On My Mind

“The happy fashion designer Isabel Marant”

The Gentlewomanone of my favorite magazines, profiled Isabel Marant, one of my favorite designers. When the SS13 issue with Beyonce on the cover hit my mailbox, I was overjoyed. If you don’t know The Gentlewoman, it’s published in London and focuses on a wide range of women ‘of style and purpose’.

The current issue is particularly good. And the interview with Ms. Marant is really good. The best take-away for me was, when asked about the long-term future of her brand she responded “Everybody tells me, ‘Ach, you’ll never be able to stop!’ but I think I will. You correspond to a certain time, your time, and you must realize when it’s not your time”. This truly resonated with me.

For over 20 years I cast models for magazine editorials and fashion shows– I was passionate about my work. Then, one day, I didn’t want to do it anymore. My friend Helmut Lang, whose shows I cast, had retired, I was tired of celebs on covers, the endless travel and being away from my family was exhausting– I just knew I was done. Bottom line, it was no longer ‘my time’.

So, I took the models’ cards off my walls, called my agent, and walked away. Do I ever miss it? Nope. I miss my industry friends, but I don’t need to work in an office or on a show to see them.

Isabel is right, life is too short to do something that no longer makes you happy or keeps you relevant, and I am very fortunate to have found a new passion that I cannot wait to work on each day.

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what's new

VICTORIA, VICTORIA BECKHAM

Belted denim shirt

CASTANER

Jean canvas espadrilles

BOTTEGA VENETA

Bow-detailed crepe midi dress

THE ROW

Nude leatter sandals

MARA HOFFMAN

Camilla one-shoulder textured-organic cotton maxi dress

CHLOÉ

Knotted sleeve-waist wool sweater

M.I.H. JEANS

Paradise high-rise jeans

THE ROW

Nude leather sandals

JOSEPH

Pearl ribbed-knit wool sweater

JOSEPH

Cropped leather trousers

JOSEPH

Ryder leather shoulder bag

CELINE

Square sunglasses

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Favorite Fun Flat

Chloe scallop edge flats

I didn’t buy these flats last year, but I will this spring. When I see them on other women, I realize how cute and versatile they are. The perfect run-around shoe.

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Sow Status

A few thoughts on Paris

There was a lot to love in Paris and the buyers and magazine editors must be pleased. I’m pleased that Karl showed over-the-knee boots again above at Chanel, as did Phoebe Philo for Celine. She showed thigh-high boots in what looks like a pale shade of green below that’s really beautiful and surprising.

So the Saint Laurent show was seriously grunge, not where my wardrobe and wallet are focused right now. But I did like this grey duffel, it’s a forever piece.

These are my favorite looks from Louis Vuitton– the lace details above are very sexy indeed.

And long live the ankle strap, it continues to be a big trend for FW13. The marble print pump from Balenciaga above and the cross-instep strap at Christian Dior below are both good.

It took me a bit to appreciate the Givenchy show (this is when it’s better seeing a show live), and it has grown on me. I especially love the gypsy sensibility. And when I look at the pieces, this fur jacket, patchwork skirt and great boots for example, I realize that the collection is stunning.

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Show Status

Another Victory for Valentino

I am thrilled that the Valentino FW13 collection is beautiful–  love the side braid, lace collars, and gorgeous dresses; the show is an absolute winner.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Valentino design team, and some of my favorite and oft-worn pieces are theirs. However, I admit that I don’t like the spring collection in stores now, it’s a bit twee. So it’s a relief that there will be more for me to covet this coming fall from this talented duo.

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Garden

Give ’em hellebores

© of the WSJ

The snow has melted and the days are slightly warmer which gives me hope that spring will soon be here. As much as I hate weeding and mundane garden maintenance, by this time of year I am yearning to be out in the dirt, no matter the task.

Thankfully, there are some early bloomers, and my all-time-favorite is the hellebore. Hellebores are relatively unknown in the U.S., so I was surprised and delighted when the WSJ did a piece on them recently. A shade loving plant, they are also frost and deer resistant, and come back every year. I especially love their waxy petals and somewhat unusual, non-garish, colors– the hellebore is from the buttercup family, another favorite of mine.

In Arabic, Helibar means “remedy against madness”, and that’s good enough for me.

© of the WSJ

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Show Status

Wrap me up in Celine, please!

Leave it to Phoebe Philo to give women chic, yet comfortable, clothes. The muted colors and fluid lines of the opening looks are simply put, modern and relaxed elegance at it’s best.

I hope I am tall enough to carry off one of these dresses and over-the-knee boots. The bracelets just below the elbow are really good.

There was more color in the show than I am covering– even though I prefer the neutral pieces, this plaid top is pretty great.

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Isabel Marant for Essentials

It’s not that I am disappointed by the Isabel Marant show per se– I just need to wrap my head around the fact that the collection was not about the cool-girl pieces I have come to expect, but rather, essentials.

I am a self confessed IM nut. Her clothes, and overall style, have transformed the way I dress, especially for day. Each season I add a few items from her line to my wardrobe and they are invariably the coolest things I own. I will, however, buy a few staples from this comfortable and effortless FW13 show.

The shearling above is now the coat on my fall wish list and the winter whites below are lovely and wearable. There are a lot of knit leggings that look comfy too.

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Balenciaga, “smart and graceful”

© The New York Times

Cathy Horyn’s NYT’s review of Alexander Wang’s first Balenciaga show is spot-on, especially when she says “(h)is debut for Balenciaga was smart and graceful, and the streamlined clothes advanced the codes in a modern way. He may have played it safe but he also didn’t make mistakes”. Cathy’s piece is a must-read to really get a sense of the fabrics and details; the bits we cannot truly appreciate from viewing solely online.

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Art

Brazil Through the Lens of Massimo Vitali

I cannot wait to get the New York Times Magazine this weekend so I can admire the incredible images by one of my favorite photographers, Massimo Vitali. The publication sent Vitali, best known for his photographs of crowds, to Brazil and set him loose. The resulting pictures are breathtakingly beautiful.

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Art

Laib Wax Room

The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. has commissioned a beeswax chamber by artist Wolfgang Laib. The German-born conceptual artist has been creating beeswax lined rooms for over 25 years. According to the WSJ, “(h)e uses hundreds of pounds of pure melted beeswax much like plaster, smoothly coating the walls and ceilings until they almost resemble yellow marble- except with a warm glow”. Cool.

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