When temperature hits -27c you know that your skill in layering clothes will be useless because the only thing you should do is layering 4 thick sweaters and thus look like a piñata. However, when you have 2 business meetings that morning you have to improvise your ass off. Here we go…
Bottom: thermal legging
Top: thermal tank top and tee
Head: faux fur hat
Bottom: Zara navy skinny trousers
Top: Vintage yellow gold blouse
Head: hubby’s grey wool hat
Third and fourth layer
Real vintage rabbit fur vest from BFF who since she no longer has any idea what winter is living Down Under has generously lent long term one of her most precious belongings to her slob ‘yours truly’ friend. That is real friendship for you.
Faux fur vest from the slob friend/me.
Grey coat not seen on pic because … I am sweating enough as it is.
I have an unfinished debate (mostly with myself because DH simply rolls his eyes calling me an hypocrite) about real/faux fur. One side of me screams outrage and the other side tries to justify myself ‘it is really, really old so there’s no much I could have done about it back then, right?’. It just feels so warm and soft arggggh
Anyways turns out that I could not have chosen a better outfit for the day because the freaking day sucked. Today I learned the hard way about ethics and work standards in business. It’s not because you care to the point of bankrupting your family and alienating everyone about a comma on a slide that others care too. Fakers and ‘all talk, no show’ are everywhere. And they are going to try to fuck you.
So here I was in a cab wondering ‘why the fuck am doing this to myself?’, ‘why am I so arrogant to think that I can win it all?, ‘how can you avoid sweat marks on blouses? ‘, ‘do I need a big slap on the head as a reality check?’, ‘am I doing this just to piss off my mom?’
69 blocks and at least 3 imaginary assassination plots later, I decided that I, me, myself was real. What I want to say and do is real. Fuck the fakers. Mark these words: YOU WILL NOT BRING DOWN (think of the #wickedmusical I.e. High pitch, looking all green, angry and fucking mental).
Special thanks to Natasha who when asked ‘why should I keep on, girl? ‘ simply answered ‘because you’re too fabulous’ #reallove
It is weird that I never did a MOTD post on color combos because I have been obsessed with color blocking since I was 6 year-old. Of course back then, my classmates thought it was color blindness not color blocking…. Idiots.
This morning, I was in a rather happy mood and decided to go for a daring combo of petrol green and red which may well lead to a ‘hello, Mrs Christmas troll’ reaction but hey who cares? It is #NYFW after all and everybody has moved to Lincoln Center and whereabouts to watch some eye candy and fashionistas strutting around with much swag (yeah!) and self-awareness (yikes!). I read somewhere that (stylish) peeps get paid for just walking in the street (and no, they are not hookers) in the hope to catch street fashion photographers. So I am basically safe and sound here up in Harlem.
Anyways, here’s the result:
– Petrol green faux leather leggings from Caribbean Queen which I thought I would never ever buy from because 1- I cannot help feeling like an idiot/fraud wearing anything called Caribbean Queen (I mean, seriously only Rihanna should be called that), 2- I am way too old to wear their stuff, 3- their aesthetic is so not mine (floral prints, nope, nope, nope)…but as I always say, one should never hold a prejudice (especially when the stuff is on sale) ….Well, after 2 weeks of trial the verdict is ‘I LOVE these fucking leggings!!!!’: my legs almost look like pre-kids legs! I still should not bend but I will take any small victory 🙂
– a navy turtle neck wool dress by Theory, which is one of my ‘grown up’ go to outfits
– a red GANT corduroy jacket
– a hand beaded sans cuffs leather bracelet that has a very place in my heart. I always feel so humbled when I wear it because it was designed and made by my cousin 30 years ago. The bracelet was her final project for her embroidery and fashion techniques qualification. A year before she had dropped her accounting studies much to her parents’ dismay because she sat down in the Parisian metro near a woman who was hand weaving and told her to check out her Fashion institute. Followed her heart and passion. After her graduation, she went on working for Maison Lesage …and Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquieres etc. #mostinspiringjourneyEVER
– and because it is ‘brain freeze’ cold season in New York, a white wool hat purchased during summer on a Philipp island off the coast of Australia. My shopping habits are so random.
Happy Fashion Week! A little gift too, the new Rag & Bone menswear F/W 2015 with Baryshnikov and Lil Buck (L-O-V-E)
I haven’t done any of these MOTD posts in a while because we swapped rooms with the kids and I de facto lost my ‘photo shoot studio’. Yes, after 3 years of hearing G plead for a bigger bed, we gave in, upgraded them from their cribs and surrendered the master bedroom to G, P and L. The war is done and lost. How do I feel about it?
People have been telling us things like:‘you are such amazing parents’, ‘you are better parents than we are etc.’ And I just smile in silence because the reality is ‘I feel Shit’. I MISS my big room!!!! Every night, I now bump my shin against the AC unit when I stumble out of bed as P wakes me up screaming ‘Pipi PIPI!!!!’ while standing in the dark like a freaking ghost. Every morning, I have to run naked from my bathroom to my new room where my underwear drawer is. I always try to do this very quickly but G often manages to intercept me to pull my belly fat…which just cracks him up to no end. Petit con.
I did keep 1/5 of my old room for my clothing/fashion craft closets (very Carrie Bradshaw with no Manolo Blahniks and more GAP sweatpants) as one of the terms and conditions of the peace agreement. But I eventually caught L playing with my leather hole punch…Not cool. You can pee on me in the middle of the night but MY tools belt is OFF limit.
Anyway, I was saying, I can hardly move in my room without knocking down a dirty laundry basket or bumping into the printer so I thought MOTD posts are O-V-E-R. And then DH said: ‘Why did you stop this? That was kind of cool..’ So here’s a trial. Apologies for the over saturated pics #smallandbrightroom 🙂
Top: battered denim men’s shirt , previously owned by DH
Bottoms: battered GAP jeans
Jacket: fake denim jacket with a handmade scottish plaid bow on a black safety pin; this tiny stupid red thing always makes me happy because I am imagining the spirit of kick ass Dame Westwood watching over me…ha.
Warby Parker sunglasses
PS: I also recently decided to have the collar up every time I wear a men’s shirt or men’s jacket as ‘my thing’/’vague attempt at a signature look’. Awesome or Get A Life woman?
Today is a big day because it is the first day that I will be sharing details of Another Garde, the fashion startup I have been working on since February to a friend/business brain/potential investor. It’s scary because I want her to be ruthless and tell me in the face if this whole business concept sucks. It feels a little like introducing G to his new teacher in September and say: ‘do you think he’ll handle structure and discipline well? Hmm…’ A little like giving someone a stick to beat you with. Basically.
Anyway there is a word for what I am doing today: pitching. In the 11 years, I lived in London I probably used the word ‘pitch’ only to order beer but New York is like Pitch Land! I seem to use it all the time:
Baseball pitcher: potentially the most revered sportsman in America
High pitch voices: that’s basically the sound of New York on Sunday brunch time, in shops, on a train to Long Beach etc. An odd sound mix of a pack of barking mutts and a 13 year old teenager having his first orgasm again…and again…again. Yeah. That bad.
Elevator pitch; in here you don’t introduce yourself, you pitch yourself. New Yorkers are pro networkers and have little time so you basically have 30 secs minute to make an impression. In fact, when I was looking for a job, Archibald/the worst job search coach ever used to say: you have 10 words to explain who you are, what you want and how I can help you so go ahead…after 1 minute of my rambling he would snore right in my face. Ass.
Anyway, here’s my Pitch Outfit – I figure that if I bleed from stress it will look nice on white 🙂 like O-ren on Kill Bill.
Elizabeth & James blazer, knit top from Joe Fresh, loungewear from H&M, black hide leather sandals from MIA and DH’s $20 aviator shades.
Let’s make this a home run people!!!
Disclaimer: This is not a public solicitation or offer to fund my business.
I am deemed to have more business related meetings and it is thus time to start getting some ‘go-to’ pieces. The problem is that I have no idea of what ‘go to’ pieces mean these days considering that a-I am reinventing my professional life for the 5th time in 15 years and b-I have been in maternity clothing for like 4 years or so. In my last iteration, I used to meet with brainy ‘let’s start a social revolution’ researchers and activists and now I am meeting with ‘let’s make the world rad and beautiful’ creatives and designers. The problem is obvious here. On top of it, my version of shopping in the last 4 years has been basically: second hand and ‘oh GAP is doing a 40% discount on their basics!!! Awesome…’
Since I also have no cash for thousand buys (the plot is thickening, not…), I thus decided to – for the first time of my life – adopt a uniform. However, there is a limit to me wearing my hubby’s tight shirts and the limit is now, like right now. I do dig the androgynous look but in reality I mostly look like a confused extra from the 80s Working Girl movie. Not Good. So here I am investing in a few pieces that I will wear at EVERY meeting. This in itself will be a huge challenge for the fickle me.
First stop: the polyvalent top. Something I can wear with shorties, pencil skirts, skinny jeans, Harem pants etc. Wear it casual or more formal etc. I do have a head start with my business partner being a fashion designer/creative director with kick ass taste so she is taking to places I had no idea existed: Assembly New York and Maryam Nassir Zadeh. They are places where I swear if I stayed long enough and closed my eyes hard enough, I would turn into a freaking dove. A Black Dove to be more precise – got to keep my quirkiness 🙂
GBP (Gorgeous Business Partner) is showing me some stuff including a beautiful tunique insisting: ‘TRY IT ON’ and I tell her: ‘Jeez, you have no idea how short I am, right?’ . I kind of comply to make a point. And I do look like an Asian Frodo in Gandalf’s robe; she quips ‘Oh’ and I say ‘Yep’.
OK let’s pause a moment because I need to describe my fabulous GBP. She is an almost 6ft tall kind Amazonian like creature whom men and women of any sexual orientation fawn over. I am not exaggerating; I have witnessed it over and over again. Gosh, I sometimes find myself staring at her piercing blue eyes. Think red-haired, edgier, warmer Uma Thurman. Yeah, can you imagine me walking next to her on the street??? Sometimes I do chuckle when we meet at a cafe and she asks: ‘What’s happening?’ I reply:’Nothing’ but really, I am thinking:‘Thank God, I feel no freaking self-hate because else I would take this bread knife now and seriously try to stab my self or cut my hair with it…’
Anyway, we eventually found IT (thanks GBP!!!). Below: an Assembly navy top, Theory navy shorties, Bonds tank top, Warby Parker sunnies. Note: I can close all the buttons of the top and I look like a No BS, I am in charge business woman mouaaa LOVE. Please do note I now have my own photographer in the form of DH; yet another plus of him being on a garden leave 🙂 Also, I have to share with you my laptop pocket (a recycled gift bag P got for her birthday from my friend Louise) because whatever iterations of me there are in the future, one will stay: Mama.
I feel like I am dropping the ball a lot these days. I am sprinting in thousands of direction without knowing if I am ever going to cross ‘The’ let alone a line. Future will tell.
I have reached out recently to many old girlfriends from my London era whom I haven’t talked to in a long, long time for a project I am working on. And Oh boy, it felt good and rather emotional. Thank god for skype: I saw tired but happy women, excited new moms, serene matriarchs, beauty all around.
This whole experience made me jump back to a time and a style I used to sport on a regular basis pre mommy’s curves: the cheap Tomboy.
So, this morning I felt like wearing:
– a plaid shirt with gold studs embellishment, found for $20 in my new digging haven The beacon’s closet, a vintage/sell/exchange clothing shop by the famous Parsons Fashion School meaning that the choice is probably more adventurous than in traditional vintage stores, yeah!!!
– Old Navy boyfriend jeans I recently bought because I needed more jeans but I cannot fathom spending too much on this body that can’t be my final iteration right??? Hmmm ,I am going to have to come to terms about these new curves….perhaps…eventually.
– a stolen battered leather men’s belt previously owned by a then skinny jock stud college boyfriend, now a buff stud daddy aka DH. Somehow, I feel I am going to regret saying to the world that I am wearing my husband’s belt…Women wearing their men’ s shirts = sexy, women wearing their men’s belts = ????!!!! Yeah let’s move on for now to the next accessory
– Converse sneakers (bought 10 years ago near Tottenham Court Road in London)
– and a pair of Marc by Marc Jacobs wayfarer sunnies borrowed from little sis
London ladies, this is a shout for you: I love you, you are an inspiration! And it’s finally fucking SPRING in New York City so I am going to enjoyit until it gets blazing hot and the deafening sound of AC units around the City gives me a pounding headache …in about 2 weeks time.
On a total random note: I dated a very handsome dude way back, who was kind of an ass to me, while being on a break with DB (Dear Boyfriend, young DH). By coincidence I saw how he looks now,20 years later, and DH is way hotter. It is bad but I felt quite smug about it 🙂 Shush don’t tell anyone…
I had a working session today with a Fashion entrepreneur/Fashion designer. I love meeting with creative people because they are often extremely good looking and being near them is like eating La Duree macarons while listening to Bach. They have an air about them, an halo: is it the fitted cashmere coat, the biweekly facials or the lighting of the places where we meet? Who knows but I often find myself longing after their freshly pressed silk blouses (90% of what I own has never been ironed) or the neat stitching of their cuffs: all evidence of wealth, savvy shopping or at the very least general good taste.
I am enchanted and inspired; their glow touches my face. When I get home, I want to eat Quinoa, I promise I shall remove my make up every day before going to bed to have better skin, and I am adamant about tidying up the book case in my living room which generally looks like trash compactor units piled on top of each other. I am so random, I know. But after 1 hour, I realize that I am truly starving because I had only a faro soup (which really was a broth with some spinach leaves and few faro grains) in a 5 hours meeting when really I wanted to order the burger. I thus end up sandwiching some cheese in between 2 home made cookies baked by Thor…That’s when I know the spell has been broken. Oh well.
Anyway, when I meet with fashion people I tend to be overly self-conscious about what I wear because I know that their professional eye and brain will notice and know everything about my outfit: how many times they saw me with the same pair of boots, what fabric my jacket is made of, which brand it is, etc. It gets worse when these people are women because I am a woman who loves to dress to impress women rather than men. I get stage fright. I thus decided today to play the ‘comfort’ card. If you cannot look nice, look like you are comfortable. People will always envy that 🙂
In the end the whole outfit was kind of meh: partly comfortable, kind of ‘unfinished’, a tad too safe..So bland that even an attempt of a Bowie inspired hair do failed to spice it up. I guess you can’t always get it right.
Cardigan from Joie, Gap body black dress, golden brooch found in a crazy Antiques barn in Barryville (I pinned it on simple canvas tote bag), a golden belt, a faux fur russian hat which ended up not working out (either the hat got smaller -unlikely – or my head got bigger -worrisome) and Celine boots.
There is ice and iced water everywhere in Harlem. On Wednesday, DH came back 5 minutes after leaving the house and said: ‘I cannot take L to the day care, it’s like a freaking ice rink out there’. So I had to do a work video conference call with Europe while L was smashing everything in the background and I had to throw breakfast food to L & P while they were watching TV. At this point, it is not multi-tasking. It is insanity.
Yesterday I had to push L’s stroller over mountains of icy snow; the poor chap felt like riding a Winterland roller coaster. Some people were looking at me ready to call Child Protection Services and I was like:‘I am SO going over this block of ice, I am. Watch me’. I am so sick of the snow, I am so OVER it.
Today to cheer me up, I took out from my ‘magic’ box, aka my accessories drawer, 2 things I love to complement a GAP little black dress and my MK rainboots:
– a feather ornament I made with 2 shoulder pads cut out from a 192os flapper dress and an old sparkling brooch. The pads used to belong this woman whose grandmother was a tap dancer and I got them for $10 via Ebay. Just love the idea of having the spirit of a dancer watching over me 🙂 I bet she kicked ass too.
– a golden thin stretch belt with a lion’s head as a clasp found in a stall at an Harlem flee market for $20. Snow: I am ROARING at you roaaaaaarrrrrrrrr
There are a couple of things I learnt in the last two weeks:
– the meaning of ‘polar vortex’, a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet’s geographical poles. Basically, an almost apocalyptic end of the world during which your brain seems to be freezing while walking and during which opening your mouth on the street could probably kill you if the cold air was getting into your lungs. New York is the worst place for that type of polar cyclone because you can no longer curse bad drivers and have to instead resort to roll your eyes from behind your winter burka.
– my immune system is actually stronger than I thought. How else can I explain surviving through nursing 3 sick children and serving as a human facial tissue for their mucus? I am IMMORTAL. Yeah!!!
This week marks a return to sufferable temperatures so silly me decided to flaunt season appropriate clothing such as…my Calvin Klein black shorties and a vintage light teal blouse hum 🙂 Of course, I ended up adding layers, here a Hydraulic faux-fur vest, a Pea in a Pod grey coat and a black knit beanie, to actually be able to go out. Got slightly over zealous. I also stopped combing my short hair. Jury’s still out on this one.
Note for the future: always check the state of your feet nails when wearing tights in case a sharp nail cuts into the nearby toe, which is atrociously painful. It is especially important if you are wearing a super super super tight body shaper, super super tight tights, super tight leggings, tight shorties…and a belt. That would save you a lot of time and lots of sweating!!!
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…