TARTAN SKIRT

When THE SKIRT launched in Summer of 2014, I immediately began thinking of winter and the incredible maxi skirt I'd be donning to all holiday parties. THE SKIRT in tartan! Aside from its incredible look, why tartan? This modern woman is a sucker for tradition. 

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ARM YOURSELF

Back in November I introduced my April Pride PYTHON bracelets as armor, alluding to my friend’s mother, who utilized accessories as a powerful statement of invulnerability. Whether it is layered necklaces, bracelets or even a scarf and large sunglasses, there is certain fearlessness these pieces that lend as more than a sense of sophistication and outward appeal. Now this got me wondering, what would tartan armor look like? It so happens that the Chanel Pre-Fall 2013 collection held the answer to this perfect, invincible combination.

Karl Lagerfeld defined this collection as “Dressed to Kilt” as a blend of Scottish tradition and Chanel’s romance to create a spectacle of “barbarian romance.” The collection is chockfull of Chanel’s most iconic tweed Chanel Suits and mixed textile chains, but what is key to this collection is its bountiful use of tartan! The models look simultaneously dark, cozy and classic. Where the Chanel tweed is beautifully adorned with a creative amount of armor, such as a lush scarf, jeweled beret and my favorite: the layered tartan Chanel chain choker. 

FREE SPIRIT

Don your leather, fringe or Pendleton jackets break routine for a while, exercise the free spirit inside you to dare to be a bit spontaneous and entirely fearless. For a little inspiration, we can look to our female pop culture icons, real and fictional!

Patti Smith has been long hailed as the original romanticized free spirit. Arriving to New York fresh out of college with next to no money to her name, Patti hustled her way through the city’s underground art scene and socialized with familiar faces such as Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg. First a visual artist and poet, then finally becoming a punk rock icon in her 30s, Patti Smith has become a role model for many to follow their passions fearlessly, regardless of age.

Margot Tenenbaum, a character in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums film, is an unconventional free spirit, fiercely independent, but trapped within her own emotional and marital circumstance. When I think of Margot Tenenbaum, I think short bob; kohl rimmed eyes, a giant fur jacket and secret smokes in a bathtub. She’s probably writing multiple plays, while displayed as misunderstood, creative and glamorous. Supposedly based loosely off one of J.D. Salinger’s Glass children, Margot is intelligent yet shy but simultaneously a master of her own agency.

So embrace your own free spirit, whether you are punk rocker, Patti Smith or sensitive playwright, Margot Tenenbaum, take your passions and run with it!

SCARLET CHAMBERLIN

A huge thank you to Portland Stylist Scarlet Chamberlin for featuring THE DRESS on her blog! Yep. White is where it is for us in this shockingly out-of-character PNW heat. 

I was lucky enough to connect with Scarlett through a client. Recently, we had breakfast together when she was up from PDX and the talk was tartan, tartan, tartan. 

LOVE Scarlet's blog and her 1-2-3 approach to style. 

WIDES

Goodbye skinny jeans! It’s time to fit your legs into something more spacious, and more liberating. We are now entering the blissful age of the wide legged pants. As usual, once we get too comfortable with one style, fashion decides to embrace the polar opposite. As fashion got tired of being loud, it got comfortable with normcore, as fashion got tired of being tight; it is now embracing looser tailored cuts. To me, your wides are all about whether they hit that sweet ankle spot or slightly brush the floor; or maybe whether they rest right on your hips or streamline your waist. This season, we see all types of wides, but the most prominent trend are wides that give you a formal, working woman finish.

Korean fashion has arguably been the driving force for many recent fashion trends, from New Balances to the thick brow. But this season, Korean fashion has inspired us to embrace the formal wide. Low Classic’s Fall 2015 exemplifies this silhouette with a beige ankle hitting wide. The high rise slims the upper body and defines the waist while the hint of ankle elongates the leg. Martin Grant in his Resort 2016 collection absolutely masters the chicness of the floor sweeping wide. The epitome of businesswoman elegance is displayed through a black trouser that cinches at the waist and is wide enough to envelope any shoe. The image is powerful and absolutely fashionable.

It’s time to push your skinny jeans aside a get and explore a different way to express your figure. This silhouette is absolutely in and it’s here to stay a while.

GET FIXED

I wouldn’t exactly call it cheating, we all need that one small thing that picks us up, to keep our days moving, a small moment of self-indulgence where it’s just you and your cigarette, wine, or for me, a cup of good coffee. Our fixes are for taking a bit of the edge off, a socially acceptable selfish drug.

Funnily enough, when I think of the classic fixes in film, I think of Kathryn from the late 90s cult classic, Cruel Intentions when the audience realizes she hides a bit of secret cocaine in her innocent rosary. In that scene she is slowly loosing it, a fix that has gotten a little out of control, perhaps a subtle warning to never let our fixes become an act of desperation (maybe not necessarily cocaine!).

I encourage you to indulge in your selfish fix but keep in mind moderation is very key. Enjoy your drinks, your smokes but contemplate Kathryn when you’re too hasty. xXx

ROAD TRIP

From Jack Kerouac’s On the Road to the classic film, Thelma and Louis, the road trip has always been a filled with the feeling of nostalgia, friendship and exploratory liberation. Somehow the confined moving space of the car calls forth a romanticized intimacy in the midst of empty chip bags, half finished coca cola’s, a cigarette dangling from your fingers and tunes you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

When you’re on the road there are no rules, no responsibilities. You’re wandering with direction. With your belongings in tightly sealed in the trunk you feel invisible, briefly living on the road, laughing with your girlfriends and letting go.

Embrace this adventure, but of course not without flair. My top 3 items of choice to bring on a road trip would be: a good playlist, a bit of honey and a change of sunglasses.

TIME OUT

Time is money. No matter how much we fight it, many of us live by this philosophy and let ourselves believe that relaxation is not part of our quantified life equation. But lets take a step back, take a deep breath in, count to 10, deep breath out. No doubt working our asses off feels good, we get results, we see fruit in our labor. But quality over quantity right? After a while, we break down a bit, we get tired and we need that sunbathe by the pool, a nice cool swim on a summer day, maybe even a trashy romance novel now and then. This week, let’s let our minds unwind and make a time out feel good, deserved and worth it. 

SUIT UP

Summer finally strikes! inviting us to get our swimsuits on, dive in and soak up the sun. While the latest swimsuit trends encourage the high-waisted bikini bottoms, flashy cut outs or the crocheted Coachella look, no thanks. I’m opting for the classic one-piece suit as a foolproof fashionable choice without those awkward readjustments. And a perfect camouflage for, well, a life of indulgence. 

A bright but minimalist take on the one-piece suit can be seen with Massai Hutton’s red "Bower” that keeps things sexy by accentuating the bare back. The nuance of the one-piece always comes with maintaining the utilitarian qualities with just the right amount of sexXxy!

Whether its an outdoor bar in Hawaii or a sandy beach in Greece, invest in a maximum brimmed hat, minimum two pairs of sunglasses and a one-piece suit. 

#TBT JAPAN

A year and a lifetime ago I returned from my incredible first trip to Tokyo. Sigh. And now my wanderlust senses are tingling again. (My five days in  LA next week is certainly a salve.)

I created this video upon my return as a reminder of the inspiration elicited by the ladies, streets and treats. 

Kimonos have always fascinated me with their traditional design paired with their potential for edginess. Though kimonos have been around in Japanese culture for centuries, no one put a twist on it until geisha culture started to crop up more and more in popular culture.

The collar of the kimono reveals the nape, which is considered as a very erotic area in Japan and part of the reason why geishas wore them. Even in ancient culture, Oiran (the top geishas) were considered as leaders of fashion by setting trends and exemplifying extravagance.  

Today, geishas are still brilliant artists and guardians of some of the most refined expressions of Japanese art and culture and the Oiran's legacy continues through the kimono. 

I encourage you to channel the Oiran in you! xXx

SUITE LIFE

APRIL PRIDE moving day

Yesterday was moving day! To the left is me, AP, in the back of the U-Haul in THE DRESS. (See. I really do everything in the damn thing.) 

Final destination? Hotel Sorrento, Seattle's oldest operating hotel. And The Queen is getting nipped, tucked, new wardrobe. All of it.

The Sorrento is under renovation of ownership and decor but its spirit as the place to go to not be seen remains. Codor Design, Brian Paquette and AP have been asked to permanently renovate three guest rooms, which will be open for tour at this event.

I get to reimagine Suite 608. Not just any guest room but the site where I hosted a dear friend's birthday party 4 years ago. Her birthday is the day after Christmas. With young families, there were two non-negotiable criteria: during daylight hours (because, well, seems naughty) and not at anyone's home (PTSD). A day party at a hotel it was. And the only hotel to consider was The Sorrento. Our room? You guest it (sorry). 608. Just so happens that in attendance that day. Drumroll. The new managing partner of the hotel + her right hand man. Manifesting futures is how we party. I guess.

The full circle of my experience with this property and, in particular this room, speaks to a notion shared with me not long ago: "A coincidence affirms the direction of your life." Indeed. 

Below are the before images. As I type, the after is in progress thanks to the handyman across from me and the painter to my left. 

Prior to the FREE 5/5 8pm suite tour is a Gray Magazine sponsored panel "Remix, Culture & Cross-Disciplinary Design." Information and tickets for the Gray event may be purchased here.

 

Sorrento Hotel desk before
Sorrento Hotel bar before
Sorrento Hotel dining before
Sorrento Hotel bedroom before
Sorrento Hotel entry before
Sorrento Hotel before seating
Sorrento Hotel bedroom curtains before

DESERT BLESSINGS

JT Homesteader Hammock

When my best friend who lives in San Francisco confirmed our kids were on the same Spring Break and she would be renting a house in LA, I started scheming. Ever since I saw this video on Nowness, I've been desperate to experience a sound bath at the Integratron near Joshua Tree. I also knew I was solo with the boys for the week prior to collecting my husband in LA for weekend rendezvous.  

The plan was to fly into Palm Springs for an afternoon poolside and a night in a bed before driving out to Joshua Tree to stay. Wait for it. On a homestead, which I found on AirBNB. Can we - for a minute - discuss how much easier it is to appear to be a fun, ingenious parent in the 21st century? For $79/night, we were treated to an experience that - for the same price - could only be delivered by Motel 6. Instead, we drove 5 miles off Hwy 29 until the pavement ended and drove another 5 miles and were greeted by a cabin, outhouse, outdoor shower and kitchen dreamed and designed by a Harvard Design grad. Thank you Jay and Stephanie. And, yes, please. 

First stop was Palm Springs where we sunned and sinned. Well, not much unless you're counting carbs. And I don't. We stayed at The Saguaro (SA WAR OH), which played great music at the pool, was family friendly and cool. Like as in keep-it-real cool not so-effing-hip-this-is-dumb cool. Order directly from pool bar. Chair service takes a wee bit too long. Free 8am yoga on the lawn while my boys iPad a stone's throw away. Done. Discovered Nature's, which was the most incredible natural foods market with a juice bar. DO NOT get the shakes for your kids. Rice milk ice cream tastes like it sounds. 

The deep desert plan came together save for the Integratron experience. Blaming the boys. Next trip. Instead we visited Pioneertown where we checked out a "real" cowboy town and refreshed ourselves with ice cream (boys) and beer (mom) at Pappy & Harriet's. The latter of which is a real deal saloon with concert posters covering every square inch. A mere week later (note it is this week - between the first and second weekend of Coachella. plan accordingly.) Jamie xx was performing on a very small stage in the most authentic of settings for $40. This is when I remind you that the xx played *intimate* shows at The Armory in NY (25 shows for 40 people each) the tickets were $1000+. The desert is truly magic.   

The boys and I dove into Joshua Tree National Park and climbed boulders for three hours (me, too!) at Hidden Valley, which is the most kid-friendly climbing spot. And with which I agree and add parental heart attack inducing. 

Back at the homestead, we took hot outdoor (private) showers, made dinner (hot dogs and salad) and excitedly prepared a campfire for s'mores both nights. Better than camping. And I convinced the boys that screens were not allowed on the homestead. Out of respect for nature. You know. So we read, shot Polaroids and called it a night soon after sunset and s'mores. 

All of this sound great but anyone who knows me knows that there is one thing that could make our stay even better. Juice. Fresh juice. And Sunshine Milk warmed for our campfire sessions. Well, with our lodging confirmation came a menu for just this. Juices by Angela de la Agua to be delivered or picked up upon arrival. 24oz Mason jars full of life. Contact Angela and learn more about her thoughtful approach to nourishment on her website.  

Desert blessings to all!
 

JTHomesteader
JT Homesteader Cabin
homestead campfire
APRIL PRIDE instagram
JTHomesteader
Joshua Tree Hidden Valley
Hidden Valley Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree bouldering

AP | TIPI

APRIL PRIDE TIPI

Confession. I am one of those people. As in the type who throws their own birthday party. I didn't last year. A dear and gracious friend beat me to the punch. But, typically, I do and this year I did. When I decide to host a party, I know I am all in, which is why I wait until the last possible minute to send the invitation. I am guaranteeing myself days of prep and weeks of conversation about the right drink, music, food. After years of this though, I found I have it pretty well fine-tuned. But there is always the idea that I need to better my last party. So that brings us to this year. My actual birthday is March 6 but my party was March 21, which I only mention as it marked the Spring Solstice and the weather gloriously marked the occasion. Little did I know this would be the case when the day prior at about 11am It occurred to me that a tipi would be the real star of the event. Not a totally original idea as I went to an anniversary party on Vashon island last summer and there sat (on acreage rather than our - very urban - postage stamp lawn) a pair of tipi. I figured they must be rented so I googled and found The Tipi Guy who turns out to be Gary who is nothing short of amazing. (His number for rentals is 206-491-7969) He accepted a request to set up a tipi with less than 24 hours notice quite happily. He - who is Native American - also assured me that hanging out in a tipi was simply an experienced not to be missed and not to think too hard about the political correctness of it all. All hogwash. With Gary's blessing to pitch and party, the night moved forward. Below are images before I opened the tipi to my girls-only guest list. And after we inhabited this gem of a lawn ornament. 

A post-script note: The tipi stayed up all weekend and my family and I hung out in it during torrential rains. With a closed top, not a drop fell inside. Pure magic. xXx

APRIL PRIDE TIPI
APRIL PRIDE TIPI
APRIL PRIDE TIPI
APRIL PRIDE TIPI
APRIL PRIDE TIPI
APRIL PRIDE TIPI Robin Williams

TULUM

APRIL PRIDE BLUE LINEN

Seattle breaks call for sun, surf and sand. Lifesavers. All three. In Mexico, we've had a favorite spot for years Las Alamandas, which has ben covered on APB. This mid-winter break (we get an extra break before spring because our winter is worse than yours!) I made a request to try a new town, new coast, new vibe. Tulum, which adds style and sexy to the list above. This is sometimes good on vacation and sometimes a bit of a drag when, well, leather thongs are as polished as I want to be. Thongs for your feet. To be clear. 

Here's what I can tell you. I loved Tulum. And not for the scene, which was laden with yoga retreaters and the fashion set. I loved it for the terrain. The is one road in and out. At the end of which is UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. On one side is the ocean. On the other is the jungle. And tucked along the shore are small hotels. Tucked inside the jungle are restaurants and bars with the best craft cocktails and to-die-for food. Special indeed. 

We took a day trip to Valladolid. A still-thriving colonial town with one small block of great design that included one of the five Coqui Coqui hotels, Coqui Coqui Perfumeria and Coqui Coqui Casa where I picked up the best suede bag. Made in Mexico. At the end of the block is Hacienda Montaecristo. Custom leather sandals. Yep.  Worth the 1-1/2 hour drive to experience this town and these gems. 

There were magical ruins. You have to play tourist on these escapades. Totally worth it. 

Oh! I wore lots of AP dresses. Como Maxi as seen with the family selfie. (Sorry I cut your head off, Jim) And No. 3 Blue Linen as seen <--------

THE FAMILY
CoquiCoqui

MARION VIDAL

White Chunky Marion Vidal necklace
Blue chunky neckalce

The inspiration behind jewelry creates a statement that is unforgettable. It's bold. It's unique. And in this case, it's Marion Vidal. With a past in architectural design in both Paris and Milan, there is no hiding the fact that urban structures and strong ideas have contributed to a line of jewelry unlike any other.

Using a combination of wood, ceramic, textile and metal, Marion Vidal aspires to create high impact jewelry that will highlight any outfit (talk about an #ootd). Oversized Stones. Spherical Baubles. You name it. Her elements make fashion transform from old to new with just one accessory.

Her work is nothing shy of inspiring and monumental. An Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts alum, Vidal has transformed her career since beginning in 2004. Today, designers such as Celine, Salviati and Christolfe use her line of jewelry to add unique & bold elements to their fashion designs. -Bea Estay