Saturday, April 28, 2012

Like Gin and Tonic or P and J

Three months from today would be the first day of London 2012 Olympics competition. In the spirit of awe-inspiring, breakthrough performances, here's mesmerizing ice dancing from the incomparableTorvill and Dean that garnered 12 perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s, including never-before perfect scores from every judge for artistic impression. With that, the pair became the highest scoring figure skaters of all time (for a single program).

Jayne Torvill (a former insurance clerk) and Christopher Dean (a former policeman) met when they were teenagers at a Nottingham ice rink. The rest (as they say) is literally history as they became legends.

Unlike others who tried to dance on ice (the routine would probably be better on the dance floor) or skate to imitate dance (technically superior skaters not as passionate about the music), theirs was unique art expressing music through the beautiful blending of figure skating with dance. Every move was meaningful, not as opportunity for another trick, but to creatively interpret and punctuate the music.

Torvill and Dean had a music arranger condense Ravel's original Boléro from 17+ minutes to four minutes and 28 seconds (as close as possible to the Olympic rule of four minutes, plus or minus 10 seconds, for free dance). They then choreographed not putting blade on ice for the first 18 seconds to comply with (or get around the rule of) the timing of the skating routine. 

I cannot take my eyes off their performance and never tire of seeing it again.

Here's to the spirit of the Olympics!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Texas Tuxedo

Aka Canadian tuxedo, the head-to-toe, denim-on-denim ensemble has been both a fashion faux pas and a fashion trend.

Traditionally, a Texas tuxedo comprised a pair of clean, pressed, new looking denim jeans, a Western shirt with pearl snaps, a bolo tie, a large belt buckle, shiny cowboy boots and a Stetson hat. Though I own all those things (yes I really do), I'm not going anyplace formal in an area heavily populated by ranches and cowboys. I'm merely trying on the shirt (to start my denim/chambray shirt reviews) and jeans (recently received) and finished off with shoes remembered by Alexis' top 10 shoe post.

The shirt is the very same that DaniBP has reviewed so beautifully. It's of Japanese 100% cotton denim with the Jean Shop signature orange selvedge (I have a weakness for selvedge). The denim is raw and untreated and the shirt arrives stiff and crinkly. As Dani, I'm also wearing an XS. The shoulders are slightly wide on me. The sleeves are long, reaching the first knuckles of my hands and why I have them folded up. It could be sold out from J.Crew but you can get it from the original source.

Here's what's unexpected: I'll be reviewing about a dozen different chambray and denim shirts ranging in size from XS to XXS to 0 to 00 petite. You'd think this an XS would be on the larger side but I think this one actually fits best. Maybe it's because of the arm holes that are cut high and close. Maybe it's because of the texture of the denim that feels like unbroken new jeans, not soft at all but crisp like sun-dried sheets that I find earthy. There's enough structure to the shirt to keep it from feeling oversized and slightly sloppy as most denim or chambray shirts. As much as it can be, I think it the most formal or dressed-up among them. I love the shirt.

The jeans, also from Jean Shop, we'll talk about on another post. You can see they are sausage casings for my legs. They're supposed to loosen up after wearing but I haven't broken them in yet.

Word has it some of Hollywood's trendiest have stepped out in the once taboo Texas tuxedo (it was reported by MTV Style a year ago, but hey, you know how I stay on top of these things!).
Prince Harry was spotted in the coordinated outfit one morning.
Even Jenna has done it.

What do you think ... is this a fashion do or don't or is it so over?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Whoa ... What ?!

This has got to be a record. Didn't this top just get launched two days ago? So how ... why ... is it on reduced pricing already?!

In case somebody was fiddling with the website and it was a mistake and somebody realizes at some point and it is changed by the time you are reading this post, this is what it says (just now):

was $110.00 select colors $98.00 item 83779

Our silk cami in a vibrant abstract floral that our design team spotted on a roll of vintage wallpaper (blooming with... More

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Visit with My Dad

Still catching up from my visit to my dad's ...
wore this thinking he would get a laugh and I was right.
I was surprised how well the vintage thermal henley layers under a thin tee -- in this case a Crewcuts sequin happy face.
In addition to the lovely wisteria found in his backyard ...
there are hydrangeas ready to burst
and pretty dogwood.
I thought this the epitome of spring.
 We had a magnificent day walking in the woods
and by the lake.
I simply pointed the camera skyward and took this, isn't it peaceful and invigorating at the same time?

My dad is a fabulous cook and I didn't take pictures of the yummy things he made for me ... I was too busy eating!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quick Change Artist

Quick Change Artist

My flight lands at 4:01 and the event is at 5:00. I will not have time to check into my hotel and change. Must hope my flight is reasonably on time and take a taxi straight there from the airport. This is what I'm planning: calf hair valentinas for the two-tone ballet flats, dark star popover for the travel trench, minaudière for the luggage. I may need to keep the scarf on if the place is cool. I'll have the shoes, clutch and popover in my carry-on bag. I think this will work. It has to.

Unexpected business trip. I'll be back mid-week ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Little Old Lady

This was a test drive. Disregard the Liberty print shirt and cambridge cable crewneck and Bellamy booties. The things I wanted to try out were the jacket and skirt.

The lovely DaniBP talked of a Chanel-type suiting in this post. Much discussion followed on whether the jacket and skirt would be worn together (to look like the title of this post) and practical or if the outfit only belonged in wardrobe daydreams.

I didn't dream of a Chanel suit. However, in my mostly business casual world, there are business dress occasions where a matching skirt and jacket would be appropriate or I'd feel like I've worn denim to the symphony.

These pieces were purchased separately. The jacket was justified because first of all, you can describe it as purple tweed. Husby's favorite color and my second favorite. In addition, it's not a heavier wool tweed like most of my Chanel-type jackets. And it's tweed! So perfect for travel because it won't crease easily. Though the jacket is called Rialta, the skirt is the Bellflower. I had to have the skirt too because it's purple and besides, it could be worn with the jacket for a formal business event in the spring or even summer when wool would be too heavy. That's what I told myself when these things went to season close-out pricing last year.

That business dress occasion was two weeks ago and I was ready with my purple tweed suit. But before then, I wore them together just to be sure (and that trial run is pictured). That is so unlike me because I'm typically trusting things will work out as imagined in my mind. Sometimes they do. But it's not a pretty picture when they don't, especially when you are thousands of miles away from your closet.

For the real thing, I ditched the shirt and crewneck for a soft cashmere cowlneck in lavender.

Lavender ... isn't that a favorite of you know who?

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Wonderful Day

Two weeks ago, I looked forward to seeing cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., thinking I finally got lucky on the timing of my trips and would see the flowers close to their peak. It was not to be as I learned they were mostly all gone due to the rain and wind that followed their early blooming.

Since I don't get back East very often, I'd pay the difference in airfare and take a couple vacation days to visit my dad at the tail end of a business trip. So imagine the lovely surprise of finding these in my dad's backyard! I know they're not cherry blossoms but they're even better. I've been curious about the Wisteria ever since learning about Louis Comfort Tiffany's gorgeous Wisteria stained glass lamps. I'd always wanted to see the inspiration and they did not disappoint.

My dad says the weather is always perfect whenever I visit (and it's often stormy or freezing or sticky hot before or after). It seems to be like the small miracle on the day I got baptized some decades ago (and today is the anniversary of that wondrous day). I had decided for the big dip in the ocean and in early April, the water by SoCal is in the mid-50s. I remember tracking the temperatures of the Pacific all week, nervously wondering how I'd handle being cold and wet (one of my biggest fears) . And I'm not making this up, but on the day of my baptism, the water temperature rose 10 degrees from what it was all week (and promptly dropped back down 10 degrees two day after).

Father knows best, don't you think?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Short List

You know the lists. The ones that give you the top X things you should or should never do.

Somewhere I read a no-no was for shorties like me to wear cropped pants as regular length.

Hmmm ... well ... I did here and have for months committed this glamour don't. Intentionally.

And I'm old enough to say I don't care like a six year old.

Speaking of a child, the sweater is the Crewcuts snowdrop popover. Can you see that the polka dots are fuzzy? Details like that make me happy.

Worn with the perfect shirt in indigo floral, the café capri in wool (on sale now for a fabulous price) and the always fantastic Penelope mary janes.

What fashion faux pas do you make on purpose?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dinner for One

This was what I had the first evening of my trip. The restaurant's signature dish and yes, that is a glass of cold brewski. Highly unusual for me but it sounded good. And it was, as was the Pad Thai.

A long time ago, I read someplace some advice about developing confidence. Force yourself to have dinner alone at a restaurant. Don't sit at the counter, don't bring a book, don't engage with personal electronics (In the spirit of the advice, I'm adding the bit about personal electronics. I read it so long ago, I don't think there were such things as personal electronics lol.) and don't hurry. Just enjoy your dinner.

I did that several times years ago. And recall how amusing it was to have the wait staff check repeatedly whether I was expecting someone to join me. It seemed to be even more uncomfortable for them.

From time to time on business trips, I've had opportunities to refresh that personal development. I also get to have things husby would not. It's the Pad Thai in this case; he likes beer. ;)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Café Capri in Jewel Jacquard

If you'd seen my post on the café capri in leopard jacquard, you'd know this too is a faux jacquard. The online description says "in a stunning gem-print jacquard" when it should have switched the word order for accuracy. The pattern is simply printed so they're really capri pants in a gem jacquard print.

What got to me is the wool/silk blend. I've liked that combination in the past and was so excited, didn't notice it also includes something else. The exact composition is 59% wool, 27% silk and 14% nylon. Though I'd prefer the nylon portion to be zero, I don't regret getting the pants. They're another for my loud pants collection.

As you can see, the fabric is surprisingly silky even with substantial wool content. And as you can also see, the pants are not so capri on me.
Worn with the lovely cashmere cable cowlneck sweater and Charlie ruffled suede platform mary janes. On a recent sunny spring day still with slightly chilly temperatures.

Husby said it would be good for Easter. And I cannot believe it's April already!