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 Papa. San Francisco.

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Post Street. San Francisco. April 2017. iPhone 6.

I purposely walked around San Francisco to take photos, but didn’t charge my battery. So excuse the iPhoto shots – especially because the lens always has left over coconut oil from my hands. He told me he’s from Pittsburgh – but he explained, Pittsburg in California. Who knew? I got a little American geography lesson.

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This dad was so kind to take this little girl out of her stroller, but then she started being a toddler and I felt bad for messing him up. Dealing with a toddler, is equivalent to dealing with a highly drunk, emotional friend  – you don’t know what you are going to get – and it’s kind of petrifying!!

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But look at that cute face.

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Ripped acid wash jeans, so nice.

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I love a little neck tattoo. Cute dad.

I Only Buy Trail Mix for the M&M’s.

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Ferry Building. San Francisco. February 2017.

I love Patagonia, on kids. Neal had the cutest little Patagonia vest. The vest was a hand me down, it reminded me of Vermont, and rich hippies from liberal colleges in the Northeast. I had a Patagonia jacket in College, a friend from Rhode Island gave it to her Miami friend, to maybe fit in a little more in preppy Boston. I used to wear it on all my plane rides, it kept me warm and I felt like a boarding school kid, who hiked on the weekends, and kept trail mix in my back pack. But the thing is, we all know I’m the person who buys trail mix purely for the M&M’s, it’s not as embarrassing to buy trail mix as it is to buy king size M&M’s.

Currently, I love seeing Patagonia on guys with a John F. Kennedy Jr./Ben Harper style sensibility, who know when to wear a Patagonia jacket and when to opt for a jacket that would look weird on an outdoor trek. You get my point. And If you are going to go with an outdoor brand, Patagonia is a company with integrity and a cool factor.

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This mom’s style is casual and functional. It’s not always about looking like you are prancing down a runway. She’s running after a toddler, and he’s fast.

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Flannels are everywhere, thank you Kurt Cobain..90’s style is everywhere.

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She’s wearing highlighter are the apples of her cheeks and eyes, this is a hot make-up trend now – I’ve been using RMS Beauty Master Mixer, www.rmsbeauty.com – this product is all natural, created by a veteran make-up artist. You’ll glow!!

 

Chanel doesn’t make me Shallow. Grateful Dead Haute.

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Dari. Terrapin Crossroads. San Rafael, California. August 2016.

On Friday night, I met my friend for a drink at Terrapin Crossroads owned by Phil Lesh (famed bass player of The Grateful Dead). The music venue/bar/restaurant in Marin County just added a huge outdoor space with a modern playground entertaining most kids. I have to say, having a place where parents can listen to live music, have a great meal and a cocktail, while their children play outdoors (no site of iPads) is kind of a brilliant idea.  Where else can you take small children on a Friday night, where they can run around and be free -without judgmental looks?

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Here I am listening to the music in my new Vince Camuto Gladiator sandals from 02 in Aspen and SUNCOO Paris gypsy skirt from Pitkin County Dry Goods – all on sale! Lately, I’ve been wearing my Chanel bag a lot – even with my workout clothing. Sometimes, I feel like designer bags are so showy and I get embarrassed  – especially where I live now. When I go to places like Terrapin Crossroads, filled with so many people who are products of the counter culture movement, I temporary question my style choices.

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I think to myself; “Mara, you idiot, you are surrounded by people dressed in tie dye t-shirts and pants (yes, they make tie dye pants), some with fanny packs, ripped jeans, hippie skirts and lots of very comfortable looking footwear – and you are wearing a designer bag, like a capitalist jerk!!”  I think maybe I should have brought my old faithful bag, my Colombian Mochila  – it’s hand made by the Wayuu Indian women on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, and it’s gorgeous and cool. But no, I bring the Chanel.

Is it the inner rebel in me? Am I making a politically motivated style statement? Something a long the lines of, ya know what? I like fashion, I even sometimes love designer bags – but I’m still a good human gosh darn it!  My love of fashion from Goodwill to Lanvin, doesn’t take away from my depth as a human…right?

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This cool mom has amazing tattoos, I am pretty sure she’s married to a tattoo artist. I do bet that all those tattoos are very expensive  – kind of like the price of a small Chanel bag? But somehow, it’s not looked at the same way. Style is my art..tattoos are body art.

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So “rad” as the surfers say..

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Love between a parent and a child is indescribable.

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Last night I dreamt Somebody Loved me..

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Morrissey as a dad…..Marin County. May 2016

I love stopping dads  – it’s always a little awkward, but quite rewarding – especially when I see them later, and they tell me how impressed their spouses are at their “blog fame”.

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It’s refreshing to see this style on a dad in Marin County. He’s not hiding behind a beard, he’s walking around like a New Age London musician. I adore this look – skinny jeans, edgy hair, sleeves rolled up…ray bans – it’s all perfect.

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It’s hard to pull off such fitted clothing, but it really looks best to wear clothing that truly fits- – but it takes exercise and discipline to fit into a Morrissey 1980’s look… you can do it, I know it!

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Tattoos can be Clean Cut. Handsome Dad.

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Cody. San Rafael, California. May 2016.

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Cody has California style, and even mixed in a little vintage, with his grandfather’s army belt. Even with all those tough tattoos, Cody appears clean cut. What a handsome dad!

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Love this belt. Like I always say, raid your grandma’s closet!! (or grandfather in this case)

Parisians think Brooklyn Style is HAUTE

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Thomas Palauqui. Marin Country Mart. Marin County. February 2016.

Is Thomas from Brooklyn or Paris? It’s unclear, and I’m onto something here. Parisian men are influenced by Brooklyn style, and do it well.. the American urban style mixed with Parisian tailoring is an alluring combination. Thomas is dressed quite casually, but he’s given his look some thought…and yes, he’s French.

Vogue wrote about Brooklyn’s street style and its influence on Parisian men…. http://www.vogue.com/13354833/paris-brooklyn-men-street-style/

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Thomas is General Manager of Monsieur Benjamin, http://www.monsieurbenjamin.com a modern Parisian restaurant and bar in San Francisco.

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Thomas isn’t wearing any French designers, he’s in American designs -but Thomas puts them together in a very French manner. From the collar up to his chic diaper bag (aka man diaper bag).

Fashion Notes: Jean Jacket: GAP 1969, Pants & Sweater: J.Crew, Kicks: New Balance, Sunglasses: Ray Ban

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See guys, you don’t always have to hem your pants..they look cool a little loose…

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I always love a pair of old school New Balance sneakers..it’s a good option, if you are confused which sneakers to buy..always go simple.

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Bag: Ika Bags Paris. A very cool looking bag to carry diapers.

Haute Modern Grunge at Drop-Off.

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Marin County. September 2015.

I’m pretty sure when you’re raised in Japan, some secret class is required to learn about style – and unlike Parisians, the Japanese are cool without making fun of us “fat, unstylish Americans”.  I admit it, I’ve tried getting “into” the Japanese mom crew at my kid’s school. What is it about Japanese culture? it’s almost like an entire country is born with a great fashion sense.

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This stylin’ mama, originally from Japan has created a modern take on grunge, with her hair in a loose bun, oversized Jackie-O shades, and ankle length motorcycle boots.

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Blue and black works so well. Try it, and don’t get caught up on old fashion rules.

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Motorcycle boots add a funkiness to anything you wear.

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Mara’s “Funny” Grateful Dead Observations.

I’m  so glad I got to experience the Grateful Dead once again. No, I’m not an official “dead head”, but watching the fans and experiencing such a peaceful crowd dancing completely  OFF BEAT & literally to the beat of their own drummer was quite a vision.  I’ve been meaning to write down my observations, and was reminded to follow through, here you go:

I share a nickname with “Mountain Girl”: I just found out that the house we are renting was formally occupied (Dead heads please take a seat) by Mr. Jerry Garcia and his Love, Mountain Girl..I feel weird referring to her as a girl, but I was corrected when I kept calling her “Mountain Woman”. I can’t help but wonder how Mountain Girl earned that moniker.  I had a nickname similar, only it was created by middle school boys after the mountains that developed on my chest.

So this entrance into Grateful Dead culture, reminded me to post my photos and observations regarding my experience attending a Grateful Dead Show in Santa Clara. I wrote something to be published soon, but here’s a little preview.

Unintentional high: It was hard to photograph people as I unintentionally became intoxicated – it was  a combination of what I’m pretty sure was a toxic level of Patchouli oil I was forced to inhale, in collaboration with a contact high due to the smoke cloud hovering over Levi’s stadium.  

Fashion Rules: Ya know the rule, that you can’t wear a t-shirt with the band your seeing to their concert? Well, that rule does not exist with Grateful Dead fans – you can even buy a t-shirt at the merchandise table and wear it over your old “vintage” Grateful Dead concert t-shirt.

Handbag Rules and Fashion Crimes against Women:  Levi’s stadium did everything they could, to make all fans unstylish. Can you imagine that you could only bring in a clutch (men, it’s a small bag without handles)? And no offense, but I imagine many female fans of the Dead don’t own clutches.  These rules were created by someone who has never attempted the feat of holding a clutch all night – while it is the most stylish handbag, it’s also the most useless.  What about a Fanny Pack people? Isn’t the Fanny Pack the “official” bag of The Grateful Dead and its fans? The “bag” they did allow..Clear plastic bags.. lower end then the ones you get at CVS.

On Wearing Shorts on Stage: At first, I was a little perplexed as to why Bob “Bobby” Weir wore shorts on stage. I meant this is a huge deal – 70,000 people filling Levi’s stadium, and he’s wearing cargo shorts. But I get it, it’s kind of charming. I find the “hippie” fashion preparation for all these musical festivals to be fun, but extremely contrived – I mean who the hell wears flower crowns in every day life paired with the perfect yoga body? I loved that not many fans thought about their looks, they just were having fun and enjoying the nostalgia.  As a fashion lover, I actually appreciated this piece of authenticity and didn’t even make snarky comments about the inordinate amount of tie dye.

Dead Heads Still Spin in Gypsy Skirts: I keep name dropping, here I go again.  My friend the multi-talented Neal Casal, who gathered an impressive ensemble (including Mark Levy (the Congress) on Drums & Adam MacDougall (Chris Robinson Brotherhood) on keyboard) of musicians to create the break music at the Dead shows.  Neal’s music was so good, the stadium remained filled during “intermission” (I know, it’s not the theater), and I got to witness first hand Dead Head spinning action. I tried to be a participant, but let’s face it –  I failed due to poor fashion planning (my leggings were so tight, I should’ve worn a cool hippie skirt). The crowd took in every moment, and you could see the joy in their faces, re-living such a huge part of their past.  Read more about Neal and the break music here:

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/grateful-dead/6612951/grateful-dead-fare-thee-well-intermission-music

Children at the Shows: I was surprised to see children at the shows, selfishly it would seem hard to have fun with all that responsibility.  But now I get it – think about the backstory? Years from now these kids will be able to add to any story, “when I was at The Dead Shows in Santa Clara at 3, I decided music was my life” – Perfect quote for a Rolling Stone interview, right? I guess taking my kids to a Neil Diamond cover band as their first official concert doesn’t have the same cache.

Dreads: At Dead Shows you see a lot of dreads, usually they are so long, indicating a lifetime of commitment.

Members of the Tribe:  Did the Messiah finally come? At first, I was confused, did I enter some sort of hippie, Rosh Hashanah service? Because, I’m confident (with my 100% JEWDAR) that 90% of the crowd went to my sleep-a-way camp, teen tour or my semester in Israel – you all looked familiar. Let’s just say, I’ve never spotted so many Jews in Northern California.

Fashion Award: My favorite man look at the shows in Santa Clara was another member of Neal Casal’s music ensemble.  His gorgeous long dreads combined with low waisted, simple and slight bellbottoms, a cool hat and solid t-shirt worked.  Unfortunately for me, I stalked him from behind and shot his photo, not knowing my friend Angela would forward him the photo, and my stalking ways would be revealed. (he takes good care of those dreads, I can tell)

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Cute mom in a little music festival look.

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Neal Casal & the Talented Musicians behind the break music

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Tie Dye. Maxi dresses. Hair flowers. Vintage Dead Concert T-shirts. This was the “look”.

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Blurry photo, but check out the length of those dreads.

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Haute Drop-Off right here in Santa Clara.

 

Mountain Man Style is HAUTE. Dickies at Drop-Off.

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Michael. Woodacre, California. May 2015.

Michael is the little league coach for his son’s baseball team. I love how tough this dad looks with his mountain man beard, tattoos and manly physique. And Michael is wearing Dickies, a brand that’s been around for a long time.

Michael works in construction and obviously is a very involved father – believe me, little league is no laughing matter.. it’s major time and communication with parents, parents like me..exactly, not easy.

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The town of Woodacre is located in West Marin County – it’s filled with beautiful sprawling landscapes, farms, wild animals and a pretty tight community of truly authentic hippies..You drive around these little towns, and nothing is creepy at all. Because it’s filled with a pretty progressive population of free thinkers- – most likely, no one will shoot you if you accidentally land on their property (unlike some other Southern American towns).

There are no chains, only mom and pop owned stores, where everyone knows everyone. I love the idea of a small town, but one that’s excepting and liberal..and not-judgemental. That’s my image of Woodacre.

Robin Williams spent his teenage years in the town of Woodacre.