Wednesday, July 19, 2017

I could use paintings from this artist for WEEKS! She had an amazing career, and her body of work is beautiful - graceful, colorful, yet true to nature. Genius...

Please be aware, when looking at paintings online, that a LOT of work has been "touched-up" by people gone mad with Photoshop. If something seems wildly out of the normal style for an artist, look for multiple versions of the image. Especially once something gets to Pinterest, it is widely circulated, even though it might NOT be authentic. This is also true if you see a photograph of a bird that seems unlike anything found in nature - some of those pictures have been really altered... sigh...

Same Lake House, Different Weekend...

"You know that there are frost warnings up there this weekend?"

Yes, I'm going to look for some particular migratory birds that are likely to be there now that the weather is cooler...

"Well, none of US are going up there this weekend. There's no way we could keep the kids out of the lake, and they'd catch their DEATH..."

I don't plan to swim - just walk a bit, and mostly sit quietly and watch for birds...

(well, watch for birds, and for the man who works for the Audubon Society... If there aren't crowds around, he will have more free time...)

rain jacket – L.L.Bean; bird earrings – Be Bhagavati; scarf – Burberry; sunglasses – Ray-Ban; tunic – Patagonia; watch – Larsson & Jennings; trail pants – L.L.Bean; waterproof booties – Teva; duffel bag – Herschel Supply Co.

"Well OKAY, if you're dead set on going. I know that the kids carried in a ton of firewood the last time we were up, so you should be okay. Just make sure you pack warm clothes..."

I'm over 50; I think I can figure it out, but thanks for thinking of me...

garnet earrings – Bloomingdale’s; fleece vest – L.L.Bean; white tee – M&S Collection; labradorite earrings – Carousel Jewels; green scarf – Irene Paris; bra– Agent Provacateur; thong - Agent Provacateur; kimono robe – Roses Are Red; swallow necklace – Origami Jewellery; beige sweater – Dorothy Perkins; taupe scarf – Baltica Foulards; red sweater – L.L.Bean; taupe pants – L.L.Bean; bracelet - Azuni London; ballet flats – Lucky Brand; bag – Ina Kent; skirt – Marks and Spencer; boots – Mountain Sole

I don't know if the farm stand will even be OPEN. What will you eat?

I might be going out for a meal. Or two. Or staying in... I'll take coffee and croissants with me...

I'm pretty well prepared, no matter what I might find to... amuse... myself.


Build a Travel Capsule Wardrobe by Starting with Art: Demoiselle Cranes and Lotus by Jessie Arms Botke
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Monday, July 17, 2017

This could qualify as Moderately Extravagant Monday!

And here's some art that might not be to everyone's taste, but colors that certainly have energy and make a strong statement:

St. John by Gerhard Richter

(I personally love Gerhard Richter, and this work especially...)

They Think She's Crazy...

St. John by Gerhard Richter with style guidelines and color palette

She sleeps like a baby on airplanes. Well, any place she can sit down, she can sleep soundly. And she uses this to her advantage!

Travel outfit in red and black

silk scarf – Shevitza; earrings – Marni; tee – L.L.Bean; watch – Rebecca Minkoff; coat - Issey Miyake; pants – L.L.Bean; suitcase – Crash Baggage; boots – Stuart Weitzman; tote – Urban Originals (if you dig the boot fabric, but prefer mules, they're here)

Those last-minute plane tickets that are dirt cheap, but only work if you can leave in 2 days, and only stay someplace for 3 days? She's all over them...

a travel six-pack in black, white and brights

white shirt – Brunello Cucinelli; crystal earrings – Alexis Bittar; drop earrings – Ink and Alloy; paisley scarf - Etro; gauze scarf – Elizabeth Gillett; black bag - Heio; gold bag - Okhtein; tee shirts – L.L.Bean; aquamarine and tanzanite earrings – Poppy Jewellery; jeans – L.L.Bean; skirt – J.W.Anderson; red dress – Harris Wharf London; booties – Blondo; pumps – Roger Vivier

Most people eschew such quick trips, because they can never get over the jet lag, and they don't feel like it's worthwhile to spend all that time on the plane in exchange for such a short time at their destination. She doesn't feel that way - not at all!

a travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and brights

She arrives at her destination - Paris, London, Copenhagen - wherever - feels fine, and ready to hit the pavement...

two outfits from a travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and brights

She never really worries about acclimating to the time change - she can sleep late, and then have a really fashionably late dinner...

two outfits from a travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and brights

If she chooses to go to a concert or opera, she doesn't have to worry about getting sleepy before it's over...

two outfits from a travel capsule wardrobe in black, white and brights

She's always tried to be a little bit different; who knew that it would be useful when it came time to travel?


A Travel Capsule Wardrobe that Starts with Art: Saint John by Gerhard Richter
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Friday, July 14, 2017

One of you sent me some images of William Morris wallpaper and fabric ... oh, what lovely fun!

The Brook by John Henry Dearle for William Morris Co.

If you have a few minutes to spare, I can't encourage you enough to take a look at their wallpaper and fabrics. They might not be your style, but they are so lovely, creative and distinctive. The William Morris company is particularly adept at using themes and ideas from nature, and many of their products would make excellent inspirations for a wardrobe.

(and if you have a fondness for that spruce color that we saw from Pantone, get thee to L.L.Bean, where it appears to be a staple of their palette!)

When I saw this, I thought of a lovely heroine who drives, uphill (!) to get to her family's lake house...

The Brook by John Henry Dearle for William Morris Co.

The Lake House

"Make sure my cardigan is on TOP of the grocery boxes - I'm going to need it when we get up into the mountains!"

travel outfit in teal, khaki and white

Cardigan - L.L.Bean; chrysocolla earrings - Tiberio Gonzales; sunglasses – Smoke X Mirrors; tee shirt – Uniqlo; bracelets – Mudd; tote – Brahmin; pants – L.L.Bean; shoes - Converse

"If they have blueberries, I'll make cobbler. Otherwise, I'm thinking that we'll definitely have strawberry shortcake for breakfast... It all depends on what they have at the stand; if it's not in season, we can't just magically make it appear..."

a six-pack in blue and green for a cabin and cooking weekend

teal tee – L.L.Bean; nightgown – L.L.Bean; striped top – L.L.Bean; leaf earrings – Samuel B.; floral tee – L.L.Bean; leaf necklace - The Sak; bikini – Mara Hoffman; hooded sweatshirt – H&M; mixing spoons – Threshold; oven mitts – Mackenzie Childs; denim apron – H&M; beach towel – Marinette Saint Tropez; sweatshirt robe – L.L.Bean; denim capris – L.L.Bean; skort – L.L.Bean; sandals - Naot; slippers – L.L.Bean

"Yes, it's very different from the supermarket. This is food that grew right here, and is fresher than anything in the store at home. It's important to know what foods grow during different times of year, so you don't buy food that just flew in from Peru...."

a travel wardrobe for a cool summer weekend at the lake house

"Corn on the cob? Of course we can - get as much as you can carry..."

2 outfits from a six-pack in teal, blue and beige

"A few weeks ago he had some fresh beef available; help me remember to ask for any fresh meat that he has. There's bacon and hamburger in the cooler, but something else would be nice..."

2 outfits from a six-pack in teal, blue and beige

"You can get TWO bunches of flowers, if you promise to arrange them as soon as we get to the cabin. Put one on the dining table, and then you can have one in your room, too..."

2 outfits from a six-pack in teal, blue and beige

"If we empty the grocery box, I might be able to fit a bushel of peaches in the trunk on the way home..."


p.s. I think it's in my blogger contract to remind you that Nordstrom has a sale coming soon. If you need something, take a look. If you don't need something, you don't suddenly need it just because they put it on sale, do you?

Can Wallpaper be Your Wardrobe Inspiration? Heck Yes!
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I've made some progress on the 52-Piece Wardrobe Plan that we discussed last Wednesday.

First, I included the idea of columns for each of the "categories" of garment - I think this works pretty well:

a 52-piece wardrobe template
cardigan - L.L.Bean; chambray shirt - L.L.Bean; oxford shirts - L.L.Bean; black turtleneck - L.L.Bean; black jeans - L.L.Bean; blue jeans - L.L.Bean; long-sleeved tee shirt - L.L.Bean; tee shirts - L.L.Bean; khakis - L.L.Bean

The only real question here has to be about how many garments fall into each of the three categories, and that's going to have to be something that each of us personalizes. I will of course lay out my guidelines, but they're never carved in stone; I call them guidelines, and NEVER rules!

I tried to do something around the idea of using multiple colors for borders, to show that some garments were able to serve in multiple functions - FAIL. The page is pretty crowded already, and adding another border (thin as they are) just made things a mess. I think for multi-use garments, we're just going to have to remember that we have options!

The best progress, in terms of being able to work with this template, was to break it into 3 segments - 1 for each of the 3 areas of Warm Weather, Common Wardrobe, and Cold Weather.

template for a 19-piece warm-weather wardrobe

The Warm Weather page isn't filled in; maybe I'll "back fill" with what I'm wearing to pieces this summer and see how it stacks up. I have a hunch that I'm going to need fewer jackets and cardigans, and DEFINITELY more dresses...

The 2nd page is the original Common Wardrobe, from back in the day. I think this is a part of the template that is open for a LOT of experimentation, in terms of the clothes included. I'd like to build at least a few different "Common Wardrobes" to reflect different color preferences and personal styles...

template for a 12-piece Common Wardrobe

And then there's the 19 pieces for Cold Weather. After I get this whole package in a usable form, my plan, weekly, is to show my own wardrobe, as I add a piece each week (and eventually put a piece into storage for a while...)

template for a 19-piece cold-weather wardrobe

The only segment that's really well planned right now is the Common Wardrobe, because it's the same bunch of garments that we've looked at and worked with for years. I want to do this in warmer colors, in choices that more reflect my personal wardrobe, and maybe some other variations based more on navy? or grey?

a 12-piece Common Wardrobe in black, white, denim and khaki
cardigan - L.L.Bean; chambray shirt - L.L.Bean; oxford shirts - L.L.Bean; black turtleneck - L.L.Bean; black jeans - L.L.Bean; blue jeans - L.L.Bean; long-sleeved tee shirt - L.L.Bean; tee shirts - L.L.Bean; khakis - L.L.Bean

This is fascinating... Do you think it's going to continue to be useful?


p.s. Please note that my health is pretty yucky right now, and I'm finding that there are days during which I can't do much beyond sleep. I'm going to try to keep The Vivienne Files rolling along regularly, but at some point I just have to surrender and take time off. It's not from lack of love...

Planning Your Complete Wardrobe, 1 Segment at a Time
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Monday, July 10, 2017

It's time again for that most amusing of events - the announcement of "new" colors for the upcoming season!

Of course we know better than to envision that there could be a "new" color (can you imagine how thrilling that would be?), but I do think that the release of these colors is a good time to look at our wardrobes with a clear eye and an open mind. Would a new accent color - maybe just for a season or two, maybe for longer - be of benefit to us? This time of year, as our warm-weather clothes begin to feel... old? and tired, a couple of new accessories might be just the ticket to get us through until the return of cold weather! See if any of these appeal...


A bit more "orange-ish" than a true red, this is a cheery and often flattering color that's easy to find and goes with virtually any neutral color you can imagine.

accessory family in Grenadine, from the Pantene Fall 2017 colors

earrings – Kendra Scott; bracelet – Kate Spade New York; ring – Vessel; necklace - David Yurman; rectangle scarf – Eileen Fisher; square scarf - Hermès Le Jardin de la Maharani; "Aventure” nail polish – Dior

Tawny Port

Not easy to find, but really elegant and beautiful... I think with navy, this would be absolutely stunning. What other colors would you wear with it?

When you're searching for something in this color, you have to look in both the red and brown worlds - it shows up in searches for both...

Tawny Port accessory family from the Pantone 2017 Fall colors

earrings – Isabel Marant; ring - Andrea Fohrman; bracelet – Lagos; necklace – Chan Luu; rectangle scarf – Isabel Marant; square scarf - Hermès Le Jardin de la Maharani; "Afters” nail polish – Butter London

Ballet Slipper

If you love pink, this is going to call your name! Pink is easily worn with any neutral color, and never fails to charm...

Ballet Slipper accessory family from the Pantone Fall 2017 colors

earrings – Kendra Scott; rings – Ted Baker London; bracelet – Bourbon and Boweties; necklace – Ted Baker London; solid scarf – Fendi; square scarf - Hermès Fleurs de Giverny; “Twist & Twirl” nail polish – Butter London


Does anybody else immediately think of the LifeSavers candies of this name? It so reminds me of my father... As a color, it's difficult to find and so I took a few liberties with tone and shade, but I think that this could be a beautiful new accent with grey or black.

Butterum family of accessories from the Pantene Fall 2017 colors

earrings – L.Erickson; ring – Melanie Auld; bracelet – Bourbon and Boweties; necklace – Ela Rae; square scarf - Hermes On a Summer Day; fringed scarf – Rag & Bone; “Desert” nail polish – Dolce & Gabbana

Peony Navy

I give up - I've NEVER seen a navy peony, and I have no idea what they're getting at with this name. It's a shade of navy - maybe a bit muted or softened, but not by much! Basically, if you love navy, feel free to load up on beautiful things... because navy never goes out of style, you can invest in something for the really long term.

Navy Peony accessory family from the Pantone 2017 Fall colors

earrings – Konstantino; ring - Rosantica; bracelet – Gorjana; pendant - Andrea Fohrman; rectangle scarf – Nordstrom; square scarf - Hermès Passementerie Quadri; nail polish – Clé de Peau

Neutral Grey

Uh, grey IS a neutral - about as neutral as it gets! What do they mean here? Sometimes, you just find beautiful silver and grey accessories and leave the color pundits to their work, right?

Neutral Grey accessory family from the Pantone 2017 Fall colors

druzy earrings – Marcia Moran; ring – John Hardy; bracelet – Serafina; necklace – Alex Woo; fringed scarf – La Fiorentina; square scarf – Hermès Jardin a Sintra; “Liquid Mirror” nail polish – Chanel

Shaded Spruce

This is a color that I really hope gets some traction in the fashion world - it's terribly difficult to find a truly bluish, dark, dark, green... I took a few liberties with the accessories because of the difficulty in finding pieces that matched the color exactly. If you admire this shade as much as I do, it is worth keeping your eyes open for the next few months to see if it becomes easier to find...

Shaded Spruce accessory family from the Pantone Fall 2017 colors

earrings – Jaimie Nicole; ring – Nadine S.; green jade bracelet - Somluck Komolmith; necklace – Ela Rae; square scarf - Hermès Ndop; rectangle scarf – Franco Ferrari; “Across the Pond” nail polish – Smith & Cult

Golden Lime

If you want to find pieces in this color, look for moss green - absolutely NOBODY calls anything "golden lime." And if you like and can wear this color, please do so frequently, and with joy. So many of us can't go within 3 feet of this color, so celebrate your unique coloring!

Golden Lime accessory family from the Pantone 2017 Fall colors

peridot earrings – Bea Bongiasca; ring - Pomellato; bracelet – Dsquared2; necklace – Love’s Hangover Creations; square scarf - Hermès Jardin a Sintra; rectangle scarf – Purim; “Jungle Green” nail polish – Yves Saint Laurent


I was amazed at how very difficult it was to find accessories in this color! I frankly cheated and took the color down about three levels, to a more pastel (and more available!) version. It will be interesting to see if the marketplace offers us more items in the darker, true "Marina" in the coming months...

Marina family of accessories from the Pantene 2017 Fall colors

earrings – Bhavesh; ring – Lafonn; bracelet – Carolina Bucci; pendant - Babun Dey; rectangle scarf – Caslon; square scarf - Hermes Selle d'Officier en Grande Tenue; Ikiru” nail polish –Nars

Autumn Maple

Oh how nice it would be if this color would catch on and be widely offered in clothes this fall! So many people could really use a nice injection of a rich rust sweater or jacket in the late autumn... We shall see!

Autumn Maple accessory family from the Pantone 2017 Fall colors

diamond and citrine earrings – Amrapali; ring - Moon and Lola; bracelet - Catherine Michiels; 3 Monkeys Pendant – Midgard Paris; rectangle scarf – Roberto Cavalli; square scarf - Hermès Au Bout du Monde; “Keep Calm” nail polish – Butter London

Are you tempted by any of these colors? I've just recently gone off the shopping moratorium for a few pieces in a pretty hyacinth blue, so I think I'd better refrain from any of these! Probably...


PS - If you want to see how very little things change in the world, take a look at last fall's "new colors...

PPS - And you can REALLY see how much these colors repeat if you go back to the 2015 fall colors...

PPPS - You can find the latest Pantone Color Planner and other documents in the Planning Documents section of the website.

Pantone Fall 2017 "New" Colors, and Ways to Try Them
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