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...

...as 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.

Wow.

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?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How I Wear My: Favorite Color

Adrienne of The Rich Life (on a budget).

One of the highlights of the fall season is the infusion of so much intense color in our daily lives—think of the beautiful sunsets tipped in pink, the rich shades of pumpkins on front porches, the turning of leaves from green to red, orange, and gold. With our eyes about to be dazzled by the heart-stopping hues of autumn, Adrienne of The Rich Life (on a budget) and I decided to devote October’s “How I Wear My” to Favorite Color.

This was such a fun post to put together because of the range of colors everyone sent in and I hope you find it as inspiring as I do. Enjoy!

I love this close-up shot of Adrienne!

Adrienne, of The Rich Life (on a budget), my lovely “How I Wear My” partner, writes, “I am wearing a Stella Carakasi sweater from their Fall 2014 line (Go Everywhere Sweater), Enzo booties from last year, Gap Always Skinny jeans, and a burgundy Fedora from Montecristi Panama Hat Company in Napa Valley. They surprised me with the hat last Christmas. Little did they know burgundy is my favorite color!”

Burgundy always looks so wonderful on Adrienne because of her long hair with tones of caramel, chocolate, and honey. Isn’t this close-up picture of her beautiful? Burgundy is definitely her color!

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun.

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun says, “My favorite color is RED! Red to me means passion and sass!”

Dawn Lucy is sassing it up here in her favorite red sweater, fur-trimmed puffer vest (love), jeans and boots. She said, “Sure, it’s 80 degrees in California still, but I can dream, right?”

You are not dreaming, Dawn Lucy, this is a fabulous look on you!

Deborah of Fabulous After 40.

Deborah of Fabulous After 40 writes, “I know a lot of women who shy away from red, but I’m a true red gal. It’s always been my favorite color to wear because it gives me lots of energy and makes me feel vibrant and confident. This is a gorgeous, soft, red cashmere wrap that I like to wear this time of year when it’s just starting to get cool outside. I’ve paired it with my favorite leopard print blouse by Equipment, Elie Tahari leather pants, Stuart Weitzman booties, and my trusty YSL Muse bag. It’s a fun look I really enjoy.”

I think Deborah looks so glamorous in this ensemble, as if she going to leave that park behind, fly to New York City, and stride down Madison Avenue in all her city-chic glory!

Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40.

Pam of Over 50 Feeling 40 says, “You both probably know that AUTUMN ORANGE is perhaps my favorite color! Instead of wearing my favorite orange coat, which I tend to wear too often, I am sending my new favorite sweatshirt, designed by Susan Gravar. Her designs are usually found on QVC. I bought this in a resale shop, Clothes Mentor, and I love it! The shoes are from Elaine Turner.”

Orange is definitely Pam’s color, I have thought so for years and have told her that many times. She wears it so well!

Nora of Jacket Society.

Nora of Jacket Society is wearing a coral blazer from Zara, Rag & Bone skinny jeans, gladiator sandals, and a printed scarf. She says she likes this color and look as something that can transition from spring into fall and I think she is right—what a great blend of color with denim and fantastic accessories!

Linda of A Labour of Life.

Linda of A Labour of Life says, “I haven’t figured out my new favorite colors yet, new hair color means I am still experimenting, but I revert back to the primary colors red and yellow a lot.”

Linda is wearing a neon yellow T-shirt from Gap, a Yosa necklace, and a boyfriend cardigan from Old Navy. She brings up a great point that a favorite color, or range of favorite colors, may shift depending on your hair color!

Faux Fuchsia.

Faux Fuchsia writes, “I wear my favorite color, pink, as often as I can! I like to mix it with neutrals and lots of accessories. Pink’s the International Color of Peace and it’s always cheering during life’s Difficult Times.”

I always enjoy FF’s hilarious take on things and after I see one of her posts I go in search of my brightest Hermès scarves and biggest jewelry! This look is no exception, I love the intense color of the scarf paired with that cardigan, blouse, and amazing necklace!

Annette of Lady of Style.

Annette of Lady of Style says, “I am wearing my new pink coat paired with white trousers and a gray top for a casual look.”

I adore this shade of pink on Annette and her photo is a great reminder to me (and you too!) to not put away the white jeans just because it’s fall!

Terry of Terry's Two Cents.

Terry of Terry’s Two Cents jokes, “My favorite color is red. And black. And blue.” I totally hear him, it’s hard to choose just one! I like this combination of grays and purples in his sweater by Old Navy and the bit of berry by way of his shirt collar, which I think makes the whole look pop. A handsome combination!

Madeco of Au fil des jours.

Madeco of Au fil des jours is wearing a burgundy top which was originally a dress from ASOS that she altered to give it “pleats like in the forties, I love that!”

I have never altered clothing to make something entirely different but I love what Madeco has done here and may have to try this sort of thing myself.

Detail of Madeco’s dress that became a blouse.

Alicia of Spashionista.

Alicia of Spashionista says, “My favorite color is purple (of course!). I’m wearing my Michael Kors purple denim jeans on a date in East Nashville’s very hip Woodland Street district. I found them on Ross’ petite rack for $19.99!”

Oh I do love a fashion bargain and Alicia completely scored with these Michael Kors pants. I like that she paired them with her denim jacket and the blue T-strap sandals I admired in our “How I Wear My: Sandals” post. I am also digging the blue pedicure!

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living.

Cheryl of Northwest Mountain Living says that this season she is in love with burgundy. She wears tone on tone for this picture with a burgundy cardigan and camisole, both from White House Black Market. She is also wearing Vince Camuto booties, while the bag is by Dooney and Bourke.

This deep burgundy shade suits Cheryl so nicely, it looks great with her blonde hair, and I love that she paired the color with dark denim and black accessories, don’t you?

Trina of Tea Time With Trina.

Trina of Tea Time With Trina says that most colors of fall are her favorite. She also says, “This is a blend of my three all-time favorite fall colors—burgundy, navy, and mustard. I found this ever-so-cozy oversized poncho at Free People and instantly knew it fit perfectly into my fall wardrobe.”

Trina looks ready to attend a lively bonfire with friends on a chilly autumn night!

Deja of Une femme d’un certain âge.

Deja of Une femme d’un certain âge writes, “Have you guessed my favorite color is...black? Something about wearing black makes me feel strong, solid, and grounded. I’ll pair black with navy, brown, white, olive, but my favorite combo is black and denim. I think black dresses up denim, and gives it a refined edge.”

I think we must be soul twins on this point because one of my favorite colors is black and I agree it looks best with denim!

Also, I think Coco Chanel herself would love this look on Deja because, along with the bag (adore!) and pearl necklace, this ensemble includes the things that Coco championed—modernity, ease of movement, elegance, glamour (I am crazy for those sheer sleeves), and black with white. Coco and I both approve!

Malia of Style by Malia.

Malia of Style by Malia, whose favorite colors are black and blue, says that navy is what she wears when she wants to feel sassy! She is wearing a Lane Bryant navy shirt dress with coral wedges. Isn’t it interesting that different ladies will gravitate to completely different colors when they want to feel sassy?

Tori.

Tori, Adrienne’s stepdaughter and one half of the terrific series “One Trend Two Generations” at The Rich Life (on a budget), loves all shades of blue, from the lightest sky blue to dark navy. She is wearing a navy blue thrifted polka dress paired with a navy blue jacket by Stella Carakasi, called the Downtime Jacket, and part of their Spring 2014 collection. Adrienne said blue “brings out Tori’s beautiful blue eyes that she inherited from her father.”

Oh I do love a blonde in navy blue, and Tori is the perfect example of how navy makes blondes look gorgeous!

Ana of Mrs. American Made.

Ana of Mrs. American Made writes, “My favorite color is blue. Here it is a major part of my outfit as my #MadeinUSA Rag & Bone trench coat is a classic dark navy. My amazing patent pumps are also navy and I consider jeans blue as well. So mathematically this outfit is about 75% dark blue with a bit of green for a bit of contrast.”

One of my absolute favorite color pairings is navy with green so I am a big fan of Ana’s lovely look!

Silk Path Diary.

Silk Path Diary says, “It’s funny because I never thought I had a favorite color. It’s like food, I like such a variety I couldn’t possibly choose.” She has decided, however, that if she has to settle on just one color, it is blue! She continues, “Most shades are flattering and I find it’s a workhorse color all year round!”

I like this look on SPD, and I never thought I’d say that about a plaid shirt—hey, I lived through the 1990s and I can’t go back—but it looks wonderful with blue jeans, white flats (adore) and the Kelly, my God the Kelly. I weep.

Cynthia of My Rose Colored Shades.

Cynthia of My Rose Colored Shades writes, “Blue is the most visually appealing color to me personally. However, outside of navy I don’t own too many blue clothing items, especially bright blues. This is one of the few bright blue items that I own and love.”

I am crazy for this shade of blue on Cynthia, I think it makes her look so beautiful, and I love that she paired it with this flirty skirt.

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life.

Alice of Happiness at Mid-Life says, “One of my favorite colors to wear is cobalt blue. It’s such a vibrant shade and is a flattering color for most and it goes with so many colors.” She also said she loves to pair cobalt with mint, which she has done so well here with her vivid ASOS skirt, J. Crew Factory blouse, and Zara heels in the same gorgeous shade as her skirt. I think this is my new favorite picture of Alice. She looks stunning in blue!

Between a deli and a coffee shop in Windsor Terrace. Photo by Gwynne Keresty.

There are so many colors that I love—black, purple, hot pink, deep dark red, but the one I love above all is blue. There’s not one shade of blue I don’t love! I was particularly obsessed with this Hermès scarf when I saw it because of all the different shades of blue included in one scarf—from pale blue and turquoise all the way through to navy and midnight, every shade is represented in the 2012 design “Le Laboratoire du Temps” by Pierre-Marie (his work is also featured in the redesign of the scarf section of the Hermès website).

Inside Terrace Books. Photo by Gwynne Keresty.

I thought the design would be too whimsical for me but the minute the SA started showing me how this beauty shifted and changed depending on how it was worn, I was a goner. I thought I’d try wearing it tied so most of the colors drape down the front of whatever else I’m wearing, in this instance a J. Crew cardigan. I like the effect!

Hermès scarf and bracelet.

New York Magazine’s “The Cut” just did a feature on wearing a scarf this way, called “How to Wear a Scarf Like a High-Fashion Cowboy,” so I’m not the only one with this particular way of tying a scarf on my mind.

The bracelet is my leather Behapi Simple Tour, this side in Bleu Electrique. Its reverse side is Etain, a lovely gray-beige. I do love a multitasking piece of jewelry.

I hope you get a chance to wear your favorite color many times this fall!

Next month’s “How I Wear My” marks our third year of the series. We can hardly believe it! Third year anniversary presents are made of leather (traditional) or crystal or glass (modern), we which think is perfect since those things can also be used in clothing and accessories! So please join us in November for “How I Wear My: Leather, Crystal, or Glass.” Faux leather is encouraged too for all you vegan lovelies out there, so pull out your faux or real leather clothing and big sparkly crystal and glass jewelry and share your pictures of how you wear them with us! Photos are due by November 3, 2014. Please include some information about your ensemble and make sure your picture is at least 600 pixels wide!

Do stop by Adrienne’s to see even more fabulous looks featuring everyone's Favorite Color!

And thank you to all the fine foxes who participated this month!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Anne Touraine Paris Silk Twilly

I love this Anne Touraine Paris silk Twilly tied to my bag!

I’m having a Babe Paley moment with my Marc by Marc Jacobs Globetrotter Mini Rei bag tied with a purple silk Twilly by Anne Touraine Paris. Anne was kind enough to send this to me as a gift and I immediately loved the vivid color of the silk, as well as the angled edges, and I knew it would look perfect tied to my Marc Jacobs bag!

Babe Paley in a Norman Norell dress. Photo by Slim Aarons, 1946. No scarf but look at the pearls!

Babe & Bill in 1965. Is the scarf in her hands about to go on her bag? From WWD.

It is said that Babe Paley, socialite and wife of William S. Paley (who was the founder of CBS), and, arguably, favorite swan of Truman Capote, was once photographed with a scarf tied to her bag and soon everyone copied the look. I don’t see this so much anymore in Brooklyn or Manhattan—and I could not come up with one picture of Babe herself with a scarf on her bag so maybe it’s just a myth, but I am happy to get this look started once again and this Twilly kicks off the scarf-and-bag party in high style!

Twilly, Anne Touraine Paris. Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Sunglasses, L’Wren Scott.

I love the color of the Twilly next to this Zoya polish in Riley.

I have written of my love of Twillys before. They are perfect not only tied to a bag but around the wrist as a bracelet or around the neck, paired with a simple pendant necklace, as a kind of borrowed-from-the-boys necktie.

Anne’s site offers some nice ones, in both solid color and print, and they are worth a look. Twillys are a great way to freshen up a fall wardrobe with a pop of color without spending too much cash! This is the purple Twilly, called Nice, from Anne’s site, but you can see that in this particular lighting it seems a very deep blue, nearly violet. I love it!

Each Anne Touraine Paris Twilly comes in this elegant box!

Do you ever tie your scarf to your bag like Babe Paley? Or me?

Disclosure: Anne Touraine Paris sent me this silk Twilly as a gift. As usual, all opinions expressed here are my own.