Monday, September 30, 2013

Collection of Barbara Berger at the Museum of Arts & Design

A few weeks ago I happened upon a phenomenal costume jewelry exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design, Fashion Jewelry:  The Collection of Barbara Berger.  Ms. Berger has been collecting costume jewelry for approximately sixty years and has amassed a very important collection of over four thousand pieces!  She has selected about four hundred and fifty pieces for the exhibit.  Most of the pieces displayed are stunning designer necklaces from the 20th century, including Chanel, YSL, Miriam Haskell, Valentino, Lanvin, etc.  Many of the necklaces are from Maison Gripoix, the glass manufacturing company that produces beautiful costume jewelry for fashion houses such as Chanel.  The Gripoix glass necklaces, whether they were made for one of the design houses or produced directly as a Maison Gripoix piece, are my favorites. 

The museum only allows photos without the use of a flash, plus all the jewelry is in cases, so I had to try to photograph through glass.  The bright lights, helpful for illuminating the collection, were not so helpful for my photos, hence some of them aren't so great.  But, there is a book published by Assouline in conjunction with the exhibit also called Fashion Jewelry:  The Collection of Barbara Berger.  The book is a beautiful coffee table book with wonderful photos. 

The book

I highly recommend both the exhibit and the book.  A modified version of the exhibit is still on display until some time in January 2014.  Check the Musuem's site for more details.  Below is a peak at some of the pieces.  I have included the designer and year of production on as many as I could.

Maison Gripoix for either Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent c. 1960's
Maison Gripoix c. 1990's - 2000's
Iradj Moini for Oscar de la Renta c. 1992
Valentino c. 1970
Maison Gripoix c. 1950's
Chanel c. 1960's

Lanvin c. 1950's - 60's
William de Lillo c. 1969
Mimi Di N c. 1960's - 70's

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My New Fall Boots

I've never loved wearing boots.  After a few hours my legs start feeling like they're suffocating and I want to cut them off (the legs or the boots).   I prefer booties or ankle boots, whatever you want to call them.  They're easier on and off and my legs can still breath.  But then I met these beauties and knew we were MFEO (meant for each other).  Do I sound 13?  Well, read on for a little background....

Blue suede LK Bennett boots
With a nod to J. Peterman.....It was the 80's.  Late summer.  A teenage girl on the brink of womanhood set sail with her mother for Nova Scotia and Canada.  Through turbulent seas and waves of nausea she clung to the hope of finding a pair of ankle boots like the cool girls from high school had been wearing the past year.  Once off the ship and on the terra firma of Montreal they wandered the city and shopped until they found a shoe store.  Inside her eyes darted from display to display until she spotted them:  navy blue suede ankle boots.  Finally, the boots she had wanted for months, but even better because they were blue.  Off they went together on the long train ride across the border and back to New York where she carefully stored them in her closet safely inside their box, a fashion trophy to be proudly worn.  She took them to college with her, but alas, the hilly terrain and endless snow are the enemy of suede ankle boots, so she rarely wore them.  The boots joined her when she moved to her own apartment in the big city and occasionally were worn, but over the years her tastes changed and space made her edit her wardrobe until one day she decided to donate them to the bootless.  Filled with regret once ankle boots came back in style she lamented her decision not to simply store them at her parents' house along with the Minnetonka moccasins from junior high.  Then last week the girl, now a woman, walked into LK Bennett and there they were, the grown up version of her beloved ankle boots, waiting for her, calling to her....try us on, try us on....She did and they left together, boot in hand.  Back home she found a safe hiding place for them, in their box and under the bed.  The boots are dead, long live the boots!
They will make their debut soon...

Friday, September 20, 2013

In Style At Any Age

Kudos to In Style Magazine for featuring Julianne Moore on their October 2013 cover (her fourth In Style cover).  Ms. Moore is not only a very talented actress, but she also happens to be over 50 and she looks fabulous.  One reason I started this blog with my mother was to show that women of all generations can be stylish and enjoy fashion.  It's nice that at least one magazine agrees!

Julianne Moore wearing a Lorraine Schwartz necklace on the cover

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Clutch Klatch

Like many people in NYC, I live in a small apartment and, although my apartment has a decent amount of closet space, it's still not enough.  I dream of a room sized, professionally designed, celebrity style walk in closet where I have enough space so I can see all of my clothes and accessories at once.  Putting together an outfit would be a breeze, and I'm sure I would wear a greater variety of my clothes and accessories more often if everything were right at my fingertips and I didn't have to excavate like an archaeologist to dig out the items in the back. But, alas, until the day comes when my closet dream becomes a reality, I am constantly challenged to find creative ways to utilize the closet space I have.  I am obsessed with organizing and am always searching for new ways to store my things that do allow for maximum visibility and accessibility. 

The August issue of In Style Magazine had some great ideas for organizing accessories, including using file organizers for small bags and clutch purses, so I went to the Container Store and bought their Silver Mesh Super Sorters and reorganized my clutches.  Plastic or lucite file sorters would work just as well.  I bought three Super Sorters and organized by type and color:  metallics, bright colors and neutrals/animal prints.

The metallics
The bright colors
If you see me out and about this Fall chances are I'll be carrying a different bag every day now that I can find them all.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

FIT Couture Council Luncheon

Yesterday I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology's Couture Council Luncheon at Lincoln Center.  The luncheon has become an annual kick-off to fashion week in NYC, not to mention the start of the Fall charity event season in NY.  The luncheon helps support FIT's museum.  This year Michael Kors was honored and the attendees were not only NY's fashionistas, but many well known players in the fashion world.  The list is long, but the ones I personally spotted include designers, models, stylists, actors, department store executives and fashion magazine editors:  Iman, Hilary Swank, Stacy London (What Not to Wear), Robert Verdi, Simon Doonan (Barneys), Linda Fargo (Bergdorf Goodman), Dennis Basso, Michelle Smith (Milly) and Eric Javits.

The luncheon invitation
This is the third or fourth year I have attended and it's always fun to see what all the ladies are wearing.  I think most women try to wear something by the designer who is being honored.  Since Michael Kors was the honoree I naturally reached for my Michael Kors accessories:  shoes and a bag.
Michael Kors accessories I wore to the luncheon
I adore these Michael Kors leopard print wedges
I love the oatmeal color of this bag, so neutral!
Every year there is a goody bag with a few items from the designer being honored and from FIT.  This year we received a Michael Kors fragrance and a notepad and notecards from FIT.
Contents of the goody bag
Michael Kors eau de parfum
I had a very nice time at the luncheon and was seated with some interesting people including the Dean of FIT's graduate school.  It's always fun to sit with people from the institution and/or charity involved and get some behind the scenes insight.  I can't wait for next year!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Top Eleven Accessories for Fall

I know it's supposed to be a "Top Ten" list, but there are eleven fun and fashionable styles I think are worthy of wearing this Fall.  After looking through fashion magazines, store catalogs and doing some window shopping I've compiled the list below.  Many of these styles are a continuation of last season or recycling of recent seasons so you may even have a few in your closet.  With the exception of the punk bracelet, purchased this summer, all of the photos here are from items we already had in our closets and we have no shame in enjoying them for another season!  In no particular order here are my top picks:

1.  Clutch Bags.  Thanks to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, the clutch is back in a big way in recent years.  There's something liberating about being able to leave the house without hauling ten pounds of purse with you.

Suede clutch from Talbots
L.K. Bennett clutch (a favorite brand of the Duchess of Cambridge)

2.  Punk Jewelry.  Fun and edgy punk pieces add some pizzazz to an outfit, but don't invest too much in punk jewelry because I don't think this fad will last more than a season or two.  And a single item is all you need.  Personally I prefer the superglam pieces that are more ladylike and mature.
Spikes & sparkles make this bracelet a good cocktail party accessory
3.  Mid-heel Shoes.  If you do a lot of walking in heels your feet will thank you this season! 
Manolo Blahnik heels
4.  Statement Necklaces & Earrings.  You can never go wrong investing in these, especially the statement necklaces.  Even if minimalist jewelry makes a big comeback in the future, statement jewelry will always be in style with evening wear.
Sequin necklace on the left, Kate Spade on the right
Flashy earrings, unsigned
5.  Top Handle Bags.  Very ladylike and still able to carry everything you need.
Michael Kors satchel bag with top handles
Plum colored top handle satchel from YSL
6.  Velvet Shoes.  Can be worn in the day or night depending on the style (think cute ballerinas or loafers for day), but most velvet pumps look best in the evening with formal attire.
Blue velvet pumps labeled Private Collection
Sleeping beauty meets Cinderella
7. Animal Print.  I don't think animal print ever goes out of style, especially leopard print, so investing in a beautiful bag or shoes is a wise buy.
Nicole Miller purse
Manolo Blahnik mules (also happen to be velvet)
8.  Two Tone/Color Blocked Bags.  This is a fun and functional way to inject some color into an outfit.  Two tone tote bags are especially popular this season and if you invest in one in dark colors like navy, gray or burgundy you'll get a lot of use out of it in the years ahead.
Navy & sage green suede tote from Pulicati.  The silver tone hardware adds polish.
Multi-colored suede bag by Tignanello
A variation in wool felt from Echo
9.  Heavily Embellished.  Minimalists will not want to invest in this style, but if you love pearls, jewels and rhinestones this is your season.  I especially love jewel encrusted shoes.  I think they're gorgeous and very pre-revolution French courtier.
Burgundy velvet Valentino with sequins & pearls
10.  Quilted.  Very English countryside, or weekend in New England, and usually seen in Burburry field coats, quilted accessories are now also in style, but to avoid looking like a flower child stick to structured bags in solid colors.
Quilted bag from Talbots
Close up of the quilting
11.  Peek-a-boo Booties.   Call them cage booties, open weave or peek-a-boo the point is to show some skin.  I absolutely love this style.  I bought the pair below a few years ago and they are one of my favorite pairs of shoes:  comfortable, resonably priced and super sexy.  Jimmy Choo has a beautiful style out this season that I love in burgundy that you may have seen Nicole Kidman wearing in their new ads, but they cost a fortune and the heel is a spindly stilleto, so I will probably pass.  (Learned my lesson last year when I tripped in stilleto heeled non-cage booties and went flying down Madison Avenue.) An added bonus with peek-a-boos:  all those men who never notice our shoes notice these, trust me!  Just make sure your pedicure is fresh.
Calvin Klein suede cage booties

Enjoy the Fall season and happy hunting/shopping for the perfect accessories!