Suite Seduction

Bask in the staid luxury of these oil paintings by artist Page Laughlin, whose lovely interiors are not quite what they seem. Veiled in seduction, the contents of her paintings most reveal one's innermost desires for glamour, and the sheer excess of rooms resplendent with expensive taste.

For years, Ms. Laughlin has been studying the fantasies presented to readers of high-end shelter magazines, such as Architectual Digest. Basing her paintings on photographs of stately interiors from these commercial publications, she presents the viewer with a dappled brush stroke fantasy of materialist beauty.

Images courtesy of Page Laughlin.


Silver Foxes

Silver has never looked more distinguished, than it does on dapper dressers this fall. Kristen McMenamy and Roger Sterling have it right, in tailored elegance. With sterling silver recently hitting a two and a half year record high, at over $20 an ounce, the warm gray metal is more precious than ever and deserves your studious attention. Polished silver adornments, such as Tiffany's timeless classics, are what to wear with menswear looks for fall, and letting your hair go gray.

Images courtesy of Vogue, Tiffany, and TV Guide.


Dessert Party

As the calendar leaps into the NYC fall season, there's the promise of crisp autumn weather, and holiday goodies right around the corner. It's party time, and that means getting the coffee maker into high gear for a Sunday afternoon dessert party. Whether you prefer a stove top espresso maker, French press, or a traditional drip, the point is stimulating the cortex of your brain for some energetic party banter!

Coffee making has become a scientific pursuit in our household, with Matt's quest for the perfect brew, so the first step in planning our sugar and caffeine infused bacchanalia is picking the beans. We're fans of the artisanal coffee roasters at Gimme! Coffee, whose pure, brilliant beans bring sensory pleasure, not to mention a real kick.

My favorite part is selecting an array of desserts for an afternoon as decadent as my favorite home shopping scene from Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. I love the technicolor explosion of light and crispy, melt in your mouth French macarons handcrafted by Macaron Parlour, whose unexpected sweet and savory flavors, like Cinnamon Pistachio with Morello Cherries, Candied Maple Bacon and Caramel Fleur de Sel are beyond anything Ladurée, inventor of the double-decker macaron, and Marie Antoinette ever imagined.

We dig Baked By Melissa's groovy bite size cupcake morsels, and Momofuko Milk Bar cookies in trademarked flavors like Compost and Cornflake-Marshmallow-Chocolate Chip. To top it off, we'll definitely need some Doughnut Plant cake doughnuts, with a painterly glaze of seasonal fruit and fresh roasted nuts. Dinner that day would be optional.

Images and courtesy of cookware.com, Macaron Parlour, Nate Tharp, Almost Bourdain, SlashFood.

Post sponsored by cookware.com.


Delicate Flowers

One of the inspirations at Carolina Herrera's Spring 2011 show was botanical plates collected in the eighteenth century. Dried botanical specimens were carefully affixed to the page with the scientific name and origin of the plant neatly written by hand, and then framed.

For the collection, this was interpreted as scaled up floral prints climbing up the models' stem-like figures, complete with faux tape and calligraphic labels detailing the plant's name and origin. I find this bit of quirky fashion surrealism to be just the thing for adding a dash of elegant wit to a spring charity event or gala.

Kudos Ms. Herrera, for referencing both botany and beauty, and would you please do this line for Target.


Images courtesy of Jezebel.


Daisy, Daisy

Goodbye summer, hello fall! Well, not officially until Wednesday, September 22nd at 11:09am, so let's call it early fall. It's also my favorite time of year on Peconic Bay, which is located on the south fork of Long Island. The weather is bright and crisp, and farm stands explode with Technicolor produce. It always feels like a new beginning and a fresh start to the year, rather than the end of summer freedom. In the Jewish culture, one actually does celebrate the New Year in early fall, with Rosh Hashanah.

Once the summer flowers have faded, autumn is the time Montauk daisies kick into gear, having spent the past two seasons quietly spreading dark green bushy leaves. Unlike the common Shasta daisy, which blooms in spring and summer, the Montauk daisy, also known as the Nippon daisy, with origins in Japan, only blooms in fall. Aesthetically, I prefer the Montauk daisy's shorter, bushier profile in the garden, with multiple blooms per stem. As an added bonus, butterflies love them, while the ravenous deer and bunnies ignore them!

Handmade On Peconic Bay Van Dyke Brown Montauk Daisy 5" square print with gift envelope, $20.00, at Hester Street Fair, A Little Of What You Fancy, 19 Newtown Lane East Hampton, 631.324.3113.

Montauk Daisy garden image courtesy of Garden Blog.


Be Still My (Black) Heart

Black Heart Pendant

Black Heart Drops

Is there a silver lining in the future of fashion? I sure hope so. Meanwhile, silver jewels rock out for Fall 2010, in a smoky distressed finish, with glistening black stone accents. Fabulously chic and versatile, you'll want to wear these delicate yet substantial pieces everyday, with everything from denim to a sleek LBD. See the entire collection at IndieShop.com.

Cynthia Rybakoff oxidized sterling silver and cubic zirconia Black Heart pendant, $98.00, and earrings, $48.00 at IndieShop.com.

Eat, Dress, Love

The one in which a group of models search for food across an unknown English location shoot, and what they discover in their travels. Earthy and feminine fall fashion!

Images courtesy of Anthropologie.
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