Saturday Styling

bikini rainbow

The Edit

It’s that time of year.  We must throw open the windows, let the gorgeous spring air flow through the house and…clear out the clutter.  Admit it.  You have it lurking somewhere.  A drawer.  A closet.  A garage.  An entire basement.  Okay, I feel a slight panic coming on, so let’s start small.  I’m going with closet.

When we moved in to this house a year and a half ago, the 1928 closets did not provide nearly enough storage, so we converted the original sleeping porch (used by the last owner as an office) into a dressing room. I’ve made practical strides by adding more hanging space, installing full length mirrors, and stocking the vintage olive green and cream shelving (discovered at Jayson’s Flea) with denim, sweaters, and handbags.  I’ve made aesthetic strides as well – the closet knobs have arrived (16 weeks after ordering them!), the walls have been covered in David Easton’s Hummingbirds wallpaper, the ceiling lacquered in Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground, and I’ve finally found a light fixture I love.  But. The shelves and rods are still bulging with things that need to go away.

So a serious edit is in order.  I read that when trying to purge, you should ask yourself if the item is either useful or beautiful, and if it’s “no” to both, then pitch it.  This is great when you are tackling desk drawers, but problematic when it comes to the closet.  After all, would you have bought it in the first place if you didn’t think it was useful or beautiful?  I desperately want to open my closet doors and see only things that I love and will wear.  Therefore, I solemnly swear to:

(1) Rid myself of anything being saved for emotional/nostalgic reasons.

(2) Take to E-Drop Off any item I am saving simply because I feel guilty that I spent the money on it.

(3) Seriously sort and whittle down the multiples.  We all have things we should be banned from buying.  For me, it is white tanks and tees, denim, silk blouses and shoes. Wait, no.  Not shoes.  I will never say it about shoes.  They are all different.

(4) Alter, donate, or consign all items that do not fit properly.  Most people have precious closet real estate being taken up by items that simply need a button or a hem.  And then there are the clothes we are hanging onto because they may fit again someday.  Alter them if they are too big.  And if they are too small, well, those need to disappear permanently.  Your closet is not the place for fitness inspiration.

(5) Have a friend help if I am riding the fence.  Sometimes you just need another pair of (critical and decisive) eyes to help you make the tough decisions.

Photo credits: image 1, Aerin Lauder’s closet; image 2, Tory Burch’s closet, image 3, Jenna Lyons’ closet; image 4, Tabitha Simmons’ shoe collection; image 5 via pinterest.

Saturday Styling

seeing green

Lake Michigan

Today Lake Michigan traded its traditional sapphire uniform for this spectacular aqua and cerulean display.  Walking along the beach and soaking in the crazy 78 degree warmth brought daydreams of summer picnics, sailing expeditions, and bike rides to the ice cream shop.  Impossible that this is Chicago and we’ve just reached the second week of March.

The Adventures of Alice

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

This weekend, while watching Alice in Wonderland with my daughter, I was reminded of what is perhaps my favorite fashion editorial of all time.  World-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz shot Natalia Vodianova as the inimitable Alice for the December 2003 issue of Vogue.  Several of the world’s top designers dressed Vodianova in their Alice inspired creations for this spread.  The icing on the (tea)cake was that each designer was photographed with her, posing as characters from the famous Lewis Carroll novel.

Down the rabbit hole with Tom Ford, above.  In the first image, Vodianova wears a cobalt blue dress by Helmut Lang, who looks on from the hanging portrait.

Vodianova on the mantel in Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere.

Lost in the woods with, and wearing, Marc Jacobs.

In Dior Haute Couture with John Galliano.

Rochas by Olivier Theyskens.

In Chanel Haute Couture, with Karl Lagerfeld.

Viktor and Rolf, dressed as Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

Jean Paul Gaultier as the Cheshire cat.  Vodianova wears a Gaultier Paris gown.

The fantasy frock created by Christian Lacroix.

Vodianova wears Atelier Versace, with Donatella Versace.

All images from Vogue, December 2003.

Girls’ Night Out

Yippee!!!  Tonight I am joining seven spectacular women in Chicago to celebrate a friend’s milestone birthday.

Quintessential denim and heels pairing?  Check.

The birthday girl’s favorite champagne?  Check.

Fabulous dinner reservations?  Check.

Dance-all-night plans?  Check.

Requisite morning-after advil/think thin bar/coconut water/blister band-aid rescue kit in the suitcase?  Check.

À votre santé!

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Flower Lust

The flowers for this weekend’s dinner party were insanely gorgeous and I cannot take credit.  Molly Flavin, the amazing florist and owner of Molly Flavin Floral Designs, filled our house with the lush and fragrant blooms of spring.  Peonies, ranunculus, hydrangea, grape hyacinth, and cherry blossom branches  – all favorites – provided the perfect backdrop for a lovely evening.

front hall arrangement, above and below

white ranunculus in the powder room, above

white hydrangeas in the dining room

cherry blossom branches and hydrangeas in the living room, above and below

grape hyacinth on the bar, above and below

hydrangea and ranunculus in my favorite French opaline glass vase

The white ranunculus are now on my bedside chest and the grape hyacinth have moved to the kitchen, where we spend most of our time.  If only they could last until spring actually arrives!

all images via the aesthete and the dilettante