catalog, and anticipate the store's grand opening, I'm struck by how many of the styles that Rhonda and Neal have selected, seem destined to become classics; unusual, high quality pieces that will be comfortable and beautiful to wear for many years.
Who knows who will be inspired to learn about our lives in the "teens", by falling in love with our great clothes and shoes.
Author: Therese Ambrosi Smith is author of the novel "Wax", a coming of age story about about women in the 1940s, inspired by stories of the "Rosies". Therese was a finalist for the 2012 First Horizon and Next Generation Book Awards. Visit her website, or pick up a copy of her book here. 'Wax' is a great read that portrays the struggles and triumphs of women against traditional stereotypes from that period in time.