Monday, August 26, 2013

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

Get "Fresh" With Me!

 Joe Mimran

"T" The New York Times Style Magazine's fall issue, which debuted this weekend, boasted the cover lines, "Modern Girls" and placed "The Contradictory" and supremely modern Rooney Mara on the cover. Certainly, modern is a word constantly bantered around in fashion and it's used and abused. It is highly subjective, elusive, hard to define; it's one of those things that you "you know it when you see it". It can mean different things to different people. To me, modernity is based on looking effortlessly and naturally chic, looking comfortable in your skin, and 'owning' your look. In my opinion, nothing is more modern than the time saving aspect of affecting a "uniform" of sorts: knowing what looks best on you and staying with it, just tweaking and perfecting it.

Python jacket

One of the best places to find the basic building blocks of one's uniform, is the "cheap chic" emporium, Joe Fresh,, whose motto is "Fresh style. Fresh price". The fashion brand and retail chain created by designer Joe Mimran for Canadian food distributor Loblaw Companies Limited, is promoted as "a stylish and affordable apparel and accessories that includes adult and children's wear, shoes, handbags, jewellery, beauty products and bath items". The line is available at over 300 Canadian supermarkets and superstores, in addition to standalone locations. Joe Fresh has also entered the American market with permanent and pop-up stores in New York City, and an international flagship store located on Fifth Avenue. Most recently, the brand has also opened some 680 stores within J.C. Penney outlets throughout the United States. (FYI, Joe, who has contributed to Canadian fashion and design for more than 25 years, founded Club Monaco, later launched Caban, and contributed to his wife’s clothing line, Pink Tartan).

Tweed jacket with frayed trim Fall 2013

I must admit that I count myself as a fan, and I almost never walk away from a Joe Fresh store without buying something. While admittedly, one must always exercise caution, as well as one's informed, well trained eye when shopping at a store that specializes in budget prices for the masses, this is one place where, (owing to Joe's finely honed aesthetic, great eye, and obvious high taste level), you can often find some really great pieces at hard-to-believe prices. Some are often distinctive enough to catch the eye of well seasoned fashion pros who are more immersed in the high luxury world than in the mass market. Such is the case with several items I have purchased at Joe Fresh over the course the year. They have been in heavy rotation, and have become my favorite things; I would love them even if they didn't have such unbelievably low price tags attached.

Contrast stripe Jean $39

This is a sampling: the pointy toed kitten heeled loafers from spring 2012 in white piped with black, black piped with white, and all white, originally $79, I got them on sale for $15; the crisp black cotton skinny jeans from spring 2013 with zippered ankles and contrasting white tuxedo stripe (they were originally $39 and then were marked down to $9- heard that right); my optic white minimalist cropped puffer jacket from fall 2012, $89 (it was featured on; the Limited Edition textured 4 pocketed faux python cardigan jacket from spring 2013 in black and ivory, piped in ivory, $89; the over sized white leather Cambridge satchel, $99 (it was from spring 2013, and is still available at their Flatiron location); and most recently, a pair of simple, flat black rubber knee high boots with a matte textured surface that makes them look less like rubber and more like velvet, $39.

Quilted nylon jacket in ivory piped in black

But my favorite, purchased one year ago, is their 4 pocketed ivory quilted nylon cardigan jacket piped in black, $89. It is modeled after for Coco Chanel's iconic piece, but is better, since it's practical, waterproof, warm, and extremely lightweight. It got me through last winter and almost every time I wear it, I'm asked about it. I just noticed that they have wisely put it back in stock, as part of their fall 2013 collection, which was inspired by "cool French girls in early 90s Paris".

White leatherette biker jacket with striped turtleneck Fall 2013

The formal runway show, presented during Toronto Fashion Week this past March, was a study in black & white, and featured leatherette motorcycle jackets, slim cigarette pants, chunky cropped sweaters, thin stripes, frayed edged tweeds, shiny black suits, cape coats, variations on pea coats, pleated skirts and jackets. While much of it was admittedly quite youthful looking and "achingly cool" – someone observed "you almost expected the models to light up Gitanes on the runway". There were, as always, pieces for the more mature Joe Fresh customer, including full skirts, turtlenecks, and accessories such as their delectable smoking slippers and demure kitten heels.

- Marilyn Kirschner

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb


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 Click here for more "Better Bets" selections

Monday, August 19, 2013

Editorial: "Send in the Clowns" by Marilyn Kirschner

Anna Dello Russo and Bryanboy, Marcy Swingle Gastrochic; Avenue Magazine
(Click on images for larger views)

Fashion is BIG business; among other things, it creates jobs and generates serious revenue. But that doesn't mean many aspects of it are not utterly absurd such as spending almost $800 on a Lanvin brass necklace with the words Cool, Happy, & Love, spelled out in large letters ( should be knocking that off any day now); contradictory as in Harper's Bazaar's "What to Buy, Keep, Store" list, items that they suggest you 'store' are sometimes featured in their fashion editorials; and plain downright funny. Just as in life, it helps to take things with a grain of salt and have a sense of humor. The same can certainly be said about fashion -- just more so. I find that the older and more seasoned I get, the more things about fashion really amuse me and tickle my funny bone. And I'm hardly alone.

Lanvin Fall 2013 wearing your mood on your neck
One person whose astute, biting, and often hilarious observations about the industry have helped parlay him into a sought after host at the most high prolfile events, and routinely serve as fertile subject matter for his books,is Simon Doonan, the creative ambassador for Barneys New York. I actually start laughing as soon as I see the "Good Humor Man" because I always know he will have something outrageously funny to say. His latest effort, "The Asylum, a collage of couture reminiscences..and hysteria" will be released September 3, and knowing Simon, its timing right on the heels of Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, (which kicks off yet another round of fashion shows: the ultimate three ring circus), could not possibly have been a devilish coincidence.

The Asylum: A collage of couture reminiscences...and hysteria
Click here for more info on book and to purchase

While I have not yet read the book, I have laughed out loud just reading the reviews by some of the industry's most well respected designers. For example, Marc Jacobs has already weighed in, saying "The fashion world is - in a word - hysterical! Simon Doonan is the one man who sees it and tells it like it (absurdly) is." This, from the celebrated, cultish designer, a darling of the editors, who always seems to look as though he's laughing all the way to the bank and asking: "Gee, what can I drum up and foist on them now, that they will invariably eat up and just go crazy over?" I mean really, this is a guy (Marc Jacobs)  who routinely shows up at major events looking as though he's having the last laugh, whether he is clad in his boxers and a see through Comme des Garcons shirt, or his pj's, and who, one season, uses Lynn Yaeger as his muse, only to change his mind next time, and channel Twiggy.

 By the way, if you want to laugh, this is a sampling of Simon's more memorable quotes:
"I don't want a politician who's thinking about fashion for even one millisecond. It's the same as medical professionals. The idea of a person in a Comme des Garcons humpback dress giving me a colonoscopy is just not groovy."
"When you don the pelt of a particular animal--snake, beaver, marmoset--the effect on the viewer is dramatic You will instantly and shockingly be perceived as having the same traits as your chosen varmint. The wearing of moleskin says, "I am soft and velvety and mysterious and like to hide underground." A mink coat says, "I'm a tough cookie. Though I may not have the wherewithal to actually kill you, please expect to be nipped on a regular basis." The pelts of predators always give the impression that you are a man-stealing, window-smashing home wrecker. This also applies to animal-printed fabric. The message of a leopard-print jumpsuit is clear, "I am a huntress who delights in eating the offal of her prey.”  
"Red is wild. She is unsettling. She intrigues. Wear red and other women will assume that you are a predatory vixen who is out to steal their husbands and suck the blood of their children."
"Wearing a pair of yellow shoes does not make you an interesting person, that is of course unless you've just murdered someone in them."
 "The reality is, I wear so many flowery shirts that when I go into a store or the airport or something, people often say, 'Good morning, madam.' So I thought, maybe I should grow a goatee, and it actually worked. I haven't gotten a 'Good morning, madam' in months."
"The shows this season were full of teen/tween bloggers . . . Luckily, I have a plan for next season. Since they are all about my height, I am going to impersonate one of them. I am going to wear a doily on my head (Tavi!) and tell everyone I am a teen blogger."
"I got bicep tendonitis last year from carrying my Goyard man-bag. Can you believe? A fashion injury." (FYI, a woman on the street once asked Simon what the SD initials on his Goyard bag stand for and he deadpanned, "South Dakota!")
Speaking of wit, wisdom, and humor as it applies to fashion reportage, almost nobody has been more adept at this genre than Robin Givhan, the fashion critic and former fashion correspondent for The Daily Beast  and Newsweek. In 2006, The ex Washington Post fashion critic was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, owing to her "witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism." I'll never forget her piece about Dick Cheney's unfortunately inappropriate choice of clothing for a ceremony at Auschwitz in January, 2005. She described Cheney’s look at the deeply moving 60th anniversary service as “the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.” “Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood,”. Mocking Cheney’s knit ski cap embroidered with the words “Staff 2001″ and his brown, lace-up hiking boots, she observed, “The vice president looked like an awkward child amid the well-dressed adults.”

 Similarly, The New York Times' Cathy Horyn often deadpans, injecting wit and sarcasm in her reviews and columns. And of course, the IHT's Suzy Menkes can always be counted upon to amusingly put things in their proper perspective. With New York Fashion Week beginning in just a few weeks, I'm already laughing thinking about the impending scene this three ring circus has turned into, and it made me think back to a column Ms. Menkes wrote for "T" in February 2013, "The Circus of Fashion".

Among her observations:
"Today, the people outside fashion shows are more like peacocks than crows. They pose and preen, in their multi-patterned dresses, spidery legs balanced on club-sandwich platform shoes, or in thigh-high boots under sculptured coats blooming with flat flowers".
"There is likely to be a public stir when a group of young Japanese women spot their idol on parade: the Italian clothes peg Anna Dello Russo. Tall, slim, with a toned and tanned body, the designer and fashion editor is a walking display for designer goods: The wider the belt, the shorter and puffier the skirt, the more outré the shoes, the better. The crowd around her tweets madly: Who is she wearing? Has she changed her outfit since the last show? When will she wear her own H&M collection? Who gave her those mile-high shoes?!" 
"The fuss around the shows now seems as important as what goes on inside the carefully guarded tents. It is as difficult to get in as it always was, when passionate fashion devotees used to appear stealthily from every corner hoping to sneak in to a Jean Paul Gaultier collection in the 1980s. But the difference is that now the action is outside the show, as a figure in a velvet shoulder cape and shorts struts his stuff, competing for attention with a woman in a big-sleeved blouse and supertight pants".
"You can hardly get up the steps at Lincoln Center, in New York, or walk along the Tuileries Garden path in Paris because of all the photographers snapping at the poseurs. Cameras point as wildly at their prey as those original paparazzi in Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.” But now subjects are ready and willing to be objects, not so much hunted down by the paparazzi as gagging for their attention".
 "Something has been lost in a world where the survival of the gaudiest is a new kind of dress parade. Perhaps the perfect answer would be to let the public preening go on out front, while the show moves, stealthily, to a different and secret venue, with the audience just a group of dedicated pros — dressed head to toe in black, of course".

Yes, Fashion Week (or Fashion Month really) has become a spectacle of major proportions, and it's not going away any time soon. Based upon what the big trends are for fall, it's easy to envision what many of the subjects might wear, (with varying degrees of success I might add). Let just say that the jump from runway to reality is not always pretty, and it serves as a reminder of just how quickly things can go awry: Furs and fur trims (even in 90 degree weather), leather and pleather biker jackets, tweeds, over the knee boots; piled on gold chains, etc. Hey wait a minute, didn't I just write about how some of these very same things are THE items to buy and wear now?

Just weeks after writing Ready-to-"Ware", my blog about the 4 "look changers", I can honestly say I'm already "over" may of them (well, sort of), and the season hasn't even started. The problem is (and has been for awhile now), fashion overkill and "fast fashion". At the highest end, before an item has gone mainstream, it looks novel and appealing. But, by the time it's been democratically filtered down to Bebe, Zara, H&M, et. al., the results can be disastrous. Quite frankly, when something is deemed "in", perhaps that's the perfect time to go in the opposite direction.  (FYI, black & white have long been my signature colors, and I have always loved stripes, so I was kind of 'ticked off' when they became so "in" last season and everyone else followed suit LOL.)

Calvin Klein stretch patent knee high boots Fall 2013

Case in point: I know that I just gushed about over the knee boots, and I still think they have their place, but lately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, I have found myself being drawn to the innate smart chicness of knee high boots, which have not been plastered all over the internet and which are not subject to the vagaries of the ins and outs of fashion. They just always look great, period. Conversely, peplums are so "last year", they are truly "bridge and tunnel" at this point. That said, when you see an interpretation that looks great, such as Phoebe Philo's elongated black leather peplum top, Alexander McQueen's peplum biker jacket, or Haider Ackermann's military inspired peplum jackets, they hardly look passé.

Peplum Celine Pre Fall 2013

The bottom line is that when something is ill fitting, poorly made, inappropriate, etc., it doesn't matter that it is "in", it's just looks plain bad. And if something is good, it's always good, regardless of whether or not it's on the hit list of magazine editors, bloggers, and retailers. This always brings me back to something Geoffrey Beene once said: "Don't ask me what's new...ask me what's good!" Something to keep in mind as we head into yet another fashion cycle.

- Marilyn Kirschner

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

In the Market Report: Cream of the "Crop"

YSL Slim Fit black Leather biker Jacket $3,340
(Click on images for larger views)
The cropped leather motorcycle jacket has been such an iconic wardrobe staple throughout the years, it's a cliché (albeit a good cliché). And it's been all but ubiquitous, thanks in good part to the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute Exhibition, "Punk: Chaos to Couture", where it was front row center and glorified in all its dizzying variety: from the streetwise to the couture (the exhibit closes on Wednesday, August 14th). In Bill Cunningham's "On the Street" column this past Sunday, dubbed "Well Tanned", he focused on the surprise appearance of black leather on the streets of New York, even on the hottest days of the summer, and included some pictures of women wearing their beloved black leather biker's vests and jackets.

Balmain padded biker jacket $3396.59

It's easy to understand their ongoing appeal: small, brief, compact, and to the point, they are proof that "good things come in small packages" and "brevity is the soul of wit". Their abbreviated length and clean lines, makes them practical, versatile, season less, universally flattering, easy to wear, perfect for packing and layering, and they can be worn both day and evening. Plus, they add that 'edge' that somehow, you don't get with a traditional blazer or cardigan (you don't have to be innately 'cool' to look 'cool' wearing one). They could not be more perfect for this time of year: a transitional moment somewhere in between summer and fall, especially since the temperatures have been moderating and there's a noticeable chill in the air.

Forever21 "Street Femme Moto jacket" $42.50

It's been hard not to notice how abundantly available they are, in a myriad of incarnations. From the classic to the 'tweaked', there are endless variations on the theme, and at every price point, ranging from $22.80 at for more info to the "stratosphere" and beyond, depending on the label and the fabrication. While leather is the standard fare, they are also available in faux leather (or trimmed with faux leather), wool and wool blends, nubbly tweeds, denim, silks, quilted microfiber and polyester, and high tech fabrics. And while black, white, or ivory, are most common, they look pretty great in shades of blue, or even, in graphic color blocks or bold stripes.

 McQ by Alexander McQueen's sharply tailored grey fleece wool
 cropped peplum jacket  $881

This is a sampling of some that have caught my eye in a rather crowded playing field (by virtue or price and/or design): Forever 21's Street-Femme Moto Jacket in ivory faux leather, $42.50; Michael Michael Kors gunmetal tweed zip jacket, $195 at for more info; Club Monaco's Rory black wool blend moto jacket with black leather trim, $289, their Kaylan Jacket, $269, in a dark quilted navy wool blend trimmed in black faux leather with distinctive gold zippers, and their silk blend Tamia jacket featuring wide horizontal black & white stripes, $259 at for more info ; Burberry Brit's cropped black quilted polyester biker jacket trimmed in black leather, and their cropped dark navy military inspired jacket made of a wool twill blend, which features gold toned metal snaps, zippers, and epaulets, both $795 at for more info;

Rick Owens hooded leather biker jacket

Rick Owens' face framing black leather biker jacket made of slick Italian leather, $2325, and his hooded icy gray leather biker jacket, $2175 at for more info; Saint Laurent's sleek black leather biker jacket, $5290 at for more info/; J Brand's  Konnix jacket in blueberry (a fabulous shade of blue that is quite neutral and looks great with black), $1495, and their Karle jacket in black, $1795, both with versatile fold over collars, at for more info ;  McQ by Alexander McQueen's sharply tailored grey fleece wool cropped peplum jacket, $881 at for more info ; Balmain sharply tailored padded black polyester biker jacket, $3396.59 at for more info and his quilted denim motorcycle jacket at for more info.

The iconic Courreges cropped vinyl logo jacket from the 1960's

But no discussion about distinctive cropped jackets would be complete without mentioning the iconic Courreges snap front vinyl jacket made famous in the 60's. In 2012, the fabled house celebrated its 50th anniversary, and marked the occasion with a limited edition, 50-piece release of its signature vinyl jacket in the Paris concept store Colette. At the same time, Jacques Bungert and Frédéric Torloting, bought the company from André and his wife Coqueline Courrèges, with a five year perfume license in place to re-launch the house's scents, eyewear, luggage, and home furnishings.  And they wasted no time in launching an e-commerce site,, stocked with updated Courrèges classics from its 1960s heyday such as cropped vinyl jackets and A-line dresses. Up until that time, these pieces were only available via a flagship store in Paris and Jeffrey in New York (Jeffrey does not have any stock right now but they are awaiting their fall delivery). The originals are getting harder and harder to find, but they are available from time to time on websites like ,, and; and is selling the reproductions in limited quantities (they currently have black, white, neon yellow, fluorescent red, $1235).

Lisa Perry Snazzy Jacket

By the way, along those same "lines", Lisa Perry, is a designer and avid vintage collector, whose aesthetic is all about the mod 60's. Her treasure trove of vintage Courreges jackets are admittedly, among her most beloved pieces, and they served as inspiration for the Snazzy Jacket, in black crinkled patent, $1195 at for info .

- Marilyn Kirschner

Monday, August 05, 2013

Film Review: "Blue Jasmine"

Writer/Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, Louis C.K., Bobby Cannavale, Andrew Dice Clay, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tammy Blanchard, Max Casella, Alden Ehrenreich

I loved this movie!!! One of Woody Allen's best movies ever and on par with Annie Hall.  Another personality study of a neurotic woman played brilliantly by Cate Blanchett.  She is definitely in the running for a "Best Actress" Academy Award. This movie is, in many ways, a tragedy masquerading as a comedy that viewers will really have a hard choice deciding to laugh or cry at the ending. Below is part of the extensive review by The Hollywood Reporter that sets the stage for the rest of the film:
...Jasmine, a fortyish blond beauty who once ruled the New York social roost as the wife of billionaire financier Hal (Alec Baldwin) and has now been reduced to pennilessness and disgrace with the collapse of her husband's empire and his suicide in prison.The two worlds are sharply contrasted through the film's intercutting of past and present. When first seen, Jasmine is in first class on a plane heading to San Francisco, but her ultimate destination is a small apartment in a dodgy part of town where, as a last resort, she'll stay with her grocery-bagger sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins). Biologically, they aren't actually related, as both were adopted from different sets of birth parents, with Jasmine drawing the winning genetic hand in all departments. Needing a drink in her hand at all times, Jasmine confesses to have had a nervous breakdown and is still experiencing persistent aftershocks, insisting, “I can't be alone.”
The film is a morality play of sorts. The parallels to the Madoff scandal are as apparent as references to  "A Street Car Named Desire". What happens to Jasmine at the end of the picture was really never in doubt. I must say Blanchett's character is someone that I, and anyone who has worked at the high end of fashion, have seen occupying quite a few front row seats at New York fashion shows.

Speaking of fashion, there was more high end fashion accessories on view than ever seen before in a Woody Allen movie - - from Lous Vuitton to Fendi to Chanel. I wonder if those companies actually paid a fee to have the specific items shown? It could have helped Woody finance the film! The Hermes Birkin bag alone, which she carried throughout the movie, should have got a special credit at the end of the film. One false note - the Kate Blanchett character would never wear a jeweled "belt" with the name "Chanel" spelled out in letters around her waist.

I only have one question about this movie. Why was Alec Baldwin headlined over Catt Blanchett in the credits to this film? Of course I know the answer, but it still annoys me.

- Ernest Schmatolla

Thursday, August 01, 2013

"In the Market Report" by Marilyn Kirschner


Calvin Klein fall 2013 gleaming gold hardware instantly revs up black
(Click on images for larger views)

If you're like me, you're "over" summer, chomping at the bit eagerly awaiting the arrival of fall, and you can't wait to get into the new season - fashion wise. In addition to the perfect white shirt, (if you don't have that, forget about it!), there are four items that not only symbolize the season, but are wardrobe game changers. And they are perfectly seasonless, timeless, and can be easily integrated into one's closet right now.

Celine rectangle oversized belt in black calfskin

1- Glistening Sculptural Hardware: I love the flash of glistening hardware (in silver, or especially gold, metal), when used prominently on belts, bags, shoes, and boots. It is not only eye catching, but exceedingly modern, because it mixes form and function, and obliterates the need to wear any other accessories or jewelry. I mean really, what more effectively revs up our favorite black in a nanosecond? As I say, "Black, white, gold, never gets old": it's seasonless, timeless, and ageless, as exemplified by Phoebe Philo in her pre fall 2013 collection. I love the way she used crisp white shirts beneath her sculptural black leather pieces, and added a flash of gold: utter simplicity yet highly impactful. FYI, her statement making black calfskin belt with an enormous 7 inch square rectangular gold metal buckle, $1250, is almost completely sold out at the Celine Boutique at 870 Madison Avenue, 212 535 3703. Along those same lines, Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa used pronounced military inspired gold buckles on belts and gleaming black patent leather pumps, and he used touches of gold metal on his stretch black patent leather knee high boots. In a completely different vein, but as highly effective, for fall 2013, Lanvin's Alber Elbaz layered gold chains in varying sizes, with bold gold slogan necklaces, each foretelling a different mood or feeling: among them "hot", "cool", "love", "happy", "you", "me". The effect was personal, expressive, and zany.

Stuart Weitzman 5050 over the knee boot

2- Over the Knee Boots instantly change proportion, line, and silhouette. The best versions are so soft, supple, and lightweight, they can be considered as an alternative to opaque tights or leggings, and their streamlined fit is perfect for teaming with the season's trim skirts, or worn over skinny jeans, or narrow leather pants. While there are dizzying choices available, my preference is for flat or low block heeled versions (I think that when you're adding a high heeled stiletto to an over the knee boot, the result is, well, a little too Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman", for my taste). Three of my favorites are Stuart Weitzman's 5050 over the knee stretch boots which are available in brown, black, navy, and burgundy suede; black leather; and black patent, $595, ( ; Robert Clergerie's Fuji boot made of black velveteen stretch suede, $795,; and Miu Miu's pointy toed over the knee boot in brown or black suede or leather,, $1200.
Smythe Boucle tweed jacket

3- Tweed, Indeed! There is almost no material or fabric as enduring as tweed, and it has a storied and long standing history in the fashion industry. Like leopard, tweed is not subject to the vagaries of the ins and outs of fashion, but it is undeniably having it's 'moment' once again and has been revived with a vengeance as of late. While Karl Lagerfeld is hardly alone, almost nobody did it better or more authoritatively than he for did for Chanel (well, it IS a symbol of the house, after all). Tweed was prominent in both his fall winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection, and Haute Couture, which was presented in Paris in July. But while admittedly, many of the most standout examples are dramatic long coats and hefty outerwear pieces better suited for the tundra, the good news is that tweed is easy to enjoy in small doses right now, and nothing looks better with denim (white, dark, distressed); it imparts a boy meets girl, formal/informal duality that seems so right at the moment.

Chanel fringe trim tweed


There are many great jackets (from classic blazers to cropped collarless cardigan jackets a la Coco) made of lighter weight weaves, that will take the chill out of a cool summer night, AND look terrific in the fall and winter. Because I always gravitate to vintage pieces (they are unique and one of a kind), I must mention the vintage black & white tweed Chanel jacket with fringe trim, $4836, available on Michael Kors, is offering several lightweight tweed jackets, including one that zips up the front in gunmetal tweed by Michael Michael Kors, $195; Smythe, a favorite label of Kate Middleton, has a peak lapel blazer in a salt and pepper tweed, $595,, and a collarless three quarter sleeve jacket in a cotton/rayon/metallic boucle multi colored tweed trimmed in black leather with four patch pockets,, $795; and at J.Crew, a black and white stretch tweed boucle cardigan jacket won't set you back more than $148,

Kate Spade New York Studio City Christy

And let's not forget about tweed accessories: what better or easier way to add a touch of tweed to any outfit, than with a tweed bag or shoe? Of course, topping my list is the CHANEL 2011 Limited Edition Paris/Lesage Tweed Reissue 2.55 Flap Bag With Stones And Chain, $10,000 (click here to see photo)  , or go to But at a more friendly price point, there is Kate Spade New York's Little Nadine bag with a fold over flap and turn lock closure, $498, and the Studio City Christy shoulder bag, $398, both made of black, cream, dark silver tweed with glazed leather trim,

Sam Edelman Baxton black and gold tweed ballerina flat

As for shoes, the choices range from flats and kitten heeled pumps, to high heeled stilettos. Notable examples: Sam Edelman's Baxton 2 black and gold tweed ballerina flat, $109.99,; Dolce & Gabbana's tweed pointed toe ballet flat detailed with faceted crystal embellishments at the vamp, $698,; Dolce & Gabbana's crystal embellished kitten heeled tweed pumps, $670,; Giambattista Valli's stiletto heeled glittery tweed pumps, $628,

Vince leather v-neck dress

4- Black Leather: Yes, this is a no brainer but finding well priced minimal pieces that can be worn almost year round, is often not that easy. Three good examples (I am not including pants or biker jackets because they are so ubiquitous at this point) are by Vince, The Hi Lo Tee, $595, is a simple short sleeved t shirt made of lamb leather; the V-Neck Dress, $995, is sleeveless and just above the length; and the Mixed Media Leather Front Top, $385, has the simplicity of a pullover but combines a black lamb leather front with black merino wool sleeves and back.