Fall closet cravings

I crave clothes… maxi dresses in the Summer, and for Fall? Seasonal prints to help me coast into Winter, with boots and booties galore.

 Let’s start with my leopard print addiction. In my defense, this is one trend that comes around so often you can be sure classically-styled pieces will serve your wardrobe for years to come. This is true more than ever when you find something vintage — be that a scarf or hat, to full length swing coat.

Think of it as a spice for your wardrobe, use it often but remember a little bit goes a long way.

 Another killer print… red plaid, or red tartan as the case may be. Beautifully classic for the holiday season, but it can also be worn year round. I’m loving flirty length skirts and dresses that fall just above the knee that can be worn in warmer weather with a black pump, or throw on a black leather jacket, black tights and black knee high boots, and voila. Winter wear without freezing!

 The over-the-knee high boot is another big trend this season, but I prefer boots that go to the knee instead. I’ll leave the thigh-highs to the 20-somethings. And it’s another wardrobe piece you can pull on any year, and feel great (and cozy) in. I like a chunkier boot heel to give me some solidity, while still getting the lifted look from the heel. Jeans, tucked in or out, or skirts and dresses. Very versatile, and practical once the snow arrives.

 Speaking of secure treading in winter weather, the lug sole trend has got me. I love how these booties marry masculine and feminine into one cohesive piece! Last year, a beloved Vince Camuto ombre patent leather, high heel buckle ankle bootie died a terrible death upon only the third wear. This season I found a Colin Stuart black suede, buckle ankle bootie to ease the sorrow of the one that got away last season. Great for jeans, great for black tights and that plaid dress, pictured above!

…But the lug sole just barely proportions out the danger of teetering on this 5″ heel. Icy outside? Not so much.

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Who is Jimmy Choo?

 Jimmy Choo’s journey from Malaysian shoe maker to founder of a multi-million dollar accessories company is inspiring, no doubt about it.

 In 1961, Choo was born into a family of shoemakers, and describes his ethnicity as part Malaysian, Chinese and Hakka. By 1986, Choo had graduated from Cordwainers Technical College in London, and set up his own workshop in an old hospital building in East London.

 After an impressive, 8-page layout featuring Choo’s shoes in Vogue magazine, his sales grew exponentially until his marketability sky-rocketed when Diana, Princess of Wales began wearing his shoes from 1990 onwards (as pictured).

 In 1996, he co-founded Jimmy Choo Ltd. with British Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon, but five years later Choo sold her his 50% stake in the company for £10 million. More recently he has focused his efforts on the exclusive Jimmy Choo Couture line produced under license from Jimmy Choo Ltd.

 The Jimmy Choo London line, also known as Jimmy Choo Ready-To-Wear or, simply, Jimmy Choo, has flourished under the executive guidance of Tamara Mellon, who expanded the ready-to-wear line to include accessories such as handbags to delight fashionistas around the globe.

Published in: on October 26, 2009 at 7:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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Chanel’s classic flap handbag, a short history

 For Chanel devotees, there is one handbag that outshines them all… the flap. The iconic handbag was first issued in February 1955, and is often referred to as the 255 or 2.55 as a result.

 Every design element of the original had a purpose behind its inclusion — the lining’s color represented the convent’s uniforms, where Coco spent part of her youth; the chains of the shoulder straps represent the waist chain belts which the nuns kept their keys upon; the leather’s quilting references racetrack boys’ quilted uniforms, and her love of horse racing; she hid love letters in the zippered, interior compartment inside the bag’s outer flap; she kept money in the exterior pocket, and even the “Mademoiselle lock” was named after the unmarried Coco, called “Mademoiselle” until the day she died.

In 1983, Karl Lagerfeld took over as Chanel’s Chief Designer, and introduced the interlocking CC turnlock to the bag’s design. By the mid 80’s, Chanel bags were produced with serial numbers included inside each bag, as a way to discourage counterfeiters. Other major changes during this era were the change from double flap to a single flap, as well as the inclusion of leather woven into the chain links of the shoulder straps. New sizes, and new leathers and fabrics were introduced in subsequent seasons as well.

 In February 2005, Lagerfeld reissued the classic flap design with all of Coco’s original detailing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the handbag’s debut. In handbag parlance, these bags are referred to as “Reissues,” while Lagerfeld’s CC turnlock versions are known as “Classic Flaps.”

To this day, the Chanel flap remains one of the most recognizable handbags in the world, and is synonymous with timeless elegance and pratical luxury.

Chanel bags, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mia Farrow

A classic then, and now.

Published in: on October 24, 2009 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are you an angel in the making?

The small print reads, “To enter you must be a female U.S. resident, 18-30 years of age, 5’8″ or taller in bare feet and be able to be in NYC from October 29-December 3, 2009 to continue to compete in the Search.”

Entry deadline in October 24th, so if you’re ready to be a VS angel, get right on it girls!

Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Because I’m alive today!

Earlier this week, I went out to lunch with a good friend. And I lovingly put together an outfit that would feet great to wear, and would make me happy: red silk turtleneck, red and brown skirt, knee high black boots, beloved orange handbag, and my new-vintage mink vest.

The weather surprised me though, and by the time I got into town, I realized it was a smoking hot mid 70s out. Fast forward to the restaurant, where the kind Italian grandmotherly type owner is talking to me, and helping me to the table while the baby and I wait for my friend’s arrival. As she sees me wiggling out of my fur vest, she grabs it to help and says to me, in a heavy Italian accent, “Oh! Why you wear this today?”

I giggle and tell her the truth. “It was a birthday present and I just wanted an excuse to wear it!”

She gets a big smile and tsk-tsks me, “Ohhh! No, too hot. Why not you wait?”

“Because I’m alive today,” I said.

And in a nutshell, I realized later I had summed up my whole fashion philosophy. I don’t care if I’m only going to the grocery, I feel like wearing fur and feeling fabulous. I don’t care if I’m “overdressed” compared to everyone else, I love how these heels look with this dress. I don’t care if it’s “right” or “wrong” or “on trend” or “off season” or any of it.

I wear what I wear because it’s my way of celebrating that I’m alive… that I’m here on this planet, right here and now.

Published in: on October 18, 2009 at 7:27 am  Comments (1)  

Another “butt ugly” purse

Our beloved Bravo ho dolittle spotted this lovely while out doing what hos do best (no, not that… I meant shopping!)

This lovely was found hanging on the rack at TJ Maxx and can be hanging on your shoulder for only $99. As dolittle remarked, it does indeed look like “an animal wearing buttless chaps.” Click the pic to get the link to the designer, although her other works simply don’t compare to this stunning example.

Does it come with a shovel for picking up after it?

I can smell the farm just looking at it.

That is one hot mess…. (Discuss!)

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 7:28 am  Comments (3)  

Conflict drives the plot, RZP2 finale

There’s a golden rule I was taught in college regarding creative writing… “Conflict drives the plot.” Makes sense, right? After all, it’s War and Peace, not just Peace.

 And, in my sometimes-humble opinion, I think dear Taylor Jacobson has been seriously set up by the producers and the editors of the show. Keep your producer sense turned on high and you can pretty much tell Taylor was being asked leading questions (“What do you like least about your job? Are you happy with where you are at in your career?”) to set up her long tirade of answers for every episode.

 And truthfully, I have so been there, Taylor. Ok no, I wasn’t working for the most overexposed stylist on the planet, but I once was a late 20 something, working for years at my library job with diligence and never a chance of being promoted, stuck on the vocational treadmill.

But really, I give it up to your parents, especially your dad who sees the big picture. Working with Rachel is an opportunity thousands of girls and women would DIE for (ahem), and in this economy you are blessed to *have* a job! You’re already in the passenger seat, and you’d be crazy to jump off the RZ train now that it’s picked up so much speed, which you are obviously smart enough to realize on your own since you’re still with Rach, as of today anyhow.

 So instead, I laugh at the amount of conflict the producers managed to squeeze from Taylor’s malaise and turn into an entire season’s worth of episodes. And how touching is it that Rodger is now on board (and rightly so, voice of reason that he will be. But isn’t it kinda bad luck to work with your spouse?) And the last image we see is our quirky, dysfunctionally fabulous family sitting around the table, together (minus Joey, Marisa, and Jordan).

Doesn’t really matter though, I’ll be crossing my fingers the show gets picked up for another season so we can all hopefully wait and see.

P.S. Check out Rachel’s line at QVC.com! Debut was this past weekend, and things sell out so jump on it, if you like it! I’ve already grabbed a pair of sunglasses with her new logo, just as I envisioned them last summer, months before the debut. Another “you heard it here first” for you, my dears.

Published in: on October 14, 2009 at 11:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Your own Look Book

The children are being horrible, home from school, so only a moment to write this up but I’ve been doing this lately and it’s a lot of fun, as well as really inspirational.

Create your own Look Book! If you’re a fashion magazine addict like me, you’ll be getting more than enough material to work from, but you can also use catalogs or even print out pictures from the internet (shopping websites, as well as fashion sites like Style.com). I started making mine with a spare spiral notebook, scissors and a glue stick but you can get much fancier if you’re handy with scrapbooking skills. I tend to scribble notes in the margins too, like, “Check ebay for leopard leggings,” “Need a nude patent heel,” or “More two-tone jewelry!”

Grab whatever catches your eye, whether it’s an ad that makes you stop and look, the perfectly done smokey eye on a celebrity’s red carpet moment to work from for yourself in the bathroom mirror, or an inspiration on how to mix up clothing elements in new ways. My current Look Book help spots are figuring out how to layer a leather jacket to give some “edge” to a look (on me it always seems to look silly but the cut of the jacket matters too, I’ve found). I also love seeing the younger girls who find ways to make trouser socks and peep toe heels look glam together but I can’t seem to get over my post-80’s disgust for socks with heels.

The pictures can help keep track of your inspirations, gain ideas on how to work over your own wardrobe, or identify the key item your closet is missing to create an amazing ensemble of your own. I also make jewelry and find inspiration all the time by looking at what others are wearing and creating. Colors, textures, hairstyles, you name it! If it makes me look at it, I rip the page out and cut it up for my Look Book.

(It kinda makes me feel like I’m back in 3rd grade art class making collages, which is fun as well.)

Published in: on October 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Crest WhiteStrips

Years ago, as a stage performer, I decided to have my teeth professionally bleached. It was the mid 90s, and my dentist fitted me with plastic insert trays custom made for me, then sent me home with a box of Rembrandt professional strength bleaching gel.

And bow howdy, I loved the results. I had so many compliments on my teeth, which I unabashedly described as “refrigerator white”. Big confidence booster!

Then, years passed, and every now and then I’d touch my teeth up with another round of gel purchased from my dentist. But in the past few years, my 5 cup a day tea habit has caught up with my pearly, not-so-whites. And after seeing Liv Tyler’s insanely white teeth on Rachel Zoe a few weeks ago, I keep hearing the nagging voice in my head reminding me that it’s time to touch up the teeth again.

 Until this year, I had never tried Crest’s WhiteStrips but I had seen the commercials, not to mention the knockoffs. Let’s cut to the chase, they work. They work as well as the stuff I bought from the dentist, and they cost less. I bought the Premium box of “professional strength” strips from the local grocery, which cost as much as the regular strength but you get a lot less strips. Doesn’t matter to me though, as I haven’t even finished my ten-day treatment, because I rarely make time to do the treatment twice a day as directed.

And I can definitely already see the results, in fact I noticed a difference almost immediately. Consider this product highly recommended.

Published in: on October 9, 2009 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Dear Taylor, Love Paris RZP2

Dear Taylor,

Just wanted to drop you a line while here in Paris to catch you up with everything you’re missing, since we left you back in L.A. to deal with our cranky, bicoastal clients.

Our Four Seasons hotel suite is a-MAZ-ing, but I was so sad you weren’t there to unpack all my luggage 😦 . Seriously, our digs are *nothing* compared to the private viewing we got today of Coco Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon personal salon. The mirrored staircase, the chandelier! You really missed out on that once in a lifetime opportunity! I think Brad put it best, “On another level!” So eloquent, so profound. And I totally sprawled on her couch with my shoes on, and then I tried on her personal sunglasses after they gifted me a Chanel jacket.

Besides the Chanel show, which as Brad mentioned during his call, it was like you *so* could have attended, *if* you were here, since there was that creepy empty seat beside him and everything! But besides that, which was ah-mazing, you missed seeing me try to talk Giambattista Valli out of a feather jacket, chat with Joe Zee at the Stella McCartney show, inappropriately paw at the models’ shoes while milling about backstage after John Galliano’s show, and speak in alphabet soup nonstop to avoid any translation issues. OMG, the trip is OOC & I M OAL, KWIM?

The good news is I got you an unbelievable piece of Hermes jewelry, here’s a little hint… think croc dog collars! We toasted champagne wishes to you from the hotel while you were in the midst of your mid 20 something, existential panic attack. See you real soon!


Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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