This is How My Mind Works

Credit: Patricia Saxton

Last Sunday I was at a college tour with my son Cameron and as I looked around at the other parents and their kids – I stopped in my tracks: I saw a really stylish mom wearing a dress with fitted, ankle-length boots to die for! They were black with a kind of mesh material and I was mesmerized. I saw this mother and son pair several times throughout the day and each time I noticed something else about these boots. I smiled to myself, too, because we were in the heart of Manhattan and only in New York would you see a mother dressed this way for a college tour!

Of course, I did pay attention at the tour. I paid attention when we checked in and listened to the student panel; I paid attention when we toured the dorm; I paid attention (especially) during the admission and financial aid discussion; and I paid attention when we walked the streets and talked to the many student tour guides who shared their admiration of the school. But, those boots! They stayed on my mind throughout the day.

I find inspiration in everything around me. I see something in a window, in a magazine, or in this case, in the heart of Washington Square Park, during a college tour. Fashion is more than the clothes. It is about self expression and finding a way to be in the world – to be the me I want to be. Everything spurs my imagination. This is how my mind works!

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Bring Your Wardrobe to Life with Statement Earrings


I love to read about trends of the season and see if they will fit into my wardrobe. I have been seeing bold, colorful statement earrings for the fall and I like how they add to a look. I knew I wanted something red with a tassel – but, where to start? My stylish friend Eva recommended J. Crew for a solid selection and she was right. It didn’t take me long to fall for this pair (with tassels!). And yes, I knew they would add interest and a pop of color. The thing I didn’t know was how these earrings could breathe new life into my wardrobe!

I paired them with a simple black dress that I have worn and loved for a few years – but had recently lost its luster and was in fact, in my pile of well-loved clothes to give away. When I added the earrings to this dress something happened: these bold red earrings took the dress from simple to super-stylish. 

Need a little revamp to your style this fall? Go for an unexpected source – the bold, statement earring. See your things come to life, too!

Earrings, J. Crew; dress and shoes, Talbots; pin, vintage Dior

Photos, Abrina Hyatt

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I Love Steve Madden’s Story of Redemption

Steve Madden at his flagship store in New York. Photo Credit: Nathan Bajar for The New York Times

Steve Madden’s is a story of redemption. After being released from a Florida prison and serving two and a half years for securities fraud and stock manipulation in the early 2000s – having illegally traded shares from the initial public offering of Stratton Oakmont, the investment firm run by Jordan Belfort – Madden has devoted his life to his passion and purpose and the business he loves: Shoes. Madden, whose name has been at the center of women’s shoe design, is now making news by moving into men’s design. On August 1st Madden opened a big new store in Times Square, NYC, with nearly a third of its 2,000-square-foot floor space dedicated to his men’s shoes. Retail is not doing very well in Times Square – and Madden took a chance on the space: “I felt that men were getting shortchanged. We were putting all the excitement into women’s.”

And what does Madden see as the future of men’s shoes? “I would like to go into the sneaker business. I think everybody is wearing sneakers all the time. That’s something you’ll see in the future: more sneakers. I went out to a restaurant in Sag Harbor and it was all mostly 20- or 30-somethings. Why I was there, I don’t know. They were all wearing sneakers. They looked great! But it wasn’t for comfort; they just liked the look. It was interesting to see.

I like to hear good news about Steve Madden. It warms my heart to see someone comeback after being knocked down!!

 

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Why Television Costume Designers Need to be Recognized

Sonu Mishra styling on the set of the show ‘Genius’. Photo: Courtesy National Geographic

Elsa Einstein (played by Emily Watson) in ‘Genius’. Photo: Courtesy of National Geographic

Television programming is enjoying a surge of popularity, sophistication, and support of highly-visible film actors. No question. Film was always considered more glamorous and fashion designers were quick to recognize the impact of film on an audience. So, too, was costume design in film considered more glamorous, and well simply, more considered. Fashionista brought this issue to light: “By the 1930s, 75 million Americans went to the movies weekly, film becoming a primary source of fashion for many. Costume is understood to be critically important to a film’s success, and is honored as such; at the Oscars, the prestigiously singular costume design award is presented at the main ceremony. Film and the fashion industry mutually inform and benefit from each other.”

But where does leave costume designers in the television industry? Continue reading

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Finding My Fashion Treasure

It was a morning of surprise. Faced with a warm, Indian summer day, I ventured into my closet – not knowing what I would find. I moved hangers, pushed away options, and pondered over choices, until I found, tucked at the far end and almost invisible, this whimsical Eva Franco dress, with feminine touches. Excited to see it after many months, I tried it on and fell in love all over again. I knew it would be a perfect choice for the day.

Nothing is quite like finding a long lost fashion friend to awaken your sense of style. I recommend you check out your closets for hidden treasures and see what you’ve been missing, too!

Dress, Eva Franco; shoes Talbots

Photos, Abrina Hyatt

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The Emmy’s and Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer, Getty Images

I watched the red carpet arrivals at last night’s Emmy Awards just in time to see the ageless beauty, Michelle Pfeiffer. I haven’t seen Michelle Pfeiffer in a while, and she made a stunning return. At 59, she was inspiring, looking very soft and elegant in a gossamer Oscar de la Renta dress – and very much herself. It was my favorite look of the evening.

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Inspired by New York Fashion Week

Models walk the runway for the Torrid show during NYFW on Sept. 12. (Photo: Getty Images)

A model sports an embroidered denim jacket and a floral dress at the Torrid show during NYFW. (Photo: Getty Images)

A model wears a sheer black lace dress at the Torrid show during NYFW. (Photo: Getty)

Something important happened a few days ago at New York Fashion Week; it had nothing to do with “it girls” on the runway or strategically-placed in the front row. And it had nothing to do with being a part of the unattainable world of the fashion insider. Torrid, one of the largest clothing brands to cater to women who wear sizes 10-30, made its NYFW debut. Featuring 40 curvy-sized models walking the runway, Torrid came to level the playing field and represent. In an interview with Reuters, Elizabeth Munoz, head of product and design for Torrid, said: “The fashion industry can keep passing and keep saying I‘m not going to acknowledge that but there’s going to be a point where we can’t ignore the fact that most of the available population to sell to is a size that they don’t make.

The Spring 2018 collection featured the models wearing floor-length, Bohemian-inspired maxi-dresses paired with leather jackets and embroidered denim jackets with floral prints. Torrid reworked the corset trend by introducing a black leather version detailed with intricate floral embroidery styled with sheer blouses and long floral gowns. The looks were soft with a hard edge and nicely modern. This was a first step in the direction of inclusivity for New York Fashion Week. Hopefully it will start a movement that continues to change the way people think of fashion for all. But it will be even more of an achievement when this news is no longer the exception and in fact, isn’t even a big deal at all.

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Balenciaga Bound!

I was reminded of the magic of consignment shopping last week when I attended the launch of Gabrielle’s boutique, The Collective: the joy in finding the unexpected. And even more joy in bringing it to your home and closet. This whimsical Balenciaga Paris knit dress caught the corner of my eye and I knew it was special – but something I never imagined owning. The minute I tried it on I knew that we were meant to be together! Go to a consignment shop looking for something specific and you will never find it. But go to a consignment shop with an open mind and you may find a treasure of your own!

Dress, Balenciaga Paris; boots, Sigerson Morrison; tights, Wolford

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Sending The Wrong Message in Stilettos

With the devastating news of extreme weather hitting our world, I am brought back to an image that I cannot shake; one of Melania Trump off to visit Texas, post Hurricane Harvey, wearing stiletto heals. Clothes tell stories, give messages, and share emotion. The message in that image (which of course would be widely-seen around the globe) is … I am above you. I am not one of you. It is the farthest thing from someone who should be bringing the message of love, support, and healing to those who need it desperately. Trump changed her shoes later in the day but it didn’t matter – we had already seen it.

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Gabrielle is Forever the Collector

With a background in psychology, art, and philosophy, Gabrielle Newkirk, left her full-time job for a retail position as Manager of Anthropologie. But that wasn’t enough for Gabrielle – she wanted to be closer to the customer, closer to the connection between customer and clothing. And closer to the shopper who wants to shop without expectation, but to shop with purpose to find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that will reflect her personality. With inspiration from watching her Aunt Margie, who had a strong sense of style and never listened to body type rules of fashion, Gabrielle became a collector of beautiful things for herself. And eventually, Gabrielle was drawn to the world of consignment shopping.

This week, Gabrielle’s dreams of sharing her collections and owning and running her own consignment shop come true, as she launches her own boutique – The Collective. The Collective will be a place for designer and on-trend pieces – clothing and accessories – from established stores like Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, to smaller, modern stores like Madewell. Gabrielle wants to build a community of women – consignors and customers – with the hopes of building relationships and providing them with options they will not see anywhere else. Gabrielle’s own style is eclectic with a touch of bohemian. Someone once described Gabrielle’s look as if she rolled out of bed looking great, without giving it too much thought. Don’t we all want that, to be our own collectors, too??

Gabrielle Newkirk

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