My “grass roots” Drop-Off Style (when I’m not in leggings)

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Me. September 2016. Marin County. Shots by T. Palmer.

I’m not smiling in these (okay, I’m making that semi-weird lip expression), it was the first run & I’m a little rusty and a lot self conscious  – I warm up in the photos you’ll see in a few weeks.  Although, I will admit to feeling like I did a pretty good job pulling together this look from my closet – what? self-validation people!

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This basket weaved leather bag was a great summer purchase – $40.00 from Lola’s in Fairfax, CA – when I wear this bag, I get stopped constantly. My friend Em-J, who’s a very stylin’ twenty-something, surfing, mountain biking woman – has been on a constant search to find this bag, because she knows her friend Mara, has quite the eye for accessories & good prices (I’m kidding, but I do).

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The choker is a long chain, made by Shandi Levy Jewelry. Chokers are here for now, and I’m still not sure if they look right on me, because I don’t have the neck of a ballet dancer. This dress is from H&M, and it was very cheap. I impulsively shortened it, by cutting it with scissors and it came out uneven. It was my multi-talented & close friend Barb, who fixed the dress & made it wearable. It looks shredded and low end, but that doesn’t matter to me – accessories are key. The plaid top, also cut by yours truly, (so happy Grunge is back “in”) is by Zara. The gladiator sandals I LOVE, and found on sale at 02 in Aspen this summer. They are by Vince Camuto.

The sandals I guess seem sexy, because I get some “looks” when wearing them. They are totally flat with no heel, which makes them causal and wearable – but I guess the look of them seems out of the box for some…I’ve just been enjoying pairing them with everything in my closet – including the boring, but repeated yoga pant!!

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My nails are long again, they are acrylic and high maintenance. The males in my life think they are awful, but women usually love them. I love them, they elongate your hands and make me feel like I’m related to J.Lo :).

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I really look like I’m trying here….oy vey!

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The only issue with this dress and wearing it to pick up my kids is the wind factor. It’s always windy in Northern California, especially in San Francisco. I walk with my arms attached to my side or make all my bags messenger, to hold my dress down, I would wear dresses every day if it wasn’t windy –

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And a close up, sunglasses are on for reasons of vanity…

1990’s called, they want their knitted beanies back…

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Like I said previously, my Grandma Sylvia knitted me this skull cap in the 1990’s when they were all the Grunge rage. Every “it girl” from Kate Moss to Drew Barrymore were wearing these things & design houses were charging a hefty price. I wanted one, I was convinced my face with adequate cheeks, would somehow transform into a waif looking Kate Moss if I had access to a skull cap.

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So my amazing Grandmother asked me what colors I wanted, and began knitting me this hat. I’ve saved it all these years, and now they are back in style & I finally have made the admission that wearing this hat will never morph me into a Kate Moss – but it makes me smile, thinking about Sylvia, and how much we loved each other.

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I never knew how to wear the skill cap best – to the back, which felt like a Kippah, which my Jewish brothers wear at Temple or on top of the head like Muslims wear to Mosque. Obviously, this was about fashion not religion & I appreciated this skull cap so much more than if I bought a designer one myself – – this was truly made with love by one of the greatest loves in my life, my Grandma Sylvia.

The New York Times. My Style Validator.

Mara Meter

Me. San Rafael, California. Unable to remove my credit card from the meter

Yes,  this has happened to me before and no, I’ll never learn.  Why aren’t our tax dollars going toward meters that can accommodate various nail lengths? Is our society only built for hands with regular length nails?

Fashion Notes: Moccasins: Minnetonka, Leggings: Lululemon, Bag: Chanel, Top: Zara

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If you look closely, you can see my green credit card stuck..until I solicited help from a very confused meter maid – apparently, they are not in the business of helping people who choose style over function. But, with my “charming” persistence, I was able to get the help I needed.

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Nails are so “in” right now. As usual, I’ve been pulling off these bad boys for a few years. It started with Madonna on the cover of VOGUE, with long, pointy gold nails. I had to have them. No matter how many of you, were horrified by what you labeled “cheesy” – I pulled through and proved you all wrong.

My own mother was not a fan of my long, semi-pointy nails. Until, the Jewish bible (aka, The New York Times) ran a Sunday fashion story on this nail trend, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/11/t-magazine/fashion/long-pointed-nails-trend-manicure.html?_r=0

So once again, it has been proven that I have quite a style instinct, thank you Fashion of the Times.

Maybe I can’t type or use a regular phone, maybe I didn’t hang up my phone properly and someone had to hear me yell at my offspring, maybe I accidentally lit a nail on fire and didn’t notice, until my child pointed it out – but it’s all worth it, in the name of style.

Some Haute moms and their long nails:

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Vintage Ain’t Cheap. Crazy Bag Lady.

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When I was in NYC a few weeks ago, at the suggestion of my mother, I strolled into Barney’s to check out their “new” collection of vintage Coach bags from the 1970’s. She was right, I was visibly twitching from the perfect specimen of a bag resting perfectly on my shoulder.

But, I also paused, with a very hefty price tag, it was hard not to feel like somewhat of a sucker. First of all, I had the exact Vintage Coach bag circa 1973, purchased at a local vintage store in Fairfax, California. The bag cost me maybe $40.00 – I remember telling the store owner that THE hippest of the hip were scouring NYC flea markets for the particular bag – almost suggesting she charge me more.

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My original Vintage $40.00 Coach bag, Mill Valley 2015.

I loved this bag and added a fancy gold chain, to make it my very own Couture vintage Coach. But this bag, along with many others was stolen at JFK this summer – never to be seen again. I just hope the thieves appreciate my unique creation.

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So I did get this beautiful bag – the added fringe and the cool packaging was impossible to resist. It’s scratched and marked, and will only get more worn in over time. I know why I love this bag – it’s different, it’s unique, if I see one more Goyard bag, I may start spraying them with ketchup (oh, but they don’t get ruined – I forgot).  I’m only kidding – vintage bags have always excited me, and I’m happy that Coach is recycling, not just re-making the originals.  For more information on Coach’s Vintage Collection at Barney’s click below….

http://www.barneys.com/barneys-new-york?pagetype=brand&prefn1=brand&prefv1=Coach%20Vintage

 

Patagonia Doesn’t Make You a Better Hiker….

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Me. Roy’s Redwoods. Marin County. January 2015.

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So I wore this at a birthday party in the Redwoods last week. I know, I’m very practical and when it comes to clothing it’s all about function and comfort… obviously not, my moccasins were horrible shoes to trek through mud and water – my exposed legs brushed up against poison oak, to which I neurotically had a mom get me a baby wipe to remove all traces of the “so called” poison. The other parents at the party, were so much more prepared, but they did not judge me  – they merely helped navigate me, due to my poor choice in shoe attire…

In actuality, I am surprisingly outdoorsy  – it’s more because I don’t care if I get dirty.  My close friend, who I will protect by not using names, once made fun of my ankle boot choice to hike up a mountain in Ireland. She was decked out in top to bottom Patagonia – she had a vest and then a jacket to go over the vest, hiking boots and a monogrammed back pack. I was less embarrassed to be seen with her in Ireland, it was in Paris where I made her walk 10 feet behind me – come on, she was wearing head to toe fleece!!!

I was prepared for this hike, dressed in all black, with lots of accessories and heels, this friend mocked my outfit and my ability to actually hike.  I kept repeating that I did the teenage version of “Outward Bound” – she laughed and laughed. Let’s just say it all ended in my favor, I ran up that mountain – and “someone” had to stop several times to catch her breath.  Apparently, wearing Patagonia doesn’t make you a better hiker, it just makes you look like a better hiker…

My point in all this..I may not look the part..but maybe, just maybe..I actually can play the part…..

 

Madison and 72nd. Haute Human Shots.

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Ralph Lauren Store on 72nd. New York City. April 2015.

Calm down, I’m still into you Stylin’ Parents – I just can’t resist sharing the magic of New York City: you walk and discover so much, it’s stimulating, exciting and magical. This is the first of many other cool shots I’ll share soon. As you know, I worship people, so I’ve been photographing them more. It’s really an excuse for me to make more friends, hope you like it!

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She was standing in front of the Ralph Lauren store on 72nd, looking so chic – of course I had to take a few photographs.  Black and off white..those leather leggings are show stoppers..I still miss my black leather rock-n-roll Daryl K. Pants, those looked good on me :)!

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An open, sexy exposed back and a smile..kind of all you need to look gorgeous.

 

Still Going Strong. Me on Backpack Love.

Mara Backpack 1 mara backpack 2     mara army 1Mara Prada 1

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

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.

 

Music Festival Haute. Hollen & Jen.

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I’ve loved vintage, when it was called “used”..At age 7, (ask my mom) I would jump for joy at the sight of hand me downs, like I had just won the lottery. Salvation Army – Goodwill – and upscale showrooms like Hollen & Jen have always been my happy places. So when in Miami for New Year’s Eve- I had the pleasure of being photographed in looks I found at Hollen & Jen Showroom – Designer Vintage…My Dream!!!

Being influenced by my new town and its bohemian nature – I decided to get in character and pretend I was finding looks for a week long music festival – ahhhhh that would be fun… So here ya go…My music festival editorial..

Photographer Cara called this “the Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks dress”. Perfect attire to see your favorite folk rock band on a beautiful night.  The gold leaf necklace gives the look a Grecian feel.  I think an empire waist flatters most figures – especially when you’re pregnant.  A favorite look used often in the 1970’s, empire waists have stood the test of time.

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This is my ode to the Olsen twins and Lisa Bonet. A favorite look i’ve had since my early days of second hand love-  layering using jackets and vests.  I’m not tall, so in reality, I would have to wear sky high heels to pull this off. And with larger breasts, it’s also really tough to wear non-fitted clothing – but again, I think this looks really cool. And another perfect music festival ensemble- one that’s not in the summer.

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I’ve been using belts as my automatic seamstress for years. This dress, I’ve shortened a good 8 inches – all with the magic of a 1980’s tie belt.  And the off the shoulder action, is only because the dress is a little loose on my frame.  Another benefit of vintage clothing, you really can re-design something for your body..just add a little creativity.

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Accessories and a great pair of jeans – and you can pull anything off.  Feeling funny about showing off your belly? Wear a long necklace with a huge heart to cover most of your belly.  These jeans fit so well.  They’re not tight where my skin goes over the top – which is not a great look when you are revealing your stomach.  Vintage stores have the best collection of jeans, you can find ones to flatter your body shape and they come already worn in!! I adore this white belt with the gold details and have been pulling it off with everything from dresses to leggings.  The fur wrap (I hope it’s faux, but we know it’s old) is great to add warmth and a little 1970’s action…. Heels are tough to wear at a music festival, but I’m not one to back out of a challenge 🙂

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This is not an outfit you can wear sitting on the grass..this mesh shirt looks so fly with the brown leather bomber. The earrings are long and gold – and show up in my wild mane. A tiny, mini skirt is not for everyone – sometimes when it’s denim, it seems more casual and less va va voom.  When I wear very short skirts, I wear boots – usually ankle.  Boots add an edge, and give you rock-n-roll, urban style.

Hollen & Jen Showroom carries an incredible collection of designer vintage – at pretty amazing prices.  Some people get high playing a guitar on stage or jumping out of an airplane, I get high in the presence of second hand clothing, where I can try on things from every generation.  Hollen & Jen have great taste, and can help you pick out the perfect look for a music festival or a South Beach night out – and guess what? No one will be wearing anything remotely like you- – that’s the beauty of vintage.  We’re all unique, and this type of shopping allows us to express our individuality in a fun and creative way.  http://www.hollenandjenshowroom.com

Fashion Shots by the talented, celebrity, rock-n-roll photographer, Cara Bloch, www.carabloch.com

 

Washing Away Past Fashion Sins. Haute New Year!!

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Mara. Miami. January. 2015. Turning my Back on Past Fashion Faux Pas.

In my Brother and Sister-in-Law’s gorgeous shower…Chloe wedge Clogs, Vintage Gucci Bag, Zara Shorts/Tank, Anthroplogie Sweater

I’ve made plenty of bold fashion mistakes–but they aren’t really mistakes..usually it’s more about wearing something that looks bad on me, and thinking I look great.  I Then see a photo, and bow my head in “fashion” shame.

It’s all fun..and I Wish everyone a Happy-Fun-Sweet-Healthy 2015….and make sure you take a few bold fashion risks.

xx Mara