April 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
So there are days when you feel like you Just Can’t. Alas, you have to anyway. May I suggest that you put on something that makes you really, really happy and feel pulled together? I believe it takes the edge off.
Today I decided on these crazy black and white floral jersey pants with my favorite slingbacks and Hipper-Than-Me gray overcoat. Feeling better already.
Don’t give up the ship! Or at least be dressed with confidence so it doesn’t feel like you might.
(Weird photo of my new favorite pants: Some Cozy Night)
April 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
I don’t know how I missed it, but Daft Punk has a new single out as of last Friday — Get Lucky — and it is infectious. Apparently this was produced with live recording and Nile Rogers had a hand in it, so get yourself some lucky!
Buy it on iTunes but get a taste of it here: http://randomaccessmemories.com/
April 24, 2013 § Leave a comment
Last week it was my birthday and the official celebration of an award that Mr. H was given this year. I will be honest with you: I was not at all looking forward to my birthday or the event*. In spite of trying to keep it light here, this year has been kind of drag in lots of places so far, and the days leading up to my birthday were especially crappy. So, in spite of my now many years of wisdom and maturity, I was basically a big baby until we got ourselves off to one of my favorite homes away from home, The Carlyle:
Completely old school and totally cozy…the perfect antidote to my unreasonably bad mood. No doubt, the Whiskey Smash at Bemelmans, with Chris Gillespie playing our requests** and those cheese things I cannot stop eating had an essential Mellowing Effect.
Did I mentioned the Whisky Smash? Yes, it was good. And Mellowing.
Then we were off to dinner at a place I haven’t been to in forever: Jean Georges. And OMG, Mr. Vongerichten — the man who completely changed the face of my chicken stock — was there, hanging out at reception. So I got to say a little starstruck “hello” before we were taken to our table…
And well taken care of…
This all put me in an awfully good mood. As did the lovely sky that night…so pretty, even if it was a tad moody. (Who am I to judge?)
Alas, the moody night sky turned into the kind of barometric pressure day that gives me a migraine, which I woke up with. This was unacceptable. I needed to be in good shape to celebrate with Mr. H and the rest of our team, and wear this dress, which I had picked specifically for this occasion:
So, I took two excidrin migraine tablets and rather than hole myself up in bed, went for a walk in the park with Mr. H, that may be better described as a “sit” with a bottle of cold Poland Spring pressed against my head. And either through sheer will to wear that dress and be merry, or a change in pressure combined with those magic pills, I was feeling better by the time we hit our favorite lunch place for some much-needed carbs. And then we got ourselves tidied up and off to Celebration No. 2. Which I have to say, was very nice, mostly on account of being able to cheer for my Mr. H and celebrate with all the people who make our company as interesting and fun as it could possibly be.
It is kind of funny to have a birthday and something like this so close to each other. Each little event was kind of begging me to think about “what I have accomplished” in my life and in my work. And I have to say that as I think about it now, as frustrating and challenging both can be (not just for me, for all of us), on the whole, it is very much worth celebrating.
(Photos, which I insist on taking myself or getting Mr. H to take because I am IP Sensitive: Some Cozy Night)
* Even though I was truly, truly thrilled that Mr. H was among those being celebrated.
** Yes, we go there a lot. And have for along time. And yes, I am only 42.
April 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
Because said person left me the chicest candle by Maison Kitsuné on my desk for my birthday. I shall give the you the lowdown on that event shortly, but this could not wait…
I am loving that logo for starters, and totally forgot that I should have exercised a little restraint and taken a photo of the fantastic box before I ripped the candle out of it. It is also kind of fabulous…
And then the candle itself was just so “quiet”, even though the lettering is very much on there…
And finally, let’s talk about that scent: It is a mossy mint and feels perfect for a cool but sunny day like today. I suspect this one will get burned down in no time. Fabulous!
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
Maison Kitsuné: http://shop.kitsune.fr/
April 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
This is one of my absolute favorite neon signs in New York. I have loved it for years and year and years. And have been meaning to get a photo of it for just as long. But for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to — or at least wasn’t motivated enough to make it happen. Then, a few weeks ago, Mr. H and I noticed that the building was for rent and the panic set in: Were we too late? Would this sign be gone before we could get to it? UGH!
Luckily, Mr. H was able to get a shot on the way back from an appointment today. Or rather, I should say that he took the time to get that shot. It could not have taken all that long, but I am sure once the sign is gone, we will both be happy to have this snap, since memories fade.
I know that this is, once again, a small thing. But I do think it is a good reminder of what we all know: Time moves in only one direction and you cannot expect things to always be the same. So, with that, let’s remember to take the time to do those things, both small and huge, that we’ve been meaning to do, just in case things change later.
(Photo: Mr. H)
April 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
First, let us begin by acknowledging that it is just past 1AM and I am awake. I have read a new magazine*, watched a rather mindless episode of The Good Wife from season 1**, and listened to an entire 43 minutes of Tara Brach telling me how to better accept myself. And then I decided to accept the fact that I could not sleep and got out of bed. Why fight it? Right, Tara?
It seems however, that I am not alone…
If you look closely, there are some other lights on in the neighborhood. Why do I suspect they are on because people are just getting home from something fun or are doing a 1AM feeding?
Anyway, this is not the point of this post. This is:
I imagine that I don’t strike anyone as a someone who is into sports. And for the most part, this is true. However, I was brought up in a Baseball Family, and while the Yankees were the Family Team (and still mine), I spent a rather large part of my teens at Mets games c/o Nelson Doubleday and the fact that my Dad worked for him. While I may not have truly appreciated the choice seats we always had at those games (I felt as if I knew Gary Carter because I was always right near him), I did learn a thing or two during those years. And of course, ’86 made me a little obsessed and I got in deeper. Then college rolled around and I just about never thought about baseball again.
Until last winter when I read this wonderful book: Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding***. The book is about baseball and then not about baseball. But the passages about actually playing the game were so beautifully written that I found myself right back in 1986, with better hair, I hope. (Those scenes are almost topped by the conversations among these young men while they are trying to become amazing ball players. It felt so honest to me…but I digress.) After I finished the book, I moved on to another and kind of forgot that I was into baseball once again.
And then some extremely cool friends of ours invited us to a suite at Yankee Stadium to see the second game of their season.
Let me begin by saying that being indoors with the option to be outdoors — that included a fully stocked bar to make sure that you were “toasty” in the 30-degree temperature — is really the best possible way to get reintroduced to the joys of a live game. (To my knowledge, I never was able to sip on tequila while watching the Mets. It rather does take the edge off crap weather.) Mr. H and I arrived a little bit before the others, because I hate being late and am therefore often early. The upside here is that I was able to geek out a bit and first have a giggle at this important warning:
However, I will be truthful and tell you that I read “bats” as you know, BATS. Those flying things that scare the hell out of me. Only later did I realize they meant baseball bats. Still, at the height we were at, I am not super clear as to how I could have gotten hit with a baseball bat, so maybe my confusion was reasonable.
Then there was the field:
Just seeing it got me kind of psyched for a game I knew my team was going to lose. And lose they did. But it didn’t matter. I simply find the art and ritual of the game to be very pleasing. The pitchers getting warmed up…the batters waiting for their turn, even if they know the guy before them is going to make this waiting and prep unnecessary…the catcher pretty much feeling like the heart of the team, keeping everyone together. Heck, I even get excited when they play the National Anthem.
And then there is the fabulous part of watching it all with your friends. Laughing over a shared disapproval of a particular player, wondering why they were all wearing “baseball slacks” rather than the usual bottoms, and all deciding that even though it was 30 degrees outside, we would get our butts out there and watch the final inning together. In the cold, like our own little team.
A wonderful way to remember a love that was forgotten.
* Bullet. I like the intent and hope they stop with some of the weird type and typesetting. No margins isn’t cool…it just looks wrong. But do check them out online to get a flavor: http://bullettmedia.com/magazine/
** Is this show worth my time? I can’t tell yet, but I feel like lots of people love it.
*** Just in case: http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Fielding-A-Novel/dp/0316126675
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
April 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
OK, I am having a major stress-related sleepless night, so I thought now would be a great time to talk the Fall Collections that were shown in February. I know not everyone cares about these things, but I love the art of it when done well, and the trends you see here are things you are going to see everywhere come late summer, so assessing your about-to-be-put-away fall pieces from this season with an eye on next year isn’t entirely stupid. Also, please note that there are way too many shows, and I therefore tend to stick to the designers I personally adore and make sure to check out the ones that everyone is talking about. So, these comments aren’t coming from someone who has seen everything…just enough to have an opinion. 😉
So, we’ll start with New York:
I think I mentioned that I loved Narciso Rodriguez (http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/new-york/rtw/narciso-rodriguez.html), which was full of crisp jackets, spare-but-snuggly coats and trousers that you know you can wear to work and evening events that require a little more than jeans. Beautiful palette of inky blues, rust, classic black and cream and a fantastic pop of fushia here and there. Narciso isn’t really trendy, but his artful cutting that makes Minimalist interesting was on fire this season. These are Keeper Pieces that feel right now and will for a long time to come.
Marc Jacobs was actually my favorite New York show this season (http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/new-york/rtw/marc-jacobs.html). I am not usually a Marc girl, but for over twenty years, he has always been a force. This collection was a great mix of Cool Chick and Ladylike. The metallics had a comfortable and liquid-like effect, that when pared with more matte things (like cloth jackets and cozy, fitted sweaters) made them viable for day. The cloth coats and jackets were very desirable and perhaps a good way to get the look without it feeling too “Fall 2013″…more keepers, I think. The handbags were also kind of perfect, but I must ask: As much as I am enjoying the clutch these days, how practical is it, really? Also, Marc, WAY TOO MUCH FUR. No fur is best for me, but heavens, why would I want to wear a dead animal around my neck? I don’t even like it when my dogs jump on me and they are alive and wonderful creatures.
Proenza Schouler, in spite of their awful new logo (it is killing me) made me want to dress like a grown up again http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/new-york/rtw/proenza-schouler.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.new-york.rtw.proenza-schouler.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00001). So much so that their Look 2 is on preorder for me. Hopefully it will fit and I won’t spill anything on it right away. Black and white was big again, as were relaxed but not slouchy jackets that you can totally wear with jeans and smart flats for a less dressed up look. I loved how tight they kept their palette and how so many shapes seemed to build on things they’ve been trying in prior seasons. I know the P.S.1 bag is the bread of butter of this business, but damn, these guys make great clothes.
The Row. There was nothing I did not want in this show. I even love the pants over the dresses — a trend to look for and consider provided that the pant leg is very slim and the dress feels more like a tunic. I especially loved looks 17 – 19, but would need to be about seven inches taller to pull them off. Still, I am certain I’ll find a thing or two, be horrified by the price, but wind up with anyway. The heart wants what it wants. And this stuff is also designed for the long-haul. http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/new-york/rtw/the-row.html#
OK, London…I’ve got to be honest with you: I didn’t like anything. And I usually love Jonathan Saunders, Preen, and Peter Pilatto. But the only thing I kind of dug was L’Wren Scott’s show, which was great for tall, pin-thin women who like a lot of gold and ruffles. This is not meant to be disparaging. I actually thought it was great..just not really for me.
Milan is where things start getting serious. For the palette alone, Jil Sander was a knockout: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/milan/rtw/jil-sander.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.milan.rtw.jil-sander.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00006 But I love the longer skirts, trim but not tight tops, and all of those delicious coats! I was surprised to see plaid here, but the nineties is back…so it is to be expected. The sweaters did look kind of great with the long, flowing skirts, but one needs to be careful to avoid looking like Elaine Bennis. Still, I loved this show.
There was way too much fur at Marni this season (http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/milan/rtw/marni.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.milan.rtw.marni.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00019), but Marni Girls like me will always find something irresistible in the collection. More roomy coats and jackets were on offer…this is a trend that I suspect is here to stay for a while, but do be careful: we don’t want to revisit Working Girl again, do we?
Very interesting at Prada, but it almost always is. This is why I still wear pieces that are old enough to take their PSATs. I LOVED the coat sleeves when they weren’t done with fur. (Again…can’t we stop with the fur??) And the sharp, asymmetrical hemlines could be something that will trickle on down. Keep your eyes open.
And now on to the end of the road: Paris While an acquired taste, Ann Demeulemeester’s show had some interesting play with flowing fabric that still felt urban enough for an Indian Summer Situation in the city: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/ann-demeulemeester.html And I liked how some of it was paired with tougher and more substantial fabrics that would work well as the temperatures dive. No bowler hats, though. I beg you.
Like Jil Sander, Phoebe Philo at Céline (yes, yes, I love this line) was playing with longer skirts and high waists: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/celine.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.celine.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00001 And the softly boxy tops, jackets and coats were all in my face, strengthening my desire to be a Tall Person. That said, there were plenty of dresses and tops for a Wee Person like me to adore and wear without looking like a fool. So, Phoebe, thank you again!
Chanel is Chanel. Enough said. Oh, except I really dug look number 5: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/chanel.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.chanel.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00005
I love me some Chloe, but only look number 7 really melted my butter this time: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/chloe.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.chloe.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00007
Oh, God, DIOR!!!!. I just knew that Raf Simmons was going to be brilliant there, and he is, without making hay of the archives. Raf, I was in from look number 1: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/christian-dior.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.christian-dior.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00001 That said, there isn’t a ton here to really wear every day. And I do kind of need that more than anything else. Oh, and before you think I missed it: those bags were bad.
After years of resisting, Christian Wijnants got me into a jumpsuit this spring. He is new on the scene, but I think he has a great way with draping and the looks are youthful but still sophisticated: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/christian-wijnants.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.christian-wijnants.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00001 Look number 28, I love you.
No one, except maybe Galliano, does color like Dries Van Noten: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/dries-van-noten.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.dries-van-noten.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00008. And this wasn’t anywhere near his strongest in that regard. Still, there were things to love. I don’t feel like there are very trendy things in his collection…just things that call out to you and say “take me home and love me forever”. Look 11, deep crush. Less feathers and fur would have made this one more appealing to me, but I am still enjoying the pants under the dress trend. And the proportions here just look really fresh and wearable, even for a Wee Person.
I will always love Giambatista Valli: http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/giambattista-valli.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.giambattista-valli.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00009 I do find it helpful to mix with more casual pieces, but look number nine is heaven, no?
And we must finish with the show that all eyes were on: Alexander Wang’s first collection for Balenciaga, which was perfection. There was so much talk of Wang being more of a street designer, but this collection was so respectful of the heritage, while being totally NOW, I was jumping in my seat (at the office, when I should have been working). I want to date looks eight though eleven, and once again wish that the fur wasn’t used in the later looks. Still, wonderful. http://nymag.com/thecut/fashion/shows/2013/fall/paris/rtw/balenciaga.html#slideshow=/services/fashion/get.fashion.slideshow.json:2013.fall.paris.rtw.balenciaga.collection-full-length%7CcurrentSlide=00008
So, what have I gleaned from these shows? Well, solids — especially black and cream — are big this year, as is the relaxed shoulder, pants under carefully chosen dresses and long jackets that look like dresses are all What’s Next or still going strong. I would also say that even when the tailoring is more fitted, things looked more comfortable overall. “Ladylike” here and there, “Modern” here and there, but this season seems to be saying “go ahead, finish the pasta and I swear you won’t have to unzip anything before you get home”. Enjoy!
April 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
OK, dear friends. Sorry for the rant last night. I am feeling better today and was reminded that good friends and family, along with a good night’s sleep, can make almost anything manageable. Also something that makes things more manageable is a good base for chicken soup: homemade stock. I know. Everyone says it and I am always like “I have a life to live”, but it is true, good stock makes for delicious everything.
A couple of weeks ago, it felt like one of those days where you should be roasting a chicken. And so I did. It isn’t hard once you’ve browned the skin and turned the bird onto its back (that is a pain in the a**), and it certainly makes you feel like you have one of those very Domestic Goddess lives.
After a delicious dinner, I found myself with the remains of a chicken that was kind of begging to be used. So, I cleaned off as much meat as I could (and froze it for more Goop salads) and then put the carcass in a big stock pot with the usual suspects: water, an onion, some bay leaves, celery stalks, carrots, salt and pepper. And then added one ringer ingredient courtesy of Jean-Georges: a few whole cloves. I cannot tell you what a difference this makes, provided that you use it sparingly — we aren’t making a pie here. After a few hours of simmering, I ran it though my chinois* and was done. Eight cups of liquid bliss waiting to be used for days when you need a little extra something to manage it all. Like!!
(Photo: Mr. H)
* You need one of these. Not only do they make you feel like a pro in the kitchen, they are essential in getting something clear without a lot of hoo-ha: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinoise
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Add “incredibly angry and frustrated” to that, and you will pretty much my state of mind at the moment.
I am not writing about this to complain. OK, maybe I am a little. But really, I am just sitting here wondering how to get past it, as it is completely not my strong suit.
Remembering all the good things in my life is a help, but when I am in the grips of the Disappointment Monster, it is hard to see through the haze. It dissipates, but not as fast as I would like. And sometimes the haze gives way to an unpleasant clarity that results in questioning: What is wrong with this picture? Am I willing to invest more — time, money, heart — in something that only seems to be making me feel bad? Will it get better??
Truth be told, it almost always gets better, and maybe the questioning is good, even if you’d rather not go there. For now, I think I will just go to bed. Sometimes it really does all look better in the morning.
So, for all the days that you are feeling like I am this evening, just remember that you are not alone.