Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House of Lavande: Yes, Please.

Expertly edited for the most discerning of fashionistas, House of Lavande is nothing short of perfection when looking for vintage baubles. You know, when you have a couple thou just burning a hole in your pocket. Based out of Palm Beach, they search the world over for the best of the best in costume jewelry - and now vintage bags!

70's Fendi bag

70's Italian Coral necklace



60's Ciner earrings

Aching for a knockout piece such as these? You don't need to spend a fortune - try these options from Forever 21:

Forever 21, $8.80

Forever 21, $10.80

Visit House of Lavande at, or if you're in Palm Beach give them a call at 561 802 3737.

Wise Words

"They have weather, we have life." - Kelly Cutrone, The Hills, on what Los Angeles has over New York.

This Tux For You

Holiday party season is fast approaching, and it's best to be prepared. For the guys, that might mean getting a new tuxedo. The tuxedo alludes to Tuxedo Park, just outside of New York City, where a young tobacco heir debuted his new suit style, named after the Tuxedo Club. It's said that the origins of dressing in black for formal events come from the belief that only the distinguished look good in black.

How to Shop for a New Tuxedo

First, decide what kind of tux you want - something classic and traditional, or more fashion-forward? The basic tux is a black jacket, white tux shirt, and bow tie. This combination doth a gentleman make.


When choosing a shirt, make sure it's a slim fit. You want it to fit like you're not wearing a jacket over it, so when the jacket comes off to do the shag, you won't look like you're drowning in shirt. The collar should be wingtip or turndown.


The choice of a jacket collar is a personal one, but there are a few guidelines to help you in your decision.

The shawl collar - a throw-back to yester-year, this is a classic style that is now considered a bit retro.

The peak collar - this is best for slimmer, taller men who might want to look broader through the chest.

The notch collar - this is the most universal and common, best for all frames. I personally prefer the notch.

Make sure that the collar compliments your tie - satin collar, satin bow tie. The jacket (and pants) should be made of lightweight fabric, for dancing and moving, usually indoors. Light colored dinner jackets should only be worn in warmer months. Jackets without vents will slim you.


The pants should match the jacket - two stripes for tailcoats, one for any other jacket. If you've got on a tailcoat or a cummerbund, make sure that the trousers are high enough so that you don't see a gap in between. Pants should fit snugly without a belt, as they don't have belt loops. Vertical pockets dress it up a bit. They are not tux pants unless there is a stripe!!


Keep them simple! This is not a place to show off your fashion skills. They should be clean and classic - unless you want people talking about your studs (in not a good way) instead of you.


Simple. It sounds ridiculous, but no accouterments on the shoes - black tux, black shoes. No patent, wing-tips, or any other fancy bits. Plain toe, and with a high shine.

WHEN YOU'RE INVITED... white tie or full-dress, that means a white bow tie and black tails. ONLY. This is the most formal of events, and you should respect the invitation. tie, that means a tuxedo, not a suit. Any variation of a tux is usually accepted. tie preferred, that means that the host wants you to wear a tux, but if you can't or don't have one, a dark and dressy suit will work. No tailcoats. tie optional, that means that the host will be wearing formal dress and you can either wear formal wear or a dressy suit. Neither should make you feel out of place.

...semi-formal, that means a dark dressy suit or dinner jacket.

...creative black tie, that means that anything goes as long as the tux jacket is there. Does that mean jeans and a tux jacket? Feel out your host, who will most likely be horrified at the thought. This is an opportunity to wear a creative cummerbund or vest. Dress how you think the host will dress.

Any other issues that might arise - ask Emily Post! This is as much as I know.

Big kiss

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Another of the fab set, Lindsay Cowles, graciously opened her new apartment in Los Angeles and let WSTA in on her decorating style.

Hi Lindsay! You have such a great apartment. How would you describe your interiors style? Casual glamour- the ability to be both comfortable and elegant. It is very important to me that a space is livable and functional while reflecting my individual style. I like to mix traditional and contemporary, feminine and masculine, soft neutral tones with bright pops of color in order to create tension between tradition and innovation in a room.

Where did you get the pieces for your room from? Are they vintage, custom, catalog? I draw a lot of inspiration from Louis XV France—the carved upholstered armchairs, leather side chairs and antique bed—these are the first pieces that I bought and centered my style around. As my collection grew, I incorporated pieces from other cultures and eras in order to tell my story through design.

The feeling of the living room is one that’s meant to promote conversation. My objective was to create a space that was comfortable and inviting to guests. The French chairs and couch are set around the coffee table so that everyone in the room can face each other and converse. Many people set their TVs as the focal point of the living room. I chose to place my TV in the fireplace so that it blends in and goes unnoticed. I want for my guests to enjoy the environment and each other.

My couch and chairs were purchased at one of my favorite interior design stores in Richmond, VA—Williams & Sherrill. The modern, linear structure of the couch plays nicely against the carved, feminine design of the chairs. The light blue accent pillows bring the two styles together by fusing the soft blues of the chairs with the couch.

Many of the other pieces in the room have been passed down through my family. These are the best pieces because they are a constant reminder of my family history. The porcelain elephant, which I use as a side table, was my grandmother’s. She acquired the elephant when she on a trip to Thailand in the early 70s. It provides a great ethnicity, softness and originality to the room. The brass coffee table was one of my parent’s first purchases when they got married and was used as our coffee table throughout my childhood. When I came across this piece in my parents’ home, I knew that it would be perfect for the space. I updated the look by replacing the glass top with an antiqued mirrored pane.

Most of the artwork hanging in my apartment I have commissioned or bought from friends, which gives each piece great sentimental value. I commissioned the textured oil painting leaning on the mantle from Kiki Slaughter, a dear friend whom I met while at the University of Virginia. Her modern, textured piece, painted with varying shades of white and beige, is the perfect juxtaposition with the traditional elegance of my furniture. The pair of nudes in my bedroom are by Bliss Bowlin, my best friend and roommate of five years. She used a combination of pencil, ink and gouache paint, along with varying layers of ripped paper to create movement and depth. They are the perfect pair to embody the boudoir feeling of my bedroom.

My objective in designing my bedroom was to make it just that—a place to relax and sleep. It is simplistic—only a bed, side tables and chairs. The bed is authentic Louis XV from the mid 1700s France. The intricate carvings of the frame are feminine and romantic, set against the traditional French fabric of the upholstery and the bold masculine stripes of the curtains. Sitting on each side of the bed are a set of turn of the century gilt Florentine nesting tables that were taken from my parents’ home. My favorite pieces in the room are the leather Louis XV dining chairs. I happened upon them when I was perusing the antique malls. I was drawn to the chairs not only because of the styling, but also because of the vintage, worn leather. They tell a beautiful story through their imperfections.

Do you do any of the work (upholstering, painting) yourself? I do have one sketch hanging in my kitchen that I did back in high school. It is a trio of pears sitting on a windowsill, with light streaming in through the window, casting bolds shadows across the pears.

In the past I have done some of my own work. I have recovered chairs and refinished a mahogany chest, table and chairs, but none are currently in my apartment.

Who are some of your favorite interiors designers or decorators? I really don’t have any true favorites at the moment. But, one stand out to me is Kelly Wearstler. I love how she uses bright, bold colors and ethnic accent pieces to give a room its originality.

What's the one extravagance you must have in a room? Candles and flowers. They add warmth, sensuality and softness to any room.

Lindsay Cowles was born and raised in Richmond, Va. Following her love of fashion, she moved to NYC after attending the University of Virginia and began working in sales at Piazza Sempione. After two years there, she moved to yet another Italian fashion house—Alberta Ferretti—where she served as the Senior Account Executive for three years. She has recently relocated to Los Angeles and is pursuing her love of fashion as Sales Director for famed jewelry designer Devon Leigh,

Finding Your Inspiration

Grace Coddington in The September Issue says that her father told her to always keep her eyes open when riding in cars or doing seemingly mindless tasks. Below, one of my favorites of her spreads. I wonder where her inspiration came for this one?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Celebrity Crush on Robert Redford

I do not have celebrity crushes, because I think they are creepy, and most of them are shorter than me anyway. However, Robert Redford, specifically in The Way We Were, makes my knees go weak! Preppy, All-American, and devestatingly handsome and sweet, Hubble's the perfect man and no one could do it like Robert Redford. Swoon.

Inspiration: Sam Haskins

Tommy Hilfiger is celebrating 50 years of Sam Haskins with the book Fashion Etcetera, which made me hunt for some of the iconic images of the girl with the girl and Cowboy Kate.

Try to find inspiration in everything and everywhere! Books are available for purchase at Milk Gallery, The Strand, or in all Tommy Hilfiger stores.

Chair Flair

Found a cool store on etsy, completely out of my price range, but great for inspiration.
Visit the sprucehome shop on etsy for more cool furniture ideas.

Oh, Olivia!

Say what you want about the girl, but she rarely missteps in her fashion choices. I've seen her turn into one of the prettiest on reality TV and she really does deserve style-maven status and isn't a bad representation of the New York elite (and is drop dead, stunningly gorgeous in person). It even appears (or really is) that she shops and styles with what she buys, as opposed to just borrowing and having a stylist style you head-t0-toe. Her favorites include Topshop, Zac Posen (her bff was the PR director at Zac and is now at Topshop), Chanel, Valentino, DVF (duh), American Apparel, Lia Sophia, and Roberta Freyman, who she is working on a collab with. Can't wait to see, and to catch her on The City, Season 2, tune in to MTV at 10pm on Sept 29th.

Below, eight of my favorite of Olivia's looks:

And a few examples of Roberta Freymann's necklaces (one of my favorite jewelry designers!):

styled in a Cosmopolitan fashion well story
image from
image from

Pretty Rooms Inspire Pretty Things

I have such an addiction in home decorating - kind of an obsessive habitual watcher of HGTV which inspires all too often "I could do that!" moments, most of which end in disaster. (my one-hit-wonder in my wildly successful turquoise side table keeps up this false hope of follow-through). A few of today's inspired rooms:

The Southern Living Georgia Idea Home, 2009
A room from Cottage Living

Dressing Room by Jonathan Adler (puppy not included)

From Architectural Digest, Candice Bergen's East Hampton Living room

And three images from a Buckhead home decorated by Turner Davis Interiors from

Daughter's Bedroom

Dining Room

Hermes Inspired Sitting Room

Do you see some of the current fashion principles playing out in interiors? An Eastern influence, mixing patterns, a sense of youth and hopefulness, a mix of old and new. Enjoy!

Big K


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