Monday, November 15, 2010

At Home With Sicilian Gypsy

On Saturday I had the great honor of being invited to the home of the mother/daughter team (Maria and Susan) behind Sicilian Gypsy ( They have several collections and lines ranging from handbags to jewelry to hair accessories to tanks. I was amazed at the quantity these women produce. Maria's gorgeous house was filled with bags, brooches, and gems in every corner. The quality of their work is exquisite as well. My favorite bag (so far) is the red one with golf print of furniture on it. They call it Chanel's Apartment and attached a vintage Chanel pin to it. Their dress form, Sophia Loren, boasts an exquisite pin collection where customers can match a brooch to their bag when they make a purchase. Being the vintage costume jewelry junkie that I am, I was in heaven. The white dress on the dress form is actually altered from three generations of lace and is meant for Susan's daughter, Chanel. Chanel is quite the aspiring jewelry maker herself. This talented family of women poured me coffee, allowed me to shop, and even showed me their sewing studio. Can you believe all the fabric? The keys are actually from Maria's home village in Sicily.

With such a warm welcoming I truly felt at home with Susan and Maria. I learned so much about them by seeing their work, their history, and their space. I learned that Susan collects everything Chanel (a woman after my own heart) and that Maria studied sewing and textile in Argentina. I learned how they work together: Susan designs and sketches the bags then Maria makes them. They put so much love into their process; it's a true family affair.
Thank you Maria and Susan for taking me in and teaching me so much about your art and sharing about your lives. Stay tuned for upcoming issues of Haute Handbags and possibly a few other magazines to see more of their work. In the meantime, you must check out their site,

Friday, November 12, 2010


Today was one of the best days I've had in a long time. A lot has been going on in my life which is why I have been slow on the blogging, but it has all been good, trust me. I've been crazy busy making magazines happen too, so I havent had as much blogging time. But today I felt particularly inspired.
The lovely and enchanting Paulette Adams ( came by to have an office picnic with me. We feasted on sandwiches and enjoyed her special coffee (made with cocoa). She brought me roses (my favorite) in pink. They still smell sweet and fragrant. I think flowers are always the perfect gift. When in doubt, arm yourself with flowers. Paulette altered the apron she is wearing above. Delicious, right?
The real fun came when the two of us scoured the Stampington & Company craft room for supplies to use on upcoming submission ideas/product reviews. I found this sketchbook from the 1960s. I have no idea who it belonged to or how it got here. Names, addresses, phone numbers, and notes riddle the pages of this old, forgotten book. Whoever it belonged to was talented in my opinion. I included pictures of my favorite drawings. I love how this artist captured women and men out on the town, dressed up with 60s beehive hairdos. I love the lack and presence of color in some pieces. It's almost nicer not knowing who the person is behind these drawings, or who the subjects are. It's all a mystery. I wonder what this person would think, their sketches in a bottom drawer in a craft room, their art on my blog, me, who knows nothing about art, liking their raw lines enough to write about them.
And somehow picnicking turns into studying the past. Things found turn into a reminder about what art is, who it refelcts, and who it touches. Somewhere, someone has attended a picnic with Paulette and I, taking lunch with us in the confines of my office. Now instead of resting in a bottom drawer, their work sits peacefully on my bookshelf, next to a vase of pink roses. The perfect lunch break find.
Happy Friday : )

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Erin Fetherston for Juicy Couture

Got an exciting e-mail today that I have been waiting for for a long time now. Erin Fetherston's collection for Juicy Couture is available for pre-order and will be in stores in one week (! I know where Im going next Thursday : ) So I had read about the collection in the New York Times, praising Fetherston for taking velour and the Juicy brand and refining it. I have to say, I am deeply impressed. I mean, velour is fun, and quintessentially Juicy, but I got tired of it. However, I think Fetherston has successfully re-interpreted this fabric in a chic way that is just in time for the holidays. And bravo to those in charge at Juicy, for finding the right designer to carry on the proper message of the brand with her own spin. Erin's pieces feature bows, shine, velvet, and carry a Gatsby/art deco feel. I love love love it! So celebratory! Plus, Erin designed accessories and shoes as well. The color palette is perfect: black, white, and red. And I adore the photography (with balloons and roses). Christmas come early!