Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to School

It's back to school time. Oscar starts second grade tomorrow!! And my older sister's eldest child, Frannie, below, starts college. It's weird how that bluesy, summer's over feeling never really leaves you. I feel it by proxy for Oscar. Summers are the best time for us as kids. As excited as I was to see my friends again, it also meant spending less time at home doing nothing and just generally less time swimming!

As people who've seen the recent movies Toy Story 3 and The Kids Are All Right know, when your first born goes away to college these days it can be pretty emotional. My sister's been feeling it and this is the email she sent to the family after dropping Frannie off at school.

"We got to Madison without anything falling out of the truck. Thom met us there. We walked down State street to dinner, the four of us. Sophia had a tournament in Duluth. Frannie started looking a little grey as we walked and then lost it in the restaurant after dinner. She made it to the bathroom. We put her to bed at the Hilton and went out to hear some live music on the Menona terrace. Thom and Fran woke up early and set out for the long line to move into the dorm. Paddy and I met up with them after a Farmer's market run at the capitol. We set up her room all day which included bunking their beds, laying carpet, setting up a futon complete with matching bedding, pillows, lights and area rugs. It looked adorable when we left at 3. The goodbye was super hard and I am still a little numb that she is gone. Where did the time go? She called me at 8PM and said that she didn't feel well again. I told her that she needs to do one thing and that is to concentrate on taking in enough water and nutrition to get her through this transition. If she did this, she will do fine. I hope she listens. It is a time for growth all around. Thanks for your thoughts and love. Ann"

This is the response our father sent to her:

"Ann: Here are my thoughts. When I went to college in 1953, my coach took me up to South Bend. I packed my clothes in a card board box and do not think that I took anything else. I did not know about suitcases. I don't remember my parents being involved in that momentous event in my life. They were too busy with the other eight children. When I wanted to quit after one month and come home, I called my coach and he came up and talked me out of it. You must recall that I knew no one who had ever gone to college in my family or friends. My parents, as great and wonderful as they were to us, never set foot on a college campus until the day I graduated from college. Nor had I until that day when I went away to college ill-prepared academically and otherwise. Frannie will do well and so will you and Thom. I love you. Dad"

Two very different beginnings of higher education.

Our father stayed in school and went on to become (among other things) a circuit court judge and all around one of the most intelligent, eloquent attorneys and (for the purposes of this blog) one of the most stylish men I know. His life is the sparkling portrait of the American Dream.

Amazing how things have changed in just two generations - from not knowing about suitcases to area rugs and matching bedding...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Specific Standard Time

Last week, on our final day in France, after a long day of walking and walking and shopping, I'd just jumped in a cab on my way back to the apartment in Paris when my iPhone rang. I almost didn't answer it as I didn't recognize the LA number calling me as I'm cruising in the back of a Mercedes taxi (I still love the fact that taxi's are Mercedes, it's like instead of a cab, someone has sent "my car" around to fetch me) down the quai d'Orsay. Deathly scared of the international charges from AT&T, the only reason I had my phone turned on at that point was because I was waiting for a call from le Mari to make a meeting point. But I grabbed it and very happily it was Max Padilla, journalist for the LA Times looking for a quote for a piece he was writing on The new Shop at the Standard hotel downtown LA. "Max!" I said, excitedly, "perfect timing! You're reaching me in Paris!" As if calling a domestic cell phone on foreign soil was akin to mental telepathy. Here's what came of that remarkable, incredible Parisian conversation:

To read complete article click here.

The Shop has been garnering a lot of good press, I'm so honored to be included in the coverage.
RF29 ran this one!

And naag, the coolest of cool blogs, by model Agness Deyn and her friend Fiona Byrne wrote this:

This is what they say:

"And it's about freakin’ time! We love the Standard, and its brand-new-and-improved shop is more incentive to go to LA. It was totally redesigned by the Standard team and Commune (awesome LA-based design firm) so it's got that chic, modern allure (expect bright magenta, high-gloss lacquer cabinetry in contrast with a dark green marble floor.

Design aside, it’s the actual merchandise that had us at hello. They are all produced and made by locally based designers, including jewelry, clothing, accessories and more. Think rad, quirky stuff, too, like Mimobots flash drives, Ksubi Skeleton sunglasses, WOW Yoshimoto Nara artist towels, limited edition clutches by Clare Vivier and fun Kid Robot toys. Loving it, but super-bummed we're going to miss the actual opening date (August 24)

The Shop at the Standard, 550 South Flower at Sixth St., Los Angeles tel 212-892-8080 www.standardhotels.com"

Look how cute their collage "about" page is...I'll be checking back with this blog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Au Revoir, À La Prochaine

Vacation always flies by.
Nary a moment to learn Quickbooks,
return numerous emails or update blogs...
Here's what my vacation was filled with:
Green markets in seaside towns...
Passant le filet sur les courts terre battue...
Swimming, learning about history at various castles, and general frolicking...
Hours spent at table conversing with family and engaging in the best of locavorism...
Hoarding un-necessities at small town flea markets...
This year, I bought an entire collection of vintage matches (??!) off a darling old man, as well as, the requisite linens - to add to my growing collection of vintage French, white linens. What? I use them, I swear! Now the matches...that may have been a moment of "everything-is-so-freaking-cute-in-France" hysteria, I admit. I am not immune.
Goodbye France. See you next year.

That was our vacay wrapped up in a few pics.
I'm back in LA now and on to more and more CViv!
I'm happy to be home and so so happy to be busy.
As they say, idle hands are the devil's tools.
(I don't know who says that, nor how I know that expression.)
Here's what's next:
A party celebrating the opening of The Shop at downtown LA's Standard Hotel for which I've designed a special clutch.
There are so many things I love about this collaboration:
Andre Balazs properties and downtown LA,
to just name a few...
And everyone's invited!
If you want to come RSVP to dtla@thestandardhotel.com

pictures above courtesy of Le Mari.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Un Jour A Paris Avec Ma Sœur

So far, I've had only one day in Paris. I went in to the capital to meet my sister at the airport and then we got to steal away a day and hang out together before returning to the countryside. And look what I found at the first store we went into...
Hasbeens at Claudie Pierlot - on sale, and in MY SIZE! I put them on, paid for them, and deftly put my Chucks in the CP sac en papier, (red clogs were much, much cuter with my black sundress and Marni necklace) and went on my way. My sister took the top picture at the courtyard entrance to the Jardin du Palais Royal on the black and white pillars. And very soon after it was taken, I took the bottom picture as I sat down in the jardin to put my Chucks back on. As far as clogs go it's Dansko - 1, Hasbeens - 0. Owwy badowwey, Swedish shoes!
This is the lovely Parisian living room of my lovely sister-in-law in the 7th arrondisement where they so graciously host us every trip to Paris. But since we mostly come in the summertime, she and her family are most always at their country house and we stay alone in Marie Antoinette splendor.
One of the only things I wanted to do during my day in Paris was visit the 40 year YSL retrospective exhibit at the Petit Palais. When my sister and I arrived there was an hour and half wait to get in! When you only have 1 day in Paris, the last thing you want to do it spend and hour in half in line! We were about to walk away from the Palais as I was telling my sister about the book from the exhibit I'd gotten a month or so ago, online. She said maybe we could just go the giftstore...
I asked the guard if there was one and he told us very sheepishly that, yes, there was a gift shop and we could go to the side door. Turns out the "side door" lands you smack dab in front of the ticket counter. We were in.
We felt a small pang of guilt for all those line-waiting nice people outside and for the first half of our visit we thought we were going to be thrown out at any minute. To add to this paranoia, I had to take pictures which was strictly interdit aussi. Mais bon. We leisurely visited the extensive show and lapped up every last evening dress, 1965 baboushka wedding dress (center) and "smoking" tuxedo.
Parisian street art. Two differen't places. Two different ladies.
Had to stop by Merci again - this time for un petit cafe.
Walking down Rue du Jour, I took this picture of Agnes B and I love the way it looks like St. Eustache is coming out of the top of the store's head. Even when the clothing in the shop is rather boring as it was this time, I'll always love Agnes B. Established in 1975 with a snap cardigan, and she built into a global company with cinema, art, music too. She's pretty punk rock to me.
No good clothes at the boutique this time, but I took a picture of this movie poster with Charlotte Gainsbourg which was hanging at the shop. I couldn't have known that later that night I'd see Charlotte at our restaurant of choice. Even though I know she's painfully shy. I spoke with her. I told her mon mari worked with her a couple of months ago on the video of the song she did with Beck and that we have a great photo of the two of them from that day, and asked her if she'd like a print. She was lovely and gracious. She said, yes, if I would send her a print she'd appreciate it and her address was 40, Rue du Cler (that's not the address she gave me) but I was struck by the fact she gave me her home address so freely as most celebs are so paranoid. Must be different in Paris...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Women on the Verge of Departure

I'm in France now, but before I start blogging about the lovely French countryside, clay courts, amazing garden fresh veggies, cheeses and wines and whatnot, I've got to write about the clog crisis I had a couple of days ago - the day before leaving on my summer vacation. I believe there is a common affliction from which a lot of women suffer because I get a lot of requests "for the bag to arrive before I leave" and we've gotten more than a few studio visits from Women on the Verge of Departure. It's that feeling before we go on a trip that we must get the thing we're missing in our wardrobe without which our trip will just not be the same - even though we've never owned this item before and have lived quite well without it 'til now. I think it's when we're reducing our sartorial lives into bite sized pieces which fit into a suitcase, that we realize too clearly what we've been missing. We must purchase the illusive thing that's going to pull our vacay wardrobe together. (And make life better ;) )
For me, it was the sudden Clog Crisis. I just couldn't leave the country sans sabots, if you will. Yes, like everyone else with a slight interest in fashion these days, I've been latently craving clogs for the past few months. The slip-on shoe to be worn with just about everything, from school drop off to stylish meeting and into the night! Comfort with a heel - the eternal quest. Often I could be found at the Hasbeens site, or Maguba (too many choices! Impossible to decide) occasionally I'd even look at online stores like Shopbop (I don't get out much) and each and everytime, in the model I decided upon, they would be out of my size. I swear. (What's up size 37 people of the world? Why'd you have to go and buy up all the clogs? And, where are you, by the way, because I never see you.) I've drooled over each one above: Chanel ($1200), Maguba ($189), No.6 ($230), Rachel Comey ($357) and Hasbeens ($233) - clockwise from top left.

So on the day before my departure, I drove around like a crazy person (Creatures of Comfort - nada, Am Rag - nil) even considered going to Venice (far!) to check some hippy dippy spot on Abbot Kinney which supposedly has crazy clog choice at just before 6 p.m. Luckily I had my wits about my - a tiny bit - and called first. The only ones they had in 37 were floral or gold "low" clogs. Yea, no thanks. I finally gave one last try on Larchmont at that shoe store where they sell comfortble shoes...my brain refuses to retain the name of the place. Well, they had these above - they're Dansko, which I kind of love for the old school - or OG aspect of it all, but I was NOT in love with them at the store, however they were comfortable and at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday evening the night before my departure, that may be as good as it gets AND they weren't anywhere near $1200.
They're a little "fashion-y" if Dansko were to make a "fashion" clog, if you know what I mean, but I have to say, paired with my new light grey cotton Marni duster, and a few CVivier bags in tow, it was a pretty good airport outift. My feet were comfortable through LAX with a connection at Heathrow to CDG, a taxi to Gare Montparnasse and a TGV train to Nantes where finally my family was there to meet me with a car ride to the Atlantic coast where we arrived a full 24 hours after my departure from LA. The clogs probably won't see the light outside my suitcase until I'm in Paris at the end of my trip (can't do heels in the countryside), but my clog itch is scratched!

(Except those silver Magubas are pretty cute...darn it!)