Sock Action is Haute…

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Marin County. April 2015.

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This mom works at a very cool clothing store, Erica Tanov, http://www.ericatanov.com

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Love these matte ankle rain boots paired with socks up to the calf. I’m a huge fan of pairing socks with any type of shoe, I get made fun of for it – but I don’t care. My theory is if Parisian women are pulling it off – so can I.

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All black is always chic – but adding these socks makes this look funky and stylish. With summer coming soon, throw out your levi cut off’s with ankle socks and flats.. it’s a great way to take away from the sexiness of the short shorts. Here’s an example:

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Fashion Notes: Seven jeans cut by me, Chanel Flats, Black ankle socks, Bohemian bag from Barcelona, Top from Anthropologie, Glasses are Ray Ban in green, earrings from India

My Chanel flats were stolen in my luggage at JFK  – I miss them. You can wear them with anything and automatically it adds some chicness to an otherwise grungy outfit (which is usually my look). Just ask Alexa Chung, the hip British model and style icon. Alexa wears her Chanel flats with everything – and still manages to look edgy/Downtown and not Upper East Side.

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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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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What is this the Met Gala? Haute in Boca.

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Rachel. Boca Raton, Florida. Fall 2015. Fashion Shots Lemore Zausner.

Growing up in Miami, we made the trek to Boca Raton quite often. My grandparents lived close by, like many of their friends, they migrated from Long Island to retire in warm weather.  Before they moved, my dad was transferred to Miami from the Manhattan office of Ernst & Young.  It was shocking to me, that only an hour north from Miami,  a place so opposite existed.  Boca was clean, Boca had great shopping, Boca had manicured lawns, Boca had lots of bagel shops.  Boca had women sporting 10-carot diamond rings shopping at Publix, using coupons at check out.  As a kid, I noticed the difference – “Mom, this place is filled with Jews and they really like to bedazzle (Boca completely missed 1990’s grunge)!”, my mom explained that Boca was very similar to many towns in Long Island. At the time, I was in too deep as a “fake hippie”, so Boca didn’t fit my “scene” and I suddenly appreciated moving to Miami from Long Island. (what? I didn’t know how to use a bedazzler.)

At the time, Boca seemed flashy, loud and pushy, but it also was filled with warmth and personality.  I consider it a rite of passage that I got knocked over by an 86 year-old woman at Loehmann’s over a Prada back pack.  And I’m convinced those numerous experiences watching my Grandmother Sylvia push her way up to the front of the deli line, with all the other “just as assertive” women taught me a thing or two.

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Since my childhood observations, Boca Raton has changed a lot, and I know some pretty cool people, who have made this city home. One of them is Rachel Silver-Cohen, founder of Silver Unpolished, http://silverunpolished.com which embodies all things Silver.

Rachel is bold, unafraid and brave. She is unapologetically “unpolished”.  Rachel doesn’t hold back, I admire that greatly – whether it’s in her writing or verbal banter. She is authentic and confident in her own skin (and when she’s not, she will tell you).  Her blog features  advice, funny stories, pop culture, fashion etc.. and her fans can’t get enough.

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Wanting to collaborate, we came up with Rachel rocking a gown at pick up (or drop off) as a fun way to mock Boca Raton stereotypes. Here, she’s playing the role of loving mother (aka queen) in head to toe diamonds, picking up her kids from the school bus stop.  Rachel, who’s obviously an expert accessorizer, is even donning a tiara!

The exaggerated way Rachel is running to hug her son, is a play on the stereotypical “Jewish mother”, treating her kids like they are the Messiah. In reality Rachel (and me included) at school pick up are usually half dressed, lucky to have showered! On most days Silver admits to barely making it out of her car (her mobile office).

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Silver happily played the role of Boca Raton Glamour Mama, and here are more amazing photos.

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Check out the peep toe heels and asymmetrical dress.

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Those diamonds and pearls look pretty heavy.

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I love that no one is reacting to Rachel’s over the top school pick-up look… I guess she could of been filming a new episode of “The Real Housewives”.

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Destroying stereotypes right here – even with her tiara and gown, Rachel is sitting on the pavement, not wasting time worrying about staining her dress. Boca Moms Rule!!

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My favorite photo – I guess it’s obvious, but love is every where – even if it comes with a little extra bling. Here’s to all the Haute Boca Mamas, keep doing your thing..

 

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!

 

Haute Style Profile.

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“Each month, we ask our stylish mamas and local tastemakers to spill their secrets and share their stuff. Here, the fashion blogger behind Haute Drop-Off, Mara Menachem, lets us in on the one thing she can’t live without. Read on!” (Southern Marin Moms Club Newsletter)

STYLE + BEAUTY

Favorite piece of jewelry: A cocktail ring my mom bought for my grandmother, when she was in Paris, and my grandmother watched the four of us.

One thing in your wardrobe you can’t live without: My jean jacket collection, loving my new grunge one from INTERMIX.

Style Icons: Lisa Bonet, Joy Bryant, Chloe Sevigny, SJP as Carrie Bradshaw, Patricia Field, Anna Dello Russo (editor at VOGUE Japan), Bill Cunningham, because he knows how to pick ’em, Dolly Parton & Tina Turner, the sexiest women in show business at any age.

Daily uniform: Floral shorts, Frye ankle boots, gold door-knocker earrings, jean jacket, and ankle socks (sometimes with Chanel flats).

Jeans: USED. They have to be worn in…or very tight. The butt is everything in jeans.

Swimwear: Brazilians always make the best suits. If you can wear a bikini, tiny floral prints are the most flattering. I always think a black one-piece is classic and elegant.

Favorite accessory: My white Lanvin bag purchased at a consignment store in Aspen, Acid wash jean jacket, gold door-knocker earrings in the largest size made, and my gold hoop nose ring.

Describe your personal style: I adore vintage, accessories, and old handbags. Your 90-year-old grandmother’s closet is an exciting place for me!

Skincare: I’m crazy about Fresh’s Rice Oil. It makes you smell amazing.

Scent: LaVanilla makes great smelling stuff. I admit to liking Patchouli, too.

Lipstick: I stick to clear. Want BIG lips without the surgery? Smashbox O Plump does the trick.

Who colors your hair: Sonja Avallone at Christopher Salon in Mill Valley.

Favorite store: Hidden Treasures in Topanga is unbelievable, the original Century 21, Jeffrey NYC for drooling purposes, Intermix, Goodwill, Zara (but they are now off my list due to some poor practices).

Where do you get a facial: Lisa Perkins 415-272-8108, leave looking dewy and gorgeous.

LIFESTYLE

Must-have: Sun, friends, social interaction.

Influences: I think I’m influenced by humanity, photography.

What inspires you: People inspire me, if I could talk to and observe people as a career, I would.

Item you keep purchasing over and over: Jean jackets.

Something no ones knows about you: I’m shy.

First thing you do every morning: Cuddle with whoever is around.

Signature staple: Short Shorts/Skirt/Dresses.

Pet peeve: Not a lot bothers me, but I would appreciate a nod or a thank you if I open the door for you.

Guilty pleasures: Donuts, talking to strangers & enormous earrings.

Favorite holiday: Halloween is so fun – and I love visiting my brother Seth in LA for Hanukkah, mostly because of the donuts.

Favorite workout: Yoga at Marin Power Yoga & Spinning.

Overrated: Being perfect.

VIRTUAL

Websites you always check: Humans of New York, NY Times, The Sartorialist, Facebook, Page 6 occasionally.

Bloggers you follow: The Sartorialist, Bill Cunningham.

Mama bloggers you follow: Scary Mommy, HuffPost Parents.

On your iPod: Lauryn Hill, lots of 1990’s R&B, Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Run DMC, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Neal Casal.

Favorite people to follow on Instagram: Afropunk

ENTERTAINMENT

Celebrity crush: Ben Harper, Louis CK and Larry David.

Favorite artist, past or present: Bill Cunningham. Not sure if people consider him an artist, but I do. He has made fashion into something that’s not snobby or inaccessible. Michael Moore. He created films that not only
rocked the boat and took major risks and exposed horror, but actually change occurred. I guess that’s not usually the expectation of art, but it’s one I admire.

Best place to hear music: Coming from Miami, Marin/San Francisco is heaven on earth for live music. I think Big Sur is a special place, Greek Theater in Berkeley, and I love The Sweetwater, and when I’m really wanting to be around the “jam band” crowd, it’s Phil Lesh’s place Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael.

Best show on TV: Curb Your Enthusiasm is my all time favorite. I also love Louis CK, and Sex and The City re-runs, I also love watching The Goldberg’s with my kids

Favorite magazine: Psychology Today, I promise they have the most interesting articles.

Favorite book: Animal Farm

Favorite podcast: NPR All Songs Considered and This American Life, and Ted Talks.

PLACES

Favorite museum: The Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Favorite restaurant: Zuma in Miami & my close friend’s husband Vinny Dotolo’s spot Son of a Gun.

Favorite domestic travel spot: Big Sur, Miami & Aspen.

Favorite international travel spot: Someplace new.

Best-kept secret: Rancho Nicasio, it’s an authentic Northern California bar in West Marin.

Favorite city: NYC & London.

Favorite hotel: The Ellerman House in Cape Town – where we stayed on our honeymoon.

Favorite hike: Aspen Mountain, it’s so hard, feels like it’s never going to end…and then it does.

KIDS

First-year must-haves: Friends to tell you it gets better, and lots of nights out to remind you of your life before…

Best day with the kids: The best night for me, was getting in late from the airport on our way to camp, and hanging out in one of those super gas stations drinking slurpees, and talking to people. Taking them to see Super Diamond, the Neil Diamond cover band in Aspen.

Best place to see a movie with your kid(s): Fairfax in town, and Larkspur, my youngest and I had the best date their ever, I took him to see Chef, a little inappropriate.

Kids’ fashion brand: Trunk vintage concert T’s.

Favorite ritual you have with your kid(s): Dance parties, late night desert outings, playing card games, hang man..just being spontaneous, because that’s the mom they got.

Best park: Berkeley Playground or Golden Gate Park.

Favorite children’s movie: Jerry Lewis and Peter Sellers,.. so fun to watch with them, and Vacation (kind of inappropriate).

A little bit of Pearls go a long way… Haute Drop-Off.

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Autumn. Aspen, August 2015.

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Posing in front of the volunteer run firehouse in Aspen.

Fashion Notes: Sandals: Cooperative from Urban Outfitters, Bag: Louis Vuitton, Dress: Cerre, Hat: Barney’s New York’s private label

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Autumn was raised in Aspen and after living in Los Angeles and London, she and her man (a Brit) decided to raise their family in this gorgeous town.  I love hanging out with Autumn in Aspen because she knows everyone and is so fun! Even with a “newish” baby, Autumn makes time to go out. It’s hard being a new mom, and very important to remember your individual self outside of motherhood  –

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How cute are they? Love Autumn’s use of layering with her pearl chains. And her exposed shoulders add a little classy sexy edge…

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

 

Bun. Gold Earrings. Long Nails. Urban Love.

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Kelly. Fairfax, California. February 2015

I am a sucker for a bun, large gold earrings and long nails. It’s my long lasting love of anything New York and urban.  I met Kelly at little league – she looked stunning is this green dress, and she was a great model.

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Here we go again with a lesson in figure flattering fashion – – a thin belt to add a waist, this trick works every time.  It also forces you to suck in, so it’s kind of like you’re doing abdominal exercises.

 

Sex. Motherhood. Individuality. This Artist Provokes.

People have always asked me, “So Mara, you grew up with so many men in your life, are you the “girl” who has no women friends?” This is not the case, I adore women – and without my amazing sisters no one would validate my unique blend of Mara crazy.  Susan Copich, with her latest photographic series entitled “Domestic Bliss” reminds me of  long conversations I’ve had with so many of my friends, but especially my friend Susana.  The calls usually consist of me expressing my inner fantasies and engaging in dialogue about societal rules.

Susana usually reminds me that, I don’t follow that many rules, and sites my constant interactions with the authorities. But it’s not the rules I care so much about – it’s the offspring.  When we become mothers, we know as intuitive, intelligent and responsible women that we must adhere to some guidelines….like not escaping to India for three months to “find ourselves”, but instead taking yoga with an Indian instructor.  

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“Mommy Time” from Domestic Bliss Photo Series by Susan Copich (pictured above)

Adrienne Rich, the American Poet wrote about “Motherhood as an institution”, she freely through poetry revealed almost an obsession with retaining one’s self after becoming a mother. The above photograph to me, is an Adrienne Rich poem brought to life.

After I had a baby, I was generously invited by women I didn’t know to join a mommy group. From the first get together, I left feeling depressed.  I left the intellectual stimulation of my work at United Way to discuss baby blankets and teething.  My individuality seemed meaningless, I felt trapped in a sea of emptiness – and felt confused as the role of young woman and mature mother came together.  Leading a “traditional” life was not something I ever thought about, but it happened – and it happened when I was too young to understand the depth of my feelings.  Relating to other women because they have kids, is a ridiculous notion – and it made me feel like I didn’t belong in the club of motherhood.

Because none of my close friends were even in serious relationships at that time, I was lonely on planet motherhood..and forced to find friends who could relate. Only, that proved difficult. I remember meeting other mothers and thinking, are they satisfied being “only” mothers? They discussed their life with spouse and offspring like they were rock stars on stage…So why the hell did I feel like I needed a life outside all this domesticity?

NOW, I know, it’s because like Adrienne Rich, I was obsessed (without knowing) with retaining my self outside of motherhood. And this is when I decided to not discuss my children, when I was out at night. Little did I know, I was embarking on my own feminism experiment all while questioning social norms.

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“Mother’s Milk” from Susan Copich’s Domestic Bliss Photo Series (Susan pictured above)

Attachment and freedom. Sexuality, Individuality and Motherhood.  I’m writing this as I multi-task giving love and care to my youngest, who’s home sick from school.  Liam saw the above shot, and with eyes wide open said “If you made me do that, I would push you and run”. It’s hard to examine something like motherhood without realizing the economic component of Feminism. I have choices, I was able to stay home today and write.  I don’t have to worry about work- child care..it’s easy for me. I have privilege, and therefore; choices. 

Kids open you up to so much, but allow you the excuse to not take risks. Motherhood is a constant struggle as an individual to adhere to social norms, even when you think they are bullshit and stifling.  The struggle is the judgement that comes with rejecting those unwritten rules.

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Susan and her daughters. Upstate New York. January 2015.

Fashion Notes: Jacket: Helmut Lang, Black Skinny Jeans: Citizens of Humanity, Boots: Ugg, Sunglasses: Morgenthal Frederics. The girls are wearing leggings by Carrots, Down Jackets by Canada Goose and Boots by Bogg

Susan Copich: Susan is the photographer and artist behind the acclaimed photo series, “Domestic Bliss”.  With a number of collections housed at The Moen Mason Gallery, http://www.moenmasongallery.com.  Susan’s latest, “Domestic Bliss” series is beyond worthy of the attention.   This particular series in Susan’s body of work is based on her personal experiences as a mother and has touched a nerve.  From the moment my friend forwarded me the link to Susan’s photographs, I immediately wanted to talk about these shots.  Susan captures the struggle, and poked fun of it at the same time. Susan Copich’s series is so thought provoking, It has caused me to intellectualize the shit out of women – motherhood- partnership -Susan made me think and that’s the sign of a great artist.  http://susancopich.com