Lauren Friedman’s creative journey started with a lifelong passion for clothing, a dull 9-t0-5 job and an outfit idea doodled one evening. That little sketch evolved into Lauren’s popular blog, My Closet In Sketches, where she illustrates and collages her fashion inspirations and tips. Now, in addition to running her blog and illustrating outfits for Lucky Magazine, this busy gal has released 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf, a beautifully illustrated guide to the versatility of one of Lauren’s favorite accessories. We can never resist a great new tntake on fashion—nor pass up a good scarf-tying tutorial—so we peeked inside Lauren’s studio and asked her to share her thoughts on fashion, illustration and her fabulous book. Along with answering our questions, Lauren wanted our readers to be the first to see the brand new book trailer for 50 Ways To Wear a Scarf!
Can you tell us about 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf?
I illustrated and wrote over fifty ways to wear a scarf (and unbelievably, I keep thinking of more!), and each look in this book is shown with my own scarves and clothes. While I was writing it, I honestly forgot that anyone besides my editor and me would ever read it—so the voice, sense of humor and fashion sense are very authentically mine. Every person who holds this book is absolutely holding a piece of me.
What inspired you to create the book?
From the time I was able to put on my own shirt, I have created a story around getting dressed: the ballerina who marries a rapper and runs away to the countryside is always a favorite, but I also love to be the anthropologist from Boston who moves to the desert, or the grandmommy with a fondness for track jackets and gold chains. I think that scarves are like exclamation points; they add the final flourish to these daily narratives of getting dressed. I want to show readers that you can tell a million stories when wearing a scarf—and the bolder, the better!
What was your favorite part of creating 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf?
My favorite part was getting lost in the creation of the whole thing. It was a hard effort, to be sure, but I honestly loved the process of slogging through something bigger than I’ve ever done before. I thought about scarves all day and dreamt about scarves all night.
Can you tell us about your blog, My Closet In Sketches?
It’s an online visual diary of outfits and how-to’s, and everything is illustrated and collaged. There’s a lot of stuff about how to wear what’s already sitting in your closet, and even more about encouraging readers to find their own personal style. My Closet in Sketches will be turning four years old this spring!
When did you start doing illustrations?
Everyone who knew me as a kid is not surprised that this is what I’ve gotten myself into; even though I didn’t go to school for art, I’ve really been drawing my whole life. I started My Closet in Sketches because I was bored after coming home from a 9-to-5 job and not having a creative outlet. One night, I sketched an outfit idea for the next day, and the next morning I looked at that little drawing and realized I could make that into a website. The rest is history!
What drew you to creating fashion illustrations?
I’ve been reading Vogue and digesting fashion for as long as I can remember. My mom is an architect (and a whiz on the sewing machine); she really taught me the visual language of fashion, like how a well-made t-shirt can be as beautiful as a couture dress. Even back in the day, when I was five or six, I would design dresses and make little magazine layouts in my notebooks. Creating My Closet in Sketches and pursuing fashion illustration just felt like a natural extension of my passions.
What was it like going from blogging to writing and illustrating a book?
Sometimes I feel like I’ve been writing this book since the moment I started My Closet in Sketches. There are a number of scarf ties in the book that originally appeared on my website! With blogging, you spend a lot of time cultivating a voice—my “LF” persona, if you will—and it felt very natural to have her go on for a whole book, not just one post.
Any tips for someone who also hopes to go from blog to book?
I truly believe I have found success through my website because I only do it for the fun of it. Don’t pursue anything unless you truly enjoy it—you can practically smell when someone’s heart isn’t in it, you know? Listen to what your own voice says and don’t try to be anyone else. All I’m drawn to is originality, when you intuitively know that someone is presenting his or her most authentic self.
Also, keep a notebook! I outlined, wrote and sketched the entire book by hand before I ever touched a computer. I find my thoughts to be purest in a notebook.
How do you sparkle?
Yoga, fancy shoes and Cam’ron!