Wikked Lil’ Grrrls Mar15

Wikked Lil’ Grrrls

Sometimes when I’m working on something, and don’t want to commit to any one album, I’ll let Itunes play at random. This afternoon, it stumbled upon this gem of a song, which I subsequently played several times in a row. Most people probably haven’t heard of Esthero, which I think is a shame. In terms of her own music, she hasn’t been terribly prolific in the past few years. In fact, this song is from her sophomore album – her last studio album, which was released in 2005. She had a new album slated for late 2010, but it has yet to get an official release date. This is the title song from her album, Wikked Lil’ Grrrls. Esthero – Wikked Lil Grrrls Although Esthero hasn’t focused so much on her own music, her talents as a song writer have led to collaborations with a number of more high profile artists – such as Kanye West, Timbaland, and The Black Eyed Peas. I first came to know Esthero when I saw her perform at Summer Stage in Central Park in 1999. At the time, she was promoting her first album, Breath From Another. She gave a fantastic performance, and I became an instant fan. Esthero has a raw, edgy voice – with a jazziness and sensuality that reminds me a little of Björk. I think that she is wildly talented, and really hope that we see much more of her in the future....

Waiting for Superman Mar15

Waiting for Superman

If you’ve not seen the new documentary film Waiting for Superman, it is an absolute must. I first saw the trailer last summer, and it alone, brought me to tears. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the Academy Award winning director of An Inconvenient Truth, the film is about educational disparity in America, and how our public education system is failing. While our country was once a leader in education, since the 1970s, American public schools have failed to keep pace with the rest of the world. According to the film, among 30 developed countries, we rank 25th in math, and 21st in science – behind countries like Estonia, Canada and New Zealand. Another staggering statistic is from my home state of Pennsylvania. Each year the state spends $33,000 per prisoner. With an average prison term of 4 years, Pennsylvania spends $132,000 per prisoner. Now take the average cost of a private school, $8,300 per year. For the same cost of a 4 year prison term, the state of Pennsylvania could have sent that child to private school from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade – and still have had over $24,000 left for college. Waiting for Superman follows five unforgettable kids, and their quest for a better education. Needless to say, it’s both heart wrenching and eye opening. If you’re not familiar with the film, here is the official...

The New Yorker Mar11

The New Yorker

When I was reading my New Yorker earlier this week, I came across a fabulously comical little anecdote – which is apropos, considering the subject of my previous post on Set in Style: The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels. Now, I don’t intend to employ said technique, but I do applaud the ingenuity! Paris, France, sometime in the nineteen-fifties. A woman walks into Van Cleef & Arpels and falls in love with a diamond necklace. It’s expensive – say, four hundred thousand francs. “Listen,” she tells the jeweller, “tomorrow I’m going to come with my husband. Tell him the price is half that. I promise I’ll pay in full.” The next day, she comes in with her husband and announces that she’s looking for a diamond necklace. The jeweller brings out the one she had picked. She pretends to fall in love with it for the first time, and the husband hands over a check for two hundred thousand francs. A few hours later, she returns the necklace. The following day, she comes back – this time with her lover. Same routine: she exults over the necklace; the jeweller sells it to the lover for two hundred thousand francs. The customer leaves with the necklace fully paid for. Everybody wins. Love...

Tout Doucement Mar10

Tout Doucement

A dreary Thursday in New York is somehow cheerier when the cool, breezy sounds of canadian songstress, Feist are wafting through your apartment. While the song Tout Doucement was first made famous by the fabulous Blossom Dearie, I actually prefer the modernized version from Feist’s fantastic sophomore album, Let It Die. Generally, I would prefer Blossom Dearie singing the telephone book over most music, so this says a lot. It’s such a pretty song – with a simple message. Enjoy! Feist – Tout Doucement Tout doux, tout doux, tout doucement. Toujours, tout doux, tout doucement. Comme ça. La vie c’est épatant. Tout doux, tout doux, tout doucement. Toujours, tout doux, tout doucement. Comme ça. La vie je la comprends. N’allez jamais trop vite. Vous avez tout le temps. Attention à la dynamite. Prenez garde aux volcans. A ces jeunes énervés. Qui ne savent pas aller. Tout doux, tout doux, tout doucement. Toujours, tout doux, tout doucement. Comme ça. En flânant gentiment. N’allez jamais trop vite. En aimant simplement. Pour avoir de la réussite. Soyez très très prudent. L’amour alors viendra. Se blottir dans vos bras. Tout doux, tout doux, tout doucement. Toujours, tout doux, tout doucement. Comme ça. En flânant gentiment. En souriant gentiment. En flânant gentiment. Tout...

Eccentric Mar09


I would be remiss to discuss Infamous, and not mention this fantastic quote from the late, great Diana Vreeland. I’m not certain whether she actually spoke these words in real life, but I’d love to think so. Merriam Webster defines ‘eccentric‘ as deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways. Personally, I adore an eccentric woman – but here’s what Diana had to say about the word… “Here’s a word I loathe – eccentric. Eccentric is a word that boring people use to describe someone I think of as interesting. A great many people think of me as eccentric simply because when I have my shoes polished, I have the entire shoe polished – top, sides and soles. Some people think it eccentric that every morning I have my maid iron my money. When I told Truman I had my maid iron my money, you know what he said? Here’s what he didn’t say – ‘How eccentric.’ Here’s what he did say – ‘How wonderful.’ You can forgive a person a lot who really enjoys...

Infamous Mar09


Netflix mailed me the dvd last November, but last night I finally watched Infamous – the 2006 film about Truman Capote, and the writing of In Cold Blood. At the time of its release, it was slightly overshadowed (at least in my mind) by the similar, Academy Award winning film, Capote. I’ve read In Cold Blood, and would most certainly recommend it to any and all – but what most excited me about Infamous, were the depictions of Truman Capote’s legendary society pals. We see glimpses of Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Marella Agnelli, and Diana Vreeland – portrayed by Sigourney Weaver, Hope Davis, Isabella Rossellini, and Juliet Stevenson respectively. Several scenes even feature Vreeland’s infamous, Billy Baldwin decorated living room – that she referred to as a ‘Garden in Hell’. When chapters of his unfinished novel, Answered Prayers, appeared in Esquire magazine, Truman was famously ostracized by his so-called swans. The gossipy book contained thinly veiled characterizations of his jet set friends, causing irreparable damage to his social standing. Answered Prayers remained unfinished at the time of Capote’s death, but was published three years later, in...

Burberry Prorsum Mar07

Burberry Prorsum

Add this Burberry Prorsum biker jacket to my current list of sartorial obsessions. The buttery, toffee colored leather is divine, and I love the military vibe of the oversized collar, belt and epaulettes. Christopher Bailey, Burberry‘s creative director, showed this as part of the Burberry Prorsum Spring Summer 2011 collection – and it’s available in stores and online...

Green to Grey Mar06

Green to Grey

One album that I’ve played consistently over the past few years, is Gavin Creel‘s GoodTimeNation. It’s one of those rare albums that you can listen to, from start to finish – and according to Itunes, I’ve done just that – approximately 37 times. Needless to say, I was super excited last summer when he released his sophomore effort (an EP), Quiet. Gavin is well known in New York as a leading man on Broadway, and has been Tony nominated twice – first for Thoroughly Modern Millie, and more recently for the revival of Hair. Although not too well known, he is, in my opinion, an insane talent. I particularly love this song, Green to Grey, from his new album. Listen, and become a fan… Gavin Creel – Green to Grey People will say everything’s grey. Scared is the way to be. But I’ve always seen infinite green growing so peacefully. Even when my evenings are quiet, I can hear a whisper of something coming. Even if I’m hungry to try it. Believe me darling, I’ll stay patient but feels like my hope’s slipping away, while I’m waiting here. Feels like I go from green to grey as I lose another year. Skillfully I’m filling my time, spilling my rhyme for free. I’m caught in this glow, too proud to know, maybe the joke’s on me. Holding out for some perfect reason. Staring at the skyline with expectation. Never finding what I believe in. I’ll wait darling, if I have to, but feels like my hope’s slipping away while I’m waiting here. Feels like I go from green to grey as I lose another year. Let it be you – Let it be you – Let it be you, ‘cuz feels like my hope’s slipping away while I’m waiting here....

Home Mar05


I’ve been obsessed with this clip for a few years now, and thought that I would share. It’s from a 1999 grade school performance of The Wiz – which, in those terms, sounds incredibly lame. But here’s the thing – this 11 year old Dorothy (Jazmine Sullivan) is now a 23 year old, Billboard chart topping singer and songwriter, with 2 albums under her belt. What a moment this performance must have been. I get chills watching the grainy video – I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must have been in person! Stephanie Mills, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, and countless other divas each had a moment with this song – and this little 11 year old surely does them all proud. A special song for a very special girl! When I think of home, I think of a place where there’s love overflowing. I wish I was home. I wish I was back there, with the things I’ve been knowing. Wind that makes the tall trees bend into leaning. Suddenly the raindrops that fall have a meaning – Sprinklin’ the scene, makes it all clean. Maybe there’s a chance for me to go back there – Now that I have some direction. It would sure be nice to be back home, where there’s love and affection. And just maybe I can convince time to slow up. Giving me enough time in my life to grow up. Time be my friend. Let me start again. Suddenly my world’s gone and changed it’s face, but I still know where I’m going. I have had my mind spun around in space, and yet I’ve watched it growing. Oh, if you’re listening God, please don’t make it hard to know, if we should believe in the things that we see. Tell us, should we run away – should we try...

Amazing Grace Mar03

Amazing Grace

Over the years, I have amassed a rather impressive collection of design books (both vintage and new). One book that had managed to escape me, was the now infamous Grace Coddington tome – Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue. Only a limited number of books were printed, and over the years, copies had become more and more scarce. With the release of The September Issue a couple of years ago, Grace, the fabulously flame-haired Creative Director of Vogue, emerged as the star and hero of the documentary – gaining her even more of a cult following. A 2009 article in The New York Observer suggested that the London based publisher, Steidl, would issue a reprint – but nearly 18 months later, the publishing house has yet to release any information. Just recently, I managed to snag a nearly pristine copy of the book – and I will count it among my favorites! Grace started her Vogue career as a model, later becoming an Editor at British Vogue – and was brought to American Vogue in 1988 by Anna Wintour. Her thirty years at Vogue have now surpassed forty – and what a legend she is. Here’s a slideshow of Ms. Coddington – from her modeling days to the present....

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