Life Hacking for Packing

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Every year we take a week long vacation at my parents’ lake house in upstate NY.  It’s magical for many reasons, not the least of which is that we all drink heavily and pretend to watch each other’s children. (Which, of course, amounts to no one really watching any children and said children jumping wildly off the dock/various boats and not wearing life jackets.)

The other part of the magic is the backdrop and the diversity of weather that you encounter in a single day.  The mornings are temperate, the afternoons can be blazing, and the evenings are often chilly – not to mention that you are subject to crazy rainstorms at any moment in time.  This could make packing tricky but luckily, I’m a professional!  For last week’s adventure, I got myself and both kids packed in under thirty minutes and fit all of our clothing in one medium-sized suitcase.  This was a cinch given the challenge I was presented with a few weeks ago by two of my favorite LA-based clients, and the founders of Lifehack Bootcamp, Carey and Demir Gjokaj.

Carey’s and Demir’s challenge was this: to create a wardrobe for each of them for a full year that will work for all occasions (from hiking to giving presentations to meeting with clients to touring around), and span all climates since they’ll be living in Spain, Bali, Hawaii, and Columbia.  Oh!  Did I mention that each wardrobe had to fit in one CARRY-ON SIZED suitcase?  That’s right.  And, yes, we rocked it:

Travel Wardrobe Hacking with Jessica Cadmus, Wardrobe Whisperer

New Meaning for the Term Tanned Skin

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Those of us who know a lot about fashion often aren’t well-versed in sports.  For instance, if you want to know what the “infield fly rule” is or what a “double switch” is, ask my husband not me.  But although I’m firmly in the fashion camp, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that I know what “shirts vs skins” means.  And it’s not what fashion designer, Tina Gorjac, thinks.  According to Quartz, Tina “is working on a project that will use McQueen’s DNA to grow skin, which she plans to tan and turn into leather jackets and bags. The skin will even bear tattoos based on the exact ‘locations, size, and design,’of McQueen’s.”  (Silence of the Lambs, anyone??)  To be clear, it’s shirts VS skins, not skin-shirts or jackets or bags.  It’s used to denote team affiliation in a pick-up game.  I end this post very disturbed because 1) people are growing human skin to make clothing and accessories and 2) I had to explain something related to sports.  It’s clearly time for a cocktail (which will also ensure my skin will be too dry for anyone to clone it and use it to make handbags).

Swar-Ov-Skee

Andra Day wearing a vintage dress and Marchesa shoes to the BET Awards

Often I sit down to write a post and think, “I have nothing to say” – my husband wishes I had that problem- but then I start surfing the internet and immediately become enraged or enthralled by something I see.  This is how things went today, for instance:

  1. I had nothing to say
  2. I started reviewing BET dresses and decided to post re: Andra Day’s cute vintage dress (above)
  3. I got sucked into a video about Beyonce’s BET performance on US Weekly online
  4. At 1:52 in the video the hostess describes the embellishment on Bey’s bodysuit as SAVARSKI crystals
  5. HOLD THE PHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. My real post was born

Let’s clear this up right now because it is SELDOM that I hear anyone pronounce the Austrian crystal producer, Swarovski, correctly (and this includes people in the industry who should know better).  The proper pronunciation is swar-Ov-skee, emphasis on the second syllable.  If phonetics don’t make sense to you, here’s a video with Nathalie Colin, Swarovski’s Creative Director, and Gloria Gaynor, no intro needed, and both women say Swarovski by 0:23.

Thank you, YouTube, for solving the world’s problems (and my pet peeves) yet again.

The Essential Weekender

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Rag & Bone Flight Weekender Duffel

It has not even been two full weeks since school has let out and I already feel worn thin.  God bless you, teachers of the world, for dealing with our kids and their hyperactivity most days of the year.  When I’m not working, I find myself casting about for fun activities on a minute-to-minute basis and, friends, there’s only so much Play-Doh a mom can handle – literally and figuratively.  Which leads me to the characteristic of summer which we can collectively agree softens the blow of having the kids home all day, every damn day:  Long Weekend Get-Aways!

To boost morale, let’s talk about the bag that we will carry when said jaunts commence.  (This exercise is every bit for me as it is for you.) My current favorite weekender is the above pictured Rag & Bone Flight Duffel.  But as I know it is not eminently affordable, here’s another option to consider:

Valextra K Val 23" Weekender

Snap! Moving UP the price chain.

Oh wait! This Valextra K Val 23″ weekender is even MORE expensive than the Rag & Bone.  I seem to be headed in the wrong direction on the cost spectrum.  One last try:

Nailed It!

Nailed It!

This fun Want Les Essentiels Hartsfield bag is not only more affordable than the other two options, it’s also on sale!  BAM!

Plantar Fascism/itis

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Merengue shoe by Dr Scholl

If you are a believer in everything-happens-for-a-reason (this type of kool-aid is typically not my flavor) then perhaps your interpretation of my getting plantar fasciitis is somewhat sunnier than mine. Mine, of course, is that it’s a cruel, cruel world that decides a wardrobe stylist should no longer wear high heels. It makes me feel like Chris Farley in the Herlihy Boy skits: For the love of all that is good and holy LET ME WEAR HIGH HEELS!

As usual, I digress.  Back to you and your interpretation which is likely that I am experiencing extreme foot pain so that I can do a shoe edit for those of you who, like me, walk like they are 98 years old. Without further ado, here are all the sandals (in addition to the ones above) that I’ve bought and tried and can tolerate without a limp:

tortuga

Elie Tahari tortuga wooden soled clogs

snake

Vince snake skin laceless sneakers

Dr. Scholl’s for J.Crew

Dr. Scholl’s for J.Crew in gingham

 

Pretty Shi**y

Dolce & Gabbana lemon one piece

Dolce & Gabbana lemon one piece

My kids are really into rhyming words right now.  Mostly they use actual words but what really cracks them up is when they rhyme one real word with (what they think is) one made-up word.  Like turtle purtle or giant friant or, my 3.5 year old’s favorite: fuc*y ducky.  I’m pretty sure her teachers will be reluctant to file that one under “kids say the darndest things” and so I was presented with an immediate dilemma: do I tell her not to use that word (thus causing her to use it all the more) or do I pretend it wasn’t said and hope she’ll never say it again?  I went with the latter and as you may’ve guessed it’s not going so well.  I’m pretty much sitting by the phone waiting for her pre-school director to ring.  While I wait, let’s take a look at some pretty things over which I am currently obsessing and which I may have to buy to ease the pain of my child getting kicked out of pre-school:

Gianvito Rossi gold and lucite pumps

Gianvito Rossi gold and lucite pumps

 

Valentino lock mini shoulder bag

Valentino lock mini shoulder bag

D&G foliage print midi dress

D&G foliage print midi dress

My true love: Cartier juste un clou bracelet

My true love: Cartier juste un clou bracelet

Standing O, Hell No, or So-So: Cannes Film Festival

bella-heathcote-cannes 2I spent the week before last working in LA (by “working” I really mean vacationing since shopping with clients in Beverly Hills is hardly what I’d consider grueling work).  In any case, en route home something peculiar happened.  I gained back my three east coast hours, but somehow ended up with a net loss of two weeks.  That’s right, I’m going to blame quantum physics for me missing most of The Cannes Film Festival as well as assorted other events like the Billboard Music Awards and basically every network’s Upfronts.  So there you have it: Science and not the Wardrobe Whisperer is at fault here.  Now that we’ve settled that score, let’s discuss some of the more interesting Cannes gowns.

Let us put our collective hands together and pray that Bella Heathcote (above) will dispense with those shoes immediately.  I, for one, am willing to pretend they never happened.  Instead let’s appreciate her pretty little frock.  Delicate! Lovely! I wouldn’t have minded wispy earrings and a gentle bracelet but I’m not mad because her lips are so pretty they are an accessory in and of themselves.  Standing O!

 

cannes 1Kirsten Dunst’s yellow Maison Margiela came so close to being excellent.  Everything from the knees down is in A+ territory.  But what with the poor fit in the torso and the extraneous bust ruffle?  This is like when you order you favorite sandwich only to unwrap it and find it was hastily made and someone absentmindedly tossed anchovies on it.  This sandwich is tainted.  So-So.

 

Jourdan Dunn CannesI cannot find a photo of Jourdan Dunn’s Ralph & Russo that does it justice but it was superb!   So intricate and dramatic!  And her over-the-shoulder glances SOLD the train on this gown. If J Lo really has insurance for her posterior, Jourdan should consider taking out a policy on those shoulders.  Now a close up from the side/front:

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Standing O!

 

bella-hadid-cannes-wardrobe-malfunction-red-dress-1I’m not typically a fan of dressing this literally (i.e. showing so much flesh) but I just have to say WOW.  I think Bella Hadid was about 2 centimeters away from making headlines in a different way but she kept everything in place which must’ve been no easy feat.  Standing O!

 

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This Versini dress worn by Cheryl Fernandez is in fabric form what I dream all Cannes parties are like:  colorful, fun, and loud (but in the best way possible).  I adore this dress and its perfect fit – Standing O!

Please Note: Breast Plates are Not “In”

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Readers, I need you to understand in no uncertain terms that the “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an age of technology” was a one time event-driven theme exclusively for the Met Gala.   It is NOT a thing.  In the immortal words of Regina George, “Stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen, because it is not going to happen.” Except in this case 86 ‘fetch’ and sub ‘robot clothes.’

Carey Underwood’s weird gold breastplate also reminds me of this woman who used to live near me in Park Slope (Brooklyn).  For some reason that I could never figure out (and believe me, I consulted medical professionals) she used to wear a hard plastic breastplate OVER her clothes and all the time.  Making things odder, she often decorated it.  For instance, when it was Christmas time we might see some wreaths taped to the front or perhaps a gentle nativity scene.  Any way you look at it, if you are being forced by your doctor (or some sadistic sicko) to wear what is tantamount to an exoskeleton, you might not want to call additional attention to it in the form of tiny flashing white lights.  This is just common sense, people, but apparently Carey Underwood needs me to spell this out for her and so I have.  With that, please let this end the chapter of unnecessarily protecting our ribs through fashion.

 

Manus x Machina: Let’s Talk

Met Gala Nicole

To many, this year’s Met Gala theme (and corresponding wardrobe requirements) were confounding (much like the invitations people send out for their weddings). I think the idea of Manus x Machina was to explore the different methods of creating fashion – Manus (by hand) and Machina (machine made) and how, over the years, those lines have blurred.  For instance, ready-to-wear these days often features hand sewn elements and, by contrast, haute couture sometimes features machine-made elements. But it seems that many of the attendees either punted and wore whatever they damn well pleased or interpreted this year’s theme quite literally as in “I”m going to dress like a machine (or a robot) which is chrome.  So I’m going to wear silver and call it a day.”  Witness:

Met Gala Kylie

met gala kim

met gala rita

Personally I preferred the folks who had more fun with the idea and focused on what can be produced when both hand sewing and machine sewing unite. Nicole Kidman (featured in the lead photo) is a perfect example.  Her Alexander McQueen is exquisite and, to me, a perfect interpretation of the theme.  There’s clearly a ton of hand-beading on that dress but the sides are laser-cut which is done by machine.  Here’s another shot of the dress and its (and HER) wondrous beauty:

met gala nicole 2

And here’s Zoe Saldana in Dolce & Gabbana (GLORIOUS!!) doing the fashion equivalent of a mic drop:

met gala zoe

I don’t think Katy Perry’s Prada look is GORGEOUS, per se, but this is a COSTUME party at its core and no matter what you think of Katy, girl knows how to DO a costume.  This one is incredibly on theme:

met gala katy

I’ll have one of what Stacy Martin (in Miu Miu) is having:

met gala stacy

Only a human being could ensure a gown meets the floor as precisely as this one does.

 

And then there’s Claire Danes in Zac Posen which, for me, was one of the most thrilling and unexpected interpretations of the night:

met gala claireNow for the pièce de résistance!!  This is what happened with the dress when the lights went low:

met gala claire 2NAILED IT!

If this is the Halfback, bring on the FB. Please.

half shirts NFL

This glass is half empty.

I know, I know there are more current fashion events to blog about – The White House Correspondents’ Dinner (What in thee heck IS the WHCD other than an opp for the Pres to mug with celebs?? I haven’t seen a single photo of an actual journalist yet.), the Met Gala (TONIGHT, PEOPLE, TONIGHT!!), or Princess Charlotte’s First Birthday but, frankly, I’m having trouble ignoring Ezekiel Elliott.  I gather that was his point when he painstakingly pinned his button-down to look like a half shirt for the 2016 NFL Draft.  I understand that he’s wearing it to refute the NCAA’s decision to ban cropped jerseys but can we all just agree that the ban is in everyone’s best interest?

I think this look is particularly disturbing to me because the outfit is otherwise well composed and it rankles to acknowledge there are folks in existence who can appreciate a lavender bow tie/white trousers/blazer combination and also, on the other hand, appreciate male crop tops (MOPS?).  It’s like finding out that John Wayne Gacy sewed couture in his spare time when he wasn’t out strangling kids.  I’m having a hard time believing these ideas can co-exist.

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