I’m going for it. I’m going to stop dyeing and grow my grey hair out!
I’m sure you’ll appreciate how momentous this is. This is no snap decision. I admit all of the increased attention being paid to greying women lately—the totally awesome grey-haired women in media and on the street—has influenced and emboldened me. I also admit to itching for a little bit of in-your-face activism. I’m not quite sure when letting your grey grow out became a statement, but it is! And I’ve been emboldened.
On the other hand, I’m not going to bestow sainthood on myself, or other women that choose to go grey. I’m not one of those crunchy-granola, intellectual ladies who tsk-tsk at women who color their hair, insinuating that it verges on tacky. At least not since an older friend read me the riot act on this many moons ago…
I like to shop at All Saints, I also like to shop at Club Monaco and occasionally, J. Crew. The designs, fabrics, and craftsmanship are generally still quite good and affordable, and I haven’t found similar brands with the same kind of aesthetic. But there’s one thing I don’t get and it’s something I believe these and other similar brands could greatly benefit from. As in cha-ching benefit from.
If these brands were to lower the hemlines, raise the necklines, and lengthen the sleeves of their already existing designs, I and others like me could, and I believe would, buy them. Let’s face it, these areas I mentioned are trouble spots for most women over 50. It’s not just size! We generally need and desire more coverage for all sorts of reasons. Isn’t it worth at least trying?
I was tripping down the street in my new neighborhood, when I turned my head to become drawn into a store. And while that happens a lot, it’s not often that I enter a store and the first thing I say out loud is: “Wow!” On one side of the room there were lovely old display cases filled with what was obviously vintage jewelry, a lot of it. On the other side there were handbags, hats, and other accessories. At the back of the room was clothing.
The place I had stumbled upon is Icon Style. Look here. The store’s owner/curator/collector is Lara Kornbluh. Anyone who turns to point out a vintage baby carriage to say, “I pimped my ride” has a sense of humor. Lara was super nice, helpful, unpretentious and fun.
Lara with some of her treasure
I knew that haute couture was art. Ever since my mother first introduced me to designers like Balmain, Cardin, Chanel and Dior; from the time I saw my first Vogue magazine, with its voluptuous, beguiling layouts, the stories like fantasies as good as any romantic novel — I knew it was art. Many people did, but those people weren’t always taken seriously. Couture was seen as mere craft, and haute couture clever craft at best.
But with time, slowly, haute couture started to gain the respect it deserved. “Real” artists themselves began to pay attention, to acknowledge the eye, training, and skill it took to be a couturier. Still, in 2011, when the Alexander McQueen exhibit, Savage Beauty, came to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, there were people who wondered what this “high dressmaking” was doing in a palace of high art. But I, and the thousands of other people who stood in line for hours, didn’t wonder. We knew that Alexander McQueen belonged at the Met, or any other palace for that matter. Perhaps the Victoria and Albert Museum in London?
Savage Beauty is going to be at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015, from March 14 – July 19. This awesome graphic was made accessible to me by a company called Farfetch. To see what else they have to offer look here. Feast your eyes on some more couture, buy yourself a McQueen skull ring! In any case, thanks for this opportunity to spread the word, Farfetch!
I moved! I moved from East Midtown, Manhattan to the Upper West Side. It was not exactly fun (what move is?) but I’m happy to be here! I am sitting in my new “office”, the Aroma Espresso Bar. Nice! I live within shouting distance of The Dakota, so I can shout to Yoko Ono, who just might appreciate it. There are lots and lots of stylish women in this neighborhood, and the shopping is unreal, meaning great. There are three or four yoga studios on my block. Heaven. Diversity? This is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in a city of diversity. Can I tell you about the Fairway grocery? Manna!
I bet you want to hear more about all this, no? I want to tell more, and I will. I have been planning and pondering, practically making resolutions! As I have said elsewhere, this blog is undergoing some major alterations soon. Besides the superficial appearance of things, the importance of which is not to be underestimated, I want to give more of myself right here on this page and in social media in general. Call me crazy, but I love the interconnectedness prevailing in the world today. I like that I can laugh, discuss, marvel and even mourn in some small way with people in places I may never see.
So bring it all on New Year, bring it on.
Nobody asked, nobody complained, nobody even mentioned it. But I feel the need to confess: Yes, I’m all over the place! It’s something about my posts, my tweets, what I put up on my Facebook page, and even what I choose to Instagram — the generous would call it eclectic. Others would just say all over the place.
Yes, I’ll post something really quite serious and then go out and take pictures of “fascinators” for God’s sake. I have always been made up of equal parts luxury-loving hedonist and loudmouthed radical penitent. Or perhaps it’s hedonistic penitent and luxury-loving radical? Is there a problem here? Can’t I be both, must I be one or the other? Can’t I be like the Pope, who goes to wash the feet of the incarcerated dressed in red silk slippers? Right, wrong Pope. Can you tell I’m conflicted, ambivalent?
The other day, I went to what I guess would be called a private jewelry party. The Italian craftswoman, Rosita Gioielli, was there with her treasure trove. To see more of her work, check out her elegant website.
It’s funny how you can like something but never imagine yourself wearing it. That’s how I feel about Rosita’s jewelry style. It’s just not me, but what I like about her pieces is that they are rather large and colorful. There’s nothing precious here. They are what we call “statement” pieces. You will be noticed wearing one of these necklaces! I suppose I’m not ready yet to make that statement.
My fellow partygoers, on the other hand, looked ready and perfect in Rosita’s work. They were not about blending in. These savvy, well-dressed women knew exactly what they liked and what would look good on them. I really appreciate that, that’s the essence of a personal style. Personal style is not so much about appropriate or not, it’s about what looks right on me and what do I feel right wearing.
Rosita also makes fascinators—those hats we think of as quintessentially British (think Kate Middleton). I love them! They look like spun sugar—something that could sit on top of a cake just as well as on a head. I noticed that I, and others, have a tendency to forget the word “fascinator” and instead end up calling them fantasizers. I guess because we fantasize about someday wearing one!
Yes, this is Venus de Milo at the Louvre Museum. I was taking pictures of people taking pictures of…