Ensconced in Velvet

velvet_vintagerose_angle

100% chance of clear skies required.

I admit to having a lot of weaknesses so try not to be too judgey.  Let’s narrow things down by focusing on my fashion weaknesses since, frankly, they are easier to classify.  These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  1. Polka dots
  2. Patterned shoes (hell – patterns in general)
  3. Anything that is “mixed media” (i.e. a piece that incorporates more than one medium)
  4. VELVET VELVET VELVET
  5. Did I mention VELVET?

To quote Oasis: I don’t believe there’s anybody who feels the way I do about you now.

To quote George Costanza: I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.

I’m having trouble restraining myself over all of the velvet options presently available.  As long as we are talking about weaknesses, I have an especially severe weakness for this antique rose colored velvet that I’m seeing everywhere.  Witness the Hachiro Velvet Bootie by Joie pictured above.  To hell with the fact that the mere suggestion of rain will ruin these lovelies! I will throw caution to the wind! (Dear God, please only send wind.  No rain.  Or anything else wet.  Thank you.)

Some other options in this dusty pink shade:

Steve Madden Dainna V for less than $100

Steve Madden Dainna V for less than $100

Oscar de la Renta Gata Velvet Mary Jane Pumps for much more than $100

Oscar de la Renta Gata Velvet Mary Jane Pumps for much more than $100

Valentino Ballet Fever Velvet Sandals (velvet sandals make NO sense but who is going to argue with Valentino?)

Valentino Ballet Fever Velvet Sandals (velvet sandals make NO sense but who is going to argue with Valentino?)

Recently I was called a “temptress” by one of my clients and it delighted me to no end.  Perhaps this was because in my role as temptress I can focus on YOUR weaknesses instead of mine.  And that’s about as deep as the Wardrobe Whisperer will ever get with you.  The end.

When I say I have a Grammy, this is what I mean

This stance is life itself.

This stance is life itself.

My 91 year old grandma lives in an area of the country where camouflage is its own clothing group like, say, tops or trousers.  This is a place of (VERY!!) informal dress.  And yet to a recent dinner event she wore the above.  (There should be no question who the Wardrobe Whisperer takes after.)  Not only did she just “spruce up” (her term) she went the extra mile: SEQUINS, people, and MINK and FINE JEWELS!!!  It’s a wonder she didn’t pull on her opera gloves.  I adore this woman.  Let’s get another look sans mink stole so we can experience the sequins in their full glory:

gram-1

Further, there are few people from whom I’m excited to receive hand-me-downs but my gram is at the top of that list.  Of my favorite pieces bequeathed from her closet:

  1. A white shadow mink coat with ice blue satin lining and  – added bonus – ice blue VELVET lined pockets (PURE LUXURY)
  2. A floor length cheetah print gown with side slit that I have worn on more occasions than I can count; Given the dress’s silhouette, the last time I wore it there was a lot of speculation over how hot my grandmother must be
  3. A black silk crepe de chine cocktail dress with silk voile overlay
  4. A matching leopard print hat/muff both of which are exquisite and timeless

There are no more beautiful words than these spoken by my Grammy, “Jessie, let’s go to the attic and find some treasures!”  Let’s end this post with a closer look at this darling creature.  Here’s me and my girl this summer on an outing for cool treats:

This giant ice cream sundae cost $3 and was loaded with every good thing on earth.

This giant ice cream sundae cost $3 and was loaded with every good thing on earth including something called WET WALNUTS.

 

 

How To Style A Pumpkin

octopus-pumpkin-2016

Don’t worry about that eighth tentacle, I’m not DaVinci for Pete’s sakes!

I learned a few critical things this year at my annual pumpkin carving party:

  1. When in doubt, cut it out
  2. Apple cider and amaretto is the nectar of the gods
  3. It is way more fun to carve a design than to scrape a design into your pumpkin as I did this year (above)
  4. This song is the perfect accompaniment for carving (Thanks, Johnny)

As usual, it was like an episode of America’s Got Talent up in my kitchen. Witness last night’s output:

pumpkins-2016

Happy Halloween a few weeks early!

 

Oh the Inequity

I might even be convinced to see a remake of Glitter if these foxes were in it.

In the spirit of the season, I wish the internet could elect a Homecoming King and Queen.  These two would have my vote for sure.  Even though their film, Keeping Up With the Joneses, looks like sheer and utter nonsense, they make a compelling visual case to go and see it anyway.  What on God’s green earth do you think their mothers fed them for breakfast when they were children?  Bars of pure gold sprinkled with beauty dust?  It’s inconceivable that this much genetic favor was bestowed on just two human beings.  Speaking of God, if He was being fair he could’ve spread the bounty out a bit more evenly among the rest of us.

Besides their intrinsic beauty, each of these two is KILLING IT in the wardrobe department.  I’m not sure who Jon Hamm’s current stylist is since he’s worked with a few folks but he continues to be the inspiration for how all men should look in suits.  As for Gal Gadot, I know she works with Micaela Erlanger who is extremely talented not to mention a beauty in her own right.  This D&G dress that she chose is off the charts amazing.  It is so flawless and well made/worn that it looks liquid and I applaud that the shoes pick up where the dress leaves off – with more sparkly silver.  I wouldn’t have minded earrings or a cocktail ring but letting the dress shine (literally and figuratively) was a great move.  And an even better move would be for Gal Gadot to keep hold of Jon Hamm’s hand.  He, in that suit, is a better accessory than any stylist or starlet could ever get a hold of.

Real Princesses Wear Red

2016 Royal Tour To Canada Of The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge - Vancouver, British Columbia

It feels like 99% of girls under the age of 6 dress up as a princess for Halloween.  As a mother of a 4 year old who has chosen to be a princess for the last three years, I’ve questioned the imagination (or lack thereof) in this choice.  Recently, however, its wisdom is becoming evident as I’ve been feeling the need to dress up as the Duchess of Cambridge.  In this Alexander McQueen dress specifically.  With those red shoes (RED!! She never does red).  And also that bag because it ties in perfectly with those darling shoes.  I may go bolder with my earrings but I am privy to the latitude granted by not having a Queen constantly breathing down my neck.

I love this photo because Kate seems stoked to be pimping this outfit.  I feel like she’s going to take one more step and then jump and click her heels together.  (Is it possible that I’m projecting??)  Her recent Royal Canadian Tour, from which this photo was taken, was such a sartorial success and I attribute this to the incorporation of red in her travel wardrobe. (Thank you Canada for having super national colors!!)  In addition to the McQueen above, we saw her in a red Carolina Herrera coat, a red Preen cocktail dress, and even a red Really Wild sweater.  (Her D&G wasn’t red but it WAS gorgeous so peep it here!) It’s my belief that the red infusion made her this ecstatic and therefore she should wear it often.

Dear Disney, please note that real princesses wear red.  Your next princess must don this royal color. Thank you.

Love,

Wardrobe Whisperer

 

Who Should Rock It: Jason Wu

SS17 JASON WU

In the immortal words of The Bangles, it’s just another manic Monday.  I’ve lived three lives since 6am and have little energy remaining for the rest of the 96 things on today’s To Do list.  All of this running around and catching up has got me craving a few things:

  1. Coffee (which may or may not include a healthy shot of Kahlua)
  2. A closet stuffed with all of the pieces I’ve fallen in love with from NY Fashion Week (yes, I am STILL reviewing the shows I missed)
  3. A break

Naturally I’ll begin with number three because it’s common knowledge that procrastination solves everything!  Let’s play Who Should Rock It sampling from the Jason Wu Spring 2017 Ready to Wear collection.  First up is the above.  It’s my A1 favorite from this collection.  This mix of colors is astounding!  I nominate Cate Blanchett to wear this because it is fun and colorful and modern – as is her style.

 

SS17 JASON WUThis look requires long legs and great shoulders.  A sinewy beauty like Amal Clooney would stun in this.  I can see her carrying a tote and a cardi and sashaying into the office.

 

SS17 JASON WUI could see Diane Kruger in this one.  Probably because I already saw Diane Kruger in this one:

Saks Fifth Avenue + Vanity Fair: 2016 International Best Dressed List CelebrationSide note: you only throw your hip out like that if something isn’t quite snug enough in the torso.  I want to correct that fit issue and also shorten this a tad.  Oh – and style it with the bright orange and white two-piece sandals Wu had in his show.

 

SS17 JASON WUThis model’s skin looks translucent against this gorgeous yellow.  Gabrielle Union would be my pick to do this color justice.  However, I would caution her against omitting undergarments as was the choice here.  I feel like I am looking straight through to her soul.

 

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SS2017This one is so sleek but with such a light-hearted playfulness.  Emily Blunt?  Constance Zimmer??  Thoughts?

Standing O or Hell No: Emmys 2016

I believe I can fly...

I believe I can fly…

My friend, Jenny, and I were talking about how Awards Season for a fashion addict is pretty much the same thing as an escalating binge for a drug addict.  It starts out mellow and calm with the lead-in film festivals.  Everyone is content and feeling/looking great. (POT!)  Next up are the Emmys.  People are euphoric, everyone is overwhelmingly happy and there are yet no grudges.  The party has just begun!  (MOLLY!)  Advance a few weeks to the SAG Awards.  People have waited a full month for another event and they are jonesing for their rush.  (HEROINE!)  Of course by the time the Golden Globes air in January they are in a frenzy. (COKE!)  And when the Oscars finally arrive folks are brittle and foaming at the mouth. (CRACK!)  Then, of course, everyone goes into rehab to gather enough strength for the next year.

Thank goodness we are still in a euphoric state (i.e last night’s Emmys).  The ladies turned it OUT.  Allow me to submit my HIGHlight reel (awful pun intended):

If the Emmys are Molly then Priyanka Chopra (above) in Jason Wu is the embodiment of bliss.  Her delight with her dress was joyfully evident – she swung the layers to and fro so we could all appreciate the gown’s many dimensions.  Standing O!

 

68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - ArrivalsSarah Paulson’s Prada gown had a hint of J Lo’s famous Versace but is updated in a chic and elegant way.  The beading is so intricate and the color is beautiful – Standing O!

 

For a funny lady, this look is no joke.

For a funny lady, this look is no joke.

Kate McKinnon’s red dress reminded me of Jennifer Lawrence’s break out Oscars moment in that now famous red Calvin Klein.  Hey, if it’s good enough for Jennifer Lawrence…Standing O!

 

kristen-bell

Some day my prints will come…

I cannot ignore a printed gown, especially one this exquisite.  My favorite element is the flower cascade on her right “strap.”  So artful! Kristen Bell and Zuhair Murad, Standing O!

 

When I was 12 I was pegging my jeans and layering my socks.

When I was 12 I was pegging my jeans and layering my socks.

Millie Bobby Brown (far right) in Valentino is officially the most sophisticated 12 year old I have ever laid eyes on.  The dress is darling, fun, and age-appropriate and the clutch with “Millie” on it agrees with the young/fresh vibe she has established.  Standing O!

I had a hard morning and can’t muster the energy to be negative.  Let’s look at one particularly bad ensemble and call it a day:

anna-chumleyI hope Dante isn’t busy today because he is going to have to create a new circle in hell for this Christian Siriano.  The way this dress looks is what detox must feel like.  Speaking of hell, Hell No!

New York Fashion Week: Hugo Boss

That accordion pleat dress shall be mine

That accordion pleat dress shall be mine

If a person has lived in New York for 10+ years it’s hard to get them excited about, well, almost anything.  That is because, of course, they’ve been exposed to so much.  (As a side note, exposure can be good or bad – I’m talking about you, sir, from the uptown E train demonstrating your own version of break-away pants).  The one thing, however, that never fails to elicit a positive response from most New Yorkers, regardless of their level of jaded-ness, are the words: FASHION SHOW.

Fashion shows given by the actual fashion houses (i.e. vs charity related shows or shows given by department stores, etc) are pretty exclusive and their tickets are extremely difficult to procure – mainly because the shows are invitation only. Entree into almost every other event in NY can be bought at some price – this is generally not so with fashion shows unless someone goes rogue and sells their personal tickets.  I would never sell mine as I not only obsess over fashion but enjoy being the envy of others!  Plus, it’s fun amassing weird and interesting invitations such as this one from Hugo Boss:

These virtual reality glasses reminded me of the 3D glasses I got to see JAWS in 1983

These virtual reality glasses reminded me of the 3D glasses I got at McDonald’s in order to see JAWS in 1983

Another reason I’d never sell my tickets is that even though the actual show lasts for less than ten minutes (watch yesterday’s Boss show here), the event itself can take about an hour if you want to get there on time (GASP!) and celeb-watch as I shamelessly did.  Witness:

karlie

Karlie Kloss is presumably 8′ tall as I could see her over every head in the room.

Last, but certainly not least, fashion shows are an excuse to get as fashiony as you want.  I have been hoarding a spectacular Catherine Malandrino ice blue dress with the most incredible print for ages and decided to employ it yesterday:

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These gorgeous girls are strung together like pearls by their Rapunzel-like locks

The moral of this story is, of course, that you should incite envy whenever/however possible and if you can’t get tickets to a fashion show then you have no choice but to continue reading my blog for tips on how to create a lust-worthy wardrobe.

 

Film Festival Fashion Warm Up

42nd Deauville American Film Festival : Opening Ceremony

I hope you are taking your vitamins and doing your exercises, dear readers, because you will need to keep your strength up; Film festival season is upon us and there will be thousands of feet of red carpet to walk before we arrive at the end.  I’d like to suggest you wear sneakers on this arduous journey but, of course, that would be ludicrous!

Now let’s begin our warm up session by looking at a few favorites from the Venice and Deauville film festivals.  Diane Kruger’s Charlotte Olympia lucite clutch (above) is definitely getting my heart rate up.  In fact, it is stirring up a powerful storm of emotions within me and prevailing among these is covetousness.  I may need to take more than my vitamins in order to get that bag off my mind.  Let’s zoom out and ogle the entire look:

'The Infiltrator' Premieres At The Deauville Film Festival

I rarely support a sheer gown however, master that Elie Saab is, has given us something compelling here.  D. Kruger’s superlative genetics certainly advance this look but all of the gown’s components have inherent strength – the jeweled hearts, the black/red color combination, the thick velvet belt, and last but not least, the glorious CAPE:

 

FRANCE-US-FILM-FESTIVAL-DEAUVILLE-film

I’m also smitten with Amy Adams in Tom Ford:

'Nocturnal Animals' Premireres At The Venice Film Festival

I concede that it’s a very SAFE move to wear a metallic to an awards show but this gown is exponentially more than it’s hue – the cut, the drape, the fit, and the shine are perfectly suited to Amy who proved during her American Hustle days that she does disco like no one else.   I want to place an Oscar in her hand and call it a day.  She may not have that Oscar (yet) but I am still calling it a day.

 

Standing O or Hell No: The VMAs

This is Stella getting her groove back. Except this is Hailee.

This is Stella getting her groove back. Except this is Hailee.

It seems to me that the MTV Video Music Awards pose a similar problem for the music world as casual Fridays pose for the corporate world:  No one is sure exactly what is appropriate to wear.  Do you dress up (it IS an awards ceremony),  or pull a stunt (people like crazy, right?), or act like you’re above it all and dress down (this is Rock n Roll for Pete’s sake).  Let’s look at a few of these different approaches and determine which failed and which prevailed.

For me, Hailee Steinfeld (above) presented most on-theme for the evening.  She wore Balmain which, by nature, is edgy yet sophisticated – two perfect notes to hit for an event celebrating contemporary music.  Also the choice to wear color was brilliant and on point.  Much of Balmain is muted and metallic and often doesn’t translate in photos as well as it does in person.  This dress sings loudly, albeit in a very lovely French accent.   Standing O!

 

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

If this picture was a word, it’d be hyperbole.

Nikki Minaj also opted to dress up, though more formally than Hailee, and to do it with edge.  Let’s examine why this works (because sooooo much could’ve gone wrong here).  Clearly proportion-wise long sleeves do not make up for the fact that most of the top/sides are missing from this Bao Tranchi gown; and yet she manages to look refined.  You may argue this is because, in contrast to what she normally wears, this is relatively conservative.  However, I feel this look has independent merit – the color is glorious, the hair, make-up, and jewelry are perfectly understated and, above all, the fit is extraordinary.  Undoubtedly she presents like a music boss.  Standing O!

 

Proof that some people DO love the crazy.

Her cult following is proof that some people DO love the crazy.

A sample from Baddie Winkle’s Instagram bio: “Stealing your man since 1928.”  Hilarious and courageous but let’s face it, I’m never going to sign off on a nude bedazzled jumpsuit even if it is just a stunt – not for Kim Kardashian, not for Baddie Winkle, and not for anyone.  Hell No.

 

Alessia clearly doesn't Cara.

Alessia clearly doesn’t Cara.

If the MTV logos were not so prominently displayed in the background, I would assume this was Alessia Cara’s first-day-of-school photo except that it’s not even cute enough for the first day of school.  This looks like she’s a senior in high school, 8 months in, and has officially checked out until college begins.  Baddie Winkle might look like she’s off her rocker (metaphorically AND literally) but at least she has a sense of occasion.  No effort was expended here and that I cannot forgive.  Hell No.

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