needle in the haystack 

House Beautiful’s 2011 piece on this cheery Manhattan apartment by Nick Olsen remains one of my all-time favorite editorials. I love this space because it’s well-done and looks tres expensive but was fabricated on somewhat of a budget. The headboard is slipcovered, the standard fridge is decked out with polaroids, the curtains are sheers with just a dash of panache... Chic, but obtainable and livable. And it’s unmistakably Olsen. Just look at the trompe l’oeil paneling in the bathroom!  

Don’t get me wrong. What designer wouldn’t love to have an endless budget to do everything he or she would like to do, and more? I can think of several $4,000/yard fabrics that I’d like to use on a sofa someday (dream big!). However, I think there is magic in picking up a piece at a thrift store and transforming it into something beautiful. Editorials like the one above remind me that creative, out-of-the-box thinking is a necessary skill and must be consistently practiced/honed. When I visit a Target or a second-hand store, I like to play a game with myself called “Needle in the Haystack.” Can I score a cashmere sweater to rival or exceed what I’d find at Neiman Marcus? Can I find bed linens that are a dead ringer for Olatz? Sometimes I lose! But sometimes, I find a set of Portault towels for $60.

(all photos via Nick Olsen's beautiful website!)


kansas city hearts madewell

The day has finally arrived -- Kansas City is getting it's very own Madewell. When I lived in Los Angeles, I was always at their Glendale store (the sweet staff knew me by name :). I couldn't be more pleased to once again have one in my neighborhood. It's perfect timing, too, as Madewell has the best summer-to-fall transitional pieces. I'm particularly fond of this season's silk tie-front dress, which can be paired with tights + a beat-up jean jacket when the weather cools down. As for the present, I'd wear it with britsh tan booties, a leather crossbody tote and this chic tortoise bracelet. I'd also add in a deep berry lip and Chanel lacquer in Particulière (a new favorite).

This Tuesday, August 18th, Madewell is hosting a launch party in celebration of the store's opening. If you're local, please join! I'll be there along with some of Kansas City's best and brightest (and stylish, to boot). It's from 7-9 p.m. and guaranteed to be a blast. Hope to see you there!


catherine deneuve's mink coat

This photo of Catherine Deneuve arriving at a European airport in 2005 embodies everything I want to be, now and always. Blonde chignon, glasses, oxblood nails, british tan Hermès birkin (doubt I will ever own one of my own, but a girl can dream). I also love that big mink coat! I would never buy a new fur, though -- I always purchase vintage. Speaking of, I found this pretty fur on Etsy and I'm dying to purchase it. Do you think it's too dressy to wear to class? :) 


croghan's jewel box 

Last week, I visited Charleston for the first time. The city is as beautiful and charming as everyone says it is. Palm trees lining the streets, balmy weather, stunning architecture befitting a modern day Scarlett O’Hara... I hope to go again next year.

The city’s stately homes and overall essence aside, one of my favorite things about Charleston is Croghan’s Jewel Box. It’s a little slip of a jewelry store packed to the brim with baubles and gems both old and new, including lines such as Elizabeth and James and Temple St. Clair. At the back of the store, there is a wooden case loaded with the best antique jewelry I’ve ever seen. You'll just have to take my word for it. Croghan’s also has a lovely private label (these earrings, designed and fabricated at the store, are at the top of my wish list).

The photos above have been scanned in from the store's press booklet, styled and produced by Gray and Co. I'm particularly fond of these images as I collect gold antique bangles. My inner Veruca Salt wants everything!


voici rachel rector

"Lingerie" // Rachel Rector from Raúl B Fernández on Vimeo.

How fabulous is this Amélie-inspired short film?! I've watched it at least five times. Lingerie designer Rachel Rector is brilliant. Her edgy pieces can be picked up at Birdie's Panties in downtown Kansas City (a mecca of all things beautiful and feminine).

P.S. stills from amelie. because why not :)