Musings on beauty and fashion, then and now, for women of substance, style, laughter and love.
The Clock Stops Here...
Sunday, August 31, 2008
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Some of my best moments last week, were spent, immersed in the September fashion issues. There is always a consistent thread in the season's trends together, it is then distilled and reported in "Must Have", "Top Trends" and "Key Pieces" columns.
It is not a random process; it starts with the Panetone color forecasts, which are picked up by the mills and dyed into fabrics and selected by the Designers, who weave them into this season's frocks. It is not a coincidence, that Oscar, John Galliano and Donatella Versace, (of NY, Paris and Milan) all chose cherry, for dresses in their Fall collections.
When I sort through what I will both be wearing and recommending my clients purchase, I respond with my heart to what visually thrills me, but will ultimately, buy only what looks great, not falling into the trend trap: Will this be hopelessly dated next season?
Loves- All the rich colors, plums, aubergine, raspberry and cherry. If these are your colors, dig in. You will look just as pretty in them next fall. Lace- There are some fabulous LBD"s in lace. It may not be as hot every season, but it will live happily in the closet. Knits- belted long cardigans, sweater dresses with boots, classic investments. Ladylike structured handbags, in rich, neutrals, Think Kelly and Birkin. Enough said. Metallic clutches and shoes-look terrific with anything neutral, ditto for bags and shoes made from exotic skins. Ruffles- just a touch paired back to something structured, will always look feminine and modern. Bold cuffs- Why do you think Diana Vreeland always wore one Maltese Cross Verdura cuff on each wrist?
Likes- Tuxedo Dressing- We are having a "Le Smoking" moment...probably with more to come this spring, in homage to YSL. As long as you don't look like Ellen Degeneres on her wedding day, dabble, if it suits you. Florals- fresh and sweet, but I wouldn't invest in anything I couldn't buy at J.Crew. Statement Necklaces- I love the look, but this is a one season Johnnie. If you must, (and I may), make sure it's cheap and cheerful. Bright Accessories- beautiful, bold handbags and shoes, to mismatch with other brights or wear back to black. Dip don't dive. Shooties- Yes those cut out shoe boots. I will love seeing them on other people. If I do wear them, I will wimp out and wear them with pants. They are having a moment. It will be fleeting, so best not to Choo, with this trend.
Losers- Bold Plaids. No need, unless you are Charlotte York MacDougal at Trey's families annual Highland Fling. Mid Calf Skirts- Frumpty dumpty...don't even think about it. Pleated Pants- Is you last name Olsen? See above.
Rev your shopping engines ladies. Tomorrow is September, which in our world, is the offical start of Fall. Have fun!!!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Summertime... Those of us who live on the East coast are split firmly into 3 camps for beach getaways; The Hampton's, The Vineyard/Nantucket and the Jersey Shore. It is written in Rosetta stone, that wherever you summered as a child, is where you will head, at some point Memorial Day through Labor Day. If you are smart, you simply accept, that each of us think we have the better slice of heaven. So, unless you are conversing with your fellow brethren, zip your lip and smile, when one of the "others", is extolling the virtues of their pristine pastures.
I am a Hampton's girl. Part of what is so soothing is the familiarity and the rituals... Breakfast at the Candy Kitchen, dishing the dirt with my delicious friend, Mark Olives, owner of the American Wing antique store, or taking an exercise class at Exhale, with the magnificent Fred DeVito, who never forgets a C-curve. Everyone looks fabulous at the Hampton's Classic Horse show, it's casual chic, but effortlessly studied and I am sucking it all up, smugly congratulating myself for nailing the look, down to my Hermes bangles. The real stars are the lean and leggy equestrians, who make the rest of us look like porky posers...God, I am in heaven.
Old friends, Lunch at Lunch, Dan's Papers, ogling the fall goodies, on Newtown Lane in East Hampton, THE beaches, loading up the car with just picked corn and flowers on the way home...It doesn't get better than this and if you think it does, I have a pretty good hunch, none of this , really compares to, "wah wah wah"...
O.K., I'll zip it.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Just kidding! Even if I could wrap my brain around harpooning smelly, slimy things on a hook, to harpoon smelly, slimy things on a hook, I would never survive the boat trip, without the Patch, Bonime and 6 of those wrist bands with the steel pellets...and we would not have even left the dock.
Off to the Hampton's for some end of summer R&R. I will be devouring all of the September Fashion Magazines and will be reporting back, when I return. Right off the bat, I am loving the spectacular, whimsical, bedecked and bejeweled "statement necklaces", that are being shown everywhere. I just haven't figured out where us mere mortals, will be wearing them. Do you think mine will be too over-the-top, with my pajamas???
Enjoy the last licks of summer...I am teary, but those 9lb. fashion tomes are like a Rosebud salve, for my psyche.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Out, Damn Spot!
I don't know which term sends a bigger willy up my spine--"age" spot or "liver" spot. For those who prefer medical terms, we can call yours, "solar lentigos". All, conjure up bark colored, octogenarians, sidled up to the canasta table, in Vero Beach. Why must I contend with these amoeba shaped atrocities, sprouting randomly on my body???
I have been freeze dried and lasered, leaving behind, 12 days worth maroon scabs, before flaking off. It's all I can do to keep from scraping them off with my bi cuspids. The coast is clear, until you happen to be driving in dense fog, without a teaspoon of SPF 50, on your newborn part, when WHAM!!!...you are back to splotch one. I have gone the prescription route, and non co-paid, 0.4% Hydroquinone Creme. I can't remember which blood cancer it is loosely associated with, but sadly, my bigger concern, is that it turns doodie brown in the tube, after just few days. Won't that only make my spots darker???
I had to do a CVS run yesterday. I had a rewards coupon, for $10.00, that was expiring at midnight. Do you have any idea, how much you have to spend to get that kind of freebie? The cashier had to ask the manager, how to tender it, if that gives you a clue. Anywho, since I have been very nostalgic of late, I decided to purchase, "Porcelana Fade Cream", same, of my youth. I can't remember the tag line, but I do remember the dreamy, sing song voice over, promising to fade the dreaded spots, I didn't have, way back then.
I figured it was worth a try, half the hydroquinone, plus sunscreen built in. My spots won't fade as well, but the sunscreen will keep them from getting darker. If this doesn't help, I am thinking about purchasing a hajib.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The Dog Days of Summer
Yesterday was a glorious summer day in N.Y., blue skies, sunshine and low humidity...It doesn't ever get better than this, in August, ever. My wonderful Mom spent the day with me, lunch, laughs, lounging at the pool with a half a dozen magazines to peruse... This is my idea of happiness.
I can't remember where I am supposed to be on Tuesday, but I can recall the name of my craggy faced, dour, Nursery school teacher, Mrs. Reilly, who hated me on sight. My total recall for the entirety of my childhood is either uncanny, or a sign of pre senile dementia.
My Mother, still has to bear the full weight of my wrath, for missing my first day of Nursery School as well as my Kindergarten Maypole dance. It is to me, of little consequence, that on the first occasion she was giving birth to my brother and on the second, in the hospital for minor surgery. She missed it!!! All is not forgiven.
As we spent the day tripping down Memory Lane, I reminded her of another summer long ago...Throughout the summers of 1976 and 1977, there was a deranged serial killer on the loose in the N.Y.C. area, nicknamed the, "Son of Sam" or the .44 Caliber Killer. In a year's time, the Son of Sam, was responsible for killing 6 and wounding 7, mostly young couples, out on the "town". It was tragic and frightening. Nerves were raw and frayed. My boyfriend, the Captain of the football team, with hulking 18 inch biceps, could barely get me to leave my house. I would only drive in his car at night, if I was wearing a baseball cap, (S.O.S., liked long haired brunettes), lying down in the back seat, my face ringed with imprints from the floor mats. His biceps were no match for a 44 caliber bullet. Son of Sam was the Bogey man, and rumors of which area he was stalking next, had us all, (alright, me), crazed.
We grew up in a idyllic time. A posse of neighborhood kids, who played together from dawn to dusk, gleefully awaiting an afternoon visit from Mr. Softee. All was perfect and would remain so, as long as we never had contact, with the cherry bombing, squirrel killing, teenage son, of one of our neighbors...Creepy, silent, watchful, "stay away", our parents warned. So, we heeded and grew up without incident.
The moniker, the "Son of Sam", originated in notes written by the killer, found at crime scenes and in letters addressed to some of the N.Y. dailies. During this time, the police released a psychological profile of the killer: Single, white, male, in his 20's, a loner, a war veteran, someone who may have tortured animals in his youth and possibly living with a widowed mother. While reading this in the car, driving home from the City with my mother, I literally froze; check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check.. "Mom", they are describing "X" to a tee. "Don't be ridiculous. "But Mom, he's got to live next door to somebody. What if it's him"???, I whined. "Don't be ridiculous. "But Mom, the police are asking for help, there's even a hot line. MOM!!! Isn't the widowed mother's name *Margaret"? "Yes, Debra, so what"? I couldn't answer yet, but something kept gnawing at me. My synapses where spitting their own little bullets..."What was the father's name?" "I don't remember". And then it hit me...drum roll, the father's name was *Simon. "MOM!!!!, it's an acronym,
*Simon and *Margaret, Son of SAM!!!... "O.K.--- I'll call".
The next day, our neighbors house, was surrounded by patrol cars. The police were receiving thousands of tips, but *Simon and *Margaret, tipped the scales. "OH MY GOD!!!! "X" is the Son of Sam"!!! We were paralyzed with anticipation as we peered out the window...and then, they were gone.
No SWAT team, no stand off, no handcuffs, no killer. We didn't know whether to be relieved or disappointed. One thing for sure, if we weren't paranoid before, we were now, fearful that the police might have tipped "X", about our tip.
The real Son of Sam was arrested on August 10th, 1977, undone by a parking ticket he received at the scene of his last crime. He confessed the next day. SAM, it turned out, was his neighbors dog. New Yorkers everywhere, breathed a collective sigh of relief. My Mom chided me about our folly, but I knew, she knew, we did our civic duty. After all, he was, somebodies neighbor---just not ours.
Thus, I finally got to enjoy my summer and I am doing now, what I did then...letting my hair down and enjoying the twilight of the summer. Hope you do the same.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
This is shaping up to be a memorable summer Olympics...Lately, there has been a bit of chatter, about the technological tweaks that have given us more spectacular fireworks, in the opening Ceremony (through digital enhancement) and record breaking swim times, possibly from lighter, tighter, swimwear. As far as I am concerned, no harm, no foul.
I take exception, when it comes to crushing little girls souls,, because they are, not deemed pretty enough to represent, "the image of our national music, our national culture", according to Chen Qigang, the Ceremony's Musical Director.
After a grueling competition, 7 year old Yang Peiyi, was awarded the honor of singing, "Hymn to the Motherland", at the opening Ceremonies. During rehearsals, it was determined by committee, that her mainly because of her jumbled teeth, Yang's appearance would be a national disgrace. It was then decided, that 9 year old Lin Miaoke, perfect in pigtails, would lip sync to Yang's vocals. Lin, who went on to become an overnight sensation, was interviewed repeatedly for popular newspapers. Chen Qigang, thought it a perfect solution, "a perfect voice, a perfect image and a perfect show. Perfect???...but what about poor Yang. How publicly, heartbreaking and humiliating for Yang and her family.
Now this is where a some tweaking might not have been such a bad thing, but in the U.S., we are image crazed, but not censorous. Someone might have suggested putting some hair extensions on little Yang and maybe a little bonding on the upper and lowers. Presto chango, problem solved. We are, no doubt, an image conscious country as well, but when it's all said and done, I would like to think, we still have a heart and soul.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Diva in Wonderland
I get to spend a lot of my time dressing beautiful clients, in beautiful clothes in a beautiful environment, and I wouldn't trade a minute of it...A good chunk of time is also devoted to chasing the latest in beauty, makeup, skin and hair care, blogging, attending parties and events with friends and family, and participating in fundraising, for organizations that are important to me. This is the more glam side of my life.
The unglam side, is spent on aluminum bleachers, frost bitten in April and desperately seeking shade in August. No athlete's Mom's trunk, is complete without a blanket, boots, a sweatshirt, a rain poncho, gloves, an umbrella, sunblock, bug spray, bottled water, Gatorade, granola bars and one of those collapsible canvas chairs, that come with their own matching tote and cup holder. (I am in awe of its creator and hope he is enjoying his riches...I would be happy, just being able to get the chair back in the tote, that I have long abandoned). Welcome to my world.
While waiting for my son's long delayed tournament to begin, frustrated that I had nothing more to do, than swat yellow jackets and fill out dollar raffles for a 42" flat screen T.V., my friend Irene, brought me a little gift, she knew I would devour... two issues of "Newbeauty", a gorgeous glossy tome, that I have eyed on the new stand, but dismissed, frugally, after spotting the $9.95 price tag. OH JOY!!!
Newbeauty, bills itself as, "The World's Most Unique Beauty Magazine", and I don't dispute that. The content is primarily editorial, so it is, chock full of cutting information from the beauty disciplines of Plastic Surgery, Dermatology and Cosmetic Dentistry. There is very little traditional advertising. The book is financed by the glittering roster of Doctors, who are profiled by specialty in the back, (and less frugal folk, like my friend I., who pay 10 bucks for it, on the news stand). I am in heaven: F.D.A. approved, hand held wrinkle zappers, for at home use, the latest in products to eliminate sun spots, the best in over the counter teeth whiteners, "liquid face lifts", hand makeovers and the big kahuna, scads of "before" and "after" pictures. I can't take my eyes off of them...there are miracles being performed out there, all right, and many of these women are only, in their forties and early fifties. How could they look so lousy already? I couldn't wait to get to a mirror. Nope, not me. Not yet, anyway. How were the "after" shots??? Amazing!!!. I hope they got a hefty discount for revealing themselves, because these shots are up close and personal, (unlike the grainy, bikini photos for 'slim quick' products, in the back of US Weekly).
My head is spinning with new information...both books have dozens of pages folded back, to review again later, (last time I did that, I was looking for bridal gowns). These are keepers...Beauty Encyclopedia Brittanica's, so to speak. So will I spring for the Fall edition? Abso-uckinlutely. Oh, and by the way...we lost.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Well, it's a toss up...I don't know who I think is sexier, or who I have the bigger crush on-Mary-Louise Parker (as Nancy Botwin) or Demian Bichir (as Esteban Reyes), in "Weeds" on Showtime. If you are not a Weeds watcher, I insist you go out and purchase seasons 1,2 & 3, and hole up for a weekend, so you can purchase Showtime on Demand and catch up to next weeks 9th episode, season 4, by next Monday. I haven't felt this much crush heat, since Scott Wolfe walked into Mr. Barton's classroom in 6th grade.
I have heard Mary-Louise Parker, referred to as a, "thinking man's, sex symbol"...an apt description, but please, don't leave out the ladies...more like a "thinking person's, sex symbol". As the pot smuggling, widow and Mom on Weed's, she is fearless, funny and adorable, fashionista. Potent, would be the best description, Demian Bichir, is portraying the, (very corrupt) Mayor of Tijuana. Smart, rich, powerful and gorgeous. I am gah-gah, over him. The last time I saw this much chemistry between two stars, was in the original Thomas Crown Affair, with Steve and Faye. Sizzling, or in Nancy and Estaban's case, muy caliente.
I have "bio"ed Demian, like a stalker, and have learned he is one of 3 brothers from Mexico, all talented, film and stage actors. He will be featured in an upcoming Steven Soderbergh film. I am certain, that between the two mediums, we will be seeing a lot more of him, stateside. Thank God.
I don't know when my heart was beating faster, during last night's Zumba class, or the back to back Weed's episodes, I watched when I got home...Nancy and Estaban finally, have at it. Foreplay was watching Estaban's exotic pet lion snack on a billy goat...Either I am whacked or you've got a lot of catching up to do. Weeds, is wonderful. I am already pouting over withdrawal... season 4 ends next month. Of course, Dexter will be filling their slot, but I have scruples...no matter how cute, I draw the line, on serial killer crushes.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Does She....Or Doesn't She???
Does she...Or doesn't she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure. This Advertising Hall of Fame slogan, was introduced by Miss Clairol in 1956. In 2008, it take on a whole new meaning...
Considered one of the Top 10 Slogans of the Century, Does she...or doesn't she? was the brain child of Shirley Polykoff. Universally sited as a legend in the industry, at the time she was the lone, female, Jr. copywriter at Foote Cone and Belding, (for you Mad Men aficionados, like me, think "Peggy"). Because of the vague sexual undercurrent of the question, does she or doesn't she, what??? Miss Clairol, selectively chose "girl next door" types for the ads and always featured a child in the background. In the 6 years after its debut, sales at Clairol increased 413% and the estimated number of American women coloring their hair, went from 7% to 50%. Quite an accomplishment and a testament to the power of advertising.
There is a legend behind this legend; When Shirley, (herself a bottle blond and a flamboyant dresser) was introduced to her future Mother-in-law at a Passover dinner, she was apparently, off put. In the 1930's, "nice girls" did not "paint" their hair. She queried her son George about it, and George reported it to Shirley, (including asking her if it was "true")? Shirley imagined her rebuking George in Yiddish, "fahrbt zider huer...oder fahrbt zi nisht??? Does she...or doesn't she? The rest is history...
Which brings me to Betty...Do you know her??? Betty, is a new kind of hair dye, specifically, pubic hair dye. Color, for "hair down there". Betty is currently available in 5 shades: blond, brunette, auburn, black and hot pink. Holiday additions, Valentines and St. Patricks Day Betty's are in the works. I guess I will have to bide my time until they introduce lavender...a color I consider universally flattering.
Of course, there is a story behind Betty, (now available at a drugstore near you). "Betty" is the brainchild of Nancy Jarecki, the socialite wife of Moviefone founder, Andrew Jarecki. After selling out to Time Warner, the Jarecki's moved to Rome. Nancy observed seeing the elegantly coiffed women, leaving her salon with discreet, doggy bags. What exactly was in those tiny totes??? It turns out, their colorists were sending them home, with mini coloring kits, so they could fashion matching collars and cuffs, at home. Oh. Ohhh!!! Is necessity the mamacita of invention? Apparently. Nancy went on to do market research, surveyed gynecologists and held numerous focus groups, before giving birth to Betty, (I guess it doesn't hurt to have a billionaire husband for a little direction and support). Clearly, they must have women of a certain vintage in mind, since today's 20 somethings, think hair, down there, is definitely, not, a necessity.
Which brings us to the present. At this moment, fleets of N.Y. city buses and subways, are plastered with Betty billboards, declaring, "Betty"- "Boldly Going Where No Color Has Gone Before". And I ask you, where is the dignity???!!! As I said in the beginning, Betty, gives a whole new meaning, to that quaint little dittie, Does she...Or doesn't she?
I will be in the city tomorrow. Should I find myself on the Madison Avenue bus, uptown, my handbag will be primly perched on my lap, just in case, "inquiring minds want to know"...
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