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Brighter Days Ahead

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I’m sick of winter. It’s still January, so figure, fifty more days of frigid weather still in front of me, I am re-imagining the many ways to wear my boring black layers. Today on the battlefield, I had on a tank top, fleece-lined tights, jeans over that, a turtleneck, a big chunky sweater, wool socks, a down coat, a neck funnel, a fur topper and despite my best efforts, it was still hard to breathe. In spite of all these obstacles, I am marching on in the sleet and slush, and daydreaming of spring and sunny days to come.

In the midst of this helluva Polar Vortex, I could a: move to warmer climes, b: purge my closets of the collective clutter, or c: plan an inspiring new wardrobe. What do you think I chose? Screw the elements.

spring outfit

Sophie Hulme mohair coat get a similar one here //  Miu Miu metal cap toe Skate sneaker. I love the combination of all-white  and silver with a pop of red. I”m not a red girl but this may be an interesting opportunity to explore the unknown. Boyy Front row only clutch because since Fashion week is just around the corner, its front row or nothing. McQ Alexander McQueen silver necklace and a planner for 2014 to scribble all your appointments.

Shop it here:

But going back to the above thought, I could move to LA.

It always seems like the better coast, but I can’t say I would be one hundred percent happy there either. Besides the beautiful weather, there’s too much traffic and smog, they order bagels from people who don’t yell at them, they don’t care about New York pizza. Epic fail. They legally smoke weed, surf, go to work in flip-flops and drive Priuses. I could eat avocados and do yoga all day long.

But, I am going to stick to the city I love, with the white fluffy stuff and the constant smell of pee. New York inspires people to accomplish great things they could not imagine anywhere else. There is always greatness just around the corner, like the pipe dream of more closet space. I am going to clear out my closets, and make room for the wonderful things in 2014. And dream of summer…all it takes is a little bit of MAGIK.

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Spring 2014 Ads

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There is no better time for the release of the Spring Ad season than bitter cold mid-January. Besides injecting myself with vitamin C in the form of kale, blueberries, and orange juice, the sun won’t loan me UV rays anytime soon in the Northern Hemisphere. So, here’s to looking at these stellar photos of Oscar-winners and pop superstars. Scroll below for my top photos and share your take on these über-talented photographers.

Chloe Spring summer 2014 campaign

Julia Stegner and Lou Doillon in their oversized shades and crochet for Chloé, makes me want to go to Coachella this year.

Celine Ad Spring 2014

These bright coat dresses and sandals with silver balls worn by Julia Nobis for Céline are fun and kooky.

Balenciaga Ad Spring 2014

Daria Werbowy is the face of these dark  and stormy Balenciaga ads. Unrecognizable, right? I particularly love the winged dress, but not sold on the dark purple lip and white hair.

alexander Wang Spring 2014 ad 80-wang.jpg.r.nocrop.w610.h610Leave it to Alexander Wang to put us right into public bathroom stalls. Featuring models Anna Ewers and Zuzu Tadeushuk in the literal toilet, the ad really works wonder on the mind. Those shoes, though.

Thoughts?

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Obsessed with Stan

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Stan Smith Adidas

If my recent laid-back Je ne sais quoi lifestyle is any indication, I have been opting out of the well-heeled existence, leaving my heels at home, and yearning for the cool simplicity of sneakers. Bored of my Isabel Marant wedge trainers, I have been on the hunt for pure white sneakers.

When the 1973 Adidas original Stan Smith sneaker announced a relaunch, before I could hit the “Yes, please” button, they were gone. That is a clear signal that it has already hit the ground running faster than I did back in high school trying out for the tennis team with the original Stan Smith on my feet. Although I didn’t make said Varsity team, I am now on team Céline and unofficial mascot of the fashion set. Phoebe Philo who has been sporting Stan Smiths for seasons, wore these at her most recent show in Paris and when Philo says” jump”, the fashion world asks how high, in what shoes?”

Phoebe Philo in Stan Smith

So, besides Kanye West, who was spotted on the streets in his green and whites, will you go back to these?? Get on the waitlist.

Adidas Stan Smith

Adidas

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Currently Craving

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How cool would it be to be a French style sleuth? Admiring French style from afar, and mastering that Je ne sais quoi are two totally different things. Style is 100% personal, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Basically, if you are a) female and b) have a pulse, you’ve tried to emulate Kate Moss’s iconic style at some point in your life.

It’s maddening that I am not French. Merde! (I even like their curse words.)

I wasn’t born in the back of a Citroen.

I don’t smoke cigarettes. (well, never say never)

I don’t wear slip dresses because I don’t like wearing bras.

I don’t do coq au vin, baguettes, andouillettes, eclairs and fondue without worrying about gaining weight.

But, I do own a lot of flats, red lip pencils, and beat-up motorcycle boots.

I am learning how to age gracefully.

I am wearing the minimal amount of makeup.

I am taking care of my skin.

I want to look just like Catherine Deneuve when I age. N’est-ce pas de moi un citoyen français?

Always on the hunt, pinning and studying effortlessly chic ensembles, I think I cracked the code. And it’s devastatingly French.

how to emulate French style

Do: black skinny cigarette pants with the ankle showing paired with a white crop top or striped shirt. Topshop sweater // Acne Cig cropped trousers. Wear with flats, these are metallic Fendi wonders. Top it with a IRO patterned bomber bouclé jacket and for the love of Stella, throw on a camel coat on top to complete the uniform. The accessories will make the simple outfit stand out with panache. A bowler hat by Topshop // Stella McCartney sunglasses // Vita Fede ring // Delfina Delattrez single pearl and lip earring // Balenciaga tote bag for instant chic // red lips and a lomography camera. Do it all and don’t forget to take notes.

Get the look here.

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Stella, Oh Stella

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New York City, the capital of bipolar fashion, is having a breakdown and I’m its number contributor. Yesterday morning, I ran out the door with a pair of skinny jeans, a turtleneck, mens loafers, in head-to-toe black only to be told that I wasn’t dressing playful enough. and looked like a bag lady. Le sigh. Later that evening, I changed into a bomber jacket, a choker, and  red lips, all smile-ready for the cameras at an evening event. Today, its back to a mini skirt, cropped sweater, and a pair of wedge boots. I am contributing to fast fashion as we know it, sitting on the proverbial couch for some retail therapy. It’s really hard to change, but I’m working on finding a uniform that defines me and my style. I think I discovered my look organically, plucking trends as a gateway to the core classics. And I’m OK with owning all of it.

stockholm style

KAROLINA KUROKOVA

photo: Who Wore What

metallic bomber

These rules don’t apply when it comes to the designer Stella McCartney, one of the few artists that makes clothes for every hour of every day. Playful, and charming, I had the pleasure of meeting her this week as she dressed her muses in Spring looks such as metallic jumpersyellow oversized coats, and white skinny jeans at an intimate breakfast in Soho. Watching her work her magic with a silk shirt and a pair of jeans, she makes everything she does look so easy, and that carefree attitude carries through to her clothes. As she was playing stylist with me she exclaimed, ” I cannot understand how can any blonde American girl not own more than one long wool camel-hair coat!?” She was shockingly honest and when I threw on the classic camel flat lapel coat, I knew exactly what she meant.

Stella prefers flats, simple dresses, pantsuits and easy-to-throw-on clothing that I can totally get behind. She has such a free-spirit, and is a beautiful person inside and out. Of course, she was in full fun mode when I met her, and I just fell in love. She has developed a witty, down-to-earth approach to dressing women like her: well-to-do, yes, but working women with lives of responsibility and complexity, women who have more use for a well-cut pantsuit for work or a roomy knit jumpsuit for hanging out with girlfriends than they do for a floor-length gown.

Check out the Pre-Fall collection down below — a mix of oversized houndstooth, big blanket sized coats, and menswear loafers. Cool is the operative word.  Sign me up.

stella-mccartney-pre-fall-2014-24_102426681224 stella-mccartney-pre-fall-2014-32_102432895342

stella-mccartney-pre-fall-2014-19_102422364359 stella-mccartney-pre-fall-2014-10_102415703028 stella-mccartney-pre-fall-2014-03_102410517905

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January Thrills

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January is a mixed bag of nuts. You start the New Year with a bang, trying or not to fulfill your dreams two weeks at a time. Your all-black wardrobe needs an injection of spring, yet it seems so far away. Your office needs a makeover, your face needs a smile and its time to bust out of the January blues. But, sometimes it’s not that easy.

If the word “Polar Vortex” didn’t enter your vocabulary last week after a grueling near Arctic week –one of the coldest on record, you were one of the lucky ones who didn’t get wind-whipped cheeks, blistered lips, and perhaps frostbite solely from entering the great outdoors. Baby, it’s cold outside, and damn those weather forecasters were right.

I learned firsthand that such accessories such as my hat, a pair of gloves, and a scarf would do limited justice on my numb frost-bitten fingers and toes, but trudging through the icy sidewalks with fierce winds demanded that I run from café to café, movie to movie, (I saw American Hustle, BTW) overloading on the consumption of hot beverages. Even the most thermodynamic winter coat wasn’t enough for bone-chilling temperatures like negative nine.

Instead of succumbing to the demands of the weather and hibernating, pretend you’re that you are a mammal that has to survive the elements, even for the five minutes that require you to hail a cab, and protect your dermis with tons of protective layers. The key word here is survival.

white fur coat

Layering is a must on the best of the frigid days, and here’s how I survived the subzero temps. You’ll start with a base layer made of either wool or cotton — a foundation that allows for multiple over-layers. Add a pair of leather, mine are from Isabel Marant, or vegan leather pants, these are 50% off that will ward off blustery wind tunnels right up your legs.

leather pants

Then add a white shirt because nothing says clean and crisp more than the people over at Clorox and I can’t think of anything that would make my white shirt stiffer than that. On top of that throw on an ice blue sweater to go with the color of the way winter feels, icy and cold.

fur funnel

Next come the accessories, which include all things warm and fuzzy: a white fur neck funnel, a pom pom hat and a pair of blue velvet suede boots. Throw on a white jacket for the sartorial “wow” factor and you will be armed and ready for any wintry mix–even one for a polar bear. Don’t forget the multi-colored bag for every season and hold onto your hat. For realzz.

polar vortex

pom pom hat

Before you head out the door, make sure to check your weather app to bundle up in style.

white fur coat

Photos: Lydia Hudgens 

 Here’s how you too can get the look and take my tips on how to the polar dance. Here’s hoping for warmer climes.

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Winter White

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January is the best time to play catch up on all the movies I missed in the past year, because the days are short and the streets are deserted. Instead of culling more stuff from the red-hot mid-Winter sales, or eating my way through the Polar Vortex, I do a quick study on the endeavors of creative geniuses in the world of film.

Truth be told, I like to wander around the streets of Manhattan reinventing myself as a film critic, to see all the Oscar-worthy films before they broadcast the winners next month. Thus far, I saw a little Leo, sang to the Coen brother’s Inside Llewyn Davis, floated in Gravity, and cried during Twelve Years A Slave. I still need to see Her, and have yet to Do the Hustle. Although I have heard that Bradley Cooper dons hairrollers, and Amy Adams numerous iconic wrap dresses, (no spoilers please!) this 1970′s iconic movie about the world of con artists and mobsters seems to fit the way I’ve been dressing lately. Seen lurking around street corners, dressed in head-to-toe white, it seems par for the course. So in the 70′s spirit we go, in an ode to American Hustle, come hither the white boots, velvet clutches, and fluffy coats. All that is missing is the white fedora.

I like wearing shades of white in the winter because my skin is so darn pasty that wearing black does me no justice at all except show off how badly I need a glow. Here’s my style tips for those in the need of doing the hustle.

white coat

Add a pair of white boots. They add instant lightness of being in the invariable tricks you are trying to pull off. These brogues would work well too.

Hold a clutch. Make it preferably a pop of glamorous pink and one that is festooned with grommets or spikes.

Wear lots of jewelry. Duh. But if its super frigid outside, hold onto your vocal cords while you still have them, and just do the turtleneck.

White coat

topshop white coat // theory turtleneck // theory wool trousers // christian louboutin velvet clutch// modern vice boots, more here

pink velvet clutch

white boots

white faux fur coat

Photos: Lydia Hudgens

winter white

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Happy Birthday to the King Of Cool

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Today’s news is very beginning of January-like, see: Lindsay Vonn electing out of the Olympics in Sochi, the Polar Vortex strangling the nation which means more cancelled flights, the battle over gay marriage in Utah, The NYTimes.com announces a redesign, and the fact that 1 out of every 10 teenagers doesn’t exercise enough to have the CDC concerned. Well, the best news of all is that today is David Bowie’s 67th birthday.

We all know David Bowie is G-d.

I’ve decided to celebrate this day with this song, ‘Fashion’ back from 1980. It’s not like he’s 67 and disappearing into the rocking world of fame. He is always keeps us surprised and re-emerging with panache.

Bowie fans will never forget the morning 365 days ago when ‘Where Are We Now?’ emerged on the internet from nowhere, and at last we could rejoice that Bowie was back. Given the health scares and the rumours, the impact couldn’t have been greater. The perfectly executed stunt set a precedent which saw Beyoncé do something similar, though on a grander scale, in December.

David Bowie, always surprising, always innovating, always one step ahead of the game. Happy Freaking Birthday to The Thin White Duke!

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The Mule Game

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Womp, womp. Whap, whap. Clack, clack.

Familiar sounds?

Yes, it the sound dub step music makes.

It is a sound of loss heard on a game show.

It is, according to Urban Dictionary, something that is completely not up to regular standards.

A succession of clicks.

An annoying gum chewer.

All above answers are correct, and in the name game of high fashion, it is also the sound a mule makes when walking, or traipsing across a room. So the larger question is, will you play it?

I hate mules and no matter how many I have owned over the years, have never liked them. In fact, few accessories, been as maligned over the past decade or so as the mule. Carine Roitfeld hates them too, but let’s forget that for a second. Here are the many reasons for my complaints.

Those backless babies slap against my feet as I walk and I find them so uncomfortable. My ten toes get tired of keeping that mule on my feet. Anyone with me?

I can live without a lack of functionality in the shoe department, I have many times before. But the mule evokes grande dames in little jeweled, satin, kitten-heeled mules or ’50s starlets set in their boudoirs in embellished linen versions.

I won’t deny, however, that a pro-mule movement is afoot. After fading into the sartorial sunset more than a few years back, the mule silhouette is rising back up with a vengeance—and it is no longer a sensible shoe for the faint of heart. The latest reincarnations run the gamut from textured fabrics to wild patterns to classic shapes perfect for the wardrobe of a fledgling fashion blogger. Yet, those including me in the anti-camp remain resistant. Even when Céline, Chloé, Altuzarra and Victoria Beckham all went backless below the ankle in their spring collections.

Chloé mules spring 2014

Chloé mules spring 2014

Kenzo mules 2014

Kenzo spring 2014

 These mules are distinct from their counterparts of yore. The main difference is a higher vamp—which, for starters, offers a more covered-up and cooler look. And the bonus? The revamped vamp also secures the foot and does away with the dreaded clack-clack.

Celine Spring 2014

Celine Spring 2014

Any anti-mule sentiments surrounding these latest versions might simply be knee-jerk reactions, but I’m still not sold. Will the mule-haters out there eventually convert? I’m sticking to my guns for now even if the fashion Pied Piperettes like the Olsens twins, are already wearing the latest slip-ons.

If you are among those shifting to pro-mules, take note that they look best with skirts and dresses that land just below the knee or with cropped slim pants. And stick to those single-sole styles as with the right look, they could be elegant and sexy (see below).

Here are my top four mules out there right now for those willing to bare their feet and do the womp in these rigid temps.

mules

From top to bottom left to right: Gianvito Rossi mules, get a similar pair here // Jenny Kayne mules // Alexander Wang white mules // Tibi Britt Crystal Mule Wedge

Will you wear them? I’m not a convert. At least not yet.

 

 

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January 1 2014

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I am going to consume under 500 calories a day.

No more wine.

No new designer shoes in the year 2014. In fact no shoes the entire year.

I will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

I am going to finish two books a week.

Sound familiar?

New Year's Resolutions

I hate New Year’s resolutions. We flip the page to 2014 and vow to jump on the proverbial treadmill. For the majority of us, making this mighty ambitious goal, is an empty promise to oneself  and just end up deflated and out of air. At the risk of being pedantic, a resolution is finding a solution, meaning you are solving a problem, with the prefix ‘re,’ which usually means again. We strive to solve a problem again and again and again.

This year I challenge myself to set some short-term goals, once a month, for a fresh start for 2014. They don’t have to be grandiose or dramatic, they just have to be tangible. Have your daily cup of yoga. Take a walk. Get fresh air. Step away from the screen. Do it a little better this time. Be less demanding on oneself and just try to exist. Try that for a month.

a fresh start for 2014

As I reflect back on what was 2013 a mere 365 days ago, I decided to publish my posts three to four times per week, and obtain more clients, which, to my surprise, worked out for the entire 365 days of 2013.

Now tell me, what baby steps are you going to take? Your turn.

 

 

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