Thursday, January 31, 2013

Packing Peaches

Staying with the accessory theme of the week, this gorgeous necklace from Maiyet.
Ed. Note: Dashing off to Paris, leaving my wonderful -- and wonderfully talented -- friend Janice of The Vivienne Files to fill in for me today.

I love the way she makes dressing, no matter what the color base, so intelligently easy.

A demain mes chers.
Hermès Lotus silk scarf, floral shawl – Stella McCartney
Tee shirt - Hugo, cardigan – Marc Jacobs, rhodonite earrings – Tiffany, watch – Phillip Stein, pants – Marc Jacobs, loafers – Tod’s, tote bag – Gucci, suitcase - Tumi

Gold & horn necklace - Maiyet, dress – Diane von Furstenberg, drop earrings – Nikki Baker, stud earrings – YooLa, taupe suede wedges – Debenhams, sweater - Vince, knit skirt – Raquel Allegra, cardigan – Tsumori Chisato, gold necklace – Blue Nile, , blouse – Stella McCartney,  tee shirt – T by Alexander Wang,  bracelet – Alexis Bittar, ballet flats – Repetto

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wrist Watch

Proof, that sometimes too much is just enough. (The nail polish is pretty too don't you think?)
          Do you go through fashion phases? I definitely do. Not so much for clothes because I'm pretty much locked in to what works best for me and, it tends to be strict and simple because frou-frou even in tiny touches looks ridiculous on me.

          No, I'm talking primarily about accessories. For the last couple of years my accessorizing has consisted exclusively of earrings, more often than not creoles, and a scarf. Admittedly, I have a gazillion scarves, but still. . .

          Now, suddenly, I'm yearning for accessories -- I mean ACCESSORIES (!) -- I want to wear lots and lots of jewelry. I'm trying to figure out why and I've come to the conclusion that it's because for the last month or so we've been discussing illustrations for the accessory chapter of the book. Heaven knows I own all the necessary components and I actually continued to buy necklaces and a couple of small bangle bracelets to add to my collection even though I wasn't wearing them.

          I'm a huge, "you never know, so it's best to be prepared" sort of shopper. My thinking leans toward the, "you like it, you'll probably wear it at some point," if not I can always give it to my daughter. Also I really, really detest accessory regret. That's why I bought two -- yes, two -- triple strand turquoise necklaces from the lovely jeweler who was retiring and gave me a great price. I have yet to wear them. However, I may don them tomorrow for my lunch in Paris mixed with my mauve quartz necklaces; I just might. Or, perhaps with my lapis beads, you know, the oh, so pretty blue-on-blue theme.

         For years I piled on bracelets with my sober men's tank watch. Then I stopped -- the watch and the bracelets. I just asked people what time it was. The other day I decided it was time to pull everything out and put everything on.

          When reading my great friend, Marsha's divine blog Splenderosa I noticed she did a stunning post on wrist decoration. You'll see when you click chez elle. Then, if you don't own enough, or want to add more, bracelets, necklaces and rings you can shop while you're visiting her. She designs jewelry.

          And finally, if you have the time and are looking for a good time, click on Astley Clarke where you will find a feature where you can grab and drag her rings to make your very own mix and match stack. It really is fun.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rethinking Inside (& Outside) The Collar

Loulou de la Falaise. Few women have ever accessorized better than she did.
          Because I often buy clothes for my daughter from J.Crew I have automatically landed on the company's  e-mail list. The latest message in my inbox was "The Art of the Collar" as presented by fashion director, Gayle Spannaus.

From J.Crew. The third suggestion was, in my opinion, rather silly. It was layering one shirt over another, i.e. two collars. And then what?
          She suggests we button up, right to the neck and decorate beneath the collar for a change of pace from the necklaces and scarves typically worn inside an open shirt. Her presentation was appealing indeed, as you can see.
Loulou de la Falaise.
          Still, I think no one ever quite embellished a classic shirt the way Loulou de la Falaise did. She usually left hers wide open and piled on the beads, chains, and plenty of her self-designed ornaments.

So simple, so crisp -- collar up beads on.
          It seems to me, open or closed has more to do with one's mood, and I am feeling that masses of necklaces are just what the dreary, gray days of winter need to add gaiety to our wardrobes. And, the best part is we probably do not need to make a single purchase to pull off the look.

          Just for fun, here is a collection of necklaces that should guarantee a "look at me" response (in a good way).
On white,  pale orange,  pink,  fuchsia, mauve. . .

How about on a jeans shirt, as in opposites attract?
Isn't this gorgeous? Wouldn't it be divine on a pale, pale gray satin or silk blouse?

White on white or on any color really.
How about this on a pale pink shirt?

          Thursday I have a luncheon date with a friend in Paris and I'm collecting all my beads and baubles to see how I'll put them together with one of my many, many, many tailored shirts. For some reason I've not been wearing necklaces recently, as in at least a couple of years, and now I'm yearning to do so.

         The effect we want is a little bit gypsy, a little bit Yves Saint Laurent and very, very French.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Curious Cuir Conundrum

When chicken get teeth (that's when I would wear this jacket).
          Here's the thing, into each fashion cycle -- spring and fall, year after year after year -- come those little "signal" items (sometimes they're not that little) that say to the world: "I'm on message; I get it. Orange, or even worse, green, whether I hate it or not, must appear someplace on my body or it will be clear even to complete strangers that I don't know what's what in the world of the ever changing "In".

         OK, let's say I accept the premise. After all, fashion is -- alright, was -- my life,  so using above example, I would find a scarf that has some orange and/or green hidden in it or maybe a belt (if I still wore belts, this is all hypothetical) and move on until the next cycle which would no doubt have another color I would never consider under normal circumstances.
Maybe, we're getting warm. . .

Maybe, yes, maybe. . .
          Fine. I can live with this notion. But here's the thing, I have a very complicated relationship with cuir (leather). No, not shoes, bags, belts (you know, in principle), gloves. . . It's when cuir clothing comes into the equation that I become uncomfortable. I don't know why. I love the idea of a black leather pencil skirt and that elusive, but nonetheless perfect, jacket that is out there someplace. Mine would definitely be in the form of a "cardigan" never, ever a biker.

When this Whistles "cardigan" was spotted on Pippa Middleton (see below) it flew out of  the stores. It has just the right touch of the famous Chanel quilting with a smooth, crisp fit. But, it's gone, gone, gone. . .
          French women wear both, not together of course that's a bit much, and they really do look stunning. When I see these women on the street I think, "why not me?" And then I think, "because it's just not me."

         You may have noticed that almost every capsule wardrobe of 20 items or so will more than likely include a leather jacket. (I know I'm not supposed to talk about Inés, but she did mention that a leather jacket -- blouson in her case and brown -- is a basic. Maybe for her, probably not for me.)

         Heaven knows they're an investment as in buying in can be expensive to astronomically so and if one were not to wear the investment I suppose that would be the ultimate folly.

         Long ago when I was madly covering the collections all over the world I owned a black leather blazer. It was a gift and I actually quite liked it. It made me feel cool at the time. Then I realized I'd outgrown it, literally and figuratively.

        At the moment I'm searching for a buttery, black (what did you expect?) cardigan-like number and I've found some in varying price ranges. But do I want it because it's someone else's idea of what I should own or do I want it because I would wear it? These are the questions that have held me back.

         I've even made a mental list of how I would wear the imaginary jacket -- my way -- to see if I would be comfortable in it and I still can't decide.

The quilting theme gone awry.  Nothing like adding more bulk to the body I always say.
          Have you ever had this tempted, not tempted, want it, maybe I don't want it relationship with a piece of clothing?

         I know, you're probably thinking she really knows how to pose thought-provoking, esoteric conundrums. . .

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A French Country Weekend

Charlotte, exhausted from chasing pine cones -- note the one sitting on her paw.
        The snow has melted, the sun is shining, the temperatures are pleasant and everything is mucky and sodden.

          Just back from a long, long visit with my first and best French friend, Anne-Françoise. She and her family had a gorgeous house a five minute walk from ours. (Actually, the verb is "has" a house near us because it's for sale and hasn't yet sold which brought her back to our village for a few days.)

        Last year they bought a house -- 11 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and 15 toilettes, because as you no doubt know in most French homes the toilette is separate from the bathroom -- in the South of France. The family, at the moment, consists of six children and 14 grandchildren. A-F and her husband decided to find a place in the sun which would be so irresistible that everyone would be drawn to it like a magnet for summer vacations. So far the tactic has worked.

         I now know where we will be spending a July holiday. She invited us. Very exciting.

Tell me, what is more fun than gossip and tea with a best friend? (Oh, no, wait. . .  gossip and Champagne?)
        We met long before we became femmes d'un certain age in the days when my vocabulary consisted of about 15 French words unconnected by verbs and she has been one of the constants in my life ever since. She was undaunted by my inability to communicate and is the very essence of the definition, "best friend."

      Her middle daughter, Pamela, and Andrea have been friends forever. Another example of continuity and deep friendship.

     Anne-Françoise and I spent our time together today gossiping, drinking tea and exchanging beauty and regime tips. I brought her a jar of special night cream from Clarins and then told her my latest regime allowed two glasses of wine per day. She said (in French of course): "Scan that thing and get it to me instantly!" I did, it's in her iPhone.

     A demain my dear friends.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another Day, Another Scarf. . .

Swoon worthy Astley Clark earrings.
       Ed. Note: This is it, this is the day the cover will receive its final, final tweaking and polishing. Then, that's one major element, and a very exciting one at that, that is ready to roll. 

          Therefore -- well, you know what's coming -- I've turned to Janice and her winsome wardrobe wonders. Today she builds her capsule six-pack combinations around plum. I was never a purple/plum fan, but the color and all of its nuances, like mauve for example is definitely starting to appeal. Mauve and navy for example, so pretty together.  Click below please to see more of her amazing ideas to make life easier and more interesting: The Vivienne Files.

Antagoniste silk scarf, Pashmina Art cashmere/silk scarf
Tee shirt - Hugo, cardigan – L.L.Bean, earrings – Astley Clark, watch – Movado, pants – L.L.Bean, loafers – Objects in Mirror, tote bag – Gucci, suitcase - Tumi

Necklace – J. Crew, dress – Faith Connection, drop earrings – Wendy Yue, pearl earrings – Astley Clarke, taupe suede wedges – Debenhams, cotton turtleneck – L.L.Bean, skirt – L.L.Bean, cotton cardigan – L.L.Bean, gold necklace – Blue Nile, , silk blouse – Equipment,  tee shirt – BLK DNM,  bracelet – Astley Clarke, ballet flats – Repetto

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Scarf A Day and Away. . .

Janice's famous and fabulous six-pack travel formula fits perfectly in this Kris-Ana tote. Love the color, n'est-ce pas?
        Ed. Note: As I said, we have one toe over the deadline which is tomorrow morning (for the cover) so dear Janice is filling in again today. Navy is one of my wardrobe foundation colors so this post is perfect for me. Imagine navy with yesterday's teal. Divine combination don't you agree?

          Because I'm sure you'll want more of her intelligent, inventive ideas, please click here to see what she's up to chez elle: The Vivienne Files.
Silk scarf – Liberty of London, silk wrap - Controfigura

Tee shirt – T by Alexander Wang, earrings – Baccarat, watch – Bulova, cardigan – Reiss, pants – Mantu, loafers – Gianvito Rossi, tote bag – Kris-Ana, suitcase - Tumi

Hoop earrings – Ralph Lauren, sweatshirt dress - Topshop, pumps – Stuart Weitzman, hammered stud earrings – Tanya Krackowizer, sweater – Rag & Bone, wool skirt – Calvin Klein, cardigan – Jil Sander, silk blouse – L.K.Bennett, silver ring with blue stone – Karoline Bik,  tee shirt – Fresh Laundry,  bracelet – Baccarat, ballet flats – Lanvin

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