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Alexander McQueen Neoprene dress

When you think of the synthetic rubber-like substance Neoprene – developed by chemical giant DuPont – you likely conjure up things like laptop sleeves, knee braces or electrical insulation. But not any more – the form fitting fiber is now the fabric of choice for some high-end designers including Clover Canyon, Ted Baker and Alexander McQueen. And here’s the deal, it’s much more forgiving than you might think. I know – when you grab hold of it while the dress is on the rack, you are thinking, “No way – I’m not wearing a wetsuit to a cocktail party.” But the truth is the thickness of the fabric smooths and conceals a multitude of body sins – it’s almost like pulling on a full body “Spanx” but much more comfortable.

Ted Baker London ‘Jungle Orchid’ print

Clover Canyon – a Los Angeles based company – first burst onto the scene in 2011 with its bold Neoprene shift dresses that look like paintings. The line first started showing up in niche boutiques around New England more than a year ago but now it’s mainstream and can be found almost anywhere including Saks, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. In fact the problem with Clover Canyon is that its designs are too recognizable and the dresses have become common to the point where you might find yourself at that destination wedding next to a gal from Dallas wearing the same piece.

Now though, other designers are taking a crack at the synthetic rubber scene with more subtle designs. I wasn’t crazy about the Ted Baker pieces, but Alexander McQueen knocked it out of the park. Look at it this way, if you don’t like it, cut it up into round circles and give it to aspiring musicians, I understand Neoprene makes a great drum practice pad.

Porter Square Book Store

Porter Square Book Store

What to read, what to read… If you’re like me, then you always stop at a bookstore and see what the staff has recommended before poking around the store. And the recent snowstorm was a windy reminder that an essential storm supply is a stack of good books. (No problem with power outages.) Today, we’re starting a weekly feature looking at the staff recommendations from some of our favorite bookstores. This week we visit Porter Square Books in Cambridge.

STAFF PICKS THAT CAUGHT OUR EYE:

“The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish” (Hardcover) by Linda Przybyszewski that Sarah says is a fascinating look at women and economics.

“The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water” (Hardcover) by first-time author and illustrator Gemma Merino is a book that Robin says:  “This book is fun right from the start, and ends with a delightful surprise!”

“Everything I Never Told You” (Hardcover) by Celeste Ng, a novel that Dina describes as “A heartbreaking, affecting family drama that deserves all the praise it’s gotten.”

“The Bee: A Natural History” (Hardcover) by Noah Wilson-Rich, Kelly Allin, and Norman Carreck. Megan says of this non-fiction treasure: “The perfect gift for the inquisitive person on your list – explores the relationship between humans and bees, and describes the evolution and behavior of bees.”

And, “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” by Kelly Williams Brown. This gem is now available in paperback, is a great book to take as travel reading and is supported by the author’s blog, which doles out advice (some of a NSFW nature!) and update.

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Trending: Colorful socks, bright shoe laces, flamboyant handkerchiefs, ostentatious pants, colour (British), color (American), color…

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Question: Does a man have to look like a peacock all the time in order to be labeled MWS (Men With Style)?

“I wish my husband would wear more color.” “My boyfriend is always in dark colors and I hate it.” “I bought these colorful pants for my fiancé, but he never wore them.” Sound familiar?

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Color is a major component of my personal brand. I embrace it. I love it. I have mastered the use of it. Whether I’m styling an editorial shoot, Boston’s most influential men, or myself, color is the weapon with which I kill them softly.

pop of color

I often encourage guys to work splashes of color into their daily styles. It can add many features and benefits to the look if it is used properly. In fact, when I was a financial consultant I wore the usual blue and grey corporate uniform. However, I would change up my corporate looking ties for more engaging options for networking events. I had special business-appropriate neck wear that would help stand out as an individual in a room filled with grey, blue, and black suits.

JL:mens fashion image #4

So in celebration of color, I would like to give a shout out to my comrades who fight against wardrobe fatigue. They have places to be, people to see, and deals to close. They don’t spend valuable time deciding what to wear and what not to wear. Almost every article in their wardrobe handsomely complements each other.

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Don’t you wish you could travel with a butler and a valet like they do in “Downton Abbey”? Nothing can be more exhausting then packing for a business trip. From my experience most deals get closed on paper napkins after hours when everyone is relaxed, rather than a tense boardroom with slideshows. Therefore, the evening wardrobe should be as “on fleek” as the daytime look.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBut despite a thriving economy, you are still a few million dollars short of affording that traveling butler. You cannot pack your entire rainbow closet on the plane, and you don’t have the time to worry about which shoes you should wear with what. My dad and my grandfathers taught me the basics; match belts with my shoes and socks with pants. Because of this they never suffered from decision fatigue. As I’m rocking my green rubber boots while writing this post, I invite you to ignore the trending echo “COLOR, Color, color,” but to go back to basics and adopt a stylish minimalist attitude with tonal ensembles.

Check out the outfit grids below for some transitional day-to-night and weekend inspirations, where I shuffle only one or two articles of clothing, and show different accessory options.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Uniform – 511 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Johnston & Murphy – 292 Washington Street, Boston, MA

PFflyers

KARV

 

WHAT I AM WEARING

Hat  – Gooring Bros.

Jacket – Façonnable Quilted Knit Jacket

Sweater – vintage British military sweater

Jeans  – G-Star biker pants

Boots – Tretorn rubber rain boots.

SONIC ARBORETUM

SonicArboretumNewsflash: your hobby is boring. Because with all due respect, it probably doesn’t compare to the long, arduous hours that sculptor Ian Schneller put into this project, an installation of over 30 colorful horn speakers he made from strange odds and ends like dryer lint and baking soda. What do they play? Why, composer Andrew Bird’s 50-minute whistle- and violin-driven composition “Echolocations,” originally recorded in a canyon to capture unique reverberations. Sorry, but your decoupage project pales in comparison.

WHERE: The Institute of Contemporary Art

WHEN: February 4 — May 10

 

RENÉE FLEMING

Renée_Fleming_-_Poèmes_2_cropped_-_credit_Andrew_Eccles,_Decca

Pianist Olga Kern joins the famed soprano for this Celebrity Series performance. Fleming’s powerhouse vocals will be front and center for a recital tour that includes operatic arias alongside favorite classics from the Great American Songbook. We’re crossing our fingers for a few selections from “Dark Hope,” the diva’s genre-defying album that offered sultry, jazz-inflected covers of songs as disparate as Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.”

WHERE: Symphony Hall

WHEN: February 8

 

GREEN PORNO, LIVE ON STAGE

GreenPorno - Credit-Mario del Curto

Mercifully, this has nothing to do with a new sustainability campaign from Kim Kardashian. (Exhale, everyone.) Rather, it’s a one-woman show from Isabella Rossellini, based on a series of short films that the actress-model created for the Sundance Channel. Armed with an arsenal of whimsical props and cheeky costumes, Rossellini offers a zoology class on the bizarre mating rituals of insects and marine life, sort of like “Sesame Street” for the kinky set. Sex-based provocation is nothing new to Rossellini, who made a curious cameo in Madonna’s infamous 1992 coffee table book, “Sex,” and this uproarious, oddity-filled evening sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day surprise for irreverent lovebirds.

greenporno - Credit-Mario del Curto

WHERE: Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre

WHEN: February 13 — 15

Madonna-Rebel-Heart-thatgrapejuiceAm I biased because I owned the Immaculate Collection at age 5? Probably. That really is beside the point though because Madonna is back in full force with her new album Rebel Heart. After what was being called the “madonnagate” (her whole upcoming album leaked online in demo version and she was NOT happy) – Madonna decided to release five official versions of the leaked tracks on iTunes to hold her fans over until the full set is released in March. One of those tracks is called “Devil Pray” an acoustic bass-heavy ode to self-medication. Or is it? At first listen you might think, okay girl sit down, it’s not cool to sing about drugs when you’re in your mid 50’s (I for one think it’s great, light up that J Madge). The interpretation of “Devil Pray” is up for debate, but I think the song speaks to people coming together as one, an unstoppable force for the devil to reckon with, rather than self-medicating with drugs alone – which doesn’t get you too far. Either way, the track is fun to sing, and the hypnotic bassline should have you bopping around happily. Listen below and see what YOU think Madge is talking about with “Devil Pray.”

Catch the queen live this year at the Grammy’s, the “Unapologetic Bitch” singer should have an interesting performance for us all to say the least.

 

London-GrammarYou’ve just watched one of your favorite TV shows and you hear this amazing song, but you don’t know who the artist is. So, naturally you go online and you search that exact episode and scene it was placed in. You find it and realize that you’ve never heard of this band, but love their music.

London Grammar, the British electro pop trio formed by Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic “Dot” Major, happens to be this particular band that I’m talking about. From Nottingham, UK, they bring a whole new meaning to the world electric. Their debut album ‘If You Wait” was released September 2013 and has been certified platinum in Australia and the UK.

Their hit single, ‘Hey Now’ off their album not only was recently in the J’adore Dior perfume commercial featuring Charlize Theron, but has been featured on top TV shows such as the “CW’s”, “The Vampire Diaries”, “The Tomorrow People”, “USA’s Suits”, ABC’s “Revenge” and MTV’s “Teen Wolf”.

 Signed to Columbia Records, they’ve performed the “Late Night Show”  with former host Jimmy Fallon and the BBC “Radio One”. And to top things off in 2014, Sony Xperia Z3 released a TV commercial named “The Journey” that featured London Grammar’s song ‘Nightcall’

You found the artist, now spread the word and check this band out in your neck of the woods.

 

Lorena AutoriLorena Autori, who has starred as a guest chef at Boston’s own Rialto Restaurant, offers private cooking classes in her home, which is located in an historic building in the very center of the drop-dead charming medieval hill town of San Gemini.

After we reached Lorena initially via email, she first let us choose our menu well ahead of time from a wide selection of tantalizing options.  We selected things that our daughter would eat and also dishes that we felt that we could later prepare at home.  Lorena was delightful to chat with while she performed wonders in her kitchen, during the very little “down time” we had…as she worked us quite hard!  And had a lot of fun.

Together we whipped up some amazing delicacies, including gnocchi made from scratch (JUST the right variety of potatoes, peeled after boiling, and pushed through a ricer), a special Umbrian version of pesto, polpette di pollo (chicken croquettes), vegetarian stuffed peppers, batter-fried zucchini blossoms stuffed with mozzarella, and an awesome lemon cream tart. (She even contributed on her own a special local dessert that she thought our daughter would like, since there wasn’t enough time for us to bake two desserts.)

The whole cucina italiana experience with Lorena, while intense and focused for almost four hours, was an absolute delight. And then we ate! Buon appetito!

 

CONTACT INFO:
Lorena Autori
Percorsi con Gusto
Via Casventino, 4
05029 San Gemini
Italy ‬
Tel. +39.3347769989‬‬‬‬
PRICES & AVAILIBILITY:
Umbria or Boston – PERCORSICON GUSTO

 

ONE-STOP SHOPPING:
Doubting your abilities to communicate in Italian? Crack tour guide Alessandro Manciucca in San Gemini can book this for you, and arrange for a visit to a family-run winery, in a small Umbrian town.
Allessandro can be reached at www.dreavel.com

Chynna PopeThe Marilyn Riseman Symphony Fashion Series at Brasserie Jo is a weekly fashion show that is near and dear to my heart. Marilyn was a close friend of mine and always-even in her 80’s- had her pulse on what was hot and what was not. The series of 20 shows per season started as a way to lunch and view budding local designer collections, which has brought attention to some very talented individuals. This week I am turning the spotlight on Chynna Pope.

Chynna Pope has come a long way from her fledgling beginnings at the School of Fashion Design and interning under the hand of master Roger Hinds. On Friday September 16, 2015, she featured a capsule collection, which showed 26 looks-some of the old mixed in with the new. Chynna was proud to say that because of her time spent with Roger, her very first prototypes seamlessly blended with her current work.

Backstage the atmosphere was calm and serene, not the usual frantic of some of the shows I’ve attended and hosted myself. Probably a reflection of the cool cat attitude of Chynna herself. She held her hand up to her right temple and showed me the shaved side of her head, where Pini took to her scalp with a razor just days ago. As she finished her touch up by makeup artist extraordinaire Cole McNair, she told me that she had actually consented to it, so had no regrets whatsoever.

Cole described the look as on trend-pastel tones.  He used the daytime as inspiration for his makeup choice- daytime demeure. In collaboration with Chynna they decided to use pastel tones- lips nude pink (quiver), in a matte soft wash tint, blush a peachy shimmer (lovelust), and complexion illumination on the cheekbones to create a healthy glow and hydration to the skin-despite the unfriendly polar temps outside.

The girls ran back and forth from makeup to hair. Chynna enlisted master stylist Sameena Khan from Floyd’s Barbershop on Mass Ave. Sameena wanted to keep it fresh and show off the clothes by keeping the hair off of the face. She stayed on trend and did a messy, sexy, off the face look using a flat iron, teasing, twisting and body building sprays. Sounds like a workout for hair! Nonetheless, the finished product was impeccable. The models, most of whom were ice skaters, looked nothing like the pulled tight, shellacked buns you see at the Olympics, but rather serene angels with that messy, sexy swept up hair.


Chynna seemed to float around effortlessly, checking deets as her assistant asked various questions. She walked me through the collection as the models (3 ice skaters and 1 SFD student) shimmied into their first looks. The collection went from menswear inspired tuxedo shirts and pants for women-think wearing your boyfriend’s tuxedo home the morning after-to billowy, motor cross inspired gowns and kimono tops. I love fabric manipulation,” said Chynna, showing me the topstitching seen throughout her pieces. Though it is reminiscent of Catherine Maladrino, Pope stated that some of her influences were Jean Paul Gautier and the late Alexander McQueen. But more important to Chynna was the inspiration she derived from life events. Her topstitching motif was actually inspired by a motor cross race she attended in Ireland–The Scariest 500 Road Race. The riders were all wearing this leather structured topstiching, and it instantly spoke to her and ended up being the lead motif for her entire collection.

A black stitched top from Chynna’s capsule collection.

PHOTOS BY SHANNON HAWKINS

Audi s7

Audi s7

Boston in January is generally not a hot destination, but this year’s New England International Auto Show has some of the world’s finest and most exciting cars on exhibit, and is well worth the price of admission. All of the major manufacturers including Audi, Bentley and Cadillac displayed their latest offerings.

The auto industry in general is coming off one of their strongest sales periods in recent memory, which not only increases budgets to develop new vehicles, but gives auto makers greater confidence to produce more exciting vehicles.

My first stop was to the Audi display and I was not disappointed. One of the fastest growing brands in the world, Audi produces some of the best cars anywhere. This year several RS models, Audi’s premium badge, were on display including an RS5 and RS7. These vehicles feature enhanced design, larger wheels, and premium interior trim with greatly enhanced horsepower.

Audi also displayed the new S3, a high performance four door sedan with great looks and all-wheel drive, and the All Road Wagon, a great blend of style, performance and functionality.

Next was the Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and Maserati booth. Wow, I could barely control myself when I saw a Lamborghini Aventador with its guillotine doors opened, displaying its jet fighter cockpit like interior.  This is the closest thing to a race car that you can legally drive on the street and are very rare.

Parked alongside was a fleet of Bentleys, including Coupes and Convertibles. It was like Palm Beach comes to Boston. Also, making its Boston debut was a Rolls Royce Phantom Limousine, an extremely rare, $600k plus motorcar.

I then strolled over to Cadillac, General Motors Flagship Brand. On display were a pair of Escalades, new for 2015. These vehicles are based on the great success of the previous model but enhanced in all areas. They feature a more elegant design and greatly updated interiors with fine leather seating and real wood trim. I ride in these on a regular basis and can report that they are the finest, large SUV on the market.

Cadillac also displayed the newly updated CTS and ATS sedans. These cars share a similar design language and engine options. They can be equipped from mild to wild with both offering V Series engines derived from the Chevrolet Corvette.

I continued my walk and saw the latest from Mercedes (S Class Coupe), Porsche (Macan SUV), BMW (I3/I8), Mini Cooper, Chevrolet (Corvette ZO6) and Ford (Mustang GT).  Also on display were new technologies from Toyota (Mirai – Hydrogen Power) and a range of diesel powered cars.

Lastly, the new Dodge Charger Hellcat with its 707 horsepower, supercharged V-8 was there in its full glory. Long live the muscle car!

The New England International Auto Show is at the Boston Convention Center in South Boston from January 15 to 19, 2015. It is by far the best way to see over 600 new cars to compare features in a low key, fun atmosphere. I mark it on my calendar every year as it is one of the hottest tickets in cold Boston in January.

Photography: Shannon Hawkins

shannonhawkins.com/blog

Skier, rider, or granola chomping telemaker, we all notice what each other is wearing out on the slopes and when queuing for the chairlift. Being on top of a mountain is fun, challenging, and invigorating. The technical performance of our gear is paramount to enjoying the experience, but after that is addressed, where is the personal style?  We get to wear whatever we want out there people, there is no dress code! Bring on the fun, the whimsy, the sexy, the chic, the grunge, the lumberjack…whatever your unique style is, bring it to the hill and rock it.

If you’ve never been to “ the Rivah” its always worth the trip with eight interconnected mountains to explore. In a sea of snow enthusiasts wearing predictable normcore snow apparel, these slope style stars stood out last week at Sunday River.

BRUINS STEEZE PLAY

Bruins gearTeam spirit is great, especially on game day.  Too often on the slope it can look like the fan scooped everything up off their floor after a frat party, before hitting the hill. Kind of boyishly charming if the fan is young enough, not cute at all once their college days are over. I have never seen the wearing of a team jersey executed quite so well as Peter Taylor’s boarding Bruins fan look.  This handsome hockey player from East Greenwich, RI nailed it by keeping it all Bruins gold, black, and white. With everything fresh and the fit just right, I wasn’t the only fan of Peter’s game day style. Gentlemen, pay attention, as this is how its done.

 VINTAGE VIRTUOSOS

vintageVintage ski fashion is my personal kryptonite, especially when it is unexpected. Its cheeky fun to see what creative folks put together when they get their retro on at the resort. That is why when I saw siblings Sarah and Ned Asherman, I almost did a cartwheel before I made a beeline to talk to them. They were absolutely the coolest kids at the River, rocking bamboo panda poles, viper sunglasses, and Ned’s amazing faux fur coat, which even matched Sarah’s headband. Her wicked 80’s awesome printed suit was straight up Hot Tub Time Machine, and I just want to go back to her future.  They thought about it and they brought it. Whip smart and completely in on the giggle, Team Asherman was one of my favorite holiday surprises.

SPORTY SPICE

sportyIt’s a treat to see a chick who rips work some femininity into her look. With everyone wearing yoga pants everywhere off mountain with varying degrees of success, I hoped to see performance stretch pants out on the mountain done right. Thank you Heather Reader of North Boston for choosing these super flattering black and white patterned Obermeyer stretch pants. Heather’s pink Salomon jacket adds a nice pop of color against the white snow. Ladies, here is proof you can look like a girl when skiing the men into the ground. Go Heather!

LADIES WHO SHRED

ladiesFor 80 years Bogner has worn the tiara of being the most internationally popular of the high-end ski apparel lines. Lavish use of fur, leathers, suede, and embroidery has been Bogner’s hallmark, and while not everybody may be a fan, you have to give Bogner props on how well their pieces deliver performance and stand up to years of wear. Trevor Mullineaux’s stunning black Bogner jacket is a perfect example of its classic aesthetic and are just right paired with her Powder Horn pants. Not to be outdone, her sister Michon Schenck is the epitome of alpine sophistication in her wood panel and stainless steel Bogner helmet, and white pants worn with this fur trimmed femme fatale jacket in the perfect shade of fabulous by Toni Sailer.

 

Let it snow and see you next time on the vertical runway!

Artists at work at Estudio Nómada BarcelonaAn energetic young Dutch couple, Iris Tonies and Arnout Krediet, run an innovative art school called ESTUDIO NOMADA, located on one of the twisting stone streets in the heart of Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter.

The back wall of the school was built by the Romans; it doesn’t get much more historic than that!

The back wall of the school was built by the Romans; it doesn’t get much more historic than that!

The “nomad” studio offers workshops for individuals and families who want to spend a week or two exploring Barcelona and environs with creative local types who will show them local art destinations through the eyes of the artist.  Drawing and painting classes, as well as a museum visit or two, are included in the workshop in the city.  But that’s not all!  The school has just opened an artist residency program in a stunning historic macia in the nearby wine country of Penedés.  A day in this lovely setting, surrounded by vineyards (lunch and wine tasting included!), can be added to the workshop, which is hand-tailored for the visitor by Iris.  There are stops to sketch or paint the enchanting vineyards and olive groves, along with a visit to a fantastic family-run winery.  All of Spain’s cava, the champagne of Catalonia, comes from this photogenic region, an hour outside of Barcelona.

The price for this unique experience, all art materials and museum admissions included, is 50 euros per person per day in the city, and an additional 80 euros for the vineyard/art tour.

To see the lovely wine-country location, take a look at the website for Residency Mas Els Igols and be sure to check out the A.I.R. artist-in-residency.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Estudio Nómada
Estudio Nómada
Carrer de la Palma de Sant Just, 7
08002 Barcelona
Spain
Tel. +34.622.689.032

 

PHOTO CREDITS:
Arnout Krediet | Founder @ Estudio Nómada
Facebook
Official Estudio Nómada website

 

 

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Photo by Sinesia Karol

Traveling to Miami for a break from the polar vortex is certainly the thing to do this winter. While there I was also able to get a peek at swimsuit fashion for the 2015 season on location.

Barra Bottom
Daniela Corte
Thong bikinis and super high cut Brazilian bottoms allowed buns to get a larger tan this year than last

Straps all over the body reminiscent of bondage paired with bright colors.  Agent Provacateur bikini.
Fringe was popular for young women, giving a nod to the American Indian chic style.

karolBikini tops were veering away from the structured, under-wire look and leaned more toward triangular tops and halters.
solid white bikiniSolid colors seemed to dominate prints this year. For solids colors, bright colors prevailed as well as black, white, navy and brown.

shortsA very popular look was topless. Again, a nod to our European vacationers. I think she got the most even tan of us all.
amalWide brimmed hats, also by Melissa Odabash, worn by it girl Amal Clooney were also found a plenty on the beach.

CREDITS:
yellow & ruffle bikini | Daniela Corte
orange strapped bikini | Agent Provacateur
blue fringe bikini | Victoria’s Secret
halter and white bikini | Sinesia Karol
crochet shorts and oversized hat | Melissa Odabash

I look forward to the Golden Globes the way football fans anticipate the Super Bowl. It tends to be one of the award shows where people still take risks. However, this year’s gathering proved to be a rather non-risky one. Trends on the red carpet were: for men, velvet for jackets, sharp lines and a throwback to the ’50’s.

Kevin Spacey looked sharp as ever in his Hugo Boss tuxedo. According to his stylist Johanna Argan, who recently got nominated for the CDG Award for Contemporary Design for his show “House of Cards,” she put Spacey in the Hugo Boss shawl collar tuxedo “because they wanted to go for a classic rat pack feel.” It must have been his good luck charm, because after seven years of denial, Kevin went home with his first Golden Globe.

For women, we had some bright pops of white, Kate Hudson, my pick of the night, in Versace, Rosamund Pike in Vera Wang, Emily Blunt, and Sienna Miller to name a few. Kate really brought it home in a deep plunging neckline and crystal straps covering mesh cutouts in a very sexy (and sensual) white gown. There was no mistaking the Versace brand in Kate’s gown–reminiscent of the famous Elizabeth Hurley safety pin gown by Versace many years ago.

Not all starlets were as daring and successful as Hudson. Some played it safe such as Amy Adams with her blue one-shoulder dress and “ho hum” hair. She seemed to be attempting that Hollywood glamour with a unfussy touch, but her hair came off unpolished and not Golden Globe-worthy, it even had a frizzy fly-away look when the light hit it when she was accepting her award—the horror!

Giuliana Rancic teetered on frat boy bullying pushing George Clooney’s tequila shots on unwitting attendees such as princess Amal Clooney. I don’t think she’s ever taken a shot of tequila, much less grabbed one in her white satin opera gloves paired with her Dior Haute Couture black gown.

TOP LOOKS FROM BEST TO GREAT

Plunging necklines were a theme, done successfully by Sienna Miller, J Lo, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Chastain. Though I rarely like Jessica Chastain, actress in “A Most Violent Year”, she really successfully pulled off her look, the bronze/black pleated low cut halter dress and old Hollywood deep side hair part came together beautifully.

Allison Williams attempted Old Hollywood hair with a deep side part and a faux bob. Her hairline had a too-pulled-back look that made it seem like she was wearing a wig—not the look I’m sure she was attempting for the Golden Globes Red Carpet. Her red Armani Prive sparkly tiered gown made up for the bad hair. And I must add that her makeup did her no favors either. She’s truly a beautiful girl, just had a hair and makeup FAIL for the Globes.

BOTTOM LOOKS FROM WORST TO BAD:

Feathers and sparkle were also ever-present on this Red Carpet. Some ups and some downs: Kiera Knightly for “Imitation Game” had a huge FAIL in Chanel Couture. She bragged about how 30 seamstresses sewed the dress in a week, but I think they should have used less seamstresses and focused on ONE good designer to draft the pattern. The dress was billowy and looked like a couture potato sack with a ruffle top to boot. It did a huge disservice to pregnant women everywhere. We know you can look hot when pregnant, why couldn’t Chanel do something fitted for Kiera? Chanel should have taken some notes from Givenchy if they wanted to do feathers and sparkle. Julianne Moore was stunning in her Custom Givenchy.  But not all feathers won out. Another feathers fail was Claire Danes in Valentino. The “Homeland’ actress’s mesh top with feathers a plenty had horrible fit-it seemed to hang on her lithe top, in a heavy and unflattering way.  Emma Stone was a breath of fresh air in the sparkle category. She wore a relaxed pantsuit with a sparkle strapless top cropped cigarette pant legs and a huge obi type black satin bow in the back.

Other relaxed looks of the night, some successful and some not so successful were: Ruth Wilson yes, Melissa McCarthy no, Katie Cassidy yes, Kristin Whig no, Lena Dunham no. Apparently Zac Posen was a former babysitter of hers and dressed her. I think he was skimping on the tailoring, maybe because her parents only paid him $4.75 an hour for his services back in the ’90’s. Lena prides herself in not caring about her looks. But please, if you are going to go to the Globes hire a makeup artist.

 

 

DerutaAlthough my partner U.B. and I are both artists with a keen appreciation of art history, when our family booked a week-long visit to Umbria during our ten-year-old daughter’s spring break this year, we wanted to do something other than the typical visit to churches and art museums.

We spent a memorable morning at a Craftsman Workshop in the famous ceramics town of Deruta. You’ve no doubt seen, or bought, some of the pricey and precious plates, espresso cups or soup tureens made by the artisans of Deruta, with their traditional swirls and griffon shapes meticulously painted on glossy high-fired porcelain. When we learned that we could make our own at the authentic, no-frills ceramics studio called MAIOLICHE ARTISTICHE GORETTI, we said, “Sign us up!”U.B. painted plateWe loved that it was off the beaten path of ceramic factories. The husband-and-wife team of Umberto and Vania were extremely patient with us beginners. Their passion for their craft, which has occupied them for 25 years, shone through. Umberto was delightful with our daughter Stassa, who modeled low-fire bowls, which she personalized for our dog and our cat. In the meantime U.B. and I focused on the fine art of centuries-old decoration of dinnerware. Vania made sure that we followed the rules, after we “pounced” the design with a bag of charcoal onto the unfired white plate or cup. If we put a stroke of light blue rather than a stroke of the dark blue on that wing of the griffon, she would smile and firmly let us know that, no, THIS is the right color for that feather on that wing: SEMPRE (ALWAYS)! Then she would scrape the stroke away with a sharp knife, and we would do it properly.

We thought that the €70 per person price tag for a half-day session was quite reasonable, and afterward we couldn’t resist buyingsome of the Gorettis’ own (admittedly more professional) serving dishes and bowls. But our own creations are our real treasures.finished pottery

www.ceramichegoretti.com

CONTACT INFO:
Via Vincoli 7/9
06053 Deruta PG
Italy
Tel. +39 075 971 0048
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Typically at award shows, menswear is overshadowed by beautiful dresses and famous designer gowns. Gentlemen, Sunday night at the 72nd Golden Globes our team came out to play. They brought heat to the style game where we are so often out-dressed by the ladies.

Without any mentions of who they wore, here are my top picks for men’s style at the Golden Globes 2015.

Why they were selected:

  • Beautiful contrast between the dark jackets and crisp white shirts.
  • Appropriate jacket sleeve length and perfect shoulder alignment.
  • Great fitting pants with proper quarter break.
  • Dapper and classic looks finished by stylish black shoes.
  • How well they complemented their stunning female partners.

John LegendJOHN LEGEND in a one button shawl collar tuxedo. All eyes may have rightfully been on his wife Chrissy Teagan, but he was dressed as the perfect arm candy. Slim fitting jacket sleeve. Great overall fit on jacket and pants. Sharp looking laced leather sole shoes to complete the look. Well-played, John.
GEORGE CLOONEY matched his wife Amal Alamuddin in her splendor and in black and white. He looked debonair in bowtie with a classic notch lapel tuxedo, which he wore on his wedding day according to www.grazia.fr. Game, set, match, Clooney.

Don CheadleDON CHEADLE looked sharp in a midnight blue tuxedo. He wore a black tie that matched the peak lapel of the jacket. Even though the shoes may look a bit too robust for my taste, I still think his style is A-game caliber.
matt bomerMATT BOMER looked dapper in a blue shawl collar tuxedo. Classic fitted jacket with a pop of the shirt sleeve at the cuffs. Nicely tapered pants with quarter break. Two seconds left on the shot clock, Matt gets the final shot.

Clive OwenCLIVE OWEN restyled his dressy casual velvet blazer look from the 2014 Rome Film Festival, to abide by the formal dress code of the 2015 Golden Globe Awards. Noticed the jacket may have been altered to a much more complimentary silhouette since last year. Although the pants in the 2014 photo have a better fit, the trousers have a much cleaner break. He wore brown shoes with the casual look, but black shoes for the formal occasion. MVP for best-dressed due to creativity and versatility.
clive2014 Rome Film Festival

 

robertdowneyjrROBERT DOWNEY JR. with his wife Susan Downey. I like the fit of the pants. I can’t even get mad at him for the sneakers. I dig them. I’m a super big fan of Robert Downey Jr. but he has been a disappointment lately with the loose tie trend. “Iron Man” better call Maaco. The untied bowtie or loose tie style never looked stylish to me. What’s the point of your neckwear if you don’t plan on tying it? I don’t typically get into the “do’s and don’ts” reviews, mainly because I have very few don’ts regarding personal style, and I encourage people to dress to express more than dress to impress. Unfortunately Robert Downy Jr. looked sloppy at the Golden Globes. Guys, for someone who has been my MVP, he was an ineligible player on Sunday.
2013

2012Previous looks from the Golden Globes.

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