26 February, 2012

"Sunday Runway, Haute Dog . . . "


As many of you might remember - I had the great pleasure of participating in the "Haute Dog Fashion Show" a few weeks back - a charity event to raise money for Canine Companions for Independence.  It's been a crazy few weeks since the event - but I wanted to share a little background . . . and some great images of the night . . .

1) First . . . we'll need a dog . . . 

Me and Redford, the German Short-Haired Pointer . . . all ready for our close-up!  Redford belongs to my good clients Joe and Stacy . . . and not only good clients - but, great friends as well!

2) Then, we'll need an inspiration for the outfit for the fashion show . . . 

For the design of the actual outfit . . . I let Redford be my guide!  Since his breed is a classic European hunting dog . . . something kinda outdoory was clearly going to be in order.  A classic wool plaid would make up a large part of the design . . . with chocolate silk velvet trim and details. 

And you have to love anyone, in this case my amazing upholsterer, who was delighted to help with the design - and we were able to construct this perfect German Hunting Jacket. 

And everyone needs proper headgear . . . in Ralph Lauren "New Market Tweed" with leather trim. 

3) We'll need a fitting . . . 

Redford was such a good sport . . . this was the original fitting. Only a few weeks before the show.  

4) Then all we'll need is a runway . . .

And here we go.  
After walking the runway for the official show . . . we were asked to come back for a second viewing for the judges.  Between our two visits to the runway, Redford had decided that he'd had enough of that damn hat.  And there was NO changing his mind!  If I'd been thinking - I'D have put it on . . . lol.

We were just one of over 70 dogs and owners in the show . . . here are a few other favourites from the night . . .

And this is Satchmo!   And his owner is Paula West.  And since we were organized back-stage by last name . . . Satchmo and Redford spent the entire evening playing . . . while we tried desperately to keep them from damaging their outfits . . . lol.

And the best part . . . the over 500 guests . . . all 'oooing' and 'ahhhhing' over all the dogs and raising money for such a great cause.

Woof.  Woof,

(images by Kira Stackhouse, for Nuena Photography)

20 February, 2012

"A Kiss in the Snow . . . "


We interrupt our usual chatting about light fixtures and dog fashion shows . . . for some quick thoughts on last night's season finale of Downton Abbey.  Well, it was the season finale here in the US . . . in England, they watched the second season last fall . . . and were treated to last night's 'episode' as a special on Christmas Day.  And thank you to all my British friends who did not peep a single word about the plot.  Blessings upon you all.

So . . . a few highlights of the evening for me.  There's a parade of spoilers to follow . . . so, proceed at your own risk if you haven't seen the show yet . . .

1)  The Pace.  We've been cranking through plot and characters at break-neck (or better yet, back-breaking) speed this season.  And I was growing nostalgic for the languid pace of the first season.  My thought was that it was a editorial device (with the many new characters, the rapid changes of fate, the large breaks in the timeline) . . .  commenting on how quickly life was changing during the First World War.  And for that reason alone . . . I understood the new pace.  I didn't say I liked it . . . but, I could see a point for it.  But last night, we seemed to return to a pre-war rhythm.  And though the episode was packed with plot . . . it didn't feel as hurried.

2)  The Continuity Fairy.   Firstly, I love the Continuity Fairy.  And she is missing from a great many television shows.  She just stops in every once in a while and says, "Remember that thing that happened?  Well, I do . . . and here is some of the fall-out from events that took place in previous episodes."  So, it was a great delight to see Sir Anthony Strallan re-appear in Edith's life.

3)  The Bomb.  Okay y'all.  I seriously jumped off the sofa when Lord Grantham asked Mary if the only reason she was marrying was to keep the secret of the death of Mr. Pamuk!  And the shock was almost palpable.  There was a point about mid-season this year . . . when I was trying to figure out who did . . . and who DID NOT . . . know the story of the "Turkish gentlemen."  But, after two complete seasons of keeping the awful truth from her father . . . it was SO satisfying to finally hear it spoken of.   The worrisome part is that Bates is now in prison for life . . . just for trying to keep that very same secret from being revealed.

4)  The Kiss.  It's been a slow burn.  I don't think since we all waited and watched outside a rainy coffee shop for Ross and Rachel to admit to the feelings that they shared . . . has there been such a joyous and perfectly pitch declaration of love . . . as an (at times icy) Mary . . . and the (at times stoic) Matthew . . . in a swirl of snow . . . illuminated by the warmth of the Abbey . . . finally, seriously finally, expressing their true feelings.  Good stuff.  And seriously, if the fine people at the BBC aren't selling "Downton Abbey Snow Globes" they're missing a HUGE opportunity.

5) The Dog.  I don't care which character is killed, or crippled, or maimed, or executed, or miscarries . . . don't y'all DARE hurt that dog.  Seriously.  No, I mean it.

6)  The Dowager.  It always kinda worries me when a character becomes the "comic relief."  So often they become over-used . . . and lose their potency.  Not so with the delicious Maggie Smith!  And with her three word line, "Do you promise?" last night . . . I will be the first the start the campaign to build a national shrine to the aforementioned Maggie.

What were your favourite moments?  Favourtie lines?  Favourite plot developments?


16 February, 2012

"Holy. Sweet. Tartan . . . "


Okay y'all.  This one is fresh off the presses.  Ralph Lauren's Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection just went down the runway this morning at New York's Fashion Week . . . and . . . seriously . . . it's ALL kindsa great style.  Classic suitings.  Amazing outerwear.  Super accessories.  And ya gotta love a gal in a plaid suit!

Enjoy . . .


(Images from Style.com)

"Can't Wait 'til Sunday . . . "


I know we usually cover the fashion world on the weekends . . . but, with Fashion Week blazing forth each day this week - I thought I'd get a jump on things and post a bit of my favourite show.

As regular readers of the blog will already know - Michael Bastian just always sets my fashion senses a-tingle.  A clever mix of classic, wearable menswear - but, with a modern, clever fit - and beautiful styling.  Michael and I have been friends since the 'olden days' - when we were both at Ralph Lauren together - and I've watched with great pride as his star has completely taken off.

Here are a few of my favourites from his recent Fall 2012 show in New York . . . enjoy . . .

Michael Bastian, at work in his design studio . . . 


(images from Gq.com)

14 February, 2012

"Happy Valentine's Day . . . "


Happy Valentine's Day y'all . . . !


(image from here)

12 February, 2012

"Across a Crowded Room . . . "


Remember when you first fell in love.  Sometimes it's just a crystal clear moment of seeing someone across a bustling room.  At a restaurant.  At a bar.  At someone's holiday party.  Eyes locking onto each other.  The rest of the world . . . melting away.   Silence.  

With Valentine's Day fast approaching . . . I've been thinking about love these last few days.  And the things that make love last.  The little things.  Like the way my heart begins to race a little bit when we see each other across a room.  

Like we did the first time we met in a crowded restaurant.  Making sure that my shirt was tucked in properly.  Glancing in a mirror to make sure my hair looked right.  And then looking up - across the room - and 'wow.'  I think one of the keys to keeping a relationship bright and vibrant is remembering 'that look.'  And the way it made you tingle.  Keeping a close connection to that first spark of love. 

And keeping this idea in mind, let's talk about our homes.  Remember when you first moved in?  Walking through those empty, echoing rooms?  Your imagination spinning with ideas.  Making plans.  Mentally playing with paint colours.  Putting down newspaper to represent the layout of the furniture.  Imagining all the parties.  The Sunday mornings reading the paper on the sofa.  A cup of tea before bedtime.

I hope we're able to 'keep that love alive' when we're talking about our homes as well.  Maybe we could even set an arbitrary date on the calendar when we celebrate the love we have for the space we live in.  Because we all know that you and the house have fights at times.  I've been know to go to bed - angry with my bedroom.  So, though it may not be perfect (few relationships are!) - let's remember to love our homes.  Keeping that first spark of romance alive.

So take a good look at your house.  Tell it that you love it.  Buy it some flowers every now and then to let it know.  And seriously, what house out there doesn't like to get a new set of window treatments every now and then . . . 

Trust me.  When you look lovingly at your house . . . it will return both your gaze and your affection. 


05 February, 2012

"Sunday Runway, Shopping . . . "

Hackett London, in Cabot Square London


Okay y'all.  I'll own it.  I've been crazy busy this week . . . with several client meetings . . . and a flurry of activities and parties with San Francisco Design Week (and, yes, I promise to post pictures once I have everything together!).   So for this Sunday Runway . . . we're gonna take it a little easy . . . 'cause the busy week has caught up with me . . . and the cold medication is starting to kick in . . . and I'm sure my ability to spell (which is limited at the best of times) is going to evaporate into nothing . . . lol . . . .

So while I'm over here in the corner napping quietly . . . why don't y'all go out and do some shopping . . .

Hackett London, in Dublin

Hackett London, Sloane Square

UnionMade, in San Francisco . . . for something a little more casual.
Black Fleece, from Brooks Brothers . . . in the West Village, NY

Ralph Lauren, Madison Avenue, New York

Ralph Lauren, Madison Avenue, New York

Ralph Lauren, Madison Avenue, New York

Sid Mashburn, Atlanta Georgia 

Sid Mashburn, Atlanta Georgia 

J. Press, Madison Avenue, New York

J.  Crew Men's Store, Tribeca, New York
Heading back to bed,
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