Style Wise Trend Foolish

Cristina’s Online Store Update

Dear Readers,

I have resurfaced.

I apologize for going MIA the past few months. As many of you know, I started a small business importing accessories and items of home decor from Colombia. This is something that I have dreamt of doing for many years and I felt that time was right to take the plunge. It has been a very exciting and educational journey and, as you can imagine, it has taken up every waking moment: from traveling to Colombia and buying inspiring merchandise, to hosting trunk shows here in New York.

My plan is still to launch my store on line, on this blog. The delay is due to the fact that physical sales have been quite strong so my inventory is diminishing fast. I am slowly replenishing. In the meantime, for those living in New York, I will continue to host trunk shows so that you can shop my collection in person. Please reach out to me if something catches your eye as I can always send you additional pictures and details.

I will be returning to Colombia in the next few months on another purchasing spree, so stay tuned.

Below are a few images of my collection.  

 

Placemats, decorative fruit, jewelry, bags and baskets all hand made in Colombia.

 

Colorful mini Wayuu bags, perfect for any occasion

 

Hand made home decor, bags and baskets

Banana Leaf Dark Pink Basket

Banana Leaf Dark Pink Basket

Guadua (Bamboo) Lazy SusanGuadua (Bamboo) Lazy Susan

Turquoise Iraca Palm Basket

              Turquoise Iraca Palm Basket

Fuchsia and Tan Iraca Palm

         Shopper Fuchsia and Tan Iraca Palm

 

Murano Glass Overlapping Multi-Color Disc Earrings

Murano Glass Overlapping Multi-Color Disc Earrings

 

Grape Leaf Pendant Gold Filigree

              Grape Leaf Pendant Gold Filigree

 

Turquoise Drop Earrings with Druzy Stone

Turquoise Drop Earrings with Druzy Stone

If you see something you like, please let me know.

Dovima Paris: New York Trunk Show

Great news! Dovima Paris, the chic line of clothing from Paris, is in New York this week (March 22, 23, 24) for their annual trunk show at the Pierre Hotel.

Dovima Paris Invitation New York March 2017

If you appreciate beautiful fabrics, immpecable design and classics with a twist, you will love this clothing line. You can find distinctive shirt and tunic dresses in simple silhouettes, cut from the most luxurious fabrics. The styles are easy to wear, very versatile and can be dressed up or down.

Dovima Paris Spring Summer 2017 Collection

Dovima, Frankie dress, Spring/Summer 2017

Dovima Paris Tunic

I bought the above tunic design last year, but in the navy dress below.

Dovima Paris Tunic Dress

Dovima Paris navy tunic dress in wool crepe.  
I love the front pocket and extra large buttons on the neck and sleeves

A friend in introduced me to Dovima Paris last year and I bought this gorgeous navy wool crepe tunic dress (seen above on me). It is super comfortable and I love the oversize buttons on the sleeves and around the neck. It also has a pocket on the front which adds a touch of whimsy. I wore it recently to an event and I got rave reviews.

The Spring/Summer 2017 collection is fabulous and well worth checking out.

If you are interested in stopping buy, please send an email to janep@dovimaparis.com, for an appointment (its by appointment only).

Happy Shopping!!!

 

Colombian Designers Making their International Mark

As I prepare to launch my online store in the next few months, featuring accessories and home decor from Colombia, I’m getting more and more excited to share my finds with you.

On my recent shopping trip to Colombia, I discovered quite a few jewelry designers making distinctive and creative pieces that I look forward to showing you. I also met artisans making striking handmade objects in leather, wood, straw and silver.

Coincidentaly, I’ve been seeing a good amount of press lately about Colombian fashion and accessory designers making their mark internationally. Designers like Johanna Ortiz and her ruffles and impeccable pleating; Mercedes Salazar and her playful and tropical jewelry; Pepa Pombo and her creative knits, are just a small sampling of the diverse talent coming out of Colombia.

Here are some of my finds:

Colombian Designers 

Colombian Designers, Horn Treardrop with Gold Detailing

Horn Teardrop Earrings with Gold detailing

      Gold Filigree Grape Leaf Pendant

Colombian Designers, Hot Pink and Celadon Green Tagua and Silver Bracelet

Hot Pink and Celadon Green Tagua and Silver Bracelet

Iraca Pom-Pom Basket

Finally, check out yesterday’s Financial Times article: “Colour it happy: the rise of Colombian creatives,” where we meet two talented Colombian women that launched a consulting firm, CREO Consulting, to represent Colombian designers. They make me even more proud to be Colombian. You’ll understand why I too can’t wait to share my findings with you. 

Stay tuned!

Happy New Year! Whats Your Word for 2017?

Central Park by Janet Ruttenberg. HOPE in a painting

 

2016 has come and gone and I’m back with the annual excercise of picking “One word that will change your life.” The idea comes from a book with the same title about how big New Year’s goals and resolutions are rarely kept. It suggests that instead we pick one word that becomes our philosophy of life for the year; that serves as our guide for the year. I love this as it bundles all our New Year’s resolutions into one word. We can apply that word to many aspects of our lives, depending on our mood.

My word for 2016 was Dream.  It was fitting for where I was in my life and career. My Dream, of traveling to Colombia to purchase items to sell on this blog, is slowly but surely coming together. Stay tuned for more on that project.

My word for 2017 is ‘HOPE” because in hoping we remain positive about our lives. We hope for happiness, success, good health, peace, prosperity; and the list goes on.

I think most people would agree that 2016 been a particularly stressful year. Between a tumultuous and less than civilized presidential election here in the US; increased acts of terrorism that have killed innocent people around the world; the unexpected deaths of well loved celebrities, it felt like the bad news kept on coming. What happens next is very uncertain and at times worrisome, so for me “HOPE” seems like a fitting word for 2017.

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

Barbara Kingsolver

 

I am HOPING for the best!

What’s your “WORD” for 2017?”

Top 10 Style Tips from Style Wise Trend Foolish

Top 10 Style Tips, Style Wise Trend Foolish

Working the trends: choker and brocade

 

Dear Readers:

This January is the 5th Anniversary of my blog launch.  Time does fly when you’re having fun! Since it’s the start of a fresh new year (THANKFULLY), let’s do a recap of My Top 10 Style Tips. 

Cristina’s Top 10 Style Tips

  1. Tailor Clothing: Because when something does not fit properly, it won’t matter that you spent your savings on it. Proper fit makes all the difference.
  1. Steam or Iron Clothing: Because wrinkled clothing is not flattering. Ironing the simplest blouse or pant will bring it back to life.
  1. Dry Clean with caution: Because, over time, the harsh chemicals ruin clothing.
  1. Hand Wash Delicates: Because only soap and water gets most things clean.
  1. Polish Shoes: Because a scuffed up shoe, even if you splurged on it, can ruin an outfit.
  1. Use the Mirror: Because it’s best to face the world looking great… from all angles.

Top 10 Style Tips, Style Wise Trend Foolish

Dress from Paris Marche aux Puces (Flea Market), channeling Prada 

  1. Shop for Quality vs. Quantity: Because when you buy cheap, you buy twice.
  1. Accessorize: Because it’s those finishing touches that can complete a look and give life to a simple outfit.

Top 10 Style Tips, Style Wise Trend Foolish

Accessories can make a simple blouse shine

Top 10 Style Tips from Style Wise Trend Foolish

Beautiful bracelets

  1. Proportion is King: Because how an outfit fits YOU can make the difference between a ‘Fashion Do’ or a “Fashion Dont.’ If something does not flatter your body type, no matter how elegant or expensive, it won’t make you shine.

    Top 10 Style Tips, Style Wise Trend Foolish
    My favorite dress purchase of 2016, from Cartagena, Colombia

  1. Be Trend Selective: Because style is timeless, while most trends are fleeting. If you do go for a trend, make sure it flatters your body type and makes you look and feel fabulous.

    Top 10 Style Tips from Style Wise Trend Foolish

    Happily working the seldom worn cowboy boots in Colorado


    Cristina’s Dos and Don’ts when Shopping:

    Fabric

          Cheap Fabric: Can ruin great design. If it looks and feels cheap, don’t buy it.
          Embellished T-Shirts: Are not easy to clean. Though they can be very pretty, cleaning an embellished t-shirt means frequent trips to the dry cleaners, i.e. Expensive and Impractical.
          Bright and Light Colors: Can look cheap if the fabric is of poor quality. So if you’re on a budget, buy darker fabrics.

     Hardware on bags

          Cheap Hardware: Can ruin the look of an otherwise pretty bag.
          Minimal Hardware: Works best when you’re on a budget: less is more.

    Leather vs Suede

          Opt for Suede: If you’re on a budget. Though it requires more care, inexpensive suede looks much better than inexpensive leather, which can look like plastic.

    Reinvention

          Rework unused clothing: Before giving up on an unworn or out of style garment, take it to the tailor for a makeover.

    In Store vs On-line shopping

          Educate yourself: On the look and feel of top quality clothing and shoes by going to a brick and mortar store.

          Get up close and personal: Touch it, feel the fabric, the leather. Get a sense of texture, cut, quality, fit, etc.

          You are not a model: Just because an outfit looks great on the on-line model does not mean it will flatter your body type and height. Check it out in person!

    Being stylish and fashionable isn’t about wearing expensive items or living beyond your means.  My style tips are about figuring out what works for you and what simply doesn’t. It’s about making smart choices and taking care of what you own (ironing, tailoring, cleaning) so it always looks and feels stylish ON YOU! It’s about being Style Wise and not Trend Foolish!

    Here’s to a stylish 2017!

Your holiday and event decor at Jamali Garden, NYC

The holidays are here so it’s the perfect time to add some spice to your holiday decorations. A visit to Jamali Garden in Manhattan is, therefore, a must!

For Holiday Decorations

A stylish friend recently recommended this fabulous place for the best of the best in decorating supplies. Located at 149 East 28th Street, (Manhattan’s Flower District), Jamali Garden is two-story shop overflowing with affordable decor items.

 

jamali-garden-holiday-decorations

Jamali Garden, 149 East 28th Street

The store is paradise for event planners, decorators and people who love doing their own decor. From props to decorative wares, ribbons of every style and color imaginable, the selections are inspiring. It’s also one of the few Flower District wholesalers that’s open to the public, so the prices are great.

 

Holiday decorations Jamali-garden

Jamali Garden, 149 West 28th Street

It would be very easy to go crazy and overspend here, so it does help to go with a few ideas in mind so you can hone in on what you need. I went simply to explore and become familiar with the offerings.  I came out full of inspiration and ideas. The possiblites are endless!

I’m Shopping in Colombia for My Readers

Colombia Shopping spree: music to my ears!

Let me explain.

Every time I return from Colombia, I get rave reviews on the accessories and home decor items that I bring back.  This week I’m on a Colombia Shopping excursion, in search of beautiful and special items for YOU. Next year I will display my capsule collection for sale in this blog.

 

Colombia Shopping

Colombia Shopping

Don’t worry, I won’t bring back the usual touristy stuff you find at the airport, which quickly loses its charm once you get home. I can recall having one too many moments of “what was I thinking when I bought this,” after unpacking from a fabulous trip. Instead, I’m sourcing impeccably designed fashion accessories and items of home decor that highlight the best in design from Colombia. Most important, they will be Style Wise and not Trend Foolish!

 

Colombia Shopping

Escuela de Artes y Oficios Santo Domingo

Colombia Shopping

Items of home decor from the Escuela de Artes y Oficios Santo Domingo

Colombia Shopping

Dried Silk Flowers

 

 

I am energized for the adventure and can’t wait to bring back the best assortment of finds for you.

Hasta Pronto and Stay Tuned!

What to Wear this Thanksgiving

Have you ever found yourself feeling really uncomfortable in your Thanksgiving day outfit? Every year I seem to forget that a Thanksgiving day outfit requires a bit more thought than for most other meal related events.

What to Wear  and not to Wear on Thanksgiving

Why you might ask? Because Thanksgiving, more than any other holiday involves lots of food preparation, constant activity in the kitchen, and larger than usual food and beverage consumption.  Unless someone is waiting on you hand and foot, chances are you are running around directing the activity, or giving a helping hand. This is followed by sitting down and eating and drinking more than usual. For all of this, you need to dress the part. So after years of trial and error, I now make it a point to really put some thought into the question: “What to Wear this Thanksgiving.”

Hear are my DON’TS followed by DOs

What Not To Wear

Heavy wools, cashmeres or itchy fabrics: if you are spending time in the kitchen, it will be hot and steamy and the cosy thick fabric is not your friend.

Overly fitted clothing: even if an outfit looks and feels fabulous when you try it on, remember that you are eating and drinking more than usual.  The tight pant and top or the form-fitting dress will suddenly feel very uncomfortable.

Sky-high heels: unless you have a personal waiter at your beck and call

Overly complicated bracelets: they are noisy and bump into everything, especially the Baccarat crystal!

What To Wear

A pretty sleevless solid silk or patterened top: you will appreciate it as you lean in (I don’t think this is what Sheryl Sandberg had in mind) to test the turkey in the 375 degree oven. Bring a cardigan along for the meal when you’ve cooled down a bit.

A long sleeve blouse or tunic made of light fabric with pretty embellishmentsl: loose but stylish and chic.

A nicely fitted but not tight pant or skirt made of a light fabric such as jersey, light wool: allow a little extra room for seconds… and thirds.

A wrap dress made of a non clingy fabric like a nice voile: alittle sheerness and lightness works wonders.

 

What to Wear this Thanksgiving

What to Wear This Thanksgiving alica-and-olivia-gillian-dress-198

Alice & Olivia

 

What to Wear this Thankgiving ann-taylor-swing-pleat-dress-149

Ann Taylor

What to Wear this Thanksgiving charlotte-brody-ruffle-cuff-dress-with-lace-1490

Charlotte Brody

 

 

What to Wear This Thanksgiving kooples-fireworks-dress-385

Kooples

ann-taylor-crystal-collar-sheel-98

Ann Taylor

What to Wear This Thanksgiving ann-taylor-leafy-ruffle-collar-blouse-79-50

Ann Taylor

j-crew-margo-top-88

J Crew

What to Wear this Thanksgiving ann taylor-hounstooth-pocket-tee-59-50

Ann Taylor

The bottom line is that Thanksgiving is not an especially relaxed event.  It is fun, lively, full of activity, and requires lots of coordination and organzation.  While you want to look stylish and fabulous, you also want to feel calm, comfortable and relaxed.

So if you’ll be playing a more active and physicllay demanding role in your celebration, spend a little time figuring out what to wear this Thanksgiving. It will make the difference between feeling aggravated and irritable or cool as a cucumber!

 

My Favorite Fashion and Accessory Finds this week

I’ve been blogging for six years. Then as now, my philosophy is, “keep it simple; less is more, and buy for longevity and not a quick fix and disposability.” And yet, it’s not always easy to find style and elegance that lasts and is a good investment. The middle ground between high-end designer wares and fast fashion is not easy to find. But, if you persevere, you will find it; it just takes a little more work. With this in mind, I set out to see what my favorite purveyors of style are up to. They are not the latest or trendiest brands, but ones that delivery consistent quality and style; a win win!

Here are some of my favorite Fashion and Accessory finds this week. It’s a little bit of everything, but that’s what happens when you keep an open mind! Most important, you don’t need to live in Manhattan to own them.

You can go to each site by clicking on any of the Underlined words or the Pictures.

 

M. GEMI

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan m-gemi-velvet-boot, $348

A navy velvlet boot from M. Gemi, $348 an Italian on line store offering stylish well-priced shoes. It’s opened a brick and mortar store at 120 Wooster in Soho where you can check out lots of great styles. The store does not carry the inventory so you try the shoe and it gets mailed to your home.

COS

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-a-line-wool-jacket-250

COS is the more upscale sister brand of H&M.  Most of its clothing is loose and unstructured (very Scandinavian) so it does not always look flattering on the hanger. So do try things on.  The quality is quite good and the minimalism is refreshing. Here’s a gorgeous wool jacket from COS, $250; perfect for these balmier days of winter.

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-short-sleeve-cable-knit-jumper-115

From COS a cozy short-sleeve sweater. $115. At the store, the mannequin had a long sleeve white blouse under it, and it looked fabulous.

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-soft-leather-shopper-175

Another winner from COS, black leather shopper, $175

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-slip-on-leather-shoes-125

From COS, slip on leather shoe, $125. If you like a more modern version of the ballerina flat, this one’s for you.  Great quality, and soft leather in chic khaki.  It also comes in black.

A.P.C

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan Heloise Shoe img_2145

From A.P.C., the very cool French ready-to-wear brand, I love the “Heloise” mary jane.
It’s a classic with a modern twist,  $470

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-p-c-vanessa-seward-cendrine-boots-705

For A.P.C Vanessa Seward “Cendrine boot, $705 – Perfect!

THEORY

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan Theory-whitney-bag-in-croc-effect-leather-395

Theory’s “Whitney” hoop bag. The perfect accessory worn as a bracelet, $395

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-standard-tote-in-suede-655

Theory Standard Tote, $655 , I love it in sporty suede

FAIRCHILD BALDWIN

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan-baldwin-croc-wine-395

For a few years I have been impressed with Fairchild Baldwin’s  successful line of necklaces and bags. The necklaces come in a gorgeous array of colors and styles. The best part is that they are super light and the strap can be adjusted for a perfect fit. $395

MERRICHASE

fashion and accessory finds in manhattan, Merrichase Rabbit bag, $500

If you are looking for a luxurious bag to instill some glamour into your life, this is it from MERRICHASE, $500 Made of the softest rabbit fur, it has two roomy compartments to fit your important stuff.  You’ll want it by your side as you stroll down Madison Avenue or head out to an apres-ski afternoon.

Happy Shopping!

Fabulous Sunscreen oil from Supergoop

This summer while at Sephora I discovered what is now my favorite sunscreen oil, Supergoop.  Since it was early summer I wanted to try a lighter sunscreen for my face, since cream-based products can feel too thick and heavy.

Supergoop oil quickly penetrates the skin and gives it a nice glow. I especially like that once I add my foundation it gives it a dewey and luminous look.  Every since I started using it I get lots of compliments on how sheer and natural my make up looks. The product is also very well priced.  I started with the smaller size, at $12 for 1 oz. The best part is that, because the oil is not thick, a little goes a long way.

My Video Supergoop Sunscreen Oil

 

sunscreen oil supergoop for purchase, $12

Supergoop sunscreen oil, $12

 

I highly recommend it. And the price is right!