Haute Film Star Mother. San Francisco Drop-Off.

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Renee’ Wilson. Noe Valley Farmer’s Market. San Francisco. March 2015.

I GET SHY: You guys know, I get ultra excited when I see a stylish parent. But I also get shy (yes, it’s possible) and walking up to strangers with the risk of being rejected, is scary. Many times, I will start photographing a dad, and their significant other usually laughs at them or tells them to stop…. that’s a little awkward. This is why I love performers like Renee’ – always ready to pose and not afraid of attention.

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RENEE': I spotted Renee’ and pretty much lunged at her with my camera. It was so nice to be greeted with a smile and a “yes” – after getting a couple of rejections that morning. Renee’ has presence  – she says it’s the hair, but that’s not actually the case. She’s tall, graceful and confident.

Little did I know, Renee’ starred in the Film Ray, a long side Jamie Foxx in the early 2000’s.  Renee’ is multi talented, she sings, she acts, she makes films and so much more, read about Renee’ here www.reneewilson.org

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SAN FRANCISCO: Renee’ looking back on a gorgeous day in the kid friendly neighborhood of Noe Valley. I rented an apartment with my kids in Noe Valley one summer, before we officially made our way to this part of the world. It looks similar to a neighborhood in Brooklyn, only it’s California..so less busy and funky–more laid back.

Renee’ is not slowing down, after taking on the role of new mother – she started a blog and continues to perform locally, and nationwide. Check out Renee’s latest venture, www.mamayogachannel.com

 

Pretty Mama. Feminine Bun. Tough Boots. Haute Marin.

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San Rafael, California. March 2015.

This mom has such a pretty face, I had to take her photo. We spent a few hours today at a local Purim party.  Purim is a Jewish holiday where kids dress up and eat a pastry called, Hamantaschen. For more on Purim, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purim

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This look is so 1990’s,” I live in NYC and just graduated from Juilliard for Dance”.  I love her dancer’s bun, leggings and blazer. This look is back peeps!!

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A  little combat boot action.

Men, Fitted Clothing is Haute. French Dudes know.

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Noe Valley Farmers Market. San Francisco. February 2015. iPhone shot.

Fashion Notes:  I knew this couple had to be French, and I was right, at least about the dad. He explained how he mostly wears one brand of clothing, J.Crew, www.jcrew.com. The reason he wears mostly J.Crew is because the clothing fits like French brands – slim and narrow.  I tell guys all the time, the narrower the better. Sunglasses, Ray Ban Wayfarers, www.rayban.com

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Men’s Tailoring: I can’t emphasize enough the importance of well fitted clothing for men. It doesn’t matter your size – it’s always better for clothing to fit narrower. Ralph Lauren gave his daughter Dylan advice a long time ago – when you feel like you’ve gained weight – wear your clothing even narrower, don’t bury yourself in baggy clothing, because it will make you look heavier. My own father wore his suits extremely narrow, and I spent a lot of my childhood sitting on the floor of his seamstresses’s floor playing with knitting needles. When it comes to casual clothing, it’s the same idea – jeans should fit VERY narrow, show off those strong legs guys!

 

NYC Mama in the Bay.

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Nancy. Mom. Writer. Lawyer. Singer. New Yorker. February 2015. Marin County.

If you know me at all, you will know I’m a jean jacket freak, I have so many, but usually wear the same one on repeat for a month and switch to the next denim jacket perfection. One of the reasons I moved out of Miami, was so I could wear my jackets every day – oh and because my hair looks so good in California (I’m kidding).

Nancy is wearing an insane fringe jean jacket from the store Calypso, http://www.calypsostbarth.com  – Calypso has stores in several locations, Nancy purchased this bad boy at The Marin Country Mart..an outdoor shopping/eating spot with some seriously good and expensive stores, like Intermix, www.intermix.com

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Nancy’s bag is a classic and funky Balenciaga “City” Bag. I always loved this Balenciaga pocketbook, http://www.balenciaga.com/, because it makes any look a little more urban cool.  When you are wearing work out clothing, this bag adds excitement to what can be boring.

Remember all this excitement, doesn’t come cheap.  Balenciaga handbags start at around $1,000. The best shoppers I know, aren’t rich – but they usually (unlike impulsive me) buy a few good pieces, and it’s worth the investment. I’ve never sold a bag before, but people have great success consigning designer handbags. And I’ve had great success buying used designer goods.

Nancy’s motorcycle boots are by Ash, www.ash.com – the same brand that designed my famous gold studded kicks.

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Nancy is a writer, attorney and singer. I just saw her perform on stage singing an incredible version of Corinne Bailey Rae’s Like a Star.  Nancy is a New Yorker through and through, and now makes Marin County her home, with her family, including two young kids. When my kid’s music teacher told me about Nancy’s website, I immediately started stalking…I needed her as a friend, and it worked.  Check out Nancy’s take on living in the Bay Area, she gives great tips, shares some pretty deep stuff, and the not so deep.  www.nycgirlbythebay.com

Sunday was HAUTE. True Bohemian Style in Marin.

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Araceli. Marin County. February 2015.

Fashion Notes: I love the gold earrings paired with the gold aviators and petite necklaces.  Araceli unlike most people, can look great in silver and gold jewelry. Her long shiny tresses and glowing skin, add to her eclectic California style.

I first spotted Araceli in a yoga class. I was desparetly trying to look somewhat “California”, with my childhood throwback version of a back bend – let’s just say it didn’t look pretty.  In the front row, a gorgeous woman with tiny bracelets on her wrists and ankles did a back bend with style and grace. Later, I learned Araceli was a Yoga teacher..and I felt a little better about my lack of experience.

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Bohemian Sundays: It’s so nice to spend a Sunday with friends, while the kids run around outside, with absolutely no presence of technology.  With Abba playing in the background, this is a great example of the uniqueness of Northern California. Just hanging out talking about life, music and of course Seinfeld.

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How to Wear Crop-Tops: Yes, Araceli is in incredible shape – but the way she’s exposing a sliver of tummy, is a perfect way for all of us to rock a little crop-top situation.  She tied her Forever 21 blouse, www.forever21.com with the knot low, so you can’t see much.  And the high waisted vintage 1970’s skirt, makes everything stay put – meaning no possibility for a little skin rolls (she has none, but you get my point)

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A little more detail. Check out her gold studded sandals.

 

Still Going Strong. Me on Backpack Love.

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Fashion Shots: Barbara Myers

“My eyes lit up: was this my mom, or a fashion-forward fairy in disguise? I untied the bag and inside was a little nylon backpack with an oversized no-name logo glued (more like super glued) onto its back pocket.  I knew it was a horrible knockoff of what I really wanted, but no matter..”

Fashion Notes: Backpack: Prada, www.prada.com  and Vintage Army, Leggings: Target, www.target.com, Cuff: Nordstrom, www.nordstrom.com, Glasses: Chanel,www.chanel.com, Kicks: Converse, www.converse.com Jean Jacket: Free People, www.freepeople.com, Gray Heels: Zara, www.zara.com

Click on the link below to read the rest of my piece..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/post_7137_b_5024002.html?utm_hp_ref=style&ir=Style

Crop-Top. Belly Jewelry. Sexy Style @ Kid’s Parties.

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Little Venezuela: This photo was taken in Doral, an area of Miami with an earned nick name of “Little Venezuela”, due to the large population of Venezuelans.  Have you seen Venezuelan women?  Venezuela is no stranger to beauty – besides the US, Venezuela dominates beauty pageants world-wide (I despise beauty pageants, but I’m making a point).

If you’ve seen Venezuelan women, that random statistic is not surprising.  Occasionally (like maybe twice), when I lived in Miami, I was mistaken as Venezuelan.  Usually, it was when I went overboard with my blonde highlights, but my ego would temporarily inflate (for maybe 5 minutes, and then I was back to my usual neurotic stuff).

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Miami Mamas: Miami has so many cultural influences, and having a large Venezuelan population has only given us a “beauty nudge”, because they sure are making an effort – even on a Sunday at a kid’s birthday party spot.

Mara’s Personal Thoughts: And ya know what? I LOVE this about Miami.  I know I’m such a repeater, but Miami mamas make a serious effort to look slamming.  Many, many times it’s really annoying for some of us (me) who just want to roll out of bed, and look like a slob (even if I pretend it’s “throwback grunge”).  But I thank these women, for giving me a little beauty push – we all know we feel better when we throw on jeans so tight we can’t breath, and heels so high we can’t walk.  The beautiful Dolly Parton said it well, “When I’m feeling a little low, I put on my favorite high heels to stand a little taller.”.

Here is a link to a piece I wrote about Miami Mom Style, and my years growing up seeing these glamorous women dropping off my friends at school.  Here’s the link: http://blog.justaskboo.com/a-love-letter-to-miami-moms/

 

Modern Design not for Big Booties. Haute Design & Fashion.

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Shari. Coral Gables, Florida. January 2015.

Fashion Notes: Shari’s lace top is by Beyond Vintage. The Ray Ban aviators and single braid add a certain “upscale” bohemian vibe to her look.

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Brothers are always Right:  Shari and my brother Andrew have incredible taste. Recently, they renovated this gorgeous Miami home.  Andrew is great at seeing potential where no one else does. Send Andrew to any junk yard, and he will spot the Rembrandt among the ruins.  He took our Grandparents furniture and re-created it…like these chairs re-covered in this famous Stephen Sprouse graffiti fabric.  Shari is a great partner for Andrew, because she adores the details and can visualize the big picture. This is why she’s in real estate – she sees the potential. Meanwhile, don’t say anything, but I’m stealing back my Grandmother’s incredible gold mirror….I should get all mirrors, after all I may win for sibling who likes to stare in a mirror most.

Big Booties Need Not Apply: Andrew and Shari also introduced me to what I re-named the “heroine chic super model” chairs. These were re-named by me, because if you want your behind to fit the circumference of the seat, you must be as thin as a 1990’s heroine chic supermodel.  Unfortunately, Philippe Starck didn’t take my advice, and named them “Victoria Ghost” chairs. I imagine “this” Victoria has a teeny tiny booty…’ I still laugh when my ass is hanging off half of the seat..I literally need two chairs!!! And I do not have a big butt.

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Drop-Off: Shari and my nephew getting ready for school drop-off. In Miami, we wear heels. And believe me, in Miami you will never feel overdressed at drop-off, someone will always be wearing higher heels and bigger earrings. Oh and let’s not forget, much bigger cleavage. I love everything about this top, and paired with ripped jeans – it looks less fussy, and more funky.

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Mid-Century: Gorgeous Kitchen. Marble countertops with Bertoia Chairs, www.knoll.com Bertoia industrial chairs are recognized as pieces of art, that came out of the brilliance of mid-century design.

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Order: My brother and Shari are not only crazy neat, but majorly organized.  This is why they custom designed so many of these incredible shelves, to house their objects and stay organized.  You can imagine the panic that ensues when I come by for a visit.  I think marble looks better with rings and stains, apparently they do not – and this is why I am followed around by a walking coaster – it’s really odd.

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Accessories: These Chanel Pearl Necklaces are classic.  Shari has a long neck and wears this choker well.  Layering bracelets. Hermes Cuff mixed in with the narrower vintage gold cuff, and thick gold cuff by Alexis Bittar, Hand Bag: Louis Vuitton. This bag looks like it was designed in the early 1980’s – I want one!! On Shari’s other wrist are Indian inspired beads designed by local Miami designer, Kristin Pearce. These gold stilettos are by Valentino.  Like a little black dress, in Miami, gold stilettos are a staple. I have to say, I miss wearing my gold stilettos  – I just haven’t since moving to the land of Milk & Honey…..

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What the boys are wearing: My nephew has naturally, cool style. And most importantly, he’s a sweet, kind kid.  If you need some good gifts for middle school age kids – this is what’s “in”.  Herschel Camouflage Backpack. Nike designed by pro-skater Stefan Janoski, Beats by Dr. Dre and a black Yankees baseball cap.

My sister-in-law is an Associate at EWM in Miami, specializing in luxury homes.

 

Bun. Gold Earrings. Long Nails. Urban Love.

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Kelly. Fairfax, California. February 2015

I am a sucker for a bun, large gold earrings and long nails. It’s my long lasting love of anything New York and urban.  I met Kelly at little league – she looked stunning is this green dress, and she was a great model.

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Here we go again with a lesson in figure flattering fashion – – a thin belt to add a waist, this trick works every time.  It also forces you to suck in, so it’s kind of like you’re doing abdominal exercises.

 

Sex. Motherhood. Individuality. This Artist Provokes.

People have always asked me, “So Mara, you grew up with so many men in your life, are you the “girl” who has no women friends?” This is not the case, I adore women – and without my amazing sisters no one would validate my unique blend of Mara crazy.  Susan Copich, with her latest photographic series entitled “Domestic Bliss” reminds me of  long conversations I’ve had with so many of my friends, but especially my friend Susana.  The calls usually consist of me expressing my inner fantasies and engaging in dialogue about societal rules.

Susana usually reminds me that, I don’t follow that many rules, and sites my constant interactions with the authorities. But it’s not the rules I care so much about – it’s the offspring.  When we become mothers, we know as intuitive, intelligent and responsible women that we must adhere to some guidelines….like not escaping to India for three months to “find ourselves”, but instead taking yoga with an Indian instructor.  

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“Mommy Time” from Domestic Bliss Photo Series by Susan Copich (pictured above)

Adrienne Rich, the American Poet wrote about “Motherhood as an institution”, she freely through poetry revealed almost an obsession with retaining one’s self after becoming a mother. The above photograph to me, is an Adrienne Rich poem brought to life.

After I had a baby, I was generously invited by women I didn’t know to join a mommy group. From the first get together, I left feeling depressed.  I left the intellectual stimulation of my work at United Way to discuss baby blankets and teething.  My individuality seemed meaningless, I felt trapped in a sea of emptiness – and felt confused as the role of young woman and mature mother came together.  Leading a “traditional” life was not something I ever thought about, but it happened – and it happened when I was too young to understand the depth of my feelings.  Relating to other women because they have kids, is a ridiculous notion – and it made me feel like I didn’t belong in the club of motherhood.

Because none of my close friends were even in serious relationships at that time, I was lonely on planet motherhood..and forced to find friends who could relate. Only, that proved difficult. I remember meeting other mothers and thinking, are they satisfied being “only” mothers? They discussed their life with spouse and offspring like they were rock stars on stage…So why the hell did I feel like I needed a life outside all this domesticity?

NOW, I know, it’s because like Adrienne Rich, I was obsessed (without knowing) with retaining my self outside of motherhood. And this is when I decided to not discuss my children, when I was out at night. Little did I know, I was embarking on my own feminism experiment all while questioning social norms.

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“Mother’s Milk” from Susan Copich’s Domestic Bliss Photo Series (Susan pictured above)

Attachment and freedom. Sexuality, Individuality and Motherhood.  I’m writing this as I multi-task giving love and care to my youngest, who’s home sick from school.  Liam saw the above shot, and with eyes wide open said “If you made me do that, I would push you and run”. It’s hard to examine something like motherhood without realizing the economic component of Feminism. I have choices, I was able to stay home today and write.  I don’t have to worry about work- child care..it’s easy for me. I have privilege, and therefore; choices. 

Kids open you up to so much, but allow you the excuse to not take risks. Motherhood is a constant struggle as an individual to adhere to social norms, even when you think they are bullshit and stifling.  The struggle is the judgement that comes with rejecting those unwritten rules.

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Susan and her daughters. Upstate New York. January 2015.

Fashion Notes: Jacket: Helmut Lang, Black Skinny Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Boots: Ugg, Sunglasses: Morgenthal Frederics. The girls are wearing leggings by Carrots, Down Jackets by Canada Goose and Boots by Bogg

Susan Copich: Susan is the photographer and artist behind the acclaimed photo series, “Domestic Bliss”.  With a number of collections housed at The Moen Mason Gallery, http://www.moenmasongallery.com.  Susan’s latest, “Domestic Bliss” series is beyond worthy of the attention.   This particular series in Susan’s body of work is based on her personal experiences as a mother and has touched a nerve.  From the moment my friend forwarded me the link to Susan’s photographs, I immediately wanted to talk about these shots.  Susan captures the struggle, and poked fun of it at the same time. Susan Copich’s series is so thought provoking, It has caused me to intellectualize the shit out of women – motherhood- partnership -Susan made me think and that’s the sign of a great artist.  http://susancopich.com