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Archive for August, 2007

The Fashionista Diaries

We are in the process of moving, so I don’t know if I will be able to post until this weekend, but I wanted to mention one of my new favorite shows. The Fashionista Diaries comes on the Soap Network on Wednesday nights, but this Monday, on Labor Day, there will be a marathon. The show follows six fashion interns/assistants in New York City. I like the show because I was in similar situations last year when I interned in the city. The show has a lot of drama, but that is what life is like for people who want to make it in the fashion industry. We have to pay outrageous rents, live with people we hardly know in cramped apartments, work for no pay (literally), and impress our bosses and keep up with the New York City lifestyle. The show gives viewers an inside look into the life of a fashion hopeful and is entertaining to people in all industries.

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The Cloisters

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Today is one of the most stressful of my life. We have packed boxes everywhere and there is still more to pack! The last few weeks, I have been trying to see as much of New York City as possible and I wanted to share my favorite place. The Cloisters is a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is located on the upper westside of Manhattan (around 190th Street by Fory Tyron Park). The architecture of the buildings lets the works of art from the Middle Ages be on display in a setting that is similar to their orginal settings. There are architectural fragments from Europe that have been pieced together to create a medieval feel. There are several cloisters (which is a structure surrounded by open corridors with a courtyard in the middle) that are so pretty and peaceful, I wish I could visit them today. The museum is also famous for the Unicorn Tapestries. The park and the views are also so peaceful that you don’t even feel like you are in the city.

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ABC Carpet & Home

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Since it is my last few days in the city, I had to visit my favorite store, ABC Carpet & Home, yesterday evening. I first found the store last summer when I interned near their store on Broadway and 19th Street. Every item, even if it doesn’t work with my tastes, is unusual and pretty. I never leave without having tons of ideas for my home.In 1897, an Austrian immigrant named Sam Weinrib sold used carpets and unusual fabrics from a pushcart in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His son, Max, turned the business into a discount carpet store. In 1961, Max’s son Jerome moved the business to the current location and, along with his daughter Paulette, in the 1980s, created the world’s largest rug and carpet store. I love to browse the six floor emporium because it feels like you are in a bazaar of beautiful things. The mix of antiques with artist made accessories is enough to inspire anyone. I am always overtaken by the number of chandeliers that hang overhead and the stacks of decorative pillows. Shoppers can always find a small gift or buy themselves something, like a luxurious bedding set. The store never ceases to amaze me and I am sad that I will now only have the internet to satisfy my ABC fix at www.abchome.com (although they now have locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Harrods’ in London, and Delray Beach, Florida).

I took some photos of the entrance and store windows, which are shown above. Looks like I need to incorporate some orange into my life! Below are pictures from their site of the inside of the store. Besides selling beautiful things, the company is trying to make the world a better place with their ABC Home & Planet Foundation. I love this store and think that everything about it is perfect. They even have a showroom of the luxurious Hastens beds! You can shop, take a break by testing out the mattresses, and then grab some chocolate or a bite to eat.

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Becoming Jane

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“Becoming Jane” is a movie (and book) that tells the love story of writer Jane Austen and lawyer Tom Lefroy, before Jane made a professional career of writing. The movie is set in 1795, when Jane was 20 years old. While watching the movie, you can see how the events in her life led to the ideas of her novels. Not much is known about Jane’s actual life, but this movie ties together evidence and creates an interesting story.

The movie, which was filmed in Dublin and used the city’s Georgian architecture, has beautiful scenery that features romantic scenes similar to other movie adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels, such as Sense and Sensibility, but also used other images of the time, such as a boxing club. The movie was made to be as real looking as possible. Eve Stewart, the production designer, read about Austen’s life and a wide range of literature from the 1790s Regency England period. Because the decorative styles of the period were mostly for function, whitewash and simple colors were used on the set, as well as wallpaper, was becoming more common to all levels of society. Furniture was mostly basic wooden pieces with a few upholstered pieces. Stewart found the perfect set for the Austen family home in County Meath. Higginsbrook House, built in 1747, shows the manner in which the Austen family lived. Other Gothic inspired historic homes were used in the movie, including Kilruddery and Charleville Forest, as well as a church and other historic buildings.

The clothing shows that fashion was in a transitional time, with the more simple Empire style becoming popular. Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh, the costume designer, explored Austen’s novels and letters for clues on colors and fabrics, as well as visited museums for inspiration. All of Jane’s clothing was made for the movie, so that the character of a strong, as well as pretty, girl could be conveyed. Men’s clothing was also realistic looking for the period, including showing the calves, which was considered sexy. The age and personality was considered for all characters.

I enjoyed every part of this movie, from the props, the story, and the actors. Visit becomingjane-themovie.com to watch a trailer of the film and learn more about the film (like I did!) through the special features.

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“Mad Men”

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TV shows and movies are a great place to get inspiration for my clothing and decorating tastes. I love it when TV shows have good stylists, and with AMC’s original series “Mad Men”, the clothing and prop stylists deliver a show where every single detail is true to the time and setting. All objects, including the small details like ashtrays and towel racks, are given special attention. Most interesting to me was that to make the show as authentic as possible, each female character only has six dresses that are worn more than once in the season. Ruth La Ferla of The New York Times writes “Their mannerisms, and their sleek appurtenances, come with the turf: the steel-and-glass landscape of Madison Avenue in 1960, where burled wood and frosted-glass-panel interiors form a sumptuous backdrop against which the players stride about in sheaths and glen plaid suits.”

I plan on catching up on all of the episodes of “Mad Men” this weekend. You can find the times and see previews and more on www.amctv.com. Realistic sets like this one are interesting to people like me, who weren’t born yet, and to people who can remember all of the details.

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Window Shop At Home

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I was feeling a little blue about moving away from all of the unique home boutiques New York City has to offer, so I was so excited to find out that New York Magazine has an online catalog called Shop-A-Matic. The editors went shopping for us and took lots of pictures in the store of items they knew we would want. Items are divided into categories (right now there are ten ranging from sofas to lamps, but it will soon expand to include accessories and fashion), which makes it easy for you to window shop from your home (or at work). The items are a good representation of the one-of-a-kind-boutique looks that I love most about New York. Just look at this chair (which is available at the shop Roche-Bobois) and this Chinese daybed (available at Lars Bolander). If the items are available online,there is a link to purchase them. At first I wished that you could shop with this feature, but then I remembered that whenever I window shop, I never really buy anything (I have to over-analyze my purchases before I make them). So, this site is going to be one of my new favorites because I can see the overall style and vibe of NYC stores while being miles away!

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Timeless Beauty

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Today I am casting for a photo-shoot, so I haven’t had too much time to post, but I wanted to share this picture of Marilyn Monroe that I saw yesterday while browsing. All of the models today have looked as fabulous as she does!

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