Favorites from the Oscars 2017

Posted 27 February 2017 at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

This may be the first time in history that my three favorite award-show looks were all somewhat neutral. No eye-popping colors here, just drippingly exquisite metallics.

Academy Awards 2017 Red Carpet Fashion: Emma Stone, Olivia Culpo, Jessica Biel

Emma Stone. I admit that this woman rarely does wrong in my eyes. She commits to every look 100%, and she does it confidently and elegantly. Her red carpet looks are always interesting and edgy, yet beautiful and timeless. She is a fashion girl, that’s for sure. When the camera panned across her last night, for a moment I thought, “Oh no, Emma looks a little boring!” A second later I got a closer look and that oh no turned into dayum. How could I ever doubt her? She kills it every single time. The fact that the look is simple and not overdone is a bonus, and I’m embarrassed that I so quickly misjudged it.

Olivia Culpo. I really don’t know anything about this woman’s talents or acting credentials, but her look was killer. There was so much balance—sharp fringe on the dress, sharp fringe on her bangs; dark hair and dark clutch; delicate dress, delicate bow. I want to seriously congratulate her stylist on a job well done. I would also like to congratulate Olivia Culpo on something, but I don’t really know what to congratulate her on, other than being a total stunner at the Oscars.

Jessica Biel. This woman is so statuesque that I imagine her to be at least six feet tall. Take that body, that posture, and pour her into a gold gown? She might as well be the mascot of the night. (Or always.) I can’t get over that gorgeous Kaufman Franco gown and what an insane idea it was to pair it with that feathered necklace! That had to be the best fashion risk of the night. The whole look was so, so good that it hurts me a little bit. I need a minute…

Academy Awards 2017 Red Carpet Fashion: Ginnifer Goodwin, Dakota Johnson, Ruth Negga

Alright, I always like to make some honorable mentions, and crazy enough, all of my second favorites were like modern Victorian gowns. They are so modest for Hollywood, aren’t they? My feeling is that we’ve overdone bare skin, so the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. Fascinating idea, isn’t it? How far and how long will its reach go?

Ginnifer Goodwin. She is usually quite interesting on the red carpet and not afraid of taking risks. I thought the dress was awesome but would have liked to see something else in the styling; the—green?—earrings weren’t my favorite, and neither was the dark red clutch. Even the hair felt a bit too horizontal next to such a horizontally-inclined gown. I still thought she looked fantastic.

Dakota Johnson. I know some people hated this gown, but I thought it was so marvelous. (Who decided that a dress needs to be tight or bare to be acceptable? Anyone? Anyone? That’s what I thought…) From some angles, the dress looked too roomy, I know, but when it was right, it was really right. I just wanted to do something to her hair. Her long bangs and waves would have been great here.

Ruth Negga. Loved the dress, loved the color, love the woman. I also love that she stays true to her artist self when she dresses for the red carpet. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the headband or the earrings, overall it cast joy into my eyes. That’s what red carpet fashion is really about.

Cast joy into my eyes, people!

‘70s-Inspired Pink Bedroom

Posted 14 February 2017 at 7:53 PM | Comments (0)

Happy Valentine’s Day! I just saw this appropriately pink room in Domino and couldn’t resist posting, not just because it’s pink, but because it’s the same pink as my mother’s 1970s bedroom. The difference is that her bedroom is not exactly “‘70s-inspired”… it’s just ‘70s.

Caroline Lee's '70s-Inspired Pink Bedroom Designed by Anne Sage

Caroline Lee's '70s-Inspired Pink Bedroom Designed by Anne Sage

If I could just convince my mother to get rid of her unreasonably large furnishings, we could simplify her bedroom enough to be cool. The compelling art, sculptural plant, and second seat are all the accessories that were needed to make this room special.

For the full article, click here.

The Lake House Renovation: Living Room, Day 1

Posted 8 February 2017 at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

We weren’t really planning to do anything to the living room. There were only three objectives here: turn the firewood storage (the hole to the left of the fireplace) into a useable shelf; get the gas fireplace serviced, and paint the walls.

But, as you can see, the ceiling tiles just came down. (Insert shocked emoji.) Simultaneously, Elmer the expert came over to service the fireplace.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Our Living Room, Renovation Day 1

I did not want to replace the ceiling. I was fervently against it, in fact, because I wanted us to save our money for a future vaulted ceiling. But things sometimes go as they go, and in discussions with our contractor, I began to see the wisdom in replacing it. So, we are doing it, and somehow that one act of taking down the old ceiling vastly improved the smell of the house. Go figure. Maybe it was full of rat pee.

Here’s the before photo from the listing:

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Living Room, Renovation Before

I should start titling these posts, “Money Pit, Day 1.”

Spring 2017 Runway Trend: Fallen Shoulder

Posted 7 February 2017 at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

Bare shoulders have seen a lot of daylight, as halter, off-shoulder, and cold shoulder tops have made it to every trend guide in recent years. I suspected that the next big thing would be one-shoulder, but its direction has taken me by surprise.

It’s not the clean, deliberately asymmetrical, one-shoulder look that I was wearing in the late 1990s or early 2000s. It’s messier, off-kilter. It doesn’t look like it was planned by the designer as much as it looks like it was unplanned by the wearer. Like, “Whoopsie, the wind keeps exposing my shoulder! Oh well, hee hee.” If you look closely, it is obvious that these tops were designed for exposure, but at a glance, you would never know. They give the impression of an unintentional fallen shoulder.

Some of you may think this trend is reminiscent of the 1980s. However, back then, the fallen shoulder look was more casual. Some of these looks, on the other hand, are crisp, structured, or businesslike. They’re buttoned-up shirts gone rogue.

From Victoria Beckham, Self-Portrait, Tome, and Monse:

Spring 2017 Runway Fashion Trend: Fallen Shoulder, One Shoulder, Asymmetric Shoulder

Some of the looks were no more than pretty tops hanging off the shoulder, which I might be able to pull off in an age-appropriate way. That will be determined at a later date. Like maybe after snowmaggedon.

From Prabal Gurung, Chloé, Tome, and CG:

Spring 2017 Runway Fashion Trend: Fallen Shoulder, One Shoulder, Asymmetric Shoulder

The dresses really struck me. Designers went for one cold shoulder, or one lost sleeve. Again, for a moment, you don’t realize that these looks are intentional. You want to hand the woman a safety pin.

From Tibi, Hellessy, Vetements, and Self-Portrait:

Spring 2017 Runway Fashion Trend: Fallen Shoulder, One Shoulder, Asymmetric Shoulder

Even in evening wear, shoulders were falling. I honestly don’t think I could pull this off. Maybe I could if I was a model going to the clubs in NYC, but otherwise a cocktail dress with one fallen shoulder reads hot mess. Not to say I don’t like the look… because I actually might.

From Brock Collection, Prabal Gurung, Rodarte, and Victoria Beckham:

Spring 2017 Runway Fashion Trend: Fallen Shoulder, One Shoulder, Asymmetric Shoulder

And there you have it. My first runway post in over a year. If things go as planned, I will have a big, trend-research project coming up, which means more runway trends are coming your way. I swear this hasn’t turned into a renovation blog.

The Lake House Renovation: Our Bedroom, Day 6

Posted 6 February 2017 at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

Aaand we have a sliding glass door!

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Our Bedroom, Renovation Day 6

And maybe someday, a deck?

(In case you missed it, this was the situation before glass door.)

The Lake House Renovation: Kids’ Bedroom, Day 5

Posted 5 February 2017 at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

We’re moving along slowly, but this has to be the most exciting bit of progress made so far. Remember how Matt the mason was cutting into our brick facade? It was to make way for this beautiful new window.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

Let’s compare to the original, shall we? Here is a photo I took of the house just after we bought it. The kids’ bedroom window was high and horizontal—very characteristic of ranch houses. We knew we had to enlarge the window to comply with egress codes, but I didn’t want to stray too far from the 1950’s ranch aesthetic.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

I did a ton of research. (I now know more about the architecture of ranch homes than I ever cared to know.) While it would have been more authentic to keep the window horizontal, it would have cost more money to make the window wider, since it would have required structural changes. So we could only enlarge downward.

Disappointed that we couldn’t keep the horizontal format, I went full steam ahead with an alternate detail that is characteristic of ranch houses—the casement window in the center with the horizontal grid lines on either side. It allowed me to keep some horizontal emphasis even though I couldn’t keep it all.

Then, Matt the mason used the original bricks to lay the sill.

1959 Lakeside Ranch House: Kids' Bedroom, Renovation Day 5

Doesn’t it look great?

The window is from the Andersen 100 series in a color called Terratone. It complies with egress codes, adds more character, and looks smashing against the brick. This felt like a huge step forward in our renovation. Drywall next.