i am a fashion designer. gee
click here to maximize your minimalism!

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are you a fonts enthusiast? a typophile?
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find the beauty on your daily walk! take time to notice the details of your landscape.
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there is nothing like seeing a great handbag in action.
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plastics are our future. how can you resist plastic? it is so shiny and pleasing. I have a penchant for plastics.
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chronicling my quest for the one true
Greek Cup
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have you ever noticed the similarity between nyc fire call boxes and benevolent Kannon, goddess of mercy?
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every design, fashion and art magazine I read lately features some important directional artist making big contributions to their genre. and where do they live? brooklyn!
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who says there are no more 'new ideas' in art and design? the newness is in the juxtaposition.
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this is how I really get things done. with my little green co-worker/task-master.
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my clothing & accessories design
east-meets-west minimalism

my site

the look
dressy utilitarian

my concept
useful, economical, modular pieces that can be mix-matched in numerous ways (because why can't fashion be useful and lasting? I think it can!) So I say Maximize your Minimalism!

Satin Karate Belt featured in Dec 06 Real Simple

Voted Best Designer 2006 Style Bakery
'On the Rise'

Daily Buss Feature

Luckymag.com Feature

in the blog press
midtown lunch
the girl who ate everything
queens eats
(into) the fray
funky finds
style document
gowanus lounge
far too cute
ethereal bliss
couture in the city
independent luxe
decor 8
funky finds
urban socialite
lady licorice
high fashion girl

more press...

furniture (especially chairs from the 50s and 60s), uniforms, repeating patterns, menswear, Oscar Niemeyer, traditional Japanese architecture, the Rimpa School and Ogata Korin's 8-Point Bridge, Matisse, bromeliads, succulents and other waxy flora

particular loves
bamboo, coral, moss, woodgrain, silhouettes & other cut-outs, plastic, low-resolution images, the photo copier, off-registration prints, Max Ernst's Lunar Asparagus, NYC fire call boxes that look like Kannon, Fauvist color sense, the Noguchi Museum, pretty much all of Abstract Expressionism

magazines of current interest
Domino, Elle Decor (British), ARTnews, Art in America, Wallpaper

favorite heel style
the wedge, but a sleek modern interpretation

second favorite
the stiletto

current shoe obsession
alas, the sneaker. (because I live in nyc and walk a ton!) but not too sneakery of a sneaker. more of a sneaker disguised as a shoe, like a mary jane style or a high-tech looking black one with a metallic accent. how about Royal Elastics? I must go try some on. I really like the non-sneakeryness of their styles.





picasso morph

These Picasso Morph notepads displayed in the window of the Kitano Hotel gift shop on Park Avenue and 36th Street lured me right into the store, which was filled with tiny gifts. A fun store to browse. I like the sculptural quality of the pads. Designed by Schleeh, $20.




minus bags

I thought these cotton screen printed totes by Minus Bags were an attractive alternative to the dreaded plastic, and a quieter, more friendly alternative to the Anya Hindmarch tote. As New York is truly a tote bag city* you will probably want more than one. At a very reasonable $16 each, you can buy one for your grocery shopping and another for your gym stuff/shoes/lunch general city toting. Minus Bags are locally grown in Brooklyn and printed in New Hampshire. Hmm. That sounds familiar. My line is locally grown in Brooklyn and printed in Massachusetts. MB Mullan and I should get together and chat.

Minus Bags are a plus, aren't they?

*When I first moved here, my friend Elizabeth told me that New York was a tote bag city, and she was right. All I do is tote things. Tote tote tote. My shoulder hurts. I need a Minus Bag. Maybe the chocolate brown with the green peas. Or the grey with they yellow lemons.

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dalaga expands the store

The designer clothing business is certainly booming in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I am so happy to see that my neighborhood is supporting these individually owned, designer-run creative retail projects. Both Dalaga and Alter, at 150 Franklin St and 109 Franklin St respectively, have expanded their shops this month.

I reported on the Alter alteration on Tuesday. On Friday, I checked out the new and improved Dalaga which expanded its retail square footage significantly this past month. When you enter the new store, which has doubled in size, you won't believe your eyes. The store is positively cavernous. Owner Michelle is certainly doing something right. It is exciting to watch her business grow.

Michelle has invited me back this week to take photos, after the final paint is applied and all the finishing touches are in place. So stay tuned. But I had to say 'wow' in the meantime. If you want to see for yourself, take the G to Greenpoint and have a shopping day.

150 Franklin Street
Greenpoint, Brooklyn 11222
G to Greenpoint Ave

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the un

I swim right down the street from the UN. Walking to the pool this afternoon was quite a scene of police escorts and black livery vans and cars. I'd love to take some pictures tomorrow to show you, but I don't really want to be taking pictures in that area. Especially tomorrow. I think the President's speech will coordinate exactly with my swim time. That should be interesting.

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marc does it again

You can bet that this 'Piggyback Purse' which Marc Jacobs showed on his New York Fashion Week runway last week (not Paris, my mistake), will be on the streets in no time. And by on the streets, I mean at the knock-off kiosks on Canal Street and at the better tables on Madison near Barneys. Perhaps some may sneak into the hands of the guys who set up on 5th and 18th. They always get a few advance pieces of the hot trends, and at better prices than the guys on Madison.

While you may not love Marc's Piggyback Purse on first glance, don't worry. You will. When you see it carried by everyone and their mother, you will begin to covet it and you won't know why. And if they should delay the availability, or offer it as a limited edition, forget it. You will be hooked beyond belief. You will start to mentally coordinate outfits to wear with your new purse. You will imagine yourself in situations where you will elicit envious glances from other women. You won't know what you will do until the moment you can proudly call the Piggyback Purse by Marc Jacobs your own.

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well, you missed it

Night Presence IV

And I am sorry you did. I didn't, however. I saw the Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) retrospective in all its glory at The Jewish Museum before it closed on September 16. The exhibition was just down the street, 92nd Street, that is, from the permanent installation of Night Presence IV (1972, cor-ten steel) on the green median strip of Park Avenue. Nevelson donated the sculpture as a gift to the City of New York. The original model for this work was included in the retrospective.

I have good news for you. The show will travel to the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco for a brief showing, October 27-January 13. It is a rare opportunity to see so many of Nevelson's pieces under one roof, gathered from private collections and museums around the world. Her works in series have been reassembled as cohesive installations to create a new harmony among the forms. I saw details I never saw before, and understood her work in a new context.

If you are in the neighborhood of 92nd Street and Park Avenue, you must pay a visit to Night Presence IV, and then take trip to San Francisco to complete your study on this great sculptor.

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door organizer

The "unforgettable Doorganizer meets you on the way out." Well that's nice. That sounds friendly and rather caring.

I spotted the Doorganizer near the register at The Container Store the other day, examined it, and imagined the possibilities and ramifications of a life that organized. Imagine that when you travel, you can take it along and hang it on your hotel room door.

Modern life certainly can be frazzling, and it is comforting to know that these sorts of tools can help you get through the day. So for you, there is the Doorganizer, $14.99, available at The Container Store. Personally, I would need a large satchel to hang on the door. Or perhaps a filing cabinet with a strap.

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zoozoom 12: patrick weder

[page print from zoozoom.com]

Published: Zoozoom.com, The Zoo Daily

Read it on Zoozoom: click here
Writing: Elaine Perlov
Photo: courtesy of Patrick Weder

If you have not already discovered the furniture design and sculptural objects of Patrick Weder, please peruse my article on Zoozoom at once. You will be pleased you did.

If you cannot view on Zoozoom: click on the image above
To read more of my articles for Zoozoom: click here

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reusable shopper by method

Now this is a reusable shopper I find rather cute. Browsing Happy Mundane, which is always a good browse, I found these photos, and thought I would share them with you. Word has it that Method, the popular eco cleaning products sold at Target, will be offering this "plastic bag rehab" designed by Danny Seo, as a gift with purchase of $20 or more beginning in October. I like this bag better than Anya Hindmarch's, but of course you know that already.

On the back are '16 ways to feel better and look good' while using the bag. Very wry. Sure, I'll buy $20 worth of Method products to get this bag. I am sold. How about you?

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h fredriksson runway photos

13 of the 29 Spring 2008 looks at H Fredriksson

As runway photos are not my specialty, I leave it to the experts. At Helena's showing on September 9, I observed the design details, took in the scene and made notes for my future article I am writing for Zoozoom, leaving my camera in my bag. Pictured above, some looks from the H Fredriksson show. [images from Fashion Tribes]

For details about the show and my 'calm before the throng' photos, see H Fredriksson Runway at the SoHo Grand.

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umbra biblioteca

I think the Alter boys have their finger on the pulse of something. They sawed the chair in half for their window display [pictured below] and Umbra sawed their bookcase in half. I spied the Umbra Biblioteca bookshelf on Happy Mundane, and had to feature it here, in light of the Alter display I talked about in the previous post.

I am a big fan of Umbra. This haunting bookshelf is designed by Matt Carr, and is available on Umbra.com for $525.

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alter: the new and expanded

Look closely to see the chair sawed in half, or just click here.

Are you in need of a Deconstructed Tuxedo Shirt in a jiffy?
Attach a Vintage Ruffle Placket to your boring old shirt.
They button right on, $48, from
This Old Thing?

Alter's signature combat boot 'vases' and black roses.

I love the evolution of the window displays at Greenpoint menswear and womenswear boutique, Alter. Can you believe the hanging element is a chair sawed in half? The curved lines of the chairs are fab, contrasted with the graphic diagonal white decals. Double-fab.

You must pay a visit to see the window display sans glare, and to see the recent Alter-ations to the store. Alter is now one third larger! Owner/designers Roy Caires and Tommy Cole do such a nice job on the visual displays. I love the vignette they created in the new alcove, avec oil painting. So charming.

Related Articles:
Read Shopping on Franklin: Alter for a before-the-expansion backstory
Read the Alter blog for more about the expansion of the store

109 Franklin Street (at Greenpoint Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11222
G to Greenpoint Ave

Alter: the new one third.

The vignette avec oil painting

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image by sulu

Check out this fab image on Sulu Design's blog. You must click the image on her blog to enlarge it. Wow, right? It would make great wallpaper for your computer, wouldn't it? Then again, it might make you thirsty.


two tagines are better than one

If you are seeking a memorable evening out, you may want to pair your pre-dinner cocktails at Under the Volcano with a fabulous meal and special dining experience just across the street at Barbes. Once of the highlights of their Morrocan menu is the smoky eggplant (zaalouk), which is very garlicky and delicious. And the fish tagine is one of the great tagines of the Western world. Suffice it to say, the meal was most tasty. Click here for the menu.

19-21 E 36th Street (Madison and 5th)
New York

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under the volcano

When you walk around New York enough, you will eventually find all sorts of interesting spots for a snack or a cocktail or a coffee and pastry. As my husband and I are want to walk our feet off in search of a new spot to please our senses (wow, we sound like dedicated hedonists or something), as a result, we find quite a few pleasing spots that are off the beaten path, if there is a such thing in New York City.

If you are a lover of Hemingway-style rum daiquiris or margaritas, made with real tasty lime juice instead of that horrid fake stuff, you might want to toddle over to Under the Volcano. The drinks are delicious and the seats are comfortable. The literary name caught our eye, and we thought, why not? The room was packed with an after work crowd. But there was a table available, and the waitress was very sweet, if there is such a thing in New York City.

Under the Volcano
12 E 36th St (Madison and 5th)
New York

A view of the rum-colored stained glass windows from the inside of Under the Volcano.
A pleasing dimly-lit unfettered room with a long bar and cocktail tables in the front.

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fashion week has come and gone

Models darting to their next show. Admittedly, I was focusing on the power cords
being routed from the Aggreko truck parked on 42nd Street over the fence to the Tents.

The little engine that could.
Aggreko provides the heating, cooling and electrical generation for the Tents.

Wednesday was the last day of New York Fashion Week at Bryant Park. And now it is off to London (September 15-20), Milan (September 22-29) and finally Paris (September 29-October 7), where, by the way, Marc Jacobs is showing this year, not NYC. Hmpff.*

Before it all went away, I took these shots of the Aggreko generators and all the massive wiring used to power the Tents. Fascinating. I learned that the Bryant Park venue requires Aggreko to provide enough electricity and air handling to support a 1.5-million-square-foot Manhattan office building. Wow.

Here is an interesting article in Architecture Week about the build-out for Fashion Week. It certainly is quite a production. Worth a read.

*9.20.07 Note: I had been hearing rumblings about Marc leaving New York, but it did not happen this year. He showed his Marc Jacobs Spring 2008 collection in New York, two hours late! Suzy Menkes was maddder than mad. Here is are more comments from Menkes. I just love this stuff.

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h fredriksson runway at the soho grand

The show was sponsored by Budweiser, as you can see from the crowns.

The calm before the throng. I got there early. It was so peaceful
because no one arrives on time. Nor does the show start on time.
But that is to be expected. I love the garden party chairs arranged in perfect rows.

And on every garden party chair, a gift bag. Who doesn't love a nice perk?

I had quite the nice afternoon at the H Fredriksson Spring 2008 runway show at the SoHo Grand Hotel yesterday. Fashion shows bring a funny crowd. There were lots of people doing their darndest to get a seat and get a gift bag. The cloying smell of bragging and bubble gum was in the air. Is bubble gum popular again or something? Everywhere I go lately, people are chewing like cows.

Anyway, I was pleased with my seat on the aisle in the B-2 section. I examined my booty while I waited. On my seat was a bottle of Budweiser, a bottle of Fiji water, two hair products by Joico and two makeup products by Jane Iredale, all sponsors of the venue. I got very excited and then unexcited by the makeup freebies. Nude lipstick and deep plum matte eyeshadow, neither of which are my shades. If the colors were reversed, then yes. Add a little shimmer to both, then yes, perfect. I remain excited about my hair products. The Fiji, always refreshing. The Budweiser, no comment.

When at last the show began, 29 looks strutted down the runway with flutter sleeves all aflutter in shiny silk charmeuse. Helena Fredriksson's Spring 2008 collection very much continued the stories and shapes she created for Fall 2007 with an emphasis on billowing volumetric dresses (18 of the 29 looks were dresses), presented in a straight-forward manner, un-layered and lightly accessorized with a cropped jacket, belt or necklace here and there.

We saw lots of volume in the sleeves, in the body, or in the cascading neckline, and sometimes all at once. But the drape of the lightweight fabrics Fredriksson chooses, especially when paired with an unstructured belt to create definition at empire waist, makes the volume work in a delicately flattering, figure-emphasizing way. Similarly, her volumetric tops when paired with high-waisted bottoms -- hi shorts, hi pants and high-waisted pleat skirts and poof skirts -- also created that delicately feminine and appealing empire waist silhouette. Of the bottoms Fredriksson presented, the inverted-pleat A-line skirts in shimmer fabrics were my favorite. All in all, a creative nicely-executed collection by this Brooklyn-based designer.

Photographers at the end of the runway testing their shots.
Little do they know the models won't turn around, stop
and make the sign of the Nestea Plunge.

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h fredriksson show

I am going to see the H Fredricksson show at the SoHo Grand Hotel this Sunday. I am on the list, thanks to my writing cred at Zoozoom. Yes, go ahead and envy me. I will let you know what I see. Hee. It should be fabulous.

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on the other side of the tents

This man on the left is the closest I came to spotting Andre Leon Talley.
I did see him at Paris Fashion Week when I was there.
He was all over the place, but it was thrilling every time I saw him.
He was quite tall. Quite tall and had a great voice.

The throngs on 42nd Street clamoring to get in. Exciting! I like the throngs.

I like the graphics for Fashion Week this year. Very mappy.

Just in case you are not in New York and are missing the excitement in Bryant Park, I thought I would bring you the flavor around the tents. Not on the inside of the tents, because anyone can bring you that these days. Fashion Week has become so, well, common. Especially when hotels are selling tickets to shows. Boo.

Another Andre Leon Talley false alarm. Is that!!? No.
That happened a lot.

I noticed many solitary men and women waiting outside the tents
and started to take their portraits. Some private moments.

Attending to business in between the shows.

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i am a fashion designer. gee

People often ask me what designers I like (Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld), and then after they have listened politely to my answer, love to get into the fine points of the designers they love or have heard of, or who are selling at H&M. For me, fashion is not only about the clothes, but also about the psychology, the packaging, the branding, the marketing, the mixing of pattern, color and texture and the resulting unique juxtapositions one can create, and the mining of cultures, time periods and other art forms for inspiration.

I am interested in Marc, Tom and Karl for the brands they have built, the style they create, and for what they have to say. I was sorry to hear when Marc checked himself into rehab, and was rooting for Tom to find new backers and design under his own name after he left Gucci. To read or listen to a Karl interview is a thrill. Did you read the March 19, 2007 in-depth article about Karl in The New Yorker? It is fantastic. I savored every word. Here is one outlandish quote, which gave me food for thought:

“I throw everything away!” he declared. “The most important piece of furniture in a house is the garbage can! I keep no archives of my own, no sketches, no photos, no clothes—nothing! I am supposed to do, I’m not supposed to remember!” He smoothed a gloved hand over the empty page in front of him and visibly relaxed.

I follow a lot of brands, and naturally a lot of trends; but I am most interested, as a designer myself, in the moments of inspiration before the final product. Sure, I can find inspiration in some clothes in some stores sometimes, but I get consistent ideas and creative excitement from the urban landscape, from art and sculpture, from the textures, materials and patterns in architecture, and in the juxtapositions of all of those things that cause me to pause, write in my notebook, take a photo, or publish my musings in the blog.

Whether you are new to my blog, or have been reading since my first entry on December 18, 2005, you can begin to understand from my various entries what interests me most about fashion and the world around me, and what makes me tick as a designer, writer, and assimilator/processor/re-processor of stimuli. I guess I am interested in the creative process in general, and the moments that lead up to the creative product. I am interested in other creative people's stories of what drives them to make what they make. For me, that happens to be clothing and accessories.

I am interested in the specific artfulness of clothing, but also in the artifice of clothing, or the manner in which people choose to present themselves publicly. But that is another post for another day. Suffice it to say, clothing gives the wearer a layered power of expression. And what specific personality or qualities about ourselves are we attempting to communicate with the facade we choose each day? Food for thought.

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bcbg max azria

You can watch a video of this morning's BCBG Max Azria show. Click here!

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dollar store delights: tissue boxes

You can ask my husband. I am very thrilled to find graphically-pleasing tissue boxes at the Dollar Store, to the point of buying them in quantity. Why not. They are only 99 cents each.

My local Dollar Store on Manhattan Avenue just received this delightful shipment from 'Petals' this week. I love the fluffy white marigolds; and I especially love that the flowers are divorced from their context. No stems. No garden scene. Just marigold pom-poms floating in the ether. They almost take on an abstract Duchampian quality.

I bought a box in lavender [pictured above] and a few in royal blue. As I write this, I am thinking that I should have also bought the dark brown, to match my bath towels. Excuse me while I quickly run to the Dollar Store.

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fashion week starts today

"The Scene" is blank. The "Designers" are blank.
The official MB Fashion Week Website is poised.
The first show doesn't start for another 20 minutes, after all.

Today is Day 1 of Fashion Week! I thought you might want to peruse the official roster. Here are the shows scheduled for Wednesday September 5. I think I might stroll over to Bryant Park today and snap some photos of the crowds. Personally, I am looking forward to attending the H Fredriksson show on September 9.

The Salon
The Tent
The Promenade
310 W Broadway
The Salon
The Tent
The Promenade
25 W 39th St
DIA, 548 W 22nd St
The Salon
The Promenade
8 PM L.A.M.B.
The Tent
9 PM Venexiana
The Salon




ahhh fall.

Yesterday may have been the symbolic end of Summer, but by my calendar, Fall does not begin until a September 23 this year. So why not make another reservation at a spectacular outdoor dining spot this week, and continue soak up the wonderful summer weather?

Gigino at Wagner Park is the spot for you. I know, because it was the spot for us on Saturday. The food is great and the location is pretty special, with a view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Make your dinner reservation for around 6:30 or 7, in time to see the glorious sunset. You will be so pleased you did.

Gigino Wagner Park
20 Battery Place
New York, NY

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