Monday, April 29, 2013

This Week in Five.


And,
 
It's about that time, so here we are again.
It's almost May.
Whoa, now, brown cow--May.
The following fabulous five are what I'm thinking of, filling my days and feeling super chummy with--cheers!-ing at happy hour and all--as of this week.



One:
 
Fresh flowers in bloom from the farmer's markets
 
I'm especially partial to the myriad of enticing colors of tulips that are pretty prevalent around this time of year.Here in New York, I prefer to stroll through the everyday Union Square Green Market and the weekend Williamsburg markets. Flowers, herbs, home-made wine, produce, cider. A lady could (does) get carried away with all of those gorgeous goods.   
 
 I feel like they've performed studies in some laboratory somewhere and have proven--yes, scientifically--that flowers trigger some combination of chemicals in the brain, perhaps even the production of serotonin, and in turn, alter moods. It could also be related to the fragrance, considering the sense of smell is the strongest of all of our mighty senses, but no matter! If botany and brain chemistry studies fail to back me up on this, that's fine. Take my word for it. Even just stopping to peruse and admire the flowers, for me, is relaxing and mood-altering, if you will.
 
These tulips prove to be an imperative accessory to oysters and champagne on a sunny day, clearly. This screams, "I'm having the best freaking day ever!"
 
Two:
 
Rockin' Studs

    Alright, I had a quirk or two as a child. Ok, I had several. One of them being compulsive and obsessive rock-searching and collecting. Crystals, fossils, shells, pure garbage--I loved and studied it all, magnifying glass and guidebook in hand, at night in my closet when I should have been sleeping before another trying and exhausting day in elementary school. I may not exactly spend my days scouring the playground and forests any longer, but I do still possess an extreme affinity for stones, unique crystals, and anything fossilized. I like rocks. No, love them. I can't help it. I don't want to help it!
 
    My most recent rock-related favorites are these two pairs of rough-cut stone studs. Try to say that out loud three times. Rough-cut stone studs. It's melodic.  And, so are these earrings. They're cooler than your run-of-the-mill faux-gemstone studs or plastic what-have-you's. And, they don't break the bank. Even the nice ones. They mix with traditional jewelry well, if costume-y jewelry isn't quite your thing, but they also don't compete and overwhelm if you're draping on a ton of bangles and/or necklaces. That's a hard line to walk.

TOP PAIR:
Off-white tear-drop studs--I bought them from a street vendor in Soho, who originally asked for ten dollars, but we haggled, and I scored them for $7. Steal! I almost feel bad. Almost.

BOTTOM PAIR:
Gold square-cut studs--C. Wonder, Soho, New York.
Tidbit: If you're unfamiliar, C. Wonder was begun by Tory Burch's now ex-husband. In fact, I believe they're in the middle of a lawsuit. The store and its merchandise ranges from clothing and apparel to accessories and home d├ęcor. It's preppy...and a bit whimsical, colorful and quirky. I wonder where he found inspiration?
 
 
Three:
 
CoverGirl LiquilineBlast

I admit, I can be quite a makeup and beauty snob. This girl adores a good Laura Mercier, NARS, Chanel, Hourglass, YSL, Urban Decay, and MAC. Although I don't cover beauty trends and/or tips often, I do enjoy indulging in branching out, being adventurous, and of course, collecting the newest, the best, and the classic staples of the makeup world. I really haven't purchased much from the drugstore often, I confess. I know, how snotty and hypocritical, considering I love a good bargain and am constantly hunting for the best prices when it comes to apparel and accessories. Failing to do your research and blindly buying is just ignorant. But, eyeliner and some other random items from the local corner store continue to surprise me in terms of quality and duh, accessibility and price tag.

This CoverGirl LiquilineBlast is crushing it, for me. It's like a crayon!  OK, that conjures somewhat terrifying flashbacks from incidents involving white walls and crushed wax. But, in this instance, it's actually quite cute, as opposed to the times I donned it in pre-k after a wild art class or recess break. The tip is wider than those mechanical eyeliner wands. It's flattering, it stays put, and it's self-sharpening. Sharpening is a pain, right? Yuck. This girl doesn't have time for that. Easy breezy is what I desire, and what my schedule demands. So, yes, CoverGirl, I'm in. I refuse to pay $25 for one of my favorite beauty brands' pencils. It's a pencil, come on.

This LiquilineBlast costs around $8.99 at my local Duane Reade and CVS stores.
Sold. I pack my essentials in this J.CREW leopard medium-sized makeup bag if I am taking them along in my purse. It's the perfect size for taking me through the day and into the night, but also houses the necessary tools to change my beauty look entirely.   


Four:

Early Morning Walks
 

Whether ten minutes or an hour, I adore a good morning walk. It usually depends on precisely how early I woke and then my day's schedule ahead, but making the effort to rise just a few minutes earlier than I had planned, is always worth the while. I listen to music, or I have quiet time and admire the streets, the trees, the people. I pray, or I meditate and dabble in some self-affirmations. Mind, body, and soul alignment time...a few moments that are my own...to center myself before the day ahead. This is my semi-alone time. I've never missed those extra minutes I'm not re-hitting the snoooooze button.
 

This little fox typically accompanies me on my "alone time."  We're clearly cut from the same fur when it comes to affinity for sunrise strolls--look at the joy on that face. Two happy girls in the wee-morning hours is a shocking sight indeed.

Five:
 
Color-blocked chunky heels
 
The combinations of opposite, unlikely, or even different shades of the same color, make these heels modern with a bit of a funky flare. I've seen black shoes with a white pillar heel, teal with royal blue, etc. The ones below are a classic shoe with a burnt orange hunky chunky heel. These are popping up everywhere--Currently, they're decorating the shoe departments at Topshop, Bergdorf's, Bloomingdale's, Piperline, etc.  
 
I creepily snapped this photo of a fellow stylish subway rider on the L train. She paired her heels with rolled-up boyfriend jeans and a woven trench coat.
Let me reiterate, I felt creepy. Normally, I would have asked her and taken a proper photo, but the train was packed, so I resorted to voyeurism.
 
Another great, albeit not quite so funky, but still on trend and terribly versatile:
by Michael Kors---closer LOOK

Courtesy of www.neimanmarcus.com

 
 
Until we meet again.
 
 
 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spotlight On: John Patrick Organic

After dashing about New York Fashion Week, I've had some time to consider many of the collections I personally saw and also those of which I missed but have had the chance to view, thank you online social media-savvy fashionistas and designers! Thank you, Iphones and Ipads! Thank you, real-time!

One of my favorites (of which I touched on in the post "Pencils and Needles-NYFW") still, had to be one of the first shows of the busy week, which was John Patrick Organic. Sure, another fabulous fashion line, darling, but even better than that? You can actually wear it. Yes, it's wearable! Gasp! And what else? You guessed it, detectives. It's organic. We can all get super into that.

Literally.



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Channeling the well-dressed and free loving sixties, John Patrick’s A/W 2013 collection started strongly and quietly with neutral chunky knit sweaters and slouchy teddy-bear knit jackets juxtaposed with shorts, followed by crop-tops and calf-length A-line skirts, and finished with a blazing hot pink nylon mini shift-dress. This build-up reflected the balance in John Patrick’s latest creations, which seem to represent the quintessential downtown girl but one with a more graduated perspective on herself and the world around her, consciousness of even the clothes she hangs in her closet.
 
 

A simple ring of dark eyeliner, almost as if still lingering from last night’s city-roaming escapades, served as the only visible or distinctive application of makeup, and the hair was left down. Again, this reflected the uncomplicated but well-executed buildup that placed emphasis on the quality of the garments themselves.

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John Patrick's layered neutrals and chunky knits with the balance of short and long, wide and slim dominated the beginning of the show. 


Tans, blacks, grays, and a touch of a burnt orange tone, dominated the collection with the exception of the last five looks, when that shade of screaming pink popped in for the show’s dramatic finale.


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The final look for John Patrick Organic, which erupted into rounds of applause and a standing ovation. This look was also my favorite.
In short, in the modern white penthouse space in which John Patrick showed his latest collection, clothes were the vision, the mission, and the statement. Within the perfect fall of the fabric on the chic outerwear to the sharp cuts of his now-famous slipdresses, John Patrick understands that in opposing forces, one can achieve balance, and because of this, he cements himself as a luxury designer who has just what it takes to remain not just cool but relevant.
 
 

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Courtesy of WWD.com

 These were two of my favorite looks from the show (the right takes the cake, though), and although these looks represent the autumn/winter collection for 2013/2014, I definitely will be taking a cue and incorporating notes into my spring wardrobe.
 
Short hemline with an above-the-waist layered look? Enchanting.
Show off the legs while keeping warm up-top during those brisk sunset walks during the spring and fall.
 
And... That pink! And...in a nylon long-sleeve shift dress? Divinity, darling.
I believe that color in that particular style could shift through all seasons, in fact. Now, that's a piece worth splurging on. I'm on board with it.
 
I covered John Patrick Organic on behalf of StyleDefinedNYC, but if you're interested, you can catch up on EVERYTHING DESIGNER you missed during New York Fashion Week...
 
well, in our opinion anyway.
 
Feel free to applaud and concur or to shake your head in disagreement with my reactions to New York Fashion Week. I invite you to have a reaction of any kind. The most major fashion fail, though, is not having an opinion at all.
 
Don't you think?
 
 
SHOP AND BOP:
 
Firstly, check out www.organicbyjohnpatrick.com if you wish to view more of his collections and shop directly.
 
And, as always, you can also click HERE to wander through the many options by John Patrick offered by an array of online shopping outlets, although Barneys.com seems to carry the largest selection.
 
 

Overheard:

"My heart thump, not from being nervous
Sometimes I'm thinking God made me special here on purpose
So all the while 'til I'm gone make my words important so
If I slip away, if I die today the last thing you remember won't
Be about some apple bottom jeans with the boots with the fur."
 
-Kid Cudi's "The Prayer"

Kid Cudi is...was?...great. He wrote some pretty interesting and even poetic, perhaps, lyrics that carried some wisdom in addition to his catchy beats. I don't listen to much hip-hop or rap, but I'm into the Kid. I'm into this whole song, even more so after a few years.


This prayer may not be recorded in any Holy books or sang by a crowd of polished loafers and silk robes to the tune of an organ, but a subway bench makes as fine of a church pew as any.
Finer, on most of my days.

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Found: In Flori-da-dee-da

 No trip is entirely complete for me without checking out what the local stores are touting. To be honest, I don't really consider my personal style super "beachy" or "carefree." But, I decided to really bring out the big guns, it is Florida, after all, and I doused myself in color again, as you can see.


What I Wore:
Shopping in St. Armand's Circle

Immersed in this haven of shops, restaurants, cafes, and galleries in St. Armand's Key in the Sarasota Bay, I even surprised myself by connecting with several items I found.



1. Yellow, red and purple color splattered knee-length dress by Motel Rocks
2. Lemon-yellow large MAC Daddy shoulder bag by Rebecca Minkoff
3. Mint green ankle-strap wedges by Matiko

And, speaking of...




I adore the brand Matiko. I place them in the Jeffrey Campbell, Sam Edelman, Dolce Vita category. Stylish, well-made, and not too pricey, in terms of label and design recognition. These Matiko Amazee black and yellow chunky heels are on my WISH--no, NEED, list. Best of all? On sale for $111.99 HERE on www.6pm.com, which has TONS of designer and name brand apparel, accessories, etc. ON SALE. Yes, discounts and sales are good. Or, just click HERE to peruse a huge array of Matiko styles.

What We Found in Sarasota:

I was loving this Funktional blue sheer and chiffon low-to-high dress with tiny color blocks, bottom left, as well as these lemon-yellow leather oxford platforms, right).


I wasn't supposed to buy anything.
 Really. Really, I'm telling you.


 


 I was doing so well--But, I am guilty. I ended up with a few items, though. It was against the Analili, ended up about 70% off. Surprisingly, it's actually spandex and polyester. Who said polyester should be left in the past? The seventies ruled.  Designed in Miami, Analili produces some fantastic frocks. All comfortable, easily wearable, and chic. This photo is actually of the back of the dress. I love showing off the back in a dress. But, you could also wear this extreme-deep-V in the front as well, especially if you are as small-chested as I am. Either way? Even better.

Shopping was supposed to be against my self-imposed rules, but hey! I didn't break the bank, since several of my items were marked down. This girl right here knows a good deal when she sees one, OK? This dress (right), by
And below:
1. Isola lime-green snakeskin flat sandals I wore in "What I Wore: Sunset in Sarasota,"
2. Blood-orange elastic skullhead bracelet
3. Lucky Girl metallic elastic ribbon hair ties (they actually look presentable on your wrist and stay tangle-free in your hair)
4. James Jeans Coal Brown Twiggy leather finished jeans--they're a fabulous brown/black-ish color, and look similar to worn-in, faded leather pants (On Sale) 
5. Big Star grey and black leopard skinny jeans (On sale)
6. Roxy Orange cut-off beach shorts 
                                                                        
After my recent fits, I am on hiatus...detoxing, if you will, from shopping. Spring saving is in the works. With the combination of several of my newest finds and the existing trendy and also classic apparel and accessories already in my closet,
I'm good to go...
Out!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What I Wore: Sunset in Sarasota




Sunsets in Florida consist of oysters, fresh fish, champagne, sangria, and fabulous conversation in casual, comfortable settings...by the pool, by the beach, on roof decks, and on porches while we
soak in the unquestionable natural beauty of the spring season.

Just two weeks ago, snow poured down from the sky in New York. Spring? What spring? Well, she appeared to me this weekend, finally. It was mild in Florida--think 70 degrees to low 80s with cool evenings. Translation: It was the perfect balance--not hot but not cold.

Anyway,  I don't in any way consider myself or my own look "beachy" or "surfer," ever, meaning I simply just don't connect or identify with any of those terms. Personally or stylistically speaking. But, I did attempt to play up the Floridian color scheme and vibe, perhaps, and with my own signature flare. Maybe it was a bit "retired senior citizen living in a golf course in Naples," but eh, I'm okay with that.
When in Rome....
I mean, Naples...
and...
St. Petersburg...
Florida. Ha.

 Again, I have quite a few kooky old lady habits and traits.  We all know this. It's universally understood. It's fine. I like it.



Featured:
1. Khaki trench coat with lime green lining by Gap
2. Color-blocked extra large double strapped tote by Kate Spade
3. Teal blue mini-shift dress with multi-colored beading by French Connection
4. Lime Green t-strap flat sandals by Isola
5. Blood Orange lipstick by MAC Cosmetics in "So Chaud"
And, guess what? 
When I returned to New York, Spring clearly had snuck into my carry-on and made the trek back up north with me.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Right Now: "Yeah" and "Meh"

In an effort to continue my quest to consciously remain grateful,
I will begin today with a short--
Well, it began shorter than it ended, and I suppose that's another grand thing in itself--


Gratitude List.

Coffee...by the pool.
Warm Florida sunshine
Clear, cool water
White sand
Outdoor activities
Bridge jogs and morning bike rides
The adoration from a fox named Blanche
Family members' support and equally powerful criticism
My higher power
My writing, which is my daily sanity, hope, and passion


And onward with the lists--



YEAH, HECK YEAH, LIST:

People, places and things on my mind, body, face, and playlist today at this very moment. Tomorrow? you ask.
We'll see.


1. Bicycles.
Adorable, sporty, chic bikes bikes bikes.

I love this baby blue Huffy beach cruiser
I had the pleasure of roaming around on recently.






2. Outdoor activities that are both leisurely as well as athletic...

Being active is, without a doubt, stylish, but enjoying the process is nirvana.
Kayaking, hiking, paddle boating, midnight strolls, even.




3. Color, color everywhere!
Drinks, shoes, lips. All, please.
*WITH ONE EXCEPTION: SEE "Meh"
4. Trench Coats
Khaki, black, red, yellow, whatever. Timelessly functional.
5. Def Leppard and Van Halen
booming through the speakers and out of the open windows.
Nothing yells summer quite like..."PANAMA! PANAMA-AHHHH!"
A personal favorite, Def Leppard's "Animal"


6. Oysters Galore!
It's always OysterFest in This Kind of Girl's world--
Raw, Rockefeller...and my newest obsession- Blue and Buffalo.

7. "Whores' Glory"- The Documentary
A completely non-judgmental but gripping documentary of sex workers around the world...depicted as complex and more fascinatingly, dynamic individuals.
Read MORE about it HERE.




MEH LIST:

People, Places and Things that I'm just not that into.
No hate, just not great.
Therefore, mehhhhh.


 1. Ketchup
Sriracha and guacamole will always be more victorious...more interesting and more nutritious. Sucker!
Via www.thinkgeek.com
Via www.talk2myshirt.com




2. Puffer Jackets
I don't hate them. I understand that they're warm and serve many of us cold weather folks quite well. I just...Meh.



3. Straighteners
I'm over them. Some people need them, and that's fine too. My straightener and I broke up about a year ago. He's been banished to the cabinet beneath the sink.


4. Bejeweled Electronics
Yawn. I don't understand.
Not for me.
Via www.luuux.com
5. Jennifer Lopez
I was down with Jenny from the block.
I was. Nowadays? Meh.
6. Barbie Pink Lipstick
*EXCEPTION TO "YEAH, HECK YEAH" 's "Colors Everywhere!"
Frosty Barbie pink.
There's so much to dislike in that string of words.
In my mind, this lip color conjures up creepy images of Nicki Minaj wearing something absurd as well as porn stars with cheap makeup. Neither are fresh nor funky.
Via www.makeupgeek.com

7. Cantelope
Really, fruit cup? That's all you've got?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Stylishly grateful.

Well, well, well.
Greetings from Sarasota, Florida.
I'm on holiday and thanking my lucky stars.
Or JetBlue, at least.

Most importantly, lookie here who finally has a new laptop! Yes, blog friends, it is a devastatingly dark day when you yawn, grab a mug of tea and open up your laptop to peruse emails and perhaps do a bit of writing and....oh, holy moly! The screen is white with technicolor stripes!

Panic!
Mayday!

That's about how my last Saturday morning went down. I needed to mourn the loss. I was in a state of denial, and then, the real grieving process began. But, I've emerged once again from a crisis. Laptop, sitting on the patio table, as I enjoy this beautiful Floridian sunshine.
I am grateful...and not simply because I now own a new lovely and working, I might add, device to whip up some inspiring prose on in order to deliver my wisdom to the masses. No, there's much more. Much more.
As I'm watching the trees sway back and forth at this very moment, I am feeling very lucky. I need to experience this more often. Too often, I am stressed and completely overwhelmed and overstimulated by the New York daily grind to stop and breathe and feel. But, not, when I take a step back, I am flooded with gratitude. According to Psychology Today, "Studies show that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who  do cultivate it.  In addition, grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy."

Katya, herself, Courtesy of StyleDefinedNYC.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to write, interact with other creative individuals, and encounter so many unique, complex, often-odd, and brilliant people in my everyday life--whether they are indeed my own close friends and family, strangers on the street, acquaintances, or work and art-related folks, I am truly floored by the beauty that people create with their hands, hearts, minds, words, paint, fabric, etc. It's a pleasure, to say the least.



Most recently, I have had the opportunity to work alongside the incredibly-cool Katya Moorman, the founder and woman behind StyleDefinedNYC---Yes, I've given her a shout-out (LOUD!) on here before, in reference to some of our New York Fashion Week antics in pursuit of stylish collaborations. She's a talented and funky lady, who I am delighted to have worked with and plan to continue doing so, thank you.  

And, speaking of, our mini-StyleDefinedNYC crew celebrated Katya's birthday at Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel recently with a petite soiree, and we followed it up with a bit of an after party at the infamous Blind Barber in the East Village. Check out Katya's birthday post, while you're at it, HERE.

Sophia Lamar, Adrian Ramos, myself, Niko Liakaris, Katya Moorman, Lea Diaz, and Richie Moo

Champagne toasts, of course. Heck, I'll celebrate just about anything you'd like, since it usually accompanies champagne! Here, here! Cheers to another day!
I enjoy working with this particular group of creative not solely because they're all incredibly good looking and stylish...Ha. But, really, fabulous times with fabulous minds. That's the ultimate satisfaction for me, and I believe that we will all be collaborating again soon to deliver even more devilishly delicious STYLE that is wholly and wonderfully New York.



I'd continue on, dears, but the beach and the whole "sand between your toes" and "coconut drink-in-hand" concept is beckoning me to the Sarasota Beach Club.

Give some thought as to why you're lucky today, right at this very moment.

Tomorrow, let's talk it over.
 I'll show you mine--my list, of course--if you show me yours.
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