Its that time of the year again- the time when boxes upon boxes of DVD’s show up at my edit bay door. Sent from a plethora of networks, these DVDs contain TV show episodes and movies that need Emmy nominations from Academy members. I always wonder if most members watch through everything?! I try and watch the ones in the categories for which I’ll vote. It would take a year to get through all the DVDs….maybe more! I don’t necessarily look forward to all the boxes, but I DO look forward to being part of such an exhilarating time in the television season.
I’m so delighted to have launched this pre-Emmy’s season with a bang. Last night I attended my first For Your Consideration (FYC) Academy event at El Portal theater in North Hollywood, exploring one of my favorite shows; Jane The Virgin. (I even blogged about this show here ).
All Academy members are invited to FYC events. Its another opportunity for networks to explain why they feel their show(s) deserve an Emmy nomination. Usually these events start with either a screening of an important episode, or a sizzle reel displaying samples of exemplary work. The screeners are followed by a panel consisting of actors, writers, producers, sometimes editors- moderated by a guest. The moderators ask the creatives/producers questions regarding the creation of the show, the working environment, personal revelations….the list goes on. At the end, questions are opened to the audience (academy members). The panel is followed by a cocktail and appetizer reception where the members and show runners/creatives/producers can mingle. I believe that some members try and attend all of the FYC events during the pre-Emmy season. I tend to only visit the ones covering shows I adore, or shows MSM likes (if I’m allowed to bring a guest).
I was beyond excited when I received my FYC invite to Jane. The crew handled their event a little differently. Rather than a screener, the members all received a script from the show and we watched a table read of Season 2 Ep 1. I was SO relieved that’s as far as they went into season 2 because I only watch shows on Netflix, so I’m a season behind. This way there were no spoilers!
After the table read they had their regular panel, moderated by surprise guest Mario Lopez! Yay! A Saved By The Bell throwback! I’ll take it!
I was impressed with how well the crew got a long and how modest they all were. I can definitely relate to the wonderful and refreshing joy it is to be with a kind and talented crew that is grateful and excited to be part of the team of that particular project. I had fun meeting some of the actors. I wish I could have met them all, but I had to pick my top few because they were getting bombarded and I knew there wasn’t enough time to talk with everyone. I loved meeting Jamie Camil (Rogelio). During the panel presentation I noticed that this man is smart, sassy, and down right hilarious. I also think his acting on the show is superb. While waiting in line I also met a few actors that played reoccurring incidental parts. All very lovely people.
I had to prioritize, so I missed out on meeting “Raphael”, “Petra” and others. I was very exctied to meet head writer and producer Jennie Urnan. I had learned, while waiting in line for the event, that Ms. Urnan has been a writer on pretty much every show I enjoy (Ugly Betty and Gossip Girl, to name a few). I wanted to let her know that I would be excited to cut a show she wrote. I realize writers probably have no say in the hiring of post production editors, but her writing is so smart and funny and so many of her shows, mostly dramadies, have covered subject matter that I dream of cutting. I have learned over the years that the things we do that we feel passionately about 9 times out of ten end up fairly amazing. And the process of creation is even that much more fun. So universe…..I hope one day I can cut a show on CW that Jennie is writing.
Next I met Ivonne Coll. Honestly, she’s the initial reason I gave Jane The Virgin a shot. Ms. Coll also plays the Grandmother in Switched At Birth (I just adore this show. It gets my vote for Drama every year). I was curious to see what other show she picked to collaborate.
I do believe Jane The Virgin should get an Emmy nomination, at least definitely for the writing. The show is smart, funny, and a fresh creative twist on dramedy. If you haven’t checked it out yet, definitely do!
WHAT THE HECK TO WEAR TO A FYC EVENT:
I was freaking out a little about this one because I knew these events tend to be fairly casual (unless its for Mad Men) but I still wanted to appear chic and successful. Here’s my Danielle approved selection:
I feel like I don’t look so great in all the photos, but the lighting in there…..lets just blame that! What a great night. I’m curious to see if Jane gets a nomination and if so, who will the show be up against? There are a lot of good ones out there. There are also a lot of HORRIBLE ones. We shall see…..
Well, I can’t believe it but I actually managed to pull it off. I stayed up for 24 hours. Not only did I plow through it, I genuinely enjoyed myself. I’ve heard that Vegas hotels pump oxygen into the air, which I am sure aided me in my all night excursion. Too bad most of the positive benefits of all that extra O2 is negated by the amount of cigarette smoke swirling in the atmosphere! I always view Vegas as a great check back to whats really going on in the rest of our country, since LA seems to be a microcosm of attractive actors and rich people who pay a lot of money to look 20 years younger. There are “normal people” here as well- obviously- like me and my friends. But the ratio weighs heavier on the handsome folk. Alternatively, Vegas attracts many different types. Albeit some are gorgeous, but the ratio seems more of an actual representation of the “real world”, and I am just amazed at how many people smoke! Ew. Just gross.
Last weekend we were in Vegas to join 17 of MSM’s closest friends in celebration of Darren’s birthday (Darren as in Ugly Sweater Party. See Ugly Sweater Party ).
was a Nobu catered feast, followed by dancing like rockstars into the vampire hours at the Omnia nightclub in Ceasar’s Palace. Sadly, no sighting of Stefan, Damon, or Edward. But there WAS sighting of Calvin Harris. Right in front of us, in fact, because we were honored with VIP “seating” in the DJ section! Not gonna lie, the view from the top was amazing.
Omnia was nothing short of spectacular. Inside feels like The Fifth Element meets Cirq Du Soliel – except the patrons are actually in it rather than viewing it. Theater of the round is the theme, with the DJ smack in the middle. Gymnasts hang from ropes and dancers stand on columns, inspiring moves for the crowd. Multiple levels and areas allow for plenty of patrons to enjoy themselves. Despite ample space, the place gets PACKED. I didn’t even dare leaving our coveted booth to go to the restroom. The DJ area was comfortable with plenty of space to dance :). If you’ve saved up enough for a bottle service area- I would highly recommend it. The drinks were delicious and they kept them coming- with plenty of water to restore and hydrate. Some shots of the inside:
Love this shot taken by MSM. This club was just so cool.
Dancing the night away in the DJ booth at Omnia night club, Ceaser’s Palace.
was more mellow. Pool and Pizza in Darren’s suite followed by some table play in the casinos. I had never been to a penthouse suite in Vegas before and this did look just like in the movies! Yep, the pool table was in the room and the view was divine from every window. It was FREEZING last weekend, and raining- both rare for the area, which is why we all decided to stay in. After dinner we went down to the MGM casino to play some craps. I made it through one round of the Wheel of Fortune slot machine and was ready for bed by midnight. I guess one night of Vampire is all I can handle. So far….Once bitten I am sure it will get easier ;).
What the heck to wear in Vegas in April:
Okay boys and girls. Enough with the sweat pants and velour jogging suits. We are not 70 years old and Juicy Couture is out of business. I’m not saying we need to dress up like in Pan-Am (the show), but I want to 86 the sweats. Unless they are tailored somehow. On the opposite end, WHY do some women insist on wearing high heels to the airport?! Honey’s, your feet SWELL on planes. Don’t do anymore damage than you need to. Designer sneakers are in now. Take advantage. Also they are easy to slip off and on before and after the security check. AND they are easier to run in – in case you have a connecting flight you have to catch 30 seconds after your delayed premier flight lands. Just saying.
Vegas Night Club
So even if the dress code says “business casual”, in Vegas that is a lie. Cocktail attire. And nothing fit-n-flair unless it has some “vegas umph” to it- meaning sex appeal. Cut outs, spaghetti straps…something. We saw this girl in a gorgeous fit in flair dress with a scoop collar and short sleeves. The top was sequined and the bottom was white and flirty. Very pretty! But more appropriate for her nephew’s bar-mitzvah than a club in Vegas. I have noticed that we can get away with things in Vegas that would feel inappropriate anywhere else (other than the Playboy Mansion, may it RIP). If you wear something that is considered sexy in LA, in Vegas you will feel over dressed. And by over-dressed, I mean too much coverage.
Casual Night in Vegas/Freemont Street ware
We had planned to go to Freemont Street, the “original” strip. I was super excited because I have never been there. Unfortunately it was just too damn cold! But this is what I had planned to wear, and as far as I know- is totally appropriate.
A beauty product addendum
Partying like a rock star takes tolls, one of them being huge under eye baggage. I discovered (in a gift with purchase of all places!) the most AH-MAZING dark circle concealer! Maestro Eraser by Armani. I used #5, which at first I assumed would be too dark but it wasn’t. Its magic ya’ll. Magic! See for yourself.
Party on dudes! Sometimes staying young means fake it til you make it. I was nervous about pulling an energetic all night-er, but prepped my mind to just go with the flow and not only did I have a blast, I realized A. I’m not as old as I thought I was. Age really is mind over matter. B. Its healthy to let loose every so often- no matter what age. C. That armani concealer!!
PS Its taken me all week to recuperate. But I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it again ;).
Today, in celebration of the final mix of season 7, our friends over at Mutato Muzika spoiled us with a rooftop lunch including Pizza and Champaign. I have a hard time turning down pizza. Its definitely one of my “red flag” foods. Its so high in sodium and fat but its so seriously delicious that if its around, I can’t seem to help myself to a slice or three. Today was no different, so I chalked it up to a Titanic moment (refer to my old post here ) and indulged. In lieu of Champagne, I decided to visit my inner child and do a taste test between Vanilla Root-beer and Regular Root-beer. Maybe its my deaf nose (since smell holds a lot of clout regarding defining taste), but there were no differences between the two. Why is root-beer just SO good with Pizza? Its acutely rare for me to drink soda but today, for some reason, I did. Perhaps the combo reminds me of the Laurel School Summer Camp Days when Charlotte and I would have that fabulous lunch of pepperoni and turkey sandwiches with Doritos and Dad’s Root Beer.
I’m not sure why the universe is denying me a salad, but it is. I’ve been trying to have a salad for a week now. I was sorely mistaken thinking there would be a salad served with the pizza. A nice chilled crunchy lettuce mixed with shaved carrots, maybe some pea pods, purple cabbage topped with a small portion of some fantastic home made vinaigrette just sounds SO refreshing and delicious. I’ve been wanting to sink my teeth into this since last Friday. Friday night MSM and I went for a walk about to find a place for dinner. Every restaurant we pass has NO salad on the menu. I mean there’s salad but they’re all totally complicated- like fried pork belly or candied eggs – like nasty gourmet bullshit when all I want is a salad. Plain and simple. We end up going to some wine bar where I had 3 glasses of wine for dinner and apparently took photos with my phone that I have no recollection of taking. The weekend passes- no salad. MSM, bless his heart, did the grocery shopping for us yesterday. I get home SO excited for that fresh bag of salad. FINALLY. I open the fridge- spinach. NO SALAD. Whyyyyy? He forgot. I forgive him. Today I get into work and am reminded of the pizza party. I’m super excited because Pizza at work ALWAYS comes with salad. FINALLY. I’m gonna have my salad. I even text MSM telling him how excited I am. Yes, I’m jubilent over this salad. I run up to the rooftop deck- two GIGANTIC boxes with pizza and there it is….just above them to the left on the bar, that beautiful aluminum rectangle with salad. I can’t even stand how excited I am. But I notice the tin looks smaller than usual and wait….. there’s no big cups with dressings and spoons. Not that I wanted dressing, I actually didn’t. I just want salad. So I go over to look and sure enough, right there in my oblong aluminum bowl of “salad” is a HUGE MASS OF CHICKEN WINGS.
Tonight I will walk to the local Chop Shop and get a salad.
What The Heck To Wear To An Afternoon Rooftop Party:
Lately I’ve been really hooked on the way Gigi dresses. (Hadid– in case someone is reading this from far far away or in twenty years from now). Even her casual pieces are so well put together. So today I was inspired by Gigi in Adidas. I love these shoes! They are just so much more chic than a pair of Asics. And every woman needs to have a day to rest her feet. Thank goodness for fashion sneakers! I’m proud to admit that I bought the superstars before they became a big deal. Everyone had the Stan Smiths and I wanted something a little unique. I started a trend :).
I’m excited to share that today, Thursday, is my Friday. Tomorrow I have a paid day off. MSM and I are going on an adventure to shop in my storage unit. Sort through things, decide what to donate, what to keep in storage and what to take. Should be interesting. Then we will head down to Orange County for some needed RnR.
I may have retired my makeup artist hat, but the cosmetics lover in me has not gone to rest. One of my all time favorite looks is the 1940’s clean face with classic simple eyes (mascara, maybe thin liner, or perhaps even no eye makeup), a softly enhanced brow, and a red lip. The look is just so stunning and demure. I’ve decided I single handedly want to bring back this style of simple beauty. And what better time to discuss red lipsicks than right around Valentine’s Day? Perhaps you will be inspired…..
Valentine’s Day Red:
Oddly I always thought Valentine’s Day was actually connected to a massacre in Russia back as far as maybe the early 19th century. I could have SWORN my 10th grade European History teacher taught us something about that. And I assumed the popularity of “red” on that day was actually related to blood and murder and that the whole holiday was a scam devised by the American government as a way to rev up some rigamarole in the economy. I just looked it up and, according to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day IS related to a massacre but, according to US history, it was some shooting involving the infamous mobster Bugsy Malone c1929. If anyone finds anything about the former massacre, please by all means, tell me!
Digging deeper, my search revealed that the ACTUAL St. Valentine was a man who secretly helped young soldiers marry their loved ones. The head priest of the time was deterring marriages with fears that married soldiers didn’t fight as well because they would be afraid to die and leave their loves behind. In this notion, St. Valentine IS a romantic. An advocate of love and, apparently, monogamy. At least with this story the love on valentine’s day thing makes sense.
Why the history lesson? I was trying to figure out why the color red exemplifies love. I still believe its blood shed. Or perhaps its more connected to the blood that flows from your extremities to your heart and back?
All that aside, for whatever reason, nothing says Valentine’s day more than the color red (or pink, or orange, or some other hue/value/intensity of the color) and I thought it would be fun to share my five favorite red lipsticks.
What the heck to wear for Valentine’s Day?
Why red lips of course! And, per your partner’s request, possibly nothing more or nothing less!
Tom Ford 03 Cassablanca:
This is the most subtle of my reds. Not the greatest for Valentine’s day per se, but a nice shade for an every day look in fall/winter.
Tom Ford 11 Crimson Noir:
Loving this one that Danielle actually just introduced me to. A great classic red.
This is my go-to red. I’ve been using it for years. I love the color! Its just the right shade for most of my moods. It goes on so well and is dramatic without being overbearing. I also love that its a true long wear color without being drying.
Chanel Gloss 04 Spark:
LOVE! There’s nothing more to say. This is a fantastic color on its own or over any other lip color. It is a bit goopy though, as glosses tend to be.
Bessame c210 Cherry Red:
I discovered this lipstick at a costume store, of course. Its the closest I’ve ever come to finding a true 1940’s red. The lipstick itself is not very creamy. As a result its a very long-wear red (will last through a meal) but its somewhat difficult to put on, and is also pretty drying. But I love the look of it, as in person it skews a bit vampy. Definitely a great choice for drama.
Speaking of drama….lets discuss the cupid’s bow.
Enhancing the Cupid’s Bow:
The Cupid’s bow is the V shaped area in the center of the upper lip directly beneath the nose. I just love that its called “cupid’s bow” and thought it would be fun to write about it for Valentine’s day.
This look was popular in the 20’s (shaping the lips like a heart) and then again in the 50’s (with more elongated outer edges). Over-drawing via use of the cupid’s bow is a great way to embellish a pouty lip or improve upon the fullness of a thinner lip.
Here’s my real-time attempt:
In case you want to try this at home, here’s directions on a more 50’s look:
Interesting fact: In classical mythology, cupid is the god of desire and erotic love. He is often portrayed as the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars (god of war).
Some people, actually MOST people, get all stuck on “what red looks good on me”. Honestly- they all do Huneys! Red is a bold statement. So if its an orange red, or a blue red, or even a black red….just pick the one you like for the mood your in and ROCK IT.
Apparently some newly shaped Barbies have been released today (or a few days ago by the time I post this). Was the OG Barbie really all that evil?
Okay, let me ponder this for a moment. On the one hand- that’s great. I mean all these people who are blaming poor Miss Barbie for the vast eating disorders of America- now they have a new barbie body to look up to. Also its nice to have choices- Barbies of all shapes and sizes, similar to the American Girl Dolls, is probably not a bad thing.
BUT, on the other hand….
A. Is Barbie actually responsible for eating disorders and body dysmorphia? Did/do girls REALLY aspire to look like Barbie? I mean after all, she is just a TOY. I don’t know anyone aspiring to look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or someone from Monster High. At the most, MAYBE she’s affecting fashion choices?
B. Were that many people actually offended by the OG Barbie, Skipper, Midge, and Christie?
C. When does Politically Correct go so far that it crosses a line and actually becomes a product of its own conviction? Whats wrong with the OG Barbie? Is it such a crime to be a slender blonde white woman?
D. What about Indian or Chinese Barbie? If we have all sizes, what about all races? Or what about trans or gender reassigned Barbie?
E. Why do the haters focus on Barbies slender hip to waist ratio? Its not her hip to waist thats that far off from healthy- its her HEIGHT to hip to waist. Not to mention, if you HAD her height: hip: waist you’d look DISGUSTING, you couldn’t walk, you couldn’t even lift your head! No matter how thin a person gets- they will NEVER be able to look exactly like Barbie because without photoshop, its not humanely possible. Again, she is a TOY (or an alien?), not a body image roll model. The point of the doll’s creation was not be a body that girls could aspire to develop. She was created as a roll model for freedom of career choices, with hopes of pushing young girls into thinking for themselves regarding their future.
When I was about 8 years old Santa left me my first Barbie. There she was peaking Kilroy style just above the white fluff of my Christmas stocking. She was a ballet barbie, surprise surprise. After Ballet Barbie, I received the makeover Barbie- a huge barbie head and decollate that I could paint with makeup, and a thick head of hair that I could style. After that- I got the bionic woman barbie.
HAHAHA. Okay I’m laughing because while disclosing the above information, I’ve realized Barbie maybe DID have a pretty huge impact on me. Bionic Woman Barbie aside, let us asses. I’ve been obsessed with Ballet since I was young – and although the initial interest was sparked from visiting a local ballet school and falling hard for the pointe shoes (its always the shoes, isn’t it?)- perhaps Barbie helped me maintain my interest. Also- the Barbie head? I mean I WAS a professional hair and makeup artist for almost 14 years. And before that I did wigs and makeup for Opera and Ballet. And lets not forget about my obsession with fashion. Mom never wanted to spend too much on barbie outfits despite my strong desire to do so- perhaps thats why i never learned the correct way to outfit things and why I’ve need my fairy godmother of fashion, Danielle, as of late? In her defense my mother DID get me other fashion related toys. And actually they were toys that were even better at pushing creativity than dressing a Barbie; I had these fashion plates where I could design and combine different wardrobes, and fashion paper dolls that included clothing from a plethora of Eras. In fact, I probably learned more about the art of fashion and fashion history through those than I would have from a Barbie, but I digress…..
Barbie’s History and Original Purpose:
Barbie was first created in 1959 by a woman named Ruth Handler. Ruth noticed that there was a need for a doll with which children could play and imagine their future. A future that was not necessarily pre-determined by 1950s stereotypical gender roles. With Barbie the child could pretend to be anything she wanted- a waitress, a stewardess, a doctor, even the president of a company or a country!
From the get-go there were complaints that Barbie was nothing but a “sex symbol”. In defense, Ms. Handler created two facially less mature looking dolls (though proportionately the same as Barbie). Thus begat Midge, Barbie’s best friend, and Skipper, Barbies little sister. In 1963 Christie was released as the first african american Barbie doll.
Unfortunately over time the doll continued to face exponential controversial growth regarding her unrealistic body image as well as complaints regarding her disposable income (designer clothes, dream house). Parents were concerned that she would instill body dysmorphia and materialism into the minds of their children.
A positive or negative toy?
I’ve spoken with some girl friends and have asked them about Barbie and her influence on both them and their daughters. Most of the women responded exactly the same as my BFF Charlotte:
Barbie had no impact on me regarding body issues. I loved to play with her and she fueled creativity. I think it was actually a very positive, creative outlet! I think it is great to have barbies of all shapes and colors.
I couldn’t agree more.
My bff also brilliantly stated:
I think the main problem with body image has to do with other women/girls (and I’m interjecting ‘and men’ here)….we need to be supportive of each other and it is so hurtful to get positive attention for losing weight! Focus needs to be 100% on body as a healthy tool…are you strong? Feeling good? That is all that should matter!!!!
What the heck to wear if you want to dress like Barbie?
I thought it would be fun to see how much Barbie could be translated into the real world regardless of her shape/size. Is she actually a good fashion roll model? Can we look past her unrealistic proportions and see her as intended, a woman with creative freedom to become whomever she desires? I calculated that in order to have her proportions, at my current bust and hip size I would have to have a 22″ waist and 8 more inches on my height (hahaha, yeah right). The following are some fun outfits inspired by the doll. I believe they DO work despite my healthy waist to hip to height ratio.
I love Barbie’s idea here of juxtaposing upscale with casual, making this “fancy” skirt more “every day” and therefore more useful in the wardrobe. What a great way to make the cost per wear of a fancy high end piece more economical. And, in my opinion, it looks adorable! Skirt:Red Valentino Jacket:Current Elliott White T: James Perse Clutch: Valentino Shoes:Christian Louboutin.
I’m always a sucker for an outfit based on neutrals. Though mine isn’t identical to Barbies, I liked how her boots were just slightly off color from the rest of the palette. Sweater: Vince Skirt:Mango Boots: Valentino Handbag: Chanel Necklace: Tiffany’s (from MSM :))
I absolutely adore this outfit! Honestly, as obvious as it seems I would have NEVER thought of pairing this stuff together until I was inspired by Barbie. I guess there probably IS some stylist who helps outfit Barbie. Or maybe a team of stylists. Hmmmm….I wonder… Top: Joie Jeans: Current Elliott Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Another adorable pairing inspired by Barbie. I love how the colors balance each other. The shoes and top are so bright I would have never put this together in fear of being overwhelming. But it looks cute, right? I don’t own a yellow bag, so I tried to pick a clutch with yellow tones in it, and a bit of ‘fun’- which I feel the yellow bag brings to Barbie’s outfit. Top: Drew USA Jeans:Paige Shoes:Valentino Clutch:Clair V Karlito (purse charm): Fendi suggested by MSM (“I think you need Karlito with this one” ! He’s so smart!!)
After this little investigation, when in doubt regarding an outfit, I may start asking myself “what would Barbie wear?” I bet Danielle would be relieved to have a night off 🙂
I think that the OG Barbie, disproportionate, “materialistic” and all, can be an incredibly positive influence on a child and an adult for that matter. She is optimistic, a go-getter, and has a great sense of style. By the way, that style can be whatever the doll’s owner wants it to be but no matter what, its always fabulous! What a great way to boost confidence.
As a child I loved Barbie. I was a kid, and she was a doll. I never once wanted to emulate her proportions, just like I also didn’t want to look like Baby Alive or a Cabbage Patch Kid. For the record, I didn’t have or want her dream house. I did have the convertible, which I grew tired of rather quickly. Seems like a good lesson to me; don’t spend too much on an overpriced cheaply made plastic fancy automobile because you’ll probably get sick of it anyways. I admit I was envious of her hair. Why don’t people complain about how unrealistic it is to have such gorgeous hair without extensions?! Oh yeah….because she’s a DOLL. Her (fake) hair technically IS just extensions, just like her (fake) body is from a plastic mold.
Its nice to have choices, so the new Barbies are great and a good way for Mattel to re-spark interest in the toy. But in my opinion socially the new body types weren’t necessary because honestly, they are all fake.
Have you ever felt like you have so much to do that you know you wont finish it, so you don’t want to do it at all? Well, that’s where I am right now. So in an attempt to set myself up to focus I poured myself a huge cup of coffee and then drank the huge cup of coffee. As I sit here shaking from too much caffeine, I’m using my nervous energy to create a list of my current spring obsessions.
Christian Louboutin Nail Polish: I have NO idea why this polish is set at the steep price of 50$ BUT the company did an amazing job at package design because for some reason I want a bottle. Look how cool it looks! Never mind the color inside, and that nail polish eventually goes bad. Having this piece of artwork on my dresser would just make me so happy:
2. TheCeline Nano: How cute is this bag? I die. I have a thing for tri color anyways (see photos of my dogs) so this would fit into my family very nicely. Not sure if this is a fad or a phase, but I truly covet this bag.
3. Chanel Espadrilles: I have to admit I may break my resolution (already) regarding buying things this year because I LOVE these shoes. With a price point of under 400$ for the canvas ones, considering they are Chanel, its easy to rationalize the purchase. I mean they will last (Chanel shoes are made particularly well), AND I can wear them traipsing all around Italy when MSM and I go on our adventure later this summer 🙂
4. Sun dresses:Lets face it, spring is just around the corner and I’m already craving some new sun dresses. To stay true to my goal for the year, I WILL only buy a few in exchange for consigning a few. I have some cute Parker sunnies that I’m ready to put to rest.
5. New Ear Candy:I mean OBVI the ear cuff is a fad, and I’m sure I can find something snazzy at Bauble Bar for a better price but I’m slightly obsessed with these at Saks:
I wonder if Danielle would approve of any of these things. I do have a gift card arriving soon….
Remember that Michelle Pfeiffer movie from 1996? To Jillian on her 37th Birthday? Well, I never actually saw that movie, but I like the title so….
My birthday month has come to a close. Such an amazing month it was! Especially the last week, when my actual birthday fell. It began on Monday night when the show I just wrapped had a premier party at The Parlor in West Hollywood (I’ll review that another time) followed by dinner at Summer Buffalo with some cast mates (another review for another time- but WOW that food was good!).
Initially we had planned on celebrating my actual birthday dinner (on my actual birthday) at Maude, Curtis Stone’s restaurant. At 300$/person (without drinks) for the “November Truffles” theme, we decided it would dip too much into our Italy fund, so, at my bosses recommendation, MSM decided to treat me with reservations at Spago, home of Wolfgang Puck.
Back in the day Mr. Puck revolutionized the Los Angeles food scene with Spago. He decided he wanted to create an affordable menu based on food that was indigenous to LA and fit the LA healthy lifestyle. So Spago was born and healthy contemporary LA eating was put on the map. High maintenance orderers finally had a place to nourish their souls! MSM and I had never eaten there before, so we were thrilled to try something new.
When you first go into Spago, you are in the bar. There’s a small lounge area with sofas and chairs and then the bar itself. Upon entering, the atmosphere feels rich but approachable. This area is nicely lit with dim over heads and candles. The hostesses are friendly but professional.
From what I could tell there were two main dining areas. The main room is a well lit indoor space with contemporary paintings decorating the walls. MSM mentioned in passing that he wished it was more dimly lit. I, however, was excited to be able to see the menu without using my phone flashlight (embarrassing age giver-awayer- I know, not a word but gets the point across). The other dining area is an outdoor garden which looked very romantic with trees and twinkle lights (my favorite!). I was a little jealous we weren’t out there, but whatever, where we sat seemed more tailored and luxurious.
Most of the patrons at Spago, I hate to say it, were probably around 70 years old. I’m sure this is true because the place has been around for 30+ years and was SO ridiculously famously popular back in the 20th century that those visitors are still meeting there thinking its cool. Why is that? Like how come some people get stuck on things? Same hair cut for 50 years or clothing. Lord don’t let that happen to me!
Hilarious story- As I walked towards the restroom one woman, she must have been about 75, grabbed my arm and said “honey! Could you get me a glass of water? My leg is cramping. I can’t make it to the bar.” I’m pretty sure she thought I worked there (due to the average minimum age). Of course I helped her! And I told her to remove her stunning Jimmy Choos’ because they were the cause of the cramp. OMG 5″ heels almost killed me at blankety blank, how the heck is she wearing those at 70?? (and please let me be able to do the same without the leg cramp!).
Even though we were most definitely some of the youngest ones there, there was a mix of ages ranging from 30-80 and it didn’t feel stuffy AT ALL. It was lively inside. Fun. Lots of laughter and joy. I can see why its still listed in the top 3 restaurants in LA.
What to eat
Answer: Everything. I can’t even tell you how AMAAAAZING the food was here.
We started our adventure with an aperitif shot of Wolfgang’s cream of mushroom soup. Hello! Can I have a carafe of that please??
Next we shared an appetizer of spicy ahi in a crispy cone; Mr. Pucks rendition of spicy tuna on crispy rice. OMG. There are no words. Seriously. One bite and we exchanged that look that only “that look” can describe. That “holy S*** this tastes amazing” look. It was like a symphony of flavor that all blended so well together yet stood tasty on its own as well; a symphonic poem of food.
After the heavenly tuna cones we shared an endive salad (delicious) and a Bolognese pasta that was TO DIE FOR. Both exploded with flavors; their own symphonic poems in our mouthes.
For the main course I was (sadly) underwhelmed. My favorite food in the world is Weiner shnitzel. No, NOT the hot dogs. The actual dish that originated in Austria. Now, the first time I had ever eaten Weiner Schnitzel was in Baden Baden, Germany, so I may be a bit overly critical when an american chef attempts to correctly make it. Back in Baden Baden I sat with my father under the enormous oak trees. I was 13 years old. Long wire-y haired dachshunds frolicked in the park across from us. As the kliener vogel (little birds) sang their songs and my dad and I laughed about our day, the waiter served us our Veiner Schnitzel. I remember my father exclaiming “wait til you try this, Jilly, its my favorite!” He taught me how to squeeze the lemon over the veal, and then stir the spatzel into the gravy. We each took a bite and I remember the moment it hit my lips and the flavor explosion that followed. So delicious. And we sat there, in silence, enjoying our food and Germany. So many unspoken moments with my father where I truly felt loved and accepted as me. I so miss him. Anyways, I digress…. They say food is experience, and I do believe that one reason I love this dish so much is because of that moment when I first tasted it. So back here at Spago, the chef had huge shoes to fill and I’m sad to say he failed. It was dry and not so great.
BUT….the desert resurrected my taste buds. Delicious combinations of citrus and chocolate…..HOLY COW it was yummy! And the four of us (my cousin and her hubby were with us) were serenaded by our waiters rendition of Happy Birthday. Of course our waiter was a dancer and an actor and a producer and a singer….the list goes on. We do live in LA, right?
What the heck do you wear to Spago?
So I was really nervous because I went here straight from work and had no time to do my hair. It was up in its usual work bun. It was to my relief when I walked into Spago and literally half the women there had their hair in a bun!
The dress is mixed. I mean I bet you probably could get away with wearing Jeans and gorgeous shoes with a swanky top. However, I would never. I think I would call the dress here upscale casual. I was excited to wear the new coat that I bought for my birthday. Danielle found this GORGEOUS gem ON SALE 🙂 YAY!
So began the my birthday week. Off to a great start! Next post- our trip to San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles wine tasting….
Bon Apetit! And thank you MSM for such a wonderful dinner! :*
I told Danielle I wanted to get a Chanel for my blankety-blank birthday in a few weeks, and she’s been really pushing me towards the Boy bag. I like the little ones that have some oomf to them- a gold trim, maybe hot pink velvet, or an interestingly textured fabric in the center. The plain Boys just do nothing for me. And the bigger they get, the less I like them – on me. I DO like them in photos and on Gigi Hadid. But for myself, I had my mind set on the 2.55- mainly because of the history behind the bag. Honestly, though- I don’t love the bag as much as I love its history. My good friend Noreen said “if you love the history, get a coffee table book about the bag, not the bag!” I mean that would save me 5500$, so may actually be a great idea.
Anyways, even thinking of buying a Chanel has proven to be quite stressful. I already own a “simple” Chanel- the zippered one with the cloth interior they sell at a significantly lower price point. My bag is a beige caviar leather jumbo and I do love it. The classic flap and the 2.5 and the boy bags start over 4k, which on my MPA (major purchase account, interest free for a year) would basically be more than my car payment. I drive a luxury sedan, so I’m not talking inexpensive here. As recommended by a good friend, I decided to visit Haute Seconds, a consignment store in Santa Monica. I was told they have a lot of pre-owned Chanel bags at good prices.
I walked into the store and indeed, right before me, there sat a plethora of used handbags. I’m using the word “used” as opposed to “pre-owned” because most of these bags looked USED. As in WORN OUT. Shapeless lumps of amorphous patinated oxidized leather. It was sad, actually. Nothing against the store at ALL. The women working there were beyond sweet and helpful in making my journey fun. The designer clothing that hung around all looked immaculate and worth a rebirth in the hands of a new owner. And not ALL the bags were bad. In fact, the Louis’ were amazing. The Louis’ looked practically brand new, as did the Gucci’s and the one Hermes (which was still 12k – so that bag better survive a zombie apocalypse). There were two “vintage” Chanel camera bags from 1995 that still looked amazing that I did like, though according to Danielle, the style is dated. Vintage but not classic, unfortunately. I’ve also seen a few Chanel evening bags/clutches from the 1980s that have stayed in great shape.
A little side note- apparently “vintage” is anything 20 years or older. Anything more current is not considered “vintage”, just old. haha.
So what is the point of all this? Don’t buy a brand new Chanel handbag. Not for 5600$ anyways. It appears that pre Millennium Chanel bags were well made, but after- not so much. The newer used bags just didn’t hold up to time. And in my opinion, and I hope I’m not offending anyone, why spend that much on a bag that wont last forever? I mean I was thinking this was a bag I’d leave to my niece one day- the heritage bag.
DO, on the other hand, feel comfortable searching for and purchasing a Chanel made pre 2k – the older the better. I can attest they will not only last longer but they will look better than the more current used ones.
Also- I learned that Louis Vuitton and Gucci still make quality bags. I love and have always loved my Louis Alma. She may not be the most hip or trendy bag, but she’s classic and special to me. So I guess she will be my heritage piece.
Its about Coco, not the bag:
With all this being said, I still have so much respect and admiration for Coco Chanel. She went against the grain and followed her heart. Post mortem, none of the decline in quality could possibly be her fault. The reason I wanted a Chanel bag was to remind me to be like Coco- stay strong, stay true to yourself, contribute to making the world a better place. As per my friend’s suggestion, I think I will get that coffee table book after all.
Season 7 of my show has wrapped, and season 8 does not start for a minute so I’m currently technically off work. This doesn’t happen often so in attempt to embrace every moment of my freedom of time (a hot and rare commodity) I proactively wrote a list of local things I would LOVE to do, but am always too busy to enjoy. For the first ten days of my break I signed up for a morning ballet intensive. I left the afternoons to peruse the list and either imbibe in an adventure or relax on the sofa/at the beach/at a cafe and dive into a book.
Its day#4 of the ballet intensive and it has been rigorous, challenging, and FANTASTIC. I’ve already noticed improvement and I still have six more days to go! That being said, the four hours of dance, resistance training, and cardio definitely takes a lot out of us dancers, so I’ve mostly been relaxing after “camp”. Oddly I was less tired today than the previous three days (my body is adapting?) so I decided to begin my Los Angeles Adventure. What better way to get one’s mind off an achy body than a visit to the Chanel Boutique? Especially if your a lover of fashion!
I’ve lived in Southern California for 15 years and Los Angeles for something like 5 and I’ve never been to Rodeo Drive, let alone Chanel (a blessing from above for my wallet, I’m sure). As I drove the convoluted Mulholland Drive to my destination, I turned up the tunes and rolled down the window to feel the wind in my hair. I began to truly celebrate my new found freedom from schedules and deadlines.
Relaxed and happy, I pulled into the Chanel driveway. There is valet and no charge! Happy day because a. I hate finding parking in LA and b. do I ever carry cash? (answer: no). Upon walking in the store I was pleasantly greeted but no pushiness. Also, surprisingly, no attitude. I say this because I have been to other high end boutiques inside department stores (I wont mention names), and the sales people have been not so friendly/a bit uppity. Not true of Chanel. It was welcoming, light, and perfectly decorated with their own bags. Every bag is gorgeous and, as we know, well made. How one can make a choice I have no idea. Honestly, I can see why if you can afford it, you’d own one of each style and then some fashion bags and clutches. Downstairs was bags, jewelry, and makeup. Upstairs; clothes and shoes.
I first spent time with a sales associate named Gabby. I explained to her that I have a big birthday coming up, and I would like to invest in a Chanel handbag. Gabby was such a dear; at my request she took the time to explain the differences between and the history of each bag category.
Fashion bags are released every season and are a variation of the classics. Today I saw this charming pink velvet one that reflected the light oh so beautifully….it was really hard to walk away…..
The Boy Bag, fairly recently designed by Karl Lagerfeld, is considered a more “edgy” piece for the modern woman. This bag is square in shape and has chunky hardware.
The Classic, designed by Karl Lagerfeld in the 1980’s, is an updated version of Coco Chanel’s original handbag. Its intertwined chain and leather strap and famous CC lock and closures are indicative to this piece.
The 2.55 is Coco’s original design. This piece, first released in February 1955 (hence the 2.55) is deeply quilted with history. The interior burgundy flap represents the catholic school uniforms that Coco wore in the orphanage. The strap is made from the same metal the chains on which the nuns at her orphanage carried their keys. Coco was an avid tipper and preferred to have cash handy, so she designed a pocket on the back for tip money. There’s also a special pocket to hold lipstick (love!) and a “secret” pocket where Coco hid her love letters.The 2.55 dons a simple square clasp with the name Chanel embossed at the bottom. During an era when small hand-held bags were in fashion, Chanel’s design was the first handbag ever produced that could also be carried on the shoulder. The creation of Coco’s original was monumental to her. Each piece of history rooted into the bag was her way of saying “I’ve made it, but I will never forget from where I’ve come”. I hope that when purchased, the modern woman carrying her new Chanel also remembers from where she’s come. That the bag represents to her, and solely her, that she’s “made it” to a point that she can afford one of these beauties!
After learning the history of the bags, and trying many on in order to narrow down my birthday bag selection (wasn’t purchased yet, but, like a few of us- and you know who you are :), I’ve been saving up), I visited the second floor.
The Second Floor:
Here, I kid you not, I felt I died and went to heaven. The Shoe section! A square room with sliding mirrors and the most beautiful babies you’ve ever seen. There was a pair of grey textured booties that were beyond! And a pair of velvet oxfords I actually liked, and the classic black tipped nude with a chunk heel which was all over the runway and I’m currently obsessing over! I’m simultaneously surprised and relieved that I left empty handed!
The other two thirds of the top floor was dedicated to clothing. All gorgeous, as expected. I fell for a jacket and this amazing grey sweater. Something to dream about :).
I adore what I know about Coco. She was brave, non-abdicating, wise, and ambitious, and she seemed to treat everyone with respect and equality (Why didn’t I include her in my life&style role models???!) When I finally buy my bag, I will not only use it as a reminder regarding where I’m from, but I’ll carry it with pride to keep Coco’s spirit alive.
What to Wear:
In case your wondering what the heck to wear on Rodeo Drive, the following ensamble is what I put together for my visit. I felt comfortable and I think Danielle would be proud.
The love of my boots helped me feel good about leaving the lovely Chanel beauties behind. Success!
Lets close our eyes for a moment and think; how many times have we gone to a party and everyone is wearing black? Don’t get me wrong. I love black. Black is the best! Its flattering at the least and slenderizing at the most. It goes with everything. It serves as a magnificent canvas to a brightly colored statement piece. The list goes on and on. But honestly, I tire sometimes of seeing a room filled with only black outfits. In offense, this past Saturday night I decidedly slipped into an eye catching LCD: Little Coral Dress.
One of my closest and dearest friends is very involved with Baby Buggy, Jessica Seinfeld’s non- profit organization dedicated to providing low income families with life essentials; equipment, products, clothing, and services for infants and children up to age 14. Saturday night was their 4th Annual Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament.
The event was held at a ridiculously elaborate, albeit beautiful, private estate in Beverly Hills. A FULL sized basketball court was hidden beneath the temporarily laid lawn where the party was centered. Apparently this happens in Los Angeles! Four restaurants set up food stations with samples of their finest selections. The selections were well chosen; tacos, pad thai, pizza, and dessert. I like that the food was down to earth, a nice complementary contrast to the environment. I believe the wine, specialty drinks, and food were also donated.
Prior to last Saturday I had never played poker. Nor had I ever worn a non-LBD to a party (I’m not counting any 7th grade bar/bat mitzvah attendances). It was a night of firsts, and full of merriment. The other party goers were all refreshingly gregarious and easy to talk with (mostly donned in black). This includes James Van Der Beek, who I mistook for someone I went to high school with.
Me: “I think I went to high school with that guy. Jean MaRiche” (named changed for story)
MSM: (*matter of fact) “Babe, that’s James Van Der Beek.”
Ha! Too funny.
At the end of the evening the grilled cheese truck showed up! It was a wonderful night full of fun surprises.
Click here if you are interested in reading more about or donating to Baby Buggy.