Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Museum of the City of New York Winter Ball

Last week I attended the Museum's annual winter ball along with about 500 other people.  As always, the event was a lovely black tie evening with a parade of NY's most fashionable women turned out in their finest designer gowns.  The sponsor this year was Carolina Herrera and Mrs. Herrera was there in person, as were several other designers. 

I noticed two trends in accessories amongst all the elegantly dressed ladies:  giant earrings and lucite evening bags.  Both of these styles are having a big moment right now and with both styles being very flattering and chic, I think we'll be seeing a lot of them this Spring.  Large earrings have been around for a while, but this season they've gone extra dramatic and sparkly with some even grazing the shoulders.  The lucite bags are a style resurrected from the 1950's and very Hollywood glam.  I have been an admirer of lucite bags for a long time so I'm thrilled they are back in a big way.  I have a vintage one that I will be carrying out for an upcoming event, but the new ones are simply fabulous.  The bags known as lucite are also sometimes called resin or acrylic, but all are essentially different chemical compound mixtures that are versions of high quality plastic and trademarked under different names. 

The beautiful ladies at my table all looked amazing and I ran into other friends who had also paid great attention to accessorizing their outfits to perfection.  Some of the ladies work in the fashion industry and some, like myself, are just connoisseurs of fashion.  Unfortunately some of the photos are a bit dark because the room was dimly lit, so I hope you can see everything in its splendor.  If not you'll have to trust me that these women know how to rock an accessory (and an outfit)!

Always impeccably dressed and one of NYC's best dressed, Alexandra Lebenthal, in vintage 1960's  Kenneth J. Lane earrings
(photo by Sandra Hamburg for Vogue.com)
Close up of Alexandra's stunning earrings
(photo courtesy of Daniel Colon)
Saks Fifth Avenue's head personal stylist Julie Hackett Behr wore a dazzling pair of sparkling earrings
(photo by Daniel Colon)
My faux pearl and rhinestone dangling earrings were CH Carolina Herrera
Swimwear designer Elizabeth Kosich carried a beautiful multi-colored resin bag by Brazilian company, Sobral.
(photo by Daniel Colon)
Town & Country's Micaela English looked lovely in a plaid Carolina Herrera gown and carried a sleek Edie Parker vintage style lucite clutch.
(photo by Daniel Colon)
The same Edie Parker clutch from the Stanley Korshak site.
The open clutch sports a mirror and roomy interior, like a mini-vanity
My vintage lucite bag.  I did not carry this to the MCNY event, but wanted to show what a vintage one looks like.  This was a great find at an antiques store in the Hamptons about 12 or 13 years ago for the bargain basement price of $80.  The new versions cost several hundred to over a thousand and the best vintage ones can run several thousands of dollars, but they are rare and highly collectible.  Mine is not of the highest quality, but it is still a nice one, in great condition and I love it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Every Rose Has Its Thorns

Aside from yellow being a very hot color for Spring (Accessory Generation post of February 13th ) metallics are continuing to be very popular in shoes and bags.  (I originally wrote a post on metallics on July 15th .)  Gold and silver are probably the most common, but this season we're going to be seeing a lot of colored metallics like pink, blue and chartreuse.  Also, rose gold or copper is taking center stage.  I've been seeing shoes and bags in rose gold/copper in the stores and in magazines a lot lately.  This color is a fresh take on metallics and perfect for Spring.  It's softer than gold or silver, but still versatile enough to wear day or evening, although I'd stick to sandals for daytime.  Unlike the colored metallics, which I predict will only be trendy for a season or so and are really better suited for twenty somethings, a copper colored bag or shoe is sophisticated and is going to have a longer shelf life.  Case in point:  I bought these shoes a couple of years ago during a Roger Vivier phase.  Vivier makes beautiful shoes and when I saw these I knew they were a good investment. The most unique feature about them is that the heels each have a thorn on them.  A rose gold shoe with a thorn on its "stem" ---  very clever Vivier! 

Whichever metallic you chose, just don't overdo it.  You can wear metallic shoes and a metallic bag if, and only if, the shoes are strappy sandals and the bag is a small clutch, but it's better to pick one, either shoes or a bag, not both.  And don't forget to adjust your jewelry to reflect your metallic shoes or bag.  If you're wearing silver shoes, stick with jewelry in a white metal like silver or platinum, for gold shoes yellow gold jewelry is best and rose gold shoes will go best with rose gold jewelry or copper jewelry.  But keep the jewelry minimal.  A metallic accessory will stand out on it's own.

Rose gold/copper metallic Roger Vivier shoes
The thorn on the heel
A pointy edge on the outside of each shoe reflects the thorn
Front view

Inside angle

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Vintage Valentines

I loved Valentine's Day as a little girl, because my parents would always get me girlie heart themed presents.   Whatever my father would get my mother he would get me in a mini version or a different color.  I remember one year he got us both heart shaped boxes of chocolate that were really pretty colored satin with cut out black velvet overlay.  Mine was yellow, my mom's was orange.  Another year we each got a heart necklace made of ivory (this was pre-ivory ban, a ban we fully support and we no longer wear the necklaces because of what they represent.)  Mine was a much smaller heart.  My mom would buy me fun gifts, like heart stickers and notepads.  And there were lots of cute cards.  We still send them to each other, of course!   And, my pets will be getting Valentine's Day treats today in accordance family tradition.

I was thinking about all the Valentine's loot from years past and I decided to take a photo of as much of the Valentine's jewelry gifts that I could find.  I also took a photo of the Valentine themed jewelry I plan to wear this evening at a Valentine's Day party.

Clockwise from upper right:  vintage gold and diamond chip heart earrings; vintage Tiffany & Co. black onyx and gold earrings; vintage pink and purple dangling plastic hearts necklace; Cousin Claudine pink dangling glass heart necklace & bracelet; vintage Pididdily Links red enamel hearts necklace, Tiffany & Co. sterling silver Elsa Peretti open heart necklace; vintage garnet and gold bead bracelet from Saks Fifth Avenue.
For this evening I've decided to wear the cliche heart jewelry, but in white.  These pieces are vintage Joan Rivers Classics Collection.  The earrings have interchangeable hearts in black, pink or white.  I haven't worn these pieces in years, but everything old is new again!

Vintage Joan Rivers heart earrings, bracelet & necklace
I'd love to see if any readers have a special Valentine's Day momento, especially if it's an accessory.  Happy Valentine's Day everyone.  May your day, and your life, be filled with love and laughter.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Let the Sun Shine

Spring is in the air this week in NY as milder temps followed on the heels of a killer blizzard over the weekend.  We'll see how long it lasts.  In the meantime I took a stroll down 57th Street last week and did some window shopping.  From what's on display it's obvious that the hot color trends for Spring are:  black & white, metallics and bright, sunny yellow.  I absolutely love yellow.  I think it's one of the most overlooked colors in women's fashion.  Some people say it's hard to wear, but the truth is that you just have to find the right shade for your skin tone.  

A few years ago I bought an amazing pair of suede yellow sky high platforms at YSL.  I call them the Big Bird shoes and I adore them!  They are perfect for this Spring and I can't wait to wear them again once all the slush is gone from the sidewalks. 

Yellow suede YSL platforms
Let the sun shine....we want to go out!

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Gem from Barbara: Flower Power

Spring is in the air!  At least according to the groundhogs that did not see their shadows on Groundhog Day.  I'm going to be optimistic and start thinking about my Spring wardrobe and that means brighter colors, lighter fabrics and flowery accessories to add a touch of whimsy to any outfit.  Among my favorite vintage accessories are the brightly colored flower pins popular in the 1950's and 1960's.  As a child I remember looking in my mother's and grandmother's jewelry boxes and seeing lots of flower pins.  And, since we save most of our old accessories we still have them and have added a few new ones to the collection over the years.  About five years ago I was reading Departures Magazine and came across an article about Palm Springs and was very excited to see a treasure trove of vintage flower pins in the photo below:

Departures Magazine article

I've been wanting to do a post about these pins for a while and after talking to my mom (Barbara), we decided that she would make some sketches of how she remembers wearing them in the late 50's and 60's.  She remembers having a black suit with a butterscotch blouse that was featured in a Mademoiselle Magazine layout.  As an employee she was able to go to the designer's showroom and buy the suit.  She sketched a selection of our flower pins with that jacket.
Barbara's black & white 1960's vintage flower pin
Grandma's vintage '60's daisy pin
Barbara's vintage '60's pink & pearl flower pin
Barbara's 1990's Kenneth J. Lane goldtone flower pin
Barbara & Alison's 2000's Joan Rivers Classics Collection pink flower pin
I think she did a really good job sketching the pins. Here are the real thing with their corresponding sketches. 
If you love these pins as much as we do and want some of the vintage variety, they are readily available on Ebay and very inexpensive.  Flea markets are also a likely source.  Vintage stores probably have the nicest ones, but they will be a little more expensive.  But, before you rush out to go shopping, check the jewelry boxes of anyone in your family who was at least a teenager in the 1950's.  You may find an unexpected treasure right at home.  And send us the photos; we'd love to see the flower power you find!