Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to you all. Hope you enjoy your time off. I'll be at my parents' home in the Adirondacks which is featured on this week. Check it out! Also, I'm taking a mini-hiatus from blogging for the holidays. I'll be back on January 3rd! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Motherly Love

I much prefer looking at pictures of celebrities when they're with their children. I was reading an article about Mick Jagger in the New York Times Style Magazine recently, and he was saying that "public people put a lot of energy into what people think about them. Everyone does. I don't care what they say. Everyone cares about it. You always want to control your image. I mean, you obviously can't control it 100 percent. But if you're a famous person, you obviously have a public personality ... that you want to project." His quote made me realize that the reason I like seeing celebrities with their kids is because it seems they forget about trying to project that public image for the moment, and you can see more clearly the person behind it. I also find that women are dressed more casually when they're with their kids, and you get a truer sense of their personal style, instead of seeing some get-up crafted by a stylist.

Clockwise from top Jane Fonda with her daughter (1969), British Anthropologist Jane Goodall and son (1974), Angelina Jolie with her son (2008), Kate Moss and daughter (2009), Jackie Kennedy and daughter (1969), Charlotte Rampling and son (1976), Jane Birkin and daughter (1970), Madonna with her daughter (1998), Jerry Hall and kids (1985).

Monday, December 20, 2010

I ♥ Your Style: Caroline Sieber

If I had to give just one best dressed prize for 2010, I would give it to London-based stylist and Chanel brand ambassador Caroline Sieber. To begin with, this is so unfair I know, she is stunningly beautiful. Her cat shaped eyes and her perfectly tousled hair make it hard to stop staring at her despite what she wears. But she also happens to know exactly how much is enough when getting dressed. She chooses quite trendy, high fashion outfits but wears them so simply, and she always chooses THE PERFECT accessories to go with them. She's also developed quite a signature proportion to go with the signature hair - very short skirts (or shorts) and sky high heels. But let me make one thing clear, it's not her looks or her body or her access to price-y clothes that makes her stand out - it's her style, the way she looks like herself despite the designer she's wearing. I also want to mention that she has incredibly good manners and that's always in fashion.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Seberg Effect

As I've said before, I was an intern for Patrick Demarchelier the last two years I was in college and a full on studio assistant for the summer after I graduated. When I first arrived there I was 19, and I'll never forget when I met Tonne Goodman (then Fashion Director at Bazaar). The first thing she said to me was "How old are you, 14?" I guess I was a young teenager. I was certainly full of beans, maybe even a little precocious, which I soon noticed people either liked or didn't like about me. There was one makeup artist who was out and out mean to me. Paul Cavaco was always so sweet to me - he let me paint his fingernails all different colors when we had down time, and Marina Schiano used to braid my very long hair during lunch break. 

When I returned to the studio though, after a tough senior year (all my best friends had graduated ahead of me and I was intensely lonely), I came with a more mature attitude and a new look. I had cut my long bohemian, wavy hair into a neat shoulder length bob. I already wasn't too sure about it, and my doubts were confirmed when Patrick looked at me and said in his very heavy French accent, "What deed you do vis your 'air darling?" He then called over his best friend Didier Malige, one of the loveliest, most gentle men I have ever met, and one of the best hair stylists in the world. "Do somesing vis her 'air," he directed. He then mumbled something about Carolyn Murphy and started cutting, in BIG chunks. I don't know what happened to me. I just let it happen. Did I not care? Did I not have the confidence to ask him what he was doing before he started cutting? Anyway, 20 minutes later I had a Jean Seberg pixie cut, and I was numb the rest of the day. I went home that night and cried and cried. I know it was just a haircut, but it was traumatic. It would be 2 years before I really felt like myself again.

So the other night I was at a dinner and Carolyn Murphy was there. We were introduced, and I told her how her 1996 pixie cut had indirectly inspired my own. Her face winced, and she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Wasn't it awful???" Even though I look at pictures of her from then and think she looked great, and in fact I can even look at my own post-cut photo and realize it wasn't that bad, it certainly took some soul searching to live through the growing out period.

I wonder how Emma Watson feels right now?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I ♥ Your Style: Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is my favorite fashion chameleon. In the span of her career she's gone from 50's demure to 60's Barbarella vamp to 70's war fighting hippie to 80's workout queen to 90's poster-girl-for-aging-well all with a lot of enthusiasm and credibility. What helps her pull this off? Her beauty. She looks good in almost anything. But she's also fearless - she goes for every look wholeheartedly. I can think of other girls - like Kate Moss - who can pull off many different looks, but they aren't as drastic as Jane's. Jane really, really went for it.

Printed Matter: The Art of Sewing

One of my best eBay purchases over the years was a complete set of The Art of Sewing books published by Time Life in the 70's. Like many cool things I know about, they were brought to my attention by my long time creative collaborator and art director of this blog, Chelsea Fairless (she has her own blog too). Anyway, I wasn't sure what the fuss was about but Chelsea made me buy them. I was so happy when I received them. At first glance I just loved the way the rainbow array of colored spines looked on my bookshelves. I also loved that each book had a theme - Exotic Styling, The Sporting Scene, Novel Materials, Separates that Travel, Traditional Favorites, etc - and that each book was covered in a print or material that matched the theme. Yet again, just looking at them was worth the purchase price. But then I started to flip through them - simple sewing and clothes - and found that techniques like how to dip dye, batik, monogram, embroider, knit, cut a pattern, etc. were interspersed with REALLY inspirational photos according to the theme of the book. The knitting chapter has a photo spread of the Missoni's at work in their factory, the needlepoint chapter provides 60's Frank Stella paintings and so on. If you have a remotely crafty bone in your body or if you just like to have a pretty bookshelf, run and buy these. I saw a full set on Etsy today for $56. Hurry!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Travel: L.A.

I was visiting friends in L.A. over Thanksgiving and in between kids activities we managed to squeeze in a trip to the Huntington Botantical Gardens. They have THE MOST incredible cactus garden and greenhouse. Looking at all the patterns and colors close up made me want to become a textile designer. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snapshot: Bianca Jagger

There are countless photos of Bianca Jagger that I really, really love, but I recently found this one and it seems to trump all the others. Unbelievably chic.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Home Sweet Home

As much as I drool over minimal interiors and wish that I could live in such ordered simplicity, I know that the one thing I couldn't live without is the personal artwork hanging on my walls. Since I don't have the budget to buy any truly significant kind of artwork I feel incredibly lucky to not only have an artist husband but also lots of artist friends that give, trade or make artwork for me. We're also really big on handmade valentines (large ones!) in our family and those take up a lot of wall space too. 

These aren't handmade, but I do love them so much. I found them in a vintage store - they were some guy's college project in the late 60's. There are 5 of them in total and they were featured in a Vogue Living story about my house.

 A collage I made from Kmart kids' valentines for my husband (2007).

A photo that Jessica Craig Martin took at our wedding, that I then covered with heart stickers and gave to my husband for Valentine's Day (2001).

Left A photogram portrait of my son by his godfather Adam Fuss (2009).
Right A watercolor of Lil Kim by Jane Rosenblum. It was a wedding present (2000).

Two heart collages I made for each of my kids for Valentine's Day (2005).

A drawing from Planet of the Apes, by Jane Rosenblum (2000).

Left A watercolor portrait of me by Anh Duong (1998).
Right When I worked at Gagosian Gallery I got to work with one of my photography heroes, Sally Mann. She used to write me notes and letters on the back of her unseen, unpublished photos and then fold them up like stationary and put them in an envelope. This is my favorite one (1998).

This one has a story: When I was in 7th grade, I transferred to Horace Mann and went to more Bar Mitzvahs than I could count. During that time I really wished I was Jewish so I could have my own Bar Mitzvah. There were many aspects of Bar Mitzvahs that I was envious of, but I was especially crazed about the enlarged photo of the honoree everyone signed as they entered the reception. By the time I got married 13 years later I was still thinking about the signed photo so I used this picture Arthur Elgort took and had it made into a poster that everyone signed as they arrived. I still smile everytime I pass it in the hallway.

Another Valentine I made for my husband. I got the quote from a photo of a pillow in Helen Hurley Brown's living room. Go figure (2008).

A Valentine Christopher made for me. I love how surfer-y it is (2008). 

Left Our friend David Yarritu made this from an Us Weekly cover - he blacked out everything but Hollywood, Star Jones' face and that big smile. He then made the cutouts at the bottom with a hole puncher. I think it's genius (2008).
Right I love to make photo collages. It's so much easier to look at photos that way instead of hiding them in albums. This picture was from Domino (2003).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Printed Matter: Diane von Furstenberg's Book of Beauty

If you're a fan of DVF and you don't have this book, I suggest you go to Amazon right now and buy it. You can get a good copy for under $5. It was published in 1977, and it's filled with practical beauty tips (like what color makeup works best with your hair/skin color), great vintage photos of DVF at home, and Diane's signature charm and wit. Case in point: There is a chapter called "Brazil? With My Hair? Never!" And if nothing else it's a cheap and chic addition to your coffee table.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I ♥ Your Scarf

I have been so inspired recently by Hermès' new website - J'aime mon Carré.  It completely reinvented my perception of the Hermès scarf as something only Queen Elizabeth or Grace Kelly would wear into something that any cute young thing can wear. I've included some of my favorites from those images here along with a few vintage ones. Being 36 I wonder if I'm not too old to wrap an Hermès scarf around my head. I'd probably only try it in the summer at the beach. The best I've ever felt wearing a silk scarf was inspired by my college roommate Patricia Herrera who showed me more than a few things about personal style. She taught me how to tie a scarf around my neck with the tie in the back so it almost served as a turtleneck - it keeps your neck warm in winter and it looks chic. The key is to use a smaller scarf - you dont want a big plume of scarf tails hanging down your back. Or maybe you do. But I don't.