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

Happy Friday vibes...

Oh hey hey Friday of the long weekend. Good to see you.

This was a week for sure. But last night I walked all the way from Times Square to Tribeca and it felt good. I'm loving the cooler temps too- so my time of year and feel ready for Fall- this Summer was not one of my favs as many of you already know.

So what are you up to this weekend? I'm looking forward to relaxing, drawing, eating, drinking, exercising- all the basics really. I'm perched on the edge of quite a few things and looking to land them once September goes into full swing. But really, Stella Tennant's expression above really speaks to my general sentiment and mood this week. It's a bit of a hmmm. Bite the lip. Get to work. Hunker down. You know that look. I am well aware of that look. I hope my face doesn't freeze...

That's how I'm going into the weekend- but hopefully by the end of it I'll be more like my pal Linda here, in 1994 Versace. Look how happy she is. Point here is there is always a supermodel expression to suit most moods. Particularly my 90s gals. Know this. It's truth.

That's all I got for you, kiddos. Have a glorious weekend and prayers to Houston and the surrounding areas. Yours, in supermodels and self expression. XO



Trend to try: The new nude lip

Good early afternoon, friends.

Let's get right to it- you know my relationship to lipstick is precarious. In that I don't generally wear it or like it. On me.

But I may be turning a corner because one of my fav trends from the 90s is making a comeback- and it's a new nude lip that I really, really dig.

I know it sounds dreadful but it's far from it. I've always been a nude lip kind of girl- but beige or pink or rose hued for the most part. Enter Nars with my favorite new lipstick of the season, Vibeke, with the caramely Linda  (the darker one above) as a close second- as in Linda you know who, naturally. They are not true brown but they are a fresh take on a nude lip and work well on most skin tones. Fabulously pigmented and ultimately wearable.

Oh and just as a sidebar-  the new Bord de Plage palette for cheeks and eyes is pretty much everything. Fantastic with my copper tresses and amazing for highlighting, bronzing, and sweeping over the lids. Plus the packaging is absolutely gorgeous. It's fair to say I'm obsessed with it.

So go on and try some new makeup for Fall. It's a magical time of year so wake up your make up and bring on the pumpkin spice. Cause that's what's up this giving Fall a bit of lip kind of Wednesday in the 212. Yours, in trends to try. XO



I love you Mary Janes.

Good morning, Tuesday. It's a gloomy, chillyish day here in the city. Perfect for pajamas and Khan cuddles. Less perfect for back to back meetings. Oh well.

So Fall is very much on my mind and I'm thrilled to see one of my favorite shoe trends making a resurgence- the humble and adorable and altogether sexy Mary Jane. My husband is a huge fan of a Mary Jane and the high heeled versions can be very saucy in that naughty schoolgirl kind of way, while the flats and block heeled versions are feminine and cute and super classic.

I love how this shoe can mean so many things- Kate Moss's patent Repetto take a few years back had me swooning- so chic and a nice alternative to the everyday ballet.

For a bit of history, look at the way Twiggy rocked these back in the swinging 60s- so mod and cute and stylish. 

And then leave it to Courtney myLove in the 90s to take the naughty schoolgirl thing to a very grrrly place. Love love love.

And if you want to rock an MJ this season, go for a velvet version.  Velvet is trending big time- and though it puts fear in my heart having lived through both the 80s and 90s, I can get behind velvet when it comes to a good shoe. These have a dressed up feel that is so great- and if you go for the flatter versions, you can wear this for evening and be super comfortable. 

Here's a few favs:

Look at these cuties from SJP- after all, homegirl knows a thing or two about a girly shoe. Ladylike and lovely. Great color- that's what's fun about velvet- looks fab in cool colors.

And these from Prada are penetrating my brain and going straight to my dopamine receptors. These are like chocolate and sex. Completely lustworthy and utterly classic.  Dreamy.

These from LK Bennett are more work appropriate than not. A way to do the trend in a more conservative way that's still fun.

I love Sam Edelman for trendy shoes that won't break the bank. They always do a great job of making trendworthy shoes accessible- these are fab and love the color. I'd so wear these with a fishnet and a midi dress. Love.

And last but not least- these. From Doen. I love this brand for their boho staples and  would say that this is a maven must have moment right here. I am obsessed with these- a slipper and Mary Jane altogether. Love them in bordeaux and love them in black. They remind me of those Chinese slippers we all wore as kids. I'd rock these in a grunge way for sure- oversized striped or paisley pajama top a la Kurt Cobain and slouchy jeans and of course, major league bedhead. 

And that's what's up this buckled and strapped kind of Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in passing the Mary Jane(s).XO






Maven Must Have: Florals for Fall


Good morning, Monday. It's so pretty outside. Love this weather so much- I am all about those 70something temps. Bring it.

And with Fall top of mind I can't help but notice some early trends- seeing a ton of florals for Fall and really loving them. I think of luxe hippie icons like Marisa Berenson, pictured above and love extending the shelf life of boho beyond Summer time. Have a look and fall in love.

This Ulla Johnson dress is simply one of my favorites- I'd wear this all fall with over the knee boots and then in winter with black tights and a faux fur jacket or vest. I am literally dreaming about this dress. Weird. I know. But I love it so much.

This Isabel Marant dress is grossly expensive but I love the mid length silhouette and think it's a fabulous luxe throw on piece that would look gorgeous with a textured tight and a high heeled mary jane or high heeled boot for a bit of sexy boho times. So so pretty. Has that "this old thing?" vibe that I love so very much.

For a less spendy way to get the look, check out this dress from Loft. I know off the shoulder does not scream Fall, but I like it for when the temps are still warm in September and you can rock this look with an ankle boot and dip a toe (or foot) into the foliage without going all in. 

If you like a less girly and more arty approach to florals, this dress from Rodebjer, a favorite brand of mine from Sweden, should suit your tastes. I can see wearing this to work and then to a gallery opening downtown. It's a cool girl way to do floral without being fussy. Bold and modern. 

And this dress from & Other Stories is perfection and well priced- and it's also red, a bonus since red is such a power color this Fall. At under $150, it's a great piece you'll wear over and over- I picture it with tan or brown high suede boots and lots of long necklaces for a 70s glam hippy moment. I'm excited for the new season and looking forward to continuing my love for dresses with a bit of a chill in the air. Cause that's what's up this fall fashion and foliage of a Monday in the 212. Yours, in falling for Fall (already). XO




Maven pick: A bit of boot camp with Frye

Good afternoon kinda sorta early evening, Thursday. It's been a busy day but with Summer on the wane, I can't help thinking about Fall, my most favorite time of the year. I'd pine for Fall when I lived in Miami, and I'm truly looking forward to the change and slight chill. I am over the Summer thing. Next. Done and done.

And if you're still clinging to your beach blanket for dear life, maybe this post will inspire you to put down the iced matcha and grab the pumpkin spice. Because Frye (yes Frye) is making some killer boots and I'm having a hard time deciding which of these suckers I'd want on my feet post Labor Day. I've got a great pair of vintage luggage brown Campus boots I treasure, but some of these new styles are worth a look. I can tell you this- women love a good pair of boots the way we love french fries, rose, and avocado toast. True fact. But picture a woman who also loves a bit of punk rock and possibly some Zeppelin and yea, that kind of chick. The ones who need a little leather with their lace. 

Take this Heirloom Harness moto boot. It's a tough little sucker and I love it. It's far from cheap mind you, but still cheaper than the Balenciaga version and this one has more cred anyway.  I would love to see it with a cropped striped jean or trouser, rock tee, and denim jacket but that's just me. 

And these two mid length boots, the Addie and the Nora are the bomb. I know- two black boots- but what else for black skinnys and black leather leggings come Fall? I love a shit kicking boot and both of these fit the bill. Also love with a winter boho look- think a soft, pretty dress with a tough boot. Good times.

The June short boot is genius too. Love love love. 

And this engineer boot is so so good. Very rock and roll and bad ass. And for those of you who are on set or on your feet all day, great choice.

I know I'm showing you all pull on boots, but that's kind of my jam. Not a huge lace up boot fan and def not a cowboy boot kind of girl. I go more moto/rock and roll/stompy chic. And as we round the corner on Summer 2017, I'm excited to think about all the fun things about Fall. First up? Boots and more boots.

Cause that's what's up this giving Summer the boot kind of Thursday in the 212. Yours, in waving to Fall from afar, one shoe at a time. XO





Maven pick: Red ahead for Fall '17

Good day, Tuesday. Hope y'all enjoyed the total eclipse. I'll have to wait for the next one. Oh well.

So Fall. It's almost here. You would never know it from the weather in this soupy city today. I hear we're in for a cool down and for that I am eternally grateful. I'm tired of sweating, I truly am.

And with thoughts of Fall and chills in air permeating my total eclipse of a brain, I can't help but think about red. I'm seeing red and perhaps you are too, since many editors are calling red the color of Fall '17. My red conversion happened during last season's Dior- that red leather jacket and tulle skirt had me at hello. I've never been a lady in red and though I know I've written about this before, I'm more than drawn to it and most likely will be getting myself something new in the hue very soon. Also it's not lost on me that many of us in this country are indeed seeing red from our current 24/7 news feeds. It's not really a beige time now is it? 

I sketched this look above from Jil Sander's Fall '17 collection and felt seduced by the color of blood, passion, love. Red is not really for shrinking violets and I love the idea of using red top to bottom like this look here- it gives it an almost neutral appeal which I'm a big fan of. Tricky thing though- my hair is currently copper and I'm wondering if redheads can wear red? What do you think? Red is one of those colors that has a lot of range- true red can be tricky but orange/red can be quite striking, and I've always been a huge fan of scarlet and crimson tones. 

Here's some more of my favorite red looks for Fall for a bit of inspiration-  love the tonal looks as well as the red being used in suiting- another huge trend for Fall is menswear and when it's done in red it feels pretty damn rock and roll and cool. Also red for evening is absolutely outstanding.  I'm feeling it in a very real way and want to wear more. And yea, this is the first sketch in a series I hope to share with you on a regular basis- I am having a fantastic time getting back in touch with my sketchy side- I literally have not picked up a marker to draw since my senior year of high school so this is kind of a big deal for me. What do you think? Would you like to see more? I'm happy to share so look out for them.

Cause that's what's up this red is right of a Tuesday in the 212. Yours, in scarlet letters and everything in between. XO