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

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click here to view my favorites from the archives. gee




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.





a great event i nearly attended

The 'Pool Room' at The Four Seasons is stunning.

I almost got to attend a dinner at The Four Seasons restaurant hosted by MediaBistro featuring discussion with top women's magazine personel, including Editors in Chief of Blueprint, Glamour, Us Weekly, Cosmo Girl, and Real Simple. It was to be a prix fixe dinner with drinks, gift bags and a discussion of the inner workings of the magazine industry. At The Four Seasons! One of my favorite restaurants of all time. I was already planning my outfit. But just as I turned on my computer to RSVP, I learned that I was invited by database error, and thus uninvited. Sorry, no writers. Only top editors of selected magazines. Zoozoom wasn't on the list. Alas. I even called and tried to plead a little, but learned quickly that it was futile. My almost-great New York story to tell for years to come was not to be. I am still a little sad.



lagerfeld confidential

By some mysterious stroke of good fortune this past Saturday, when we arrived at Film Forum for the new documentary on one of my favorite designers, Karl Lagerfeld, we found that the 8:20 showing of Lagerfeld Confidential was totally free. It was paid for by HSBC. When does that ever happen? Thank you HSBC.

So I suppose you want to know my feelings on the film which Lagerfeld debuted during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. Well, I love a chance to learn anything about Karl, and to see him in action. So in that way, it was a treat. But I feel that the powerhouse creative side of him was not explored enough and explained enough. You want to come away from a film about an artist inspired and itching to get in the studio and create something yourself. You want to feel energized in your own pursuits. I am afraid that this film did not have any arc of storytelling and lost its way and its momentum too many times. But if you are a fan of Karl, it is certainly worth a watch. Especially if HSBC is covering your ticket!

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zoozoom 13: paul loebach

[page print from zoozoom.com]

Published: Zoozoom.com, The Zoo Daily

Read it on Zoozoom: click here
Writing: Elaine Perlov
Photo: courtesy of Paul Loebach

I found every layer of Paul Loebach's witty design sense to be utterly captivating. Great furniture design for the brain and the eyes.

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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My friend Jodi has entered the blogosphere. Check out her blog Ourhaus which she writes with her husband Christopher about their new loft just outside of Boston.

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i am a test pattern. gee (5th edition)

It is time for another recap of my top 7 favorite posts from the past few months. Enjoy!

  1. It's Outdoor Patio Season!
  2. Speaking of Gursky, How About Edward Burtynsky?
  3. Push-Pull: Simply Fontastic!
  4. Let's Not Forget Tord Boontje...
  5. It's Getting to Look a lot like Fashion Week
  6. H Fredriksson Runway at the SoHo Grand
  7. Grocery + Open House + Lolita + more

There were a lot of good ones in August. That month, I was on a roll.

I am working on some freelance projects at the moment, so please peruse the archives until I get back.

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street art coaster

This is an interesting image. You can find it on elsewheres.com on a set of 'street art coasters' that are handmade in LA. I guess I like anything with birds and scissors. But the juxtaposition makes for a compelling image.

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fabulous stationary

I found Fabulous Stationary this morning by clicking through an ad on Decor8. Aren't these cards fabulous? I was most attracted to the Blush collection for the 50s quality of the line and color, and selected these four examples above. I love the wry expressions on the birds' faces. All cards are customizable with your desired message, monogram or name. Each set contains 25 notecards and 25 envelopes. Customization options are numerous, so be sure to scroll down on the order form and thoroughly explore your options. Production time is quoted as 5-7 days. That seems super-speedy and great! Even if you are short on time for planning a fun party, you can still get customized invitations.

You may also love the fabulous Metropolitan collection, if you love bold flat pattern. I do. Ok, I'll let you start browsing. And coincidentally, Fabulous Stationary is based in Philadelphia!

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dear click clack,

Dear Click Clack Containers,

I am sorry I made disparaging remarks about your costliness the other day, comparing you to a Japanese square watermelon and the like. I now can fully appreciate your quality airtight seals and your fun-to-use clicky clacky snap-shut handles. You have to understand where I am coming from. I live in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, which is full of dollar stores. I am afraid that I have been conditioned over the past couple of years to expect to pay just one dollar for anything I want. I now realize that quality sometimes costs more, and it is worth it to spend a little more to get long-range pleasure from a purchase.

Today I bought couscous from C-Town and it came in a cardboard box. I had some room with the ramen, so I just stored the couscous right in the original box. But I have peace of mind knowing that my foodstuffs are safe and sealed.

Thank you again for your great product.


Elaine Perlov

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thomas paul plates

Thomas Paul, you are killing me with all your great plate designs. How is a person to choose? And they are melamine! My favorite. Don't click on the image, take a look at his Website (click melamine).

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Galaktoboureko. Now that is a great name for a dessert. 'The best dessert in the whole Galaxy' is how I like to think of this Greek dessert which combines a semolina custard, flaky phyllo dough and honey drizzle. Yum! Here is a recipe. Not that I am suggesting you make one. I am suggesting that you take yourself to Astoria and share a galaktoboureko and a frappe at an outdoor cafe with the one you love. I did!

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danny seo: simply green parties

A quick way to make woodgrain coasters

Single-use soap petals!

There are a few clever DIY ideas in eco-personality Danny Seo's new book, Simply Green Parties. Like the woodgrain coasters. I can make them today. I already have a woodgrain rocker. I would use colored tiles though, for a more interesting contrast. Like chartreuse tiles and brown paint. Or red tiles and brown paint. Of course, if you couldn't find the colored tiles, you could paint them, wait for them to dry completely, and then do the brown layer with the woodgrain rocker.

I really love his single-serving party soap curls. It is a wonderful alternative to pump dispenser soap, and a far more clean and hygienic idea than the bar. Imagine how intriguing a bowl full of soap curls would look in your bathroom! I am running out right now to find the perfect bowl. I think it should be a dark wood bowl with slanted sides. Or maybe a long shallow tray in light blue. I think they sell the Pears glycerine soap at one of the dollar stores in my neighborhood. Or you can find it at any Indian grocery store for around $1 per bar. Now all I need to do is plan a dinner party so I can use my soap curls. Thanks Danny! I am inspired.

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more scenes from sephora

Three 'Love Your Look' collections from Benefit let you express your lifestyle through color.
Pictured above and just below, Gabbi, for 'extra-oomph'

The Gabbi Look
"These medium neutral shades are your wearable wows!"

Lana is 'neutrally sweet'

Betty is 'dramatic'

Benefit has an eye-catching display at Sephora. The San Francisco-based cosmetic line's mantra: "Laughter is the best cosmetic...so grin and wear it!" I like it. And I like the glamourpuss plastic toy dolls on the boxes. Talk about an unattainable aesthetic! I am definitely attracted to the brand for its sense of humor and play. Yes, that is a great selling point. To read more about the brand, click on each doll.

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to beautify every inch of your home or not to beautify every inch of your home, that is the question

As I said the other day, I had to buy containers (what else?) at The Container Store (where else?) to store all of our pasta, grains and assorted other foodstuffs. As I was in a shopping mood, still triggered by our visit to Foster's homeware in Philly, I wandered over a few aisles and found this clear plastic pebble-like sink mat by InterDesign, a favorite houseware brand of mine. My first instincts were, "Yes, I do want to create that faux Zen feeling in my sink!" and "Yes I do deserve to look at something lovely while I do the dishes, to brighten up an otherwise mundane, seemingly never-ending task. Seemingly, ha. It is never-ending."

And then my second instincts said, as they can do in their doubting, practical, undermining any spontaneous pleasure sort of way, "But wait, is this sink mat just going to create extra work for myself? Will this mat be working for me, or will I be working for this mat, cleaning it in addition to the stack of dishes? Will I become obsessed with making the clear pebbles sparkle? That can happen you know."

Luckily my first instincts won out, and I plunked down the $9.99 at the register, and strolled down Lex on my merry way to the E train on 53rd, swinging my bag filled with joy, containers, and a brand new pebble sink mat to brighten up my mundane existence. Doesn't that just tug at your 'nesting' heartstrings? Well it should.

The InterDesign Pebble Sink Mat, in situ

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from street fair to street fair

Czech Street Festival, NYC
Yes I am aware that this is a lousy picture.
No I don't know those people.

The Fall Festival in Philadelphia. One of the restaurant tents.

The crowd on S 13th at the Philadelphia street fair

My husband and I are suckers for a good street fair. We'll go to any one and browse (and find the popcorn sample guy). We found two street fairs in Philadelphia. One seemed to only serve cheese steaks. We left. Another, on S 13th and Sansom that I mentioned, was in the shape of a giant plus sign, which was not optimum for crowd flow, and was really just a giant outdoor patio where restaurants put up tents in front of their establishments and served drinks mainly. Here is a blurb about the Philly Fall Festival, with a great graphic.

I think I like the New York Street fairs better. We wandered up to the Czech Street fair on 83rd between Madison and Park on Saturday, which was filled with not unsimilar food to our Polish neighborhood restaurants, and then gradually wandered our way down Lex to pick up still more Click Clack containers at The Container Store on 58th. What we found in between those two points was pretty fabulous, but I will describe more about that later. Here, a gratuitously visual post: my tales of three street fairs in two cities.

The phamous Philly cheese steak.
Yes I was a tourist and took a picture.
So what, I was a tourist.

A flattened Sumo wrestler costume at the Fall Festival, Philadelphia
Inexplicable, yet amusing.

The activated Sumo wrestler costume.
As I was photographing this event, a man asked me
how much it cost and did he have a partner and what was
this thing anyway. I stared back blankly. I don't know.
Oh I thought you knew him, he said. No I don't.
I would have said, no I am a blogger, but I don't
really engage people on the street anymore since I've lived in New York.
Philly is strange. People make eye contact and talk to you there.
I am not used to that anymore.

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scenes from sephora

I will tell you a secret. The Marc Jacobs solid perfume in the irresistible white leather carrying case got the better of me the other day. I was walking home and there was Sephora, glowing (because it was nighttime), and pulling me in. I went in to browse aimlessly and maybe spend some of my gift card money on Decleor skincare products, although I was already fully stocked. Sometimes a girl just needs to browse products to clear her head. At least this girl does. But then I saw Marc! The last one on the shelf! HAHA!

It is mine now. And it only cost me $21.47.

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grocery + open house + lolita + more

Grocery, an upscale corner mini market on 13th and Chestnut in Philadelphia is just one of the retail ventures of dynamic duo Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney. They also own and operate Open House, a dazzling home accessories store just two doors down, as well as Lolita, a Mexican restaurant across the street, and Bindi, an Indian restaurant sandwiched in between Grocery and Open House that is slated to open in November in the old Grocery Cafe space.

Don't their cupcakes look good? The jimmies sparkle in the sunlight. The cupcakes are prominently featured in the store, which also offers Dean and Deluca-style lunch options such as lovely yet pricey sandwiches, panini, salads, and the like, as well as a small selection of cheeses, and packaged goods. We ran into a fun, but mini by New York standards, street fair on Saturday on S 13th and Sansom and had the opportunity to browse Safran's and Turney's retail offerings at length. Grocery is about one third of the size of a New York deli, but hey, it's Philly. Judge it on its own merit. I still say, Philadelphia is a great town for eating.

105 S 13th St
Philadelphia, PA


105 S 13th St
opening in November

Open House
107 S 13th St

106 S 13th St


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click clack containers

My food after Click Clack. Peace of mind.

Today, I spent my day sorting food. And repackaging food into pricey airtight rectangular containers made in New Zealand which I had to purchase at The Container Store. I remember seeing these containers, perfectly shaped for small urban kitchen cabinets, a year ago. I wrote down measurements in my notebook for all the food I needed to store, and marched to the Click Clack display with my tape measure. Thankfully, all the sizes I wanted were in stock at the 58th Street store. We simply don't have the space for round containers. As I write this, all I can think of is the costly Japanese square watermelon, apparently invented to save space in store displays, and in people's refrigerators. But can that really be true?

Anyway, too many dollars later, I have the perfect containers to keep my food airtight and yes well bug-free. If it weren't for the critters, I would not have spent the too many dollars. I would have kept the food in the packages they came in, as I always did. But now that I own the Click Clack containers, I am pleased as punch, and feel that at least it is a good investment. I kind of like click-clacking them open and closed. And I have the peace of mind knowing my lentils and other foodstuffs are safe.

In my mind, the Click Clack containers are similar to the Japanese square watermelons.
Costly, but great space savers.

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fontastic in philly

What do I like about this font at the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society Building on Market and 12th Streets, now the Loews Philadelphia Hotel since 2000? The rounded smoothness. Just look at the beautiful '8.' And the depth of the letters. They cast quite a shadow.

The PSFS by architects George Howe and William Lescaze was completed in 1932 and is noted for being the first truly modern skyscraper in Philadelphia, complete with an escalator in the lobby. Created in the International Style, this converted 36-floor office building is wonderfully unique hotel experience in the heart of the city. It was a thrill to stay in this historic landmark a few years ago. And the pool! The pool was fabulous. Here is a bit more about the ground-breaking design of the PSFS Building from AbsoluteArts.com:

The second section will demonstrate how every aspect of the building, from its red neon rooftop sign to its Cartier clocks, was designed by the architects as a seamless work of art. Beyond its progressive architecture, the building was heralded for other pioneering elements, some of which would become standard features of post-World War II commercial buildings. Among these innovations are street-level shops, the use of an escalator as a primary means of entrance, radio outlets in every office, nearby garage facilities, high-rise elevators, thermostatically controlled heat and a rooftop observation platform. Perhaps the most noteworthy advance of all was the use of air conditioning, which ranked PSFS the second tallest building in America to be climate controlled. This section of the exhibition will also display photography and Modernist graphic designs created to promote the building at its opening.

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the reading terminal market

Hot apple dumplings from one of the Amish stands.
They look so delicious and only cost $2.25. Imagine how fresh they must taste.
I took a few pictures.

We made a beeline for the Reading Terminal Market as soon as we arrived on Friday in Philadelphia. We walked from our hotel in University City on 36th and Chestnut, all the way down to 12th and Arch. Yes we like to walk our feet off. Especially if the goal is great food. Our favorites of the market always include the spinach pies at Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties, the soft Amish pretzels at Fisher's Soft Pretzels, the coffee at Old City Coffee, the biscotti at Termini Brothers, and now a new favorite, the hot apple dumplings at Dutch Eating Place. Had I known the Amish stands would be closed on Monday (the day we left), I would have tried an apple dumpling on Friday. And stocked up on the soft pretzels too. Maybe it was best. We did stock up on spinach pies for the ride home. It is our tradition after all.

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our hotel pool

Unfortunately there would be no musings from the pool for me in Philly. Our hotel only had an outdoor pool, and well, it was drained for the season. By the way, this was the view outside our window. I guess there would have been non-stop screaming kid noises had the pool been open, so I should count my blessings.

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foster's homeware

I cannot stop thinking about Foster's Homeware which opened on Market and 3rd in Philadelphia this past weekend. This store is jam packed with all my favorite items for the home, all brightly colored, appealing, well-designed, and best of all, affordable. I love the store's aesthetic. There were so many things I wanted to bring home with us, but my suitcase was already to capacity, filled with many outfits, and well, 6 pairs of shoes. Do you tend to bring too many shoes on your vacations, or is it just me?

Anyway, back to Foster's. They have great place mats and table runners. You can find these items right as you walk in the door. I am wishing I purchased a certain brown polka dotted table runner now. But hey, there is always the Website. Or another trip to the store. If you live in Philly, check out this new spot!

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back from philly

Philadelphia is a great restaurant city. There are so many gems all within walking distance. We hadn't been to Philly since we moved from Boston, and let me tell you, the Amtrak trip is so short and sweet from New York Penn Station. Only an hour and a half vs. seven hours from Boston. We have vowed to make reservations at our favorite restaurants, like Alma de Cuba on Walnut and 16th, and go to Philly more often.

Above, a view of the Philadelphia 30th Street Station from the Schuylkill River. Check out the new mirrored building behind the train station. That is a new one since our last visit. I like it. More on Philly eating and shopping to come.