April 04, 2008
Maayinz Couture selected young and upcoming designers from India & Pakistan to give people an international platform. Maayinz Couture is currently a stockist of Mashaal Moazzam, Simky & Nargis Hafeez.
September 15, 2007
A saucy glance, a glimpse, or a wink from beneath a pair of spectacles can be magnificent. Imagine the energy of such a glance behind a pair of really saucy shades? It's extremely hard to find such shades in the states.
Forgive yet another "in-love-with-Europe" post, but honestly, in a land of all things expansive, customized happy meals and massive wealth, some of our choices are so limited, its painful. Namely, truly unique fashion (exception NYC and LA), damn good coffee, homogeneous housing, television news, sitcoms, pharmacies, bakeries, and furniture.
Eyeglasses fall within the fashion category -- or should -- but we don't think of spectacles as items worthy of sauce and great design. Just take a browse through any Lenscrafters or its equivalent. The boutiques are not that much bolder.
I personally have been looking for some saucy shades for over a year now, and have actively sought advice from various sources on where to look. This advice has led me to smaller and more unique eyeglass stores in New York, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Las Vegas.
While all of these stores carry top Italian, French, Japanese and Spanish designers, they're not importing the brave, the courageous, the colorful, the energetic, the bold, the savvy.
It is in Europe that I ultimately find my saucy shades. And from beneath these frames, winks and glances can now deliver 5-Star Sauce.
September 14, 2007
White Sneakers No Mas
How it is possible that I'm walking the streets of Paris in August, in white clunky Aviva sneakers? I bought them umpteen years ago at a time when part of the profit went to helping women in need.
Today, by design standards and quite possibly back then too, they would be considered dinosauric. Not a word? I like it - it describes them well.
I decided against hiking boots and that left all shoes fashionable in my closet (meaning uncomfortable and inappropriate for 16 hour walks). There were also my dance shoes, which are essentially designed for in-door workouts.
In a flurry to get out the door after a quick 40 minute pack, I realized that largely, I had uncomfortable shoes, so quickly grabbed the white eyesores on my way out the door to a waiting taxi.
Numerous days later, I'm in Paris in these monstrosities. I look down to see remnants of loud bright feet from the 1980s, which I also realized was a dead giveaway to my nationality.
After climbing too many hills to name or count in the towns of Bastia and Montmartre, the more fashionable choices fell to the bottom of the bag. Out came the 'whites' which have about as much beauty as a rat with the flu.
I told Henri, a sexy French man in his early forties that I was planning a ceremony of sorts before I left which involved tossing my '1980s whites' into the river. "Le Seine," he cried, half aghast and half uncertain whether I was telling the truth or not.
As much as I dreamed of doing exactly that, the guilt, the guilt, the guilt... Imagine polluting the Seine with ugly American designed sneakers from over two decades ago.
And so it was that I came to spend a fortune on impeccably well designed boots in France. My colleague who was with me said I walked out of the shop "transformed," and he repeated the word. No grave surprise given how I felt walking out in a new pair of boots, with confidence and joy.
Through the Marais I marched, while the 'whites' remained behind, "to be donated," the shop owner said. "Toss them in the Seine," I kept thinking, although was relieved to not only be permanently parting ways with them, but that someone else would find a use for them and perhaps never notice or feel their outdated design.
As for me and the immediate transformation, its hard not to walk with style in Paris or frankly anywhere when you can.
September 04, 2007
On Flowers & Being All Things Serious
I had to post this absolutely stunning shot my friend Scott took en route from Portrero Hill (yes, that's a part of San Francisco for those from Europe, Australia and the east coast) to my house by foot. Taken on a pretty basic Nikon with no filter or special lens.
For his entire flower photo set of that walk, check out his flickr stream. He also has a great sense of humor if you want to check out his meeting preparation with Pelosi's Deputy District Director post. There's also a serious link from that post about his actual meeting.
August 04, 2007
A Vote for Chanel and Lacroix
I love fashion and even monitor a handful of fashion blogs every week. I check out some of the showrooms, sample sales and fashion shows (if there's time) when in New York, Paris, London, Miami, LA or Chicago (yes, even Chicago). Sadly, San Francisco isn't on the list. Fashion, like art in this city, while its here, its quietly here and takes a back seat to technology, biotech and the holistic world.
So, when I find something interesting, exotic, and out there, its great to marvel and share. While no doubt, these fit the out there category and both brought a smile, wouldn't it be great if out there design was just a little more practical? A little more affordable? Encouraged so that there were more than a few occasions to drape creative color and angles all over your body?
If I had an invite to the Oscars, I'm not even sure I'd wear one of these two numbers. What's with the pink outfit (are they kidding?), but it is a spectacle and deserves a view. At least one. Below: Givenchy and Valentino
Here's two I would consider wearing by Chanel and Lacroix
Note: photos taken from one of my favorite fashion blogs: Fashion Tribes
August 01, 2007
Recapping This Year's BlogHer
One of things I love about BlogHer, now in its third year, is the number of diverse women I meet from around the country and in some cases, the world. In my Silicon Valley blogging circles, people are mostly writing about start-up life, venture capital, Web 2.0 trends, the world of social media and why every new online network is cooler than the last one. At BlogHer, I run into an array of topics, interests, passions and writing styles.
In a long elevator ride that went from top to bottom at least eight times, I shared stories with women from Kansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida, New York, Texas, Wisconsin, Canada, England, Oregon, Washington (state and DC), Massachusetts and Connecticut.
They're writing about motherhood, humor, politics, issues that affect women like education, healthcare and war, spirituality, crafts (who knew there were so many blogs on knitting, sewing, craft making, stamps/albums and beyond), and two of my favorites: fashion and food/wine. There are so many great fashion and food bloggers, I could spend days getting lost in their stories, recommendations and photographs.
There were women authors who also have blogs that are topic-less, meaning they write about everything, a bit like me minus the technology. In a recent blog post, Ruth of Ruthless in the Suburbs quotes Oscar Wilde (a favorite of mine as well): "Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about." Amen, Oscar. Which reminds me of a joke. So this horse walks into a bar, sits down on a stool, and the bartender comes over and says, "Hey, why the long face?" She has a second blog that reviews books.
Other interesting women I ran into include Romi Lassally of True Mom Confessions -- formerly with Huffington Post -- Victoria Revay from NowPublic, IzzyMom, Meagan Carberry of True Office Confessions, 16 year old Chloe Spencer, Holly Burns who blogs at Travelocity, Stacy alias Mrs. Squirrel, Cheryl Colan, Cristin Jones and Helene Taylor, who has a blog about "Modern Divorce."
July 31, 2007
Project Runway's Chloe Dao in Action
A fun add-on to this year's BlogHer event was the presence of Project Runway's Chloe Dao. For those not familiar with Project Runway, its a reality show focused on fashion design and designers. Essentially, contestants compete with each other to create the best clothes in a restricted period of time with strict rules. There is also a set budget, materials and theme in which they have to work with.
Chloe won the second season with her collection of women's evening wear. Many of the pieces in her collection featured billowing, voluminous sleeves, removable shrugs and strong brocade prints.
She set up a table at the final reception with stacks of brightly colored neon colored t-shirts and a handful of designs we could choose from. Chloe worked individually with women who were interested in creating their own customized t-shirt and provided pens, fabric stickers, scissors, blue and instructed us on the pattern each step of the way. I went with turquoise blue and neon green.
The event in action
Renee Blodgett, Chloe Dao
A few finished shirts on display below
July 25, 2007
Great White Coat
I LOVE this coat - a recent New York purchase. It was one of those sample sale deals that would have cost a fortune otherwise. This is one of the things that I realy love about New York fashion - you can get the top Italian and French designers on your terms -- sometimes that is.
As a New Englander who also lived in England for a stint, you find yourself often asking how / where to wear any fabulous find in Silicon Valley? It's not as if the culture is so humid and hot that it makes sense for the society to push fashion aside in favor of shorts, t-shirts and an air conditioner. So, what is it? Is Nick Denton's five year old blog post about the city really that true?
July 07, 2007
Red Herring's Ties
I've been to Red Herring numerous times since I moved to the west coast, not to mention the countless times prior to my move under different management. Because I have largely dealt with female reporters in the last couple of years, I never noticed the 'ties.' Apparently Red Herring has a dress code policy: men wear ties. (Not suits, but ties).
Given the creative energy this industry can and does attract, the addition of ties were in no way stifling or boring. It was refreshing so close to a return from an extended stay in New York where people pay more attention to fashion and actually honor it.
The staffers I saw in the hallways and cubes as I left Red Herring were wearing brightly colored shirts and ties, which managed to energize and bring a smile. It could be the wonderful contrast of the ties and crisp shirts against the logoed t-shirts and jeans I'm more accustomized to seeing in tech circles. That and spending time around fashion designers more recently who constantly remind me how fun it is to create a 'look' with color and style. It actually changes the way you view the world.
June 28, 2007
I haven't written about fashion in awhile even though my intent as of a year ago was to try to add four posts a month on the subject, whether it was an opinion, an event, a link to an interesting article or my favorite, photos of what I see or find.
Whenever I'm in New York, I try to connect with my fashion buds -- there's a few who are in the biz here - no surprise. People I know here tend to be in financial services, fashion, journalism, broadway and acting. In the Bay Area, its all tech or holistic medicine.
Perhaps I can shoot devices when I get back :-) or perhaps find those who have a new iPhone and shoot them playing with their sexy new Apple device. Also considered fashion, no? Just a very different kind, one which leaves a very different emotion than Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen and Marc Jacobs.
Some of the top fashion trends from 2007 below
Photo credits: Imaxtree.com