Shopping Day

Alexandra at 10:00 am - Her shopping day begins ...

Alexandra at 10:00 am – Her shopping day begins …

Costume designer, Alexandra, went shopping today. Her goal? Find accessories and costumes for the short film for which she is designing: Karaoke King. As a costume designer Alexandra is a storyteller and interestingly, she likes shopping for the characters but not necessarily for herself. She tells stories through costumes and accessories, never overlooking any detail. Sometimes the story is pretty, sometimes gritty and dark … and today? This story is about a former successful rocker who finds himself in a slump and singing karaoke. The clothing and the mood must be glam rock.

Because Alexandra lives and works in New York, the entire city becomes her shopping closet and she must be able to seek out the gems within the neighborhoods and the vintage shops of note; places like Goodwill in Harlem, where she can find a suit for $15, or the treasures in downtown Manhattan or Brooklyn. The turnaround time for this shopping excursion is quick; shopping today, filming over the weekend. Here is how it works: Continue reading

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Fringe!

Accessorizing: daytime

Accessorizing: daytime

Today was my day for wearing fringe: Lissus Fringe by Daniel Silverstein, 100%NY. A great accessory can add dimension and drama to your wardrobe, take you from day to night, from casual to dressy. And add a little whimsy.

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Accessorizing - evening

Accessorizing – evening

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Kentucky Baby

Photo courtesy of: Robb Carr/Getty Images

Photo credit: Robb Carr/Getty Images

In the category of: In case you missed it, this fashionista-in-the-making wore her bonnet beautifully at Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. We are never too young to be stylish and fashion forward.

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Prom: 2006

Daniel in his Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and his four friends with hand made original designs

Daniel in his Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo and his four friends with his hand made original designs

My final prom feature is a sweet story about generosity and kindness. In 2006 Daniel was a senior in high school. Already a fashion designer and a creative original, Daniel hand made four prom dresses for his friends, including his date for the evening. The Great Gatsby was the inspiration for his date’s dress – a dropped waste and a soft, silk fabric pillow of a dress. For himself, Daniel had ordered a rental tuxedo. When the day came to pick up his tux just one day before the prom Daniel was dismayed to discover that the tux did not fit him and was far too big. When he brought it home his mother took one look at the tux and said that it would not do. He had just made four exquisite dresses for his friends and he needed to look just as sharp. She said to Daniel, “let’s go!” Together, they returned the rental tux and marched over to Dolce & Gabbana: Daniel tried on an amazing tuxedo that fit him perfectly. His mother bought the outfit for him then and there, as well as a shirt, shoes and accessories. Daniel was so touched by his mother’s generosity and extravagance, but his mother told him that it was her joy to do this for him and it would be his graduation present. Daniel owns the tuxedo today and counts it among his treasures. His mother sounds like a treasure, too.

Thank you to Daniel and Samantha and Miranda for sharing their prom stories. I learned a lot about high school prom in the process; some things are quite different from when I attended my prom. The things that are the same are simple: feeling special for the day and being with your friends to mark the growing up process in a completely unique way. And Ashley? She is holding off on this year’s prom to attend her senior prom next year: she and her friends will instead make a trip into New York City for a special dinner. Sounds good to me!

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College Bound!

Beanies

Beanies

I’m off to college … not for me … for my son! I leave today to tour colleges with my 11th grader and I don’t mind telling you that I find the whole thing a little freaky! How is it possible, when I remember being in college as if it were yesterday? I guess time flies, though, because it really wasn’t yesterday, but actually, the late 70s/early 80s. Oh well …

My college friend Sarah tells me to be on the lookout for students – men and women – wearing beanies. According to Sarah it’s definitely a trend: a beanie, like the kind you can find at urban outfitters, is a slouchier version of the skullcap. I’m on the lookout …

Be back in a few days! Will miss you! Wish me luck!

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Fashion Foursome Live!

ImageProxy-1Yesterday, a first: four fashion insiders – Joe Zee – Creative Director, Elle; Rachel Zoe – Designer and Stylist; Ken Downing – Fashion Director, Neiman Marcus and Coco Rocha – Model and Mentor, “The Face” – came together for – Style Talk Live, a Hangout on Air with Google+. They spent 30 minutes answering questions on spring fashion dressing. Beyond the florals and floral trends, people wanted to know what’s trending this spring. According to these fashion influencers, here is the recap

orange is the new neutral and goes with everything; orange handbags are the “it” bag for spring: blues in every shade: black and white graphic prints, especially chic with colorful cobalt blue accessories: big, wide cabana stripes: maxi skirts: gladiator sandals: boy-inspired dressing and the tomboy look will continue to be super chic through the fall: lightweight, warm weather leather, especially bomber jackets …

… and how to dress at the office? Ken:for work, a dress always looks polished … I’m a huge fan of the dress.” Coco Rocha: “I think it’s important for women to show it up, be proud of who you are!” Rachel Zoe: “It’s finding that balance of being very chic, slightly sexy, and strong and powerful … a great tuxedo is impossibly chic at the office.”

This conversation was fun – I hope they come back for more!

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Shop your closet first …

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I want to put on the clothes and let them do their job … you shouldn’t have to work too hard for clothes.” Kim, fashion stylist

How well do you know your clothes? When was the last time you checked what was in your closet? I thought I knew my clothes and I thought I knew what was in my closet. I am often telling people to shop their closets first before heading to the store to make a new purchase. But what did I really know about my own closet? It turns out, not as much as I thought, and today was the moment when I put my money where my mouth is! My new friend, Kim, a professional stylist with Style for Hire, a company co-founded by Stacy London and Cindy McLaughlin, came to my house where we spent a few hours editing my clothing and performing a closet audit.

I was nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. First, I worried about how I was dressed. Would Kim think I was dressed appropriately for a closet audit? What is appropriate anyway? (in turns out that it didn’t matter because I was dressing and undressing the entire time!) And what would happen if Kim removed clothing to which I was still attached? I had too many questions, but fortunately for me, Kim was delightful and warm and funny and kept the mood light, which really helped. What also helped was that she knew what she was doing. Here is what we did: we pulled out everything in my closet and Kim looked it over. And if it was a ‘no go’ I said a quick good bye and didn’t look back. If it was a ‘yes,’ I tried it on. But here is where the magic came … Kim showed me surprising and unexpected ways to wear my own clothes. She styled everything with a twist and by the end of my time with her I had new outfits and was seeing my clothing in a completely new light. It was exhausting and draining and uplifting and fulfilling and emotional at the same time. Kim took pictures too, so that I could recreate the looks on my own. Continue reading

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Farnoosh’s sister

Farnoosh’s sister Fara

Do you remember Farnoosh? She moved to The United States from Iran ten years ago with her parents and two older sisters. We spoke about how difficult the move and transition was for her at the tender pre-teen age of twelve, about how Farnoosh views fashion, and about the need for us to express ourselves, no matter what our circumstance; even when restrictions are placed upon us and our expression comes in the form of colorful fashion accessories, as in the case of Farnoosh’s female cousin, who lives in a modern-day Iran.

I spent the last morning of 2012 having a cup of coffee with Farnoosh and her oldest sister, Fara (her middle sister, Farnaz, lives in San Diego). Fara is 29 and is living in Chicago as she pursues her Master’s Degree in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like her sister, Fara is lovely and creative and full of energy. She has her own story and relationship with fashion. Here is Fara …

“When we left Iran I was nineteen. It took me a while to get comfortable, but I was open to the move. I had already graduated from high school in Iran and had an idea that I wanted to be an artist. I stayed local when I first arrived, and for the first year and a half learned English as a second language at Seton Hall University. Immediately I knew that the school was too small for me and that I needed more. I was drawn to New York City and left Seton Hall for New York, where I attended NYIT, the New York Institute of Technology, and graduated with a degree in architecture …

I’m a city person and from the minute I came to New York I was happy. I loved the energy and the diversity and how people in NY are original, especially in the way they think and dress. My favorite thing to do became walking: I would walk everywhere! I was inspired by the streets and the windows. That might be why I dislike shopping in malls where everything is so generic and everyone looks the same. I can’t be linked to only one brand and one designer, head-to-toe. I like variety and dressing high and low. That is why I am a fan of H&M …

I would describe my look as chic enough but not too fancy. I enjoy mixing pieces and remaining eclectic. My passions remain shoes and handbags!” ~ Fara

Fara and Farnoosh have adopted their American life but also embrace their Iranian culture. We had an interesting conversation about what that means. I shared with them that I have Colombian blood and at one time I wasn’t comfortable embracing it, but as I get older, I understand that it is a major part of who I am and I treasure it. I guess that explains why I love Latin music and always want to start salsa dancing … even though I don’t know how!!

I hope I meet Farnoosh and Fara again soon – and meet their middle sister next – Farnaz!

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Fara with Farnoosh

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Fara with me

 

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Marvelous Maggie!

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Marvelous Maggie

“The scarf – a pinky-champagne – I bought on sale. It’s so long and has pale sequins that match so well that you can barely see them. Also, when in need, you can throw it down for a table runner! LOL!” ~ Maggie

I love it, marvelous Maggie! Happy Holidays!

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Hat head

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Having a bad hair day? Try a hat!

When you are out of sorts, you will do anything to feel normal again. Here is a tried-and-true fashion tip: When having a bad hair day, put on a hat! Hats are the solution for off days; chic and warm, they cover your hair without anyone knowing what lies underneath. It is a win-win!

This is the season for warm and woolly hats and there are so many styles from which to choose. During these last two crazy weeks when I didn’t have a moment to think, I opted for a hat. It worked every time!

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