Thursday 24th April 2014
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Thursday trifecta: black and gold


DL & Co make the candles I am most likely to select on aesthetic grounds alone, and this one—called Essence of Florets, which I’m sure also smells quite lovely, for those of you who prioritize such things—is a perfect object lesson in why.

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The animal drawings on these coasters are so moody and wonderful.

waylande bear

I dig midcentury sculptor/ceramicist Waylande Gregory’s plates, even though they are on the fussy Palm Beach side of things, because they’re also rather witty. This fearsome tiger  is a delight.


Thursday links

trash bags

  • Pretty art made from trash bags (Visual News)
  • Some very funny commercials for HBO Go based on the premise that it can be on the awkward side to watch some of the cable network’s racier content with one’s parents. Mildly NSFW. (A.V. Club)
  • Super-cheap British high street chain Primark is headed to our shores. (Atlantic Wire)
  • I never love Jon Stewart more than when he speaks up for the ladies. (Daily Show)
  • And relatedly: everybody is applauding Emma Stone for going after her Spiderman co-star (and boyfriend) Andrew Garfield at a recent Q &A  for referring to sewing as a more “feminine” avocation. Do you think she has a point? Or—in a world where, say, quilting is widely acknowledged  to be a women’s tradition and nobody makes a peep—is she missing it?  (Time)

Would you?

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Tribeca Mom did. And it actually totally worked on her, because if there’s anyone who can carry off a floral so crazy it almost makes your eyes hurt, it’s a WASP.

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The fact that the rest of her outfit spoke very quietly helped. First up: this silky, drapey navy tee.

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The earthy tone and casual slouch of these army green chinos helped balance all that drama up top.

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Finally,  TM had on tassel loafers from Dieppa Restrepo, which of course looked completely nifty on her, and contributed nicely to the dressed-down mood of the ensemble. I could not in a million years—loafers make me feel like a stump and I’ve always thought I would try tassels never. Could you? And the jacket?

Inspiration of the day


diane keaton kenya bag

I’m liking the current proliferation of bright, stripe-y Kenya bags: they’re like an update on that fantastic one Diane Keaton used to carry around her tennis racket in Annie Hall.

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This one from Clare Vivier is like a portable good mood.

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A less beachy, more off-to-the-greenmarket-y version from J Crew.

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A bit on the preppy side of things, but just clean-lined enough to carry to work if you chose to.

Wednesday links

girls run the world

  • These vintage ads reconceived with pop culture figures of today amuse. (Laughing Squid)
  • Very clever: Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are reuniting to critique outfits at the Kentucky Derby for NBC. (Racked)
  • When are blooper reels not dorky? When they’re Josh Charles  blooper reels from Amy Schumer’s show. (Pajiba)
  • A bunch of old movie sets, and what happened to them. (Atlas Obscura)
  • Apparently, we have learned an enormous amount about the way dogs think. Cats, not so much. (Slate)


5 items the Saks sale makes it much harder for me to say no to

It’s raining Friends and Family events right now, and this week Saks* is having its turn, offering 25% off much, but alas not all, of the store (many major designers have exempted themselves, and beauty is not on sale, as it never is, at any department store—except, I am reliably informed, Nordstrom, sometimes). Still, as is my wont, I had no problem at all finding plenty to desire.

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A jacket from French brand Iro is a fabulous thing, but only starts to make sense at a discount.

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Lizard-print Helmut Lang sandals I can already picture wearing every weekend all summer.

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Stupidly expensive R13 jeans. Stupidly expensive even marked down, but my favorite brand, and a guilty pleasure I was too embarrassed to share the other day (possibly because it would expose that I was being a little elastic with the truth here*). But the denim is amazing: it has the feel—as no denim does anymore—of the jeans of our youth. (I consider this especially noteworthy because they’ve got some stretch in them, and I’ve always assumed the reason our jeans all feel cheesy now is because of all that spandexy stuff.) Were I to splurge right now on a new pair it would be  cropped one, which would look as great with boots right now as it will with sandals later.

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A flowy, silky, junk-hiding top from Joie. They specialize in them.

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 The Alexander McQueen leopard skull scarf I  have only wanted forever. I have a hunch fashion people think it’s the most tired thing in the world, and I care not.

*Just type FRNFAM at checkout.

Cheap and chic of the week

ann taylor platform

This platform is a real classic of the genre, and comes from Ann Taylor, who are always surprising me with their accessories.


Monday links

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  • There’s a guy in the Netherlands who has a collection of 1250 flight attendant uniforms from 450 countries. And because life can sometimes be very kind, he’s catalogued them all online.  (Dangerous Minds)
  • Michelle Obama is going to guest on Nashville—something I can not picture, as hard as I sit here and try. (Vulture)
  • 90s girl band Veruca Salt is back together, recording new songs and preparing for a summer tour—which does my aging indie rocker heart good . (A.V. Club)
  • Men and women have nightmares about totally different things. (Mental Floss)
  • Your morning silly. (Time)

Another week, another leopard print

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The king of the animal prints never looked more elegant than it does on this black on black coat— currently on sale (but, buyer be warned, still priced on the investment side of things) at Sandro.

Into the fray

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My new local Sephora  is on a particularly frenetic block of Lower Broadway in Soho, and it’s never not mobbed. Because of this, I have taken to leaving to the last minute my visits to stock up on essentials. So last Friday, when I discovered that my Josie Maran Argan Oil was down to its last few precious drops, I steeled myself for the journey.

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True to form, the place was in deep lunacy mode when I arrived. I soldiered through the crowds to the Josie Maran area, procured my oil, did a quick scan of the shelf to see if there was anything new, and found this: Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil. While the notion of oil on your lips might at first seem rather ick, the stuff actually feels really light and much less gloppy than gloss (alas, on the cheeks, I found it a touch heavy).  I bought a tube in a shade called Always Cherry, which is actually as pink as it is red, and pleasantly sheer.

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Until I was 40 or so, my makeup routine consisted of taking a quick mascara swipe at my lashes before I ran out the door. These days, mascara application is but one of several steps in my maquillage, and it is always accompanied by eyeliner. I mess around with new ones from time to time, but always return to YSL Eyeliner Effect Faux Cils Shocking, because instead of a brush, which can be so challenging for the unsteady-of-hand, it has an actual felt tip, and is therefore much more difficult to mess up. One tube lasts for an unsanitarily long time, and I was well overdue to pick up a new one, so into the basket it went.

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Lately, in the interest of saving time, I have graduated (or regressed) from eyebrow pencils to Gimme Brow from Benefit. It’s actually a gel packed with microfibers that help create the illusion of a fuller  brow, and it comes with the eensiest little applicator you’ve ever seen, and it is simple, simple to get right.

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Then it was off to Zara across the street, because if there’s one Lower Broadway store that is more insane than Sephora it is Zara, and I suppose I figured that since I’d already gotten my head into the right place for Lower Broadway crazy, I might as well go for it. I saw some cute stuff—and as usual, found their selection of  jackets and coats to be superior to anything else in the store; they’re just of a higher quality—and then I spied this little baby and just about died. It’s kind of Isabel Marant-ish, but reminds me even more of Dries Van Noten, who does such great things with ethnic beading and embroidery. And it’s got everything I dream of in that type of piece: strong, graphic patterns, a tight, bright color palette, and a clean, minimal cut. I grabbed one in a size medium, made for the nearest mirror, whipped off my coat and slipped the jacket on (my policy at Zara is to avoid the dressing room experience at all costs). It looked fantastic, but felt tight in the shoulders. I asked a nearby sales associate if they had any larger sizes, and she responded that it only came in small and medium. Under any other circumstances, this would inspire my righteous indignation—any retailer who makes a garment in just two sizes isn’t thinking right about the American market. But I was so obsessed with this jacket that all I could wonder was whether it might be worth it to give up a considerable amount of range of motion in order to wear it every once in a while. I didn’t buy it, but had a feeling I’d be back.


There were other stores I might have checked off my Lower Broadway list—Uniqlo, H&M, even the mini-Bloomingdale’s—but this seemed like a good moment to quit. So I cut over to Crosby Street, one block east of Broadway and largely untrodden by the Sohotic masses. There are some great, non-chain-y stores on Crosby—beauty emporium MiN New York,  jeweler Jill Platner, designer Tess Giberson. All tempting, but I just kept walking, until I came almost to the end (technically, the beginning) of the street, where you can find the menswear and surf shop Saturdays Surf. I visit a few times a week, because they brew cappuccinos that taste just like Italy, have a staff of uniformly attractive young men, and let me bring in the dog. There’s also a courtyard out back for enjoying your coffee, and a young hipster DJ who is almost invariably playing the Doobie Brothers (ironically? I’ll never know).  Some days I’ll linger, but today I got my cappuccino to go and kept on moving. Visions of that crazy perfect jacket dancing in my head.