EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
To fashion illustrator, blogger, and author Lauren Friedman, clothing and accessories are more than just things we put on.
“There is a family connection, especially with accessories, that comes when they are passed down,” Friedman said.
She pointed out how her own engagement ring once belonged to her grandmother. For others, it could be a watch passed down from generation to generation. Each item, she said, has a story that connects.
Friedman is the author of a series of books on fashion, including her latest, “50 Ways to Wear Accessories.” She will present an Author Talk program at the Marble Falls Public Library on Friday, October 4, at 4 p.m. The event is free, and Friedman will have copies of all three of her books. The other two are “50 Ways to Wear a Scarf” and “50 Ways to Wear Denim.”
She will share her insights on fashion and her writing process.
Friedman’s childhood had much to do with her becoming a fashion blogger, illustrator, and author.
“Anyone who knew me as a child isn’t surprised about what I’m doing,” she said.
In her younger years, she was always drawing, putting together outfits, and finding ways to accessorize.
After finishing school, Friedman took a “real” job, eventually making her way to Washington, D.C. But she continued illustrating and putting together eye-catching clothing combinations.
While Friedman’s family moved her grandmother Enid into an assisted-living facility, Friedman started digging into her grandmother’s closet. She discovered a shared love of clothing along with a fuchsia Christian Dior suit. It was a little dated, but Friedman found a way to make it more youthful, and others noticed.
She wrote about it on her fashion blog, which led her to thinking about ways one could reinvigorate their existing wardrobe.
An overarching theme of her books, blog, and philosophy is using what’s in your closet.
“It’s about finding the joy in the things you already own,” Friedman said. “It’s not about going out and buying new things.”
In 2010, she began the blog series “My Closet Sketches.” Friedman took what was in her or a friend’s closet and came up with interesting ways to pull it together for a unique look.
One of her blog entries was “6 Ways to Wear a Scarf.”
Around this time, a friend challenged Friedman to write down her goals for one year, five years, and 10 years. One of her immediate goals was to get a deal with publisher Chronicle Books. Eighteen months later, it happened.
“Writing that first book, I truly never thought anyone would read it,” Friedman said with a laugh.
The book, “50 Ways to Wear a Scarf,” found a receptive audience. Friedman did all of the illustrations for it as well.
She followed up with “50 Ways to Wear Denim,” a celebration of one of our most ubiquitous fabrics.
“The third book, about accessories, was almost unavoidable,” Friedman said.
Before every book, Friedman does massive amounts of research. While writing her third in the series, she discovered that accessories aren’t a modern invention.
“Accessories are something we’ve been adorning ourselves with for a long time,” she pointed out.
While clothing can wear out, many accessories are made of more durable materials and can last for generations, so people pass them on to family members.
“There is a family connection that comes with passing down accessories,” Friedman said. “This third book, well, it really tells the story of my closet, my grandmother’s, and my mother’s. It’s through those things handed down.”