A Feng Shui consultant says what you wear can change your life
Andréa Dupont used to be Penny Ackerman. Ackerman had red hair, lived in Pelham and wasn't all that happy. Eight years ago, Ackerman became Andréa Dupont (her middle and maiden names) and she has almost-white hair, lives in Portsmouth and is a "very happy camper."
What happened eight years ago to create such a transformation? She learned about feng shui fashion.
It's a mindful way of dressing that's based on the same 3,000-year-old Chinese philosophy - everything is connected energetically to its environment - as the feng shui used in interior design. "Clothing is the most intimate environment," says Dupont. "To create the harmony and balance that will make you happier, healthier and more prosperous, you need to dress for who you are, but you have know what that is first."
The same five elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water - are used to represent a person's spirit (essence), mind (intention) and body (visual). "Essence is the core, how you see the world," she says. "Intention is - what do you want to attract? If you know your intentions, you can manifest them. If you don't, you won't."
There are also elemental body shapes (triangle, rectangular, cone, square and hourglass) that can be used to determine the most flattering silhouettes and fabrics.
Dupont, who was trained at the Fashion Feng Shui Institute International, found she was a combination of Fire, Water and Metal. That meant she should wear, among other things, wrap tops, flowy skirts, leather and suede, and lots of purple. She says when she changed how she dressed it changed her life and she wants to do the same for others: "Once you create change in one area and you understand your choices, you want to continue the process."
This article appears in the January 2009 issue of New Hampshire Magazine