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Geraldine Phillips

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

I notice well-dressed women who wear clothes that are flattering to them. Not ones who follow fashion.

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

That they are non-conforming, and don't try to hard.

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?

I've always been interested in fashion.

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

Shop in your closet first, but then not everybody has a daughter who is a shop-a-holic.

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

Accessories are very important. You do so much with a scarf, a hat, a belt.

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

I really don't like anybody's taste better than my own.

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

I gave my pearls to my granddaughter who I know would appreciate them.

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

Yes right now there is a trend toward wearing short dresses and the reason I wouldn't participate is because I feel that it is unflattering to me.

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

My body resembles my mother's body. Style-- my mother believed in buying a few good items, and never to have the clothes be more attractive then the person. The clothes are supposed to enhance your appearance. You don't notice the clothes. You notice the person in the clothes. I feel the same way as my mother except, I'm more into expressing myself through clothes than my mother was. She just liked to dress simply.

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

No. I am strictly my own person.

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

I don't want to look too conservative. Conservative people are not very interesting dressers

16. Please describe your body.

Gorgeous! I'm symmetrical.

17. Please describe your mind.


18. Please describe your emotions.


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

Right now. I'm wearing a hospital gown.

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

It gives me pleasure. Through clothes. I feel creative. That's as creative as I get. I don't paint like some people.

21. With whom do you talk about clothes?

with my granddaughter. I often go shopping now with my daughter and she has enhanced my taste because she's braver about fashion. The thing about Laurie, which is like my husband is she doesn't worry about making mistakes. If she buys a lot of mistakes she gives them to me! They're not wasted. I

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

I know what I like, that's taste. I express the image that I want to project through style.

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

Hanging in my closet right now is a really nice kimono that I've hardly worn. I bought it because I thought I would wear it when I was sick, but it's too nice for the hospital.

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

I feel like sometimes I just change a scarf and it makes everything look different.

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

All areas. I always am expressing myself.

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?

I can't think of time when I didn't do that

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?

Yes, I have confidence.

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?

My parents believed in quality and not quantity.

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

I put lipstick on.

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?

More than anything you want to be comfortable in your clothes so that you can forget what you're wearing.

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

When everything fits together

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?

Pretty much

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

Where I am going, the weather, comfort.

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

Comfort, simplicity, harmony

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

Jewelry.... when I dress up I wear jewelery

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

It would look like my clothes. Khaki, it's one of my favorite colors. It's a no color.

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

Not me is high heels, bright nail polish, long nails, heavy make up, dyed hair.

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?

When I was young and sexy I wore brighter colors and form fitting clothes, bikinis. Actually I had the first bikini that anybody ever saw. I bought it for 5 dollars. It was reduced, at one of the major department stores and I wore it in Puerto Rico. It actually had a cover up that went over it. It was the first bikini I ever saw. I bought it but I was embarrassed to wear it. My husband loved it. He wasn't embarrassed.

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?

I have black silk pants and top from Eileen Fisher that I bought twenty years ago and whenever I have to go out and I don't know what to wear I wear that. I might change the pants or the scarf or that sort of thing.

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?

I never wanted a man's body but I would dress like a man. It seems simpler. I used to buy men's clothes a lot.

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

I think I'd be better off in Norway, or Sweden or one of those countries.

52. Do you consider yourself photogenic?

Compared to what? Sometimes a photograph is flattering to me. I was photogenic. I looked better in photographs than I did in real life.

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

Don't believe it. I never looked like that.

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

Coco Chanel

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

Sure I did but I can't remember.

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

11/3/1924 I was born in Hakensack, New Jersey. I live in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

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