Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Begrudgingly Grunge

Grunge has been having a revival lately. We are surrounded by combat boots, floral prints, slip dresses, plaid shirts, and chunky sweaters. Even backpacks and shirts tied around your waist have come back. It is all oh-so-familiar and so foreign at the same time.

I grew up in the 90's. They are MY time, my coming of age decade. I remember the music, so perfectly reflective of our teenage angst. Listening to Nirvana, blasting them through the headphones of my Walkman, as I walked in the dense fog so common during those cold fall days. Completely invisible to the world, immersed only in mine. One made of dreams, hopes, but also confusion and uncertainty. A time filled with Seattle-esque colors, so vivid yet faded, like my feelings, intense and rarified. Falling in and out of love, feeling out of place in a small-minded town, sparkling dreams that seemed so out of reach. 

The 90's were years of growth, of learning what it means to not be a child, becoming aware of myself, and struggling with being in my own skin. 

The 90's are my years. Grunge expressed the feeling of a whole generation, through music and also through fashion. The fashion fit my mood, my need to disappear in those boyish plaid shirts, and the need to look tougher, rebellious, yet poetic and romantic at the same time. They made me feel more like the girl I wanted to be.

So, as much as I love myself an oversized sweater, and as much as the nostalgia is tempting me to buy a pair of Doc Martens, it all feels a little soul-less, fabricated, inauthentic. Yet, I can embrace the new grunge, even if that special time is long gone. 

And I will embrace it as an homage to and celebration of that good provincial girl, the dreamer, the romantic, the seeker, the one who walked hesitantly through life, stretching the sleeves of her sweater, covering her bitten nails, peeking from behind the curtain of her hair... Smelling like teen spirit.


Sunday, July 29, 2012


Today I was so out of synch. I lost track of time, got lost even with an iPhone, and was late for everything. Completely out of balance. I wonder if I just got out of bed on the wrong side, or if it was all because of the... sample sale.

I left the house in the morning to get coffee. I returned almost 2 hours later with a pair of pants, a jacket and a dress... Yes, and coffee... What happened???

Well, on my way home, I saw a sign: "sample sale”. I thought: I have plenty of time to get ready before going out, why not enjoy the morning, I'll just take a peek and see what brands they are selling.

And there I was, sucked into a timeless vortex, scouring racks, precariously holding coffee, wallet, phone in one hand, and hangers full of clothes in the other. I was nothing short of the Shopaholic book series main character. And before I knew it, here I was, bam, credit card comes out, thud, final sale red stamp on receipt, and I was out the door.

High, ecstatic, I just couldn't believe I got all that stuff for so little, I glided back to my car thinking:  I can't wait to wear this and that, and uh, really need those sandals now to complete the outfit, can't wait for fall so I can wear the dress with black stockings, oh wow, I could even try an Alexa Chung look... blah blah blah...

Until I realized I was incredibly behind schedule, rushed home, opened the white bag with the red final sale stamp and... the guilt kicked in... maybe the whole morning had been a case of pure and simple... compulsion...

Crashing from the sample sale high was not easy, and I felt out of balance all day. 

Lesson learned: I will never ever... go out for coffee in the morning again!!!!

Baci e a presto,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


There are a few favorite fashion memories that are close to my heart and still make me smile:
♥ A pair of dreamy pink ballet flats I got when I was in preschool. Just like my big sister. There is a picture of us that says it all: she is looking straight at the camera... I'm staring at my shoes, completely in love.
♥ Buying a little wool coat in a sweet pastel color when I was 6. A dream come true, pure happiness.

♥ My high school ensemble of pink Valentino skinny jeans and bordeaux sweater, with flats. My bestfriend hated me during our freshmen year. Why? She thought I was a stuck up rich little brat. She couldn’t have been more wrong. 
♥ My grunge phase: suede desertboots, chunky sweaters and my beloved Levis501-cinquecentouno!!!
♥ My first pair of black skinny trousers, pantaloni a sigaretta. Watching the Valentino show,and realizing that grunge was out and we were on to a whole new phase in fashion. I remember my brother telling me I couldn't get away with my blue jeans anymore. The bar had been raised pretty high. Intimidating or what?? 
♥ My first cargo pants and the feeling of accomplishment when I bought them. Not cheap, but an integral part of the Gwen Stefani inspired outfit I wore for an entire summer, clubbing and partying hard: military cargo pants; bare mid-riff tops and wife-beaters, Adidas Gazelle (the beginning of a life-long love affair with sneakers), and dark dark dark red lipstick. Fierce! 
♥ My black Dr. Martens. Faithful,loyal, indestructible. The only con: I completely forgot how to wear any other type of shoe. Very very bad; 
♥ A Martino Midali polka dot dress that my dad bought for me. I still have it in my closet. It doesn't fit me like it did when I was 20, but I can still squeeze in it when i feel nostalgic. And it is such a wonderful memory of my dad getting it for me as a gift. Something I will always always cherish. 

... just like these sweet sweet memories...

(What are you favorite fashion memories?)


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


This past winter I did a lot of shopping in my closet. I kind of took it as a challenge. I really wanted to see what I could find and how I could work it into my weekly routine at the office. And did I find some gems that had long been sleeping in there or had never seen the light of day.
What did I find? Anything and everything:
  • button-downs
  • cardigans
  • soft wool sweaters
  • silk tops
  • neglected denim
It lasted for a little while, and everytime I scored a new piece I'd feel energized. At work people would ask if I had gone shopping. Is that new, I've never seen you wear that. It'd make me so happy.

But here I am now, it's summer time, and my summer closet has never been my strongest. I don't think shopping in my closet can really be an option... unless I take out ALL the dresses that have been retired with the tag still on... mainly because they are ALL black and, as much as I love the color, it just doesn't go with my pale pale legs...

so here is the dilemma:
  • keep the dresses for mid-season, when I can wear them with stockings;
  • get a spray-tan (really considering this... I guess LA is really getting to me)
  • take out my wallet and refresh my closet with some healthy shopping...
Hmmm, what would you do?!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Today, like many other days, I wished I had a camera with me. So many great outfits, so many interesting characters. All I wanted to do was to snap pictures for you.

Location: Larchmont Village
Why: Business meeting (hence the lack of camera and inability to take street style shots)
Leitmotiv: Monochromaticism

My streetstyle shots:

All white- white linen dress and sneakers
All black- black silk sleeveless blousy top-black wide leg trousers-leopard platform sandals-dark long black hair.
All lilac (my favorite)- lilac suit-lilac tie-purple shirt (man in his 60's)
(Please note All Black and All Lilac were a couple. Amazing!!)
All blue- neon blue denim, blue quartersleeve top and cream sabot (a.k.a. mules... seen them on the runways last fall, thought “really?! why are they back”, and haven't seen them on people's feet that much. Have you?).
All gray- gray v-neck t-shirt and gray skinny jeans with strappy flat sandals.

All in all, a pretty good meeting.

Reporting live from LA, yours truly CPS

Friday, June 8, 2012


I was recently reading the advice column of a famous magazine. A reader was asking about wearing the same outfit to different weddings, just like we have seen Kate (Pippa and their mom too!!) do over and over again. The columnist's answer was something along these lines:

 "It's a European thing that Americans haven't caught up to yet..."

Wait a minute. Double take. What what what?? A European what?

Dear fashion columnist, have you ever been to Italy? Or talked to any Italian woman/girl/infant? I officially invite you to have lunch with my friends and I. We'll be more than happy to elucidate you on the subject. Let me break this down for you:

Fashion recycling is a crime. Better said, it is humiliating!!

First of all, Italians (I cannot speak for all Europeans, as we are so different from each other-but I can of course speak for an entire nation...) would rather die than being seen wearing the same outfit twice. I'm not just talking about special occasions. I'm talking about every-day-life. Going to school, the office, the supermarket!!! Let alone going to weddings where guests may overlap. It's a big big no-no. You may turn into a social outcast... if you dare.

Also, psychologically, even when you're sure no one will actually know you've already wore that outfit, deep in your heart YOU know it, and that's all that matters. I guess something goes off in our brain, a primordial instinct of survival, and we just can't bring ourselves to do it.

And that is why, my dear columnist, my closet (much like that of many other Italian women) is filled with dresses and clothes that have only been worn once... yep. Which makes for a sad bank account, happy retailers, and a confused husband.

What do you think about fashion recycling? A go or a NO??

Baci e a presto,