July 02, 2011

Beauty and Paris

Well, now Paris is calling and I'm not really packed to go.

Jump on my friend Jill's tour of Europe and see these fabulous photos of the City of Lights by Pati Pakulis.

Or go see Midnight in Paris. A love letter to Paris by Woody Allen.

Selena Gomez wants you to take your daughter to see her in Monte Carlo. (It's PG for a couple of reasons. A dialogue will follow.)

The there's always my favorite, Julie and Julia.

And if you want to experience the writers life in Paris, read Janice's Blog live from her adventures at the Seine.


July 01, 2011

Rethinking my shoes.

Yesterday Bloomingdale's decided to make contact again.

After all these years, they seem to have forgiven me for curtailing my trips to New York and, therefore, our rich relationship. On one of my first trips to NYC, a work pal and I ran out on a lunch break to visit. The little jaunt was exciting and overwhelming and a start of a beautiful relationship.

In their halls and sections and floors, I learned about the many more brands that exist. The ones that never made it to the little rounders in Los Angeles. They had whole sections dedicated to Tahari designs rather than the small rack at my local Bullock's or I. Magnin. It was a visual education, a retailing education, certainly a fashion education and of course, fun. Even if all I bought was a mascara. It was my mascara from Bloomingdales.

And then, I came home and they sent me a catalog where I could buy shoes. Not the shoes at the aforementioned stores, or Nordstrom, but Bloomingdale's collections of shoes. It was all good fun and I managed to grab some unique and simple and beautiful shoes on sale, from Bloomies.

So yesterday was clearly an attempt on their part to rekindle the old romance. And they were successful. I clicked on the email which featured a shoe that took me right here. And right to the shoes. As I clicked through, my youngest took the chair next to me and commented: "You should get some of these. You used to wear cute shoes, but now Mom, they're kinda grandma."

After the initial sting wore off, I gave her a kiss and clicked in earnest. She's right and I knew it. I kinda knew it when we were shoe gawking at the Music Center. I took a little inventory the other day when I cleaned out my closet and saw this mix of older fun heals and, well, Clarks. There's nothing wrong with Clarks. There are plenty of cute styles (kinda). Like these on the right. But the brand is about comfort and I seem to have collected only flat black or brown, which are, in the eyes of my preteen, not cool. So I perused. And clicked. And put many pair into my online Brown Bag. I was encouraged to buy these:

I settled on a slightly lower pair of black patent leather espadrille platforms and some DKNY sandals. Both passed muster and were on a double sale. So, all is well.

I'm revisiting my appreciation of shoes for fun and fashion, giving the heave ho! to shoes in the grandma category and taking Bloomingdales up on their advances.  Rekindling the courtship, so to speak.

And so with great expectancy I ask, what's on your feet?

June 29, 2011

Grace Coddington - The September Issue

I'm still thinking about the revelation of Grace Coddington in The September Issue - Anna Wintour & the Making of VOGUE. Without going back to the movie, I've been thinking about how real and fabulous and artistic Grace Coddington truly is.

I found this wonderful point of view about her. Though I don't agree at all with the take on Wintour. It's just too easy to disagree with her methods, and miss her dedication and eye.

I'm so interested to learn more about her work, seeing more, noticing more. I found her coffee table book online for $1395. I doubt I'll be picking it up. So now, I'm just looking, looking to take in her work, her view of things, her art.

I'm so inspired by who she appears to be. She's definitely not a Devil Wears Prada clacker, but an aging, been through it and ready for more, down-to-earth professional who understands the facets of the fashion world and has a brilliantly artistic eye and interpretation.  What I love about Grace Coddington is that we see, in the documentary a very real, creative genius who sees the art in fashion and provides us a view to see it too.

June 28, 2011

The September Issue & Anna Wintour

Over the last few days I've been taking bites out of a documentary I quite enjoyed: The September Issue - Anna Wintour & the making of VOGUE. I'd started by trying to watch The Devil Wears Prada and had the kind folks at Netflix suggest I watch this. I've loved it. Such an interesting look at how an issue -- the big September issue -- of VOGUE is produced. And there was quite a stunning contrast to the fictionalized story in The Devil Wears Prada. Watching Meryl Streep in her turn as the Wintouresque mag editor was such fun but I certainly didn't get the work ethic and pure sense of dedication to perfection I saw in the actual Ms. Wintour.

I plan to watch it again, and thoroughly digest it, but from my first viewing, I walked away with a few of distinct notions:

Wintour is fully dedicated to fashion and the success of her magazine.
Wintour embraces her decisive ability.
Not everyone who works and lives in fashion is glamorous and young. In fact, the woman who stole my heart throughout the piece is Grace Coddington who is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful but neither of the former. Just magnificent and talented and wildly creative and, well, wonderful. I was pleasantly surprised. Enthused and inspired even.

If you care about fashion at all, I recommend you take a peak at it.

June 27, 2011

Discovering: Green to Grey

Well, the kids are growing up, aren't they?

My friend Michelle S. has a songwriter and musician in her teenaged son and here's his song for your enjoyment (and mine).


It makes me just so happy to hear from this recent graduate of the Orange County High School of the Arts. And knowing he's the son of a dear friend makes it extra special.
He has a band.
This is his solo project.

What are you discovering?

June 26, 2011

Les Mis and an unexpected pleasure.

I'm blessed to be married to a theatre goer. In our years of dating and marriage, my Dear has made us season ticket holders. First, to the Shubert, then in it's demise, the Geffen and for many years now, the Ahmanson.

Before I share another thought, I have to say, Les Miserables was brilliantly staged. J. Mark McVey as Jean Val Jean sang beyond anyone I've heard on stage. And the death of Eponine at the barricade brought me to tears. My dear friend Michelle (oh I have many) Sharpe heard how technology changed the presentation and it did, magically.

So, the night. Our Saturday night theatre dates almost always include dinner at the Pinot Grill at the Music Center. We love dining al fresco, watching the fantastic mix of theatre and Opera goers passing, the dancing waters between the restaurant and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and, of course, Pinot food. Typically, we get to the complex a bit early, check for ticket upgrades and dine.

But last night the plan was altered by first a postcard message about the sold out status of the play and a follow-up email about traffic and timing. My Dear wasn't interested in seeing the play again. (He continues to savor the Shubert version, maybe that's because Tom Hanks and his little girl sat in front of us.) My youngest became my delightful theatre companion. She's very interested in musical theatre and singing and loved taking Dad's ticket.

When we arrived at the Grill we were stunned. The tables were full and there were lots and lots of people waiting in line. We put our name in for our 25 minute wait and sat to watch the people. There was much to see. In her preteen status, my lovely and I had gone shopping for "appropriate" shoes and were watching and measuring at all the fantastic and fantastically high heels on people who could and couldn't command them. It was great fun.

Notably, we saw lots of people in beige or beige patent leather espadrilles, lots of shoes with zippers up the back and these:

We found ourselves completely captivated by a beautiful woman in her late 50s/early 60s who made quite an entrance dressed in black with a gorgeous gray bob, Edith Head sun glasses,  and wearing the shoes of the night: black pumps with the highest heels and and almost floating red platform.
As she walked from the restaurant to the opera with her date, every head was turned and every woman took note and most notably of the shoes. She took the ground at every step. Shortly thereafter our name was called and our runway moment ended.

As we stood, waiting to be accompanied to our table, a woman saw that we were alone and asked if she and her daughter could join us. Though we were in the heart of LA, the thought, at the crowding throng, was that in Europe people do this all the time. My girlie and I agreed, with LA reluctance, to eat share our dinnertime with Laurie and Carly. As we ate we got to know a little about an LA native mom whose best pal is the man who played Timmy in Lassie and her lovely 16 year old flautist daughter (the one wearing the shoes above) who is crazy about Sarah Jessica Parker and wears a Carly necklace (just like Carrie's) and a diamond horseshoe necklace given to her by SJP's goddaughter. It was great fun and a sweet opportunity, quite outside our expected evening. I watched my daughter shine as she talked about her love of Broadway music (as a genre) and how proud she is of her big brother's musical explorations.

It was an unexpected pleasure. A little shift to my dinner and the theatre paradigm. And one I'm the better for.


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