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Nail Polish of the Month, August

Monday, August 11th, 2014

I am not a beauty blogger!  I do however, really love makeup, nail polish and hair products.  One look in my bathroom vanity and you might think I have a problem.  OK, so maybe I get a little seduced by claims of the best, newest and most researched products out there.  I’m guilty on all charges.

I have a confession to make.   I have always had my nails done as far back as I can remember.  Living in New York City, recently graduated from college, on a VERY modest salary and sharing a studio apartment in the West Village with my pal from college, I always managed to scrape together enough money for a manicure.  It was a small luxury that made me feel grown up and so professional.  That was the 80′s and fire engine red was all the rage.  Long rounded nails a la Melanie Griffith in Working Girl was what everyone wore and I did too.

Fast forward many years later, I wear my nails short, but still neatly maincured.  I have started to get Gel /Shellac manicures that last 2 whole weeks.  I often get compliments on my nail color (both fingers and toes), so I thought I would start sharing what I wear with you.  I’ll post a “Nail Polish of the Month” and see where it takes us.

Sadly, Summer is coming to an end so last week I wanted a color that was fun, light and playful to usher out the last weeks of my favorite season.  So here is what I wore:

CND Shellac in Mint Convertible

CND Shellac in Mint Convertible

I love the mint green of this color and it makes me happy to look at.  It reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream, one of my favorites.  I like the way that the darker green looks on my toes with these yellow sandals.  Here is what I am wearing on my toes:

Essie, Ruffles and Feathers

Essie, Ruffles and Feathers

 

Nail Polish

August nail polishes of the month

Do you wear nail or toe colors to reflect your mood, the season or your favorite color?  Maybe you like to go with a predictable yet sexy red or a neutral hue.   I’d love to know what colors you choose to wear on your digits and why?  Share, share, share!

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Roland Mouret Hits Banana Republic 8/7!

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Banana Republic keeps pulling out great designer collaborations and their next one with Roland Mouret, is hitting stores on August 7th.  I love designer collaborations and  most major designers are jumping on the bandwagon.  It makes sense for all involved.  The retailer gets an association with a big name designer and the designer gets introduced to other markets.  It’s a win-win for both.

Roland Mouret was born in Paris in 1962 and had no more training than a 3 month stint at a Parisian fashion college in 1979.  Somehow, despite his lack of formal training, he seemed to understand the way a dress in particular, should fit a woman’s body.  He partnered with the Meyers (Sharai and Andre’) who bought his namesake line in 1998.  Mouret introduced his Galaxy dress in his 2006 collection and it was an immediate success sending ripples through the fashion world.  Vogue Magazine said  ”for weeks you [couldn't] open a newspaper or magazine without seeing another young Hollywood A-lister wearing it”.  Less than 2 months later,  he split with his backers, the Meyerses and neither side ever elaborated on the break up.  Mouret took a 2 year break and launched RM by Roland Mouret and eventually bought back the rights to the Roland Mouret name in September 2010.  He opened his first retail store in London in 2011.

Roland Mouret

Victoria Beckham in Roland Mouret Moon dress

Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret’s iconic Galaxy dress

Roland Mouret has designed a 25 piece collection for Banana Republic and it will be available on August 7th, and will feature a beautiful mixture of skirts, trousers, tops and dresses in a muted, classic color palette. There is no doubt Mouret’s iconic dresses in particular, will be the most popular.  With price points between $49.50 and $165.00, everyone can afford a piece from this talented designer!  The limited-edition items feature the retail brand’s signature Sloan fabric — a rich, bistretch material that Mouret hand-draped, cut, and pinned on the body to create his classic hourglass structure. Heavy Sigh

Roland Mouret

Photo: Banana Republic

Roland Mouret

Photo: Banana Republic

 

Roland Mouret

Photo: Banana Republic

Roland Mouret

Photo: Banana Republic

As readers may recall, I had quite an adventure acquiring a certain Marimekko skirt when BR launched their collaboration with the Swedish fabric line.  I am a little wiser and a lot smarter now, so I have my list of must-haves from the Roland Mouret collection, and I am sure, a story to share. Stay tuned.

PS-  BR cardholders get a chance to buy a day early online.  Go sign up for a credit card, NOW!

PPS- check out this video for the collection featuring Karolina Kurkova http://youtu.be/ZLG2oKIwhSc

 

A Tale of Two Skirts.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Those of you who read my blog last week knew about the Marimekko and Banana Republic collaboration launching last week.  Being the fashionista that I am, I logged onto the Banana Republic site on Tuesday afternoon (a perk of being a BR cardholder ) to order a skirt from the collection.  Much to my dismay, my coveted skirt was SOLD OUT online!   I was devastated.  This is no ordinary skirt, it is THE Kivet Print patio skirt .   I placed an online order sans the patio skirt and hoped for the best when the stores opened on Thursday morning…

The coveted Kivet Patio Skirt

The coveted Kivet Patio Skirt

A little background, the Kivet Print patio skirt was the hottest item in the collection, especially since Jamie Chung was spotted in LA wearing it with black pumps, a red clutch and a matching Kivet print sweater.   That sent every fashionista, stylist and celeb wannabe,  into an all out frenzy.

Jamie Chung in the Kivet Patio Skirt and Sweater

Jamie Chung in the Kivet Patio Skirt and Sweater

Come Thursday morning at 9:40 am, I secure the 1st spot in line at the entrance to the Grant St., S.F., Banana Republic store (those of you who know me personally, know that I am a freakishly punctual person, so, naturally, I was in the garage waiting at 9:15 am).   I could see the collection through the windows and was trying to see the location of the Patio skirt.    People start to line up behind me.  I should note here, that I lived in NYC for 10 years, so don’t EVEN try to cut me in line!

BR outside

After waiting for what seems like forever, they open the doors at 10:03.  I frantically weave through the other shoppers, only to arrive to the rack with only 2 items on it, a size 2 and a size 0.   “What to do, what to do”, I think to myself.  I end up procuring a size 0 which, unfortunately, is nowhere close to my size 8 figure.

After milling around the store for a bit, I meet a very disappointed gal who needs a size 0.  We cajoled a salesperson with at 4 to give it to me, while I gave my size 0 to a very grateful company employee/fellow shopper.  I was getting closer to my 8.  I tried on the 4 and big surprise, it’s too small.  I decide that my talented seamstress with be able to let out the pleats in the back to transform a 4 into an 8.  I buy the 4 along with a few other cute pieces and hang around a bit.  Hey, 20 years in retail had to teach me something, right?  I spot a salesperson with a 10 and 12 heading for the fitting rooms.  The size 12 fits the customer who reserved them, so I snatch the 10 from the shocked salesperson and it’s MINE!  It’s still not an 8, but only one size off.  I leave the store with 2 patio skirts (size 4 and 10), feeling victorious!

www.theclassycubicle.com

www.theclassycubicle.com

Later that day, I post to craigslist.org for a trade and come up short…no one has an 8.  Meanwhile I get many offers for my 4, as I clearly state that without an 8, I’m keeping the 10.  Then it hits me, eBay!  I list the $98 skirt for $100 starting bid, with a $250 “Buy Me Now” price.  I can hardly believe it, but two hours later, I have a notification that my skirt has been purchased at $250.  Let me say that again, $250!  I am beyond ecstatic as I contemplate someone buying a $98 skirt for $250.  I am at a loss as I think to myself,  ”this is a CRAZY business”.

I’d love to hear if anyone else was lucky enough to get the Kivet Patio skirt.   Tell me your story!

Missoni Family attends AAU Graduation Fashion Show!

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Academy of Art University students wowed the invitation only audience at the packed graduation fashion show last Thursday night, May 8th!  The venue was a massive warehouse in a south San Francisco industrial/chic neighborhood.  Attendees were treated to wine and nibbles before the show, in order to peruse the portfolios of select BFA and MFA graduating fashion students including Fashion Design, Textile Design, Knitwear Design, Merchandising, Jewelry/Metal arts and Illustration majors.  It was an impressive group of graduates!

Even more impressive were guests of honor Rosita, Angela and Margherita Missoni…THREE generations of amazing Missoni women.  The Missoni label was started by Rosita and her husband Ottavio  in the 1950’s and continues to be one of the most iconic knitwear brands in the world.  Rosita and Ottavio (Tai) were awarded Honorary Doctorates while they were guests of AAU in 1999.  I was working at AAU at that time as Merchandising Coordinator and instructor.  I had the great pleasure of spending some time with the Missonis and they were beyond gracious and charming!

The picture below is a wonderful reminder of that time.  Pictured (L to R) Maureen French, Bridget Kelly, Louise (top), GPP (bottom), Tai Missoni (top), Rosita Missoni (bottom), Rhona MacKenzie, Sharon and AAU President, Elisa Stephens.

The Missonis along with fashion school faculty in 1999

The Missonis along with fashion school faculty in 1999

Rosita was thrilled to see the 1999 picture, as was AAU President, Elisa Stephens and AAU Fashion School Executive Director, Gladys Perint Palmer.  Sadly, Tai Missoni passed away in May of last year at the family’s home in Sumirago, Italy.

Rosita Missone, Maureen French & Gladys Perint Palmer

Rosita Missone, Maureen French & Gladys Perint Palmer

It was lovely to see both Angela and Margherita Missoni receive their Honorary Doctorates during Thursday’s show.   They were both so grateful to be awarded these honors along with their parents and grandparents 15 years prior.  AAU President, Elisa Stephens said “The Missonis have created an iconic, globally recognized and celebrated style.  We are thrilled to have the Missonis as our esteemed guests, and it is an honor to have three generations of lady doctors join us for our Graduation Fashion Show.”

simon_unglessAs in years past, the show was as close as SF gets to a fashion week show!  AAU graduate students show at New York Fashion Week in the Spring and Fall.  Every year the show gets better and having missed only one or two over the last 16 years, I feel very qualified to say that!  Simon Ungless, Director of the School of Fashion and Director/Producer of the fashion show, is brilliant in his role and NEVER disappoints!  He has his hand in every detail of the show and it always pays off with a stunning parade of sartorial splendor.  He really is the heart and soul of the show and makes sure every student whose collection is included, really works hard for that honor.  Many tears have been shed by students who did not complete their collections on time or were lacking in quality and construction… talk about a project runway moment!  BTW, several AAU alumni have been on the popular show including fan favorite, Melissa Fleiss.

Overall, the collections were imaginative, original and impeccably tailored.  The variety of men’s, women’s and children’s collections kept the audience totally interested in whatever came down the runway.  Here are a few highlights…

AAU photo1 correct AAU photo5 correct

AAU photo4 correct

AAU photo2 correct

AAU photo3 correct

AAU photo 6 correct

And here is the full video from the AAU website.  Watch it, you WON’T be disappointed!

Animal Prints, It’s a Jungle Out There!

Friday, 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.

animal print photo3 corrected

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.

animal print photo2 corrected

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!

animal print photo4 corrected

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.

animal print photo1 corrected

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.

animal print photo5 corrected

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!

Saturday, 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!!!

Monday, 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!

 

 

Lesley Evers Warehouse sale!

Tuesday, 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

To the Maxi!

Thursday, 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!

Monday, 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