Archive for ‘Snippets’

September 1, 2013

Emerging

Butterfly

Hello wonderful peeps – yes, it is I. Long lost but hopefully not forgotten.

It’s been exactly one year since I last posted and I have missed you. But I am back at last! So where have I been? Well, what started as first a slowdown in writing became a full-on break during the run up to my wedding and then life hit me…hard. Let me catch you up on what’s been going on and then we can take it from there….

Shortly after the wedding (which was wonderful and I will share more on that in future posts) my beloved father passed away. He walked me down the aisle and then just two weeks later he was unexpectedly gone. After his death came the holidays and a winter and spring filled with some very serious work stress and several tough trips to Oregon to fulfill my duties as executor. Then, just as I was starting to get back into the swing of things, my mother’s health began to fail and, before we could even believe it possible, she was gone as well.

I cannot sufficiently express the sadness and loss. The grief and stress were devastating, leaving me barely enough energy to maintain critical functions like work and the occasional desultory workout. My ability to focus was completely gone, and normal social interactions required serious effort – to speak without crying, to remember common civilities, to not bore the socks off of everyone I came in contact with just by being so utterly wretched. I trudged through the days and if I didn’t drop any critical responsibilities, had acceptable hygiene, clean clothes, and enough consideration not to be outright rude I considered myself ahead of the game. Needless to say, I did not have the time or the inclination to care about fashion, much less write about it.

Sartorially I was at my most, ahem, essential – ponytailed, bare-faced and even bespectacled as frequent tears made make-up impractical and my contact lens impossible. My sister said it best when wiping her eyes after one particularly teary greeting – “oh crap, there goes another five dollars in eye cream!” (Embarrassingly, nearly anything will still make me cry – happy, sad, funny, just about anything can trigger waterworks). My only nod to maintenance at my former levels is the near-religious upkeep of my hair color, a vanity but necessary as the year’s events dramatically accelerated the silver taking over my roots with none-too-flattering results.

I was able to dress like I meant it for the trips and funerals – I donned a seriously chic Louise Green hat for Dad’s memorial that he would have LOVED and even got a new interview suit queued up as a security against getting laid off. But my usual panache was dimmed, replaced by only occasional glimmers – getting excited about a new season of Project Runway, a Zappos raid, and dressing for a few social events. I didn’t completely lose it and wander around in sweats 24/7, but much of the time I found myself wrapped in what I call “comfort clothes” – layers of forgiving jersey, soothing cashmere, reliable denim, paired with comfortable shoes, adding a bag here or a necklace there for accessories. Nothing complicated or elaborate, just easy, soothing and requiring no thought.

Ever so slowly I am recovering – emerging like a butterfly from a chrysalis. I haven’t quite gotten back into the full swing of things (must confess that I am still enjoying 10 more minutes over my morning coffee rather than spending them doing my make up) but I am getting there. As I awake from the haze of the past nine months I am discovering the need for some other changes, though.

After months of comfort dressing I stood in my closet one morning and it dawned on me – many of the clothes hanging there felt like they were for a different person! Clearly it is time for a rethink. So I am embarking on a period of personal discovery and trying to figure out what, exactly, these new wings are suppose to look like. And I invite you on what I hope is a fashionable journey – do stay tuned!

July 25, 2012

THE White Dress – Part Two

Hello all – first let me apologize for being out of touch for sooooo long.  What can I say? Between my real job, getting a nasty summer flu, and needing to plan and host a rather sizeable baby shower for a very good friend somehow June and July have run away without me!  I can’t even use the wedding as a true excuse, as my beloved wedding planner, Christie,  at Christie Rose Events (christierose.com),  has that so organized that all I do is provide my input on what I do and don’t want, like or need, show up for a few appointments and let her get on with making things fabulous.

The wedding items that are my main responsibility – all things fashion, of course – are, after a few nerve wracking months, well in hand at last!  While the wedding party’s attire has come together nicely, my dress…well I guess *something* needed to be stressed about and it certainly was a bit trying there for a bit.  Let me catch you up….

As I wrote back in February I had done that first salon appointment, tried and rejected quite a bit of advice and renewed my vision.  In early March, armed with an updated inspiration board, Christie and I headed off to one of OrangeCounty’s premier bridal salons.  It was lovely – dozens of simply amazing dresses, many available in my size, some meeting some of my key critieria, and each more beautiful than the next.  But as I looked at dress after dress and worked with their terrific sales team, my spirits began to sag as still nothing was jumping out at me and yelling “YES!!! I am YOUR dress!!!!” 

Holy Moly.  I began to wonder what on earth was wrong with me – I know I am super picky but this was getting downright silly.  As I sipped champagne and we looked at my inspiration pictures, even the salon staff was in agreement, they didn’t have what I was looking for, but they DID have a great idea.  They sent me to Shelley Vann, proprietress of Dressing Up, who specializes in custom bridal and eveningwear design and alteration. 

So I sent Shelley my inspiration photos and an outline of what I was going for, and what might work in terms of shapes, style, etc.  Since I didn’t have a concrete idea of what I wanted I didn’t want to squelch her ideas by over-defining things.  Shelley and I conversed via email and I looked forward to seeing what she came up with at our face to face appointment. 

And then it happened.   The ah-ha moment.   Two days before my appointment I was watching a TV show and there it was – the perfect dress.  It had the right shape, joyous movement, and it was different.  My fiancé was watching as my jaw dropped, and my eyes got teary.  He immediately said “That’s it, isn’t it?” and I could only nod I was so overcome.  The catch – the dress was a one of a kind, for that show only, and designed for a six-foot-tall, size-two model with no chest.  Sigh….  But now I did have a vision, so I tracked down a photo of the dress and I was ready to meet with Shelley, fingers crossed that she could make magic happen.

At our first appointment we looked at the sketches Shelley had come up with and while Shelley helped another bride, my wedding planner’s concerned eyes met mine – there were three good concepts, but each was very similar to something I had already seen and not loved.  Even Shelley wasn’t totally excited by them.  I held up a finger and when Shelley came back to us I pulled out the picture of THE dress and asked “what about this?”  Shelley began literally dancing and jumping around!  Here was an idea to get excited about.  We spent the next hour sketching, discussing fabrics and construction, and how we could adapt this concept into a dress that would work for me. 

And so the adventure began.  I spent a very hot Sunday afternoon selecting fabrics at a downtown Los Angeles fabric wholesaler in the fashion district – not the swankiest place in the world, but the one place to find things like satin in over forty colors, along with every other bridal and evening fabric, trim and notion imaginable.  I have made several appearances at Shelley’s workshop – a fascinating trove of sewing materials, and all things wedding from twenty different veils to countless petticoats – for fittings.  And there are more to come.  

And the dress…well you didn’t think I was going to spoil the surprise did you?  Of course not, so let us just say it is coming along well.  Really well.  So I have been able to move on to more momentous bridal decisions and obsessions – like shoes and accessories… stay tuned!

September 19, 2011

Snippets – Paying It Forward, Isabella Fiore and Fashion TV

Snippets – a curated collections of bits I wanted to share…

Paying It Forward Is Always Stylish. 

October presents several opportunities in the LA area to help great causes, here are two that are near and dear to me:

First, the Boy Scouts of America Los Angeles Council is holding an event called “Over The Edge” October 7.  This event is a little bit like a walk-a-thon, but waaayyyy more adventurous and exciting as participants will be rappelling from the roof of the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown LA.  Among the participants will be one of my best and most stylish friends, Kimberley Lathrop.  You can sponsor her at http://www.boyscoutsla.org/over_the_edge.html.

Second, the Citadel Outlets, located near LA, are hosting their sixth annual Shopping Extravaganza event October 22 from 9 am to 9 pm.  The event includes Lunch and Wine Tasting, goodie bag, exclusive discounts to the Citadel stores, entertainment, and prizes.  Tickets are just $20 and 100% of all ticket sales benefit local charities, including Concept 7, where I volunteer.  Concept 7 is a foster family and adoption agency helping at-risk children, teens and transitional age youth in Southern California, for more info on Concept 7 go to www.Concept7.org.  More information on the event and ticket sales can be found at http://www.citadeloutlets.com/go/mallEvents.cfm.   

Isabella Fiore is back. 

This handbag and shoe designer was gone for several years and only a diffusion line, Fiore, was available at QVC.  But I.F. is back and can be found at Bloomingdales, no less.  This line tends to be a bit quirky, with tones of detail – embroidery, ruffles, bows, mixed media, paint, print, and many influences (Southwest, rocker, eastern, you name it!) and many items are way way over done.  However through the years I have found one or two real gems among all the noisy bits.  I have an East-West bag in black with interesting ruffled detail from quite a few years back that I find I pull out season after season.  Its fun, it’s a great size and it has a timeless trendiness to it that is hard not to love.  This season I found this adorable Bow bag and it is winging its way to me as I write this.  This took some chasing down as I first saw it online at Bloomies and when I went back for it a few weeks later it was GONE!  I can see why, with the mixed neutral colors giving it a timeless quality, the adorable perforated leather bow, and the shoulder strap plus handled satchel style, it’s a true winner. 

Fall Fashion TV worth seeing. 

For those of us who need our fashion fixes, this fall is giving us some great options in TV form.  Project Runway soldiers on, with a lot of drama but not much of the fashion variety.  Blah fashion or not, I still love this show and can’t wait for each episode to see the design process in action and I enjoy the great witty input from the always charming Tim Gunn and zingy Michael Kors.  What Not To Wear is in new episodes and as good as ever, as is The Rachel Zoe Project which I tend to watch for the fierce fashion tidbits sprinkled among all the boring Drahmah (which I fast-forward through).  This season is better as one of the key story lines is the launch of her fabulous line, again more tedious drama, but her line – what can I say?  I die! It is truly Bah-nan-nas.  

As fall progresses we are getting some even better goodies – as hot on the heels of Project Runway will be Project Runway Accessories.  And even better, Project Runway All Stars, which features a cast of previous finalists who were nearly all my favorites, and will have the ever-chic and amusing Joanna Coles (Nina Garcia’s boss over at Marie Claire) as mentor– I can only say YAY!  Over on Bravo another Project Runway grad, Chris March will be featured on a new series – Mad Fashion.  While Chris is most known for his crazy extreme work for stage and screen, which will be featured on Mad Fashion, he is mad talented as well in other design arenas and very droll, so it will be great fun to see him do his thing.  Lastly November brings the second season of All On The Line – where Elle’s Joe Zee helps fashion lines take their businesses to the next level.  I LOVE Joe and LOVE this new show.  All in all some fashion content that will be well worth tuning in and Tivo-ing as fall progresses.

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