It was a day that started like any other. I woke up to a sun-filled room and looked over at my boyfriend Calvin who was still sleeping. I quietly walked to the shower to wash my hair with some shampoo I got in Paris last week. Just as I was getting a really good lather going, the phone rang. Darn! I forgot to call my agent about that Versace shoot tomorrow -that must be her, I thought. So I quickly jumped out of the shower and ran to the phone- with my hair still full of suds. Of course it was my agent and she talked my ear off for almost an hour! By the time I could throw a towel around me and make it back to the bathroom, my hair was in knots. In an effort to console myself, I threw on my favorite suit. But I swear that pizza from last night went straight to my hips….

So I decided to wear my fabulous new pants suit instead…. and of course, my new wonderbra. It really gives my chest a lift- especially after that unfortunate surgery…..

The doorbell rang and I ran to answer it.
Oh no! It was my two cousins from back home!

And if that wasn’t bad enough, they brought our wierdo cousin Karl from Germany with them. Bavaria must be a pretty tough place, I rarely see him without his brass knuckles.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  – THEY SHOUTED! That’s right! I had almost forgotten my own birthday party! So I slipped back to my closet to change into my party dress only to discover that the moths had gotten to it first. Oh well I thought, I’ll just tell everyone its the latest from Switzerland…..

The guests started arriving as I made my way out of the closet. Everyone was there…. Then I got the shock of my life. I saw with my very own eyes that the rumors going around the runway were true – Grover, everyone’s favorite muppet, was killed last week and used as a skirt….

…and the sad talk about Bambi turned out to be true as well…

There were also whispers that several other less successful animals had met a similar fate… So much for models against fur. My party was starting to resemble a petting zoo!

In an effort to lift everyone’s spirits, my friend Chan started to play his accordion.

Then things really got crazy………
I mean people were hanging from the chandeliers.

then we all heard screaming coming from the kitchen. Mellissa and Celeste were fighting about the cellophane diet….. Mellissa had apparently lost 2 pounds on it – and even though I thought she looked quite pale,

Celeste was green with envy.

Pots and pans started flying… …the wok hit Sally…

and Celeste got two black eyes and the ice bucket dumped on her head.

Then my “holier than thou” neighbor came over and broke it all up……

But the crowd turned on her….and shredded her fashion “habit”…

…which, of course, ended my party and my rather tough day.

So you see, a day in the life of a model is not always as glamorous as it would seem. No, you’ve got to be careful out there – its a real jungle… Model friends at the Chanel show in Paris.
(Hey isn’t that wierdo cousin Karl on the right!?)

More and more, fashion is being designed for the thin, rich, tall and young. That’s great news for about 1% of the population. However what about the other 99% of us? The average American gal is now a size 14 and 5’4″ tall, and with the economy in the skids -no wonder it’s so hard to find a decent outfit at the store.

Consider this…Who is modeling all the latest styles- whether it’s a magazine model, a store mannequin or your favorite supermodel? It’s those who belong to the ultra thin and tall club. When’s the last time you saw an overweight or even regular weight model – not to mention one who’s under 6 feet tall! It seems that in order to emulate the fashion styles we see plastered across our favorite magazines there’s some pretty steep hurdles to clear first…

The first two genetic “must-haves” are found so rarely that you’d have a better chance of winning the lotto than being born with these attributes. Quite simply, you must be super tall and very thin. Anyone having problems keeping weight on or having vertigo at this dizzying height? Thought so.

Ok, so maybe most of us didn’t clear those first 2 obstacles to looking great in the latest fashions. Perhaps you’ll have better luck with this next one…

Do you happen to be an heiress with a trust fund, daughter to a mega mogul and under 20 years of age? Then winning the fashion lottery will be a breeze. Not that you would need to win the lottery -if you’re already a trust fund baby … But as they say, you can never be too rich or too thin- especially with the ever-increasing array of extremely difficult to wear fashion.

What? Not a regular cast member of the Tall And Rich,Thin club? (aka T.A.R.T.s). Crashed and burned on all those style hurdles? Feeling like the rest of us, who have fallen off the radar of most designers because you can’t wear anything under a size 2?

Not to worry. If you are neither tall nor thin, rich nor planning your high school graduation party, this blog is for you. Read on to see what the uber-amazon, ultra-slim, mega rich teenagers will all be wearing this season and what the rest of us should definitely be steering clear of…

#1- Wide Leg Pants. Guess the sugar high wore off and consumers got tired of looking like human lollipops in their skinny jeans. Now its all come full circle and we are moving on to the wide leg pant. The billowous new shape has been touted as making your legs actually look thinner. Thinner than what? – two mature tree stumps? Wide leg pants will ALWAYS make you legs look larger than life. Check out the difference in our models legs when she skipped this fattening trend and opted for a pair of great boot leg pants that fit her body instead.

Before and After The Fashion Code

#2- Black Leather (PLEATED!) Mini-Skirts : Cheerleader style no less. Since ANY pleated mini-skirt is difficult to wear for most gals say over the age of 12, this “trend” should require a permission slip. We are especially worried about the leather which will unforgivingly jut out over the thighs. Could work if, like our model, you’re a size 0 Barbie look-a-like. But if you’ve got an ounce of extra padding on your hips, you could unwittingly make your bottom half look like a lampshade at a fire sale.

#3 -Psychedelic Prints. Could definitely make a statement- depending on your line of work. Not sure it would go over well in a law firm but if you work for… say a head shop (which of course is the average couture house’s target buyer) you could earn points with your boss and customer’s alike by enhancing their drug induced buying experience.

#4 -Draping, Grecian Style :

For all aspiring Greek demi-goddesses use caution when using draping. Remember that draping is one of the most difficult things for a couture designer or tailor to master. So its a fair bet that a T-shirt factory in China will not do your figure or your wardrobe justice with their mass produced designs. Also, ALWAYS remember our Fashion Code mantra “Extra fabric= extra girth”. This is never more true than when swathing excess fabric across your figure. So use draping, if you must, but always with the restraint of a Venus de Milo.

And last, but DEFINITELY not least. Our favorite…

#5 – Thigh High Leg Warmers (worn with a short skirt)

Oy, we’re having junior high school flash backs. Not that we had the long legs needed to wear them then. We could just claim prepubescent fashion ignorance, cold legs, or grandma made me….

But unless you are too young to vote or drink (legally) and are thinner than May-Kate Olson, our advice is to leave the legwarmers back in the 80’s with Jane Fonda where they belong. Your friends, family and even complete strangers with no fashion knowledge will thank you.

So, before wasting any more time and money on trends that only look good on paper, remember to ask yourself this essential question… “Do I share the same body proportions as the model, mannequin or movie star I’m trying to emulate?” If not, there’s more than a fair chance that the style they have on won’t look the same on you. Learning what looks good on your unique figure is the secret to riding out the fashion industry’s storm of marketing madness, and knowing when to give them the boot (especially if it’s an ugly, expensive, trendy one).

Fashion Code Fall StyleThe L.A. Times reported that comfort dressing this Fall doesn’t just mean wearing sweatsuits anymore.

Their “Tactile Sensation”  article featured some possible options to replace your “Juicy Couture”. Among the suggestions was this Oscar de la Renta ”fuzzy-wuzzy shaggy white tunic”.

New sweatsuit?

Tactile sensation?

Looks more like the model got dressed in a dark closet. A mop closet to be exact….

The perfect finishing touches (not shown) were rumored to include wooden peg leg pants and a beautiful burgundy plastic bucket/purse which set off the jewelry perfectly. Of course, one could always get some housework done in these “alternative sweats”… and she definitely gets extra points for finding a great multi-tasking outfit.  -Not to mention easy care.  Here’s one haute couture outfit you can even throw in with your rags. In fact its recommended.

As you might have expected, there have been complaints that the necklace and $3000 crocodile belt don’t usually make it thru the spin cycle.  But its all in the name of fashion – and if the models on the runway are wearing “The Oscar Mop” shouldn’t we?

No. Some trends require a fashion intervention and this one is no exception. Time for a reality check in the world of high fashion – where this modern day Swiffer-version of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” needs to be tossed in the dust bin.

Just because something comes off a Paris runway and is touted by the fashion powers that be its important not to lose your head (or mop top as it may be). Save your money and your time– unless of course you’ve got a lot of housework to do…

The Fashion Code’s Secret Science to Dressing Thin & Beautiful

Story Created: Apr 22, 2010 at 1:47 PM PDT

Ruth Levy of The Fashion Code is making headlines for the perfect formula for the perfect fit. Ruth uses a timeless equation for beauty – which has been used by everyone from Valentino to Da Vinci – to determine the most flattering clothing for any woman, regardless of her size, shape or age.
Watch The Video

      From the Union Tribune



Ruth Levy uses a proportion gauge to show how one’s face fits into the measurement dynamic.

Ruth Levy uses a proportion gauge to show how one’s face fits into the measurement dynamic.

Photo by John Gastaldo – Union-Tribune


Ruth Levy (left) and her twin sister, Sara Levy (working with client Rory Bennett), use a mathematical formula to determine how to make people look their best in clothes.

Rory Bennett, a client of Sara and Ruth Levy’s from Rancho Santa Fe, models an outfit that uses the golden ratio, a mathematical formula, in order to flatter her body.


Ruth Levy uses a proportion gauge to show how one’s face fits into the measurement dynamic.


Fashion designers Ruth and Sara Levy spent years searching for the secret to looking good. Then they heard about something called the golden ratio, a mathematical formula for beauty that many believe Leonardo da Vinci used in his paintings.

Thus began a project

to crack what they call “the fashion code.”


The identical twins once relied on their intuition to select outfits. It was obvious that bulky trench coats make women look heavier, and that pointy-toed shoes “elongate the leg,” Ruth Levy said. But in other cases, they couldn’t explain why some pieces were stars and others were dogs.

“Everybody can relate to ‘I have a closet full of clothes and I have nothing to wear,’ ” Sara Levy said. “The question is, why?”


Enter the golden ratio.


About 10 years ago, Ruth Levy said, she learned about the concept, discovered by ancient Greek mathematicians and used in Western architecture for centuries to provide visual balance. Some say da Vinci used it to insert secret codes in his “Mona Lisa” and other works, and that idea forms part of the premise for the best-selling book and movie “The da Vinci Code.”


The Levy sisters harnessed it to establish their Rancho Santa Fe business, The Fashion Code, five years ago.


Ruth Levy uses a proportion gauge to show how one’s face fits into the measurement dynamic.



They use the ratio to analyze a woman’s body measurements and determine her ideal hemlines and proportions for clothing, from jeans to power suits. They advise their clients to have the garments altered accordingly. The results — attractive, flattering outfits — speak for themselves. They have “before and after” photos on their Web site,

They recommend, for example, wearing a shirt with a neckline that ends 1 or 2 inches below the underarm. (Their “code line” calculations determine exactly where that is on each woman.)


A woman who wears her neckline too high when she is even a few pounds overweight can look like she has a “barrel chest,” the twins say. The deep neckline “instantly slims your frame because it enhances your cleavage while drawing an arrow to the thinnest part of your torso,” their guide says.


The twins charge $250 per hour for a consultation, or $30 for an online service through their Web site that generates an e-book and personalized “code lines” for a woman who enters her measurements. (A hard copy of the book will be available in fall 2011.) They declined to reveal revenue numbers, but said they have a growing list of clients from Iceland to Singapore . They appeared on “The Rachael Ray Show” last year.

The golden ratio frequently appears in geometry. Naturalists have found it in the measurements of tree branches, seashell spirals and even the human body. Lines and shapes based on the ratio, also known as the divine proportion, tend to be pleasing to the eye, for reasons philosophers have tried to explain since the Renaissance.


At first, Ruth Levy assumed that the golden ratio wasn’t being used in fashion. Then, on a hunch, she took out a tape measure and began “deconstructing” the Hermes Birkin, an iconic leather handbag that retails for $5,000 to $50,000 or more. She found 32 elements, such as the lines of the seams and the shape of the bag, all in the ancient formula.


“I remember being so angry with my professors at school because they never taught me this,” Levy said. “There were thousands and thousands of pages on the Internet about the divine proportion, and nothing about fashion.”


Levy also found the golden ratio in designer outfits, such as the dramatic Elie Saab dress Halle Berry wore to the 2002 Oscars and the black Givenchy dress Audrey Hepburn wore as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” In the photo of Hepburn, everything was in the proportion, “right down to the cigarette holder,” Levy said.

The twins said they believe that no one wants to reveal the secret to looking good because it’s part of the mystique of fashion.


Norman Bryson, an art history professor at the University of California San Diego , said he is not surprised that fashion designers use the golden ratio. He noted that architects such as Le Corbusier also designed clothing. The golden ratio produces “harmony and order and ease,” he said.


“Although they keep quiet about this in fashion school, it is the truth,” Bryson said. “The same people who were designing the modern buildings were designing the swimsuit.”


Bryson cautioned, however, that formulas have their limits. “Fashion doesn’t stay still and it often works against itself,” he said. “So much fashion is anti-fashion.”


The Levy sisters grew up outside Chicago. Ruth Levy attended the prestigious Fashion Design School in Zurich and worked in that city and in Paris as a fashion designer. Today, she divides her time between Zurich — home to the European office of The Fashion Code — and Cardiff, in Encinitas.


Sara Levy has a degree from Northwestern University and has spent years as a fashion designer and stylist. She lives in Rancho Santa Fe with her husband and their 12-year-old son.


The sisters aim to make women look beautiful, not necessarily trendy. They advise their clients to reject popular items — such as round-toed shoes and ruffles — they deem unflattering. “Ruth and I feel like we’re taking on the fashion industry,” Sara Levy said.


During a recent consultation with one of their regular clients, Rory Bennett, the twins advised her on how to alter a new Jones New York Sport jacket in navy blue knit with silver buttons. “I got this for $22.49 at Costco,” Bennett said proudly. “Needless to say, I get almost everything altered now.”


Article by Tanya Mannes

Fashion Stylist Ruth Levy shows a working mom fashion secrets
that any woman can use to look thinner, younger and more stylish.

Watch The Video

The Twins on the Rachael Ray Show for the Fashion Code.


Ruth and her sister were invited to be on the Emmy Award winning Rachael Ray Show. In stunning before-and-after makeovers of the exact same outfit, the stylists demonstrated The Fashion Code on themselves and three women during an in-studio appearance on “The Rachael Ray Show,” which aired nationwide in syndication. Making them look sizes smaller and miles more stylish – and all on a shoe-string budget. Rachael Ray described it as, “The Da Vinci Code meets fashion”!  

Ruth also revealed fashion secrets they’ve perfected over the years that are based on The Code and that instantly transform a woman’s shape – without costing a fortune.

Click Here To View The Clip

How to Dress for an Interview on a Budget

“You don’t need to go crazy and spend $500 on the latest Manolos,” cautions professional stylist Ruth Levy . . .

Click Here to Read Article