A passion for food + fashion


In Fashion on January 5, 2009 at 9:14 pm

stamps1What can I say? Life is better with a friend like Billy in your life. Billy and I met on a fashion shoot eight years ago when he was heading up the Muse program at LACMA. He’s an art consultant with a wicked eye and an even wickeder wardrobe. (Think tailored boys blazers, monograms, cashmere, and lots of it.) Every so often he sends me what we call “postcards,” emails loaded with completely over-the-top yet somehow sensible advice on what to wear, where to buy, and why. Here’s his latest on recession shopping. Settle in with a cuppa or cocktail, and enjoy.


My version of long-term investments has always been a well-stocked freezer. I’m not in the slightest bit knowledgeable about portfolios or solid stocks. However, I did hear Warren Buffett say recently on NPR that when times were tough he invested since bargains were to be found and always came back around. At this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach many savvy collectors were offering similar advice – great art will hold its value and galleries and dealers were making cut-rate deals left and right. It’s the same with fashion, so spend some now and freeze your credit cards again when the sales end in February.

So, before you plunder the fashion equivalent of Eastern Europe circa 1994 – Barneys, Bergdorfs and Saks – this is my advice.


LacePrada did it so well. A dear friend bought two pieces when they first came out, the gold dress and a blue skirt. I recommended pairing the skirt with a Ralph Lauren boys-style blazer and white shirt, perhaps a classic Herrera version. It was wink-wink preppy with an edge. Some the designers that presented good investments were Peter Som and Stella McCartney. Her oh-so-short black halter dress was brilliant.

Cardigans – this actually goes with another recommendation I give every year, invest in cashmere because its like gold since it never loses its value. Buy up gobs and gobs of TSE and Ralph Lauren. I have been heralding the concept of slender and frail for the past year, its oh so chic, and cardigans help in creating the mystique.


Shoes. With shoes priced like this at the Mother Ship of good taste (like this Manolo) who needs Marshalls? Go with Miu Miu and Prada, but not terribly embelished. Lanvin has some nice choices, just steer clear of the too trendy triangular heel. For the gal whose hedge-fund manager hubbie still had good returns, these heels were the throwaway item for the Fall. 

  • Mary Jane and T-strap styles are good and will be good through the next few seasons. Definitely not wedges … too high platforms and hate, hate, hate booties.
  • I wouldn’t invest in boots right now, unless you find some that are really cheap. Also, don’t buy them at Macys. The versions at the bigger department stores generally look like they452826_fpxtifwere bought at big, generic stores. Talk about buyer’s remorse, realizing when you got home that Jessica Simpson brand boots weren’t true keepers.

Boys. If you are searching for bargains for the boys in your life options abound as well.thombrowne For the boyfriend or straight friends, gobble up everything from Thom Browne and Tom Ford. They both offer incredibly well tailored pieces that are definite keepers. For your gay posse all I have to say is that I have too much competition as it is in the stores, so go with the gift that will make them remember you for years to come – Czech porn. Happy shopping.


  1. Billy is brilliant…

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