The past few months have been filled with surprising fashion moments, none more so than the discovery of Lois A Wigs -- a shop that happens to be around the corner from my home but that I'd never known about until my fashionable friend Stacey Margo, author of Walking Stiletto Miles, and I went in for fun one night ... and came out sprinkled with fairy dust. Stacey captured the moment and meaning so beautifully I asked if I could feature the story she wrote about it here on Style Maniac. We both agree: beauty has so very many layers and so very many forms, and thank goodness there are women like Lois out there with the patience, talent and care to uncover all of it.
This fall I had the opportunity to attend The Philadelphia Collection, part of Philadelphia's Fashion Week. My style guide for the evening was none other than Phillys own style maven, Doreen Creede, the illustrious blogger of Style Maniac. As part of a chic street party we wandered from a clothing boutique to a shoe shop to hair artiste Francesca Rivetti's Follicle Studio where she demonstrated fantabulous twisted up-dos, ready for runway.
Along the way we also stopped in at Lois A Wig Boutique where we were treated to an in-depth experience of the ins & outs of choosing the perfect wig. The owner, Lois, has been in this business for over 40 years. This is not just her career, it is her art. And her heart. She understands that beauty is not just for the eye, but something much, much deeper.
For Doreen and myself, it was a night of dress up, of finding a different look, a different "self." Doreen, a blonde, chose a saucy red, while I, a brunette, wanted to know if blondes really had more fun. The changes we felt when the wigs went on were instantaneous. Magical.
Lois fit us each with a cap and found wigs sized unique to our heads. This is what she is known for. The custom fit is of utmost importance to her clients. While we were there for play, the majority of her customers are there for different reasons: they are going through chemotherapy.
Lois Arnold, proprietor & fairy godmother / Lois A Wigs
Lois specializes in going through the journey with her cancer patients. She understands that it's not just about the physical loss of the hair, but the very deep, emotional loss that comes with that. And it's not the shallow connection of hair we're talking about. The very nature of a woman is her hair; when she loses this not by choice but by a ravaging disease that is at that moment taking control of her life and her body, she is losing some parts of her identity. And until she can get her mental state back in control, she is in a fragile position, open & vulnerable to the world. To help in this particular stage of the process, a wig offers a kind of protection if you will, to guard her "secret," perhaps, help remind her of who she is (or once was), and, at the very least, let her feel beautiful in a time where she may or may not be feeling so. All she probably wants is to just feel normal. And that is what Lois is helping her to try and accomplish until she is in a better place to achieve this on her own. She is not asking for validation from the outside world, but only from her inner self.
When I walked away from my own moment of "magic," I left with inspiration and hope. Lois is such an angel. I felt her warmth and love the moment I sat in her chair. Having had my own bad day, I left with a smile on my face knowing that there are people in this world that truly do care about the well-being of others.
Some say the multi-billion dollar beauty industry is a sham, that beauty itself is shallow. But I feel that beauty is what exists beneath, it's what's inside our hearts. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but on its deepest level, it's how we perceive our own self identity. There's no shallowness there.
"Use the good china for breakfast."