Patricia McBride- Inspiration & Innovation

Patricia McBride New York City Ballet

Patricia McBride
New York City Ballet

I worshipped Patricia Macbride, a 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree. I first saw a photo of Ms. McBride, a New York City Ballet ballerina,  in a children’s book, A Very Young Dancer, when I was 11. It was love at first site.  I grew up in El Paso, Texas, so I was a ballerina in tumbleweeds and dust storms in the 70s and 80s.  I was as physically far away from New York you could get. So I gazed at her photos for hours. I wanted to do a limb-exchange with Ms. McBride, where I would  magically zip on her fine-boned, long legs and sinewy arms to be topped off, or down, with her pliantly arched feet.

Ms. McBride’s frequent photos in New York Magazine, Newsweek, and Time during the 70′s ballet-boom lined my bathroom mirror. A Vogue spread on her and a few other New York City ballerinas became the wallpaper of my closet door. I thought that if I stared enough at her, I would some how become more like her. I never got tired of looking  her, and still don’t.

I didn’t get to see her perform when we went to New York City on an annual basis.  It was her photos that made me a better dancer. The images of her, or Patty, as she is known now, inspired and guided me toward better technique. Most people don’t realize how intensely visual dance is. As the young dancers learn ballet technique, it is the image that shows, teaches, and reminds them how and what to do with their bodies. We are constantly calling up images of what we and the positions and steps look like, and then how we are supposed to look while doing them. It’s like a slow-motion video clip playing in your brain: arms, hands, neck, legs, knees, ankles, feet.  This is why young bun-heads stare at youtube videos of dancers for hours.

Last night during Ms. McBride’s interview with Mary Curtis in Charlotte, NC, the audience was given the gift of seeing photos of Patty from her childhood and her long career. When it got to the ballet photos I remembered seeing almost every single one in some print-publication from the 70′s and 80′s. I could name each ballet and her partners.

Patty as Coppelia taught me to be smiling and pleasant while having absolutely correct technique.

Ms. McBride in her signature Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux got my turns going. Relaxed, feminine arms on top of demon-speed feet.

Jerome Robbins’ Dances at a Gathering to piano pieces by Chopin sang the tension out of my shoulders and made my eyes water.

Tarantella was all about break-neck pace and stamina.

Rubies said that some jazzy moves were OK. And work on that flexibility.

*  *  *

Patricia McBride and her husband Jean Pierre Bonnefoux have been heading my local ballet company, The Charlotte Ballet, for about 20 years. I’ve been involved with our company as a Dance Academy parent and now I serve on the Board of Trustees. Patty is always pleasant, relaxed, and  welcoming. She’s a breeze of calm with a smile. I try to cultivate this vibe within myself so people will like me more. And, this is before her Eternal Youth. Her lifetime of having a good attitude, being nice consistently, and moving while using her brain has given her Agelessness. Recent photos of Patty McBride line the mirrors of my memory.

Bring on the Boots!

bring on the boots stylemarm

Bring on the Boots!

Official Boot Season is here; no other shoes except for Mizumo running shoes until April 1st.  Boots, boots, boots. Booties with skirts and skinnies, Tall Cowboys with jeans, Tall Flats with pants and skirts, Rain Boots with everything, and Fuzzy Lined Lug Soles for frozen ground and apres ski. Bring on the Boots!

Time for a Boot Renewal. Purge and donate your 2, 3, and 4 year old boots; they are dated and worn. They’re not current because of a shift in the Boot Universe. Here is what has happened:

The Over the Knee Boot is viral. So, now we don’t like the way that our old Tall Flat Boots look and fit below the knee. The Over the Knee has crushed, killed, and destroyed so it’s here to stay. Over the Knees Flatter Us All because they elongate the legs if you wear the same color of pants or jeans. Get some. I snapped up a pair of Sesto Meucci this summer on lastcall.com 

Over the Knee Boots

Booties have grown; the shaft or the neck of the New Bootie or the Nootie is higher so that look has changed on us. Buy some of the updated Black Nooties and you’ll wear them every day. You’ll also feel ten times cooler and that counts for something.  Frye has a basic black bootie with a longer neck.

Booties 2014

Moto Rain Boots. Genius. Wish I had thought of this one.  Form and Function at its best. Moto Rain Boots aren’t so tall that you sweat in all of that rubber. They are quick and easy to put on and shake off at your front door. And you can run errands in them and not feel like you should be at a stable or a city plumbing site. Mr. Kors has given us a darling pair for about a hundred bucks. Michael- we know you love us and we love you. Mwah.

Moto Rain Boots 2014

All of the New Boots fit hand-in-glove with the new Skinny and Not So Skinny jeans. So thow on a drapey sweater or a poncho over lycra-filled jeans and The New Boots. Before you know it you’ll be saying your piece confidently at meetings, presenting a brilliant idea to your boss without your pulse throbbing, or holding you own with those Young Mommies in Leggings.

Shopping in Savannah

Savannah, GAParis Market Savannah Shops

Savannah, Georgia’s tree-lined squares and sidewalks boast a variety of fashion-brand stores and local boutiques in its small town, main street America feel. Take in the Spanish moss draped on the oak trees as you store-hop between Bay Street and Forsythe Park.

Marc Jacobs

Mad for Marc Jacobs? You can find all things Marc Jacobs in the official West Broughton street store. Ready to wear separates and dresses, accessories, shoes and his classic handbags are available. You can get many of the pieces showcased during international fashion weeks and highlighted in Vogue right here in Savannah. It’s a New York in Dixie experience.

Marc Jacobs
322 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 234-2800

Hours: Monday- Sunday, 11:00-7:00

Kate Spade

Need a lady-like dress or an iconic Kate Spade bag? Or wait, some black SoHo style booties? Kate Spade Savannah delivers its Kate Spade predictability with its usual girlish pop, but now the brand is introducing more on-trend items for fashion-forward fashionistas. The A-line dress, and sensible separates are jazzed up with body-con dresses and thick-healed booties. Snap up a pair of Kate Spade sunglasses; the best quality and longevity for under $300.00. See you at afternoon Savnannah tea in your new Kate Spade dress, booties, and shades!

Kate Spade
319 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 495-6505
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11:00-7:00, Sunday: 12:00—6:00
Copper Penny and Shooz

It Girls are frequent flyers at Copper Penny and Shooz because they sell everything an It Girl needs to, or has to wear. Tops, skirts, dresses, pants, and jeans are displayed in perfect outfits you’ll want to buy, and then change into. Immediately. The putting-together-the-outfit work is done for you at Copper Penny. Grey Equipment silk blouses hang over grey tinted jeans with a chunky coral necklace thrown in. Delish! And there are jeans galore! Citizens of Humanity, Hudson (Have you seen the New Hudson? Do so now.), Joe’s Jeans, 7 for All Mankind, and the venerable Rag and Bone. Leather jackets, vegan leather jackets and knit-leather jacket hybrids top skirts and silky, soft pants. The respectable dress designers include Trina Turk and Diave von Furstenburg.

The Shooz section on the right side of the store displays all types- flats, dressy flip-flops (beachy, South Carolina favorites), pumps, heeled sandals, booties and boots- both healed and flat by Splendid. Who knew Splendid was doint booties? The affordable Sam Edleman and Rowan are offered too.

Copper Penny and Shooz are part of a South Carolina chain. The Savannah Copper Penny and Shooz have sister stores throughout the state in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and recently Hilton Head.

Copper Penny

22 W. BROUGHTON STREET
SAVANNAH, GA 31401
912-629-6800

Monday-Saturday 10:00-7:00, Sunday12:00-6:00

Harper

Stroll down Bull Street and walk in to Harper, which is across from Wright Square. Harper reads as Beautiful Boutique with its small, but top quality collection of sweaters, dresses, pants, and leather jackets from smaller labels. Good news since a Harper purchase won’t greet you at the office elevator or at a late Thursday night happy hour. You’ll be the only one that snuggly cardigan or an army green jacket in fabric as soft as satin, or a fitted, embellished dress.

118 Bull St
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 235-5172

Mondary throught Saturday 11:00- 6:00, closed on Sunday

Red Clover is Harper’s more casual sister boutique across Wright Square.

Red Clover
244 Bull Street : Savannah, GA 31401
888-330-8998

Monday through Saturday 10:30-6:00 and Sunday 12:00-5:00
The Paris Market

HIt the wall? Too pooped to pay? Sensory overload from Savannah’s stores and boutiques calls for a pick-me-up at The Paris Market. Ma cherie, put your shopping bags down at a cafe table and order a capuccino and a macron, croissant, or a chocolate chip cookie from the Patisserie at The Paris Market.

After you’re fortified browse through the delightful housewares and vintage gifts. Tocca fragrances and candles and Frangipani candles are available too. On a chandelier hunt? Buy one of the traditional crystal and brass numbers or a modern rendition and ship it home. Downstairs is a must-see with furnishings and new and vintage table ware. Plan your next best-dressed dinner party and blow your chic friends’ mind a la francais.

The Paris Market
36 W Broughton St Savannah, GA 31401
T 912.232.1500
Monday-Saturday 10:00-6:00 and Sunday 12:00-5:00

Pants, Pants, Pants

There is no easy answer, is there? Where do you get the Perfect Pants . . . . that are not jeans . . . that ARE Office-Worthy . . . that you can also wear out for drinks? That fit you! Time for a Pants-Renovation for most us.

My friend Amy inspired me to write this post; she went on a Black-Tapered-Pants hunt this afternoon. Amy had found that all of her black pants were too flared, not tapered enough, and just didn’t go with the current silhouette for flats, boots, and pumps. I say Go Amy! for getting out there to get some flattering, tapered pants that she will wear a zillion different places.

What We Are Looking For in a Pant

Tapered to hit at the ankle bone. Not so skinny that you feel like you have on tights. The tapered, ankle-pant is a dream with healed booties or pumps. They look great with wedges too, but the former two are my faves.

JCrew has the twill  Dannie Pant. 89.50 –but it goes on sale often.

J Crew Dani Pant

J Crew Dani Pant

 

JCrew also has the capri, bi-stretch wool Campbell Pant.$118.00.  It also goes on sale often.

J Crew Campbell Pant

Theory has the Belisa Neo Twill Pant.  $255.00. Theory is the Big Girl Pants of Pants; the quality is excellent and they wear for years.

Theory Belisa Pant

Theory Belisa Pant

Cropped Skinny Jean Outfits

Cropped Skinny Jean Outfits


Just Right Skinny Jeans- The Transition Process

Skinny Cropped Jeans

Skinny jeans? Aren’t they ONLY for Those People with gorgeous, long, fatless legs? No!

We can all wear them, but I was skeptical of skinnies at first since I am not a Skinny Jean Poster Child; I have some oomph to my legs and some muscle too. There are now Skinny Jeans- or Skinnies- as the fashion crowd calls them– for all in a good variety of cuts and lengths. **I’m a fan of the Cropped Skinny.  See below.

1st- What Are You?

Are you a Stick-Legged person (my life-long envy)? What about a Sturdy Girl (that’s me!)? Or are you Curvy Legs? We are all beautiful! Determine which girl you are before you try on skinnies and see the guide below.

Stick Legs

You sure have it easy with Skinnies since you have no constraints with leg-hugging jeans. Long, thin legs with minimal bulk are exactly what Skinnies were designed for. You legs have the very best silouette, so wear what you’d like. You might have a couple of challenges:

  • make sure the legs fit you tight enough to not expand into baggy pants
  • Lots of lycra, or stretch will give you the best butt-to-thin-thighs transition and fit

Brands for you: Citizens of Humanity, 7 for all Mankind, and any of them!

Sturdy Girl

I’m one of you- or us! Skinnies can be a bit of challenge, but you just need to know which brands make a wider thigh. Oddly, the longer Skinnies don’t work too well for us because they stick to our calf muscles. The Cropped Skinny is for you because the calf and ankle are cut wider. The Crop also shows your trim ankles. Showcase some great shoes or booties with the Crops.

Brands for you: Paige Premium Denim, AG Jeans, Joe Jeans, Lucky Jeans

Curvy Legs

You girls can showcase such great tops, plunging neck-lines, and a trim waist. Just like your Sturdy Girl sisters, you have some challenges with the Skinnies. Good news now is that there are Skinnies that are great on you and you should be wearing them.

You and Sturdies have the toughest transitional issues moving in to Skinnies because you perceive yourselves in jeans incorrectly. Skinnies that fit well and taper to the ankle flatter everyone IF the correct top is worn. And that’s another chapter, but I can say here that the toppers to Skinnies need to go to the hip and have some floaty drape. A blouse or work shirt should taper in to your waist and then go to the hip. This balances your derriere atop the sleek Skinies

 Brands for you: Joes’ Jeans, Paige Premium Denim, Lucky Jeans

Everyone can wear Skinnies! Check back to see my photo-collages of Just Right Skinny Jeans for each body type

I Want a Breezy Top Now!

 Drapey Top

It’s 97 degrees with 90 percent humidity in the southeastern US. All outdoor activity needs to be completed by 10 Am and I’ve already changed clothes twice by noon. The west Texan in me chants “It’s hotter than an egging fryin’ up on the side ‘a highway I-10 in Van Horn, Texas.”  Hotter.

So . . . .when venturing outside I want to wear shorts, sandals, and . . . . a light, sleeveless, floaty top that feels like nothing.

The sleeveless blouses and tees out now are long,and this almost-hip length is flattering for all. My current faves are on modcloth.com. See more pics on Follow Catherine’s board Breezy Summer Tops on Pinterest.

If you’re going for a Tank Top, make sure it’s Not Tight. Any more of your body here is too much.  Again, there are so many out there with the wide, floaty bottom to choose from.

 tank top

Sizzling Sneakers

Sneakers by Stylemarm You put on a slip-on shoe in a cool hue that glides onto your foot easily! Stand up, your back straightens, you grow an inch taller, and you feel like you could run a 10K.  And your feet love you.  Your back and posture do too.  And, you’re so hip that it hurts because you’re wearing the New Sneaker. Take advantage Now ladies, of the way-on-trend slip on SNEAKER for fall and winter. I couldn’t be more thrilled; I’ve been a Vans-Lover ever since my first checkerboard pair in 1981. The new sneakers scream travel and commute-friendly so we’ve all got to load up.

What to Wear the New Sneakers With

Pants

  • Cigarette leg or skinny jeans, vegan leather leggings, or .leather leggings
  • Cropped dark wash, black, grey or tinted denim pants
  • The new Soft Pants. Most have a drawstring waist and gathered ankles.
  • Wide-legged, palazzo style pants in black, grey, navy, or even winter white, cream or white.

Skirts

  • The swingy skater skirt– black or dark tights as the weather cools or as desired
  • A fitted maxi skirt

Dresses

  • A fitted, rouched knit mini dress
  • A fitted, rouched knit maxi dress

How I am Going to Wear the Sneakers

Since I have too-muscular calves I need to minimize those and really watch my clothing + shoe proportions. The New Sneakers are far more flattering that the pointy white Keds I tried to like a couple of decades ago.

  • I’ll wear the New Sneakers with
  • cigarette-leg dark denim and black and grey denim pants
  • The New Soft Pants- especially my blacka and grey Lululemon pairs.
  • With the new Skater Skirt in black or a dark color with super-opaque black tights that will make my calves disappear

Sizzling Sneaker Ouftts

Sizzling Sneaker Ouftts


Santa Fe Hotels- Two

 

  • Las Posada de Santa Fe
    Las Posada de Santa Fe
  • Las Posadas de Santa Fe
    Las Posadas de Santa Fe
  • Las Posadas Santa Fe
    Las Posadas Santa Fe

We stayed in Santa Fe a couple of times this summer and I’ll begin with our latest trip– a business gathering at Las Posadas de Santa Fe.

Las Posadas de Santa Fe

The physical property and location of Las Posadas de Santa Fe just can’t be any better. Las Posadas is a rambling extension of rooms and casitas that is historic; I grew up staying here every Christmas in the ’70s and ’80s when it was unabashedly shabby chic. Las Posadas displays a quality art collection in the lobby and the public, indoor settings and this is unique in Santa Fe where so much mediocre to bad art is now pervasive. I do love that there is a special line for “Curator” on the room phones. The landscaping is gorgeous and just a few blocks from the plaza adds an A Plus for Convenience Factor. But, see below for some truth and relevant details for a stay there. See stylemarm.com for more Santa Fe travel information & for other destinations too.

The Room Report

This is where Las Posadas just doesn’t hit the mark. My husband and I were initially put into a downstairs room under boisterous, noisy guests; we later saw them with their two large dogs. We asked to move and we were graciously accommodated so we switched to an upstairs room.

Room High Fives
1. The king sized bed was superb. The bedding and the pillows were excellent.
2. Many large sized bath towels were provided; they were of the best, heavy, cotton variety.
3. Two high quality terry-cloth bathrobes were provided.
4. The flat screen TV was the most up to date and functioned perfectly.

Room Low Fives
1. Our first room had no chest of drawers to put clothes; be sure to ask for one.

2. Our second room had only one sink in the bathroom.

Service High Fives
1. We were graciously accommodated about our request to change rooms.
2. The Valets and their services are the best thing about Las Posadas; tip them beyond well.

Service Low Fives
1. The Room Service manner and delivery on phone orders was among the worst I have experienced. Coffee can’t be delivered until 6:45 AM; a big deal for those of us headed to business meetings or outdoor excursions. And, one morning at 6:50 AM I asked for coffee and I was told to “just use the mugs that are in your room.” Well, I never! A surprisingly long exchange about the provision of coffee cups ensued.

2. Housekeeping is just not where it needs to be and they are woefully understaffed. The beautiful courtyards were blighted by bags of soiled laundry and used room service trays. What a shame. And, our room wasn’t touched or made up until the late afternoon for 2 days; not very appealing for siesta time.

Spa

1. The check-in person was excellent; definitely meeting the expectations of a luxury spa.
2. The massages were excellent.
3. The dressing area in the Ladies’ Lounge was very nice.
4. The steam room was in need of tile freshening and more steam in general.
5. The disposable combs were really for infants’ hair; not even usable.
6. The blow dryers were adequate; important.

Restaurants

1. The renowned Staab House served a superb dinner for our groups private dinner. Service, wine, and food were all Five Star.

2. The casual restaurant seemed to be in disarray the late morning I went for a cappuccino. Both the hostess and the server seemed flustered. The outdoor setting was beautiful and the red and white seat cushions added a nice zip.

I would go back to Las Posadas, and I’d like to given my personal history there, but I would absolutely ask some pointed questions about service. My hope is that these kinks are ironed out soon.