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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What's New

BROCK COLLECTION

In Tillie Virgin Wool-Blend Skirt

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Leather sandals

GUCCI

Horsebit square tortoiseshell-acetate sunglasses

MAISON MARGIELA

Stretch-knit top

SAINT LAURENT

Leather belt

BOTTEGA VENETA

Grain de poudre skirt

MALONE SOULIERS

Gavi crossover-strap leather slides

BROCK COLLECTION

Wool-blend cardigan

SAINT LAURENT

Le Maillon leather sandals

SAINT LAURENT

Suzanne mini leather cross-body bag

SAINT LAURENT

Jota chain-embellished leather sandals

MATTEAU

Broderie-cotton maxi skirt

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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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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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Show Status

Layering Lesson

Dries Van Noten successfully fused masculinity and femininity by pairing skirts and ostrich feathers with flannel trousers. A modern and grown-up take on last season’s flirtation with grunge.

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Books

The Burgess Boys

Or rather, when it’s released on March 26th, it will be on my nightstand. Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize winner for her 2009 novel, Olive Kitteridge, is one of my favorite authors. The Burgess Boys returns to coastal Maine and promises to be a good read.

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