Thursday, September 03, 2015

Start with Art: Egypt Drawing 9 by Susan Osgood

So beautiful... the depths of the black throughout the blue, the radiance of the red shining in the distance, and are those footsteps moving up off the top of the image?

Egypt Drawing 9 - Susan Osgood

A color scheme of clarity, but with dimensions of color:

Can You Play the Game?

The rules are few, simple, but rigorously enforced:
  • Either participant can initiate the game.
  • You must be ready to leave within the hour!
  • You must be able to carry (not roll) your bag...

Blue cardigan – Eastex; tunic dress – Topshop; bracelet – Aoy; cross body bag
 – Cambridge Satchel Company; red onyx earrings – Bhavesh; scarf – 
We are Owls We Are Warriors; black tightsTopshop; boots – Jack Rogers
rolling bag - Longchamp

  • The destination is not known by either participant until after arriving at the airport and talking to an airline representative to find the least-expensive flight (within certain parameters).
  • No sand, no snow.
  • Trips last at least 4 days, and no more than 7.
  • Flights are under 8 hours, unless a really irresistible offer appears and both parties agree. 
  • no "special clothing" activities - 5-star dinners, hiking etc.
  • You CAN shop, if your level of distress exceeds 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. (nobody has ever, yet, confessed to this...)

Grey tee – Uniqlo; “twilly” scarf – Hermes Mors et Gourmettes Remix; 
earrings – Wadarat Supasirisuk; necklace – Oscar Figueroa Escorcia; ring – 
 Nyoman Rena; pants – Eileen Fisher; scarf – Nordstrom; charcoal long 
sleeve tee – Uniqlo; grey shirt – Maison Margiela; striped skirt – Proenza 
 Schouler; ballet flats – Easy Spirit

This doesn't look terribly sparse, when you lay it out like this. Although if she had had a little bit more time to prepare, she would have WORN the black trousers, and packed the tunic dress. But it all still works out well...

And she will have lots of options when she gets to.... Dublin? Dubrovnik? Dusseldorf?

Could you live up to the challenge?

Would you WANT to?

This is the stuff of which MY dreams are made...


NORDSTROM - Shop Eileen Fisher Fall 2015

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Start with Art: Version 2 of Nature Morte by Georgette Agutte

We took a look at this painting a few days ago, and my result was a very dark and subdued mix of burgundy and black.  THIS version is quite a bit brighter!

This is the same general scenario: a lovely woman who has to make a quick overnight trip for a (possibly) dressy event - wedding, dinner party, etc.

I've kept the jewelry and scarf from the previous iteration of this project, and black pants are still on the menu. But a change of coat, sweater, boots and tote change everything completely.

coat – MSGM; boots – Munro; cashmere sweater – RED Valentino
trousers – Oasis; scarf Sam Edelman; earrings Kendra Scott
cuff bracelet – Alexis Bittar; tote bag – Lodis

Just to refresh our eyes, here's the painting with which everything starts:

Nature Morte by Georgette Agutte

But this time, I'm going back to an earlier version of the color scheme, that doesn't include the very pivotal maroon/wine/burgundy/whatever color. This is all about the bright colors, and a strong thread of black holding it all together.

Same necklace, handbag, sweater and shoes; only 3 pieces have changed from the previous suitcase. But WHAT a difference!

Necklace – Oscar de la Renta; black cashmere sweater – J. Crew; bag –  
Dolce & Gabbana; dotted shirt – Hugo; sandals – Pelle Moda; red wrap – 
Nordstrom; lace skirt – Carven

This is a different woman from the maroon and black-wearer:

But she's going to carry herself very much the same way at her dressy event - if she feels over-dressed, the necklace is tucked into the bag, and she is wearing simple black while at the table. And the return trip is a comfortable shirt and sweater...

To me, this demonstrates the range of possibilities available to each of us to customize our wardrobes to suit our every preference. Here we can see the power of color, and the essential role that core neutrals play. You can also clearly see that beautiful accessories can be at home in a wide variety of wardrobes! 

Shall I take one more pass through this painting and scenario?


NORDSTROM - Shop Fall's Best Jewelry

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A book winner, and a question

One of the only blogs in the world that occasionally start with a random number generator...

The winner of the book How to be Pretty, though Plain, is  Linda Becker! Dearest Linda, please email me at, and get your mailing address to me...

Now, on to a serious question about something I was planning for The Vivienne Files:

I'm going to clean out my scarf drawer, which means that I'm going to cut back the number of Hermes scarves that I own.

(1) are you interested in how this is going to be done? and

(2) is it okay, appropriate, not annoying, if I offer the scarves to you all to purchase before I throw myself on the mercy of Ebay and other venues? I'd rather sell them for less to you, than to make more money but have the scarves go to strangers. But I don't want to be irritating about it.

But this what I'm dealing with:

The beautiful toile packet in the bottom right is full of scarves... It's pretty overwhelming, and there are lots of beautiful pieces here that deserve to be out and about.

Share you thoughts, please!


 Unique Artisan Decor

Monday, August 31, 2015

Start with a Scarf: French Paisley Striped Shawl from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

For all of us who are art lovers, it's important to remember that we can indulge ourselves while supporting our favorite museums. Gift shops make a real point to find the most beautiful items available, and they always have a certain quality that you just don't see in every store...

This beauty screams fall, doesn't it?

French Paisley Striped Shawl -
Available at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store, 
online at 
or by calling 1-800-662-3397.

What really appeals here is the way that the strong camel and brown tones provide a perfect backdrop for the clear red, green and blue:


 Under the Radar

She wanted to travel. A lot. She has a project, and some goals in mind. So she wants to get out of town, maybe as often as every other weekend, through the autumn and winter...

There are LOTS of cities really close to her - just 2 or 3 hours by train.

But if it turns into a big project every time she tries to get out of town on Friday afternoon, it will never happen. So it's imperative that she come up with a system to stifle any big conversation about how often she travels...

First up, if she wore this same outfit to work every other Friday for 6 months, who would notice?

chambray shirt – Boden; pants – Boden; French Paisley Striped Shawl
 – Metropolitan Museum of Art Store; cardigan – Boden; earrings – Alexis Bittar;
 watch – Modcloth; coat – Tagliatore;  socks – Kate Spade
boots – Steve Madden; tote – Longchamp

And she could keep these things packed all the time. Come back into town Monday morning, go to work, do laundry Monday night and repack everything...

Camel tee – Lands’ End; silk skirt – Apiece Apart; wristlet – Deux Lux; bracelet
 – Alexis Bittar; earrings – Alexis Bittar; red sweater – Uniqlo; camel flats
 – Jeffrey Campbell;  boyfriend jeans – Moto; white shirt – J. Crew; square
 scarf – Laleh Fayaz;  tiered necklace – Alexis Bittar; green cardigan - Uniqlo

It's really not all that many things to segregate from the rest of her wardrobe. Nobody's paying that much attention to what she wears - they'll never know that there are 9 pieces specially reserved for her adventures!

And no matter what she pulls out of the bag, she can get dressed without worry!

Even if she has to come back to work on Monday in the same camel trousers, her outfit might be completely different. Certainly sufficiently different that it won't excite any comment...

And some Monday, she'll walk into the office and give her notice. She will have found the job, and the apartment, in one of those other cities. Maybe THEN, when she's on her way out of the door, someone will notice what she's been doing...


NORDSTROM - Shop Eileen Fisher Fall 2015