Coco.

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!

The Adventure:

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.

The luxurious Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive.  Photo from google images.
The luxurious Chanel Boutique on Rodeo Drive. Photo from google images.

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.

I die for this bag. Its even better in person. Photo from google images.
I seriously die for this bag, an example of a fashion boy bag. Its even better in person. Photo from google images.

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 Classic comes in various types of leather and sizes.
The Classic comes in various types of leather and sizes. Photo from Google images. 

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!

A fantastic photo of Coco with her original design, the 2.55. Photo from
A fantastic photo of Coco with her original design, the 2.55. Photo taken from Vintage District. This blog article is extremely interesting as it further discusses the history and differences between these bags- confirming much of what Gabby told me earlier today.

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 :).

Love.
Love. Photo taken from Chanel website.

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.

Top: T by Alexander Wang Skirt: Alexa Chung for AG Bag: Givenchy Booties: Prada
Top: T by Alexander Wang Skirt: Alexa Chung for AG Bag: Givenchy Booties: Prada

The love of my boots helped me feel good about leaving the lovely Chanel beauties behind. Success!

xo

QJ

QJ

It doesn’t always have to be the LBD

What would it be like if the world of going out wasn't so black and white? Photo from www.vintageallies.com
What would it be like if the world of going out wasn’t so black and white?  Photo from Vintage Allies website.

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.

LCD
In hope of channeling a bit of Audrey, I chose to pair my LCD with a thicker heeled pearl embellished pump.  I was worried the thin heel of my SW Nudists, Danielle’s recommended pairing, would have aerated the lawn! (see below- they do look nice together).
I do love the SW Nudists with the LCD as well! Just better on hard surfaces :)
These nudists go with everything but its important, when picking a shoe,  to think of what you’ll be standing on all night.  Photo: Aaron Rzepka

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.

This gorgeous house designed by architect Carina Birn-Willner held the Baby Buggy 4th Annual Poker Tournament.
This gorgeous house designed by architect Carina Birn-Willner was the backdrop to the Baby Buggy 4th Annual 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.

babyBuggy2

Here my bestie is explaining the rules of the game.
Learning the rules of the game from my bestie while wearing my LCD.

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.

LCD
I WANT YOU to wear an LCD. Dress: Red Valentino Shoes: Chanel Bag: Celine Jacket: Vince.

Click here if you are interested in reading more about or donating to Baby Buggy.

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Summer in Fall: What to wear when the calendar says “Autumn” but the weather says “Summer”

Nothing says Autumn like a spiced apple cider with a side of apple fritter.
Nothing says Autumn like a spiced apple cider with a side of apple fritter.

For some reason, as the autumn wind gracefully escorts the salty scent of summer into the horizon, two things have been on my mind. 1. If I could bring anyone back from the dead, this week it would be Michael Jackson (I mean his music is just really universally good. I’m curious what else he would compose). 2. How the heck do you dress for these first month of “fall” in LA?

Orange County/Lantern Bay Park in the Autumn. Its hard to find those beautiful fall colors in LA, but they are in the sunsets year-round.
Orange County/Lantern Bay Park in the Autumn. Its hard to find those beautiful fall colors in LA, but they are in the sunsets year-round.

The vibe of the whole city is definitely Autumn. The Santa Ana Winds bring with them that je nais se quoi that is Fall. School busses lace the early morning freeways and one can sense the days shortening. The smell of Halloween is just around the corner. There’s just one problem. Its 102 degrees in the Valley and 97 at the Beach. Every year this confuses me.

In the Northern hemisphere the hottest months are supposed to occur during the Summer- late June-August, cooling off with the Autumnal Equinox (late September). So WHY is it so hot NOW instead of then?? OR, if the hottest months are actually supposed to be Sept through November then WHY is fall fashion full of hot boots, cashmere sweaters, and layers?? Are we supposed to wear shorts, tanks, rompers, and sundresses well into November here? I mean believe me, I am NOT complaining. I absolutely adore summer and the clothing that comes with it. But when I smell cinnamon in the air and the nights descend upon us at 5pm, my biological clock is telling me a. to eat apple fritters, and b. to pull out my favorite sweater. When does fall fashion really start to get its moment in Los Angeles?? I’m totally confused. Its technically fall, but the weather is screaming for summer clothes.  Whats appropriate?

Danielle says that in these situations its best to wear the summer outfits with booties and maybe a thin sweater for nighttime, in case the air gets a bit chilly. Also trading in some  pastel items for jewel tones or autumn tones if you can pull off burnt orange and khaki (not everyone can). Light weight midi skirts can work wonders in the heat.

Here are some examples I found on Pinterest:

Even though this outfit is all white, paired with the grey booties brings a little fall into the mix. The sweater is so light weight, its probably fine in the heat and still helps in the overly air-conditioned office.
Even though an all white outfit usually screams “summer”, pairing it with these little grey booties  brings “fall” into the mix. The sweater is so light weight, its probably fine in the heat and still helps in the overly air-conditioned office.
Opposing the all white ensemble above, this all black ensemble is the perfect combo for Summer in Fall. Its a perfect example. Love.
Opposing the all white ensemble above, this all black ensemble is the perfect combo for “Summer in Fall” Short sleeved top and light weight midi skirt. Its an excellent example. Love.
Here Vanessa Hudgens dones and impeccable
Here Vanessa Hudgens dones an impeccable “Summer in Fall” outfit. The cool and breezy lace top paired with an autumn colored skirt and black booties- Tres Bien. 
Another great example of a lightweight midi skirt with a loosely fit short sleeved top.
Another great example of a lightweight midi skirt with a loosely fit short sleeved top. I love how her shoes are almost boots. Enough open space for air flow in this heat, but still look perfectly autumn. 
Maybe this outfit that I wore in France last year could work great as a potential
Maybe this outfit that I wore in France last year could work great as a potential “summer in fall” ensemble? Sans jacket its just a comfy crisp white T with a lightweight midi skirt and sandals. I’m starting to catch on.

If anyone out there is reading this, what are your thoughts on this subject?

xoxo

QJ

QJ

VMA’s SchmeMA’s, its Emmy’s season!

emmys

Emmy’s season is still so exciting for me. I love the whole process- the voting, the mixers, the awards show, the ball. Sadly I won’t be attending this year but the reason is a good one- I’ll be in Hawaii! Yay! I’m so proud to be part of such a talented team of artists, creatives, and executives. I’m also proud to be a member of the Television Academy and hope to be on the board one day! I think that would be so cool.

Emmy2
Necklace: Vendome Earrings: Micheal Kors
I was so excited to have an event to which I could wear my favorite dress. I just love how its simultaneously so feminine and (quietly) sexy.
I was so excited to have an event to which I could wear my favorite dress. I just love how its simultaneously so feminine and (quietly) sexy.

While Taylor Swift and Kayne West prepped for their VMA weekend, MSM and I excitedly and happily enjoyed this past Friday evening at the 2015 Emmy Nominee’s Mixer on the rooftop of the stunning Beverly Hills Montage (more about this amazing hotel another time).

MontageRooftop
The rooftop party was so lively the montage couldn’t get rid of us when it was time to shut down!
RedCarpet2
Here I am with Ms Emmy herself 🙂

As per usual, this party was so much fun! Every night last week each peer group had a mixer on this rooftop. Friday night was for animation and children’s television.  I loved running into and catching up with colleagues that I haven’t seen in a while, enjoying a drink with my current team (they feel like family in a good way), and meeting new friendly faces that work in our field.

I always love talking with the talented and fun Heather Crowe.
I always love talking with the talented and fun Heather Crowe.
Part of the Regular Show Crew holding their Emmy Nomination Certificates.
Some of  my fellow Regular Show Crew members holding their Emmy Nomination certificates.

Madeo:

To stick to tradition,  after the mixer MSM and I enjoyed a delicious meal at Madeo. Last year we were seated at a table right next to Mick Jagger, Jimmy Fallon, and a bunch of other people. Not sure why, but that was fun. I guess since MJ is like a huge rock god from back in the day. Is he still considered a rock god? I feel like yes, maybe he is?

Food:

This year we were not let down. No celebs (I guess the rock people were all resting for the VMAs), but honestly who cares about that? As per usual, the food was AMAZING. From the delicately oiled and herbed focaccia bread to the in-house baked deserts, all the food at Madeo is fabulous. Order anything on the menu- you won’t be disappointed.  This time we started with the Tricolore salad (fantastic). For our main course we shared the Veal Scallopini with a side of spaghetti Bolognese (party in the mouth good) all paired with a crisp Chardonnay. This is the kind of food that tastes so good it makes you  immediately sit back and say “mmmmm” just as the first bite hits your tongue.

Ambiance:

With the intimate but casual ambiance and the upscale but family feel of this place, we always love it at Madeo. If you ever have a chance, you have to go here. Here’s a link so you can make a reservation:  Madeo

What to wear to an Emmy’s Mixer:

If I could marry a clutch, it would be this Celine. I'm obsessed!
If I could marry a clutch, it would be this Celine. I’m obsessed! And it converts into a shoulder bag if desired. Love!

RedCarpet1

RedCarpet6
So many compliments on my shoes!! Thanks Danielle! xoxo

This is a funny story.  My fashion fairy godmother sent me a dress for this mixer via next day fed ex. And apparently “next day” actually means three days to Fed Ex because the dress didn’t arrive on time. At all. In fact, it arrived Saturday night. Make note of this in case you ever rush order something for a special event. On Thursday evening, and still no dress I had a split second of freaking out. Then I reached out to one of my BFFs.  Together we perused my wardrobe and decided my favorite dress – that I hardly ever get to wear- could work for this mixer! I excitedly texted it to Danielle. Me: “Can I wear this?” (pic attached) Danielle:”YES!” Me: “Whoot!”

Dress: Suno   Shoes: Stewart Weitzman   Clutch: Celine

Just an FYI – if you want to read a great blog article about the VMAs, check out Style Domination – Dominque is hilarious and her review is right on target.

Don’t forget to watch the Creative Arts Emmy’s on Sept 12th! Best of luck to all my fellow nominees! Lets win this one!!! Whoot!

xoxo

QJ

QJ

Azzedine Alaia: Lets make a statement!

When I received this letter I thought
When I received this letter I thought “this ought to be interesting”. Love Alaia!

 Azzedine Alaia – one of my favorite statement designers:

Lets face it, I’m a sucker for all things French, and their fashion is not exempt.  I adore how they have so gracefully mastered the art of marrying simplicity and quiet elegance. Never over dressed, but never underdressed either, French women just know how to put things together.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.22.34 PM

When Danielle introduced me to my first Alaia, my reaction was “seriously? that much for a pair of shoes?” BUT….I now know better.

“Oh no, you don’t understand, this is an Alaia”. “an a whata?” “An Alaia. Its like a totally important designer!” From Clueless- one of the best movies ever!!

Azzedine Alaia was Tunisian-born, but his brand is Parisian. He started as an assistant dress maker and went on to become one of the most iconic and important designers of the 20th (and now 21st century). Whether a shoe, a handbag, or a garment- his pieces are always classy. They can make an ordinary outfit go from basic to zing just by showing up. Yes, the price is high- but the quality, fit, and longevity are there. A pair of Alaia shoes, for example, will wear like-new for many seasons (and they are surprisingly comfortable!).  His handbags are always ageless and classy. Alaia pieces are sexy without being ostentatious. Don’t get me wrong, I love my YSL dress clutch, despite the the huge Y S L blatantly showing in front. But the Alaia? Its this gorgeous piece of art without saying “Hi, I’m a designer bag and I cost a fortune.” Its classic. Its elegant. Its demure. Its mysterious. LOVE!!!

Alaia heels can dress up a casual outfit just the right amount to make it pop. They are well made and comfortable too!
Alaia sandals can dress up a casual outfit just enough to make it pop. They are well made and comfortable too!
Aren't these Alaia clutches gorgeous? For purchasing info please contact @styledbydanielleklein on Instagram.
Aren’t these Alaia clutches gorgeous? For purchasing info please contact @styledbydanielleklein on Instagram.

Statement Pieces 101:

Just recently I learned there are three categories of clothing that are essential in making a complete wardrobe (I used to only own #3 and always had nothing to wear- which makes total sense to me now):

#1 Basics: tees, tanks, layering pieces

#2 Staples: jeans, blazers/jackets/cardigans

#3 Statement pieces– varies on individual choice. The piece thats thrown in the mix to make outfits pop and, well, make a statement. The “art” pieces of your wardrobe. I love my Alaia shoes as statement pieces.

When to start adding a statement piece:

Like in any sport or art, its imperative to learn the fundamentals before one can have fun. Once you master putting together a basic outfit (I’m still working on this), you can start throwing statement pieces into the mix. Have fun with it and chose what you want.  I think the point of the statement piece is to express who you are OR who you want to be at the time/that particular day.

Disclaimer– be careful- statement pieces can be the most fun and act as an expression of who you are or who you feel like being that particular day, but a wardrobe consisting solely and entirely of statement pieces will result in mayhem.  #learnedfromexperience. (*embarrassing blush)

Outfitting the statement piece:

I need to confirm with Danielle, but it seems some people choose to wear a lot of statement pieces at once (google Iris Apfel “more is more”), and other’s prefer a single piece at a time (ex. Jackie O). The other day MSM saw this woman at the gym carrying a 2k+ Louis Vuitton bag in which laid all her stinky used gym clothes. Seems extravagant to me. But a big point of fashion is to each his own, right? Its ok to make your own rules. These are just guidelines.

Looking rock and roll chic for the Opus Orange concert in my Alaia booties.
Looking rock and roll chic for the Opus Orange concert in my Alaia booties.

 

Spend on a statement piece? Its all relative and up to you!

Its not really about the money. Statement pieces can come in all shapes and sizes. In order to prevent buying something cheaply made and over priced, though (and those pieces are definitely out there!), its wise to learn how to distinguish good craftsmanship and quality fabrics.  For now, I’m protected by Danielle. But its smart to learn this on our own too.

IMG_3599
A statement tank. I love anything French. Styled by Danielle Klein.

Weekend Outfit: Tank: Wildfox  Jeans: Current Elliot  Handbag: Givency   Jacket:Vince   Sunnies: Celine   Lipstick: Armani

Au Revoir mon petit chou, bonne fin de semaine!

xoxo

QJ

QJ