Friday, December 13, 2013

The Wendy Neuss Jewelry Collection

Last weekend I was invited for holiday refreshments and a trunk show at the home of jewelry designer Wendy Neuss.  I've known Wendy for about a year now and I had seen a mutual friend wearing one of Wendy's creations a couple of years ago and I was excited to see the whole collection.  Wendy has a very interesting backstory.  Before she was a jewelry designer she was an Emmy nominated Hollywood producer of the Star Trek series.  Her creativity and talent are now channeled into her lovely jewelry. 

Wendy Neuss wearing two of her tassel necklaces. 
Behind her is an Al Hirschfeld drawing of the
Star Trek:  The Next Generation cast

The collection has a range of prices and styles, from delicate drop earrings to bold statement necklaces.  There were so many pretty pieces that caught my eye, especially the tassel necklaces and the statement necklaces made with vintage lucite beads.  Luckily, I convinced Wendy to do a little informal modeling for the blog.

A closer look at the beautiful tassel necklaces on Wendy

More tassel necklaces...the one with the colored stones is fabulous

Beautiful beads and chains

A selection of colorful beaded necklaces

Delicate earrings

Wendy modeling earrings and several chic bracelets

All of the pieces are things I would wear, but my absolute favorites were the necklaces made from vintage lucite beads.  I love vintage and am a little obsessed with vintage lucite so these were perfect for me.  I like that they are one of a kind.

Amazing statement necklaces made with vintage lucite beads

I wanted to own a piece of Wendy's jewelry for my collection, but I had trouble deciding between the green, my favorite color that matches my eyes,  and the black that is a staple, especially in NYC.   I finally decided on the black one.  It has gold beads as well and gold and black is very chic right now.  I love it so much I wore it to a black tie event two days after I bought it, and someone at the event mentioned Wendy and I was proud to point to my neck and say "I know her and this is her necklace!" 

Me wearing my stunning Wendy Neuss necklace

If you are interested in Wendy's jewelry she can be reached at

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sparkly Surprises at Badgley Mischka

Last week I attended a benefit for the Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic and the cocktail portion of the evening was at the Badgley Mischka atelier.  I had never been inside the store before and found it to be both very glamorous and charming.  Obviously there were lots of beautiful gowns for sale, but I was pleasantly surprised to see so many stunning accessories.  
There were stylish clutch bags for evening:
Badgley Mischka gold clutches
Silver Clutches
Black Clutches
The Abalone and Mother of Pearl Clutches were my favorites
The jewelry was sparkly and glam, just the way I like it:

An array of shimmering special occasion jewelry
Fancy watches....The flower one in the center is just my style.
I happen to own one piece of Badgely Mischka costume jewelry (below), bought at least five years ago.  Ironically, I have been planning to wear it for some time to an event later this week.

My Badgley Mischka necklace
I think my favorite accessory in the store was probably this very special belt.  The photo doesn't do it justice, but it was truly extraordinary.  
Badgley Mischka belt
After cocktails we all went to a private club for dinner, dancing, a performance by two gifted members of the Philharmonic, and a raffle.  Badgley Mischka donated a beautiful blue clutch bag for the raffle which was won by my lucky friend Melissa Morris.
The lovely Melissa Morris holding up her wonderful Badgley Mischka raffle prize.  Mel's handsome hubby, Chappy Morris, is pictured behind her to the right.
All photos, except the one of my necklace, courtesy of Bob Stump.  For information about the Young New Yorkers for the Philharmonic visit





Saturday, November 30, 2013

Lunch At the Ritz

I was at a vintage store and spotted the earrings below.  I love the colors of Autumn reflected in the enameled leaves and crystals.  And, of course, they are super long and eye catching.  I was not familiar with this brand called Lunch at the Ritz so I did a little research and discovered they were founded in 1982 and they are still in business producing the same style jewelry.  They make mostly earrings, very colorful and in whimsical designs, which lend the pieces towards being very collectible.  Their website is extensive and has a section where they picture some items from their archives by year, which is fabulous for collectors and lovers of vintage.  I also love their description of the company that acknowledges that some women love the brand and will buy hundreds of pairs of their earrings and have requested to be buried in them, and other women essentially wouldn't be caught dead in them.  I appreciate a retailer with a little sense of humor.  That is definitely reflected in their fun designs.  Check them out: 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Orange Is The New Pink

As temps drop in the Northeast I'm switching to my Fall/Winter wardrobe and that means pastel and light colors will be hibernating in my closet until Spring.  I certainly will wear light colored shirts, but all pants, outerwear, shoes and bags are now dark or deep jewel toned.  Unfortunately, this means no light pink, baby blue, pale yellow, or celery green for a while for me and since I like a pop of color against my black wool coat, and I feel like red bags have become commonplace (although still very nice), I went in search of something fabulous and discovered orange.  Obviously I've been aware of the color orange all my life, but it's not a color I have ever worn much.  I don't think it looks that great near my face and kind of washes me out, but I've decided that an orange bag, nowhere near my pale skin, would bring a breath of fresh air to the dull gray of Winter.  Orange is sort of pink with a tan, (which I wish I had at the moment).  And, it goes with black, brown, winter white, tan, navy...all the staples in a Winter wardrobe. 

My new orange crush was discovered in TJ Maxx at less than 60% of the retail price.  It has already made its public debut to rave reviews.

Orange Dooney & Bourke bag

I always like to have a color appear in an outfit in more than one place so it doesn't look random and the outfit looks more pulled together.  I have almost no orange in my wardrobe, but I do have the two necklaces that will work.  The one on the left is now vintage and was given to me by a friend when I was probably about nine or ten years old.  Her father was a diplomat and I think she got it at the UN gift shop.  I love it, because it's so 70's.

Dooney & Bourke bag with orange necklaces

Vintage '70's necklace

Off I trudge into the first day of snow flurries here in NYC with a bright orange bag and dreams of Spring.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Caught in the Web

I think I've established that I like hats, particularly fascinators.  I envy the British, like Kate and Pippa Middleton, who get to wear them at social events.  If only all the stylish ladies in NY would start wearing hats to the luncheons we attend.   I tried to drum up hat enthusiasm for a few luncheons, but my friends pooped out and I just got weird looks.  So it remains in NYC that the only luncheon where hat wearing is de rigueur is the annual Central Park Conservancy's Hat Luncheon.  I'll keep trying, because I love the way they look and because I think people behave better when they're wearing hats.  There's an old fashioned civility that seems to emerge when a hat is worn.

In the meantime, Halloween seemed a good time to wear a headpiece.  I found a fabulous spider web fascinator in a little shop in Grand Central Station and I wore it on Halloween.  I love it and need to find an excuse to wear it again.

Spider Web Fascinator


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Flower Power Continues

In my February 4th post I talked about vintage enamel flower pins popular in the '60's and 70's and my mom (Barbara) added some sketches of her pins.  Well, my love of these pins continues.     They were on the top of my list of treasures to look for on a recent trip to Vintage! in Katonah and luckily the store had a selection of them.  Now that I've started a little collection I've noticed that some of them are more mod than others and some have stems and some don't.  I need to find out more about them.  I love a good back story! 

I bought four of them at Vintage!  The great thing about these pins is their affordability and relative accessibility.  People often sell them in lots on Ebay so each individual pin ends up being pretty inexpensive, even as low as $5.  Of course the nicer ones are more expensive, but even at $30 or $40 a piece they're an affordable collectible.

The vintage pins I recently purchased
Such a pretty blue color
This reminds me of a pinwheel
I like the pins without stems, they're a little more modern
This pin has a lot of depth to it and is very thick, rather unusual
The pins are so pretty I want to display them.  I've seen a lot of really cool ideas on the internet including using them to decorate hats and bags, making wedding bouquets, using them as party favors and framing them on a bed of moss.  I want to be able to display them, but also easily detach them so I can wear them if I want, so I'm looking for a miniature dressmaker's form like the one below, but smaller.

People are amazingly creative and I really love some of the other ideas I found.  It's also nice to know I'm not the only one obsessing over these things.  I guess flowers just make everyone happy.  Check out these cool displays below.
Mounted on moss and framed
(Photo from
Adorning a clutch
Party favors attached to place cards
(photo from
A wedding bouquet
I haven't worn any of my new pins yet, but I'm sure I will soon.  We were recently watching the old episodes of That Girl and Ann Marie was wearing one on a suit jacket and it looked really cute.  I'm inspired to bring them back in style.



Saturday, October 12, 2013

White Night

I recently polled my Facebook peeps to ask who advocated wearing white after Labor Day and it was pretty much a split decision.  I live on the East Coast and the weather turns cooler after Labor Day and I was raised on the "no white after Labor Day" rule.  And, I'm not talking "winter white," that creamy color that resonates so well in cashmere and wool.  I'm talking bright, beachy, summery white that looks good with a tan and shouts "summer is here!" in cotten and linen.   If I lived in Hawaii it would be a different story and I'd be sporting white 24/7/365.

I'm pretty much sticking to my guns here and have put away the white shoes and purses until next Memorial Day, but earlier this week at an event for the Museum of the City of New York, I decided to accessorize with white.  It was somewhat warm out so I wore a black dress with a white hem because I wanted to wear a new pair of white vintage earrings I just got at Vintage! in Katonah.  I thought the black dress would keep it from looking too summery.  I normally would not have done it, but with the blessing of the fashion choir I took a risk.....and, my accessories were a hit.   I received compliments on both my bag, a black and white patent Roger Vivier clutch purse I bought five years ago and haven't worn in ages, and the aforementioned vintage earrings.   When in doubt black and white is always classic as my impromtu, uninvited, model shows us below. 

Roger Vivier clutch purse, Kate Spade ring & unsigned vintage fan earrings
Misty thought she fit right in with the black & white color theme
The Kate Spade ring up close.  I love the "petals" of gold & white.
I think the earrings are so unique, because they cover almost the entire ear.  The vintage store had them tagged as 1960, and I can understand that because white was a very 'mod' color in the 60's,  but to me they have a 1940's Hollywood movie vibe to them.  I can imagine Betty Grable or Alice Faye wearing them for a dance number along side Carmen Miranda and Cesar Romero in Havana or Rio and when I put them on I want to tango, too.  That's the fun of vintage:  you never know the full backstory and who might have owned or worn them before you.
White, fan shaped vintage costume earrings

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Beautiful Baccarat

A couple of weeks ago I attended an Americal Friends of the Louvre cocktail party at Baccarat.  I had never been inside the store, although I am familiar with their beautiful crystal creations and I especially love their jewelry and small figurines.  A few years ago I bought my mother a Baccarat heart necklace that she loves and wears often.  I wish I'd thought to borrow it for the evening.

Barbara's Baccarat heart necklace
There were so many beautiful displays at the store.  Below are some photos I took and some Baccarat provided that are much better quality than mine.
This gorgeous flower brooch was my favorite!
I also loved this bracelet
And there's a matching necklace...
Pretty purple Baccarat jewelry
There are a lot of beautiful things in the store in addition to the jewelry, like the "Minimals" collection of crystal animal figurines.  My guest at the party bought the cat for me in honor of my beloved cat of fifteen years, Monty, who passed away in August.   Such a thoughtful and beautiful gift!
The new cat in the center
The beautiful butterfly collection....I think the green is stunning.
Cute animal candy jars

Guests are usually dressed very nicely at these store parties and I love to check out what other people are wearing for clues to what's trending.  I got to talking to some of the other guests and met two cool women who happened to be wearing the same style of ring.  I'm calling them shield rings.  They make me think of a female superhero (superheroines?).  I don't have anything like this, but I'm on the look out.  I'm for anything that signifies girl power!

Danielle Arps and Jamila Justine Willis sporting some awesome rings
The rings close up
What I wore:  nothing especially trendy, I went for classic style.  Again, I wish I'd borrowed my mom's Baccarat necklace, but I didn't think about it until I was getting dressed for the party.  I've been intrigued by the hot color for Fall called "oxblood" (although I can't say I love the name and prefer the monikers of wine, merlot, burgundy or maroon), so that was my personal color theme in accessories.
Chanel necklace, Dimoni bag and LK Bennett shoes
Close up on the Chanel necklace in a rare red, white & blue combo
I got the bag and shoes at TJ Maxx and the necklace was purchased mostly with AMEX membership rewards points, if you can believe it!  (Yes, ladies, think twice before redeeming for airline tickets!)  If there's one thing I've learned in life it's how to shop! ;-)



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fun & Funnel Scarves with Max Mara (with a little Sex and the City thrown in)

The Fall social season is well under way in NYC and that includes store parties.  I love store parties because they're a chance to get to see all the stores I never or rarely enter.  I'm so busy that these days when I shop it's usually for something very specific so I go straight to the store where I think I can find the exact item.  As much as I would love to do a tour of every store on Madison Avenue, it just never happens.  Last night I attended a cocktail party for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at the Max Mara store.  I've passed the store and am familiar with Max Mara (I had a Max Mara suit I used to wear when I worked in an office), but I'd never been inside.  The store is great!  Three levels of nice clothes from each of their three lines, and some cool accessories.  I saw a pair of blue suede ankle boots that I absolutely loved, but since I just got blue suede boots I had to pass. 

Sadly, I was running so late that by the time I got to the party it was all but over, but I was handed a very nice party favor on my way out:  a gray funnel scarf.  It's super warm and in a welcome neutral color.  Although it was almost 80 degrees in NYC yesterday, I'm sure it will soon be windy and cold and this scarf is going to come in handy.

Max Mara funnel scarf
Trying it sure kept my neck nice and toasty!
Because I go out so frequently during certain times of the year even I struggle with what to wear and I try to mix things up with accessories.  After almost three months this summer of not getting dressed up at all, I had to reacquaint myself with my own clothes.  I decided on a green floral Tucker dress with a bone colored swing jacket.  I carried one of my favorite purses:  a green woven Elliott Lucca clutch that I got at TJ Maxx a few years ago.  I'm sure the clutch wasn't expensive, but I think it looks expensive with its textured suede and patent leather weave. 
Elliott Lucca clutch

Since it was so summery yesterday, I decided to wear a pair of light, bone colored wedges.  I love these shoes, but someone else doesn't and it's a classic NY story.  I was at--where else?--a store party at Valentino several years ago, I believe to benefit the ballet.  I decided to try on some summer wedges and had narrowed my selection to two and was standing around in one of them when Candace Bushnell walked by, shook her head and said "no."  Well, despite the fact that I love Sex and the City and admire Ms. Bushnell (how can you not love the woman who invented Carrie Bradshaw!), I bought the shoes anyway.  I think it was the right decision and I love them even more because of the story behind them, so thank you Candace!
Valentino wedges
Side view of the heel with clutch in the background 

"The fact is, sometimes it's hard to walk in a single woman's shoes.  That's why we need really special ones now and then--to make the walk a little more fun." --Carrie Bradshaw