Thursday, February 28, 2013

Temple Worship

There are certain things that have remained decorative accessories for centuries. One of my favorites is the Temple Jar. Once the province of rich granny types, the Temple Jar has made a comeback at affordable price points, and in simple modern colors.

Patrick J. Hamilton recently styled a space for a charity event using a stunning modern yellow Temple Jar from Bungalow 5. The pedestal was made by The Alpha Workshops, the screen from Lazy Susan, and the wall covering from Koroseal.

My Guest Picks at Houzz this month feature a ton of affordable Temple Jars i every color and style, from trad to mod.  Take a look, I'm sure you'll find something you like.

My Guest Picks at Houzz - Also check out Lily Gahagan's article on how to use Temple Jars

In the meantime, here's a round up of images to inspire you to use Temple Jars! Or do tell us if you already have them, and where you use them.

Mary McDonald tucks Temple Jars under a table

Tobi Fairley makes them look mod and fresh

Mary McDonald rocks yellow Temple Jars

Everyone loves blue and white - via The Hunted Interior

Oscar de La Renta rocked them in the 1970's

Trad blue and white mixed with mod furnishings - You can do it

This one was found at the Goodwill - Keep your eye out

Arrange them on a side board or entry hall table

I saw this one at a local antique place here in New Orleans called Dop - It's a huge warehouse that you must visit when you come here - He has several and they are big and 275. each

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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Arms Are The Last To Go

I am not overly neurotic about my looks.  I own being 63. I'm fit enough, though not a fitness fanatic. I eat and drink what I like, but I do moderate myself when needed. I weigh 10 more pounds than I did twenty years ago. To keep it real, I weigh 130.  I have not had any cosmetic procedures. I'm healthy.

Jane Fonda is a role model - She is 5'8" tall and almost anorexic thin (she has talked about her eating disorder when she was a young starlet) - The wrap style dress would be flattering on many of us - It's Versace

Still I am 63, and there are certain things that I could wear, but I don't wear. Certain things age on everybody no matter what. You can get a face lift, a body job, Botox, fillers, etc. You can diet and do yoga or go to the gym. You can get sleep. You can be a happy person. But your age is your age no matter what.

Illusion sleeves have to fit perfectly

Sequins can add bulk unless you and they are super fine

I tried this Jessica Simpson dress but sadly it made me look bulky and the lining was not sewn in properly

I love this black and white dress

You can get a knock off from Teri Jon

I find one thing is very hard to alter - well actually two things: Arms. They can be toned with exercise, but something happens to the quality of the skin, and arms get old looking, no mater if they are fat or thin. Some women don't care, and go sleeveless. I prefer to cover up. No more strapless gowns for me, or halter tops, or tank tops, or even short sleeve tops. The 3/4 sleeve is now my shortest sleeve.

Helen Mirren is my size, 5'4" - She added pink hair to her red carpet arsenal

Satins and taffeta can be tricky

A black knit elevates the color

There has to be just the right amount of fabric in a full skirt

Your skin on the decolletage cannot be wrinkly

Attitude is the best accessory

Recently I had to buy a red carpet style evening gown. Finding one with sleeves that did not look maw-maw, or mother-of-the-bride in the worst possible way, was no easy shopping chore.

Every generation has their role models, and for me I look to the celebrities who are near my age to see what they wear. They have all the money in the world, they have designers offering custom made dresses to them, and they have the benefit of all kinds of stylists. My line-up consists of Jane Fonda (75), Helen Mirren (67), Susan Sarandon (66), Sally Fields (66), Glenn Close (65), and Meryl Streep (63).

Susan Sarandon has started to cover up her arms

Knits are young

Glenn Close wrapped her arms in tulle

Glenn Close working tricky taffeta and a tux jacket

Meryl Streep tried a bustier and a bolero

Jane pulled off tricky cut outs - Make sure they are lined if you do this

Meryl in Lanvin sequins - I think it looks bulky

Sally Fields 2013 Oscars - She is 5'3" - I think the dress could have been fitted better

Meryl in metallic

Angelina often wears long sleeves -  Knock offs at Celebrity Dresses 100

I haven't bought a new evening dress in a few years. And on a recent shopping trip, I learned a few things. Sequins can add bulk. Taffeta is death. Satin is death. Chiffon can add bulk if there is too much of it, and it goes maw- maw fast. Illusion sleeves are good, but have to fit perfectly, not too tight, or worse not too loose. Lace can be great if it's over a modern silhouette. Surprisingly, jersey type fabrics are the most flattering (just think of a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress). Boleros are tricky. Cleavage is okay if the skin on your decolletage is not wrinkly. Spanx is tricky, and can cause more visual harm than good. Black is great, but can be sad. Colors are tricky - you have know which flatter you, and more important which do not. Nudes and whites are extra tricky. Metallic can be great.

I like this lace dress from Teri Jon

I ended up with a so-so dress.  A knit dress in purple, with jeweled straps, and a soft drape of fabric to one side at the waist. Five years ago I would have worn it without the matching bolero jacket. I plan to have it remodeled a bit, and take the 3/4 sleeves from the jacket and add them to the dress. The jacket paired with the dress "ages" it.

Celebrity 100 Lady Gaga dress

If I had all the money in the world I would wear Versace. But I don't. I found a very interesting site that replicates celebrity dresses. They have a ton of Helen Mirrens. No Jane Fondas. One Glenn Close. One Sally Fields. I saw many hot long sleeve dresses there that Angelina Jolie wears. It's interesting how this young woman favors sleeves.

Ha ha - My "Red Carpet" look at  masquerade party - I did lavender hair instead of pink

Any thoughts or insights you would like to share?

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Where Are You Watching The Oscars?

Oscar night! Are you going to an Oscar party? There are two biggies here in New Orleans.

As a benefit for the American Red Cross, The Theatres at Canal Place host the Oscar Experience, Louisiana's only Oscar-viewing party sanctioned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And The New Orleans Film Society also hosts an Oscar party at the Prytania Theatre. Guests are invited to wear their red carpet finest or come dressed as a character from an Oscar-nominated film. The party includes trivia and costume contests. Alberto and I are hosting our monthly tango dance at Galvez with some Oscar themed goodies.

Entry hall of the Green Room designed by Madeline Stuart- Flowers by The Velvet Garden

In honor of the Oscars, here are some pics of the Green Room Architectural Digest puts together every year. This year Madeline Stuart was chosen to design this year’s Academy Awards Green Room. Baker Furniture was used throughout.

This Baker stool was used and upholstered in orange
"We are pleased to once again partner with Architectural Digest to bring Madeline Stuart's Green Room to life in a most elegant manner," said Austin Rothbard, president - Baker. "Baker has been handcrafting fine furniture for over a century. Both the Oscars and Baker have earned and enjoyed global recognition, yet ultimately, we are hallmarks of American design."

I think this 750 square foot room is great inspiration for a media room for some one's home. You can get the furniture from Baker.  Architectural Digest tells where to get many of the finishes in the captions with each photo. Schumacher fabric was used, and I am sure you could find it pretty easily.

Love the Schumacher fabric on the Baker Chair
What a difference the fabric used in the Green Room makes

A glam seating arrangement via

This is the Baker couch used in the seating arrangement above

And this is the chair - Several were used with different fabric

Changing the fabric on the Baker pieces makes them so much more glam

Love the lamp on the side table - It's from Baker too

Adorable - Get it from Baker

The outdoor area of the Green Room is fabulous!

Here;s the designer as a little girl - “For a child of the industry, this is an incredible honor,” says Stuart. “I revere Hollywood history.” And she’s a part of that history: Her late father, Mel, directed 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as well as several award-winning documentaries, and Madeline played a small role as a chocolate-loving, golden-ticket-coveting schoolgirl in Wonka. via

Madeline Stuart designed the  Deco-style bar and stools -- the latter of which she’ll add to her own furniture line. “My pieces are usually named for writers,” she says. “But I’ll call this stool The Oscar.”

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Stuart’s inspiration for the 750-square-foot room, where presenters and other VIPs will hang out during the telecast, is the legendary Hollywood art director and production designer Cedric Gibbons, who oversaw the creation of the Oscar statuette in 1928 and went on to win 11 of them.
Gibbons was a natural choice for Stuart. When AD reached out, Stuart -- who is on The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the top 25 decorators in Hollywood -- was already at work redoing interiors for a house that Gibbons designed for himself and actress wife Dolores del Rio in 1930.

“A lot of people don’t know who Gibbons is anymore,” says Stuart. “That’s sad to me.” She credits his work on The Thin Man for the room’s glossy black flooring and Art Deco-style furniture and objects; she also incorporated stepped ceilings inspired by Grand Hotel and The Wizard of Oz. Stuart imagined a space where George Clooney might throw back a Scotch with Cary Grant. “I wanted to create something chic, stylish and sexy,” Stuart says. “I could live in this space.”

Have fun watching the Oscars!

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