The Heart of Design by Kim Myles
I have borne witness to a true fashion miracle, and I have Giorgio Armani to thank. When my husband and I first met in NYC fifteen years ago, he was really proud to poohpooh fashion. He claimed to be above the “shallow pursuit of style.” And because he was personally adorable, as well as funny and sweet, I eventually rolled with it. But it wasn’t easy. If ever a man was born to rock fashion, it’s Scott. 6’ 3”, swimmer’s build, luxurious hair, gorgeous blue eyes, the whole enchilada. I wanted him to dress as the confident, charming man I knew him to be. He balked at having his exterior judged, when ultimately what matters most in life is on the inside. Well, I couldn’t argue that fact. So I commenced with mourning the “man of style” he was determined not to be, and learned to see past his dress shoes with white socks aesthetic. Fast forward three years, the two of us were attending a business party at the Armani store on 5th Avenue. A salesperson asked him if he’d care to try on a suit jacket, and Scott (defenses lowered by free cocktails) responded, “Why not?” The three of us stood in front of a giant mirror and as the jacket settled onto his shoulders, the miracle occurred. His eyes widened as he stared at his reflection and exhaled the word, “Wow.” And he did look amazing, impeccable Italian tailoring will do that for a man. In five seconds flat, that Armani jacket proved what I’d failed
to; fashion can help you feel like the most confident, powerful version of yourself. It’s modern-day armor. I myself started watching ‘Style with Elsa Klensch’ on CNN at age thirteen and fell in love with fashion overnight. Every weekend I would tune in to see catwalks and designer interviews, but what I was actually absorbing was the idea that fashion could be a powerful tool. I couldn’t afford designer labels, but I understood that I didn’t really need them. I just needed a desire to express my personality or mood via my clothes. In the end, Scott didn’t need that Armani jacket - it stayed at the store - but what he gained was a sense of the enjoyment and thrill that fashion can bring. As for my own fashion miracle, that came at the launch party for my season on HGTV Design Star. I wanted to look feminine and strong and to feel confident; as if my nerves and doubts were just silly little things and that winning the competition was my destiny. I stepped out of the group limo feeling like a million bucks and, once inside, designer Cynthia Rowley (one of my original fashion idols) said, “Great dress!” as we posed for pictures together. And that was it. I knew. I still have that dress and always will, because every time I look at it I’m reminded that anything is possible in life if you dare to work for your dreams, and dress for the occasion.