A Quick Bit On Budget

A Quick Bit On Budget

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As you’re planning your Fall shop and available budget, keep in mind that the colder months are the expensive ones, in the form of more materials (higher necks, longer sleeves), pricier textiles (cashmere, leather, shearling), additional items (jackets, coats) additional accessories (hats, scarves), and footwear (tall boots). As a general rule, I tell clients to add 1/3 to their seasonal budget to cover the higher price tags.

If your budget is immutable, then consignment is definitely the way to keep quality high and prices low.

Designer Spotlight: Carla Morrison

Designer Spotlight: Carla Morrison

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cmI’d never been a jewelry collector until I met Carla Morrison. In the past, gorgeous pieces I’d see displayed in cases in 1st floor Barneys looked fabulous, but there was always something off-putting (aside from the price). Antique pieces found at flea markets or consignment, while lovely and unique, are risky purchases: fragile, often not priced appropriately, and potentially fake. The big guns (Tiffany, Cartier) are egregiously overpriced. All in all, as a seasoned shopper with a highly defined sense of style, even I find the jewelry game to be a bit daunting. That was until I set foot in Carla’s studio.

Carla is not your typical jewelry designer who sketches away in a boardroom somewhere and leaves the hands-on work to craftsman. She is the craftsman. With over 20 years in the business, she can be best described as ‘old school’. It’s also worth noting that fine jewelry design is a man’s game so her success has been despite her gender, not because of it. While the pedigree is impressive (and even more impressive in juxtaposition with the newer model of jewelry design where a big name and funding is all that is necessary to produce a line), it’s not what will make you buy her jewelry.

The reality is that Carla makes jewelry women want to wear. In fact, I’ve never seen any designer with such a broad client base. Her pieces are classic and timeless while maintaining a distinctly modern sensibility. The craftsmanship is flawless, her design work is fresh and inspired, and the stones (including the exclusive use of conflict free diamonds) are the best. Her studio is elegant and intimate and her ‘bedside manner’ is down to earth, relaxed and approachable, something quite novel in that market (am I the only one who feels an uncomfortable formality every time I go into a jewelry store?)

I’ve saved the best for last. In addition to the bridal/engagement work, the big-time commissions for her most exclusive clients and her ever-evolving ready to wear signature collection, Carla customizes. Whether it’s building a piece from scratch, chosen from trays of her incredible gemstones, or made from your old jewelry (neither relevant nor fashionable), she can make you anything you want.

For more on Carla, please visit her website.

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True Blue

True Blue

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Heading into the colder months, where colors are richer, deeper and darker, remember the best of them: navy. Navy is black’s cooler cousin; It’s less predictable, more versatile, and looks good on everyone. You can’t own too much navy in the form of sweaters, dressescords, booties, scarves, bags, oh my!

Fall Transition

Fall Transition

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While Labor Day tends to signify the end of the Summer season, the retail world has been preparing for Fall since Summer began. And while you may be a few months away from incorporating wool and cashmere into your daily wardrobe, now is the time to start thinking about how to transition your closet and your style into the new Fall season.

TAKE STOCK- By far, the most important part of this transition is to have an accurate picture of what you already own: in the closet, the attic, the garage, your friend’s closet, etc. You would be amazed at how much is forgotten after only 6 short months and how many pieces are still sitting in dry cleaner bags, hidden at the back of your closet, and on loan. To determine what you need, you must first know everything you have.

EDUCATE- With stores showcasing all new merchandise, it can be difficult to pace yourself. Before buying a particular piece, pieces, or an entire collection, you must have a complete picture of what’s fully available for the season. The September Issue of all fashion magazines (on stands right now) is the biggest of the year and features all the looks, trends, and available merchandise of the next 3 months. Educated, informed buying minimizes the potential for buyer’s remorse down the road.

TRENDS- Navigating trends can become unnecessarily complicated. I’ve heard the term ‘on-trend’ used both positively and pejoratively; for some, it sells the piece and for others, it makes them run in the other direction. ‘Trendy’ is confusing and intimidating- it begs the question, ‘if it’s popular right now, can I wear it next year?’ Here’s everything you need to know about trends: screw them. For one thing, everything cycles and recycles, so whatever it is, it’s gonna return to vogue. Case in point: capes are back, as are over the knee boots- two styles have been ‘on trend’ within the last five years. Oxfords are hot right now as part of the Academic-chic look. I’ve been putting my clients in this style for years.Wear what you want and watch the fashion world follow.

QUALITY- Any new season advances the old issue of quality versus quantity and provides the opportunity to finally do it right. I am a fanatical proponent of investing in what’s well made and long lasting; clothing that may cost more in the short run, always saves in the long. So splurge on amazing knitwearkiller jeansbeautiful accessories, and perfect basics that will stay with you long after the season ends. I’ve never known anyone to regret spending more.

Back In Booties

Back In Booties

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It was in the mid-00s when booties came back. My first pair were Chloe, a major splurge from Bergdorf Goodman that kickstarted a love affair with the style that continues to this day.

Madewell’s Billie Boot is one of my top choices for the season, and I like everything about them: the color, the heel height, the profile, the price. Pair with a sweater and skinnies and a sweater dress and tights.