Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Style Muse: Michelle Oka Doner

The Refined Uniform

Michele Oka Doner (b. 1945, Miami Beach, Florida) is an American artist and author. "The breadth of her artistic production encompasses sculpture, public art, furniture, jewelry and functional objects…Oka Doner is perhaps best known for her numerous public art commissions, including…Radiant Site, at New York's Herald Square Subway and A Walk on the Beach at the Miami International Airport… Whether large-scale architectural projects, or intimately scaled objects… Oka Doner's work is fueled by a lifelong study and appreciation of the natural world, from which she derives her formal vocabulary…Ultimately, it is her curiosity and wonder that provide the driving force behind her work…Her art is the rich by-product of an inquisitive mind…Through her devotion, Oka Doner has learned to speak the language of the cosmos, acting as a sculptural interpreter of nature's vast lexicon."
(from:  Ramljak, Suzanne. Michele Oka Doner: Natural Seduction. Manchester: Vermont, 2003)

I first saw her photo in NY Magazine's Look Book feature years ago and was instantly intrigued. Ms. Oka Doner has reduced her wardrobe to its most simple and elegant components.. It's an unconventional approach to dressing.

The foundation piece of her wardrobe is a long silk dress, which she has in several colors and wears everywhere.

She collects undershirts and camisoles (her favorite brand is Hanro) in silk, cotton, and wool and wears them under everything depending on the weather.

She likes bold jewelry (sometimes of her own design), interesting shoes, and favors wraps.

She also consistantly wears her long hair pulled back into a bun and deep red lipstick.

Another version of her silk dress with elegant earrings

As a public figure, she's not afraid to be seen in the same dress many times.

Interesting shoes

Bold jewelry

Friday, April 11, 2014

Cathy Cooper, artist

Check out this video from Stylelikeu— artist Cathy Cooper talks about her outfit.

"When I feel like I'm in my element, that's when I feel most beautiful."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Some vintage Vogue, while I go work on my taxes.

Elsa Peretti, 1970s

Vogue, 1975

From Vogue UK, Dec 1974. Lauren Hutton and Aurore Clement: "They don't worry about paraphernalia, live and work intelligently...succeed not despite but because of the odd appealing flaw in their make-up."

Sonia Rykiel, Paris Vogue, August 1971

Go check out the website and be prepared for hours of lost time!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.

Dame Cicely Isabel Fairfield DBE (21 December 1892 – 15 March 1983), known as Rebecca West, or Dame Rebecca West

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Phoebe Philo, Smart Women, and more

The usually shy Céline designer Phoebe Philo goes on stage to be interviewed by UK Vogue's Alexandra Shulman. (The Guardian.) I like that she is nervous at the beginning of the interview—Ms. Philo is the object of a lot of fan-worship in the fashion world, and an enormously influential figure right now. Some interesting quotes:
I have an innate fear of fame. I don't know where it comes from, but I have never thought that being famous looked like a good place to be. I love being incognito. I very much value my freedom.
on her brand as a political statement:
I am not a big fan of women being sexualised through clothes, as you can probably tell from my work. I have no problem with a woman wearing anything as long as she has chosen to wear it for herself. But I do think there are too many images of women that are sexualised and too many examples of women dressing for other people... 

Ms. Philo after a Céline show

✚  From (via Les Anti-Modernes), an essay entitled, "Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion?" by novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

✚ A nice slideshow of what's being worn by attendees at Tokyo Fashion Week from Women's Wear Daily. Some great looks.

✚ At the Victoria and Albert Museum, another terrific exhibition. This one is "The Glamour of Italian Fashion: 1945-2014". Via the New York Times.

A mannequin in a Pucci tunic and leggings from 1966 next to a Vespa scooter. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times

✚  Have trouble finding your body shape? Perplexed by all the articles and instructions? Gemma Correll has the answer for you. (I think I alternate between the Empty Husk and the Vortex.) From her blog, via Simple Pretty.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Garmentory Blog Write-up

Check out the profile Garmentory did on me and the shop!

(Garmentory is a very cool online sale website that features items from small boutiques. It's a good place to find great deals, and they are super nice!)

Sneak peek

Lauren Manoogian's luxurious artisan knits have arrived! The Shawl Cardigan, Arch Pants, Wide Jacket, and Slit Poncho will up in the shop in a few days. Quantities are limited so drop me a line if you know you want something.

And the new Ellen Truijen bags are arriving later today!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Jewelry

I'm very proud and excited to introduce you to our new line of beautiful enameled jewelry from Portland artist Alisa Looney. Alisa is a dear friend, and a very talented woman. She's an award-winning sculptor, runs Vision Design graphics, paints and dances, and is a mother and wife.

Alisa's main work has been fabricating large public sculptures, but in 2010 she became fascinated by the ancient technique of enameling. Using a practice first developed in medieval Limoges, France, she applies layers of liquid glass to a piece of plasma-cut steel and fires it at very high temperatures multiple times, creating necklaces and earrings that are luminous personal statements.

Check out these colorful and intricately worked pieces! You can find out more about Alisa and her amazing work here.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Loving right now

Some random love and a tribute to ease in everyday life...

Because I need to be on my feet for anywhere from 5 to 8 hours (and be cheerful about it!) I'm happy to report that my investment in good, comfortable shoes and boots a few years ago is paying off. I get all leather soles zipsoled at my local cobbler and use Lexol cleaner and conditioners on the uppers so they always look polished. (I use Lexol on my bags, too, and highly recommend it, along with a water and stain repellant).

Currently rotating between Loeffler-Randall Felix booties, Dieppa Restrepo Cali oxfords (from Totokaelo), and Vialis lace-up boots (from Re-Soul in Seattle):

Everything works with skirts or trousers. I don't have to think about it, I can just put them on and go and know I look at least minimally polished.

Also having a deeply appreciative moment for the "messy bobbed hair" trend, thanks in no small part to French actress Clemence Poesy. Let's hope it catches on here in the U.S. (my hair never did conform to blow-dried styles):

And I'm relying heavily on some makeup classics (also investments from a while back):
NARS radiant tinted moisturizer in Terre Neuve and Rouge d'Armani lipstick in 403. Makes it simple to look pulled together with these two in my pocket.

This medley is on the music rotation where I work. I looked up from a busy counter to see people milling around and singing softly along... nice work IZ. Enjoy, and feel free to sing along, too.

What current favorites are making your life easier these days?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Style Muse: Martha Nussbaum

I've been wanting to present a slightly different take on the "style icon" thing (which I love, by the way).  A while back, a friend suggested looking to women not in the fashion or acting world (thanks, Deborah!). The post on Donna Tartt was my first effort (here if you missed it).

Martha Nussbaum is a respected philosopher, currently teaching law and ethics at the University of Chicago. Her two major areas of interest are human rights (capabilities) and human emotions. She is also a mother. She sings for an hour before dinner and goes clothes shopping for fun. As we can see, she confidently bridges great style and intellectual thinking, perceiving no contradiction between the two. Not easy for a woman in American academia.

She has found her style and works it well. (Credit goes to Nanashi for the idea.)

as a college freshman at NYU