Haute Candy. No Willpower. Heeeelp.

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I worship candy. The same feeling of excitement I get when spotting a vintage pocketbook is how I feel when viewing candy  - especially colorful jelly beans and bright red licorice.  Candy is the perfect accoutrement to fashion.

If I had any self control, I would have a house filled with colorful candy in glass jars – I only do that for parties.  Halloween is today, and although most of the candy given away is not my usual interest  - my self control is majorly tested.

I lie, steal and cheat – because my children hide their candy so well – -and like an addict, I will do what it takes to find that sugar and consume it.  Wish me luck, as my friend Amy describes me “All the neurosis, none of the will power – the Mara Menachem Story”

 

Don’t Ever Call Me a Soccer Mom. Glamour on the Field.

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Fashion Notes: Jacket: North Face, Workout Pants: Lululemon, Fanny Pack: 1990′s GAP, Striped Top: Max Mara (from my mom’s closet, I cut about half the shirt), Glasses: borrowed from Neal’s 11 year old friend, they say SF Giants on the side, Boots: Hunter, Hair: Sonja from Christopher Salon in Mill Valley.

I realize i’ve made comments poking fun of Marin County such as, “why is everyone dressed like they are about to embark on a white water adventure?”.  I know it seems mean, but it’s based on pure truthful observation.  In Marin County, Patagonia, North Face and L.L. Bean are the designer brands.  Rare does one spot Chanel, Marni and Chloe – but beneath those outdoor jackets, you will find luxury labels.

My son Neal is on a traveling soccer team, it’s fun we explore towns in areas unfamiliar, and socialize with other parents.  Since my socializing has been a little “distracting”, the team forces me to sit in a “special” seat during games.  They claim it’s for “VIP” moms with fabulous style, but I know it’s the same chair used to calm kids down with ADD – I am onto their scheme.

The clothing for these “soccer affairs” is quite confusing -it’s cold, it’s hot, it rains – -you never know. So naturally, I got my hair blown out for this glamorous weekend and dressed like the rest of the Marin bunch.  I decided to be functional and not make a pattern with my heels across the soccer field.  I even (gasp) wore a North Face jacket and Lululemon yoga pants, in combination.  My son Neal believes my North Face jacket is a children’s size, and likes to laugh at its size..he’s wrong, it’s supposed to be short and fitted.

I was comfortable all day in this look, and even with big name brands  – I think I pulled off something cool – “Soccer mom Style”.  The Fanny Pack, tight pants, Hunter rain boots and cropped jacket is a little sporty – and the hair, Max Mara top and Gold dangly earrings offer my Mara glamour I desire daily – - -it’s a little Jennifer Lopez  -

See..we can even bring style on the soccer field – just be a little creative, and add some glamour.

Peasant Tops. Growing up in SF. Chanel Dream Catchers.

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Susie. San Anselmo, California. Soccer Practice. October 2014.

As you can see lately, I’m hanging out at soccer games and practices.  I know my life seems like never ending glamour and jet set travel – but it’s not, well at least some of the time (i’m being funny here). I trek my kids to their various activities, hoping that maybe the inner prodigy will emerge. Liam tried fencing this week, I woke up with a sword in my face at 7:00 am.

But it’s all really fun, I meet great people and fantasize about someday having my own skills, because my kids have many.  I owe that all to Waldorf, we’ve taught them nothing.

This is Susie. Susie runs a private San Francisco family foundation focusing on Mental Illness.  Mental illness funds are hard to come by, and it’s refreshing to hear about a foundation working to make life better for those in need.  I want to make a joke, but it’s probably inappropriate.  Let’s just say, after telling Susie I see my therapist twice a week, she quickly “befriended” me and kept handing me cash.

Susie is a native San Franciscan. She grew up in the city, and lived an urban life. I love hearing stories of her artsy formative years.  Attending school in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, Susie was exposed to the bohemian movement as a young teen.  It was an interesting way to see the world, and Susie now only wears Dream Catcher Earrings made exclusively by Chanel.  (i’m funny, I know)

I befriended Susie, only due to needing friends in Marin County who wear shorts as short as mine, it worked and we happen to have like two other things in common.  I know I keep repeating this, but the 1990′s are making a 2014 comeback – majorly.  Susie looks like she is headed to Lollapalooza to hear Ani DiFranco.

Susie’s body type allows for a thick belt and shirt tucked – she’s in proportion.  For short waisted women like me, it’s usually better to wear a longer shirt.  If you have thick legs, show those ankles – and wear a heel, if possible.

Fashion Notes: Peasant Top: Velvet, Cut-off’s: AG, Bucket Bag: Dooney & Bourke Vintage, Belt: Lucky and Glasses: Dior

 

 

Soccer Dad Style. Men Tips on looking “Haute”.

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Loïc. Fairfax, California. October 2014.

Fashion Notes : T-shirt: H&M, Hat: Gypsy and Loïc, Jeans: G-Star.  I love how Loïc wears small accessories well – Being French, he learned about style in utero. But men take note – it’s all simple really with a flash of a leather cuff and a small string necklace.  A bright green shirt gives the face some color, and a cool hat is an instant fashion step-up. Being “trendy” is tough for any guy, but adding slight style is so easy – and we women appreciate a man with some style :) (for me it’s especially great, if it seems “unintentional”)

Loïc’s son was playing against my son Neal’s soccer team.  This family captured my attention with authentic Northern California free-spirited style. I wasn’t surprised to learn about their fashion company.

Loïc and his wife Gypsy are creative souls, designing environmentally conscious accessories.  Based in Arcata, California, Gypsy and Loïc is “on a mission to create fun and unique accessories made here in the USA from up-cycled and recycled fabrics.”  click on the link to check out their stuff:

http://www.gypsyandloic.com

 

How I Dodged Barbies & Boy Bands. Haute Huff Post.

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“Though I never finished reading Charles Bukowski’s Ham on Rye, the character Henry still haunts me, with visions of his horrible acne and his sweating body beneath a wool army school uniform. But I will never know what happened to Henry, because like religious freaks who burn books, I have older brothers who would steal them when deemed inappropriate for their little sister. My brother Seth lent me his copy of Ham on Rye and he immediately took it back, after I started asking questions about the sexual nature of the book. This is what brothers do, and for this, I am grateful and semi-illiterate.”

Click below to read the full article…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/how-i-dodged-barbies-and-_b_6024126.html

 

Music and Fashion. Motel Drop-Off gets Glamorous.

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Cara.  Photography Rock Star.  Aunt to lots o’ kids.  Miami, Florida.  October 2014.

Name Dropping: Cara’s images of rockstars and other popular musicians have appeared in many of the most important music and culture magazines of the day (think Kanye, Jack White, Timbaland, My Morning Jacket, David Grohl).  You can see Cara’s shots in Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Time Out and The Village Voice to name a few.  She has worked with the most prestigious names in the music industry;  MTV, Universal Music, Geffen, Sony, Roc Nation, and Rock the Vote.  Cara’s fine art photography is displayed in several galleries in the States. Check out her inspiring work (especially if your a fan of music and fashion) at www.carabloch.com 

Fashion Notes: Suit: Vintage 1960′s custom made Bill Blass suit, all clothing and accessories, including the suit from Hollen and Jen Show Room, www.hollenandjenshowroom.com, Hollen and Jen have an eye for vintage across all decades..for a lover of all things old, this place is pure fashion candy. Check out their Facebook page, and you will drool over the latest vintage finds.

Photo: This shot is a throw back to another time in Miami, the motel as the background with a tailored vintage 1960′s Bill Blass number is beyond brilliant.  I met Cara through my close friend Shandi, founder of Shandi Levy Jewelry.  Cara and Shandi are jet setters, who always hang out with NYC and Miami’s most stylish and they usually (well Cara) capture it all on film..you may even spot me lurking in the background.

Mara Likes it: As a huge fan of fashion and music, I especially am drawn to the creative works of Cara Bloch.  Cara is an incredibly gifted and imaginative photographer, and I personally worship everything she does.  Her work is cool, stylish and stare worthy.  And no matter how long you look, Cara’s photographs cause you to look one last time, just in case you missed a detail.

Haute: I get that Cara doesn’t meet Haute Drop-Off’s usual “criteria”, but I’m a rule breaker, and Cara is an amazing aunt (she is always using her friend’s kids in her shots), who is also a photography rock star…of course she had to be featured on Haute Drop-Off.

 

 

 

Beards and Tretorns are Haute at Drop-Off.

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Ethan. Artist. Dad. Marin County, Californian. October 2014.

Fashion Notes: An old preppy favorite, Ethan’s sporting yellow Tretorns, Beard: one of my favorites, still even with the beard popularity. Ethan’s beard is not perfectly manicured, but not totally wild..it’s a little bohemian, a little urban. Belt: amazing belt buckle, an anniversary gift from Ethan’s wife, Simple Jeans and T-Shirt.

The Artist: Ethan is an educated artist, with impressive credentials and numerous awards for his work. His pieces range from video installations to sculpture to large public works..and since i’m not an expert, i’m pretty sure my description is quite limited. His art to me, is something you want to talk about, stare and dig deeper regarding what it all means to you…..like this instillation of (T)Here1, which I added below. For more of Ethan’s work, visit his site. His pieces are on exhibition in several cities in the States and overseas, http://www.ethanworden.com

I spotted Ethan, and wanted to capture the look of a low key stylish dad in the Bay Area.  I love the slight style components of certain men, who don’t necessarily follow fashion, but care about style in a cool way.  A manner that’s not in your face, but when you get close – you see all the thought and sometimes “designer” labels!!!

(T)Here1

 

Vertical Stripes give me Dolly Parton level Boobs….

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Negar. Mom. Attorney. San Rafael, California. October 2014.

Fashion Notes: Striped Dress: J Brand and Sunglasses: Juicy

In New York in September I saw lots of stripes on the street  -and knew this was a trend getting some action on the street.  Many of us are afraid of stripes, especially horizontal. This dress has the perfect proportions, as the stripes are long on the body and horizontal on the chest. We can all look tall and curvy, with a little help of fabric and good lines.

I wear horizontal and vertical stripes, and just hope for the best… you can do the same. Vertical stripes do make my boobs look huge, and I always get lots of comments from my peeps when I’m wearing stripes on top – like Whoa Dolly Parton level boobs. Even my friend Eric, made me pose in a different way when he was photographing me with a striped top – he’s like “Mara, you can’t fit in the wide angle lens with those things!”.

This mom looks great, but ya know I always have to bring it back to MARA!!

xxxx

 

 

 

 

Tiny Floral Patterns hide Flaws. Haute Style Tips.

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Mara. Marin County, California. October 2014.

Fashion Notes: Floral Dress: American Apparel, Heels and Jacket: Zara, Gold Hoops: Target

Did you know that a tiny floral pattern hides so much? The pattern is so busy, you can’t see any flaws. When buying a bathing suit, consider a small floral pattern as it’s so flattering. I am wearing all “big name” retailer brands.  And many of you will be happy that I’m wearing this long denim jacket over a dress, not solo!!!

Haute Coffee Table Books. I Can’t Name 3 Clash Songs.

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Even Seinfeld’s Kramer wanted to publish a coffee table book about coffee tables.  Still a great idea, we all want great big books to admire on our “coffee” tables. And so do I.

If you know me, you’ll realize I’m never ashamed to admit to not being as cool as I seem (ha ha ha, you are thinking I don’t seem cool, I got it.)  I love books, and being surrounded by them. Maybe I read them and maybe I stare at them from a pure “design” perspective.

So I will make fun of myself here, ask me to name three Clash songs? I can’t, even with the aid of Google. I like the Clash and its music.  My older brothers, I’m pretty sure had some albums—but I bought this book because it was hot pink and looked amazing against a shiny white backdrop – and of course having your kids grow up among great books, can’t be a bad thing.  So what do you think? should I listen to the Clash and read the book from cover to cover, before I display it like I’m an early punk fan?

Yes, it’s probably wrong to mix an Anne Frank book, with Keith Herring, the Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and The Clash – - but the bright pinks and yellows all combined so well. I realize the word SEX in big letters, probably wasn’t appreciated being front and center by the mom’s at my son’s birthday party.

Most of the books displayed mean something to me.  I still look up rules in my huge Emily Post book, and I’ve caught my kids perusing the works in the D’orsay Museum book.  I own original Parisian art books, my mom gave me from our childhood house.  As a kid, I loved looking at the Impressionists paintings – and can spot a Renoir, Monet or Manet  -see what exposure to books create? I’m saying this all with a bit of tongue and cheek humor – I think it’s okay to use books for pure decor purposes -and the great thing is, someone will eventually learn something from the books….kind of like I did.