Monday 21st April 2014
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Print of the week extended play version: stripes with a difference

 

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These all go pretty far out on a limb, but it’s almost the weekend and I’m feeling wild and dangerous. This rather elegant silk Raquel Allegra top is just about the most grown-up execution of  tie dye I’ve ever seen, and don’t you think blue and green is a combo we don’t get nearly enough of?

stripestsumori

I am fully prepared for some of you to mock me for this choice—and even more when I tell you it’s a dress. But when I look at it I see the most lounge-able summer piece ever, with excellent leggings-and-boots potential for fall.

stripesmarc

Stripes of just about any other color here would be rather nuts here, but you almost can’t miss with red on leopard.

Posted on June 20th, 2013 9 Comments

Cheap and chic of the week

hmbag

Lose the dinky-looking chain, and we’re talking rock solid French fashion editor territory.

Posted on June 14th, 2013 1 Comment

Kids these days

Screen Shot 2013-06-09 at 6.57.30 PMInspiration struck rather unexpectedly on Sunday, in the form of my ten year-old nephew Eli—a boy whose interest in clothes is negligible, but whose ensemble had a doesn’t-even-know-how-cool-it-is vibe that I found quite winning. First off, he was wearing this red, white and blue striped t-shirt, which looked like it had been plucked right off of Peter on just about any episode of The Brady Bunch. It’s like the perfect kid’s T-shirt ever, pretty much.

isabel marant top

But possibly a touch on the butch side for me. I’d go for something like  this ribbed Isabel Marant  top, which feels quite appealingly Jan. (Two more options: This baseball-sleeve version from Edith Miller; and a somewhat dressier silk one from Equipment.)

tom binns shark fin

Around his neck on a length of leather, Eli wore a shark’s tooth he’d acquired at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! gift shop.  A very appropriate accessory for sleepaway camp—where he is soon headed—but this pave version from Tom Binns feels somewhat more me-appropriate.

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As for bottoms, that’s where the inspiration pretty much peters out: Eli had on those highly synthetic knee-length  shorts that basketball players wear, and I’m not sure there’s a  way to work any version of that item in here and still take myself seriously as a human being. I might instead go with a subtly contrasty pencil skirt like this one, with very small dots that will not compete so grandly with the stripes for attention. This quiet/loud approach is a nice way to introduce the whole clashy-clashy thing into your repertoire. But maybe you’re way past all that. In which case: this.

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Or you might try J. Brand’s skinny cargo jeans, which sound scary but are actually quite flattering, especially if you—as I so often recommend—size up.

Posted on June 10th, 2013 2 Comments

Print of the week

givenchy-paisley

Sometimes, we love things and we don’t even know why.

Posted on June 5th, 2013 12 Comments

Going deep with Vera

jane Fonda

Jane Fonda in a Vera beach towel

As a younger woman, my mother was quite big on collecting: antique scrimshaw objets and tortoiseshell jewelry she’d picked up on annual buying trips to London* cluttered her dressing area, as did enamel deco pendants, chatelaines, and big stacks of bakelite bracelets. And in an upstairs closet was what I’ve come to believe was her most brilliant collection of all: shopping bags from stores in every city she visited throughout of the 60s and 70s (check out the amazing archival shopping bag blog Bagatelle for a sense of why it kills me that Mom offloaded them all before I had any sense of their genius).

I didn’t inherit Mom’s collecting gene—I lack both the sentimental streak and laser-like focus that seems so central to that mindset—but I do have an abiding affection for textiles and good graphic design, which is why I sometimes find myself trolling Etsy’s selection of vintage items by Vera Neumann, collecting for pretend.

tie your scarf

Vera Neumann invented the signature scarf, and went on to design hundreds and possibly thousands of them. She was trained as an artist, and believed her pieces were in their way all small  works of art, reasonably priced and accessible to many.  This is the cover of a mini-booklet that probably came bound in with a fashion magazine back in the 1960s, and I love it unreasonably.

cotton vera

Because Vera scarves were priced for the people, you can still find many of them online, in vintage stores and at fleas, for very decent prices.  I’ve been looking for cotton scarves for Cancer Friend—she started chemo this week and has no interest in a wig—and this seems like it could be good for some laughs.

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Obsessed.

lucky fish

The print on this (alas, no longer available) vintage apron is classic Vera.

vera dress

As is this rather astonishing dress, complete its trademark Vera ladybugs.

vera tea towel

Look how she out-Scandinavians the Scandinavians with this tea towel.

vera book

Vera the book—I’m not sure I can’t.

 

 

*She owned a wonderful boutique for many years, and yes, that explains a lot. 

Posted on May 31st, 2013 12 Comments

Cheap and chic of the week

zarasandal

I know, enough with the Zara already. But I have seen pretty much precisely these sandals at three times the price—wouldn’t it be terribly wrong not to share that with you?

Posted on May 31st, 2013 8 Comments

It’s the little things

cottonblouse

Nothing says summer like a white-on-white embroidered blouse, fun and geometric and light as you please.

Posted on May 29th, 2013 3 Comments

Crazy or cute?

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I am not unattracted to these Superga platform sneakers.

Posted on May 23rd, 2013 27 Comments

The piece that makes the outfit

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 2.55.21 PM This morning I appeared on a panel with a few other women, and they were all quite smart and uniformly stylish—it’s easy to forget just how well New York women turn it out for the office every day when you longer have to turn it out for the office every day—but there was one woman in particular who caught my eye. Not the one wearing a straight-off-the-runway dress—although she did  look perfectly smashing. Or the one successfully pulling off the tricky combination of a white top with a cream skirt—although she, too, was a vision. No, this woman was wearing what were all quite straightforward pieces, but she finished the look off with one deathly awesome accessory, with which we all became transfixed. And which I will get to in a moment. First, I’m going to cheat slightly, because she was wearing a shortish little striped dress sort of like this, which was cute for her twentysomething  self, but maybe a little young for our purposes. So here’s a nice linen tee that keeps the stripes where they belong: up top.

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And then, just because clean lines are nice, a smart little pencil skirt. I like this one because it’s a cotton/spandex mix, which allows for such essential activities as breathing.

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 2.47.06 PMThis stylish lady had on a lightweight cropped leather jacket, which is a look I love, and the more lightweight the better: wear it unbuttoned  and just like you would a cardigan, with dresses or jeans or whatever, indoors or out, and it’s the chicest thing ever ever ever.

zarasandals

And then: THESE sandals, which I wish you could all have been there to see in person, because I fear that only their craziness comes through here, and not their stone cold crazy perfection.

Posted on May 21st, 2013 13 Comments

Print of the week

mermaid

First of all, can we take a moment to appreciate the work of feminine wonder that is the shirtwaist dress? An A-line is maybe the world’s only uniformly flattering skirt cut, and the waist cinches at exactly the spot where most of us are smallest. It’s styled a little prim here, but this is actually exactly the kind of easy dress a woman with a woman’s body can feel pretty all day in.

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And the print! Mermaids!

Posted on May 21st, 2013 2 Comments