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bonnie smith

1. When do you feel at your most attractive?

1960’s in first pant suits
1970’s living/ buying clothes in France/Italy

2. Do you notice women on the street? If so, what sort of women do you tend to notice or admire?

very simple, edited, purposeful look

3. What are some things you admire about how other women present themselves?

originality. taking chances, body awareness

4. Was there a moment in your life when something “clicked” for you about fashion or dressing or make-up or hair? What? Why did it happen then, do you think?

wanted a simple uniform for every day and then occasional breakout change up

5. What are some shopping rules you wouldn’t necessarily recommend to others but which you follow?

leave cc and money in the car. park far away.

6. What are some rules about dressing you follow, but you wouldn't necessarily recommend to others?

I like to be covered up. Diane Keaton thing.
minimum skin showing

7. What is the most transformative conversation you have ever had on the subject of fashion or style?

a shop in New York in the 1960’s called Countdown owned by Diana Lesley.
Most original gorgeous clothes. Transformed me.

8. Do you have a unified way of approaching your life, work, relationships, finances, chores, etc.? Please explain.

hell no!

9. Are there any clothing (or related) items that you have in multiple? Why do you think you keep buying this thing?

mod o doc cotton long sleeve tees. own about 25. wear one almost every day

10. Have you ever successfully given someone a present of jewelry or clothing that you continue to feel good about?

I have bought clothes for house sitters who had no money. But no.

11. Is there any fashion trend you’ve refused to participate in and why? 

7” heels
bad feet

12. Can you say a bit about how your mother’s body and style has been passed down to you, or not?

same body
She went old lady in her 30’s and I took her shopping for looks.

13. Have you stolen, borrowed or adapted any dressing ideas or actual items from friends or family?


14. Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

yes. 1960’s pantsuits
1970’s sophisticated European

15. Is there anything political about the way you dress?

avoid looking conservative!

16. Please describe your body.

5’7””, 150 lbs bigger than I like around middlehideous floppy upper arms
really bad feet

17. Please describe your mind.

critical, visual, analytical, creative
(footwear designer 30 years)
teach footwear design at FIDM

18. Please describe your emotions.

politically-dont get me started angry
scared for mother earth
anxious, love my dog more than people
need challenges

19. What are you wearing on your body and face, and how is your hair done, right at this moment?

lying on bed. jockey panties, nautical stripe dress from goodwill that makes stylish sleep garment
that can be worn outside to water garden
hair self cut short pixyish white hair kept white with horse shampoo,
no makeup ever. except maybe lipstick

20. In what way is this stuff important, if at all?

varies by my mood
one day I love having choices
next day- sell it allstudents

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?


22. How do institutions affect the way you dress?

I guess I would try to be appropriate within reason

23. Do you think you have taste or style? Which one is more important? What do these words mean to you?

I think both. I get “I like your look”
I try to step it up if I am around people or at school

24. Do you remember the biggest waste of money you ever made on an item of clothing?

any shoes that hurt

25. Are there any dressing tricks you’ve invented or learned that make you feel like you’re getting away with something?

scarves solve many issues

26. Do you have style in any areas of your life aside from fashion?

my home
my car
my garden

27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

an Hermes scarf helps

28. Would you say you “know what you like” in the area of fashion and clothing? If so, do you also know what you like in other areas of life, that is, are you generally good at discernment? Can you say where your discernment comes from, if you have it? Or if you don’t have it, why or why not?

god knows I try
flea markets are my weakness

29. Did your parents teach you things about clothing, care for your clothing, dressing or style? What lessons do you remember? Or did you just pick things up?

neatness, care, respect for the occasion.
discount stores

30. What sorts of things do you do, clothing or make-up or hair- wise, to feel sexy or alluring?

I really dont put that out.

31. Many people say they want to feel “comfortable,” or that they admire people who seem “confident.” What do these words really mean to you?

comfortable means nobtugging, pulling, fussing or the desire tobrun home and undress
confident is when you nailed the right look for where you are.

32. If dressing were the only thing you did, and you were considered an expert and asked to explain your style philosophy, what would you say?

keep it simple. dont over accessorize.
dont carry a trophy bag
dont wear everything from one designer
dont look like you you are advertising your net worth
dont look like it took you forever to get out of the

33. What is really beautiful, for you, in general?

in clothes? workmanship, fabric, cut, simple.
otherwise. Nature.

34. What do you consider very ugly?

hair do and looks of makeup
too much scent
large prints on large bodies
long nails
sausage casing clothes with lots of skin showing
unless you have athletic body

35. Are you generally a good judge of whether what you buy will end up being worn? Have you figured out how to know in advance?

yes, finally in my dotage...

36. When you look at yourself before going out, and you are trying to see yourself from the outside, can you describe a bit about what this “other person” is like? What do they like, dislike, what sorts of judgments do they have? Is this “outer eye” based on someone you know or once knew?

I teach at a fashion school, I need to have a “look” that says fashion aware

37. What is your process getting dressed in the morning? What are you considering?

depends on what I am doing

38. What are you trying to achieve when you dress?

that I am a person of interest
although not in a criminal way

39. What, for you, is the difference between dressing and dressing up?

I hate, loathe and despise dressing up

40. If you had to wear a “uniform” what would it look like?

mod o doc tee, long skirt or straight pants, puma mostro shoes, scarf, gold horse pendant, gold earrings, Tom Ford huge round glasses

41. What would you say is “you” and what would you say is “not you”?

no bright colors or big prints.
nothing fussy

42. What is your cultural background and how has that influenced how you dress?

white, east coast, democrat, nature lover, College, BFA oil painting. german from early 1800’s,
called Pennsylvania Dutch. Raised protestant, dont do church
age 78

43. Do you remember a time in your life when you dressed quite differently from how you do now? Can you describe it and what it was all about for you?

30 years of fashion shoe designworking in ten different countries put me through many changes.
then I left shoes, joined Land Rover and wore safaria gear.

44. What sorts of things do you do, clothing, make-up or hair-wise, to feel professional?

hair looks trendy. very short. big glasses..
my uniform. interesting jewelry
I dont do corporate

45. How do you conform to or rebel against the dress expectations at your workplace?

I am fine

46. Do you have a dress code, a school uniform, or a uniform that you wear for an extracurricular activity?


47. Are there ways in which you conform to or rebel against these uniforms?


48. Do you find it comforting or constraining to have a uniform?

I did like safari gear
no longer with Land Rover just FIDM

49. What is an archetypal outfit for you; one that you could have happily worn at any point in your life? What do you like about it?

tee and pants. Simple

50. Do you ever wish you were a man or could dress like a man or had a man’s body? Was there ever a time in the past?

no but I like shirts, tees, straight pants
I love Men’s department in Target, Old Navy,
ralph lauren.
Womens dept has mainly looks for a female I never see in person

51. If there was one country or culture or era that you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?

France, any time

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Bill Cunningham used to shoot me alot on fifth and 57th when I was young
at 78 not so much

53. When you see yourself in photographs, what do you think?

what the hell happened?!
when I was 20/30 ish, even 50ish totally ok

54. Are there any figures from culture, past or present, whose style you admire or have drawn from?

Iris Apfel

55. Have you ever had a dream that involved clothes?


56. What would be a difficult or uncomfortable look for you to try and achieve?

dress and heels that are conservative

57. If you were totally comfortable with your body, or your body was a bit closer to what you wish it was like, what would you wear?

same stuff but cuter flats and and things that showed upper arms

58. Is there anyone that you are trying to attract or repel when you dress?


59. Are there any dressing rules you’d want to convey to other women?

dont advertise rolls of flesh.

60. What do you think of perfume? Do you wear it?

every dayclothes and body clean

61. What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes in order to feel presentable?

clothes and body clean

62. How does makeup fit into all this for you?

it does not. At my age, even lipstick is iffy.
I prefer my glasses and hair period

63. Is there a certain look you feel you’re expected to like that you have absolutely no interest in? What is it? Why aren’t you interested?

wearing colors or prints

64. Can you describe in a basic way what you own, clothing and jewelry-wise?

unusual longer skirts
many long sleeve shirts and tees
sweaters and sweatshirts.
straight pants
jewelry lots of pearls
ethnic pieces
my gold horse pendant on gold chain with 2 sets gold small hoops every day
signet ring, fathers gold and diamond ring,
another gold ring
tons of masai beaded bracelets sometimes
tons of scarves

65. What is your favorite piece of clothing or jewelry that you own?

gold horse, fathers ring, pearls with hand carved gold koi fish as fastener

66. Tell us about something in your closet that you keep but never wear. What is it, why don’t you wear it, and why do you keep it?

2 fabulous dresses bought in the 1970’s
one hand painted on burlap the other linen
2 Eskandar linen dresses

67. Looking back at all your purchases over the past five to fifteen years, can you generalize about what sorts of things were the most valuable to buy?

japanese designers

68. Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, but no longer own, and still think about or wish you had back? What was it, what happened to it, and why do you want it back?

Issey Miyaki white cotten skirt and top!
what was I thinking?
gave away. loved it wear everywhere thing

69. If you had to throw out all your clothes but keep one thing, what would you keep?

it would have to cover you. I would need tee and pants

70. Building up your wardrobe from nothing, what would you do differently this time?

buy less focus better

71. What’s the first “investment” item you bought? Do you still own or wear it?

japanese shirt yoji yamamoda

72. Was there ever an important or paradigm-shifting purchase in your life?

sonia rykiel

73. What item of clothing are you still (or have you forever been) on the hunt for?

something that acts like a shirt waist dress but isnt

74. What are your closet and drawers like? Do you keep things neat, etc?


75. Were you ever given a present of clothing or jewelry that especially touched you?

yes my pearls with koi

76. Did you ever buy an article of clothing without giving it much thought, only to have it prove much more valuable as time went on? What was the item and what happened?

giorgio armani sweater

77. How and when do you shop for clothes?

almost never. last purchase flea market

78. Do you like to smell a certain way?

floral, woods,

79. How does how you dress play into your ambitions for yourself?


80. How does money fit into all this?

alot. in the 60’s through the 80’s, designer clothing was priced to sell to middle class.
Now ridiculously expensive.
How can a handbag cost $5-10,000?!
shoes $800
a shirt $600?
Or, so cheap you know slave labor made it!

81. Is there an article of clothing, a piece of make-up, or an accessory that you carry with you or wear every day?

not really except earring and pendantonly boy friends

83. Do you remember the first time you were conscious of what you were wearing? Can you describe this moment and what it was about?

Easter sunday five years old felt ridiculous in outfit

What’s your birth date? 
Where were you born and where do you live now?

sept phila. now california small town near LA

Say anything you like about your cultural/ethnic/economic background.

middle class, nice house, Porsche for 18th birthday
only child
good education, small town near phila

What kind of work do you do?

now. teach footwear design

Are you single, married, do you have kids, etc.?

twice divorced no kids

Please say anything you like about yourself that might put this survey into some sort of context.

clothes are a language spoken silently

How do you feel after filling out this survey?

provided some insight


google bonnie smith shoe designer, you will see me and whatever shoes are still offered from vintage

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