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Photos-of-Amsterdam-by-Michael-Matti-4

Photo by Michael Matti

Overall impression: Go for the architecture, the inspired shopping, creative and friendly atmosphere and the trendy dining. A must in Amsterdam? The enchanted 9th Street District for its swirl of everything amazing.

EPISODE:

I love vintage and I really love European vintage. European fashion from a previous era tells a story that more contemporary fashion rarely does. Owning the original version of a fashion moment is more inspiring to me then the “easy get” of that mass produced look today.

My favorite spot to source unique and envy inspiring pieces is Episode. Episode is a small chain, but you can’t hold that against them as they are all about budget friendly, quality merchandise that is organized with dewy decimal precision. The focus on grouping like merchandise together is a godsend when time is tight – and your husband’s patience is growing thin. Their mens collection is just as fabulous as their ladies.  If you’ve never “been into vintage” or found vintage to be too much work, Episode will convert and spoil you.

HIGHLIGHTS OF MY VINTAGE BINGE:

The tuxedo jacket with tails of my dreams – €30.00 (euros) and a heavily metal grommeted ’80’s jacket done in buttery soft suede – €25.00.

Amazing fur accessories: muffs, collars, boleros, hats, scarves, gloves. Sorry PETA but I bought bags full and I certainly wasn’t alone. Everybody is buying and wearing fur in Amsterdam, and with prices that start at €10.00 and topped out at about €50.00, you can see why. The fur coats were all in the €100.00. range and would easily go for much more in the US.

An epic, embroidered lederhosen, with incredible leather braided suspenders. I am obsessed with the buttons, the pewter buckles, and the embroidery. Super flattering and completely unexpected, I can’t wait to wear this with a killer pair of high heels. At only €35.00 , I now wish I had bought more.

VISIT EPISODES ONLINE

LAURA DOLS VINTAGE

My spirit animal has got to be the magpie. Its bad rap for attraction to shiny things hits close to home, because I too am absurdly attracted to everything that glitters – especially vintage. Indulge your inner magpie while in Amsterdam and be sure to visit Laura Dols, located in the heart of the 9th Street District. This sweet, well curated two level shop is filled with a wide range of girly party dresses that will have you feeling ready to go get flirty. Sequins, beading, and feathers embellished on silks, satins, and all varieties of polyester from the last 5 decades boast impressive quality. What did I bring back to my nest? The diaphanous, white belted dress with a subtle metallic sheen, very Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat”.

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STOUT LINGERE

lingereAttention all femme fatales: for unabashedly feminine lingerie, a stop at Stout is a must when visiting Amsterdam’s 9th Street District. Don’t let its unfortunate name fool you; this small but incredible boutique is for grown up ladies, who need something more stimulating than Victoria’s tired secrets. All 50 shades of exquisite underpinnings are offered and well displayed. Sexy, bold, sweet, classic, naughty…whatever your personal taste, this is an upscale shopping experience that will surprise and delight you with its wide range of European brands. I’m always impressed with their selection of beautiful bras, panties, teddies, swim wear, accessories and other items that will help you break hearts and get your groove on.

VISIT STOUT ONLINE

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.

 

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