Tuesday, September 28, 2010
A couple of weeks ago my husband rented the 1966 Antonioni film Blow-Up, starring David Hemmings and Vanessa Redgrave. I was distracted with other things and was only half watching the movie. Then, in a tiny corner of the screen, I noticed a handbag Vanessa's character Jane was carrying. My bag-obsessed brain could instantly identify it as a mid-sixties leather Gucci with a bamboo handle, like the red one featured above, though Vanessa's was black. So gorgeous, so chic, and look ma, no logos! I wish I had this beauty in my collection. It must be worth so much money if you own an original.
Frida Giannini, the creative director of Gucci since 2006, has brought these bamboo-handled handbags out again for the house, like the beautiful one above in taupe. This particular bag retails for $2,250. I could do without the tassels but otherwise, what a wonderful update on a classic.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
I first saw this dress on the Coco's Tea Party blog and then I went to investigate further on Net-a-Porter.com. I love everything about this dress--the asymmetrical skirt, the swirled-flower print in black, navy and hot pink (three of my favorite colors), how you could style it sweet or edgy depending on the accessories. It is by Vivienne Westwood, the English designer, and it is divine. The only thing I do not love about it is the price tag, which is $750. If for any reason it goes on sale (steep sale!), there could be an accident.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Just a friendly reminder to all you NYC readers, the tax exemption on clothing and footwear purchases under $110 ends September 30, 2010. On October 1 the tax will be 4% for purchases under $110 and it is my understanding that anything above that amount will be the full tax of 8.875%. Lawmakers have gone back and forth on this in the five boroughs over the years, taking the tax away, then reinstating it for a time, then repealing it again, and apparently this trend will continue. I read online that there will be a tax exemption for clothing and footwear under $55 starting April 1, 2011 and going until March 31, 2012, with the original tax exemption for purchases under $110 to be reinstated after that date.
So if you want, say, the above J. Crew boyfriend plaid cardigan, which sells for $88, try to buy before October 1 to save yourself a little cash!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
One of my favorite things to watch in magazines are color trends, which I then look for months later as they translate into nail polish colors. This color by Revlon, Gray Suede, was one I saw featured in W magazine this summer, with other brands in similar shades, and when I spotted it at the CVS yesterday I had to give it a try. This has a bit of shimmer in it and the greige seems completely on trend this fall with the focus on neutrals in camel and gray. I don't know if I'm loving it, at first glance I think, Oh no, not my shade, give me something dark and dramatic, but maybe it'll grow on me. At $5.49 however, I can't work up the guilt if I never wear this one again.
The Revlon bottle was photographed in front of the detritus of my dresser. You might be able to make out the flyer in the background that says, "Let's Try Harder Than T-Shirts," which is from Piperlime, the online shoe store. It's a good reminder though it often does not work on me.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
In another live stream I checked out the Nanette Lepore Spring 2011 show, where it was all about color. A DayGlo orange bikini and cropped cardigan was first down the runway and the colors kept coming. The clothes featured were flirty and feminine and included dresses in raspberry, tangerine, sunflower yellow and a standout floral print. There was also a gorgeous white cutout button-down shift.
I never think of myself as a shoe gal but I loved a particular shoe on many of the models: silvery but with flashes of iridescent rainbow colors as well, a block heel and a t-strap.
I found it adorable that at the end of the show Ms. Lepore walked down the runway with her daughter Violet.
You can watch the show at Nanette Lepore's website, where I learned her clothes are actually made in New York. How wonderful (and rare) is that?
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Well people, I attended my first fashion show today. I wore a bright blue tank top, black running shorts and a white terrycloth robe. I ordered groceries while I waited for the show to start and also worked on potty-training my daughter.
Mmm, I love multi-tasking.
The show was Michael Kors Spring/Summer 2011 on a live stream, being broadcast from Lincoln Center where it was taking place, so I watched it right in my office.
The look I liked best was shimmery golden pants paired with a pale gray sweatshirt. The palette of all the clothes was beige, white, pale gray, paired sometimes with sky blue, deep green and amethyst, with a drapey hot pink or yellow dress thrown in here and there. There were sheer gauzy tops (and the nipples to go with them), chunky knits, messenger bags and platform sandals. The clothes were easy and wearable and I'd like to try on a good deal of them.
Here are a few of my favorite looks, which are growing on me every time I see them. If you'd like to see the show for yourself you can find it at the Michael Kors website.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
One thing surrounding Fashion's Night Out I wish I would've done is bought a ticket for the public fashion show at Lincoln Center, the new home of the fashion shows, replacing the tents at Bryant Park after a 17-year run. The show was billed as the largest in NYC history, tickets were just $25 and sold out while I was trying to make up my mind whether or not to go. My dilemma looking like, Is it bad for me to run off to a fashion show the night before my son starts 3rd grade? When I should be home packing his lunch and whatnot? While I was trying to answer these tough life questions the tickets were completely snapped up. We all get a second chance at it however, since CBS is broadcasting it tonight at 10PM. The lunch will be packed, the homework will be completed, the kids will be in bed, and I will be there!
Here are backstage photos of some of the models, showing the two fall trends I love most, ladylike day and 1930's glam baby for night.
Here too is Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue. I might have tried harder to get a ticket had I known she would be there. Love those necklaces!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Here are my photos from Fashion's Night Out. I had the best time! I went with two friends and felt like I was at a fashion block party at 57th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. A few things really stuck out for me:
1) I have never seen so many Chanel bags in one location in my life as I did waiting in line to get into Bergdorf Goodman.
2) It was truly New Yorkers at this event, all dressed up and there to celebrate fashion.
3) People were so polite! Outside of Bergdorf Goodman, it was packed, to get in the store, to join the line to get in the store and in some instances inside the store itself. People--remember, we're talking about fashion-mad New Yorkers, many in sky-high heels standing in super long lines or in tight spaces--were very polite. I heard plenty of "please" and "thank you" and "excuse me" amid all the chaos. Unbelievable! Who said New Yorkers don't have manners?
Once inside Bergdorf, I talked to salespeople for Chanel, Laura Mercier (makeup), Guerlain (perfume), and Paul, the man presiding over much of the 5th floor shoe department. The verdict regarding sales? No one was buying. It was about the event, the party. And what a party! Sarah Jessica Parker was there. So too was Victoria Beckham, former Spice Girl ("Posh Spice") and wife of English soccer star David Beckham. Did I see these fashion luminaries? No I did not. Too crowded and their appearances were only 30 minutes each. No matter, it was fun to just be in the store, checking out the people, checking out the clothes.
As for the pictures, they are: the street at 57th Street and 5th Avenue; people outside of Bergdorf Goodman; the amazing store windows, featuring live mannequins (note the Marie Antoinette-like tableau) and a singer, with her song blasting out onto 5th Avenue. That's me on the escalator inside the store. And the shoe is a Nicholas Kirkwood that I am now deeply in love with.
The picture of the man in a blue smock with a camera around his neck and walking a bicycle is the legendary Bill Cunningham, the 81-year-old New York Times photographer. I was thrilled to see him coming up the street, slowly, slowly, taking in all the fashion, just like me. I love this man. His joyful photos and wonderful Boston accent as he narrates his weekly "On the Street" videos are part of what inspired me to start my blog. His love of fashion is completely addictive and contagious. There is a documentary film about him called Bill Cunningham New York that is coming out soon. I can't wait to see it.
Friday, September 10, 2010
In anticipation of this evening's Fashion's Night Out, I went to Macy's on Fulton Street in Brooklyn a couple of days ago. While they aren't hosting any events, they are selling the official tee, with proceeds going to the New York City AIDS Fund, and I decided to go check them out. Here are some of the store displays, including one featuring my pink-hatted photo assistant.
Fashion's Night Out is a global initiative created by Vogue in 2009 to "promote local retail and celebrate the fashion industry." In other words, to get people shopping again in the middle of a bad economy. I've read other cities taking part this year include LA, Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta. Other countries include France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, and Turkey.
I'm planning to hit midtown Manhattan--Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, specifically--to see how many people turn out, if people are actually buying anything, and, of course, to look at what people are wearing. So check back for a full report!
In the meantime, Vogue, in the September 2010 issue, styled their models wearing the Fashion's Night Out tees and tanks with long luxe skirts and in that spirit, I'm pairing mine with a black satin skirt I apparently have never worn out of the house because I found it buried deep in my closet, tags still attached. Oh dear.
Sunglasses (perched on my head)-vintage (gift from my mother-in-law)
Boots-Nine West (that I decided to keep)
Photo by my son (Hey, not bad, kid!)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
In a rare instance of a price drop, I noticed J. Crew is offering for sale, again this year, a leopard print belt, similar to the one I bought from them right around Christmas last year (and which I plan on wearing a lot this fall as a little dash-of-leopard in all outfits).
It was sold for $68 last year, now it's offered for $60. The only differences I see are 1) the buckle in this year's version is brass, last year's version, silver, and 2) this year's is 9/16", mine is 3/4".
I waited until the belt went on sale for $47 before finally pouncing on it, but with leopard being so hot this fall you might not want to wait if you're interested because J. Crew definitely sells out of their cute clothes and accessories, and most of the time the style does not come back for sale online or in store.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
In honor of this, wonderful back to school day for NYC public school children, here are the fall bags for my son, starting third grade, and me, starting to get my act together.
His: Classmate Studyhaul by Lands' End, in pine multi swirl.
Mine: Yves Saint Laurent Tribute tote, size medium, in aubergine patent leather.
Happy Back to School Day to all parents everywhere!
Monday, September 6, 2010
For those of you with cable TV, I highly recommend a fun little show on Bravo TV called The Rachel Zoe Project, which features Rachel Zoe, the celebrity stylist whose book, Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty & Everything Glamour, I have quoted from here. It is an entertaining hour of fashion. There's no real drama here, though they try to play it like there is, but really, I don't need drama. I'm done with drama! I want to have fun. If you do too and want to check out high fashion, LA, NYC, and Rachel's house and studio, give this show a try. I'm really behind, on season one, but I know Bravo is showing season three right now.
What I like about this program is that you get to see, up close, the clothes. I have seen amazing dresses by Peter Som, J. Mendel, and Oscar de la Renta that I don't know if I'd have time to go look at, even me who treats visiting high-end stores as a visit to a museum. You look at these dresses up close and think, A human being made that? The design and craftsmanship are incredible.
One funny episode from the first season, which I see has been repeated recently on Bravo, is "Fashion the Cruel Mistress." Rachel is in NYC for Fashion Week. She brings her assistant Brad with her and between going to all the shows she finds time to shop for herself at New York Vintage, where she has a complete accident and buys a ton of stuff.
My favorite is when Brad, who has hilariously egged her on during this shopping spree, later tells the camera, "I'm the kind of person that, if you go shopping with me, I will absolutely cosign anything. I mean, if you want to buy a Birkin bag and you haven't paid your rent? I will totally help you sign the receipt. No problem at all."
A Birkin being the hugely expensive bag (high four-figures and up) made by Hermes. Who doesn't love a shopping partner in crime?
Rachel's husband, Rodger, is NOT happy she has bought yet more stuff (which she tries to hide from him), but I have to think this guy has been with her since they met in their twenties, he had to have known what he was getting into when he married her!
Pour yourself a nice big glass of wine and have fun with this one. Tuesday nights at 10pm.
Photo above from the September 2008 launch party for the show. L to R: Brad, Rachel, Rodger.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
I bought these black leather ankle boots by Nine West at DSW after pretty much hating all the other styles on sale. Most of the heels on the boots were well over three inches, which I simply cannot do, mainly because of walking long stretches in Brooklyn and Manhattan, but also because I am 5'9 and while being six feet tall is fun for me (Hello, shorties!), anything over that causes me to feel like a giantess freak.
So I bought these boots because they were comfortable and I could walk in them (the heel height is just under three inches) and I thought they would look good for date night, or any other night, for that matter.
Now the toes seem too square and I'm wondering if I should return these and keep looking because I guess I am really wanting round-toed boots. But which, round-toed ankle and flat heel? Round-toed ankle, with high heel? Lace up? Riding boots? Over the knee? All of which were available at DSW at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. It boggled my mind how many boots they had, row after row of them.
Unfortunately, the boots I feel deeply in love with weren't at DSW at all but in a magazine. They are by Aquatalia by Marvin K. and cost $495, but I wasn't planning on having any shopping accidents this year in the three-figure range.
But oh, they are pretty. Mama like. Maybe they will go on sale.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the exhibit Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris at the San Diego Museum of Art, which I visited with my mother-in-law last week. I know it's not strictly fashion-related, and yet in my mind it is because I think, Look at what people were wearing a little more than a hundred years ago. These works are from the late 1890's and these were the styles of the time.
I love vintage posters and for me Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is the king of this kind of art.
Works shown here:
Jane Avril, 1899
Divon Japonais, 1893
Troupe de Mlle. Eglantine, 1896
If you're in San Diego this is worth a visit. The museum has an excellent collection of the artist's work and this exhibit is on view until December 12, 2010.