Saturday, July 30, 2011

vintage vogue inspiration:

i recently acquired a collection of vintage vogue magazines. translation, hours and hours of inspiration. i love pondering the pages. the colors, cuts and photographic composition move me. after cups and cups of ginger peach tea and honey (and etta james on repeat) i concluded that it is the lifestyle that these photographs portray that i am drawn to. these pages are the mecca of the american woman; continually pulled to them for nostalgic inspiration. timeless yet modern. tailored and whimsical.
i remember my grandmother... she didn't have to compromise style to be bake an exceptional apple pie. under her apron she dressed. really dressed. like she was going somewhere. (and sometimes it was only to the "fancy" dinning room to serve sweet tea and fried chicken)

how do i make these inspirations my own? what to take from these photos that will translate into our next collection? sophisticated, whimsical and timeless. moms shift dress with a more tailored cut or a mini skirt out of a bright yellow wool paying homage to my alma mater.
a shift dress with sleeves adorn with oversized buttons... i think we are on to something.

look for new fall styles that will make you think of your grandmother with admiration... the older i get the more i realize how cool she really was.

thank you grannie and thank you vogue.

{ here are a few of my favorites. enjoy }

Thursday, July 21, 2011

solana beach ca: and driving the pch

i have always wanted to drive the pacific cost highway. other than the blue ridge parkway, the PHC is one of the most noted drives in the continental united states. mountains on one side, pacific ocean on the other, the winding highway stretches from san diego to seattle. famous artists have sung, written, painted, pontificated life, pondered the universe and been inspired on the PCH. the drive is said to be a right of passage and self discovery.

one of my stops along the PCH was solana beach. what a perfect place to spend the afternoon. open air antique shops and boutiques line a street where locals and tourist mix to plunder the latest in beach house chic decor. my favorite shop was bon bon. i continually asked myself and the shop keeper "can i ship this home?"

next stop, clairs on cedros for lunch. i had the wall street journal and watermelon gazpacho on the porch. ordered a hibiscus sweet tea to sip while i meandered the design district.

it is true what they say, the PHC is more of a mindset than a highway.
there is something about having the windows rolled down and your mind open. i drove without the radio. on the PCH you don't need music to transport your mind; the scenery does it for you. mountains on one side, cliffs jutting out into the ocean on the other, and there you are in the middle of one of the most beautiful places in the world.
i didn't take away any great song lyrics, or an idea for an oil painting or a soon to be famous quote about life as many before me have. i did, however, leave with a feeling of peace that only comes from salt air, an open mind and a good drive.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

mood fabric : new york

for someone who doesn't know what to look for it is easy to miss. small signs hang in a window about 10 stories up after you turn onto 37th street. you enter a small corridor. the elevator operator, larry (who has been the lift attendant for 20 plus years ) pulls the steal doors closed and cranks the elevator to the 14 floor.

the door opens.
my heart starts to beat fast.
where to first?
what to look at?
i think i had a plan but im pulled in every direction....
organized chaos everywhere.
chiffon for skirts, charmeuse for dresses, chanel tweed for a suit...
today is saturday and mood closes at 4.
im in heaven for the next hour.

oscar de la renta, marc jacobs, zac posen, versace, gucci...waiting to be turned into any frock you fancy.

this silk will soon be bow ties for the fall...

don't you love the vintage dinosaur buttons?
feathers waiting to be made into a fascinator...

there is no place like mood fabric.
having excellent customer service and deep roots in the fashion scene, mood has become a sought out destination for european fabrics and italian treads. mood is the mecca of apparel design. silk, gabardine, wool, lace, leather you name it, it's there. it is said that if you don't find it at mood, you wont find it. over 40,000 square feet of notions, fabric, buttons and trim. a novice sewer or master tailor, mood is the place to be inspired and create.

four o'clock seemed to come sooner than an hour as i hurried to make my final selections. most of what i found you will find on the custom rack at the shop. the prints are perfect for your pool side or pew side occasion.

{a few pieces ill save for me... its hard to part with things you fall in love with.}

Sunday, July 10, 2011

happy west coast july 4th

i love the 4th of july, always have. looking back on sailing as a child in the charleston harbor. hair french braided on both sides, preppy posh gap bathing suit, no shoes and sun burned shoulders. boats adorned with red white and blue flags that waved among the nautical flags. watermelon cut, chicken fried, crab dip chilled and we off to morris island.

this was my first 4th on the west coast. i adore san diego, all of southern california speaks to my soul. the lifestyle and the landscape are equal parts refreshing and inviting. i spent this forth of july in a post card of perfect americana. coronado is a dream. each yard exquisitely manicured with draping flags from banisters on a back drop of a crisp blue sky... the day was an outstanding birthday celebration for our country.
we enjoyed the cutest cookout in the back yard of this sweet cottage...

vintage beach cruisers took us to hotel del for afternoon drinks and the hopeful celebrity spotting. built more than 120 years ago, the hotel del coronado has been a beacon of grandeur and refinement among vacation destinations in southern california. the iconic red-shingled roof in contrast to the dazzling azure pacific coastline was the perfect place to enjoy celebratory summer libation.

if not in charleston, i can think of no other place i would have rather been for the 4th. it was hard to say so long to southern california. its one of the few places that you can't help but feel completely alive. my friend hector once said that true happiness comes when you feel truly alive. i believe him more so after a few days in san diego. ill be back soon.