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Enough about politics. Let’s talk fashion | Off the Cuff


Last updated 2/28/2019 at Noon

Jenny Murphy

Think back. Do you remember what color your shoes were in kindergarten? Mine were red, and I was not clicking my heels like Dorothy. I was embarrassed at their color, and given the fact that I was 5 years old, I didn’t know it then, but I was experiencing my first fashion trauma.

I stood in line against the school building with all the other kids waiting for the bus, looking down the line of little feet. Brown, brown, black, brown, black, black, brown, black, black, black, RED!

Aghhh! What were you thinking, mother? Yet I also had just experienced the opportunity to get to know both myself and my mom a bit better. Pretty heady concept for a little tyke.

But then again, my mom never did follow the crowd, and she continued to teach me over the years that I, too, could survive my own individuality. As a matter of fact, I could even develop it. After all, those red shoes did come from Nordstrom, one of the greatest fashion leaders, whose very roots are right here in our own backyard.

Now, move south and east and think for a moment about the bright light runway shows in Los Angeles or New York City that happen when a new fashion season breaks.

Designers have brought their clothing ideas to life, models have been selected, hair and makeup artists have been hired, carpenters have built the raised runway, the venue has been chosen, the lighting techs are setting up, the maintenance crews, the press releases, the phone calls, the champagne ... .

The show of artistry happens because a gaggle of people all fly onto the same page, each bringing their unique gifts and talents to the fashion banquet, all with the same goal.

The end result is obviously top priority to all involved. Just another example of a big-life concept unfolding due to fashion, in this case a new season in flight.

Now circle back to Edmonds where, I am proud to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the fashion industry for the past 34 years. The corporate fashion world was my gig starting in 1974, and the world of entrepreneurship in downtown Edmonds was my greatest discovery in 1985.

Did you know that today there are 11 privately owned businesses in our downtown Edmonds Bowl bringing current fashions to you? We all work together consistently referring customers to each other in hopes of servicing their shopping needs in our cherished neighborhood boutiques.

Maintaining our individuality is of utmost importance to each of us, and it is clear that all 11 of us run our businesses based on integrity and community mindfulness. Our businesses are run with great passion, all part of a greater whole that we want fervently to succeed. Now that’s teamwork.

Those darn red shoes! Little did I know that I was trending back then. You see, fashion is not just buttons, fabric and hemlines. It’s the needle and thread that helps us get to know ourselves better. It is one of the vehicles we use to express who we are.

Fashion unites souls. It invites us into the intimate places of creativity. It accompanies us on trips, helps us to mourn death and celebrate living, and connects us to occasions and life’s memorable moments.

Those are big concepts! That’s the stuff life is made of, and that gives us reason to celebrate fashion. Think I’ll go out and buy red shoes.

Stay tuned for Edmonds Talks Fashion for spring 2019.

Off the Cuff is a monthly casual review of fashion styles, attitudes and trends by Jenny Murphy, owner of Sound Styles in Edmonds.


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