September 28, 2011

A Bit of Nostalgia

Illustrated by Jean-Philippe Delhomme

From left: Bridget Foley (Women's Wear Daily), Cathy Horyn (The New York Times), Hilary Alexander (The Daily Telegraph), Suzy Menkes (International Herald Tribune), Guy Trebay (The New York Times) and Robin Givhan (Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Hope everyone is having a good week. September flew by and there's so much to update you all on. September truly is one of my favorite months- there's that back to school feeling (regardless of whether you're in school), the idea of starting anew, and of course, New York Fashion Week. Needless to say, September will always be the start of the new year for me. But back to fashion week. There's so much attention placed on the collections that  it can be difficult to put looks into context. 

I think Scott Schuman said it best, "shows aren't something that should make you feel bad about not being able to afford what you're seeing, or not looking like a model. Instead, they should just be pure inspiration for color, silhouette, genre, pattern matching..." When I attend a show and begin to think about it on a personal level, these are the things I consider. The collections are a means of getting inspired in the same way that literature, fine art, New York and ballet inspire me. 

Which brings me to another point- I miss the dying art of fashion criticism. There's something about reading an insightful review of a show. There's a piece of me that feels nostalgic for a review where the writer has had a chance to do a studio visit after the show. It's implausible to think that the majority of writers today are reviewing collections without having the chance to look at the construction up close and feel the clothes. True fashion criticism puts clothing into a larger context. A good review speaks to history, culture, the economy and mores of a society.

PS- We all know I adore a good fashion illustration and Jean-Philippe Delhomme's are simply divine. 

September 24, 2011

Switching Up

My Personal Photos 

3.1 Phillip Lim Silk Blouse, J. Crew Cropped Trousers, Manolo Blahnik Shoes, Tiffany & Co. Hand Engraved Bracelet

We all know that I love my skirts and dresses, but every once in a while I like to switch things up with a pair of trousers. There's something so sharp and smart about a pair of trousers that's tailored to perfection. Lately, I've come to appreciate the beauty in a pair of pants. What's prettier than a pair of pants billowing in the wind? I fall hard for beautiful clothes and silhouettes that look even prettier in motion. This little skirt (click link) is the perfect example.

I have been wearing these J. Crew pants nonstop. I found them hidden away deep on They feature so many things that I love- a touch of ankle, a fabric that's suitable year-round, a lining. A lining! When did properly lined clothing become such a novelty? I'm generally sized out of pants at J.Crew,  but l I knew these pants would be worth having my tailor rework. They're perfect for these fleeting transitional weeks. As soon as Fashion Week ended, New York had a very sudden taste of chilly weather. I wore these trousers with one of my favorite cashmere sweater jackets. This week has been warm and extremely humid, which calls for these trousers being paired with airy silk blouses. 

Here I'm wearing my trousers with a 3.1 Phillip Lim silk blouse that I picked up from the showroom shortly after Phillip Lim started his line. 3.1 Phillip Lim's Spring/Summer 2012 collection was one of my favorite shows of the week, however I'll always have a weak spot for his early collections. As Lim puts it, "3.1 is about clothes that refine instead of define. A refinement that's a bit classic in attitude, but imparts a sense of individual style, without looking or feeling forced. Confident, unidentifiable, chic and most of all effortless." I tend to gravitate to 3.1 for blouses and dresses that have a certain New York polish, but are also fashion forward or directional. I like that this blouse has subtle feminine details like the puffed sleeve, the front keyhole and ladylike peplum detail (this is not something I usually like, but it just works here). 

PS- My pumps are a very rich chocolate brown. I have a penchant for pairing rich brown with black and navy and black. 

September 19, 2011

Beauty Talk- Aesop Nolita

Courtesy of Aesop 
"Simplicity, good taste and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money." Christian Dior 

Happy Monday! What better way to start the week than with a little beauty talk? I had the pleasure of attending the Aesop (click link) Nolita Press Preview and the opening celebration for their first standalone New York store. Those who know me will attest that I'm not someone who needs to be present at every fete, but this is a brand whose sensibilities appeal to my own. This brand, just gets it. 

To me, the epitome of chic is being impeccably well groomed, which begins with skin care. The majority of beauty products I rely on, were introduced to me by my mother- a repository for beauty information. I've adored a few Aesop products for some time, however it's nice to be able to experience the products in a standalone store at home. In addition to style/fashion, literature and fine art, I enjoy health and wellness. The use of plant-based ingredients and anti- oxidants is what initially drew me to this line. These products are meant to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise and treating your body well. 

Courtesy of Aesop
Courtesy of Aesop
The Nolita store reflects the sense of calmness that is intrinsic to Aesop. At first glance, I loved how familiar the store felt from my travels, yet it's unique. Each Aesop store is designed to acknowledge the history of its' city. It's only fitting that the walls of Aesop Nolita are made from reclaimed copies of The New York Times. A brilliant nod to the brand's love of intellectual curiosity and writing. The lovely General Manager of Marketing, Pascale Thouzery took me around the store. We started with the products that I'm loyal to- the body balms, Fabulous Face and Primrose Facial Oils. I have very few skin care concerns, however I tend to rely on products for sensitive skin. I find myself constantly looking for products that deliver hydration. 

Pascale led me to the Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream. I was very keen to trying this product, because it contains Chamomile. Chamomile is a key ingredient I look for in beauty products (along with shea butter)because it's incredibly soothing. I like that the cream can be combined with the oils to provide added hydration. Combining the hydrating cream and oils is something I would use a few times a week during the warmer months, or at night during the winter. Being able to combine products is a hallmark of Aesop's products. I have been using the Camellia Nut Facial Hydrating Cream all week, and in addition to my skin feeling really nourished; the aroma is quite relaxing. The store is pint-sized so you get the attention you need. The employees want you to take your time and try the products before committing to purchasing.

My Personal Photo
My Personal Photo
Later that evening, I enjoyed appetizers and Australian wine. It was just the perfect low key way to celebrate such a highly anticipated opening. The store looks immaculate and it was so nice to see so many people floating in and out; on a perfect late summer night. The generous team at Aesop was incredibly kind and gifted me with their New York Travel Kit. We all know how sought after their travel kits are. I'm enjoying my familiar products and trying a few new ones. I highly recommend popping into this gem, if you're in the area. 

September 16, 2011

Opulence and Restraint

Chanel Necklace 

As much as I love restraint, every wardrobe needs a little opulence too. The key is knowing how to balance the two. This necklace is precisely one of those pieces that stands on its' own. It becomes the focal point of any outfit, so the key is keeping the rest of my look very simple. A dramatic piece doesn't need competition. Generally, I'm drawn to very delicate fine jewelry, but there's something refreshing about a piece that doesn't feel too precious to be worn. 

This piece has been safely tucked away for me since last winter. It finally feels like it's mine. It's a pin, but years ago I learned from a Chanel PR executive that Chanel pins are meant to double as necklaces. This necklace feels decidedly Fall. The dramatic black tulle reminds me of cooler weather. It's a bit melancholy. I can't wait to pair my necklace with Chanel 's Tulip Noir nail polish. I'm a pale pink polish girl, but Tulip Noir is my go-to nail color for evening events in the fall. 

I was inexplicably drawn to this piece. I instantly thought of a few pulled together sheath dresses in my closet that could play perfectly with such a gorgeous piece. Now, I'm just waiting for a little autumn air.

September 13, 2011


Rachel Roy Silk and Cotton Blouse, Rachel Roy Skirt, Kate Spade Shoes

Despite all of the hustle and bustle of New York Fashion Week, I could not forget that Sunday was the tenth anniversary of 9/11. As much as I love September and late summer, 9/11 always looms on the calendar. I've gone back and forth about posting about 9/11. My blog provides inspiration, frivolity and a dose of happiness, but it's also a reflection of me. 

While growing up, my father would tell me stories about his watching the World Trade Center go up, from across the Hudson. It took six years for the first building to go up and people were transfixed by the construction. I always found this amusing because the World Trade Center seemed like it had been there indefinitely to my childhood eyes. The towers were my marker. Easily identifiable in the skyline; when you spotted the towers you were headed south. I loved the chaotic pace of offices. As a family we would visit the World Trade Center shops or pass through the towers in route to other destinations downtown. My aunt worked at the World Trade Center, so there was a familiarity. My aunt was working in the World Trade Center during the 1993 attacks and had to be evacuated. I was too young to remember much about the 1993 attacks, but my aunt was shaken, but safe. 

September 11, 2001 was a beautiful Tuesday late summer morning. There was a perfect blue sky. It was the era of Rudy Giuliani; and the city, for better or worse, had a grittiness. I remember, coming out of my first class and running into a classmate who was hysterical. I remember she was so upset that I couldn't process what she was telling me. She grabbed my hand and I remember entering a classroom with a TV just as Flight 175 hit the second tower. 

I'm not comfortable with going into great detail about that day, but I'm from an area that saw a lot of loss of life. I called my parents on their various phone lines, but the phones were jammed. It would be late in the evening when I was able to get through. I alternated calling my parents while shaking and watching it all unfold. Then the tower collapsed and I felt paralyzed. I clasped my classmates hand and prayed for all of the people we knew who worked and passed through those buildings.  

The coming days and months were very touch and go. My best friend insisted on sleeping over because she couldn't get in touch with her dad. I found it hard to sleep for months. I would close my eyes and think of the acrid smell that lingered or the smoldering rubble. No one wanted to be alone. There was this sense of taking things one day at a time. The city and the world changed. I'll never forget all of the missing persons notices posted downtown, and how they weathered and stayed up until they turned to dust; or my brother's classmate, who after a few days of not making contact with her father, was asked to provide his toothbrush to aid in the identification process. It was purely terrifying. Sadly, it's a feeling that too many people throughout the world have felt. 

In spite of all the grief, I've encountered many stories of hope. The punctual family friend who never hops off the train in the morning, but hopped off that particular day because she wanted a bottle of water. The neighbor who took the longer route to work just because... For every story of heartbreak, I know someone who has triumphed and used this tragedy to relish the simple things. People who have changed careers and found a way to feel more fulfilled. People who spend more time with their families because they realize just how special that is. September 11th humbled us. 

I think it's important to take a little time out to reflect. So, this is me, spending a little time at one of my favorite peaceful spots. Everyone needs a peaceful spot. I'm wearing a Rachel Roy silk and cotton blouse and a Rachel Roy skirt. Both were purchased a few years ago. The line has been rebranded from a designer line into a contemporary line. It's a line that I like for its' femininity and subtlety. I love that she did pleats before they were a trend. There's something  classically beautiful about Rachel Roy's clothes.  Utter frivolity, but sometimes you need the little things to pull through. 

September 10, 2011

Happy Fashion Week!

Via The Coveteur

Happy Fashion Week, lovelies! Or shall I say Happy Fashion Month? My week was expectantly busy with lots of running around the city (in heels no less), but I wouldn't have it any other way. Seeing all of the hard work that goes into every aspect of a show makes me appreciate designer clothing even more. I kicked off New York Fashion Week at a fete in celebration of Aesop's Nolita store. More on this soon, but Aesop is a welcome addition to one of my favorite shopping districts. I can't think of a better way to spend the eve of Fashion Week. 

This image from Britt Aboutaleb's shoot for The Coveteur has been saved in my inspiration folder for months. I've been meaning to frame a few special Fashion Week and party invites for some time. The Coveteur provides endless inspiration, but I love how Britt framed the invites from her first season of Paris Fashion Week shows. At the time she was covering the collections for Teen Vogue and Fashionista and was unsure that this amazing opportunity would present itself again. I find this endearing in an age and industry where people feel so entitled. There's nothing more stylish than having grace

Grace is the tipping point for me. It's such an integral part of having style and yet in the midst of Fashion Week it's easily forgotten. When everyones' nerves are taxed it never hurts to be the girl with the welcoming smile or the person who takes things in stride. After all there's a whole team of people who pour everything they have into these shows. 

September 7, 2011

The Lightweight Scarf

My Personal Photo

West African Scarf, Allude by Andrea Karg silk and cotton scarf, Cotton scarves from Paris

One of my favorite things to bring back from my travels is a scarf. Perhaps it stems from my love of fabrics and textiles. It's hard to resist exquisite fabrics and artisan craftsmanship. I have been relying on these lightweight scarves to get me through the end of summer. I'm never without a wrap or scarf to ward off the chill. A wrapped neck always makes me feel warm and cozy.

These scarves are relaxed, but easily add a bit of polish to any outfit. All summer I have been wearing my purple scarf with navy; the flecks of metallic gold thread are subtle, but add a special touch. The beige check and striped scarves pair well with crisp white. Lightweight scarves in breathable natural fabrics are key transition pieces as the weather grows cooler. 

I always enjoy tying my scarves in new ways and perfecting my knots. I like my scarf tied with a nonchalant ease that still looks neat. A scarf is one of those small details that completes a look. I'm looking forward to wearing these as much as possible over the next few weeks. 

September 4, 2011

Inspiration On A Weekend

Via Lachlan Bailey for Vogue UK

It's the unofficial last weekend of summer and I'm loving every minute of it. I have been looking forward to this three day weekend for quite some time. A weekend spent in K Jacques and lightweight breezy little dresses. Labor Day weekend is always a nice little calm before the storm. Even though it's hot and I'm counting on at least a few more weeks of summer weather; slowly my mind is drifting to autumn.

When I saw this shoot in Vogue UK weeks ago I filed it away under autumn inspiration. Lachlan Bailey captured the elegant ladylike style that feels authentically me. I can imagine myself navigating the city in these looks. There's a quiet assurance and a confidence to these "grown up" looks. The ever enchanting Arizona Muse makes this editorial all the more stunning. Don't you just love her?

It's nice to come across an editorial that instantly makes you feel at home. Ladylike style is having a moment right now, but truthfully I'll take these looks anytime. Give me a crisp breezy day, a skirt in a subtle length and a drapey blouse to ease into fall.  

How's your weekend so far?

PS- I know a lot of people are shy about embracing this skirt length. A tad shorter would be more suitable for me, but I enjoy wearing a variety of skirt lengths with the exception of the maxi skirt. The maxi skirt looks fabulous on others, but just doesn't work for me.