Keepin' it Sassy on this International Day of the Girl

Good morning, friends and fam. Happy International Day of the Girl. I was getting dressed for work today watching the Today show and needless to say, I wasn't crying, you were. 

For some reason, I got super choked up when Savannah and Hoda had their little girls on stage with Meghan Trainor, J Hud, and Kelly Clarkson, and of course, the queen- Michelle Obama, looking radiant in white. I cried not just because I'm hormonal (I am), but because we women and former girls have a lot on our plates right now. And though the Kavanaugh thing and the Trump thing and the Time's Up thing are just too many things, what upsets me the very most is the women who don't support equality, who don't believe victims, and who continue to raise the roof for issues that serve to keep women down. Do you really love being a Republican more than a human being? Fuck those women. Seriously. 

And since it's a TBT, I thought I'd share some images I found on an awesome Tumblr in homage to Sassy Magazine. For those unfamiliar, Sassy was a young woman's magazine in the 90s that was sort of like a punk rock sister to mags like Seventeen. And though you all already know I have a serious fetish for all things 90s, you may not realize just how right magazines like Sassy got it then, and how perfectly in tune they seem right now. Sassy was all about a no fuss approach to beauty, a rebellious bent when it came to dress, and an inclusive, diverse "real talk" vibe to its articles. Plus the 'zine mystique of the whole thing was visually divine. 

 It also gave girls the license to speak out without judgement long before #metoo, and was creating user generated content before we even knew what that was. It was an incredible endeavor that started publishing in 1988 under Jane Pratt, and then ceased operations in 1996. It championed women like Chloe Sevigny (who was incidentally an intern), Liz Phair, Courtney Love. And 30 years later, we need those ladies or the next generation of grrls more than ever. 

Cheers to Sassy then and now- we're all a bit more grown up but the legacy lives on.  Cause that's what's up this girl power of a Thursday in the 212. Yours, in putting my sassy pants on. It's going to be a long couple of months/years. Buckle up and fight the power.  XO


One good piece: A double breasted blazer feels just right

Good afternoon, Wednesday. The sun is finally out, baby. Thank goodness. Tired of all this gloom.

So if the forecast is right, it appears we're going to get a bit of chill this weekend. My thoughts with the Florida coast ps- no words to describe how scary that must be and I do hope everyone is safe and sound, people and animals alike.

So I've been thinking about restraint and how not to buy everything that comes across my Instagram feed.  It's all about working with what you have but updating each season with a few key pieces. To me, one such piece is a good double breasted blazer- you can't go wrong. The looks above are from seasons past, but still feel so very right now. From layering over a floral dress and boots for a bit of tomboy appeal to throwing one over your favorite rock tee, jeans, and high heels, it's a damn good look.

Some great options are avail that won't break the bank. I'm LOVING the variety of options at & Other Stories, some of which are pictured here and many more options here. How good are these? And love the idea of corduroy for a great seasonal look that feels slightly 1975. Yes, please. And I love the plaid coat- plaid is having a real moment and a double breasted silhouette works very well with the pattern.  I know I posted the image from Nili Lotan's fall lookbook in a former post, but it deserves a second look. Because it's GORGEOUS. I love how a double breasted blazer is classic yet so cool at the same time. Home run if you ask me, and an easy way to do that desk to dinner vibe we all dream about. Or at least I do. Cause that's what's up this doubling down on Fall kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in blazing trails. XO


Maven muse: Vivienne Westwood suits my rebellious, eccentric, punk rock mood

Good morning, Tuesday. Had a lovely weekend and a brilliant day off yesterday. Hope you are all getting back in the swing of things too.

So this weekend one of my best friends got married to his partner and it was ah-mazing. It was my first same sex wedding and it was so much fun. I'm not sure you can top the feeling of a roomful of gay men telling you you had the best dress of the night. I was positively thrilled, particularly in a roomful of major looks, honey. I went big with a sequined animal print number, and although I was scared to bring it that hard, bring it I did. And I don't regret it.

The point of the above is not to gloat. It's to acknowledge I can do over the top, and that maybe that's my best setting. I do keep it fairly simple on most days, but I'm attracted to a bit of over the top. I can't help it. Plus I'm so bloody pissed off due to (ahem) recent events in our country that I almost can't bear it. I'm craving making a very major middle finger statement right about now.That's why a recent Instagram prod to check out some new Vivienne Westwood shoes gave me a feeling. She is my de facto muse of the moment.

I mean- these tiger inspired shoes. WTF in the best of ways? I need them. And they come in gold.

Plus there were a few other items my rebellious, Anglophilic, eccentric soul was lusting for. 

Like this jumpsuit. 

And this suit. That jacket. Those trousers. Gah to the nth power.

And this fabulous coat.

And this electric blue dress. And these leopard pants.

And these JEANS. They are next bloody level.

This could all mean I'm either:

a) Turning into Eddy from "Ab Fab" as I always knew I would.

b) Channeling the Dadaish insanity of our times.

c) Embracing my inner punk rock weirdo.

d) All of the above.

I think it's d for sure. And true- crazy clothes come at a crazy price. But a girl can dream of living an eccentric life with a wardrobe to match, non? Either go big or go home, I say. Cause that's what's up this sweetie darling of a Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in a bit of outrageous whilst feeling outraged. XO

Link to site here. So much goodness.


Five for Friday: Fall is here. And so are these coats.

Good morning, Friday. It's chilly in New York and I'm happy about it. Since it may finally be time to shop for some chillier weather staples, I give you some great coats at all price points. I could literally list a hundred coats because there are a ton of great ones this season for every body type and price point. Above is a still from "Love Story" ps. Because nothing says Fall/Winter like Ali in that movie. Seriously. 

 Anyhoo, here's five great coats that I'm lurving plus one bonus just because- enjoy and happy shopping- oh and um, most of these are of the long wooly variety- but loads out there for those who like short, midi, and everything in between:

This coat from & Other Stories is basic in the best of ways. I love the silhouette and would look great with leggy black tights and a stiletto bootie. 

This big splurgy Helmut Lang coat is on sale at Saks and has magic powers. I love a red coat- great for the mood and great for gloomy, chilly days. You can't be in a bad mood and wear this coat. That's a fact. 

This pile coat from H&M is priced nicely and is a big, giant adult wubs. I love a camel coat, and the texture makes it trendy and cool with everything from a floral dress and boots to denim and Adidas. Yup. Love.

This plaid coat from Vince has just the right tomboy touch. A coat for grown women. I like it. A lot. Great for work and beyond.

This Lemaire coat is a dream. An oversized dream. This silhouette feels so on trend to me- I would wear this with absolutely everything. Dreaming of this one. 

Oh and for a bonus- this left of center coat from Rachel Comey. It's just weird enough. So so good. She always does a fab coat, right? And that color...major.

So with that, I wish you the best of weekends. My bestie is tying the knot this weekend and I'll tell ya the story of my dress next week if I feel like it. It's quite something. Cause that's what's up this bundling up kind of Friday in the 212. Yours, in keeping it all under wraps. XO



A few thoughts on the state of things...

Good morning, Wednesday.

So unless you've been asleep at the wheel for a hot minute, you no doubt have noticed we are living in a nightmarish, reality show on peyote mixed with arsenic. I can't believe what this (not my) President has unleashed and the cans of worms are infesting our screens every day- try very hard not to pay attention to the news. I double dog dare you.

Thinking about Kavanaugh, it's hard not to reflect on my own teenaged coming of age. He's a bit older than me but generally the same era. He saw Sixteen Candles. So did I. He liked beer. So did I. And he drank too much and did dumb shit. So did I. But this is not a piece to excuse his actions- to me, he's undeniably guilty and there's no way he should serve on the court. And if I didn't think so on the basis of the crime alone, I double dog didn't think so after his testimony. Big boys don't cry. Especially those who want to serve on the highest court of the land. And that's that.

I remember being a teen in the 80s and thinking about how the generations before mine really did a number on our fun. By this, I mean the AIDs crisis, that scourge that transcended any thought we had about sex, and we thought a lot about sex at that age. It was terrifying to even imagine having anything other than safe sex. And I found myself wondering if my team was paying the price for all of that indiscrete hedonism of the 70s salad days. Perhaps we're in another period of correction.

A period of darkness, of penance for all the ignorance we had when it came to toxic male culture. The fact that we didn't come forward and shoved it all under the rug  is coming back to haunt us. And now, today's kids are growing up in a world that must seem terrifying when it comes to sexual nuance and sex in general. How do we flirt in this day and age when everything is off limits? How do we throw caution to the wind and not fear for our lives when it comes to sleeping with someone? For me, this is clearly a non sequitur, but I'm talking about the kids. How will all of this affect them? If I was a young woman right now, I'd be terrified. And if I was a young man, I'd be frozen, wondering how to be and how to act when it comes to dating and dominance and anything else you can think of.

Some years ago, I worked for a trend forecaster who was instrumental for bringing the term "metrosexual" into the lexicon. It seemed that men suddenly had a raison d'etre- to wear striped button downs, buy expensive face cream, and cop to the fact that they were every bit as vain as we were. Then the financial crisis happened and many men in fields like manufacturing lost their jobs, and to me- that was a crucial moment. Suddenly, women seemed to be faring much better than the guys. And then I couldn't help but wondering where this left men. How would they evolve when women were arguably smoking them in most arenas? And now look where we are. We have a President who mocks the testimony of a woman who claims she was raped. 

And we can't go a day without a man being outed for doing something awful. It's so sad to me. Tragic, really.  Was I naive and never seeing all of this? Clearly I grew up in a culture that never called foul on this behavior. Back to the movies of my youth, and particularly Sixteen Candles- there's been articles written of late about how incredibly fucked up that movie is- Jake Ryan- my preppy poster teen for all that was right in the world, noted that he could violate his passed out girlfriend and then stuck her in a a car with an eager nerd, who apparently took advantage of her to which she responded, when asked if she enjoyed it, "I think I did."

Can you imagine a film like this playing now? This, mind you, was one of the greatest films of my generation. A classic. An icon. And our teenage brains were buying one very twisted myth- that when a rape does not take place in some kind of textbook dark back alley, it's actually funny. Unbelievable isn't it?

I hope that we are getting to a place where the very notion of toxic masculinity will go the way of the cave man, and never, ever come back.  This is not exactly relevant, but when I look at shows like "The Deuce" on HBO, New York seemed like one giant, STD laden cess pool. But the 70s, and their distant cousin, the 60s, were the decades of sexual awakening- when Ozzy and Harriet began to sleep in the same bed, and then some. Who knew where it would lead? Well my generation found out. And the notion of "safe" sex was born. But with all the revelations coming out right now, who knew it was anything but?

 Were we so focused on cleansing ourselves of the sins of the 70s that we failed to notice some other crucial things happening in culture?

Many people said that when Trump became President, it would get dark. And it's darker than I could ever have imagined. But from the darkness comes light, and rock bottom leaves only one way to go- back up again. I'm praying we can get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do. This period of revelation and hopefully correction is a painful one. But it's got to come to the surface so we can not only question how men like Trump came to power or how someone like Bill Cosby did what he did, but what was happening in our culture to create a perfect backdrop for these scenarios to occur. In order to stop the bleeding, you have to close the wound. It doesn't appear we're there yet. But I hope that tomorrow's high school party goers or anyone else does not have to endure any of the crap we did. I am beyond grateful for the women speaking out, speaking up, and most of all, speaking their truth. Time's up indeed. Period. End of story. XO 


On forever friends and belly laughs

Good morning, Monday. Holy emotions, batman. I had an amazing weekend in Philly with my very best girl gang and it was just, wow. It's incredibly humbling and grounding to spend time with people who knew you when. It's not about nostalgia. It's not about wanting to go back to a time when gravity was not taking over and when the world was full of possibilities. For me, it's embracing where we are now and where we're headed, with a healthy dose of insight and love from the past. 

Like those people who were with you when you watched Bono perform at Live Aid. 

Or the people who have the same silly sense of humor as you, even though we're all old enough to know better. 

It's the people who saw you through many awkward hormonal freak outs and haircuts and tears over unrequited love.

It's the people who were cool with you even before you know who you were. 

I love these people. And true- space and time have made it seem like maybe we don't have much in common anymore. I'm a city woman sans kid with a husband and a dog and a bit of a kooky existence. But truly- these women in my life (and then later in the weekend many of our guy pals) have never, ever judged me. It's so refreshing to spend time with people like that. We may have super different lives but our DNA is pretty much the same. And at times, I'm sad that I don't get to see these lovelies more often. But getting together and giggling and trying on clothes and googling people you once knew is just the most. Belly laughs for days.

And seeing our group of guy pals was a surprise I planned with one of our pals after an impromptu night out this Summer at the shore. I was nervous to reunite, but it did feel oh so good. We are older, wiser (meh), and a little less prone to partying,  but we had fun. It was so nice to see them all again. It's funny how life happens.  And ya, it goes by pretty damn fast. And nothing is exactly as it seems. Though I did realize from connecting and reconnecting this weekend- my life is not that different than I envisioned it. I knew I'd live in New York, I never really wanted kids, and I wanted a husband who was cool and chill and funny. And tall. Got those.  And I also knew I'd do something creative for a living, so I suppose I got that right too. Maybe I knew myself better than I thought I did. I always did have a good gut for stuff.

Ooh and as luck would have it- I got inspired to take a book idea to the next level. I'll be sending a chapter or two to my girls from the weekend to see what they think. Is it too late for me to be the voice of my generation? Ha. We'll see.

Cause that's what's up this post reunion kind of Monday in the 212. Back at it, right after looking back.  Oh and ps- if you don't know whose picture that is above or what movie it's from, you didn't go to high school when I did. XO


Maven pick: It's all a blur when it comes to perfect looking skin

Good morning, Wednesday. New York, I love you, but this weather...oy. Enough, already. Let's see some sunshine for the love of the Lord. I'm listening to the "Flashdance" soundtrack to try and get through it. That's how bad it is. 

So as someone who writes for beauty brands from time to time, I'm attuned to the buzzwords and buzzed about launches that help create trends. From BB to CC cream to "glowtion" there's always something new happening to keep beauty big spenders reaching for their wallets.

And the notion of "blur" is not new when it comes to beauty, but lately, I find myself LOVING it. It's been a hot summer in the city and too much makeup can feel like an oil slick on your face. I'm loving all the great "makeup/no makeup" options out there that just blur out the skin and smooth it out vs. going into heavy coverage territory. And in this age of Instagram filters, who doesn't want to look selfie ready in real life? 

Currently in my personal rotation?

StriVectin's Line BlurFector™ is all that and a bag of chip. Sure, I wrote for them for a while so this may seem shameless, but truly- it is a wonderful primer that will completely change the way you look at makeup. You can wear this line smoothing product all alone, or you can use it to provide a smooth yet non greasy base to makeup. Either way, it makes your skin look flawless. Big thumbs up. Not just because I helped launch it. ;) Truly great for women who don't love to wear makeup, and also perfect for those who do as a base for foundation, tinted moisturizer, or anything else.

Also it's no secret I've been fan girling over Kiehl's newest products of late- and their Micro-Blur Skin Perfector™ is just the most. I also love to use it as both primer and tinted moisturizer- it's not a lot of coverage but is a great canvas for a cream blush and a bit of highlighter. I'm so onboard.

One more to help blur the lines between makeup and skincare is Benefit's POREfessional. It's more for gals who have large pores and are prone to oily skin- it gives skin that airbrushed look and tones down shine.

So if you can't see your way out of the fog this morning, why not just blur it?

Cause that's what's up this perfect finish of a Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in being ready for that close up. XO

Maven recommends: Go bold or go home with this new hue

Good late morning/noonish, Tuesday. It's a shite day in New York today and I for one could use a bit of color. I know- weird, right?

Sure I'm as much an all black everything kinda chick like most New York gals, but I am prone to wacky prints and occasionally, I'll connect to a color that I want to wear all the time. That color happens to be Pantone's color of 2018, Ultraviolet aka purple. I LURV this shade. As a coppery redhead, it's a great color for me, and ever since I saw this No. 21 dress in the window of a fav shop in my neighborhood, I wanted this hue in my life. And I'm coveting it in a big way. Right now, the big designers like No. 21 and Gucci are doing it best, but to beam back down to Earth with some affordable options, I'm open to suggestions. I haven't found a ton I love but I need something in this color stat.

So thought I'd offer some inspirational pics of this beautiful, rich, royal color. I think it's provocative in just the right way. As soon as I find something great in this piece that won't break el piggo bank, I'll let you know. Lest this purple trend is a bit too reminiscent of Prince, look how chic it can look paired with maroon for a fresh take on it. Or the tonality of the look right above this is anything but Purple Rain. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

But for now, on this gloomy day, I leave you with some beautiful takes on this shade. And that No. 21 dress in the window? Divine.

Cause that's what's up this flying purple people eater of a Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in Barney has never looked cooler. XO

Update: Just spotted this purple dress on yesterday's Gucci runway for next Spring. Yes, please. Sans the model who looks to be in the throes of a bad trip, man.


On girl gangs

Good morning, Monday. I spent the weekend relaxing and it was nice to dial it all down a notch or two. 

So much fun stuff coming up in the next few weeks- a long overdue girls weekend with all of my best friends from childhood. I was lucky enough to have that girl group vibe all of my life until college when we all went our separate ways- sure more female friendships ensued that I treasure, but I never had that clique thing again. We bonded over the fact that we were a bit off kilter as compared to the very metalhead/guido vibe of my suburban Philadelphia high school. We loved new wave, Duran Duran, and Esprit de corps. I suppose we were pretty textbook Gen X teens, but my high school was far from a John Hughes movie. If I'm being honest, there was not a lot of room for someone like me- an art school kid who worshipped Siouxsie Sioux and read the "Village Voice" on a regular basis.

So my girls and I really became friends long before high school- there was the set of twins from around the corner who were truly my sisters from about the age of 5, and then along came three more girls who took very prominent roles in my female development. Thank goodness for all of them.

We were all fairly good girls (some better than others wink wink) and we had the absolute best time. I never felt right growing up in Philly as many of you know, but these girls probably saved me from a hormonal, existential crisis almost every single day. Without them, I would not know the value of female friendship from such a young age. From memorizing all the words to our favorite songs and screaming them at the top of our lungs to being completely boy crazy for guys who drove Jettas and wore Vuarnets and had side swept bangs to sneaking Kahlua from our parent's liquor cabinets or stealing cigs from my dad, we were there for each other. We saw each other through every crazy haircut, every crush, every first we ever had. And these girls arguably know me better than anyone else.

If we cut to now, the evolution of our friendship is unique. I'm the only one of six girls that did not have children, we are all married, and we are scattered throughout the country. One friend lives in Toronto, another in Philly, her sister in Atlanta, and two Californians to round it out- one in LA and one in SF. And then of course there's me here in NY. I worry sometimes if my lack of kid cred will ever make me feel left out, but because we all love each other so much, it never does. Because we knew each other way back when, and when we see each other, it's like we never left each other's sides, which is a great blessing. I sense I may be the wackiest, but true fact- I always was. ;) They have all grown up to be such beautiful, smart, amazing creatures, by the way. I'm proud to call each of them a friend for life. And most of all, they always accept me for exactly who I am, or for the many iterations of who I came to be and may still become. 

If you're reading this and thinking about your special female friendships, I'm glad. There's simply nothing better than a girl gang- and I can't wait to see mine when we reunite at the scene of the crime this weekend in Philly. There will most likely be lots of laughs, lots of shopping, and lots of wine. Now if only I could decide what to wear. Oh and I guarantee you we will be singing some choice 80s songs at the top of our lungs. 

Cause that's what's up this girls rule kind of Monday in the 212. Yours, in lady gangs and friends forever. XO

(Don't you just love that pic above ps? It's by Ken Russell, from his Teddy boy series in postwar London. Brills.)


And the award goes to..my Emmys fashion round up

Good morning, Tuesday. Happy Yom Kippur to my Jewish meshpucha- may you have a healthy and safe fast, or something like that. I'm not well versed on the high holidays at this point in my life, but still appreciate the observance of this most solemn of eves.

So about last night in Hollywood, which was anything but solemn. The Emmys were on and I have to say- they were entertaining because the acceptance speeches were wacky- from the marriage proposal from the director of the Oscars to the wacky as wacky gets creator of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". (And yes, I do wish Alex Borstein wore a bra, though hats off for rewearing her wedding dress).

And in terms of fashion- it was one of the biggest home runs I've ever seen. Almost everybody looked ah-mazing. There must be something in the water in Hollywood. Oh yea, it's called money and fame and access to the best designers, trainers, glam squads, and surgeons.

Regardless, there were MAJOR looks. Above is Angela Sarafyan of "Westworld" in Christian Siriano. Major.

My favorites? Thandie Newton in this gorgeous pink dress from Brandon Maxwell, whose collection I really loved during Fashion Week. This one took my breath away. She is so beautiful.

Mrs. Maisel aka Rachel Brosnahan was marvelous in this red De La Renta. And her speech was great- I applaud her effort to get people to get out and vote. 

Claire Foy in pristine Calvin Klein with slicked back hair and a red slick of lip looked positively royal. 

Keri Russell in Zuhair Murad. And that hair and makeup look was probably my favorite of then night. Just gorgeous, relaxed glamour. 

Sarah Paulson is a fashion fanatic in the best of ways and this De La Renta was good, good, good.

Millie Bobby Brown- not the least bit strange in Calvin Klein. Stunning, youthful, and super fun.

Mandy Moore in Rodarte. The end. Bye.

Ellie Kempner looked beautiful in this J. Mendel which complimented her hair and skin so well.

Samirah Wiley in Jenny Packham. That body though. Woah.

And I loved this modern take on formality on Issa Rae, wearing Vera Wang. Gorgeous color too.

Oh and shout out to Elisabeth Moss- loved the dress by Vera Wang- so sexy and va voomy. But the hair? Go back to the dark side, girl.

Yea and I know I should have loved Jessica Biel's Ralph and Russo dress- she's gorgeous and all but the dress looked like bubble wrap to me and her girls looked super smushed. 

As for the hosts, meh. Stick to SNL- I don't believe it was  the very best gig for Colin or Michael.  It's a tough one, for sure. And that opening number was hokey as hokey gets.  And I liked how they announced the nominees and then bought out the presenters. Much better flow that way. 

My favorite moment? The Aussie comedian Hannah Gadsby's hilarious monologue which was a bit of cheeky man bashing. Funny. Oh and the Fonz won. Which pleased me. Very much. Well done, Fonz.

Oh and Maya Rudolph who I live for wore two dresses by Simone Rocha, whom I also live for and clocked straight away the second I saw those looks. Love her and Rocha- just not for an awards show like this. Did not feel right at all. 

Cause that's what's up this fabulously fashionable Tuesday in New Yawk City. Yours, in Hollywood glam. XO