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Ayesha Curry

Ayesha has the best energy and is truly one of the kindest women on the planet … If she’s in LA, we might shift gears and do a short Isabel Marant dress or a Stella McCartney jumpsuit with a sexy heel or a cute bootie and layer a bunch of jewelry. In the Bay, depending on weather, she might throw on some high-waisted jeans, a bodysuit and a faux-fur jacket with a cross-body bag. Her look is chic, transitional, and real – just like her life.

Mary Gonsalves Kinney – San Francisco based stylist.

Ms. Kinney is speaking to the Nob Hill Gazette about her Bay Area celebrity client, Ayesha Curry (cookbook author and wife of Warriors basketball star, Stephen Curry).

I tip my hat to Ayesha for choosing faux-fur.

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kevin-hart-horizontal-finalYou can tell a lot about people by their appearance. Good style in a woman is about her being herself. It’s about being able to bring your flair and attitude to your clothing. It’s not just about what you think is cool, it’s what you make cool. That’s the difference. The women who understand that always dress in such a unique way. It doesn’t look forced. You believe it.

– Kevin Hart, American comedian.

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img_20161105_142904On our way to a music concert at St. James Church in Piccadilly, my eye caught the most lovely of old buildings and whaddaya know it was a clothing store – Cordings. I took a quick peek in the window and liked what I saw …  tweeds galore.

After the concert we went back and I perused happily taking in all the wonderful and very British jackets, trousers, shirts, and sweaters. It’s a country look for sure, but with a large chic factor thanks to quality fabric and construction.

What is a British country look you might ask? It’s all about appropriate clothing for country outdoor activity such as walking, horseback riding, bicycling, and I have to mention shooting but I don’t approve of that so … enough said. Construction for ease of movement is key as is heavy fabrics for warmth. The look is tweeds in trousers, jackets and waistcoats (vests). Other fabrics include corduroy and velvet. Knits too! Macintosh raincoats and of course boots, including Wellingtons. What attracts me is the simplicity and timelessness of the style.

Cordings has been around since 1839 providing country clothing for gentlemen and in recent years for the ladies. One of the store’s best customers and biggest supporters musician Eric Clapton says Cordings, “… is a place of tradition … the heritage of England.”

green-tba-velevt-cuff-ladies-jacket

Velvet Cuff Jacket. Image courtesy of Cordings.

Being the anglophile that I am, no wonder I love the place. I also like the idea of mixing a bit of country with city. Such as sporting a tweed jacket over a sharp t-shirt or a cape belted and paired with a mini-skirt (a current trend in London) and thigh high boots.

Thank you Cordings, for making the country chic and for inspiring my inner country.

 

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IMG_20151122_111813227While visiting Portland, Oregon last month I of course popped in to my favorite boutique, FlairWalk. Located in the Pearl District, FlairWalk offers an array of quality fashions for women and the proprietor just happens to be my good friend (since high school), Sara Weinstein. I remember back in the day spending hours chatting with Sara about the fashions of the times. (A particular lengthy discussion was had about baggy pants – very avant-garde. Do we or don’t we? We did!)

Speaking of friends, I found a new one at FlairWalk in the form of an infinity scarf by Mycra Pac. My new friend is in the color of the season, merlot. She is oh so SOFT, like the fur on the tail of a Maine Coon cat. But she’s longer than a tail; I can wrap her around my neck three times. The look is super chic, feeling very Art Deco, and dramatic, prompting more than a few double takes.

Let’s hear it for friends, both old and new!

Hey, need a holiday gift? A dress for the season? Shop online with FlairWalk (they offer free shipping) or if you’re in town stop by – 402 NW 12th Ave., Portland, OR. Tell Sara I sent you.

 

 

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FASHION: ONE NIGHT ONLY ROMAStyle is not identified completely with fashion, but means capturing the spirit of the times and making it one’s own.

– Fashion designer Giorgio Armani.

I agree with this and it’s been said over and over in different ways. The tricky part is that creating one’s own style is not easily done. The truth is, most people don’t have any idea how to create a unique look that is also well suited to them. Just like designing, styling oneself takes effort and a bit of talent.

 

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Left to right: Valerie, Helen, me, Jean. Photo: Richard Aiello.

One thing often leads to another as was the case with the Night & Day hat exhibit I attended in March. At the exhibit opening I was introduced to Jean and Valerie, two ladies from Advanced Style.

Advance Style is a blog by photographer Ari Seth Cohen featuring chic NYC women of a certain age. The blog turned into a book and now a documentary is in the editing process. Cohen’s ladies have become celebrities of a sort and some are even getting modeling gigs.

I have great admiration for these women. Each has created for herself a unique look combining vintage with ethnic with what ever strikes her fancy. They’ve embraced age and are fearless when it comes to color, pattern, statement jewelry and outlandish hats. What makes it work is they do it all with good taste and flair.

So, I was thrilled to meet Jean and Valerie and their friend, Helen, who owns her own costume shop (watch for a post on that later). The trio couldn’t have been nicer as they posed for photos and took the time to speak with me. Turns out that Jean and Valerie have their own blog, indiosyncraticfashionistas and are the subject of a recent book by cartoonist Joana Avillez.

Hats of course were the accessory of the evening and Jean sported one of her animal ear hats. She has a fondness for the silhouette and owns many a chapeau highlighting two propped points.

Valerie sported a fabulous vintage red feathered number. She’s a hat gal from way back starting as a child wearing hats for warmth against East Coast winters. As she got bored with one style she’d adopt another. The years passed and … Valerie is now a collector.

Thank you, ladies for being so gracious. I look forward to seeing you again in the documentary.

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AUNTIEmaureenPONDERINGnicolaTREE2013

Images © Nicola Tree. All rights reserved, please do not reproduce without permission, thank you. http://www.nicolatree.com.

Auntie Maureen and I were introduced last year on Facebook through a mutual friend (thanks, Kimberly). While visiting London in the fall, I took the Tube to Walthamstow and met the charming Auntie M in person at her shop (Brown Paper Bag) within a shop (Penny Fielding Gallery & Interiors).

Auntie M hails from all over having been born in The Netherlands, lived in the UK and also in Austin, Texas as a teenager. She studied art history at University of Utrecht in The Netherlands and Communications and Audio-Visual Production Studies. At the Royal College of Music in London her studies included Music and Musicianship and Creative Leadership.

Currently Auntie M splits her time as DJ and running her own business selling vintage men’s clothing. Sporting vintage full-time, she always looks splendid.

Auntie M and Over Dressed for Life recently had an e-mail chat about vintage clothing.

How long have you been wearing vintage?

I have been wearing vintage since my sisters and I discovered a trunk full of 30s, 40s and 50s clothes plus uniforms our mum had saved up as a dressing-up box.

Why do you choose to dress vintage full-time?
There is something magical about having the power to transform your daily experience of life, of people, of events.  By shifting perspective to times gone by, an otherwise humdrum day-to-day can be transformed into something not quite here, not quite of this world, of this time.  By believing in the clothing and the style of, say, 1937, the character that emerges from this vintage transformation is no less who I am, I have merely chosen to piece my identity together from memories and sentiments from the past.  In the Western world we all have the privilege of designing our person as life does not merely happen to us, we can stage it as befits.  And that is why I opt out of what is fashionable or on trend now and instead create my own historical bubble and experience.  
Do you stick with one era or switch around? Do you mix eras?
My style sits around the start of the 1930’s to early 1940’s.  While that is to me the most exciting decade for women’s fashion design both in make-up, hair as well as clothing, other decades and styles are equally impressive.  Just not for me.
What inspires you about vintage style?
Wearing a genuine vintage piece of clothing is as if I put on a cloak of memories and emotions.  The charge of the garment’s history excites me.  No one else owns this garment anymore, it is unique and highly personal.  And that in addition to the craftsmanship, the tailoring, the quality use of materials, the drape of cloth, the architecture of wearable designs topped with stoles, bags, hats, gloves, heeled shoes is all about the feminine form.  It inspires me every day.
Mixing modern with vintage – yes or no and why?
If you mean modern reproduction vintage clothing I would personally recommend as vintage pieces do disintegrate, rip, fade over time and become unwearable.  If dancing is your cup of tea, a nice repro dress will save a genuine collectible frock from suffering the sweat and strain.  I am also in favour of mixing and matching vintage with new fashion.  It is all about finding a style you can afford, suits your body shape, your colouring as well as your lifestyle and makes you feel like a million dollars!
What are you favorite spots for vintage shopping?
Charity shops can sometimes throw up a gem or two.  For unusual, weird and wonderful pieces I enjoy the Thursday Antique Market in Spitalfields.  And for instant vintage frock power I prefer The Vintage Emporium as well as Hunky Dory around Brick Lane in East London.
www.spitalfields.co.uk
www.vintageemporiumcafe.com
www.hunkydoryvintage.com
What do you enjoy about selling men’s clothing?
Dressing men!
Who is you customer?
My customers are young on-trend hipsters who enjoy mixing up styles.  But also chaps who take their vintage styles very serious, and musicians, actors, even a magician. Plus classic gents who favour the heritage of garments over cheaply made fashion rags.  And often enough women who want to make a statement with a men’s suit, a boyfriend blazer or big belted shirt.
Any vintage style tips you’d like to share?
Wear a hat!
Agree on that, Auntie M. Hats are really a must for any and all outfits. Thanks for chatting with Over Dressed for Life.
Readers, contact Auntie Maureen at ask@auntiemaureen.info

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