Monday, November 9, 2009

Scouting Mission

One of my best friends is turning 40 soon. We're planning a celebration for her in a couple of weeks and Sunday we went out on a scouting mission to check out some bars with rooftop decks. Problem was, it was raining. So much for rooftops, but an excellent opportunity to take the new patent boots out for an airing. We wound up in the cozy comfort of the bar upstairs at the Stephen F. Austin hotel, one of my favorite bars in Austin and wonderfully quiet for a change on a rainy Sunday night.

cable knit sweater: Gap
rose-print pencil skirt: D&G
patent & elastic boots: Vaneli
croc-print belt: Cole Haan
leather cuff: Adrienne Vittadini

I've been wanting some knee-high patent boots for ages & ages. I would have preferred them patent all around, but I found these at Nordstrom Rack (I went back near closing time and the place was almost empty and I STILL had to wait in line to check out) and the price was right -- I'm just not into spending a commitment sum on shoes right now. Plus, I really, really loved the little wedge heel. It's a shame I'm not going to Paris until May, these would be perfect for traveling.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dinner With Lidia

Often it starts with the shoes...

(Note Shine's intense interest in that ankle strap. That is why my shoes get put away as soon as I take them off.)

This adorable little sequined numbers are Emporio Armani and I haven't worn them for quite a while, so when I was deciding what to wear for a wine dinner with celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich Saturday, I started there.

cashmere sweater: Neiman Marcus store brand
black wool/silk skirt: Rochas
black patent belt: O Oscar de la Renta
copper & faux gems Alexis collier: Fallon
blue sequined ankle-strap d'Orsay pumps: Emporio Armani

Love me some big jewelry. I saw this at Barney's and watched & watched & it went on sale but not enough and eventually it wound up at the Barney's outlet in San Marcos at which point I snapped it up. It still wasn't cheap, but I think it was a good investment -- I love wearing it and it certainly makes an outfit. It's best with collar-less things, though, because the copper can rub against fabric and turn it green.

I found this skirt on Yoox and bought it in a hurry. It was from (I'm pretty sure) the last collection Olivier Theyskens did for Rochas. It's really stunning -- a silk/wool fabric and the finishing is exquisite. I had to have it taken in because the only one they had left and I still wanted it.

I went with the fuchsia nets because I was worried that otherwise the outfit was a little blah, but now I'm not so sure it was the right choice. What do you think?

Oh, and to answer the question, No, the wine dinner wasn't fabulous. Don't even get me started on that...

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Coffee Table

It was a gorgeous day Saturday, and Mom & I spent it shopping for furniture for her new place. She struck out, but I scored a fabulous new coffee table. By the way, if you click on these photos, they will get bigger.)

cashmere top: Jil Sander
jeans: Citizens of Humanity
high-heeled brogues: Donald J. Pliner
necklace: vintage
black leather cuff: Adrienne Vittadini
red glass ring: Aventurine, Paris

I love this top. The back panel of the top is hot pink, and there are hot pink threads in the weave of the cashmere. It's not quite as flourescent as these pictures would have you believe, but the hot pink in the weave makes the color very bright and glowing.

My $5 Antique Mall necklace that I wear all the time and garnered me a compliment in the Etro outlet Saturday. I love this silly thing.

Doing a little spin here so the top would kick out & you can see the pink underneath.

Merino wool cardigan from Banana Republic. I almost took this back after I bought it because I already have too many black cardis, but I couldn't bring myself to. Glad I didn't. And, notice, still wearing the hell out of those Pliners -- once again they were perfect, and they are comfortable enough to wear while stomping around all day shopping.

Probably a lot of people think this top is pretty strange, but it makes me deeply happy. I love pretty much everything Simons does, and was really excited to find this at (an incredible bargain) at the Neiman's outlet.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17

More playing with the vintage bustier. I've been interested in wearing it with jeans, but none of my jeans have a high enough waist to make this work -- I really don't like the idea of a gap between the bottom of the bustier and the top of the pants.

So I tried them with a pair of high-waisted slacks to see what would happen.

slacks: Catherine Malandrino
embellished t-shirt: D&G
belt: Target
black patent double-strap pumps: Miu Miu

These shoes are the original Miu Miu double-strap mary janes from S/S 2007 that launched a thousand imitations. I have them in black and in robin's egg blue and they are still some of my favorite shoes, almost two years later. A brilliant investment.

Since I'm still on my mixing-patterns kick, I pulled out the Jovovich -Hawk blazer.

And pronounced it good. Although maybe a little predictable.

So then I tossed on the bustier...

(Had to remove the belt, of course.) And I really kind of liked it. I like the stripes peeking through the lace of the bustier, and wearing it over something light-colored really sows off the detail of this thing. And once again, I just love the way it looks from the back

Although those trousers are not doing a thing for my backside, are they? Yoiks!

There's a whole lot going on here:

Too much? Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13

I've been wanting to play around a little bit with the vintage longline bra I modified a few months back. (Click the link for the backstory.) Now that it's finally cooling off a bit the idea of wearing this piece doesn't make me break into a sweat, so I wanted to experiment a bit.

First I got out my little black knit Graham & Spencer dress.

This is a terrific, simple, no-fail LBD made of soft cotton jersey knit but still fully lined. It's got a waist and some seaming in the bodice (which I have cleverly disguised with bad photography) and is easy as pie to wear. Truth be told, though, I'm not much of an LBD gal. I have some, but I always resist wearing a black dress. Pretty much any event you attend, 78% of the women are going to be wearing LBDs, right? No fun there.

But it's slightly more fun with the bustier over it: (Click on the photos to enlarge them, by the way.)

(My hair was also having big fun today. Good googly-moogly, can you tell it's been raining for five days straight?)

This is the dress worn with my beautiful red satin Valentino bow pumps. Here, here's a better picture:

The barely suppressed loony grin on my face is what happens every time I put these shoes on -- they're just too good. Although I wasn't really loving them with this outfit -- maybe a little too prim.

What I was loving was the way the dress looks from the back with the bustier over it.

I thought maybe it would be fun & funky with some boots, like my floral-embroidered Feldmans.

Because as we know, I can't resist adding some color.

But I didn't love it. Now that I'm looking at the picture I think what it needs is some colored tights and a jacket. I'll have to try that again.

I liked it most with the Alaias:

Dayum. There is nothing those shoes don't make better. (Including my legs, which are not as good as they look here, I promise!)

Which is your favorite look?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Curried Mussels

Dinner with a friend at the Clay Pit, one of my very favorite restaurants. The food there is so amazing -- Indian is my favorite, I could live on it. If you ever go make sure you have a cocktail made of my buddy Dred the bartender's mango and ginger-infused vodka. Nummy. Have it after the meal -- you'll need the digestif.

wool striped jacket (part of a suit): Jovovich-Hawk
ivory cashmere cable v-neck: Saks store brand
bandage skirt: BCBG
tights: found 'em at Marshall's for 7 bucks, some Italian name I can't remember
shoes: Donald J. Pliner
pearls: vintage
lucite paisley ring: Kenneth Jay Lane

I started off like this

because I got the tights last week and was dying to wear them. The bandage skirt, I think, works best with something loose & a little slouchy on top because the skirt is so snug. (I should have bought two of these -- I'm wearing it a LOT.) I was going to top it off with my dark red velvet McQueen blazer, but then I decided the stripes would be more fun.

Advanced Fashion: stripes & plaid. I love this sort of thing. It raises eyebrows, but I thought was fun.

This jacket fits me like it was made for me, it's perfect. (Well, it's perfect after I had the sleeves shortened, of course.) I was sorry they closed Jovovich-Hawk, I thought they made nice clothes with a specific sensibility; but it's so hard to run a small house like that without some gigantic fashion mega-corp behind you.

What do we think of the stripes/plaid combo? Too much? Or just right?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Thrill Is Gone

I've had this top for a few years now.

It's technically a cardigan, I guess, although it can't really be worn open because of the grippers:

It's a very charming top, a mostly silk and rayon knit in a beautiful robin's egg blue. I haven't worn it for a long time and yesterday I pulled it out of the sweater drawer with the intention of making something happen with it.

The easiest, most logical thing was pairing it with a black pencil skirt. (Because that's the easiest and usually most logical thing to do with almost any top, right?)

(Ann Taylor does a good pencil skirt, ya know?)

And I'm always happy to have any reason to bust out the blue Miu Mius. But I'm not loving this look. I look like I've just stepped out of a Raymond Chandler movie. If I were going to wear it I think I'd change out the blue shoes for black (and I have the same shoe in black, so just squint and imagine that), and maybe I'd go with a shorter skirt. But it just looks too period and slightly costume-y and not all that interesting. Then I tried it with a fuller skirt

(Wonderful swooshy crinkled/pleated wool crepe Martin Graham skirt. I should wear this more often.)

and flats, and that did it for me even less. Even more period. In between these two I tried a bunch of other stuff I didn't even bother to take pictures of -- the khaki skirt was even more boring, as were the black trousers. I thought for a moment I was going to get excited about it when paired with a leopard-print pencil skirt, but I was wrong. The only thing I thought might be kind of fun were some gray and blue plaid walking shorts, but the shorts have such a low rise that there's a big stretch of exposed tummy between the bottom of the top & the top of the bottoms, and that is not okay.

The one last thing I want to try it with is the black Valentino mini, but that's currently at the seamstress getting a new zipper (and hopefully not being destroyed -- I'm chewing my cuticles 'til I get it back). But I don't have a lot of hopes for it.

So. Anyone want to buy a really cute blue top? For $25 (which includes shipping, unless you're outside the US, in which case we'll have to figure something out) it's yours. If you're interested, contact me at shine at austin dot rr dot com.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 6

t-shirt: C+C (I hemmed the sleeves on this one)
wide-legged jeans: Barney's Co-Op
vest: AdamplusEve
shoes: YSL
bangle: vintage Lanvin
fragrance: Musc Ravageur

I love these shoes -- I've had them for a few years now and while I don't wear them all that often, occasionally they are just the perfect thing.

They are, however, not easy to walk in, or at least not easy to walk in quickly. I have a few other pairs of YSL shoes and find them really well-engineered and comfy, but these are shoes that make me slow down. Small price to pay for the fabulousness, I reckon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Bought a pair of these DKNY Color Block Tights yesterday and decided to play with them by supressing all my instincts toward color. Even in my accessories.

(I am wearing a very brightly colored bra and underwear, however, which makes me feel a little better.)

merino two-tone sweater: Coincidentally, also DKNY
shorts: Gap
tights: DKNY
shoes: Pour la Victoire
pearls: vintage
fragrance: Chanel Gardenia

Originally I put it on with a black pencil skirt, but I thought the shorts pulled it down a little. I dunno -- classically Chanel-y or just gimmicky? What do you think?

These are the shoes -- click photo for link. Kind of amazing how well they match the tights.

Pour La Victoire - Joelle (Black/Birch) - Footwear

Another real conversation-starter, these. I love them, but they rub my big toes a little. Unfortunately, I didn't remember that until I was already kitted out in the whole rig, so I had to peel off all the waist-down bits so I could put some blister band-aids on my little toesies, then climb back in again. But those blister band-aids are genius -- I highly recommend 'em.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3

hat: Zara men
t-shirt: another Marshall's cheapie. It's silly, but I love it.
cotton cable v-neck: Old Navy. I need several more of these in various colors. Excellent layering piece.
wool/silk matelassé skirt: Valentino
patent boots: Stuart Weitzman
enamel flower ball necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane
blue fishnets: random

I went out looking for an above-the-knee black skirt not long ago and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams:

I found this Valentino number in the couture section of my local Neiman Marcus outlet. Staggeringly, it was marked down from $690 to $85, and was on sale for another 30% off. I discovered why when I got it into the dressing room: the zipper is broken and only goes down about two inches. I refused to be deterred and pulled the dingdong thing on over my head. no sweat. Another moment when I was grateful for my small bustline. For all those who were unwilling to think outside the fitting room box, too danged bad. Grand total on the skirt: $61.18. Shopping triumph.

It's a tiny bit big, a size 42 (Valentino sizes are extremely generous -- often I can barely squeeze into a D&G 42) and I may have it taken in a little bit when I get the zipper replaced. On the other hand, the skirt is kind of stiff and a little bit structured, not supposed to fit too closely to begin with, so I may just leave it. Short as it is, too snug wouldn't be good anyway.

Here's a close-up. I've dinked with the photo so you can see the texture in the fabric, which is why the color is weird.

Gorgeous thing. I love it very much.

I've started calling this necklace my Magic Friend-Maker. Everywhere I go when I wear it, people comment on it and compliment it. It makes people smile, which is a nice effect to have on strangers.

A birthday gift from a dear friend, one of the best presents I've gotten in quite a while.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fish Tacos

Met a dear friend for lunch. Wish I got to see her more often -- she's so busy and successful she gives me a terrible inferiority complex. Or she would if she weren't such an angel.

rayon knit top: $13 Marshall's randomness. Surprisingly good, it's got kind of a Jonathan Saunders vibe to it.
black capris: Saks store brand. Bought two pairs of these, thank goodness.
ponté knit jacket: Theory. Everything I bought this summer is knit. What's up with that?
turquoise bubble platforms: Fendi
fringe necklace: DIY

Better view of the top:

I stopped in Marshall's for running socks or something else innocuous and did a drive-by of the tops. I kinda love this silly thing -- I've been looking for print tops. If I only wear it twice I still got my money's worth at 13 bucks.

Turquoise darlings:

Have gotten a surprisingly amount of wear out of these silly things. They've also probably saved me a heap of money, because many's the time I've looked hungrily at some extreme shoe or other and then thought, "Meh. I already have my blue Fendi platforms. Don't need 'em." They start a lot of conversations.

This outfit is going to get dressed down a little this evening for very casual drinks on the deck at a friend's house. I'll lose the fringe and replace the platforms with my little black patent Choo flats:

The most perfect-est black flats I've ever owned. Sadly, I did NOT buy two pairs of these. ::sigh::