On Isaac Pond

Yes it's Fashion week in New York and I have not stopped yammering about it.
Next week it won't be so I won't be as cuckoo for la mode...but for the
moment, I'm all about it.

I happened upon the live Isaac Mizrahi show online yesterday and watched it
in all its glory. I have a long history with Isaac- feel like we grew up
together in a way, even though we have never met. Have always admired his
wit, color sense, and genuine love for women. "Unzipped" remains one of my
favorite fashion flicks of all time...I felt sad for him when his business
went under but it's super lovely to have him back.

Amid a background of live jazz, one model after the next came out in
absolutely glorious clothes. The theme of the show was camping, or as the
show notes said: "Think Geoffrey L.L. Bean, or even Buffalo Bill Blass."
(style.com) Having been recently asked to go on a camping trip, I think I
prefer Isaac's take over the fleecy or plaid alternative. There is something
chic, albeit hilarious, about camping in a sequin gown with a fur hood.

Isaac is a master of color like none other- grays and
greens and browns married together in a Sherwood Forest confection. He also
included some elements of the outdoors in with glittery or furry backpacks,
camo vests redone, and furry hoods. The hair was subtly unkempt and the
makeup was barely there. The clothes were the real story.

Gorgeous look after gorgeous look came in a mix of reds, oranges, greens,
browns, and the ubiquitous black and silver. Though the collection felt
someone disjointed in that there was not an overarching theme to the clothes
themselves, it dawned on me that there was something for all of us here. The
long sequin tank dress was the ultimate for me- to be able to slip something
on over your head like that and be instantly amazing is simply beyond
compare. I live for that just threw it on kind of thing...there is
absolutely nothing more glamorous.

As it began to snow on the runway, the show ended and all the girls came out
for a final look. There were simply loads and loads of looks and it was
striking to see them all at once- I got the sense that Isaac was very much
telling us he was thinking of us all when he designed this collection-
albeit colorful, witty, ornamental, woodsy, sporty, and everything in
between. He is a designer that understands women and a true hero of American
sportswear at his best. Makes me feel very patriotic indeed...this is truly
a collection for women who love clothes with a little wink. Camping of
course is a back to basics way to get in touch with nature- a backlash to
our endless array of texting, tweeting, and app'ing. Isaac is asking us to
just be chic as we do it- so who am I to disagree? XO

 

(APOLOGIES FOR THE PHOTO REDUNDANCIES...MY COMPUTER IS BEING WICKED. NAUGHTY MAC.)

Dearest Lord in Heaven

I have been a good girl so far this year. I have eaten many green
vegetables, gotten my exercise, helped the needy, and remembered to say
please and thank you to the lady at Starbucks who froths my latte each day.
If you could find it within your holy heart to bestow these shoes upon me I
promise to continue my quest for a virtuous life. I will just be better
attired. And that goes a long way.

Love and light,


Sheri

Family Matters

Finally got around to the March Bazaar this weekend. (Curiously my March
Vogue has yet to arrive- should I be worried?) Paging through the latest ads
and newest trends for spring, the new Missoni campaign caught my eye. Shot
by Juergen Teller, we get a glimpse into the Missoni family and their
eclectic zig zag world. It's scads of pages of maison Missoni- look there's
Octavio aka "Grandpa" Missoni ready to pour some wine and regale us with
stories of Sardinian holidays past. And there's the ever chic Margherita
pouting and posing in her hippie chic glory. Most intriguing is that the
décor of their home is not unlike a Boca Raton bubby's- loads of tschotskes
everywhere and a bit over the top. I have always admired the Missoni family
and heart how these ads are not really about the clothes, but more about the
people who wear them, and the tradition behind the brand.

It's cool for a designer to shy away from using the big models in the spring
books. I'd rather have dinner with the Missonis any day. Bravo Channel- are
you reading this? Perhaps this is your next reality hit...

Imagine that...clothes we can actually wear.

I did not say afford, I said wear...

Talking specifically about Marc Jacobs' collection for the Fall 2010 Ready
to Wear...I have always liked Marc's clothes but of late they have been a
bit too fussy for me...I am not one for retro, gimmicky, or overwrought.
Though I will admit these clothes are not inspiring or revolutionary, but
they do have that "gotta have it" thing. I would wear any of these pieces to
death- they are pieces that actually could go right from runway to closet-
though that one skirt length is a bit awkward (mid calf and full- oy). Yes
the palette is somber but the silhouettes are really cool. I am one of the
poor souls that will have to wait for the "repurposed" pieces to make their
way to stores like Club Monaco and Zara- one wonders if Marc took the easy
way out with appealing basics or he's just looking for a way to give us
girls some "real" clothes and comfort for the fall? In times like these,
it's nice to be able to rely on a wardrobe full of wearable clothes.

Some album covers of influence

I read about the passing of Doug Feiger, the lead singer of The Knack. I
always used to wonder about how as I got older, people from my youth would
start passing, and how weird that would be- MJ was indeed the strangest one,
but this one made me think about how certain artists and their style left an
indelible mark on my own style and taste in music going forward.

I used to stare at the Knack's album cover and thought it was so cool- the
font, the black and white photo of some dudes looking like they were having
the time of their lives. There were a few others I used to look at and love
from a style perspective- they were 77 by the Talking Heads (listened to
that one over and over), Outlandos D'Amour by the Police, and the first Cars
album. I loved their style then and I love it now. I guess I had a thing for
type even back then but these covers still look pretty rad to me... Besides
the cool type treatments these were four albums that changed music for me
and I'm sure many others too...what were yours?

Yes, please

After a tough week, its hard not to think about going to your happy place.
Everyone's is different, I suppose. Mine is most definitely Jamaica. And a
little spot called Jake's in particular.

Jake's has a particular brand of rustic chic that appeals to my gypsetter
spirit. There is absolutely diddly to do there and that suits me fine. The
hotel was founded by the wife of Perry Henzell, who directed "The Harder
They Come". As cool as that movie is is how cool Jake's is. If you are
looking for evian spritzing waiters and wearing a jacket to dinner, this is
not your jam. If you are looking to conquer a very long novel, stare at the
ocean, listen to roots, wear a sarong to dinner, and drink a red stripe in a
sort of post Gaudi/Moorish influenced environ, well then go man/woman go.
It's a special treasure of a place that is neither fancy nor posh but super
stylish in its own way and a pure slice of heaven. Did I mention they have a
spa too? I WANT TO GO THERE NOW. No matter- I am there in my mind.

WHAT TO MAKE FOR VALENTINE'S DAY DINNER

Listen up- nobody has the cash to eat the lukewarm prix fix at the chic
little spot in that cool part of town these days. Everybody knows it's
amateur night at the restaurants on any holiday anyway, so why not nest and
make your sweetie a meal he/she won't soon forget.

I have never even attempted this dish but I have always wanted to. It's from
Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook and I have always thought it such a
sexy meal- coq au vin- Decadent. Comforting. Rich. Wine soaked. And classic.
(Just like vous..including the wine soaked for most of us). I would post a
picture of it but coq au vin is not so photogenic really. But Bourdain is.
Man is he cute.

Here is the recipe...enjoy it in all its French traditional goodness...maybe
you will be braver than I and make this dish your latest conquest. Put on
something saucy, dust off the Serge Gainsbourg on vinyl, and make this dish
sing...your other half will LOVE your tenacity...there is a lot of prep
involved so its a lot like foreplay- a little patience goes a long way....XO

Coq ­au-vin
Adapted from the Les Halles Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain
1 bottle/1 liter plus 1 cup/225 ml of red wine
1 onion, cut into a 1-inch/2.5 cm dice
1 carrot, cut into 1Ž4-inch/6-mm slices
1 celery rib, cut into 1Ž2 inch/1-cm slices
4 whole cloves
1 tbs/14 g whole black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (2 sprigs thyme, 1 sprig parsley, 1 bay leaf wrapped in
cheesecloth and tied with a string )
1 whole chicken, about 3.5 lb/1.35 kg, ³trimmed² ­ meaning guts, wing tips
and neckbone removed
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbs/28 ml olive oil
6 tbs/75 g butter, softened
1 tbs/14 g flour
1Ž4 lb/112 g slab or country bacon, cut into small oblongs (lardons) about 1Ž4
by 1 inch/6mm by 2.5 cm
1Ž2 lb/ 225 g small, white button mushrooms, stems removed
12 pearl onions, peeled
pinch of sugar
Equipment:
3 large, deep bowls
plastic wrap
fine strainer
large Dutch oven or heavy ­bottomed pot
tongs
wooden spoon
small sauté pan
small sauce pan
1 sheet parchment paper
whisk
deep serving platter
Serves 4

DAY ONE
The day before you even begin to cook, combine the bottle of red wine, the
diced onion (that¹s the big onion, not the pearl onions), sliced carrots,
celery, cloves, peppercorns, and bouquet garni in a large deep bowl. Add the
chicken and submerge it in the liquid so that all of it is covered. Cover
the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

DAY TWO
Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat it dry. Put it aside. Strain
the marinade through the fine strainer, reserving the liquids and solids
separately. Season the chicken with salt and pepper inside and out. In the
large Dutch oven, heat the oil and 2tablesppoons/28 g of the butter until
almost smoking, and then sear the chicken, turning it with the tongs to
evenly brown it. Once browned, it should be removed from the pot and set it
aside again. Add the reserved onions, celery, and carrot to the pot and cook
over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden
brown. That should take about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix well with the wooden spoon so
that the vegetables are coated. Now stir in the reserved strained marinade.
Put the chicken back in the pot, along with the bouquet garni. Cook this for
about 1 hour and 15 minutes over low heat.

Have a drink. You¹re almost thereŠ
While your chicken stews slowly in the pot, cook the bacon lardons in the
small sauté pan over medium heat until golden brown. Remove the bacon from
the pan and drain it on paper towels, making sure to keep about 1
tablespoon/14 g of fat in the pan. Saute the mushroom tops in the bacon fat
until golden brown. Set them aside.
Now, in the small saucepan, combine the pearl onions, the pinch of sugar, a
pinch of salt, and 2tablespoons/28 g of butter. Add just enough water to
just cover the onions; then cover the pan with the parchment paper trimmed
to the same size of the pan. (I suppose you can use foil if you must.) Bring
to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the water has evaporated. Keep
a close eye on it. Remove the paper cover and continue to cook until the
onions are golden brown. Set the onions aside and add the remaining cup/225
ml of red wine along with salt and pepper and reduce over medium-high heat
until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.

Your work is pretty much done here. One more thing and then it¹s wine and
kudosŠ

When the chicken is cooked through ­ meaning tender, the juice from the
thigh running clear when pricked ­ carefully remove from the liquid, cut
into quarters, and arrange on the deep serving platter. Strain the cooking
liquid (again) into the reduced red wine. Now just add the bacon, mushrooms,
and pearl onions, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and swirl in
the remaining 2 tablespoons/28 g of butter. Now pour that sauce over the
chicken and dazzle your friends with your brilliance. Serve with buttered
noodles and a Bourgone Rouge.