November 28, 2011

Back In The Game

My Personal Photos
Chanel Necklace, Petit Bateau T Shirt, Rebecca Taylor Jacket, Carven Skirt, Wolford Velvet de Luxe Tights, Miu Miu Shoes

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Leave it to me to get sick just in time for Thanksgiving (and my whole family being together). I'm rarely sick, so you can imagine my disappointment. I've been stretching myself a bit thin and it finally caught up with me. It was a good weekend for catching up on a few good books in between bouts of fatigue. The always lovely Ammu recently reminded me of my love for Yves Saint Laurent Style by Hamish Bowles. I hadn't picked it up since the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective* and it was just as enjoyable. 

As the title of this post suggests, these photos are from my first foray out all weekend. An unusually balmy weekend was perfect for a stroll to see all of the holiday decorations. This Carven skirt is still one of my favorite autumn pieces- it just feels special. I've been extremely impressed with the quality of the Carven items I've purchased. They're doing something right over there. I've been playing around styling this skirt with different jackets. 

This jacket is lined (which has sadly become a rarity) and is the perfect nubby tweed that autumn wouldn't be complete without. Even more impressive is the fact that this jacket hasn't pilled. I have no tolerance for pilling. Please tell me that someone else has this aversion. We all know I love my natural fabrics, so I was delighted that corners weren't cut there. Now if only autumn decides to make a return. 

*So glad the retrospective is finally traveling and to a few unlikely cities. Taking in the enormity of the exhibit (in an empty Petit Palais) with the gentleman was the perfect way to while away an afternoon.

November 24, 2011

Hello Lovelies

Via *Bon*Chic*Bon*Genre*

Hello lovelies. Happy Thanksgiving to my dear U.S. readers. It's only fitting that we announce the giveaway winner on a day devoted to gratitude. I have so much to be thankful for; including my insightful readers (each and every one of you) and all of the opportunities that this blog has given me.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I loved reading each and every one of your sartorial inspirations. I'm sure I'll return back to them from time to time. The diversity of your responses is what makes blogging so fulfilling. I enjoy the open dialog that we have. I hope this blog continues to be a great place to exchange thoughts.  

As for the lucky giveaway winner; I wish I had more books to give out, but I only have one. Congratulations to DRIFTERQUEEN. Drifterqueen, please email me your address. I hope you find Balenciaga and Spain as wonderful a read as I do. Curling up with an inspiring fashion tome and tea seems like the perfect way to spend the remainder of my evening. 

November 20, 2011

Un Petit Bijou- Best Of The Web #41

Via Be In Style
Hope everyone had a productive week. Benefit season is in full swing in New York. For me, the third week of November is always devoted to making sure the benefit for one of New York's oldest and most revered non-profits (mentioned here and here) goes off without a hitch. Despite months of planning, there are always last minute seat changes and auction items that comes in. Add in a few unexpected projects and last minute meetings; and this week has left me a bit frazzled in a good way. 

What a pleasant surprise when the sweet staff at Be In Style emailed to let me know that my blog was one of their recent Best of the Web picks. I'm humbled. In the midst of a busy week it's so nice to hear that my little blog inspires. As for the benefit- I'm over the moon. In this economy, when it's harder than ever to get people and corporations to give, we managed to have more people attend. To date our benefit raised $679,975, which means even more children will be helped! So inspiring.

November 15, 2011


That Collar 
The bobby pin as a barrette
The requisite bouclĂ© piece- Moschino Dress and Celine Kitten Heels
The Peter Pan Collar- Louis Vuitton
Via Self Service No. 35- More images here

Since we're on the subject of inspiration and so many of you have been sharing what inspires you (keep them coming, I love reading them), I had to share this shoot from Self Service Issue No. 35. Full disclosure- one of my childhood friends holds a very fancy title at the magazine, so perhaps I'm partial. There's just something about this editorial that I keep coming back to. It's all very subtle, but there are so many little things that I find utterly charming. The bobby pin as a barrette. The heavy eyeliner. The windswept hair. The requisite bouclĂ© piece to guard against autumn's chill. The peter pan collar. The diaphanous sleeves. The sculptural and voluminously shaped coats, suits and dresses. I could go on and on.

This shoot evokes the melancholy and mystery of long autumn afternoons. While crossing Central Park en route to the "Wonder of Age" exhibit at the Met* I was instantly reminded of my love for this shoot. While this editorial includes several of my favorite designers of late (Celine, Chanel, Lanvin, and Miu Miu to name a few), it's the spirit of the shoot that speaks to me. Can't you just imagine everyone having too much fun on set? I usually find nostalgic shoots to be a bit too staid, but this one hits the mark.

* I highly recommend "Wonder of the Age." It's such a treat to see so many superb masters in one exhibition and to finally dispel the long held western notions that these great works were made by unknown artisans. 

November 11, 2011

From Me To You--- A GIVEAWAY

My Personal Photo
If there's one thing I love, it's a good book. I grew up surrounded by books and reading everything I could get my hands on. To this day, I love bookstores and libraries. That new book smell is heaven. I enjoy collecting books and was very excited to add Balenciaga and Spain to my collection of fashion and style books. There's no better way to unwind after a long week, then with a good book.  

I know I've mentioned how inspiring I found the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit and the resurgence of mid-century couture silhouettes, but this book continues to make me dream. I own a few wonderful books on Balenciaga, but Balenciaga and Spain really considers the rich Spanish heritage, culture and fine art that influenced so much of his designs. Since I enjoy this book so much, I'm giving away a copy to one lucky reader. You all have supported and inspired me so much over the past few months, and I thank each and every one of you for reading this wee little blog.

My Personal Photo
To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below letting me know what's inspiring you sartorially. For those of you that like to comment anonymously, you'll have to include your email address as well. If you're inclined you can follow me on Bloglovin' and Twitter. That's a lot of Lindsay K (smile)!

The giveaway is open to readers WORLDWIDE and the winner will be drawn at random. All entries must be posted by 11:59 EST on November 21, 2011.

Good luck! 

November 8, 2011

You Had Me At Hello

My Personal Photo

Hope you're all having a good start to the week. Here's a peek at one of two pairs of Yves Saint Laurent shoes that were a birthday gift to myself. Is there a better way to celebrate a birthday? These shoes had me at hello. I'm fastidious when it comes to purchases and often come back to the items that first caught my eye. I LOVE a patent leather pump. The rich teal color is unexpected, but works seamlessly with my fall color palette. Sometimes I like to balance a simple outfit with a bold shoe. 

I wasn't convinced on the stacked heel loafer prior to trying these on, but surprisingly they flatter my feet. I love how versatile these shoes are. I've already worn them with a several of my tailored dresses and they look just as polished with my off duty uniform. 

Have you been pleasantly surprised by any recent additions to your wardrobe?

November 6, 2011

How To: Care and Maintain Cashmere

Via Indigo

It's only appropriate that we follow up the How To: Shop For Cashmere post with a post on care and maintenance. I really enjoy taking care of my garments. The other day my friend questioned if the dress I was wearing was new. The dress is several years old, which made my friend exclaim that "my clothes always look new because I take care of them so well." I only buy items that I love, so I feel inclined to take care of my wardrobe properly. If cashmere is cared for properly it can last a lifetime. These tips apply to wools in general. 

Dry Cleaning
My dry cleaner is invaluable to me. A good dry cleaner is aware of stains, loose buttons, and stray threads before you point it out. I dry clean a lot of my cashmere, but I'm aware that hand washing is best. Dry cleaners use all types of chemicals that break down fabrics over time and release pollutants into the environment. 

It's important to me that my dry cleaning is done on site and not sent out to a  large facility that exposes workers to high levels of chemicals. I'm  lucky to live in a place with so many environmentally friendly dry cleaners. Purchasing high quality cashmere and working with a talented dry cleaner has meant that I've seen no pilling. I've never had to use a sweater comb.

Maintaining Cashmere On Your Own
Sure, there are consequences to caring for cashmere on your own. If you wash cashmere incorrectly you could end up shrinking your sweater into something a small child could wear. As long as you keep the following in mind you can't go wrong:

*Always wash cashmere in tepid water (30 degrees). Cashmere should never be exposed to direct heat. Heat = shrinking. 

* Wools are extremely elastic. You shouldn't wring or stretch cashmere. Wringing or stretching cashmere when wet can permanently pull your garment out of shape. I would also recommend waiting a day between wearing your cashmere, to give the fabric a chance to return to its' original shape. 

* Dry cashmere flat. 

Hand Washing 
Cashmere will last longest if gently hand washed. Wool fibers are covered with microscopic scales that fuse together when sweaters tumble in a washing machine. Prior to hand washing, de-pill with a sweater comb if necessary. Examine your garment for stains and pre-treat with a stain treatment if necessary. Make sure your sweater is buttoned or zipped if applicable. Buttoning or zipping will help the sweater retain it's shape. Turn your sweater inside out

Fill a basin of cool tepid water with two capfuls of The Laundress New York Cashmere Wash. I highly recommend The Laundress New York specialty detergents. They are eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable, dye and allergen free. The Laundress cashmere products use extracts of lavender, which naturally repel moths.

Immerse the sweater in the water and press gently with your hands. Let the sweater soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Make sure that you don't stretch your garment. 

Rinse the sweater thoroughly. Press out excess water taking care not to wring or squeeze. Avoid putting your garment directly beneath running water, the pressure can cause stretching. 

Once you've squeezed out all the water, lay the sweater on a towel (a white towel will prevent dye from being transferred to your sweater). Carefully roll the towel and sweater together to press out any remaining water.

Let your garment dry flat on a drying rack. Never hang cashmere- it will stretch out the shape. Make sure that your sweater is not in direct sunlight or heat. 

Once your sweater is dry, steam it to remove any wrinkles. Steaming is a great way to freshen up garments between washings. Ironing cashmere on the wool or steam setting works just as well. 
Cashmere should always be folded. I like a tight board fold with the heaviest sweaters stacked at the bottom. 

Store sweaters carefully during the off season. Any pulls in the fabric should be taken care of immediately before they grow. Always clean items before storing. Perfumes, deodorants, body oils and lotions are food for bugs. Ideally sweaters should be stored in cotton storage bags that zip. Cotton allows garments to breathe and bugs can't eat through it. The Laundress Cashmere Spray is a natural bug repellent and a nice way to keep things fresh. 

I make my own lavender sachets to tuck into sweaters when I'm not wearing them. I'll do a post on how to make my lavender sachets. They're also charming for tucking into a lingerie dresser.

A  cedar chest is also a great place to store cashmere during the off season. 

These are just a few tips that I hope are useful. Please feel free to share your cashmere care and maintenance tips.