Friday, April 30, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
On Saturday I checked out the Fashion Walk of Fame on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, between 35th and 41st Streets. The walk consists of 24 plaques on the east side of Seventh Avenue recognizing the work of 24 designers, some currently very famous, such as Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, some I've never heard of but hope to learn more about and share with you soon, such as Lilly Dache (a milliner) and Stephen Burrows (the first African-American designer to receive international acclaim). There were two more designers recognized in 2008, Diane von Furstenberg and Liz Claiborne, but I couldn't find their plaques anywhere. Here is the plaque for one designer I love, Oscar de la Renta. It looked like someone dropped an entire cup of coffee on it and just kept walking. Aren't there any design students from Parsons, just down the street, who also love Oscar and could swing by and keep his plaque clean in between classes? Like those fans of certain stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame who keep their icon's star spic and span. Marilyn Monroe comes to mind, when I saw her star it was spotless and had a little votive burning next to it too. If I'd had anything with me I would've cleaned Oscar's plaque myself and then scattered it with red rose petals. There was a planter close to his plaque filled with bright pink tulips, their vibrant color and beauty the very essence of Oscar's designs.
His plaque reads:
Born in the Dominican Republic, de la Renta came to New York in the 1960's and soon became known for the charm of his designs. His work balances the seemingly disparate qualities of sexiness and elegance. He deftly combines body fitting silhouettes and the exposure of just enough skin, with multi-colored tiers of ruffles and embroideries that ornament blouses and full skirts. His vivacious fashions blend the best of Latin elegance and American ease.
Photo by Marcio Madeira.
The dress shown here is from Mr. de la Renta's Fall 2010 collection.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
When I saw The September Issue last September it was interesting to me that Grace Coddington, Creative Director of Vogue, dressed not unlike how I dress in my day-to-day life as a stay-at-home mom--slightly wrinkly, plenty of black, flat shoes. Actually I sort of love her for dressing like this, meanwhile she's surrounded by the most beautiful clothes on the planet. Then, of course, was Anna Wintour, who looked wonderful in every scene, just as the head of the top fashion magazine in the world should. I loved her print dresses and Chanel suits, but I went especially crazy for her necklaces--approximately 16 or 17 inches long, with big gemstones of graduated sizes all the way around. She had them in amethyst, topaz and aquamarine and she wore them with everything. They seemed as part of her look as the bob and black sunglasses she's famous for. I started looking for something similar and I must not have been the only one thinking of them because J. Crew put out something pretty close in February, called the crystal colletto necklace, in pale lilac, a diamond color, and the one I bought, heather petrol, which can look slightly green-gray or topaz depending on what I wear it with, which is why I chose it. If you like this necklace too it is now on sale at jcrew.com for $69.99. I really love mine and think of it as The Anna. I sometimes don it, along with my long blue-striped apron, when I'm dishing up kid dinner at 5:30 every night, to remind myself that just because I am with children much of the time doesn't mean I have to dress like a slob, even though it's comfortable and God knows it's easier. It never hurts to channel a little of Anna's glamour, even if it's only in the form of a glittery necklace on top of a food-splattered apron and wrecked jeans.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I figured when I bought these black patent gladiator sandals last summer from piperlime.com that gladiators would stay in style for at least another summer or two. Judging from what I'm seeing in magazines and catalogs and on the street, I was right. So here are my gladiator sandals, worn with Chanel nail polish in Black Satin. You should've seen my Achilles tendon area last year after wearing these suckers down to the CVS and back (3 long blocks). I looked like I could be an extra in Gladiator after a bloody run-in at the Colosseum. If, Dear Reader, you come to my house this spring or summer for drinks, or dinner, or both, I will wear my nice shiny gladiator sandals for you, as little walking is required and I can always collapse in a chair if I need to. If, however, you meet me at, say, the playground, or Dog Beach in Prospect Park, where my daughter and I spend a lot of time lately, hanging out with the robins, red-winged blackbirds and ducks, I will probably be wearing my Skechers (shown here above art work by my son). They're not as fun as gladiators, but they also don't rip my heels to shreds and are good for chasing kids and stomping at aggressive geese.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I'm normally not into yellow for anything other than flowers (tulips, daffodils, forsythias, roses), or kitchen walls (like mine), or butter, but this glass sculpture by artist Dale Chihuly I recently saw in the entrance of the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, knocked me out. It's called Fern Green Tower, but it looked like a wild tower of yellow to me. While I'm on the subject of yellow, here is a John Galliano dress featured in the February 2010 issue of Vogue that I just love--dreamy and beautiful. According to the caption it's pleated silk-chiffon-and-tulle, with a cotton camisole. I see the exquisite detailing and I have to wonder, when is there going to be a documentary about the seamstresses in the designers' ateliers who put together these gowns? I would love to see how this dress got made, from start to finish. I would especially love it if the seamstresses were as bitchy and bossy as Valentino's head seamstress, Antoinetta de Angelis, in Valentino: The Last Emperor.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Here is a pair of shoes I just love love love. They are so crazy and speak to me on so many levels: the white on navy, the Mary Jane styling, the birds flying around, their block heel (5.5 inches). I could see a possible purchasing accident happening were I allowed to try these on, with all sorts of justifications like you only live once, I'd wear them with everything, etc., but thankfully the helpful girl who answered the phone at Miu Miu let me know she doesn't have them at her store on Prince Street and, she said, they are sold out at Bergdorf Goodman's. They are also sold out at Net-a-Porter.com, where they were available for $590. So I guess a little time at summer camp for my son wins out after all, though not much because that isn't cheap either!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Last month I looked through the kind of mail order book catalog I usually toss into the recycle bin without a glance and I'm glad I did because for just $5.95 I got a beautiful book about vintage costume jewelry called Fabulous Fakes--A Passion for Vintage Costume Jewelry by Carole Tanenbaum. It's broken down by time periods from the Victorian era to the 21st Century and the pieces are in glorious color with detailed photography. Tanenbaum's favorite period is jewelry from the 50's and 60's and I understood why when I saw this gorgeous necklace from the 1950's. She notes it is an "elaborate French poured-glass collar necklace, possibly by Maison Gripoix for Chanel." Since buying her book I've learned that she sells vintage costume jewelry through her own Web site, caroletanenbaum.com, and recently offered spring brooches to the readers of the Mrs. O Web site, mrs-o.org, a blog I'm getting into, which I first read about in Vogue, devoted to the style of Michelle Obama. Mrs. O is also a fan of Mrs. T and has worn pieces from her retail collection in her duties as First Lady.
It's funny how at times everything is connected.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I just read a piece about Christian Louboutin, the luxury shoemaker, in the May 2010 issue of Vanity Fair. I love that he names names regarding his "super-top" customer:
"Danielle Steel, for sure. She has at least 6,000 pairs, if not more. She comes to Paris, and she literally buys everything. Then she flies back to New York, says, 'I'm a little disappointed--there's nothing in the store,' and walks out with 80 pairs." He grins. "She is super."
Step aside, Imelda Marcos! I lived in the Philippines at the time her husband was still in power, so I could never blame the woman for owning 2,000 pairs of shoes, especially since I knew they could be had for so cheap at Shoe Mart in Manila. But over 6,000 pairs at a minimum of $495 a pop? Danielle Steel is definitely the new queen of shoes. With as much money as she has made penning romance novels though, she can definitely afford them. Can you imagine the special room in her San Francisco mansion just to house them all? Oh Danielle, you shoe hog, we love you, and we know Christian Louboutin does too.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Courtesy of Prada and French Vogue, the February 2010 cover, this is what I want to wear all summer. Wouldn’t it be a hit on the playground in my current life down in the mommy trenches, other mothers shunning me (while checking me out from behind their sunglasses)? It would also leave behind conversation-worthy tan lines. And it would be fun to answer the door for the UPS man wearing this. I imagine the expression on his face would almost be as good as the time I answered while breast-feeding my infant daughter—the sheepishness, the stammering, the looking away. I had the same reaction from men (and women) on the F train, but with more of a vibe of Cover yourself, whore! But I digress. If anyone wants to go to Prada with me so we can check this number out, let me know.