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Episode # 305   Liana Chaouli

About The Episode:

Today on the show Natalie Ledwell speaks with celebrity image therapist, globally recognized speaker and educator, Liana Chaouli. Liana joins Natalie to discuss the powerful work she’s doing by helping women from all walks of life to build their confidence by simply giving them advice on how to dress successfully. During the show Liana explains the effective process she uses to reflect her client's style and gives useful styling tips that every woman can implement right now to improve their image and self-esteem. Plus, she reveals the most common mistake women make when it comes to dressing and how to overcome it.

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Episode # 305 Liana Chaouli

Natalie: Hello, everyone. My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. This is one of the live versions of the Inspiration Show, so I'm very to be bringing that to you this evening. I have a very special guest for you this evening, it is the wonderful Liana Chaouli. How are you Liana?

Liana: I'm good, thank you. Happy to be here.

N: Yeah, I know. I'm so happy to have you here. Actually, Liana and I are really good friends. And what we are going to be talking tonight is the correlation between the way we dress, the way we feel, our confidence, and the way we carry ourselves and the way people read us. So it's going to be an awesome show. So Liana, you have such an amazing background and story, how you got into this line of work. So can you share that story with us first?

L: Yeah. The breakthrough story is that I was a simultaneous translator for the city of Humburgh and one of my duties was to take women shopping, to the theatre, and I had the honourable obligation to take the wife of a very high, prestigious person shopping because her suitcase didn't get there. She was very rounded and she was about five feet and heavy, like 180 lbs. And we walked into the store and she was middle easterner, PhD, 6 children, very intelligent, Chanel purse on her hand, lots of cash and the sales woman turns to her and said, we don't make that in your size. And I watched this amazing woman who was so bright, so bold and loud turn into a puddle of nothing within 2 seconds. I said, whatever that was, that is not happening on my watch. Because I saw that there was a lack of self-knowing, of knowing this masterpiece that you live in and being able to translate that to someone else and say this works, this doesn't work, this is the right colour for me, I don't need pockets on my boobs. So it was in that moment that I made the commitment to myself and to the universe, I'm going to change that. And here we are (laughs).

N: (laughs) the other part of that story, because the thing is, you know, I feel that everything happens for a reason, now, there was a reason you were with that woman at that time in that store, because apparently, you have always been pre-disposed to this type of work anyway. So tell us a little bit about the time that your mother stood up at the event that you'

L: Yeah. Yeah, I was already way into my career in 1995 and my mom came to an event where I was speaking because she never heard me speak in public. So I'm at the image consultant convention, I'm the keynote. I didn't realize that my mother was at the back of the room and at the end of the event I said, please ask your questions and somebody got up in the room and says, well, I don't have a question but I have a comment. And I listen to the voice and I know it was my mother. And I shudder, in front of 150 women, what was she going to say, and she says, the story I want to share with you is the story of a little girl, who was my little girl at 2 1/2 , I was very, very sick in bed and my 2 ' year old would go to my closet and pull on the hanger until the hanger broke, put all the outfits on my bed, come pull the covers off my face and say, mommy, when you get dressed and feel beautiful, you're going to feel so great and we're going to go out and we're going to have fun. And then she says, and I was so sick that I couldn't get out of bed and listen to my little girl. And that little girl who dressed me is the woman standing in front of you today and shared her wisdom and I know because I was her first client. So, when people say to me, you know, what do you do as an image therapist? I say, I dress your spirit, and then I dress your body. Because when your spirit can tap into I'm beautiful, I'm a master piece, I can do this with learning, you know, I can empower myself with the learning of how to dress this body, that's when you really key into some strength. And so, my goal is to provide strength with every garment.

N: I know. And you, no doubt, do an amazing job and I love it how you call it an image therapist because it's not that you're dressing a person, you are dressing a soul but the vehicle which we walk around in, you know, there are certain ways where we can dress this masterpiece that really enhance, enhance not just our body but so that we walk into a room before I clothe you. Give us some hints about how things that we can follow so that we can follow that philosophy.

L: Yeah. So this quote that you just talked about, if the outfit shows before you do, put it back. Or people acted to remember your clothes to remember you. So, when something shows up before you do people will go, oh the woman with the red suit or with that loud print, remember the one with the loud print? And my goal is for them is to remember this (gestures to the face). So, if the outfit walks in before you do, you've lost them. So, one of the great ways to really adhere to that and understand what it means is you put an outfit on or you hold it up in front of you, you walk six feet away from a long mirror, full length, you close your eyes, relax and you take a deep breath and you feel the insides of your eyelids, which means you're in your body. The soonest you open your eyes, you look in the mirror, if the outfit is the first thing you see, then put it back, until you learn a lot more. But the truth is if the colour is too bright, it's louder than your personality or if the print is too big, and it's bigger than the print in your face, meaning than your eyes if you have a delicate face, you should be wearing delicate prints. Queen Latifa can wear large prints because she's big, but for you, who in the beginning if you just do that exercise, and just do it with the stuff in your closet, you don't even have to go to a store because I'm sure that a lot of people who are listening have a lot of things that are in there that shouldn't be in there, but you know me (laughs).

N: (laughs) one of my favourites, because I'm sure spending some time with you, I really had to reassess what I had in my wardrobe and how I wore them (laughs)

L: (laughs)

N: And especially with the colour black, now I need you, for you to share your wisdom on the colour black, because for many women, we do, we wear it like because we think it's slimming, we think it's smart, what are your opinions on that?

L: We think it's slimming. So, let's just block it that because it's not really slimming. So, we're all beings of colour and you contain a lot more colour than I do, Natalie. You have a lot of green in you, your pink and your skin's peach, coral in your lips, so most people are beings of true colour, whether we're neutful, meaning like me browns and tans and golds or whether we're beings like you, blue eyes, green eyes, pink skin, peach skin and black is the absence of colour. Black shuts down the heart and when we choose to wear black, even though there is no black in our colouring, so that means people with black hair or even for them, who have black in their natural pallet, I say, don't wear it, don't wear it next to your heart because it harnesses the love that you could give, and it keeps people away from you, in a certain way. The other thing is trying to find your black is not such a difficult task. So, there is true black which is black, black, then there's your personal black. So you take a colour that you can wear, for you it's green, take olive green and you take it down to its darkest level and that becomes one of your blacks. If your hair colour is brown, then chocolate brown or espresso is one of your blacks. If you have blue eyes with a navy ring around the iris, then navy is one of your blacks. And if you want to do this exercise at home, get in front of the mirror put a black jacket over here (gestures towards one shoulder), and put olive green (gestures to the other shoulder) on the other shoulder and watch which one is kinder to your skin, but you and I have done that exercise many times.

N: Yes, we have (laughs).

L: Yes, we have (laughs).

N: Now, the other thing that I want to address is, because a lot of women that we have in our community around the 50-year old, 50 mark, how do we dress classy when, you know, how do we dress for our age?

L: That's a really, really great question. In the book that I'm launching next week, you are a masterpiece, it talks about how we are all so diverse, which means I can't put you in me in a box, we take 15 of us over 50 and just turning 50 and over, and we all have a different essence. We will take someone like Betsy Johnson, the crazy designer who we all know, until she's 95 or 100, she will be just as whimsical, and just as looney and crazy as she is, and that is her style. It doesn't have much to do with her age. But if you take somebody like Elizabeth Taylor, we can't dress her like Betsy Johnson, so a huge part of image therapy is understanding that there are layers to you. There's your body type, there's your colouring, there's the sound of your voice, (9:44 ' shrill voice) 65 I would still look a lot younger and crazier, so your voice is a big part, so understanding who you are innately, your essence. So, when I was 4 years old, my mother says Liana, you used to eat ice cream and you were all dirty and you would sit there, and that's what you do, you would sit there until somebody came and cleaned you (laughs), you sit there for like an hour. See, when you look at children you can innately see who they are, like I look at you Natalie and I see that you have this great sense of whimsy and this great sense of fun. That has to stay intact even if you go to court, even as you to a corporation, even if you go speak in the white house. So be authentic to you, first and foremost to you, and then respectful of the situation that you're going into. So dressing classy is classy for you, what's classy for you, you know, and that, that takes a lot of learning. Make sure you fit your body well. The most important part of dressing classy is that something fits your curve. I don't care if you're a size 2 or a size 22. If the outfit doesn't fit you properly, the armholes doesn't sit in the right place, if the neckline doesn't have the right opening meaning, 1 head length down, from your head until your chin dropping. And if the skirt is too long, and it ends up in the middle of you calf and makes your legs look wider, then take the dress up a little bit. You know, the part that's refined that we consider elegant and classy and graceful is the part that's really showing the curves without looking like a sausage casing. Being comfortable without being too big. So, when I look at the closets that I see in my clients that come in, most people don't even know their exact size, most people don't buy the right size, so that in itself is a huge understanding of learning.

N: Yeah, absolutely and it makes such a huge difference. I just had you clear out my wardrobe because as you know, I have been losing weight, nothing was fitting me anymore. But for me to be able to create a vacuum and space for new clothes to come in, I had to get rid of all the ones that were no longer fitting me. So, very happy to report that I'm down to size 6 now, it's like yehey (laughs). So, we're talking about, is there one or two tips that you can share with us, tips that we can use to dress with confidence. What can we do to really step confidently to what we are wearing?

L: Yes. So, dressing for confidence or finding your own style or dressing as per who you are, that's what image therapy is. So, it's your image, and then it's the therapy part because this is really your second skin. And dressing is an embodied action, it's not just finding your style. It's knowing you slip your hand into like a cashmere sweater and you pull it over your body and the way that, that feels as you slide your foot into a pair of pants that (12:58), so that part of it is the part that most people forget. It's about feeling and then it's about looking, because when you feel good and you are sensual with your clothes, there is something else that happens in our face because when we show up and we feel good like you're the woman who is wearing a hot pink bra under there and that rests in the back of your brain, what that really does is like, yeah, I am hot, you know, and that is priceless. That can translate to your face. So, I always say, the things that no one can see, we can see. So, when I know that I'm wearing a bra that has been held together by a safety pin, it's in there somewhere (gestures on the head). So really look at what makes you comfortable, look at, if you don't like wearing panty hose, don't wear them. Make sure that your legs are shaved and you have beautiful lotion on them. Make sure you feel good on the body that you have. So that, dressing begins much, much earlier than in your closet. It begins the way you go to bed, what you tell yourself. That's why image therapy is the process of really accepting what you are. So the allowing and the understanding, well okay, I am, whatever, 14, 15, 16, 12, 2, this is my masterpiece that my spirit gets to live in, and the more that I get to see what's there, not look at but really see it, I get to say, okay, these are my assets and these are my flaws but I'm just going to focus on my assets. Your hair, your skin make sure that on a daily basis you elevate what you have in yourself and then try to reflect within your wardrobe wear your eye colour, wear your skin colour, make sure that your clothes fit well, make sure that you rotate your clothing. Don't get your closet into a place, 80% of what we have in our closets we don't wear. We wear 20% of our closet, 80% of the time. And then, most closets are not closets they're vintages. They're orphanages or storage spaces. In a lot of cases, what I see, they're morgues. Nobody ever (15:18) them. You know you wear this much of it (gestures with hands), and then the rest of it, you're scared to put on. But the thing is, be friends, you know, start going to your closet and play with it. That's what we did when we were little girls and we had so much fun. So, have fun.

N: Yeah. Now, I love that. And that's the thing too, sometimes, I'm really lucky, now I have this walk-in room, like I don't know, my next partner that comes along, he might need to use the wardrobe on the other room, because I am all spread out all the things and being able to see and have everything organized as well.

L: Yeah. The seeing it, the being able to witness what's in your closet, and then there's one really great trick, so when you have a lot of clothes, the thing that you wore today, you take the hanger you turn it around and you hang it backwards, and not only do you hang it backwards right in front of your face, but you put it somewhere at the back of closet, so you're rotating. And then give yourself an hour, I teach all my students, an hour every weekend, go play in your closet, come up with new outfits, download new applications that can help you, have a style sanctuary inside your phone so you can take pictures of stuff and build new outfits. And hopefully, come over and read the book, I want to give it away, so everyone should be having it.

N: Yes, so tell me about the book because I'm very excited about this. What's it all about?

L: So, it's all about, people used to say to me, Liana, you have to write a how-to book and I said, no, the first book that I'm going to write and that's going to be interactive is going to be stories of my clients. Because the transformation that happens with this work, with image therapy, sometimes is mind blowing to me. I have people who come to a salon, which is a free event, and then they write me letters and then go, I cleaned up my whole closet. You have no idea, this is so amazing. And I look at the empowerment that you get from just a little bit of knowledge. So it's all these stories where you can learn from, where you can be interactive. There's video attached to it. And I just want to give it away to everybody out there. I don't want anyone to pay for it, so when it launches next week, I just want everyone to go download it on their iPad.

N: Great! Where can we send them to do that?

L: (spells the word).

N: Excellent.

L: Or just call me. I love talking on the phone. And I'm so accessible, 3102899283 at image therapists international.

N: Wonderful. Liana, thank you so much for joining me today. It's been an amazing show, as I knew it would be. Congratulations on the book and getting that information out there. And for any person out there, any woman who has been in challenged with, and I know what I was like, I used to wear the same thing all the time, like the basic things, these things are really simple and when you remember this, it's amazing what it does for our self-sustainment and for our confidence when we dress really well. So thanks again Liana for joining me today.

L: Thank you.

N: Alright guys, I encourage you to share this video, you can do that by clicking the Facebook and Twitter share buttons on this page. Download the app if you haven't done so already, because you can start watching the shows on the go, you don't need to necessarily be in front of your computer these days. And make sure that you leave your email address on the box in this page, because I would love to send you the manifesting with the masters video e-course. It's actually valued at $87, and I would love to give it to you for free. And don't forget, if you press on the banner to the side there, you would go straight to Liana's site, where you can download that amazing book. So until next time remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We'll see you soon.

Liana Chaouli



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