Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cardigan – Kain Alva, Blue linen shirt – Aubin and Wills, Orange tan – Topshop, White tee shirt – Vanessa Bruno, Orange Linen pants – J. Crew, White linen pants – Marc Jacobs, Silk skirt – Bruce II, silk scarf - Hermes

The wardrobes just keep getting harder!  The request for this wardrobe was: "I am a short, graying brunette in her early 60’s woman who lives in the South (think 4 seasons with an emphasis on hot & humid but occasional snow/ice). I think Katherine Hepburn with more colors would be my inspiration. Casual, few skirts/dressy itesm, but chic. I love the colors of the sunset and sky plus silver/pewter jewelry with black, charcoal or dark jeans as the neutral."

So I focused on the colors of the sky and the sunset...  enjoy!

cardigan – Diane von Furstenberg, White linen top – Old Navy, Rose linen shirt – Old Navy, Chambray sweater – Ella Moss, Orange linen top – Vanessa Bruno, Cabled cashmere sweater – Ralph Lauren Black Label, Black jeans – Them Atelier, Dark blue jeans – Cheap Monday

Blue shirtdress – Madewell , Striped tee shirt – Oasis, Wool sleeveless sheath dress – Calvin Klein Collection, White shirt – Steven Alan, Cardigan – John Lewis, Shorts – Mulberry, Cropped linen pants – Emilio Pucci, Tank - Tibi

Square scarves – Hermès , Rope necklace – Charm and Chain, Orange tote - Longchamp, Sunglasses – Oakley, Pewter link bracelet – Links of London, ring – Fantasy Jewelry Box, Beach towel – Alexis Bittar, Printed muffler – Missoni, Striped shoes – Modcloth (one of a kind), Printed canvas flat – Toms, Pewter kitten heel sandal – Enzo Angiolini, Pewter and pearl necklace – Simply Soles, “Bow” earrings – Boe By Boe, 3 stone earrings – Monica Vinader, Silver circle stud earrings – Hermès, Pewter handbag – Marc by Marc Jacobs, Pewter ballet flats – Lanvin, Suede pumps – Salvatore Ferragamo, Embellished flat sandalsTopshop, Beaded flats – Donald J. Pliner

Some cool, roomy linen pieces, a couple of dressier options, and always a sweater for colder weather...

A request:  someone asked me for a wardrobe based on the painting Down on His Luck by Frederick McCubbin.  Could you PLEASE post a comment with a link to the best image of this painting on the internet?  When I searched for it, I found images in all sorts of various shades - I didn't realize a painting could be represented so many different ways!  Thanks a ton.

And I'm still working on all your wardrobes.  I'm afraid I might have to start posting completed wardrobes "out of order", as some wardrobes asking for a lot of summer wear are tough to complete this time of year, since most fashion images are well into fall clothing.  Thanks as always for your kindness and understanding of my frailties.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jacket – Christopher LemaireCardigan – Unger-Fashion, Long-sleeved shirt – Alexander McQueen, Tee shirt –, DressMaxmara Studio, Sweater – Bally, Pants – 3.1 Philip Lim, Skirt – Kelly Ewing
1. Pumps – Stuart Weitzman, Scarf – Hermès, bag - Fendi
2. Brogues – Dorothy Perkins, necklace – Kate Spade, earrings – Kate space
3. Pumps – Rupert Sanderson, scarf – Robindira, bee brooch – Kenneth Jay Lane
4. Flats – Melissa, ring – Lola Rose, bracelet – R. J. Graziano
5. Flats – Henry cuir, scarf – Hermès, bag – Gucci
6. Flats – Church’s, earrings – YlKara Ross, brooch – 1928
7. Slingbacks – Stella McCartney, scarf – Moriyoshi the Third, bracelet – Shared Earth
8. Loafers – Marc Jacobs, necklace – Gerard Yosca, calcite ring –
9. Pumps – Paul Smith, scarf – Hermès, bag – Dian von Furstenberg
10. Loafers - Gucci, bracelet – House of Harlow 1960, earrings – Ylang23
11. Pumps – Rupert Sanderson, scarf – J. Crew, brooch – Fantasy Jewelry Box
12. Pumps – Prada, necklace – Kenneth Jay Elizabeth Showers, rings – Ariella Collection
This is rather the same idea as yesterday's core wardrobe, but think what happens if you have already built yesterday's eight items, and then you add on today's eight items...  The options expand exponentially.  Toss in a couple of items in a warm peach, a few things in a soft mossy green, and you're all set forever.

A far from exhaustive bunch of outfits!

I have to put a note in here - I select the clothing in these wardrobes on the basis of their overall look, and the quality of the photograph.  I am under NO illusion than most of us are going to go running out and replicate these wardrobes exactly as shown.   Believe me, these looks can be adapted to pretty much any budget.

And if you're one of the true environmental heroines who patronizes thrift and second-hand stores, you have my admiration and my thanks!  We all need to work to make sure that clothes are worn by someone through the entirety of their useful life, and removing the stigmas from used clothing is a great place to start.   If it's okay to donate, it's okay to buy...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jacket – Miu MiuCardigan – Paul & Joe, Long-sleeved shirt – L’Agence, Tee shirt – Ralph Lauren, Dress – The Row, Sweater – Ralph Lauren Black Label, Pants – Miu Miu, Skirt – Miu Miu

I know that nobody can go out and buy twenty new items of clothing, so I've been trying to think of how someone would begin the process of building a curated, distilled wardrobe.  Of course, it really has to start with some serious thinking!  But once you've chosen a core color from which to work, you could certain do worse than carefully acquiring a basis of eight garments upon which to build.  This is how I see it taking shape...

1. Pumps – Kate Spade, Scarf – Hermès, bag - Lanvin
2. Brogues – Debenhams, necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, square stud earrings - Topshop
3. Pumps – BCBG, scarf – Calypso, rose brooch – AZ Collection
4. Flats – Tod’s, ring – Miss Selfridge, gold lace bracelet – Aurelie Bidermann
5. Flats – Miss Selfridge, scarf – Hermès, bag – Coach
6. Flats – Via Spiga, rose opal earrings – Ylang23, brooch – Delfina Delettrez
7. Slingbacks – John Lewis, scarf – Missoni, bracelet - Oasis
8. Loafers – Tod’s, necklace – Diana Broussard, ring – Ylang23
9. Pumps – Pierre Hardy, scarf – Hermès, bag – Stella McCartney
10. Athletic Shoes – Topshop, flower brooch – Alexis Bittar, gold hoop earrings – Citrine by the Stones
11. Pumps – Valentino, scarf – Missoni, bracelets – Vanessa Mooney
12. Pumps – Prada, pearls – Kenneth Jay Lane, ring - Majorica

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The basic!
 Of course these aren't exactly rare in the United States, but I first was exposed to them in Europe and so I always think of that when I see someone with one of these bags.

They are particularly handy when you travel; the first thing into any suitcase of mine is my folded and snapped Pliage, which I then use to accumulate all of my purchases and receipts along the way.  Then I use the bag as my carry-on for the return trip, so everything is in one place on that rare chance that the Customs people will want to inspect my newly-acquired treasures.

This is the bag I ordered custom-made from
And online, you can order CUSTOM Pliage bags, specifying the length of the handles, the size of the bag, the finish of the metal fittings, AND!!! the colors of the sac itself.  You can get a solid colored bag in about at least a dozen different colors, or you can get a bag made with a racing stripe, like mine shown above.  They're not at all prohibitively expensive (considering you'll own it the rest of your life) and don't take more than a few weeks to receive.

My only warning: I would NEVER, EVER consider using one of these bags for checked luggage.  I've seen it done and I think it's foolhardy; the lightness of the bags translates into a certain lack of "baggage handler-worthy" sturdiness, if you know what I mean.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blazer – The Row, Cardigan – Chloe, BlouseChinti and Parker, Tee shirt –, Pants – Martin Grant, Skirt – Paul Smith, Hazel jeans – MiH, Scarf – Hermès 

Ashley in Switzerland, among many Anonymous requests, asked me for a wardrobe of warm hues.  I've been working on a general "spring" wardrobe for a while so I thought I'd share this one with you.  I hope you enjoy, and don't forget, if you have a specific wardrobe request, leave me a comment!  I'm particularly enjoying the requests based on specific paintings or scarves - maybe someone has a beautiful piece of pottery or china upon which I could design something?  It may take me a few weeks to fulfill your request, but I will definitely get to everybody!

Silk blouse - Chloe, Gold trench coat – Diane von Furstenberg, Duffle coat – Hermès, Olive shirtdress – Derek Lam, Olive Jeans - Gucci, Camel skirt – The Row, Rust sweater – Ray & Bone, Coral coat – Sonia by Sonia Rykiel

Coral silk dress – RochasCardigan – Lucien Pellat-Finet, Crepe blouse – See by Chloe, Tee shirt – Coldwater Creek, Melange sweater – The Row, Olive twill skirt – J. Crew, Blush khakis – Alice by Temperley, Embellished top – Miss Selfridge

Coral drop earrings – Georgian JewelryOlive oval earrings – 1928, Coral triangle earrings – Madewell, Brass & peridot brooch – 1928, Bangle bracelets – Accessories & Beyond, pearl station chain – Andara, Gold leaf necklace – Catherine Weitzman, Watch – Michael Kors, Muffler – Etro, Gloves – Yves Saint Laurent, Bag – VbH 
Boots – Chloe, Flat sandals – CO-OP Barneys, Camel pumps – Kate Spade, Olive suede oxfords – Marc Jacobs, Ballet flats – Repetto, Canvas slip-ons - Toms

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jacket – Missoni , Cardigan – Acne, White tee – Vince, Silk blouse – Marlo, Black pants – Missoni. Skirt – Piperlime, White jeans - Levis, Scarf - Hermès

I really love you all.  Seriously.  You take time every day to read my writing, look at my work, and give me feedback and challenges.  What else could I ask from total strangers?

I particularly enjoy the wardrobe requests I get.  This one was AMAZINGLY difficult:  "I'm a gold jewellry wearer and love to wear orange which I think always goes well with black or white depending on the season. I would love your suggestions for a core wardrobe for a femme d'un certain age." 

This is my best effort - I threw some blue into the mix because I adore it with orange, black and white, and I think it keeps the whole package from going too "Halloween-y" on us.  Enjoy!

White shirt – DKNY, Orange trench coat – Marni, Black wool coat – Rick Owens, Black dress - Valentino, 
Black jeans – J. Brand, Wrap skirt – Zero+MariaCornejo, Sweater – Bottega Veneta, Orange jacket - Barbour 

Orange dress – Maxmara S Max dresses, White cardigan – Oasis, Striped tee shirt – Topshop, Sleeveless top - Missoni, Blouse – Diane von Furstenberg, Orange corduroy pants – Stella McCartney, Black sweater – Lou, Orange tee shirt - Velvet

Scarves – Hermès , Gold drop earrings – Kenneth Jay Lane, Gold stud earrings – Daisy Knights, Gold hoop earrings – Alexis Bittar, Cats eye ring – Ariella, Gold link necklace - Splendora, Gold bracelet – Philippe Audibert, Gold geometric necklace - Nordstrom, Muffler – Missoni M, Gloves – Forzieri, Bag – Marc Jacobs, Watch - Tiffany, Tall boots – Tory Burch, Patent flats – Kate Spade, Gold studded loafers – Magdesians, Black pumps – Rupert Sanderson, Sneakers – Louis Vuitton, Strappy sandals - Balenciaga

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I spend a LOT of time looking at clothing, shoes and accessories, and I've noticed that I have certain ABSOLUTE biases about what I will or will not include in the wardrobes I build for you.  If you particularly love any of the following items, you'll have to find them on your own!  There's no good explanation for these aversions except just my personal tastes...

  1. platform shoes - Olive Oyl is NOT a fashion icon
  2. open-toed boots - I just don't see the logic
  3. visible logos - only if a garment is absolutely perfect in every other way would I consider including a visible brand name.  Unless you are compensated appropriately, do NOT endorse any company.
  4. Baby-doll garments.  I'm an adult, and I will assume that you are too.
  5. Products from any "designed" who is better know as a reality TV star, musical recording artist, or a viral porn video star.
  6. Anything coming from Asian companies which seem to counterfeit legitimate products.
  7. Anything with skulls on it.  I know one of the late, great designers put skulls on MANY of his accessories; I just don't find them appropriate nor ornamental.
  8. Tee-shirts with writing on them.  The female torso gets quite enough attention without giving anybody an excuse to stare at it.
  9. Any garment sufficiently revealing to cause disquiet among parents of young children.
Just wanted to make this clear to everbody!  Thanks, as always, for reading.

much love,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blazer – DKNY, Cardigan – Etro, Silk blouse – Paul & Joe, Silver short-sleeed top – Jason Wu, Pin-striped pants – Moschinol Skirt – Lanvin, Jeans – J. Brand. Scarf - Hermès

A very appreciated reader in the UK asked for "My colouring is "Summer"; style "Full Classic"; bodyline "Straight". A little more info on colour - My 100% Neutral is Dark Blue Grey; 100% Basics - Deep Sea Green, and Plum, and I suit the deep and smokey colours of my palette."  This is what I chose for her...

Blouse – Dolce & Gabbana , Trench Coat – Alberta Feretti, Charcoal coat – Jaeger. Dress – Rick Owens, 
Pants – Etro, , Skirt – Max Mara Studio, Sweater – Jardin des Orangers, Tweed jacket – Paul & Joe

Dress – Max Mara, cardigan – Lucien Pellat-Finet, Green shirt - Fanfare, Beaded top – Lela Rose, Purple turtleneck – Dolce & Gabbana, Gray velvet cord pants – Gucci, Gray sweater– Rag & Bone, Lilac lace top – Debenhams

Dangle earrings – 1928, Purple and green amethyst ring – ylang23, Watch – Adidas, Pearl and gold hoop earrings – Mikimoto, Pearl necklace – Mikimoto, Stone necklace – Sequin, Gray crystal pyramid stud earrings - Jada, Gloves – John Lewis, Purple bag – Ellington, Muffler – Etro, Grey suede loafers – Tod’s, Gray flannel pumps – Stuart Weitzman, Gray sandals – Calvin Klein, Riding boots – Frye, Purple flats – Yves Saint Laurent
Suede oxfords – ModCloth , Athletic shoes – Fratelli Rossetti

Friday, July 22, 2011

Good news:  I started a temp job.  It's two weeks, with a distant possibility of turning into a permanent position.  I'm not yet convinced that I want it to be permanent, so I'm just doing my very best, being my normal charming and mellow self, and the chips (chimps?) will fall where they may.  If I do all I can, and it doesn't work out, I have no regrets.

BUT...  I'm going to have to post a few of my "older" wardrobe schemes, as I'm not able to devote as much time to customizing things for you all.  I have a few custom wardrobes under my belt, as well as some of my earlier brainstorms, and of course a few of Vivienne's rants.  Those of you who have so kindly asked for wardrobes - I beg your patience - I will NOT forget you, but it may take me a few weeks.

If it's not one thing, it's another!!

my thanks and affection to all,
The Vivienne Files

Strapless garments can be very attractive.  What is not attractive is watching you (every FIVE minutes) readjusting the balcony to be appropriately covered.  

If the garment does not fit properly, do not buy it.  Constant wardrobe readjustment is neither appealing nor elegant.

More wardrobes are on the way - I appreciate your patience.  (some of these take a while!)   And please, if you have a theme or leitmotif in mind for a wardrobe, leave a comment and let me know!  I'm particularly loving the idea of working from a scarf, a work of art, or a particular garment.  Leave a link in your comment if I'm going to need a point of reference. And thanks so much for the really cool requests I've received so far.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gray blazer – Chloé, Striped cardigan – Aubin & Wills, Pink sweater – Ralph Lauren, Henley top – Dolce & Gabbana, Black sleeveless dress – The Row, Gray crewneck – The Row, Black & gray tweedy crewneck – The Row, Cream long-sleeved tee – The Row, Tweedy skirt – Markus Lupfer, Gray flannel skirt – Vionnet, Gray pants – Donna Karan, Black lace-trimmed tee shirt – Jason Wu, Black blazer – The Row, Black pants - Gucci

Square scarves - Hermes, Sequined muffler – John Lewis, Bracelet – Blu Bijoux, Black and silver balls necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, Silver hammered disc earrings – Dorothy Perkins, Pink stud earrings – Judith Ripka, Silver pyramid stud earrings – Blue Bijoux, Sparkly stud earrings – Peter lang Jewellery, Briefcase – Leatherbay, Black penny loafers – Naturalizer, Gray kitten heel slings – Dorothy Perkins, Dotted ballet flats – Repetto, Black bow-trimmed pumps – Rupert Sanderson

I was asked for the following: I'd love to hear your thoughts on a travel wardrobe suggestion for this autumn, where a black suit and a gray suit can expand to accommodate four days working at a conference, through: educational sessions, miles of walking and schlepping stuff, and the occasional networking reception. The caveat is that I can't wear any cotton career shirts!

My thinking was to provide a couple of optional garments that could be worn if the conference turned out to be either more or less dressy than anticipated, and to include a touch of color so that during networking activities, the wearer would be a bit more memorable and stand out in the crowd. 

Travel wardrobes fascinate me - if you have one in mind, please don't hesitate to "ask me for a wardrobe".

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blazer – Maison Martin MargielaCardigan – Ralph Lauren Black Label, Silk blouse with merlot cuffs – Stella McCartney, Tee Shirt – J. Crew, Pants – Maison Martin Margiela, Skirt – A.L.C., Jeans - Levis, Scarf - Hermès

Silk blouse - Aces, Trench coat – Derek Lam, Winter coat – Vanessa Bruno, Dress – Balenciaga, Corduroy jeans – J. Brand, Skirt – Diane von Furstenberg, Sweater – Stylebop, Black wool jacket – Alexander McQueen 

Dress – J. Crew, Cardigan - Crumpet, Purple tee shirt - Debenhams, Tee shirt – J. Crew, Cashmere v-neck – Ralph Lauren, Pants – John Lewis, Sweater – See by Chloe, Sleeveless blouse – Marc by Marc Jacobs

Square scarves – Hermès, Handbag – Alexander McQueen, Gold hoop earrings – Lord & Taylor, Chain necklace – Kenneth Jay Lane, Enamel bracelet – Hermès, stone necklace – Blu Bijoux, Garnet ring – Torrini Dany, Garnet stud earrings – Brian Danielle, Gold and green diamond stud earrings – Ileana Makri, Garnet drop earrings – Reena’s, Watch – Michael Kors, Tall boots – Frye, Flat sandals – Down to Earth, Gloves - Forzieri, Paisley muffler – Crumpet, Burgundy suede pumps – Rupert Sanderson, Kitten heel mary janes – All Black, Bordeau horsebit loafers – Gucci, short boot – Sam Edelman, Athletic shoes - Converse

Easily the hardest wardrobe to date - I was given the scarf in the first vignette as the basis upon which to build this wardrobe.  It doesn't help knowing that the requester is VERY beautiful; it was tough picking items that were worthy of her!

And for those who have asked - I build these vignettes in Microsoft PowerPoint!  It's very flexible, and easy for me to archive all the information for the book which might be in our future!