The best gifts are the ones made by hand

Optimized-IMGP0256No question that the best gifts are the ones made by hand. My friend Alexandra made me a knit scarf for the holidays. She was very sneaky about it; asking me first, what colors I like to wear around my face. My answer, by the way, is red – always – bright, cherry red! And I have been wearing it ever since. Especially wonderful, since I and most of the country got blasted this week by a wave of arctic air. What did they call it? A Polar Vortex? OMG! A homemade knit scarf, sweater, hat or gloves are always the warmest. My homemade scarf kept the sub-zero temps away from my face and looked oh-so-chic at the same time.

Photos and scarf by Alexandra

My cherry-red handmade scarf

My cherry-red handmade scarf

 

 

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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!

What do you think?

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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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Scarves!

Scarves!

Scarves are the perfect accessory, especially as the weather cools. I have several cold-weather scarves that I wrap around my neck and ears and head – when necessary, just leaving slits for my eyes – as I battle the elements. But I also love to wear lighter weight scarves in this transition season. They are functional and fashionable. Arranging a scarf can be daunting, but I keep it simple ..

… a long scarf gives you the most options …

… wrap the scarf around the front of your neck, cross it in the back, and pull the sides back around to the front ..

… knot the two hanging sides and you have it! …

… or simply wear it long! You can’t miss!

What do you think?

Photos taken at Willow St. Boutique, Summit, New Jersey. Photographer, Janice Maydick.

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Myriam’s London adventure!

Myriam in London

Remember Myriam – The Alvarez women? She just returned from a week in London. Not only did she enjoy the beauty of London on a warm and sunny streak, but she also caught the tail end of London’s Fashion Week. Here are reflections from her trip and by the way, next time I’m going with her! …

This white jacket was only 15 pounds (translates to $22)! Isn’t it cute? This little shop was filled with original, funky and fun clothing – with a sense of humor. I would say urban with an edge. We were simply exploring a little side street and stumbled upon it ...

The windows were designed for London Fashion Week

All the windows were designed for London’s Fashion Week. This one says, ‘Real beauty is from inside to outside.’ How true and wonderful; in the midst of focusing on the external to be reminded of what really matters.

Look at this gorgeous dress! We found it in a quaint, old historic neighborhood of London – Marylebone Lane – filled with cute, little shops, and no-name brands but absolutely exquisite clothing.

Harrods – dressed up for Fashion Week

We also explored South Kensington and of course, the famous Harrods Department Store. This dress and scarves were originals by British designer Matthew Williamson and made especially for London Fashion Week

The views, the city, the weather, were so beautiful. And London has so much to see. I would never get tired of it!

~ Myriam (photos also taken by Myriam)

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