Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Before I go forward with any other posts regarding The One Hundred, I have to correct a serious error I made in a previous post.  Oh, I could have gone back and corrected the error but this is so serious, I must confess it openly and honestly.

I have always loved Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.  She contributed to fashion in ways we will never fully understand.  She designed c o m f o r t a b l e clothes for women.  Although she is know for her classic, collarless suits, and the little black dress, she also was a rebel; she wore pants and cut her hair in a time when these were seen as vulgarities.  She created the first perfume, she more or less invented costume jewelry.  She stayed in Paris during WWII when others of her stature fled to safer more comfortable accommodations.  (Yes, it was at the Ritz-Carlton but even so, I don't think anyplace in Paris during WWII was safe or comfortable.)  In essence, Coco Chanel was the epitome of innovative. (This is a great reference from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

In the past year, there have been 2 movies made about Chanel - Coco Before Chanel and Coco Chanel.  If you get a chance to see one, watch the more authentic Coco Before Chanel.  I watched both movies before I posted on the LBD and have a reasonable amount of knowledge about Chanel because she is a bit of an obsession for me.  I know she had never married.  I know she was not a Madame but rather a Mademoiselle.

Therein lies my error and I apologize.  More to Mme Chanel than to you but when I'm wrong, I fully and openly admit it.  Please forgive me and yes, I have made the correction to my earlier post.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Number Sixty-one

The one-piece swimsuit.

Obviously I own one because I don't own a bikini, don't live near a nude beach, (like I'm opposed to wearing a bikini but will go to a nude beach), and like to partake in a swim every now and then.

There's really nothing else to say.

Number sixty-one - the one-piece swimsuit.  Thirty-nine down, sixty-one to go.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Number Twenty-seven

Diamonds are a girls best friend.  Specifically for number twenty-seven, it's diamond studs.  Yes, I am very, very, fortunate and do own beautiful diamond studs.  They were a gift from my husband.  He brought them back from a business trip to Africa for our first wedding anniversary almost 14 years ago.  I love them, wear them almost everyday, and have made it known that should something happen to me, they go to my youngest step-daughter (my wedding ring goes to my eldest).  They are, quite simply, one of my most treasured possessions.

All of that being said, I will never buy or accept another diamond.  You see, the term "blood diamond" is a reality.  My husband worked in the mining industry for 25 years.  He has visited the diamond mines owned and operated by the De Beers Family in South Africa and knows not only the geology of the diamond industry, but also knows the politics of the diamond industry.  I've quoted him in another post as saying, "Turquoise is more precious than diamonds." and I'll add, less bloody.

When we had decided to get married, I, like the majority of young, naive, American girls wanted and demanded a diamond engagement ring.  He begged me choose another gem - something that was actually rare but no, I had to have a diamond.  He obliged.  I also thought it was so "cool" that he traveled to Africa that each time he went, I asked for more diamonds and each time, he would say, "If you only knew."  However, he once again obliged and gave me my earrings.

It was the flu and Leonardo DiCaprio that finally convinced me.  Three years ago, Bernie and I had gone to a family members wedding in Phoenix and both of us had the flu.  We were literally stuck in the hotel room and decided we would rent Blood Diamond.  I could hardly watch the movie and when it was over, I told Bernie I had no idea.  He said, "Oh yes you did."  "I've been trying to tell you for years that the diamond business is ugly and diamonds are NOT rare but like most American women, you want to believe otherwise."  From that moment on, I decided that diamonds were not a girls best friend and I would never long for them again.

I'm not suggesting that anyone get rid of their diamonds.  I am however, suggesting that you think twice before buying another diamond, especially one from Africa.  And, if you have never seen Blood Diamond, rent it, but be prepared; it is a tough, tough movie to watch and unfortunately, fairly accurate.  (For what it's worth, DiCaprio gives an amazing performance and absolutely nails the accent.)

So Ms. Garcia, you are correct, diamond studs are stylish and as you suggest, fake diamonds are just fine.  If you don't have any, get yourself some fakes.  If you have real diamonds, of course keep them and treasure them and I can't say this enough, think twice before you purchase more.

Number twenty-seven - diamond studs.  Thirty-eight down, sixty-two to go.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Number Twenty-nine

"The ultimate summer shoe." says Nina.  Espadrilles. I've longed for espadrilles since I started reading The Preppy Handbook in high school.  I had never really found the right pair until recently and as per usual, I now own 2 pair and am considering purchasing...well, more.  Actually, espadrilles were one of the first purchases I made when I started reading The One Hundred.  I've loved them for so long and yet I've never found the perfect pair.

I've learned from Nina that espadrilles have a long, long history. In fact, espadrilles go back to the 1400's.  It is a shoe that is traditionally worn by peasants and fisherman and are traditionally made in Portugal and Spain.

Being the snob that I am, I began to seek out Castaner espadrilles.  The Castaner shoe company has been making espadrilles in Spain since 1776.  Apparently, the company was on the brink of closing its doors until Yves Saint Laurent commissioned them to create a high heel version of the shoe.  (I'm so glad he did.)  However, I did not want a high heel version,  well, I did/do, but first, I wanted a flat version and I
wanted only Castaner.  I found them on e-bay, of course, for a very reasonable price and guess what?  Most uncomfortable pair of flats I've ever owned in my life!  Seriously, I have to wear mole skin on my heels every time I put them on but by george, I own a pair of Castaner espadrilles.

My second pair of espadrilles is essentially the same as the first.  I found an adorable pair of espadrilles, made in Spain of course, with a very cute flower and I just had to have them.  I wore them once, received a ton of compliments, and went home at lunch and put on moleskin.  (I know, I could have changed shoes, but vanity wins almost always.)

So, as you now know, I'm seeking more espadrilles because I'm seeking a comfortable pair.  I know they exist, people have been wearing them for centuries.  Maybe I need to buy these Christian Louboutin's for a mere $290 to get comfort.  (Actually, there's a great pair of knockoffs at Target for $20 that I'll try.)  I'll keep you posted.
Number twenty-nine - espadrilles.  Thirty-seven down, sixty-three to go.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Number Forty-nine

LWD - Little White Dress.  Believe it or not, I actually own 3 little white dresses. S L E E V E L E S S little white dresses.  It's true!  How this happened, I do not know.  Sleeveless and little!  Who would have guessed.  Here's another shocker, I actually wear these dresses.  Let me clarify, I wear them with a jacket or shrug.  (Okay, I plan on wearing one to an outdoor musical festival and have no intention of wearing a jacket.  I'm just gonna let those flabby arms fly!)

Unlike the little black dress, the little white dress in my opinion is much more casual and can only be worn during certain times of the year.  Nina says that the white after Labor Day rule is malarkey but I disagree.  My disagreement with her is that it's not necessarily about the color, but about the dress.  My experience has been a little white dress is summer not fall or winter (spring is questionable).  Granted, I have seen beautiful white jersey dresses that would be okay anytime of the year, but in my mind, that is not the quintessential little white dress.  My definition of a LWD is cotton, sleeveless or short sleeves, perhaps some eyelet, short and breezy -  in essence, simple.

It seems difficult to express excitement about a simple white dress and yet when I see one, I do get excited - thus the reason I own three.  I think it's because the LWD is plain and doesn't really need anything other than a hot summer day as an accessory. Bring on the heat wave cause I've got three dresses that need to get some wear before labor day.

Number forty-nine, the little white dress.  Thirty-six down - sixty-four to go.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Number Forty-eight

LBD - Little Black Dress.  Oh how I wish I could say I owned one.  Ms. Garcia writes in The One Hundred that Mme Chanel should be credited with the LBD and I couldn't agree more.  When I think of it, I think only of Mme Chanel.  Ms. Garcia also shares a quote Mme Chanel made to rival designer Elsa Schiaparelli   "Scheherazade is easy."  Mme Chanel said, "The little black dress is hard."  This is the exact reason why I do not own one.

One of Mme Chanel's Little Black Dresses from 1926

First, I'm not little and the thought of a little dress is frightening.  Not that the little black dress has to be little, but just for kicks, go out some day and try to find a black dress that isn't.  In fact, black dresses are either little or matronly and in most cases they are sleeveless and that I just can't do.  (Sleeveless is right up there with me owning a bikini.)

I do long for the perfect little black dress because it would just be so great to have that one dress that you knew you could always wear in numerous situations.  It's an item that really has nothing to do with fashion, but has everything to do with class.  In my opinion, the little black dress should be about class and not about fashion.  It should be timeless.  It should also serve many purposes - the business meeting, dinner and dancing, a first date, cocktail party, and yes a funeral.  Ms. Garcia, as usual, does an excellent job explaining how accessories can change the look and as usual, I couldn't agree more.

Now that I've written it all down, Mme Chanel was exactly right, "The little black dress is hard."

So, in light of the difficult task ahead,  I make this vow.  (I'm raising my right hand and placing it on the July issue of Vogue).  I solemnly swear that I will not give up my search for the perfect little black dress. I won't schedule a shopping day to purchase the little black dress but rather will keep my eyes open always for the perfect dress.  I will use Mme Chanel as a guide for my decision.

Number forty-eight - The Little Black Dress.  Thirty-five down, sixty-four to go.

Another Chanel little black dress from 1927.

Mme Chanel herself in what else, a little black dress.

Post-script - Nina Garcia refers to Chanel often in The One Hundred.  When referencing her in her writing about the little black dress, she addresses her as Mademoiselle.  This indicates to me that the little black dress is so important that the person credited with inventing it deserves the utmost respect.  I could not agree more.  Thank you Mme Chanel for EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Number Eighty-five

The sunhat.  To begin with, I am a poster-child for skin cancer and yes, I own several sun hats.  But beyond that, I own several sun hats because like everything else, I'm obsessed with cute hats and I use my fair skin as an excuse to purchase them.  (I need to be more careful about divulging my secrets because some of this may get back to my husband and my gig may be up.)  Anyway...I do love a cute straw hat and like most everything else, you have to find the right one and WEAR IT!!

Here's a dirty little secret - I hate to primp and preen - hate it!  Therefore, on the weekend I do whatever I can to keep from spending 30 minutes of my precious time in front of a damn mirror fixing my hair and makeup.  Most people can wake up and their hair shows some sort of resemblance to their day to day hairstyle; I am not one of those people.  I wake up and have to find my hair and put it back on my head.  I don't know what I do when I sleep, but apparently may hair has a hell of party because it looks nothing like it normally does.  Herein lies the beauty of owning hats.  

Normally I would wear a baseball hat on the weekend or leave my hair au naturale (clean but curly and on my head).  Recently however, I have decided to wear one of my sun hats instead.  They are more chic, stylish and purposeful during these hot summer months.  On my first outing with one of my sun hats, I asked my friend Linda if she was embarrassed to be seen with me.  She kindly replied, "No!" and off we went shopping.  As usual, I saw the glances from the small town heros but went on about my business and felt good about my stylish choice for concealing my weekend hair.   Then, on the drive home, I saw one of the town's "crazy" ladies and guess what, she had on a sun hat very similar to mine.  I just had to laugh.  It didn't deter me from wearing my sunhat.  As a matter of fact, the following weekend, I ran into an administrator from the college who commented that she was jealous of my hat.

There are few things greater than wearing a nice straw sunhat with a large brim that shades the sun from my already very freckled face.  I own many and the only problem is deciding which one to wear.  Although, I am a little less excited about the hat that is similar to the town's crazy lady.  I'm kidding!  EVERYONE, even those a little less fortunate, should show some style.

Number eighty-five - the sunhat.  Thirty-four down - sixty-six to go.

Kim Catrtall in Sex and The City - The Movie.
Now THAT is a S U N H A T!
I love it!