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Posts Tagged ‘style’

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Iris Apfel. Photo: Roger Davies. Published in Harper Design.

Most people today don’t look very put-together or very pretty. They look like they fell out of bed or jumped out of a rag pile. I think athleisure is just ridiculous. It has its place if you’re at leisure or at a gym, but I think you owe it to your fellow man to look as pleasant as possible. It’s nice to feast your eyes upon something beautiful, not something that’s a mess. Recently I was at Le Cirque, and in walked this beautiful young lady, obviously from out of town. It was a Saturday evening, and she was all gussied up in a long dress. Her escort was nicely dressed too. But they were seated just across from two slobs, which spoiled the whole effect. If you want to lounge around, then don’t go out. 

Iris Apfel – fashion icon (at age 96).

I once met a woman who said to me that she just can’t be anywhere that isn’t pretty. That’s kind of a tall order in this world, but I understand what she means. Nothing feels as good, tastes as good, or lifts the spirit when in an unattractive environment.

Ms. Apfel says it like it is when it comes to how people dress these days. Look over any crowd on the street, in a museum, park, airport and notice that everyone looks like “… they fell out of bed or jumped out of a rag pile.” (LOL) Grown men in little boy shorts and baggy t-shirts, topped with a baseball cap. Women in tight-fitting yoga or workout clothes and flip-flops, often dingy bra straps exposed as if they were an added accessory. It’s not a pretty picture and frankly, it gets depressing.

I’ve come to just blocking it all out. The one upside is that those rare individuals who do make an effort stand out like a colorful wildflower in a patch of dried weeds. What a treat it is when I spot someone who looks nice.

This is not to say that we all should be “dressed-up.” Casual is good. A simple skirt and blouse; a pair of slacks and an Oxford shirt. It’s oversized, baggy, or too tight clothing that’s unattractive and particularly worn at the wrong time/place (anywhere outside of a gym). Even leggings aren’t necessarily a bad thing if made from a ponte knit and paired with a tunic.

But apparently Ms. Apfel and I are in the minority and I don’t think the fashion pendulum is ever going to swing back to everyone making an effort to dress well, or appropriately. Sloppy is the accepted norm and therefore there’s no incentive to reach toward a higher standard.

OK, I’m stepping off my (fashionable) soapbox now.

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Danielle-Steel-QuotesStyle simply IS. You can’t buy it. You can’t pay people to give it to you, and you cannot fake it. You have it or you don’t. Truly stylish, drop dead chic women have style at 15 or 97. It really is ageless … The trend today of being dressed “by someone” makes most women appear to be wearing someone else’s looks, or as if they’ve borrowed their clothes … Women need to be braver about wearing their own style and looks, even if they make some mistakes. The mistakes can be cool too!

Danielle Steel, romance novelist and San Francisco socialite. This quote was taken from an essay Ms. Steel wrote for Harper’s Bazaar (November 2017).

I spotted Ms. Steel one time when I was on assignment covering the reopening of the Chanel store on Maiden Lane in San Francisco. She was sporting a fur coat and seemingly having fun trying on shoes.

As for having style, well, sure some women (and men) just have a sense for what is stylish but I don’t know that one who perhaps doesn’t have a natural affinity can’t figure it out. If someone really wants to pay attention and work on it, they too can have style. Why not? And that’s where “being dressed by someone” can help. A stylist acts as a guide and gets their client on the right track. It’s true you can’t buy style and no one can give it to you. It has to come from within, so to speak. But it is something that can develop. I think it’s the process of developing and growing that makes fashion fun.

Speaking of style of a different sort, Ms. Steel evidently still types her manuscripts on a typewriter. HB published her original typed version complete with cross outs and handwritten edits. Now that’s true (not fake) STYLE.

 

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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.”

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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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