The incomparable Chanel.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." – Coco Chanel

As part of my Christmas of Catching Up (on reading, on sleeping, apparently also on cheese consumption), I finally watched Lifetime's recent original film "Coco Chanel", which I probably downloaded on iTunes at least two months ago but hadn't actually gotten around to viewing yet.

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't expecting much, but I really, really enjoyed it. The cast—mostly unknown European actors, peppered with snippets of Shirley MacLaine as an aging Mlle. Chanel—was completely engaging, especially Slovakian actress Barbora Bobulova, who took on the bulk of the Chanel role. The story, just a snippet of Chanel's storied life, was nicely paced. And the fashion. Oh, the fashion! Truthfully, I wasn't sure Lifetime (known more for its adoption-related sob stories, of which I am also a major fan) could do real justice to a fashion movie, but it was great. So great I had to take fuzzy screen shots of some of my favorite moments for inspiration, for both of us. Let's go to the snaps…

The movie focused mostly on the teens and 1920s, which was a great glimpse into the elegant French designs of the times. Like long wrap dresses!

Chanel gets her first pearls, and I immediately become kind of pearl-obsessed.

Hats! Furs! Jackets! Oh my.

Of course, now I totally want a dramatic dotted lace veil.

Like want one a lot a lot.

While Coco unfortunately channels Mary Poppins here, her rival Gabrielle gets the fab hat, great dress and vibrant purple gloves.

In one of my favorite scenes, the elderly Chanel decides to dress up her niece in the chiffon curtains. She gives Maria a total run for the curtain clothing money.

Seriously have half a mind to take down my window sheers right now.

Love the hat, the top, the silky tasseled necklace…

My other favorite time in the film was the WWI years spent in Deauville. Long skirts; little hats; slim, elongated silhouettes with nipped waists. Perhaps even more important because finally, I totally and completely get Marc Jacobs' spring collection.

Finally, no real Chanel biopic would be complete without a bit of the famous stairs at 31 Rue Cambon…

Overall, the film was nicely done and I give it two green thumbs up. Next up to tackle the role of the iconic designer will be Audrey Tautou (who Barbora is fairly reminiscent of) in Coco Avant Chanel, sometime later in 2009… For now, I leave you with some choice Chanel quotes.

"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions."

"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous."

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."

"Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress."

Amazing. No?

Daisy, daisy…

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My mom read Daisy Lowe's cute little Q&A in today's NYT Styles section and remarked that she sounded quite a bit like me. Vintage, bows, kimonos… I dare say she's right.

Ho, ho, ho!

And a Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope you've had fantastic holiday weekend, filled with music and friends/family and lots of blissful downtime. (Or maybe that's just me? In any case, it has been quite nice.) My Christmas loot is also quite fun (fashion books! vintage Pyrex! obscure DVDs! Does Santa know me or what?), rounded out by a few self-Santa purchases. (I know better than to expect patent heels from Santa… he can only do so much.) Here's a few things I gifted myself this year…

First, Playsam's shiny red Streamliner (above). I've asked for this for about five years, and finally took matters into my own Santa-y hands.

Then, American Eagle stripey longjohns: Anyone who has ever slumbered near me knows that I love matchy jammies. I was able to use several discount codes, so poke around…

I've been wanting Louboutin's round-toed patent Simple Pumps for a long time now, but keep balking at the $600ish price tag. J.Crew's Juliet heels aren't quite the same, but they're actually pretty close (and comfy!) and have a vintagey wooden heel to boot. Again, discount codes abound – I was able to take off a huge chunk off the price.

There were a few other things plucked from the mad sales — new pants and my awesome red watch and perhaps a massively discounted luxury find or two — but these are among my favorites. What about you? Did you get any good things from Santa (self or otherwise) this year?

Oh, the irony…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

…that the second I make a conscious decision to take a blogging break, new inspiration and ideas start flooding into my head.

I've been on a huge Keri Russell kick for awhile now – she's just so naturally fresh-faced and always manages to channel a stylishly downplayed elegance. The pretty new spread in January's InStyle completely reinforced that image, and also made me instantly want a White + Warren oversized cashmere scarf. Love.

Alas, I have hit the end of my personal holiday budget, and can't really justify the $275 price tag. But then I saw Childhood Flames show off her new chunky cowl from etsy shop Ozetta and realized it was the perfect oversized, cozy necked alternative. Because, after all, it's a frosty 19 degrees today. Stay warm out there, kids…

We Wish You an Eco-Christmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

Okay, while we're at it… if you (like us) have not exactly gotten your holiday card act together by now, why not send an eco e-card? Cute, quick and good for the environment. Which was totally our intention from the get-go. Er. Um. Yes. Anyhoo. Merry Christmas!

On a completely unrelated note, I'm pretty sure that Fashion Week Daily's regular facebook status update report — which chronicles the status updates of the prominent and stylish — might be the greatest thing ever. Do. Not. Miss!

We interrupt this blogging break… {er. spoilers!}

**It has been pointed out that we are a terrible, horrible spoiler. We apologize for the oversight. We are just too excited!

…because really, we would be remiss if we did not wholeheartedly congratulate our pal Johanna, the hard-working, funnel-necked, structure-loving winner of the CW's Wednesday night guilty pleasure, Stylista. She is off to be an editor at Elle in NYC, which makes us both thrilled (for her) and sad (for us), because we suspect it will be very hard to find another friend here in DC who is always willing to meet for pedis, coffee or long walks through Zara, who can discuss Gianfranco Ferre construction with both ease and appropriate levels of excitement, who fully appreciates getting dressed in cocktail dresses to go have a few cocktails. On the upside, we no longer have to worry about showing up in the same outfit, have a new place to crash in NY, and can expect regular shopping reports on the very latest finds from both the city that never sleeps and the Elle fashion closet.

Oh! And! Did you see the end where the doors shut and Johanna's fabulous Elle cover of Eve had been blown up and pasted on them? We were so excited we might have cried. Or screamed. Actually, yes, we totally screamed.

Congratulations, J. DC's loss is NYC's gain. Give our best to Barney's!

Remember, kids: Fashion *is* Spinach

Monday, December 15, 2008

There comes a time in every blogger's tenure where real life must take priority, where a break is needed, where other things are what's most important. For me, dear readers, now is that time. I don't know how long I'll need – at least until the end of the year, maybe longer, maybe forever – but I do want to be sure to thank you. Blogging has never been about numbers, or profit, or ad sales for me. It has been something I have done purely for personal enjoyment, because I love fashion and design and the little things like Marshmallow Fluff labels. The fact that so many of you have taken the time to come here every day has just been the icing on a big, fabulous, be-bowed cake. Truly, thank you.

Have a very happy holidays. Wear your prettiest, poufiest dresses and think of me. I'll see you soon.

Ms. Spinach

Big! Humongous! Flowers!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I styled the cover of yesterday's Post Express Styles section, which is always incredibly fun to work on. But I'm especially smitten with the oversized flower headband – uncovered for just $5.80 at Forever 21! – which I suspect will be a staple of my own holiday dress-up this year.

One for the Guys

One of DC's best style writers/stylists, a one Mr. Cory Ohlendorf, recently told me about his new men's style site: Of course, it took me over a week to finally check it out (I blame my crazy-busy schedule lately, and also that insanely bad cold I caught last week), but it's a seriously great website. With things like: Reasonably priced tux finds! Tom Brady's travel style! (And, of course, Tom Brady! Ooooh.) Even the always enjoyable Joanna Goddard dishing on her holiday wishlist!

The pages are crisp, inventive and totally magazine-worthy. I personally have to recommend the fun gift guides… which totally turned me on to this big red Furni digital watch. I don't usually wear a lot of jewelry, but I love big, unexpected, quirky-cool watches. (I'll probably pair mine with a sleek LBD, just for contrast.) And only $28. So, merry Christmas to me! Thanks, Cory.

Campaign for [Wardrobe] Change

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I just realized that as of this week, I've been back in DC for a whole year. And really, what a year it's been. Washington gets a bad rap for being a bit boring, but between the election and the upcoming inauguration {and, just in case I have any independently wealthy readers, I will totally rent you my cute little Dupont Circle apartment for a ridiculously large sum during the inaugural events}, things have really been hopping around here lately. I mean, even Oprah is coming for inauguration week. And you know how I love Oprah!

Many of us are expecting the Obamas and their new crew to breathe even more life into the city, and for Michelle Obama in particular to set a new style standard for DC. (A first lady who wears Thakoon! The mind boggles.) On that note, WWD asked some top designers to come up with sketches of proper first lady ensembles. The results were resoundingly chic and totally charming.

{And! On a mostly unrelated topic, we at FW/Post Express are looking for a few good spring interns, preferably with journalism-fashion-features interest. Drop me a note if you're in the DC area and interested about hearing more about the job.}

Yes, please!

Snap happy.

I recently spotted this slouchy-cool mother-daughter duo on The Vintage Society (originally from Stylesightings) and immediately thought, Wouldn't a vintage leather camera case be a great little run-around-town bag? It's just big enough for keys, a little wallet and cell phone, but looks way cooler than a nondescript cross-shoulder bag.

Apparently, this was not an original idea – or vintage leather camera cases are hugely popular in some areas of the world – because I keep getting outbid for them on eBay. Grumble, grumble. {I have the same problem with wool spats – I've been chasing them on eBay all year, and still no luck!} I'm giving up ... for now.

Ruffled goodness.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ah, J. Crew. I'm loving this Astrid jacket. (However, I'm not really loving the $425 price tag.)

But you know what I'm loving even more? Orange Beautiful's sister's DIY version, crafted from a $35 Old Navy jacket and satin strips. She did an amazing job. I'm absolutely in awe. Really, you must click.

Pay no attention to the ridiculous airbrushing…

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If you could just bear with me and ignore this model's unattractive makeup job, can I just say how much I love her knee-grazing oversized pearls? With a floor-length dress, they give just the right vibe of upscale classic and unusual-cool.

{Image via, which apparently does not stock the pearls. Or if they do, I can't tell, because the search function on the site apparently is not working. Hrumpf. Here it is! Yours for only $1,017 from Erickson Beamon. Gulp. Or, you could just be like me, and work on trying to fashion an 86"-long necklace yourself. Stay tuned!}

I know it's only November, but …

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am becoming increasingly fixated on Marni's SS09 collection. They layers! The prints! The palettes!

It's now on my Spring Wishlist, just behind Louboutin for Phillip Lim ruffle shoes. {Oh, yes. They will be mine!}

Snug as a Bug in a Snuggly Blanket

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm a big fan of luxe knitwear line Lutz & Patmos [Dear Santa, this one please!). So, I was totally thrilled to see their new collaboration with West Elm of super-soft chunky-knit pillowcases and throw blankets. I scooped up the charcoal gray zigzag throw myself – I have a feeling it's going to come in mighty handy while hunkering down on my sofa this winter.

All I Want for Christmas, part 2

There's something so simple and striking about this Elizabeth and James cuff bracelet (also available in silver). At $325, it's a pretty hefty purchase – though you can get 50 percent off everything right now at [update: crap. but not elizabeth & james] -- but Santa has some deep, velvety pockets, right? Plus, it's just one of those pieces that you could wear with almost anything. For years and years. {End small tirade of justification.}

Karl Lagerfeld imagery is the new black.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm kind of over Lindsay Lohan-Samantha Ronson (she says, as the new Harper's Bazaar is ripped open beside her – while poor Jen Aniston Vogue is still neatly plastic-wrapped) but I loooove the Karl Lagerfeld bear in the back of this paparazzi pic.

Only $1500 at a select retailer near you! Too cute. But where are his fingerless gloves?

A little bit country -- but not too much, one hopes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

When it comes to magazines, it's fair to say that my mom and I are like oil and water. She's Better Homes and Gardens, I'm Domino. Good Housekeeping vs. Glamour. Ladies Home Journal vs. Vogue. So over the past year or so, she's been clipping me out pages from various issues of Country Living. "They're featuring a lot more retro and vintage ideas," she'd say. "I think you'd like it." The pages she's saved for me – that's a few above and below – are definitely less country, more quirky-cute. But it wasn't enough to make me a subscriber. Until now.

It was announced earlier this month that the inimitable Sarah Gray Miller, most recently the editor of the (now defunct) O at Home and former editor-in-chief of my favoritest magazine of all time, the undeniably cool (and, um, also now defunct) Budget Living (whose back issues I have stockpiled at home), is taking over the helm of Country Living. I'm predicting a considerable change in the magazine's content – after all, when even Oprah (thanks to her sidekick Nate Berkus) is railing against "country" style, you know death is near. You win, mom! Sign me up.

All I Want for Christmas, Part 1 (of Many!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I love the holidays. Friendly people, twinkling lights, cookies and eggnog and parties and more! And then, of course, there's the extra perk of presents. I'm going to share some of the things on my own wishlist in the coming weeks, starting with these:

Jonathan Adler novelty needlepoint pouches. To quote the designer himself, "J'adorable!"

{Yes, you might have seen these in yesterday's Express. I'm smitten!}

Rocking around the Christmas Tree

The holiday party season is very nearly upon us! I already have a slew of dresses (after coats and clutches, vintage cocktail-wear is my biggest weakness), so I've been mostly looking for fun, statement-y accessories that add a little extra something special. Here's a few that have caught my eye…

Clockwise from top left: Banana Republic Cabochon cluster ring, $39 [okay, okay, I've already bought this]; Nina Viper heel in fuschia, $80; Anthropologie chiffon Battement necklace, $118; Fred Flare bow wristlet, $14.

{update} Reader T. commented that the ruffled find from Anthropologie is likely the work of New Orleans designer Dejarnette, who has even more ruffly concoctions on her own site. Gorgeous!

{If you caught yesterday's fun fashion chat (which you can still read online), you know that I'm in love with the jewelry items they're offering at BR, J.Crew and Anthropologie right now. The whole chat made me want to get back out there and do some shopping. So if you'll excuse me…}

More Terribly Shameless Self-Promotion {updated}

Friday, November 14, 2008

{update} Here are the gift picks. Maybe you'll see something for your wishlist?

I don't mean to be all, "Look at me! Look at me!" this week, but I am a wee bit excited about the gift guide in today's Washington Post Express (downloadable pdf and item list here). I especially love the fab cover, which I can't take any credit for at all.

I'll post the gift picks later today – in the meantime, I'm off to prep for the online fashion chat at noon! See you there?

PS) I'm not ashamed to admit Mariah's insanely catchy "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has been on regular rotation on my iTunes all week. Yes, it's true: The holiday season is here!

Terribly Shameless Self-Promotion.*

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did you see the brand-spanking-new issue of FW today? Can we just talk for a second how much I love these red Pura Lopez shoes? (Here the are in gorgeous, close-up form.) Because I really, really do.

On another note. This Friday! What are you doing at noon? Would you like to come and chat about fashion with me? I'll be hosting my first-ever FW online fash chat Friday at 12pm, answering any questions you might have about style conundrums, where to find any particular items, what to wear certain items with, or even just to talk about the stuff that makes us swoon. I'd love it to be as interactive as possible – and I'd really love it if we can get a good group to share about style. I've been saving some blog ideas and news to write about over there instead. Come over if you can. (Or read it later, if you're busy at noon.) Should be fun!

*You know I wouldn't unless I didn't think it would be a good, fashiony time!

Snapping Out of It

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I knew it wouldn't be long before something that I completely loved popped back up on my radar. And the winner of the first item to recapture my heart is… {dum, dum, dum}: Giles & Brother, whose chunky, quirky and stylishly simple jewelry has skyrocketed to the top of my wishlist. (And, it seems, everyone else's too: It's sold out everywhere.) The railroad spike bracelet? The wrap-around hooked cuff? *Love.* Somewhere, deep inside me, there is an edgy-utilitarian fashion lover just waiting to get out. (There is also a Betty Draper-wannabe waiting to get out, but that's another post…)

Items from Gargyle and Barney's.

Things that Make Me Go Ooooooh, part 67

Saturday, November 08, 2008

As you might be suspecting, balancing ye olde blog and the new day job is tough. Sure, there are time constraints, but mostly, all my I-have-to-have-this! thoughts that would normally go here are now being directed towards the job. Take, for example, these Charley Harper books that just debuted at Old Navy last weekend (and, um, popped up in yesterday's Post Express Styles section). I fell in love with Charley Harper when his retrospective book was released last year – but, at $200 (or a still-high $126 on Amazon), the price was a little hard to swallow. Now, you can buy a limited edition set of Harper-illustrated kids' books and games at Old Navy for pennies. Well, dollars. (I think all the products are $15 or less.) I'm bummed because my local Old Navy didn't have them in stock when I showed up the other day, but I'm hoping to get my hands on some, stat. Too. Cute!

Tie me up, tie me down…