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

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!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bergdorf Goodman Windows: A Work in Progress!

One of the shades used when the windows are being prepped.

Last month when I swung by Bergdorf Goodman to see if they had any lovely new windows for me to gaze at I was surprised to find that the majority of them on Fifth Avenue, except for this window featuring an embroidered blue dress (below), were literally under wraps!

Note the brown paper wrap all around this dress to protect the white floor below.

I was disappointed for about a minute until I realized that there were stylists/visual merchandisers in one of the windows prepping it for display and they worked without the benefit of the screen! What a great peek, literally, into what it takes to get the windows ready for view.

The sun was directly on the stylists and they seemed mildly annoyed, probably because it was hot and they had to work in blinding sun. I noticed three people on the outside who probably worked for the store as well, looking at the window from the sidewalk.

I wish I could’ve held up a sign that said LOVE YOUR WORK to the talented gals and guys behind the window, making all of our fashion dreams come true! I count the Bergdorf Goodman windows one of the many treats of living in New York City.

The visual wizards working their magic both outside and inside the window!

On 57th Street the windows were visible. I love this great red coat by DVF!

The windows on the 57th and 58th Street sides of the store were available for view and I fell hard for coats shown in each—the red one by Diane von Furstenberg, the green one with the sky blue lacing (love!) by Dior.

I love the blue side lacing on this green coat by Dior.

Monday, October 20, 2014

RIP Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta at FIT in 2012.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary Oscar de la Renta tonight at the age of 82. What a talented designer that man was! His death feels like the end of an era—as a young man he apprenticed with Balenciaga himself. Talk about learning from the best!

It was so lovely to see him at the 2012 preview of IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA at The Museum at FIT and his dress exhibited there was one of my favorites from that show. It was from his Spring 2012 collection and I loved the combination of a rich yellow silk taffeta strapless gown with a stunning black Guipure lace jacket. It was hard to stop taking pictures of the dress, to tell you the truth. It was a standout in a room of iconic and amazing dresses!

From the exhibit IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA, The Museum at FIT, 2012.

I could not take my eyes off this dress!

I loved the bold yellow color... well as this jacket of Guipure lace. Gorgeous!

Oscar de la Renta always seemed like such a gentleman, a true charmer, as well as a designer of gorgeous clothes, and he will be missed. I certainly hope either The Museum at FIT or the Met will, in time, do a retrospective of his elegant and supremely feminine work.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hermès Silk Bar at Grand Central Terminal

The back window, featuring “Photo Finish” by Dimitri Rybaltchenko.

When I read over at Racked NY last month that Hermès had opened a pop-up Silk Bar in Grand Central through January 2015, I was intrigued. I wondered what the vibe would be since the feel of the Madison Avenue boutique, and the Broad Street store (next to the New York Stock Exchange), could not be more different. Madison Avenue is sometimes not so great, I have had mixed customer service experiences there, while Broad Street is always top-notch—professional, informed, friendly, helpful. Give me Broad Street any day of the week!

I happened to be close to Grand Central a couple of weeks ago so decided to look for the boutique. It is nestled in a spot close to the food market and by the escalators leading to the food court below.

The side window, with “Le Songe de la Licorn” by Anne Faivre.

The front of the store. Photo by The Shophound.

It is the tiniest little shop you can imagine. Only two cases of goods, which are scarves, ties for men, and enamel bracelets. Two sales associates were behind the counter and there was only room for maybe three or four other people in the store at most.

The entryway.

They did not have the scarf I wanted to visit with in person, but one of the sales associates was wearing a scarf I instantly recognized, “Le Laboratoire du Temps,” and when I said that I had the same one in a different colorway we got to talking about it! She told me she had gotten the scarf’s artist, Pierre Marie, to sign it for her when she met him in person and she was so sweet to take it off and show me the signature. I mentioned to her the same thing I wrote about in “How I Wear My: Favorite Color,” that I first thought the scarf would be way too whimsical for me. I mean, there are little cartoon drawings on it showing some of mankind’s achievements throughout history, like the moon landing in 1969 and disco in 1977 (both great achievements, by the way). However, the minute you start playing with that scarf, glorious mosaic pieces of color begin to appear, in every shade of blue you can imagine (along with quite a few shades of green and lavender).

Detail of “Le Laboratoire du Temps” by Pierre Marie.

The lovely SA, who was so charming and clearly a huge fan of Hermès scarf designs, also told me that Pierre Marie, as I had guessed, designed the new scarf website, Le Maison des Carrés.

It was wonderful to speak with someone who is as much of a fan of H silks as I am and if you have to have that amazing Hermès scarf before you catch your next train or subway, I highly recommend this tiny boutique nestled in Grand Central!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The DVF Challenge

Everybody seems to know about the ice bucket challenge these days, but my favorite challenge is the one subtly implied by Diane von Furstenberg in the title of her new book to be released later this month, The Woman I Wanted to Be.

I find that very simple set of words to be so provocative in a wonderfully motivating way. Every single time I hear her talk about a woman becoming who she wanted to be—I remember when she said it to Rachel Zoe during an early episode of The Rachel Zoe Project and you could actually see Rachel take a quick mental time-out to process it—I feel like it is a challenge to all of us: Are you the woman (or man) you set out to become?

I love the dreamy aspect of that question, and the planning aspect of it too, and of course I love that it is not snarky or catty or mean. It’s uplifting, it’s inspiring. It’s a gentle reminder. It makes me ask of myself: Am I the woman I wanted to be? And who is that person, anyway?

From Impact: 100 Years of the CFDA, 2012.

What makes it all the better for me is that I think DVF lives this philosophy of empowering herself and other women, she’s not just saying these words. When I met her at The Museum at FIT in 2012 during the preview for the exhibit Impact: 100 Years of the CFDA, she could’ve accepted my greeting and compliments on her ability to make clothes ladies want to buy and wear and shook my hand and moved on, but she was so gracious and solicitous, asking me what I did for a living and telling me I was pretty! What a compliment coming from such a glamorous and genuine lady!

DVF speaking at The Museum at FIT in 2012.

I feel that I am a work in progress, constantly striving to become a better person. I don’t know that I will ever get there, and maybe getting there is not the point, but I find DVF’s particular brand of wisdom something that brings a little lift to my day, and reminds me to keep trying to be the woman I wanted to be!

A Bergdorf window celebrating 40 years of the DVF wrap dress, June 2014.

Tell me if you are the woman (or man) you set out to become. Let me know too if you are going to read DVF’s book! It will be released on October 28, 2014.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bulgari Jewels and Dog Collars

An amazing Bulgari gemstone necklace.

On my way to Bergdorf and Cartier on Fifth Avenue back in July, I was stopped in my tracks outside Bulgari, also on Fifth Avenue, by this drop-dead gorgeous multicolored gemstone necklace set with baguette diamonds between each stone. I may have seen this beauty back in summer but I would love a necklace like this to wear any time of the year! I think it would be amazing in summer with a white dress or crisp white shirt, or in the winter over a black cashmere turtleneck. Can you imagine?

Detail of a Bulgari necklace. I think I just died of love.

Another amazing Bulgari necklace.

Another necklace featured paler cabochon gemstones and I found it just as stunning.


The next thing that caught my eye was this couple, standing just outside the store:

I love this shot of this couple and their dog!

I figured she worked at Bulgari and was on a break, her boyfriend/husband was visiting her, and he brought the dog, a beautiful Boxer! Then I noticed the dog wore a studded collar.

Dog collar by Bulgari?

I would love nothing more than to fasten a rhinestone collar around the neck of our cat, Tippi, whom I sometimes call Little Elizabeth Taylor when she is playing with her feather boa (Oh Liz, the glamour!), but Tippi is a bit edgy and I have a feeling she is Not That Kind of Cat and I would have my hands scratched off for my troubles.

Tippi in my Sylvia Steininger New York tote, which she thinks is hers.

I will have to add Bulgari to my list of window stops next time I’m in the city. Put it on your list too, it’s at 57th and Fifth Avenue, across from both Tiffany and Bergdorf.

Would you wear a multicolored gemstone necklace? Does your dog or cat have a bejeweled or studded collar?