Tag Archives: style

Plümo Pretties

I bookmarked Plümo a while ago when I saw some images on An Indian Summer.

There isn’t that much detail to be found about the company on the site, but it sounds like they look for original products that can’t be found in your typical retail mall setting. All from “artisans, co-operatives from Africa to Asia, designers that have just come out of college and any kind of creative people that just make beautiful things.”

Here are some of my favorites from the “fashion” items:







I love that these pieces look unique and exotic, but are also so versatile and wearable. They’re on trend but not “trendy.” And any clothing and accessories that can work with the changing styles over years to come will always be a good investment.

See more HERE. And check out Style Key West tomorrow when I feature some of the colorful home products!

When I Have a Brand New Hairdo…

I just got a haircut recently. Here is a picture that George (of all people) took of me at the playground.


Eleanor wasn’t a huge fan because it wasn’t “fancy” (which is clear in the no make up, playground outfit look above), but I still love it.

There is somthing about completely changing your hair that makes you feel very pretty and feminine. Or maybe that’s just me…

The Swell Mrs. Lilien’s Gift Giving Guide

Years ago, I gave my best friend (who was single and living in Georgetown at the time) a book called Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life. I loved that book…such great tips and advice, like how to exit a limo gracefully and how to “duke” (passing a tip with a closed hand).

I always think of this book when I read Mrs. Lilien. If you are not familiar with this jewel box of a blog, then run don’t walk.


And make sure to check out her new Holiday Shoppe. featuring swell items such as “shoe bling“:



Santa Baby indeed!

Project Runway Season 8 Final Collections (+ "And I Call Myself a Blogger…")

I meant to write something about the Project Runway season finale, but finding time to collect the images proved more difficult than expected.

Since it’s been a week, I’m not too worried about spoilers. If for any reason you haven’t heard about the winner and don’t want to know, stop reading now.

I’ll get right to the point and state without any of my typical wishy washyness that I was shocked and in total disagreement about the winner.


I liked some of Gretchen’s work during the season challenges, but I really didn’t care for her final collection. While it was done very well, it was boring. With only 10 looks to send down the runway, the contestants have typically maximized this visibility by going for more couture and a dramatic show. Gretchen went for high styled (after some feedback from the judges) wearability and a focus on what is “now” in fashion. All of that is fine – but there was a repetitive feel to her fabric choices and design and a complete omission of “gasp” moments – either in a good way or a bad way. Whether a collection aesthetically appeals to me or not, I at least expect to gasp in admiration or horror at least once or twice. But this winning collection at best made me go “meh,” and at worst elicited an “ugh.”







I didn’t care for the much praised jewelry she designed (which shouldn’t have been a major factor in the win since it’s about the clothes right?). And I didn’t understand that pink lipstick at all. Bottom line I was SHOCKED that she wasn’t the first to leave the runway after the judges reached their decision.

I honestly thought the clear winner was Mondo.


I could see some of the criticism he received (the weird head pieces and such theatrical styling for his larger than life designs), but I absolutely disagree that it looked like a circus. It looked like a runway show. Heidi made the astute point that almost all of the pieces could be used in everyday outfits (one of his tops with simple black pants, a black turtle neck with one of his skirts, etc.) The presentation of the collection showed the whimsy and inspiration behind the designs and while I’m certainly no fashion expert, that’s exactly what I thought runway shows were all about.






There were only two looks that I totally didn’t get. The first looked like something an old lady on a Carnival cruise would rock as “fun” evening resort wear. It was just wacky:


But in reading some thoughts from more knowledgeable fashion bloggers, I can see that this impression comes from the “tunic” element of the top. It may have looked better in a slimmer silhouette (although you’ll never force me to admire dangling gems on clothing).

The other one was a color blocked number that I have to admit has started to grow on me:


This was actually one of the most talked about and raved about pieces in the collection. The only thing that I can say in my defense is that I do tend to have fashion tastes that can border on “conservative dowager” at times. But cut me some slack – I grew up in DC!

All in all, I thought Mondo put on the best show and showed the most creativity and talent.

My favorite in terms of personal style aesthetic though was Andy.


I loved all of the rich fabrics and detail work…









…and I didn’t even mind the fact that there was little variation in colors. BUT I immediately saw that as a weak point for the competition. That and the head pieces that the judges found confusing and distracting during their pre-show critique. I liked the idea of the story he wanted to tell and could sympathize that he really couldn’t tell that story completely with only 10 looks…but it didn’t change the fact that these “problems” contributed him not making it to the top spot.

But I really never expected him to take last place. Ah well – better and more expert writers have covered this… Specifically Tom and Lorenzo from Tom & Lorenzo – Fabulous and Opinionated. Which brings me to the question of how I could have been blogging and watching Project Runway for the past couple of years and NOT KNOW about this site? It’s pretty fabulous as promised and I’m now addicted. It’s also the source of all of my images (far easier to navigate than the Lifetime website). They even featured images of all of the decoy collections from Fashion week. Here is a favorite look of mine from each:

April:


To be honest, I didn’t really love her collection. It was interesting – but as I said, I’m kind of a DC Ann Taylor girl at heart so there wasn’t a whole lot in there that spoke to me personally.

Casanova:


Um…yeah. This was very glitzy – kind of resort wear meets roller disco. All of the pants were SO tight – but he did have a couple of pairs (above) that had some rather innovative details.

Christopher:


Sigh. I really liked Christopher on the show – but there was nothing very exciting about his designs and his Fashion Week show followed suit. Some pretty and wearable stuff. But nothing very memorable (a point that Heidi once made). I thought the look above was definitely the best.

Ivy:


I actually really liked Ivy’s collection, but I don’t see it as having “top three” potential. There was very little in the collection that gave me pause, but it seemed like a specifically “resort” line. In fact, I could see this being everything that someone packed to wear on their honeymoon in a fantastic warm weather location. Puerto Banus in Spain maybe? I was there for several days of my own honeymoon and could definitely see some of these looks wandering around the pool or heading out to dinner.

Michael C.:


This collection was very pretty and not nearly as dull color-wise as the judges made it out to be when he presented his mini collection. In fact, I would have enjoyed this show far more than the one Gretchen put on… But there were a few things that made me cringe (particularly the see through top of his finale look). The look above was a departure from his usual “effortless dress” and definitely the the one that made you look twice (fun fact: Heidi said during the mini collection judging that she’d wear that top).

Michael D.:


While I do think he’s talented, this wasn’t a collection that appealed to me. But then we’ve already established that I have old lady taste, yes? I liked this dress a lot – great understated drama (and pretty sexy to boot).

Valerie:


This was a super cute look from Valerie’s collection. I liked her work in several of the challenges, but her final collection wasn’t one of my favorites. SHE was definitely one of my favorites though. From her “put your panties on” comment to her moving exit speech (“Scarecrow, I think I’ll miss you most of all…”) How can you not love Valerie?

All in all, I’m a little thrown by this season, especially the last few weeks during which I agreed with Heidi and thought Nina and Michael were smoking crack (the world has turned upside down!). But I’m rather die hard about the things I love. So I’m in for Season Nine. And you?

Note: For tons of pictures, recaps and interviews visit the opinionated and fabulous Tom & Lorenzo!

Needful Things: A Life of Style by Rebecca Moses

I recently read about designer Rebecca Moses’ new book, A Life of Style – and I really think I must have it. Illustrated with fanciful watercolors, A Life of Style provides inspiration and practical advice for developing your own personal style through eschewing rules and appreciating style constants.

Here are some images I was able to grab online (via Dining and Decor and Amazon.com – not the best resolution…but really the best I could find):


















I would love to read the rest, but more than that, I want to own this colorful gem. Beautifully illustrated books are a weakness of mine. Getting her signature in it as well? That would be heaven for me.

The Glamorous Life

My father just sent me several e-mails with pictures and information about my grandparents and great grandparents (even the great-greats), but my favorites are the ones of my Grandma Olive.


She was quite lovely and the old photographs show her in wonderful vintage fashions.






She died very young at 43, but she did a lot in her short life. Aside from having three sons with my grandfather and traveling all over the world, she was Vice Chairman of the Red Cross in Los Angeles as well as Chairman of Volunteers (over 1000 people). The National Red Cross had actually asked her to be the Head of all Volunteers in the US, but it meant she would had to move to Washington, DC. Pretty impressive for wife and mother in 1957!









As I went through the ancestor pictures, I marveled at how there were so many (almost 90). But it then occurred to me that compared to now, there were hardly any. People once had just a handful for an entire lifetime. Maybe that’s part of what makes the old ones seem so glamorous. They were special. An event. Each one a treasure to be put in a box, not archived in a digital folder. I wonder what the younger generations will make of us and our thousands of photos. I doubt they’ll be quite as enchanted with the 100 pictures of a three year old’s birthday party! Or maybe they will. Only time will tell…

Flashback: Try Walking in My Shoes – Why Don’t You?

After taking my laptop in for repairs, I assumed that it would be a while until I got it back.

In the meantime, I’ve set up posts for some vintage stuff from The Big Piece of Cake: a little weekly feature called “Materialistic Monday” about stuff I was currently into (or just wishing I could afford to officially be into). So expect to see more of that this week.

And if you’re wondering what I’ll do about my Fifi Flowers givewaway, I think I’ll just keep it open until I can spring my laptop from the Geek Squad jail. So ENTER HERE!

September 22, 2008

Today – I want to tell you how much I love my shoes (remember – I said I would talk about my shoes). Now DON’T go anywhere! I know this sounds kind of boring – but I promise it won’t be. And there will be nudity. Okay – that’s not true…and I’ve used that trick already, so I doubt anyone will fall for it again.

The only nudity involved is a pictorial of sandals and therefore exposed toes. So I guess if you are one of those creepy foot fetish people, this might be considered nudity. But for the rest of you that have no interest in shoes (like every man in my family), I will understand if you decide to pass on this one. Everyone else – glad that you decided to stick with me (except for you foot fetish people – I’m just tolerating you.)

I do not own 150 pairs of shoes and the ones I do own are not necessarily what many would consider expensive (meaning I do not own one pair of Manolos, Jimmy Choos or Louboutins). But I take my footwear choices pretty seriously. I think that I’ve made some very good investments over the years and I am willing to pay for something that I think will last far longer than a single season.

I buy my shoes in various boutiques and department stores, but the brand that never ceases to surprise me is Ann Taylor. Growing up in conservative DC, Ann Taylor has always been a bit of a go to for me. I know what I’m going to get there, and I can usually find what I need. Not that it’s the only place I shop – but it’s a great resource for basics and they always have some kind of sale going on. I rarely go in looking for accessories – but inevitably the shoe section catches my eye. I have made some of my best shoe investments there.

Here are a few shots of some sandals I own that are SEVEN YEARS OLD:

Now – I don’t know about you – but I think that’s a pretty long life span for shoes that get a lot of wear and tear. I break these babies out the minute temperatures rise to 60+ degrees and continue to wear them through Indian Summer.

[An aside: Those are actually my feet and I took all three pictures this morning at work. Two things should be noted: 1. It is really hard to take pictures of your own feet and 2. I wanted to mention that I was at work so that no one would think that I have industrial carpet or “bone” white paint in my home.]

I bought these sandals from Ann Taylor as part of a bridesmaid outfit for an afternoon wedding in October 2001. Some of the other bridesmaids opted for a less expensive version at another store – but I saw the potential in the slightly pricier pair… And how right I was.

I don’t know what it is about the style – but it has of yet to look outdated. Maybe it’s a lack of full commitment to style (strappy but not too strappy…high heel but not stiletto…). Either way – it works for me. They are in great condition and I think I’ll be wearing them for another seven years. Of course I recognize the fact that we ALWAYS think that we own something so great and basic that will last forever and never go out of style until one day we look in the mirror and say, “Oh my god – I’m wearing a tapestry vest!” But I think I’ve got a few years before I look at these shoes and think they’ve become mules overnight.

I have numerous other Ann Taylor shoes and boots. All of which have lasted for years AND have been incredibly comfortable (never to be taken off under the desk where no one can see). I felt a tribute was in order for my first materialistic post. For those of you who are still with me – thank you for sitting through the longest blog post about mid-price range shoes EVER.

As a disclaimer – I have to admit that the current collection doesn’t really grab me. But I never tire of animal prints, and I do think I could wear those Cinara Giraffe Flats with jeans all weekend long. I’ll have to keep an eye on them to see if they go on sale…

Nesting Newbies and The Treehouse Press

A couple of things today…

First, I found a new online magazine last week called Nesting Newbies (also see the website: nestingnewbies.com). It’s all about “homemaking,” really – specifically, cooking, entertaining and decorating.

The layout is well done and the features have something for everyone. My favorites were…

…this series of table set designs (complete with “get the look” suggestions):





…and this great lamp makeover:



Then my adorable IRL friend Christy of A Lil’ Welsh Rarebit sent me a link to an Etsy shop she found on Urban Grace: The Treehouse Press. They make glass decoupage plates using only vintage papers like paper dolls, old maps, wallpaper scraps, children’s books, antique prints, etc. Here are a few of my favorite images:





Pricey – yes. But pretty special (especially that baby plate).

That was quite the big finale Friday for me…two subjects in one post. Nesting Newbies and The Treehouse Press - check them out!