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Fashion Maven: When it comes to fashion, observe and improvise

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By Alexandra Hehlen

After browsing many different looks straight off of the runway for this year’s fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear collections, I have become completely inspired.
Fashion is not only about dressing well, but also about dressing with imagination. Everyone goes through times when they don’t know what to wear, so inspiration is always a good idea, and I’ve got a few great sources for you to rely on.
One of the primary sources for a designer’s insight is nature.
Time and again, we see feathers flitting down runways, thick furs draped to perfection and shoes made of leather or other animal products. Yet, designers also draw ideas from the look of nature, itself.
The shape of a tree may inspire them, or the way grape leaves look, or how a patch of flowers would make for a great pattern. Nature may be motivational to designers, but it can also improve your wardrobe.
And no, I don’t mean that we should all walk around with haphazardly constructed  wreaths made of branches on our heads.
The key is to observe nature and incorporate it into your wardrobe. One example is to buy a shirt the color of the lavender in the front yard, or maybe make an outfit out of the earthy tones of the desert, or even wear feathers in your hair or on earrings.
Of course,  a major source for fashion concepts is the Internet. I frequent blogs, major fashion websites like style.com and Google-search anything that I cannot find. Seeing photos of how people dress outside of Los Alamos adds a whole new dimension to fashion.
Being the fashion geek I am, I love to collect photos of outfits and accessories I adore and  organize them into folders so that if I ever run dry on inspiration, I can access my own plethora of ideas. In no time, you can find pieces you like that may be similar to those in your own wardrobe.
Therefore, you can create a look you saw, with your own twist.
I adore books about fashion. You can find them in large bookstores and topics range from how to sew, names of clothing styles, designers and handbooks that cover a vast amount of fashion advice and information.
Even if you’re not a fashion nerd like me, these books are interesting and can really grab your attention, while pulling you into a different world.
Some feature outrageous photo shoots, while others focus on the timeless aspects of fashion that apply to anyone, fashion bookworm or not.
Last but certainly not least, are the fashion magazines. They are easily accessed, subscriptions are usually reasonably priced and they offer an outstanding amount of inspiration and information.
I own a few in different languages from various cultures and I keep every one so that I can go back to old issues and see what past trends may be resurfacing.
Fashion magazines appeal to wide audiences and they are quick reads.
Fashion inspiration is everywhere.
It lurks around every corner, smiles with the sun, changes color with the leaves, flies with the birds, morphs with the seasons and identifies your voice in a fabulous outfit.