Wednesday, January 30, 2008

RIP, Beret

Anyone that has spent time with me during the last two winters knows of my devotion to my black beret. Because of my abnormally large head and even thicker hair, I've never worn at hat before this floppy, soft knit cap. It framed my face so nicely, and made me look like the little French girl I wish I was.

I am sad to report that on Saturday night, the hat was left in a cab. We didn't notice until the driver had sped off, but I must say, it put a damper on the weekend. The beret wasn't particularly expensive, but I know that Urban Outfitters no longer makes it. What bothered me more than losing the hat, however, was how upset it made me. Why do we become so attached to material things? Sometimes, they take on a life of their own, stirring up our memory banks.

But alas, it's time to move on and search for a new beret. I love the Louis Vuitton version featured in Nylon last month, but it's a little bit out of my league, pricewise. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What Irks Me Beyond Belief: Sundance Photos

Every year, I become more annoyed with the stills from the Sundance Film Festival. These photo albums -- which document casts of indie movies in what is supposed to be an irreverent, playful manner -- are so contrived, grating and downright awful that I scream into an empty room the moment I see one on the pages of my favorite glossy.

Why do "scenes from Sundance" drive me so crazy? Other than the fact that they're totally artificial, they've all been "done" a thousand times over. Can't someone think of a more interesting way to capture the scene there? Clearly not.

Does anyone else share my frustration?

Monday, January 21, 2008

What to Watch During the Writers' Strike

I don't own a TV -- and I don't live in L.A. -- so it could be assumed I've barely been affected by the writers' strike. In reality, it has entirely interrupted my weekly schedule. I'm a hardcore online viewer, and now that Gossip Girl has run through the last of the new episodes, I'm feeling out-of-work Hollywood's pain. This weekend, I decided to catch up on stuff I've been meaning to take a look at -- some for the first time, some for the fortieth. (And yes, I do realize that watching The Muppets Take Manhattan at 25 is an odd move).

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Almost as good as Arrested Development, this absurd comedy about four friends and Danny Devito running a pub in Philadelphia makes me laugh. Out loud.

Maria Full of Grace. A pregnant Colombian girl decides to become a drug mule in order to make $5,000 for her family in this excellent film, which stars Catalina Sandino Moreno as Maria. Moreno is a breakout star -- her portrayal is at once naive and calculating. But she comes off, more than anything, as highly intelligent. Definitely worth Netflixing.

The Muppets Take Manhattan. I can't help it -- I love Kermie! I also love the scene with Miss Piggy and Joan Rivers working as makeup girls in Bloomingdales. Ah-mazing.

The Matrix. I know, I know, I can't believe I'd never seen it before either. I really loved it, and was looking forward to the sequels, until it was revealed to me that the sequels really sucked.

October Road. This series, about a writer who comes back to his small Massachusetts town after disappearing ten years earlier, is poorly written and lacks the sexual tension-filled story lines that nighttime soaps need to survive. Yet there's just something really likable -- an oddly real -- about the characters that makes me continue to watch. Plus, there's about five new episodes left before the well runs dry. I'm rooting for this mid-season replacement!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Who Will Fill Isaacs Shoes?

As many of you may have heard, Isaac Mizrahi is leaving Target and moving to Liz Claiborne to head up their more-than-struggling women's wear line. As exciting as the rebirth of Liz Claiborne may sound, the news worries me. What will happen to Target's apparel sales? The Go International line does OK, but I have a hunch it's Mizrahi that really brings in the bucks. Here is some speculation on who might become the new face of Target fashion.

Possible Picks:
Michael Kors. He has a strong personality and and designs that are classic enough for the masses. Plus, he's already famous, thanks to Project Runway.

Nicole Miller. She's done well with her line for J.C. Penney's.

My Pick:
Kate Spade. The preppy handbag queen just got bought out -- by Liz Claiborne, actually. She's got the style and humor to match Target perfectly. And really, what is she up to other than decorating her summer home in the Hamptons in anticipation of May 2008? We're not sure. Kate, save Target!

(One little problem with KS, though -- I have a feeling she sold her actually NAME to LC, which means they'd have to name the line something different).

Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter Style Secrets

It's the dead-of-winter here in New York. Accept that it's really not. We've had few days of snow, and even fewer days of below-freezing temperatures. And even though I was freezing my butt off on New Year's Eve because of sort-of cold climes, I've yet to buy a ultra-heavy winter coat. (Don't ask my boyfriend about this -- let's just say that the sight of me running down Smith Street in Carroll Gardens wearing both his and my overcoat was not pretty).

There are, however, a few sacrifices you must make for dropping temperatures -- even when they haven't dropped that far. Here are the winter essentials that keep me looking mildly attractive:

Colored Tights. Solid black is a given -- colored tights add an off-kilter element to any outfit without going overboard. I love purple especially.
Flat, black boots. Brown if you tend to wear a lot of denim and more neutral colors.
Convertible fingerless gloves. I got mine at Muji years ago -- they make grabbing for cash and keys--without having to remove your gloves--easy.
A knit beret. I am fully aware that these can look silly. But I have big hair -- and big head. My beret is warm, comfy and doesn't mess up my hair.
Smith's Rosebud Salve. Nothing keeps my lips from flaking better than this stuff.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Top Model

I've noticed that several Web sites that focus on fashion also focus on the lives of models. But as obsessed as I am with fashion, I've never really cared about models, except when they've done something scandalous or smart -- both rarities, I'd say.

But I will admit to a mild obsession with the faces of the J.Crew catalog. Since high school, the natural beauty of those girls has inspired my look, even when their fashions were off the mark. I saw one of the girls at an East Village bar about a year ago and almost went up to her, declaring my admiration. Then I remembered that she's a model, and a model whose name I don't even know, and decided that would probably seem creepy.

In the last J.Crew catalog, I noticed this girl in particular, and determined she was my favorite model of the moment. Then I spied her on the Chanel resort runway. Her name is Lisa Cant. Yay for the J.Crew girl with the chops to do runway!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cultural Stimuli

Tonight, I'm attending a reading at Symphony Space of stories selected by Richard Prince, followed by a private viewing of his exhibit at the Guggenheim. (My terribly cultured friend Emme invited me as a Christmas present -- how lovely!)

I was also invited to, but had to pass up for obvious reasons, a meeting of the Secret Science Club at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Tonight, they're discussing dark matter with Princeton astrophysicist David Spergel.

I love checking out these lectures and other cultural events, but sometimes I feel as though I don't take enough advantage of the fact that I live in a city where it's all so accessible. I think I've finally settled on a New Year's resolution: get out to the museum, theatre and lecture space more than ever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Travel 2008

I've probably mentioned before that I as much as I love traveling, I also find it a bit daunting. However, this year I'm determined to enjoy my travels -- even if that means cutting back significantly on luggage by packing only two pairs of shoes per trip. Here's a tentative list of destinations. I'm looking forward discovering new places and appreciating the familiarity of others:

San Francisco

Others on my "if I win the lottery" list: Moscow, Vancouver, Paris (hope you're having fun, Julia!), Seattle, Portland, Prince Edward Island, Tokyo, Nepal....

Dillusions of Grandeur

As of late, I've been having these intense daydreams about winning the lottery, planning out specifics on how I would spend the money. Top purchase? Brownstone in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Maybe even the one I live in right now. I'll buy it, gut it, and restore the roof so that we can have parties up there without the worry that someone my fall off the sloping edge.

What would you spend your millions on if you won the lottery? And no, you can't say anything about establishing a charitable fund in your name. It has to be something ludicrous, like buying a $4 million dollar brownstone :).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Registering For Your...self.

I made a fancy dinner on Saturday night, and although quite delicious, it lacked a coherent table setting. I like the idea of vintage mix and match dishes but right now, mine look more like they're from the 99 cent store than Two Jakes. That's why I'm considering registering for Crate and Barrel's Classic Century dinner service. I've loved it for years, and I figure family and friends can buy me a piece here and there for birthdays and holidays. Or, my Grams can buy it in one swoop. Wink.

If you're weirded out by "registering" on a Web site like expectant mothers and engaged people do, there are now web applications like The Things I Want. With these, your family and friends can check out what's on your wish list, and then buy it.

I can't bring myself to sign up for one of these personal wish lists. For some reason, it makes me feel, well, for lack of a better word, icky. Would you create a personal wish list and send it to your friends?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Textiles 2008

Will we finally say so long to buffalo check? I'm still a fan but I have a hunch the popular print is on its last legs. Here's what I'm suspecting will become -- or remain -- popular for 2008.

Chevron. Jane Mayle made a very lovely scarf from chevron and Grace from Design Sponge has been searching for the perfect chevron carpet for ages now. I'd certainly be inclined to sport a chevron sweater with a sexy pencil skirt.

Plaid. Classic plaids are still going strong. I've already bought enough plaid shirts to last more than a few years, so now I'm turning to the ultimate check statement: a plaid kilt! I think one will look gorgeous with menswear-inspired oxfords and a loose, grungy t-shirt.

Silk. I've notices silk dress in the stores for Spring, and I like it. The velvety, muddled, fabric lets you wear jewel tones without the impact.

Textiles to stay away from?

Solid satin. Sure it's pretty for the holidays, but satin is a pain to care for. I have a mod mini dress made from brown satin that would get quite a bit more play in my wardrobe rotation if it wasn't so wrinkly.

Linen. Linen blends work, but unless you want to look like a wrinkled mess during hot and sweaty summer days, stay away from the 100% stuff. And please, boys, stay away from linen altogether. Unless you also favor Hawaiian shirts. This means you are beyond help.