Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Film Style: The Talented Mr. Ripley

I love love love Gwyneth Paltrow. Not only does she constantly appear in great looks, but she is also inspiring off the red carpet (check out her blog). I need no convincing to rent any movie she is in.  The Talented Mr. Ripley is one of my favorites. 

Gwyneth's character Margie has a wardrobe that makes me want to head back to Italy and roam around the streets of Rome on a red Vespa - adorned with lipstick that is just that shade. did an article this summer as their "Currently Channeling" focus. I am still looking for the perfect espadrille. Ralph Lauren disappointed me this season. 

Style Icon: Your Grandmother

Samantha Levitan (one of my dearest friends and cohorts), wrote an article recently about wearing a pair of boots that belonged to her equally stylish Manhattanite mother Carolyn. For S.L.L., tromping around NYC wearing the once-loved boots of her mother was more sentimental than most of her fashion statements. In the article, Samantha explained that stepping into her mother's shoes meant learning lessons from her mother's life, but also trekking forward in her own direction. She was walking through her life's adventures as her mother's daughter, but on a path all her own. 

I grew up admiring the way my grandmother "Skippy" dressed. In my childhood visits up to CT, I loved to watch her get ready for an evening out, and vividly remember how she would kiss me goodnight, as I drifted off to sleep as the trace of her Tresor perfume lingered in my bedroom. 

Now that I am the one going out at night with friends, as I dress up in my grandmother's favorite things, it feels somehow emblematic of how I have grown up. My mother now watches me get ready, saying goodbye as I whisk out the door, leaving my own trail of Coco Mademoiselle. 

Looking at the elder females in our families, not only should we take note of timeless styles to incorporate into our personal wardrobe, but also look to how these women are dressing their bodies as a forecast for the future of our own physique and the challenges and blessings it will bring. 

Here is a look at my first style icon. 

3 Generations of Laidlaw women 

Oh Kate

A beautiful cover gets me every time. Even when I was in Europe - I could not help but fork over the equivalent of $18 for the British Vogue with Sienna Miller on the cover, or the French Vogue with the enviable spread featuring Giselle in looks that were spot on lust-worthy. 

The HUB unfortunately only carries British Harper's... So I guess I have to get my mom to send me the French, Italian, and British issues of Vogue, or I could wait until I hop across the pond soon myself. 

This month's Vogue UK features KM looking divine. I need to get my hands on it right now... Luckily - my favorite Upper East-sider (SLL) is heading ACKward Saturday. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

Calling Cards

In Factory Girl (one of my favs, in case that wasn't clear), Edie describes her cohort Chuck upon their arrival in NYC saying "he was flamboyant socialite who carried a pocketful of calling cards." 

With the age of crackberries and iPhone apps, exchanged contacts are infrequently scrawled on matchbooks and cocktail napkins, and what a shame this is, as calling cards are not only much more personal, but also much less likely forgotten in the fervently collected but frequently ignored list of phone numbers we hastily digitize. 

In my latest I-need-new-stationery jaunt, I came across this colorful and fabulon website IOMOI, that makes me think calling cards are a new necessity. 
coakley cay pattern pink and orangemuffie the zebra-red palm pattern

chinoise vase pattern greenMustique Pattern Navy

Ling the Elephant

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mission: Explorerers Club NYC

With the glitz and excitement surrounding Vogue's SEPTEMBER ISSUE, its funny that I can't help thinking about the August issue. One article, and one woman in particular remain fresh in my thoughts. The article: Adventures in Wonderland, and the woman, Anne Doubilet. Written by Eve MacSweeney, Anne's lifestyle is described as containing the je ne sais quoi that allows her to capture the essence (and some of the physical benefits) of youth, thus pertaining to the grander scheme of this month's theme of the "Age Issue."

Reading about Doubilet's initial fascination with diving with made me realize the similarities in our first descents and the shared delight we both felt in the discovery of a secret world, with the blissful escape from the terrestrial one. In Doubilet's own words, "it was when I took my first open-water dive in the Bahamas at a barrier reef off Andros Island when I had my first Alice in Wonderland moment. I stepped off the side of the boat into crystallize turquoise and entered an enchanted realm."

While Doubliet's career and stamina are enviable, as is her active membership in The Explorers Club, where she "recently chaired a forum to bring experts together to discus the crisis in the oceans: the world's coral reefs in major decline; the seas overfished; global warming affecting the food chain; a gyre of plastic twice the size of Texas swirling in the Pacific; seals and whales getting cancers from toxic chemicals - among several other grim facts."

Doubilet is a woman who, in discussing her career, says "I never lose my sense of wonder and curiosity." The perfect candidate for the Explorers Club which Vogue's MacSweeney describes as looking like Jordan College in The Golden Compass. The building on East Seventieth Street is a gathering for scientists and explorers alike who share in the eternal quest to discover, explore, and learn.

Explorers Club - I want in.

The Genius Of Kelly Wearstler

On Dabney Lee's "moderne blog," she mentions interior design queen Kelly Wearstler. Similarities are evident in the way they both add a sense of fun to the style of daily living, as well as they way they juxtapose contrasting colors in a way that works brilliantly to create unique and comfortably chic rooms.

Of course, because of my sister Shannon, I had heard of this minx-like guru long before her status as a Bravo Top Design judge. I am currently lusting after her book "Modern Glamour and the Art of Unexpected Style." 

As described by publisher Harper Collins: "In this lavishly illustrated book, Hollywood's hottest new interior designer shows readers how mixing and matching designs from different eras and adding an element of the unexpected can redefine any room-residential or commercial."

Loving Dabney Lee

While carousing for new stationery, I came across Dabney Lee; a fun company by Dabney herself out of her love for "fabulous colors and stylish paper goods." hmmmm. She also has monogrammed wall art, but thats just if you want to realllyyyy go fancy.


While some of her stationery is a little loud for everyday, Dabney Lee has expanded to include "Dabney Lee At Home."

What lucky friend of mine is going to receive a personalized monogrammed Lucite tray???


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to 2008. Gaultier's Sirens

In searching for the reinvention of the breton stripe that is said to be on the Balmain runway for fall, I came across a beautiful collection from J.P. Gaultier's Spring 2008 Couture Collection. I was in South Africa. 
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2008 Couture
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2008 Couture
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2008 Couture
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2008 Couture
Parisian haute couture designers have been diving deep for inspiration this season—literally. Jean Paul Gaultier, like Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, plunged into an aquatic adventure, though in his case, it was "Little Mermaid says, 'Hello Sailor!' " You can always count on JPG for a fun tableau to get things started, so there she was: Coco Rocha, posing on a rock against a watery backdrop with soap bubbles floating up around her.

The mergirl-mariner theme made a neat excuse for another of Gaultier's signature cross-gender mergers. It opened with a couple of memorably chic twists on Parisian classics: a stunning slim navy coat over a striped sweater and sinuous gold-sequin column skirt and a semitranslucent scallop-edged trench that might have been made of fish skin. From there, he trawled the oceans for similes: macramé made to look like fishing nets, plissé inserts suggesting underwater flora, chiffon fronds floating like seaweed, cascading paillettes imitating fish scales or mother-of-pearl, necklaces fashioned into spongiform beads.

It ended with Rocha, making an entrance as the mermaid bride on coral crutches, with a pair of conical shells for a bra. That was a typical ta-da Gaultier punch line, and the couturier was certainly in a cheery mood afterward. "When I started couture, I really thought couture customers were dead or dying," he said. "But now there are all these new clients. We're working all the time, and I love it—it's a permit to create!"

The mermaid influence is obvious, which I LOVE. It also reminds me of some of my favorite paintings by Gustav Klimt: beautiful, mysterious, and slightly eiry. 


Loving on Breton Stripes... and Peter Beaton

The Who What Wear Daily blog about the breton stripe is still circling around my mind. No doubt an obvious classically chic go-to summer style. Here are some excerpts from the article.

The Breton stripe originated in Brittany - a French province that occupies the peninsula between the English channel and the Bay of Biscay -- which may explain the nautical affiliation. The long-sleeved cotton garment usually has a boat neck and, traditionally, the stripes begin around the breast bone.

"Because the world is my oyster." That is the fabulous catch-phrase of Peter Beaton's Nantucket-based line of men's and women's apparel. The line is self-described as "bringing to mind old New England families gathered on the beach with children and dogs, dinner with friends under star filled summer skies, and beautifully appointed homes that serve first and foremost as inviting oasises for family and friends."
Peter Beaton's mantra is similar to other designers that I admire calling itself "emblematic of people who are worldly, yet down to earth, trendsetting yet timeless, and fearless rather than flawless."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Classics

Classic movies, cars, books, sailboats, and female icons... are all part of an undisrupted style that has transcended from an earlier era, which I clearly love. While movies, books, and the characters (both fictional and true) are easily adored, as are cars and boats for the moment... For everything fashion related - a classic style means one thing: guilt-free purchase. 

The Great Gatsby by IceCreamAddict.

The perfectly tailored navy Jaeger blazer of my grandmother's will always have a place in my wardrobe, as will the the 1. 2. 3. 4......... things on my lust list, all of which are purchases justified by the same principle. In today's economy (arghh.....) some styles just are not worth the risk of the becoming and unbecoming of fads (not that I ever feel persuaded - no ankle boots here). 

Part of my eternal intern #1 devotion to C.K. Bradley is due to the acknowledgment of her designs that give a nod to the kind of girl who does not fall victim to trends. This type of girl has her own signature style that seeks a continuous flow that develops as she does, without the regrets (or as many of them) as the trendster might experience whilst reading Harper's Bazaar's monthly Buy, Store, Keep section. 

As for right now in Nantucket, Ralph Lauren is my favorite impulse purchase go-to store. I can always find something in R.L. that I can wear now, in ten years, and (granted I take care of said purchase) - pass on to someone with a similar appreciation. It is no surprise that R.L. finds inspiration in such classics such as My Fair Lady and The Great Gatsby for his designs.
Ralph Lauren Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear
Ralph Lauren Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear
Some of Lauren's main themes such as haberdashery, Anglophilia, and all things equestrian are thoroughly ingrained in what has become classic American style. While such terms are applicable to both women's and men's fashion, R.L. capitalizes on the foundation created by designers before him. Oleg Cassini, one of such innovative designers, understood the importance of a classic silhouette and the appeal of such a design to the women whose bodies he clothed. 

Inaugural ball gown by Oleg Cassini

As Jackie O demonstrated frequently throughout her White House years, Oleg Cassini's understanding of proportion, line, and shape helped established Jackie's position as the icon she is today to millions of women who style themselves in an effort to emulate her grace, charm, and beauty. Not surprisingly, another amazing designer (Givenchy), inspired by a lithe and chipper young actress, helped to catapult her icon status to a magnitude that to increase as girls grow up and find the transformative power of a LBD, big black sunglasses, and pearls to such an extent it has become a kind of cliche. 

audrey hepburn.jpg

And as for those great Ralph Lauren hats as pictured at the top.... the September wedding in London mother!!! I need one for that... and it will be in style forever. Impulse purchase justified. 

The Perfectly Set Table

Perhaps due to the fact that this summer I have been working 7 nights a week, but I have started to plot fun ideas for dinner parties to come... when I actually have the chance to be at home between the hours of 5 and 10 pm. 

While the smells of a din din in the works whets the appetite, so does the welcoming appeal of a well-set table. Table settings allow an opportunity for the host to set the ambiance for the night, and show guests that the efforts towards an enjoyable evening extend beyond a well-chosen menu. In my family, lots of tradition goes in to the setting of the table for one occasion or another. My grandmother "Skippy," through countless examples, how to jazz up a table and attract everyone to it. Place settings, a chic, modern, classic, or unconventional centerpiece, paired with the right china and flat-wear creates the vibe for the night. The right setting is inspired by more than propriety and functionality. Dinner in the barn? Perfect. Silver and crystal for a garden fete? Perche no. 

As demonstrated by a recent ELLE Decor online article on the subject, the best table settings somehow retain a unique and innovative quality as tradition continues and the table grows with those who feel comfortable around it. Of course a little Veuve and a great soundtrack always start things off in the right direction as well... 


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