#GorgeousGirl Laura Caravaggio
Posted on January 28 2016
A dear customer and active member of the Hey Gorgeous! community, we are always excited to hear from Laura Caravaggio. As a previous owner of a plus boutique, Laura knows the ins and outs of brands, fit, and the emotional experience of shopping. She's a Canadian mother (not unlike our founder, Aimee Cheshire!) who has worked and lived in this industry. We are big fans of her blog and her style, so we chatted style, plus fashion, and motherhood with Laura.
Introducing: Laura Caravaggio
Laura Caravaggio: I think one of the best things that came from owning my own store was that it retrained my eye to see the incredible beauty that comes in all shapes and sizes. I opened my boutique in 2007, which was a few years before the prevalent body confidence movement that we are seeing today. After so many years of both the media and society pushing the idea of limited beauty, it was so refreshing to meet and work with amazing women who represented a beauty ideal that just wasn’t being represented in popular culture. Having a part in helping them feel great about themselves and giving them style choices that weren’t otherwise available to them was a huge honour. And each woman that came in helped me to love and accept myself a little bit more.
Laura is wearing the Prelinna Dress by Carmakoma.
HG!: What a familiar story! Here it is, 2016, and we are doing that same work in the Hey Gorgeous! Showroom. What are some of your personal biggest style challenges?
Laura: I’d say that my biggest challenge is not getting stuck in a rut. Changing things up a bit is what style is all about. When I had my own store, I was constantly telling my customers to try new things and push their comfort zones. Now I find I’m doing that a bit myself!
Laura is wearing the Natalia Short Hooded Coat by Persona by Marina Rinaldi.
HG!: Speaking of getting stuck in a rut- how does dressing for cold Toronto winters and being a mom affect your style?
Well, I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the winter or of being cold. I love to wear dresses, so my winter wear-to-work style has mostly consisted of wearing a long sweater over a shift dress with leggings and boots. Another winter staple are my ponte leggings- last season from Hey Gorgeous, of course! I love ponte or double knit leggings in the winter because it allows me to keep a sleek silhouette while also staying warm. It's all about layering! I’ve been loving my Pinolo Quilted Jacket by Persona, it's great for wearing to play in the snow with my daughter. It is super light but very warm and the best part is that my daughter gets a huge kick out of the fact that it is purple, one of her favourite colours! It has great shape, so I don’t feel like the Michelin Man when I’m wearing it. My daughter loves to be outside in the snow, so this year instead of our usual sunny vacation destination, we are going to Ottawa to skate on the Rideau Canal and check out all of the Winterlude activities and eat some Beaver Tails. I even bought a pair of snow pants! Being a mom has forced me out of my comfort zone (did I mention the snow pants??) but it has also shown me that in order to still feel like myself, I have to find a way to hold on to my personal style. Sometimes it means that I’m probably the only mom in the park wearing a silk Anna Scholz dress. As long as we’re out there having fun, that’s all that matters.
Laura is wearing the Natalia Short Hooded Coat by Persona by Marina Rinaldi and the Emma Straight Leg Jean in Black.
HG!: Describe your style in a few words.
Laura: I like classic lines with some kind of twist, like a bold pattern or a pop of colour and a hint of rock ‘n roll thrown in there somewhere. I’d say comfort is paramount, but comfortable doesn’t have to mean boring!
Laura: I’m loving Instagram right now. Checking out all the amazing bloggers out there is great for me. At this point of my life, I really understand my body shape and my personal style, so I have my go-to online shops and I know right away what I like and what will suit me. Every once in a while a style blogger will inspire me to try something new. Some of my favorites include @girlwithcurves, @nicolettemason, @glitterandlazers, @flightofthefatgirl, and @styleit.
I really dislike having my picture taken, so taking pictures for the blog is always a challenge for me. Being a mom to a young daughter, I am conscious of the messages that I send to her about body image and self-confidence. I know that right now I’m her primary female role-model, so I kind of have to put my money where my mouth is and fake it till I make it with my photo shoots. I’ve been involved in this industry for a long time now, and I realize that there are still aspects of my own confidence that I have to work on. I’ve also learned to open up a bit more about my personal experiences. The post that I wrote about my journey to motherhood received the most response and it was intensely personal. I had a tough time with the idea of revealing so much of my struggle with fertility but it made me realize that opening up about my personal life just might help someone else struggling know that she is not alone.
HG!: Who are some of your favorite HG! designers?
Laura: I’m a total Anna Scholz junkie. I fell in love with her pieces when I carried them at my store and they are still the go-to items in my wardrobe. Through Hey Gorgeous!, I’ve discovered some of my new favourites, like Carmakoma, BB Dakota and Persona by Marina Rinaldi.
Laura is wearing the Erelina Dress by Carmakoma and her own jacket and accessories.
Laura: I’ll start by saying that I think plus fashion has come a loooooong way and I’m thrilled to have the choice that I do now from online retailers like Hey Gorgeous! Having said that, I would love to see large retailers start to embrace the plus customer and treat us like everyone else. A pet-peeve of mine is having to travel to the far reaches of the store, only to be met by the section the merchandisers and store designers seem to have forgotten. I can feel my irritation rising with the steps of the escalator, as I go by beautifully displayed merchandise only to arrive at the plus section and find haphazardly piled racks on cracked flooring and old displays.
HG!: Yes, we agree whole-heartedly! There is nothing less inspiring than passing by all of the beautiful styles to make it to the sad plus section. Thanks for your thoughts, Laura! We love your style.