Animal Prints, It’s a Jungle Out There!

February 28th, 2014

Look around next time you’re out walking around a city or suburban mall.  You will definitely see a healthy amount of animal print roaming around.  Animal print used to be a trend for only the most fashion forward among us.  It has successfully crossed over from fashion ‘trend’ to fashion ‘classic’.  Animal prints have become mainstream and can be seen in many different sartorial iterations.  Here are some ways you can wear a little or a lot of animal print.

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If you just want to dip your toe in the pool and not dive in completely, take a baby step with a scarf, pin or umbrella.  The three pieces in this photo were all easy to find and easy on the wallet.  The lighter colored scarf and pin are both from H & M, VERY affordable.

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The next step you can take is a pair of animal print shoes.  These are all styles that I have worn consistently over the last 5 years.  I love the Zebra ones for easy black and white pairings with a splash of color (I do red with these a lot).  The Tod’s pair on the left are my absolute favorites and I wear them ALL the time.  Because they have black and browns, they go with so much!

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If you are feeling brave, you can go further with an animal print shirt, pant, or in this picture, a handbag.  I just got this Kate Spade bag and I am using it like crazy.  In an unusual twist, a client found this while shopping in Santana Row in San Jose with a friend.  I saw it and decided (with her agreement) I had to have it.  Again, it can be worn with black or browns, can be wiped off and travels really well.

This blouse is also a great way to work animal print into your wardrobe.

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I often caution clients not to go overboard with any particular look, animal prints included. Too much of a good thing is TOO much!  One or two small pieces, like shoes and a scarf or pin are lovely, but head to toe is a NO-NO.

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I LOVE the way Janice was able to wear this beautiful Tory Burch animal print dress with so much style and verve!  She is a wonderful example of embracing the look and making it her own, way to go Janice!  She kept things simple, like her jewelry and wore black tights and over- the- knee boots… perfect.

How do you wear animal prints?  I’d love to hear your answers and even better, see your pictures.

Pantone 2014 Color of the Year is Here!

February 15th, 2014

Pantone has announced the color of the year for 2014 in the usual flush of excitement and fanfare.  Pantone is THE authority on all things related to color.  So, drumroll please…the color for 2014 is RADIANT ORCHID!!! 

Pantone's 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid

Pantone’s 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid

While I think this is a lovely color, will this be a color that most women and men can relate to???  I combed my closet to see if I already owned any Radiant Orchid.  I came up with a work out top, that someone gave to me.  While I don’t have anything against Radiant Orchid, it is not the first (or second, or third, etc) color that I would reach for.  I then started to think about my clients and whether this would speak to any of their sartorial leanings.  The answer is not really, except for maybe one client.  She tends towards softer colors and never wears black!  So, that begs the question of whether just because a color has the designation of ‘color of the year’, do we try to incorporate it into our wardrobes?

My Orchid workout top

My Orchid workout top

There are a lot of other ways to wear Radiant Orchid besides a dress, top or jeans. Why not a Orchid colored handbag or clutch?  What about an purple hued pair of ballet flats or other kind of shoe?  Don’t forget that the beauty industry is also influenced by Pantones color forecasts.  Radiant Orchid is a great color for makeup.  What about a beautiful blush or eye shadow in this years’ color?

Pantone color board

The color board above gives some other ways to wear this sometimes difficult hue.  Take a look at the other colors in the 2014 fashion forecast this year.  I can really relate to Celosia Orange, Cayenne and Hemlock below.  So will anyone really care if I opt for a blush in the color of the year instead of a statement piece?  Probably not!  What do you think of Radiant Orchid, 2014 color of the year?  C’mon, don’t be shy…

Pantone fashion color forecast

Pantone fashion color forecast

Peter Pilotto hits the Target!!!

February 3rd, 2014

Peter Pilatto for Target #3Target is truly the benchmark when it comes to designer collaborations, it made Isaac Mizrahi a household name after all!  Well, for those of you obsessed with getting designer styles at a fraction of the cost, the wait is over.  Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos,  co-creators of the Peter Pilotto line have designed a capsule collection for Target.  It hits Target stores/website on February 9th, as well as Net-a-Porter.com.  That means those living outside of the U.S. can buy it too, c’est magnifique!

Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos are London based designers and met whilst studying at Antwerp’s prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2000.  Pilotto is half Austrian and half Italian and De Vos is half Belgian and half Peruvian.  Pilotto’s passion is wonderful prints and textiles while De Vos leans toward silhouette and draping.  Together, they are just genius!

Capsule collection for Target

The collection is so interesting in the way it pairs Pilotto’s graphic and sometimes crazy prints with the architectural design of De Vos.  Almost the entire line is priced below $60 and keep in mind that a real Peter Pilotto dress can cost upwards of $2000!  Some have described their sensibility at Fem-Geek, which hits the nail on the head.

 

The line includes staples like dresses (can you say summer parties?), skirts, pants tops, as well as bathing suits, accessories (totes and clutches) and even a beach towel.  I was a little disappointed with the quality of the Philip Lim for Target collection, so I hope this latest collaboration is a step up.

Peter Pilatto for Target #4

I love the playfulness of the prints and the wear-ability of the dresses.  Until it comes out, it is hard to gauge how well it will fit.  Although from the lookbook, it seems to skew towards the younger side, I think some of the separates worn with a solid would be great on any age.  It’s all about what you wear it with, yes?

Peter Pilatto for Target #2Anyone have their eye on anything???  For the full lookbook, check out fashionista.com and let me know what you like … Happy shopping!

 

 

So Many Books, So Little Time

January 27th, 2014

Over the last several years, I have amassed a growing collection of great fashion books.  Some are truly spectacular (Thanks Deb for the gorgeous Alexander McQueen book and  Sally for the beautiful Yves Saint Laurent one) and others are more pedestrian.  Over the summer, I had the opportunity to browse in the mecca of all bookstores, Powell’s in Portland, OR.  This truly is the mother ship of all bookstores!  It is so massive, check out the map to help navigate it’s many nooks and crannies:

Map of Powell's book store

My daughter, a self proclaimed bibliophile, was in heaven!  I had never seen a larger collection of fashion books in my life.  I wanted to bring a sleeping bag and stay the night.

Powell's

Anyway, I digress … while at Powell’s I was able to peruse and buy some books I had my eye on.  The first one I read was by Nina Garcia, of Project Runway fame, called The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own.

Nina Garcia book

I’m always a little hesitant about books that tell you what to wear.  I don’t like the MUST OWN command, it just sounds so mean.  Which if you watch PR you know that Nina can indeed be mean!  I must say that this book was entertaining, informative and easy to read.  One of the best parts of the book was the illustrations; they were amazing!  I love Ruben Toledo’s fashion illustrations, and this book had them on every page.  I am a huge fan and never tire of his art.  Garcia knows what she’s talking about as a fashion editor of Marie Claire and formerly of Elle magazines.  In addition to the beautiful pictures, Nina goes on to explain the history of an item, if that is pertinent, like in the case of the pearl necklace.  It tells you how Jacques Cartier traded a double strand of cultured pearls for the Manhattan store bearing his name in 1916, or that the fake strand of pearls Jackie O paid $80 for, sold at auction for $211,500 in 1996.  I was happy that I could  take credit for owning roughly 75- 80% of her top 100 must have items… not to bad at all.  I’ve made it this far with out a bikini and Minnetonka moccasins and haven’t suffered too much.  This is a great book whether fashion is your thing or not.  What fashion books, if any, are on your shelf???  The book can be purchased at ninagarcia.com.  Enjoy!

Rubin Toledo picture

 

 

Lesley Evers Warehouse sale!

October 15th, 2013

One of my favorite designers is having a warehouse sale starting on Wednesday, and I’m pretty excited!  Lesley Evers is a local Oakland designer of both clothing and wonderful fabrics, and I’m not sure which I love more!  They opened a lovely store on College Ave. in Rockridge, and their second store is in Lafayette, where the sale is taking place.  Come and check them out, even if you can’t make it to the sale …

See ‘ya there!

 

Lesley Evers sale

‘Future Beauty’ at SAM

September 12th, 2013

It’s hard to believe that summer is over, kids are back at school and fall is almost upon us.  Vacations are a distant memory and plans are being made for the holidays already…yikes, take me back to summer!  We took a wonderful family trip to the Pacific Northwest; Eugene, Seattle, Vancouver, Whistler and Portland in that order.  I had discovered an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum that I was REALLY excited about, Future Beauty 30 Years of Japanese Fashion.  Although always a fan of the sculptural silhouttes of Japanese designers, I do not own any pieces, nor do my clients lean in that sartorial direction.  I really loved this exhibit and it was only enhanced by the perspective of my 15 year old daughter.

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The entire exhibit was on loan from the Kyoto Costume Institute, a museum I would LOVE to visit one day (#327 on my bucket list).  The exhibit starts with 1973, the year designer Rei Kawakubo started Comme des Garcons (meaning “like the boys”), known for it’s androgoneous styles that challenged gender stereotypes.  Pictured below is a piece from the 1997 collection, “Dress Meets Body, Body Meets Dress”, sometimes referred to as the Quasimodo collection.

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons Top and skirt of stretch nylon/ polyurethane plain weave printedgingham checks; down pads Spring/ Summer 1997

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons Top and skirt of stretch nylon/ polyurethane plain weave printed gingham checks; down pads
Spring/ Summer 1997

It’s interesting to note that Kawakubo did a stint as “guest designer” for H & M in 2008.  Here is another Comme des Garcon collection piece designed by Kawakubo that is as appropriate today, as it was in 1992/93 when it was first shown…

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons One piece dress of three sheets of black and purplish brown polyester georgette; of two sheets of the same material at sleeves; black nylon knit at neck; trained Autumn/Winter 1992-93

Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons One piece dress of three sheets of black and purplish brown polyester georgette; of two sheets of the same material at sleeves; black nylon knit at neck; trained
Autumn/Winter 1992-93

Yohji Yamamoto was another Japanese designer emerging at the same time as Kawakubo.  He showed his line in Paris for the first time in 1981, and was a rumored paramour of Kawakubo.  Together, along with Issey Miyake and Kenzo Takada, they embodied Japanese fashion design and elevated it to what it is today.

Yohji Yamamoto Dress, Black and white felt; black knit under skirt. Autumn/Winter 1996-97

Yohji Yamamoto Dress, Black and white felt; black knit under skirt.
Autumn/Winter 1996-97

Following on the heels of Yamamoto and Kawakubo was Junya Watanabe, former apprentice and protégé of Kawakubo at Comme des Garcons.  Watanabe worked his way up through design positions, finally designing under his own name for Comme des Garcons.

Jnya Watanabe Comme des Garcons Autumn/Winter 2000-01 Red polyester organdie jacket;Yellow polyester organdie skirt

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons
Autumn/Winter 2000-01
Red polyester organdie jacket;Yellow polyester organdie skirt

The above ensemble was just incredible!  Pictures do not do it justice, the architecture is just beautiful.  Pictured below is another piece by Watanabe in denim, a great fabric to work with, but a little unexpected from this genre of designers.

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons Blue washed denim dress and trousers Spring/Summer 2002

Junya Watanabe Comme des Garcons
Blue washed denim dress and trousers
Spring/Summer 2002

Future Beauty also paid homage to the newer up- and- coming Japanese designers like Jun Takahashi for UNDERCOVER.  He has collaborated with Nike and Uniqlo in past seasons.  Below is a look designed for UNDERCOVER.  He also designs with his wife RICO as well (not sure what the capitol letters signify???).

Jun Takahashi/ UNDERCOVER Jacket, sweater, scarf, belt, bag, gloves, stockings and wig of various fabrics including wool, mohair, synthetic 'leather', painted, printed and embroidered with plaid pattern  Autumn/Winter 2000-01

Jun Takahashi/ UNDERCOVER
Jacket, sweater, scarf, belt, bag, gloves, stockings and wig of various fabrics including wool, mohair, synthetic ‘leather’, painted, printed and embroidered with plaid pattern
Autumn/Winter 2000-01

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi designer for mintdesigns and they represent the new  aesthetic of younger Japanese designers.  The dress below conveys the creativity and vision of this new crop of designers.

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi for mintdesigns White and blue silk-screen printed polyester; shredded magazines Autumn/Winter 2008-09

Hokuto Katsui and Nao Yagi for mintdesigns
White and blue silk-screen printed polyester; shredded magazines
Autumn/Winter 2008-09

This exhibit was really a highlight for me, as you don’t expect to see a major collection like this outside of New York or the de Young in San Francisco (speaking of which, I can’t wait to see The Art of Bulgari, jewelry exhibit opening at the de Young on Sept. 21st!).  I was totally impressed with the 100+ pieces this exhibit encompassed and my hope is that it travels to other locations in the US, before returning home to Kyoto!

“What you wear can largely govern your feelings and your emotions, and how you look influences the way people regard you.  So fashion plays  an important role on both the practical level and the aesthetic level.” —Kawakubo, Interview Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA89, a Must-shop Stop in Truckee!

July 10th, 2013

If you have any plans to be up in Tahoe this summer (or anytime) you have to stop in at CA89, in old town Truckee.  CA89 is the brain child of Lisa Gotts, an Oakland resident and long time Truckee homeowner and fan.  Lisa has been skiing here for many years and was a ski instructor at Squaw Valley.  She worked for Sunset magazine most recently in advertising sales and other notable magazines like Outside, Vogue and Elle.  CA89 is the next step in her professional ascent.  Jason Spruit is the uber- capable Store Manager and just relocated to Truckee from Detroit.

Out front of CA89

Out front of CA89

CA89 is an iconic stretch of road in eastern California that is well known and well loved.  Lisa developed a logoed brand of merchandise based on that scenic highway.   According to Lisa Gotts, not many stores locally focus on apparel and lifestyle goods that highlight the Sierra life. Her store’s apparel ranges from t-shirts and hoodies to dry-fit shirts and outerwear. Along with clothing they also have a wide selection of accessories such as pint glasses, notebooks, key chains, and hats/beanies.  The store opened earlier this year to much anticipation and fanfare.  CA89 is located at  10156 Donner Pass Road in the Brickeltown part of old Truckee.  It’s across from the train depot, still operating, in a historic, charming old building.  The modern fixtures and black and white color scheme meld perfectly with the old exposed brick inside the space.  Lisa’s keen design aesthetic is clearly on view in the store.

Inside CA89

Inside CA89

In addition to the great retail space, CA89 has a great mobile retail store in the form of their panel truck.  It was great to see it roll down the street as part of the annual Truckee 4th of July parade!  The CA89 crew can take their truck to all the different events around the Tahoe basin, like concerts, triathalons, art & wine festivals and much more.   It really shows how may different ways you can promote and market your brand.

The CA89 truck!

The CA89 truck!

In addition to the regular store hours, CA89 invites the community to summer movie nights on the lawn in the back of the store.  They show outdoor movies (bring a low back chair and $2) every Thursday and Saturday night at dusk.  No worries, there will be plenty of popcorn to go around!  There is also a yoga class every Thursday from 4:30- 5:45pm and it’s $10 for the class.  This is offered in conjunction with Yoga Studio Tahoe.

CA89 #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA89 #5

 

 

 

 

 

So if your summer or winter plans include Tahoe, make sure you stop in to CA 89 and tell Lisa and her crew I sent you!  Summer hours are 10-6pm daily.  Don’t forget to “like” CA89 on Facebook…  Happy summer everyone!

CA89 #6

 

 

 

To the Maxi!

June 20th, 2013

As soon as kids are out of school (or back from school) it seems like our wardrobes take on a more relaxed vibe.  I, for one, am a big fan of the maxi dress.  I bought my first one about 5 years ago and have slowly added one per season since then.  I love the way they look on different figures, and they look equally great on women of all heights.  My one pet peeve is if they are too short, or too long.  Spend the extra money to get it hemmed if it’s too long and pass it up, if it’s too short!  Here are a few styles that I LOVE:

Trina Turk maxi

Trina Turk maxi

Bailey 44 maxi

Bailey 44 maxi

Ella Moss maxi

Ella Moss maxi

Young Fabulous and Broke maxi

Young Fabulous and Broke maxi

Maxis are easy to wear with a cardigan or jean jacket over them, when it’s gets cool at night.  They are also great for travel.   All of the above styles are from Neiman Marcus online, but there are lots of styles out there that are very affordable.  I just bought one at Loehmann’s for $50!  I’d love to see pictures of your favorite maxi dresses if you want to send them along!

Mycra Pac warehouse sale!

June 10th, 2013

Mycra Pac is one of those smaller bay area companies whose styles are instantly recognizable, yet they remain under the radar.  Mycra Pac is a manufacturer of cool designer rain wear and they are located right here in Moraga, CA.  Nordstrom carries a wide range of styles and colors in all of their stores.  One of the things I like best about these raincoats is that they’re so packable and come with their own little pouch that doubles as a handbag.  They are designed and made in the USA and have hoods that are perfect if you have no umbrella and they don’t mess up your hair!  Oh, as if that wasn’t enough, they’re reversible!

Reversible Mycra Pac rain coat

Reversible Mycra Pac rain coat

Mycra Pac has a yearly warehouse sale at their offices in Moraga, and it starts WEDNESDAY, June 12th continuing through TUESDAY June 18th.  This needs to make it on your calendar!  Women wait all year for this sale, so it does get pretty crowded.  People start lining up early.  As with most warehouse sales, they don’t put everything out on the first day, so I’m sure each day will have new merchandise.  See you at the sale!

Mycra Pac sale 6-12-13

Scatter my ashes…at Bergdorf’s???

June 5th, 2013

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s is the new documentary film about the venerable retailer at New York City’s 58th St. and Fifth Avenue.  This film gives you an inside glimpse of the inner workings at one of the most valuable designer addresses in the world!  I went to see this movie at the Opera Plaza cinema in San Francisco yesterday and love, love, LOVED it!

Bergdorf Goodman

 

Bergdorf Goodman

Scatter my ashes at Bergfdorf’s was directed by Matthew Miele and introduces you to the real players in the make -or- break world of high fashion.   We meet Linda Fargo, fashion director at Bergdorf’s and fashion week front row dweller, meeting with up and coming designers vying for a spot on the coveted BG selling floor.  We meet Betty Halbreich, long time personal shopper, who when asked what she’d be doing if she wasn’t at BG looks into the camera  and says ”DRINKING”!  The film also interviews every major fashion designer like Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar De la Renta, Jason Wu, Dolce & Gabanna, Vera Wang and many others, on what it means to be sold at BG.

Bergdorf-Goodman shopping bag

The movie also goes through the history of both the building and company founders Edwin Goodman and Herman Bergdorf.  The store opened in 1901 (not at it’s present location though) and has been memorialized in movies, songs and T.V. shows.  The movie also gives appropriate screen time to David Hoey and his team,  responsible for the incredible and outrageous BG windows.  This is an inside look at the pure artistry involved in the holiday windows, and all the windows through the year.  It feels to the viewer like getting ready for opening night on Broadway, a mix between theater and art installation!

BG window

BG window

I really loved this movie, no surprises there, and would definitely recommend it to fashionistas and history buffs alike.  Here is the trailer for Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s …enjoy!

Scatter my ashes at Bergdorf’s Trailer