Social Workers are HAUTE

Ferry Building. San Francisco. 2017

I’m not lying when I tell you I met this mom washing her hands In the women’s bathroom next to me – we, fine I stroke up a conversation and then asked if I could please take she and her gorgeous daughter’s photos. Her earrings & social work t-shirt is all she needed to capture my attention.

I have a special place in my heart for social workers, because my mama is one. She went back to school after my dad died, and got her Masters in Social Work. She worked on the Oncology floor of a hospital, and used her own life experience to help others. It’s not an easy career, but Social Workers do so much to improve our world – and I love them for that.

Nails. A little long, but short enough to actually do things, like ya know to feed meters, and other basic things I have issues doing with my long nails.

Dreamcatcher tattoos.  I think this mom makes this tattoo, that has become common place, actually pretty darn cool..because ya kind of see them at every music festival.

Purple hair, cute kid.

This is LOVE.

Haute Summer Style. Mara’s Take.

Summer 2017.

It’s hot outside, and style takes a little more work, or maybe less? With more skin showing, more neurotic insecurities come up – EVEN though I know how unimportant superficial insecurities are, they still scratch at me – But I tell myself several times a day, “Mara, stop being so boring & focusing on BS” – it usually works.

So here I’m mixing it up. As always, borrowing from my love of Brooklyn 90’s hip-hop style. Let’s break down my look:

Hair: Wavy and braided, Army Jacket: I cut it in half, it’s from a thrift store and it’s Jordache, I’m thinking 80’s, Bag: Vintage Gucci that belonged to my incredible Grandmother Sylvia, who had the best sense of humor, personality, wit, zest for life and a beauty that stopped those in her tracks. My mom bought her this bag, after she watched all four of us, I imagine a Gucci bag doesn’t equal the price of babysitting my wild siblings and me. I wear this bag, and it’s more than a fancy bag, it’s my grandma who’s keeping me company. Shorts: They are short, I got them at Free People, not many stores here in Marin County, I liked the color. Nails: Pointy, white, gold and so high maintenance. Earrings: Oscar de la Renta chandelier earrings, from Neiman Marcus and personalized door knockers, which already broke!!! Denim tank: cut by me, bought maybe at Intermix, Choker: bought this at a tiny thrift store in Marin County for maybe $5

The Gucci bag is longer than my shorts…. of course!

I mean it’s hard to wear heels with short shorts, but the way I mix it up – it’s a little funky and cool – not so sexy.

I’m happy with my hair, it covers me when I’m feeling shy..and it always makes me look so funky.

LOVE this!! It’s so me. I use scissors to cut my clothing, and it never comes out even.

It’s okay to wear the same color from top to bottom – especially when the shades don’t match exactly

 

Channeling Jessica Alba. Haute Jenny.

Jenny. Marin County. Summer 2017.

You all know the deal, I saw Jenny, she had an amazing jean jacket – and I had to hear her style story.

When I approached Jenny, who reminds me of Jessica Alba, she was a bit confused. As moms, especially with little kids, it’s hard to find time to urinate, let alone get dressed.. so her look, which I love, is organic. Jenny is stylish naturally, and probably got dressed in 10 minutes, to take her kid to story time before his morning nap.

It’s my duty as a human, and lover of people – to say, ya know what mama, you look damn good.

I love denim, always have with as much passion as an Aretha Franklin song (well, maybe not that much passion). Jenny’s jacket is so COOL, she added the patches herself. I’ve been re-furbishing jean jackets since I’m a kid, and it would be a dream to have a room in my house dedicated to re-making denim… Jenny did good work here.

New moms, can get lonely, it’s a weird and amazing time. You are surrounded by other parents via your kids, and it’s not always a match made in friendship heaven. But trust me, you’ll find your friends, I’ve made sisters and brothers by just being a parent, and having to ask if I could borrow a diaper after one of my kids had an explosion, and I forgot diapers. I made a friend, when I couldn’t unhook my kid from his car seat… we need to be good to each other, smile as much as we can and make our fuck ups public – so others let their walls down a bit.

These lounge pants are so in right now – which is such a pleasure. I know they aren’t tight & don’t show off your curves – but they are like heaven, when you just want to be comfortable – and they look cool.

Amazing, and Jenny is wearing her collar up!!

Is that a Grateful Dead patch? or a just a skull? I’m so surrounded by Grateful Dead culture, I must think all skulls have to do with the band. Love a white bag, it makes everything look funky.

Pregnant. Face Tats. Pearls. Florals. Haute Lupe.

Lupe. Marin County Fair. San Rafael, California. July 2017.

Lupe is pregnant. She wanted me to know that, and as a woman, I understood right away. Any of us who’ve been pregnant, know we want to ensure all humans realize, we’re not heavy in the mid-section – we’re growing a person in there.

When I was pregnant, after three months, I announced it to some work people. One of them thought it would be flattering to let me know this, “Mara, you don’t look pregnant at all, you just look really chubby!”. Apparently, my reaction caused her to volunteer to enter a witness protection program.

I love staring at tattoos. It’s art, only on human skin – it’s weird to stare though, but so hard not to stare. I feel like I need to understand the protocol here – I mean ya get a tattoo, and usually its statement about who you are – tattoos to people are what bumper stickers are to cars. Am I right?

Lupe has so many tattoos, but they are spaced so well, it just looks so beautiful & stylin’.

And her feminine, floral dress (with skeletons) paired with a loose bun and an old school 1990’s pearl choker…perfection!!!! Love this. Pregnant and two kids on a burning hot day – and look at her!!!!

This kid is so gorgeous and didn’t complain once, it was soooo hot – not one complaint. Meanwhile, my kid was not into being his mother’s PA – too bad, I said, ya want a funnel cake? then help me!!

Floral mixed with skeletons….

I even love how Lupe’s hair is on her face – – so pretty.

 

Make-Up at the Gym..like a lot of it

Bela. Marin County. May 2017.

I love Bela, she’s so real and doesn’t hide who she is. Ask any woman if they wear make-up to the gym, most will lie. Here’s my mini-interview with Bela, mom, make-up artist & a whole lot more:

Mara: “In your opinion, what’s the most essential item of make-up you need?”

Bela: “So I can’t just pick one, I feel every girl needs concealer, a touch of blush, defined brows, a little bit of eyeliner (although I cake it on) mascara and powder. My favorite translucent powder is Beauty Counter’s loose powder, it’s great for oily skin.”

Mara: “I’m crying of laughter, this is make-up you would use on a film set, or on Broadway!  And this is your normal, every day routine -So What about BB cream, oils, stuff that you can wear to the gym?”

Bela: “Mara, I mean let me be clear, I do FULL face all day, everyday, gym, no-gym, school drop-off or no school drop-off, EVERYDAY”

Mara: “Can I quote you verbatim on Haute Drop-Off”

Bela: “Hell yea”

Bela and I volunteered together, our job was to put make-up on women in a charity fashion show. The women who sat in my chair, came out looking like they were on serious drugs or they lost in a street fight.  Obviously, I tried to convince them of my theory that, “black and blue makes the eyes appear 20 years younger”, horrified because my lie wasn’t sinking in, I gave Bela the ‘save me’ look, and so she did. Bela dove in and fixed my terrible make-up job.  From then on, I knew she had my back -and we became quick friends.

A row of lower back stars.. and how about this delicious kid? Bela grew up in Southern California, and visits her brother in West Hollywood frequently – apparently, he also is head to toe G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S.

Sexy shoulders.

Loooong legs..and this gorgeous child was so fun and delicious.

I love Bela’s pop of tattoos  – you don’t know she has them – and then they just appear

yum.

Bela knows how to look good for the camera, and I think I should be her agent :).

Those low ankle boots are a 90’s throw back.. love them, flattering and make short cut-off’s look rock-n-roll…(do people still say that?)

When your mama has legs as long as a super model, you hold on to those things for support.

I always had friends much taller than me, it’s always a funny combination. It’s helpful to have tall friends for so many things, especially if you are trying to get the attention of a bartender. They ALWAYS see the tall people first, weird.

And as mothers, we can’t always pose for photographs – I mean, these kids want to do things, they want to climb  – I love how Bela’s holding her daughter’s faux fur jacket, so she can climb the play structure.

 

 

 

 

Haute Philogynist..(google it)

Jenny. Mama. Feminist Activist. Fashion Designer. Marin Country Mart. May 2017

Jenny has two clothing lines.  Jenny Irene, a children’s line focused on a few simple designs (bonnets, tunics, playsuits, overalls), uses handmade and vintage textiles to create each piece. Her daughter’s adorable bonnet is by Jenny Irene, check out the designs here, www.jennyirene.com 

After the election, Jenny started making ‘smash the patriarchy’ tees for her family and friends. Inundated with requests, Boro Boro Shop was born – a line of t-shirts, totes and enamel pins all with feminist messages. WE all should be wearing them!! www.boroboroshop.com 

Jenny is comfortable in her own skin.. and confident in her style. She’s a beautiful woman who designs what she LOVES- this jumper rules!! I’d look like a house in it, but I have boobs the size of watermelons – so yea..

I love indigo, denim and anything resembling denim.. and so does Jenny. Check out that small red tattoo.. Style tip: if you feel like ya look “uncool” – put your hair in a high bun, I’m telling you – it adds this “I got mad style” vibe.. try it & thank me later.

Do you have a fondness, love or admiration toward women? Then I here by declare you a PHILOGYNIST. A re-usable bag from Jenny’s line. It makes me happy to know that women support other women – sexism is so engrained in society, it’s status quo  – it’s up to all of us to teach, point out and make a big F(ing) deal about misogyny, sexism and inequality facing ALL women.

All I know is when I have a dress with pockets, it’s really exciting – one because I can stick things in them, and two because it feels comfortable, I like having pockets for my hands – sometimes they need a little break.

High bun.

And I had to share this photo of these adorable and well dressed kids.

 

She’s Denim, She’s Acid Wash, She’s Perfect.

I’m officially having a love affair with a denim jacket. It sat in a Saks box for at least a week before I made the commitment. It wasn’t cheap, and if I see this Alice + Olivia Chloe jacket on sale, I will retaliate :).

I researched, I looked around, I scoured vintage stores for specific acid wash jackets – but I had to go fancy, and I had to pay retail. I even tried on a Marc Jacobs black worn-in denim jacket, and like all things Marc Jacobs – it looked terrible on my body type.  And I wanted to support my fellow Jewish brother, but it wasn’t made to fit the short, but curvy. Marc – -come on, remember your Jewish sisters and their body types!

And so, a brand I never was really into – seemed to get my attention, https://www.aliceandolivia.com  – the jacket, named “the Chloe embellished jacket” is now part of the Mara Menachem ridiculous jean jacket collection or coalition. I hear the 1960’s studded jacket is leading a revolt, apparently, I am not an equal opportunity wearer (not funny?).

That Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia is in a real creative flow – she has been making some seriously cool threads, and I’m watching.  Check out her bell bottoms, don’t know how they fit in the booty – but they look slamming on the mannequin.

The Chloe jacket (wish it had a different name, Chloe is just so obvious) has beaded pins in various places of things like lady bugs and butterflies. My issue: I’m such a repeater, so don’t make me feel bad for wearing it every day – because I will. And I will document it, so please be understanding.

Weird face here.. but Dries Van Noten made these John Lennon glasses. I love them, picked them up in LA at the Off Fifth outlet – always the best place to get designer glasses. Oh and I did just get my nails done – – a little black in Spring.

I wear my Ash moccasins unzipped  -it’s a new thing. Okay, fine – it’s not new, it’s because I get blisters – so I go unzipped. Calves made by genetics and Cycle Bar – they keep getting bigger.

This bag is one of a kind. I bought it at the Oakland vintage fair, it makes me look cooler, and I like to mix this 70’s bag with other decades, like the 80’s and 90’s. To me, when you dress in one period, it comes off as “I’m going to a costume party”.

I agree the dress is too short – that was more of a hemming mistake (i.e. scissors)..

Well, I was just having a good hair day – can’t a woman be proud of her locks?

 

I Keep on Truckin’ in Door Knockers & Chanel

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April 2017. Somewhere in California…..Keep on Truckin’

Love the patches, especially since I now live in Grateful Dead country, and that’s an original patch – little did anyone know, it would be worn with stilettos and a large classic Chanel bag.

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This 70’s jean jacket was hiding in between two vintage hawaiian shirts at the vintage flea market in Oakland. You would think I won the lottery, I was so excited – – -and for $70.00, it was mine. Oversized, original patches, perfect color and rips in all the right places – I landed on vintage denim perfection. Sunglass are from Madewell, www.madewell.com

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These amazing door knockers are personalized with my name – from Melody Ehsani, https://melodyehsani.com and my chandelier earrings are from Neiman Marcus by Oscar de la Renta

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My heels are from the Off Fifth, the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store – they were maybe $20. The sun dress was also a random and very inexpensive find. Most people, would say it’s really a top!! The bag, Chanel – not inexpensive, but I like to think of it as an “investment” piece, investment in my style 🙂

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The oversized jean jacket, makes a mini-dress seem more comfortable. I can wear it open or hide behind the bagginess.

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Seeeeee I can hide under this huge jacket!

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Photos: T. Palmer, Styling: Me..

 

 

 

 

Women’s March Oakland. Haute Drop-Off.

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I had to take a selfie before taking off to Oakland. If you know me well, you have free reign to poke fun; It seems like I’m attempting to morph into a contrived character out of a Free People catalog, I can see them advertising ‘free spirit protest clothing on sale after January 22′. And what my look says most likely is, “hey, I’m going to a protest, so let me draw a piece sign on my stomach, and wear something bohemian, but still stylish” I get it guys, and I admit it.  BUT when am I ever going to get a chance to draw a peace sign on my stomach and not get punched for it?

The issue is peace signs are so contrived, even if I still love them.  But there is a new symbol taking over, the VULVA. The vulva was the official symbol of the Women’s March. Women dressed as Vulvas, drew them and wore clothing with vulvas as the main theme. I am not great at drawing, so a last minute vulva sketch on my stomach was an impossible task – but know that I will be prepared at the next march.

FASHION NOTES: Plaid top: Zara, Denim, distressed tank: Intermix, Jeans: MOTHER, Moccasins: Minnetonka, Socks: Urban Outfitters

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I ran to CVS in a creepy area near my house, I kept thinking how I’m buying posters to protest for Women’s rights, and I’m nervous that a man is going to attack me in the dark, desolate parking lot. I also thought it very sorority like to buy poster board and sharpees at CVS, it’s good I have terrible handwriting, which always makes me seem legit!!  IMG_0779

My friends Willa and Eric, who happen to be with my family when Trump was elected. We were all horrified, and figured we should march together.

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This is en route to the Oakland march, tons of Police cars and traffic. My friend Eric brought a gorgeous Leica film camera to document the march, he didn’t want to waste any photos on us – – -bastard!!

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This march was filled with mothers and kids, families  – as a mother, I know how hard it is to stand/walk in a crowded place with kids for hours – this is so important for younger generations to participate and witness.

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My favorite sign, it had such a fashion angle. The signs were exceptional.

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Here I am, holding my sign high and proud – I make so many jokes, but the reality is serious here. I’ve struggled as a woman, like all of us  – but my basic rights have not personally been threatened. I thank the generations of women before me who stood up for equality  -we’re still not there yet – and the President elect has threatened our basic rights, and I’m not going to stand still and be silent. This is not a political issue – this is a human issue. Proud to stand with so many vocal Americans, who refuse to be muted. May we continue to be vocal, fight back and refuse to accept mistreatment, lack of human rights and inequality for all people.

Top Holiday Toys via eBay/Huffpost

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eBay.com & Thehuffingtonpost.com asked for my top kid gift this holiday season, I sound like a total capitalist, to which I’m not – but most of all, I feel like a true success when I watch my boys play a board game – they focus, read directions and have fun without technology – it’s so validating. I know you moms get it, and dads!!

“Haute Drop-Off blogger Mara Menachem plans to prepare her kids for the business world with the assistance of a classic board game.” Click on the link to read about my holiday toy pick, and other top mom bloggers…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/8-bloggers-reveal-the-holiday-seasons-trendiest-toys-to-thrill-your-kids_us_582621e2e4b02d21bbc89bf4