Thursday, April 10, 2008

April Showers & May Flowers



Spring is my favorite season, and we have been having some perfect spring days this past week. The yellow daffodils fill the metal garden planters on the sidewalk, the trees are bedecked in white blossoms, and the park on 22nd street is filled with children playing on the jungle gym and the swings. However, even though today was a perfectly sunny day with temperatures in the seventies, the forecast predicts rain for the next few days. The one issue I have with spring is the rather volatile weather that ranges from days of blue-skied perfection to gray days with seemingly never-ending rain. Subsequently, I've been checking out various umbrella options lately for April showers as well as parasols for sunny days. My great grandmother carried a fuchsia parasol with a diamond encrusted handle in the summer, and I definitely think that this is a trend worth resurrecting, especially because of sun damage concerns. The website bellaumbrella.com carries a customizable array of solid colored umbrella heads and handles in sleek lady-like shapes that you can mix and match to create a personalized look. However, the vintage section of the website is really delightful. I'm especially loving this pink floral umbrella, reminiscent of a Marimekko pattern, that could easily double as a sun parasol, and this stunningly delicate Chinese floral parasol that was featured in the May issue of Elle. Whether your goal is to stay dry or shady these options will have you covered.





painting: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Young Girl with Parasol, 1883, oil on canvas, collection David-Weill, Paris
photo credit pink umbrella: http://vintage.bellaumbrella.com/RetailDetails.aspx?umbrellaID=779
photo credit Chinese parasol: http://vintage.bellaumbrella.com/RetailDetails.aspx?umbrellaID=699

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Spring Fling




Spring is the season of love and that means romantic
dates! You'll need to be properly attired for all the male attention you'll be receiving in clothing appropriately chic for a brunch get together, a coffee date, and an evening of dinner and cocktails, without breaking the bank. Right now I'm loving the brightly colored spring fashions filling the pages of Vogue, Elle, and Bazaar and thought I would share some of my fave finds with you so that you'll wow your suitor(s). This tan and orange colorblock dress from Forever 21 (it's so Katie Holmes post-makeover) is perfect for brunching at Paris Commune. It's demure yet sexy in a European way. Next, this whimsical pansy top from the Gap (trust me it's really cute on, even though it doesn't look so great in the pic) worn with skinny light gray Earnest Sewn Harlan jeans is casual and cute for a coffee and cupcake date at my new favorite West Village bakery, Batch. Finally, this green Max Studio butterfly dress is unique and uber hot with black stilettos. It will ensure that your dinner date sitting across from you at Merkato 55 (the new Meatpacking District African restaurant from Aquavit's Marcus Samuelsson) will be utterly entranced, and your spring fling might just turn into a long-term thing.





photo credit for color block dress: http://www.forever21.com
photo credit for jeans: http://www.bluefly.com
photo credit for top: http://www.gap.com
photo credit for green butterfly dress: http://www.maxstudio.com

English Gentlemen



Since I've been feeling under the weather, I've been passing the time by watching the A&E Jeeves and Wooster series on DVD adapted from the famed novels
by P.G.
Wodehouse.
This wonderful British comedic series follows the escapades of the wealthy Bertie Wooster and his loyal manservant Jeeves who gets Bertie and his upper class friends out of all kinds of pickles, be they romantic or otherwise, by using his sharp intellect. Watching these films has got me thinking about the fashions of the upper-crust English gentleman and all the various accoutrements that go into looking like a member of the old London aristocracy. The necessities for emulating a dapper member of the old fashioned gentry but still looking hip enough to walk the streets of Chelsea in 2008 include a pair of round tortoise shell spectacles, brightly colored pocket squares, and a proper man's tartan umbrella for April showers. My father has perfected this look by donning tweed suits and newsboy caps, but for those of you who don't want to go all the way, employing one or more of the suggestions above is a good way to dip into this timeless trend.



photo credit for spectacles: http://www.bensilver.com
photo credit for pocket squares: http://www.vivre.com
photo credit for umbrella: http://www.swaineadeney.co.uk