Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The edgy Rodarte sisters are now equally known in the fashion and film worlds.  Following their popularity as costume designers for the "Black Swan" movie, they have collaborated with the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) on an installation of their famed costumes for the film.

Rodarte: States of Matter from MOCA on Vimeo.

The following photos from the MOCA show the amazing costumes eerily floating in space.  Ethereal White Swans in a lit, white room.  Powerfully demented Black Swans in the dark.

This might warrant a visit to the Pacific Design Center.  The exhibition is on until June 5th, 2011.

(All images in this posting from

For more on the "Black Swan" and "Rodarte", check my previous postings;

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Street style voyeurism is in, as we all get fashion ideas from real people.  OK, so Parisian models during Fashion Week don't count as "real people".  But let's pretend they walk through our neighborhoods too.

from Paris Fashion Week
photo from the UK Telegraph
I just love this lady's sheer skirt hinting at her endless leggings underneath.  And the tough leather topper is wonderful contrast.

This sheer street trend is making me hunt for my sheer, floor length wrap skirt.  I used to wear it over black slacks, just like this look, way before it was trendy!  But now, I simply cannot find it in my closet.  I need a better closet.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Everyone is adding a pop of red to their outfits these days (or so all the blogs show me).  Hmmm ... maybe this is a trend.

It made me pull out my red, doctor's bag.

My red doctor's bag

Since contrast is the current name of the game, and Celine had some lovely examples from Spring 2011,

Celine Spring 2011
cream leather top
red contrast waistband on slacks

I pulled out my buttery, leather Barney's coat.  Can you see red now?

my red doctor's bag
against my old, buttery leather Barney's coat

Color is still BIG for spring.  It's terrific armor against those spring showers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It is pouring outside.  As I head out to meet with architects, I decide to throw off their zen designs by donning huge swathes of colorful solids.

My orange, rabbit fur scarf
The dress got wet in the rain!

I had completely forgotten about my orange, rabbit fur scarf from Vail until I saw Prada's Cat in the Hat fur accents.

Prada Spring 2011
color blocked dress with dyed Cat in the Hat furs
It's color blocking mad!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Ladies with DSLRs, we can now go beyond flak jackets and masculine, black nylon cases.  Finally, we have a handful of camera bags choices to go with whatever chicness you have going on that day.

The latest to enter the market is a top loading camera bag from a blogger, Andy, at


So cute, with the chain link strap and snakeskin embossed leather!  (Wish I'd seen this way before.) Great for when the camera is all you need.  In fact, great even without the camera.

Acme's bowler bag is another cutie.  This adorable, tomato red bowler might actually assuage my nostalgia for Prada's vintage bowlers.  (Can't you just see yourself in a full skirt toting this bag?)  This bowler is deceptively small -- it can take your DSLR with lens attached, plus stow another lens beside it.

Acme bowler-style camera case

For larger bags with more compartments, I looked into Dre Hartmann, newbie to ladies' camera bags.  Their Cameron model has a rugged stylishness to it.  Hartmann's luggage-weight canvas and two-tone designs give them a timeless, "Out of Africa" feel.

Dre Hartmann Cameron camera bag

On a recent trip, I needed a lightweight equipment bag -- large enough for an extra telephoto lens, battery charger, other accessories PLUS my purse, iPhone and personal items.  Dre Hartmann's Monaco bag was my entire carry-on.  In fact, an extra lens pocket couldn't have been a better water bottle compartment.  (But don't spill on your camera)

Dre Hartmann Monaco camera bag

Extra bonus: external zip compartments masquerade as leather trim.

In a pinch, while searching for a camera bag, I found a second life for my Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag.  Great for lugging around camera equipment, plus your kids' snacks & activity books.  I was transported.  The messenger bag slung across me made me feel like a hip, young mom again.

Petunia Picklebottom
Messenger style diaper bag
(convertible back pack)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Who doesn't love designers at Target prices?  (Tar-jhay to the pretentious, hopeful the outfits' humble origins will elude detection).

Target's designer collaborations over the past 5 years have been so successful that Target has re-issued some of its best dresses for a limited time, currently available now.

Re-issued Target collaborations
L-R: Thakoon, Tracy Feith, Alice Temperley, Libertine

Cute and affordable!  Best of all, fuss-free.  Who wants to dry clean in the summer?

I came away with the Thakoon batik dress and the Tracy Feith white, corset sundress -- so Dolce and Gabbana! -- before they got sold out.  Target Collaborations often do, sometimes getting resurrected on eBay.  There are more dresses from Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Jovovich-Hawk ... the list goes on and on.  Beware that some of the fabrics looked quite cheap, so I opted for the weightier, cotton ones.

I also grabbed the floral Tracy Feith below (featured in Elle) -- reminiscent of bygone East Coast summers when Kate Spade or Lilly Pulitzer ruled.  Very preppy with pearls and a floppy hat.  Not that I'd wear it that way.

Re-issued Target collaboration: Tracy Feith

But what I am really very excited about is the upcoming collaboration with Calypso St. Barths!

Target collaboration: Calypso St. Barths

Target collaboration: Calypso St. Barths

As Iman famously said, "I never met a caftan I didn't like."  Neither have I.

Calypso goes live on May 1st.  There may be nothing left by May 2nd.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Right now, I am just loving the classic Black & White combination for spring.  We even saw it continued for the Fall 2011 collections, propelling the trend towards minimal and graphic color blocking.

See the detail from Celine's Fall collection:

Celine Fall 2011

Hmm, I am especially fond of that doctor bag shape she's carrying.  

For those, myself included, who have been overusing our black turtlenecks, BCBG Max Azria now allows us to layer our white turtlenecks under black outfits.  No longer do nuns and priests have sole claim to this sartorial look.

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2011

BCBG Max Azria Fall 2011
But remember to add some heels or slick boots.  You're aiming for sexy, not saintly.

The great thing about black & white is that it can be easily achieved through layers.  The outfit doesn't have to come all "done" like a pair of spectator pumps.  Of course, it is nice to have the black-white accent put together already, like this clutch:

Rebecca Minkoff
chain-strapped clutch

Pulling off black and white is angst-free.  Coco Chanel taught us how to do it --timelessly -- with ease.  If all you have is black, it's can be as simple as adding strands of pearls.

Coco Chanel, archive photo

* Runway photos from

Monday, March 7, 2011


Okay, I am having a design crisis.  I have re-modeling projects in mind and cannot find an interior designer in the area who can articulate my vision.

Your home style should be as deliberate as your fashion style.  It need not be singularly monotonous -- I mean, we all enjoy tinkering with different looks -- but it should reflect YOU.  More than any specific style, I prefer unique and clever design.  It can be minimalist, baroquely intricate, or artsy bohemian, but always with a twist.

Architecture and interior by Frank Lloyd Wright

My preferred starting point is clean, modern, but not boxy lines.  Then, add warmth with richly-hued wood and introduce texture with stone.  It's beginning to sound like a Frank Lloyd Wright creation.

However, I get excited by eclectic furnishings, art and even flea market finds picked up from adventures around the world.

Moroccan interior design

It adds dimension, color and texture to the space.  For this reason, I often introduce leather, furs, and exotic fabrics into my outfits.

Mexican interior design

This brings me to the dearth of interior design firms in my neighborhood with that kind of portfolio.  There is, however, a plethora of design firms that  do traditional, overstuffed chintz or California Mediterranean.  I'm depressed.

Clothing is so much easier to deal with.  No need to outsource!

We haven't even gotten to exteriors yet.

Falling Water
architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright

Write to me if any of you have design firm ideas ...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Now that Steve Jobs has personally unveiled Apple's latest technological triumph, iPad enthusiasts may not only be upgrading their iPads but also their cases.

Understated elegance is yours with YSL's and Hermes' covers if you believe the leather should outprice the hardware.  Just the thing to whip out with ladies who lunch in Upper East Side Manhattan (but do they know about the Apps?).

YSL iPad cover

Hermes iPad cover

Savvier fashionistas might enjoy the bright, easy wipe factor of Burberry's case,

Burberry iPad cover

not to mention a more equitable case-to-iPad ratio.

Of course, the local Apple stores have plenty of attractive iPad covers under $100.  There is a plethora of colorful choices over the web too.  

I think my kookier, techie friends will probably be drawn to Headcase's Etch-A-Sketch cover.

Headcase's Etch A Sketch iPad cover

No, those knobs don't really work and you can't shake it to turn it off.

FYI, my good friend suggested I put my blog in the bloglovin site, so you can follow it there:

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