MIX MATCH MELANGE…

 - by Cat Baker

The blending technique of assorted colors, textures and patterns is not the easiest task to accomplish, sometimes it takes a bit of practice. After a few tries, VIOLÀ…Refined Eclecticism. Some of our season favorites???

1. OLIVER GOLDSMITH – “KoKo” – These over-sized frames are perfect for an “undercover” moment. With a hint of pattern (AKA “black lace”), they’re the perfect combination of contemporary and eclectic fusion.

2. M. MISSONI – Ribbed Space Dye Tank – Has MM² ever steered you wrong??? Of course not…And this simple tank incorporating a twist of pattern and texture is easily interchangeable with any wardrobe piece.

3. J. CREW – Café Capri in Kerchief Paisley – Print anyone??? This season is one for a little MORE pop in the wardrobe department and these paisley print pants are a great addition.

4. COSTUME NATIONAL – “Zippy” Jacket – I love to add vintage pieces to current styles and the “Zippy” jacket from Costume National looks classic but has a few surprises up it’s sleeve, literally. (i.e. zippers…FAB…FAB…FAB…)

5. THE CAMBRIDGE SATCHEL – The Backpack – My husband bought me a silver Cambridge satchel for Christmas and I LOVE it. Crossbody…Various sizes and colors…Plenty for the fashionista to choose from…Again…LOVE!!!

6. HAIDER ACKERMANN – Pewter Laser Cut Oxford – Talk about the perfect shoe…It’s Spring here on the East Coast which means too cold for sandals/flip flops AND too warm for shoes. Well, this laser cut slipper oxford provide ventilation and comfort with its folded down heel.

7. JEEYUN HUN DESIGNS – “Red Red Wine” Feather Earring – When I think Spring, my mind drifts to light and airy. And Jeeyun Hun’s creations fit the bill. An array of gorgeous feather designs that add a beautiful flair to any look.

8. ERICKSON BEAMON – “Confetti” Gunmetal Cuff – I’ve always loved to pull looks from the Erickson Beamon collection. They think out of the box. Want a piece that will turn heads??? Check out EB…It’s guaranteed.

DOWN BY THE “RIVERSIDE”…

 - by Cat Baker

As you all know, I LOVE to travel but I have to admit, that although I’ve been all over the world, one of the best routes, in my opinion, is down the East coast through the D.M.V. (aka Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia).

Since I’ve become accustomed to the meteoric speeds of New York City, the gorgeous landscape, fresh, clean air and change of pace (i.e., return to normalcy) is what I crave on holidays.

This weekend, while traveling for Easter, I stopped at one of my favorite boutiques in Tappahannock, Va…RIVERSIDE Accents & Gifts. The proprietors, Amy Brizendine and Jennifer Beck, have culminated unique handbags, clothing, accessories, jewelry, stationary and house wares that result in an exclusive specialty shop which showcases modern sensibilities packaged in country store charm.

Touting brands Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer, Spartina 449 and John Wind, as well as a bevy of staple giftware and collections from various design houses from near and far, the duo has definitely carved a niché for an alternative to the local haunts (i.e., Walmart and Peebles.)

Ready to enhance your lifestyle??? If you’re ever on Route 17 and pass through Tappahannock, RIVERSIDE is the perfect place to start…

RIVERSIDE ACCENTS & GIFTS

VERA BRADLEY

LILLY PULITZER

SPARTINA 449

JOHN WIND

A “RAY” OF SHINE…REX RAY.

 - by Cat Baker

The preeminent works of artist Rex Ray is obviously striking and invariably innovative. Whether on canvas, wood, cd covers or tile his derivative signature will confirm his identity every time.

Based in San Francisco, his artisan talents as a graphic designer and painter have catapulted him to the international stage. His works have spanned from museums, exhibitions and galleries to media (Sony Music, Apple, Dreamworks, Rizzoli, etc.) and a tile collaboration with Modwalls.

The creation of abstract collages, print works, paintings and photography have a contemporary feel with hipster refinement. LOVE!!! LOVE!!! LOVE!!!

REX RAY

MODWALLS

SPRING CLEAN…

 - by Cat Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since April is considered the “official” month for flowers and showers, we’ve decided to begin our Spring cleaning with one of the most important organs we possess…Our skin.

Due to the new season, we would like to start anew…Fresh face and body, supple lips, pops of color for our nails and light, sweet scents for our daily sashay. These products have set the scene in motion:

1. GUERLAIN – Super Aqua Day – Light, fresh, invigorating…The simple pleasures of beaming, beautiful skin.

2. L’OCCITANE – Touting a mix of tangy and sweet, this lip balm will keep your luscious lips soft, supple and ready for action.

3. PACIFICA – Mediterranean Fig – A luxurious Sandalwood base, with a blend of sweet Fig, Palm, Cyclamen, Moss and Clove. Yum…Yum.

4. KIKI de MONTPARNASSE –  Dry Body Oil – I stumbled on this product while rambling through my friends cabinet searching for a moisturizer that wasn’t too overpowering. With a balance of the light scent and the oxymoron “dry oil” moniker (which is so true), it is PERFECT.

5. SALLY HANSEN – Salon Effects – “Collide – O – Scope” – Due to my pregnancy and the overbearing smells of nail salons in the past few months, the Salon Effects product by Sally Hansen has been my refuge from boring clean nails. Fabulous designs!!! LOVE.

6. HELLO KITTY – Noir Eye Shadow and Lip Gloss Palette – With 25 eyeshadows and 10 lip gloss selections, you’re covered from morning, noon and night.

7.  CLARINS – Tonic Bath & Shower Concentrate – Since being pregnant, there are very few scents that I can endure, be it shower gel, lotions or even deodorant. A friend suggested the Clarins brand and the fresh clean scent was the prescription for my sensitive nose woes.

AMA 2011 – HIT OR QUIT???

 - by Cat Baker

At the American Music Awards last night, nobody rocked the boat on the red carpet. There was plenty of prim and proper and an equal amount of frivolity to keep it interesting…Who hit it or should have quit it???

JENNY McCARTHY – Though often hilarious, she looked perfectly quaint and demure in her purple ensemble. HIT!!!

PHOEBE PRICE – Who?!? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. I don’t know who she is, but trust me Phoebe…Less is MORE. No bueno…QUIT!!!

KIMBERLY PERRY – From “The Band Perry”, known for her rock and country mix, looked neither glamorous or eclectic in this frock. “Plain Jane” is not the word nor is “Over the Top”. The mark was simply…Missed. QUIT!!!

AMY HEIDEMANN – The “Karmin” member looked perfect!!! Platform pumps…Horizontal patterned mini…Pops of jewel tones. Too CUTE. HIT!!!

“ECO” – NOMIZE…

 - by Cat Baker

My ECO conversion is inevitable…At one time, the onslaught of attractive and artful Eco – Friendly product was non – existent. Well today, there is a bevy of choices that will convince you as well…I feel my “footprint” shrinking as I type!!! :) A few of our favorites are:

1. ARTLANTIQUE  – “Commode Assane” – Chest of Drawers – Utilizing wood from the vibrant painted fisherman boats found on the banks of West Africa, these ECO furniture pieces will add a “POP” to any decor.

2. NAZLY VILLAMIZAR – Oversized Jute Clutch – Made from a natural fiber grown in Colombia, this jute clutch is perfectly paired with any daytime or evening look.

3. JEA – HYO LEE – Wood Stool – With sculptures ranging from wood and steel to stone and nails, this artist pushes the proverbial envelope in Eco art and furnishings.

4. SARAH HOOD – Spice Jewelry – Infusing the natural world with our daily grind, the Sarah Hood collection introduces a smidgen of peace and serenity with every design.

5. TIMBERLAND – Ringo Starr Collection – Beginning December 1st., through their initiative “Canvas That Cares”, Timberland will auction off 75 pairs of boots featuring Starr’s original peace sign artwork on eBay to benefit international non-profit WaterAid.

6. SIGNICASE – Bamboo M1 Camera Hive – A bamboo casing that can be customized to your specifications, Signicase has cornered the market for being Eco – friendly AND extremely accommodating to your design needs.

7. BURNING TORCH –  Upcycled Striped Skirt – Eco AND cute??? This chevron skirt is certainly that and more…

8. ALCHEMY GOODS – The Mercer – Compiled from bike inner tubes, the Alchemy brand offers numerous messenger bag and accessory options that will keep your personal belongings safe and dry..

“FALL” FOR FUNDAMENTALS

 - by Cat Baker

Well, it’s officially Fall and to get a jump on the “MUST HAVES” for the season, we have scoured the collections to find the essentials for your wardrobe.

For me, I insist on having looks that are easily interchangeable from work to play and staples that will last far longer than the trend of the moment.  But, whether it’s shoes, jewelry, handbags or scarves, I also make sure that I implement accents to enhance any look of the day. Here are some of our selections for the season (thus far…):

1. CHRISTIAN DIOR – Vintage Lounge Dress w/ necktie bow from LA VINTAGE DOSSIER…Hate being caught with the same outfit as a colleague at work. Well, vintage is the way to go…Stellar one of a kind looks. FAB!!!

2. T by ALEXANDER WANG – Button Front Blouse – A staple…Everyone needs one.

3. KONSTANTINO – Silver & Gold Dome Ring – The statement ring.

4. CHLOE – Marcie Hobo Studded Satchel – The perfect handbag that transcends time.

5. TUXSTER – Vintage Double Breasted Cape w/ necktie bow from LA VINTAGE DOSSIER.

6. JEAN – MICHEL CAZABAT – Wedge – A classic wedge that makes a “point”.

7. VAN DER STRAETEN – Wide Wrap Cuff – This piece will satisfy your need for hardware minus the noise, (i.e., bangles).

8. TIMO WEILAND – Ink Blot Skirt – Combination patterns and fabrics…Perfect for the season.

9. VALENTINE GAUTHIER – Adjustable Vest with removable sleeves – Two looks in one? How economical…

10. EARNEST SEWN – Flare Denim – Your closet is full of skinny, straight and boot cut jeans…Now, it’s time to “FLARE”!!!

11. TOLANI – Peacock Scarf – “POPS” of color. Lovely…

VERSACE…H&M???

 - by Cat Baker

A couple of years ago, from Donatella’s perspective, co – mingling the Versace brand with ANY of the mainstream store markets (i.e., H & M, Target, etc.) was inexplicably OUT of the question…Though almost all of  her competitor’s had done just that…created for the masses, not for just the, in her opinion, “ELITE”…

Kudos to the person who took on the challenge of persuading her to take the chance, I’m certain she needed  a massive amount of convincing…

With the insurgence of anything 80’s currently the hottest thing on the rack, this collection may obliterate the Lanvin sellout record from last year…depending on the price of course…After all friends, this is H & M, not Neiman’s…

Are the fashionistas happy??? Of course…Is this a perfect match??? Or a grave misstep??? We shall soon have the answer. But one thing is for sure, the lines will be down the block and around the corner at every H&M store here in New York City!!!

What’s the buzz??? The Versace “ICONIC” collection, will entail womenswear, menswear  and housewares. For women, Versace signature prints and studded leather…For men, tailored suiting with both collections touting shoes and accessories. The housewares, introduced for the first time in a designer collaboration at H & M,  will comprise of  linens…pillows, bedspreads, etc., which I have no doubt will add a POP to any decor…

Everything’s now available online…Have FUN!!!

VERSACE

ESTHETICALLY YOU…

 - by Cat Baker

Due to the cogitated chaos of the coverage we dole out daily, we neglected to dish on the SEPHORA – Meatpacking District – Grand Opening held here in New York City. I know it’s RIDICULOUSLY late, but I wanted to share some “FAB Finds” discovered during our walk through:

TOKIDOKI – Being a visual person, this brands packaging drew my attention IMMEDIATELY!!! Known for their eclectic apparel, the animé inspiration intermingled with POPS of color and kitschy characters secured my need to sample the goods.

PAPERSELF – Created by London based designer, Chunwei Liao, these eyelashes are true works of art!!! The regular “faux” lash is so passé..With styles ranging from “The Clown” to “Peacocks” and “Peach Blossoms”, these will be sold OUT, better stock up now!!!

URBAN DECAY - Obediently following the exemplary advice from the fabulous Kevyn Aucoin (R.I.P.), I’ve been religiously using my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers for years…Well, the cutting – edge contraption from URBAN DECAY has been needling me…I have to test it out right??? Dubbed the “REVOLUTION”, this new and improved device has eliminated the bars usually found in lash curlers and replaced them with an open cage…Will they work wonders??? I’ll keep you posted!!!

21 DROPS – 100% natural, organic, therapeutic essential oils…That’s all of it in a nutshell. And the selection gets right to the point, with names like Strength, Uplift, Calm and Focus. OR, if your day is not going too well, you also have choices like Headache, Hangover, PMS or Pain Relief…Either way, the end result should be an improvement.

Stay tuned for the update after I test them out…

SHAPE UP…IN POLE DANCE CLASS???

 - by Cat Baker

Want to get in shape??? Well, as you know, there are various ways…Personal trainer, ZUMBA, aerobics class or mass minutes on the elliptical…Ugghhh!!!

Luckily, there’s an alternative, BODY GROOVE. (i.e, pole dance class). Yes…Yes…It’s sounds risqué and provocative, but let’s indulge for a second…

My FAB friend audited a class and reported that it could easily be deemed an Olympic sport due to the intensity. The morning after, her entire body throbbed from the full workout. Hmmmm…Sounds painful.

Nevertheless…The 2 hour class is a mix of beginners and intermediate students. BEWARE…Bruising will occur (arms and thighs), but the consensus from the regulars confirm that the AMAZING results are worth it!!! And, as they say, NO PAIN…NO GAIN.

Hey, let’s face it, we’ve done other things FAR more painful for beauty. Right???

BODY & POLE

BODY & POLE DEMO

CONVERSATION PIECE…

 - by Cat Baker

Regardless of the size or layout of your home, one should always possess at least one piece of furniture that strikes up a dynamic conversation. Here a few that will surely get the dinner party started:

1. EJ BESPOKE FURNITURE – Sideboard Bespoke – The quality and attention to detail that Edward Johnson evokes within every inch of his designs allows you to imagine the origins of furniture construction. Catering to his clients every whim, the end result is magnanimous and with his trademark biometric fingerprint cast in sterling silver, dated and hallmarked an EJ Bespoke original will be a beautiful addition to any room in the home.

2. MICHAEL TSINZOVSKY – Stools – Just the right “POP” for the living room or office. Tsinzovsky, the Belzalel Academy of Arts and Design student, has made an international splash by incorporating Islamic art (i.e., Arabesque) and inlaid patterns. Utilizing metals and wood, the collection includes chairs, tables and stools.

3. MÁXIMO RIERA – Rhino Chair – Talk about a conversation…The “Animal” chair series by Máximo Riera was undoubtedly designed to grab your attention. If you think this is something, check out his other “Animals” which include an Octopus/ Lion/ Walrus/ Beetle and Whale…

4. WERNER AISSLINGER – Tree Lamp – Resembling a sculptural topiary, Mr. Aisslinger’s light fixture is available in floor and suspension models and are coated with a reflective surface inside the lamp shade which reflects the light via the shape and angles incorporated in the design.

5. ANDREW MARTIN – Livingstone Steamer Trunk – Infused with leather/ wood and metal, this steamer trunk is fully functional as a side table and extra storage. With a whiff of yesteryear, the trunk screams antique with a twist of modernism.

6. MISO SOUP DESIGN – The pOrOus Chair – How fun is this piece??? Available in various hues, the discussion will be an obvious one…A bit eccentric both in design and aesthetic, but that’s the point…Right?!?

7. PHILIPPE STARCK – Floor Mirror – What’s the easiest way to enlarge a space??? Add a mirror, of course…The bigger, the better. The Philippe Starck floor mirror will make your small condo space, that you’ve complained about since day one, TREMENDOUS…Instantly. Enjoy!!!

“IN – JEAN – IOUS”…G – STAR.

 - by Cat Baker

After a cold, rainy New York City day, the G-Star & Elle Magazine collaboration fête, held at the flagship store, was just what I needed…A tutorial in how to wake up the fashion zealots, the party was armed with makeup, hair and manicure stations for pampering and plenty of staff on hand to elaborate on the G – Star brand.

Prior to mingling with the hipsters in SoHo, I previewed the S/S 2012 collection and was blown away by the attention to detail…Trust, this is NOT your run of the mill denim. Whether it be the textile, construction or simply the utilization of secret dye techniques, the wealth of elements were too many to ignore…

Touting several lines, (RAW Essentials/ Raw Sustainable/ Laundry Army/ Correct Line) the collections have surpassed the “weekend jean” cliché. If you’re searching for a perfect denim with a twist of cool and individual flair???

G-STAR is bound to have a look or two that will pique your interest…

BEAUTY BOOST ANYONE???

 - by Cat Baker

Our beauty must haves for the season are small enhancements that garner grand impressions. Morning, Noon or Night, these are just a few that will compliment any look:

SALLY HANSEN – What’s the greatest thing since sliced bread??? No it doesn’t begin with an “I”…( I – Phone/Pad/Pod)…Give up??? It’s the nail polish appliqué…I’ve been wearing the ESSIE – “Ballet Slippers” hue for years. Why??? It’s simple, when I wore color on my nails, it magically transferred to the document that the V.P. had just requested, hence…Extra work for me…Now, the “nail” wonders have arrived!!! With color and design variety, easy application, extended wear and the low cost (compared to a manicure), Sally Hansen’s “Salon Effects” is an absolute MUST.

FENDI – Fan di FENDI – Housed in a signature Fendi phial with genuine metal hardware, the notes range from pear and peppercorns to patchouli and jasmine. This fragrance bestows a fruit scent with a pop of spice. Perfect for a cool Autumn day.

DRYBAR – The catchphrase says it all…”No Cuts. No Color. Just BLOWOUTS.” (Wash included, of course)…Born and bred in the Los Angeles area, the chain has slowly trickled Eastbound with salons in Texas, Arizona, Georgia and the Big Apple. You want a quick hair makeover before that industry party or the plethora of upcoming holiday parties??? Hurry and reserve your spot because the combination of high quality and low cost will equate to a definite wait list.

LIPSTICK – The lip gloss craze over the past few years clearly endangered the use of lipstick everywhere…Really, when is the last time you’ve purchased your favorite shade??? It’s been a while for me too, but it’s back and with the resurgence comes the need for patience and most importantly…A mirror. :) Let’s face it, with lip gloss you just glide it on and clear out your corners, but with lipstick it takes an ounce of skill and  a steady hand. Some of my favorite shades for the season are: Iman – Jaguar/ Tom Ford – Violet Fatale/ YSL – Le Rouge/ Estee Lauder – Tiger Eye.

From the top to the tips and toes, your fabulous ensemble will be complete with a beauty boost.

LINDSAY’S LOSS…

 - by Cat Baker

Today the judge for Lindsay Lohan’s probation hearing decided that enough was enough…

After countless chances to make a change, the starlet’s probation has been revoked and according to TMZ, she was promptly led away in handcuffs. Notwithstanding, she has already posted bail, but come November 2nd, that may not be an option…

Her possible prison sentence??? 18 months.

TMZ

LINDSAY LOHAN

THE REBIRTH OF COOL…

 - by Cat Baker

The ever popular labels of the late 90’s have transformed, morphed or simply, matured into brands that appeal to a distinguished crowd and the “rad” set . Gone are the super size cut jeans and oversized polos, now, choices range from tailored suiting and slim fit denim to a collage of various looks with complementary accessories.

MARC ECKÔ – Established as one that is synonymous with clean design and a tailored hand touting a twist of ego, his new venture, “Cut & Sew”, easily transcends economic lines. Similar to the original brand, “Cut & Sew” will be worn by the uptown, mid – town or downtown man…The collection offers suiting and separates, as well as accessories: ties, hats, watches and eyewear.

ROCAWEAR – This company has also evolved, still exuding the street swagger that made it popular, but in a refined and polished package. With sleek jackets, shirts, jeans, etc., the introduction of eyewear and hats complete the look.

ZOO YORK – On the playful side, ZOO YORK is back on the map as one of the preeminent providers of street wear. Known for their skateboard gear, the inclusion of all other elements will make the shopping easier…One stop shopping…The perfect solution!!!