The Green of Fashion

Tara explains why she got so frustrated with Wilson, and why she thinks green is in.

When set on making something as good as it can be, I can definitely be intense. It was crunch time. The guests were about to arrive and there was still much to be done. Not to mention what you didn't see -- the step and repeat (a press backdrop which photos are taken in front of) turned up incorrectly printed. Add to all this, the DJ arrived without the cable he needed for the speakers. Thank goodness Karina enjoys cleaning as much as I do. Her offer to vacuum was much appreciated, as was her calming words. Ambria is the most used to working with me, and perhaps it's because she, too, is fiery Sagittarius, that she let me focus and ignored my intensity while helping out in an unaffected way.

She was in charge of food and drink, and she thoughtfully made non-alcoholic mojitos for me and the others not drinking. However, truth be told, I was surprised I didn't go straight for the champagne that evening.

I'm also surprised that I didn't lose my temper on Wilson sooner. When he told me to go home and "relax," I knew I was going to blow my stack. Rather than be annoyingly over concerned with my intense focus, he could have kept his mouth shut and appreciated the pressure I was under. I'm a detailed-oriented person, and when I am throwing an event, or when I'm associated with something that my name's attached to, I want it to be as perfect as possible.

Once the music started and the party began, all was fine. The guests were excited, and it turned out to be a wonderful event! Again I was reminded that one can only do so much. And though Wilson thinks I don't appreciate his contributions, I did appreciate his garbage picking skills, which resulted in the green bottles we used as vases. And even though it's not my management style to pull rank, Ambria is right, he needs to learn a thing or two about the pecking order. It may sound harsh, but I find him at times to be naively overconfident.

When I left the advertising world and started my second time around at Second Time Around, the timing was good. While most businesses are suffering, the consignment business is booming. Though some smart shoppers have been hip to frugal shopping for years, others have been humbled by the economic downturn and are now looking for new ways to save, or make, a penny.

Not to mention, many of us are conscientious about our impact on the environment. I like to say we are in, "the green of fashion." In recycling fashion, consigning items, and giving them a new home, we are reducing our carbon footprints.That's not to say we need to have a fully recycled wardrobe, but it's a step in the right direction. Kinda like not letting the water run when you brush your teeth. Turn it OFF!

It was really special to visit Lisa's home. I'm not sure if it's because it is an entirely eco-friendly design, but the air within felt clean and the energy felt quite zen-like and still. You saw the green roof, which insulates the house, but you didn’t get to see the secret garden! It is quite the hidden oasis within the bustling streets of New York.

It was wonderful reaching out to sustainable fashion designers, Samantha Pleet, The Sway, Robin Brouillet , Beau Soleil, Auralis and Olsen Hause. These "sustainable" designers are local and use socially responsible methods of production, and environmentally friendly materials and fabrics.

Samantha is such a sweetheart. She was kind to have Ambria and me over to her studio to see her designs, which are inspired by her travels. We had a blast trying on some of her pieces, and you should have seen the upstairs room where we changed, it felt like we were in a dollhouse. She ended up making out really well at the green party where quite a few of her pieces sold.

What The Water Gave Me

Ambria discusses the team's work with Generosity Water and how proud she is of Tara's progress.

I loved going to Kelly Killoren Bensimon's closet. Aside from Keni Valenti and Eva Lorenzotti's closets, Kelly's was my definite favorite. Handbags, shoes, dresses, suits, an entire Missoni shelf. . .seriously? I aspire to have that closet. On top of the clothing, the bags, the ridiculous apartment and Kelly's down-to-earth friendliness was her charitable demeanor. She knows she has been fortunate, and she makes it a point to give back in her life, which is such an admirable quality. Generosity Water is her pet charity, and I see why. You see the direct results of the funds you send, which is not always the case with charities.

I have always wanted to get involved with charities but I've never been in a position to do so. Working at Second Time Around gives me opportunities to be around clientele who have plenty of clothing and plenty of money. Linking Generosity Water with our clients to build a well in Haiti was finally my opportunity to be a hands-on part of something extremely beneficial. I knew being the one to auction everything would be a challenge -- I've never done that before in my life! I figured because I knew a lot of the women, and we had those amazing items from Peter Som, Kelly Bensimon, Rachel Roy, and Alexa Ray Joel it would be a walk in the park. I was secretly hoping to raise enough money for two or three wells. I was totally wrong. These women did not come ready to give their money away. . It was a real fight to even get a paddle raised. Luckily Wilson came to my rescue with that deep, masculine voice that commanded those women a bit more than mine. Wilson has such positive energy and he definitely added a richer dimension to the party.

Persistence pays off, though, and after a few glasses of champagne the women began bidding. It wasn't the triumphant, over-the-top success I had wanted, but that one well does give water to a thousand people. So I guess I'll just give us four a congratulations for getting that far. Water is something that we take for granted; I can't imagine taking a sip of water and worrying that it's contaminated. This was by far the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time.

I was soooo hoping that Colin's bracelet actually belonged to Coco Chanel. Obviously Coco was one of the most influential women in fashion, so I got really excited. It was a let down to find out it wasn't. Visiting the Elle accessories closet was a nice little band-aid. You didn't even really get to see how much stuff was actually in there! I only wished Karina could have been there to fulfill her fantasy of accessories.

I am proud of Tara for sharing about her alcoholism. Everyone has different past experiences which leads them into certain circumstances they would rather not have to deal with it; I definitely have my own. It hasn't always been easy to watch her go through the motions at work. It's the type of situation that there is nothing you can do but be supportive. She has handled herself with dignity and grace, and I believe her sharing is quite inspirational for others who have similar demons.