It’s the Simple Things

It’s the little things, like picking pumpkins with the kids and then carving silly faces into them that make a windy weekend a fun one. We headed to the Red Hook Community Farm for the 5th annual Red Hook Harvest Festival. Besides a farm market and live chooks and bunnies, there are always great local food stands – The Good Fork, iCi, and the Lobster
among them this year – and the pumpkin patch. Somehow in 12 years in the US I had managed to never carve a pumpkin. So today, that changed. The kids were happy and dare I say, I was too. It is the simple things really …

Barneys Co-Op Opens in Bklyn

Barneys Co-Op opened calmly today on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. There was no long line to get in, no glitterati and very little fanfare. It was the perfect entree for the uber hip store on a stretch of Atlantic Ave. shared largely with Middle Eastern grocers. 

Keeping it local and low key, simply dressed wait-staff offered trays of mini cookies – coconut orange and black and white among them – from One Girl Cookies on nearby Dean Street, and a bar was set up to the back of the store. But there was no over-the-top flash or pretension. It felt comfortable and jolly; the staff all very happy to chat and answer questions, many of them new to the Barneys franchise.

The clothes of course are gorgeous and pricey. The store is split between two levels, with designer denim – think J brand Houlihan skinny cargo pants and Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans – and more casual gear downstairs.

Today was mostly about browsing, with plenty of stroller-pushing mothers stopping by for a look; longer term, it will be interesting to see if the new the Co-Op store, aimed at a young, fashion-forward crowd – and dubbed the “wayward offspring” of Barneys New York – can tempt locals to part with a big chunk of change for an of-the-moment Rag & Bone or Alexander Wang creation.

The new Barneys Co-Op is at 194 Atlantic Avenue.

Wish List

Forget the pink leopard Mulberry for Target bag – it’s pink crocodile I am lusting after. This iconic Hermes Kelly bag in fuchsia is totally a “wish list” item, dream list perhaps with an almost $30k price tag but I like to look nonetheless. I stumbled across it at, a luxury resale website I like to ogle for covetable, if not (yet?) attainable, designer pieces.

For the record, this divine Kelly bag is pink Nile crocodile with palladium hardware. The details state that the Nile crocodile is farmed in Zimbabwe and that gorgeous high gloss is achieved by buffing with stone. Hermes, the French luxury-goods house, introduced the bag in the 1930s but its popularity soared much later when in 1956 Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco was snapped carrying a large black crocodile Kelly bag, which she used to shield her pregnant tummy from paparazzi. After the image ran on the cover of Life Magazine, the bag became a hit and was later renamed the Kelly bag.

“One of my clients has an incredible collection of amazing Hermes bags in all sorts of skins and colors and is consolidating her collection, hence I have several divine pieces on consignment,” says Lucyann Barry, the founder of Lucyann Barry Luxury Resale, in a sales blurb accompanying the bag.  

I am always fascinated that people have piles of these luxury pieces stashed away in grand closets, being the kind of gal who treasures her single vintage Chanel handbag and would be happy – satisfied even – to add maybe one more and call it a day.

Meantime, it can’t hurt to look …

Mulberry for Target Selling Fast


This is the “chosen one” from the much anticipated handbag collaboration between English luxury house Mulberry and Target – that went on sale today in stores and online. It’s the bag people are talking about and angling for  – and at last check today, the large cerise leopard tote priced at $49.99 was  out of stock at though I’m sure supplies are being replenished. A couple of other, less out-there designs were also sold out online hours after going on sale. But surely I am missing something? Perhaps it is more luxe looking in person, or perhaps I just don’t like pink and black leopard print, but I really don’t get the appeal of this bag. Judge for yourselves of course, but move fast – these bags are flying off the virtual shelves.

Naturally the one bag I do like enough at $49.99 – the large denim satchel –  also sold out online on day one of the latest designer team-up with Target. Though I would quickly remove the dangling heart, which doesn’t appeal to me. I guess the drawcard with all of these bags is the similarity in styling to the way more expensive and equally-coveted Mulberry handbags that sell for hundreds of dollars.  Mulberry was established in 1971 in Somerset, England, and fast  became the first British lifestyle brand for its attention to craftsmanship and quality.

Jeggings, Meggings + Mantyhose

As mother of a 5 year old who has refused to wear anything but skinny jeans for the past two years, shunning all other legwear as “too puffy”, my recent shopping  finds should come as no surprise. And yet, somehow, I’m stunned at the insidious spread of the dreaded JEGGING to children’s wear and beyond.

I was in Old Navy one recent morning before work and wandered over to girls’ leggings to find, hanging alongside the ubiquitous multicolored leggings, baby jeggings. Just like mama owns, only in sizes from toddler to tween..

If somehow you missed the advent of the jegging, let me explain. It’s basically a denim jean in legging form, – so a super-stretchy blue jean, usually with an elastic waistband and often with jean-like stitching details – hence the unfortunate name, jegging. Besides the horrible name, I don’t object to the product per se. Who doesn’t love to pull on something comfortable that gives, tucks neatly into high boots or looks just as good with ballet flats. Jeggings  – I love mine from Uniqlo – can look great.

And then there’s the other side. It’s tricky for women to pull off the skintight silhouette, disguising womanly lumps and bumps under long tunics. Plus, I often feel badly that I resort to the legging look all too much, rather than structured clothing with zippers and buttons. It concerns me sometimes that we – me included – are rearing our children largely unaware of belts, buttons and shoelaces.

That said, it seems the jegging, along with elastic and Velcro are here to stay. And not just in the children’s aisle.

Legwear for men is getting an overhaul too, with man leggings – meggings perhaps – on the runways and already in some fashion forward retailers. The UK’s Daily Mail reported last month that men also are increasingly keen to wear tights. So much so that Selfridges in London has a range of man pantyhose – yep mantyhose – designed exclusively for guy-sized legs.

The mantyhose are made by lingerie brand Unconditional and are a sturdy 120 denier thick. At about 70 GBP a pair or roughly $111 US dollars, the look doesn’t come cheap and really, hipster, fashionista, whatever, this just cannot be a good look en masse.

It’s nothing new of course; think court jesters, ballet dancers, some athletes, Superheros and rockstars – meggings and mantyhose have been on the radar for years. But in 2010/2011, unless you’re Spidey or glam -metal rocker Bret Michaels, perhaps stick with a manbag instead.

Sticks + Stones …

It’s not often that I am reduced to tears by a news story but the latest tragic tale of a Rutgers University student killing himself after fellow students outed him on the Internet makes me sick enough to cry.

As a human, it makes me wonder what sort of children we are raising that two college students would think it a funny prank to ridicule another person’s sexuality in public. And as a mother, I feel a massive responsibility to ensure that my children would never think to treat another like this, and to protect them from ever being bullied.

Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22 after learning that his roommate and another student had used a webcam to film a sexual encounter between Clementi and another man and posted it not once, but twice on the Internet . The two 18-year-old freshmen Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei are charged with invasion of privacy, with the most serious charges carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison. Of course, nothing will bring back Clementi or any of the other young people who have taken their lives after repeated bullying.

What really gets to me, besides obviously the length Clementi felt he had to go to in order to flee the public humiliation inflicted by his perverted roommate, but just why anyone would think it okay, let alone funny, to target a boy for being gay. I realise this is naive of me, but I really thought we had come far enough that young adults – especially once at college-age – didn’t have to hide their sexual preference.

Back in the old days when I was at school, I’m sure there were mean girls. I remember being teased for having Greek heritage (unlike some of the pristine WASPS I schooled with), oh and for wearing glasses, and being on the debating team but it was harmless stuff back then. I don’t remember ever feeling shut out by it, and certainly not suicidal. What has happened to make kids so extraordinarily horrible to their peers?

Apparently while technology has made leaps and bounds, allowing social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to broadcast exploits far and wide and encroach on privacy all around,  kids today are dragging their knuckles on the ground and getting thrills from belittling anyone different to themselves.

 Bullying is alive and well, and with more terrifying consequences than ever.