Stories

Best Beach Bag Ever

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I have been looking for the perfect beach tote for as long as I can remember, and just when I was about to give up the ghost, and purchase an extra large monogrammed LL Bean Boat & Tote, in orange or green (or possibly one of each), I found the best beach bag — and all around tote — ever, The Catalina, from Lo & Sons. I’ll be taking it to the beach and to the streets. And since it’s foldable, I’ll be tucking it into my travel bag the next time I jet off.

The Catalina has some great features.

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Bangin’

Bangs Collage

I’ve never worn bangs (or if I have, I’ve long forgotten), but these ladies make me want to give bangs a second thought. Some women were born for bangs. Like Mandana Dayani, Vice President of Rachel Zoe, Inc. (top left) or actress/musician Zooey Deschanel (bottom middle). I had to resist the urge to post 79 images of these women because, every way they rock ‘em, their bangs work.

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Modern Glamour

Modern Glamour Collage

What’s modern? What’s glamorous? It’s a question I’ve thought a lot about, having lived three different sartorial lives in my decades on this Earth.

My sartorial beginnings were in a small city in the American South, capital of a state you could easily forget was part of the Confederacy if South Beach were all you knew. Tallahassee, the kind of place where football reigns supreme,  Live Oaks drips with Spanish Moss, and the festivities surrounding the annual Springtime Tallahassee Parade count among the social events of the year — in certain fair quarters at least. Thirty minutes from Georgia, Tallahassee is very much “of” the South. Growing up I found it genteel and idyllic, but modern it was not. I got on the first train out of there the moment I turned 18 — or, truth be told, two months later when college was set to begin.

Aside from my early years, the four years I spent at college, and the year when I decamped to Virginia to my father’s house, to write and recover from illness, I’ve lived inside the bubbles that are New York and L.A., sartorially distinct cities that have shaped my sense of what’s modern and what’s glamorous, as surely as the half life spent in the American South shaped my sense of what’s proper and prim.

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Hey! Say! Céline!

Celine Home Page

Celine Black Beige Collage

I’m always looking for pieces that give me the pulled together look I aspire to and also a sense of ease. Céline, under the leadership of Creative Director Phoebe Philo, formerly of Chloé (and a great pal and Central Saint Martins classmate of the great Stella McCartney, who preceded her to the Chloé throne), fits the bill, even if it is a bit rich for my blood. Philo has brought Céline, a storied but long-slumbering Parisian brand, back to life, with a simple, edgy-meets classic silhouette that the cool girls (ahem, cool women) want to wear. The pieces above are a case in point. I’d wear those slouchy black trousers on the left with a white cotton tank for a relaxed but polished weekend look. I’d wear the cropped black leather with just about anything — a white crewneck dress with a fitted waist and an A-line skirt; a black sheath dress; a tissue-weight, body skimming t-shirt and a pair of flare-leg jeans; I could go on and on.

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Balenciaga, Antony
& My New Creed:
Meaning Is The New Normal

Balenciaga Future FeminismI’m a big fan of The House of Givenchy and I’m also a died in the wool feminist, so imagine my delight when a little over two weeks ago the world of high fashion collided with a very modern feminism at the Givenchy Paris Runway show. Instead of laying the usual casting information or breakdown of the looks on the seats, the mad scientists of Givenchy — Creative Director Riccardo Tisci and team — laid a single sturdy piece of card stock scribbled with a Future Feminism “manifesto” written by the transgender singer Antony, of Antony and The Johnsons, who also performed at the show.

I alighted upon feminism in college, where I spent hours over bagels on Sunday mornings at my friend Stacey’s off-campus house founding our campus’ now 20-year old Women’s Center. From the start, we were interested in gender and race and class and sexuality. Even back then, when I was a young woman with barely a toe in the world, I understood that feminism wasn’t just about women; it was about the world we inherited, and the world we would leave behind. When I read Monica Sjoo’s book The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering The Religion Of The World I began to get some meat  around those ideas. Antony’s Future Feminism manifesto is Sjoo light. It’s her complex and heavily researched ideas boiled down for the busy masses. As much as I love a great philosophical treatise, what I love even more is seeing grand ideas trot down from the ivory tower (or burst out of this or that ghetto as the case may be), and infuse themselves into the actual world where the lot of us live.

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