February 24, 2010

L'heure bleue

Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower during l'heure bleue by Paris Breakfasts

I learned something new this morning while reading Paris Breakfasts's post about Guerlain. Apparently the French expression l'heure bleue refers to the brief time of day where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness and there is a special quality to the light. I particularly like this time of day here in the city, when it's not completely dark, yet the lights have turned on and all of the buildings and street lights have a soft glow.

One of Guerlain's fragrances is named L'Heure Bleue and here is a flowery description of the scent's origin from the company website:

L’Heure Bleue was born in 1912 of the fleeting sensation that inspired the Impressionist painters whose works Jacques Guerlain collected. He pictured this bouquet of roses softened with iris, violet and vanilla, which evoke his favorite moment of the day when, as he put it, “the night has not yet found its star” and all of nature’s elements are cast in blue light.

Dreamy, no? I've also heard this time of day called golden hour or magic hour, but I think I'll call it l'heure bleue from now on.

February 22, 2010

Vintage Gown Patterns

I love the way vintage sewing patterns illustrate how pattern pieces can be combined to create different looks. The wedding gown pattern below is a great example of how simple changes (such as shortening a hem or choosing a different fabric) can dramatically alter the look and feel of a dress.

The following designs are not wedding gowns, but could easily become so if done in the right fabric! I love that all the models are shown wearing gloves - I wonder if that will ever come back in style...

All the images above are from So Vintage Patterns, www.sovintagepatterns.com. Ebay and momspatterns.com are also good sources for old patterns.

February 19, 2010

J.Crew Weddings & Parties Sample Sale

Yesterday evening I attended a preview of the J.Crew wedding & parties sample sale. The bridesmaid and party dress selection was limited, but there were racks and racks of beautiful wedding gowns to choose from. If you are looking for a beautiful dress at a discount, this sale is definitely worth a visit!

J.Crew Weddings & Parties Sample Sale
Flatotel Hotel
135 West 52nd Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)

Friday, February 19 and Saturday, February 20, 9:00 am — 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 21, 10:00 am — 6:00 pm

February 17, 2010

alexis bittar Spring 2010

The newest addition to my collection (Thank you M.!)

I have been collecting Alexis Bittar's jewelry for couple of years now and I am completely obsessed with this Spring's offerings. Most editors favor the chunky sculptural pieces from the Miss Havisham Collection, but I almost always go for designs from the Lucite and Elements Collections. Below are some of my favorites from the new collection:




If you have the opportunity, definitely visit one of the stores. There are always pieces available from the current collection that are not shown on the website and there is usually a mix of one-of-a-kind editorial pieces and vintage pieces for sale as well. Plus, the staff has an amazing flair for accessorizing and I'm always impressed by how creatively they wear Alexis's designs.


Alexis Bittar - Soho
465 Broome St. (between Mercer and Greene)

Alexis Bittar - West Village
353 Bleecker St. (between W10th and Charles)

Alexis Bittar - UES
1100 Madison Ave (between 82nd and 83rd Streets)

February 16, 2010

Warm Thoughts

It's a slushy mess in New York today and it's no fun going from place to place when you have wet snow blowing in your face. I have no idea where the photo below was taken, but would like to be there now... it would be awfully nice to be somewhere sunny and warm.

Photo from an old Laura Ashley (!) lookbook, c. 1993

February 12, 2010

Digital Valentines I'd Actually Like to Receive

A super-cute collection of e-Valentines via the super-creative people at kate spade:

February 11, 2010

Untraditional Valentines

Some creative Valentines by clothing designers via Vogue.com (I think the pug is my favorite!):

By Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava

By Philip Crangi

A sketch by Jason Wu