Sunday, April 29th, 2012
Having just spent some time deep in The Baby Bump (which, if asked, I would have titled, Bumping up Careers, One baby at a Time) in today’s New York Times, I want to first commend Jacob Bernstein for a well-researched, engaging piece and then slap him for missing the other side of the story. All he shares is true – he does a careful job of tracing the history of the thriving Bump Business. Mr. Bernstein tackles the profit center, career booster questions with savvy. What he misses is the positive side of the equation. He fails to examine how celebrity pregnancies, played out in public view actually give back and otherwise contribute to the experiences of more than 4-million pregnant women in this country. And so while, yes – there is a way to interpret celebrity pregnancy though the lens of commercialism, I suggest we take a bit of a deeper dive.
In defense and even appreciation to these celebrity gestaters – a quick inventory of what they are giving back along the road to baby:
- Normalized Pregnancy – Out of back rooms and suddenly on full view, while sometimes extreme, these very public pregnancies open the windows and doors WIDE and allow us to see a broader view of pregnancy (for better or for worse). And with that there is a change in the candor, content and scope of dialog – not just on-set but around water coolers as well.
- New Vocabulary, Confidence and the rise of the “Experiential Pregnancy” – The Hollywood bump-set give pregnant women a sense of confidence, style, and a new view to a range of real, radiating beauty. Since early aughts the style community has risen to the occasion as well – suddenly maternity fashion (thank you Liz Lange) and nursery décor (check out project nursery, for example) were elevated to meet the desires and aspirations of main street parents (In reaction to the new view of Melrose and Madison avenue parents). Our new vocabulary included (and does to this day) glow, maternity chic, fourth trimester, etc. – making the challenges and triumphs of one’s changing body and lifestyle a shared, open experience.
- Expectant Parents – before the celebrity baby boom hit, we did not include Dad in much of the baby talk. This wave of celebrity family has certainly played a part in bringing Dad into focus and view – what used to be “her” pregnancy became “our” pregnancy. And with the birth of a Dad came a new version of Dad, in a wide range of populations. This year saw the first male breastfeeding blogger, for example. And many a Diaper Dude is carried with paternal hipster pride.
AND MY BURRIED LEAD – PHILANTHROPY, EDUCATION and CARE
- Celebrities have loaned their voices, status and energy to critical work focused on raising much needed funds and awareness for issues effecting all populations of families. I have been honored to work on a wide range of projects with expectant and new celebrity parents and remain grateful for all they have given back. They have raised their voices and pointed attention to causes that need it most. When Christie Turlington throws herself into Every Mother Counts or Jewel donates nursing bras in her name to Baby Buggy’s efforts in her adopted home state of Texas this ignites change. When Gwyneth Paltrow or Melissa Rycroft openly share their battle with postpartum depression (PPD) or Jennifer Garner discusses breast-feeding and back-to-work challenges it increases awareness and care around issues that were once quiet and cloaked. The list goes on and on – and it should! These celebrities have marked their entry into parenthood with very meaningful and powerful gestures that help to advance not only the conversation around key issues but also the outcomes for all families.
In the end, the story is that of a bigger picture, both sides of the equation and how the game is advanced for all parents with celebrity parents on the front lines.
Monday, January 9th, 2012
It is that magical time of year again! A New View’s Annual Sample Sale starts today and runs through January 26. Give Armanda a call (it is by appointment only), tell her I sent you and have a blast dressing your bump. Check out some of my favorite lines including Maternal America, Noppies (oh so comfortable), Ripe and more. Grab some the essentials – denim, layering pieces and of course some super comfortable lounge wear. And send me some pictures…
A NEW VIEW: 212 643 9547
checking out the goods at A New View
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Today on Twitter I was overwhelmed and completely moved by being referred to as a Fairy Godmother. It was not the first time (thank you David Gaunt for the Dolly Levi comparison), but I must admit – in the big, reality show world of experts, gurus, and other super savants – all titles that clearly do not suit me, this one feels right. I know my wise friend Samantha Ettus would agree – this is my personal brand.
Nadia and Julia - Babymoon in NYC!
I have been in this space for quite a long time. And I have seen a great deal (understatement). Feel free to pursue the Back Labor Blog for a sense of just some of the madness I have witnessed. I have seen brands, trends and individuals rise from obscurity, take hold or more often than not – fade away. I have coined, encouraged, mentored, mediated and managed. I have advised, advocated and sometimes (ok, maybe more than sometimes) agitated. But in the final analysis what it comes down to is this – PEOPLE.
I have fought hard for one thing the care and feeding of expectant and new parents – ALL new parents. Be it my early, impassioned aspiration of helping brands to speak intelligently and with care to this very eager but also suddenly vulnerable market of new and expectant parents, or my desire to create real-time access to honest information from which parents can make informed decisions – or my sincere belief that brands, influencers and consumers alike have a real obligation to give back in a way that allows all parents access to this level of care and yes, honest, clear information. I have raised the bar and insisted that this industry can operate from a place of integrity and respect. And I am relentless in my pursuit and maintenance of this standard (mandate). It is no secret I am as tough as I am generous and I like it that way.
It is about respect. And with that comes care – and yes Jessica, Nadia and all of you beautiful creatures, that includes a blow-out and decadent nibbles when you are feeling at the end of your pregnancy rope. Because, to me, that is part of it too. There is fun to be had, life to celebrate and certainly there are quality relationships to forge. So, Bippity, Bobitty, Boop– I am happy – no, I am ecstatic, to be the Fairy godmother – it is nothing short of an honor and am I both humbled and proud.
And so while people keep popping up (oh should I have said Pope-ing) up in the expectant and new parent space – I am happy to let them have their Fifteen Minutes, two-seasons, blog-of-the-moment, what-ever floats their boat. If you need me, I will be here with my magic wand, making it so….
Monday, June 20th, 2011
Anyone who knows me knows of my love for language. Well these latest entries into the Oxford English Dictionary certainly sound familiar. Take a look at some of the 2011 additions :
Jenni Hogan is the definition of adorable baby bump (IMO)
Bestie (here’s mine, the always fabulous Lisa Jordan Helms)
My Bestie, Lisa Jordan Helms
Well sure that is a given:
Pedi (trust me on the mani)
And next year – I vote that Audrey McClelland’s Haul finds its way in….what do you think? What words are making their way to the big book?
Monday, June 6th, 2011
A blazing summer is predicted, and honestly, a summer pregnancy is not for the faint of heart (I’ve done two). The best strategy for making it though is great planning. Put these on your summer bump survival list:
- Water – for drinking – cold, bubbles, still, lemon, lime – just keep drinking!
- Water – for swimming, for floating, for cooling your toes – speaking of which,
- Pedicures – whether you can see your toes or not, keep them pampered & pretty!
- Smoothies – I am a big fan of Raspberry Banana, yum!
- And last, but not least – cool summer looks.
Here’s the skinny on how to keep your budget in tact while keeping it easy breezy this summer (send us a shot of your haul!) –
NYC MATERNITY SAMPLE SALES:
THIS WEEK ONLY
Belly Dance Maternity Sample Sale
New York Store
Two Days Only
Wed, June 22 11 am-7 pm & Thurs June 23 9 am- 3pm
Warm and cold weather styles and even designer denim on sale
Original prices $50-$350
Brands include Paige Maternity, Michael Stars Maternity, NOM, t-bags Maternity, Ella Moss, Rachel Pally, Olian Maternity, Japanese Weekend, and more
548 Hudson Street between Charles and Perry in West Village
checking out the goods at A New View
A New View Maternity
347 W. 36th Street, Suite 1602, between 8th and 9th Ave
NYC, NYC 10018
June 6th-30th, 2011
July 11th– 22nd 2011
9:30am -3:30pm Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Monday and Friday by appointment only
Maternal America, Pour Deux, Japanese Weekend, Bellyssima, Olian, Noppies, Ripe and more! Shower dresses, breezy tops, slim leg bottoms, nursing and more!
Sunday, July 4th, 2010
There is nothing fun about being pregnant during a heat wave. I remember well the summer of 1998 – when Lila showed up at the very end of August after endless days of crazy, Washington, DC heat and humidity. One thing that might have helped would have been some equally hot fashion and some sizzling prices (both of which were few and far between back in the day).
I did a quick look around and found some outstanding savings on very easy, breezy summer essentials to get you through the hot season. And what’s more – all of these great picks are on sale. And the best part – of this shopping can be done from the cool comfort of your couch! Some of the sales end today – so be sure to hop on line and get your goodies. And find us on FaceBook – we’d love to see your holiday weekend haul!
Happy Bump Shopping!
THIS JUST ADDED:
Nuka Maternity has got a site-wide 30% off sale in progress
Code: July 4
Nuka Ava Firecracker tank (had to for the 4th!!!) $38
Due Maternity is offering 20% off all essentials this weekend.
Michael Stars Sleeveless Ruched Tunic (avialable in 5 colors) $49
Pickles & Ice Cream has got a 30% off sale in progress
Maternal America Maternity Magenta One-Shoulder Dress $129
Belly Dance maternity has got a clearance section filled to the brim with major finds
NOM Coal Swing Dress $30
A Pea in the Pod is offering savings up to 75% off
Lavish by Heidi Klum Sleeveless Scoop Neck Mock Layer Tank Top $49.99
Isabella Oliver is hosting their End of the Season Sale
Savings up to 60% off
Isabella Oliver Helena Dress $105
Thursday, May 27th, 2010
They say that I always have bumps and baby on the brain! Sure, I am known for my uncanny sense ability to spot trends and make sense of what is happening in the world of pregnancy and parenthood, from Melrose and Madison Avenues to Main Street. But you are thinking, hey, what about me??? Good question! I will answer by sharing my inside line of the best secrets for belly and beyond. As always, let me know what you think!
Welcome to the Ten Commandments of Pregnancy Style! This is the third of a ten part series in which I will share my tricks of the trade for building a better maternity wardrobe.
So far we’ve covered:
1. Choose Cafefully
2. Infuse Trend Wisely
3. Flatter yourself! Simply, hone in on your best features and show them off! I am a big fan of full pregnancy breasts, shapely shoulders and toned arms taking center stage. One line that has the curves of a pregnant goddess down to a near perfect science is Isabella Oliver. It was my great privilege to launch them in the States and introduce them to the likes of Marcia Cross, Brice Howard, Lauren Ambrose, Shon Gables and of course to all of you! I ‘ve not worked with them in some time, but I continue to admire their design sensibility. The line is both chic and well constructed. These pieces are part of your overall wardrobe investment. So choose the most flattering and also the ones that will go the distance for you thought out your Forty Week style journey. Take a look and some of these feature flattering looks from London:
Isabella Oliver Grecian Tunic $125
Isabella Oliver Ruched Kiss Dress $179
Isabella Oliver The Audrey Dress $289
Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
What do KIRO TV personality and all around adorable pregnant woman Jenni Hogan and Forty Weeks go-to-gal (ok, she is in charge) and always super lovely Jules Galpin have in common?
Well for one they both speak with very cool accents (alternatively, they both think I speak with a very cool, Philly girl goes to DC and looses her accent after multiple classes in voice and diction) accent.
Next, they are fashion forward, cute as a button and have great hair especially pregnant.
Also, they are smart enough to hang out with me – which means they get the inside line on what’s new and noteworthy in pregnancy fashion
Both are craving all sorts of silly foods (Jules is quite addicted to the pasta salad from the Chevy Chase Market for example).
What’s more – both are radiant and glowing (Jules is using Basq to get her glow on Jenni got a big box in the mail from Belli)
And I believe both are having girls – Jenni’s girlie bundle of joy is confirmed, Jules’ TBA baby-girl is just my expert opinion
And what else? Well, they are both are ordering the newest piece from the NOM colection at BellyDance Maternity — really this one is the perfect spring dress – I am an instant fan!
NOM Bree Beaded Dress
I will post pictures of both Jenni and Jules in this piece soon – stay tuned!
Monday, March 8th, 2010
I’ve said it for years – forget the bump-watch, it is a useless exercise (and usually ends up to be bloat not baby). The trademark Forty Week prediction test is all about the breasts. And really, I don’t go looking for it – the thing with expectant breasts - they find you. And they have. Last night, while having my own little Oscar’s moment - I got a little dose of “baby on board” from the stunning Guiliana Ranic. And this is not gossip, rather pure excitement/speculation from me for Guiliana and Bill. I would love to add her to my short list of pregnancy dream-girls (think Jenni Hogan) What do you think?
Guiliana Ranic before (left) and last night (right)
Friday, February 26th, 2010
Jenni Hogan in Maternal Amercia from Belly Dance
Here is Jenni Hogan in a rich chocolate brown Maternal America Dress. Thank you, thank you Belly Dance Maternity for finding this gem for our belly beauty! I think this is my favorite Fashion Friday yet! I would like to see a little more layering on the necklaces and some great textured tights – but Jenni informs me she is having accessory anxiety at the moment. We will let it slide!
Jenni you are a glowing Goddess — enough said!