Insomnia and the Fall Collections

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. ūüėČ

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!

xx

Re-Entry: A Week’s Worth of Coping

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Happy Thursday! I’ve been back home for almost a week now and I must say, things have been not too shabby.* As always, a combination of planning and being open to whatever has been key.

On the planning front, I made sure that the house was in Ready Mode when we arrived with a stocked fridge c/o Fresh Direct and some lovely flowers from Emily Thompson (http://www.emilythompsonflowers.com/):

goodmorning

There is also the matter of making sure that my agenda for the return week was set to a certain degree. Before I left, I divided my “Work”, “Home” and “Personal” To Do lists into “Before You Leave” and “Upon Return” segments. I’ll spare you the contents, as many things were as mundane as “order diverter for shower” and “complete the E&O Insurance Application”, but every list feels better when you have it in something pretty. I count my blue diary with refillable inserts among one of those things, even if the checkbook sticks out:

gettingitdone

And in the diary, I reminded myself to schedule some fun and some maintenance. So, brows and facial this afternoon with the lovely Robin Evans who keeps me from looking like a teenage George Whipple (http://robinevansskincare.com/) and dinner at The Modern (http://themodernnyc.com/) last night, with a wonderful view of one of my very favorite gardens in the city…


MoMA

Nothing like this kind of view to make you feel less glum about leaving the sparkle of the sea and unlimited amounts of guacamole. Also, the wine and painstakingly prepared and served food helped.

And this evening, dinner with a Bestie — just us girls — as the most excellent 606 R&D (https://somecozynight.com/2012/06/12/cool-places-606-rd/). Donuts may be consumed, so I was good and had some steamed broccoli for lunch.

As for the unexpected, I managed to unpack on Saturday (this almost never happens to me), leaving me with a free Sunday. So, I decided to head uptown to buy some hankies for the upcoming and dreaded allergy season. In addition to discovering that the watch repair place was open (ON A SUNDAY!!), I also happened upon the last few boxes of my absolute favorite plain note cards by G. Lalo. I am a great fan of the handwritten note and these could not be more stylish…


three

They are still on my dressing table because the boxes make me happy. I will put them away, but not until a trip to Ladurée occurs, I think. Macarons are immensely cheering, no?

The weekend will be at the beach, where large amounts of working out will hopefully occur, as will the consumption of a fabulous Saturday lunch c/o Topping Rose House (http://www.toppingrosehouse.com/), one of the best additions to our little town out there.

And that is about all I have for now, except to say that I have more to say about the Fall Collections, but for now, I will leave it at this: Is it me, or was there WAY too much fur?? (For me, “none”, is best.)

xx

*Except for my inability to rise at a decent hour to work out or meditate. Hoping to re-set on that one this weekend.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

 

Last Morning

February 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

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How can it be our last day? I’m bummed to be leaving the warm weather, but glad to be getting back to the city to see friends, try a few new places for din din and getting my brows done. (Maintenance is a pain sometimes.)

I also make it a point to make a list of trip details that I want to focus on more next time. Next year, I plan to use this space to meditate more:

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The times I did were divine…and then somehow I didn’t do it enough. Sometimes the whole “tomorrow is another day” keeps you from enjoying today. Which, come to think of it, is a good thing to keep in mind generally. Especially important during a Re-entry situation, but also worthwhile for any day, lest one’s list of “should haves” be too long for comfort.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Doldrums Takedown

February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

quince

Heaven knows that I was delighted to read that the Groundhog’s Day Projection is only six more weeks of winter. Nevertheless, I think that we needed to banish an impending Winter Doldrums stat.¬†So in addition to having some good friends over for a leisurely dinner this weekend, I also decided to go a little insane in the flower department — courtesy of the wonderful Emily Thompson. The dinner definitely chased away those blues, making the latest snowfall more charming than dreadful. And clean up the next day was vastly improved by all those lovely flowers…so I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy!

alittleforest

 

magnoliaandthensome

parrots

 

Just six more weeks!!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

 

 

 

 

Breakfast, Better

January 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

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I just finished reading a biography of Craig Claiborne* and was immensely cheered to discover that when he was dining at home alone, he made a point of setting a proper table just for himself. (He trained at ¬†√Čcole h√īteli√®re de Lausanne, so I suppose it would have been a hard habit to break.) ¬†While Mr. H and I are Free Range when it comes to eating meals**, ¬†for years weekday breakfasts have been¬†served on a simple rattan Breakfast Tray that we make up each morning. I don’t know why it started — maybe because our kitchen isn’t an eat-in — but it is on my Must Have list today.

Considering that it can be done up while our toast is toasting and the dogs are eating, it takes very little extra time to put our morning meal on a nice plate with a proper napkin and pop it onto the tray. Even the idea of the Breakfast Tray¬†gives me a little lift at the start of the day, which is especially important when it is, oh, I don’t know, ten degrees outside and maybe snowing***. And if you are a Breakfast at My Desk Person (I have been known to be one), taking a few extra minutes on the weekend to treat yourself in this way will probably produce the same effect, which may result in this simple pleasure landing on your Must Have list, too.

xx

* Major League Food Writer when things were more civilized. Chances are that you have a cookbook of his.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Claiborne

** But we’ve recently been making an effort to have dinners ala Mr. Claiborne which does make even takeout sushi feel special. Lunch is another story entirely. (https://somecozynight.com/?s=do+lunch)

*** Why do we live in the Northeast again?

(Photo of our typical, but somehow more special, morning oatmeal: Some Cozy Night)

Just a Moment…

January 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

photo

Mr. H and I were on our way somewhere this afternoon, on some kind of mission, when he pointed out the lovely clouds above us. So we took some time to enjoy it before we returned to our now-forgotten mission. He then sent me this photo and I thought I should share it, since it is always a good idea to take a moment and look up.

xx

(Photo: Mr. H)

Happy!

January 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Wishing you all a very lovely 2013.

xx

(Photo of all the corks since 2006 from eventful evenings at the beach: Some Cozy Night)

You Know What This One is About

November 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mr. H and I got to the beach early this morning and were able to get ourselves in decent shape for cooking Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. As I write this, I’ve got some squash roasting and we should have the stuffing and cranberry relish complete before our bedtime tonight. So I seem to have a little extra time tonight to reflect on the year so far and the notion of being “thankful”.

It isn’t hard to get down these days, which is why I like Thanksgiving. If you give it a moment, you can fill up on memories of happy times and the people — and dogs — that you love, and the world doesn’t seem so bad after all. Definitely a reason to be thankful. (Plus, you can eat stuffing!)

And then there are the Little Things, which you are probably sick to death of my going on about. But I am doing it anyway: ¬†One of my favorites is the view outside my bedroom window…

 

It is a small view, but I find it extremely comforting on account of it being constant yet always changing. When I remember to pay attention, it is a perfect reminder of what has past, what is here and what is to come. And yes — ¬†for this I am thankful.

 

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

xx

 

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

 

 

Have I Mentioned??

August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s been some time I’ve noted things I’ve been loving lately. So just in time for you to ponder “Where has the summer gone?” and “Ack! Am I ready for fall?” this weekend, some more food for thought…

1) Vogue.com

While the magazine isn’t always as fashion forward as the cooler kids (V, for instance), I am still a Vogue Girl. And their site, while not quite well-formatted, provides bursts of inspiration any time you need it. I especially like APT with LSD, the Best Dressed of the Week and all their thoughts on things to do at a given time of year. Enjoy! (http://www.vogue.com/)

2) Yoga Toes

During a recent trip to southern California with some girlfriends, we discussed the important subject of keeping our feet in good shape as the years pass by. And that is when Yoga Toes came up. They are a touch hard to explain, but I have been using them for about ten minutes a day for well over a month now, and I love them. A great stretch for your tootsies that have been shoved into all manner of foot-hostile shoes. And don’t fret, they come in clear. (http://www.yogapro.com/products/YogaToes.html?utm_source=adCenter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=YogaToes%2BKeywords%2B-%2BUSA)

3) Diptyques’s Mini Candles

As I have said before, Diptyque makes the best (outrageously priced) scented candles on the market. Full stop. And their mini ones are great for trying out new scents, to give as gifts and to just save a few dollars if you haven’t been fully converted yet. I am especially loving the
Feuille de Lavande scent, but there are few that I don’t adore. (http://www.diptyqueparis.com/home-fragrances/mini-candles.html)

4) C√ČLINE

For the major splurge, nothing feels more right these days that Phoebe Philo’s chic, streamlined and wearable designs. I loved her work with Stella McCartney and at Chloe (much of which I still have!), but she is just white hot these days. No gimmicks. Not super trendy, despite everyone in fashion loving everything she is doing right now. Just things that will effortlessly fall into your wardrobe and make you feel confident and comfortable. Love. (http://www.celine.com/)

5) Ciao Bella Malt Ball Gelatto

Theis flavor has been around for a while, but in case you are unfamiliar with it, put down your computer and go get yourself a container. There really isn’t anything more to say on the matter. (http://ciaobellagelato.com/#/products)

6) Tokyo Banana

Friends of mine brought me a box from a recent trip to Tokyo. Apparently, they are kind of a touristy thing to buy, but they are like a Japanese Twinkie and they are also crazy delicious. (http://www.tokyobanana.jp/)

And that is all I have got for you this evening. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!

xx

(Funky photo of the bag my latest splurge came in, taken while on a bus, mind you: Some Cozy Night)

New Life for What is Spent

July 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, you guessed it: I am still at the beach. Fielding work and home crises, naturally.* But I have been able to fall into several wonderful Beach Comas, determined that no shelter magazine from the last five years contains My New Kitchen (for another post) and also puttered around the garden a bit.

Yesterday’s haul was quite pleasing…

Even O-Dog approved:

And yet, there was the issue of the lavender plants. A week ago, they were in fine form:

I keep them by the back door to the house so that when you brush by them, you get that delicious fragrance. Which also works in smaller doses in the guest bath, for instance…

But as of yesterday, they were spent, and if there was any chance of getting more blooms, I had to do the deed: deadhead the suckers. Like a hard prune (which I performed on my tomato plants earlier in the week), this is one of gardening’s most uncomfortable endeavors. But, it must be done, and so I did it. This left me with a significant position of lavender blooms that I just could not toss. So, I began harvesting, which is probably considered a sign of insanity in the DSM.

“How long could this take??” I cheerfully thought to myself as I began the process. For the record, it took as long as it took Mr. H to get through the first half of his seven hour BBQ Pulled Beef (which is insanely delicious, but off topic, I know). Still, I let the perfume soothe my slightly achey head and kept going until the above pot was full.

And there was still more.

So I decided that these little science lab measuring cups would be perfect for tiny bedside whiffs of lavender. (They are also good for a chic way to dispense vitamins. Also off topic.)

And there was still more. So I found a jam jar and put the rest in there for later use.

I wish I could tell you that my house smells like Provence, but it smells more like BBQ sauce (homemade!) and sunscreen. Still, I was glad to have had the time to do it, and who knows, maybe my weekend houseguest will have sweeter dreams on account of my of efforts.

xx

*Was that water leaking from the office above ours onto a few desks? YES, is was, making this our second flood in about six weeks, but whatever. Thanks to my able team that I didn’t need to come back to the city to manage it.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night.)

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