Monday, November 20, 2017

Erik Sandberg's PowderPuff Girls

All this talk about Downton Abbey: The Exhibition and its accompanying dressing-table paraphrenalia took me back to the one item I coveted most on my mother's bureau: her powderpuff.

When I could gain acess to her bedroom, I'd remove it from its round container and puff away, feeling much more glamourous than I looked when I'd done.

These portraits by Erik Sandberg look like I felt.

(discovered via the cover of Hi-Fructose magazine)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ayana's Finale Dress on Project Runway: Modest Jane Austen?

During the two-episode season finale of Project Runway Season 16, the camera kept showing teasing glimpses of a dress Ayana had made--it looked to be a pale green with embroidered "tarnished" gold embellishments, and I couldn't wait to see her runway show.

She did not disappoint, as her finale dress was as beautiful as I'd hoped.

I've loved that combination of green and gold for years, and Ayana's dress brought me back to a beloved Wyeth dress I bought in Palo Alto many years ago (documented here).

I've long thought of my Wyeth dress as a Jane-Austen-in-LA dress, and Ayana's beautiful garment is a welcome cousin: a modest Jane Austen?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Vulpine Tights, Vanity Fair, and Radhika Jones: A Saturday Miscellany

I suddenly have an *inexplicable* urge to wear tights with foxes emblazoned all over them.

Alas: these tights, from Anthropologie, are no longer available.

But soon the new Vanity Fair, edited by smart, accomplished journalist Radhika Jones, will be.

Farewell, Azzedine Alaia

He was simply the best.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Upstairs, Downstairs; Exit through the Gift Shop: Downton Abbey on Display

I confess that I adored the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, but it became too Melrose Place-among-the-Hounds for me after that. Still, I can appreciate the detailed costumes and example of gracious living that was set.

So, then, it would be a pleasure to visit Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, which looks to be set in the old Lee's Art Shop building, 218 W 57th. (I loved going to Lee's during my twice-a-year pilgrimages to New York.)

And fittingly, I bought my Solar Jubilee Queen there as well.

But this is not about tchotchkes, for at Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, one can luxuriate in the familiar good company of Mrs. Patmore's kitchen, Lady Mary's dressing table, and the iconic Downton pull-bells. Sets and clothing are on full display.

But as Lady Grantham knows well, keeping Downton running comes at a cost. And instead of benefitting from one American heiress, Downton Abbey: The Exhibition will invite many--whether landed gentry or nouveau riche--into its gift shop to help, as I imagine, keep the displays on parade.

Maybe there will even be some Solar Lady Sybils and Solar Mr. Bateses in shop!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On the Fringe: Caroline Kilkenny Cape

I have a talent for buying eccentric but beautiful pieces that go with nothing I own. They languish in my closet until I decide to play dress-up in my room, every few years or so, or I finally give up and sell them on eBay.

When I was in Dublin this summer I popped into Kilkenny's on Nassau St., where I promptly found just what I hadn't been looking for: a cream silk twill capelet that just covered the shoulders, with cascading cream silk fringe by Caroline Kilkenny.

It made no sense with anything in my closet, so I bought it.

My trip ended in late July, and the capelet is still in its bag, though I have taken it out to try on a couple of times and to admire it.

I don't know whether I'll ever wear it out of my house, but the pleasure it gives me, nevertheless, is worth it.

The cape above is decidedly not my cape, though it would be a caper if I pursued it too.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sleep-In Sunday in Elizabeth Cotton Liberty London PJs

On Sunday I had the pleasure of sleeping in, which is unusual, and the even more distinct pleasure of remaining in my pajamas all. day. long.

Still, I felt like I was "dressed," because I've broken out a Christmas gift from last year: a pair of Elizabeth Cotton pajamas in one of my beloved Liberty London prints.

This print is Sheona Rose, and it reminds me of an early Mary Katrantzou digital floral, or a Kate Spade more-recent digital floral, but it's all Liberty and luscious.

Lest this gushing sound like a PR pitch, let me assure that I'm simply remembering that rare luxuriant time where I could stay at home, drink coffee, and write articles in my PJs--without feeling schlumpy in the least!

Elizabeth Cotton used to offer summer Liberty PJs as well--shorts and a sleeveless pajama top. I'd be happy if they returned, as I could imaging myself adding a cardigan and sandals and running an errand, if need be, on a summer's morning.

I think the day also felt delightful because I'd saved a gift from Christmas 2016 for a later date. A pleasure for me is to buy something, forget about it (usually unintentionally), and then unearth it months later and enjoy it. This happens rarely because I usually buy what I need there and then, but this summer in Ireland I also bought some woolen mittens that I'm looking forward to wearing this year. Or maybe next.