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Postcards from Billy

In Fashion on August 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

For the newly initiated, POSTCARDS is recurring feature with fashion advice from my dear friend Billy, an art consultant with a wicked eye and even wickeder wardrobe. In this edition, Billy takes us shopping for fall before packing his monogrammed bags for the East Coast….

Postcard From Your Time Zone

Dearest Foodinista,

I am getting ready to depart your fabulous little hamlet. As you know I arrived a month ago for the Getty’s Museum Leadership Institute and have been happily ensconced in Scholar Housing in Brentwood. Thank God the June gloom that was hanging on when I first arrived was not an indicator of what was to come. The whole month ended up being glorious weather—how can you beat a city that is perpetually between 62 and 68 degrees? It even got cool enough on some evenings for a chic little cashmere cardigan.

I went with all good intentions to stay focused and studious, but alas reverted back to former left coast and indulged in the deadliest of vices—shopping with you. Our morning shopping trip with pre-launch Prosecco and omelets at Barney Greengrass led to the opening of the flood gates. During the entire month I scored: perforated white Gucci loafers with contrasting blue grosgrain under the toggle (how I went this long without these I’ll never know),  preppy brown Prada loafers, brown Prada sneakers (I decided with the amount of eating that I was doing that I needed to feign some sort of exercise this trip), incredibly chic Theory army green Bermuda shorts and a fur trapper hat from the wonderful Army/Navy store on the corner of Santa Monica and Vine (where I got your “Billy bag” camo tote).  I got some belated birthday gifts, all from Fred Segal (how L.A. of my West Coast friends), including a nifty white rubber Nixon watch and an amazing pair of blue pants with a red and white stripe down the side that were Franklin + Gower exclusively for Ron Robinson/Fred Segal. [FOODINISTA NOTE: How fun! Franklin + Gower is designed by the husband of my cooking club amiga Sally Horchow!]

My most priceless gift was a painting from my dear friend, Annie Wharton.  I was so happy that you got to visit her wonderful gallery in Chinatown, The Company.

Oh, how I miss the Left Coast.  Each weekend I rented a convertible and popped in my 80s soundtrack.  Cruising around Chinatown and Hancock Park with Icicle Works Whisper To A Scream and Bran Van 3000’s Drinking in L.A. made me feel like I was in my twenties again hanging with the Leo and his posse and the Dawson’s Creek gang.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for throwing me that fabulous going away party.  Your home is MTV Cribs worthy and I am loving the renovated garage, in gorgeous shades of fuschia and gray, which is now serving as your retreat. Also, who knew that apparently your father should be my style icon? We both seem to have a prediliction for pairing Bermudas with knee high socks and loafers. The pic of him in front of the Taj Mahal was über chic.

So, on to some wardrobe suggestions for you and the other girls in my life.  I am anxiously awaiting the September issues to find some real inspiration, but thankfully I have seen quite a few things that are worth purchasing—some are investments and others are cheap thrills (we are still in a recession, aren’t we)?

As you know, I often rummage through the offerings in the boys department at Brooks Brothers.  I love Thom Browne’s Black Fleece line, but come on – shrunken blazers for $800 when you can just buy one in the boys section for $100?  That said, some of the items in the girls department are quite playful and definitely less serious than what is on display in the mothers area.

This little cashmere intarsia crewneck sweater is too adorable and references the seminal Lisa Birnbaum Preppy Handbook. It could also be mistaken for Chanel (even better when spending this token amount).

The cut of this blazer-inspired dress seems almost European and edgy.  I would pair it with some knee high chocolate brown boots, dark gray wool tights and your Billy camo bag/tote for Fall.

Louis Vuitton military coat with cap sleeves.  OMG – time to sacrifice little G’s college fund and invest in this piece for your wardrobe.  Who cares if it would rarely be appropriate based on California weather, just sit around your house with the air conditioning blasting.

Everyone must have at least one pair of little kitten heels this Fall.  My fave is the Prada bow version in black/Bordeaux or beige/chocolate.

For super cheapy thrills hit Forever XXI and score some of their jewelry.  Buy all of their owl pieces and definitely this peacock bib necklace (only $10).

Well, I am already missing you terribly.  Think of me when you are shopping along Rodeo or hitting the Bev Center.  Rock it out with some Prince, circa the Purple Rain years. Can’t get enough of Take Me With You.

XXX Billy