Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WINTER REPORT: Style Below the Waist @ NY Now

It was the lovely Aleeza from Affirmats who inspired this year's boot round-up.
During the summer NY gift show, it's the pedicures and pretty sandals that catch my eye. In winter, I XOXO the skirts, worn jeans, patterned tights and "work boots." I know it's the "stuff" that I'm supposed to hone in on, but stellar personal style is on my list of journalistic priorities too. I am always interested in how sellers of stylish goods get themselves dressed to impress. Here are a few of my favorites.
Clare Frost did not wear these hand-embroidered mules to get to the show, but as she worked the Tulu booth on a bed of soft shag, she had the luxury of swapping shoes. Clare designs these shoes which are based off of Herati makes.

I discovered Sandy in the Lila Handcrafts booth, modeling a "Kameez" (kind of a long chemise), featuring Ralli Applique, crafted in Southern Pakistan.
Katie from Mushmina in great patterned tights by Alternative Apparel that she sells at the store.

I spied Kelly Edmonson's shoes as she walked by me in an aisle and then was happy to relocate her in the Lifeguard Press booth. Kelly got these furry leopard shoes at Anthropologie right after Christmas. She is also wearing a "vintage mermaid skirt."


In the Rhadi & Koko booth, Jane (a different one) wore an amazing emerald silk tunic with Stuart Weitzman boots.

Guys, I did not forget about you, but I'm usually looking at your faces more than your feet.


when I mentioned my "Below the Waist" style blog, a friend told me I had to meet Matt Austin from Chalk Ware. Matt's metallic red hi-tops are made by Creative Recreation. He bought them at Barneys. Matt's shoes were indeed cool, but his chalk sets rank among the best of show.


Ryan from The Wooden Palate is a Frye loyalist. When the California woodworker does home restoration, he'll almost always take photos of the work and use his boots as props.


Dawn and Paul were kicking back in the Central Station/Notre Monde booth. She in "vintage-ish" Frye boots that "take 2 to get off" and he in a pair of El Gringos that he's had for years. It was so great to catch up with Dawn. Her only regret twas that I did not get to see her in her kickass turquoise and brown boots. Maybe later sometime?


And then there's me.

Black Sunday: These black vintage cowboy boots were a Christmas gift. As some of you know I wear a size 12, yet my friend Karen, an antique dealer with an awesome eye, picked these for me and they fit well. I was in a black-on-black mood and paired them with my cheetah jeans. I am sitting on a fab stool @ Made Goods.

Here I am, in soft pink snow boots, standing with Kate and Alice from KalaStyle.
Let it be known that this year the incessant precipitation in NY was a thorn in our stride. My personal footwear plan was derailed, however, the upside is that it gave me time to get my boots restored by a good shoemaker. Cobblers in Florida are far and few between and when you find them, they are a bit of a rip off.

Monday, December 23, 2013

XOXO: 14 Xmas Photo Shoot Memories


When I was a magazine editor, Christmas-time was extremely busy. We would always try and shoot in season for the next December issue. This made sense because homes would either already by decorated or homeowners would welcome having their homes decorated by Country Living editors, or holiday decorating it was a collaboration between homeowner and editor.

Either way....whether I had to work my butt off creating Christmas from scratch or just marvel at the seasonal creativity of each individual homeowner and figure out how best to capture that....I did a lot of Christmas and XOXO-ed it.  Here are some of my favorite Christmas shoots.

1. Free Models - my kids have modeled for me over the years and they love looking back and seeing how cute they were.

2. The faded wallpaper in artist Kitty Babendrier's upstate NY house was the best mood maker for this dining room and I loved the overall time-worn vibe. When I was buying flowers for this shoot, I dropped my phone in a bucket of hydrangea. I was not happy.

3. Painter Helen Howard's home was cool Connecticut and I am hooked anytime traditional American furnishings look fresh and not uptight. And check out the fab wood valance.

4. Artist Ashley Carter set up a divine dessert part complete with her sparkle fantasy minstrels and of course, pink snowballs! Love the combo of soft chartreuse with multiple blush tones.

5. I love the way rayon ribbon drapes, and Midori's printed ribbon says it all.

6. This was one of the best holiday shoots ever because Mary Jane McCarty had the best stuff to work with in every room of her house. Out on her porch, I decided that a pop of yellow would do good and so painted and glittered twig stars for this tree.

7. Darlene Duggan and I collaborated on many shoots. She could make anything and had a trove of amazing vintage. And with the help of Jennifer from Sis Boom sending in goodies from afar and a magical disco ball, we made magic.

8. Simple and silver...this was one of my first studio holiday shoots. And I still like it and the chest looks amazing.

9. How do you bring holiday into the bedroom and make it look romantic. Answer: like this. (from Mary Jane McCarty's house)

10. I am a sucker for miniature deer and love the way my friend Cheryl Rogers propped this sweet one atop a pile of pristine white buttons.

11. Paper doves on a spindly feather tree in an old bucket - can't get much simpler or prettier than that!

 12. Also from the Mary Jane McCarty shoot.  I borrowed the vintage glass ornament wreath from Blue Raccoon and was so overly concerned with not breaking it, that of course, it slipped from my grasp at one point. Country Living bought the slightly damaged wreath after the shoot and it hung in the lobby for many Christmases thereafter.

13. This shoot took me to my hometown of Philadelphia to the home of fabricator and bag maker Liz McIlvaine. Her red walls and funky flooring set the scene for a funky and ultra colorful shoot.

 14. One year I was totally loving red and white.  The following year Spiegel was also loving it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I XOXO WATSON KENNEDY: SMALL BIZ SATURDAY SEATTLE-STYLE



To celebrate Small Business Saturday, I will spend the day working and shopping at Watson Kennedy, one of my favorite shops in Seattle.  Run by tastemaker extraordinaire and soon-to-be-published author Ted Kennedy Watson, Watson Kennedy recently celebrated 15 years in business. There are two shops in downtown Seattle. I will be stationed at the market location and we will be serving mimosas.


The outpost by the Pike Place Market is densely packed with all things pretty, colorful and scented, novels, travel guides, design books, and all sorts of diaries and journals waiting for words and pictures, as well as sparkl  jewelry, assorted glass and ceramic objets, Le Jacquard Francais dish towels, and a curated lot of vintage delights.

In honor of Small Business Saturday, my fabulous retailing friend Ted, the "Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood, here are a few of my {Watson Kennedy} favorite vintage things.

CALLING CARDS



Ted found these at Brimfield and the moment he did his heart stopped. 
Ted says: They just harken back to a slower, more gentile time.
Jane says: My heart stopped too. The fonts are exquisite and the names, wonderful. I want to know why Miss Mckenzie  only invited people for tea on Wednesdays.

SEED VIALS


Ted says: I just thought they were so cool looking--the vial, the seeds, the label.  I love certain objects just because of the feeling they evoke in me when I first spot them.  
Jane says: They reminded me of small vials of glitter that I saw in my friend's kitchen years ago. And the little red labels are the cutest things ever.

DOMINOES


There are always dominoes at the shop, old and also new.
Ted confesses to a lifelong attraction and says: I think they are just the most exquistite objects.  Just think of all the stories they could tell.
Jane says: I usually like embellishing old dominoes with paper but these I wouldn't touch. They are perfect, as is.

HOTEL SILVER


Ted says (of toast racks in particular): These bring back such great memories for me. The family I lived with when I went to school in London had one and it was put to good use each morning. Seeing one of these filled-up with toast just warms my heart.
Jane says: I would rather be in a a posh London hotel right now using this stuff.

This Saturday and beyond...
Support neighborhood businesses and independent entrepreneurs.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

XOXO: Wrap Fabulous

I received two gifts recently that were wrapped so beautifully that I wanted to share.

Homemade wrap from years worth of pictures.
I XOXO the gift wrap made by my friend Robin. She incorporated tons of photos of our families at different points in our lives. Robin used Pagemaker, importing all the shots on an 8.5 x 11" template, turning images any way she wanted and moving them around till she was happy with the layout. She printed out a few pages and taped together as needed. The wrap is now up on my bulletin board, and it makes me smile.

Map wrapped gift holds the cutest mini RV ever!
Last week I received a gift covered in map wrap. Creatively folded and tied up with a jute ribbon, this prezzie came from VP+C, one of my favorite marketing/p.r. firms. The map motif was directly related to the present which was a miniature RV. Totally wanderlusty! 

Heading to a bday party in a few days. Ribbon is recycled (see above) and "50" is passed from one person to the next.
So while you are stashing your hand made and store bought gifts, and thinking of others, remember the wrap counts. Make that part of the gift and make it personal.





Monday, November 4, 2013

SHEEPSKIN STYLE


As I scoot around the internet, I am amazed at how many sheepskins I see flung casually over the seats of chairs. For someone who likes feeling cozy and dislikes being branded on the backs of my thighs with any wood or wire chair seat pattern, the tossed furry thing makes a lot of sense. One part "Sex in the City" and one part "Mad Max", I like the sheep skin thing (I might even WANT one for my desk chair), even if I do think the indispensable photo stylist's tool of 2013 is a bit overused.

As you scroll down, it'll be more fun if you do it to Beyonce's "Single Ladies"
"If you like it then you should have put a skin on it....."

Photo: Style by Emily Henderson
Photo: Sacramento Street
Photo: Blood and Champagne
Photo: Independent Fashion Bloggers
Photo: The Post Social
Photo: Emmas Blogg
Photo: Hickory Chair pinterest
MGBW's Otto Tibetan fur cocktail bench comes this way!

If you're wondering where to get yer skin on, here you go....

Ikea $29.99
Ooh la la PINK via Fur Throws
Oh my - something for everyone: Ultimate Sheepskin
Even Walmart has them.