Sunday, February 27, 2011

a penchant for plaid

yesterday i attended a beautiful memorial service for our dearest family friend, a man whose loving and good nature touched many lives profoundly. as illness started to weaken him these past months and weeks, i started thinking of all the memories and images i associated with him. while his grandchildren yesterday recalled with smiles his famous red corduroy pants, i had been thinking about his penchant for plaid, which he wore so well, and always around the holidays.

it so happens that plaid is making news for Fall 2011 in both menswear and women's apparel.  take a peek at Libertine's graphic greys and acid pop mixes and know with certainty that tradition and innovation live on in a simple woolen textile that dates back over 3000 years. (

no doubt our friend Nick, who among his many hobbies, skills and talents, knew how to knit, needlepoint and hook a rug, would get a kick out of seeing these looks go from the runway to the street come September (photos from

of course, we might see a touch of vivienne westwood on the red carpet as soon as tonight....

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guadalajara Won't Do

It is Monday, February 7th. Me and my mariachi band ride the 1 train.  The band squeezed between the doors at 72nd Street, the accordion player standing just beside me and the guitarists down at the other end of the car.  This is the same 'sign' I have had for four and a half years now, my personal harbinger that I will be reporting for merchandising duty soon in Punta Mita, where every evening, a similar such ensemble convenes in more formal fashion in the hotel bar for an energy filled round of song and sound.

A little mood music? A reminder of some sort to reconnect to this distant locale? I don't know but it never ceases to amuse me and it happens without fail, and always the day before I am traveling.  In this case, I am leaving in just a few hours for Chicago, then on to Colorado, and will take four different flights on Valentine's Day to reach my final destination.

It is Sunday, February 13th.  From my current perch in Vail, I want to post on my blog today in the spirit of an 'ex-voto,' which for those not in the know, is a wonderful type of painting, usually on tin, popular in Latin American folk art and dating back to the 18th Century in origin.  Ex-votos differ from purely devotional 'retablos' in that they tell stories of 'dangerous or threatening events that actually occurred, and which the person survived, thanks to the intercession of a sacred person- God, Mary, or a Saint."  (see

Here it goes and Godspeed to me on my travels tomorrow:

Please Saint Valentine, in hopes that my flights are all on time and that the plane in Mexico lands in Vallarta and not in Guadalajara like the last time, when for some reason unknown and unforeseen even by the pilot, the ground crew in Vallarta decided to work on the tarmac to do a repair and none of the incoming planes could arrive for several hours.... and that the merchandise arrives safely and on time, or just arrives at all, please Saint Valentine, and then do I thank you humbly for the privilege of working with all the team in Punta Mita to make the Boutiques beautiful for our visiting guests.  And, Saint Valentine, when I return home to New York City, I thank you in advance for arranging that the red foil heart on my front door is still there and not missing like the small red and pink tin one that disappeared on Christmas Day.

Here are some hearts collected along the route from Vallarta to Punta Mita and a few from Sayulita, including a simple graffiti scribble for Valentine's Day: Love on top of Love!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

You're Blushing

It is a new year, almost Valentine's Day, and things are looking rosy.
Which reminds me.....

Back in November, I visited the Kips Bay Show House. My hands down favorite 'room' was outside, off the town house kitchen, a simple gravel garden with a patch of green grass and a pink pergola of a sort. The scale was great and it just had a whole lot of attitude and really made me smile.

I wrote to my eleven year old niece about it, describing what an interior design show house was in the first place and allowing as how I did not really know if my discovery was by definition a pergola or not but that she could ask her mom or dad to google for more detail.

"Cool color," I gushed. 'Like a surprise and unexpected and amusing!'

Charlotte wrote back, 'I love it its just a simple garden and then....bam!!!   its pink!!!!!!!'

'Your are SO right,' I replied.

'Its so pretty!!! I wish we could have one, but I dont' know how the rest of my family would feel about pink.'

I dont' know either, really, but during the weeks of snow we have been having lately, I found myself trekking up Park Avenue with my rose colored glasses anew, gazing upon Will Ryman's Rose Garden, featuring voluptuous petals that seemed to kiss the snow, to blossoms that reached to the skies, complete with the requisite garden beetle and, I admit, just a few thorns.

Think pink, folks!  It's perfectly pertinent!!