Bring on the Oscars

Happy Oscar eve, friends. I will be watching from my hotel room in
Colorado...not having Tivo tonight stresses me out, but alas I will make the
best of it. Still going to get some champagne, some takeout Chinese as per
tradition, and laze about in my favorite pajamas. I am most excited to see
what Zoe Saldana and Carey Mulligan wear, as they are two fashion standouts
who always get it right (even if Carey ignores the advice of one Anna
Wintour). And then there's Sandra Bullock, who always looks meh to me even
in the best dresses...what's that all about? Wondering who is going to wear
McQueen on the red carpet ce soir. If I was walking the crimson, I would
most definitely wear McQueen, most likely vintage.

You all have a lovely night in front of the telly- hopefully glamour will be
in full effect in Lalaland tonight. XO

Loving this look for spring

Happy Friday, mon chers. There's rumor of spring coming- time for a fresh
outlook, a new romanticism, and a fresh pedi. I've been reviewing all the
great looks for spring and Givenchy's striped blazer and unstructured pant
is the look that's most present for me- if there is such a thing as mindful
dressing, Riccardo Tisci is most enlightened. Of all the images from the
spring mags, this look sticks in my mind- I can see it being copied in all
the usual spots (H&M, Zara, Forever 21) and I can see myself wearing it to a
regatta somewhere along the Thames, with a black minidress packed in my
purse (to throw under the jacket) for a warm evening's dinner somewhere
breezy and laid back.

I like the nod to menswear/boarding school prep, the nautical and whimsical
feel of the stripe, and the slouchy ease that says spring is in the air. As
you do your spring cleaning/purging, clear some space in your closet for
some version of this look- it's time to put some stripe in your spring.


Remember that poignant moment wherein Joan Crawford Dunaway, in a manic
rage, asks poor Christina to bring mommy the ax as she tears through her
Brentwood garden in the amazing "Mommy Dearest"? If I had an ax to grind or
a child to terrify, this would be my ax of choice, hands down. Naturally,
it's sold exclusively at Jack Spade, and made in NYC by Best Made Co. - an
ax made in Manhattan is grounds for buying alone (not a lot of wood chopping
there as far as I recall). The red, pink, and orange handle is a bonus. You
will be the envy of chic lumberjacks and manic depressive movie actresses
the world over- enjoy.


Have no idea why surf culture is top of mind as I sit here in Colorado but
thinking about the awesome Taschen book on Bunker Spreckels I bought last
time I was in LA. Bunker was the ultimate surfer playboy whose life of
excess came to a halt at that epic age of 27 (if you are a follower of rock
legends and the like, many many burned out at this exact same point in
life). He was Clark Gable's stepson and heir to a vast sugar fortune. Bunker lived
fast and was the ultimate hedonist- taking in the Cali surf scene but also
traveling the world, always with a gorgeous babe by his side. The story of
his life is pretty fascinating- the wild California playboy who lived too
"much" may seem clichéd now, but this cat set the tone for such pursuits and
looked pretty cool doing it. He even created an alter ego for himself so
photographers and reporters could chronicle his debauchery. Check out
"Bunker 77", a documentary which came out in 2008 which is amazing. A
raucous life cut way too short, but a pretty incredible existence none the

Agreeing to disagree

Spring is on the way and like many of you, I look forward to opening my
mailbox for the March Vogue. Reading mags can prove daunting during the week
so thankfully I was able to fully absorb the goodness on the Vogue pages
while in the friendly skies last night. (The Meisel story is to die for

Having my husband next to me as I pored through had me thinking about what I
like versus what he likes on the fashion front. I tend to embrace the
general fashion truths but twist them a bit- I may do a bit classic but with
a little bohemian, tough with a little sweet, or just basic black with a few
doo dads so people won't think I'm a roadie on some Cure reunion tour. In
general though, I have a lot of fun with seasonal trends but know my style
DNA and body type well enough to know what works.

None of that matters to men really. Often my husband questions how it is
possible for me to buy yet another black dress and how one is any different
from the others. He doesn't understand the Zara one is different than the no
name vintage mini which is different yet again from the basic James Perse
maxi model. We girls understand such things- the subtle nod of an
interesting neckline, the cut of a bias, the flow of supima cotton. I
always felt that a wardrobe of perfect black dresses is really all you need
to achieve that chic jetsetter thing- the fallen heiress on permanent
holiday if you will with about ten black shifts, all of varying weights and
fabrics. Wearing a black dress is like wearing a blank canvas- anything is
possible really when you are appropriately clad for most situations. (This
ideal does not work that well in Miami though. I tried very hard to embrace
full color when I moved there but often felt not myself. Once in a while I
rock color, but don't make a daily habit of it).

Many men find the harem pant trend ridiculous, though I am presenting
evidence to the contrary (see photos). Most men don't want their women to
look like they are wearing a diaper, at least not in public anyway. (I don't
know what you are all into in your spare time...) To me, these pants can be
really chic when worn with the right stuff on top and some good shoes. It's
all about proportion. I like the urban uniform feel of them and the ease of
mobility they provide.

Most dudes I know don't get the gladiator sandal thing either, and my very
own boo seemed dumbfounded by my "Jesus sandals" when I first rocked them a
couple of seasons ago. I get how the Jesus analogy may not translate as chic
or sexy, but most girls I know were immediate disciples of the shoe, whether
they were religious or not is highly irrelevant.

Mixed prints or loud prints in general throw most men off- to them it may
read too "wacky". Admittedly this trend can be tricky to pull off, but I
love the whimsy of it and it takes a true style star to make it all work. I
think loud prints can recall Mrs. Roper, though the chattiest patterns make
me feel happy and a bit eccentric, which for all accounts and purposes I am.
Prints are fun for a change and show you have some real style cajones.

Speaking of Audra Lindley and fashion cajones, let's move on to the caftan.
Not exactly a male magnet. I love a caftan because I am a fan of the boho
gypset ideal- and I also love to feel free and unfettered- it's liberating.
I am not one for heavily structured clothes that are at all uncomfortable-
being flowy feels sexy and feminine to me- I like to feel at ease in my
clothes, not like I am being tortured by them. To most men though, a caftan
is part Mrs. Roper part Bea Arthur part Boca bubby. None terribly sexy for
the most part, unless you are into post menopausal sitcom stars of the 70s
or find mahjong a fantastic form of foreplay. In its defense, the caftan can
be super hot when rocked over some tan limbs and tousled hair- look no
further than style icon Talitha Getty back in the day, lazing on some
rooftop in Morocco, in a drug soaked sultry haze. Bea Arthur she was not.

Many say women dress for other women, and not for men. I'm not sure that is
exactly true. I do think about the types of clothes my husband likes when I
am shopping, but it's certainly not going to stop me from buying a vintage
caftan, or another black dress (an intervention may be in order on that
front). In general, I dress to make myself feel good and am really never
worried about what my girlfriends think (my gay male friends are a
completely different story however). My man is down with my love for fashion
and the joy it provides as I gasp over the new Balmain collection for spring
(OMG too much to bear).

And he has his own weaknesses when it comes to how he likes to dress- I
often wonder why he needs another vintage tee shirt but he loves them the
way I love my LBDs. And his heart pounds at the sight of a sky blue '72
Impala the way mine races at the newest bag from Lanvin. We all have our
things really. If we can meet in the middle, then we have common ground.
After all, I can very easily picture myself in a funky Pucci print, head on
the shoulder of my beloved as we cruise around in the Impala in some desert
locale. I may wear the dress for me and he may drive the car for him, but we
can find happiness in each other and that's what really counts. (That and a
good handbag.) And when you are comfortable in your own skin and your own clothes, isn't
that sexiest of all?

Encouraging news for magazine mavens

So I am sitting here trying to figure out how to pack another pair of boots
into my suitcase for a two week stint in the mountains. The suitcase is
winning so I'm not in a good way. I also feel like I'm getting sick so
that's strike two. I was thinking I was going to take a day off from
yammering but I just have to tell you about a great article I found on WSJ
today heralding the return of print, and magazines in particular due in part
to a huge campaign by five big publishers.

I am aware that I am posting this as I write on this here blog, and most of
you only click on this blog because you see it pop up on Facebook or Twitter
or some other thing. But I must tell you that I will never ever give up my
magazines, albeit kicking and screaming. I love magazines, always have,
always will. Still a very captivating tool if you ask me- nothing beats the
touch and feel of a new Vanity Fair when settling into a long flight. I for
one still enjoy turning a page. Magazines are still powerful cultural
currency and a viable source of information and inspiration. I have been
saying for months that the power of digital is beyond comprehension, but I
have been wondering if there will be a return for more traditional media as
some folks begin to feel disconnected from each other, let alone the printed

I'm excerpting but this is powerful stuff in a quote from none other than
Jann Wenner, a pivotal force in mag land:

"The spark for the campaign was a "manifesto" Mr. Wenner penned last year,
in which he said that just as TV didn't kill magazines, the Internet was a
threat only to publications that lost focus on what makes magazines unique.
"In a certain way, this campaign is aimed at the magazine business itself,"
Mr. Wenner.

That the campaign might seem out of sync coming from an industry that has
spent so much time trying to prove it can hold its own in the digital arena
is beside the point, executives involved in the collaboration say. The
purpose of the campaign is to remind people that these brands are rooted in
print products with huge cultural and commercial influence, they say.

"Going digital is very important to Time Inc., but I don't want my clients
to believe that no one is reading the printed word," says Time Inc. Chief
Executive Ann Moore."

Read the full article below and viva la print- Ms. Wintour need not quit her
day job just yet...

Fashion need not be painful

Kristen Stewart technically looks decent in this ensemble. She's got a cute
bod, the dress is feminine and pretty, and the shoes are lovely as well. But
why does she ALWAYS look so uncomfortable in her clothes? At Fashion Week
she looked as if she wanted to stab herself in the sternum. Most girls would
be psyched to attend premieres and fashion shows and wear designer clothing.
Not our Kristen. She would rather be at home, smoking cloves, and listen to
R Patz read from some Byronic text. Cheer up, Kristen. Your ennui is not
that cute. It really doesn't go with what the stylist told you to wear.
Contrary to what you indie friends may have told you, bored is NOT the new
black. Just accept that you're pretty and get on with it. Yes- it's true you
play a morose vampire groupie living in the gloomy Northwest but do you have
to act like that in real life??? It's tots cool if you're not a fashion
girl, but try to smile once in a while ya? (Oh and learn how to stand in a
dress while you're at're way too pretty to look that ill at ease).
The only other solution is to just embrace your emo self and stop trying to
look girly...rock some Alexander Wang or a Hedi Slimane suit with a vintage
tee and you may feel a bit more relaxed. I would love to restyle you if you
want PS. I think I could make you smile a bit more or at least give you
something rockin' to go with that perpetual glum visage of yours.

These Boots

I spotted these boots the other day on and admittedly got a
little twittery. The Maine Hunting Shoe had quite an effect on me. Loving
the thick socks, the hairy legs, the Northeastern nod that I often miss so
dearly. Happily spoken for, I was never the girl that went gaga for the guy in the
fancy suit and Gucci loafers- there is nothing better than a man in jeans
and a tee shirt. Or hunting shoes and bare muscular legs. Full stop. If you
have very gangly limbs or an unearthly pallor, don't wear these. If you'd
like to know what type of man should be wearing these, then read on.

The man in this shot is probably named Dean. He has never heard of Fred
Segal but that's straight with me. He probably has a limited repertoire of
things he likes to make for dinner, but they're all solid, tasty, and
comforting. Perhaps he played rugby in high school or was on crew, but was a
bit too much of a lone wolf to be a true team player. He grew up in New
Hampshire and dropped out of college to find himself and did some deep sea
fishing in the Keys for a minute. He has read Hemingway but thinks he's a
bit overrated. He doesn't really cry, but did tear up while watching
"Brian's Song". He doesn't put product in his hair and his boys are jealous
of how evenly he can grow a beard. He smells like your freshman History
professor. He is a huge fan of Jeff Bridges, especially as the Dude. He
likes girls who wear flimsy sundresses. Lately he's rediscovered how great
The Modern Lovers are, hell the whole Beserkely canon in general. He's
hanging at his parents house in Maine in this shot- it's fall and he's
wondering why the hell he hasn't met you yet. His sense of humor is not
immediately evident, but after a couple of Makers and gingers, it will take
you by surprise. He loves America but is curious about the peculiar foods of
Japan, though he finds Andrew Zimmern insufferable. (A plus). He is vaguely
aware he is a bit of a cliché, but he's cool with that.

Now go and tap him on the shoulder and get him to look away from that lake
with that broad smile of his which will warm your jaded urban heart. He did
not buy this shoe with you in mind, but is pleased to have your full and
rapt attention. Now that he does, it's up to you to fill in the rest...

Long live the rugged Northeastern man with nice legs. Thanks LL Bean for the
inspiration- most shoes don't have it in 'em to do that to a gal. To all my
single female friends- go find him and see if all the above is true. I hope
you send me a picture from your wedding, which will probably take place on
this very dock.

(On preorder at LL edition. $129. Run.)

Hot Part Two

A little something for the boys courtesy of my husband. After a less than
fruitful search for another hot chick to post, Ex Beatle wife (Ringo)
Barbara Bach came up last night over a homemade pizza dinner. This still is
from the movie "Caveman", an intensely celebral film about prehistoric
times in which she played Lana, the sexy cave chick. Ringo was in it too.
Husband loved the movie for obvious reasons. I agree she is not ugly. Enjoy.

What's your heritage?

I think I posted a few shakes back about how so many brands are launching
"Heritage" collections. Brands like Levi's, Land's End, Banana Republic, and
Barbour are launching lines that reflect their brand's history, with a
twist. Lesser known brands like Dr. Romanelli are producing heritage denim
lines for the likes of Barney's and Levi's, complete with vintage patchwork.

I think it's quite timely- lately I am on a quest for authentic experiences
that I can connect to- whether it's clothes, travel, food, or books, it's a
comfort to embrace those things that celebrate quality and good values. In
such unpredictable times where technology is changing faster than light
speed, look for more well known brands to herald their history with items
and collections that encapsulate not only where they are going, but where
they have been. It speaks to those of us who know who we are and are not
necessarily looking to reinvent, but to look at things we have always loved
with a fresh eye yet a deep trust- tried and true. Amidst layoffs and
redefining of roles in the workplace, maybe we all need to take a look at
our own personal heritage and find out what made us tick in the first place.
And if you are not a fan of your OWN heritage, you can always pretend to
have grown up on the English countryside (Barbour), or on the plains of the
Serengeti (Banana Republic).