Archive for the ‘Special Occasion’ Category

New Headshot for Mom

03/25/2010

(Erika/Mom) I’ve been using the same photo for almost all of my online activity (except this blog): Twitter, Facebook, bios, etc. The photo was taken in the summer of 2005, in a little grove of lemon trees and I just love it:

But…2005? That was five years ago! I’m starting to feel dishonest. While I look pretty much the same, there’s just no way that this can be considered a recent photo. It’s like using a resume that you haven’t updated in awhile. I don’t like the fact that I look older, or somewhat heavier, but it’s the truth. This was driven home to me a few months ago at a meeting I attended where we could post stuff live on Twitter. The guy who was speaking looked around the room (and it was not a huge room) and said he was looking for the resident Twitterer (me) but couldn’t seem to find her. Hmmm; maybe because my hair was about six inches longer, my face wasn’t professionally made up, and, well, time has passed.

So this week I decided to ask my friend and wonderful photographer Simon Alexander to get me an updated face. Of course before heading into NYC to do the shoot I had to figure out what to wear. And as usual, I had to do it fast. While trying to return a few things in Princeton I rushed into Ann Taylor with about four minutes left on my parking meter. They had lots of pretty things meant for layering. I loved all of the ruffles and prints, but didn’t indulge this time. Instead, my eye was caught by a steel-gray cardigan with tiny silk rosebuds framing the front. I paired it with a champagne camisole I already have, and some dark gray pants. Then for a splash of color I borrowed Lizzi’s orange LV scarf. Here is the final presentation:

So where’s the professional NYC headshot, you ask? I’m still deliberating. You’re going to have to check back in, or Google me in a few weeks. But thanks to a good haircut, some serious highlights, and great makeup (all thanks to the Village Salon in Pennington), I think that five years have been good to me.

Advertisements

Lizzi & Erika’s Look of the Day

01/31/2010

Last night, I went to a movie with my dad and sister and decided to dress up a little for no particular movie. We saw “When in Rome” which was very good! I wore a cream ruffled DKNY top from Macy’s, a pair of black jeans from Nordstrom, a pair of brown Steve Madden boots that I recieved for Christmas, and a brown cardigan bought from Nordstrom.

While I was out seeing a movie, Mom went to a country western concert and dinner with some of her girlfriends. She wore a black cardigan with a faux-fur collar bought from Greene Street consignment, a deep pink silk top from Greene Street consignment, a pair of cool dark-wash jeans from H&M, and a pair of black Chinese Laundry fringed boots (which are rather hard to see because they’re black).

Last night was a real fun and fashionable night for both of us!

The Joy of Velvet

12/08/2009


(Erika/Mom) Most of us are feeling poor these days; or at least I am. Splurges are out, making do is in. Still, I don’t think it’s healthy to embrace austerity completely. There isn’t much that a little touch of velvet can’t fix.

I’ve always loved velvet. Its texture and rich colors remind me of Christmas, of dressy parties and European splendor. In the 50s and 60s, my grandmother made jeweled ornaments on a fabric base, like the one above. Usually she chose velvet. Today, my siblings and I have painstakingly divided the remaining fragile treasures between us and my favorites have always been the velvet ones. Fifty years later and those scraps of velvet still gleam.

Unfortunately, velvet has taken many hits over the decade especially when velour made its debut. Despite its widespread use in casual wear, upholstery, and children’s clothing, velour brings to mind cheesy producers in track suits and gold chains. At my part-time job during high school, I sold countless men’s velour shirts when Gap still had a “The” in front of it.

The only thing velvet and velour have in common is their first two letters. Velvet is the fabric of royalty, created hundreds of years ago from fine silk and jewel-color dyes. It’s a wonderful (and affordable) element to introduce, or re-introduce, back into your wardrobe.

(Lizzi Hayes/Daughter)This Fall, designers like BCBG and Marc Jacobs have added A LOT of velvet into their collections and therefore stores like H&M and Forever 21 have started to make affordable versions of their velvet masterpieces. Everyone is dying for a little bit of the luxurious fabric… in fact, I’m in the process of sewing a coral-colored velvet handbag.

bcbg fall 2009 velvet

marc jacobs fall 2009 velvet dress

Velvet dresses, leggings, purses, jackets, and so much more.

Try getting the look by wearing this bold-shouldered velvet dress from H&M:
hm-black-velvet-dress-fall-09

These velvet headbands from Forever 21:
velvet headband

A pair of tights and lace-up ankle boots and you’ll be the most stylish girl in town!

Fashion’s Night Out

09/12/2009

Fashion's Night Out tag

(Erika/Mom) Thursday night, Lizzi and I participated in fashion history. Despite it being the first week of school we made the bold decision to attend New York City’s first-ever Fashion’s Night Out. The way it’s been publicized online and through all the sites we like to surf (like Polyvore, other fashion bloggers, and of course retailers) you’d think the whole world was going to be on the train with us. But in reality it was an ordinary day for most people. We were the only ones wiggling with excitement on that late-afternoon train. We were the only ones smiling in anticipation as we ascended the steps of Penn Station. Everyone else seemed to be going the other way, anxious to get home after another stellar day at the office.

And as most first-time ventures go, we learned a lot that will really help us with the second one. Remember that planning a travel route on paper is completely different from executing it…especially in Manhattan. We ultimately wanted to cruise Bleecker St. with the editors at Teen Vogue, to meet Marc Jacobs and perhaps Vera Wang. But first we wanted Mary Kate and Ashley to serve us some drinks at Bergdorf’s.

And they might have brought us some Perrier…if they had actually been there. Or if we could have made it through the revolving door. Instead, a mushroom cloud of line-cutters began pushing so that Lizzi and I kept getting further from the door. Besides losing oxygen we began to worry that our entire evening would be spent like uncool clubgoers waiting to get into Area in 1986 (not me of course). Angry and disappointed, we retreated.

Crazy mob scene trying to get in to staid Bergdorf Goodman's. Very surreal, and really unfun.

Crazy mob scene trying to get in to staid Bergdorf Goodman's. Very surreal, and really unfun.

So now, besides lacking oxygen I was riding towards a serious sugar crash. We stopped at Prada and had a good time checking out their wonderful display of Little Red Riding Hood and men with wolf heads (had to be there). Let me see if we got a picture of this. Lizzi was probably one of the youngest attendees this night, and being petite she had a hard time seeing anything above the crowd. I lifted her up so she could see Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington. I noted that her wonderful thick, long hair looks a tiny bit like mine!

grace coddington

No cabs to be had on 5th Avenue, we impulsively jumped on a bus that said “East Village.” The driver took pity on me fumbling for bus fare and gave us a free ride. We ate some pasta and salad at a cozy little deli and then looked for the Teen Vogue party. And looked. And looked. Turns out it was in the WEST Village. Crap. This time we found a cab and finally got to the right place at around 9 pm.

Now I find the Village fun no matter what time it is, or whether Teen Vogue editors are there or not. While Lizzi scanned the well-dressed crowds for signs of celebrity, I enjoyed the warmly lit shops and watching people sip their wine and cappuccinos in the tiny restaurants. Yet our quest was not yet complete–we HAD to get T-shirts. And nearly every shop had already sold out.

live mannequin at Brooks Bros

These live mannequins at Brooks Brothers were a delight to watch and just one of many live tableaux that night. We checked in with Ralph Lauren and luckily found our first Tshirt in my size. Then we stumbled upon Tommy Hilfiger and had a great time listening to Tim Brantley singing. He’s really good. Listen to Damage. But I digress.

While enjoying Hilfiger’s hospitality we found what was a nearly-extinct small size of the coveted T-shirt for Lizzi. So this was a very good stop for us. We checked out a few more stores but it seemed the party was wrapping up. And we were pooped. We hailed a cab back to Penn Station and slipped in the quiet house about midnight.

(Lizzi/Daughter) I expected Fashion’s Night Out to be all over the streets of New York City, with performances everywhere and celebrities walking along the streets. I also thought I would be able to get into Bergdorf Goodman, meet the Olsen twins then head on over to Ralph Lauren to get a t-shirt and meet Blake Lively. And right after that, arrive at the Teen Vogue block party and seeing Taylor Momsen’s whole performance plus the back-to-school fashion show. Oh, and let’s not forget meeting designers like Isaac Mizrahi, Vera Wang, and Donna Karan and watching a cook-off between designers like Cynthia Rowley and Peter Som. The winner ended up being Lela Rose, I found out with her corn crepe topped with lobster and cilantro salsa.

Anyway, Fashion’s Night Out wasn’t what I dreamed it would be. Although, I guess most things don’t turn out how anybody wants them to. To be honest, I’m still really upset about Bergdorf Goodman and missing most of the Teen Vogue Block Party, other than that I had a fun time walking around NYC, on a school night, with just my mom, experiencing something new.

I’m so glad I got a t-shirt also because mine can be worn as a t-shirt dress (it’s very large on me) or a t-shirt (tucked in loosely into jeans) and I’ll have the t-shirt for a very long time because of how large it is, even though it’s a size Small. Mom’s looks great also. I loved the way she wore it yesterday with her lacey black pencil skirt and she cinched at the waist with a big black patent leather belt.

mom and lizzi in our fno t-shirts(My face is the only face in the picture because my mom didn’t feel like putting on make-up)

Fashion’s Night Out for us wasn’t the disappointment that I’ve made it sound like (I can be very negative sometimes) Note from Mom: Noooooo, never!

Actually, I had a lot of fun looking around in Prada because of the cool mannequin displays which were wearing really cool wolf masks as Mom said before.

Lions and tigers and bears and... wolves? Oh my!

Lions and tigers and bears and... wolves? Oh my!

As you can see, this is not a very good image because it was taken on my cell phone, but you can see the wolves pretty well in their black Prada suits.

In conclusion, Mom and I had an awesome time at the very first ever Fashion’s Night Out in New York City. I will always remember this day and we know for next time not to wait in a long line to get into Bergdorf Goodman, no matter how much we want to get in!

What Lizzi Wore…

09/09/2009

Lizzi's First Day of School outfit

(Erika/Mom) Lizzi went back to school today like most other East Coast students. It was a strange morning, very cloudy and just mildly warm. I think Lizzi’s outfit was just right. And how about that book bag? 🙂

Ruffled top on Lizzi

Ruffled top from Macys/Brushed denim shorts in olive from Abercrombie/Beaded sandals from Macys/bag from Target

Have a great day Lizzi!

When the Best Man Is a Woman

08/31/2009

Erika's Best woMan dress(Erika/Mom) This post should have been written about a month ago, when I had the honor and pleasure of standing up for my friend David Sowell, whom I’ve known since 7th grade. He married my friend Diana Markarian, whom I’ve known since 5th grade. The two of them, however, didn’t know each other until I introduced them a little over a year ago. This apparently awarded me one of the top spots in the wedding party and I wanted to look the part.

The happy couple

The happy couple

You’ll see in a previous post I mulled over various options, focusing on some kind of tuxedo-style dress that would give the feel of tradition. But when I looked at them in the stores, they screamed “costume” and seemed overly conspicuous.

As the event grew closer I started having fits about spending a lot of money on a new dress. In uncharacteristic frugality, I began trying on dresses I already had, starting with the bridesmaid dress from my own wedding…nearly 15 years ago. I thought it looked pretty good on me and was thrilled that the size 8 my sister wore actually fit me. When I showed it to Lizzi, however, she threw cold water on my enthusiasm. She did this using only her eyes–those beautiful green eyes expressing first incredulity that I would even consider wearing such an old, outdated dress, followed by compassion for my severe fashion naivete.

So it was back to the closet, where we combed through everything I had and finally decided a light, pretty Ann Taylor sundress would work well. It bothered me that the dress was a few years old and the hemline hit me at that singularly unattractive spot above the knees, but I tried to ignore my misgivings. Because the wedding was taking place outside, I figured a more casual dress would be fine.

The day before the wedding I went up to see if I could help with last-minute details. Diana showed me her dress (gorgeous, with a small train) and David confirmed that he was wearing a very formal black tux. I also saw the bridesmaid/matron-of-honor dresses, which were silk with a large fuschia floral design. In a flash, I knew my tired summer dress was not going to do AT ALL.

I had one hour to hit the Santa Rosa Macys. As I parked, I prayed that they would have the perfect Best Man dress.

Scouring the “Occasion” section, I scooped up about 7 or 8 dresses with ceremonial potential and low-three-digit price tags.  It was difficult to walk the line successfully between dressy yet not too formal; feminine but not fussy; flattering yet complementary with the bold florals of the bridesmaid dresses.

Bridesmaids

You can see that despite the very bold pattern I chose, it still somehow looked good with everyone else’s while setting me apart as the groom’s sidekick. And for that I have to thank Jones New York. You guys somehow manage to give off that wonderful aroma of “designer” yet make the ordinary woman like me feel (and look) pretty damn extraordinary. Check out how this filmy, flowing dress hides the fact that I’m terrified I’ll impale one of the mothers as I’m pinning on their corsages:

Don't.....move.....

Don't.....move.....

The wedding was fabulous. I got to see two friends who mean so much to me find happiness together. I danced, I toasted the happy couple, I basked in the warm sunshine of a beautiful Northern California summer’s day. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Blogging for Bliss

08/04/2009
Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey (Lark/Sterling)

Blogging for Bliss by Tara Frey (Lark/Sterling)

(Erika/Mom) We are proud to be participating in the official book release party for Blogging for Bliss. As the Good Book says (and I’m going to botch this) we are not fit to touch the sandals of the blissful bloggers who are featured in the book and others who are participating. They are amazing creatives who have collectively turned the plain old blogosphere into a Shangri La. But we aren’t ashamed to hang onto their coattails and hopefully learn lots in the process.

Tara Frey is mistress of the camera and a veritable modern-day Jane Austen with her witty prose. Catch her at Typing Out Loud and I dare you to click away without subscribing. She is better than a cup of coffee in the morning. My partner (Eileen Paulin at Daily Courage) and I helped give birth to this book and we’re about as proud as a couple of hens in the rooster house. It’s times like now I wish I grew up in the South and learned all those great sayings. Help me, Paula Dean!

Anyway, many thanks to Kari Ramstrom at Artsy Mama for hosting the party. This sure beats handmade nametags and hovering shyly at the door. As soon as someone figures out virtual champagne I’ll be completely happy. In the meantime…POP! goes the cork. A toast–to the pioneers of pretty, the blissful bloggers who have proven to the world that when you look good, you write good. 🙂