Dog Stylist Officially Added to My CV…Ramble

I met the incredible bright spirit that is Suzanne Donaldson, aka Mrs. Sizzle, at a pop-up shop for Love Thy Beast. I was a fan of their reversible gold puffer jacket, and had read The Dogist was going to be there. I took my French bulldog, Elle, and we head to the LES to try it on her. Thus, we set out on a dark winter’s night.

Walking out of the gloomy night, into the Love Thy Beast (now permanent) shop, this blonde spark plug extended her hand, “Hi, she is gorgeous,”she said pointing at Elle. “I’m Mrs. Sizzle!”

I thought, ‘Damn, what have I been doing with my life? I want to introduce myself as Mrs. Sizzle! Who is this amazing lady?’ I spoke with Suzanne and her interns while The Dogist slipped out the door, never to return. (All good because that story ends with Elle in the center of the “Sassy” section on page 127 of his book. Stage mom moment out….)

We went on to join Mrs. Sizzle for a Santacon shoot at Penn Station. She teamed up with street photographer, Jeff Mermelstein, quite a character in his own right, renowned for his New York images.  I love this noir photo Jeff got of Elle for Mrs.Sizzle.com which included our dear friend @chloekhardoggian.

mrssizzle.jpegFast forward to this past April. We say goodbye to our NY dog friends at a charity event including Suzanne. We stay in touch on Instagram. Get asked by another friend of Mrs. Sizzle’s to part take in a London Fashion Week street style shoot, that wound up not happening, but gave me the idea to pitch Suzanne a few ideas to showcase the Best of British Dog Designers with our London dog friends, Winny & Noodle (who unfortunately couldn’t make the shoot due to scheduling issues, but we love quite a bit.)

We discussed fashion pieces – once we both admitted to being obsessed with Ware of The Dog’s Pink Bobble jumper, we knew we were aligned in aesthetic and Suzanne said “let’s go for it.”I have to admit being let loose in Mungo & Maud was a styling dream come true. Elle crawled up into one of the dog beds, snuggling toys while I picked things out for the shoot.

The result has been an incredible collaboration and curation with British designers including the aforementioned Mungo & Maud as well as rising stars Ruby Rufus, Hiro + Wolf and Fetch & Follow.

It was wonderful my very talented friend photographer, Rachel Oates brought the vision to life with her photography. Rachel’s muse, her wonderful Pembroke  @Winnythecorgi and Elle brought the clothes to life alongside our pal, Bodhibulldog.  Thankfully we were quite focused, when recapping as we left the location, otherwise how would we have survived a freak hail storm, Winny’s paw bleeding, and me face planting while trying to keep the designer goods from hitting mud? All in the name of producing incredible fashion moments like those below, which you can see on Mrs. Sizzle.com right now. A huge thanks to everyone involved.

The world is a strange and dangerous place these days, so it gives us the further kick to be able to add some color and fun into this holiday season.mrs+sizzle+rachel+oates-1.jpg

Burberry + Apple Music: A Natural Fit…Ramble

Why is anyone surprised Burberry has started a music channel with Apple Music? Angela Ahrendts, the SVP of Apple’s retail and online stores, was the CEO of Burberry.

Ms. Ahrendts, with Christopher Bailey, were very vocal about taking the heritage brand, and modeling it on Apple’s cohesiveness to make Burberry cool again. They launched the Burberry Acoustic Series, which will be included in the channel.

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This is a natural and logical fit. I personally love it. The marriage of music and fashion is well-documented, with my own former boss, Ian Rogers, recently turning heads (as he does), leaving his role as CEO of Beats to take fashion powerhouse LVMH to the next level of digital innovation. Note: Yes, as much as we have seen digital be integral to many fashion brands, overall the industry still needs to innovate in the area. Don’t get me started on the fragrance industry (I used to cover it.)

My personal hope is now Burberry will create a stand alone app, where customers can live in a Burberry world, which will of course, include the music. *Yes, I wrote that request a few posts ago, you’re not imagining it. I love Burberry.

Now where’s my Burberry trench coat? I’m going to go outside and take my swagger back to Golden Square to wrap up my London Fashion Week experience.

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty… Ramble

When I worked in Soho, NY the models going on go-see casting calls looked like fairies, dotting the often grey weather that fall. Since then, my interest in fashion has had a more concentrated interest. The colors and cuts of Alexander McQueen have made me sigh in wonderment many a time, none more so than at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.    My eyes fluttered. Here was magic, a different kind of spark than other fashion exhibits I have seen or even Fashion Week events. While the exhibit is based on one from The Met, which I didn’t catch, in 2011, only a year after McQueen’s death, the space and layout were extraordinary.  While the Death Becomes Her, mourning garments throughout history curated by Anna Wintour, at The Met, was historically interesting, there’s nothing I like more in fashion than drama, a real show. The McQueen exhibit includes quotes that enhanced the exhibit as to his own mix of self-awareness and inner turmoil. He was precise. He knew he was making a mark and he wanted to create conversations, arming women with a feminine touch. (The result of witnessing and also a victim of his older sister’s abusive first husband. She only found out about Alexander’s own abuse when he became an adult.)  It was a creative kick in the soul. I’m here, on this earth, go big. I wrote about the recent triad of deaths of men on the music & technology world. The McQueen exhibit was the exclamation point. So, whoever you are, be it a famous Olympian or a school teacher, everyone struggles, turn that struggle into a positive. Express it. Move in this life, not through it colorless. Those dreams, the ones you had once, but life got in the way, it’s never too late to make them a reality.

Americans have a tendency to value ourselves by our job titles, responding within a few minutes when a senior executive needs an answer. If you’re creative the world is your stage, exposure and criticism is expected, welcomed – at the same time, it can be a lot of pressure. Don’t let that pressure to fit into an easier pace of life, trap you into not taking creative risks. Thank you Alexander McQueen for the magic you shared with the world. Hope your tormented soul is laughing – you made your mark. Now, it’s my turn to do the same in my own life.

Fashion Week Event: With a Phone That Only Takes Selfies…Ramble

I love glamour. The idea of it. The effortless chic looks on glossy pages or the silver screen. It’s a break from the mundane and it brightens up daily life, so when my friend Dorothy invited me to Valetina Kova’s Fashion Show Event at The Mondrian Hotel – Rooftop, of course, I immediately rescheduled my evening to join her. Dorothy is one of those incredibly cool people who has always pulled off bright splashes of color in her outfits and accessories, especially her glasses’ frames.

We arrived and bumped into my other friend Jazmine and her man Matt in the queue for the elevator, delivering us not only to a room full of models decked in bright clothing, sunglasses and utter chic, but a 180 view of Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn that was breathtaking. That all calls for shuttersnapping, which I did, within boundaries. A few weeks ago, an ice coffee in a bag fell over without my immediate knowledge, into a bag holding my phone. Drying it through the ‘rice method’, it got better each day, although there is a visible ice coffee stain inside the phone. Last week the phone, while a little slower in switching between apps, but still very usable, had a new limitation – it will only take photos in the ‘selfie’- mode. Challenge accepted! See the fun results below and since I’m not in most of them we are calling them ‘reverse’ selfies, not regular photos. The models, the DJ and friends snapped were all very good-natured about it and had a lot of fun working the selfie mode. Thank you all especially Dorothy for being such wonderful participants! #NYFW2014

Look at those rings!

Look at those rings!

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Brand of the Week: goop *by Gwyneth Paltrow…Ramble

The inaugural Monday issue of goop came out this week, covering all that is fun and worth notice from New York Fashion Week. Guest Editor, Fashion muse and trendsetter Taylor Tomasi Hill (isn’t that name just MADE for fashion?) finally reveals who maintains her red locks (the prices are not that outrageous), where and what to eat (juice, juice, juice baby!).

It’s typical for Gwyneth’s goop to make headlines on a weekly basis. It makes me laugh that there is such hate for someone who seems pretty funny, cultured and cool to me, but others see GP as a snob, elitist and out of touch with reality. GOOP was a genius idea. Gwyneth became more than an Oscar winner with a rock star husband, two kids and oh yeah a number one single in Australia for her duet with Huey Lewis:

Personally I love my weekly dose of all that is GP. Why? Her posts about healthy eating, juicing, detoxing and exercise tips from Tracy Anderson have helped me lose thirty pounds and keep it off for over two years. I shared that little tidbit with GP when I went to a book signing for It’s All Good and she was so delighted to hear it. My friend Brian asked me “How did you get her to smile like that?!” and he got back in line so he could do the same. Now, haters will have you believe it will cost an arm and a leg to make any of the recipes in there, but I believe they were shopping at Whole Foods for all the ingredients. Hey New York Times, we’re not all living in denial.

In fact, I have a new friend who was afraid to tell me she has been using It’s All Good recipes because she is on one of those programs where you have to cut out everything – gluten, sugar, alcohol, nuts, etc., in order to find out what she is allergic to, under her doctor’s care. My friend was so relieved I believe in all things goop as well. How sad she had to assume she would be dismissed for liking Gwyneth? Being able to make recipes that fit into her restrictions has been made 1000 times easier by Ms. Paltrow so again I applaud you GP.

Now, those who are still not sure, goop has plenty of recipes on the website. What? Free recipes? The website access remains free. As to the exclusive items made for goop with designers, some of the higher priced items are totally not in my price range, but there are more than fifty items under $150 dollars and I use them as inspiration, and find an alternate like this gold horned pendant. I got into a disagreement with my former literary manager over goop’s items for kids, none of which are over $85 dollars. He wanted to assume, like so many others, there was nothing of value there. Buddy, you are not a woman, you haven’t even looked at the website so if you only get your news via tabloid headlines, you come off looking silly to me. Huge applause to goop for providing an insider look at glamor and nutrition. goop keeps me informed. Note to goop: please make some goop branded items! And for the rest of you please enjoy GP on the Grammys: