I was consumed by the changes in my body and as much as I wanted to honor my strength and the healing deep within me, my outer shell felt empty. I wanted to recover and restore myself. I wanted a language that would help me transform my painful caterpillar feelings into generous butterfly wings.
The labels that had helped me formulate my style no longer fit. categories like preppy or classic or romantic or athletic no longer made sense. I didn’t see my palette as fall, winter, spring, or summer. my wardrobe lacked personality. there was no message or light through this emptiness that was me.
Reading: Fashion feng shui
vitality. alignment. radiance. Did my mastectomy steal them too?
I looked for inspiration. though there were numerous articles on makeover magic, deep down she knew they were just… skin deep. I worked in a beautiful clothing store and freelanced for a luxury cosmetics company. although the clients were rarely cancer survivors like me, they too yearned for something “more”, something “right”, something “perfect”.
My research deepened as my questions grew. I happened to listen to a webinar that changed my life.
evana maggiore, the creator of “fashion feng shui”®, opened my eyes to the reality and power of intentional clothing. As an acclaimed image consultant, Evan dressed upper-class women in the Boston area and around the world for many years. The Association of International Image Consultants (AICI) recognized her talent through various awards for many years.
Evana’s spirit was magnetic.
had a store in massachusetts with a loyal following. over time, he discovered that the style advice he gave his clients, while appreciated and embraced, had no staying power. something was missing he wasn’t about color, fit, texture, or pattern. he wanted to create a personal design system that was more personal and in-depth.
evana read terah kathryn collin’s book “western guide to feng shui”. She enrolled in the Essential Feng Shui Practitioner Training Program at the Western School of Feng Shui. louise hay, founder of hay house and author of many books on healing, enrolled in the same class. then, through sharing and reflection, evana submitted an article on the spiritual side of style to louise ederling, the current international president of aici at the time.
took off. fashion feng shui®, evana’s creation and system, transformed women’s lives.
from a style perspective, evana found that feng shui offers a way to enhance one’s energy through intentional dress. radiating the element that makes us feel good about ourselves is a powerful tonic. we subconsciously do this by wearing clothes that feel “good.” As we unlock the mystery behind our item and make the most of it, we enhance what makes us awesome. we attract more of what we want into our lives, every day.
there are five elements that are essential for human life: earth, water, fire, metal and wood, according to the traditional Chinese practice, “feng shui”. its driving force is harmony, where one’s inner and outer existence are in sync.
Taking this one step further, the whole being is addressed. the spiritual, mental and physical aspects of our essence are incorporated into an archetype, which represents our primary source of energy, that is, our driving force.
This elemental archetype aligns with our core values and innate traits. we clothe our spirit, that is, the inherent and unchanging nature of who we are. we dress our mind, that is, our conscious intentions about who we would like to be without limits. we dress our body, that is, the vibrations about how we see ourselves and how others see us. when packaged together, we discover a personality and attitude that work in concert.
fashion feng shui® (ffs) combines energy with style. consider these archetypes as you explore your primal essence. you will find that when you feel whole and authentic, the traits and fashion statements of an archetype really resonate with you. (note: other archetypes may “speak” to you, however your main energy element is a constant theme for you).
water is reflective. creativity and spirituality are expressions of the energy of water. The personification of ffs® is the philosopher.
Water people tend to be academics, artists, healers, musicians, scientists, and writers. they are imaginative, independent, sensitive, unorthodox, and wise. they are contemplative.
water element clothing incorporates dark colors, abstract or ethnic patterns, and soft, flowing lines.
wood is lively. initiative and revitalization are expressions of wood energy. the personification of ffs® is a pioneer.
Wood people tend to be athletes, coaches, lawyers, runners, salespeople, and trainers. they are ambitious, motivating, dynamic, healthy and youthful. they are sporty.
clothes with wooden elements incorporate blues and greens, vertical forms (stripes, columns, pants) and cotton and linen fabrics.
fire draws attention. fame and sexuality are expressions of the energy of fire. the epitome of ffs® is the pleasure seeker.
Fire people are usually actors, hostesses, spokespersons, models and dancers. they are charismatic.
fire element clothing incorporates reds and purples, bold details, and body-conscious fabrics like silk and leather.
the earth is stable. breeding and tradition are expressions of the energy of the land. the personification of ffs® is a peacemaker.
people on earth tend to be moms, nurses, therapists, teachers, and assistants. they’re engaged.
earth element clothing incorporates yellows, browns and earth tones, boxy shapes (cubes, squares, plaid) and woven or knotted textures.
the metal is refined. organization and elegance are expressions of the energy of metal. the personification of ffs® is a perfectionist.
metal people tend to be analysts, curators, editors, statesmen and organizers. they are cultivated.
Clothing with metallic elements incorporates white, pastel or metallic colors, rounded shapes (oval, arched, scrolls) and shiny textures.
Evana published Fashion Feng Shui® – The Power of Dressing with Intention in 2007. I quickly bought a copy and I also ordered an Elemental Design Portfolio (both can be purchased at FashionFengShui.com). I also enrolled in a 6-week online course with her. I learned a great deal about my preferences and the reasons behind them – which related back to my essence, intention, appearance and environment.
Along with the exercises he facilitated, his mini-wardrobe audit gave me clues about my personal energies (wood is primary, metal is secondary for me). it can also open your eyes to future clothing selections:
- what is the garment you love and wear all the time? (do you see water, wood, fire, earth, or metal?)
- what is an item of clothing you love, but don’t wear? (do you see water, wood, fire, earth, or metal?)
- what’s one piece of clothing you think you should love, but don’t? (do you see water, wood, fire, earth or metal?)
- what is a piece of clothing you don’t like? (do you see water, wood, fire, earth or metal?)
your responses can illuminate the colors (shades), shapes (patterns/silhouettes), substances (texture/weave), and style of clothing that seem most natural to you, and can also enhance other energies you may want to attract . , accessories or capes.
Another way to determine your primal energy is to consider intent as a clue to your archetype. It’s also fun to identify celebrities who embody these traits!
the philosopher (water)
- You would like to express your individuality.
- You want tranquility or spirituality.
- The realization of your goals requires reflection.
the pioneer (wood)
- You would like to be competitive.
- You want to expand and grow.
- Achieving your goals requires action.
the pleasure seeker (fire)
- You would like to be noticed.
- You want excitement in your life.
- Achieving your goals requires passion.
the peacemaker (earth)
- You would like to be of service to others.
- You want security or support in your life.
- Achieving your goals requires commitment.
the perfectionist (metal)
- You would like to get organized.
- You want to improve the quality of your life.
- Achieving your goals requires discernment.
There is a lot to digest with the feng shui® of fashion. energy is at the core of one’s design, both as a means of expression and attraction. The women who adopt this personal system to transform themselves include a wide range of experts. christiane northrup, md, author of mother-daughter wisdom, menopausal wisdom, women’s bodies, women’s wisdom, and other bestsellers claims that ffs®
“…takes personal style to a new level of deeper healing. bravo.”
Praise continues with Jean Haner, author of The Wisdom of Your Face.
“This book will be very enriching for anyone who wants to move through life with the sacred delight of being themselves.”
and andrea dupont, a respected image consultant in her own right, says that ffs®
“…frees you to be your best self no matter what.”
It was encouraging to work with evana, even though it was too short. When she lost her battle with ovarian cancer several years ago, the world lost a true visionary. she was warm, witty and vibrant. her curiosity about the universe and our place in the cosmos took her to all corners of the globe.
The feng shui impact of fashion continues to expand. there are in-person and online classes dedicated to ffs®, and there is a certification program to become an ffs® facilitator. Andrea Dupont and Sue Donnelly, close friends of hers, carry her message and formulas forward.
ffs® is my favorite way to add to my wardrobe and refine my look. if I want to attract other energies into my life I can easily add them, to fill and strengthen me. evana finishes her book, fashion feng shui®, by reminding us to step out of our box and respond more fully to what makes us live.
vitality. alignment. radiance. my mastectomy didn’t steal them after all. led me to discover my style story through the lens of fashion feng shui®!
See also: Flying Star Feng Shui 2016