03
Mar
14

Why I Love the Oscars and Always Will

 

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I have absolutely adored watching the Oscars my entire life; wouldn’t miss them for anything, but this year I gave a bit of thought as to what, exactly, I love so much.

OF COURSE I love seeing what everyone is wearing; who doesn’t? But I have to say that even though I park myself on the couch (usually mine – I enjoy going to watching parties but often get frustrated as I don’t want to miss anything) an hour plus before the actual start time, as I know that I’m going to see much more from a sartorial standpoint on the red carpet than I will on the stage, I find the fawning of the reporters more and more annoying as I get older. A necessary evil, I know, but I truly don’t know how some of those celebrities can bear it. Anyway, yes its of interest who designed each gown and bauble, and the celebrities are apparently well trained in stating “who they’re wearing” for the reporter and audience. But, truth be told, although the gowns and jewels are generally spectacularly beautiful and one could imagine feeling like a princess or queen wearing them, etc., they really tell me, the observer, very little about the wearer’s sense of style and how they feel most comfortable portraying themselves to the world. As who of even the rarified few celebrities truly feels in their element (except for, apparently, Charllze Theron), comfortable in their own skin, walking in garments that often weigh an incredible amount, cling like a second skin and leave little room to hide a less than perfect body part, in sky-high heels, past dozens of people watching like hawks, trying madly to get their attention……really, if you think about it, having any amount of poise in such a situation is extremely admirable. Notwithstanding the fact that many of them may be having an absolute blast. My point is – its not about the clothes. And its not about gasping at depressingly painful to look at bad plastic surgery; but that’s another blog post.

One can see amazing garments at the Golden Globes as well, and at all the other award shows that have sprouted up over the last few years. Not that I don’t immensely enjoy watching those, but none of them have the majesty and gravitas of the Oscars. Watching every year always evokes such a sense of history; specifically Los Angeles history, and allows us to appreciate what the movie industry and technology make possible such that we are able to literally share the creative vision of the writer/director/producer, and, of course, actor. They’re a glimpse into a world of fantasy and realized dreams as well as of unfathomable hard work and sacrifice (and the “In Memoriam par always makes me cry – especially this year); so many aspects of the human condition and drama portrayed in a four hour period. Yes, they can be silly and corny and almost always run too long, although last night wasn’t too bad; but overall I think Ellen did a fabulous job and poked just enough fun; and she looked AMAZING – I thought her black and white suits with just a touch of sparkle were perfect.

In any event, I completely enjoy feeling like even the tiniest part of that fantasy world for just an evening – a not so guilty pleasure I so look forward to indulging in every year.

 

12
Feb
14

People I Admire: Diane von Furstenberg

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Went with a bunch of friends the other day to see the Diane von Furstenberg exhibit at LACMA featuring her ubiquitous wrap dress. LOVED the exhibit – I can’t say I have ever owned one of her wrap dresses; while I believe the concept is that they look good on everyone, I personally feel that I have too much figure in too little a space for them to really look ideal on me, and of course all of the dress forms are quite tall and slim….but I digress. Although I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the dresses and have included a number of photos of them below, what I found to be most striking about this exhibit was:

1) Walking down the corridor toward the huge room where the dresses were, we were in a historical floor to ceiling corridor of sorts – with advertisements and spectacular photos of gorgeous women wearing the dresses when they first came out; and, especially

2) The gallery we went into before going into the room with the dresses with various portraits of DVF, photographical and otherwise, a selection of which are below.

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This almost floor to ceiling photograph greeted you when you entered the room. Of course seeing it in person is much more effective, but what immediately struck me, and what I just LOVE, is the authenticity of the photograph – DVF is quite beautiful and stylish of course but here she is, wrinkles, imperfect skin, natural wavy (gasp!) hair and all, which is how she usually looks in most photographs that I’ve seen of her in the recent past. I just so respect that she gives out the vibe of being completely and utterly comfortable in her own skin and who she is.

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Adore this one as well; same comments essentially. In fact, no more comments on these; just enjoy!

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And here’s a real young one, just for fun….

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This was over the entry to the room where the dresses were; I’m not much of a dress person myself but nevertheless got kind of a kick out of it:

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Here’s Holly Brubach’s “intro” to the dresses:

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And here are a selection of the dresses, in their riotous prints and colors:

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Thoroughly enjoyable, and a great reason to get you over to the museum which has so many incredible exhibits and exciting events going on. – N

 

18
Jan
12

In Appreciation of (Trench) Coats

Please don’t hate me because I live in Los Angeles, where both Christmas and New Years were just about 80 degrees, clear and gorgeous, because I have a dirty little secret to share with you – I’m madly in love with coats of all kinds and so wish I got to where coats more often! They’re one of my favorite categories of clothing/adornment and provide such an easy opportunity to make a statement.

Of course I’m so grateful for the almost year-round ability to go hiking, biking, etc. and that I very rarely have to battle or prepare myself for the elements, but its such a treat to get to layer!

One form of coat I’ve seen a lot of in magazines and blogs this year, and which is even wearable here fairly often, is the trench coat, classic…

…and otherwise!! (All images from www.net-a-porter.com, as follows – 1) A.P.C. Gabardine Trench Coat, on sale for $230 ; 2) Burberry Brit Short Trench Coat $795; 3)Valentino Leather Trench Coat, on sale for $2037.60; 4) Alice + Olivia Leopard-Print Cotton-Blend Trench Coat, on sale for $247.50; and 5) Derek Lam Stretch-Denim Trench Coat, on sale for $725.  And Topshop has a very reasonable one (which I unfortunately couldn’t get a picture of) for $138 which comes in tan, camel, ivory and an incredible red! Take a look here.

I’ll do my best to be styling up my wardrobe with some version of these for the remainder  of the “cooler” (ha!) weather this year (the leopard and the green leather are my faves) but any of these could certainly remain staples in your wardrobe for years to come.

 (Originally posted 1/5/12 on http://www.urbandarling.com where I am a wardrobe stylist.)
14
Apr
11

Flea Market Find

Oh how I love a trip to the flea market/swap meet! This incredibly cool necklace is from my favorite, the Santa Monica Swap Meet, which takes place the 4th Sunday of every month at the Santa Monica Airport. Its sterling silver with various quartz- or agate-like stones and what looks like some old turquoise. According to the seller, it was made by an artisan who lived in Pacific Palisades, who chose for whatever reason to leave it unsigned, not that I care! So unique – I love it! Perfect to throw on with a basic t-shirt, jeans and boots and you have an outfit. (Yes, that’s me in the picture – you can tell by the hair!)

18
Mar
11

Some Fascinating Weekend Reading….

…if you’re interested in the history of fashion. Below you can link to articles on two women who have seen it all happen in the world of fashion, from at least the 60’s onward. It truly boggles the mind to even try to contemplate the things they’ve witnessed and the experiences they’ve had.

The first article is entitled “Grace Coddington, Creative Indeed” and is in the current issue of Intelligent Life Magazine. Ms. Coddington, who turns 70 this year, is the creative director of American Vogue and became much more publicly recognizable and universally adored after the release of the film “September Issue” in 2009 (which was a mesmerizing “backstage” glimpse of the twists and turns and ups and downs that take place before the huge September issue of Vogue (which showcases all the fall fashions, for any non-fashion-obsessed individuals who for some reason might be reading this post) is released to the public. The article tells us a bit about Ms. Coddington’s start in the industry as a model as well as about her trajectory to her current incredibly influential position; it also gives you just a taste of what a personality she is. So take a look here: http://moreintelligentlife.com/node/3414, and if you like what you see and for some reason haven’t seen it already, see “September Issue”. Just way too much fun, and I LOVE that 1) she apparently doesn’t wear any make-up whatsoever, and 2) she wears her hair curly/frizzy, i.e. au natural.

The second article is Interview Magazine’s interview with Polly Mellen, by Balenciaga designer, Nicholas Ghesquiere: http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/polly-mellen/. Ms. Mellen, also a complete and total character, as I initially discovered while watching the terrific documentary on Isaac Mizrahi, “Unzipped”, started in the fashion magazine business as a fashion editor at the now defunct Mademoiselle, then moved on to work under Diana Vreeland at Harper’s Bazaar, and then followed her to Vogue where she remained for more than three decades. Her last position was at Allure which retired from in 2001; she is now 86 and apparently remains sharp as a whip. Her recollections of working with photographer Richard Avedon on various famous celebrity photo shoots are alone well worth taking a look at.

So enjoy, and if you like what you see, comment away and subscribe! Have a lovely weekend – Nicole

28
Jan
11

New Year, New Eclectia Adornments Artist/Designer Focus Feature


Hello and Happy New Year, belatedly! I’m very excited to be celebrating the inception of something new on the Eclectia Adornments blog, a feature and focus on an Artist or Designer whose work interests and inspires me – hope you like it and come back for more!!

I’m very honored and excited to be featuring my dear friend, Krista Everage of Krista Everage Studio, and Everage Design, Inc., an interior design firm headed by Krista, who has a 5-year B.S. in Interior Design with a minor in architecture, and her husband John Everage, who holds an M.F.A. in painting and sculpture. (Check out their exquisite work at www.everagedesign.com.)

Krista began designing jewelry (under the name Krista Everage Studio) because of her awe of the beauty of gems, pearls and gold in their natural states, before they’re worked into a design. Her main interest and purpose is celebrating and enhancing the natural qualities of salt water pearls, diamonds, and gems, with the array of colors that the earth and sea offer up.

Krista uses her architectural, art and art history background to combine unusual colors and textures with forms and details from the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Byzantine cultures, as well as the Renaissance period. The sculpture of Diego Giacometti and Rodin are frequent inspirations as well.

Natural forms also enchant Krista, such as seashells, botanical imagery, animals and birds. A lover of the sea, Krista is known for her fine and wide variety of pearls – from golden South Sea baroque shapes to the blue iridescent Akoya pearls to a myriad of natural colored Tahitian pearls.

Krista carves the metal work for each piece first in wax and casts them with the lost wax process, and then hand finishes each piece, combining the raw gold from the heat and casting processes with burnished highlights, to give depth and richness to the metal, and to keep the sheen from over powering the gemstone or pearl luster. Her discerning eye has led her to determine that some gemstones demand a higher luster, while others are more beautiful when the gold is low key and satiny.

Krista, as a working woman, feels that fine jewelry should be worn during the work day and transition into evening, and her line is designed with that goal in mind. Her stunning jewels can be worn with a t-shirt and jeans, business attire or dresses, enriching the modern woman’s daily life. Many pieces are versatile, with chains that are adjustable to adapt to the wearer’s outfit.  She often makes pendants on enhancers, so they can be worn on a long chain, a doubled chain, a string of gems or pearls or even a ribbon.

Krista designs her collection in Los Angeles, and works with a master goldsmith in downtown Los Angeles. Some of her pieces are one of a kind, and others are variations on a theme. All can be customized and she welcomes commissions, even to rework a client’s existing jewelry.

When working in silver, Krista offers a wide variety of hand finishes, from a lusterous hand polish to dark oxidized silver, or vermeil (sterling silver with a 22 k gold plating). The vermeil pieces come with a lifetime re-plating service.

Krista’s work will be featured at a pre-Valentine’s Day party (flyer below) on Wednesday, February 2nd from 7:00 to9:00 p.m. at the Ruth Bachofner Art Gallery in the Bergamot Station Art Complex in Santa Monica – please join her at 2525 Michigan Avenue #G2, Santa Monica 90404 (right behind the Santa Museum of Art) for an artisanal cheese, chocolate, and wine tasting (and Krista’s favorite “clean cocktails”) – should be a blast!

Please rsvp to Krista@EverageDesign.com if you’re planning on coming or for more information (or you can always contact me at nicolemfoos@earthlink.net), and don’t forget to mention that you heard about Krista or the event via the Eclectia Adornments blog!

Here’s to a fabulous 2011 with lots of fascinating blog posts; please take a moment to sign up to receive them via email!! – Nicole

15
Nov
10

Fashioning Fashion Exhibit at the new LACMA Resnick Pavilion Focusing on European Dress 1700-1915

I had so much fun going to see this exhibit at the  Lynda and Stewart Resnick Pavilion at LACMA last week with my friends Anna, Mary and Melissa, who organized – thanks Melissa! Just had to share some of the many photos I took.

The women’s clothing was exquisite, both in terms of the fabric and from a construction standpoint (my photos only do the dresses limited justice); its almost impossible imagining what it must have been like to wear most of these things!

There were many elaborate bustles:

I don’t even know what these are called – side bustles?

Various under-accoutrements:

A plethora of gorgeous and luxe fabrics:

Encrustation and embellishment:

Beautiful shawls:

Fantastical period costumery:

AND quite dandy-ish mens’ haberdashery:

There were many outstanding features of the clothing in this exhibit – first of all, all of the items displayed were in amazing shape; the colors vivid and each piece looked like it had just come from the dressmaker or tailor. Secondly, as has often been noted about truly vintage clothing, they were tiny!!! The exhibit was also remarkable in its extensiveness and in the beauty of the displays and forms.
We had such a lovely afternoon – definitely worth the trip!




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