Hail, My Fellow Passion Chaser

It feels like spring has sprung in Boston this week! This warm weather perfectly coincides with the launch of a great spring line for women designed by a friend of mine. So this week I am not writing about chasing my passion, but I am taking this opportunity to support someone who has found her’s and made it a reality.
Lindsay Jeanloz launched her line, Port Winsor, just last August with some great looking and great feeling tunics in an array of bright colors and patterns (two of my very favorite things). Like me, Lindsay is a part-time passion chaser; she runs her growing company on nights, weekends and whenever she’s not at her full-time job.
I bought this one for my Mom!

Port Winsor grew from Lindsay’s desire to find the perfect tunic. She, like many of us, owned an assortment of tunics from a variety of designers, but each had their shortcomings.  She set out to create a tunic that would flatter figures, be easy and elegant to wear and simple to care for.  Each tunic has darts in the back and at the bust to flatter, a hidden side zip that runs the length of the garment to make getting in and out a cinch, and bracelet-length sleeves. These design innovations coupled with the line’s bold colors and pretty patters really sets her tunics apart. Best of all, the entire line is machine washable. As someone who always ends up with part of her dinner on the long bell sleeves of her Tory Burch tunic, I really appreciate Port Winsor’s bracelet-length.

This spring Lindsay has added beach cover-ups and dresses to her line.  I’m eyeing a dress; they would be perfect for a summer weekend away (can you tell I am impatiently awaiting winters departure?).These tunics look amazing on women of all ages and sizes. I got myself a Port Winsor tunic, not that big of a stretch. But I also got one for my mother and she loves it.  Now, to understand what that means, my progressive, almost hippy, college professor mother thinks “preppy” is a four-letter word. So I repeat, she loves her tunic!

“It’s these seemingly small design details that make all the difference in creating the flattering, classic lines of our tunics,” Lindsay says. “It’s that easy-breezy style and sensibility that have won us so many fans in such a short time.”
I love this one!

It has been energizing to have a front-row seat to Port Winsor’s success. This is really a passion project for Lindsay and she has dedicated herself to it in a way that leaves me in awe.  I embark on my “adventures” on nights and weekends because it’s fun for me, I inevitable learn something new (quite often about myself) and at the end of the day, I get to go home and write about them.  Lindsay loves designing, but in addition to the fun stuff she also has to take care of billing and shipping, details that may be fun, but I don’t want to try them to find out. Lindsay is a model for me.  Following my passion may not always be fun and easy, but it will always be rewarding.

If you would like to check out Port Winsor’s tunics, cover-ups and dresses you are in luck!  Lindsay is having a trunk show this Sunday, March 11th at The Green Room on River Street in Beacon Hill from noon until 2:00 p.m. You can meet the talented designer, plus I’ll be there, in case that sweetens the deal!
Full disclosure: as stated above, Lindsay and I are friends and I own a Port Winsor tunic which I love, but I was not compensated in any way for this post.

St. Tropez Beach Cover-up
Green is my favorite color…

Boston Fashion’s Best Kept Secret

The tents in Bryant Park in New York are being taken down following Fashion Week. And on Sunday night I was live tweeting my style judgments on Hollywood stars walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards.  I say that to prove my (modest) fashion credentials.

One of the many things I loved about living in Manhattan was that I always felt that I was at the epicenter of so many industries: news, TV, food, fashion.  Don’t get me wrong, I have quickly fallen in love with Boston, but I do miss my style-centric former home, especially this time of year.

In honor of Fashion Week and the Academy Awards, I decided to investigate Boston’s fashion scene, and in the process I uncovered the man whom many designers consider their best kept secret: Roger Hinds.
Roger at work

Roger does it all: he designs, cuts patterns, sews.  He brings designers’ ideas and sketches to life…by hand. Roger does not advertise and does not have a website.  It’s not necessary, fashion word of mouth is all he needs.  Roger’s talent matches his personality; he’s got heaping helpings of both. The list of designers he has worked with is long and impressive. Sorry, I am not naming names. I promised I would not give away any secrets, but to give you an idea of his caliber, he recently created three dresses for Grammy Award attendees.  Yes, he’s that good.

Roger has been sewing since he was a child growing up in Trinidad and studied tailoring at F.I.T. Even though fashion is one of my passions, watching Roger work quickly convinced me that, despite my serviceable sewing skills, I will never be involved in fashion in a hands-on way.  I quickly focused my attention on Roger’s story, how he followed his life-long passion and in 1994, finally took the leap to strike out on his own.

He told me he had thought about starting his own business since he was 16-years-old. “It takes a special personality to do this,” Roger observed about starting your own business.  “You just have to say, ‘I’m going to do this.’  It will give you strength.”
Very talented, very funny

He has a healthy attitude about the winding road he took to get to his current position as Boston fashion’s go-to guy. “All the companies that fired me, I thank you. They got me to do this.” Hearing Roger tell his story was inspiring.  Roger’s insight into taking the leap and following your passion will stay with me.  It’s never too late, you’re never too old, you are never too imperfect to follow your heart, and your gut.  Striking out on your own, whether it is in business or in life, is never easy, but it is always worth it.

And because I know you are all interested in my picks for best dressed at the Oscars here you go…

Best Dressed: Michelle Williams in Louis Vitton.  I wish I cold pull off a pixie like her!
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Wireimage
Runners up: Octavia Spencer in Tadashi.  She could have gone with a bigger name, but she stuck with the guy who has dressed her all award season.  She looked fantastic! Credit: Alexandra Wyman/Getty
Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford. I am a huge fan of the cape, and the white, but her hair was a let-down.
Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage