Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Post Partum Glamour

Last night I ran into a very pretty young woman I know who had baby #2 just three weeks ago.  Well, she was looking fabulous and fashionable in the most stunning pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.  As we all know, I love glittery shoes for cocktail and black tie events, so my eyes were immediately drawn to these stunners.  I have some serious shoe envy now and I can't think of a better post partum celebration than slipping one's feet into these.

Jimmy Choo crystal studded shoes

It was so funny because as soon as I bent down to get this shot one of the event photographers started taking photos of the shoes, too!  They really are ultra glam show stoppers!

Black is Back

I love color and it seems like I have shoes and bags in every color of the rainbow, but living in NYC,  you can't beat basic black.  A traditional black pump and a classic black bag will forever and always be the most useful accessories in any woman's closet.

Eleven years ago I sent my mom and my cousin to Italy (courtesy of a very generous gift of two first class plane tickets anywhere in the world I wanted to go from an airline CEO I had worked for) and I asked her to bring me back a specific Gucci purse that I had seen on line and was less expensive in Italy than here.  She found it and brought it back.  My recollection is that it was about half the price it was here, but my lira to dollars conversion may not be completely accurate.  All I know is that I loved it then and eleven years later I still love it and still use it, although it's so special to me I admit to limiting how much I use it, because I want to extend it's life.   It's just the perfect black purse, classic and elegant, that comes with the sentiment of mom's trip.  Plus, as a kid, I remember Gucci being very popular, so in my head when I hear "Gucci" the impressionable pre-teen in me always thinks "wow, Gucci!" 

Gucci purse from Italy

Just as important for every woman is having the perfect pair of black pumps.  I recently realized that for all of my shoes (and, yes, I admit there are a lot) I did not have a pair of basic black pumps.  I know this sounds unbelievable, but I had a beloved pair from Bruno Magli that I wore for about a decade, and when I had to finally retire them I never replaced them.  I have a lot of black shoes, but none is a classic black pump.   So, I finally zeroed in on a pair of patent leather ones at my favorite new store, LK Bennett.  I love them and they will be a wardrobe staple for many years to come.

Black patent pumps from LK Bennett 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Accessory Swag Bag

Earlier this week I attended the Central Park Conservancy's Fredrick Law Olmsted luncheon, affectionately known as the "hat luncheon."   I've attended every year since 2007 and every year the guests get some nice party favors to take home, including a Wathne umbrella.  I have a whole collection of them at this point, in a variety of lovely colors.  This year Tiffany & Co. was a sponsor so the umbrellas were Tiffany Blue (light turquoise) and Tiffany donated beautiful tote bags, also in Tiffany Blue.   Everyone is raving about them.  I've already used mine and am loving it!

Tote bag and umbrella from the hat luncheon

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Gem from Barbara: 70's ribbon bags

In the 1970's I had a friend who made ribbon pillows by weaving ribbons together.  I liked them and decided to try making one.  My efforts were successful and I even had a few people ask me to make them one.  The success of the pillows inspired me to try making a ribbon bag.  I wove grosgrain ribbons together, lined it with a whimsical lining, sewed on a ribbon shoulder strap and I made a cool envelope bag. 

The prototype from the 1970's

Daisy lining

The bag was a hit and I got requests to make bags for several family members.  Twenty years later Alison spotted ribbon pillows being sold in a major department store, and asked me to show her how to make the bags.  I helped her make a few to match various party dresses of hers and she wore them out and about, receiving many compliments.  But, Alison doesn't have the sewing background that I do, so when she needed a bag for a horsey set event, I made it for her.

21st Century version

We wanted at least a nod to the horses so I found material with horses and used that as the lining.  It was during this project that I decided that after twenty-five years my bags should have proper labels.  I call them Blue Ribbon Bags. 

 Horse patterned fabric used as the lining.

Over the years we've seen ribbon bags and ribbon pillows for sale in major department stores, but my bags are vintage and even the new ones are made with vintage ribbons.