The smell of summer...

One more photograph from today. I had no idea this nature preserve even existed but there it was...looking beautiful and smelling like summer.


Ahoy there!

We came across a children's park today, down by the harbor. It was in the middle of being rehabbed but I wish they'd leave it as it is...little boats marooned on a sea of concrete waves. Once the swings go in it will still be cute but I prefer the way it is right now...with a sense of desolation.

As luck would have it I was unintentionally following the park's nautical paraphrase George Peppard in The A Team, "I love it when a theme comes together".


The Flower Fairies

Yes, the poem is unbelievably sappy but my mother read Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairy poems to me as a child and when I saw this picture on Face Hunter the first thing that popped into my head were the assorted wood nymphs of my childhood (work that one out Dr. Freud). If you are going to publicly display a neurosis though this hat/headband/foliage combo is definitely the way to go...


Something for the weekend?

I break travel into two categories...fantasy and reality. Reality travel means delays, insufficient legroom, and questionable food. Fantasy travel takes me to the realm of the Orient Express, sailing around the Mediterranean, or speeding off on a weekend getaways in my MG Midget (dream car).

Of course dream travel needs luggage to match, and this Alice Temperley/Moët & Chandon collaboration would be perfect for carrying the essentials for a weekend trip...cute dress, check...lightweight sweater, check...magnum of champagne, double check!


Splish, splash!

Continuing on in a colorful vein...I'm considering some Jackson Pollock-esque DIY in an attempt to pay homage to these looks from the Yves Saint Laurent 07/08 Resort collection. Well, the bags and the dress at least...the pants leave me cold, though I love the street urchin jacket and scarf that they're worn with.


A brand new world...

Well, an updated blog at least. As you’ll have noticed, I’ve done a little re-design...and, in a show of extreme narcissism, the banner and avatar photographs are of yours truly (with a brief appearance by my husband and a Paul Smith shirt in the banner image). The photography was done by our friend, and photographer extraordinaire, Ryan Robinson.

Please bear with me as I may tinker with things a little more in the next few days.


Think pink!

I'm getting a yearning for a blast of color...pure, unadulterated tones of the same shade from head to toe. Queen Michelle mentioned it on Kingdom of Style, I came across this elegant green look on Face Hunter, and now (to top it all off) I've just finished watching "What a way to go!"...Shirley MacLaine, in 72 color saturated ensembles designed by Edith Head. Head's budget was $500,000 (and this was in 1964) so everything is very opulent, over-the-top, and fabulous!

I'm especially loving her cowl-necked, fur tunic (shown in the picture with the chimp below). Now all I need are Shirley MacLaine's legs... the lowest bidder.

Today's lesson, you have to move fast when the APC sale announcement hits your Inbox. The e-mail came in just after lunch but I was only able to take a quick glance at what was available...putting together a mental shopping list for later. But, by the time I got home, everything that I wanted was gone.

I'm trying to convince myself that, as Martha Stewart would say, "this is a good thing". Did I really need the black lace flats or the cat brooches? Well, now that I come to think of it...yes, yes I did...


Going up!

According to the elevator at work there’s a 60% chance of rain today and if I’m going to buy butterfly accessories I should stick to necklaces or belts because earrings or bracelets are “dated”.

I just want to move 26 floors in an upward direction so I can stumble to my desk and drink some Diet Dr. Pepper...getting fashion advice from the elevator is just disturbing.


Friendly old girl of a town...

Danny Kaye induced nightmares aside I really want to go to Copenhagen...I keep seeing so many great streetstyle pictures that have been taken there. Case in point, this little Chanel bag/tribal dress combo from Street Peeper.


Gadzooks…free shipping from Yoox!

There are so few times, outside of dressing up as a knight, that you can use “Gadzooks” so I had to take the opportunity...but it made sense as the kind people at Yoox are offering readers of “Style...a work in progress” free standard delivery on any orders made from June 27th to July 1st.

Just enter summerparty@yoox in the YOOX CODE space that you will find on the first page of the shopping basket and click New Total to eliminate standard delivery costs.

Please note: no suits of armor are included in this offer...


Timeless beauty?

In one of those coincidences that neatly occur in life I just picked up a copy of the July issue of British Vogue (in which they "celebrate ageless style") and a paperback from 1959, the Harper's Bazaar Beauty Book (featuring the "9-Day Wonder Diet").

Having read a little of each I've been struck by the fact that although the language has changed a lot of the obsessions and preoccupations have remained the same...and, in addition, that for all of Vogue's articles telling us how jolly it is to get older there's a whiff of the lady doth protest too much about the whole thing.

Strangely, of the two, I found the book from the 50's less depressing on the subject of aging. Amusing, farcical in portions, and morbidly fascinated by plastic surgery and necks but less depressing.

So, for those of you who may also have found Vogue a little bland here's a selection of vintage beauty advice...the good, the bad, and the downright strange...

On tension:
"One morning, wake up and decide that you will go through the day at whatever pace seems natural to you. Pretend that there will be no pressures on you. Of course there will be, but don't anticipate them. So much of our tension comes from anticipating what we are going to have to do that we freeze like poor rabbits which seem to turn to stone at the approach of danger."

On the body:
"The body will need regular planned exercise to take the place of the active sports of youth. This is when the slump begins, if you allow it. And the same is true of hip spread. It takes some effort to prevent slumping and spreading, but it takes twice as much effort to get rid of them years later."

On nuns:
"Nuns whose religious habits hide the telltale throat completely seem to go on endlessly without looking a modicum older."

Got that kids? The secret of eternal youth...less stress, no slump, and become a nun.


The Bermuda Triangle

I've tried sweet reason, now I'm begging...please, just take those below-the-knee bermuda shorts out of your closet and burn them...or, better still, give them to me and I'll burn them.

On this evening's commute every other woman seemed to be wearing them. And yet, not one person looked good. And why? Wear them with flats and, abracadabra, you have no calves. Try them with heels and it's one of those Sesame Street-esque "one of these things is not like the other" moments.

Let's face it, these shorts make people look like they should be surrounded by boy scouts, having an in-depth discussion on their woggle or the badge they got for bird-watching.

Let's try to escape the Bermuda Triangle, shall we?


All that glitters...

The Kate Moss antique sequin scarf that I've been lusting over since I saw it in some of the promo shots for the line has finally made its way onto Topshop's website. The only question now is, will the sequins look "antique" or cheap in person? I usually love the way that sequins photograph but find them off-puttingly tatty in real life. Oh, the inner turmoil...


The mirror crack'd

It's always interesting to see items that you own worn by other people...not in magazine editorials but incorporated into their real-life looks. It's so easy to get set ideas about how something should be incorporated into outfits that it provides a much needed jolt of inspiration (aka...a kick in the pants).

Case in point, this red APC jacket which I picked up in New York. Taken to the extreme I get a English fox hunting vibe from it (a la Vivienne Westwood in the 80's)...on a more basic level it's a blast of color...but always, for me, it's twisted conservative in feel. But when worn by the buyer for Wood Wood in Copenhagen it's positively sporty, which opens up a lot of possibilities...


The truth behind the mask

I'm a fan of jewelry with a sense of whimsy...pieces around which you can create a story. With Sabrina Dehoff's Little Helpers collection my imagination is given full reign. Made from fine gloveleather and described as "an exclusive remedy for various occasions" the little padded hearts, guns, and ghosts all seem to have a story to tell.

But my favorites are the rabbit and cat's as if these creatures attended a masked ball...a moment of madness, of the kind shown in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut"...the party is over but their masks remain, a symbol of their debauchery...

(Okay, I know...too much for a Sunday morning...but they are lovely, aren't they?)


It's all Greek to me...

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Herodotus forgot to add logo-mania to the list...though I think he covers it obliquely in one of his other famous quotations, "It is better to be envied than pitied".

Either way, this appears to be my week for encountering oddities in advertising. First the slogan building and now the Louis Vuitton mailbox. The mind boggles at what I'll run into next...


The neighs have it...

Ladies Day at Royal Ascot has once again come and gone, and so have some of the most horrific combinations of hat and dress known to mankind. I know after my Pierrot incident earlier this week the last sentence may come across as "the pot saying some nasty things about the kettle" but, in my defense, I direct your attention to the image on the right...

Surely making a horse run anywhere in the vicinity of this ensemble counts as cruelty to animals?


Oh, the horror!

A new terror has been unleashed (click on chipmunk to cue dramatic music).

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Man-klet.

I know that men don't have a lot of jewelry options but is there any reason to move into the chavtastic realm of the ankle bracelet? The Dramatic Chipmunk says no.


The Vintage Vagabond

I'm always jealous when I hear about the wonderful vintage "finds" that people have as I am currently living in a city with possibly the worst access to vintage clothing in the history of mankind. Okay, so I exagerate...but the pickings are slim.

So I was especially pleased to come across Vagabond NYC; which is owned by a former assistant of Camilla Nickerson and has an eBay store...I am living in a wasteland no longer.

My favorite items from the current selection include a waxed straw Krizia trilby from the 80's, an Hermes orange lambskin sweatshirt from the 70's, and a Courreges trench coat from the early 70's. Search for your selections as a Trust-Fund Vagabond or a Spend-Thrift Vagabond...three guess which button I clicked on...


House of Holland or building on the corner?

I spotted this while I was wandering around yesterday. As a follow-up to the, now ubiquitous, slogan t-shirt we have the slogan building. I'm not sure what the purpose of the sign is as it's next to a vacant lot...I'm assuming it's either ironic modern art or an exceedingly oblique advertisement.


The short straw

I know I've ranted about my short phobia before but I just came across an article on Stylehive that made me choke on my beverage.

Next to this image was the following text...

"Shorts, when done right, can cross boundaries into the realm of office-appropriate. Pairing the perfect outfit with this season’s shorts is all about balance. Here then are some summer shorts tips.

Office Tip: Shorter lengths go best with loose blouses and wedges (this will lengthen your legs). Longer shorts look really great with tunics, or for the office, a tailored blazer."

I'm sorry...what? Are acid yellow short-shorts ever a good idea? Okay, maybe 1% of the population could get away with them but is this really something that should be encouraged en masse? And in the land of cubicles and water coolers to boot? Summer madness is one thing but this is insanity.


Clowning Around

When I visited our local cake shop this morning I noticed some felt Pierrot hats in their novelty section. I tried one on, attempted to walk away, but the draw was too strong...the primary colors and fluffy pom-poms had me in their grasp. So, with visions of 50's cocktail hats and Commedia dell'arte dancing through my head, I snagged a red one before some 5 year old could snatch it out from under me.

Well, I've worn the hat all day and am completely smitten...seriously, I may never take it off.


Happy birthday

The Mad Hatter celebrated the unbirthday...I love the idea but don't think I could get away with it, so I'll stick with the traditional concept, celebrated the traditional taking my birthday gift, this nautical Vivienne Westwood bag, out for a stroll around town...possibly some chocolate French macaroons are in my future as well, you never can tell...


Bag Ladies

I understand that when you leave the house there's a tendency to take as many of life's necessities as possible to ensure you're covered for all options during the day ahead but...when does this behavior move from the sublime to the ridiculous?

Street Peeper
Face Hunter


Spat Attack

I have to admit, I'd always considered spats to be purely a men's accessory...and a historical one at that, worn by P.G. Wodehouse characters and the like.

Then I came across these, definitely female, versions from Posso the Spat. The names are alluring...The Subject, The Siren, The Pauper, and The Pupil...and so are the numerous ways that they can transform a basic boot or shoe into something entirely different.

As I'm in cheapskate mode right now I'm sensing a new craft project here...


Hair today, gone tomorrow

Not only does Nick Cave (as part of Grinderman) perform my favorite song at the moment but he is single-handedly proving that "balding at the front, long at the back" is actually a hairstyle that can work...

Not that this in any way redeems it for the other 99.9% of men who wear their hair like this but you have to give kudos to a man who can pull it off...even more so if he's able to rock the type of moustache more commonly seen in a spaghetti western at the same time.


So Moiré, so good-y

Sorry, that was a terrible pun to start a Monday with. It must be due to my excitement that moiré (the watermarked material that's made by pressing engraved rollers on fabric) is making a comeback this Fall. Even though it's a tad old-fashioned I've always had a soft spot for it...mainly due to my grandmother or, to be more specific, her housecoat.

During the forties and fifties, grandmother had all of her clothes handmade...from suits down to underwear. And one of the few pieces from this halcyon period that I was able to get my hands on was her purple and white striped silk moiré housecoat.
Katy Rodriguez

Floor-length, mandarin collared, with large buttons down the front and an elasticated ruffle at the back of the waist. It's more debutante than hausfrau and certainly the only times I've worn it have been to parties. But, sadly, time is taking its toll...maybe this is the year for a little retro fabric to make its way into my closet.

Jenni KayneBrian Reyes


Tie a knot in it

Though it looks like something you might find in a Christmas cracker...or to be seasonally appropriate, a box of Cracker Jack that you buy at the ballgame...there's something childishly appealing about this silver Forget Me Knot ring.

The elephant may never forget, but I do...and I need all the help I can get.


Too darned hot

It's a little early but I've reached the point where I've had enough of the heat and am longing for Fall...and all of its associated clothing options. It's been creeping up on me for the last couple of days but my feelings were exacerbated when I saw Peter Lindbergh's photographs of Carmen Kass in the new issues of Harper's Bazaar. I want the volume...the feeling of being cocooned...the tights!

Yves Saint LaurentEmanuel Ungaro

The one sour note to all this were the prices...almost $26,000 for the Balenciaga dress...$6,000 for the Yves Saint Laurent coat...$3,000 for the Lanvin dress...

It was the same throughout the rest of the magazine, either "price upon request" or, what seemed like, severely inflated pricing. I know this isn't a new occurrence, I just got bludgeoned with it in this issue. Fashion always had its mountain tops but, somehow, they were something that seemed there are peaks that can only be reached by the very rich or the celebrities who get the pieces for free. Maybe that's the answer...if designers didn't give away so many freebies they might not be forced to elevate the prices for the rest of us...after all, the money has to come from somewhere...but I don't see why I need to pick up the cost of Lindsay Lohan's latest handbag.


A little of what you fancy...

As you know I've been trying to save my pennies, but a sale at one of my favorite boutiques got me out of hiding...too early as it turned out...I'd forgotten that the majority of hipsters don't stir before 11am. But, just as I'd resigned myself to walking a few laps around the neighborhood to kill time, I noticed that Urban Outfitters was open. And hidden away in the men's area I found this long, navy and white cotton scarf. I freely admit now, I'm a scarf fiend...I own way too many but (in my defense) they add an element of interest to an outfit and this one was considerably less than the similar scarves in the women's department...riddle me that one Batman.

Appetizer over with, on to the main course. I seem to be in a jacket mood at the moment...which, on the one hand, considering the 90 degree temperatures right now is crazy but...the air conditioning in my building is set to mimic Siberia so a jacket, indoors at least, is pretty much a necessity. So when I came across this black cotton number from Martin Margiela's Ligne 6 it seemed like a good buy...slim-cut, slightly tuxedo-ish, basic but different.


LA...not so confidential

The scaffolding's been cleared away...the clothes unpacked...a new APC store is open in LA...and my "reasons for a West coast road-trip" list has a new addition.

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