Words by Sally Sarieddine, Designer, LaLaQueen
We all want to look great as we age, but indeed, so should our clothing and accessories. A woman who ages gracefully can be considered “timeless”, regardless of the decade she is currently in. This woman radiates confidence, wisdom, and carries herself elegantly. And her clothing, or in fact any piece she sports, should equally reflect the soul and experience she exudes.
The DNA of aging gracefully is defined by the intersection of quality and style. It is governed by the same principles that apply when approaching the physical aging process – what we invest into our body and mind correlates directly to our looks and lifespan, and how we subsequently carry ourselves. Aging gracefully relates to well being, quality of life, and a lifestyle that brings happiness and joy to people. These things need to be reflected and expressed in the quality of all things that we consume, from diet to fashion, and can significantly contribute toward a richer life, and making us happier in general. I have always tried to approach my own lifestyle with an “investment” mindset. I eat and exercise for wellness and longevity, and I curate my fashion with a similar conscience. When it comes to style, I rock pieces today that I purchased in my early twenties, and expect to treasure and style up for many years to come.
It is no secret that globally, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the negative environmental and social impacts of “fast fashion”, yet statistics suggest the younger generation are still at the dawn of realisation that “lifetime” pieces remain in their wardrobe for a lifetime, while their cheaper counterparts are often on and off again within a season due to inferior quality. The accessibility to low-cost, low-quality garments means we are buying and disposing of more clothing than ever.
I have seen a statistic that the average woman wears only 40 per cent of what’s in her wardrobe, which means that 60 per cent is ready to go to thrift stores or landfills. And fashion pieces made from materials such as polyester, which is essentially a plastic, takes up to 200 years to breakdown. That is after the rivers and waterways around the world are poisoned by the textile industry for unsafe and toxic dying practices. Keep in mind, this is only the beginning of the frightening reality that is the fast fashion industry.
And when it comes to fast fashion, most of us can relate to the threat of the great unravelling. That fresh new t-shirt looks years older within one wash. A thread hangs sadly from your summer dress after just a few wears. In truth, if you wish for your fashion purchases to age as gracefully as your looks, it is advisable to approach your next statement purchases as “investments”.
I apply the same ethos to my LaLaQueen designs. When I conceptualise my handbag collections, sustainability is always front of mind. That not only relates to applying an environmental conscience throughout the production process, but also to the lifespan of the handbags and the decades through which they will “swing” by their owners side. The naturally hand-dyed leather ages and stresses with vintage appeal, the stitching remains exquisitely intact and the copper details remain free from discolouration or tarnish. This longevity is not only much kinder to the environment, but it tells a story of grace, style and a lifetime of experience.
Sally Sarieddine was born in a festive month, reflecting her lively spirit and curious nature fueled by passion. Sally respects the diverse expressions and endless opportunities life has to offer and attributes her inspiration to complex thoughts and ideas that are expressed in simple, soft and powerful ways. A nomad and avid reader, Sally channels her love of extra-ordinary people and nature to inspire her imagination and weave stories. “My family, and my friends, are my compass in life,” she says. Sally graduated with a BA in Communications Arts (radio TV, Film) from the Lebanese American University, and during her years of study she focused much of her energy in theatre. After graduating Sally accepted a job as Assistant Director in a local Lebanese TV station, followed later by a move to Dubai. In the land of opportunity that is Dubai, Sally landed a job in the satellite broadcasting industry. Eleven months later, another prospect was presented to work as a PR Executive in an investment company. Although it paid well, it didn’t quite resonate, and led her to the fashion capital London where she completed her Masters in Marketing. Once graduated, Sally moved back to Dubai and secured a job in advertising. Lured in by the prospect of exciting new adventures, she decided to take a break and follow her heart. This is when she took a leap of faith and signed up for fashion design courses at the renowned Central Saint Martins in London. Nurturing her creativity for design, Sally set out to create pieces of art, notably the Dr. Bag that embodies an expression of her personal message to the world through her brand creation LaLaQueen. A Dr. Bag, Why? Because she is in fact also a keen meditator and energy healer, and wanted to find a way to express the marriage between healing with fashion. Fashion is an expression, and everything a person expresses ripples out to the world and has an immediate effect on the environment. By bringing this into awareness, Sally wants to encourage people to be mindful and express themselves responsibly, and take up their own challenge to leave a sweet piece of themselves in the world they live in.\
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