Friday
Feb182011

Driftwood and Lucite Together at Last

    
                

Can we talk for a moment about this mirrored, modern, lucite bar?

Not as though I have the room in my teensy apartment for such a bar but it radiates cool. My dentist appointment went too long yesterday, resulting in my missing it at the Skinner Discovery auction. Alas, it was not meant to be. Speaking of cool, modern, bordering on perhaps just a wee bit tacky....I also obsessed over the lot of lamps above. Again, not entirely sure what I would have done with them but they are so outrageous and over the top that I want to take them home with me and design around them. Which got me started on a design bender.

This bar would have gone perfectly with the dining room table and chairs I plan on buying. I have a boho modernist vision of dining on a drift wood table with chic lucite chairs. Then again, all the pieces together may have culminated in lucite overload, but is there really such a thing?

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My proposed before and after. Our current table is a shamefully ugly, ten year old, Pier 1 Imports triple clearance purchase, made without any advance planning or preconceived ideas about what it may actually look like in our apartment. I feel infinitely better after getting that off my chest. We needed a place to seat people who came over the dine with us, what was I to do? The image on the above, right demonstrates what I would like to do. Scaled down to current apartment standards of course.  Husband thinks the lucite chairs pose a home hazard and would break if improperly used. Clearly, he just doesn't get it (pun totally intended). Some additional driftwood inspiration below!

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Wednesday
Feb162011

Breaking the Jean

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Featured above: A.P.C. jeans, Aldo shoes, Top Shop coat and top.

Having heard the hype about A.P.C. denim it was really only a matter of time before I drank the kool-aid. Classic clean lines? Check. Hip French brand? Check. Outrageous price? Check.

Little did I know the commitment I was entering upon crossing the threshold to the Soho outpost of A.P.C. The shop keep must have smelled my longing for French minimalist denim as soon as I entered the store. After a brief denim assessment I was on my way to the back (curtained off accordingly) to try on some jeans. The champagne room of denim.

My assistants were lovely, lithe, young hipsters. New to A.P.C.? Then you must go basic with the raw denim, "new cure" to all that ails me. Described simply on the site as:

"neither high nor low rise. very narrow leg. coin pocket. button fly. 
the first button is engraved A.P.C. rue Madame pres du luxembourg."

I was encouraged by my sales troup to squeeze into the smallest size I could possibly button, for they stretch at least a size. Deep knee bends and lunges were heartily encouraged throughout the racks. I was shown before and afters. One associate had worn their pair every day for a year (washing optional) and look how soft they were? You can even purchase the "broken" in version of the raw denim, having all the work already done for you, at an even more outrageous price. I smelled the lazy American trap a mile away and said "non, merci". I will go with my new cure and do all the work myself, thank you very much.

These pictures are hereby entered into evidence as new cure, day #1. Please note, they sit perfectly at the hip. The have a snug, but not stifling, fit throughout the leg. Deep indigo, denim perfection...with the mild texture of sandpaper. Yes, these jeans are literally so painfully hip as to so leave my hip bone a little exfoliated.

I am no slacker though. I will break these jeans. The gauntlet has been thrown and the progress will be documented in a new mintly series titled: 1) breaking the jean, 2) how to lose 5 lbs (eating is not exactly encouraged in raw denim), or 3) how to wear one jean 30 ways.

Sunday
Feb132011

NYFW Fave: Rachel Comey

Aesthetically simple lines; minimal yet print heavy, and oh yes the shoes, shoes, shoes. Get in my closet!

I'll spare you all any recap of the shows from NYFW, which you all have access to anyways and are already posted every which way, in favor of highlighting one of my favourite designers from New York Fashion Week. Ms. Comey's designs are infinitely more thrilling to me because they are, gasp, wearable and not so astronomically priced as to be unaffordable to the masses.

Side note, yes, the printed pant is making quite a splash at the recent shows and is prominently featured in this line. I confess, I bought a pair at H&M to foray into the trend on the cheap, still a bit phobic about committing to print on my legs full time.

Rachel Comey also sounds like a woman after my own heart, drawing early fashion inspiration from the likes of Benetton and Esprit (be honest you know you rocked it too) as well as a keeper and maker of to-do lists. Unassuming, Northeast bread, and keeping it real in this interview with the NY Times.

"What's the first designer item you ever bought?
Is Esprit considered "designer?" I'm originally from Hartford, Connecticut, and I got really into clothes around the time Esprit and Benetton were huge."

"What's something you never leave the house without?
A pencil, for writing down sketches, ideas, and notes — I feel lost without it. I'm really big into to-do lists."

"Where do you like to shop in New York?
I love flea markets, particularly the ones on 25th Street and in Fort Greene. Except now there's too much food at them — it makes them so crowded! Nobody's boyfriend or husband ever wanted to go to the flea market before, but now there are lobster rolls and sliders. I love the foodie trend, but I preferred it when flea markets were a little quieter and more specific.
"

Stop by my Tumblr for more of the looks from the show.

Thursday
Feb102011

Portrait of a Miu Miu

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Sometimes I am so moved by the beauty of a pair of well crafted shoes that I am compelled to take photos of them. My own, ever expanding album of shoe porn.

So is the case with these nude Miu Miu platforms I acquired a little bit ago. I was so taken with them  I almost paid full price (gasp!) when they initially came out. Never fear, the bargain hunter and what little sensibility I have won out, and I passed on them for the camera I now use to take pretty photos of shoes. Imagine my surprise when they turned up on sale at Saks at a significant mark down. I think you know how this story turns out, carpe diem I did.

These shoes are a patent leather dangerous liaison in the afternoon. Wearing a shoe like this just makes you feel like a million dollars, no other justification or reasoning required. The platform gives you that extra height, plus comfort, and the nude color elongates your legs for miles.  Shoes, my instant shot of confidence, therapy, and art all rolled into one. Silly, oh quite so, but beauty can be found in everything if we just take the time to look.

Monday
Feb072011

Chocolate Tart My Sweet?

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Valentine's day, you either love it or hate it.

I have been on poor terms with it lately.  Barely speaking, really. Dinners out usually mean prix fixe menus, rushed seating, and lackluster food, even at the best of establishments. Gifts can be cliche and usually don't come my way since my birthday is a few days before the holiday (kind of like those poor people who have a birthday that falls close to Christmas). Box of chocolates you say? Hmmph, over done. Then again, I never turn up my nose at some truffle mice from Burdick's....

My husband and I have battled the Valentine's day blues by establishing some traditions of our own around the holiday. For us, it is a night in with champagne, some kind of entree involving lobster (lobster mac and cheese, lobster pot pies, seafood gratin, and surf and turf to name a few of the dishes we have tried over the years) and a chocolaty dessert of some iteration.

This year's menu is still a bit up in the air (suggestions welcome along the lobster theme), but I test drove a chocolate tart for the dessert, and folks, we have a winner on our hands. The full recipe after the jump.

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This tart recipe is shockingly easy and I confess I didn't even bother with the glaze, instead opting for some berries sprinkled on before serving with some amaretto laced whipped cream. No one seemed to miss anything!

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart (via Epicurious)


Ingredients:
For crust:
  • 9 (5- by 2 1/4-inch) chocolate graham crackers (not chocolate-covered), finely ground (1 cup)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
For filling:
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 65% cacao if marked), chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
For glaze:
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 3/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon warm water

Prepare:
Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Stir together all ingredients and press evenly onto bottom and 3/4 inch up side of tart pan. Bake until firm, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack 15 to 20 minutes 

Make filling:
Bring cream to a boil, then pour over chocolate in a bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Gently stir until smooth. Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and salt in another bowl, then stir into melted chocolate.
Pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set about 3 inches from edge but center is still wobbly, 20 to 25 minutes. (Center will continue to set as tart cools.) Cool completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. 

Make glaze:
Bring cream to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in chocolate until smooth. Stir in corn syrup, then warm water
Pour glaze onto tart, then tilt and rotate tart so glaze coats top evenly. Let stand until glaze is set, about 1 hour.