Marwari jewels

Vermillion Marwari

Vermillion Marwari—the pink details slay me

Hermès Marwari Shawl in Vermillion/Cobalt/Brun

Hermès Marwari Shawl in Vermillion/Cobalt/Brun

A close up of the central Marwari horse

A close up of the central Marwari horse

Given how much time can pass between AA posts these days, some posts just need to revel in beauty.  If you’ve been following the thread at the Purse Forum about the Hermès F/W 2014 scarves and shawls, you’ve seen how fully the Marwari design has captured my focus this season.  If not, then prepare yourself.  It’s a stunning display of color . . .

The most recent piece has been the Vermillion Marwari shawl.  I don’t think there’s a more perfect shawl for me in existence.  In every way, it fits me—my complexion, my adoration of Rajasthan, my wardrobe.  It’s the sort of piece that makes me wonder if I could throw everything out and live simply in it.

It also created a devastating revelation: Hermès cashmere shawls give me hives.  Okay, not hives—but certainly red, itchy bumps.  This shawl was the worst of them, but it’s evident across the board that there’s something in the fixing of the dyes (or the dyes themselves) that are very irritating to my over-active, delicate skin.  After reaching out to other scarf owners, as well as visiting Hermès to ask in person, I took the plunge—or, rather, the shawls did, right into a bucket of water.  Washing them helped immensely, but what a fright!  It gives me pause about adding others as they remain slightly irritating some days . . .

The Marwari shawls: violet, vermillion, bleu roi, rose vif, and jaune vif

The Marwari shawls: violet, vermillion, bleu roi, rose vif, and jaune vif

Nonetheless, I adore these dearly and pull them out almost everyday.  Look at them!  How can one resist?

And the small collection of Mawari 90cm dip dyes: Bleu Pale, Vert Tilleul, & Grenadine

And the small collection of Mawari 90cm dip dyes: Bleu Pale, Vert Tilleul, & Grenadine

In fact, I think resistance can come only through another Marwari format: the 90cm silk dip dye.  I cannot describe the suede-like softness of these.  Words would fail.  So instead, I’ll indicate actions.  First, I brought back into my wardrobe the aubergine Brides de Gala dip dye that’s been at Jan’s Its-All-Goode for the past year—how fortunate for me it was one of only two scarves that didn’t find a new home.  Second, I also started collecting another design: Jungle Love.  That’s right. My scarf drawer has suddenly exploded with 90cm silk scarves.

They feel so good against the neck.  And the colors . . . I can match them with the shawls.  That way, my neck never need have red cashmere bumps again . . .

The final Marwari in my collection this season (so far?)—the bleu pale with mauve and bronze details (worn simply with a striped tee)

The final Marwari in my collection this season (so far?)—the bleu pale with mauve and bronze details (worn simply with a striped tee)

It’s rare that Hermès—or any fashion house—brings back our most favored design or piece.  I have three more Marwari pieces—nope, just two now, as I purchased the bleu roi shawl this Saturday—to see from this season, and then I’ll have considered them all.  I may—or may not—bring more into my closet.  I’ll have to see. I’m saying I’m finished now(!).  No matter what, I can’t imagine being more delighted than I am already.

Do you have a deeply held favorite design by a house, whether Hermès or another?

Posted in Hermès, Scarves

Final Days of a Lingering Summer

A late summer day of shopping: Vanessa Bruno navy silk dress, Navy Kelly 35cm, and Les Sportives 70cm scarf

A late summer day of shopping: Vanessa Bruno navy silk dress, Navy Kelly 35cm, and Les Sportives 70cm scarf

Summer has seemed endless this year.  Even this past week in mid-October, the temps have gone above 70F and the humidity has resulted in t-shirt weather.  That makes these photos not seem so out of step as I feared they would be.  From light silk dresses to light white cotton blouses, it’s possible to traipse about with very little on the shoulders . . .

A small aside for all you bag lovers: the 35cm navy box Kelly I acquired early this summer has been a treasure.  I was ready to give it up (since I aimed to buy a 32cm instead), but I’m so glad it didn’t happen.  I often use it as my city day bag, complete with computer and Ulysses MM.  When paired with an Evelyne cotton strap, it’s light on the shoulder.  If you’ve ever been fearful of a 35cm sellier Kelly—that it would be too formal—I can assure you it’s not.  I wouldn’t hesitate to find another.

Bryant Park, September 2014

Bryant Park, September 2014

Bryant Park, September 2014

Bryant Park, September 2014

Central Park, September 2014

Central Park, September 2014

Close up of the Marwari and Licorne . . . such beautiful colors . . .

Close up of the Marwari and Licorne . . . such beautiful colors . . .

These colors put me in the mood for strawberries!

These colors put me in the mood for strawberries!

A late summer lunch date: Licorne shawl, Marwari bag, IdlF tan trousers, and Zadig et Voltaire white blouse

A late summer lunch date: Licorne shawl, Marwari bag, IdlF tan trousers, and Zadig et Voltaire white blouse

I am fortunate to believe, upon seeing these photos of a lunch outfit from last month, that nothing could be more beautiful than this Licorne shawl.  I think that’s when we know something is right.  When we’re sure it must be the most beautiful thing in our home, even if surely there’s other equally beautiful things to be found there.

Maybe that’s what we should aspire to always: that everything we own make our hearts leap at its beautiful or perfection, making it seem the one.

Let’s celebrate that.  I would love to hear what that singular piece of perfection is. Oh—and you’re not limited to naming just one.

Posted in Daily Vestment, Hermès, Scarves, Vestiary

Autumn Dressing: Zebra Pegasus, Stripes and Wings

Hermès Zebra Pegasus shawl in rose, red, and black

Hermès Zebra Pegasus shawl in rose, red, and black

Hermès Zebra Pegasus shawl in rose, red, and black (with snakeskin print DvF wrap)

Hermès Zebra Pegasus shawl in rose, red, and black (with snakeskin print DvF wrap)

I know—it’s been a while .  In truth, I’m surprised it’s not longer, but I was so tired tonight, I decided to close up shop at a normal hour and just breathe.  Damn the work.  Playtime is not a luxury, but a necessity!

And I fortunately have lots of pictures to share, because I’ve been playing in the scarf drawer and larger closet a lot these past few weeks.  There’s something truly invigorating about new scarves.  We hear all the time about the rejuvenating powers of accessories—and every word is true.  As I look at the fall/winter wardrobe slowly slipping into the closet, I find few things I probably need.  A couple pairs of dark jeans.  A mid-weight coat to replace the gray wool one I finally let gracefully (not) go.  Maybe a down vest or coat.  But that’s it, no matter how much the itch to shop happens.  So that opens the way to be truly indulgent in accessories, and especially in the silk or cashmere type.

One of the favorite pieces I’ve picked up in the early fall has been the Zebra Pegasus GM shawl in a combination of red, rose, blue, and black.  It truly goes with almost everything, from casual to dressier, and I love how it matches my Raisin Trim II perfectly.

A bit more of the scarf details—plus the Raisin Trim II 35cm in Epsom

A bit more of the scarf details—plus the Raisin Trim II 35cm in Epsom

A bag and scarf matched in heaven

A bag and scarf matched in heaven

Zebra Pegasus Shawl on a casual day in the city

Zebra Pegasus Shawl on a casual day in the city

Zebra Pegasus Shawl with Ratan bag

Zebra Pegasus Shawl with Ratan bag

I wore it with the DvF dress to one of the many networking coffees and lunches I’ve been doing a lot of lately.  I wore it with jeans and a cheapie black bag when doing some general errands.  I also wore it several times (when something works, repeat!) with Issey Miyake pleats and a trench during bad storms.  In fact, I’ve been wearing it so much, I boxed it up a week or so ago and promised myself to wear something else.

The Zebra Pegasus design is one of my favorites from the Fall/Winter 2014/15 collection.  In both 90cm and 140cm sizes, it’s stunning.  Yes, yes, yes, I’m tempted by the smaller silk twill; in fact, I want three (at least).  Plus another GM.  Will I restrain myself?  Believe me, I’m trying—this collection has so much temptation in it.

I know I can be slow to reply to comments these days.  Please know how much pleasure each of your messages brings me, especially as I crawl out from under the work load burying me.  This month has also been full of surprise adventures—from a full cup of coffee dumped on my computer keyboard (believe it or not, I saved it! I think—I’m working on the computer now) to a private reception for the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition, and from nights drinking cider at the Met to a long visit from my mother.  And the second half of October holds more fun to come, from a reception for the Met’s Cubism exhibition to a special scarf event at Hermès.  Fun, fun, fun.  I’m snapping pictures all the time, so I’ll be sharing more shortly!

Have you been able to try the Zebra Pegasus design?

Do you wear Zebra stripes in general?

Posted in Bags, Daily Vestment, DvF, Hermès, Scarves

Autumn Dressing: Maxi Twilly Edition

Rainy Day—Vanessa Bruno trench, Issey Miyake Pleats Please Trousers, Black Box Kelly 35, and Carré en Carré Maxi Twilly

Rainy Day—Vanessa Bruno trench, Issey Miyake Pleats Please Trousers, Black Box Kelly 35, and Carrés en Carrés Maxi Twilly

Detail: Hermès Carré en Carré Maxi Twilly in Violet/Rouge/Noir (but don't quote me on that!)

Detail: Hermès Carrés en Carrés Maxi Twilly in Violet/Rouge/Noir (but don’t quote me on that!)

September was a busy, busy month, and October will be even busier.  But it wasn’t so busy I couldn’t play with my scarves—I’m loving this return to an original sartorial passion.

Among the scarves I pull out most often are the Maxi Twilly.  This format is spectacular.  I admit, I rolled my eyes when Hermès rolled it out, but once I finally started playing with them in the boutiques, I was smitten.  Few pieces feel as easy or, truly, as Frenchie jaunty when knotted simply around the neck and left to flutter off-center.  They also make incredible obi-style belts, though in the recent month, I’ve been keeping that silky coolness close to the neck.

Warm Day—same Issey Miyake Pleats Please trousers, Uniqlo IDLF linen/cotton tee, black Kachinas Maxi Twilly, and Ébene Picotin PM

Warm Day—same Issey Miyake Pleats Please trousers, Uniqlo IDLF linen/cotton tee, black Kachinas Maxi Twilly, and Ébene Picotin PM

Issey Miyake Pleats Please Skirt, Uniqlo linen sleeveless blouse (tied at the waist), Rouge Kachinas Maxi Twilly, and Poitron chèvre Trim 1

Super Warm Day—Issey Miyake Pleats Please Skirt, Uniqlo linen sleeveless blouse (tied at the waist), Rouge Kachinas Maxi Twilly, and Poitron chèvre Trim 1

Isabel Marant ecru jeans (yes, I wear them a lot!), beige kurta, & Black Kachinas Maxi Twilly

Isabel Marant ecru jeans (yes, I wear them a lot!), beige kurta, & Black Kachinas Maxi Twilly. The fact alone that this Kachinas works so well with them makes the noir Kachinas a piece that will see heavy rotation.

The 2 Kachinas side by side—adore this format

The 2 Kachinas side by side—adore this format

These are three of the four Maxi Twilly in the closet (the fourth being the blue Brides de Gala shown last month with the blue skirt), and the thing I find most delightful about them is the fun.  There’s something about this style of scarf that encourages playfulness—in colors, in motifs.  I find myself pulled especially to the bright ones, like the brilliant-hued Carrés en Carrés from this current season.

And yes—Issey Miyake Pleats Please are becoming a strong part of my everyday wardrobe.  I don’t know how to describe the wearing of his clothes—they are lightweight, perfect for rain, flutter in the breeze, swing with your walk, and are hands-down the easiest clothes in the world to wash and drip-dry.  Highly encouraged.

What do you think of the Maxi Twilly format?

Posted in Daily Vestment, Hermès

Between-Season Dressing: Isabel Marant Embroidered Jeans

A favorite pair of jeans from spring and summer—Isabel Marant cream jeans embroidered with butterflies and flowers—layered with linen jacket, textured cotton blouse, Hermès Jamdhani stole, and Roger Vivier bronze flats

A favorite pair of jeans from spring and summer—Isabel Marant ecru jeans embroidered with butterflies and flowers—layered with linen jacket, textured cotton blouse, Hermès Jamdhani stole, and Roger Vivier bronze flats

I have a theory:

All of our favorite wardrobe pieces most likely work together.

I’m not saying the result isn’t crazy sometimes, but I’m hoping all our wardrobe favorites add up to something beyond safe anyway.

This theory came up for me as I confronted the closet this week.  In-between season dressing is tough.  As the weather transitions from hot to cooler, I often stand in front of the closet with a big blank for what to wear.  Maybe it’s that classic symptom of having not shopped strategically enough.  This summer brought stunning, fun, and versatile pieces into my wardrobe, but I never found the time to just sit and figure out how it all works together.  But the other reason is just as true, and maybe more so: When I’m working so hard, it’s nice to grab a combination of pieces I know works.  Less energy spent on dressing = more energy to spend on editing and business.

As the weather shifts, some much-missed clothing staples return to the closet, like the shearling fur gilet and jacket.  But I’m not ready to give up on my summer favorites, especially when mountains of work kept me inside for most of those warm days.  I didn’t get to wear out my new treasures!  Yesterday I decided to make this week all about the last hurrah—i.e., pulling out my absolute favorite clothes from this summer and giving them one last go before packing them away.

First up are the Isabel Marant ecru skinny jeans embroidered with butterflies and flowers.  Sigh.  How I love these.  Only Isabel can make embroidered flowers and butterflies feel cool.  But it was cool yesterday as I worked with all the windows open, so I needed the jeans to work with the falling temps.

I pulled out other absolutely favorite pieces: the ivory/gold Jamdhani, the Roger Vivier bronze flats, and the Baccarat gold scarabee necklace.  I also pulled out a soft, textured cotton top (H&M Consciousness collection) that didn’t see much action once temperatures rose (it’s thick fabric).  Last, I pulled over it all a long linen jacket from Eileen Fisher that I recently got to replace a much-missed cotton jacket from India.  I literally wore the Jaipuri jacket out, and the holes and stains were not attractive.  It took three years to replace, but this replacement is perfect.

All in all, this combo was a delight to nest in while working through an early autumn day.

Closer look at the textures—this is all about the feel of the different fabrics, set against the crispness of a crystal necklace

Closer look at the textures—this is all about the feel of the different fabrics, set against the crispness of a crystal necklace

The two embroideries together—Hermès Jamdhani and Isabel Marant flowers

The two embroideries together—Hermès Jamdhani and Isabel Marant flowers

The play of the gold in the scarf with the gold in the necklace . . .

The play of the gold in the scarf with the gold in the necklace . . .

But then the experiment got me to thinking.  Is it possible to push the embroidered jeans further into autumn?  In other words, is it possible to take a spring garment and just keep wearing it until the bitter winds hit?

Well, let’s see.  For the fifteen minutes of sunlight I get in the apartment right now, I first replaced the top with an Uniqlo black cashmere tee.  Yum.  Now that creates a soft nest of cloth . . .

A simple change . . . pulling on a black cashmere tee in preparation for autumn

A simple change . . . pulling on a black cashmere tee in preparation for autumn

So that seems like a good start.  But that long white Jamdhani . . . that feels spring/summer or “special occasion in winter” to me.  How about a different scarf?

I pulled out the new vert tilleul Marwari dip dye.  My first thought: the salmon of the scarf could echo the blush of the embroidered flowers.  My second thought: the unique green of the scarf evoked the fading green of summer and could maybe bring out the bronze of the ballet flats and my hair.  It’s an odd combination, but sometimes odd makes an outfit a little more interesting.

Replacing the cream and gold Jamdhani with the vert tilleul Marwari dip dye—it pulls out the salmon pink of the jean embroidery

Replacing the cream and gold Jamdhani with the vert tilleul Marwari dip dye—it pulls out the salmon pink of the jean embroidery—and the dip dye and the bronze ballerinas are a match made in heaven

Such soft textures all around

Such soft textures all around

A final touch: layering on the shearling Mongolian Princess jacket in place of the long, linen duster . . .

This is an outfit I would throw on for taking tea and pastries with friends during a final sidewalk-sitting-cafe visit.

Pulling on my favorite shearling Mongolian Princess jacket

Pulling on my favorite shearling Mongolian Princess jacket

That experiment was so fun, I decided to try another real quick.  What about something for visiting Chelsea or Upper East Side art galleries?

Well, if avant-garde art is on the agenda, then avant-garde Japanese pieces seem fitting.  One of the delights of my summer spending has been tentative steps into Issey Miyake Pleats Please.  I’ve been testing these out for years and years (Issey Miyake was the focus of a chapter of my Master’s Thesis), but I’ve never had the courage to take the plunge.  Here’s one of the initial pieces that entrapped me:

But what about something more avant garde?  Like Issey Miyake and the graphic play of Hermès Kachinas

But what about something more avant garde? Like Issey Miyake and the graphic play of Hermès Kachinas

After changing out the bronze flats for simple black ballerinas, I changed out the dip dye for the ebene/soeil/corail Kachinas Maxi Twilly recently found at Wall Street.  Yes, this is the same as shown beautifully on MaiTai—It’s been on my must-get Maxi Twilly list for a while, but after she posted it, I knew I couldn’t delay any longer since she sometimes causes stampedes to the scarf counter.  I adore the Maxi Twilly format.  It feel effortless to wear.  I did a simple wrap here, folding carefully to get more of the playful Kachinas.  The goal was to use the scarf to echo both the graphic quality of the top and the playfulness of the embroidered jeans.

The final adjustment was made to incorporate a warm layer for chilly afternoon breezes: I wrapped the scarf tighter around the neck (tying in the back) and slipped on the shearling jacket.

Wrap the Kachinas Maxi Twilly tighter around the neck and pull on the Princess Jacket

Wrap the Kachinas Maxi Twilly tighter around the neck and pull on the Princess Jacket

But, I asked, can all this be made simpler and very casual.  What about weekend walks through some woods and leaves?  My answer: replace the black tops with an olive tee-shirt and the black shearling jacket with a stone-colored cotton safari jacket.

But what about something lighter for fall?  An olive tee-shirt and stone cotton safari jacket with black 70cm vintage scarf

Something lighter for fall: an olive tee-shirt and stone cotton safari jacket with black 70cm vintage scarf

This is soft and casual and makes me want to romp in some leaves.

This is soft and casual and makes me want to romp in some leaves.

At first, I pulled on a black 70cm vintage scarf to keep the neck warm, but that felt too cold for me.  I wanted something brighter, more playful and evocative of a personality beyond neutrals.

The answer: the grenadine Marwari dip dye.

Yes, I’m loving these dip dye scarves, even at just 90cm.

Replace the black scarf with the grenadine Marwari dip dye and the tone shifts dramatically.  It both edgier and a lot more fun.  But then, I think everything is better in red.

Replace the black scarf with the grenadine Marwari dip dye and the tone shifts dramatically.  Edgier.  But then, I think everything is better in red.

So that was my few minutes of experimentation.  I documented it initially just to save some ideas on my computer for when I feel in a rut.  Then I thought it might be fun to share some of my thinking process when standing in front of my closet.

What favorite summer piece are you wanting to extend into autumn?  How would you do it?

Posted in Daily Vestment, Hermès, Scarves, Wardrobe Update