Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Circle Back to the Real Stuff

The results of Liz Tailor’s estate sale were staggering.  I went to the preview exhibit and was stunned by the massive quantity of things one person could acquire over the course of a lifetime–purely for adornment. Rooms and floors of stuff, stuff, stuff! Former husbands and friends seemed to interpret Liz’s taste differently.  Jackson’s gifts were slightly ridiculous, Todd’s, fairy princess, Burton, serious duchess, and Liz’s own designs were oversized and exotic, like she raided an Egyptian tomb.  

I bet scores of designers are getting out their jewel colored pencils as an ode to Liz.  I’m already reaching for more serious, smaller jewelry, the real stuff, not that I have much!  But I predict that’s a trend waiting to happen.  Hopefully we won’t see jewel studded bolero jackets on the runway for fall 12, but I wouldn’t be surprised, perhaps minus the shoulder pads and riot of colors. As for caftans, bring them on!  Then you can eat your fill of guacamole and margaritas and still look poolside chic. Oh but wait, Liz did get sort of fat… but you can always fit into jewelry…

Saturday, December 10, 2011

See the World on Broome Street

East Broome Street in NYC was our quick world tour as my friend Brigitte and I took in Swiss artist Regis Colombo’s exciting imagery at sohotel – Art Space Gallery.  Each work is dedicated to a city captured in a collage of nuance both subtle and bold. Entitled “Transparencies” Colombo works his magic with camera and mouse crafting layer upon layer of images that dance together in vibrant color and black and white. Now through December 18th the show is mounted in a raw, yet inviting street space of the sohotel.

A perfect compliment to the show is a drink next door at Bar Coffee, The Randolph at Broome.  Here, layer upon layer of booze and bitters make a tasty, colorful work of art you can drink! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

La Dolce Vita at Eataly

If you’re looking for sweets, Italian sweets, sweet living, then and now… Go to Eataly, NYC.  There, you’ll find the sweet life, “La Dolce Vita” in every direction. Eataly is the perfect stage to play out almost any Italian fantasy, especially with regard to food and wine, but it also celebrates La Dolce Vita–love, life, energy, joy. It hums.  Be sure to look up.  Hanging from bars suspended from the ceiling is this wonderful exhibition curated by Marco Panella.  Stars at play and work in Italy during this glamorous decade are on display in a captivating black and white pictorial.  Toast to the likes of Tyrone Power, Mamie Van Doren and, no surprise, Sophia Loren.

Don't miss it. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rachel Moore, Sugar to Plum

Executive Director of American Ballet Theater Rachel Moore came up to the Greenwich Carlisle / per se Showroom not too long ago to check out the fall lines.  I knew the brand would be a great fit for her. When I asked her what her M.O. was in terms of her style and wardrobe choices she said, “I always want to straddle being polished and professional, but not boring.” And because she represents a world-class ballet, she’s got to be slightly “arty” without being too funky or “downtown.”  Imagine, in any given day Rachel might go from meeting with bankers, to a donor’s luncheon to a gala performance.

How does she do it?  She has no apologies about having to change clothes!  Better to be dressed exactly right than having to hodge-podge something together that isn’t perfect for the day or the evening function. This definitely flies in the face of the day-to-evening how-to dressing every fashion journalist has written about (including me!).

If you’re a former ballet dancer, you’re a friend to practice and preparation. Rachel’s packing regime sounds like trying to synchronize the intricate choreography of the four cygnets dance in Swan Lake! She explained, “I’ve given up the goal of traveling light.  I know my schedule before I begin to pack and I literally plot out every outfit before I leave.”  She creates a spreadsheet of what to wear from event to event, including evening bags, shoes–the works. Perhaps she could economize in her packing a bit, but there is no way she’s going with just a carry-on and besides that, as she said, “I want my stuff!”  Who can’t relate to that!

About dressing and the execute man, both Rachel and I agree; they’ve got it easy.  A nice suit takes a guy from boardroom to cocktail party and it’s all good. According to Rachel, “Men are not terribly judgmental of other men, but they are really judgmental of women.  They know when a woman definitely “gets it,” when she’s making a statement that is polished and professional.  Think of Diane Sawyer, she’s feminine, but their is no phony baloney.”  

Shown here is one selection Rachel made at the Greenwich Showroom.  She fit beautifully into everything and it was difficult for us to narrow down the choices into a few outfits.  I think you’ll agree it’s arty without being too funky and it says I mean business, no phony baloney.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mr. Client Needs New Suits

Mr. Client wanted me to meet him at my.suit in the city (NYC) to see how his new custom suit looked and fit. I was intrigued by my.suit's website and Mr. Client had said he was reasonably pleased with the fabric and design choices offered. I was given a quick tour of the store before Mr. Client arrived by Product Coordinator Shao Yang. She explained that there are two tiers of fabrics, both in quality and price points. The mills for my.suit are in Mexico and the suits are made there as well. Mexico's fabric pedigree is rather "quarter horse," not exactly thoroughbred. BUT I liked the fabrics, the hand was very good, the choices great! And the prices were pleasing enough to get me over my fabric snobbery, not Italian, not French, sniff.

The big test came when Mr. Client put on his suit. It was nice, a two button, double vented jacket with flat front pants. Mr. Client had chosen a bright orange lining, sweet! The pants needed tweaking, although not much.

We then collectively, with strong opinions from me, chose three more suits. I was giddy with the freedom to actually design the suits. One has full rein to make an abundance of choices, even down to what thread color you'd like on a button hole. Mr. Client's profession doesn't beg for green seersucker or a navy jacket with orange piping. He's not a JT or GC (guess), but he had found the right place to get something perfectly "suited" (forgive me) for him.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

L'Amour Fou

I saw the Yves movie the other night at the Pelham Picture House. Unfortunately they were playing the movie in their classroom space, which I’m sorry to say, is not a good place to watch any movie. Even a great movie is painful to watch in folding chairs, okay they were padded, but still we had to get up and stretch at one point. The screen is too close and too high and frankly the space just felt odd. I was excited to get Tom to the Picture House (finally) and I was apoplectic about seeing L’Amour Fou, so imagine our disappointment when we found ourselves alone in the “classroom.” Perhaps we could have done more with this circumstance... but well, we didn’t.

As for L’Amour Fou, sorry gals, it’s a rental. There isn’t much fashion in it, however the interiors are deliciously drippy, I thought so anyway, Tom found them to be “High Frog Clutter.” The story surrounding Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge’s art collection and relationship is significant and understanding the life and creative process of yet another “tortured” artist never seems to tire. However there were lots of cliche shots– Berge looking out a window at an ocean view with a worried, longing face... Geez.

While you’re waiting for it to come out on disc, do see the Bill Cunningham movie and Valentino darlings, both grand.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Carlisle / per se

In my introduction about the Carlisle / per se spring lines I talked about how impressed I was with the clothes, the fabrication and workmanship, awesome! The "Summer" collections are cool and I'd love for friends and clients to come up to the Showroom and see these breezy pieces and find out what shopping there is all about. Below explains how the Greenwich Carlisle / per se Showroom shopping is different from "in home" shopping and store shopping.

Sizes: The Showroom has multiple sizes available in each piece. Granted, if you are shopping late in the season your size might be sold out. (Sizes run 0-18)

No Delayed Gratification: You like it, you buy it, you take it!

Fit: A really good seamstress is on premise to make things fit your body perfectly AND that service is free of charge!

Fast Fashion: I can have a dressing room set up and ready for you in advance. We'll talk about what you're after and I'll have sizes and styles ready for you to try on the minute you walk in the door.

Door to Door: Carlisle delivers pieces that stayed behind for tailoring to your door (or porch, or patio)!

House Calls: I can pull things from the Showroom in your size and drop them by your house to try. You drop the "no goes" back at my house. OR we can have an "in home" styling session–different, more fun, a little more money.

Styling: Here's the best part... I've been a fashion stylist for years. I've dressed celebrities, politicians, homemakers, talk show hosts and rock stars; everyone from Cindy Crawford to Whitney Houston to Midori to Natalie Merchant to Guns and Roses. I've dressed models for beauty advertising, editorial and lifestyle shoots. I'm very plain speaking and I know what looks good and what doesn't! You can take or leave my advice, but I WILL give it to you and as long as we're at the Showroom, it's free!

Regret Not!: If something just isn't working for you (and you should love it to keep it), you can return it to the Showroom–no questions, no explanations, money back.

The Skinny on Price: Bargain shopping, it's not. There are no wracks, bins or stacks to sift through. You are not a stock girl. Rather, it's a bit like shopping at a salon depicted in an old movie (but the sales girl isn't trying to steal your husband). Again, the fabrics are from mills in Italy and France. The same ones used by Oscar, Donna and Chanel and the pieces are "built" in Hong Kong. Soooo it's "investing" in fine wardrobe pieces. Dresses, jackets/coats are $450 to $700, skirts and pants about $300, tops $150 to $250.

So I'll call you or you call me (or email) and lets set a date for you to come shop or just check it out. For a quick look-see, links are below, but remember, this isn't everything!

To those of you who have already shopped with me, come see and feel "summer," and please spread the word about your experience.
To those of you finding out about Carlisle / per se for the first time, welcome!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Fashion Icon in Taos, NM, Really!

My Facebook Wall is a buzz with Liz comments, but tonight I'm inspired to write about another fashion icon. Not as flashy or famous as Liz, she preferred turquoise to diamonds. She was blond, a model, artist and serious collector. Her treasure was Indian blankets and Southwestern jewelry. I discovered her while in Taos, New Mexico. Her name? Millicent Rogers.

Sometimes it's a stretch to "find fashion" while traveling. I mean not every place is, well, fashionable and I've got to say; I was thinking that might be true of Taos. I was wrong. Millicent's brand of Park Avenue meets Pueblo is the original bohemian chic and it was in Taos that she developed this style. What's more an entire museum was founded to appreciate the Native American art she lived with, commissioned and collected.

The Millicent Rogers Museum is an easy "to do" on your list of cool places to check out while in Taos. One look at Rogers' jewelry collection will have you grabbing for arrant turquoise in your own jewelry stash and donning huaraches. Channel Millicent and add pearl earrings. Besides the ode to Millicent gallery, there is plenty of serious Northern New Mexican art, rich in colors and textures, to center your psyche in Taos valley.

And lets face it; the real treat of any museum is often the STORE! In our little group was Richard Kessler of the Kessler hotel group. He honed in on the estate pieces of R.C. Gorman, a notable and recognizable Southwestern artist. I particularly liked a square turquoise ring set in gold Kessler picked out. Gold with turquoise is a new combination to me and I like it!

Kessler's good taste and passion for art and design was also evident (lavishly so) at the El Monte Sagrado where I stayed. The challenge with a "destination" hotel, "experiential," to use one of Kessler's word, is to make it authentic, but not entirely so. El Monte Sagrado's "art direction" hit the right chord, just enough country Taos twang but with the luxuriousness of an orchestra back up. I liked it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My new thing...

Most of you know my styling services include personal shopping both with and without the client. I’ve recently added a new fabulous source to my arsenal of shopping venues–Carlisle / Per Se. These two lines deliver on style and quality. Carlisle has been around a while as part of the in-home retail formula that works so well for so many women. Per Se is a newer line and considered more “current” than Carlisle, however for me, they really work best mixed together.

The spring lines are fab. They hit on all the best trends; poppy colors, cubist and geometric patterns, a little tribal here and there and animal prints… The collections host over 20 dresses, best and easiest for spring, AND my personal favorite, a few Hollywood-esk wide leg pants!

I’ll mostly be bringing clients into the Carlisle / Per Se showroom in Greenwich CT. but I plan on making a few City (NY) jaunts to the showroom there as well. The shopping experience is quite luxurious (a private dressing room, personalized attention (me!) plus additional help, seamstress on premise, sizes 0-18 in stock).

And did I mention, these clothes are made in Hong Kong from mills used in Italy and France. It’s beautiful, quality stuff, the likes of Dior or Donna Karen at Bridge Sportswear price points. I’m really excited to be using it as a styling resource for anyone needing anything special from casual to career to dressy to fun!

I’m starting to book appointments now. Get in touch with me. I can’t wait to show you my new thing.



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Come to my Villa."

Sometimes grief strikes us at the oddest times. This morning I was watching a press DVD about a villa in Umbria, Italy. The villa sits just outside the hill town of Montafalco. Watching, I was brought to tears. I was thinking, this is why Dad loved Italy. If only I could bring my Dad to Montafalco. We’d stay at this villa, the Villa Pambuffetti. We’d eat that pasta, drink that wine, sit and talk and read on those round over-stuffed chairs–and they would envelope us like my Grandma Rose’s bosoms, in a great hug. I miss him dearly.

It was my pleasure to meet the family behind Villa Pambuffetti last night. They treated us to a dinner of “home favorites” at the il Buco restaurant in lower Manhattan. Alessandra Angelucci Pambuffetti, our hostess, exuded elegance and ease, she was so graceful and charming and chic, that not only did I want to visit her at her Villa, I wanted to adopt her life! Imagine, being able to say, “Come to my Villa. I’ll give you a cooking lesson in the morning and then you can explore the Franciscan art of Montefalco. Or just sit with me in the garden and drink our local wine, Montefalco Rosso or Sagrantino. I was converted. In my next life I am Alessandra Angelucci Pambuffetti. I own an Italian VILLA!

BUT I will not wait until my next life to visit Villa Pambuffetti and if you have a villa-ownership fantasy like me, you should go there too! Lucky for you, you’ll be a guest with none of the headache of ownership. You can relax, a specialty of the house.

If you prefer to wonder, well you’re in Montefalco, “Everywhere you look or you walk everything is ancient, medieval, stony, cold and hard. Tiny roads cut tall stone houses through ancient towers, portals, castles, churches and walls.” Said Hermann Hesse describing this ancient village, unchanged since he visited it in the early part of the 19th century.

I can’t finish this post without describing one stand out, unexpected dish served to us last night–Cachi con Finocchio–persimmons, fennel, hazelnuts, mint, parmesan. This combination was just music to my taste buds. Accompanied by Grigetto wine, seated in the basement wine cellar of il Buco next to my Italia –phile friend Lisa Beth, captivated by Allessandra, I had gone to heaven and it was in Italy.