Sunday, January 31, 2016

Remember January 11th, when I built a wardrobe around a Neiman Marcus tote bag, and then asked for comments so that I could give the featured bag to one of you?

I heard back from the woman who won the bag, and... well... She's AMAZING.

Long story kind of short - black is no longer one of her wardrobe neutrals, so she turned the bag down.

She wants someone to have it who will use it regularly...

Generous. Disciplined. Mature. Intelligent. Kind. Thoughtful, in all of the best ways.

I feel lucky to know that she reads The Vivienne Files!

Neiman Marcus black embossed tote bag
This is the lovely bag...

So I pulled another random number; Geraldine, please get in touch with me at so I can get your address and send off your new tote bag!

much Sunday love to all,

Neiman Marcus Last Call (Neiman Marcus)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

You all have the BEST ideas! And I'm stealing this and running with it...

Starting today, and then on the 1st of each month (yes, the next installment, for February, will be Monday), I'm going to share the "monthly" new outfit for each of 6 different capsule wardrobe color schemes. By the 1st of December, we're going to have a nice tidy capsule wardrobe, built around a unifying color theme and overall "feel."

I chose 6 Hermes scarves to define our color palettes:

6 Hermes silk scarves
Navy– Hermes Voyage en Etoffes; camel – Hermes Tyger Tyger; beige –  

These six scarves indicated, to me, six different core neutral colors, and an interesting range of accents. I've included a small image of each scarf on the page with each outfit, to remind us of the colors with which we're working. Of course, you can wear the scarf with the outfit! And I hope it goes without saying that you don't have to use a scarf, and certainly not one from Hermes, as your unifying "personal style motif."

Each of these outfits is tremendously similar in structure: long-sleeved tee and pants in a neutral color, cardigan and earrings in an accent color, and a pair of loafers. By keeping the moving parts similar in nature, the power of the various colors is more clearly apparent.

navy and turquoise outfit
Earrings – Lagos; pants – J.Crew; tee – J. Crew
loafers – Trotters; cardigan – Jil Sander

camel and orange outfit
Earrings – The Real Real; pants – Prana; tee – Lands’ End
loafers – Delman; cardigan – Lands’ End

beige and light blue outfit
Opal earrings – JCPenney; pants – DKNY; tee – J. Crew
loafers – French Sole; cardigan – Diane von Furstenberg

olive green and off-white outfit
Earrings – Cole Haan; pants – Etro; tee – 321
loafers – Pluggz; cardigan – Dorothy Perkins

grey and jade green outfit
Earrings – River Island; pants – Joseph; tee – L.L.Bean; 
loafers – Bandolino; cardigan – Boden

red and black outfit
Earrings – Dylan Gray; pants – L.L.Bean; tee – L.L.Bean
loafers – Aquatalia; cardiganIssey Miyake

Since Monday's the 1st of February, you'll get to see the February ensembles then!



Friday, January 29, 2016

This bag is much closer to the one that my friend wanted to see on The Vivienne Files - I'm really happy that she persisted in finding just the right back for us!  This is quite the color scheme: black and white, punched up about a million notches with red, hot pink, and coral.


She Doesn't Mind the Attention...

Yes, lots of people share in the credit for everything that's been accomplished, but someone has to be the spokesperson, the one in the center of the photographs, the one who accepts the diplomas, certificates, trophies, statuettes, and other detritus of hard work.

Square scarf – Hermes Balade en Berline; dress – Lands’ End; cardigan – Etro;
 color-blocked top – Guiliana Romanno; hoop earrings – Arme de l’Amour;  
pink/orange bracelet – CC Skye; gold bar earrings – Trina Turk; bag –  
Rebecca Minkoff; gold wire bracelet – Kenneth Jay Lane; flats –  
Nicholas Kirkwood; pumps – Trotters; black sleeveless top – Brunello Cucinelli
black silk pants – Zero + Maria Cornejo

So she's accepted, for years, that since she's comfortable being photographed, and making "off the cuff" remarks, she's going to be the one who takes center stage.

Tee - Uniqlo; sandals – Vionic; jeans – Current/Elliott; merino sweatshirt
 L.L.Bean; shorts – J.Crew; sneakers – Converse; neon flame
 tee – J. Crew

She actually asked other people who were involved in the YEARS of effort if any of them wanted to take over the "front man" (ahem.... person...) role. To a man (ahem... person....), they all declined!

Just in case you missed them yesterday, these pants look a LOT like Eileen Fisher "slouch pants", but at a fraction of the price.

Orange top - Uniqlo; scarf – Missoni; trousers – Uniqlo; crystal earrings
 – Ted Baker London; stud earrings – Open Sky; cardigan – J. Crew

She's scrupulous about making absolutely SURE that everybody gets mentioned, thanked, and appropriately credited... The spotlight is nice, but she's not so daft as to think that getting MOST of the attention means that she did MOST of the work!


UNIQLO USA Free Shipping on $50+

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A long time ago, someone asked for me to work with a painting by Degas; it's taken months, but I'm finally on it! (I really do try to get to as many requests as possible, I hope you understand...)

If you just glanced at this painting, it might seem somber and sort of gloomy. But give it a minute - there's a lot of warmth and beauty here. These women appear comfortably  tucked up in the lap of luxury!

So I felt that the black component was impossible to avoid, but it seemed equally inevitable that the accent colors would be warm: 

No Need for Accolades

Now that everything is finally accomplished, and all of the celebratory events are beginning, it would only be natural that she might want a bit of the credit, and of the attention!

Square scarf – Hermes Cavaliers du Caucase; dress – Lands’ End; cardigan – 
J. Crew; ruffled silk blouse – H&M; pearl earrings – Judith Jack; Kiss cuff 
bracelet – Evocateur; pearl stud earrings – Majorica; bag – Lodis; pearl & gold 
 cuff – Eshvi; flats – Nicholas Kirkwood; pumps – Trotters; black sleeveless top
 – Joseph; floral jacquard silk culottes - Etro

But she's actually very comfortable being in the background. She knows what she contributed, and that's quite sufficient for her - the praise of others isn't really necessary.

Tank - Topshop; sneakers – Converse; jeans – L.L.Bean; merino sweatshirt 
 – L.L.Bean; shorts – J.Crew Factory;  green top – Oasis; sandals – Jimmy Choo

She's quite used to taking GOOD care of herself. If anybody ever bothers to pay close attention, they can clearly see that she's quite well-rewarded for her efforts. Yes, she provides those rewards herself; is that wrong?

These pants look like Eileen Fisher "slouch" pants, at a fraction of the price...

Eyelet top - Uniqlo; hoop earrings – Kenneth Jay Lane; infinity scarf –  
Charming Charlie; trousers – Uniqlo; wrap top – Dorothy Perkins; stud 
earrings – Cole Haan; floral scarf Etro

This is what she has packed for the events. It might seem dark and retiring, at first glance. Closer attention will show that everything has a touch of the "special" about it... That's the way she likes it!

If you count on yourself for appropriate rewards for your achievements, you are never disappointed! And you always get exactly what you'd most like...




Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It started with a request from a long-time reader... but the bag she loved is no longer available. So I started working with this one. It's not EXACTLY what she had in mind, but she's such a lovely woman, I'm sure she'll forgive me!

ToteKate Spade

I'm assuming that this is navy, although it could easily pass for black. The lining is blue, and that's where I took my cue.

ToteKate Spade

Imagine that you've been searching for a "defining" style image for a long time. You'll know it when you see it - that painting, or sculpture, or other objet d'art that really captures your favorite colors, your favorites lines, just that certain something that really resonates in your "style soul."

And it's a tote bag!

No worries - there are no style police running around forcing you to have some specific kind of personal style theme or emblem...

Now, let's further imagine that, for one year, you decided you were going to either buy or assemble, each month, an outfit inspired by said tote bag. Not necessarily something that you'd wear while carrying the bag, but that might be possible...

Pink rubber earrings – Marc by Marc Jacobs; navy silk blouse – J. Crew; cardigan
 – Lands’ End; pants – J. Crew; loafers – Sole Society; socks – Ralph Lauren;
 chandelier earrings – Marchesa; lace dress – J. Crew; floral clutch wallet –  

Navy tee – J. Crew; scarf – Jaipur Atelier Los Angeles; floral cuff – Anchara
sweat skirt – Uniqlo; canvas shoes – Superga; striped tee – T by Alexander Wang;
 scarf – Lands’ End; cropped pants – MSGM; ballet flats – Sofft

Pink dress – Issa; gold pendant – Arena CPH; gold shoulder bag – Urban Expressions;
 gold sandals – Born; gold disc earrings – Anna Beck; navy dress – Lands’ End
navy & gold bracelet – Aurelie Bidermann; navy sandals - Everlane

grey cardigan – IDLF Uniqlo; flower earrings – Wadarat Supasirisuk; navy tank
 – J. Crew;  shorts – J. Crew; floral cuff – Anchara; navy sandals – Everlane
Henley tee – Uniqlo; moonstone & pearl earrings – Alok Jain; grey ankle pants –
 Uniqlo; pearl & silver bracelet – AlokJain; cardigan – Etro; grey sandals – Born

JacketJ.Crew; vintage brooch – Tiffany & Co.; boots – Sam Edelman;  
silk blouse – Lanvin; jeans -  J. Crew; cashmere sweater – J. Crew; infinity
 earrings – Kate Spade; silk scarf – Hermes Millefleurs du Mexique; navy wool
 skirt – J. Crew; pumps – Bella Vita

Cardigan – Libertine; scarf – Lands’ End; boots – Sam Edelmangrey tee
 – Majestic Filatures; pants – J. Crew; turtleneck – Cacharel; necklace – Kenari;
  long grey skirt – James Lakeland; riding boots – Olivia Miller

At the end of the year, when all of these items are collected into one place, you can see a clearly-defined personal style, as well as a functional and versatile wardrobe. There could be worse projects to have for a year...

My friend has submitted another bag for my efforts; you'll be seeing it soon.