Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I love L.A.

This was my favorite work of art at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. This Giacometti sculpture is in the lobby of the Getty Museum. The building was designed by Richard Meier and the style is pure Los Angeles. Clean lines, acres of glass letting the sunshine fill the space, pristine white against all the greenery.

The general feeling I take away from Los Angeles is laid-back luxe. There is style, but nothing is in-your-face. The women all look natural; everyone seemed to have great skin and hair, as if they were all the offspring of models. Just very fresh, pretty and friendly.

I also noticed the way the women in L.A. wear clothes. They wear the current fashion, but in their way. Skinny jeans, slouchy tees, shorts with heels, but it doesn't look fierce or forced. There is always some skin showing, but not in the obvious places.

L.A. is such a counterpart to Miami. The two cities have so much in common, but the aesthetics are worlds apart. I appreciate both.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stylish movie

I happened to catch this movie by chance last night. It was right at the part where the Cary Grant character gets off the bus in the middle of nowhere and is being attacked by the cropduster.

This Alfred Hitchcock movie just oozes style, from the title sequence to the score, to the cinematography, the costumes and on and on. The the locations are epic American: the United Nations building, Grand Central Terminal, the Twentieth Century Ltd. train, that Indiana countryside, the house that juts out over a cliff, which was in fact built for the movie in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, and of course Mount Rushmore.

I love the look of all of the characters, particularly how the men all looked elegant, of course Cary Grant can't help but look elegant, but even the villians looked handsome and refined. And Eva Marie Saint had that classic, cool blondeness and looked so lethal in her ladylike dresses.

I would watch this one just for the look of it, but like many Hitchcock movies there is a lot to pay attention to and even after all these years I still something I never noticed before. That's what makes a movie a classic.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary

The Guggenheim Museum is always well worth visiting, however, three things make right now a particularly special time to make the trip.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversay of the opening of the architectural landmark that was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry and was recently registered as a National Historic Landmark. The amazing spiral space seems to make the viewing of art an interactive experience; you find yourself climbing along and enjoying the art and you are rewarded by the beauty of the space itself from every vantage point.
The current Wassily_Kandinsky exhibition is especially fitting because his works helped to inspire the creation of the building. Solomon R. Guggenheim enthusiastically collected the artist's work and opened the Museum of Non-Objective Painting and later commissioned Mr. Gehry to design the building that would become the Guggenheim. The museum has also undergone an extensive renovation, completed just in time for the festivities to begin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Palm Beach story

Palm Beach is a jewel of a town. It is a priveleged, pristine part of the nation and a place that has become so iconic that the name itself is shorthand for the best that is the United States.
There is the natural beauty of fourteen miles of oceanfront real estate dotted with white houses on perfectly manicured parcels of land, and Worth Avenue, the fittingly named shopping thoroughfare in the town where only the best of the best luxury goods purveyors are lined up side by side like the designer shoes inside the Vogue magazine accessories closet.
And then there is The Breakers. This is the kind of place that honeymoons were invented for. The kind of place where fourteen dollars for pancakes does not seem unreasonable. The kind of place where you can have a choice of pools to enjoy based on the level of serenity you're after.
Only in Palm Beach.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The great tablescape

One of my favorite ways to put the finishing touch on a room or to re-invigorate the decor of a space is to gather up a group of items and make that a feature of the design.

One example of this is a tablescape which is a hallmark of the designer David Hicks. Mr. Hicks was one of the best known and copied decorators of his time and many of his signature looks are still used and beloved.

He would amass a collection in a small area, typically on a coffee table or side table, and the components would contribute color, texture and energy to a space. The items could be things that were related in some way or completely random pieces that Mr. Hicks thought would look good together.

This is great way to inject personality and whimsy into a room. So be playful or autobiographical and try it: take a tray, toss a book or two, maybe a candle, a small picture frame and whatever else makes you smile when you look at it. Play around with displaying it on the tray, and feel free to change things in or out.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lovely living room

I love the look of this room. It has a perfect, understated blend of my favorite types of decor. Most of the furnishings are traditonal but there is just enough of some contrasting elements that make it interesting.

I love some modern seating in a living room to play off of the conservative main seating and the unmatched lighting flanking the sofa with the whole look grounded by the antique-looking carpet with lots of rich, but muted, color.

Also the hardwood floors and pair of windows seem to contain this section of the room and the pops of natural beauty in the flowers and branches are the perfect finishing touch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Don't hate her because she's beautiful

Kelly Wearstler has a gift, and I'm not talking about her loveliness or laid-back glamorous personal style.
I'm talking about The Tides South Beach, the Viceroy Palm Springs, Santa Monica and Miami, the Trina Turk boutiques in Palm Springs and Los Angeles, etc., to name just a few of the places where her designs take the idea of interior space to a new level using bold shapes and exuberant color to evoke a mood of optimistic, modern luxe.

I love that she does things on such a grand scale; countless objects grouped together; rich, saturated colors and some over-sized something somewhere in the room. So she gets to have all that talent and be a goddess too; that seems fair.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I love her style

This is Ina Garten, otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa, in her New York City apartment.

Most pictures of Ina depict her in that amazing kitchen of her home in the Hamptons, but when I saw this photo it confirmed what I had decided the first time I bought one of her cookbooks. She has serious style. She keeps it simple in the kitchen; her recipes are always things that you want to eat. A perfect roast chicken, a sexy cocktail, a luscious layer cake. No fussy, complicated meals. And her home has that clean, lovely, comfortable ambience that makes you wish she were your friend and you could stop in for the random coffee and biscotti anytime.

So of course her home in the city has that stamp of her personal style. Of course.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Favorite things

These are three of my favorite pieces from the Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. collection.
The lacquer doughnut bangle, the bone cuff and the bottle pendant.
This year marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of her collaboration with Tiffany & Co. and these are some of the earlier designs, but they have such a modern appeal. I love the way her pieces look rounded and feel smooth and shine against the skin. Always unfussy and understated. Always perfect.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Style under pressure

The President of the United States continues to plow ahead with the gargantuan task of running the country despite the barrage of inappropriate behavior, comments and just plain nonsense coming at him from members of the Republican party and their supporters.
Do we really have this kind of time to waste when so much work is needed to solve the serious issues we face? Through all of this I see President Obama maintain his focus, coolly pushing forward and talking about what matters.
I hope it is enough.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I just watched this movie again over the weekend. It's one of those movies that if I come across it when I am just clicking through the channels, I watch it til the end.

But still I miss most of the dialog no matter how far I turn up the volume or how closely I watch. I'd like to buy the movie and watch it over and over and be able to scroll super-slow through the parts I keep missing. Like the small, through-away comments the Maggie Smith character tosses off, and the telephone conversation the Bob Balaban character has in the background while the murder investigation is going on. I think part of it is the style of the director Robert Altman who often has many characters in a movie all talking at the same time and maybe it's the multitude of accents going on.

But that cast of actors is amazing and I always discover someone who I didn't recognize before (this time it was Clive Owen). I love how an American movie director nailed all the details of that exotic world. So if anyone can tell me what was going on in that movie I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Georgia O'Keeffe on my mind

Georgia O'Keeffe is getting new attention as an abstract artist in light of an exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York this month. Although she has been most famously thought of as a representational painter, her early work was abstractionist; when she realized her early work was being interpreted in Freudian terms as sexual she began to show more realist paintings.
I have always loved her work. I think she beautifully expresses the awe in the details of natural things.
The Whitney exhibition begins September 17. On September 19 the movie 'Georgia O'Keeffe' starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons as O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz airs on Lifetime.

Monday, September 7, 2009


As a general rule, I'd rather be home more than anyplace else in the world, but I have a never-ending curiosity about the way other people live. I would love it if you took the time to tell me about your home. What do you love about your home? What do you not love? What is your favorite thing in your home? Where do find yourself spending the most time when you are home? When you are not at home, what do you miss? What do want to change about the way you live? Whose is the most memorable home you've ever been in and why?
I can't wait to read your answers and I will post mine next time.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I am obsessed with lipstick.

Which is odd because for my entire life I've only ever worn some sublte shade of beige. But here's the thing about lipstick; it's very satisfying to shop for. If you've ever walked into a sephora and seen the selection there, you just know you will find the one lipstick that is maybe in the tiniest way a vast improvement on the lipstick you are currently wearing. Maybe it's shinier or shearer or pinker, but you swipe it on the top of your left hand and you think: this is it...this is the lipstick I will wear from now on..this is the perfect shade...this is the color that will make it okay for me to run around the world without any make-up at all on and still look amazing!

I read recently about a phenomena that economists call the 'lipstick index'. When the economy goes down, lipstick sales shoot up. The idea being that lipstick is an affordable luxury, so when we may be reluctant to spend money on big-ticket items for ourselves we will buy lipstick. Even if you buy the most expensive lipstick you're maybe out about twenty-five dollars. This is a small price to pay to walk out the door feeling like the most together woman in the world. So if you want something new but you don't like, won't wear or can't afford what is available, go buy lipstick. Get two.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


This is the cover of the October 2009 issue of Vanity Fair.

What else is there to say?

Friday, September 4, 2009

That face

If they ever carve a Mt. Rushmore of rock icons, Keith Richards should be the first face.

Has anyone else ever so perfectly match their persona as this man at this time?

I don't want to meet Keith Richards or know him in any way. I just want to know that his coolness is out there in the world somewhere.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It only looks high maintenance

It's not. It is actually ridiculously low maintenance.

They look so delicate but the reality is that they last quite a long time with very little attention paid to them. They are available at most grocery stores, and for about as much as two bunches of fresh flowers. And the payoff is weeks and sometimes months of bloom.

Try putting one on an entry hall table, or on a coffee table or on top of a stack of books. It will be like putting that last great accesssory on your outfit.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm not going back to school, but if I were, I know what I would wear on the first day.
I would wear a new white shirt, crisp, not wrinkly, cuffs rolled up, not folded.
This may be the most underrated item in the closet. It can go with anything. It can go anywhere. It flatters everyone. It is available at any price range.
If you want to get the most from your wardrobe budget, start here. It will be the perfect foundation for anything else you add and it will instantly update the clothes you already have.
The look is at once chic, snappy and glamorous.