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.


Tattoos can be Clean Cut. Handsome Dad.


Cody. San Rafael, California. May 2016.


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!


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

Farmer’s Market Haute…


Marnina. Marin County Farmers Market. April 2016.

Apparently, the stylish come out to the Farmer’s Markets. I had so much fun hanging out with other mom friends – and made some new friends, including an 87 year old Tony Award winner. He grew up in NYC, we sat and chatted- he spoke to me in Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish. Who knew, I would find such a character at the San Rafael Farmer’s Market?


Splendid Dress


Love the dark hair and vintage white/gold glasses.


Haute Crop-Top & Pointy Nails at Drop-Off


Shayla. San Rafael, California. October 2015.

I spotted Shayla from my car, she was picking her kids up from school. Her nails, crop-top and high bun got my attention.  Shayla’s boys were such great participants.

In Mara fashion, I pulled over illegally, put my hazards on (doesn’t that make everything legal?) and chased after Shayla. What was it about this mom that grabbed my attention? I think her accessories..and in Marin County, it’s rare to see a glimpse of funky style – that’s not bohemian (well except on me).


White Haute Nails. I’m such a lover of long nails – I know that many of you think of New Jersey in the 1980’s (nothing wrong with that by the way).  But the 2015 version of long nails are high fashion – check out the runways. Thanks to Beyonce, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez..long nails have modernized and are HAUTE.

When I sported them, my own mother thought they were very Mafia wife..but I pulled them off, even in Marin – where I was the only person with these long, pointy white (and sometimes gold) nails. In NYC, I looked like everyone else in the East Village..


Small neck tattoo. Once again, I adore these little tattoos.


Happy family = the best style around. So happy Shayla is pulling off this cute crop-top, even after having kids.


Remember when I had these amazing nails? Issue is I couldn’t do basic things, such as typing on an iPhone – Shayla obviously has strong fine motor skills.


Shayla is walking all over she needs stylish and comfortable kicks, like these high-top red Vans.



Haute Humans. Purple on the Pavement.

DSC_0043Purple LadyDSC_0056

Tempe. San Rafael, California. January 2015.

“I need to move back to the city, I don’t drive”, said Tempe.  After taking a photography class last week, I spotted this amazing woman dressed in head to toe purple.  Selfishly, I held up traffic, while ignoring the honking of cars I was blocking.  As usual, they couldn’t understand the photographic emergency taking place.  Eventually, when Tempe told me I could take a few shots, I illegal parked and did my best.

I have a personal connection to the color purple.  Now, I wouldn’t go near it, but as a kid, like Tempe, I wore it from top to bottom.  And would re-wear the same outfit every day, because it had to be purple…not much has changed.

Obviously, I’m a much better conversationalist then a photographer. With gold sneakers, purple tinted hair and a willingness to talk to me – – this woman had me hooked.  And what city does she love the most? NYC — Temple loves the colors, the people and energy.  Not knowing her situation, but having an idea..I am pretty sure she’s in transition and alone.  With tons of bags on her back and shoulders, Tempe is carrying around a lot of weight..but does so with style and class.

Clothing means a lot more than we think.  I appreciate the effort it takes to express yourself – especially when life is not easy.  Tempe turned and looked at me, as I walked away to avoid being ticketed, and said “I really do love purple and I really enjoyed our talk.”


Sexy Bright Lips at Drop-Off.


“You caught me on a day when I was wearing all my cheapies.” Lisa. San Rafael. 2014.


Fashion Notes: Green hooded army jacket, ripped jeans, Moccasins: Payless, Tank: H&M, Sunglasses: Target, Hair: Lisa is a hair stylist, see the shiny hair?


MARA’S TIPS: Remember!! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to exemplify style.  I had no idea where Lisa purchased her clothing, but liked her look.  She has a mix of classic style with a little Northern California touch.  Adding rolled up ripped jeans and moccasins create a casual, cool style.

Additionally, wearing bright lipstick and oversized glasses is so haute.  I can’t seem to get away with lipstick..I feel like I look awful and made up…oh and my kids laugh in my face, and tell me i’m so “girly”. But if I had blonde hair, I would rock bright red lipstick constantly.  It’s so sexy.

I know it’s not easy for everyone to put together clothing – it doesn’t have to be complicated, not everyone likes my funky style – just wear what you love, and add some slight touches.  If you need some tips, email me.


Haute Dad. Cali Farmers Market Drop-Off.


David. Dad. Photographer. San Rafael Farmers Market. August 2014.

This dad of three boys was minding his own business buying tacos from a food truck for his kids, when I accosted him to take a shot for Haute Drop-Off.  San Rafael has an enormous farmer’s market on Thursdays and Sundays – it’s pretty fun to eat samples and chat with the venders.  I never know what to buy for future use, so I pretty much eat my way through the market.  It’s a great people watching spot and I can bribe my kids to let me photograph people, and I will reward them with a Nutella crepe, or raspberries for Neal – I think Neal witnessing Liam (my youngest) and me engulfing a crepe, has turned him off from crepes in general.

David mentioned that he is a photographer . . this always makes me nervous, only because we all know I am working on my photography skills. I’m great with the talking and spotting, but my photo capturing needs some work..and I am pretty sure I need a new camera, or at least i’ll blame it on that.

Fashion Notes: Glasses: Ray Ban Aviators, Jeans: Levi’s, Shirt: Fred Perry and Kicks: I’m guessing Vans.  I didn’t want to push this dad, it’s awkward enough when a stranger approaches you asking to take a photo of you and your kids, and even more uncomfortable when they have to peak inside their garments to see “what they are wearing” to appease me…

I love capturing male style, especially dads..because they are usually totally willing to let me photograph them, and too polite to ask questions. And then when I run into them again, I usually get to hear about their little moment of fashion recognition by their friends and family.


Haute Boho Funky. Mom and Dad at Drop-Off


Aaron, Tomi & Sid. San Rafael, California. May 2014.

Fashion Notes: They love to find pieces at yard sales, local surf shops and small boutiques for jewelry.  Additionally, they love making their own jewelry as Aaron is a gem prospector – -they love GEMS!

I followed this couple on their way into Whole Foods, they just looked so quintessential Northern California in a GREAT way – They kindly obliged and posed like pros – and I get the benefit of learning about people and getting a sneak peak into their lives… love that.


Tough Dad. Cool Work Overalls. California Drop-Off.


Michael. Dad. Builder. Entrepreneur. San Rafael, California. March 2014.

Some of you may wonder why I have Michael on Haute Drop-Off today… I saw this AMAZING look and ran after this dad.  Michael, a New Jersey native, now a Californian, was quick to charm me with his New Jersey talk, “listen lady, here’s a number to the local mental institution and I really suggest you also stop for glasses on the way, because this is not fashion”.

Fine, so I made that up, but Michael did give me a look that most people who understand social cues, would know to not approach.  But I’m Mara, and I am not scared of a tough guy with a tough guy looking uniform.  Eventually, Michael gave in and agreed to pose for Haute Drop-Off  -I mean how can you say no to me?

Michael is a down player, but I hear he owns a company that builds incredible, architecturally beautiful homes in San Francisco.  Michael explained that his work clothing is his uniform, he’s been wearing for years.  Additionally, even though I’m not condoning smoking, his Camel’s peaking out of the front pocket, felt very Marlon Brando.  The work overalls worn by Michael are designed by a classic company,

I am getting a pair of these cool work overalls, not for work necessarily – -give me a few months and you will all be wearing them!