A NEW DISCOVERY

Retailing at the “brick and mortar” locations has certainly taken a lot of hits in recent years with all that is available for online shopping. Retailers are constantly trying to come up with something to grab the attention of the shopper and regain some of the dollars she has to spend.

Well, a new concept has come along. A store has been opened at Westfield’s Garden State Plaza in Paramus. It is called The Gathering Shops. What is so exciting about this store is that it is a space that will feature emerging designers selling boutique type clothing, jewelry, home goods, kids clothes, beauty products and I guess just about anything that they choose to showcase. This is a new market experience in an open space. It is inspiring and many handmade products are gathered for your shopping experience. The designers will switch out every 2-3 months. As the designers are rotated there will be exclusive events. It is such a welcoming space. The concept will encourage the shopper to make The Gathering Shops a regular stop to see what is new.

I could not leave without making a purchase. I chose the 4Way Bag in luminous. Whatever light you catch changes the color of the bag. It is made by junell5 (retail $65.00) The bag reminds me of origami! There are 4 ways to snap the bag into shape and the straps can be made long or short. Nothing like having fun with a new purchase. The following are 3 of the four shapes. Tote, tote with flat bottom, diamond, and there is a cube shape too. Make a point of stopping by The Gathering Shops. Maybe one will open soon in a mall near you.

The Colors of Spring-Summer 2019

2019 has stared off with a bang. Not only have temperatures been freezing but I had absolutely the worst case of strep throat. I was in bed for a good portion of the month and could not put any fashionable thoughts together. For me, that is saying a lot! We did not even have a dinner out until the 17th. Everyone was teasing that all the local restaurants were organizing a search party.

Now that I am feeling better I thought I would give you a look at the colors for spring summer 2019.

My source for this is Pantone. The palette is quite glorious! The “mindset” for the season continues to give us colors that are empowering. They communicate confidence and lift our spirits. The colorful hues are allowing us to be creative in how we each will combine the colors. Bringing together high fashion and looks from the street, Pantone has given us the following top 12 “stand out” colors and 4 classic neutrals (Soybean 13-0919, Eclipse 19-3810, Sweet Corn 11-0106, Brown Granite 19-0805)

That’s how the color palette shapes up for spring and summer 2019. Anything goes for color combinations. Be confident and creative with your choices.

Next blog will be about what you need to have in your wardrobe for the upcoming season.

Wrapping up 2018


Another year is finishing up. Hard to believe. The years just keep going faster and faster. As we move into a new year, it is a perfect time to reflect on what has happened and what you expect and want for the next year. Do you feel that in this year you achieved something that was important to you?

Hoda Kotb had a terrific interview with Maria Shriver in the fall. Maria Shriva was talking about “manifesting your life forward”. This made an impression on me. In order to manifest your life forward you have to envision your life in the future. What do you think will be there for you and who do you want with you. You have to envision it to achieve it. The possibilities are endless. Just allow yourself to see it.

Somewhere along the way this year I read something that I think is perfect when thinking about resolutions for the new year. “Those who understand don’t judge. Those who judge don’t understand”. There is no reason that we should judge each other. We need to support each other and learn to live harmoniously. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt this way? Let’s all try to make that happen.

I hope that each day surprises you this year. Be Happy.


A Look Back on 2018 on the Road

We spent a lot of time on the road in September and October of this year.

The destination for the BIG road trip for the year was Orlando Florida to go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Disney World. We love going to Disney and we love to make it a road trip. This year was complicated by Hurricane Florence which was going to be right in our path. But, nothing stops us! So we headed in west and then went south. This just added to our adventure. Our first planned stop was Johnson City Tennessee.

We left NJ and went into Pennsylvania. We made a stop at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Walking in to their store was a Holiday Trifecta! They had Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. Something for everyone!! After breakfast we continued the drive. Loved some of the billboards along Interstate 81. There was a large sign directing you to an “adult store”. A minute later was a sign telling you that “Lust Leads to Hell”.

We continued into Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. In Virginia we started seeing a lot of power service trucks heading to the Carolinas to be ready to help. The plates on the trucks were NY and Massachusetts. The sky went from beautiful blue to black clouds. The sky was reflecting the changes to come. We were in Bristol Virginia for Rush Hour. We were doing 78 mph. Not like the rush hour traffic we are accustomed to at home. Next we entered Tennessee and hit Johnson City 30 minutes later. We were ready to stop for the night. It was Happy Hour and we were hungry for dinner. We stayed at the Doubletree Hilton. Hiltons are always my first choice. We settled in and went to the bar for dinner. We love having dinner at the bar especially when we travel. I think the bartender was looking for a good tip when she asked for proof before serving our drinks. We all had a good laugh! Met interesting people at the bar as we always do.

The next day the weather was beautiful. Sunny and 83 degrees. Perfect. Our next stop was Warner Robbins Georgia. The route we took was so scenic. We drove into North Carolina and passed through The Cherokee National Forest heading toward Ashville. This stretch of the drive was so mountainous that there was a long period that Tom didn’t have his foot on the accelerator. We passed a field of wild poppies and sunflowers in Weaverville North Carolina. Soon we entered South Carolina. Another fabulous billboard read “Don’t Wait. Communicate”. Hope everyone passing reads that one.

We arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in Warner Robbins Georgia (outside of Macon) just in time for Happy Hour. We checked in and headed to the bar for dinner. We got happy hour drinks and a delicious dinner. The bar was hopping. Totally full. We met 3 men who were pilots waiting to be deployed after the hurricane comes on land. They then do searches for people, ships, aircraft. We also met some other business travelers who stay there frequently. Very lively conversation. Did I mention how much fun it is to have your dinner at the bar when you are on the road?

The next day we headed to Ponte Vedra Florida to spend the weekend with our friend Maria. We had a terrific weekend of food and wine and great conversation with Maria’s friends. We also took a ride to Amelia Island for lunch one day.

Then it was on to Disney World. We always stay at the Boardwalk. What is so good about staying on property is that once you get out of the car you don’t get back in it until you leave. Disney always says “welcome home” and you know what, they really make you feel like that.

Our friends Carol and Tony joined us for a couple of days to go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. We enjoyed the wine lecture and tasting we attended. It was given by Ana Balbo from the Susana Balbo vineyard in Argentina. Very interesting presentation and the wine tasting was good. There were food kiosks all around with small plate tastings from all over the world. But, I have to say, it was so hot that we had to keep going in and out of air conditioning because I thought I would vaporize! Epcot also had a concert series for the event called “Eat to the Beat”. We saw Sheila E and she was fabulous. Very high energy! All in all it was a great week. We spent time at the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Disney Springs. We had amazing dinners at many restaurants at Epcot (my favorites are France and Morocco) as well as on the Boardwalk (Trattoria and Flying Fish) and Disney Springs (The Boathouse). We did lots of shopping for Christmas at a variety of shops at Disney Springs.

By the time we were leaving Interstate 95 had reopened after the hurricane. We made a stop the first night at a favorite place. Clark’s Inn in Santee South Carolina is a perfect stop on your drive. They have a really nice restaurant and bar and with your night’s stay there is a full breakfast included. There is also a beautiful gift shop. Is there anywhere that I can’t find a place to shop?

The second night we stopped in Manassas Virginia. Originally we thought we would drive straight home but there was traffic and we decided to make a stop. We stayed at a nondescript Best Western that was the only place available. Won’t do that again. The next day we rolled into the driveway at our home. It was a great road trip.

Usually when I travel there is something that peaks my interest and I come home with a flurry of photos. This trip it was clouds. All of the changes going on in the atmosphere made for some spectacular clouds to look at. It also reminded me of when I was a kid and how my mother and I would sit out on our front lawn and look up at the clouds and tell each other what we thought we saw. It made me smile to think about this . I think that is why my head is always in the clouds!! Here is a sampling of the photos I took.

No more than a week later we got back in the car to go to a suburb of Chicago to see my friend Susan who had recently moved there. She moved to be near her mom who is 100 years old. She is just the best daughter. On the way we stopped in Cleveland. We stayed at The Cleveland Hilton Garden Inn. We had made a date with Mel and Merle for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Lola Bistro. How great is it to be able to meet a friend from high school and have a fabulous dinner in Cleveland? The next morning we drove on to Chicago. This road trip was geared to just having a visit with Susan and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We really had a good time on both of these road trips. I am trying to decide what our song should be for the trips. Choices are “On the Road Again” or “Get Off my Cloud”. What do you think?

COLOR OF THE YEAR 2019

img_3888-1

THE color for 2019 has been selected. Coral, and all variations,  has always been a favorite of mine. It is so warm and inviting. “Coral Sands” brings to mind beautiful beach resorts. It is sociable, optimistic and full of joy. Coral is a color found in nature. It is a sunset color.

I’m thrilled that this color will permeate all areas in 2019.  My personal choices for color are in the Sunset Palette. According to Leatrice Eiseman in her book More Alive With Color, the elements of fire and earth underscore the Sunset palette. These are the colors that make me happy.  There is so much to the psychology of color.  I think everyone should take the time to analyze how they feel when they are wearing certain colors or look at colors. It is very telling!

Living Coral will warm up our visual field this year. I hope that we see it in home décor.  It is a natural for apparel because it is such a cosmetic  color. Who wouldn’t want to be warmed up with coral?

And all of a sudden it’s Fall…

Of course, this is no surprise. It is, after all, almost Thanksgiving. The weather is finally changing. The leaves have changed colors and the temperatures are dropping, but my sweaters are not all unpacked yet. We have been busy taking road trips (blogs on that will be coming soon), but let’s first take a look at what you need to think about, add or pull out of your closet for fall.

Bold color is a major statement this fall. The magazines have been loving Hot Pink and bold gold (Wall Street Journal market report referred to it as the “gold standard”).  The neutrals for the season are charged with bolts of color.

Suiting is a big statement. The blazer is “having a moment” again. Oversize blazers are having a major moment. Suit jackets for 2018 give us a variety of lengths. There are knee length jackets, double breasted jackets and single or two button closures. The best looking ones are in soft gray Glen plaids, houndstooth checks and you’ll even see gangster stripe black and white. These suit jackets are often paired with loose cut trousers.

Dresses continue to hold their position for a Must Have. Midi lengths are strong. Prints are the big story. Strong boots give these very floating feminine styles and prints an edge.

As far as prints go, select anything leopard and you will be all set. Stripes are very happy and popular this season is a rainbow stripe. These are shown in dresses tops and sweaters.

Midi skirts in plaids or solids with knee boots give you instant style as does an oversize cardigan with a skinny belt.

Coats for 2018- trench coats are prevalent as are faux furs and cuddly coats.

As I always say, shop your closet, then add pieces to update your look.

The Colors of Fall 2018

We already know that the CHOSEN color for 2018 is Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838). Now let’s look at colors specific to Fall/Winter.

Pantone has broken it down to the Top 10 colors and in addition they have given us 5 core colors. I think that the colors selected for this Fall/Winter are very wearable and allow us to express our individuality and be a bit creative.

As we are seeing in apparel, colors are extending across seasons in order to give extended life to what we are wearing. Today, most of our closets span the seasons. We no longer go into complete closet switches twice a year. There is a lot of cross over and layering to change the way you wear something.  It also allows you to mix it up and combine unexpected color and then call it your own.

Here are the Top 10 Colors for Fall/Winter 2018:

Left to right: Red Pear, Valiant Poppy, Nebulas Blue

Left to right: Ceylon Yellow (spicy yellow), Martini Olive, Russet Orange, Ultra Violet

Left to right: Crocus Petal, Limelight (yellow-green), Quetzal Green (blue green)

CLASSIC COLOR PALETTE: Worn for all seaons

Top Left to right: Sargasso Sea, Tofu (cream), Almond Buff.  Bottom left to right: Quiet Gray, Meerkat (toasted brown).

Let yourself go and combine some colors that you might not ordinarily have put together. You can also let your color story be one color standing alone.   It’s all good!

Heavenly Bodies

The exhibition Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC through 10/8/18. It is well worth a visit.

Heavenly Bodies features the work of designers who were raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. They are not necessarily practicing now, but most acknowledge its influence on their imaginations. On the surface, this is expressed through Catholic imagery and religious orders.

Cassocks, soutane, Cappa Magna (the great cape) worn as choir dress by  Cardinals and Bishops for special and solemn liturgical occasions influenced these dresses (left Alexander McQueen, right Valentino)

 

Habits: these are ensembles and accessories from female religious dress. They influenced the styles below.

Left by Rosella Jardine (House of Moschino- Spring summer 2014). This one is very theatrically expressed in the veil that recalls the iconic white winged headdress of the Daughters of Charity popularized by Sally  Fields in the Flying Nun.  Center by Dolce and Gabbana (Spring/Summer 2016).  Right by Thom Brown (Autumn/winter 2011-12) inspired by The Sound of Music.

There were many gowns showing the religious influence on the designer’s creativity.

Left to right-Yves Saint Laurent, Riccardo Tisci, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix.

These are easily translated to evening wear

By far my favorites were “Madonna” wedding ensemble from John Galliano (House of Dior) autumn/winter 2005-06 (below)

img_2770

And “Madonna” evening ensemble by Thierry Mugler  autumn/winter 1984-85 (below)

img_2772

This Mugler creation was shown at his show on a model as she was lowered from the ceiling on a cloud of dry ice as if she was descending from heaven.

There were so many glorious gowns to see. So much eye candy! If you can, go to see the exhibition. It runs until 10/8/18 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.