Cross your heart

For the past two years the fashion world has been clutch crazy. When the clutch first popped up on runways and tucked under show-goers arms, I had to convince my friends that carrying one was easier and more practical than a massive shoulder bag. ‘Edit and carry less’ became the mantra to support the trend.

That’s all well and good, and a clutch is great for evening, but as a practical run-around bag, I have changed my mind. Doing errands with a clutch tucked under my arm or worse, in my hand, is annoying and just not practical. Also not terribly safe as I have to put it down so often. Sunday we went to see Coldplay at the Barclay Center (amazing!) and neither a clutch nor a shoulder bag was a great option. I wish I had a mini cross-body bag.

Cross-body bags are certainly not new, but out of sheer need, I really want one. If you have a bust (as I do), this style may not have topped your list. But with a coat or parka, a messenger-style bag would work and I am going to give one a try.

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AQUAZZURA

Quant leopard-print calf hair ankle boots

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Kellen ribbed cotton-blend tunic

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Brixton horsebit-detailed leather collapsible-heel loafers

GIOIA BINI

Emma shirtdress

STELLA MCCARTNEY

Eva silk crepe de chine blouse

VINCE

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MIU MIU

Crossover velvet flatform sandals

GIVENCHY

GV3 small textured-leather and suede shoulder bag

CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN

Almeria leather wedge espadrilles

CHLOÉ

Patch-pocket cotton coat

MUUN

Bilbao mini tote

GUCCI

Ginger embellished two-tone textured-leather pumps

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Looks

‘New Year, New Look, New Attitude’

I pinched a cover line from Vogue’s January issue for the title of this post because it sums up my thoughts on dressing in 2013 precisely. It’s time for a change (I also just really like the cover).

Last week I posted on building an outfit around one sensational piece, and the Saint Laurent look on Gwen Stefani is a perfect example of this new approach to dressing, especially for evening.

We will be home with friends and family to ring in the new year. Last year’s (too literal) pajama trend as hostess-wear was not my thing, but fun, not-too-serious, party-ready pants are on my radar this holiday season. Instead of the jacket as the focal point, a metallic or lace pant will take center stage. Paired with one of my favorite (old and well-loved) cashmere sweaters, flats, and the Larkspur & Hawk earrings my husband gave me for Christmas, this will be my look when I welcome my guests on New Year’s Eve.

Valentino flatsAlice + Olivia pants; Jil Sander sweaterAurelie Bidermann cuffHawk & Larkspur earrings.

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Horsing around

These post-holiday days are bittersweet. I am happy I don’t need to shop anymore, but the build up to Christmas is fun and expectant and can be a tad sad when over. To curb the holiday blues, we head to the barn. We are actually there six days a week already, and there is nothing as cheering as a warm pony.

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I wish I were a lipstick girl…

I have a confession, lipstick scares me. Especially red. And honestly, I think it can be a bit aging. Great hair and a strong lip is chic for evening, but bright lipstick during the day is not me. Carine Roitfeld doesn’t wear it (she has the smokey eye patent) and many of the women I have worked with don’t wear it during the day either. But I feel like the world is lipstick crazy right now– am I bucking the trend or missing the boat?

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Pick up the pieces

This weekend the WSJ’s Off Duty section ran an article on holiday dressing that got me re-thinking my approach to evening-wear. The basic premise, that a special piece, i.e. a stand-out pant, blouse, jacket or skirt, is the new anchor item for an outfit. What’s missing? The dress. These past few years I have been singularly focused on dresses. They are so easy– you just add accessories and go. But this season the dress is back-burnered. Glamorous pants or a spectacular top ( blouse, tunic, jacket, etc) are in the spotlight.

The article’s other point, that an evening outfit should be a mix of pieces, some fancy and some not, is also really good. I used to have a gold Dolce & Gabbana pencil skirt that I paired with a T-shirt and heels. It was the perfect high-low evening look that may deserve a revisit.

Building an outfit around a fabulous top or pant may require a little more thought, but perhaps, that is what makes the look modern. After all, it’s often the smallest details, and how the pieces are put together, that defines one’s personal style. And personal style is the ultimate goal.

Not to be worn together, let one piece take center stage: Roberto Cavalli pants; Nina Ricci lace top; Stella McCartney lace pants; Marni embellished skirt; Isabel Marant brocade jacket.

Just these, please

Last week I had coffee with my friend Kristina at the WSJ. magazine. When she asked me what’s on my spring wish list, I couldn’t think of anything. Except these sandals. I love the red, the piping and the beige. They are from Resort, my favorite season (along with pre-Fall). And since I rarely wear heels over 3″, I bought a similar pair with a kitten-heel instead. My kind of perfect.

Givenchy sandals at Barneys.com or Stylebop.com

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‘Le ciel dans une chambre’

This is my favorite story from the December/January issue of Paris Vogue, guest edited by Carla Bruni. Malgosia Bela channels a gamine/boho-chic Carla-meets-Jane Birkin. Shot in a recording studio, the story’s title, Le ciel dans une chambre, is a snippet of lyrics from one of Carla’s songs. 

I may need to copy this look above …

The pendants are good too.

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Sign me up!

Last week Pantone announced that emerald green is the color of 2013. Funny, green (emerald, bottle, olive, and army) has been firmly on my radar for well over a year. I still love and carry my bottle green Givenchy tote and recently, I cannot seem to get enough of the shades favored by the military. The pieces that I bought for fall, that really worked and are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe, are army green.

Oddly, I don’t want a jacket in this hue, it feels too literal and a tad unsurprising. But my Current/Elliott cargo-ish pants (bought 2 pairs on sale) and Givenchy wrap cuff are my new run-around staples. Army green, so neutral, goes with everything.

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Films

Pre-holiday Weekend

I’m in pretty good shape considering Christmas and both my daughters’ birthdays all take place in the next three weeks. A barn party and a vegan dinner are how we are celebrating the birthdays (both are teens this year), and Christmas is Christmas. Advent box, tree trimming, caroling with a gang of friends, pageant, stocking stuffing, wrapping, parties, egg nog, sugar cubes and a glass of milk left out for Santa and the reindeer, and of course, presents under the tree. I floated the idea of Christmas in a warm locale with little but our swimsuits and SPF, and my younger daughter was aghast. They want to be home, they want the traditions, and that is fine with me.

So while my girls are still in school and the holiday parties have not yet ramped up, I am going to relax, read (I am half way through JK Rowlings ‘The Casual Vacancy’) and see ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ this weekend. I hope it’s good, I really like Jennifer Lawrence.

Looks

If I were going to Art Basel Miami…

Art Basel Miami kicks off today. A four day convergence of artists, collectors, gallery owners, and the fashion set. In it’s 11th year, the event seems to grow exponentially each season. As I was declining invitations to a number of goings-on, I started to reminisce about Miami and decided I am going to attend next year.

Although we try to go to Florida every winter to visit my mother in Naples and friends in Palm Beach, I have not been to Miami in ages. Last visit I was a judge at Ford Models’ ‘Supermodel of the Year’ contest. At the magazine, we would often go to Miami for a last minute, warm-weather (re)shoot. Something that could be done in a day, like a cover. Even when I was a child, our trips to Miami were brief. My step father was a television producer and we would pop down for a dinner or meeting.

So next year, I will go to Art Basel for a day. A great dress, sandals and swimsuit should be all I need. If I end up staying longer, I will check out The Webster and pick up something chic.

Isabel Marant dress; Pucci cover-upGold cuffAlaia clutch; Maiyet sandals; Pucci bikini

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