On balance, hungry bears, and human kindness

Good morning, Tuesday. These are the times.

I was thinking this morning about our President and how he came up in the business world. If you are an 80's survivor or just a culture watcher, you know full well that that era in history, and particularly New York, was all about ruthlessness and a cutthroat approach to business. Greed is good, the Queen of Mean, American Psycho.  That's how Donald Trump became a success- by being a supposedly hardcore business leader (shuddering as I say that) and to approach business like a bear in "The Revenant". 

To me, he will be remembered as the most cruel President of our times. And much like a hungry bear, he's attacking the whole country, and we need to make sure we don't leave anyone behind. 

And as we watch his Presidency unfold and unravel, I can't help but see that this man has only one setting. And it's mean. And nasty. And lacks the slightest lick of empathy or compassion. If you are someone who understands the notion of yin and yang, Donald Trump is the most Yin human being alive. There is no light to accompany the dark, there is no softness to counterbalance the hard, there is simply nothing but hardness and coldness and cruelty. Whether he's sending another epic tweet or cutting down American citizens with his own peculiar brand of bombast, this President has no other side. No other face. I think many of us felt that maybe, just maybe, his campaign rhetoric was just that- but alas, it's somehow even worse. 

My point of all of this is that we are living in highly yin times. We are completely out of balance at a time when our world needs a ton of compassion and care.  I'm wondering how we can cope during these out of whack times. I for one think about how to be a better, kinder person. From listening when people need an ear to donating what I can to causes in need. All of this yin is dragging us down and it's beyond concerning. I don't understand how anyone, let alone a President, can live a life completely devoid of empathy and compassion. His brand of cruelty is foreign to me. We have all done things where we may think afterwards, "I could have been nicer, kinder, more sympathetic".  Even the most hardened of us make room for some kindness.  I just can't fathom that anyone in a position of leadership, and one that at its core is all about public service, can behave this way. We can't live in a world where there is no yang. So here's what I propose.

If you can find it within your heart and soul to embrace some kindness and compassion, you must. If there is a way to shift any energy around this President, the burden is on us. Our leadership in Washington is doing absolutely nothing to help this situation. This President should be shown the door. Since that will most likely not happen, we must do more and be better. It may no longer be about protesting, PS. When I watch the NFL kneeling, I think not of protest- but of an almost deference and respect to those struggling under this brutal regime. We must have grace under pressure and not succumb to this awful amount of darkness. We must find a way to balance all of this dark with some light.  I feel like the lights have been turned off since November, and I for one don't love sitting in the dark.

This morning I shared a Via (a shared ride service here in the city) with an older woman who needed to talk. Via policy does not allow for that (though being silent in a car with others is truly weird) but I talked to her. Because she needed it. She had been through it- illness, divorce, financial problems. When we got out of the car, she gave me a hug and thanked me for listening. I teared up a bit because we are so busy fighting these dark battles every day that we often forget about each other.  Don't underestimate the kindness you can offer to strangers- I suspect the only people Trump bestows any kindness upon are his own family members. The same is true of us- we're so wrapped up in our own lives- take the time to show some compassion- in small ways, in large ways, in any way you can. Just talk to people and listen to people. Start there. And then try harder.

We're all being mauled by this crazy bear in the White House, but what we cannot do is leave each other for dead. Simple acts, people. Get on it. Not to be too new "aerie fairy" but we need to shift some of this bad energy or it's going to get a whole lot worse. Yes we must fight this terrible administration, but we need softness and light. Badly.

Cause that's what's up this trying a little tenderness kind of Tuesday in the 212.  Yours, in balance and hope and searching for the light switch. XO

Maven pick: A stroll through Rizzoli is all I need to get by

Good morning, Friday. Happy happy. I'm so looking forward to the weekend- weather is gorgeous and excited for a bit of a regroup. It's no newsflash that I've been feeling a bit blue of late- trying to figure out some moves and more often than not, getting in my own way. Yesterday the fog lifted a bit and felt a turnaround in the air. Thank goodness for that.

But worth noting- should you ever find me depressed or catatonic and you're wondering what to do for me, just take me to Rizzoli. Take me straight there and lead me by my limp hand to the Photography and Fashion book section. There, I will find happiness. In any instance. It's that simple. Beautiful books are good for my health. This much I know.

I remember Rizzoli when it used to be uptown- what a beautiful store. I spent hours in there during my early tenure in New York- it was so grand and so easy to lose track of time while browsing all of the beautiful books.  Now making its home right by the Flatiron, it's a stellar monument to the old world bookstores of my youth. And I absolutely adore it. Often referred to as the most beautiful bookstore in the world (their claim), it's just pure magic in there. There's just something about Rizzoli. Are you with me? 

So yesterday's stroll had me paging through some gorgeous photography books, and Lord knows I want them all. But I'm currently crushing on "Icons", the recently published  photo book from Gus Van Sant- I know I've talked about his photography here before, but Jeez. It's so good. It takes me straight back to that moody, haze of an aesthetic we all adored in the 90s. And I've never stopped loving it. Its just so stunning and raw and, well, cool. 

On a whole other dimension was my discovery of the work of midcentury fashion photographer, James Moore and the wonderful retrospective published this year. His work for Bazaar was just amazing, and though we think of names like Penn and Avedon, Moore should be included in any discussion of photography of that era. I pored over the pages and found so much inspiration- I'm particularly smitten with the cover image of the book- that haircut on the front girl is very much top of mind.  I love everything about this photographer and was so happy to have a few moments before heading downtown to peek at his work. 

So even when I'm down, I can still always feel energized and inspired by one of my favorite things, photography. And though my industry has changed, I'm still so in love with the medium itself and hope to stay engaged as I move into the next phase of my career.  It gives me life and I so appreciate the eye of a photographer- how he or she sees the world has always delighted and intrigued me. As someone with my very own particular point of view, I so appreciate the ability for photography to show us something we may not have seen before, or to put something very obvious in front of us yet show it in a new way. 

So if you too are visually inclined, you may want to spend some time in a bookstore near you and get some much needed inspiration. The world has gone awry, yet I still love looking at pretty pictures, and that's that. Cause that's what's up this well lensed Friday in the 212. Yours, in healing energy and beautiful pictures (and bookstores). XO

Maven runway watch: Give it to me, Gucci.

Good almost afternoon, Thursday. I've definitely got fashion on the brain right now. Can't help it. Also not sure you want to read about my inner turmoil and midlife crisis. That's boring. So let's talk about GUCCI.

Ok so check it- I'm kind of Gucci'd out. Their domination in the luxe arena is nothing short of seismic. I admit I've swooned (and purchased) their shoes in the last few seasons and have really enjoyed them. But when every gal in your office is rocking a horsebit mule, one wonders- since when is luxury so, well, mass? Giving credit where credit is due to their newish designer for making us want all the things. 

And I tried to look with a discerning and jaded eye at the most recent runway show this week in Italy for Spring '18. I tried so hard to hate on it.  And I did hate some of it really.  I don't know many men who will wear a Bugs Bunny sweater with a short, but that's not here nor there. Because in these troubled, dark times, a collection that is a bit wacko and out there is just what the doctor ordered. Like a breath of fresh air in a sea of bad news. Plus, some of the pieces I'm just madly in love with- they speak to my off kilter side and even though I play it a bit safe when it comes to style these days, some of these looks are just the most. Very rock and roll- Jarvis Cocker meets Marianne Faithfull and everything in between. The vintage vibe is super dialed in.

The leopard coat look is giving me serious personal spirit animal vibes. The green jumpsuit. The chicness of the mens suits worn by women would be amazing. And that logo fanny pack is going to be all over New York City come Spring. I think fanny packs are back in a big way (they've been around for a minute but seeing new ways of rocking them- over the shoulder, etc. in street style snaps the past few weeks) and this one will be the one to have for sure. Remember I told ya.


But these clothes are surely over the top, not super wearable, and not practical. But damn if I don't love, love, love that about them. I'm ready to have some fun again aren't you? I appreciate the spirit of these clothes- the collection may be far from cohesive but that's ok- these here are chaotic times. Gucci- you made me love you. And I didn't wanna do it. It's true every girl in New York is rocking some version of the horsebit or double Gs- but I care not. There's truly something for everyone here- if you have the funds, that is. And if you don't, you know much of this will reach knock off city at a bit box near you probably sooner than you think

.So enjoy yourself a little Gucci Spring '18 moment. And here's hoping for happy days to be here again. Cause that's what's up this still a big fashion fan of a Thursday in the 212.  Yours, in leopard print and logos. XO

Maven pick: A bit of rose gold is good for the (athleisure) soul

Good afternoon, Tuesday. Just here listening to my Hotel Costes playlist and trying to power through, imagining I'm in that beautiful bar with those gorgeous smelling candles and all of those gorgeous people drinking something equally, well, you know. But alas, I'm not. I'm on Times Square with a bunch of dirty mascots and big box retail. Oh well.

So here's something. 

I just wanted to share this surely polarizing little workout jacket from cute and comfy line Lou & Grey.  Many of you will most likely hate it. But I dig it. Metallics scare some people- this much I know. But I'm a big fan of them and whenever I fear slightly fearful of making a bold statement, I reassure myself that most things can be wearable if you just think of them in a neutral way. Case in point- this jacket is a nice little throw on for Fall.  And having just seen it in person at Loft, I think it's super duper cute. I love the idea of throwing it on over yoga pants for a bit of Missy Elliott vibes but how I would really love to see it is with a wide leg trouser and some heels or a full accordion pleated skirt and some sneakers if you're that kind of girl (I love that look). Don't be afraid of your freedom, and don't be afraid of metallics.  They brighten up the darkest of days, and have mad glam appeal. We all know athleisure is giving us all life right now- so get to it. But be bold about it, won't you? Life is short. Plus rose gold can always remind you of rose- as in the drink varietal we guzzled all Summer. Keep the dream alive.

And clocking in at just under 100 bucks, it's a great way to wear something trend focused without breaking the old bank. My love for rose gold knows no bounds ps- I am a huge fan of the hue and think it's a great way to retool a metallic moment.

Just a cute little look for you this Tuesday. You're welcome. Caus that's what's up this shiny, bright Tuesday in the sparkly 212. Yours, in rosy gold and Fall fashion. XO







Maven pick: H&M Studio for a bit of 90s Goth


Good morning, Monday. So Trumpy's in town and all heck has broken loose in Manhattan today. Couple that with an insane amount of humidity and you have yourself a cranky start to the workweek. Gah. Make it stop.

So on my way home from my Cezanne treatment yesterday (the next gen Keratin sans formaldehyde- I'll let you know if better living without chemistry is a real thing), I popped into H&M on 59th Street to see if I could use a credit I had. Needless to say, was not a problem.

Because if you dabble in the dark arts and like a bit of gothy glam in your Fall and Winter silhouette, H&M's new Studio collection is fuego. I for one love love love dark pieces in the winter time that have a bit of mystery mixed in. 

I ended up with this pintuck caftan dress- it's so fabulous and easy and very Antwerp Six in its countenance. And glancing around at the rest of the pieces, I felt a similar dark and minimal loveliness. So on brand for me at the very least- ageless silhouettes for many body types and of course- perfect clothes for us NY babes who keep our palettes very much on the black side.

Here's a few more pieces to give you a vibe for the collection- there's plenty not in black too but tones are quite muted throughout. I'm in love with it (those boots though) and though it's not quite as cheap as regular run of the mill H&M, these are chic pieces that will go the distance should you be listening to Depeche Mode's "Black Celebration" this season or channeling Madonna in the "Frozen" video. I just watched the whole thing again ps and still one of my favorites of all time- Olivier Theyskens at his very best.

Because truly, you're frozen- when your heart's not open. To new clothes for Fall. Better open that wallet while you're opening your heart ps. Check out the whole collection here.

Cause that's what's up this new collection of a Monday in the very soupy 212. Yours, in keeping it dark and lovely. XO


Maven runway watch: Lavender lightens the mood for Spring '18

Good afternoon, Wednesday.  Hope you're having a pleasant afternoon.

So I've been looking at all the shows this week in NY and some trends emerging for Spring- lots of suiting is one. Bright colors is another. But my favorite trend of all is the love of lavender showing up everywhere. In such cruel and harsh times, this soft whispery tone feels most on point.  First came pink, now comes purple. Or lavender/ lilac. 

And in case you're wondering if it's just too girly/pastel, it's not. 

Take Victoria Beckham's take on suiting in the gorgeous tone- I would wear this every day if I could. It's the look at the top of this post and it's just amazing- the whole collection was one of my favorites ps- so so beautiful.

And Tibi showed some minimalist, modern takes with some gorgeous pieces. Lavender is a great neutral in a way- pretty on many skin tones and such a beautiful hue. It reminds me of Helen Frankenthaler, one of my favorite painters for her dreamy washes of elegant color. 

And perennial Maven favorite The Row did an ethereal take on the tone with a gorgeous bohemian dress that almost lives inside some of these gorgeous paintings. Just stunning.

Over at Mansur Gavriel, makers of it bags for cool girls but now also showing clothes, the tonality of this look is quiet and elegant and altogether sublime. Love the powdery blue with the lavender skirt.

So with Fall pretty much here and Spring a bit of a ways, I'm thinking of how to rock this color in the New Year, as an almost neutral alternative to white or black. I'm obsessed. 

Cause that's what's up this everything's coming up lilac kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in lightening up in such dark times. XO

                                       

Maven's headed to the classroom

Good almost afternoon, Tuesday. Little announcement- going back to school today. Before you get too excited, I'm only taking a class at night at the Art Students League here in the city- it's a fashion illustration class and I couldn't be more thrilled. Many of you know I've been back at the drawing board of late, and I'm loving my newfound passion for sketching. I'm taking a class with genius illustrator Bill Donovan, and hoping this reignites that flame for creativity I've been seeking since pencils down just after high school (yes it's been that long).

I've written in a forthright manner about my frustration of late when it comes to career- and though I'm probably not going to become a professional illustrator any time soon, I'm curious to see where this creative exploration takes me. My soul craves something artistic and hoping this will be just what said soul requires to keep on chugging. I can't wait to shop for my supplies- something about an art supply store always makes my pulse raise in the best of ways.  Up top is a little something I drew up from Nili Lotan's Fall collection that I love- and more to come of course which I hope to share with all of you fine people.

I'll let you know how it goes- can't wait to get started on a little adventure in sketchland and beyond. Cause that's what's up this illustrative Tuesday in the very artistic 212. Yours, in rediscoveries and hard charcoal. XO

XO

Good morning, Monday. Prayers to all my friends in Florida- hoping for a speedy recovery from the storm. 

We all know what today is and every year I remember and I never will forget. I have often said I only like cities where dreams are made (and crushed) and New York is the poster child for people longing for a life of inspiration, success, movement, and constant stimulation. You don't come to New York to sit on your ass- we all know that. And though the New York of my twenties is slowly rushing through the sands of the hourglass, New York will always be more than just a place. Just a city. Just a home. It's my home. My spiritual home. My heart. My soul. All of it. And I have deep gratitude and humility for this crazy town. And I can never forget what happened here, to my city, to my home, to my heart and soul.

And for that I give you a quote from one of the most infamous stories written about New York by E.B. White in his wonderful ode to the city, "Here is New York", written in 1948 and an excellent and insightful read to this very day. He could not have known the horror we would see, or the changes that would happen here, but his observations on this beautiful place ring true today, and I love this quote in particular:

“A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines. The island of Manhattan is without any doubt the greatest human concentrate on earth, the poem whose magic is comprehensible to millions of permanent residents but whose full meaning will always remain elusive.” 

And though New Yorkers may seem like the biggest know-it-alls to people who don't live here, we're actually quite the opposite. We bask in the glory of a city we are constantly trying to unravel, discover, and reveal . That's what keeps us all here- the elusive magic of the new mixed with the old, the paradox of rich and poor on a somehow level playing field called humanity, the sweeping landscape and island of possibilities. I will never stop loving New York- and for those who think New York is not America think again- because although we may not live in a rust belt or corn belt or any other kind of belt, we all live here together in diversity and poetry and rhythmic motion. I am still so in love with New York because there is always something new I can learn, see, or do here. That's what makes New York great, and that's what makes America great. And on this day,  I celebrate the city that still keeps me on my tiptoes day after day. New York, I love you. But you already knew that. And I will never, ever forget. Of this, I am certain. This city is truly poetic. At least it is to me. And like most great poems- there is a pulse, a beat, sadness, reflection, and often, resolution. 

Cause that's what's up this Big Apple of my eye kind of Monday in the greatest city on Earth. Yours, in perseverance and magical settings and elusive beauty. XO



To jean or not to jean?That is the question.

Good afternoon, Thursday. By now you may have figured out I'm a little pants obsessed this Fall. That and my wavering thoughts on whether OTK boots are still a good thing- are they?

I can't decide but leaning towards yes. These by Jimmy Choo though. Oy.

But since I'm super into pants this Fall (more of the slouchy Nili Lotan varietal or the flares I spoke of the other day), I'm also in the market for a good jean. Jeans and I have a complicated relationship. Sometimes I love them. Sometimes I hate them. On me, I mean. I love them on everyone else. I just have a tough time with them because they're not as comfortable as I want them to be and by the end of the day I can't wait to take them off.

So I'll admit  a recent spin in an Athleta catalogue left in my doorway gave me pause.  Because as much as I love the look of a nonstretch jean like the more high waisted varietals we've seen of late, I can't. I can't have that amount of binding in my life. It just doesn't work for me. So back to Athleta, an unlikely place to buy a jean. I love the whole idea of a jean being athleisure-like. It makes so much sense to me. I rely heavily on black leggings as an every day staple but would love a jean to suit the same need.

The blue denim varietal is almost completely sold out, but the grey wash is still available. And though I may not be hiking in the mountains like the chick at the top of this post, I like a jean that moves with me and is stretchy and yummy. I think I may have to give these a whirl. After all, they'd sure look good with that OTNB I've been eyeing. Ugh. So much cheaper than that damn boot ps. I know skinny jeans are kind of yesterday but I still like the look.

I'll report back. I need jeans. And I loathe buying them. So let's see how it goes.

Cause that's what's up this to jean or not to jean kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in Shakespearean prose and skinny jeans. XO


Maven trend alert: Show some flare this Fall

Good morning, Tuesday. Was a lovely relaxing weekend with a road trip thrown in for good measure and lots of time to cuddle with Khan, cook, and draw. I so could use one more day though. I haven't gotten much vacation time this Summer and am craving a bit more down time. But I digress. Because it's back at it full throttle- NY in the Fall is a magical place when everyone still has a bit of a tan, but is ready for a new season, refreshed and renewed.

Of course I've been thinking about clothes (what else is new?) and one of my fav trends out there for the Fall is the return of the flare pant. We've seen flares in jeans for a while now, but love the idea of a black flare trouser to wear with everything from minidresses to blouses to blazers and back again. They are an amazingly flattering silhouette on most body types and love how elongating they are. Plus they speak deeply to my boho/rock and roll soul so can't go wrong there. I like both the cropped version and the floor grazing version for different reasons. I have them both and can't wait to wear them. 

These from the Row in leather are magical and cropped, while these trousers from Elizabeth and James are a great take on work dressing with a twist. For my money I'd go with basic black- a great way to embrace the trend but not feel too carried away. 

But if you do want a color- use Rosetta Getty's dark red chenille for inspiration. So lovely. And the fabric looks fab too.

Loving these from H&M for an affordable take on the trend. And for me, I'd stay away from the flamenco ruffled version I'm seeing in retail this season- those are just not my fav. Too caliente perhaps, and if you don't have a fruit basket on your head or tap shoes, you may want to stay away. 

Oh, and at the top of my post is my inspo for this trend- an oldie but goodie from Zara on (yes again) Stella Tennant. How good???

Cause that's whats up this flares are everywhere kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in long lines and groovy vibes. XO