All the Pretty Windows

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Chanel

Chanel

Dior

Dior

Dior

Dior

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Baccarat

Baccarat

Baccarat

Baccarat

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Chanel

Chanel

Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

It’s Monday.  That means the same thing for me as it means for you.  Work.  After a full weekend off, I’m feeling far more accepting of this fact than usual.  Plus it was full of sweets (yes, I have pictures).  But still, we all deserve some pretty as we dive back into all the chaos.

How was Easter?  Ours was great (see comment about sweets above).  A friend came in town, and we all went to a birthday party of one of the most fabulous women I know after visiting some galleries on the Lower East Side.  Pictures to come.

On the sartorial front . . . I brought said friend and MP into a West Village show store to get their opinions on Birkenstocks and Tom’s Easter afternoon.  Fiasco.  Both hated both on my feet.  And to be frank, I just looked in the mirror astonished at the ugliness of my feet—as if it were my feet’s fault it wasn’t working.  So sad.  My feet felt fat.  Humph.  Do you know what has been working this spring for my feet and walking?  1.  The Patagonia Maja ballerinas I posted before.  Once I slipped in a layer (or two) of moleskin padding around the toe boxes (the challenge of any shoe is the boniness of my feet), I can walk in these for HOURS without thinking about them.  2) Stubbs & Wootton slippers.  I loved, loved, loved my leopard print Jimmy Choo loafers, except for the fact the heel is awkwardly designed (no actual heel) so that I wore HOLES into the back edges.  Even before tossing them (they were also the only shoes I’ve ever had that actually molded)  (that’s disgusting), I was on a search for comfortable slippers.  The Stubbs & Wootton come very, very close in terms of comfort with the extra bonus of leather soles and true heels.

So . . . rub it in . . . Can you do Birkenstocks and Tom’s?

Posted in New York

Eco Consciousness

Embroidered Silk Trousers—H&M Eco Consciousness Exclusive collection SS2014.  With IDLF Uniqlo white tee and K Jacques golden sandals

Embroidered Silk Trousers—H&M Eco Consciousness Exclusive collection SS2014. With IDLF Uniqlo white tee and K Jacques golden sandals

H&M finally got me in their Fifth Avenue doors.  All it took was an exclusive Eco Consciousness collection.

One of the interesting things this spring has been my sudden run on high-street collections.  First the Inès de la Fressange collection at Uniqlo (I’ve gone back twice for a few more things), and then came the Consciousness Exclusive collection from H&M just a few weeks later.  Had I not been living in NYC, I wouldn’t have shopped either, if only because sizing is really an issue for both.  But I am living in NYC, and both are the quickest metro pit-stop away, so here I am.  The owner of a rather wholly brand-new spring/summer wardrobe on a budget.  Let’s repeat: On a budget.  Any minimalist will (should) roll their eyes, but over here in maximum-ville, I’m clapping.  Wildly.  Because I’m honestly in love with what I’m finding in the wallet-friendly stores these days.

The embroidered trousers . . .

The embroidered trousers . . .

A close up of the hem area . . . swoon . . .

A close up of the hem area . . . swoon . . .

And look at that finishing . . . I never see this anymore (okay, I also don't buy trousers . . . )

And look at that finishing . . . I never see this anymore (okay, I also don’t buy trousers . . . )

Some tops from the collection . . . a white cotton blouse, a cream cotton top, and a silk top

Some tops from the collection . . . a white cotton blouse, a cream cotton top, and a silk top

Close up of the cream cotton top . . . this is seriously, seriously so, so, so soft

Close up of the cream cotton top . . . this is seriously, seriously so, so, so soft

The glorious back of the white cotton top . . . look at those gathers!

The glorious back of the white cotton top . . . look at those gathers!

And then check out this seam for the gathers.  This was an inexpensive top, can you believe it?

And then check out this seam for the gathers. I can attest—due to spilled drinks during a full-on crazy night—that this washes exceptionally well.  It might be my favorite blouse right now.

If you haven’t heard about the “Exclusive” Consciousness collection at H&M, there’s a reason.  It sold out in a few hours, especially online.  I chugged on over there about an hour after H&M opened, and the whole thing was half gone.  By the time I left, there were but a couple of racks, rather than a full display corner.  Oh my.  I pulled things from the racks with the speed of a cheetah and high-tailed it to the fitting rooms.  And then stupid me gave things back I was iffy on, thinking I could try on other sizes and do some comparison shopping.  Slaps forehead.  Still, I came out with four of the five things I wanted (research pays off!) and the additional item of the trousers.

I think the thing that really surprises me—when I went that day and even now as I handle the pieces—is how beautiful the fabrics are for this collection.  It might even explain why the stock was so low; there’s no way H&M can regularly offer this and still turn a profit.  I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks—the sort that makes me wonder why I didn’t just do a business degree and pursue the corporate ladder, because working for “myself” doesn’t feel all “perk” filled.  So I paid out the nose (i.e., burning midnight oil) just for the chance at seeing this collection.  And it was worth it.  The minute I touch the cottons for the blouses, not to mention the silk of the trousers, I am swooning.  When doing research online, I kept wondering: Would things just look or feel crappy when actually examined in real life.  The answer is no.  It was hard not to buy duplicates (when possible).

Off the shoulder true cotton lace blouse

Off the shoulder true cotton lace blouse… Again, the cotton here is SO, so, so soft.

The back zipper detail with the grosgrain ribbon

The back zipper detail with the grosgrain ribbon

The voile cotton lining and grosgrain interior trim of the cotton lace blouse

The voile cotton lining and grosgrain interior trim of the cotton lace blouse

And then there’s the lace, much less the embroidery.  Lace has been high on my lust list since winter.  Carven made me long for it, but I balked at the prices since the colors were so trendy.  This particular off-the-shoulder cotton lace blouse was the real impetus for trekking to H&M that morning.  I melted online.  And in real life . . . I’ve already worn this out for drinks.  It’s built like a corset (for good or for bad) and I foresee many, many spring and summer evenings so dressed.

Blue cotton embroidered jacket

Blue cotton embroidered jacket

Detailing at the cuff...

Detailing at the cuff…

The sweep of the back...

The sweep of the back…

The blue embroidered jacket might be my favorite piece.  It fits like a military brigade piece—tight around the chest, but with wide arm holes and curved arm seams for ease of spear throwing.  I’ve always wanted a jacket with this cut along the arms—a classic Balenciaga sort of sweep.  This might be one of the most decorative, well-fitted jackets I’ve ever owned.

I promptly wore it grocery shopping.  (Ahh, the glamorous, working girl life.)

I thought I’d just overload this post with photos since I haven’t been around much these couple of weeks.  If I don’t do it now, it might never get done.  The only shame is that this collection wasn’t widely available—and isn’t still available for purchase.  Otherwise I’d seriously recommend everyone hunting it down.  But as of the release day, pieces were being uploaded on eBay at triple the profit, and I don’t care to support that.

If the Ines de la Fressange collection at Uniqlo was about glorious basics you wear everyday (and I do), this one is about statement pieces you wear with those basics.  Because of that, a little goes a long way in an ensemble.  That’s why I’m thinking of pairing the trousers with simple tees and the like.  What do you think?  Or are they just too much, even for an evening party?

What do you think of “eco” collections?  By H&M or anyone?

Posted in Vestiary

Striped Spring

With Spring in the Step . . . JCrew striped dress (last year's) and Wolford lace capris

With Spring in the Step . . . JCrew striped dress (last year’s) and Wolford lace capris

Yesterday (Saturday) in NYC brought temperatures breaking 70F.  With the sun shining bright, it was the perfect day for an afternoon walk even if I was working all day and all evening on various things.

The first days of spring tend to incite an adventurous spirit.  Sartorial fantasies build over the winter—the sleeveless fluttery blouse, the thin linen pants, the billowy dress, the ballerinas and sandals—and finally we can indulge.  So when the temperature hit so high this Saturday, I found myself wanting to break out of my norms and wear an entirely new combination.  I wanted a sartorial adventure.

I have a love for shorter dresses . . . the proportions just look better for my shorter legs.  That doesn’t mean shorter dresses always flatter me, though; like many women of my age, the bumpiness of the thighs can murder any ideas of really showing off the legs.  As a result, I have a few dresses hanging in the closet that I’ve never worn.  Sacrilege.  So while the snow still lay upon the ground, I grabbed a couple pairs of Wolford’s lace-edged capri tights.  I’ve watched women wear capri tights with dresses and tunics for years now, but I’ve never indulged myself.  Time to try it out!  I felt a little ridiculous, but it was also very freeing—no need to worry about walking up and down metro steps or about the wind blowing!  I paired the combo with some simple ballerinas from Patagonia (so very casual) and the indigo barenia Evelyne bag.

Despite it seeming so early in the spring season, I already can’t show my face to the sun.  Sunburn!  Because I’ve been having some big-time sensitivity issues with my skin this winter, I’d been avoiding even my lovely sunscreen.  No more—I simply can’t do it.  But in combination with the sunscreen, I picked up this hat (what’s the style???  I don’t know the name) from H&M earlier in the week.  I love it.  I had to get it super tight so it won’t blow off my head—which means I can’t take it off or else risk showing all the indentions on my forehead (I’m so pretty), but it’s definitely a feel-good hat.  For $13, it’s a steal.  Between sunscreen, hat, and big sunglasses, even my prickly skin is revealing its paleness again.

Today (Sunday) promises more beautiful weather.  I have more work to do all day, but I plan to indulge in another, even longer walk.

How has the adventurous spirit of Spring moved you?

Posted in Daily Vestment, Vestiary

A Moment of Kitty Zen

The dear one . . . finding her perfect place

The dear one . . . finding her perfect place

A moment of kitty zen . . . because this week, I need it.

How about you?

Posted in Aesthetic Life

Day at the Ritz

DvF wrap dress (with blouson sleeves), Ralph Lauren shearling gilet, Wolford net tights, YSL boots, and Hermès Indigo Chèvre 37cm Drag II

DvF wrap dress (with blouson sleeves), Ralph Lauren shearling gilet, Wolford net tights, YSL boots, and Hermès Indigo Chèvre 37cm Drag II

Ahhhhh . . . the sweetness of silk and shearling and leather together

Ahhhhh . . . the sweetness of silk and shearling and leather together

Thank you so much, everyone, for helping me celebrate my most recently found perfections.  I know it’s not world peace, but it does make me more peaceful inside to know something is right.

And talking about right, it help underscores the joy I have inspiring the creativity of others.  That’s really my core aim in my everyday life; it’s my work and it’s my way of navigating in the world.  So it gives me exceptionally great pleasure to finally meet face-to-face with my writers, and the start of spring is bringing them to NYC one right after the other.  Early last week, for instance, another client came to town.  We’ve been working together for about six months now as she develops a book for women, but this was our first chance to be together in person.  She kindly invited me for a day at the Ritz—and how could I refuse?  From before noon to very late at night, we indulged in champagne, food, and sweets while talking about the inspirations we find as women.  It was a complete delight.

As the weekend tempts, and the fullness of this week here at AA closes, I find myself thinking a lot about pleasure, inspiration, and enjoyment. Enjoying the self, enjoying one’s work, enjoying the feel of textiles and leathers against the skin.  Enjoying the ache of a good walk, enjoying the rain when it hits the hand.  Life is very much a challenge, so it becomes all the more important to find enjoyment where we can.  That can be in a scent or in a piece of silk.  It can be savoring a confection with a beloved and reconnecting with an old friend.  It can be found in taking up a pen to write an actual letter or in tapping away at a text on the phone.

What enjoyment are you rediscovering as springtime begins?

Posted in Aesthetic Life, DvF, Hermès