Carolyn in the Fall

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Fall always reminds me of Carolyn in New York… Remembering her always makes me sad … you see Carolyn shaped the way I dressed from a young age! I remember looking at those photos in some tabloid magazine and thinking I just love her style… I feel lucky that I found my style icon or someone to look up to style wise from a young age…. Her style made more sense to me and reflected my style. She never followed trends yet always was up to date fashion wise! I loved how creative she was with classics … how strict  she was with adding new items to her wardrobe! Her style looks easy but is actually very hard to do because you could very easily look out dated or old which she never did! Her style might be boring for so many (most people I know) but I always got exited seeing her wear her black coast in a new ways!

 

I also loved it when she wore something more daring like that red Prada coat That she’s been photographed in so many times or even the leopard one that she got at a vintage shop in Paris!… They were daring and modern coats yet so classic because they would still look great today!

I still love her fall looks, no one till today does fall better than Carolyn! Here is one of my favorite looks that to me defines her style! A black turtle neck, tan corduroys and a black birkin! I remember that she used to carry her gym clothes in that bag! How extravagant yet chic and simple is that?

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I must say that John didn’t look so bad either! .. They looked so good together…

New York + Carolyn + John always made the perfect match!

Photos via Rememberingcbk

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The Classy Daphne

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Daphne Guinness in Vogue Italia
October 2009

Was going through my archives and found a bunch of pictures I saved … This is one of my favorite editorials … They titled it The Classy Daphne … I loved that she looked classy and timeless yet still had that edginess that only Daphne would have! Thought that it was very creative.

Photography: Steven Klein
Styling: Patti Wilson

 

Charles Aznavour

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The French singer of Armenian origins Charles Aznavour – often hailed as his country’s Frank Sinatra – has died at the age of 94.

I know that I said that I don’t want to make this place a place where I vent or be sad in!… But Aznavour (through his music) shared so many sad and happy moments of our lives.. so how can I not share his loss here?!

I am sure that most of you know that he was born to Armenian immigrants, sold millions of records and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2017. But did you know that Aznavour opened for Édith Piaf at the Moulins Rouge? I had no idea they crossed paths!. “I brought her my youth, my madness; she loved my whole jazzy side,” he told the Guardian in 2015. She advised him to have a nose job, only to declare, “I preferred you before” after the surgery! Isn’t that a funny story?

He was best known for his 1974 hit SHE but I thought I’d post one of my favorite of his… La Bohème

RIP Charles Aznavour and thank you for all those beautiful songs that are part of our lives today!

 

Céline

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When the news of Céline creative director Phoebe Philo’s departure broke I panicked… It is so hard to find a brand that fully reflects your style. Céline was my go to brand for many years… I hate being negative in general but I especially hate being negative in this blog because this is my happy place! But after yesterdays fashion show I could not stop thinking how horrible it was and what a great loss Phoebe is. Philo had held the role since 2008, and over the course of the last ten years she not only redefined Céline but she redefined what it meant to be a modern woman. Her pieces were unfussy and minimalist. She understood exactly what we wanted to wear even before we did. She understood that not all women wanted to dress in everything that shines and glitters! She was conservative, and I loved her for it.

She changed the way we thought about clothes. She made us look at quality again, and changed the way we look at comfort in clothes! From high-waisted wide trousers with trainers to turtlenecks with oversized coats, Céline became the brand that gave us luxury without disregarding comfort. It was finally possible to be chic and comfortable at the same time!

Since I’m writing about Phoebe today I thought I’d list down a few iconic moments that made so many of us love her Céline :

  • Joan Didion for Céline – Do you remember that campaign? I do , I couldn’t imagine a better campaign star for Céline than Joan Didion at that time. The writer embodied the brand.
  • Stan Smith – When Phoebe took a finale walk after her fall/winter 2012 collection, she had those Adidas Stan Smith’s on, her hair was tucked into her turtleneck. It was the look that preceded the Stan Smith craze and launched a thousand hair tucks!

 

  • BLACK AND NAVY –  Philo obviously did not come up with the black and navy combo, but she did make it fashionable again. The dark neutrals were the signature color combo of her Fall-Winter 2010 collection.
  •  LEATHER T-SHIRTS – Leather t-shirts, perfectly cut wide-leg trousers, and an ease in silhouette  became one of her staples. My daughter and I loved that leather T-shirt look a lot. Last year for her prom my daughter wore a black leather top and an off white long net skirt. She looked stunning …. it was a classic look yet really fun and modern at the same time.

 

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  • There were the bags, of course, the box bag was my favorite.. still is.
  • The double cuffs – they complemented every minimalist wardrobe!
  • Over sized coats – A staple for comfort. Once Phoebe wore it over her shoulders, that’s how everyone else started wearing their coats as well.
  • High waisted wide pants – oh I’m going to miss those pants! No one does pants the same way!

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 The list could go on and on ….Céline without Philo? ….  What were they thinking? it’s an end of an era!

 

The Catroux Style

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One of my main inspirations for my personal style as well as my home style has been this single picture you see above of Betty Catroux taken in her home in Paris in the 70’s.  The apartment was designed by her husband François…. That picture to me is everything. It could have easily been taken in the 70s, 80s, 90s or even today…. Catroux’s interiors from the 70s remain timeless because he knew how to mix the modern classics with warm or rustic pieces of furniture in a modern yet eclectic way.

Recently Catroux redid their apartment … I am not sure whether it was a full renovation or he just added on to the apartment because I recognize a lot of art work and furniture pieces from their 70s pictures that I came across on the net!.. I love that I can’t tell exactly what he did and where he did it… the revamped apartment feels like its continuing their story rather than trying to make a new one!Catroux_livingroom2

Here’s the living room, do you see what I mean? It looks so eclectic and modern. Again this could easily be a Catroux apartment from the 70s, 80s, 90s or even today!…

As always he not only mixed styles and periods but layered them in a way only he could do!  There are pieces that the couple had for decades, such as the rustic colossal African mask and the 1995 portrait of Betty by Philippe de Lustrac.

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I just love Betty’s office. François designed the built-in cabinetry all around the room. I love that she put a casual photograph of her late best friend Yves Saint Laurent in front of another photograph.

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The painting above the sofa is by Emmanuel Gondouin from the 1930s. That Noguchi coffee table is one of my favorite tables. It’s so timeless and so fit for this beautiful library. 

Even though that first picture will still be closer to my style than the current apartment, this is still my favorite home. It’s my favorite home for many reasons ( which I stated above) but mainly because it’s simply a home of a couple who have been married for 50 years (1968) who with the new renovations seems to be looking forward to living together for many years to come!

 

 

Yves Saint Laurent museum opens in Marrakech Today

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In 1966 designer Yves Saint Laurent and his lifetime partner, Pierre Bergé, discovered Marrakech. They were mesmerized by its charm that on their flight back from their first trip there, they already had the paperwork for a house they wanted to buy. They went back regularly, and it was in Marrakech that Saint Laurent imagined his collections.  Now a museum dedicated to the fashion house is opening in the city that had such a strong influence on him. In the words of Pierre Bergé, who had passed away on 8 September (just a month before the opening) “It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”

Yves Saint Laurent started archiving his work since his first couture show in 1962. Thanks to this early vision, his collections consists of 5,000 haute couture garments, including the famous Mondrian dress and Van Gogh-embroidered jackets, 15,000 accessories, such as hats, jewelry, and shoes, as well as thousands of sketches, collection boards, photographs, and objects.

Located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, the museum will open its doors to the public today! The opening actually coincides with the inauguration of another museum dedicated to the designer in Paris. The one in Paris will be housed in the historical couture house at 5 avenue Marceau, a hôtel particulier where the designer worked for almost 30 years.

The museum in Marrakech is designed by Studio KO, an architectural firm established by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier. The outside of the building is intended to evoke the “weft and warp of fabric” while the interior is designed to evoke the lining of a couture jacket, “velvety, smooth and radiant.”

The museum which is 4,000 square meters, will provide a storage space for around 4,000 pieces. The permanent exhibition space will be 400 square meters.

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It’s actually far more than just a museum, it has a research library with more than 6,000 books, a bookshop, an auditorium, and a cafe which will offer a fusion of traditional Moroccan and French dishes. The 150-seat auditorium, named after Pierre Berge, will be used for performances and recitals, as well as conferences, film screenings, and lectures. Below is a picture of the beautifully designed auditorium.

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For more info visit the museum’s page.

Most photos via

Movie Wardrobe: The Thomas Crown Affair

There are many movies out there that inspire us in terms of fashion and/or interior design…. So I thought I’d start a new segment on my blog about movie wardrobes that I love and that have influenced my taste and style throughout the years…

I’ll start this segment with one of my favorite movie wardrobes from the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair which was designed by Kate Harrington. I loved Rene Russo ’s lead character, Catherine Banning’s wardrobe. The wardrobe was so impeccable and still relevant today, despite the fact that it was done 17 years ago.

 Harrington was hired with only two months “to pull the clothes together,” which left no room for her to create anything from scratch: not a sketch, a pattern, or garment. She settled on a wardrobe for Russo’s character from the 1997 Celine F/W collection by Michael Kors (one of Russo’s suggestions) and a few Halston creations.

Harrington’s approach was like doing a magazine spread. “That’s how I saw it. I’d just act like I was doing an entire Vanity Fair issue, cover to cover, only with Pierce and Rene.”  I’ve learned many lessons from Kate Harrington’s approach for this movie. Here are a few “lessons” worth thinking about:

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1. You don’t have to have a colorful wardrobe to make a variety of looks. Rene’s character in this movie rarely wore the same thing twice even though she wore a lot of the same neutral colors like cream, camel, grey and black. She never looked boring because she mixed and matched her neutrals all the time.

2. You must play with textures and materials. For example, Rene wore a cashmere turtleneck with a leather skirt…. and I love the look above where she stayed within a colour scheme but added interest by mixing 3 textures cashmere, fur, and leather.

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3. Invest in classic cuts because they will never go out of style.  All her clothes are in classic silhouettes – that sequenced black dress, the turtleneck sweaters, the mandarin collar on her gown, that stunning biker cut leather jacket and the list can go on! Her wardrobe was full of items that are a must in every wardrobe and that have stood the test of time.

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4. Always add a touch of “cool” to your look!. Rene’s character always looked cool even though she always wore very classic clothes…  Like those cool aviator sunglasses with her conservative turtleneck and skirt, those unexpected earrings with a traditional gown, and that bustier over a classic white shirt (above).

Maria Callas The Exhibition

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The Exhibition is the first major exhibition dedicated to the greatest soprano of all time Maria Callas. Curated by Massimiliano Capella, the presentation marks the 40th anniversary of the death La Divina. It includes costumes and props jewelry, Private clothes, especially those by Biki, the Milanese stylist who fashioned the ‘Callas look’ during the Milan years, as well as several opera costumes; there are personal treasures and stage jewellery; hats, wigs and glasses; telegrams, letters, newspaper articles and photographs illustrating the successes, the scandals, and her loves.

The exhibition is on display until September 18, 2016, in Verona and will soon begin its international tour, from Athens to New York, from Paris to Mexico City…. I don’t have information about the international tour yet but I’ll add it at the bottom of this post as soon as I find some!

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The Curator Massimiliano Capella has used 2200 mannequins and has divided the exhibition into fourteen sections starting with America and Greece and ends in a small dark room with a video of Callas’s ashes being scattered on the Aegean Sea.

Here’s a quick background of her life for those of you who are interested:

I’m going to start from her “Milan years” because to me that’s where she rose and gave her greatest performances and, of course, it was at La Scala where she recorded many of the EMI recordings. On 17 September 1947 Callas had auditioned for La Scala with Casta Diva and O Patria mia, but the Artistic Director, Mario Labroca, didn’t think she was suitable. However, a substitution for Renata Tebaldi on 12 April 1950 in Aida launched a relationship that would continue for more than a decade. Between 1950 and 1962 she would sing 23 different operas, appearing on the Milanese stage 181 times.

Although critics and public were mostly enthusiastic about her vocal performances between 1947 and 1953, comments about her physical aspect were less favourable. Although she was quite tall at 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) she weighed almost 100 kilos (220 lbs); quite a large girl. In 1952 a tactless critic wrote, “It was impossible to distinguish between the elephants’ feet and those of Aida.”

So between the summer of 1952 and the spring of 1954, she lost 35 kilos, and in doing so – with the help of Biki – transformed herself into a style icon. Many of her outfits are reunited for the Callas exhibition. (The iconic portrait by Jerry Tiffany in New York for EMI in 1958 demonstrates how the transformation was complete).

In 1952 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London as Norma. London would later be the place of her last appearance in a complete opera, in 1965, and one of the dates of her final concert tour with Giuseppe di Stefano in 1973. But London was to also be the setting for a famous… infamous encounter.

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In 1959, when Callas was one of the core members of the international jet set, a party was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was hosted by Aristotle Onassis. the picture above was taken at the event!!!! The next month Callas and her husband were already guests aboard his yacht Christina and the fatal relationship began.

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Her relationship with Onassis ended in 1968 when he left her for Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1969 she did interpret one of her opera characters again for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film of Medea; though on this occasion she wasn’t required to sing. Piero Tosi’s magnificent costume for the film is part of the exhibition, so is the favourite black leather jacket that Callas wore during this period. Various documents on show illustrate the intimate nature of the friendship between the director and his leading lady.

The final rooms contain some of her hats, bags, shoes, turbans and other accessories which Biki so carefully labelled in the early years to help her young protégé coordinate the right hat with the right gown. Biki continued to dress her when she lived in Paris, as well as Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Hérmes and Alexander for her wigs.

In the early ‘70s she appeared at Juilliard for the legendary workshops, directed I Vespri Siciliani together with Di Stefano in Turin, and Di Stefano convinced her to join him on an around-the-world concert tour which finished in 1974.

27 November 1973: Maria Callas gives a farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

In 1975, Onassis died in a Paris hospital, a few months later Pasolini’s murdered body was found on the beach at Ostia near Rome, and the following year saw the death of another friend and mentor Luchino Visconti, who once said that he’d only started directing opera because of Callas.

She died of a heart attack on 16 September 1977. She was 53.

Style Icon: Dame Zaha Hadid

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It’s been almost 2 weeks since the Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away and I still am in shock!!!

It’s not often an architect makes international headlines…But this Iraqi/British architect was often part of controversies. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Award for architects. Some of her unforgettable works include the London Aquatics Centre (used in the 2012 Summer Olympics), the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany, China’s Guangzhou Opera House, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

In addition to her breathtaking buildings, she designed furniture, cutlery, shoes and jewelry with a similar modern aesthetic in mind, most recently she designed a beautiful cuff (that’s on my wishlist!) in partnership with the Danish firm Georg Jensen shown below.

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I must say that what I loved most about her was her style!! I thought (and still do think) that it was as unique as her designs and architecture … She was a fan of fashion designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, and Miuccia Prada…. She could be spotted in the front row of Christopher Kane shows during London Fashion Week .. she loved the fashion world and the fashion world loved her back!. Her many friends and fans included Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, and Karl Lagerfeld, who held his Chanel Resort 2016 show in her DDP building in Seoul.

“I like things that when you wear them, the form becomes very different from when it’s flat. I was fascinated first by Yohji Yamamoto and his asymmetry, or Comme des Garçons in the ’80s. There is a connection between architecture and fashion because of the way the body is placed within that space. I’m interested in fashion because it’s the immediate thing that shows you the temper of a particular moment”.

I personally loved seeing her in black capes, particularly ones by Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake…

What a great loss! May you RIP Zaha.

Style Icon: Daphne Guinness

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I love creative people, I love people who create their style and lifestyle rather than copy others! Daphne Guinness is one of those creative people whose style I have always admired. She has a truly unique and artistic expression when it comes to how she dresses and how she decorates her home….. It’s really true to who she is… no stylist no interior designers… it’s purely her!