Drummer Gig Worthy Shorts, Finally.

Mill Valley, CA. May 2017. Drummer. Dad.

I try not to be judgmental about clothing. But I do like to see a little attempt at style when checking out bands..like I made a slight, low key effort. I realize for drummers, it’s hot and sweaty and they need the stamina of a long distance runner and street fighter. They should be comfortable, right? maybe I should design a line of stylin’drummer stage wear made with hidden lycra? I digress.. so I DO understand the desire for drummers to wear shorts on stage – which is hard to pull off. Here’s an example of a drummer who pulls off shorts, he’s at a carnival with his kid – not on stage, but it works for both situations.

This dad and drummer likes to wear all black. He keeps it simple in black denim. Vintage Levi vests are flying off the shelves at high end stores and Goodwill’s across the country.

When someone has leg tattoos, they are all “in” – this is the real deal.

he could totally wear this look while performing – it’s cool, low key – but still has the level of “I care about style”.

Matching hats!

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.

 

 

 

 

Matt’s so Rad. Pro-Skater. Hot Dad.

Pro-Skater Matt Field and his son. Mill Valley, California. May 2017.

I’ve known Matt for a few years now, he’s an incredible skater -he’s one of these people who’s totally aware of his physical presence. Matt is a skateboarder, a professional -so no matter what, like a rock star, Matt will always have cool props. An avid Yogi, Matt continues to test himself physically.

Let’s talk about Matt’s style;

I’ve never seen Matt not look stylin’ – never. And I’m not surprised that Matt designed a line of skater shoes – these maybe from that line. Matt’s arms are ripped (as the kids say), and that is all YOGA baby! (too bad I can’t even lift my own body weight)..meaning he looks amazing in tank tops. When I talk about style, it’s a creative outcome for me..not in a pretentious way – like Matt here, he just has style – he gets dressed quickly, but has an eye for what looks cool. He takes risks, and that’s what we all see.

When I photograph someone with an incredible fashion sense, it’s exciting – it’s like looking at art – only in human form.  Check out Matt’s look below;

If I wore that hat/bandana combo, I’d look like I was trying to fit in at a Carrie Underwood concert.

Red socks  -gold shoes sans laces…

 

These $130 Sweats make my Butt look Weird…

Marin County. May 2017.

So, I’m going to show you how I wear sweatpants.  I style them in a way that represents my style: imperfect, funky & disheveled . When I wear them, I use a lot of accessories to balance out how unflattering they are to a women’s body.

You guys have heard me wonder out loud, “how the hell did I pay $130 for these sweats?” – but considering they serve as sleep wear and day wear, I got a pretty good deal on these bad boys..

I have so much going on here, let’s begin with the labels

Leg Warmers: Target, Flats: Chanel, Sweats: Free City https://freecitysupershop.com, Bag: Urban Zen https://www.urbanzen.com (Donna Karan’s Urban Zen), Denim shirt (cut unevenly by me): Holding Horses, Personalized Door Knockers: https://melodyehsani.com Top: Adidas, Sunglasses: Made Well (they already broke!)

Donna Karan’s Urban Zen is the designers website bringing together her favorite things – The items are carefully sourced, made ethically and usually go toward supporting a worthwhile cause. This bag is enormous  – it fits my laptop, camera etc.. it was a gift for my mother, but after someone nearly tripped on the fringe, she mailed it back to me.

So let’s talk. I’m always half way between just working out and going to get my kids from school. Often, I question the point of showering and getting dressed at all, when the people I see are usually sitting at a coffee shop staring into their laptops. Sometimes, I miss the challenge of living someplace where everyones style game is on point – because then I want to step it up.

I love being comfortable. Believe me, I wear these sweats to sleep and in public. Here’s how I make them look less doubty.. I wear this to spinning class, I just throw my flats in the locker and switch to the spinning shoes. Yoga and spinning are perfect workouts for people who hate ugly sneakers…. like me!!

My butt looks terrible in these sweats. I’m posting this angle to explain that for me, at least, comfort is sometimes more important.. I know, shocking.

Told you the bag is huge!! Good thing about being short, is you can get away with wearing ridiculously big bags- It wasn’t the Olsen twins who started that trend – but I’ll make the reference.

Leg warmers are accessories for your feet and legs, they can take a simple look, and make it funky or make you feel like you are ready to dance on stage.

And that’s my dorky face..

 

 

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?

 

Haute Equestrian Mama.

Marin County. May 2017. Equestrian Mama.

When I see someone in full on riding gear, I think Town & Country, I think Palm Beach, Hamptons Polo matches – I think, this person is seriously FANCY..

My mom used to take me riding, I’m still not sure if it was for some special therapy or because my strong legs indicated I may possibly thrive at riding. My fear of jumps, ended my short entree into the world of horses, horse trainers and what I really wanted, an HERMÈS Saddle and knee high riding boots…

As an older teenager, I lead the equestrian, riding group at sleep-a-way camp in the deep South.  My short cut off shorts and slight heels would take a weekly van ride to a real ranch, where men in cowboy hats would chew tobacco and listen to old country music.  I would hang out with them, as we exchanged stories of our very different lives, with Waylon Jennings as the background noise.

Riding in the mountains, and getting to know these incredible animals – that was my favorite part. But fear took over, when my horse would get close to the mountain’s edge – “trust the horse”, these country boys would say – “I’m NEUROTIC, I can’t” – and then a cowboy and his horse would stay close to the neurotic one, and that’s when I could feel free…..

This mama rides and has the style to match—she walked into school and we all stopped to check out her gorgeous look.

Royal blue…

Well, I’m always a fan of a bun with waves…

Black and blue  -always is right… my mama taught me that fashion rule

Haute Equestrian Mom…

Haute Drop-Off, Carpool lane edition…

Jen. Mom. Dancer. Business Consultant. San Rafael, California. May 2017.

I acted like a paparazzi here, because most kids don’t want me to annoy them with my non-stop chatter and clicking camera. Jen is an amazing mom, business executive and Brazilian dancer.. she can MOVE!!

We do so much in the morning to get our kids ready – it’s hard to look put together, especially at 8:00 in the morning. These photographs are a true example of what it’s like for us glamorous mothers at school drop-off….. 🙂

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.

 

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..