Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sarah Rutson in Booties

Sarah in a pair of very high booties walking on a snow-slick NYC sidewalk. Photo by YoungJun Koo.

Sarah Rutson, Vice President of Global Buying for Net-a-Porter, looks long and lean in this black jersey skirt, tweed and leather jacket, and insanely high (and sharp!) black Alaïa booties. Given that she wore them during the recent New York Fashion week, which was freezing—and icy— she seems either brave or crazy, you decide!

Sarah used to work for Lane Crawford and therefore lived in Hong Kong, but now that she has joined the New York offices of Net-a-Porter, I am expecting to see a lot more street style pictures of her which is great because I like her aesthetic, which seems to be ladylike with a bit of edge. I always enjoy seeing her unexpected flourishes like the ones here, with the mix of stripes, tweed, and leather. Love, love, love.

Let Sarah’s ensemble featuring booties be your friendly reminder that the March “How I Wear My” is just around the corner and is devoted to booties. Send a photo featuring your look in booties and a short description of what you wearing to Photos are due March 2, 2015. Do join us!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Gold Standard: Yellow, Pink or White?

A fancy yellow diamond ring by Neil Lane in yellow gold.

With jewelry so much on my mind, it was inevitable that I’d zero in on color preferences in gold. When I was very young, still a teenager, I liked yellow gold best, probably because it’s what my mother had and it was what was featured most in magazines. It always seemed very glamorous on the models in the 1980s! Sometime in the 90s I started to like the look of white gold better, and I’m sure it had something to do with the fact that white gold was identical to silver, which was the only metal I could afford back then (and maybe now too, with the way the price of gold continues to rise). These days I’m swinging back to yellow gold and breaking out all my old jewelry in that color. I am even liking the look of pink, or rose, gold, though I don’t own anything in that shade. Is it just me or does rose gold seem like it’s everywhere these days?

An Elsa Peretti Wave five-row ring in rose gold at Tiffany & Co.

I thought it would be fun to post a few pictures of some very beautiful pieces from a range of jewelers and in different gold colors.

A Cartier Tank Américaine watch in rose gold. Oh, I weep.

Anita Ko Wing 18K gold diamond earrings. So beautiful.

Jennifer Meyer turquoise earrings. Is turquoise better in yellow gold...

...or white? Van Cleef & Arpels Vintage Alhambra bracelet.

A 2010 Cartier pavé diamond ring in yellow gold...

...and in white gold. Which do you prefer? The white gold version is still available over at Beladora!

If you have a preference of one color of gold over another, I’d love to hear what it is and why. Is it for the way it looks or because a certain shade of gold suits your skin color better? Do you feel certain stones look better with a particular color of gold? Do you wear different shades of gold in different seasons, say, gold for winter, white for summer, or vice versa? What do you think of pink gold? Tell me everything!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Top 8 Jewels at the 2015 Academy Awards

Margot Robbie in Van Cleef & Arpels and Saint Laurent. Stunning!

What a feast for the jewelry-loving eyes at this year’s Academy Awards! And unlike last month’s Golden Globes, where it seemed to be all about the Big Earring, the Oscars did not disappoint with its range of gorgeous eye-popping jewelry of every stripe. Just when I thought I’d seen the best thing I’d see all night, another gigantic necklace or pair of earrings came into view on the TV screen. You’d laugh at all the notes I wrote to remind myself what jewelry I wanted to learn more about after the show was over!

Here is my roundup of the Top 8 Jewels on the red carpet last night. This list is skewed towards jewelry first, gown and overall look second. I am finding that is a terrific way for me to hone in on what I really love about all of these ensembles.

1. Margot Robbie in Van Cleef & Arpels.

Australian actress Margot Robbie (anybody else remember her as one of the stewardesses on the short-lived Pan Am?) knocked it out of the park with this black Saint Laurent dress paired with a Van Cleef & Arpels Zip necklace worth $1.5 million. Don’t forget that I am analyzing this picture with eyes fresh off the FIT exhibit on YSL + Halston, so this look is like the sexiest update of that 70s vibe possible and I was very excited to see a Van Cleef & Arpels Zip necklace at the Oscars. The idea for this necklace was originally conceived in 1938 by VCA designer René-Sim Lacaze and the Duchess of Windsor, who wanted a piece of jewelry that zipped, but French jewelry production was brought to a standstill during World War II, so the Zip necklace was not completed until 1951. As you can see, it still looks stunning today! The zipper is fully functional, so this necklace can be zipped to become a bracelet. It is an amazing technical feat by Van Cleef & Arpels. This necklace is an exact replica of the original (and final) 1951 design, and is made of sapphires and diamonds set in yellow gold.

Margot Robbie. Photo by Jordan Strauss.

2. Viola Davis in Van Cleef & Arpels.

Viola Davis was wearing another necklace that had me scrambling to the TV for a closer look. This is also by Van Cleef & Arpels, this one made of pearls and diamonds, and I love it with her Zac Posen dress, big smile and those lashes. Viola looked amazing!

Viola Davis in Van Cleef & Arpels and Zac Posen.

Love this color on Viola!

3. Cate Blanchett in Tiffany & Co.

Cate never seems to disappoint on the red carpet and this was another outstanding look from her, with a black velvet John Galliano for Maison Margiela gown paired with a huge and gorgeous Tiffany & Co. turquoise and diamond necklace. I think I fainted a little when I saw this necklace, the color is just so beautiful against black, and it was the first big necklace I saw last night, as well as the first sign that this awards show was not going to be just about earrings. I was thrilled!

Cate Blanchett in a Tiffany & Co. turquoise and diamond necklace.

I am weeping right now just looking at this necklace. Amazing! Picture from Twitter.

Photo by Wire Image.

This look on Cate was all about the necklace. And her back! Photo by David Fisher.

4. Julianne Moore in Chopard.

Julianne was last night’s Best Actress winner for Still Alice and I cannot get over how luminous she looked in these beyond-beautiful Chopard diamond earrings and Chanel gown made especially for her! I thought this was the epitome of what you want a Best Actress Oscar winner to look like when she makes her acceptance speech—radiant, happy, supremely talented, and in the prime of her life! (I hope her husband bought her those earrings as a congratulatory present and I bet Uncle Karl and his team at Chanel gave her the dress to keep!)

Best Actress winner Julianne Moore in Chopard diamond earrings.

The earrings from another angle. Magnificent!

A radiant Julianne Moore in custom (!) Chanel and Chopard earrings. Could she be more beautiful?

5. Gwyneth Paltrow in Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie.

Gwyneth was wearing a glorious pair of Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie Fire Phoenix earrings, made of white gold, rubellites, diamonds, sapphires, and tourmalines, which are worth $425,000. I thought they were just stunning, especially with her blush-pink Ralph & Russo dress which I loved for its slender silhouette, one sleeve, and oversized rose at her shoulder! I know a lot of people don’t like Gwyneth but I’m not one of them and I actually like her comedy more than her work as a dramatic actress. I think she is a hilarious and fearless comedienne, plus I think she likes wine as much as I do. I’d meet her for a drink and some laughs any time!

Gwyneth Paltrow in Anna Hu Fire Phoenix earrings. Wow! Photo by Jeff Kravitz.

I love these earrings on Gwynnie!

Gwyneth in a blush pink Ralph & Russo dress. Love that big rose!

6. America Ferrera in Irene Neuwirth.

America looked both ethereal and glamorous in her turquoise and diamond Irene Neuwirth earrings. I love turquoise on her, especially since she paired these beauties with a dreamy teal Jenny Packham gown. I was so glad to see someone in a rich color since so many of the gowns were pale-hued. Doesn’t she look lovely?

America Ferrera in amazing Irene Neuwirth earrings and Jenny Packham gown.

I really loved this look on America. Great colors on her!

7. Naomi Watts in Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie.

Naomi, like Gwyneth, wore earrings by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie. These were the Modern Art Deco earrings, featuring purple-toned sapphires weighing over 50 carats and round brilliant-cut diamonds, all set in white gold, and are worth $3 million! Naomi was also wearing an Anna Hu bracelet with just over 34-carats’ worth of diamonds called the Wallis Simpson Bracelet. I liked the fabric of Naomi’s unusual Armani gown, and the front of it, but not the back, which seemed a little too beachy and casual for the Oscars. What did you think of it? I did like, very much, her dark manicure, a perfect foil for both the dress and jewels.

Glorious Anna Hu sapphire and diamond earrings on Naomi Watts. The manicure is good too!

I like the front of this Armani gown on Naomi, but not the back detail. Photo by Steve Granitz.

8. Lupita Nyong’o in Calvin Klein (and Chopard).

My special award goes to Lupita Nyong’o for this unbelievably beautiful custom-made Calvin Klein gown embellished with over 6,000 real and faux pearls. She added Chopard diamond drop earrings but who needs them when your dress is the jewelry? Superb look on Lupita and the top of many best dressed lists for the night!

Lupita Nyong’o in a drop-dread gorgeous custom Calvin Klein pearl-encrusted gown. My jaw is on the floor.

Amazing back detail.

That is some dress!

I would love to hear about your favorite pieces of jewelry on the red carpet last night! Let me know what they were and who wore them!

Friday, February 20, 2015

YSL + Halston & the Women Who Wore Them Well

This is my favorite picture of Yves and Nan. It makes me laugh every time!

The exhibit now on view at The Museum at FIT called YSL + Halston: Fashioning the 70s has me thinking of the ladies who wore each of those designers so well. That list could go on for quite awhile so I decided to focus on two women I feel are synonymous with each designer.

YSL dress, 1971, left, Halston dress, 1976, right.

Nan in YSL in 1977. From the WWD Archives.

Yves Saint Laurent and Nan Kempner

Oh did Nan love Yves. The tall, blonde, Manhattan socialite wife of Thomas L. Kempner, who referred to herself as a housewife (God love her!), adored Saint Laurent above all other designers. The renowned collector of couture from her earliest days as an adult, had, by the end of her life at the age of 74, amassed 1,000 designer dresses. 376 of them were by Saint Laurent. Pierre Bergé, co-founder of the house, said of her, “Nan Kempner was loyal to Saint Laurent as a woman is faithful to her lover.” Nan must’ve felt like a dream client to Yves—tall, very thin, wealthy, and crazy about clothes (his in particular).

None of the pieces in the FIT exhibit were owned by Nan, her collection went to the Met, which put it on display in the winter of 2006-7 in the show Nan Kempner: American Chic. That is one exhibit I wish I would’ve seen!

I like this quote from Saint Laurent about Nan I found in a great article by Amy Larocca, “From the Well-Stuffed Closets of Mrs. Thomas L. Kempner” at New York magazine:

“Nan Kempner, to my eyes, always represented this modern, free, independent, and elegant woman. She is probably the woman who best wore my clothes, with whom I shared the longest and greatest complicity.”

Nan in 1974. Wow did she have long legs! Photo from the Condé Nast Archives.

YSL dresses in front. Lamé, center, 1977; gold and black, 1976.  Photo by Gwynne Keresty.

Halston and Elsa Peretti

Peretti with Halston, and illustrator Joe Eula, left, in Halston’s apartment, 1974. Photo by Jill Krementz.

The moment I see a picture of Elsa Peretti from the 1970s I think she must’ve lived in Halston. She is always wearing drapey caftans and long clothing that seems to just flow. Peretti and Halston were very close for awhile—when she first came to Manhattan from Italy she worked as a model, for Halston, among others, and they became friends. She began designing jewelry for his collections in 1971, and for Tiffany & Co. in 1974. She also designed the bottle for Halston’s perfume. The launch of it in 1976 was one of the most successful ever in the marketing of fragrances.

The FIT exhibit features an amazing silver mesh bra by Peretti, paired with a pair of wool jersey trousers and silk shirt by Halston for one unexpected (and sexy) look! The exhibit also has one of her silver bottle pendants, worn over a Halston dress.

Gold suit by YSL, 1988, Halston ensemble featuring silver mesh bra by Elsa Peretti, 1975.

Halston dresses, circa 1976-77. The Peretti bottle pendant is on the far left.

Elsa in a Halston bunny costume, a famous 1975 Helmut Newton photo.

Halston said of her, “Elsa was different from the other models,” the designer recalled. “The others were clothes racks—you’d make them up, fix their hair, and then they’d put their blue jeans back on. But Elsa had style: she made the dress she was modeling her own.”

Elsa at work wearing Halston, in 1974. Photo by Duane Michals. Looks like the blouse in the exhibit!

If you have time, there is a terrific article by James Reginato at Vanity Fair that came out in August 2014, called “Elsa Peretti’s Great Escape” which features an interview with Peretti, now 74 and living in Italy. She details her friendship with Halston, as well as its demise, and how she came to be a jewelry designer.

Love these details of red beads and gold hammered silk satin!

If you get a chance to see it, YSL + Halston: Fashioning the 70s is a unique opportunity to see these two great designers’ work side by side at an important point in each of their careers. It has never been done before and is one of the most interesting shows I’ve seen in awhile. I highly recommend it!

Yves Saint Laurent + Halston: Fashioning the 70s is on view until April 18, 2015. #YSLHalston

The Museum at FIT
Seventh Avenue at 27th Street
New York NY 10001-5992

Hours: Tuesday-Friday, noon-8pm
Saturday, 10AM-5PM
Closed Sunday, Monday, and legal holidays
Admission is free

Monday, February 16, 2015

Favorite Photos (and Looks!) from Paris Couture 2015

Natalie Portman, looking so elegant at Dior Haute Couture, January 2015.

There are a lot of great street-style photographers out at every fashion week, but these days I am finding myself particularly seeking out the photos of YoungJun Koo, who either works for, or contributes frequently to, New York magazine. I especially like the movement in his pictures. Plenty of times the subject is not stopping for him, which I assume is what he wants, and it makes for a better photo—you can see the clothes as they move, you can see the subject in a dreamier or more ethereal way. For instance, doesn’t Natalie Portman, above, look so ladylike and beautiful in this shot Koo got of her outside the Dior show? Gorgeous!

These photos were my favorites that he took during the Paris couture shows last month.

I like this picture of Anna with her head down in one great leather coat with fur trim. Oh that hair!

Great coat, great hair. Anna Wintour, January 2015.

I don’t know who this pretty lady is but I love the fringed white poncho worn with boots that almost look like lace. I think this look goes so well with her romantic braid!

Love the braid, the fringed poncho, and those crazy lace-like boots!

I haven’t seen Lauren Santo Domingo photographed very often these days, maybe she’s busy with her business, Moda Operandi, and her husband and kids. I do like to see what she’s wearing since I read in Vogue once that she describes her style as “classic with a twist,” and I think that perfectly describes this fantastic combination! I love this whole ensemble on her.

Lauren Santo Domingo in blue, red, and black. January 2015.

Let me know what you think of these photos!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Meet You at the Cemetery Gates

At the Green-Wood Cemetery Gates in Brooklyn, NY.

The title of this post comes from that old song by The Smiths, “Cemetery Gates,” from the 1986 album The Queen Is Dead. Anybody else remember it? “A dreaded sunny day / So I meet you at the cemetery gates / Keats and Yeats are on your side / While Wilde is on mine” (Oh that Morrissey).

When my friend Gwynne and I met for pictures last fall for “How I Wear My: Leather, Crystal or Glass,” we ended up outside of Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery where I have spent a fair amount of time, either at the annual Memorial Day Concert, or lectures, even a party once (I tell you, there is nothing like having swanky cocktails in a gorgeous old cemetery).

Green-Wood, established in 1838, is the final resting place of some famous New Yorkers, including the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, Louis Comfort Tiffany, famous for his beautiful stained glass work, and Juan Trippe, founder of Pan American World Airways. It is also is the burial site for the Hewitt sisters, Sarah and Eleanor, who founded the Cooper-Hewitt museum in Manhattan, were lovers of couture in the 19th century, and bought a lot of Charles Frederick Worth dresses on their trips to Paris. At their behest, their niece, Princess Viggo, bequeathed the collection to the Brooklyn Museum in 1931, and it is now owned by the Met. I feel personally indebted to those ladies for their generous gifts, which have given me so much happiness over the years when I get to see stunning Worth gowns at the city’s museums!

What a lovely entrance!

These photos didn’t make it into the “How I Wear My” post, but I decided to use them here for a couple of reasons: First, I wanted to share the gates of Green-Wood Cemetery. I mean, this is a side entrance, not even the main gate, and look how beautiful it is! Here is the dramatic main entrance with its Gothic Revival arches designed by Richard Upjohn:

Now that’s a cemetery gate! Photo by Paul Lowry.

The second reason I decided to use these photos is because of the red sequined sweater, which is L’Wren Scott for Banana Republic. It is perfect for Valentine’s Day and you can consider this post my Valentine to you!

I do adore a historical cemetery.

I hope you enjoy a Valentine’s Day filled with fun and a lot of love! Thank you to anyone and everyone who stops by to read my little blog. I truly value and appreciate your friendship and lovely comments!

All photos of me by Gwynne Keresty.