When in Brooklyn…

We’ve officially moved to Brooklyn. Scratch that. My boyfriend has officially moved in, 90 percent of the furniture has been purchased and assembled, all of his clothes and about half of mine. But I won’t truly be able to call the new spot home until my lease ends in June and the kitty and I hop on the A train and make the final journey from the Upper West to lovely Dumbo. I’ll post plenty of photos once everything is perfect; for now, a shopping tip.

I’d heard of Brooklyn Industries before and have glanced in their windows a few times in the past but had no idea what cute, funky basics they offer, and was pleasantly surprised to find prices that feel entirely appropriate. Josh needed shorts and off we went, to the location just around our cute little corner. He found some fantastic shorts, a pair of light and breezy summer pants, and a great Brooklyn Pride tee all for well under $200. Not to be outdone, I nabbed a fantastic floral chiffon headband reminiscent of the fascinators rendered trendy Stateside in this post-royal nuptials season. The hot pink center detail is my favorite part. And yes, I headed out with a Brooklyn Pride tee of my own, mine white with black lettering. I sized up to let it be baggy and am picturing this one with everything from denim cut-offs to leggings and of course, thrown over a neon bathing suit or two sometime this season.

After shopping, wandering around in the glorious 92-degree city heat, splitting a made-to-order gelato and macaron sandwich, and watching kids run around in the park, we headed home to hang more paintings. Already filled with Brooklyn pride, we now have the goods to prove it. You can check out (and purchase) Brooklyn Industries duds here.

Brooklyn Industries chiffon floral headband, $34
Brooklyn graphic tee, $34
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Swimming to New Heights

I have a friend from college who is impossibly chic. When we first met I remember thinking how lucky she was to be so slight (yet tall!), so feminine (yet edgy!), and to wrap it all up with hair she allowed to air dry, lashes that rarely saw a mascara brush, and a slew of male devotees to boot. I remember one time we were talking about movies and she remarked that one thing she aspired to obtain was the type of “all-eyes-on-me” pizzazz that Kate Hudson’s character in “Almost Famous” possessed. I thought–but was too envious to admit aloud–that she already did.

Anyway, my friend wore high-waisted Levi’s in 2002, a year long after the 80’s and 90’s had flaunted high waists and still before the new hipsters picked them up. The Levi’s were the only thing about her personal style that I didn’t get, and all of us used to tease her mercilessly as we donned our Abercrombie ultra-low-rise denim and thought we were exceedingly cool. But she insisted that the high waist made your legs look longer and your waist smaller. It’s only now that the rest of the world has come on board with my stylish college buddy’s look that I have come to embrace the high waist, too. In a denim short, a legging, or a skirt, it’s my new favorite thing.

Marc by Marc Jacobs green floral bottom, $98, and
top, $94, saks.com

 

Recently, I’ve also become more than a little obsessed with the high-waisted bikini bottom. A little bit retro, a little bit hipster, a little bit coy-girl-next-door-meets-sassy-pinup, I adore the look for what it does to the body and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.  Bonus: This might just be the first swimsuit season that you pull a pile of bikinis from the racks and actually feel fabulous in all of them. A high-waisted bikini works to cover your flaws whether you have chicken legs that you want to pull the eye away from, a tummy that needs covering… or both!
Navy blue rib nylon spandex high waist bikini brief, $27, and
triange top, $28, americanapparel.com
My absolute favorite–Rodarte for Opening Ceremony, $345,
shopbop.com

 

Gaga for Gaga

I am going to preface this one by saying that I really don’t like to talk about music with anyone outside of my inner circle. There are a few reasons for this. The main concern is that I feel music is a topic much like religion or politics that can bring on heated debate in a moment’s notice, leaving one party feeling wounded, attacked, or on the defensive. When really the whole point of music is to escape these types of feelings. Thus, I try to avoid the topic and just turn up the volume and dance.

That said, my boyfriend and I walked in on a conversation last weekend that truly disturbed me. We were meeting up with friends for some drinks and the girls were discussing their severe disdain for Lady Gaga. Some of the things I heard flying around the room were, “She’s an affront to the fashion industry!” [So easy to disprove. Not only does she make everything shine from Chanel and McQueen to the hotly debated meat dress, she has served as fashion muse for such bona fide designers as Nicola Formichetti of Mugler.] AND… “She’s such a slut!” [Really? What do you know about her personal life? And what makes her any different from any other pop star strutting her fab abs and dying the locks blonde?] The list went on to include her recent horn implants –“creepy and disgusting”– the booby-covered top she wore in the recent Bazaar spread — “gross and crazy” and beyond. However, not once was the music brought up. I was pissed.

Harper’s Bazaar, May 2011

Here’s the thing. You don’t have to go gaga for her. You don’t have to love her, or even listen to her. But you have to respect the girl. She writes her own music, she’s inspired a generation with her devil-may-care edge, and she is not only living the American dream but turning it on its pretty little head. Gaga’s music is honest, catchy, and fun, yet deep. There is this moment at the end of her recent HBO concert special when they reveal a clip of her singing “Born this Way” a capella and it literally brings chills. Pop music hasn’t seen this kind of raw, sexy, true talent in a long time. And as for the clothes, I personally tend to love what she’s wearing, but even if you don’t… isn’t it time we look around and realize that not everyone feels comfortable in the mold? It is so important for today’s youth to have a role model who doesn’t give a crap about pleasing others or living up to stoic standards but instead just does what she wants.

A capella “Born this Way”

And really, at the end of the day, the girl’s a genius. She knows exactly what she’s doing when she throws on a crazy outfit or flips the bird at a Met’s game. I guess my point is this. When Warhol started doing his thing, and later Michael Jackson and Madonna, and earlier Coco Chanel, not everyone got it, and not everyone loved it. But everyone was affected by it. Very few people in history have had the kind of magical, crazy stamp that these geniuses of the past have. I just happen to believe that Gaga is the next one. You don’t agree? That’s cool, but I’m just turning up the volume.

Happy, Chic, Mother’s Day

The mothers of New York could not have asked for a more beautiful day than this. The sun is shining but the heat is not oppressive. There are perfect, white, puffy clouds floating around in a baby blue sky and cherry blossoms–in full bloom–dot the trees throughout Central Park.

We opted to take Mom to the stylish and modern Beauty & Essex on the Lower East Side for luxurious-yet-worth-every-penny brunch replete with homemade cinnamon buns, ricotta and pear “jewels on toast,” communal candied bacon and maple grits, Mexican hangover-special eggs, and even some dessert (butterscotch pot de creme, anyone?). My mother, who eats about 1100 clean, green calories a day and treats herself to a single scotch a week indulged in every last bite of sugar, butter, and carb. She even toasted the feast with a sweet, strong, milky cocktail that she sucked dry. It was glorious.

But almost as heartwarming as a morning spent with family was the utter fabulousness (is that a word? It is now) of all the hot mamas in New York City this morning that I couldn’t help but observe. Pushing strollers along Houston and Rivington in skinnies and pastel blazers, clinking glasses with their grown kids at brunch, or even fully preggers newbies resplendent in maxi dresses and designer shades. The streets were swarming with beautiful, classy, well-dressed broads and the fashionable, happy broods that love them.

My own was decked out with a fresh blowout, Gucci sunglasses, diamonds (and pearls!), a crisp, knee-length, navy blue raw silk sheath recently nabbed at Saks, creamy-beige nubby leather Prada 3-inch platform sandals, and toting a slouchy metallic suede satchel I mistook for Ferragamo. (She whispered, “It’s Tahari. I got it on sale,” with a wink.) She might be (almost) 30 years my senior, but my mom looked significantly hotter than I did today. She often does.

So this is just a quick shout-out to all the pretty, stylish mommies in this pretty, stylish city. You all look fabulous, and you deserve your moment in the sun. Cheers!

Mama ❤