MAKING A STYLISH EXIT
Chené Koscielny chats to first-time author and fashionista Nicole Richmond about a lack of support for divorcées in Geneva, dating apps and sparkiy shoes. Her first book Making a Stylish Exit – an uplifting and inspiring look at post-divorce dating – is available in Geneva next week.
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ALONE AND FAR FROM HOME
What would you do if your long-standing marriage implodes and you find yourself alone and far from home as an expat and single mum living in Geneva? It is after all not the easiest place when it comes to making friends or finding dates at any age, never mind when you’re divorced and in your 40s.
- You book the first flight home and park indefinitely on your mum or best friend’s sofa – kids and all.
- You start drinking gin from 10am every morning to get you through the day
- You ask the GP to prescribe the Swiss equivalent of Valium.
NOT if you’re American expat Nicole Richmond, you don’t.
This is what you do instead:
- You dress up every day and looked amazing
- Create a support group for other divorced women
- Dive headfirst into the foreign world of online dating
- And write your first book about your disastrous experiences.
DRESSED TO KILL
Instead of allowing the failure of her marriage to be her personal ruin, the blogger and fashionista (former model, fashion stylist, events manager) was determined to face the world every day looking as glamorous as possible. Dressed to kill and indulging her passion for heels as often as she could, she confronted life in Geneva with renewed gusto, turning heads wherever she went.
“People would say to me: You look fantastic – why do you look so good? And I would think – What am I supposed to look like? Sure I was going through a rough time, but if I managed to get myself out of the house, I thought I might as well make an effort.”
Nicole loves dressing up in trusted basics such as skinny black jeans and a turtle neck black top with stunning accessories and heels, always heels, the sparklier the better.
LACK OF SUPPORT FOR DIVORCÉES IN GENEVA
Nicole’s fashion sense and style was one of the coping mechanisms that helped her deal with her situation.
Not only did she not have family around, some of her friends deserted her during the divorce process and she discovered that there wasn’t much out there in the line of support for divorced women in Geneva.
So, what did she do?
She started writing a blog about her journey as a divorced woman to vent her frustrations, which resonated with other women in her situation. This was followed by an offline support group called “Sip and spill” where women could compare notes over a cocktail or two – always dressed to the nines, of course.
“The idea was to celebrate and have fun and support each other. Divorce means the end of your marriage, not your life.”
GETTING BACK TO DATING
But if there is one thing that IS daunting for divorced women (and men) – even one as gutsy as Nicole – it’s getting back into dating after an absence of many years.
Nicole soon discovered that meeting men in a city like Geneva was nigh impossible. For example unlike in other parts of the world, men in Geneva will never approach a single woman in a bar, says Nicole. They are waiting for you to make the first move.
This is where dating apps become pertinent, particularly in Geneva – because it’s a lot easier to meet people this way.
And so began the next part of Nicole’s journey – navigating the un-chartered waters of online dating apps and discovering a whole new world.
Her experiences of good dates, bad dates, hopeful dates, is he ever going to call again dates, please don’t ever call me again dates – lead to the idea for Nicole’s first book, Making a Stylish Exit – which will be launched in BonGenie on the 7th of November.
Making a Stylish Exit is a collection of short stories each featuring one of her dates and what she was wearing during them.
The book is described as “a collection of hilarious tales of your best girlfriend’s unhappily ever after and is the only book you need to get through the ups and downs of life post-divorce and what you should wear while doing it.”
Nicole wanted the book to be light and uplifting – an inspiration for other women (and men) going through the same experience.
“I have learned a lot – I had no idea how strong I was. I became very resourceful.”
Well, if I ever get divorced – I’ll have what she’s having! YOU GO, GIRL!
On this website
Nicole’s Instagram account
Nicole Richmond will be signing her book Making a Stylish exit on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th November in Bongénie Grieder, Rue du Marché 34, 1204 Geneva.
Look out for her in the shoe department!