June 27, 2007
Hot Summer Nights
I'm still in New York and while others are miserably complaining of the humid sticky hot nights, I'm relishing in the fact that not only can I wear skirts, sleeveless tops and sandals late at night but I can sit outside at a cafe without feeling chilly. I miss this aspect most about the East Coast - that and of course October in New England.
New York women DRESS UP. I have become so accustomed to vendor t-shirts, jeans and flip flops in the Valley that I had forgotten how women dress in many other cities. It's fabulous to see. Dresses and skirts in vibrant summer floral patterns and colors, funky sandals and unusual jewelery.
I haven't indulged in a Dunkin Donuts coffee yet (a New York and Boston tradition), but plan to tomorrow. Managed to catch up with Renee Edelman and PR Week editor Keith O'Brien, who I've never met. We also did some TV today -- more on that to follow when the time is right.
Did I mention that I really love hot summer nights on the East Coast?
June 09, 2007
Gay Pride Gives Fabulous Color to Santa Cruz
Chanting over and over again, Parasols, Not Paratroopers, Books Not Bombs, participants in last weekend's Santa Cruz Gay Pride Parade created an amazing spectacle. Hundreds of marchers took part in the parade in addition to the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Freedom Band with its dancing drum major.
May 16, 2007
Blindstitch Personalized Shirts
Check out Blindstitch, San Francisco's first personalized shirtmaking service for men. You visualize the reality and they do the rest with turnaround in just three weeks.
May 13, 2007
The Spyder Shines
Handsome or what? A friend's 1955 Porsche replica with a VW engine. Sweet baby sweet. It's a replica of the same car that James Dean was driving when he died.
It was on September 30, 1955, that Dean and his mechanic Rolf Weutherich set off from Competition Motors, where they had prepared his Porsche 550 Spyder that morning for a sports car race at Salinas, California. The 550 is among the most frequently reproduced classic automobiles, like the Shelby Cobra and Lotus Seven.
Several companies have sprung up in the last 25 years, some of which build near-exact replicas from the ground up, including spaceframes built to exacting specs from Porsche blueprints. This is one of them.
The upside? The bright shine that the sun accentuates as it races around corners, the fact that you feel like you're in a miniature but powerful boat not a car, and its simplicity (two buttons only - windshield wipers and lights). The only other thing on the dashboard is a place to insert the key.
The downside? Because its so compact, there is no storage (front or back) and the engine sits immediately behind you. Ear plugs and a scarf are both useful over a long haul, since the engine is incredibly loud and the fumes start to get a bit much after awhile.
Note that one of the tags I used for this post is fashion because that's exactly what it is - a fashion statement. On top of being a statement however, it is also a great experience, particularly around the curves and windy bends of Malibu's coastline. It roars, it sparkles and it flies.
March 30, 2007
Even VCs Can Be Stylin'
March 15, 2007
BOOT or Is It?
I found this on Go FUG Y-F, yup, its a 'different kind of blog' for those who only read geek and political blogs. As I was looking at this photo and reading their questions, I had the exact same reactions:
"Is it a sculpture? A whimsical boot-shaped cigar-cutter? A magnifying glass for foot fetishists? Some sort of jar-opener? What? It couldn't be an actual SHOE that somebody would WEAR, so clearly, it had some other function. Yet again, it was a foolhardy leap. Because sadly, at least in this case, often the obvious conclusion is the correct one."
March 11, 2007
Philippe Starck Says Create Your Story
The renown French Philippe Starck, one of the top designers in the world walked onto the TED stage in Monterey this past week wearing jeans, sneakers and a sporty bright red nylon jacket half zipped. Most know him for the design of ‘everyday consumable things,’ i.e., the lemon squeezer, toothbrush, etc.
His products are often "stylized, streamlined and organic in their look and are also constructed using unusual combinations of materials, such as glass and stone, plastic and aluminum, plush fabric and chrome."
Starck starts by ‘nearly apologizing’ for his lack of intelligence in the midst of so many brilliant scientists, authors, philosophers and world thinkers. Satirically, he wonders how he made it onto the TED stage and stands before us "with no presentation to speak of." Of course many speakers don't use presentations and are most effective when they tell us a story, one which we'll remember far beyond their 18 minutes.
He then turns it around as he starts to think out loud, pacing back and forth across the stage with enthusastic energy and child-like gestures that come across as both authentic and conversational.
Thereafter, in real time, he fleshes out what he wants us all to know and remember about what he thinks about, the design process for ‘everyday’ people and finally, about the legacy that we should leave behind to our children and the generation behind us.
I had a hard time following his thought process – at first – and the fact that English was clearly a second language didn’t help. Amusing and authentic, he drew laughter from the audience, despite the fact that there were some of us who were unclear what points he was trying to make.
He spoke of three types of designers:
--The Cynical Designer
--The Narcissist Designer, one who designs things for other designers
“Then there’s a third type of designer like me,” he says. “I make things for the benefit of the user. In the case of a toothbrush, I ask myself, what kind of mouth am I designing this for?”
He moves us into the direction which ultimately brings us to his main 'take away.' On the human race, he talks about our oblivious nature as a species and the fact that every generation thinks they are the only ones.
”We think it stops with us," he says. "In 4.5 billion years, we won’t have a clue where we will be in another 4.5 billion years, just as we don’t have a clue where we'll be in 4.5 billion years from today."
Starck encourages us to create a ‘vision’ in our lifetime – raise your hunger for it and then make it happen. “It is the absolute minimum that we must do.” I love when people use the word MUST for when they do, they always emphasize the word with such hunger.
When something is a MUST for someone, it happens for there is no other choice for that outcome in the human mind. MUST means WILL, as evidence from those who have achieved their MUSTs in history, whether it is someone who has designed something everyone will remember, developed a medical or scientific breakthrough, or scored more goals than any other athlete in history.
“God is the answer when we don’t know the answer,” he claims. “We are God, so we don’t need to look for him. When we are in the light, we think and create beauty and design. It is our purpose. By doing this, we are working to create and complete civilization.”
What I think he means here is the civilization as we know it, the period of time in which we walk the earth, the era we are alive. This is the period we MUST create that legacy for the next generation. “Finish your story,” he adds, “the story you are here to create in our lifetime."
By creating this story, we are creating the most beautiful gift we can while we are here. Once we are finished with our story, we are able to give the best tools and a new clean white canvas to our children. They can then create their own poetry, their own romanticism, and ultimately their own story.
February 26, 2007
A couple of my favorites from the Oscars last night.
Nicole Kidman in Red -- Balenciaga Red that is.
Naomi Watts in Escada
On the ones who made me think, "oh my......and btw, who gave Lopez fashion advice?"
February 17, 2007
Fashion Week 'energy' is not just in or about New York. As the latest in fashion is unveiled around the world, London reports and gives tips entitled Retail Therapy. I know a few who need to read this - regularly.
In Europe, I always find even more outlandish, and often unwearable designs, but is high level design really about practical clothing?
Male friends often ask me for fashion advice, including this one: should a man wear a shirt outside his trousers? They now report that for years, "it was cooler to wear a shirt outside trousers but now it just smacks of chavs on a Saturday night. These days it's all about a neat, more refined silhouette. The band The Killers, have helped to popularise a new smart look where shirts are always tucked in."
I think it depends on the man and his overall style - what he can pull off or not? Why should the same principle that works for women not apply to men? And on the current tucked in only trend, is the mainstream man really going to be following the latest and greatest from the likes of Burberry designer Chrsitopher Bailey and Albert Elbaz at Lanvin?
What about Y-fronts? Says The Telegraph, some men would argue that they have never gone away but lately the y-front has been resuscitated by designers giving them a more fashionable image. Labels such as Aussie Bum and Jockey have introduced brightly coloured y-fronts to make them more appealing. Hmmmmm.
Is that the toughest clothing hassle men have to deal with? Y-fronts or whether to tuck in a shirt or not? Men are far too blessed. As women, we dress for each season -- color and style. We have boots, sandals, 'sensible' shoes, f-m pumps, dance shoes, sneakers, aerobic soled shoes, elegant shoes, platforms, esparadrilles, wedges. My head is spinning already. Not that I hate the process of buying shoes.
I haven't even moved into garments, which for a man, might include jackets, sweaters, pants and socks. For women, it means scarves, hats, vests, sweaters, camisoles, thongs, tights, stockings, shawls, coats, jackets, dresses, skirts, pants, gauchos (yeah, some styles are back in vogue), dressy shorts, silky tops, conversative Ann Taylor-like smocks, ponchos, material belts. Enuf already. Salaries need to be significantly adjusted to reflect this imbalance, don't you think?
February 10, 2007
A Glimpse into FashionWeek
A handful of my friends are involved in Fashion Week every year and while I planned to weave in one fashion blog post a week, technology, as always, always seems to take over. In full force this past week in New York, Fashion Tribes covered the annual event extensively. Spendora also does a comprehensive round-up.
Isaac Mizrahi's Fall 2007 "Frozen Spring" Collection is an interesting mix of knits, slouchy and sexy dresses, wild dashing prints and as they describe it, "a trapeze coat in a hue dubbed Psychopeach, which apparently was a crowd favorite.
He says, "I call it Frozen Spring because I couldn't bring myself to do heavy coats and heavy sweaters. Even though there are sweaters and coats in the collection that will keep you warm, I feel like they're year round and seasonless; the way I made these big springtime-looking prints fall'ish was by giving them these fur petticoats." And he seems to weave these in throughout his collection. Check out a few fun examples below.
The things you learn at FashionWeek. Ever hear of rexy? Who knew?