LA Story

vn_mens_fall_stl_look3_mediumOne of my clients just landed a big show on ABC (I'm such a tease) and needs to tighten up his look for imminent press events and parties.  That means I'm flying to LA tomorrow to spend a week working with him (also- and I know this sounds random- to check up on another client's Santa Monica home for which I designed the interior). In preparation for my trip, I am mentally making the transition from NY fashion (and NY Fashion Week!) to LA fashion which is a whole different vibe:  very casual/street.  My feeling is that it's fine to dress down in the face of the press IF (and only if) everything fits impeccably and if each piece speaks for itself.  With this in mind, we are going to start our search at VINCE. which is one of my favorite brands to master the cool/casual look represented in the photo above.  (Notice how everything appears molded to this model?)

It goes without saying that sneakers and boots are primary in nailing street style so, for one thing, I'm hoping to score these Carter boots and build a world of looks around them.  They are superb body doubles (to use the parlance of Hollywood) for the twice-the-price Saint Laurent boots I've been tracking for the last few months.  Thankfully, given the temp is supposed to be 90+ all next week, the cost will not provoke any additional sweating.

 

I DOodle

ANGELINA-JOLIE-WEDDING-DRESS-570One of my favorite parts of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris is when he recalls his childhood by remembering, "Our artwork did not hang on the refrigerator or anywhere near it, because our parents recognized it for what it was: crap."  Clearly Angelina Jolie does not share this sentiment since she side-stepped her fridge and, instead, had her children's art embroidered by Atelier Versace directly onto her wedding veil.   If it's the thought that counts as they say, then she wins.  If that saying, like the Sedaris children's artwork, is crap then this is a loss.  How do you feel, dear readers?

BROACH

china-coach-11072012-webI have a lot of fashion pet peeves.  One, as you well know, is grown men carrying back packs.  Another is women carrying COACH handbags.  Especially those advertising that they are COACH handbags.  (I'm sure I will get a lot of hate mail after this post but hit me with your best shot.)  I am simply OVER them.  They are ubiquitous therefore completely unoriginal.  If you fear leaving your comfort zone, at least look as far as former COACH executive creative director, Reed Krakoff.  He struck out on his own and his bags are amazing. It seems that you too, fashion nation, are getting sick of the COACH epidemic.  I just read an article citing a steady decline in COACH women's handbag sales.  The article goes on to say that the brand is shifting their target market - namely to the Chinese market and the male market.  Further to this point, they just released a more formal men's shoe line and they are in development on a full men's clothing line.

COACH for bros?  It could work.  Kinda like when I get tired of eating my ice-cream sundae:  my husband always finishes it.

Fuku Yeah!

cookies-thumbWhen I was in college a laundromat opened on my street with an internal window through which you could order pizza and beer from the adjoining restaurant.  The brilliance of this idea resonated widely on campus, with the result being that cleaning clothes became a popular pass time- even if you had to wait hours for a washer/dryer. Perhaps the owners of the laundromat are some distant relation to either David Chang or Scott Sternberg because Band of Outsiders in SoHo is getting its own cookie window via Momofuku Milk Bar!  No need for me to schlepp dark chocolate and granola bars around for my clients when cookies are but a window away!!

My Mourning Jacket

MOURNINGMET14My husband loves to rib me for excessive pun usage in my blog titles.  He's right, of course, that I am heavy-handed but I can't help it - puns make me giggle.  (We met in a book club, for Pete's sake, did he not know what he was marrying?!)  I was thrilled therefore when a few days ago he sunk to my literary level by sending me a link to this article and entitling it "My Mourning Jacket." BAM! It turns out that The Met is doing a second special exhibit this year, this one to be unveiled in October and to chronicle the evolution of mourning attire from the 19th and 20th centuries.  If it is anything like the Charles James exhibit, I look forward to getting up close and personal with the pieces and learning a bit of history at the same time.

Even if my husband didn't know what he was marrying, I knew what I was marrying:  a man who is kind enough to go to these exhibits with me (despite the fact that he spends all of his time in the room with the knights), a man who will send me daily links to fashion articles, and a man with the secret ability to out-pun me!

Googley Eyes

google glasses DvFI was headed to SoHo on the C train a few months ago when I spotted a man sporting the lower of the two Google glasses pictured above.  I could tell that he felt as cool as I do when I wear anything Tom Ford.  Except his glasses weren't Tom Ford.  They were designed by some tech geek at Google.  And that's why he looked like an alien coming to invade our train (which I prayed he was not since I was on my way to get a cronut at Dominique Ansel before meeting a client). Since my initial spotting, Google has wisely partnered with Diane von Furstenberg to create an au currant look for their glasses-of-the-future (top above).  I'm not going to go as far as to endorse these because, to me, a small camera on your glasses is weird.  I will say, however, that the DvF model is far superior to its totally uncool older brother.  But at $1500+ I'd honestly rather just buy something Tom Ford.

 

Calling a Spade Two Spades

  DvF +Gap Kids

I have a 3.5 year old boy and a 1.5 year old girl and I don't think I'll be blowing anyone's mind by saying that it's way more fun to dress my little lady, Lilli.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of companies making cute, on-trend boys clothes (Marie Chantal and H&M to name two) but even still, the themes are narrow.  Suffice it to say, we have a lot of skull and crossbones happening around here.

Today I learned that city prepster husband and wife, Kate and Jack Spade, will be collaborating with The Gap to create a capsule collection for kids due November! Um - yipee!!  Hopefully Kate will bring her cheeky, cheery, and colorful ideas to the table and Jack will balance her with his minimalism, clean lines, and modern aesthetic. I was a huge fan of the DvF/Gap collab (because, who among you, did not find it prudent to buy your baby girl a turban?) so, come November, I hope to snag some sweet pieces for both of my minis.

Eye Candy

  eye candy

Statement jewelry, delicate jewelry, I love it all!  However, one type of jewelry I will forever eschew is eye jewelry (I probably won't submit to teeth jewelry either).   Apparently this NY woman feels otherwise since she had a Park Avenue surgeon implant a 3.5mm platinum heart in her right eye for a mere $3K.  Will this become thee gift for the girl who has everything?  Note:  that is a rhetorical question.

Now that I've grossed you out with the thought of surgically implanting foreign objects in your eyes, please enjoy this adorable video apropos of nothing.

Piu Piu

Lupita Nyong'o Miu Miu AdConsidering Lupita Nyong'o's uncanny ability to sartorially nail every outfit she dons, I can't help but wonder what she was thinking as she posed for this Miu Miu ad.  Don't get me wrong, I loooooooove me some Miu Miu but often times the quirkiness of their pieces necessitates a very specific woman. Some words I would use to describe Lupita:  sophisticated, composed, ethereal, graceful, dignified, luminous, polished, modern

Some words I'd use to describe the outfit in the above ad: quirky, whimsical, off-balance, cheeky, throw-back, vintage-y

Can you see how these don't equate?  I'm just not picking up what Miu Miu is trying to lay down here.  I much prefer the below version of the ad campaign although I'd still argue that she should ditch the tights and chunky shoes and substitute these shoes instead.  I'm looking around but is anyone feeling me??

Lupita Nyong'o Miu Miu Ad2

De Blasio Ladies Decidedly Not Blah

Bill De Blasio Sworn In As New York City MayorI don't think that any New Yorker will debate that with the first chill of winter (did that happen in July this year!?), the city becomes a sea of black.  For that reason, coats in colors are my go-to for clients looking to breathe new life into their winter wardrobes.  (Not to mention, it's a heck of a lot easier to identify your outerwear at a party.) So when I peeped the De Blasio ladies sporting chic Nanette Lapore coats at the Mayoral Inauguration I found myself applauding their sage fashion choices.  And what a boon for Nanette Lapore and the Garment District in general! Dear Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA President and biggest proponent of the Garment District, please consider this a belated birthday (December 31) gift!

Love, The DeBlasios

Tease Ts

playboy-kate-moss-t-shirtRooting around in some storage boxes recently (trying to find a photo of me at my first  Goldman Sachs desk which featured an unobstructed view of the Twin Towers) I stumbled upon a 1964 copy of Playboy whose highlights included an interview with Salvador Dali (hilarious!!) and some gorgeous photos of Brigitte Bardot.  And, I must admit, I read it cover to cover...for the articles of course. It's Playboy's 60th anniversary this year and they wisely shot the Bardot-like Kate Moss for this pivotal, though chaste, cover (and for some stunning artsy nude shots inside -the second pic is my absolute fave.)  Unsurprisingly, Marc Jacobs (the opportunist that he is) has created a $35 t shirt to commemorate this iconic edition.  I will give credit where credit is due, the t is adorable.   I will be rocking mine with black waxed jeans, sexy booties, a draped cardigan, and of course some Prada bunny ears. OK, maybe not the ears.

That Dress is Fly

gaga-astronaut-suit-2013-09-11-01We are not one of those nice families who, during the holidays, refuse all gifts and instead give to charity.  (We give to charity too but not in lieu of gifts.)  I admit it, we basically require shallow material things (and booze!) to have a good time at Christmas. We also don't like to add stress to our lives so we've agreed to submit wish lists to make things easy.  While perusing my husband's submission a few years back, I was surprised to find a remote control helicopter among the other items he desired.  (Why this surprised me is an even bigger mystery given that Chinese throwing stars also appeared.)  In any case, I read today that over the weekend Lady Gaga flew out on stage in a white helicopter dress.  This caused me to ruminate on whether I should steal a page from my husband's play book and add this item to my Christmas wish list.  Perhaps it comes in red?

Pop Goes the Cosmetic Store?

loreal pop upThere was a time in the past when I would intentionally fly in and out of certain airports because of their shopping offerings (Schipol, Heathrow, Narita, you have made passing the time ever so delightful).  I may soon be diverting my routes again as subway pop-up shops are proving the next trend in on-the-go shopping.  The above pictured L'Oreal interactive cosmetic shop has debuted in the Bryant Park station and a Uniqlo shop arrived in Union Square mid October.  In fact, the MTA is sponsoring an entire pop-up series!  Tell me, dear readers, what shops would you like to see on your commute?

B.B.ig Mi-steakhouse?

Brooks_Brothers_1969_logoIs Brooks Brothers becoming a jack of all trades (master of none)?  I recently read that the lifestyle brand is going to open a three-story steakhouse in 2014 right next door to their Madison Avenue flagship location (where I used to work as a concierge/personal shopper).  I can accept that the brand which began as men's-only has evolved to include women, children, and even home furnishings but steak?  That seems a stretch. The restaurant, to be dubbed "Makers and Merchants," is obviously targeted towards finance folks, but if there's one thing that I know about bankers (also the majority of my clientele) is that they value specialization.  They only want to deal with an expert.  So I suspect their view will be that BB should save the diversification for their finance portfolio.  

The Edge of Madness

barclays+

levis

In 1962 Edwin O'Connor won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Edge of Sadness about a middle aged priest battling alcoholism.  I distinctly recall a part in the book that described how the Catholic church was taking steps to make services more personal and accessible.  This was considered a bad approach by many because there was a fear of losing their core constituency who valued the sacredness of the mass.  This was an interesting dilemma to me.  And today, a similar situation presents itself with the news that Barclays (a notoriously conservative bank) is introducing super casual Fridays.  Is history repeating itself on some level?

Barclays is known for being uber specific about offering dress guidelines to employees.  They have historically defined inappropriate casual dress as "denim items of any color, shorts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, any sports footwear such as training shoes, any items of clothing with slogans and beach style footwear."  Now apparently t-shirts, jeans and even sneakers will be acceptable on Fridays.  I understand this is an attempt to lure talent in a time when the best and brightest are trading up for hedge funds and start ups but is Barclays going to alienate their core personnel?  I may be old school when it comes to having a sense of occasion and appropriateness but I am of the mind that they will.  I dress a lot of bankers and they are men and women who feel it's necessary to not only act the part but to look the part.  And I agree 100%.  As the idiom goes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Proenza Schouler x MAC

proenzaformac-cropAs crazy in love as I am with fashion and style, I am not much of a "product" person.  The only thing I use on my skin is Ponds (why am I a 90 year old?) and sunscreen of an average variety.  However, I confess to loving all things MAC.  Witness: macTherefore it thrills me that in April cosmetics and fashion will intersect when Proenza Schouler releases a line for MAC.  The Proenza Schouler woman is uber cool and fairly no nonsense so it will be interesting to see what their offerings will include.  I predict a fairly neutral palette with pops of intense color (as the photo above suggests).

The only problem now is, how do I create space in my make-up drawer for a new collection?

It's a Good (Za)bet(e)

Kirna-ZabeteSometimes the grass -and the retail space- is not Greene(r).  Or so believe the owners of chic SoHo boutique, Kirna Zabete who recently moved from Greene Street to 477 Broome.  And I tend to agree with them.  Greene Street is fabulous but beginning to feel a bit too commercial (Hello Tiffany!).  In my opinion, being in the company of uber cool neighbors like Alexis Bittar ups your own cool quotient.  Not that KZ was ever lacking in that department given their sick edit of designers but it doesn't hurt to keep things feeling fresh and exclusive.  If you are undecided on whether to visit, I will refer you to the Coco Chanel quote illuminated in neon lights on their wall: "The best things in life are free; the second best are expensive."

If The Suit Fits, Wear It

  two suits

Arden Reed and OkCupid conducted a four month international study to assess the impact a suit's fit has on a gent's likelihood to score a date.  (This is the kind of science I wish I could've studied in college.)  Two profiles were set up, each exactly the same save for the photo.  In one of the photos their model wore a boxy suit, and in the other he wore a tailored suit.  Unsurprisingly the study backs up what I espouse every day of my working life - that fit is about 50% of the damn-he-looks-good equation which, incidentally I'll share below.

The Wardrobe Whisperer Hotness Theorem:

50% fit + 30% style + 20% fabric/quality = 100% Attractive

If you nail a garment's fit, that's half the battle (literally half, see my equation above) and now I have cold hard facts to prove it.  Fashion CSI has done it again!

Wimbledos and Wimbledont's As Promised

BethanieMattek_SandsI do not make promises lightly and therefore despite my overall boredom with the outfits at Wimbledon this year (barring you, handsome sir), I submit (above) my nominee for the worst dressed player.  Bethanie Mattek-Sands may have lost her hold of the championship but deserves to win a spot on What Not To Wear (which, incidentally, will end this month).  Her outfit reminds me of something Weird Al Yankovic would wear if he was making fun of tennis instead of making fun of hit songs. Another strange choice, although much less offensive than the above, was Serena's business attire below.  Should we assume that if things don't work out in the tennis world, she will be applying for an accounting position?

Serena_business

Lastly, although underwhelmed in general by Stella McCartney's "Barricade" collection for Adidas, I did enjoy the sexy back on this number worn by Caroline Wozniacki.  A bit Herve Leger bandage, no?

Caroline Wozniacki_Stella

For a better shot (no pun intended) of Caroline's outfit, see here.  Full disclosure, I skipped tennis whites altogether and bought this dress instead.

 

Wimbledo's and Wimbledon'ts

  wimbeldonLoyal readers know that the reason I started playing tennis was, of course, for an opportunity to wear the cute outfits.  Who doesn't want an excuse to collect MORE darling dresses like the one above from Maria Sharipova's collection with Nike?  With sexy tennis gear in mind, I'm giddy in anticipation of the Wimbledon tennis championships which begin today.  Not only do I hope to pick up some tips by watching the players execute what I'm trying to learn at weekly tennis lessons but I also hope to spy some new styles which hopefully will be available for purchase.  In any case, I plan on documenting some of the best and worst of what we see on the players at Wimbledon this year.  Stay tuned!