Camptown ladies…

Barbie Pin | Olympia Le-Tan Caviar Bag | My Own Guitar Pic Dress | Max Star High Heeled Sneaker | My Own ‘Luck Be A Lady’ Vest | Katy Perry Present Slide | TU Sequined Bomber Jacket | Andy Warhol Brillo Camp Shirt | Chinese Takeout Evening Bag | Two Ladies Bodysuit | Katy Perry Hamburger Shoe

Today is Camp Day (aka: the 2019 Met Gala, which kicks off the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s newest costume exhibition “Camp: Notes on Fashion”) .  I equate the Gala to the Super Bowl of Fashion, bringing together a who’s who of artists, models, designers, and style arbiters to see who walks away with the ‘Best Dressed’ prize. This year’s exhibition (which opens On May 9th) was inspired by the 1964 Susan Sontag: Notes on ‘Camp essay which notes that “Camp…has the proper mixture of the exaggerated, the fantastic, the passionate, and the naïve.”

As a designer I have always had a camp mentality, creating one-of-a-kind garments that are tongue-in-cheek, irrelevant, and sly.  This sensibility is on display in two of my designs pictured above: the ‘Pic Dress’, made from beads and thousands of unique guitar pics (worn to a Grammys ceremony and which made music when I walked) and the ‘Luck Be a Lady’ denim vest, incorporating rhinestones, embroidery, and vintage naked lady playing cards (worn for a night in Vegas and which truly was a good luck charm).

You may be thinking camp fashion isn’t for you, but trust me when I tell you anyone can incorporate a little bit of camp into their daily look: shoes, jewelry, bags, t-shirts and coats are all easy ways to add a little fantastic into your everyday.

As for the ladies who walk the carpet in a few hours, you better believe a bit of attitude is going to go a long way toward pulling off whatever ‘camp’ they choose to wear, which is why I am already predicting who might end up in the Top 10 looks of the night.  I have high expectations for Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, two women who seem born to ‘camp’, along with Rhianna and Zendaya, both of whom kill any carpet they grace. Throw in Sarah Jessica Parker (representing the old guard) and Lupita Nyong’o (representing the new), actresses who seem to make statements with whatever they wear. I wouldn’t count Madonna out, or Kim K either – both either miss or hit spectacularly with no in-between. Since camp is all about irony, humor, parody, theatricality, and exaggeration I’d say any other ladies I’ve listed could easily end up with ‘Best Of…” tomorrow morning.

*Camp Town Races – Johnny Cash

Walks beside me…modern love

It isn’t often I read a work of fiction and want to learn more about some of the characters but that is exactly what happened after I finished reading ‘The Museum of Modern Love’ (aka: MoML) by Australian author Heather Rose.  Ms. Rose’s story uses performance artist Marina Abramovic’s 2010 MoMA retrospective “The Artist is Present” as the background against which her characters experience fear, sadness, doubt, loneliness, wonder, happiness, creativity, and love… Continue reading “Walks beside me…modern love”

Mama liked the roses…

Each spring and fall I feature ways to re-create the top runway looks (past recreations can be found herehere, here and here through sewing and some accessory purchases.  Some of the hottest trends for spring and summer2019 include 1940’s and 1970’s inspired clothing, sundresses, jumpsuits, patchwork, and bold florals ( a perennial favorite of mine).

I am a sucker for a good dress so the Apiece Apart midi captured my attention, as it reminds me of a 1940’s English garden party frock. The Elie Tahari wrap dress is a classic design which never gets old and always flatters the wearer regardless of size.

Both dresses would be quite easy to make, requiring only minor pattern changes prior to sewing to achieve optimal effect.  To make the blue-floral midi begin with the Butterick B6451 Version A dress pattern but purchase enough extra fabric for an additional midi skirt. Sew the side seams on each skirt, then baste both pieces together at the waist to create one double-tiered piece. From there, continue to follow the sewing directions to make your own version of the two-tiered peasant midi dress.

To replicate the Elie Tahari wrap dress, use the Butterick B6554 Version B pattern, and follow the directions until it gets to the tie part. Replace the waist ties with another closure of your choice (buttons and hook-and-eyes come to mind). Purchase extra fabric to make a 2-3 inch wide belt long enough to wrap around your torso twice with ample ends and voila! Runway re-created x 2. Happy sewing – happy spring.

Apiece Apart
Pattern | Fabric | Sandal

Elie Tahari
Pattern | Fabric 1 | Fabric 2 | Sandal

Finishing Touches
Nail Polish | Lip Gloss | Earrings

*Mama Liked the Roses – Elvis Presley

Put on a gown that touches the ground…

 Zara Cat Eye Sunglasses  |   Lauren Ralph Lauren Ruffled One-Piece Swimsuit |    Miraclesuit Babylon Caftan |  Tiki Slide Sandal  |  Kenneth Jay Lane Gypsy Drop Hoop Earrings |  Levi’s Original Trucker Jacket  |  Nars Lipgloss  |  Clinique Happy Rollerball  |  Clinique Pop Smash Lipgloss  |  Cole Haan Piper Flat  |  Tape Bag  |  Saucerful of Secrets T-shirt  |  J. Crew Midi Shirtdress with Hearts  |  Calvin Klein Sleeveless Cowl  |  Made by Johnny Palazzo Pants|  Madden Girl Block Heel Sandal  |  Billabong Wide Leg Striped Pants  |  Lipault Weekend Bag

It’s been quite some time since I posted but fear not, as two months focused on handling family and work matters is finally behind me and I am once again (hopefully) back to blogging twice-a-week. Not sure I’ll actually accomplish that goal but a girl can dream.

If I don’t make my goal this week at least I’ve got a good excuse, as my husband and I are headed to Miami Beach to see Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets Tour when it stops at The Fillmore Miami Beach.  I got our tickets months ago when I first read about the show, and if the reviews are even halfway accurate we are in for an (inter)stellar night of classic old school Floyd.  

We’ll be staying at CASA Boutique Hotel, which is close to the theater and the beach without being near the craziness of Ocean Drive.  Besides the concert we plan on spending our days soaking up some rays, exploring Lincoln Road Mall (including Taschen Books), wandering the galleries at the Bass and the World Erotic Art Museums, grabbing authentic Cuban food at Puerto Sagua and ending our nights at Mac’s Club Deuce, a bar we used to frequent years ago.  All in all, we’ve got a great  mini-holiday to look forward to, and maybe 2nd post later this week too!  

*See Emily Play – Pink Floyd

2-18-19 Ephemera (The Fashion Edition)

An exhibit from ‘Dior: From Paris to the World’ (image by James Florio)

Lately I’ve really been focused on the world of fashion. This might be due to some recent travel which saw me killing time with lots of fashion mags while waiting for one delayed flight after another.  And while spring is just around the corner the Fall ‘19 New York and London Fashion Week collections may also be to blame.  Finally, there are two exhibitions taking place which I NEED to see: the V&A Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams (through July 14th) and the Met’s Camp: Notes on Fashion (opening May 9th). ‘Camp’ kicks off with the Met Gala on May 6thand I can’t wait to see what the two High Priestesses of Camp, Rhianna and Lady Gaga, bring to the red carpet.  I doubt I’ll get an invitation to the Gala, and travel to the Big Apple and/or London probably isn’t in the cards either, so I’ll have to be content trying on fashion-related articles I’ve stumbled, including…

…Here’s hoping you are having a fashionably good time, whatever you’re doing!

Oh I talk too loose…..


I thought I’d be able to settle into 2019 focused on a year-long daily art project I am undertaking with any leftover time devoted to more frequent blogging.  Ha!  Turns out I’ve been spending most of my free time helping one of my children secure their very first ‘grown up’ job.  That said, no matter how busy I am I always find time to read every day… Continue reading “Oh I talk too loose…..”

Do the pinball boogie…

Lush Novak Crepe Blazer |  White Gold Silver Hoops  |  Colleen Kammerer ‘Bonus Points’ Pinball T-shirt  |  No Boundaries ‘Camera’ Cross-body Bag  |  Miss Dior Rollerpearl  |  Hue Opaque Tights  |  NYDJ Zip-Pocket Skinny Jeans  |  Kenneth Cole Silver-tone Mesh Watch  |  Nars Dolce Vita LipGloss  |  Baked on 8th Birthday Cake  | Marc Fisher Yalen Booties

This weekend I celebrated another birthday. I’ve never been a big party kind of person and prefer a more intimate day spent with those I love, sharing some laughter and a tasty home-cooked meal followed by the sweetest store-bought birthday cake I can find.  One personal birthday tradition I have kept for many years is to wear something special to remind myself of how much I love clothes and dressing for an occasion (previous birthday outfits here and here).  

My husband, who knows I’ve developed a bit of pinball obsession, surprised me with a trip to an area arcade I had no idea existed.  Best gift ever! We were the first customers of the day and had our choice of hundreds of machines, all in great working condition.  We lost track of the time and finally called it quits when our wrists hurt so baldy we couldn’t play anymore.  In keeping with my birthday outfit philosophy, and having an inkling of where we might be going, I dressed accordingly.  

*Do the Pinball Boogie – Red Foley & The Crossroads Boys

Back into bed started reading my books…

9 Gifts that will keep on giving

Do you have a gift you receive every year? Some item which if not received taints the occasion just a bit? For me, that gift is a book, or even better, books. Each Christmas my momma gifts me with a selection from my ‘2b or not 2b read’ list (past gift selections can be found here and here). My mom was a little under the weather over the holidays and so her 2018 gift was delayed, but no less appreciated when I finally opened my box of books this weekend. Thanks Mom.

*Off the Hook – The Rolling Stones

Happy new year darling…

Ma patronne – Louis Welden Hawkins ca. 1903

I love the time between Christmas and New Year’s since I can hang out with the family and live life at a slower than normal pace… 

One of my greatest gifts is the time to go to the movies or snuggle up on the couch to bingewatch whatever catches my fancy.  This week, I’ve seen The Favorite (highly recommended), The Death of Stalin (darkly funny), the win-at-all-costs sports doping documentary IcarusThe Marvelous Mrs. Meisel (season 2), The Wire (season 3), Maniac, lots of sports (Go Eagles! Go Notre Dame! Go Sixers!), and the newest seasons of The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition and Great British Baking Show. I am still planning on seeing The Mule, Mary Queen of Scots, and The Green Book before I head back to work later this week….

Speaking of the Great British Baking Show, here’s a fascinating article about the artist who creates the dessert drawings… 

I am not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions but last year I did decide to track how many books I read during 2018.  I am part of a Book Club at work (with our current pick – Tara Westover’s Educated – up for discussion in January) and took part in a summer reading challenge, achieving ‘Reading Rockstar’ status.  Turns out I’ve read over 130 books this past year…

My favorite reads of 2018 (in no particular order) include: James Frey’s Katerina, Christina Dalcher’s Vox, Sarah Bird’s Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, Josh Malerman’s Unbury Carol, Jonathan Miles Anatomy of a Miracle: the True* Story of a Paralyzed Veteran, a Mississippi Convenience Store, a Vatican Investigation, and the Spectacular Perils of Grace, John Connelly’s He, and Dara Horn’s Eternal Life

I may not believe in resolutions but I am a big planner. I’ve got some personal art projects I am working on, a few art installations to oversee (including the January ArtLab and April ‘Autism Arts’ shows), and continued travel (Miami, Denver, Mobile, and Philly for sure with more day trips and weekend getaways to follow).  

How about you? Do you make resolutions? What kinds of dreams do you have for the new year? Here’s hoping you achieve success in whatever you set out to do next year. All the best for 2019!

*Happy New Year Darling – Lonnie Johnson

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

He see’s you when you’re sleeping

I had a number of gift guides posts planned for December but the technology gods decided differently. Two weeks ago, I opened my laptop to find the red battery of death, necessitating a visit to the computer doctor followed by a diagnosis of failed mother board.  When my Pro was released earlier this week with a clean bill of health it felt like I had just received a present.

To be truthful, this past year has been a rough one and I haven’t been ‘in the spirit’ this holiday season. I know I am supposed to want to go out and buy, buy, buy but in truth the only thing I want for Christmas is for 2018 to be over and for everyone I love to be healthy and happy next year.  

I hope the same for each of you who already follow this blog or have stumbled upon it. The best gift you could ever give – or receive – is the gift of time spent with those you care most about. Here’s wishing you and yours a lovely [insert whatever it is you celebrate this time of year here] in the company of steadfast friends and loving family.  All the best for 2019!

*Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – The Pretenders