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