Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Italian Tailors of Naple Documentary Trailer


Monday, November 15, 2010

I Love a Wedding!

I love to look at wedding photos, I'm not that particular about who is in them. I read the wedding and celebration section of the NYTimes every week. I studied Bridal and Evening wear while at the School of Fashion Design, and white is one of my favorite (non) colors. I love seeing every bride's interpretation of her day in the spotlight. Hillary and Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea was married this summer, and I've only seen a few photos, but I have to say, Chelsea was a gorgeous bride, but Hillary was a show stopper in that Oscar de la Renta gown. I think it's the prettiest she has ever looked.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Secret Show

We are sooo excited about "Secret Show" from Imaginary Friends Productions. They may be imaginary to some, but our dear friend Alexandra Polk did some of the costume work, and her brother-in-law (Joel Sebastian) was one of the masterminds behind the project. Words are not enough to describe, watch, and you will not be disappointed.

I can't get enough of this video, and am anxiously awaiting a full length version. Please share and repost.

Find them on Facebook:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Favorite Things

With the mid-term elections over, I breath a sigh of relief that the negativity is behind us, and we can move forward to a more productive and positive few months. At least until Congress is back in session.

I wanted to write a blog about favorite things. Things that just make me happy. Perhaps they make you happy too.

warm blue ocean water
birds in a nest for breakfast
chanel lipstick
a well turned hem
vintage jewelry paste or real
warm showers
fresh crisp sheets
making fresh jam and pickles
duvet comforters
vintage table clothes with appliques
riding my bike
the smell of baby powder
a good knife in the kitchen
happy memories of an old friend
loving my husband
a new old song
dancing and knowing the steps
the new york times
fage yogurt
listening to KPCC on the vintage radio/record player
morning french press coffee with cinnamon
thanksgiving dinner
pool parties with the girls
fluffernutter sandwiches
down duvet and feather pillows
laughing with abandon
vintage shopping
flea markets
photos of times and places i wish i had been
macintosh products
text messages
dior mascara
the new yorker
cheese, in all it's glorious incarnations
dirty martinis
the feeling after you've gone to the gym
silverlake reservoir
fall leaves in New Hampshire
fresh maple syrup
picking apples
essie nail polish in fish net stockings and
turquoise and cacos
my Dad's cooking
the smell of tomatoes in the garden
memories of the backyard farm
swimming in the kangamangus river
fresh pineapple
birds in all their wonderful shapes and sizes
new shoes
the jon stewart show
cast iron skillets
my juki DDL-8700(with CP-160)
alden mason
craftsman houses
summer weather
dental floss
vintage silver flatware to use everyday
electric kettles
mason pearson hairbrushes
spanish style houses
girls night
coke a cola
finding a bobbin wound in the color you need
wedgewood china
hoodsie cups
griffith observatory
the charles river
my cousin neil's artwork
a new old vintage dress
honey bees
organized closets
asparagus on the grill with olive oil
all the places i have been...

Library of Congress

Melrose, LA Juke Joint photo by Marion Post Wolcott
4th of July Celebration, photo by Marion Post Wolcott
Mrs. Viola Sievers Clinton, Iowa photo by Jack Delano
Washington DC, Shulman's Market photo by Louise Rosskam
Belle Glade, FL Juke Joint photo by Marion Post Wolcott
White Plains, GA photo by Jack Delano
School Children San Augustine County, TX photo by John Vachon

There are some images that I cannot absorb enough of, I came across this cache of photos from the Library of Congress, and they immediately captured me. I feel inexplicably connected with different historic events in time. Part of me is drawn towards the black community, in most eras of United States history. I could attribute part of that to having been raised by a very old fashioned black man, or simply, I have great empathy for their history, and a deep love of their culture.
These color! photos were all taken from 1940-1944 by various photographers in different parts of the country. There were more to the cache, but I'll save those for later. These are my personal favorites, and I wish I could have them grouped together in beautiful archival prints on my walls, as they should be seen.

All photos property of the Library of Congress

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New England, glorious New England

We finally took our long awaited trip back to Boston/NH. Our trip was pushed back, because it coincided with the closing date of our new house. You know what they say about the best laid plans. I'm going to share a few photos of travels, which included, Portsmouth NH, The White Mountains, Kittery ME, Newburyport, Haverhill, and Boston. It was fun to see my old city (Boston) and to see things I consider ordinary through Bobby's eyes, who had never been to New England, or even the East Coast. We saw some old friends, spent a lot of time with family, and unfortunately a lot of time stuck in traffic. LA doesn't really have anything on the tri-state area in terms of congestion.

A big thanks to my Dad for all of his amazing cooking, and famous lasagna. Thanks to A.J. for making our 1st anniversary memorable with an out of this world dinner at Bricco in the North End. I miss all the fantastic Italian food already. There's just nothing that can hold a candle to it here in Los Angeles.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Casa Coddington Chateau Fournier

Posting some photos of our new abode. We love living here. It's been exhausting to put it together, but oh so worth it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton shot so many of the iconic haute couture photos.
As I know from Fournier, the person behind the camera is as important
as the garments in front of it. He photographed for Vogue for five decades,
as well as portraits of the British Royal Family. He was knighted in 1972.
His work, which changed the face of fashion began in the early 1930s and
continued through the 1970s despite a stroke in 1974.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Charles James

When I was attending the School of Fashion Design in Boston Ma, I often dreamed of making gowns as exquisite as Charles James. My focus while there was couture evening and bridal wear. Charles James was what I considered an obsessive designer. He was America's first couturier. His most recognizable gown, was the "4 Leaf Clover" Ball Gown. Produced in white silk satin, black silk velvet and white silk faille. It is an architectural dream that one would strive a lifetime to achieve with 20 plus layers of lining, interlining, interfacing and boning. It is dressmaking, transformed to an art. After hours of study, I never tire of it.

Interior detail shot, the best kind.
side view
front detail

The famous Cecil Beaton photo of ladies socializing in their James gowns.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Sometimes photos make it onto my desktop because they just make me happy. Brigitte Bardot running on the beach, a rare overtly sexy Katherine Hepburn, frilly victorian pantaloines, pretty sculptured dresses, and the coveted Valentino bow clutch(which looks fantastic under the arm). All special and unique in the happiness they deliver to the eye. I hope your eye agrees.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

GE Monitor Top Refrigerator

I've been daydreaming about a circa 1930s GE Monitor Top Icebox. Even though I always think of myself as more comfortable with the 40s and 50s eras, this fridge has caught my fancy. I love the shape, it's awesome front door, and the neat motor on the top design. The pickle is, it's freezer is big enough for exactly two ice cube trays. That being said, we still need a modern fridge as a back up. Let's be serious, we all enjoy a frozen pizza or frozen delight from Trader Joe's now and again.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank goodness for Dior

Lately, I have found most of fashion, disappointing. Baggy, shapeless t-shirts and dresses, or skirts and dresses that are cute, but too short for those of us over 30ish. Mostly, uninspiring.

Then I saw this photo. Dior Couture. It was like a breath of fresh air. Classic Dior neck and shoulder line, puff skirt, poie de soie, and essence of flower petals cascading as a half train. Yellow shoes play the part of stamens. Brilliant. Bravo Dior.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Some days are more difficult than others, and often it's perplexing as to how something as simple as purchasing home owners insurance should be the most vexing and exhausting of tasks.

My old friend Amy, posted a Laura Veirs video today (the one you see above) and it was amazing on so many levels. It was a good reminder of how much I love and adore Ms. Veirs music. The video to go with- bullseye with the vintage footage, and a trained deer. How can that not brighten your day? Mostly though, it reminded me of Maury, who introduced me to Laura Veirs, by playing her album over and over again one Sunday night while we were having our (usual) dinner. I remember being annoyed by the song "Cool Water". He laughed and said she was great. We took one another's music likes seriously, and with coaxing of borrowed cd, I was hooked.

I still love the music, and I feel like Maury would be happy to know that she's still on a very regular, top 10 music list rotation. August 5th it will be three years since he passed away suddenly, unexpectedly. A cruel theft. Days like today seem to touch on reminders of how much I miss him. I wish I could call where ever he was, (I'm waiting for the app). They also remind me of how much he added to my life. With music, food, and mostly, the loyalty of friendship. It helps put home owners insurance in perspective.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

House House.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how frustrated we were with the Los Angeles housing market. That day, I had gone to see two houses. One was a vintage home, but had been so redone it retained none of the charm. The other was a 1929 Spanish style house I had been quietly coveting, and upon seeing it, it delivered, in a big way. I was already pretty sure we wouldn't get the house, since it had two offers in, and we are always outbid. This time would prove to be different. Unexpectedly, we won the counter offer, thanks to our amazing lender Prospect Mortgage Company and agents The Improtas. They chose us because we had a better lender. They say it matters who you work with, and they are right. We feel really lucky, and so very grateful.

Well, here we are two weeks later, after a full inspection, and some nail biting wait times, as we go through two different appraisals to appease the powers that be, or rather, FHA. It's pretty much all ours now, we just have to finish signing our life away. As promised, we already love it like crazy. We are sooo looking forward to calling North Hollywood our home. Let the packing begin!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Greta Garbo, the lovely recluse.

There are few icons more enduring than Greta Garbo. I find her even more beautiful having taught a 1930s make-up class, and understanding the limited make-up available back then. Max Factor was just developing things we take for granted, for example, the mascara wand.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How to Age Like a French Woman

We all adore French Women, they are sexy, sophisticated, and seemingly ageless. Well, at least they age with such grace, and still seem to maintain their sex appeal. I happened upon an article in the New York Times from the July 14th issue. Here is the 10 ways list from the article:

1 Look out for No. 1: “Frenchwomen are more elegant, more aware of their femininity,” says Dr. Michel Soussaline, a Paris plastic surgeon. “They simply take care of themselves better.”

2 Keep it natural: Heavy makeup emphasizes wrinkles and pores. A little blush, mascara and lip color are all most Frenchwomen use. They spend a lot on skin care and beauty products, but not always on the most expensive brands.

3 No soap: They use lotions and hydrating creams for the face (and body), often applied with a cosmetics sponge that provides enough abrasiveness to remove dead cells but not hurt delicate skin.

4 The wonder of water: Frenchwomen swear by cold-water rinses – after face-cleaning, shampoo or shower. They say it improves circulation, bringing all-important oxygen to the skin cells.

5 Diet: Women of a certain age maintain their weight by eating carefully: fresh, never-processed, foods, especially fruits and vegetables, in small portions. If they do put on the kilos, they take them off immediately — with the aid of pills or other treatments.

6 Exercise: Why? Go to a spa instead.

7 The doctor is in: Frenchwomen love their dermatologists. As one friend put it, why take a chance with over-the-counter skin remedies, when doctors can provide treatments that really work. Besides, the visits are largely covered by the French medical system.

8 The surgeon is in: If Frenchwomen opt for cosmetic surgery, the objective is to look like themselves – not someone 20 years younger.

9 The look: Paris, like New York, is becoming very informal, but Frenchwomen never try to dress like their daughters. Accessories count: good jewelry, fantastic shoes or boots, and a scarf casually wrapped to conceal those neck wattles. And since Frenchwomen tend to have great legs (with help from varicose vein treatments), they wear more skirts and dresses than their American counterparts.

Think sexy: As the French writer Françoise Sagan wrote: “A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to take it off you.” Buy some fun, new underwear.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I guess I've been reading a little too much Chuck

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Holy Hotness, We have T-shirts!

Well, it's true, we made some t-shirts...
It's the Fournier logo with the bird, "vintage quality and style".

They come in Pink, Navy, and Light Green. It's kind of exciting, just trying to find time to hem a pair of our denim pants so I have a cute outfit to wear. They'll be on the site soon.

In other news, I dropped off few more patterns for the marker/grader. For those of you not involved in the fashion world, the marker/grader takes your base size pattern, and makes it into all your sizes. For Fournier that is xs-xl. They also do your marker, which is a giant puzzle for layout. Grader's are quirky folks, everyone I have ever met, really unique. Maybe it's all that time spent with the Gerber system. My grader is always SO busy, and talks quite fast, and gets flustered by my vintage style patterns. I gave him the bow skirt, and I thought he was going to blow a (small) fuse. He does good, exacting work though. I love him for being kind to my wallet, and taking my stuff seriously.

I am flustered by the Los Angeles housing market. We have been looking seriously for over a year, minus a little time for getting married, and still haven't been able to secure a home. We've bid on six homes, and been outbid, or the counter was too high, every time. It has gotten to the point where I feel like I have looked all over the city and valley, and don't feel any more certain about what's right. The only thing I know, for sure, is that the older houses sing to me. My heart skips a beat, like when you see that cute new boy you are dating, or an amazing vintage dress. As long as the house hasn't had the old beat out if it, it feels like coming home. I daydream about craftsmans and old spanish style houses. They both seem so California/Texas to me, and it's so different from what I grew up with in old stodgy New England. I love New England. It's my home of home, fall colors, feather light snowflakes, lobsters and clam chowder. Los Angeles is my chosen home, where I lay my head. We'd like to buy a piece of the magic. I don't think that's too much to ask for. Come to us little old house. We're going to love you like crazy.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Old 97s and some parking lot sewing

A good seamstress can sew on the go...and yes, that's my lucky Yale School of Nursing Pencil.

Black Fabric, with a little texture and shine. Turquoise and Caicos by Essie, is my new favorite nail polish color.
Today I handed off some custom shirts for the Old 97s photo shoot. Our lovely model, Grey DeLisle is married to Murry Hammond (sorry boys, she's taken). We've made a few shirts for Murry, and Grey called us about a week ago and asked if we would like to make a few shirts for the boys. Well, who can say no to that? The direction was, 60s inspired fabric, oh, and something black. Off to downtown to hunt and gather.
Everything was going swimmingly, until I messaged to set up a drop off time, and found out that the shoot was moved up by 4 precious days. eek! This kind of thing happens, so grace under pressure, and a couple of late nights sewing, and all was done. Except for the buttons. Oddly enough, for men's wear, it is proper to use a 4 hole button as opposed to a 2 hole button. Blast! I only had 2 hole buttons. Off to downtown to my favorite tailoring supply shop.

I bet you've been wondering, where does the "to go sewing kit" come into play? Well, funny you should ask, I picked up the buttons on the way to rendez vous with the stylist, Johnny. This left me nowhere to fasten the buttons on, except in my car. So I sat in the parking lot in noisy, hot downtown, doing what I love, sewing buttons. It's the kind of stuff that happens when you are a costume designer, or under a tight timeline.

I'll keep you posted on the photo shoot, and any pictures. xo

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stocking Advertisement

There's a company called Vog, here are some of their adverts, Spider woman anyone?