Stylin’ @ Safeway. Met Gala. Tokyo Style.

Maka. San Rafael, California. April 2017.

I approached Maka in the check out line at Safeway. I was late, as usual and already had the store manager helping me find random ingredients to make a Greek soda for a school pot luck – What’s lime grind?

This jacket, denim, blinged out, made me have to ask this mom to take her photo. She asked to see some proof of an actual website, and that maybe I do have kids. During this photo shoot, we were getting a lot of attention from the population of homeless who hang out at this particular Safeway. It’s not funny at all, it’s sad – but what I learned is these people, were quite helpful in calling out photographic directions.

Maka moved here from Tokyo recently. We became fast friends, as she worked in fashion and wants to go vintage shopping with me. It’s hard adjusting to a new culture, so I immediately connected Maka with my friend Yuriko, who is another Japanese transplant. I admit it makes me feel good to bring people together. Having kids can be lonely – you need support, especially when you are so far from home.

REI KAWAKUBO: But let’s talk Japanese fashion.  The 2017 theme of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala is Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons. Opening on May 4, the show will be the first monograph exhibition at the museum featuring a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983.

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: In June, I’ll be at The Met, checking out the exhibit. But most of all it’s the people viewing the exhibit that will be most fascinating. The style at fashion exhibits in NYC, or any major city is so stimulating, I just people watch for hours- and hope that I’m cool enough to be style checked as well.

So we can’t all go to the Met Gala, but thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, some of us can have a little peak into the world of high style/art/celebrity/design….For more information, http://www.metmuseum.org

YUP. 1980’s perfection. and it was only $35 – my kinda woman.

Just remember even if you are shorter, you can pull off long jackets – with NO HEELS!

Shoulder pad action.

 

The Creatives at Drop-Off

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Chris Natrop. Dad. Artist. Minnesota Street Project. San Francisco. Summer 2016.

Chris describes his work as a “practice centered on the act of cutting paper, http://www.chrisnatrop.com.  Executed free form and exclusively with a knife, it has evolved into a stream-of-consciousness drawing technique, a meditation of repetition and reduction” What I find interesting about Chris’s work is how he cuts paper with no intended plan – for someone impulsive like me, I feel I could start saying all my work is intentionally not planned. I’m only kidding, Chris’s work was shown at The Minnesota Project in San Francisco this summer and documented by the artsy and the cool art world photographer and filmmaker, Eric Minh Swenson (photo of Eric below)

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I got to follow Eric around for a day, he was my contemporary art world pied piper, and I gladly obliged.  A character in his own right, Eric knows EVERYONE in the art world, and they know him – nothing holds Eric back, he’s not afraid to walk into the coolest art parties and leave with it all documented on film. From documentaries to stills to writing, Eric is a modern day renaissance man (it took me a long time to spell that).  Want to be in the Art World “know”? check out Eric’s Huffington Post coverage, http://huff.to/2ctGOWO – follow Eric on Instagram – he’s fun, sarcastic and his photos will shock, inspire and add a little culture to your life, instagram.com/ericminhswenson

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Chris and his wife Mari, Creative Director at Swatfame, http://www.swatfame.com which designs and manufactures the hottest names in fashion.

Fashion Notes: Mari: jeans: Rag & Bone, booties: Sam Edelman “petty”, vest: Warehouse London, tank: System Action Barcelona, handbag: Campomaggi. Chris: jeans: Rag & Bone, high tops: Vans (Timberline), top: Acne Studios. Orion is wearing Zara skinny jeans and a Zara t-shirt – his sneakers are Champion from Target.

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Mari’s amazing belt is by Samantha Grisdale “Arrow”, samanthagrisdale.com

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When you are running around San Francisco, you have to be in flat shoes – hiking in heels, even on pavement – is ridiculously hard.

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Beautiful LA family, bringing inspiration via fashion and art to all of us.

The New York Times. My Style Validator.

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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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Haute in Japan

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Japan. February 2016.

My friend Jan, who lives in Mexico City travels a great deal. She doesn’t let three kids stop her from experiencing new cultures and seeing the world. Jan also happens to be stylish and have an incredible eye. Here’s her view of Haute Drop-Off in Japan.

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Patagonia looks so cute on kids. Do you notice all the American brands? For some reason it looks so much cooler in Japan. It’s a sense of fashion, that you just don’t see in large quantities in other countries.

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Love Hangover? This Mom has a Cure.

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Melinda Alexander. Mother. Stylist. Photographer. Los Angeles. November 2015.

Melinda helps women in transition heal and look stylish, If you are in LA, her next workshop is January 15: Love Hangover–Releasing Him and Rebuilding Yourself, http://www.melinda-alexander.com

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Melinda works a lot with plus size fashion.  I know a little bit about the subject. When I ran Dress for Success in Atlanta, over 60% of our clients were plus sized. And it was nearly impossible to find quality, stylish clothing – most of the clothing looked like terrible house dresses, and were not acceptable for in the house, let alone at a job interview.

We had to buy clothing for our plus size clients, and it proved difficult – most of the stuff was made with the cheapest fabrics, with no stretch. I wanted to start my own plus size line, but I have trouble writing an article, let alone creating a company solo. So when Melanie explained that her jeans are from Mode Plus, to which she added holes – I related so much. She took a boring pair of jeans, and made them so hip.

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Those sexy red lips!! I’ve tried, but seem to look like a scary clown.

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Check out the holes and the white polish..which you will always see on my nails (or gold)

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Love those brows – and leather bomber.

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Melinda, like me is a fashion mix master..

Fashion Notes: Jacket from Ross, Jeans: Mode Plus, Blouse: Alternative Apparel, Bag: Vintage Chanel from a Paris thrift shop, Hat: Vintage Borsalino from Melinda’s Grandmother, Necklaces: Stella & Dot and a few from vintage shops. Kid Stuff: Gap shirt, Children’s Store pants, New Balance Kicks.

How Not to Feel Unhip in LA.

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Los Angeles. November 2015.

I spent the week in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I love LA, it’s fashion eye candy, people  make an effort and usually are pretty darn attractive.  I grew up in an environment similar to LA, Miami. Miami is ridiculously sexy – sexy overrules style, and nothing is off limits. In LA, fashion is competitive – walk out the door and you’ll learn quickly what’s “in”.

When I was packing for my trip to LA, I thought about this. What should I bring? I even perused my favorite fashion blogs like The Sartorialist, www.thesartorialist.com, I mean no one wants to feel “unhip”in a vast sea of majorly hip, It only serves as a reminder of those awkward teenage years. And then I found this hysterical video of the brilliant Amy Schumer articulating my feelings, “I don’t fit in here.. Straight up body type”, she joked to Ellen about LA, …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgX2HY2iyVQ

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I ended up feeling great in LA, because obviously I have naturally cool style! Here’s an LA mama looking so fine. What a flattering dress. The fit is perfect – showing curves, but allowing comfort.

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This mom is using a Prada nylon skull bag as her diaper bag. Prada makes the best nylon bags, that can get dirty and be cleaned quickly with a baby wipe.

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Sexy hair..I love when hair looks natural and “undone”

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One of my favorite looks. I still get weird stares when I rock black ankle socks with heels or flats. But it’s so cool looking, and adds comfort. Parisians started this trend, probably with the desire to wear heels on those cobble stone streets.

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Meringues, the Supermodels of Cookies.

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Janet. Mill Valley, California. Fall 2015.

Janet is a fashion veteran turned baker. She and her business partner Jane, founded The Grand Meringue, http://www.thegrandmeringue.com. It’s no surprise fashionable Janet is in the Meringue business, after all they are the “supermodels” of cookies. The Grand Meringue started based on an old family recipe that was conceived at Janet’s great grandmother’s hotel in South Africa.

The meringues are not only delicious, but also act as accessories.  They are the kind of thing you would see at a New York Fashion Week event  – this high styling desert may be used in place of flowers at any party. The meringues are so cool looking, it’s no wonder Jane and Janet’s creations are so coveted.  And for all you skinny people, Meringues are carb free – well, except the sugar.

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Fashion Notes: Dress: Free People, Wedges: Pedro Garcia, Cuff: Dannijo

Janet is a mother of three, business owner and a self described lifestyle and design addict.  She knows how to wear clothing – this long dress, has become less bohemian and more sophisticated with Janet’s touch.

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I love the light accessories and this Dannijo cuff.  I seem to overload, this is pretty and tasteful.

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I never buy sheer dresses because I know I’ll never make the effort to find a slip, or I’ll just expose myself and hope no one notices!  This Free People dress has a sheer layer to protect from any possible “skin” sightings.

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A slight Pedro Garcia wedge to navigate Mill Valley’s hills. Blue polish is always a little funky.

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

 

Free People Catalog? Haute Hippie Mama.

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Harlow. San Rafael, California. October 2015.

It’s hard to find anyone who wears bigger gold hoops then me.. Harlow is pretty close, and with her great length hair – – -the earrings are front and center. Her baby even is wearing accessories.. (they may be Hindu beads, but still accessories)

“Haute Hippie” is a high end clothing company, which makes bohemian inspired clothing using beautiful fabrics.  Harlow is one Haute Hippie putting together her own bohemian look, using clothing & accessories from local Marin County (mostly Fairfax) stores.

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I love layering lots of gold rings..especially if I have long, gold nails.

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High waisted skirts paired with black tops are very flattering…especially for moms!

 

How Does my Ass Look? Haute in HuffPost.

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“…Landing at JFK at nearly 3:00 a.m., I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings. I was focused on walking from the west side of Central Park to the east, where I could plop on a bench lazily and watch my kids play. “Hold up,” a young guy spoke into his phone, “I’m looking at a damn perfect ass.” 

Click link to read complete article in The Huffington Post…http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/how-does-my-ass-look-lessons-on-raising-boys_b_7232490.html

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Fashion Notes: Leggings: American Apparel, Boots: Frye, Bag: Colombian Mochila, Jacket: Zara, Glasses: Polaroid, Fanny Pack: Peru

 

Should Designer Fashion be Inclusive? HuffPost Style.

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A homeless man rifling through a garbage can at the Lilly Pulitzer event in Bryant Park.

“Before there was Target, Loehmann’s gave me access to designer brands at lower prices. And Loehmann’s is where I purchased my first Lilly Pulitzer dress. It was this dress that I wore at my friend’s country club, only I re-created the design. I shortened the knee length dress to a mini-dress reminiscent of Twiggy in the 1960’s (only with a much curvier body), and I paired it with black combat boots and a shredded jean jacket.”

Read On: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/should-we-all-have-access-to-designer-fashion_b_7112972.html

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Bryant Park. April 2015. Lily Pulitzer for Target Pop-Up Event.

And to read my piece about Lilly Pulitzer in The Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mara-menachem/mrs-lilly-pulitzer-may-i-_b_3086750.html

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I happen to be grabbing coffee at a stand in Bryant Park, when I ran into this Lilly for Target pop-up event. To see Bryant Park adorned with pink umbrellas, people (including men) draped in Lilly printed blankets, dresses, pants and lounging on Lilly fabric was an eye opener.  The City not a place where bright colors are worn, was literally draped in a Palm Beach aesthetic.

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The history of Lilly Pulitzer goes way back – and the iconic brand, after suffering the loss of its founder, has partnered with Target to bring their designs to the masses.  And why not? The brand known for dressing the “country club” set is branching out – -a lot of commentary is coming from the fashion community, including long time Lilly consumers. Some think the move to partner with Target is “cheapening” the brand – others believe Lilly  Pulitzer should remain a brand with a specific “target” market.

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