That Touch of Mink

Does fashion matter? Always- though not quite as much after death.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Feeling Groovy

Is there anything better than the feeling you have when you are in a hip, cool hotel? The lighting, the music and hell, the people, all seem so much more fabulous...as you sit and watch everyone downing fabulous cocktails in fabulous clothing while Thievery Corporation pounds away in the background, you start thinking that maybe you could bring the whole package home. When you sober up and check out, you realize maybe all those votives would be a fire hazard and maybe Aunt Mary wouldn't enjoy sitting in a swinging chair so much. Don't despair, there is a way to take a little bit of that hip hotel home without any major renovations.

W Hotel has their amazing lobby shop online for you at www.whotelthestore.com complete with women's and men's apparel, accessories and cool travel gear. My pick for girls is the ultra cool Coco Chanel t-shirt. For boys- the black Penguin t-shirt is so much cooler than that Brad Pitt beentheredonethat brown polo.

A trip to the Morgans Hotel Group (Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame- includes famous properties such as the Royalton, the Delano, St. Martin's Lane) website www.morganshotelgroup.com will allow you to quickly connect to Itunes and download their super hip music from each of their hotels. Simply pick a property, go to "soundtrack" and hit "download soundtrack". No surprise that the mixes from the London hotels are rated the highest in Itunes.

The supercool Parker's mantra is "Take it home, Don't steal it". At www.buyparker.com you can click on "Live" to score such hot home accents as Jonathan Adler (the designer of their Palm Springs Hipster Mecca) pillows and throws and in the "Fun" section you can find the perfect quirky gift for friends.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005







Channeling Chanel

Coco Chanel once said "I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny." The only problem is that most of us don't leave the house with the type of cash that it takes to buy Chanel's wares. But that doesn't mean we can't pay homage to Coco in our own little budget-friendly way. ..

Victoria's Secret has outdone itself with this too-cute pink dress evocative of a Chanel suit www.victoriassecret.com

Comptoir de Cotonniers adorable textured jacket comes in classic black or white www.laredoute.com

Erwin Pearl's Dogwood earrings are the perfect accessory to finish off your look www.erwinpearl.com




Ahoy Matey

Let's face it, we all have our inner pirate- part rebel, part adventurer and part thief (even if it is only a grape at the grocery store). Whether it is Captain Hook, Captain Crunch, Pirates of the Caribbean (either the old school Disney World ride or Johnny Depp) or Adam Ant during his wilder days is entirely an individual choice. The consummate pirate symbol is of course the skull and crossbones, otherwise known as the Jolly Roger. Problem is that your inner pirate is "cute & rebellious"--not a member of the Hell's Angels. Don't go off the plank--here are some ways to satisfy your inner pirate and your adorable self.

Polo's adorable grosgrain belt is the perfect mix of preppy and punk. Although it is a Men's belt, the small will easily work for you. www.polo.com

Paul Frank is the guy who made monkeys fashionable and now has cute hoodies and t shirts with his adorable take on the skull and crossbones. www.bpnordstrom.com

At press time, no online pictures were available, but adorable ballet flats and wristlets in a light blue with skull and crossbones crest are in store at J Crew. Keep checking www.jcrew.com


Sunday, September 11, 2005


Isn't it romantic?

No one has to hit you over the head twice with a W Magazine for you to get that fall fashion is romantic--you get it--the lace, the velvet and the empire waists. Problem is, you're not exactly sure how to follow the trend without looking like you just stepped out of a Merchant Ivory film. Sounds like some affordable romantic accessories would doing the trick...sounds like a job for La Vie Parisienne.

I first discovered this delightful line in Aspen this summer and had to stop myself from buying *everything* in *every* color. Using jewelry molds from 1900s France and a method of applying old silver--these delightful Austrian crystal pieces will bring the romance to any outfit and yet, are simple enough to be worn everyday. Their new charm bracelets are to die for...

Some pieces can be found locally at Zelda Zen, 46 East Cross Street in Federal Hill or at Amarylis in the Gallery.

Online, try http://wilkinsandolander.com/vintage_jewelry_lavie_1.htm or http://www.trouveonline.com/la_vie_parisienne_catherine_popesco.html.

My Favorite Sweater

Although Fall usually takes its time getting to Charm City, there is something about the post-Labor Day mode that is decidedly autumnal. Even when faced with 90 degree weather, I begin to think about all things fall...Cider, hot soup, football and of course, sweaters. This year sweaters are bigger than ever and they come in every variety. From Chloe and Prada's oversized knits to chic shrugs. Oh, what's that, you don't have $900 in your sweater budget? Well, if you can't beat 'em...knit your own!

Not only are homespun knits fashionable, but knitting itself has become all the social rage. And it is even said to be therapeutic and a real calorie burner (well, this hasn't been proven-yet). So, where to get started? Head to A Good Yarn in Fells Point. The little gem of a store itself is as comforting as your coziest sweater--jazz music plays in the background and there is a buzz of knitting activity at all times. The wool is beautiful in a multitude of gorgeous colors and textures and inspiration surrounds you in the form of already completed projects. They cater to beginners and experts alike. When I stopped in with a pattern in hand, Gina helped me to choose an easier pattern, lovely al paca yarn, needles and walked me through the instructions even showing me a few stitches.

On Saturdays, anyone who wants to knit can come to their Saturday Coffee Group. A $5 donation is all that is required. This ain't your Granny's knitting club--the crowd I saw was decidedly modern girls with knitting skillz!

A Good Yarn
1738 Aliceanna Street
410.327.3884
Open Wednesday- Sunday 10am-7pm
www.agoodyarn.com

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Keeping Up with the Jones'...

Are you still trying to pay off those Ugg boots and that Juicy track suit, Trendy Wendy? As any smart fashionista knows, following trends can be a costly enterprise. Don't cry- no one said you had to be the last one at school without the boho chic look...let's just head to Cloud 9 this time.

Cloud 9 (with locations in Canton's Can Company, Belvedere Square and The Avenue in Hampden) is the place to find any trend at wallet-friendly prices (typically $30-100). Their buyer is excellent and they are always spot-on (if not ahead of) the season's latest. Their stores are expertly arranged by color which makes shopping all the easier. With hip brands such as Ben Sherman, Free People, BCBG and Soda Blu, you're sure to find something that is both fashionable as well as enduring. And boys can now get in on the fun with stylish picks from Ben Sherman and this just in--Penguin.

My favorites for fall? Ben Sherman's olive jodhpurs & cream cotton blouse with bird motifs, Free People's tulle shirts in red, teal and beige as well as their black sheer Edwardian shirt, To the Max's grey silk and lace camisole, Alexia Crawford multi-color pearl necklaces and bracelets, the chunky knits and the metallic bags.

And when the trend winds blow again--you'll be on Cloud 9...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Straight from the horse's mouth...

Last night, my friend and I lamented the state of our fall purse search. While I had seen several selections that had appeal, my hopes were dashed when the salesperson would say "and it's only $1100." And even upstarts like Botkier are in the $600 range. Believe me sister, I have been known to spend on a bag and I do appreciate that luxury costs more (although I am sick of the logos), but somehow this seems crazy. Fortified by red wine, my friend and I made a vow not to buy into this overpriced market. So, this morning I began my search for a better and kinder bag maker...and the winner is Casa de Polo (www.casadepolo.com)

Casa de Polo is a Costa Rican gem that has its roots in manufacturing equestrian goods such as saddles. The leather is beautiful and the craftsmanship apparent. All come in at under $150 and at these prices you can afford to pick up more than one and change bags often. All the bags come with a logo or non-logo option as well as the ability to have you initials put on the bag.

What will I be ordering for fall? The hip and practical Catalina, the oversized city-slicker Fran, the demure Beverly, sporty Olivia and classic Kelly...and all of these- for under $1100!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Secret Meaning to Life

Who doesn't want some good Karma on their side? Sure, you've seen all those celebs with their adorable Buddha necklaces, but all you can afford is that red kabbalah string (and even that's $20!). Well, Grasshopper, let me introduce you to Satya Jewelry (http://www.satyajewelry.com/).
I was first introduced to Satya while on a spiritual journey (OK, it was really walking to Magnolia Bakery to get a cupcake) in Greenwich Village. Their "yoga inspired jewelry" was to die for- and at very zen prices.
Check out their Ganesha Necklaces (the wonderful Hindu god who is the remover of all obstacles) or perhaps the Om is more your style...all are offered in silver, gold vermeil or a mix of gemstones and at their prices, you can afford to become spiritual and layer multiple strands. My favorite? The gold vermeil sun and moon necklace.
May you live well & be happy (in fashion).

Monday, August 01, 2005

Get Waist-ed!

Fashion sure can be confusing...First, you're told that it's all about the kitten heel, then it's about the wedge and the next week, it's ballet flats--poor exhausted fashionista! Well, fasten your seatbelts, because after lots of low rise living, it is suddenly all about your waist. I have long since known the power that a fabulous belt can have--it can turn even the dullest outfit into a chic ensemble. This fall, the belt has moved North to your waist-- around an oversized sweater, a blazer or long sleeve tshirt. It perhaps comes along with Victorian revival on the fall runways, but whatever the inspiration, it sure is flattering...Here are some of my favorites:

http://www.shopintuition.com/products/WesternRingBelt/index.html

http://www.anthropologie.com/jump.jsp?itemID=6868&itemType=PRODUCT&iSubCat=974&iMainCat=972

http://store.nordstrom.com/product/product.asp?styleid=2871074&refsid=159372&refcat=2376779~2376805~2373333&SourceID=&slotid=1&origin=related
(make sure you get it small enough to take it higher)

http://www.gucci.com/us/product-shots/us-english/us/fw05_be_146442_A6L0S_1000.asp
(clearly a slurge, but a worthy one with its classic styling)