Fashion, Lifestyle

streets of paris . . .

i left on saturday for paris with my family in tow . . . i lived there for a year almost a quarter century ago and haven’t really been back.  my son asked me why, if i loved paris so much (as i claimed), it had taken so long for me to go back.  after reflection, i answered honestly that life held too many other priorities in the years between.

when i lived in paris as a student, i hit the streets each day armed with a “carte orange” (monthly metro pass – cabs were a luxury rarely afforded), a “plan de paris” (map of paris), and precious few francs in my pocket (the dollar was at historic lows against the franc in the early ’90s).  i spent most of my days padding the streets between my school at 8 rue de crebillion and the caves of the abbey of saint germain des près where several of my classes were held, including rue de seine, rue de buci, and rue de l’ancienne comedie.  i cobbled together a lunch each day from the markets on rue de buci, crepes from the tiny stand around the corner from the odéon metro, and sandwiches, croissant, or baguettes at the tiny bakery at carrefour odéon.  the streets were quiet and sleepy.

on returning, i was surprised to find how incredibly chic and sophisticated this area of the sixth arrodisement has become.  filled with hip and popular brasserie, cafés and hotels, the streets are a visual delight of beautiful and stylish people and places.  below, i’ve hooked you up with some snapshots so you can feel the beat. . .and, hey! cut a girl some slack on the photography. . .  guess who desperately needs new camera???

xo,
cg

for me, this picture captures the beauty of paris . . . white walls, white shutters, and the broad and verdant leaves of sycamore trees . . .

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this guy . . . i mean, i just kind of want to follow him around and see a day in the life . . .

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can’t get over how chic she is with her fedora . . . the dude in blue slacks and dusty blue suede loafers, too. . .

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i almost missed getting a picture of this chick . . . her chloé-ish frock had me at hello.  she and her gaggle of friends were all so cool it killed me . . .

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the men in paris are somehow able to “lean in” on fashion in a way that escapes most american men.  this in alabama might be a bit much but, here, perfection. and doesn’t he just have a classic french face????

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i love my blues and greens.  that red, though . . .

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because, we all walk to the market like this, right?  it’s hard to tell from this photo that her dress is a classic saint laurent safari dress with lacing at the neckline.  wow.

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there have always been a ton of motorcycles in paris, but it strikes me there are more than ever . . . this is a pretty typical scene.

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just heading out to catch a bite on a monday night, as we all do . . .  she was so chic in her green bell mini and cream pashmina.

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this girl, with her cap-sleeve jumpsuit and gold sandals, was just perfection for me . . . i love people who you can tell are just cool without even trying.  her bike and the top-knot are the perfect accessories.

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her friend, in mint green, black, and blush ballet flats gets a gold star as well . . .

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really, their whole gang was classic “bcbg” as the french say . . . bon chic, bon genre (good style, good family).  they collected outside the market and then headed off together.  i am imagining that they were heading to the banks of seine to watch the sunset, as the young people do here. . .

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the white and green had me at hello, but then the lavender window boxes . . . be still, my beating heart . . .

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can i please be this lady when i get older???

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i spotted a ton of isabel marant’s influence  . . .

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and then i found this just around the corner . . .

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seriously love this guy . . . think he could tell i was grabbing a photograph?

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every cafe in this quarter is completely packed by 7 every evening. . .

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orange is my favorite color, so this just blew me away.  i love how she has paired her bag and shoes with very muted tones.  i am not sure i would have thought to pair orange and mocha but i like it . . . and, is she not the coolest cat around???

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i mean . . . as if i needed anything more . . .

à bientôt!

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Fashion

july fourth…pool days

so this week we are gearing up for fourth of july and whether you are going to be at the beach or the mountains or just staying at home we have you covered.

pool days

pool days

1. jcrew bathing suit

2. jcrew cover up

3. tory burch flip flops

4. mara hoffman bag

so now that you’ve been invited to the pool what do you bring? how about picking up one of those fabulous watermelons you see everywhere right now and make a cool refreshing salad.

watermelon feta salad

watermelon feta salad

there is nothing better to me than a juicy watermelon in the summer. i love the idea of combining watermelon with feta, having sweet and savory. this is a great recipe for all summer long but it is also an easy one to carry to your fourth of july party. i found the recipe here. plus with only a few ingredients it is a no brainer.

xo

martha

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Beauty

working up a sweat

i thought one of the perks of turning 40 was that i wouldn’t have to worry about acne. well that really is the case with the exception of an occasional pimple.  however with this heat i occasionally develop “backne”  which who wants to see when you you are wanting to wear a strappy top or one of the off the shoulder tops that caroline showed us here. or me here.

i know to “cure” this dilemma i need to stay out of the heat and when i do sweat i need to take a shower to wash away the dirt and grime. but seriously? that’s not feasible. so i talked to my dermatologist to get suggestions. she recommended that whenever i start to sweat to make sure i immediately wipe away the sweat (no shower necessary) and for extra good measure to use these glycolic/salicylic pads. these medicated pads are used to clean and clear acne prone skin. just simply keep a few of  these pads in a small ziplock bag in your purse and whenever you feel sweaty grab a pad and swipe on your skin.

here is a drugstore option that i’ve been trying out as well. neutrogena body spray a spray that you simply spray over those affected areas with no rinsing required. because let’s face it while me may have outgrown those major pimples with this heat we are going to develop “backne”, “buttne”, and “chestne”.

 

xo

martha

 

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Fashion, Lifestyle

burlap chic | simple summer sandal | book review

alexander wang’s new capsule collection reminds me of one of my favorite episodes of one of my favorites shows – the time lucy, ricky, fred, and ethel head to paris and lucy goes on a hunger strike to force ricky to buy her a “jacques marçelle” original.  ricky and fred get tricky and have a local tailor to sew jacques marcelle labels into dresses out of burlap potato sacks.  lucy and ethel have total swagger in their new frocks until they learn the joke is on them and, then, of course, they are humiliated.  but then it turns out the joke is on jacques marçelle who, on seeing lucy and ethel on the streets of paris, designs a capsule collection all in burlap and exactly like the pieces lucy and ethel were wearing (but have now burned!  waaaaaa!!!).

i feel about wang’s capsule collection as lucy did on un-boxing her faux marcelle, “my, what an inspired use of burlap!!”  these pieces really are super chic.  this soft, cotton take on burlap is light and breezy perfect for the dense heat of summer.  and the boxy lines are precisely on fleek.  throw the jacket on over a slinky tank and shorts or over your shoulders when you are wearing a strappy sundress.  the dress is perfection on its own and the top is guaranteed to make a rock star out of literally any jeans, shorts, or skirt you own.  word.

but, this collection is only available on-line here or in alexander wang stores.

happy hump day!

xo,
cg

top | dress | jacket

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lucy and ethel in their jacques marçelle faux-riginals . . . the ice bucket and feed bag hats are a tad much — but the dresses themselves are old hollywood glamour — even if out of burlap!!

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simple summer sandal . . .

i am a fool for all things kendall conrad so it is no surprise that i am over the moon for her martingala sandals (get them here).  i can’t imagine what these will not be perfect with . . . can’t wait for mine to arrive!

xo,
cg

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book review:  my paris dream, an education in style, slang, and seduction in the great city on the seine by kate betts

you need not have lived in paris, wanted to live in paris, or felt the call of fashion journalism to delight in this book.  while paris and fashion make for a rich and intoxicating backdrop and surely add sophistication, for me the story was one of my own here in alabama. . . it’s the story of coming-of-age and seeking approval through over-acheiving in your career, barreling towards a lofty goal that you kind of fell into and then began to own and then, before you knew it, the career kind of owned you and when you stopped and looked at it you asked yourself why you were holding on to this dream that really is not who are or, really, who you want to be.  (omg — has there ever been a longer run-on sentence???).  but i think you get my drift.

i think there are a million women out there who found their way out of their “dream” to find true happiness in the many things once shunned as boring, unimportant, insignificant.  maybe it’s just called growing up. . .  but, i am not sure that i have stopped to take stock of how much i have learned and matured since i got out of school. and this book made me do that — and it kind of made me proud of what i have learned so far.

in any event, the book moves quickly and it was, for me, a wonderful trip down memory lane of fashion and music and world events that were the eighties and early nineties.  light, and smart – a perfect beach read.  get it here.

shout out to my beautiful sister in new orleans for gifting this to me!  what a treat!

xo,
cg

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Fashion

nyc intimidates me

 

wnecklaces.001e just got back from nyc and had a great time (despite delta’s best efforts) but new york intimidates me. i don’t know why. i’ve been many times but each time i walk into bergdorf’s or barneys something comes over me. it’s like the country comes to the big city and i start to get short of breath and just have to leave.

but i love shopping in the city and i’ve found strolling through soho where there are smaller boutiques is more my speed. but what i really love is checking out the street vendors in soho. this past weekend i found this fabulous jeweler. y’all know i love the statement necklace and am always on the lookout for something that gives my outfit a big oomph.

i stumbled across ac agates right in the heart of soho and man was i glad i did. i bought multiple pieces (because the other thing about street vendors is it is easy on the pocket)  which i can wear now and can carry into fall.

andrew clark  hand makes and designs his jewelry in new york. i got to spend some time with his lovely wife who showed me several pieces made from copper, brass and stainless steel. these handmade pieces each tell a story.

prices range from 75.00 to 135.00. if you are in nyc you will find ac agates jewelry each weekend at the st. patrick’s church street in the middle of prince street or you can order online ac agates. in any event go check them out; i think you will be happy you did.

xo

martha

 

 

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Fashion, Uncategorized

what to buy from the jcrew sale . . .

jcrew loves to play peek-a-boo with it’s 30% off sale:  now we’re having it . . . now we aren’t . . . now we are . . .now we aren’t.  i think you get my drift. . .

they were running 30% off all full-priced items plus 40% off all sale items last week.  and, while that sale has “ended,” the reality of the situation is that jcrew is sitting on a heap of summer stock that needs to be out of sight by mid-july to make room for fall (that is WAY more important in cooler climes where they can legit expect a dip in temps come late august).  i am betting we’ll all get an email before the end of the week announcing with great surprise that the sale went so well that they have decided to run it again . . . or extend it.  we all know it’s coming.

and, hey!  we’re just getting started with our 98 degree days here in the deep south, so we have miles to go before we turn our noses up at summer fash.

what we need in this sitch is a cheat sheet so we can literally pounce the next time that 30% off email hits our inbox!  (i can’t even get started telling you how to play guts-ball poker with delay and sale percentages . . . we all know the % will increase as we journey towards mid-july . . . the question is:  will your item remain?  only you know your taste for risk).

below, i’ve hooked you up with my top 10 items from the “sale”. while you may be among the many who believe jcrew has skirted off the deep-end of fashion, there are still some way SOLID basics to be had and some quality trendy pieces that are best captured on sale. . . thus, the cheat sheet.  good luck!

happy monday!

xo,
cg

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1

regent blazer in navy linen, $178 (or $125 with 30% off)

in case you are thinking this could not be more boring, please check this out and then tell me i am wrong about how important it is to own a rock-star navy blazer.  and this one is a really good one that you can afford . . . the lines are sleek and the fabric is quality.  a never regret purchase.

2

italian matte bandeau zip one piece, $118 ($83 with 30% off)

now’s the time to grab an extra bathing suit, and grab a classic while you are at it.  this one is pretending that it’s by lisa marie fernandez with the zipper, and i totally feel it.

3

banago mayumi clutch, $48 ($34 with 30% off)

this clutch is liquid gold.  it will go with everything you have for summer and look like a million dollars.  a no brainer at this price.

4

seaside pant is aspen fern, $89.50 ($63 with 30% off)

if you were looking for the world’s most flattering pants, i found them.  here they are.  promise.  all of the sudden you look like you have these long lean legs.  and, military is always a solid choice.  you can wear these 3 seasons without hesitation.

5

raffia ankle-tie sandals, $128 ($90 with 30% off)

with the raffia and the ankle-tie, these sandals are way on point for summer.  toss your over-worn gray flatforms to the back of your closet and throw on these babies for the remainder of the summer and you are guaranteed to be 100% more stylish and comfortable.

6

cap-sleeved top in embroidered sunburst, $110 ($77 with 30% off)

my hands-down, #1 pick.  this top captures the perfect vibe for summer 2016.  it’s a nod to isabel marant, alexander wang, and everyone else who is grooving to a tribal beat this year.  plus, imagine how great this will look with your white jeans, your white shorts, your faded denim . . . your navy pencil skirt, your white pencil skirt??  you can take it from church to school to the beach and back again.  feel me?

7

illesteva leonard ii tortoiseshell sunglasses, $220 ($154 with 30% off)

because when do nice sunglasses EVER go on sale?  never, that’s when.  so, if you were thinking you needed new sunnies, check out jcrew’s collection the next time the sale hits.  you can score a great get on some fab collaborations.

8

drapey chambray romper, $128 ($90 with 30% off)

flattering and super chic, perfect for everything summer, you really don’t want to let this one get away . . . imagine how easy it will be to get ready with this baby hanging in your closet.

9

halter beach dress in it, $128 ($90 with 30% off)

if you want to look like you have been chillin’ off the coast of ibiza this summer, now the time to up your cover-up game.  word.

10

eva fehren for crew saber earring studs (set of three), $58 ($41 with 30% off)

because studs are where it is at these days — like your fingernails, your earrings need to be short and tight. and these are fierce and i am a fool for rose gold.  and i love how these come in a set of three and are a mismatched set.

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Fashion

ballin’ on a budget| resort report

and, really, who doesn’t need a beautiful “go-to” dress in your closet for summer weddings, receptions, dinner party, museum events, etc.???  me!  wait. . . not me?!?  wait.  what??  i found a sick new brand that is literally going to blow up the affordable luxury, pretty dress market.  self-portrait spins dress confections with gorgeously fluid lines and detailing that look like they cost a stack (srsly) but actually cost the same as a tory burch frock.  (for example, compare self-portrait to these totally MAJE specimen by chloé, valentino, jason wu, and edun).

it’s crazy.  who can make affordable look totally gangsta AF?  self-portrait’s han chong, that’s who.  a graduate of central saint martins (think stella, phoebe, and claire, to name a few) chong saw a void in the “special yet accessible” market place and stepped in to carpe diem and sound his barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world. word.  so, just in case you are feeling like literally shutting down your next summer event with the total awesomeness that is self-portrait, i hooked you up with an idea or two.  you are welcome.

xo,
cg

dress | shoes

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resort report:

altuzarra

joseph altuzarra has a certain brand of alchemy that far exceeds his peers.  he appears, season after season, to fold a pleat, cut on a bias, attach a feather, or string a bead in a way that makes women go weak in the knees.  the looks ooze refined femininity and call to even those who don’t take themselves as girly girls.  i was literally dumbstruck by this collection.  first, the shoes.  i literally stopped breathing for a second.  then, the hoops.  in a flash i knew i MUST have some bold hoop earrings . . . like, now.  those dresses, though . . . my salts . . . where are my salts . . . .

photos courtesy of style.com

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veronica beard

veronica swanson beard and veronica miele beard must just be the coolest cats that ever were.  i always love everything that they put out there and i feel like i would just be cooler and look better if i could somehow capture not just their clothes but their vibe. . . if any of us were thinking the 70s were going to be a short-lived trend, we can kiss that thought goodbye.  but, i mean, it’s never EVER looked hotter.

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