Farnoosh’s sister

Farnoosh's sister Fara

Farnoosh’s sister Fara

Do you remember Farnoosh? She moved to The United States from Iran ten years ago with her parents and two older sisters. We spoke about how difficult the move and transition was for her at the tender pre-teen age of twelve, about how Farnoosh views fashion, and about the need for us to express ourselves, no matter what our circumstance; even when restrictions are placed upon us and our expression comes in the form of colorful fashion accessories, as in the case of Farnoosh’s female cousin, who lives in a modern-day Iran.

I spent the last morning of 2012 having a cup of coffee with Farnoosh and her oldest sister, Fara (her middle sister, Farnaz, lives in San Diego). Fara is 29 and is living in Chicago as she pursues her Master’s Degree in Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Like her sister, Fara is lovely and creative and full of energy. She has her own story and relationship with fashion. Here is Fara …

When we left Iran I was nineteen. It took me a while to get comfortable, but I was open to the move. I had already graduated from high school in Iran and had an idea that I wanted to be an artist. I stayed local when I first arrived, and for the first year and a half learned English as a second language at Seton Hall University. Immediately I knew that the school was too small for me and that I needed more. I was drawn to New York City and left Seton Hall for New York, where I attended NYIT, the New York Institute of Technology, and graduated with a degree in architecture …

I’m a city person and from the minute I came to New York I was happy. I loved the energy and the diversity and how people in NY are original, especially in the way they think and dress. My favorite thing to do became walking: I would walk everywhere! I was inspired by the streets and the windows. That might be why I dislike shopping in malls where everything is so generic and everyone looks the same. I can’t be linked to only one brand and one designer, head-to-toe. I like variety and dressing high and low. That is why I am a fan of H&M …

I would describe my look as chic enough but not too fancy. I enjoy mixing pieces and remaining eclectic. My passions remain shoes and handbags!” ~ Fara

Fara and Farnoosh have adopted their American life but also embrace their Iranian culture. We had an interesting conversation about what that means. I shared with them that I have Colombian blood and at one time I wasn’t comfortable embracing it, but as I get older, I understand that it is a major part of who I am and I treasure it. I guess that explains why I love Latin music and always want to start salsa dancing … even though I don’t know how!!

I hope I meet Farnoosh and Fara again soon – and meet their middle sister next – Farnaz!

What do you think?

Farnoosh and Fara

Fara with Farnoosh

Fara with me

Fara with me

Hit the Target!

My Skaist-Taylor faux fur vest from Target,Photo Credit: Myriam Alavarez (taken at Neiman Marcus)

My Skaist Taylor faux fur vest from Target/Neiman Marcus
Photo taken at Neiman Marcus – Photo Credit: Myriam Alvarez

The Target/Neiman Marcus partnership story continues ..

There is one thing I’ve noticed about these designer/Target partnerships; like a good cookie, it’s difficult to stop at just one visit, and the Target/Neiman Marcus pairing was too enticing. I returned to Target and now in addition to my Judith Leiber compact and Carolina Herrera journals, I own a Skaist Taylor black faux fur vest. I didn’t know who Skaist Taylor was; I wasn’t even sure about the vest until I tried it on. But it had a certain whimsy, a luxurious quality, and the price was right. Three is the charm.

California designers Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor were the co-founders of Juicy Couture. Together they created Skaist Taylor, a collection of California-chic designs and a mix of glamour, simplicity and cool.

Go hit the Target. There is something there for you. I know it!

What do you think?

Marvelous Maggie!

Marvelous Maggie

Remember Maggie? She is getting ready for the holidays with her champagne-colored lace scarf and bright blue jacket. Her mix of color is festive and bright and perfectly seasonal!

The scarf – a pinky-champagne – I bought on sale. It’s so long and has pale sequins that match so well that you can barely see them. Also, when in need, you can throw it down for a table runner! LOL!” ~ Maggie

I love it, marvelous Maggie! Happy Holidays!

Mom, I joined a harem!

My kind of harem!

Well, there are harems and then there are harems. Not-exactly-but-almost harem pants, mine are a gift to myself. Helmut Lang jersey black knit slacks are an homage to today’s relaxed whimsy and at the same time a treat to me, giving me extra leg room to breathe. Full, yet slim and lean and fitted with soft pockets, it pairs well with my Jason Wu for Target tee. It is an outfit that says, I look like I am not trying too hard.

In 1916 Coco Chanel rocked the fashion world by introducing jersey to her collection. Before that time, jersey had been used primarily for women’s undergarments. Chanel was really on to something. Jersey is soft and entirely comfortable on the skin; it is the perfect material for cooler days. I plan to wear these as often as possible.

Consider wearing jersey. Your mom will be happy it is not the other kind of harem!

What do you think?

Masculine and feminine dressing

Masculine Dressing (photo taken at Saks Fifth Avenue)

Feminine Dressing (photo taken at Saks Fifth Avenue)

Street Peeper, contributing photographer at Vogue.com, recently captured two distinct street-style trends at Paris Fashion Week: ultra-masculine and super-feminine dressing. To incorporate these looks, it doesn’t have to be a big commitment. For a more masculine look simply add a statement blazer with or without a collared shirt (tuxedo-style blazers are tres chic) and for a more feminine look pick one stand-out piece like a full dress or skirt with a simple, kitten heel. And you’ve got it!

What do you think?

Just add leather and mix!

My $50 leather-trimmed sweater jacket

“Six thousand dollars? It’s not even leather!” ~ Cyn, from the movie Working Girl circa 1988

Leather is luxurious. This fall’s fashion trend is to show glimpses of leather mixed with other fabrics and I’m in love with this look. Leather, however, is expensive and something many of us have not considered in the past. The good news is that leather detailing has becoming so popular that it is possible to find these looks at better prices.

This fall you can see leather details in dresses, pencil skirts, trousers, cap-sleeved tees, shoes, and blazers and jackets. I couldn’t afford this J. Mendel tweed and leather dress but it did inspire me to find something in my price range: this sweater jacket for $50 at a local boutique. Consider adding leather to your wardrobe and mix it into your life because this look is too chic to do without. In fashion, anything is possible …

What do you think?

So MAJ!

Rachel Zoe Collection
Live Chat on Facebook

I love all things Rachel Zoe. Fashion stylist, fashion guru, and more recently, fashion designer, Rachel Zoe is a favorite. Her style is bohemian-chic and she fits right in with the Los Angeles fashion vibe. I first noticed Rachel a few years ago, when her reality show, “The Rachel Zoe Project” aired on the Bravo Network, and I have been following her ever since.

Today Rachel and her pal, Joey, were chatting live on Facebook, sharing spring/summer fashion trends and highlighting her new spring 2012 collection which she describes as easy glamour (I noticed a few of her pieces recently at Bloomingdale’s). She answered questions from various write-ins, and here are some key things she said:

– two must-have accessories this spring, are a tan jacket and a neutral or brown wedge sandal. Rachel loves to see pops of color against a neutral piece

– although Rachel loves to wear heels, there are wonderful bright colored flats from which to choose this spring, including sandals and ballet flats

– when it comes to mixing patterns, prints and colors, the rule of thumb is: pick only one bold piece to wear at a time and keep the rest of your outfit simple. Look to Missoni for guidance

Finally, when asked what her basic wardrobe pieces are, she included the following: her signature look, a jumpsuit (Rachel loves prints as well as solids), a well-fitting jean, a leather jacket in brown or black – Rachel said she is “all about the jacket”, black and nude pumps, a great handbag, statement jewelry pieces, and added accessories – hats and scarves.

It was a fun chat and helpful too. And so MAJ!

What do you think?

Hidden treasures

Spring is fast approaching and it feels like the right time to update your wardrobe. Time to add one or two colorful accessories, like a bright new bag or pair of shoes. Or, perhaps you need a foundation piece. But before you shop, it is a good idea to check your closets. You may be pleasantly surprised as you find hidden treasures waiting to be rediscovered.

I found a skirt in my ‘out bin’ that really wasn’t so far out. In fact, I am not sure why it was there; it was in perfect condition. I also found a pair of hardly-worn black and white spectator shoes that will go perfectly with that skirt I almost ousted and my other black pants. Now I won’t need to buy a new pair. In addition, I found a long-forgotten tee and an orange Coach hobo bag (bought several years ago and currently on-trend)  also hidden in my closet, and just seeing them again made my heart jump! I had found new clothes!

This is not to say that you should hang on to clothing that no longer fits or is in poor condition. On the contrary, weeding out and removing outdated pieces is essential at the start of each new season. But finding an older treasure is entirely different. Not only will you save money as you rediscover what you already own, but you will have money available to purchase something new and especially wonderful for spring. Remember that Girl Scout song? Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold? See what I mean? Treasures worth keeping!

What do you think?

Weekend chic

It is the weekend and I am lounging and feeling lazy. A satisfying feeling, especially after a hectic week. The question is … what to wear when I am lounging and taking it easy? Do I take time to dress the part? Too often the answer is no. I have become a little careless in what I choose to wear on weekends. When I think no one is looking I tend to let it go. But I have forgotten one important thing. I am my own audience and I am always looking. Am I not enough?

I read an article recently in More Magazine that addressed the importance of having fun with your weekend look by pulling yourself out of your rut and selecting more chic casual options, while still remaining comfortable. It is time to forget the sneakers and sweat pants; wear them only for exercise. Forget the basic black handbag. Rather, opt for jeans or try other slim slacks and pair them with a more casual, flat boot. Change to a colorful handbag. Accessories in general are wonderful ways to add pop and enhance any weekend outfit. Wrap a colorful scarf over your jacket and a touch of jewelry. Even better?  Choose a dressier earring or necklace with a simple t-shirt. I love to mix and match high and low! It is one of my best kept secrets.

Be your own audience when selecting what you wear on the weekend. Do it for yourself because you are worth it!  Happy weekend.

What do you think?