Tuesday, November 26, 2013

H&M Classic Pieces You Will Love

Still fretting over missing the Isabel Marant collection for H&M that came and went in a flash?  Not to worry, Ladies, H&M still has some great, classic pieces that you can afford to fall in love with this season.  

H&M Classic Pieces for Fall/Winter

H&M slim jeans
$49 - hm.com

H&M grey ankle boots
$49 - hm.com

H M shoulder bag
$81 - hm.com

H M bracelet
$11 - hm.com

H M necklace
$16 - hm.com

H m scarve
$24 - hm.com

H M tech accessory
$13 - hm.com

H M wool hat
$21 - hm.com

H M pink eye shadow
$6.46 - hm.com

H M face powder
$11 - hm.com

H&M Decorative letters
$13 - hm.com

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Something for the Girly-Girl and Geekette on Your List

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is next week (the 28th) and the mad holiday marathon begins the following day.   Americans refer to the day after Thanksgiving as “Black Friday.”  The color refers to what retailers hope will be the color of their bottom lines at the end of the day.  Kicking off the first official day of holiday shopping in the black (rather than in the red) is always a good omen. 

“Retailing Rage”
For shoppers like me, who prefer to avoid the savage shopping mobs, Black Friday is the day we hit the computers not the malls to begin our holiday shopping. 

I’ve already got a few ideas for the girly-girls and geekettes on my shopping list that I’d like to share with you. 

Isabel Marant H&M Collection

No doubt you are all aware by now that the much-ballyhooed and greatly anticipated Isabel Marant collection for H&M came and went in a flash.  The line sold out within hours leaving thousands of fans, who’d waited since spring to get their hands on an original Marant, with nothing to show for their patience.    What happened? 

Apparently, H&M underestimated the demand for the line; add to that a celebrity pre-launch sale, where the best pieces were snapped up, and a faulty website that kept crashing (Could these be the same guys who “designed” the Obamacare website?), and you have a recipe for disaster and disgruntled consumers. 
Photo courtesy of Sarasota Magazine

Not to worry, Ladies.  I've got a much better idea for the fashion-forward girly-girl on your list.  Like Isabel Marant, my stunning friend, Anne Touraine, is a designer from Paris.  Anne has an impeccable pedigree in fashion, having worked with some of the best, such as Dior. 


Ten years ago she brought her French flair for style, particularly the art of the scarf, to the US when she left Paris for sunny Florida.  Earlier this year, Anne launched her own line of luxurious silk scarves.  Quite frankly, Ladies, they are magnificent in every detail and, considering the exceptional quality, truly reasonable in price. 


And here’s the best part………..Anne is having her own private VIP sale during the month of December, and YOU are invited.  Just click HERE, and you, too, can feel like a celebrity – no crowds to fight, no balky website to deal with and in just a few clicks, you will come away with.....
Neiges de Russie (Russian snow) scarf: travelling in the steppes
An Anne Touraine gift box containing a gorgeous scarf and....

Anne will also include her famous Le Guide, which shows you how to wear a scarf like a parisienne.   You can be sure the fashion-forward girly-girl on your list will be beyond thrilled with this gift. 

In fact, I suggest you pick up a little something for yourself while you’re there.  After all, every woman has a little girly-girl inside her, n’est-ce pas?    

Now for the geekette on your list. 

How about a purse that’s fashionable and functional all in one?  Just slip your Smartphone into the special charging pocket of your Ever Purse, and your phone will always be ready whenever and wherever you are.  And….it comes in an array of colors and fabrics.  Here’s how it works: 

Pretty cool, don't you think?  O.K., so, that should be enough to get you started for now.  I've got some more ideas to pass along, but that's for next time. 

In the meantime, don’t forget that Beaujolais Nouveau arrives tomorrow, the 21st, and hits the United States le lendemain. 

Tchin tchin et à votre santé! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The All-American Girl Wears a Scarf

It was one of those glorious, brisk autumn afternoons, and I was having tea with my friend D in the Swann Lounge of the Four Seasons Hotel.   It’s my absolute favorite spot for afternoon tea in Philadelphia.  

As we sat there sipping champagne and pomegranate tea and enjoying an array of delicious sandwiches, buttery scones and delicate pastries, we chatted away about this and that and everything else.  We had a lot of catching up to do. 
Before we knew it, it was time for good-bye hugs and kisses.  I slipped on my tweed jacket and wrapped my scarf in a casual double loop around my neck.   It’s one of my favorite fall scarves -- deep ocher, striped with bright crimson, mossy green and golden brown.  I always feel wrapped in the warm glow of autumn colors when I wear it. 

“You see what you just did?” D said.  “It’s just perfect, and you didn’t even need to look in the mirror.   You’re so French.” 

“I may have French blood, but don’t forget that I was born and raised in Philadelphia.  I’m really just an all-American girl.” 

“Hah! “ she responded.  “All-American girls don’t do scarves like that.   You’ve got to be French to do that.” 

For the average American woman, the words “French Style” conjure up an image of a skinny lady in stilettos wearing a scarf.  Now, we all know that not every Frenchwoman is thin and the boulevards of Paris are full of Parisiennes in ballet flats and sneakers…………..but that scarf thing…………they really do have a “thing” for their scarves.  And in that regard, I fall right in line. 

Scarf Weather (Rebecca Sower)

The truth is that the scarf is the perfect accessory and the easiest way to bring a pop of color near your face, hide a few unsightly neck wrinkles and turn a Tee-shirt and jeans into an outfit.  It’s the perfect completer piece and traveling companion and takes up little or no space as it folds flat to be tucked away in a drawer or suitcase. 

It seems odd to me that there is something about the Frenchwoman and her obsession with her scarf that brings out a curious mixture of admiration and exasperation in American women today.   I remember a time when the well-dressed American woman always wore a silk scarf.   When did silk scarves go the way of the embroidered hankie?  Did the hippie dippie 60s make them seem too old-fashioned, too Great Aunt Edna to go with love beads and peace signs?  

The scarf helped get women through the Second World War when hats, shampoo and other beauty essentials were in short supply.  They learned how to drape them around their heads in chic turbans to hide unwashed hair. 

Watch this 1942 Pathé short showing women how to turn their scarves into fashionable headgear.

Is it any wonder that the women of my mother’s generation loved their scarves so much? 

And here might be the perfect place to remind you of the quintessential all-American girl from my hometown, Philadelphia, who practically wrote the book on how to wear a scarf. 

Grace Patricia Kelly (1929-1982) was born in Philadelphia to an Irish-American father who’d started out as a bricklayer.  By the time Grace was born, John B. Kelly was a multi-millionaire, who taught all his children the lessons of hard work and discipline.  Grace went from Main Line Philadelphia privilege to Hollywood film star to Her Serene Highness Princess of Monaco.   She was with us for such a short time, but as the Queen of style and elegance, she will reign in our hearts forever.   And, ooooh, could this all-American girl wear a scarf!!

Here, a small, patriotic Pucci scarf in red, white and blue encircles her slender neck -- so simple, so classic, so elegant. 

On the set of “To Catch a Thief” (1955) looking absolutely gorgeous in pink dress and matching scarf with charming co-star, Cary Grant looking on.  It was during a publicity event for this movie that Grace met her own prince charming in Monaco, Prince Rainier.  They were married the following year. 
The Kelly head wrap -- a signature look. 


And that, Ladies, is how the all-American girl wears a scarf -- proof positive that you don’t need a drop of French blood to “do” a scarf to perfection. 

If you’d like a few pointers, here’s one of my favorite tutorials on the subject.  It goes by fast, but if you see something you like, you can just click on it at the end for a refresher. 
25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!