My Reward

May 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

So, today the weather had taken a turn for the English, and rain and wind were on the agenda. Alas, Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Winston Churchill) was also on the docket. So, off we went in the wind and rain. Regardless, it was lovely…

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This was the most sun we had while there, so you can imagine my deep need for tea when we got back. I’ve become quite addicted to tea here, as I have always been a scone head and the little sandwiches are delicious. So I am taking today’s tea as a reward for getting my English on and walking through the weather rather than giving up the goat. (Or is it “ghost”…whatever.)

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I DID NOT eat it all, or even half, but it was delicious and now I am ready for my bath (showers appear to be a No Go here) and a nice evening out, including treacherous driving and some dinner.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Lovely in England

May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Greetings from the English Countryside, where Mr. H and I have been powering our way through various manor houses, gardens and other grounds. A small driving incident in Bath aside, we have been having the most wonderful time. And while I plan to elaborate, I thought a little taste would be cheering.

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Above, some of the gardens at our hotel in Bath. Sitting out here for tea is heaven.

Below, a bit of a pink Japanese Maple on the grounds of Kingston Lacy. A most beautiful property. And trust me when I tell you it is impossible to capture the actual shade of pink…for me, anyway…

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A view on the grounds of Whatley Manor, where I had one of the best meals of my life (from a list that includes The Bristol, Chez Panisse, Per Se and Franny’s). And yes, it is in England.

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The view from one of our windows in Cliveden, where I am still pinching myself that I am actually here…

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And some of the grounds of Grays Manor, where even the cows were beautiful.

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Tomorrow we have a longish drive to Highgrove, where Prince Charles has created one of the most interesting Gardens I Must See. Naturally this requires proper footwear, which Mr. H and I were able to conjure up without having to take up too much room in our suitcases with full blown wellies…

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More to come!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Somebody in My Office Likes Me…

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…

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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…

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And then the candle itself was just so “quiet”, even though the lettering is very much on there…

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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!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Maison Kitsuné: http://shop.kitsune.fr/

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. 😉

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/):

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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:

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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…


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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…


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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

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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!

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Just six more weeks!!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

 

 

 

 

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