Monday, September 13, 2010

Fashion's Night Out with Neiman Marcus and Guerlain

By happy accident, I received a phone call from the lady at Neiman Marcus in the Guerlain counter.  I wanted a lipstick the last time I was in the store during Bellevue Fashion Week.  I use my Guerlain lipsticks until they are just tiny nubbins of color.  It was time to buy one but they were out of the color that I wanted.  In addition, since it was the beautiful Le Rouge G lipstick, they were about to have an engraving event in a few weeks.  Laurie urged me to wait.  I went home with goodies anyway that day though - a Meteorites refill.  If you have never used Meteorites, please do.  It's just incredible.  But moving on.  Lori (I hope I have spelled your name right - it is not on my receipt!) asked if I was coming up there for Fashion's Night Out.  I hadn't stopped to consider where I was going since I'd been swamped at work that week.  She mentioned a fashion show, cocktails, and treats and there she had me - hook, line, and sinker.

The Crowd on the Main Floor
It would seem that the Neiman Marcus staff may not have been the best prepared for the onslaught of people to enter their store.  They had set up a lovely area with silver mock bamboo chairs for the fashion show.  Complete with a contrived runway, it was ready to go at 7:30 as scheduled.  But it would seem that the people were ready to go by 6:00.  When I arrived, late due to traffic, the place was not yet standing room only but many of the chairs were reserved.  Cards or bits of accessory paraphernalia were laid out and it was tough for even a single girl like me to squeeze one seat.  I didn't manage to get a seat and it wasn't for lack of trying.  I decided to wait in the wings but wanted to wander the store before that.  Lori had mentioned artists' created fashion night t-shirts but they were gone by the time I arrived (or at least I never found them) There was plenty of action in the beauty department as it is the Beauty event.  I didn't wander too much as my primary goal was to have the Guerlain counter fix my make-up.  In my rush, I'd slapped on a lipstick that was much too awful for my dress.

John Paul - The God of Guerlain
Let me say that everyone at the Guerlain counter of Neiman Marcus are fantastic.  They are sweet, considerate, and some of the most talented make-up artists that I've had work with me.  Every time that I have been there, John Paul has been gracious and receiving.  The last time, I met Lori and this time, I had the privilege to meet Andrea who as John Paul says, has the most amazing talent with eye shadow.  This was the most fun that I had all night other than when my hubby and son stopped by to pick me back up.  The Guerlain people are so lovely and friendly.  John Paul introduced me to the Guerlain Aqua Toner and changed a few perceptions that I had about toners.  The Aqua Toner is not abrasive, softens my skin, and adds extra power to my moisturizer.  I am IN LOVE with this toner. He also introduced me to the Precious Light Illuminator which I swear I could be in love with but haven't quite developed the knack for using it yet.  Thanks to Andrea who not only made my eyes look fabulous but had a light touch so I didn't walk away and feel brutalized.  I missed you, Lori.  John Paul said you were swamped.

Me - Minus Eye Circles - Plus Better Lip Color!
Neiman Marcus had waiters with trays of hors d'oevres.  For sampling, there were shrimp kabobs, onion, tomato and goat cheese on bruscetta, and prosciutto wrapped asparagus (which I was sad not to try).  They were in rare supply as I think they were trying to squeeze them out over the evening.  They also offered cups of popcorn drizzled with truffle oil (delicious, I might make it this way at home!) and a tiny chip which I didn't get to try.  The drinks were plenty - a gimlet which I enjoyed, champagne, and water.  I had heard there were to be desserts but since I couldn't get a seat at the show or even a peek, I didn't stay.  By the time that I arrived back from the Beauty counters, it was more packed than before (and there were still people arriving).  I wore my bright purple Merona dress from Target.  I like the ease and simplicity but even for Target, it's a good quality.  I received many compliments on it.  Very few people were wearing any color.  It was a sea of black which made me sort of sad because there are some beautiful colors in the fall lines.  I thought I'd see more purple and red but it was not to be found.

I did stumble across a trunk show in the back of the store for the C O R S O N clothing line for Derek Andrew.  It's a beautiful minimalist line of clothing designed by two Bellevue designers.  Even though it seems simple on the surface, the materials and design give the line a practical, sleek edge.  I took a picture of the models.  My favorite pieces were the tan sweater and the tie pants (to the left).  The tan sweater was made out of thick chain knit but was deconstructed enough to be street worthy.  You can see it has tears in it.  But it seriously looked so soft that I found myself touching the model.  I'm sure she thought I was crazy but I did ask before I touched the sleeve.  The pants were a tie front baggy pant but they don't look baggy in the least which made them very sexy but comfortable.  The material was a black knit.  For a knit though, it had a finish that looked professional.  I could easily see wearing these to the office.

When I'd exhausted myself at Neiman Marcus, I made my way to Sur La Table - a delightful culinary refuge and then on to Hermes.  The Hermes store in The Bravern is relatively new so I had not been inside since they opened their doors.  It's a rather awkward store, small and divided into tiny areas.  By far, my favorite area was the scarf section.  The sales associate was already showing a few ladies (one of them with an adorable Dior Cannage Bag) how to use their newest scarf accesories.  I hate to simplify these and say that they are clips.  Really they are more like slides.  The horsebit slide was the current one that she was using but I liked the square ring.  Both were clean and modern and would add just enough flair to your Hermes Scarf.  I even learned a few new scarf techniques which is saying a lot since I worked in Accessories and have tied scarves almost EVERY way there is to tie them!

For a night out, it was fun.  I met great people along the way.  My husband and son enjoyed the Bellevue Collection while I was over at the Bravern.  I did try to make it to Nordstrom for the 'tweet up' but missed it as well.  By the time, I made it back to the Bellevue Collection, it was late and I was fading.  The highlight of that little side trip was that I met the owners of the new shop in the Collection called, "Oh! Chocolates".  I will be going there more often!  It was absolutely divine.  I have been subsisting off the honey chocolates that I purchased.  Not only that, the two gentlemen who helped me select chocolates are the most delightful and friendly assistants!  Thanks, guys!  Maybe we'll have to do an interview for the blog sometime!  I know I will be following yours avidly!

Overall, a night full of fun people, lots of goodies,and a few bumps along the way.  Can't complain!

Fashionably yours!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Quilts! Quilts! and MORE Quilts!

As the weather begins to turn cold and blustery (especially today), I begin to put my thoughts to a cozy bed to curl up in during the day with a 90210 marathon or at night with the hubby, kids, and animals.  What can I say, we have a full house!  I have been in particular looking for some quilts to put over the bed.  With their beautiful colors, awesome graphic patterns, and variety, quilts never lose their charm to me.  I am a huge fan of the quilt collection at the National Quilt museum and hope someday to see it in person.  But for now and practical reasons (I can't have a work of art on my bed!), I am lusting after these quilts!

The Pottery Barn has a wonderful selection of quilts and in particular they have some beauties for the fall.  Take a look at this incredible American Folkart museum quilt in a spectacular sunburst pattern.  It only comes in a queen size and would definitely blow my budget out of the water.  But that doesn't stop me from drooling over it both in the store and on the website!

I haven't ever ordered anything from The Company Store but I've slept under their duvets plenty of times at my Mother-in-law's beach house.  So I have a healthy respect for the quality of the product and the wonderful sleep I get.  But I have nearly ordered a few things this week because they have a lovely selection of bedding for the fall.  I love the unusual colors in the Potpourri quilt.  In addition, the geometric simplicity is appealing for a bedroom that is already pretty busy visually speaking.  Plus the cost of this quilt might be more in my price range.

The Gianna Scallop from The Pottery Barn
But I love the Pottery Barn so much that I could go for the Gianna Scallop and be perfectly happy with the lovely colors.  The neutral brown would coordinate with more of my bedding choices.  The red would add a punch of color to a palette that already might have too much blue in it.  And the pattern again is simple but rich. 

However, I am a huge fan of the handmade quilts and so I went on Etsy and found some gorgeous quilts, especially the ones by Pieces of Pine.  Or the gorgeous Figgy Pudding quilt by Life Quilts which would be wonderful to drape on my bed not just at Christmas.  And my absolute favorite, by The Bobbins Nest, the Birds of a Feather quilt.  It's so whimsical that I just wanted to snatch it up!  The Bobbins Nest makes quite a few adorable crib quilts that I would love to see in larger sizes like the Oliver LiL Hoot! 
Birds of a Feather Flock Together!!!

The problem is that I have to make a choice. And I didn't even show you the Hawaiian quilts that I love so much.   It's hard to pick just one!  But in the meantime, stay warm!

Fashionably yours!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tag/Garage Sale Finds of the Week - Givenchy and 1928

It was a strange tag sale weekend.  Usually I see things right away and snatch them up, but this weekend I stood in front of tables for several minutes picking through items before I found the goodies.  It was more like browsing but with curiosity.  I must have spent a half hour at one sale just picking through things both in the garage and out in the yard.  Another sale, I went back to the next day and picked around again!  But with dogged determination I came up with a few delights and spent very little money.

Look how LONG it is - Givenchy
My first find is by far the best.  I was halfheartedly lingering in front of a table at this tucked away lake cottage.  My husband was finding quite a few goodies but we'd been to a few sales and I wasn't really finding anything.  I am a patient person but it was getting to be bit bleak and it was only Friday!  The lady had some jewelry sitting on the table - various Avon pieces and unmarked vintage items.  Her sense of style wasn't bad but I just own quite a bit of jewelry so I'm picky.  Just as I was about to turn away from mulling over some vintage rhinestones in a lush copper color, a tag caught my eye.  At first, I wasn't sure but as I picked up the necklace off her hanger, it was confirmed that indeed this was the jewelry tag of one of my all time favorite designers, Givenchy.  It's so incredibly long that I had to photography it doubled.  It has open roses and buds alternating.  I did clean it before photographing but it was nearly in flawless condition except for some surface dirt inside the deep folds of the rose petals close to the fastener of the necklace.

I tend to prefer the vintage Givenchy pieces.  It appears by the hang tag that this may have been a parfums item but I'm not sure.  I love the squares in the circle logo.  I haven't measured it but it could be used for a belt except that it's incredibly fine and delicate.  Price for classic, versatile style: $1 (yeah, no kidding) 

1928 pendant
I went back the next day to get the rhinestone necklace and it was gone.  Of course, but again just as I was about to turn away, I found a beautiful contemporary pendant made by 1928.  Not a high price point, I like 1928 because of their classic designs and quality product.  Their jewelry can go with anything but is not so trendy that it dates easily.  It's hard to tell by my picture in the center is a star of olive glass cabochons.  The lighter green dots are sparkling rhinestones.  I wear quite a bit of green so this will go nicely in my wardrobe.  Price: $1. 

Coasters - Aren't they gorgeous?
It was a green weekend because I ended up at two other sales where I bought the linens that I photographed the necklaces on.  The cross-stitched backdrop of the 1928 necklace is a set of linen coasters.  I purchased the flawless set for a quarter each.  Price: $1.50 for six coasters. 

And at another sale, I dug around for awhile in a box and came up with the towel that I photographed the Givenchy hang tag on.  It is a beautiful linen towel with an Amish or German print with a boy and girl.  The design is intricate with bold use of green, yellow, and red paired graphically with black.  I just love the boy and girl holding the vase! (Down below)  I don't think that my picture does it justice.  Along with a 50's apron, bistro table cloth, third towel, and two pairs of still in the package/never used Calvin Klein hosiery, I spent $2. 

Vintage Style - Total $5.50

Have a Fashionable Day!