Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer is Here

Summer is here, so a couple of things are going on which explain the fewer blog posts recently:
Oscar is out of school and was home with me (and Jocelyn during the day) for the first week of vacation. He spent a lot of time coming in and out of the office and also sitting like this on our front steps waiting for Mama to take him somewhere, while Mama tried very hard to finish her work...
Et aussi, le mari had a film in a film festival in SF so we traveled there for a few days:
It was a gorgeous weekend up there as the blue sky attests behind one of my favorite signs on Guerrero St.
We ate amazing food everywhere we went: crepes at TiCouz, pizza and salads at Pizzeria Delphina (!!), burritos at Pancho Villa, and here, a fantastic new restaurant (above) called Heirloom Cafe.
I wanted to take a picture of the food but it all went so fast...this was our appetizer: gnocchi, with fennel sausage, sauteed corn & arugula. Yum!
Mexico played Argentina on Sat a.m. so we walked around the Mission neighborhood in SF to find a Mexican bar to watch the game amongst la gente Mexicana. Alas, we found a bunch of hipster bars with flat screen TVs where most people were rooting for Argentina. So we kept walking.
Then we found this taqueria, La Cumbre, with a television from 1987 and reception to match, where we sat for a bit and snacked on guac and chips while Mexico got shown the door out of South Africa.
AND apart from our scrambling to get our biggest order to date (!) for Japan out the door on this Friday, apparently, CViv clutches are all the rage at our stores...hmm, I wonder why? ;) This one pictured above is one of a few which were made from this amazing embossed leather I found just a few precious, remnant skins of and is definitely the cream of the crop of new clutches. This picture screams summer in such a wonderful way - you know the top's down on that car, right? Thank you HBT!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Masculine in the best sense of the word

A few days ago, le mari had a group of guy friends over (who happened to be from five different nations) to watch the Mexico v. France World Cup showdown as I sat quietly in my studio working on these new pics I took the day before of the exciting new collaboration with Steven Alan.
Unlike the other iPad cases, these will be available only at Steven Alan, because it is he who requested this particular leather. While our regular cases are made with exquisite eco-tanned Italian leather which makes me crazy it's so gorgeous, these new ones are made from a leather handmade outside of Chicago with old world techniques and environmentally friendly dyes and is stunning in another way. They are extremely masculine - in the best sense of the word.
I loved sitting in here working with the roar of the crowds, the shrill of the vuvuzelas, and all the foreign guys speaking French in the other room. There was a lot of laughing, shouting and mocking the French coach who everyone loves to hate. It was another kind of masculine, in the other best sense of the word. ;)
J stamped these, not me, and she's got the scars to prove it. (Household hint, always keep aloe vera on hand, owie!) I'm happy that le mari is not a big sports watcher. But every four years, he loves to watch the La Coupe du Monde. This is our third one since we've been living together and we've been together for 3 years longer than that. Figure that out. I don't understand a single rule of the game but I do love the idea of the World Cup as well. I mean, natives of 5 different countries were here watching a single match - all of them speaking French! There's an overall sense of the world community coming together unlike any other time.

Probably because it's rare, I like hearing tv sports in the background, it reminds me of growing up with four brothers. But I cannot ever remember American people coming together on a weekday to watch a game which makes the world cup matches feel a bit illicit and exciting like you're playing hooky or something. When the game was over it was all of 1 p.m. and France had lost so the group exit was kinda quick and quiet. The guys said their goodbyes and headed to the door to return to their adopted American workaday lives and my studio returned to silence.
(viva Mexico! shhh...)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Café Before You Go

Lady Poppy is tagged and ready to go to Holt Renfrew in Toronto.
Just so you know, all of our bags get café and French chololates before they're shipped.
Jocelyn gives her a little primping advice, ie, how to hold herself like a lady in Canada.
She gets to chill a minute.
Bye Poppy, we'll miss you!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

That Teenage Feeling

These are my nieces, Frances and Sophia.
I took these pictures last week.
They are beautiful girls, very easy to photograph,
but I didn't want to take pictures of pretty girls.
I wanted to try to capture the essence of teenage.
They didn't know what I was doing, only that I didn't
want them to look like I was taking their senior picture.
I think I was trying to capture what is elusive about youth -
the arrogance, lonesomeness, doubt, warmth and beauty
all rolled into one.
p.s. I used Poladroid because it matched the nostalgic feeling I have for teenage years.
p.p.s. I was thinking of what to call my FB link to this page, and I was unhappy with the title of this entry when Nekko Case's song That Teenage Feeling came on iTunes random play! Very weird. Now, that's what I'll always call a Fabulous Reality, because that's what my high school writing teacher called coincidences or synchronicity, if you will. See, some things we learn in our teenage years last for a long long time....xoxo

Sunday, June 6, 2010

It All Started With Edun

Deb, my friend and trusted fashion cohort, emailed me a link to this picture the other day, with the subject line, "HELP!" She wanted, no needed, this jacket and wondered if I had anyone on the "inside" who could help out. I promptly forwarded the email to my inside connection, who quickly put in a call to an Edun person. The balls were put into motion, so to speak, to get Deb this Edun, ruffle collared, army jacket while I left town to go visit family in MN.
Minnesota is Summer-y, but not quite committed to the vernal concept yet. It's still in the phase of temps rising and falling, clouds and rain coming and going all in the same day, so when we left the house one morning in shorts in a t-shirt, we found that a couple of hours later we were in need of a shopping break to get out of the cold.
When I found this army green wind breaker at J.Crew I thought it perfectly suited the weather and bought it out of pure necessity and knew it would become my friend during this visit. Sure enough, this became my go-to item the entire week. It's NOT the Edun coat, not in fabulous-ness of the exaggerated ruffled collar, nor in the super-rad, socially minded way that company is constructed (J.Crew ≠ Edun), but it worked for my visit.
Side note: I've talked about my love for a certain vintage shop in St. Paul before, and this time I found this adorable Sonia Rykiel bag. I realized there was a green theme happening in my wardrobe.
The whole small, socially minded or artisanal-ly crafted Edun jacket v. J. Crew one makes me think of my green Repettos which were on my feet the whole week.
My sister liked them and didn't own a pair of ballerines, so I bought these red ones for her at the Gap. There's about a $175 difference in price and they look pretty similar. But I argue that it's worth it. As a small business owner and artisan who is trying to make a living producing a quality product in the USA paying a living wage, I will continue to support the small companies of the world who have great products. I love Repetto, just look at this video.
So there you have it: Edun v. J. Crew and Repetto v. Gap. We need both - the big congloms with good style and low prices, and the brilliant small companies of the world who create and give back to their communities. I just hope the latter doesn't get completely obliterated by the former.