Temper(ley) Your Requests

kate temperley1This is a fashion column, not an etiquette column.  Frankly, though, I have no other platform on which to express my views and so I'll sling them about as I see fit.  First up: Dear readers, when you send out an invitation it is cruel to the common invitee to request dress codes like "Festive" or "Creative Black Tie."  Most people (read: those without a stylist) do NOT want to spend oodles of time decrypting your sartorial expectations.  Most people have go-to items for "Black Tie," "Cocktail" or "Casual" but not for "Smart Casual" or "Elegant Casual."  Have mercy, people, the masses still cannot wrap their heads around "Business Casual." Kate here is attending a Garden Party for the Queen's 90th Birthday.  (Why Do I Feel Like Anything Referring To The Queen Has To Be In Caps??)  Truth be told, I've been asked many times but I've never advised a client to wear a long gown to a garden party.  Chiefly this is because most garden parties are slightly less formal than this one appears to be and also because long gowns work best with heels but heels don't work best with grass (although wedges do!).  However, if we are still telling the truth, I have never advised on a garden party wardrobe for a QUEEN'S birthday extravaganza.  In this case, given the Royal element, I think this Temperley number works wonderfully.  It's intricate but not overly so, it's sheer but not scandalous, it's white and detailed and fitted and lovely.  I'm not over the moon for the chandelier earrings but their role is not prominent so I forgive them.  But, WAIT:

kate temperley2For the Queen's pleasure, Will slices Kate's gown in half!?  This alternate photo was a surprise to me because I thought we were viewing a gown, not a skirt and top.  But I actually prefer this notion.  It's modern and even more appropriate for being less formal.  It's "Queen's Birthday Slightly Formal" or maybe "Royal Garden Dressy Casual."  Whatever the invitation said, this is a damn good interpretation of the request.

Standing O? Hell YES!

nicole_mcqueen I'm not even going to toy with your emotions and pretend I debated over this look - because I'm already standing for the O.  I am mesmerized.

Thank heavens for ZOOM because I've spent endless amounts of time on every quadrant of this stunning Alexander McQueen dress.  It is supremely interesting, exquisitely fashioned, and completely WOWing me.  As a result, I'm falling in love with Nicole Kidman again.  As is her husband.  Witness:

Nicole and keith

Seeing N.K. in this dress makes me think of a conversation that I regularly have with my clients who are actors.  And it goes something like this- It is incumbent upon you, through your clothes, to put ideas in the heads of casting agents and directors.  In other words, if you want to be a leading man/woman, then DRESS like one.  And I feel like Nicole had that notion in mind when she chose this dress.  She was out to remind folks that indeed she's always commanded leading roles and that she'd be a superlative choice for some more.  Let's face it, she's not had a huge movie since the early oughts (The Hours and Moulin Rouge) and it is time for a come back!

Side note: if IMDB is to be believed, she's turning 50 this year.  I would gladly drink a potion composed of eye of newt, salamander toes, and the pulverized bones of small deceased animals to look like this at 50.  Readers, please pin any such recipes you see.

Apologies but Keith and I need to get back to ogling Nicole now.  Thanks.

WW Prediction: Oscar Will Not Make It to the Oscars

oscar1This outfit brings to mind a favorite saying of my grandmother's which I will tailor for my own purposes:  Oscar de la Renta must be "turning over in his grave" right now.  With the exclusion of that luscious little fur collar, this outfit from the Fall 2016 collection that just debuted at NY Fashion Week is an ill-fitting and mismatched atrocity.  And, unfortunately, it was not alone in its egregiousness:  

Oscar WhoOscar Who??


oscar whatOscar What?? I feel like Peter Copping will be made to pay for this in his next life.

Having expressed my general dismay over the collection, I AM extremely keen on shimmying into this look:

oscar 2

Oh! And even though I insulted you and everything you stand for, Peter, would it be possible to send this look too, please:

oscar 3Thank you.


Hello, Hermes, It's Me


hermes apple

I've not had much of a chance to think about blog topics considering all of my surplus time has been spent listening to Hello by Adele and weeping like an infant.  Luckily I've only been called upon to complete one actual piece of work today which was to consult on my strap preference from the Hermes Apple Watch collection.  So let's talk about that because right now I have nothing else for you except for some deep longing and sorrow conjured by Adele.

I'm not sure if it's because I follow Hodinkee on Instagram or because there have been a rash of cool watches released this year, but I've been looking at men's and women's watches pretty much non-stop.  Therefore I feel qualified to declare my love for the Hermes version for Apple.  Its appearance is simple yet elegant and sports two of my favorite visual features in a watch - a solid black face, and a leather strap.  As to the style and color of strap, I'm smitten with the "double tour," as they call it, in all colors but lust openly for the capucine (reddish) and the fauve (cognac).  If you're going to get a smart watch, and if you have $1250 laying around, this is my pick.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Adele awaits.

Who Should Rock It: Marchesa S/S 2016

marchesa_ss2015_1I feel like I'm 90 years old reminiscing on days of yore.  NY Fashion Week was WEEKS ago and by golly, we're already in Milan.  But it's Monday and I feel like playing a game and the best games in my estimation are not quaits or bocce.  They are, of course, games of fashion.  So let's look at the Marchesa Spring/Summer 2016 show and nominate celebs to wear the gowns for a round of  "Who Should Rock It?" Your input makes this all the more fun for me! First up (above) - there is a lot of competing interests in this dress but somehow it still works.  I'd throw this gown on RiRi and watch everyone swoon.


marchesa_ss2015_6This dark dreamy gown was my favorite of the lot.  I feel it demands a brooding presence.  Kate Mara's fashion trajectory would beam upward if she trotted out in this.


marchesa_ss2015_4There is simply too much gold and sparkle on this dress for someone NOT to wear it to a major red carpet event.  I'd put Kerry Washington in this number and pump her tiny frame up with sky high heels so you wouldn't lose much length.


marchesa_ss2015_7I'm not 100% convinced that the bodice of this dress is perfect but the skirt is so good I simply don't care.  Because I always want Selena Gomez to cover up a little bit more and because I think these colors would be brilliant on her, I assign her this piece.  And, no, she may NOT cut this to become a super mini.


marchesa_ss2015_3If Emma Stone got a hold of this one, she wouldn't even need a major event.  I feel like she'd sport this to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  She has THAT much style.


marchesa_ss2015_5Can we make the bodice feathers all white and send someone down the aisle in this one??  Calling all US Weekly readers - who is getting married?  Grace Gealey? Nicki Minaj?  Sarah Greene??  Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Princess and The Pee

Gianvito Rossi Darcy Heels It’s been a rough day.  Before 9am my three year old was already quarantined to her room not twice but thrice for back talk, hitting, and generally not listening.  Fast forward one hour.  She called a bathroom strike for no apparent reason other than to torture me since she is clearly in pain and screaming but refuses to go.  This ongoing struggle culminated in a moment, about forty minutes ago, which featured me wrestling her to the floor to try to force a diaper on her in order to show her who’s boss.  Clearly she is boss because I could not get the punishment-diaper on her through her wildly flailing legs.  Therefore she was banished to her room AGAIN where at some point I’m sure she will either pee on her gorgeous wool rug or get a UTI.  It goes without saying that my mood is bleak.  And so I’ve attempted to lift my spirits with unabashedly beautiful images.  Walk with me…

Burberry Prorsum Teal Trench


Sidney Garber Feather Earrings


Rauwold Brutalist Minaudiere

Thank you, dear readers.  This exercise has helped to restore a small amount of my sanity.  Feel free to put forward your own gorgeous finds.  I need all the medicine I can get.

Royal Trumps All

FFN_Hellqvist_PhilipWed_STLA_061315_51771792-510x381 What beats a flush?  A royal flush!  What beats a wedding?  A royal wedding!!  What beats this dress:

princess di

This dress of course:


What dress is derivative of the above?  This dress:


It's true what they say about love conquering all:  These two are so clearly over the moon that I can't stay mad at Sofia for aping Kate's style.  She looks gorgeous and if the offer were extended, I would submit to some pretty base tasks in order to trade hair with her.  Also, Prince Carl Philip is dashing and looks resplendent in his uniform.  My wedding wish for them is the following - that they never find out if pain is beat by royal pain.

Red Carpet Ready: The Knick's Jeremy Bobb

Jeremy Bobb from The Knick I admit it, I attempt to intellectualize everything.  Even fashion.  (Note to reader:  intellectualizing fashion is not the same as rationalizing fashion.  More on the latter in another post.)  The former is particularly helpful when working with men/folks in finance, but is less helpful when dealing with, say, my two year old's meltdowns.  For years I've been working on applying this tendency more effectively.  I am about 20% towards my goal.

The Peabody Awards are near and dear to my heart because they are essentially the intellectualization of awards programming.  Winners are chosen based solely on quality of work rather than popular or commercial success.  (Exit emotion, enter brain.)  Excitingly my client, Jeremy Bobb, and his HBO show, The Knick will be in receipt of one of these stellar awards this week!

Jeremy and I circled up last Friday at Hugo Boss to line up his red carpet look* which, incidentally, I did NOT over-think.  Success was evident immediately.  Witness for yourself above/below:


*The pocket square (first photo) is my favorite detail because it gives this smart look a personality; A description which, come to think of it, also applies to Jeremy.

New Hot Shoe of the Summer

yvette_smx-1553_nudemulti_angleMy friend, Jenny, has the uncanny ability to predict with perfect accuracy the "new hot song of the summer" (as she refers to it).  Every year as spring breaks she texts me to announce what it will be.  Two days into spring, I find myself scanning for her texts but she is yet unwilling to make a commitment.  I am trying to be patient and in so doing, I will distract myself by naming "the new hot shoe of the summer" which is... the Yvette pump by Joie!  This shoe is not only lovely and light, she is hugely versatile.  Toss her on with joggers and a blazer or with that sexy date-night dress you've been stowing in the side of your closet.  As for the new hot song, fingers crossed that it does not turn out to be "I Really Like You" by Carly Rae.  Higher powers, have mercy.

How to Stand Out this Spring Wedding Season

Brackish_product_shots_082613-22_1024x1024Due to the flurry of countless national/international Fashion Weeks and an epic awards season, I've reviewed a ton of men's formal wear.  And when I think back on all that I've seen, I'm searching to identify what defines fresh for THIS MOMENT.  But with the exception of interesting lapel pins, I'm at a loss.  (Red D&G tux with vest, you are NOT my answer. And further, you may be the secret second reason for Elton John's D&G boycott.)  Then I stumbled upon the quirky and ingenious company called Brackish Bow Ties and instantly wished that someone would have shown up with one of these on.  They feel very au courant to me and could have been that defining factor.  This may be because Brooklyn, the land of the urban outdoorsman, remains the epicenter of all that is cool or it may just be because these handmade beauties are different:  a monumental feat in menswear which moves by millimeters.  In any case, I endorse them, particularly with spring wedding season approaching.  Incidentally, they're killing it with the lapel pins too.  Pick one or the other and gift your groomsmen and yourself.  They will provide instant conversation, and maybe even forgiveness, for when your drunk best man is on minute 23 of his toast.

Finally: A Burst of Sun!

AB Sunburst RingI don't think I'm alone in saying that this has been one flipping COLD and brutal winter.  God finally took mercy upon us and gave us yesterday as a gift.  It was uber delightful to be out shopping in the city with a client and enjoying unabashed sunshine!  I swear to you that I passed a man (seemingly not crazy nor homeless) who was singing "It's Spring!" at the top of his lungs to a friend across West Broadway - all this as he was scaling the curb-side snow mounds that still exist in SoHo.  I was with him in spirit even as the melting snow dripped off some scaffolding and onto my head.  And as I walked around in this state of bliss, the immortal words (and song) of Parks and Recreation's Tom Haverford kept ringing in my ears:  Treat Yo Self!  And I did just that.  I decided to commemorate the sunshine outside with some sunshine for my finger (middle right to be exact) in the form of this gorgeous 3-in-1 convertible piece by Alexis Bittar:  The Royal Marquis Sunburst Ring.  This way, even if it snows again (GOD FORBID!) I can consult my hand and receive affirmation that Spring is just around the corner!

Standing O or Hell No: Amal Alamuddin (and George)

amal1You know how when a friend or family member gets hitched and you can't help but consider whether that person's new mate  is good enough for them?  And, usually, you think the mate is NOT good enough because who, in reality, COULD be good enough for your friend/family?!  (Or am I the only one who thinks this way?)  Well, this is one of those times when I look, from the outside obviously, and see a very equal match. I'm not sure what their private relationship is like, and honestly I'm not really interested, but George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin are a visual match made in heaven.  The glamor that they brought to their Venetian wedding last weekend was superb as evidenced in the photo above.  Also, I'm pretty sure this is why yachts were invented:


Basically Amal robbed the world of the question we've all been waiting years to ask:  Is George Clooney's new wife good enough for him?  (She's gorgeous, brilliant, and independent.  She's also a barrister - case closed.)  Standing O for that achievement, Amal, as well as for your impeccable fashion!

Double Agent

enver1Begrudgingly I have returned from LA, because my trip was absolute magic!  Allow me to elucidate by way of highlights: - lots of drinking and dining with much-missed best friends

- star sightings ala Emma Stone and Scott Speedman (the rumor mill stops here - they were NOT together!)

- and possibly my favorite:  wardrobing tv and film star, Enver Gjokaj (above)

Holla back, Dollhouse fans! Not to mention The Avengers, The Walking Dead, The Witches of East End and the list goes on...

Ok, people, I admit this job was not difficult.  Enver is obviously a stellar looking human being not to mention that he is total aces on a personal level.  The amount of fun and energy he brought to the project was unparalleled.

Our mission was to create a wardrobe that could take him everywhere from a table read, to an audition, to the red carpet, to a junket, to a party, to pool-side or a bbq.  In a few short days we hit each of these notes by mixing high, low, and what lies in between.  We called on brands like VINCE., REISS, and John Varvatos as well as Theory, and Ralph Lauren Black Label; and we even snagged a bevy of vintage pieces from Wasteland.  It was a TOTAL SUCCESS.  Witness one of many, many looks:

enver2Girls, have you caught your collective breath yet?  Shall I pass around the smelling salts?  Allow me to wrap up.

In my last post, I dropped a few hints but at this point you may have deduced that Enver landed a spot on ABC's upcoming Agent Carter!  The show starts shooting next month and will air in January.  I can't wait to follow him double (agent)-time on screen and off where he will certainly be looking super fly in all of his new gear.

Backpacks or Briefs?

prada hawaiian briefLoyal readers (and really anyone who will tolerate my rants) know that a pet peeve of mine is when a grown man carries a backpack; That is, when he is not actually donning hiking gear and on a trail somewhere.  Therefore I am often asked by male clients what type of bag they should carry.  Typically I favor simple yet elegant choices, especially for my clients in finance, but for my creative set I like to think out of the box.  This year I've found my solution in Prada's Hawaiian brief case (above).  The classic shape/structure and sexy hardware demonstrate that you take your business seriously, but the print announces that you have plenty of imagination (and money).  Note:  I'd advise against pairing with the current Hawaiian shirt trend lest you be mistaken for this guy.

Mother Nature Trumps the Queen Mother

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Tour Australia And New Zealand - Day 1I saw this photo and immediately wanted to discuss it from many different angles.  First of all, let me say that this royal disembarkation is post-30-hour-plane ride to New Zealand.  Last week we took our kids to Naples, FL which is a 3 hour ride (granted we kicked things off with a 4 hour delay in the Newark Airport!) but suffice it to say, we did not fare this well. Second of all, that is one cute baby.  That baby is the mirror image of Prince William but with a good hairline.

Third of all, that double breasted, red Catherine Walker coat is slaying me.  Please note the perfect fit- hence my adoration for British tailoring.  And hurrah for her brooch!  I am always pinning brooches all over my clients.  They are an underrated accessory in my opinion.

Lastly, much ado has been made about the Queen ordering a universal hem-lengthening to KM's wardrobe.  Therefore, this snapshot makes me giggle doubly because despite the Queen's best efforts, (yes, I heard about how weights have been inserted into the Duchess's hems as well), we are still seeing those beautiful thighs!  I for one salute the wind because this picture charmed the pants off of me even as it was taking the skirt off of Kate.

Fashion Math: My Go-To Beach Formula

jennie kwonI'm leaving for vacation on Sunday (Hello, beach! And a tip of the hat to you, pool-side cocktails!) and can't stop my mental turnstile from displaying swim-ready looks.  So let's talk fashion math.  A formula I always find super sexy is a strappy bikini coupled with delicate layered necklaces.  An example: this sultry neoprene suit from Lisa Marie Fernandez with the above featured Jennie Kwon necklace and yet another simple but stunning Jennie Kwon creation.  I'd do them both in yellow gold but get the diamond arc necklace in 16" and the knife edge cross necklace in 18" for perfect layering.  Toss on this cover up and these darling Valentino sandals and head straight to Malibu.

What To Wear on St Patty's Day (When It is Freezing)

kate-middleton-st-patricks-day-outfit-vI'm fairly certain this will come as no surprise:  it is still cold outside.  As dreamy as it would be to celebrate St Patty's Day in a filmy green spring dress, it is not in the cards.  Therefore let us accept our hand and look to the Duchess for an excellent example of festivity in the face of a freeze. By the way, I love that all of the fashion sites are belaboring the point that her Hobbs Persephone wool trench was ONLY $345 (down from $490 to be fair).  In my head their commentary sounds like this, "Why does she play the PAUPER when surely she goes home every night and rolls around in the Queen's jewels?  $345 for a coat?!  She shouldn't put that thing under a new puppy."

Mother, May(hem) I?


Readers, meet my new fashion love, "Mayhem" Keiser.  At four years old, she and her paper-dress creations are the things that (my) dreams are made of.  Although she is not allowed to use scissors yet, she directs her mom (who claims she herself is not crafty at all) on how to cut construction paper and other household objects in order to assemble stunning dresses:  the facsimiles of Katy Perry's dress and Lupita Nyong'o's above are stupendous.  But while she often looks to red carpet dresses for inspiration she also creates bona fide originals like these below:

mayhem4mayhem5Dear Mrs. Keiser, please allow me to adopt your daughter.  I take direction very well.  Love, Wardrobe Whisperer

Happy Harlow-een

sound-waves-cuffCelebrity fashion lines do not always work (Malibu Dave by David Hasselhoff), but sometimes they do (The Row, Elizabeth and James, Olsenboye, and now BeachMint by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson).  I place Nicole Richie in the latter category (ahhhh - sweet redemption from The Simple Life!).  Her House of Harlow 1960 line, especially the jewelry, is fresh and edgy and inexpensive.  Take the Sound Waves Cuff pictured above.  I love that she creates interest with the shape while also keeping on trend by using rose gold and, perfect for Halloween, black diamonds!  Pair with this black dress and these sexy shoes and you'll look so good no one will realize you didn't don a costume this year.

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."