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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

IMG_20180606_185921 (1)Now this guy knows how to beat the heat with style. He was parked here on the corner of Canal and Royal streets on a partly sunny and humid Friday afternoon.

White crop slacks in linen (or maybe cotton). Ah, yeah! Is all I have to say. I have never seen a man in cropped pants but I like it and clearly it’s a smart choice in hot weather. HOWEVER, you better know what you’re doing and he does. He’s paired the slacks with a loose fitting lavender short-sleeve shirt, untucked. Lavender is so nice with white – very summer. White shoes are A-OK after Memorial Day. To top it all off he’s wearing a hat, which by the way is not so unusual in NOLA. The Pork Pie is his hat of choice. Pork Pie was a go-to style for Jazz saxophonist Lester Young. I wonder if my dapper friend is a musician.

Sure this look is unusual but he pulls it off and hey, we’re in New Orleans where everyone marches to the beat of their own drum.

More NOLA Street Style coming up next week.

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On a recent visit to New Orleans, I found some unexpected street style.

I spotted this lovely woman one evening in the French Quarter, where the air was thick with heat and live jazz – New Orleans style. She really stood out among the crowd of people milling about dressed in shorts, jeans, and sneakers.

First of all she’s wearing a dress! A dress is always an upgrade and it fits her well, successfully balancing sexy with polite. The bold print and shades of green and blue are ideal choices for the sunny weather. The long scarf in two tones of pink adds even more color but she correctly stops there choosing a pair of sophisticated heels in black to top off her look. I think her hair looks fabulous, too.

So nicely done.

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Me at 5 years old with my red patent leather handbag. Don’t I look pleased with myself. 

Playing dress-up begins at age 5 and never truly ends.

Kate Spade (1962-2018), American fashion designer.

Kate Spade was known for her handbag line which she launched with her husband, Andy Spade, in 1993. The business was a huge success with affordable Kate Spade bags becoming a staple in every stylish woman’s closet. What is lesser known is that the Spades sold a portion of their company shares to Neiman Marcus in 1999 and the rest in 2006. Today the company is owned by Coach.

In 2016 the couple got back into the biz with a new line called Frances Valentine.

 

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I chose this quote because I think many woman can relate and it reminded me of myself at 5 years old when I was all about handbags. I had a small collection which included a couple of patent leather, a wicker, and one orange cloth with a faux tortoiseshell handle. (That one had belonged to my mother but I loved it so much she let me have it.) Indeed I liked to play dress-up with my handbags (and hats), creating outfits to go with them. It made me feel grown up.

Thanks Kate Spade for the reminder and for giving us the opportunity to continue playing.

Sadly, last week the designer hung herself with a scarf in her NYC home.

RIP Kate Spade.

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On the 20th anniversary of Sex and the City we are looking back at one of my favorite style moments in Unoriginal Sin (season five, episode two, 2002). Recap: Miranda has asked Carrie to be Brady’s godmother but Carrie is feeling unfit for the job. It doesn’t help that Charlotte tells her she’s becoming cynical. This is also when Carrie finds out that a publisher is interested in a book deal. (Yes, I know my S&TC pretty darn well!)

In one outside autumn scene with Charlotte, Carrie is sporting a sweater that I adore. It’s a beige shade with a turquoise C  in the middle. Simple but oh-so charming and I really like the odd color combination.  I’m also a big fan of initials. She’s paired that with a plaid cap, which suits her face. The heart brooch is a nice touch and we see it repeated throughout the season.

I found out recently that this sweater was part of an Isaac Mizrahi collection back in the day. Sara Jessica Parker called up Mizrahi and asked to use this sweater in the show. Later in 2016 it was part of his retrospective exhibit at The Jewish Museum in NYC. 

Readers, are you/were you a fashion fan of S&TC? What were some of your favorite looks from the show?

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Let the generations know that women in uniform also guaranteed their freedom. 

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker (1832-1919), American doctor and surgeon in the Civil War. She was the first (and only) woman to receive the Medal of Honor.

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Women’s military uniforms designed by Mainboucher, 1940s.

Thank you to the women and men who have served for our country.

Happy Memorial Day.

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Sketch of Duchess of Sussex wedding dress by Clare Waight Keller. Image by Clare Waight Keller.

We now have seen Meghan Markel’s (Duchess of Sussex) wedding dress and we know who designed it – British designer Clare Waight Keller, artistic director of the French house Givenchy.

I must confess that I did not get up at the crack of dawn to watch it all. Heck, I  like my sleep and I knew I’d catch up in the following days. I watched the BBC coverage of what Ms. Keller had to say about the dress. She went into some detail about the veil and how she suggested including flora and fauna of the Commonwealth. She recounted for the BBC reporter what she had said to the bride: “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we took the 53 countries of the Commonwealth and embroidered a flower and some floral and fauna from each one of those and they would go up the aisle, the journey up the aisle with you …”

In wanting to create “a little bit of a wild garden” included in the veil were orchids, forget-me-knots, thistle, and so on.

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Queen Elizabeth II Coronation gown. Designed by Norman Hartnell.

Hmm … this was ringing a bell. British designer Norman Hartnell did something similar for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation gown in 1953. I wrote about it for the Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The coronation gown included hand embroidered flowers of each of the Commonwealth – Tudor Rose, Thistle, Shamrock, etc. –  on the bodice and skirt of the dress. Great minds think alike in Great Britain!

Back to Meghan’s dress. For my two cents, I think it was stunning in its simplicity. I love the unusual boat neck and the 3/4 length sleeves were perfection. It was made from a double silk cady fabric, which is very stable and that allowed for the shape of the dress. My only quibble was the choice of white. Perhaps a little color would not have gone amiss. A pale blue or green for spring. There may be royal rules about such things, I don’t know.

The platinum and diamond tiara (on loan from the Queen) originally belonged to Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother. Keeping it minimal, the bride wore diamond earrings and a bracelet by Cartier. Again, some color here would have been a nice touch – rubies or emeralds. The look needed a pop.

It really was all about the veil and the best perspective on that was from above. It took many skilled workers and many hours to create. I read that each embroiderer stopped to wash their hands every 30 minutes to keep the white fabric white.

But what an honor to be part of such a significant event.

Congratulations to one and all! Now get some sleep.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Today is the day that an American divorcee marries Prince Harry and becomes a member of the British royal family. As for her title, we don’t know yet. That is up to the queen.

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Wallis and Edward on their wedding day. Her dress by Mainboucher.

The last American divorcee to marry into the British Royal Family was Wallis Simpson. She married Edward VIII in 1937 after he abdicated the thrown for her. Under such circumstances, their wedding was hardly a royal affair. Instead it was low key including her dress, which was designed by Chicago-born couturier Mainboucher. It was a simple silhouette in silk crepe dyed “Wallis Blue” to match her eyes.

The couple were given the titles Duke and Duchess of Windsor and lived primarily in France. OK, so she didn’t make it to queen as she might have hoped, but for an American commoner duchess of anything is quite something.

She will never be queen either, but generally speaking Meghan Markle is in a much better position. She’s in good favor with the family (perhaps better mannered than Ms. Simpson was). It helps that Harry is way down in line to the throne. I’m pretty sure if William came home with an American divorcee, ah … the queen would not have been too happy. (Don’t forget that she prevented her sister, Princess Margaret, from marrying the divorced Peter Townsend.)

It seems Ms. Markle is a lovely woman – warm and friendly – like many Americans. A reporter recently pointed out that her experience as an actress will be helpful in dealing with all the media attention. I think she will be a positive representative of the United States and given our current oh-so-embarrassing president, we need all the help we can get.

Congratulations to Harry and Meghan. Happy Wedding Day!

 

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