A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Prada’

SAG Awards 2011 Fashion Report

In Fashion, Film, Media, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on January 31, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Who watched the SAG Awards last night? I have to say, it is fascinating to see the difference between how a dress plays out on camera versus in the flesh. In person, Mila Kunis absolutely KILLED IT on the red carpet. Her Alexander McQueen gown was so chic—and the Cartier jewels, all of it, just a show-stopper. Her Black Swan costar Natalie Portman absolutely glowed in a white Azarro gown (was that not the best maternity dress EVER???) and her makeup was stunning, but in photos weirdly the look falls a little flat. Similarly, photos do no justice to one of my very favorite looks of the evening, Claire Danes in a gorgeous floral Louis Vuitton, with little flowers sewn into the bodice and a chic black velvet belt.

True Grit‘s Hailee Steinfeld looked age-appropriate in a neon-striped Prada number, but I’m on the fence about whether this actually worked (below). In theory I like it, but in reality the dress is LOUD. Meanwhile, January Jones was gorgeous in photos in an elegant Carolina Herrera but in person she has gotten so skinny that she looked like a wire hanger poking through the dress.

With the exception of Mila Kunis and the flawless Julianna Margulies in her stunning YSL, red dresses have become such a cliché that they are now officially more boring than black. And speaking of black, Nicole Kidman looked like she was wearing a granny shawl with all that heavy stuff happening in the shoulders and neckline of her dowdy Nina Ricci dress. And is it just me, or did Christina Hendricks look as if she’d borrowed one of Hugh Hefner’s bathrobes? Without doubt, the worst of the evening was Helena Bonham Carter, looking like a Texas madam in Marc Jacobs and featuring a hair tint that—when the light caught it backstage—can only be described as prune.

On the other hand, I found myself a little bit breathless when walking in on the red carpet behind her costar Colin Firth in a Tom Ford tux. The man is just stunning. Also, I may never wash my Lanvin frock again as I brushed shoulders with Christian Bale (who, ladies, was all the more devastatingly handsome in person) and Justin Timberlake, who looked AWESOME in his Simon Spur black 2-button gros grain peak lapel tuxedo and double-stripe tie. For sheer tailoring alone, however, my vote goes to his Social Network costar Andrew Garfield in an exquisite navy Burberry tux. Why do the Brits get this navy thing so right? (Exhibit A: Jude Law, below, navy Dunhill tux, Oscars 2004.)

Who were your favorite hits and misses from the awards?

Uncle Sam Wants You, Foodinista!

In Fashion on September 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I am unapologetically in an army green phase, thanks to my friend Billy, who gifted me with this lovely camo bag earlier this summer from the Army Navy Surplus store on Vine in Hollywood. At $20, a STEAL considering Prada’s $1,120 version at Barneys. And I like mine better. Those-in-the-know have come to recognize this as the Billy Bag. Originally we dressed it up with an orange Hermes twilly, but then I found this old Chanel camellia kicking around in my closet. Ditto on an old favorite Marc Jacobs trompe l’oeil jacket in army green with cream pinstriping. I wore it to a meeting at Tiny G’s preschool yesterday and I love it today as much as I did back in 2003, when it came home for the very first time!

As I packed for a weekend getaway at the Ace last weekend, I noticed that army green was holding strong with my old-lady Chloe prescription sunglasses (PS – don’t ever get prescription lenses put in a frame this large—they are unbearably heavy to wear after a couple hours), a fabby new shade of Chanel Khaki Vert nail polish and a favorite Erès bikini, which is more of a mushroom color really but it wanted to tag along. Who knew that Billy, who was also in Palm Springs this past weekend for a friend’s birthday party, would surprise me with a $3 gun-print bandana from the Army Navy Surplus in Atlanta, GA??

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

Foodinista, Phone Home

In Fashion, Out of Town on June 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

No trip to Dallas, TX, would be complete without a trip to the Mother Ship—Neiman Marcus’s flagship store at 1618 Main Street. It’s enormous and filled with immaculate and friendly staff, but interestingly the ladies shoe salon is only a fraction the size of its Beverly Hills counterpart. Which didn’t stop me from picking up a little memento as sunny as Dallas itself.

More details—from brisket tacos and hotel pools to Donald Judd and seersucker shorts—to come…

You Are (In Bed) What You Eat

In Food on March 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

A few weeks ago over (luscious) dumplings in Monterey Park, my friend and former Allure editor Robyn Brown and I were debating the correlation between food and sex. I’ve long held the theory that any man who orders chicken on a first date is be ruled out in the bedroom. Her thoughts on the matter are far more evolved and erudite, so I hand you over to Robyn for this most excellent guest post…

You Are (In Bed) What You Eat: The Food-Sex Corollary

“Never date a man who’s afraid of trying new foods,” a boyfriend once told me over a steaming pot of florescent orange, kimchi-scented stew. “They’re awful in bed.”

His comment was obviously a self-serving one, at least if one infers the inverse, that men who are adventurous eaters are good in the sack…But since that meal, further reflection (and some, ahem, field work) has satisfactorily confirmed for me that cocky or not, the guy was right:  Much about how a person behaves in the bedroom can be foretold by how they behave at the table. Show me a man who balks at the idea of Indian in Artesia, Chinese in Monterey Park, sushi in the Valley, and banh mi in Little Saigon and I’ll show you a man who either thinks certain parts of the female anatomy are kind of ucky, or is too busy vying to become Master of the Universe to go to bed with you in the first place.

After all, pleasure is still pleasure, and for the most part we tend to be consistent in our view of it, whether it comes in the form of touch, taste, sound or sight. Some people will always seek pleasure out; others are content to let it come to them.  Still others fear pleasure, even punishing themselves for wanting it.

I concede several exceptions to the Food-Sex Corollary rule: The reluctant dieter, for one, who has to regulate eating for health reasons (the only other acceptable reasons for calorie counting: an approaching beach vacation, a wedding dress, or anything 50% off in size 38 Prada). Also, the latent foodie, who is not so much apathetic to food as utterly oblivious to it. The female half of the most culinary couple I know recently told me that her husband ordered plain, broiled chicken on their first date, and shortly thereafter threw a party where guests were served nothing more than a couple bags of chips. Now he waxes rhapsodic over the virtues of Piedmontese beef. Some of us are just waiting to be given our first taste; to be awakened to the possibilities.

A few friends have protested that I’m reaching, here, which I find surprising. The food-sex connection is as old as…well, hell, probably food and sex. Maybe our dinner date ritual can be traced all the way back to the origin of the species, when a hunk of slaughtered antelope demonstrated that a man could provide food for his future family, thus doing as much to increase his attractiveness and viability as a potential mate as the Valentine’s aphrodisiac tasting menu at Aureole.

Over the ensuing hundred thousand years or so, it’s likely the biological drives for food and sex have just grown progressively conflated. Tame bedroom preferences, for instance, are now deemed “vanilla.” Edible body butters look and sound less like lubricants than something one might want to spread on toast. And a certain women’s magazine routinely urges its readers to seduce men by drizzling chocolate syrup down their abdomens and painting on whip cream bras. (To which I say: Ick. Sex writer Dan Savage once put it more pithily than I ever could when he pointed out that “sex is a savory experience.” It’s not an issue of prudishness as much as an issue of taste—I’d no sooner put whipped cream on steak frites than on my boyfriend’s body parts. But, I guess, to each their own.)

I encourage everyone to think back through their former flings. See if their tastes—sexual and papillary ones, let’s call them—don’t seem to eerily line up, again and again.

I have yet to hear about a “no butter or oil, please” guy who was revealed to be secret Casanova; I’m just sayin’.—Robyn Brown

Postcards from Billy

In Fashion, Film, Media on September 13, 2009 at 9:37 am

stampsFor 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, he reflects on this past round of September issues of fashion mags. (Btw, has anyone seen The September Issue, The Movie? My friend Dana and I have a date to see this coming weekend.) And without further ado, a postcard from an unlikely location…


Postcard from the Bathroom (TMI)

I am a far cry from Carrie Bradshaw, who would appropriately set aside a few hours and perhaps snuggle up with a latte to tear through the much awaited September issues of the fashion rags. Instead, I prefer to save these for either a long plane ride or a trip to the bathroom (I know, definitely TMI). It’s often difficult to plan a trip around the delivery of the biggest issues of the year of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and W, so I guess I must reconcile myself to the latter option this year. I know I could probably just surf the internet for a taste of the upcoming collections, but I am old school and would rather wait, like an anxious child before Christmas morning, for the delivery of the telephone book size editions of the fashion world tomes.

So, without further ado let me first address the ads. We all know that the bulk of the fall issues is 80% paid promotions for the fashion houses and cosmetic giants.

· Love, love, love the Dolce & Gabbana images of somewhat feral models in brilliant beast fur coats. Did they get some sort of kick-back from Spike Jonze to help promote his upcoming flick, Where the Wild Things Are?

Dolce & Gabbana Winter 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Winter 2010


· To paraphrase Michael Kors from a recent Project Runway“maybe it’s so forward thinking that we don’t get it” – Prada’s new campaign is either really avant garde or AWFUL. At this point, I am going with the latter. The girls are most likely the standard size 0 models, but somehow they look like they are plus-size and wearing the new offerings from Casual Corner. I will say that the rubber wading boots with garters seem like a chic homage to fly fishing, but that’s the only good thing I can say about these ads.

· I’ve always felt that Nordstroms were nothing but elaborate money laundering fronts since I never seem to find anything worthy of my credit cards, but I have discovered a brilliant new designer in their latest spread – Haider Ackermann. The gorgeous blood-red fish tail skirt with matching zippered coat is breathtaking.


Okay, so I get it … they want to be timely and he was the King of Pop, but all the editorials that paid tribute to Michael Jackson were not very inspired – hello Harper’s Bazaar. It was probably too late to meet deadlines, but I would have much rather seen fashion shoots with references to all of the brilliant films of my youth by John Hughes. His passing has definitely made me more melancholy. So, how about models styled in homage to:

· Claire Standish – the most stylish Molly Ringwald character from The Breakfast Club. Although some will argue that her naïve ingénue in Sixteen Candles was more fashion forward for the time. I still salivate when I see her in the coraly pink top paired with the paisley wrap-around skirt and perfectly tied together with brown belt and chic lace-up knee high boots. She was the perfect package down to her bento box of sushi, her daddy’s BMW and her poor, rich drunk mother in the Caribbean (to steal a line from Judd Nelson’s character, John Bender).


· Jules – Demi Moore at her Republican party girl preppy best in St. Elmo’s Fire.
· Sloane Peterson – some will say that Ferris himself was the fashion icon of the movie bearing his name, but I was so enamored with his girlfriend played by the gorgeous Mia Sara.

sloane peterson
So, head to the newsstand and pick up all of the September issues and let me set the soundtrack for the next few hours you’ll need to peruse these massive editions. Its only right that the Ipod is geared up for a tribute to Hughes films, so plan on some Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, Flesh For Lulu, The Rave Ups, Psychedelic Furs and of course, Eighties by Killing Joke.

Dr. Skud Fly-Swatter: 12, Plantation Molasses: 0

In Baby Love, Design, Food on February 21, 2009 at 8:15 am

dr skudmolasses








Our house has been overrun by attack crickets, and they are at super high decibel in Tiny G’s room. At first I thought it was sweet—Tiny G could be lulled to sleep by the symphony of these chirping little devils and pretend that he grew up in the country instead of smack dab in the middle of urban L.A. It has heretofore been such a lovely sound – in fact the personalized ring for my husband on my iPhone is chirping crickets! But then I read that crickets like Prada, and suddenly the crickets didn’t sound all that cute anymore.

Chemical sprays were out of the question with Tiny G underfoot, so we tried making our own cricket traps with Plantation Blackstrap Molasses. Even though it’s organic, I figured the name sounded like it meant business. Unfortunately, of the six baby-food jars full of molasses we strategically placed around the house to catch these little bastards, not a single cricket took the bait. So we resorted to a Philippe Starck “Dr. Skud” fly-swatter. And by “we,” I mean my husband, who took out TWELVE of these critters last night alone. It sounds like there are still at least a hundred left, taunting, chirping, and casing the Prada. Dr. Skud can only handle so much. Does anyone have another nontoxic suggestion for extermination?

POSTCARD: Going Somewhere?

In Design, Fashion on February 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm

stampsBack by ever-popular demand is the latest “POSTCARDS FROM BILLY.” For the newly initiated—fashion advice from my dear friend Billy, an art consultant with a wicked eye and even wickeder wardrobe. In this edition, he packs our weekend bags for ModCom week in Palm Springs, Feb 13 – 21, the annual Modernism Week with collaboration between the Modernism Show, Palm Springs Preservation Foundation, Palm Springs Historical Society, Palm Springs Modern Committee and the Palm Springs Art Museum.






I don’t know about you, but I always find my mind wandering from the latest copy of US Weekly on a plane thinking “did I pack enough?” Good Lord, as much as I should concentrate on the insight provided by Stars, Just Like Us, I worry if I have the right pieces from the arsenal ready for the trip ahead. More times than not, my pragmatic ESPN-minded boyfriend has reassured me that I have more than enough in my steamer-like suitcase. However he fails to realize that life can throw you a curve ball (I love sports references) and you might need to have an appropriate cocktail outfit ready for that weekend at the lake house in Vermont. 

So, I always have a glass of wine (well, my own low-rent version of a spritzer, Diet Sprite—or Fresca if it’s available—and white wine) and some tunes when I write my Postcards to The Foodinista. Right now L.L. Cool J’s “Around the Way Girl” is playing, and I’m dreaming of a girl with bamboo earrings, at least two pair and a Fendi bag with a bad attitude. If life were that simple you would have your uniform and be built for travel. However, for those girls in my life that can’t play a bit part in an L.L. video, these are my current suggestions for packing for a three-day jaunt. So, if I must fantasize about the destination – you are on your way for a few days in sunny Palm Springs, spending most of your time by the pool with two confidantes.


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California dreaming on a winter’s day

In Fashion on January 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm


In reality, it really doesn’t get all that cold in Los Angeles. (We’re currently in the “dead of winter” and it’s 67 degrees out today. Sorry, Lizzie.) Which means we get cheated out of one of life’s great pleasures—the serious winter wardrobe, Burberry Prorsum wool trench coats, Prada metallic leather gloves, Wolford merino wool tights, etc. Looking on the bright side, we can “bundle up” with pretty silk woven scarves, which won’t get you very far in Buffalo in January let me tell you, but are just fine cruising down the Miracle Mile. Above are my two favorites, both Missoni. The striped scarf in rich tones of jade, amethyst, coral and silvery blue was my mom’s, circa ’79 (she now claims I stole it, but in fact I traded her a pair of Louboutins for it; they were sky blue strappy sandals if anyone’s wondering), while the cheerier zigzag scarf in tangerine, candy pink, yellow and white was purchased in Lake Como on our honeymoon, pre-economic meltdown. Both look great with neutrals and jeans, and will bring a hit of color and a bit of warmth to a cold, drab (L.A.) winter’s day. For current Missoni stripe and zigzag scarves, check out the offerings at Net-a-Porter.


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.


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