Mary Laven, a resident of Rochester for over 20 years, is the founder and owner of the Wind over Fire Healing Arts Center, where she provides education and service around alternative healing modalities including the Rosen Method, Reiki , psychic readings and more. Mary is active in the community and served on the board of directors of 125 Live for five years.
Hailing from New York with a background in creative marketing, her style is made up of unique accessories enhanced by simple, timeless basics.
“I’m drawn to items with a classic design, but with a lot of funk,” she says.
Your style in five words or less.
Classic, updated, non-trendy and individual.
Do you have a style mantra?
“We take the time for what’s important to us.” This translates into fashion in how we choose to present ourselves with what we wear and how we spend time on ourselves.
The fashion rules to follow?
I don’t keep anything that I don’t use or that doesn’t match my size or taste.
Best Wardrobe Buy, and what made it so great?
The best clothing buys are those that are well-made, non-trendy, classically designed and, if necessary, tailored to my body. This makes them last for years with slight modifications to the accessories.
The most sentimental possession of clothes?
I am not very sentimental about clothes, however I am for two coats that my mother, who was a wonderful seamstress, made for me.
How do you claim confidence in your daily clothing choices?
Simple – I buy clothes that suit me and make me feel good!
How has your style evolved over the years?
The evolution of my style happens naturally with age – I don’t buy clothes that are not suitable for my age.
What has been your favorite decade in fashion and why?
I loved (and still love) the late ’60s and early’ 70s when women wore bright colors, mini skirts and bell bottom pants! Halston, Bob Mackie and design always mattered. I liked the feeling of freedom that reigned in fashion at that time.
What is a recent purchase you made for a specific occasion?
I recently had an important event to visit in Maine and needed to come out of the COVID-19 quarantine crisis. I wanted a formal yet relaxed look. Encouraged by my friends, I bought two dresses, one was a simple and well-designed Hugo Boss long black dress, and the other was a pewter-colored glitter Akris Punto cocktail dress. I have worn them both and they fit me perfectly!
How does your outfit adapt to accommodate the winter months?
I add well-designed outerwear such as coats, boots, scarves, and hats (note the plurals).
Minnesota’s must-haves (wardrobe)?
As Garrison Keillor says, “There is no bad weather, just bad clothes,” and it is so true. Staying warm doesn’t mean being without style. A large, comfortable coat and boots are at the top of the list.
How does hair, makeup, and / or accessories play a role in your daily prep routine?
I don’t wear makeup, just face moisturizer and lipstick. I used to take care of my hair more, but now I don’t even dry it anymore; so I dry it a bit with a towel, work it with my fingers, and go out the door.
What do you think is the biggest fashion faux pas?
Favorite local shopping spots?
I travel a lot and try to find something interesting wherever I go that is unique. As for southeastern Minnesota, I love Wild Ginger in Zumbrota, and Elle and Counterpoint in Rochester.
Items that every stylish woman should have in her wardrobe?
Large accessorizing pieces. You can wear the most basic and simple clothes and accessorize them with beautiful earrings, necklaces and bracelets. If you need glasses, the fun glasses are a great addition!
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