The Look of Love is in my Eyes

I love red. Bright, cherry red. It is and always has been my favorite color to wear. This Valentine’s Day, I wore my new red dress by Maje that I bought at a crazy sale price. The entire week I have thought about the different kinds of love. The truth is that there isn’t just one kind of love – there are many. Because love has no boundaries. Is it wrong that one of the loves of my life is the color red? Wearing it makes me happy and brings out the best in me. We are good together. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is! I love red.

Dress, Maje, heart pendant, Baccarat

Photo by Abrina Hyatt

 

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Meeting my new best friend, Ilene Beckerman

Just two girls dishing (me with Ilene Beckerman)

Just two girls dishing (me with Ilene Beckerman)

Here is what I wore to meet my new best friend, Ilene Beckerman: my most comfortable (ripped) jeans and a long-sleeved tee. Not the most elegant of my outfits, but certainly a favorite. And after all, Ilene Beckerman, author and illustrator of several books, including the runaway hit, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, and now, a playwright, insisted that I stay casual. I listened.

We sat down over coffee and dished about … well, about love, loss and what we wore. Ilene was as charming as I imagined (how could she not be) and entirely warm and generous. I asked her about how and where she got the inspiration to write the book, what happened when she met Nora and Delia Ephron (who picked up the option to the Off-Broadway show), and what she is doing now …

On the inspiration behind Love, Loss, and What I Wore: “I had a story to tell about my life, and this was the best way to be heard. At first, one dress that my mother had made for me came to mind, and then another, and another. I started to draw the dresses, put words to my drawings, and they began to tell the story of my life. At that time, there were no selfies, and no way to instantly record memories. This was my own personal photograph album. I made it to keep alive the memory of my mother, who passed away when I was twelve. Continue reading

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I’m buying that!

 

05-love-quotesWomen’s Health Magazine, inspired by Valentine’s Day, calls out the 12-best love quotes of all-time. This quote, by Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City (aka Sarah Jessica Parker) is my favorite. I remember it well: it was the final scene of the series, and Carrie had returned to New York after Mr. Big (whom we now find out is named John) rescues her from a painful time in Paris and brings her home to New York. Carrie is walking the streets, so happy to be back in her city, with her friends, her love … and herself. Loving yourself, being your best you and finding someone who feels the same way? I’m buying that! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Coming of age in leather sweatpants

My $28 leather sweatpants from Loehmann's

My $28 leather sweatpants from Loehmann’s

The wonderful Belly Dancing at Le Souk Restaurant, NYC

The wonderful Belly Dancing at Le Souk Harem, NYC

What do the following have in common: celebrating a special birthday, New York City, Belly Dancing and making memories-of-a-lifetime? The answer: my leather sweatpants! When my dear friend Lisa celebrated a birthday milestone, I decided to follow my stylist’s lead and wear leather sweatpants! I took it to heart when Kim Naci said her obsession for 2014 was leather sweatpants; more comfortable than the leather jegging of 2013, leather sweatpants have just enough cool to be different. I found these at Loehmann’s for $28, during their going-out-of-business sale. Birthdays are a reminder to celebrate and what better way to do that than with friends, and of course …. fashion! Happy Birthday, Lisa!

Photos by Lisa Reznik

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Alina’s Love

Alina Villasante, owner and visionary of Peace Love World

Alina Villasante, founder and visionary of Peace Love World

Alina Villasante is the founder and visionary of Peace Love World, a retail brand that is taking Florida and the world by storm. Alina believes that she is here to tell a story, a story of peace and love and good will. That is why every PLW item is infused with positivity. But it’s more than an image on a shirt. Alina says, “Peace Love World is about experiencing fashion in a soulful way – mind, body, spirit.” I asked Alina how she came to tell this amazing story …

MKG: Alina, you moved around as a child – born in Cuba and raised in The United States. How old were you when you and your family moved to the US? How did growing up in the various environments affect you?

Alina: I moved from Cuba to New York when I was 8 months old and after twelve years my family moved to Atlanta. Growing up in New York and Atlanta made me realize that everyone is looking for the same thing no matter where you come from. I learned how to love and appreciate all types of people, personalities and ethnicities. Continue reading

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Peace Love World

Anacristina

Anacristina, outside the Peace Love World outlet store, Florida

I love the PLW concept because it merges statements about peace, love, happiness, service, etc. with funky, cute and comfortable fashion.” ~ Anacristina, age 19

Anacristina, from Miami, visited a super-popular destination for fabulous clothes with a hopeful message: Peace Love World. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashians have been spotted wearing their clothing. And last week the popular singer from Colombia, Juanes, was spotted with his daughters in PLW’s flagship store in Coral Gables, Florida.

Stay tuned for founder Alina Villasante’s story Continue reading

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Something old …

A keepsake from my Grandma Eleanor

A keepsake from my Grandma Eleanor

The saying goes: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… It’s part of the wedding ritual for bridal dressing. But when it comes to keepsakes something old and something borrowed are just as meaningful. I now have my Grandma Eleanor’s gold watch. My cousin gave it to me when I last saw her and I am forever grateful. I loved my Grandma Eleanor very much. She was absolutely charming and lovable and she would always tell me how much she loved me in her distinctive Hungarian accent. Now, after cleaning her watch and taking out a link so that it fits securely around my wrist I feel that love again as if she is wrapping her arms around me with a tight hug and squeeze.

Keepsakes carry their value in our memories of the ones we loved. This watch is a Longines, a Swiss brand with a celebrated history in watchmaking, but its worth is in what it represents to me – not in its resale value. What I will treasure is the daily wrist hug from my Grandma Eleanor.

Do you have any keepsakes from a loved one? I welcome your comments.

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“Comfortable with my curls”

Monica with her three girls

Monica with her three girls

Monica has blue eyes and full curly hair which she has had all her life. Not so unusual to me, but for Monica who has grown up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, it is. Unusual and a big deal. Because most women in Puerto Rico choose to straighten their hair and spend much of their day (a good portion of their beauty regime) making sure they remove their natural curl. But Monica is different and not afraid to be original. She is also the mother of three young girls, ages 10, 9, and 6, and Monica is teaching them to embrace their luxurious curly hair and their differences too. She is fashion-forward and courageous.

Here is Monica

There are many factors why the women of Puerto Rico follow certain beauty rituals. One is that it’s warm here all year-round. Body hair has to be impeccable: that means shaved legs and underarms and bikini waxes. Everyone wears sandals all-year so getting pedicures is a regular ritual as well. I don’t bother with manicures but I keep my nails short and clean – and I almost always have a pedicure …

Another factor is that in Puerto Rico fashion is a status symbol. It tells others that you can afford certain things. People follow fashion but they are not individuals.They are followers. Continue reading

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Prom: Now/Eric …

Eric: Prom 2013

Eric: Prom 2013

I couldn’t resist one more feature on prom 2013. Eric is my son; he is 16 and a junior in high school. Last night he went to his first prom. There wasn’t much fanfare to prepare for the occasion except to take a trip to the barber shop for a new haircut, rent a tuxedo and shoes and purchase new dress socks. And of course, he selected a corsage for his date. But this story is worth telling because he attended his prom in the very same location where my junior prom was held 36 years ago! That does kind of freak me out but it is special and something that he and I will share forever.

My last prom feature is about my own son and a connection with me, his mom.

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Eric and me

Eric and me

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xox Betsey

Betsey and Lulu Johnson

Betsey and Lulu Johnson

You may want to spend part of your Mother’s Day with designer Betsey Johnson and her daughter, Lulu. Tonight the Style Network will launch the season premier of: xox Betsey. A little over a year ago Betsey Johnson filed for bankruptcy but as she herself says, “The stores are gone, but I’m not!” Which is a very good thing, and I can’t wait to see more of Betsey Johnson! She is a fashion favorite, ever since my mother introduced me to her in the mid 1970s when she took over the fashion label Alley Cat. I will never forget (and I wish I could find) the red plaid corduroy Alley Cat blazer designed by Betsey Johnson. It was divine. I borrowed it from my mother and she never saw it again.

I imagine xox Betsey will be a loving tribute to mothers and daughters everywhere and a lot like Betsey Johnson-the-designer herself: bold, bright, edgy, cooky, a lot of fun and original! I’ll be watching!

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