Friday, October 29, 2010

Diana Vreeland would be so proud... Luck be a lady

YvesSaint Laurent Dress, Chopard and De Grisogono jewelry

I absolutely adore ladylike dressing. The ritual of applying hosiery (though it is considered passe). Stockings thank you. Holding the lipstick and gently staining my lips a soft aubergine. The stroke of applying noir pencil for just the right amount of 'smoky eye'. Love it! Aaah, to be a girl. So my eyes were firmly planted on these lovely images in the November/December issue of Departures Magazine.

Dress by Giambatista Valli, Sidney Gerber Necklace

Christian Dior Dress, Brian Atwood Shoes

Oscar de la Renta gown, Verdura earrings

It is just so nice to see women dressed as real ladies, without all the excessive 'booty crack' and cleavage. Not to get me wrong, as they certainly do have their place. It's just that sexy has many forms. Ask most men and they will say "there's nothing like leaving a little something to the imagination". Unless of course it's Friday or Saturday, round about midnight. You know what I mean!

Asprey Tahitian Pearl Necklace, Leah C. Couture beret

Fendi dress, Chopard earrings

ow lucky we ladies are... I can hear Ms. Vreelands most favored quote "when blue, wear red".

Images are taken at the newly minted Lambs Club. Designed by another of my former design firms The Office of Thierry Despont.

Vera scarves, never out of style.

Here I am standing before a large crowd, seated forming a circle. I stand up to speak, encouraged by the team leader, swearing profusely where I proclaim "I have an addiction".

My addition is my proclivity to purchase and collect vintage Vera (Neumann) scarves. Thanks to Ebay and its immediate access to auctioning I have been able to acquire quite a few. I am also feverishly known to dive into a dilapidated dusty box in a shadowy vintage store or flea market, dare I find a corner of hand-hemmed silk peeking through. No, I will not say how many I have but surely a small shop or Vera outpost is possible in the future.

I blame my mother. She collected Vera scarves as well. Oooh, If I could only get my hands on those lost or donated to the Salvation Army many years ago.

All the Hollywood starlets who were wore Veras... Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, even Jayne Mansfield (no she was not wearing a Vera at the time of her fatal accident). Quite a few starlets who almost were, wore them too. They were often worn anchored to a handbag, just as frequently as securing a finger curl at the nape of the neck. What's sexier than tying a scarf about your head before jumping into that vintage racer green Jaguar.

Many of Veras scarves can be found on Etsy. The key is like most things, to care for them and they can be handed down to the little girls in your life as well.

Thanks mom!

Lenny how could you?

Go from this...

(be patient...)

To this...

photo by Styleite

Lenny Kravitz is one of the most talented guitarist of this generation, influenced by, in tune with and celebrated for his unique riffs and passionate songwriting abilities.

How many of us have time traveled at our desk, just from hearing the first chord of 'Fly Away'? "I want to get away, I want to fly awayyyyyy, yah, yah, yah"?

In the over used words of Justin Timberlake... Please Lenny just bring sexy back!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

'Home from the Hardware Store' - A re-purposed life

I've got it all laid out in my head. Straight from work I plan to peel off the work clothing, don some overalls (or a closely functioning facsimile), thread the laces on some comfortable shoes, lay the rear seat down in the buggy and hit the nearest Home Depot or Lowes I can find!

An inspiration has come over me, and I can hardly wait for the weekend! And guess what? The same thing is going to happen to you. Like the 'Cajun Cook' Justin Wilson used to say "I guarontee".

Home from the Hardware Store - Transform Everyday Materials into Fabulous Home Furnishings is chock full of imaginative weekend projects, all prepared and skillfully designed for the craftsman or ingenue unfamiliar with power tools. In this age of 're-purposing' the entire lot of projects in this book have a place in your home. The book contains over 50 projects. Most could be accomplished in one day.

Written by Kathleen Hackett, a writer and editor and her husband Stephen Antonson, an artist and designer there's plenty to keep you busy throughout the weekend. It's a great opportunity to involve your children. With all the counting, dividing and measuring is sure to help strengthen their math skills. It will also teach them early on to "measure twice and cut once"!

With the holidays coming up, and many being stressed about buying lavish gifts for friends and loved ones, there are many projects here that would be widely received and appreciated.

Here is a sneak peak of what's inside...

I just love all instructions are provided, as are the list of required tools.

The most utilitarian objects and materials become purposeful and beautiful furnishings and decorative elements for the home. For example, you could take it one step further and paint the cork to match the wall or some other detail in the home, or 'keep it green'.

I have just the place for this screen!

This copper table runner is the first project I intend to do this weekend.

Home From the Hardware Store: Transform Everyday Materials into Fabulous Home Furnishings
Available November 2010.

Tool belts aisle one!

It is also beautifully photographed by Lesley Unruh

Living Art - Style Your Home with Flowers

Say it with flowers. I was thrilled upon attending the Kips Bay Boys and Girls showcase last week discovering an introduction to Oliver Giugni's new book "Living Art" - Style your home with Flowers. It officially hits the marketplace in November.

Olivier is a world renowned floral artist who hails from St. Tropez and Aix en Provence. He has been an event planner in addition to florist. He possesses an extremely keen eye, and his work reflects that.

Phillip Ennis, is the masterful interior architecture photographer who captured the images. I know Phillip from a photoshoot at singer John Mayers' home. Sylvie Bigar wrote alongside Olivier, and the foreword is by Catherine Deneuve. People I said 'Catherine Deneuve'! What says flowers more than the elegance, grace and personification of beauty than Catherine Deneuve?

L'Olivier is my favorite florist. His uptown shop is located at 19 East 76th. Street., a mere stumble from Central Park. I feel the urge to mention this adjacency because, L'Olivier often brings the park through his front door. Many lunch hours were spent sniffing blossoms in his shop. His presentations are gorrrrrrrgeous. The intense crisp floral scents capture your attention upon entering. And should you happen to wander into Fredric Fekkai at the Mark Hotel or grand lobbies of The Plaza Hotel, The Pierre Hotel or The Carlyle, you will be greeted by the finest arrangements, gently placed and holding court.

Equally true for his downtown locale at 213 East 14th. Street in Chelsea. It is calm in the midst of busy 14th. Street. Sometimes I see people carrying the most gorgeous arrangements down the street, and you just know where they came from.

I purchase fresh flowers every Friday evening en route home. To me, the weekend isn't officially here, without fresh new blossoms. There isn't much we can do with our homes if they're already done, but we can always style it with flowers!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thai one on...

Growing up in New York City with adventurous culinary parents, afforded me the great opportunity to eat German pancakes stuffed with apples for breakfast, Indian samosas with mint sauce at lunch, and sushi for dinner. A post dinner walk through Chinatown always ended with green tea ice cream. I've been a 'foodie' for a very long time.

No secret here. I love food. I love cooking. I love the rush of trying new foods. I love Thai food! So I was delighted rifling through cookbooks deciding what to prepare or folks coming to dinner, when I rediscovered one of my favorite cookbooks 'Thai, The Essence of Asian Cooking' by Judy Bastyra.

Thai prawn salad with garlic dressing and frizzled shallots

Red Chicken curry with bamboo shoots

Stewed pumpkin in coconut cream

Coconut pancakes

Coconut custard

Salmon marinated with Thai spices

I urge you to get your paws on a copy. The recipes arent' at all intimidating. Most ingredients are available at all markets these days. And feel free to substitute too. I you don't like noodles, use rice instead. Best part, the recipes are so abundant they can easily be doubled or tripled for large holiday gatherings and tailgate parties. Hint: modify pepper quantities to your taste-buds. Your digestive system will thank you for it.

Here's something I've found myself doing with the coconut pancakes... layer a thin glaze of Nutella on them for a decadent sandwich.

So that's where my last five pounds came from.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Burberry Spring/Summer 2011 - How's it going stud?

Love, Love, Love this jacket. I wouldn't want to stand too close to them on a crowded subway though! Nonetheless, Burberry has me officially checking days off until Spring.

Does she or does she not look just like Penelope Cruz (minus the baby bump)?

Images by Martin Gregory Jerez - Courtesy of Mykromag

Chad Ocho Cinco, A man who puts his money where his mouth is...

Out of the box I admit, there isn't much I know about football. As a matter of fact, I haven't even watched it much during the last ten years. I used to watch it with my dad. He would call and say "games coming on, feel like making some meatballs, or some ribs?" With that, I'd gather my things and make my way to the rents' house. It didn't matter who was playing, or what I would be cooking when I got there. It was all about just hang time with my dad. He was a great man who loved meeting people, and learning about their lives with 'real concern'. And hen he talked to you he looked you in the eye. And he always did what he said he would.

So when he passed, I pretty much gave football up, other than the occasional 'ritualistic' holiday games at Thanksgiving, Christmas and of course the Rose Bowl. Even still, I listen from another room more than watch. I can't bear to watch without my dad sitting beside me, with his intermittent gasps and yells!

Then came 'Twitter' and 'follows'. I generally have a long commute. Timelines are my 'transformation' from a day of crazy, to an evening of quiet and relaxation. I discovered Bengals football player Chad Ocho Cino by accident, and have enjoyed his random tid bits on life, his life, his career but mostly people he interacts with and his positive messages to basically keep holding on.

And so, whether it is a connection with days and nights becoming cooler, catching side glances of football on television and the knowledge of this young man, who seems so into the lives of others and enriching them along the way - I started paying more attention to Ocho Cinco's tweets and have found him to be a 'genuine person'. I couldn't possibly spew his stats, or how long he's been on the team. You can read all of that here.

So many 'celebrities and sportspeople' talk about what they'd do for people or what they say they're going to do, yet it never happens. So quite by surprise, my heart was so touched last night that this man would invite 85 (his number, I just caught that) Twitter followers to dinner (tonight), and actually DO IT. In addition to providing a shuttle bus for transportation! I'm not even going but got goosebumps reading others excitement. I was deeply touched.

He is as well versed in humility and lifes many disruptions as with wonderful things going on in the world. I just like and support him, and his ability to 'put his money where is mouth is'...

In the process, not just collecting 'followers' but gaining friendships and providing memories along the way. One click at a time.

In addition to all that, I'm just missing my dad..


Villa Grande... Calistoga, more than mud...

Okay, I have to admit. Calistoga California is captivating. Then again, there isn't much of California I am not captivated with. I can go on, and on about the place. My first introduction to Calistoga involved mud and LOTS of it. It is the home of incredible mud baths. While submerged, you thing of every S---- joke you can think of. I looked forward to getting in it, then could'nt wait to get out. However, my skin never felt better. P.S. go with someone you're close to for the shared naked shower afterwards. For there is no shame, and it all becomes quite hilarious. Beyond the mud is this place...

Not bad huh? These images are from the November 2010 issue of C Magazine. The villa is grande, beautiful, palatial and stunning to say the least. Residence to artist Carlo Marchiori, it appears as though it emerged from the hills of Italy. The interior houses 30 foot murals, painted by the artist in residence.

The home was built with cast away found building products and a "world of courage". Mr. Marchiori says "it is a work in progress". I can hardly wait to see what he's got in store. I would imaging the mud room, is the biggest in the land. Did someone say 'wellies'?

Friday, October 22, 2010

At the Armory... Adornment at the TAMBARAN GALLERY

Hair ornament, Tamil Nadu South India
20th. Century, 22KT Gold
Likely fashioned after smaller womens' hair ornaments. 37 radiating spikes surmount a large ring with four gold tack shaped appendages.

Nepal Necklace, Kathmandu - Nepal Himalayas
20th Century 24KT Gold Over Resin
13 large gold melon shaped beads alternating with red fabric discs terminating into gold trumpet shaped finials.

Tutsi Necklace
19th. Century or Older Tutsi - Dempcratic Republic of the Congo Africa
Made of rare mauve beads with twelve multi stranda of Venetian trade beads with natural fiber.

Ear Ornaments Lhasa - Tibet Himalayas
Circa 19th Century 22KT Gold, Silver, Turquoise, Resin
Only Tibetan women of considerable wealth and status could have worn these important ear ornaments. Each was balanced on the temple of the head and secured in the hair.

Gold Prayer Box Lhasa, Tibet Himalayas
19th Century
The Prayer box is suspended from pears. The box contains written prayers to appease evil spirits and are unique to the Tibetan culture.

Mosche Maskette Loma Negra - North West Coast of Peru
100 BC - 600 AD Gold, Gilded Copper, Shell, Lapis Lazuli
Maskette was likely affixed to a burial object, attached to the outer layer of mummy wrapping.

Shiva Necklace South India
19th Century Gold, Rubies, Diamonds, Emeralds
Cast adornment on large rudraksha seeds and is worn uniquely by worshipers of the Hindu God, Shiva. A gold prayer box is suspended below with a hinged opening that would have held written prayers.

Necklace, South India
19th Century, Gold, Rubies, Diamonds, Emeralds
Impressive ceemonial necklace of 38 mango elements studded with rubies and a central diamond strung on a flat woven gold wire chain.

Please stop by the Armory, straight down the center aisle on the right and visit these amazing pieces. They are very willing to chat about their collection, and full of information and history. My thrill came from holding the ear ornaments in my hands. You can feel the sense of history. It truly chilled my spine and warmed my heart knowing how appreciated they are.

And if you miss the armory and wish to visit their gallery, please do so here:

Credit: Descriptions and images courtesy of Tambarn Gallery Adornment brochure. Photography: Oren Eckaus