Monday, January 23, 2012

Pom Pom Party...

Down in D.C. This weekend for the very best friend's birth celebration. We made pom poms! Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Old Gold: Nina Ricci Pre-Fall 2012 vs. Etsy

It seems that you all very much enjoyed my last Etsy battle with Jason Wu. So here we go again for another round. Will the online sellers win or will Nina Ricci designer Peter Copping take home the prize for this elegantly draped black velvet number? I mean really people, even the styling screams 1940's. I'd have done something more appropriate with her mop, but I guess you have to keep it hip? 

This collection of Nina Ricci seems to pull a lot of inspiration STRAIGHT out of the past - like this totally twiggy pink overcoat, or this 1960's working girl look and this fit for Studio 54 ensemble. I love it when designers pull from history but sometimes it is better to just go back in history. It most definitely is better for your wallet. With Nina Ricci dresses mostly in the $2,000 dollar range, I'd say they are a little bit out of most of our price ranges and you can bet that these real deal frocks from the ages were built with the same amount of care as this admittedly lovely Nina Ricci piece.

Though there are a plethora of black velvet vintage dresses on Etsy, you must beware they are NOT all created equal. Try to stay away from synthetic fabrics -- I will admit that some are okay but a great many get stiff in their old age -- silk is always the way to go with velvet. Most of the dresses below don't mention what they are made of but you can always ask the seller what they "feel like". They should feel like a dream. But whatever you do, under no circumstance are you to buy "crushed velvet". Just say no. 

Anyway, let's head back in time. Here goes!

I mean really, down to the belt. How could it be so close -- The boatneck silhouette, the cinching at the waist, the length of the sleeves, even the cut of the hem -- it is basically the same dress. This beautiful 1950's Suzy Perette has got all it takes to rock a winter cocktail party. 

I just love the collar on this demur number from the late 40's or 50's. This isn't a dress for those of us -- ahem, me -- who constantly cause people to exclaim, "my goodness you are so CUTE!" But if you're a little sultry, or tall and elegant this would suit you well. 

Oh, the femininity of the 1940's! Where has it all gone? Couldn't you see Ms. Katharine Hepburn dazzling Cary Grant in this in the classic Philadelphia Story?
$125.00 @ IKAHN (this IKAHN sure likes the black velvet!)

If you can't get behind the sleeved look of the frocks above, try this super sexy wiggle dress from the 1950's. Everyone needs that little black dress and this one is perfect, figure flattering with a bit of interest at the neckline. 

If an all black velvet dress is just too much, you can get the same elegance -- perhaps more -- from a black velvet jacket. I've been stalking this one from the 1960's for quite awhile now trying to justify a reason for buying it. Aren't the stripes amazing? 

And just to prove the fact that there is an option for everyone here's another, and another and another. Looks like the ladies in the 1940's couldn't get enough of the black velvet. 

I'd say that, keeping style and price point in mind, these less than $200 options beat Nina Ricci by a mile. Don't you think? 

Monday, January 16, 2012

I made like June!

...and I cooked. It went marvelously well -- the cleaning, not so much. Our Sunday morning brunch consisted of the incredible Pumpkin Cheddar Muffin and Cheesy Grits recipes from the Baked Explorations cookbook from the amazing Baked bakery in Brooklyn. I even ran into a friend on the street that was free to join for the feast and so my efforts weren't lost on just the husband and I. 

I always finish off brunching tables with a great simple salad. The food tends to be so heavy, it is lovely to balance that with some greens. Yesterday we feasted on an arugula blend with goat cheese and craisins. 

Want to come over next weekend?  

night at the movies...

You should go see The Artist. I saw it at BAM last night with a great friend -- who actually was watching it for the second time -- and I just fell in love.

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo will melt your heart into a million pieces in this heartwarming tale of what can happen when you open your eyes to a whole new world. It was nice to so enjoy the film in the theater and then return home to find it had been given the Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical award at the Golden Globes. Not to mention Dujardin's nod as best actor in a Comedy or Musical. 

It is a beautiful story, beautifully told. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

making like june and cleaning...

I've decided that tomorrow is a day for domesticity. I'm going to clean the apartment and bake. My kitchen aid has been quite neglected lately and I've been hankering to try a recipe from the new Baked cookbook my friend gave me for my birthday. 

Cookies anyone? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Old Gold: Jason Wu for Target vs. Etsy

So I saw the new Jason Wu for Target collection on NY Mag and a shot of excitement went through my veins. The dress I'm loving the most is this very nautical, a-line beauty. So I checked his debut date (February 5th) and started to build up the courage to brave the Atlantic Center Target when it hit the shelves. 

Then I thought. My goodness this looks like it came right out of the 60's. I wonder if I could find its replica on Target, though they do support some organic textiles, isn't the best when it comes to environmental impact and buying real vintage is better for everything -- instead of making something new, use something old! 

So, here goes: Jason Wu for Target vs. Etsy...

This is the first one I found. It is straight out of the 1960's and is perfectly mod from the zipper to the slanted pockets.

Here we go again with a lovely little nautical day dress. Also from the 1960's the diagonal detailing on the bust would be flattering to just about any shape.

Though obviously not the same color blocking, this lovely striped and collared number definitely speaks the same language as the Jason Wu, a-line frock.

This one is most definitely my favorite. A boat-worthy, sleeveless jumper perfect for a Sunday outing on the East River-- too bad it is the middle of winter here in New York City.

While we're at it let's just get a little silly. If you're looking for the perfect cocktail dress for a nautically inspired evening look no further than this stunning 1950's number. Imagine the lady that used to rock this one. I wish I could meet her.

So it looks like Jason Wu's got nothing on a cursory Etsy search. 
"1950's nautical dress"= 10 points -- Jason Wu = 0 points

Monday, January 9, 2012

did you say a what?

So I'm at the Detroit Auto Show you see -- don't worry, more coming on that tomorrow night -- and I'm seeing car after green car just blowing my socks off. You've got the hybrid Lexus LF-LC, the hybrid and plug in hybrid electric Ford Fusion, you've got the Hybrid Benz, the hybrid BMW and you've got them all right in front of you shiny and new and you're smiling.

Then Volkswagen just kicks them all out of the park. You know I've been in love with the VW Beetle for just about as long as I can remember. I had one of those candle spinning lamps when I was a kid that was a rainbow of VW's lullaby-ing me to sleep. So today when VW unveiled their E-Bugster I just about lost my mind. Did you say a what?

A dream come true? Well almost -- it is just a concept right now -- we've all got to write in to the good old 'German Engineers' and say, "You know what. This is too good to be true, so make it real already, why don't ya?"

fancy pants hotel, motor city style...

Last year at about this time I learned something about myself that I'd never though I'd admit to the world. I kind of love cars. 

So here I am again, lucky enough to be covering the mecca of all things automotive - The North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan - for the second year in a row (check out my video from last year here). And I'm staying in this fancy hotel. There is original art all over the walls and I love it. They also painted their hallways just like mine - I must have been on to something.  

So tomorrow will be a whirlwind of the newest greatest green vehicles on and off the market from companies like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Smart, Volvo, Volkswagen (could be a beetle coming in EV form - how excited are you?) and Ford. 

La di da. What's a girl to do with all that horsepower?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do you think they were thinking of Joni?

I'll never lie about my adoration of these two people. I seriously think they are just so talented and cool. I mean really, look at them. 

Anyway, it has been announced that my only celeb-u-crush delivered a baby over the weekend in NYC in classic low-key fashion. And they named her Blue. 

Do you think they were thinking of Joni? The musical love of my life? Gee I hope so. 

swap 'em and hand 'em in...

In the wake of our momentously successful clothing swap my friends and I were left with a giant pile of unwanted pants, skirts, shirts and dresses. So what to do with such treasures?

Why donate them, of course.

New Yorkers throw away about 193,000 tons of textiles every year. Grow NYC has a plan to take that waste out of our system. They take in clothes and sort them into usable and non usable piles. The usable go to people who need them and the non usable are recycled into mattresses, insulation and more textiles.

Grow NYC has collected over 1 million pounds of clothing at farmer's markets around New York City since 2007. The set up shop behind the tomatoes, apples and rutabaga and take in anything textile. Here's a list of their locations and times -- it just so happens one of their frequented stops is at Grand Army Plaza, just a few blocks from my abode. 

Have any old clothes you need to chuck? Hop on over to a recycling center and get it done, it'll help more than just your closet to send that cloth back into the system.

Friday, January 6, 2012

roasted with love...

Coffee in the morning is just about the best thing ever. So when my good friend showed up to grab drinks with me and handed me a tiny mason jar of his freshly home-roasted coffee I got more than a little excited.  As we parted ways at the end of our evening he shouted as he walked away, "do you have a Chemex?"

Of course I have a Chemex. The only way I'll make coffee at home and by the way you should get one. The elegantly designed and perfect brewing Chemex coffee maker is part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Museum. He then told me to wait at least three days to brew it, 72 hours of wondering ensued. 

So this morning I dug in, ground up the lovely beans and drank in the splendor of coffee roasted with a lot of love. Friends are so wonderful, especially when assisting with your caffeine addiction. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So maybe I'll put this on my new phone...

I'm not one of those people who doesn't have an iPhone because I want to pretend they aren't cool or great or life changing. I am one of those people who doesn't have an iPhone because I haven't purchased a phone in about three years and have been rocking some pretty badass hand me downs.

But times have changed ladies and gentlemen and I'm about to be as cool as I've always dreamed of being. Now I will have an iPhone 4 (no not an S, no I don't have money to add the S) and I will put this pretty thing on it. It will be a pretty piece of technology and next time someone asks about how great the iPhone's camera is, I'll show them.
It is no surprise to most of my friends and family that I just can't help wanting to be a women in Paris in the 1930's. Did you see Midnight in Paris? Did you swoon like I did? 

I spent six glorious months in college living on the beach in Cannes, France -- don't worry I knew just how lucky I was -- and have managed to become quite the francophile despite the fact that I let the language of romance slip quietly out of my brain so that now when someone asks, "Où est le toilette?" I smile and do a lot of "ummm, ahhh, ehhhhh," before delivering some clunky direction toward the window in the back and left of the armchair.

So to my surprise this morning after returning from my very cold and refreshing run, a friend of mine that I lived with in France brought up the lovely proposition that we both get back into it. Française that is! We'll be listening to audio casts and chatting on the phone in French about our lives. Catching up and learning all at once. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

BK Sky Tonight...

Awful pretty, wouldn't you say?

Happy New Year Old Things!

I feel like I've been run run running for just about forever. So I decided to take this New Year weekend to relax. I did nothing other than clean out my closet, swap some clothes for some other clothes and watch American Pickers my new favorite thing. Have you seen it? It is amazing. 

It is about these two guys -- the two guys with the rad rusty bike above -- who have been friends since 8th grade and have started a business where they roam around the country buying old things from mostly old people. The show is about them walking into junkyards and backyards and barns and houses that have been stuffed full of stuff and pulling out some seriously incredible thing that has been buried for fifty years. Then they find a new home for it. 

Can I be like them someday? I hope so. 

As for now I'm happy with my picking weekend. Got some great new clothes and sufficiently relaxed enough to say that I welcomed Monday morning and 2012 with a smile.