Category: Accessories

Creative mama: Robin

As soon as Fall has arrived and until cherry blossom explodes on the streets of New York, I usually enter into my Feathers and (faux) Fur mood creatively. You might have already noticed this tendency from my last winter’s mood of the day posts.
This year, I also have to be resourceful to fulfill my appetite for new clothing because I still haven’t found a full-time job and I am still have post-pregnancy 15lbs to shed. So I started a sort of wardrobe surgery clinic by transforming some of my old maternity clothing into things that I might actually like to wear rather than have to wear because of my Sharpei like belly and cash shortage.

So here it goes: DKNY simple black maternity dress, brass sequins from the shoulder straps of a worn out Pea in a Pod maternity dress, 2 feather trimmings, black felt and…snaps from Spain (it seems like a random fact but my fashion designer cousin got me these while working for Loewe few years ago and I have yet to find nicer ones… Love them).

Et voila. I like the edge it gives the outfit and even without the feather patches, I could wear the dress with the snaps being visible.

It is called ‘Robin’ because:
A – it’s a bird
B- the kids are currently obsessed by 1970s Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ or as G would call it ‘Robin the Poop’ so I have to endure it twice a day. It is like brainwashing. It is driving me insane. The worst part of it is that it is supposed to be the story about some guy stealing the bad and rich and give back to the nice and poor. So basically the story of a good dude with compassion, right? So why did my kids become complete pains in the ass since they started to watch this animated movie? I am NICE and POOR!!! Don’t they get it? I NEED compassion.

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Mood of the day: new old me

I finally made the big leap and by that, I don’t mean:
– kicking out L back to his room when he crawls into our bed in the middle of the night and pull and pinch my breast as if it was a a ‘doudou’ (French for anything that calms the baby: teddy bear, security blanket, muslin, padded book etc. In the case of L, it is the breast of any female between 18 and 45 year old)
– submitting my resume to a local restaurant to apply for a waitress job because our debts are piling up
– begging my mom to come and live with us to help with the kids

I chopped my hair. I was tempted by the whole Britney Spears infamous head shaving but did not go through it because a- winter is too friggin’ cold in New York and b-I have a super flat back of the head, as in flat ironed; another thing I used to blame my mom for. She probably let me sleep flat on my back ALL the time. She did have a 1 one year old (my big sis) to mind at the same time so I guess I now understand her and can no longer really hold this against her…It still sucks though.

Anyway, I did not shave entirely but went back to my post wedding and pre children hair style: short and short. People who met me in New York were stunned (most of them positively rather than ghastly stunned) and asked: ‘it must feel…strange?’It actually did not feel strange at all. It feels more like peeling away all the worry and layers built up after 4 strenuous years of fertility treatment, pregnancies, breast feeding etc. It feels more like getting ready for 2014 aka ‘get a job, whatever it is’ year with the kick ass energy of an old friend: the (hair) Bob.

Many people were also freaked out by how much I now look like my daughter, P. Me is thinking (slightly annoyed): ‘Cannot believe that my trademark hair style got appropriated by my 2 year old…Damn it!!!’ Oh well, I guess it is just the beginning…

Today, to accentuate the new bob, I went for: BCBG Max Azria stripes dress, Roberto Cavalli belt, French blue beret, Natasha’s old vintage rabbit fur vest (worn with the skin out), and new Blowfish ankle boots.

P.S: P saw the beret and wants it…

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Creative mama: Toy

The whole week sucked. So I decided to do something creative with my hands instead of punching a wall. I had no idea what to do and started to rant about all the clothes I really need to get rid off because they have breast milk stains…Bingo I was going to make a breast milk patch in leather for a very cheap but comfortable Forever 21 top I used to wear loads while nursing.

I was inspired by my amazing childhood girlfriend Toy who now lives in Ireland. She wore the quirkiest and prettiest dress for her wedding. Her black dress was made magnificent by a stylish and clever accessory by Le Bestiaire Unique . I also thought of her because she has a very very contagious smile and laugh and boy do I miss it today. I also found inspiration in a lamp sculpture I saw in a Chelsea gallery earlier this week (before everything unravelled). I had the sculpture in my mind for the whole day but cannot remember the name of the artist to save my life!!!

I cut circles in 3 types of leathers (different colors, smoothness and thickness), glued them together into some kind of harmonious configuration, glued the male parts of snap buttons in the back and sew the female parts on my top. The idea is to be able to remove the leather ‘patch’ when washing my top.

I am now thinking that I do have a couple of dresses (also ruined by breast milk) that may be enhanced by this new patch. Yippee!

What do you guys think about this?

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Mood of the day: the Frenchie

Very strange weather. Last week I was boasting about New York’s Indian Summer to all my European mates and this week is a mix bag of rain, thunderstorms and tornados alerts, Fall breeze, hot and sunny afternoons etc… As the French say, ‘c’est n’importe quoi!’ (It’s anything…and everything). So I decided to just mix Summer and Fall:

– my favorite summer jumpsuit from United Colors of Benetton. It is as comfy as pajamas. And it has helped me a lot to hide my bump in the early days of my pregnancy with L, after I gave birth to L and …now.  Yep, it is kind of the same bump, and it looks like it is here to stay, the kids even named it. They call it ‘LE BEBE’ (the baby)…

– my mint pumps from Nine West

– a scarf by Day Birger et Mikkelsen

– and my most precious item of clothing: a trench coat from Louis (Vuitton) that I literally snatched away from some skinny gal during a sample sale (back when my cousin was working for LVMH). I am not proud.

Every fashionista has read at least one article or two about French women’s (supposed) natural and effortless chic. My little brain went French woman + scarf + trench coat = BINGO. Except that how effortless chic can you really be when you can no longer freaking close the trench coat???? Oh well…

On a side note, I met up for a coffee with Lou, a childhood friend from France, who was visiting New York with her hubby. We haven’t seen each other in about 18 years and it is was shocking how easy it was to just pick up the conversation and run with it. Great feeling. It was also funny to talk to someone who knew you as a child and as a teenager but then missed your adult years because they say things like:

‘It’s hilarious because I would not have pictured you with a husband and 3 babies. You were so adamant about not getting hooked up with anyone, so independent!

-‘Back then you already seemed rather unaffected by shitty stuff that would happen around you, like floating above the crap.’

I guess I did change but not so much 🙂

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Creative mama: Archer

After a quick start and a madly productive period, I dropped the ball with the Amateur Art August challenge…Almost 20 days have passed since I last finished something. It is not because I was lacking inspiration but it was blatantly because I lack skills. I basically spent 2 weeks thinking of a prototype for some removable cuffs and then I finally got into action. Blimey. I realized that even though I really want it, I am not Stella McCartney. Terrible design. Terrible choice of materials. Terrible pattern. Terrible construction. Usually when I create something, it is is an original piece as in ‘look closely at it because you will never see me doing this piece ever again’. It is not snobbery; it is just that I usually have no fucking clue how I got there.  I just wing it.

The key problem with my latest creation was simple: 2 arms, 2 wrists, 2 bloody identical (preferably) cuffs. So yep, totally outside of my comfort zone. Anyway here is my ‘Archer’ piece, tribute to Archibald who was on my ass for the last 10 days  saying ‘Just do it woman, just do it!!!!’.

I cut 2 pieces of soft leather, pleated flannel animal printed fabric with tulle material, and stitched the whole thing together. Then I finished with some golden snaps so the back of the snaps can be seen to add some edge.  I tried them on a long sleeved black top and underneath a men’s jacket. Oh well, let’s hope they’ll last until the end of Fall. Also, it is clearly not suitable for when eating soups.

Lessons I need to apply for my future projects include:

– I have to learn how to use my sewing machine because hand stitching is NOT always a good idea especially if you sew like a drunken sailor walks.

– Because your hand stitching sucks, try to find some ‘forgiving materials’ that won’t show every screw up you make. For example, ‘varnished’ animal prints are a NO-NO, OK?

– There is no way to make shortcuts to cut your leather properly. It takes time. Yes it sucks but that’s the way it is. You need to clean your cutting board, use it with a sharp blade and stop using a pair of scissors to cut leather as if you were doing some friggin’ paper Origami.

I think this is my last piece as part of the August challenge, I had fun and hopefully my creative streak will remain alive. Thanks to my fellow bloggers who took part in the challenge:

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Mood of the day: back to back

It has been a while since I have done a MOTD post and the reason is simple: in the last 2 weeks I have been looking like a hobbit on most days and when I was not, I had to rush out of the house because I was late for this or for that. I did miss not doing this type of post because it encourages me to mix and match old and more recent clothing and accessories and give a new twist to my wardrobe – which is sorely needed considering my emaciated clothing budget. Something funny happened yesterday; I realized that I was wearing the same combination of necklace (a 50s 3-strings necklace from Pippin), belt (a reversible grey/fuchsia belt by Calvin Klein) and shoes (flat sandals by Mix No6) as the day before!

This never happened before; I don’t do this type of stuff usually. The funnier thing is that these two days could not have been more different.

Day 1

Main activity: going to the Supreme Court to register the name of my freelance business. It was a little silly to be in such a grandiose place for a trade that only has one client who signed for a few hours of my time. But I must admit it was a silly and feel good moment too.

Look: Zara suit jacket, anna-kaci harem cropped pants, Gant halter top, and reading glasses by Vera Wang

Food: a 3 courses lunch at Robert@MAD Museum, top floor, with my French friends Louis and Chloe from London. It was quite a heart-to-heart meal during which we honestly shared how fucked up we can be as parents and shared our bemusement at Americans and British parents. How come they never yell? We, French people, seem to have this motto: Discipline = Putain de merde, tu vas arreter, oui??? (Are you fucking going to stop or what?).

Funny anecdote: I came out of the Supreme Court and hundreds of people at the bottom of the stairs were screaming in
my face ‘we want justice‘ showing signs with a teenage black boy with a hoodie. Turns out I was in the middle of shooting for Law & Order. That was very scary, all this crowd….I don’t think I’ll ever have what it takes to be famous 🙂

Day 2

Main activity: taking care of L. All day.

Look: Stripe top, electric blue Kensie crepe trousers, H&M sunglasses

Food: Shrimp and cilantro wrap from Pret-a-Manger in Bryant Park with Archibald. The plan was to have a catch up during Archibald’s lunch break and watch L run around the lawn…We ended up running after L as he decided it was way more interesting to mess with people’s lunch. People were not amused. DH and I usually let our kids wander off so we can chat or drink some wine but often have to sprint at the last minute to get them out of mucky situations (e.g. getting licked by a dog, stealing people’s frapuccinos etc.). And people usually wonder with mixed concern and annoyance where the bloody parents are …

Funny anecdote: P & L were at the day care and I managed to get showered and be out of the house at 8.45 with L for a coffee run. It was the first time ever that I was ready that early with a kid in tow. A true miracle.

So what do you guys think? Day 1 or day 2?

Note: I realized I bought a XXL size belt…Bloody moron so I had to dig out my leather craft tools to make a hole. I guess my 5 weeks at Fashion Institute Technology in Accessories design 101 were not completely useless.

Note 2: in the ‘spot the differences’ game, who noticed the little man in the background trashing my white bedding with his shoes????
Back to back

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Creative mama: Sandrine

I cannot believe I am still part of the Amateur Art August challenge. I seriously thought I was going to drop out after the first week but that’s the beauty of the blogosphere, you get to ‘meet’ women from all over the world who, despite being sick and/or trying to juggle everything, stuck to their pledge and have been pretty productive. So thank you:

because of you, I am on the longest streak of accessories production since…well…EVER. This week’s piece is called Sandrine, as a tribute to a dear Japan-obbessed friend (or at least, I think she is Japan obsessed, if not…AWKWARD :). Anyway, this friend, a very, very long time ago told me: ‘You should take your creativity seriously, just do it.’ Better late than never, I guess.

I shaped some teal straw and added a double bow. To tell the truth, the shape is pure luck because I cut it out from some old and damaged summer hat. I was going to through the hat away but thought the wave was interesting so I cut out the center piece thinking that one day I might do something half-interesting with it. I hand stitched a piece of black suede leather (yes, my fingers are still hurting and yes, my needle is ruined) into a japanese Obi style shape and used a vibrant ribbon from Mokuba to maintain the shape. Mokuba is an exclusive Japanese ribbons and trims supplier which has stores only in Japan, Paris and NYC. It is like Heaven:  everything is beautiful and soft there.  Heaven with some tenacious guards who don’t allow you to touch anything. You have to look at the ribbon rolls with submission and reverence and you have to lie (e.g. ‘Yes, of course I own a fashion label, here is my uber fake business card’) to be able to buy a piece of Heaven. God Mokuba, I hope I served you well with my ‘Sandrine’.

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