Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kate and William Coming to NYC!

This 2012 picture of William and Kate still makes me smile.

I read over at Duchess Kate, my favorite site for all things about Kate and William, that they are visiting New York City next month, whee! You can read their exact itinerary in Charlotte’s terrific post.

I have to say that I am so glad they will be trucking out to Brooklyn and not just keeping the royal party limited to Manhattan. They are going to attend a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center, which is about 10 minutes away from my apartment. I am not into basketball so I will not be there but I feel quite certain if William and Kate appear on the Jumbotron they will receive a rousing welcome from everybody in da house that night! I know Brooklyn will show them a good time!

William and Kate will catch some basketball at the Barclays Center, close to where I live!

I do hope Kate gets a chance to do a bit of shopping at Bergdorf, Barneys, and Saks, as well as see the stunning window displays and the tree at Rockefeller Center. The city is so beautiful in December, all decked out for the holidays. She and William are in for a visual treat!

I also hope Kate will wear some lace at the gala she will attend at the Met. The above Temperley dress she wore back in 2012 (and then again in 2013, good for her!) is probably my favorite evening look of hers. I hope she selects something similar for her night at the Met. I loved this black lace gown she wore when she attended the Royal Variety Performance on November 13, 2014. I never get tired of lace!

Kate meeting Harry Styles of One Direction. Love that she’s in lace and he’s in leopard! Photo by BauerGriffin.com.

If you are in NYC, let me know if you are going to try to get a glimpse of William and Kate at any of their official events. I think they will be a big hit in the Big Apple!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Christine Lagarde Style

I love this picture of Christine! Photo by Getty Images.

An article by Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times about a new exhibit at London’s Design Museum called Women Fashion Power on how, in the museum’s words, “princesses, models, CEOs, Dames and designers have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world” reminded me how much I like the style of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde. From her silver hair to her big smile to her love of dramatic jewelry, boldly patterned shawls and scarves, and Hermès bags (and oh my, she owns some good ones), Lagarde, 59 in January, sets exactly the right tone for a woman in a position of power—elegant, modern, true to herself, and not afraid (unlike many American politically powerful women) to show that, why yes, she does care about fashion, has the good taste (and good fortune) to buy well-made pieces that will last forever, and the fearlessness to assert that a woman can have real authority in this world, think about what’s on her back, and still be taken seriously! Ms. Lagarde gives me hope that it can be done!

I culled a few of my favorite pictures of Ms. Lagarde from around the internet. There is also a great op-ed piece on her style over at Forbes by Raquel Laneri. It’s a few years old but definitely still worth a read and has an accompanying photo slideshow.

If any of you babes out there get a chance to see the exhibit “Women Fashion Power,” do let me know what you think of it.

At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in May. Photo by Abaca.

In a lovely scarf and carrying a Birkin in Malachite. Photo by Getty Images.

With Prince Charles, July 2012. Another lovely scarf, worn with big pearls! Photo by Chris Jackson.

Going to work with her Kelly! And hey, nice legs! Photo by Getty Images.

What do you think of Christine’s style?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Writer Wednesday at Not Intent on Arriving

One of my favorite exhibits: Costumes from The Great Gatsby at Prada Soho, 2013.

When the lovely Kristin of Not Intent on Arriving asked if I would participate in her interview series “Writer Wednesday,” I could not say no! I was not only so flattered she asked me, I also find these kinds of interviews interesting since they force me to slow down and think about my answers and take stock of where I am at in my life. I think interviews can sometimes be revelatory to the interviewee! So if you have a few minutes do stop by Kristin’s. I wax about how I got into blogging, who my favorite writers are, where I’d love to go if someone handed me an all-expenses-paid trip anywhere in the world (break out the champagne and sequins), and the people I find inspiring (Hint: It may be you!). Tell me if any of my answers struck a chord with you, let’s get to know each other better!

F. Scott Fitzgerald. I still love his work so much.

A recent read by Jeffrey Robinson has influenced where I would like to go!

Meryl Davis & Charlie White at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, January 2014. So inspiring!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How I Wear My: Leather, Crystal or Glass

Adrienne of The Rich Life (on a budget).

This edition of “How I Wear My” marks our third anniversary of the series! Adrienne of The Rich Life (on a budget) and I can hardly believe it! When we learned traditional third year anniversary gifts included leather (traditional) or crystal or glass (modern), we could not resist turning those materials into our theme for November. Whether you are a first-time participant or a regular contributor, we raise our glasses and toast all of you who make “How I Wear My” so much fun!

This was such an interesting post to put together. From leather skirts to leather jackets, from leather accessories to crystal and glass necklaces, you will probably find several looks you love as you go through this post. I know I did. Enjoy!

Adrienne, above, my lovely “How I Wear My” partner says, “I am wearing tall black leather boots I bought in Venice, Italy a few years ago with a plaid shirt dress from Old Navy. I added a leather wrap belt from Ada and a glass bracelet I bought at an art gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon. My wool felt hat is from Montecristi Panama Hats of Napa Valley.”

Adrienne looks ready for a walk among beautiful fall foliage in this ensemble, it is so perfect for November!

Nora of Jacket Society.

Nora of Jacket Society writes, “I am wearing Jacket Society’s houndstooth Soho jacket with my black midi skirt, BCBG printed top with thumb holes, red sandals and magazine clutch, and accessorizing it with a couple of necklaces with crystal and rhinestones.”

I never get tired of big sparkly necklaces (or houndstooth for that matter. Or red high heels.). I find this look on Nora drop dead gorgeous. It feels like updated Grace Kelly. Wow!

Ana of Mrs. American Made.

Ana of Mrs. American Made writes, “It took me a long time to adopt the leather look and my nod to the craze is seen here in some subtle strips of leather on the sides and collar of this amazing tweed Nanette Lepore coat. I am wearing it with a jersey wrap dress by Leota, all #MadeinUSA and black and white. And black leather pumps with little black bows that I made myself.”

This is another great ladylike ensemble from Ana. I would like to find a similar coat with touches of leather on it, it’s such a wonderful way to incorporate leather into your look. And don’t you love the little bow ties on Ana’s shoes, as well as her necklaces?

Jane of Toronto Shopoholic.

Jane of Toronto Shopoholic is wearing a coat with leather sleeves (love!) and notes that the denim she has on is waxed, giving it a leather look.

I don’t own any waxed jeans but I like this look on Jane so much I’m starting to think this is a type of denim I need to add to my collection!

Linda of A Labour of Life.

Linda of A Labour of Life writes, “Sometime I wear my leather in a dressy-casual manner. I love wearing my leather blazer and skirt with a casual sweater. Add a great shoe (and aren’t these ones awesome) and you have a perfect go-to-the-office outfit.”

I love this flirty and fun take on leather that Linda is showing here, especially with the sexy red plaid (and studded!) high heels and a sweater with a pooch on the front!

Glenda of So What To Twenty!

Glenda of So What To Twenty! is wearing a fabulous combination of a Gap T-shirt, Merona pencil skirt, and a faux leather peplum belt by Kya Kya by Markina (along with some lovely embroidered pumps). I love how the peplum belt takes what would be a very simple and pared down look to a whole other level!

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life.

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life says, “This outfit has both leather and crystals. I used to be so afraid of leather due to its care but now, with the improvements in fabric, faux leather is so easy to wear and take care of. I purchased this faux leather skater skirt from Ann Taylor earlier this spring and am looking forward to wearing it more as it gets a bit cooler. The jacket is from White House/Black Market and the necklace is from J Crew Factory.”

I think this is a great example of office attire with edge, and this ensemble could definitely go from work to cocktails. Talk about a multitasking outfit!

Amy of Denim & Dots.

Amy of Denim & Dots says, “I picked this faux leather skirt up at the Loft recently. It looks and feels just like the real thing, and I couldn’t resist this vintage-looking top from H&M to go with it.”

This is a fun black and white combination, which I am always a fan of, and I like how Amy has combined leather and crystal!

Malia of Style by Malia.

Malia of Style by Malia says, “I am in love with yellow so this faux leather cropped jacket from Ashley Stewart was a must-have for fall. I paired it with a Michael Kors maxi and boots and I feel ready to take on the world.”

I think yellow is one of those colors you don’t see enough of so I love this combination on Malia, especially with the addition of that draped necklace, and she indeed looks ready to take on anything that comes her way!

Teresa Photo by Denton Taylor.

Teresa, wife of photographer Denton Taylor, is wearing a white leather coat recently purchased at the Manhattan Vintage Show. It’s Cassini by Jennifer Tattanelli. The hat, an eBay find, is a vintage leather pillbox by Mr. C. and the leather pants are by Armani.

Head-to-toe leather, and in black and white too. I love this look on Teresa. And let’s give her a hand, she just completed another New York City Marathon this past Sunday. Congratulations!

Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo Style Files.

This post would not be complete without at least ONE black leather biker jacket so I am glad the ever-stylish Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo Style Files is wearing one (her favorite), along with a creation of her own design. The “Badass Blogger” T-shirt (love) is available for purchase through her Society6 account if you’re interested! She says she pairs leather and leopard because she thinks they are sexy together and I am in total agreement!

Tamera of Tamera Beardsley.

Tamera of Tamera Beardsley writes, “I love mixing my crystal vintage necklace with my leather jacket, for a fun and fresh high-low effect. Whether I pair the crystal and leather with jeans or a maxi dress … the look is always eclectic and modern.”

I love this photo of Tamera, it is so dramatic and striking. And the necklace, my God, the necklace! It is stunning!

An amazing necklace on Tamera!

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun.

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun shared with us a faux leather moto jacket and oversized plaid shirt. I love it in combination with those pale booties and gray bag. Dawn Lucy is reminding me that just because it’s fall does not mean it is time to put away the light colors. And I love that her pooch decided to join in on the outfit photo fun!

Helen of Valley of the Shoes.

Helen of Valley of the Shoes worked both leather and crystal into her look. She says, “I’m wearing my oxfords/brogues from my trip to Italy this year (the leather is ridiculously supple inside and out). I’m also wearing a striped body-con dress to counter the menswear-inspired shoes. And I added the crystal sunburst necklace to make it extra girly and fun.”

This look is one of those I am instantly drawn to since it’s got it all—the stripes, the body-con, the brogues, the pale colors, and that fantastic necklace. Helen is looking smokin’ hot!

Natalia of In The Writer’s Closet.

Natalia of In The Writer’s Closet says, “I have had these crystal earrings for years - I brought them with me when I moved from Russia to the USA in 2002. I am not sure who the maker is, but the earrings are beautiful and sparkly, and make any outfit special. Here, I wear them with a silk DVF dress found in a consignment shop sometime this year, and an Inge Christopher beaded evening purse found at TJ Maxx just recently.”

This DVF dress is so wonderful on Natalia and I think DVF would approve of her wearing it with crystal earrings, purple shoes, and a gold evening bag. Here’s to one glamorous look!

I love these colors on Natalia, they are so flattering.

Happyface313.

Happyface313 says that she hardly wears leather so she decided to share with us this gorgeous Hermès H-Hour watch that was a birthday present from her entire family. The leather strap was originally pale pink but she decided to change it to purple and I think it makes the rose face and silver case really pop! She is wearing it here with her “Belles du Mexique” Twilly around her wrist (J’adore!) and her “Chasse en Inde” scarf as a belt. I really love these different shades of purple worn together. Especially with the addition of a deep eggplant manicure!

I adore this combination of leather H-Hour watch and scarves worn as a bracelet and belt!

Deja of Une femme d’un certain âge.

Deja of Une femme d’un certain âge writes, “I love my leather bags. I think a good quality bag with some personal style can really elevate the look of an outfit.”

I agree! I do love accessories, in many cases, more than clothes themselves. I think Deja’s accessories are so wonderful here, from the leopard shoes, to the Balenciaga bag, to the Hermès Collier de Chien cuff. She makes them all look so good!

Sandy.

Sandy says, “I love my pair of Bandolino leather boots and they are my fall and winter staple. I love the rich brown color and also the colorblocking. They go on with most of my outfits, from jeans to dresses!”

I do love a pair of riding boots and my own favorites are also by Bandolino. I like the blocks of color in this entire ensemble on Sandy, don’t you?

Pippa of Too Cheap Blondes.

Pippa, one of the dynamic duo that writes Too Cheap Blondes, with a focus on shopping at thrift stores and creating outfits for pennies on the dollar, says she and Jen found these vegan leather pants for $2.00 (wow!) at a thrift store outlet. And that faux fur vest? New with tags that stated it was by David Peck and originally $295? Picked up at a rummage sale for $35! What?

Pippa’s ensemble reminds me that I need to visit my local thrift store much more often.

Sheree of It’s Not That Deep.

Sheree of It’s Not That Deep is one of my favorite stylists and one of the reasons I love her is her endlessly creative style. Here she has taken a Mango button down dress, put it together with Levi’s shorts, knee-high Vince Camuto leather boots and a leather crossbody bag from Pour La Victoire. Another fabulous look from one cool stylist!

Trina of Tea Time With Trina.

Trina of Tea Time With Trina writes, “I find myself throwing this little jacket on a few times a week because it simply goes with everything. Deciding to go with the gray instead of the normal black was a great choice for me. This is how I like to wear it, with all black and accessorizing with one statement necklace.”

I think this is such a terrific look on Trina. I love the sheen of the jacket against all black, and I also like the surprise of the colorful floral necklace. Gorgeous!

Check out the leopard lining and big crystal necklace on Trina. I love them both!

My favorite vintage car in Brooklyn! Photo by Gwynne Keresty.

Most of the leather I own is in accessories so to get this look I had to borrow a faux leather jacket from my friend Gwynne, who also took the pictures. The jacket is by Matix and as soon as I saw its deep blue color I knew I wanted to wear it with red! The cardigan is by—who else?—L’Wren Scott for Banana Republic, one of the three sequin-front cardigans offered in her collection last December. I added a tie-front blouse by 212 Collection and Gwynne said I looked like I belonged in the band Blondie. Ha!

I had to laugh: What are the odds that I would see this Volvo again? Photo by Gwynne Keresty.

We went to take photos at Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery, but along the way we saw the vintage Volvo we used for “How I Wear My: Pastel.” When Gwynne spotted the car parked outside the cemetery she said, “Jill, look!” and we laughed and ran across a busy street to get to it like a couple of crazy people. It was so great to use this car in photos once again. I swear, if I see it one more time, I am leaving the owner a thank you note!

I love this color combination.

Do you gravitate more toward leather or crystal and glass? Or do you like to wear them both?

We know you have all your sweaters out at this point in the season so style one of them and share that photo with us! Whether you like a cropped cardigan, a sweater coat, a big knit fisherman’s sweater, a long tunic, or a classic turtleneck, join us for “How I Wear My: Sweater.” Send photos to us at howiwearmy@yahoo.com by December 2, 2014.

Do stop by Adrienne’s to see even more amazing looks featuring leather, crystal or glass.

And THANK YOU to all the fine foxes who participated this month. You keep this series so fun and stylish and we can’t thank you enough!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How Do You (Financially) Manage the Holidays?

Detail from a Bergdorf holiday window, 2013. Marc Jacobs coat, Valentino dress.

The gift-giving season will soon be upon us and I am curious to know if any of you have tips on how to manage what feels to me like a couple of months of bleeding money. I try to satisfy the wishes of my children, who usually ask for very specific and usually not too expensive toys, books or electronics. What to do about everyone else? If unsure what to give someone, I tend to stick to my classics of books, chocolate, expensive coffee, hand creams, Chanel nail polishes (for the fashionistas or grooming mavens in my life), or wine/liquor. It all adds up quickly!

I try to remember to start the gift buying in early fall so I can spread out expenses over a period of months, but the reality is it still ends up being mostly during November and December, which always ends in a spending hangover, and has actually resulted in my wanting to be on a spending diet. In one case, the spending diet lasted an entire year (Well, I tried anyway, I wasn’t perfect but I learned so much from the attempt)!

Holiday budgeting on my mind!

Part of my problem is that in looking for presents for other people I often see something I haven’t seen before and then I want it for myself. Show of hands if your holiday gift-buying season has ever looked like this: One for them, one for me!

If I buy a Chanel polish for someone I will resist also buying one for me! Black Satin is one of my favorites.

This year I am going to try to stick to the “I Want It” List—basically, not buying a thing (not one!) for myself, just writing on the list that I want it (or think I do). Then I will review the list in January to see if I still want the item. My experience with the “I Want It” List is that I forget plenty of things after I write them down and wait a month.

A holiday card by Bella Pilar, one of my favorite fashion illustrators.

Groundhog Day window at Bergdorf in 2013. Iradj Moini jewelry, handbag by Marchesa.

I would love to hear any tips you have for financially dealing with the season. Do you stick to a budget worked out in advance? Do you only buy presents for the young children in your life? Do you skip gift giving altogether and spend money instead on lavish entertaining (which I feel is a present unto itself, don’t you just love a fancy holiday party)? I would love to read your thoughts on this subject!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Giovanna Battaglia in Leather

Love this look on Giovanna! Photo by YoungJun Koo.

Not too many of the looks from last month’s Milan Fashion Week (or Paris for that matter) were knocking me out, but once again I found Giovanna Battaglia’s style to be a gorgeous exception. This leather circle skirt was just perfection on her and I love that she paired it with a T-shirt by Comme des Garçons with Life in Hell characters by Matt Groening (I’m digging the sly humor), flirty high heels, and what almost looks like a kiss blown someone’s way!

Let Giovanna’s fun and feminine leather skirt be your friendly reminder that Adrienne and I are accepting photos for “How I Wear My: Leather, Crystal or Glass” until November 3, 2014. You can send them to us at howiwearmy@yahoo.com.

Faux leather is welcomed and your look doesn’t have to feature leather at all—if you like big sparkly necklaces as much as I do, break one out, style it, and join us!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Racetrack Fashion

Dita Von Teese in an amazing hat and jacket featuring orchids!

This post is dedicated to all you Australian babes out there since I know it’s horse racing season right now in your part of the world. I have to say I find racetrack fashions such a visual treat! I love how colorful and wonderfully feminine they are; I also love that millinery is required! I wanted to share with you some of my favorite fairly recent fashions on the field looks, some worn in Australia, some worn in England. What especially struck me about these ensembles was how they really seemed personal. The outfits seemed like something each of these famous ladies would wear. They let their individuality and creativity shine through and it makes for some great racetrack fashion!

So nice to see the Queen in hot pink!

I love the Queen in this hot pink coat over a floral dress which she wore to Royal Ascot this past June. I especially love that pairing of a triple strand of pearls, so very classic, with that multicolored floral brooch, which feels so modern. Her Majesty wears it well!

Love the nod to My Fair Lady in this look by L’Wren Scott.

I cannot help loving this My Fair Lady-inspired dress Nicole wore to Melbourne Derby Day in 2012. That the dress was made by L’Wren Scott of course makes it more special to me. The two of them must’ve had such a good time working on this idea, especially when adding the milliner Stephen Jones into the mix. He designed the fantastic and dramatic hat and I love the wildness of it and how it gives Nicole’s look a modern flair.

I love the side profile of this dress.

What a gorgeous hat by Stephen Jones!

Lady Helen Taylor.

I immediately fell for this quirky and elegant look on Lady Helen Taylor, which she wore to Royal Ascot in 2013. From the colorblocked dress to the round sunglasses, turquoise teardrop-shaped beret, triple strand pearl choker, white gloves, and the blue nails (!), I loved every bit of this ensemble on Helen. She must’ve been like a breath of fresh air when she stepped onto the field wearing this!

Love the jewelry, hat, and sunglasses!

Great shot of the Countess of Wessex, especially with the men behind her!

Solid black does not strike me as a traditional color for racetrack fashion but I love this textured black dress with its full skirt, short sleeves, and high neck that Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wore to Royal Ascot this year. I also adore that dramatic hat and Sophie’s lovely smile! I also just like this as a photo, with Sophie looking so beautiful and the spiffy gents behind her with their morning suits and top hats. Could this picture be any more English?

Dita Von Teese. Oh that gaze!

Wow, wow, and wow. Talk about knocking it out of the park. Dita Von Teese, the burlesque performer, wore this stunning ensemble to the Melbourne Cup Day last year. I love the origami-like folds of the jacket, the lilac-colored lace bustier peeking out from behind the jacket, the beautiful pearl and diamond drop earrings, and the beyond-gorgeous addition of orchids draped on one shoulder and on her hat. Dita looks stunning!

If you’ve ever been to a racing event anywhere in the world and worn a fancy dress and hat, tell me all about it!