Sunday, April 26, 2015

On My Mind: Janie Bryant, Cartier, and Tom Ford Beauty

Janie Bryant with her adorable standard poodles. Photo by Kendrick Brinson.

I have been in a tizzy of writing for over a month now, doing some freelance work that is both challenging and fun but has left little time for blogging. Still, that doesn’t mean that I’m not paying attention to some tidbits I’ve seen around the web in my down time. Here are three that caught my eye.

Janie Bryant in The New York Times

There is an interesting piece in The New York Times about the “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant. I am a fan of her work but I don’t know if the article showed her in the best light. I could not get over how many times she said she was “obsessed” with something in the interview, it was excessive, and because she talked about how she wanted to become “a lifestyle brand,” it made me wonder why so many people these days feel the need to become a brand, from bloggers to costume designers. What’s wrong with just staying a thoughtful blogger or an amazing costume designer? Why is that not enough?

One of the most interesting people I’ve had the good fortune to interview, the owner of the small Brooklyn bakery, once told me for a story I was writing on her that she did not feel the need to grow her business into something overly large and when it was starting to head in that direction, she sold her half of the name to her business partner, renamed her bakery, and made the decision to stay a one-shop business. She liked it better that way since it allowed her to spend time with her young children and husband. I ask you, where is that spirit these days? Why does everybody and everything have to be a “brand?” I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Cartier Tank Solo in steel.

Cartier Price Drop

I read about this over at The Purse Forum and dear reader, it’s true! If there’s any chance you have been Saving for Something Big at the famed French jeweler, now is the time to buy! The watch that I think I would actually get daily use out of, the small Tank Solo in steel, is back to the price it was when I first visited with it a few years ago. Isn’t that amazing? When does a luxury brand have a price drop? I haven’t done anything rash, though I have given some thought to the matter! It might be time to make my return to the Manhattan Fifth Avenue boutique and have a try-on party! Who’s in?

Tom Ford polish in “Black Jade”.

Tom Ford nail polish in “Black Jade”

I think it’s fabulous that Tom Ford is pushing what I consider a fall color for a spring beauty campaign and since I am so into green these days I am treating myself to a bottle of this for Mother’s Day. It’s expensive, sure, $32 a bottle, but I can’t work up the guilt—the one bottle of Tom Ford polish I own, “Bordeaux Lust,” is over half gone, it’s that good, in both formula and color. So in terms of cost per wear, I have definitely gotten my money’s worth, more so than with much cheaper polishes! This “Black Jade” will be a shade I wear now, in spring, and again in winter. I love this deep, shimmering, moody green which I have read is very dark, nearly black with a hint of green, on the nails. Sounds like the one for me! It’s sold out in a lot of places but still available at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.

What’s on your mind these days?


Dawn Lucy said...

Ooo that black jade is so glam! Love it! Janie B looks adorable with those cool poodles, even if she needs a few more vocabulary words other than "obsessed" ;)

Dawn Lucy

GSL said...

I've never liked the concept of 'branding' and the fashion world seems overrun with people wanting to be the next Tory Burch, Martha, etc. so their 'brand' goes from linens to fashion to furniture and reaps them billions. I'm usually long gone by the time I hear of a 'branding' ambition.

PinkCheetahVintage said...

I feel like when people get to into branding themselves they often become overextended and there is a drop in quality.
That Black Jade polish looks great!

Coulda shoulda woulda said...

Wow Janie b sounds daft and it put me right off. Becoming s lifestyle brand is so 2003. If it happens in this day you gotta have a niche and can't be forced but desperation isn't an ingredient in a successful brand based on a person.

Yes prices have come down bc euro is low! The Euro usually gets pegged at the start of year so tends to stay so might be the year to commit!

Dawn Collings said...

Branding is just another way of saying that they want to makes lots of money. Not surprised that a luxury watch has reduced its price now that it has new competition from Apple that has launched their smartwatch that can cost up to $17,000.

Jill said...

Hi Dawn Lucy, I can see you wearing "Black Jade" too. Are ya gonna get a bottle of it? xx

Jill said...

Hi GSL, I feel like the word 'branding' has really been overused in the past few years and I get kind of tired when I hear it, it just makes me think of a lot of stuff people don't need that will hit the marketplace. xx

Jill said...

Hi Becky! I can TOTALLY see you wearing "Black Jade" it would look great on you. And YES! I think you are right! When the word 'branding' comes out there is usually a drop in quality, I hope no directors are going to hire Janie if she is going to be focusing on a lifestyle brand, because I think the costumes would suffer for sure. xx

Jill said...

Hi Naomi, you always make me laugh. Lifestyle branding as so 2003, love it! I don't think she is going to be able to make the jump, costumes are not regular clothes, nor should they be, and when she said in the article that she wanted what she designed to be "editorial," my first thought was, no one is going to buy any dress you design then, because it won't be wearable by anybody other than a model!

As for Cartier, oh a price drop has me so tempted to go try watches on again! xx

Jill said...

Hi Dawn! I think you are right, 'branding' is just another way of saying you want to cash in on your fame. But she is a costume designer! I don't know that a lot of people want to dress like Betty, Don or Joan from 'Mad Men' every single day. I think she ought to focus on costumes because she is so talented in that arena.

As for the Apple watch, is that true, 17K??? That is insane! It makes the Cartier watch look like a real bargain, eh? And one that won't be outdated as some point in time like an Apple watch!

Thanks for stopping by, it's always nice to hear from you! xx

Anonymous said...

I believe Apple watches start at $349, so still cheaper than a Cartier watch. Get the Cartier watch, Jill. You won't regret it.

I'm really loving the bitter bitch nail color that's in the same spring collection as black jade. Thanks for the review of his nail polish, I think I will buy a bottle now.

Jill said...

Hi Helen! I know you are right about the Cartier watch. I always love it when you wear yours and show it in an outfit post. It's an enabler, let me tell you, ha ha! My mom has a bottle of that 'Bitter Bitch' polish and I love that shade. I noticed they are promoting that again for the spring along with 'Black Jade' and the blue polish (whose name I forgot...). I can absolutely see you wearing 'Black Jade'--with your Tank watch! Do it! Do it! Then show them both together in a post! Talk about eye candy! xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jill! You've convinced me about the nail polish, I hope I've talked you into getting the watch, lol. The blue polish is called indigo night, also a gorgeous color. I'll keep you posted when I wear both, as per your great suggestion! xx

Jill said...

Hi again Helen! I am definitely talked into the watch, just need to save more cash! Eeek! I would love to see a post you do on Tom Ford polish, any color, and that gorgeous watch. I love posts like that! xx