02/12/2013 § 20 Comments
Over the long weekend I had the good fortune to curl up with Alexa Chung’s new book It, courtesy of Penguin Books. Part memoir, part photo book, part how-to style manual, and completely hilarious, it was the perfect companion for a leisurely few blustery days that were best spent inside. Written in a uniquely conversational tone — borderline stream of consciousness at times — it almost feels like Alexa’s sitting right there with you, having a chat. I loved it, having long been a fan of Alexa’s personal style (which I will leave you to peruse on Pinterest or Tumblr on your own time — a definite rabbit hole if there ever was one), and I definitely recommend giving “It” a whirl.
Now, for the exciting part! Thanks to the generous folks at Penguin, I’ve got a copy of Alexa’s book to give away, which you can enter to win by leaving a comment below! Enter by noon on next Monday, December 9th, and I’ll randomly draw a winner from the entries. Please note: this drawing is open to US residents only.
01/12/2013 § Leave a Comment
Some of my favorite images from my Tumblr during the month of November.
12/11/2013 § 1 Comment
Have you ever seen a room so perfectly you that you instantly wanted to wrap yourself up in it and wear it every day of your life? I have — namely, when I gazed upon this gorgeous library, from the Hollywood home of Eric Hyman and Max Mutchnick.
Receiving an honorable mention is the master bath, with its glass tiled floors, vintage English club chair and brass clock that once hung in an Associated Press newsroom.
Be sure to wander through the rest of the home on Elle Decor.
12/11/2013 § Leave a Comment
06/11/2013 § Leave a Comment
Now, just wait a cotton-picking minute. Are you trying to tell me it’s almost been a full year since I’ve shared a playlist with you guys…and that one was CHRISTMAS MUSIC? Horrendous. Well, not the playlist — no one hates Christmas music! — but maaaaan do I need to get my act together.
Presenting QC Mix VI: Wild Horses — a few songs I’ve had in heavy rotation ever since fall kicked off, a season that always has a bit of contemplative melancholy about the edges. Perhaps it’s nature’s spectacular descent into winter. Perhaps it’s the back-to-school feeling you never really outgrow. Whatever the case, fall has always felt like a time to ponder both endings and beginnings, which might explain the tone of this playlist. It’s the kind of music I want to listen to on long walks or quiet evenings. It meanders from singer-songwriter territory to rock to synth to jazz — and I hope you enjoy it.
Of special note is the appearance of my amazingly talented cousin, Ben Carroll, in this mix. He’s just released his latest album, “Lighting Bonfires,” which was funded by a campaign on Kickstarter and is available for free download on his website. Hop over!
02/11/2013 § 1 Comment
Altuzarra SS14. Sublime. SUBLIME.
Yearning to just barely wrap myself in tailored metallics, jersey and silk.
All images via Style.com
31/10/2013 § Leave a Comment
Style Roulette: One item, two distinct styles.
Round 2: Étoile Isabel Marant Crisi boots
Styled by myself, and Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou, my good friend and frequent partner in Brimfield and New York Fashion Week hijinks. While we’ve been fast friends since the day we met, and our personal styles do have a few convergence points, I’ve always appreciated Lani’s bold approach to fashion. While I tend to the more classic and relaxed, Lani loves vibrant contrast and drama. Be sure to hop on over to her site to see her entry too!
From top L to R:
Rag & Bone Roseburg coat
J.Crew western denim shirt
Kenzo Flying Tiger pullover
Cosabella Kitty bralette
Vanessa Bruno Athé leather skirt
Étoile Isabel Marant Crisi boots
Jerome Dreyfuss suede Igor bag
Isabel Marant Drake scarf
Denim, leather, camel, suede and tigers. These are a few of my favorite things. There’s just something about a full-length coat and a teeny tiny miniskirt that I will always love. Throw in some flying tigers and I won’t be able to resist. Kitty love notwithstanding, I’d normally be a bit leery of such a bold print, but with this color palette and that gorgeous topcoat the tigers become a bit more subdued — they function more as leitmotif than overture. Meow.
31/10/2013 § 1 Comment
Inspiration from the month of October from my Tumblr.
23/09/2013 § 3 Comments
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Editor’s Note: I’m very pleased to introduce today’s guest speaker! Please meet Erica Whelan, the exceptionally talented hair and makeup artist whose work can be seen everywhere from the runways of New York Fashion Week to the glossy pages of your favorite editorials to some of the most fabulous private clients. Indeed, whenever we catch up, she’s always got several new stories and numerous beauty tricks up her sleeve. She’s my own secret weapon!
If you are not yet familiar with Erica, it is my pleasure to introduce you. For her lesson, I requested she share a simple updo, something everyone should have in their styling arsenal. Good for everything from board meetings to brunch to broadway show, think of this classic chignon as a style soldier of fortune, able to handle any sort of occasion you might throw at it. You might also recognize the guinea pig in the chair…I knew all this hair was good for something.
You will need a teasing comb, boar bristle brush, an elastic ponytail holder, bobby pins, hair pins, texturizer spray and hairspray. Depending on your hair type you may also need a flat iron and smoothing crème.
1) Hair can be clean or slightly dirty (“second day hair”). Get volume in the top section of hair by spraying a dry texturizer spray like Oribe or dry shampoo like Klorane. This will instantly add volume to dry hair. Hold hair straight up and away from head then spray at the root. Wait a few seconds then massage product into your roots. If your hair is curly, you should use a flat iron to straighten and add shine to your hair.
2) Brush hair into a low ponytail. I usually position my ponytail at the occipital bone, which is the bone you can feel at the back of your head. I like to spray my brush with hairspray before I brush the hair into a low ponytail — this trick will help tame flyaways. Your ponytail should be smooth. You can use a dime-sized dollop of smoothing crème and run over your ponytail to remove any frizziness. You can style the front of your hair to your liking. Ex: a few pieces of hair framing your face, a middle or side part, or backcomb the top section for volume — your choice.
3) Once your hair is in a low ponytail, slide the ponytail holder about an inch down. This will give you enough room to split the hair down the center.
4) Split hair down the center then flip the ponytail up. Starting with the ponytail end, begin feeding it through the split. Grab the ponytail with your fingers from underneath and pull it through the split.
5) Give the ponytail a gentle tug so it tightens back up.
6) Use a comb to tease the ponytail. This will create the base for your bun. Tease as much or as little as you like. Remember, the more you tease the bigger the bun. Once you’re done teasing, smooth the underside of the ponytail with your boar bristle brush. This is the side that will be visible so it needs to be smooth.
7) Put the back of your hand on the inside of the ponytail (the teased part of the ponytail) about mid-length. Wrap the ponytail around your hand and tuck the tail into the hole you created when you split your hair down the center in Step 4. Keep tucking until you form a bun.
8) Using bobby pins (medium size for short to medium hair or large size for medium to long hair) secure the bun. I like to use two bobby pins at the top where we tucked the tail into place. Then gently pull apart the bun to make it fuller. Then continue to pin into place.
9) My secret weapon to keeping hair in place is to use a hairnet. Hairnets come in different colors so you can find one that matches your hair color and the mesh is so fine that no one will be able to detect it up close or in photos. Cover bun with hairnet then pin into place using hair pins. Make sure to grab the hair and then the net when you pin. FYI – A hair pin is a u-shaped pin that is lighter than a bobby pin. Bobby pins secure a hairstyle into place where as a hair pin keeps the hair in place once the style has been secured.
10) Final step – spray with hairspray to keep in place and tame any flyaways. All done!
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
22/09/2013 § 1 Comment
Dear Claire Dhelens,
As you are a French Voguette (a fashion and accessories editor to be precise), I was primed to be a fan. In fact, I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to identify you among that amazing posse of black-clad, long-limbed ladies that traipse through the Tuileries. I’ll admit that Emmanuelle and Capucine caught my attention first – je suis désolé! But with your American west-themed editorial for the children’s supplement of French Vogue, you’ve got my attention. In fact, you’ve even managed to get me to post pictures of kids on here. No mean feat, let me tell you. This happens virtually never.
With that said, I’ll just allow everyone else to enjoy these lovely photos by Andreas Sjodin, styled by Mme. Dhelens.