Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nicole Kidman Steps Out, Ready for a Holiday Party

Nicole Kidman. Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock.

These pictures were taken of Nicole Kidman in October for the London premiere of her latest film Lion, but this look would be amazing for a formal holiday party in December too! Her dress was by Armani Privé and I think that column of black velvet suits her so well, as do the shoes and delicate diamond jewelry. And hello mile-long legs!

I have also been obsessed with this makeup on Nicole since I first saw it because I love that the focus is on a glamorous lash line, strong brows, luminosity, and a bright red lip. It is such a great classic look and one I will be trying to replicate on myself.

Fantastic makeup on Nicole!

If you would like to read about the antique and vintage jewelry on Nicole that night, swing by Berganza, a London jeweler. They have close-ups of the gems Nicole wore and it is wonderful to find out the jewelry she had on dated from 1820 to 1945!

What goes with black velvet? Red lips and diamonds, of course! Photo by Justin Goff.

Let Nicole’s elegant and refined holiday style be your friendly reminder that the final “How I Wear My” of 2016 is devoted to holiday party looks. Send photos to Adrienne and me by December 5, 2016 by emailing them to us at Be sure to include some text about your outfit, which we will use in the posts.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Christmas in New York 2016: Tiffany & Co. (and We Have to Talk About Trump Tower)

A feast for the eyes by Tiffany & Co., November 2016.

Well well well. What a difference a year (and an election) makes. In November 2015 when I made my annual nighttime trek to the see the holiday windows at Tiffany & Co., I pretty much had the place to myself. This time out, I shared it with the NYPD and the Secret Service. Nothing like men in full tactical gear and carrying machine guns to make a gal feel safe! I am only saying that partly tongue-in-cheek: As a former Navy brat, I am not fazed seeing men with assault rifles. No biggie. But the President-elect of the United States of America living literally next door to where I go every year to see the holiday windows? That rattled me. I knew I had to try to see them anyway. It’s my tradition!

Barricades on 57th Street from Madison Avenue to Fifth Avenue.

Trump Tower is next door to the flagship boutique of Tiffany & Co. (in fact, I do believe his second daughter is named for the famed jewelry company). And with the election results having angered so many people, I knew I was in for something very different this year at 57th Street and Fifth Avenue. Tiffany & Co. is already taking it on the chin for their proximity to Trump Tower—they cancelled their window unveiling event, scheduled for the November 14, because of the protests over the President-elect and the new security chaos in midtown Manhattan. I almost didn’t go myself. Fun crowds are one thing, angry post-election crowds another, and I did not want to hang out with the protestors, I just wanted to revel in beauty!

And once I made my way up 57th Street, Tiffany did not disappoint.

I was not sure what this was supposed to be at first...

...but of course, it’s Manhattan!

Loved the fireworks and the T Tiffany bangles.

A window featuring a rendition of Rockefeller Center.

Love this bejeweled Christmas tree!

Love the framing detail too.

My favorite window, by far, featured an elaborate and elegant table set with Tiffany china and silver and grand desserts and sweets, all in miniature. On each plate was a beautiful piece of jewelry. Gorgeous!

One table I would like a place at!

Looking up toward the top of the table. Amazing!

As I approached the corner of the store at Fifth Avenue, there were many more barricades and police officers, but no civilians. I very nicely asked one of the three cops at the corner if I could take pictures of the window on the Fifth Avenue side of the store, that I come here every year just to do this. He gave me a quick considering look, said, “Come’ere,” and opened the barricade to let me in! He didn’t even check my bag when I offered it. I tell you, my faith in humanity was restored for another day by that one simple act. He decided to trust me!

And may I just say that it is absolutely the BEST having several foxy men from the NYPD watch over you while you snap away at the window of Tiffany & Co., on Fifth Avenue, in New York City, especially when you do not have to share the window with anyone else! Whee! The photos below are from one of the two Fifth Avenue windows.

The front of the Tiffany & Co. store in miniature!

I love the chandelier and trees.

Here it is from another angle, showing even more trees.

It did not escape my notice that a Tiffany Key necklace was shown in front of the trees.

Another Tiffany entrance in miniature.

After I got my shots, I thanked the officer for letting me in. I also thanked him for his service.

And now, for anyone who is coming to Manhattan for the holidays, below is my photographic take on midtown on a Thursday night, with no protest planned, and no weather, and it was nearly 10pm. It will be quite congested during the holidays, since Fifth Avenue is always a bit of a zoo in December and that was before Trump got elected. Unfortunately, Trump Tower is close to so many places people want to visit, whether you live here or are a tourist, including Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, the Plaza, the Apple Store, and the south end of Central Park. If you can go to this area at night, I would highly recommend it. I would also recommend checking Twitter using the hashtag #notmypresidentnyc to see if any protests are planned or actually happening on the day or night you want to visit. It is not just Fifth Avenue that is impacted. Madison Avenue has a large police presence around 56th Street, and I noticed NYPD mobile command units, which are huge trailers, parked on both 56th and 55th Street off Fifth Avenue, shutting them down to traffic completely.

I also have to warn people that I walked uptown from 20th Street and Third Avenue and found road work crews EVERYWHERE! I came across FOUR separate repairs or night digs, lights ablazing, during my jaunt up and down Manhattan that night. So take mass transit and be prepared to walk too.

The jeweled sides of Tiffany were not lit up like they normally are.

On 5th Avenue looking uptown at 57th Street. Quiet for one night but note the barricades.

Tiffany & Co. on the left, Trump Tower on the right. And a broadcast journalist front and center, about to go live.

There were several journalists reporting that night.

Just a few protestors, and they were kept down the street.

The good news is that if you walk south down Fifth Avenue, by time you get to the Cartier Mansion at 52nd Street, the barricades are gone and it is back to Life As You Know It. The mansion is all wrapped up and ready for the holidays, by the way, looking quite lovely.

The Cartier Mansion looking spiffy for the holidays. And look ma, no police!

I want to end this post on a positive note so let’s mediate once again on the beauty shared with the world by the window designers and artisans at Tiffany & Co. I am so grateful for all their creativity and hard work!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Duke of Windsor, The Crown, and Looking at the Bright Side of Life

The Duke of Windsor with a ciggie and two Cartier Trinity rings.

To get away from the election and post-election coverage I decided to start watching the new series The Crown on Netflix. I am enjoying it immensely. It has such high production values and great acting. What a visual treat too—the sets, the scenery, the costumes, the jewelry, and the makeup, my God, the makeup!

I have seen three episodes, including “Windsor,” which had all sorts of inaccuracies regarding the Duke and Duchess of Windsor—for one, Wallis was not present when David gave his famous “Abdication” speech on December 11, 1936, nor was his mother, Queen Mary. David and Wallis were portrayed in this episode with the negative patina they nearly always receive on screen, which wasn’t much of a surprise, since the focus in this series is on Queen Elizabeth II and how she came to be the Queen of England, and her branch of the family despised them. However, it reminded me of some of the posts I’ve done on the Duke and Duchess, which I loved putting together, so I couldn’t help returning to this subject.

Before we get to that I have to share this shot from the show. Of course, if the spiffy dress didn’t give it away, the pugs would. Here is how the Duke and Duchess of Windsor are portrayed in The Crown. This is an urelated side note but I love that baby pug so much, the one nestled in Lia’s arm. That face! Those eyes! I have not seen what happens in this episode so if you know, don’t tell me!

Alex Jennings as the Duke of Windsor and Lia Williams as the Duchess. Photo by Netflix.

Today’s topic is the Duke of Windsor’s disposition and notes on his character that the Duchess of Windsor wrote about in her 1956 memoir, The Heart Has Its Reasons. I loved this gem:

“Aside from his blithe assumption that the logistics of life would take care of themselves, I discovered that David had endearing qualities that were rare in my experience. There was not a mean bone in his body or a snide thought in his mind. Gossip rolled off him like rain off a slate roof; he never allowed gossip to warp his healthy faith in human nature. He had an extraordinary resiliency of the spirit.”

The Duke and Duchess with their pugs Trooper, Disraeli, Imp, and Davy Crockett.

And this:

“…along with the thriftiness and conservatism that were so innately a part of David’s inheritance went an extraordinary outgivingness and trust in those about him. I came to realize that this was an expression of his sunny disposition, his difficulty in bringing himself to believe ill of anyone. Perhaps, at a critical time for him, this quality was his salvation; believing, as he does, that all human experience should be a challenge, it was impossible for him ever to think that any change in circumstances could be a defeat.”

That last part seems particularly timely given the state of world politics. And how interesting to learn that the Duke thought life should be a challenge!

The Duke with his mother Queen Mary in October 1945. Getty Images photo.

I know plenty of people have a bad opinion of the Duke of Windsor but I have been cheered by re-reading these words about how somebody decided to Stay Positive even when (especially when!), the going got tough.

Let me know if you are watching The Crown and what you think of it.