On Thursday December 11th, I attended Michael DePaulo’s launch party for his new clothing line MDP. The best and the brightest in fashion gathered on the second floor of The Tannery at Curated by the Tannery. Michael is a dear friend and business partner of mine so I was happy to oblige when he asked me to wear one of his new designs at the fete.
A favorite of mine was an hourglass color block dress with short sleeves available in short and long lengths. The color blocking has a way of slimming the figure. I also liked how DePaulo delved into bright colors with this collection, as in this green and blue peplum dress.
A bright fuchsia pantsuit had a Chanel feel to it, and I loved the cigarette length and cut of the pants, but wasn’t too keen how the jacket came together in the front. His best success seemed to be when he stuck to the blacks, charcoals and whites.
These events are always fun for me because I get to catch up a bit with my girlfriends and hostesses Linda Henry, investor and muse to Michael De Paulo, and Adriana Hassan, wife of Tarek Hassan, who owns The Tannery.
Other guests included JB Dowd, Tiffany Dowd of LuxeTiffany and Eric Jausseran of the French Consulate.
There was no shortage of Latina designers, as swimsuit creator Sinesia Karol was also in the house to support Michael. The beautiful Erica Almeida of Maggie Inc. modeled MDP fashions too, and gave us a peek into how gorgeous each and every one of the designs can be on a perfect body. However, personally, I think I sold more dresses wearing the charcoal, black and white dress because, though the guests were all very fit, their bodies were more like mine than Erica’s! The MDP spring 2015 collection is available immediately at The Tannery.
This dining room set was passed along to me from my aunt; it had been sitting in her basement for about 15 years and previously belonged to my grandmother. I was up for the challenge to modernize the set and experiment with it, mainly because I remember sitting around the table in Fort Lauderdale in my grandparents sunroom and I didn’t want it to be trashed. Unfortunately all the before pictures were gone for good after my outdated iPhone 4s leapt out of my hands and plummeted to its death onto my hardwood floors.
Besides the maple tinted stain being outdated (in a bad way) and the table itself looking like it belonged somewhere tropical, it was covered in dirt and a lot of the bamboo was damaged around the feet of the chairs. There was no way I was going to sand and stain the set again, that would have taken quite some time so I decided to use a bonding agent (an oil based paint designed specifically for smooth surfaces and hiding stains) and went with a charcoal gray to match the slightly black tinted glass. Since there are many grooves in the set a paint sprayer was necessary to ensure even coverage and durability as the sprayer can create a thicker coat than both a roller or brush.
Once that was finished it was time to tackle the hideous floral print seat covers (sorry Bubbie). Originally I envisioned a black and white chevron print, but when the fabric seen below was on sale from $35.00 a yard to $5.00 a yard, I made the decision to go with that. The previous covering technique was simple, a standard diaper fold which I recreated with the new material. I kept the diaper fold because the print is intricate and speaks for itself, no need for piping or any fabric nails.
I was on the fence about painting bamboo, but overall was satisfied with the results. The unique lines of the bamboo, combined with the black tinted glass and new seat covers created a one of a kind look that was rather easy to accomplish. It’s also nice to say I saved something that had sentimental value, it doesn’t hurt that I created a dining room set for under $300.00 either.
When possible I generally stop for any piece of furniture I see on the side of the road. The only time I really force myself to keep driving is if I don’t have time, or the piece won’t fit in my car. My rule of thumb has nothing to do with illegal driving methods because rules behind the wheel don’t apply to Bostonians. With that being said, this piece actually came from inside the dumpster at my apartment – so there was no “flipping a bitch” on Dorchester Ave into oncoming traffic or considerately double parking on Boylston during morning rush hour, for a piece of furniture.
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I know, I know. There’s still a lot of lace out there and it’s a lovely way to cover your arms if you don’t want to go sleeveless, but like I said last month, it’s tired and cliché. Everyone has that royal blue dress with the see-thru lace over a matching colored slip. So, let me suggest one of my favorite looks for the all-daunting upcoming holiday season–something literally kicky with enough variation in style that people won’t notice if more than one of you is wearing it. Try a pretty metallic dress with a steely fringe, or a simple Phillip Lim black cocktail dress with a feathery fringe. It’s an especially good look if you’ve got good legs and even better if you want to distract from your arms. Also, it’s a way to minimize accessories as the fringe is an accessory itself. I saw a really cute black Milly dress at Nieman’s with a sweet fringe or, your bank account permitting, you can go upscale with a Chanel fringe. Here are a couple of suggested designs. I’m partial to the cowboy look myself, but that’s just my thing.
I found this in the filthy basement of my 100 plus year old apartment. It was lying on the ground next to the foundation where water often seeped through the cracks in a pile of dirt. The size and weight of the “shelf” intrigued me, it was quite thick and on the heavier side which led me to believe it was older. After perusing the Anthropologie website and coming across brackets I loved but would never pay for, this was the inspiration to replicate a similar bracket for less than half the cost.
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Versace’s White Lace Layered Dress is pure elegance. The opposing black and white pallet makes for a beautiful contrast that exudes nothing less than class. I’m head over heels in love with the irregular cut of the neckline here and have yet to see anything done like this before.
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Black and white has always been fashion’s prized first born of iconic color palettes, consistently showered with praise and affection as a go-to look for men and women alike. Black and brown, on the other hand, is the unwanted stepchild in a family of picture perfect combinations that no one wants to even utter a whisper of its existence out of fear of committing a fashion faux pas.
But what most people forget is that some neglected stepchildren turn into Cinderella and this fall, Prince Charming of Textiles has arrived and rescued black and brown from the dungeon of everyday fashion rejects.
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EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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