For some time now, my personal style M.O. has been all about streamlining. I just kind of wear the same stuff all the time. I’m unconcerned with trends; I want classic, chic, well-made pieces that fit great, feel good, and allow me to get on with my day with confidence and ease.
This time of year, I’m especially conscious of these sensitivities, as I’m transitioning my wardrobe from summer to fall ~ swapping pieces in and out of storage and taking stock of any gaps that have arisen since last winter. I’ll buy a few new things for the season (knits need to be replaced fairly frequently, and a few pairs of boots have seen better days), but I don’t need much because I invested well last year (great blazers are forever).
Of course, I can’t underestimate the importance of a few frivolous accessories (like an audaciously tasseled bag) to keep it all feeling fresh. In matters of style, a sprinkling of unexpected showstoppers is as important as salt is for food.
In case you’re in a similar situation as the seasons begin shifting, I’ve put together a little checklist for what I consider to be the absolute necessities. Once you’ve got those covered, click around below to shop a bunch of just-for-fun tasseled bags!
KELLY WEARS| BCBG blazer, 1State dress, vintage Biba bag (it always reminds me of the ceremonial thuribles that priests use to burn incense), Aquazzura shoes, Alex Woo necklaces, rings from Morocco and Phillips House
by Erin Framel
I live in the East Village, a neighborhood in transition. Once home to the punk scene, it’s now the first place to which NYC newcomers flock. It’s filled with young professionals, creatives and students, all trying to make their way in the city. There’s a youth and vibrancy to the neighborhood, comingling with the resilient edge of its past. You’ll find a latex clothing store next to a hip new coffee shop next to a dive bar. Like so many of its residents, the East Village is trying to figure out where it came from, who it is today and what it will be tomorrow. I find such a beauty in that evolution and self discovery.On any given day you’ll find me jogging along the East River Promenade or shopping for photo shoot accessories along St. Marks Place (my favorite go-to’s are The Sockman and Trash & Vaudeville). I am constantly craving Five Tacos for lunch and if I’m feeling really indulgent, I’ll finish it off with a Mr. Softee ice cream cone in Tompkins Square Park (where we shot these photos). I’m always trying to experiment with new restaurants but 9 times out of 10 I’ll be heading to one of my tried-and-true: Supper, Mercadito, Momofuku Noodle Bar, or Gemma. For drinks with friends I’ll run over to The Standard East Village, The Wayland, Summit Bar, Kingston Hall or Blind Barber. For a more intimate setting, I’ll sneak over to Lovers of Today (a semi-secret underground cocktail bar), or Pouring Ribbons. There are a plethora of great spots to find live music, but my absolute favorite is Mona’s for Blue Grass Mondays and Tuesday Hot-Jazz ~ it’s a sliver of a bar along avenue B that is home to the most raucous, delightful jam sessions twice a week. To kick it up a notch, there’s always a great show happening at Webster Hall and afterward you simply have to grab a late night slice at Artichoke Pizza. I love the fun, free-spirited energy of my neighborhood and try to take full advantage of all the adventures it offers. Still, at the end of the day there is simply no greater joy than an evening spent sitting on my fire escape, watching the sun set against the downtown skyline, recounting all the reasons why I love New York.
Back then, I always felt like Lord & Taylor was my secret sanctum. Leading up to Fashion Week, I’d put in relentless hours in the studio, prepping for our show ~ but at night I’d still try to make a party or dinner with friends. I’d run out of work long past sunset and dart up to Lord & Taylor’s second floor, find a fetching chiffon frock and do a quick-change in the fitting rooms before heading out into the night. The store was my spot to reset.
It was my first fashion refuge in this city ~ and actually, as the oldest luxury department store in the United States, it represents a lot of firsts in American industry. It was the first major store on Fifth Avenue (a strip now firmly established as New York’s iconic retail center), the first spot to present Christmas windows filled with innovative holiday displays rather than merchandise (now de rigueur for any serious store), and the first major retail establishment in the United States to name a woman as its president (Dorothy Shaver, who took that historic position in 1946).
There’s another first about to emerge at Lord & Taylor this week as they unveil Birdcage, a new in-house boutique on my long-beloved second floor of their flagship Fifth Avenue store. It’s unlike anything you’ve seen there before. Like truffle hunters, their buyers have scoured the city for unique, undiscovered designers and delicacies in fashion, food, beauty, and art, to introduce some of New York City’s most exciting creatives to a whole new audience, making their talents available on an unprecedented level. We were privy to a sneak peek of the goods last week, and teamed up with one of our favorite collaborators to photograph the very best Birdcage treasures.
There’s an inherent sorcery in styling a shoot. It allows an opportunity to practice little acts of alchemy, combining seemingly random elements to create transportative images. That’s always the goal, anyway. I’m grateful we get to shoot so often; it gives me ample opportunity to practice that magic ~ mixing different styles, genres, people and potions. One day we’re elevating latex, the next we’re imbuing a New York City-edge into sportswear staples. Every story is a wonderful journey and a welcomed creative expedition, but there’s nothing quite like styling couture. That’s the place where fashion becomes a fine art, and to be invited to play in that sandbox is both an honor and a responsibility.
When I found out Jamie and I would be shooting Chanel’s Haute Couture collection, everything else on my plate faded to irrelevance. It was the only shoot that mattered, and for me the casting was key. Shooting couture, there’s an instinct to treat it really preciously, to be quite polished and posh in approach. I couldn’t let us fall into that trap; I felt we had to strike a balance between honoring couture’s traditions and also breathing youthfulness into the institution.
Immediately, I knew there could be no other model for this project than India Salvor Menuez. I’d admired her from afar for so long, always delighted to see her face pop up in my friends’ artistic works (she’s a frequent muse for both Shae DeTar and Sarah Sophie Flicker), or to read about her in Dazed, i-D or Oyster. I see her as one of those great New York City creatures ~ like Edie Sedgwick, but less troubled ~ who manage (seemingly unwittingly) to quietly inspire vast artistic tremors across the culture around them.
I love social-media-peeking into her raw world: the tumblr filled with her own artwork, her obsession-inspiring Instagram, the Know-Wave radio show she hosts… It all seems to reflect a desire for speed and an insatiable curiosity, which is fascinating to watch. Combined with her Renaissance-painting face, she becomes an endlessness pool of inspiration. She’s transcendent in every photo I’ve ever seen (here are a few, for proof!).
On India, I knew I could mess with the couture a bit. I could button her plaid gown backwards, glue craft store pearls onto her neck and place a crown of burning sparklers in her hair. I knew her classic beauty would give the images an immortality, while her youthful energy would keep them feeling fresh. She brought a timeless dignity, a tomboy twinkle, and a sense of self that could never be overpowered by clothes. She was a true muse. I cherish these images and cannot wait to see where else the winds of time and the wheels of whimsy take this talented lady.
PHOTOGRAPHY| by Jamie Beck
STYLING| by Kelly Framel
Check out our MoodBoard for more India-is-awesome propaganda!
by Kelly Framel
I live on the West Side of Manhattan, right at the intersection of three great neighborhoods: Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village. I don’t think there’s a better spot in town! I shop for wine and groceries in the culinary playground that is Chelsea Market, spend mornings exercising in the park along the West Side Highway, and on quiet evenings can unwind atop The High Line. I’ve got a score of subway lines and all the best the city has to offer at my fingertips ~ including endless inspiration in Chelsea’s art galleries. When shopping for unexpected accessories for shoots, I’m steps away from great vintage shops and drag queen supply stores ~ for myself I’m too close for comfort to Jeffrey and Comme des Garcons. I need those morning workouts because I’m surrounded by the world’s most delectable restaurants, and consume the majority of my calories at Buvette, Tartine, Beatrice Inn, Waverly Inn and Cookshop. I love watching the never-ending river of cabs stream up Eighth Avenue from my bedroom window, and the way every sunset turns that same view into a Will Cotton painting. I live in a 100-year-old walk-up building; I am one of a hundred thousand souls that have passed through its hallways, a reminder that this city is vast, ever-evolving, and utterly unrivaled. I love New York!|KELLY WEARS| Ray-Ban sunnies, Elie Tahari x DesigNation tunic (also seen HERE!), Urban Outfitters socks, Tibi boots
Karl’s Fall collection for Chanel Haute Couture was inspired by concrete: that staple of modern design, the material essence of chilly simplicity, of ascetic starkness. But he gave it a soul, and what a foundation it served in return! As poured concrete once replaced planks and tiles in architecture, so Karl replaced couture’s complex patterns and seams this season with sculpted silicone-coated lace and tatter-beaded neoprene. To truly make something new, the old must be destroyed.
Youth will forever obliterate its forefathers, and just as couture has long thirsted for reinvention, so must art and culture move constantly forward. No city embodies that truism like New York, and from our vantage point, few of its denizens are leading the charge harder than India Salvor Menuez, an actress, artist, and valiant feminist whose thoroughly modern mindset makes her arresting Renaissance beauty all the more interesting. Sailing along the forefront of this city’s young creative scene, she embodies art, eschews artifice, defies convention and is making history as casually as the rest of us make breakfast. There could truly be no better muse than she to embody the possibilities of couture today.
In New York, one always feels something extraordinary is about to happen ~ and usually it does. No other city offers such dizzying extremes, the constant commingling of expensive perfume and rotting garbage. It’s as loud as can be, loud enough to forget your thoughts or to be alone with them, whichever you need. It’s as generous as it is tough, demanding as good as it gives. It’s gritty as hell but spine-tinglingly beautiful. It is black clothes and a ‘don’t-mess’ edge; it is sexy, resilient and strong.
New York is our chosen home, our adopted family, and our truest true love. Inspired by the attitude of the streets and the freshest designer collaboration in town, this is our ode to the spirit of the city.
I’ve long subscribed to a pretty simple beauty routine. I’m generally into a fairly natural nail color and the easiest of makeup applications (an occasional smokey eye or isolated red lip when I feel like stepping things up). I feel best when I look like myself, so I don’t go for too much fuss in the morning. Because of this, I’ve mostly worn my hair either supershort or styled quite loosely throughout my life (though I have dyed it every color under the sun). But until recently I’d been harboring a growing curiosity about experimenting with hair extensions, and I always have been a ‘try anything once’ kind of girl…
Truth is, I’ve been trying to grow out my hair (from a pixie cut) for over three years ~ but once it got to just-below my shoulders, it stopped growing and started breaking. For months I tried strange vitamins and hair drops, till it became clear that I just wasn’t born with the kind of hair that ever grows long and lustrous. But I grew up in Texas, where homeowners faithfully plant and water grassy lawns in climates nature never intended them to grow. So I knew I still had options.
At a friend’s bridal shower this past summer, I’d noticed the bride-to-be’s usually thinnish hair was looking fuller and longer than ever. I asked her what the magic elixir was and she admitted to wearing a fistful of clip-in hair extensions. They looked incredible, and gave me hope that the idea could indeed be executed in real life without careening into Britney Spears territory. At my next visit to Sally Hershberger salon to get my ends trimmed, my stylist Travis Speck reinforced my friend’s conviction that extensions could be game-changing. His confidence was all the push I needed; within days I’d picked up a pack of ready-made, clip-in extensions at Wigs And Plus on 14th Street, and was back in Travis’s chair to have them trimmed to blend with my own true haircut. Turns out they are as easy as can be to apply and style. Consider me converted!
ABOVE| Make sure to buy natural hair, and match it as closely as you can to your existing hair color (you’re buying real hair, so a colorist can even dye the pieces for an exact match). Choose a set with clips sewn onto the wefts, for easy at-home application. The set I purchased were already sized into four small strips and one wider strip; I had my hairdresser trim and layer these to best blend in with my true haircut.
ABOVE| The clips sewn onto the backs of the extension strips literally snap into place on your roots, to fit snugly and comfortably against the scalp. Genius!ABOVE| To apply, start by clipping all of your hair up, save for the exception of a thin stretch at the nape of the neck.ABOVE| Using a fine-tooth comb (I like THIS ONE), tease out the top stretch of this strip of hair (about 1/2″ at the base of the roots will do).ABOVE| Snap the first two smaller-width strips along this line, making sure the clips latch into the teased pieces of hair. Start each strip from the center of your scalp then clip towards either ear. ABOVE| Let down another inch-tall section of hair from the portioned-off knot atop your head. This section will serve to conceal the seams of the bottom two extension strips, and provide a foundation for which to attach the widest weft of hair.
Try to start this line right above your ears, so that strip can peak out naturally from just below your temples. Tease out the hair at the roots, as before.BELOW| Clip in the long strip of extensions, moving from just above one ear to the other.ABOVE| Let another bit of hair down above either temple. Tease as before, and clip the last two shorter strips of extensions just above and behind each temple……like so:
ABOVE| Let down the remaining hair from the clip on top of your head, and tease the hair right at your crown out a bit (to cover well the extensions and also provide a bit of that Brigitte Bardot-esque oomph).ABOVE| Give it all a loose once-over with a wide-barreled curling iron, both to provide movement and texture, as well as bind the shape of your natural hair to the flow of the extensions.ABOVE| Finish with a very light dusting of hairspray (I’ve been loving THIS ONE lately), and you’re finished! The great thing about this is it takes less than 10 minutes, so it’s as fuss-free a routine as I’d been adhering to before.
Less is more, simple is sublime: turns out all those clichés they teach you are true. Felt my best during Fashion Week in an easy white tuxedo shirt (vintage, from Melet Mercantile), a fluttery pencil skirt by Tanya Taylor and minimal two-strap shoes. Also, it turns out Ray-Ban Clubmasters go with everything and furthermore, hunter green is truly the new black (Marc Jacobs, you’ve changed my bag-buying life forever).
I’m all about a little daring these days. We recently relaunched this site in a big, bold way ~ right in time for a fresh season of dressing dangerously. It’s always important to have fun with fashion, and challenge the parameters of what (you think) does or doesn’t ‘work’ for you.
Fall, with all its possibilities for layering, is the best season for sartorial experimentation. I’m using it as an excuse to break out of my high-heeled comfort zone and invest in fun flats, and to play with proportion by layering cropped, boxy sweaters with slim pencil skirts and dramatically sleek updos. Making bold stylistic choices isn’t about wearing a flowerpot on your head; it’s about consciously evolving your eye and careening away from familiar ruts.
In that spirit, MyHabit hired me to clock some time at their headquarters, culling together a curated selection of my favorite Fall fashions. We even filmed a little video, wherein I gush and spill all sorts of personal and professional opinions on what’s exciting this season. Check that out HERE ~ and shop every one of my hand-picked pieces RIGHT HERE! It’s all the sort of stuff you can feel really good about wearing to work while still making a statement.
As part of an ongoing collaboration with Ecco Domani Wines, we’ve brought you along on some of our favorite friends & family festivities ~ from movie nights in Amagansett to slumber parties in NYC. We’ve shown you the ways in which we choose to upgrade the everyday, for we believe good times are meant to be shared ~ which is why we’ve organized a little giveaway so you can begin to create your own entertaining traditions.
Together with Ecco Domani, we’ve put together a perfect package for hosting your own screening: complete with a cuddly blanket, Apple-TV-equipped projector, silk pajamas, stemless wine glasses, linen napkins, a big bowl for popcorn and a firewood-scented candle (in case you don’t have space for a proper bonfire). Just add your own white sheet!
To enter to win, click over to Ecco Domani’s Facebook page. And in the comments below, let us know what some of your favorite fashionable flicks are (we’ve got a list going with a few of our favorites right HERE). We’re always in the mood for major cinematic inspiration!
Being able to collaborate with family is such a blessing, and although Erin and I always have a lot of fun working together, we are conscious of how important it is to carve out sister time that’s separate from coworker world. We knew Fashion Week was going to be crazy for us both, so just before the madness commenced, we took a night off and checked into the Mandarin Oriental for a stylish staycation.
We both live in downtown Manhattan, so simply heading uptown for an evening felt like a total getaway ~ the perfect everyday upgrade for two women too busy for a proper vacation. The hotel provided a delicious departure from our everyday realities, with its floor-to-ceiling windows and soaring views of Central Park. We packed Sleepy Jones pajamas, a few fashion magazines and our favorite Ecco Domani wine, ordered a feast from room service and a fleet of fashion movies on demand. It was the ideal escape, a little sisterly campout complete with bubble baths and Le Mieux face masks ~ for one night, we could forget all our cares and and simply pamper ourselves. What better way to clear our minds and our moods before a frenzied Fashion Week and a fully-booked Fall than with good food, good wine and the most-fun company?!ABOVE + BELOW| we paired our favorite wines with fresh fish dishes: hawker-style grilled shrimp, sesame-crusted Ahi tuna over frisée salad, and Saikyo miso cod ~ served with a heaping side of French fries (because you can’t not!)
Four days into New York Fashion Week, one big, pervasive trend has emerged: flat shoes with everything. We couldn’t be happier about it; there’s nothing cooler than the convergence of comfort + chic. CLICK HERE for our guide to the 6 flats every woman should own!
Yesterday’s surburban-inspired fashion story was all about taking high fashion elements and putting them into an incongruous context ~ pairing a Carolina Herrera dress, for example, with beat up old Vans shoes. Clothing should never be too precious.
We’re all about turning the messages of the runways on their heads, but nothing is more interesting than figuring out how to work them into our real, everyday lives. To wit, Erin showed up for a shoot this week wearing a smeared-rose print dress from the same Tia Cibani collection that we shot on Saul Silinyte for that story, and I was so delighted by the surprise. It was the essence of what we aim for around here, a balance between high fantasy eye candy and meaningful, applicable, everyday reality. Who wants to live in a world without one or the other?!
Summer has come to a close, Fall air is slipping in on the winds and we’ve changed our clothes in honor of the occasion. Welcome to an all-new TheGlamourai.com! We’ve been plotting and scheming for months behind the scenes to bring you a bigger, brighter, more exciting site and we’re so thrilled to finally share it with you.
We’ve made the archives more accessible than ever ~ so you can poke around all your favorite editorials, revisit past outfit inspirations, discover playlists you might have missed, and travel the world with us again and again. If you’re visiting through an RSS reader, make sure to hop over to the homepage and peruse all the new features ~ including a cool moodboard and lots of great shopping options. Take a peek and please let us know what you think! As always, our aim is to keep upping the ante on our mission to surprise, inspire and delight you, and we’re looking forward to a very fun future.
Photos| Austin Phelps, Montauk, NY, June 2013