Modern Classic in Paris

Modern Classic Spring
I have two close friends traveling to Paris this month and I am wild with envy. We’ve discussed what to pack and have concluded that nothing beats neutral, modern-classic wardrobe staples (and yes, I consider leopard a neutral) for a trip to the most stylish city in the world. After all, they will blend seamlessly with the extraordinary treasures waiting to be discovered and worn immediately or stashed in the suitcase for a stateside unveiling. Travel safe and pack light, my dear friends!

Vanessa Bruno lace trimmed blouse
$362 –

Burberry Prorsum trench coat
$1995 –

Zara jeans
$80 –

Madewell ballet flats
$80 –

Givenchy Nightengale handbag
$1,730 –

Jenny Bird cuff bracelet
$95 –

Forget Me Not shell print scarf
$320 –

Oliver Peoples Jacey sunglasses
$295 –

What to Wear

April in Paris


During this season of gusty winds and unexpected rain showers, take a fashion cue from Nine d’Urso, the chic young daughter of Parisian style icon and author Ines de la Fressange, and invest in a wear-forever trench.  Rain or shine, a trench works beautifully with everything from denim to dresses and instantly makes you feel pulled together.


French singer and Bob Dylan muse, Francoise Hardy.


American Francophile Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


Style blogger, Ahn, of 9 to 5 Chic.


Emmanuelle Alt, Vogue Paris fashion director.

My absolute sartorial crush, fashion editor Giovanna Battaglia, wearing a gorgeous but wildly impractical green leather Valentino trench. She will definitely need the umbrella should April showers arise!

Collage Items:

Saturday Styling

seeing green

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.

Vintage Victory

Last weekend in an unassuming corner of Jacksonville, Florida,  true sartorial serendipity occurred.  While exploring a tucked away neighborhood,  my sister Julia (who had recently been transferred to this sprawling city) and I wandered into a clothing consignment shop.  Most of what we saw was unremarkable, but one glass case held the Holy Grail of accessories – a gorgeous, mint condition, vintage Hermes Kelly bag.  The beautiful patina of the cognac leather drew us in, and upon closer inspection, we noticed it had been monogrammed in gold, though the initials had been rubbed out.  Heart palpitations ensued.  We knew there must be more.  Pressing the shop girl for information, we found that the best pieces, held upstairs, were seen by appointment only.  With five minutes until close and clearly no appointment, we kicked our powers of persuasion into high gear.  I pled my case – that I was to return home to Chicago the next day and that we were educated lovers of design.  She relented.

So many truly fabulous pieces.  Racks of vintage Chanel jackets.  A perfect Carolina Herrera cocktail dress.  An 80’s era Lagerfeld nautical striped top.  A true fashion fanatic’s dream.  Nothing, however, could have prepared us for the shipment that had just arrived from a recently settled Palm Beach estate, untagged and still in plastic. For the next two hours, Julia and I tried on almost every piece in this collection.  Breathtaking Galanos and Oscar de la Renta gowns, dozens of custom-made day dresses and cocktail dresses, Pringle and Ballantyne cashmere sweaters in a rainbow of colors befitting the nameless Palm Beach heiress.

Yesterday, the box arrived on my doorstep.  Each painstakingly chosen piece was wrapped in tissue and tied neatly in a bow.  Some will integrate easily and seamlessly into my wardrobe (the kelly green Ballantyne cashmere cardigan, the custom cream herringbone hacking jacket) and others will sit in the closet cue awaiting the perfect occasion (the wild Pucci-esque silk jersey cocktail dress, the black floor length Lloyd Klein gown with a blush-inducing high slit).  All will bring me back to that perfect, serendipitous afternoon with my sister – and you cannot put a price tag on that.  Well, you can.  But I’m trying to block that part out.