Monday, December 17, 2007

Company Meeting

Wow, it's been a while. Don't know if anyone's still even out there. Between work, the holidays and fighting narcolepsy on an hourly basis, it's been a bit rough.

Until today.

Flew in yesterday for our company meeting. I'm currently in the penthouse at the Sagamore. It's an entire rooftop, half of it outdoors, which looks much like the rooftop at Ibiza.

Except to my left is the ocean, behind me are palm trees, and with the exception of a few staffers straightening up the place, I'm the only person here.

Life is going to be UTTER CHAOS when I get back tonight--both families coming for the holidays starting Saturday, and trust me when I say that these worlds colliding is never good.

But for now, paradise.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Let it snow!

Today I've sat on my couch, writing press releases, pitchingpitchingpitching, sorting photos, assembling stuff for an embassy party tonight, and, occasionally, eating marshmallows (I'm pregnant, BACK OFF).

Yesterday was a damn war zone. Today = fabulous.

Score!

I'd show you the SICK black Armani cardigan I scored at 40% off, but I was too busy photographing my seating arrangements instead of my outfit on Friday; I'd also show you the gorgeous lipstick red Ikito dress (with the 4" cutout RIGHT above my bum) that I wore twice last week (once to the Charles Nolan show at Saks, which was tres fun though I didn't quite get where he was going for spring but I digress)--but I was too busy trying not to faint from the sheer pain of being simultaneously 4 months pregnant and in 5" Choo boots to pose for a picture. But trust me, they're both incredible. And now they're going to be discounted even more...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

An OCD Birthday

I've got me a posse of girls. I've known them forever--most going on ten years. They are from all different stages of my life: college, post-college, neighbors, Dead travelmates, the woodworking magazine owned by the porn company... Anyway, I love putting all of these disparate groups together, as new friends are always made, and a damn good time is always had by all.

Two years ago, for a big birthday, my two bestest friends of them all threw me a kickass, wine-infused fete, complete with boas, goodie bags and fake Botox. Rock Creek Restaurant, one of my faves, wasn't the same after that night (their fault for picking up the wine tab).

Last year, same BFFs threw a fete at one of their uber-cool, retro-modern houses, and it rocked. The fall of last year was also really, really busy, so as a thanks to them and the rest, I cooked the dinner (I cooked the only thing I know how: lasagna).

This year, house addition done, and this event season even busier than last (when did I last post? An effing month ago??), I threw the party at my casa. And as I a.) throw events for a living and b.) am a weeee bit of a control freak, it all got out of control really, really fast.

It all started at Home Goods, when BFF E and I walked right into a table of dress forms like the one you see above. I knew they had to be incorporated somehow.

Then I remembered the SEVENTEEN stolen Pucci seat cushions in my attic, which immediately turned the event from a "sit around my living room eating lasagna" to "Must get Chavari chairs NOWNOWNOW and should the linens be twill or lame and does anyone have silver for 18?"

Then I called my sister, who happened to be throwing a brunch for Pucc during Art Basel, who Fedexed me an early Christmas present (Pucci dress!) along with 18 brunch invitations (which, with the click of a mouse and a flicker of spray glue, became menu cards).

Then I remembered that I had Laura Mercier Creme Brulee bath honey that would make the perfect snobby handsoap...(an hour and a roomful of bubbles later, let me offer this advice: it's a bit thick for handsoap. Add water to it. CAREFULLY).

By 3p.m., the lasagna hadn't been started yet but I was convinced I could do that AND prime over walls in the new guest bathroom (that were test painted Hermes orange to match this killer 1925 French newspaper ad I just had matted and framed). Another note of advice: Hermes orange is a wee bit bright for a teeny tiny powder room. Just a wee bit.

E and friend S came early, E with the most amazing cake EVER in tow (note to all: Just Cakes in Bethesda is amazing, and even moreso is E. If you don't already have one, go out and get yourself a BFF like her if you can, though she really is one of a kind and you can't have her), L polished the silver (borrowed and all monogrammed with B's), grandmother's prewar China was finally pulled out of storage, my dear husband, with nary a word of complaint (okay, lots of words, but he still did it, bless him), moved our ENTIRE living room into our basement for the night, and the guests started to arrive.

First, a few shots of the decor:

When I walked into the florist with these, she literally hugged me for saving her from having to make her 400th "Holiday Joy!" FTD Bouquet that day.


Three hours earlier, there was an entire living room in here. Husband = NOT amused.


Yes, I stole 17 of these cushions in full view of Olivia Chantecaille and friends. Those invites/menu cards: thick as tiles. Awesome.


Seating arrangements were, for the most part, perfect. The fact that we switched the eggplant and turkey lasagnas while serving, thus giving my vegan friend D her second bite of meat in about fifteen years? Not so much.


While the night started out as a lovely fete, it ended up, per usual, with drinking the Veuve under the table.

Next year: I'm figuring out how to squeeze in 40 girls. You're all invited.

xo

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coming up for air for TWO seconds..

...just to tell you about the sale and pahtay at Daisy Too, Zelaya and Daisy Baby tomorrow:


I swear I'll be back. Maybe after my birthday.

xo

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nothing But Net.

When we staged the first District Sample Sale in the fall of '06, we raised $10,000 for Suited for Change. In the spring, we upped the ante and raised $11,200 for SOME. So when we first met with Miriam's House, our fall 2007 charity, we told them our goal (to beat our previous year's numbers), crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

Tonight at a reception at Nage, we were honored to present them with a check for $17,200. In addition, we came up with the idea of keeping our past charities in the fold, so we also donated $1,000 each to SFC and SOME as well.

So to those who came to the DSS, those who told people about it, those who enjoyed it, and those who didn't but came anyway, I say thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Okay, back to the pre-event chaos. See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Friends

It's been a day of old friends. Had a high school friend send a long lost picture of us from, oh, about 1983, for starters. Like 10 of us sitting on Santa's lap, all awkward and braces-covered and chatty and decked in our Forenza best. Then tonight, I had dinner with my college roommates, which was just stellar. It's always so great to go home, to surround yourself with those who know you best.

The five of us at dinner are, in so many ways, at the same point in our lives, yet we're so different in others. There's L, who lives in Annapolis, who has three children and is a nurse. She sees more death and pain on any given day then most of us do in a lifetime, and yet she's still maintains her perspective somehow. There's D, who just finished the NYC marathon this year, home with her two kids (both as hilariously funny as she is) and looking for some balance. M, the schoolteacher, always the optimist, and N, who tutors and runs a camp for autistic children, pregnant with her second, due three weeks before me. And me, with the, ahem, more vapid job in the bunch.

Between the picture this morning, and the stories this evening, I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard, or felt so, hmm, I guess "comforted" would be the best word I can think of.

I dropped D off in front of a Starbucks at end of dinner; she just wanted a gingerbread latte, a little time on her own to walk around, some peace and quiet. I couldn't wait to get home to see my boy, since as of late, our time together has been in precious short supply. Grass is always greener.

No real point to this post, I guess, except to say that it's good to have friends you love, friends you've known forever. And a boy who can't wait to see his momma is an absolute bonus.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

But Don't Get Me Wrong...

LOCAL PUBLICIST SEEMINGLY ABDUCTED
Replaced With Chubbier, Crankier, Narcoleptic, Sober,
Caffeine and Botox-Free Version of Former Self


...there was, of course, a snarky press release.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Love Rules.

There are moments in my life that I can pinpoint--I have myself convinced that when I'm about to expire, these will be the snapshots that will run through my mind, in no particular order. Moments of clarity, moments of beauty, moments of truly understanding things just for a moment in an all too confusing world.

The moment we walked out of the perfect Dead show in Oregon and my husband (then fiance) and I realized, "Yup. That was it. Doesn't get any better. We can go now."

The moment driving solo through the Rocky Mountains at sunset listening to stunning classical music, realizing that even in moments of tragedy, there is beauty to be found.

The moment while taking a press call about vodka while hiding under my desk at my day job and realizing that I had to make the call right then and there, to jump off the cliff and try to do what I love.

Tonight's moment happened during Kravitz (who was about 10 feet away at the time--they cleared the tables away while the band was rehearsing).

He was awesome--I've seen him before, the last time was with the Black Crowes which, of course, completely rocked. But that's beside the point.

I was there, dancing with the crowd, with the randoms making out in front of me, the drunk girls sloshing their red wine all about and me doing my best to avoid it, the Fight Night men entering in droves, pumping their fists in the air and jostling us about while yelling "DUDE--THIS FUCKING ROCKS!!!" while slapping hands and slugging beers, the older women with the confused looks on their faces wondering why everyone thinks this sunglassed boy is so hot (and yes, he's as hot as ever).

He broke into Let Love Rule, I think it was his fourth song.

And then I felt it. A little pang in my chest at first, which then moved its way down to my belly. And then I felt a tear. First just a little watering, then a bit more, then it collected enough mass to begin running down my cheek, followed by another.

I dotted them away, but didn't really care. Because it hit me all at once.

That it's more than a read on a stick, more than a snarky press release to send out, more than just an excuse to hit the Breyer's at noon.

It's a baby in there. A baby.

And all is right with the world.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

since the secret is out...

Tonight's secret Knock Out performer:

LENNY KRAVITZ.

My proximity from center stage:

FOUR FEET.

Literally. I just measured.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Day

8:00: Housepainters arrive to officially finish the process of making our addition homey and liveable. Ralph Lauren Plantation: genius.
9:00: Answer 20 emails reallyreally fast about tonight's event, tomorrow's two events, next week's event
9:30: Shower, try to give myself a blowout. Call one80 to get one for tomorrow's events, as my blowout skills are hopeless.
10:15: Crap! Have to make signs for tonights events (not make them, but mount them on boards, which is a process much more tedious than you can imagine).
10:45: Crap! Have to print collateral for tonight's event.
11:45: Run to client to pick up signage for Knock Out auction item, which takes 45 minutes due to other topics to discuss. Get lunch for painters.
1:00: Run to Whole Foods, get Rosemary for tonight's event (long story). Be completely annoyed by the fact that the parking lot is PACKED.
1:30: Run and get signs that I forgot to load into car. Realize am about to completely run out of gas (does "9 Miles" really mean 9 miles?).
2:00: Call friend K in Vegas while driving-I KNOW, IT'S BAD. Especially since I lurched the car a bit toward a VERY, VERY MAD (rightfully so) pedestrian. Hang up on K who then thinks I'm maimed in an accident.
2:09: Find no meter parking--dammit!--so have to pull into $8,000 an hour garage in the Design Center.
2:14: Run into photo shoot, manage taking of very fun pictures for press and holiday campaigns.
4:14: Book from photo shoot to Reagan building, 3 cases of vodka, 2 huge signs, recipe cards and rosemary trees out the wazoo in tow.
4:30: Holy security. I always forget about the security.
4:45: Join the huge line of chefs, owners and other assorted restaurant types in loading up packed elevator. One person, 18 bottles of vodka, a forest of rosemary and unwieldy signs and no dolly. Not easy.
5:15: Lug all of the aforementioned to one floor, then another, then back downstairs. Set up.
5:16: See Ris Lacoste, on my top 5 list of Nicest, Most Fabulously Brilliant Washingtonians.
5:22: Get pointed in direction of vodka mixers, which I lug along with 2 wonderful Food Fight volunteers
5:45: Talk other business with a restaurant owner re: upcoming event on November 29
5:46: Answer phone: VERY mad husband on the line, as I'm answering the phone not from my house, but from the Reagan Center.
6:00: Head out, see a fave press person on the way out.
6:30: Home, answer 20 emails, including print details on R. Nichols event next week!
7:30 - 12:00: more emails, 6 phone calls, 2 pitches, one report, one avoided email, one postcard with HUGE edits.
Tomorrow: repeat, switching "Food Fight" for "Mazza Gallerie Anniversary" and "Washingtonian Party."

It ain't glamorous, but Babs loves her job. Though Babs needs a nap.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Crossing the Line

While I usually avoid repeating Daily Candy (as, well, you've already read it), I want to underscore something of note today: the Modest Needs Foundation.

My cause is fighting poverty. It's where I try to steer the efforts of all of my charity work. The Modest Needs Foundation attempts to reach people before they hit that line, which I think is just brilliant.

You can visit their site, peruse their list of applicants--some need help with medical bills, some with taxes or car repairs, some with overdue mortgage payments. Modest Needs accepts applications, vets them for accuracy, then posts them on the site. You can search for people who need specific help, or that live in your area, or allow the foundation to channel your donation to those they feel are most urgent. In many cases, a small donation is all that's needed.

Starbucks is partnering with them for the holiday season, donating 10-20 cents per cup of certain coffees on certain days. Or you can pretend that you're drinking one extra cup or two a week, and schedule an extra 5 or 10 dollars be donated on your behalf on a weekly basis.

But no matter what, do something. Because you really can make a difference.

P.S. And be on the lookout, as the Gods Love We Deliver Holiday Catalog is supposed to launch today as well-another great cause, and an incredibly fabulous way in which to donate to it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Art

Here it is...


Tres cute, no? I'm not sure if Washington or Jefferson is my favorite, though you'll have to attend to see Jefferson!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A hiatus from thou...

Hi all. It seems I've been taking more breaks than not these days. I have a little news that I'm not quite ready to share yet, but also have been beeeezeee. You know how they say that if you really, truly love your job, that it doesn't seem like work at all? It's true, but when that's the case, it also makes it incredibly hard to turn your job off. Ever.

If my husband had his druthers, he would place this very laptop under the back wheels of his car and release the emergency break on our little hill. So you can see why blogging has had to take a bit of a repreive.

Overall, the past few weeks have had their ups and downs: some events wildly exceeded expectations, some not and it was truly humbling. I think the lesson overall is that the retail event market has significantly changed in the past few years. Unless you have an amazingly unique selling proposition--eg., something unique and truly special that benefits the living hell out of your attendees, you are pretty much doomed. And even if you have that, a little snafu like timing can hurt you just as badly. But if you really think it through, vet your ideas out, do a little market research, and put that all together, you can really develop something great.

So.

Here's one of the 80 things I'm working on now for which I hope you'll mark your calendars!

Wednesday, November 14: R. Nichols Event at Apres Peau. This has been YEARS in the making. Nick is a bit of a recluse--he is charming and wonderful and funny and dapper and ridiculously talented and so veryvery shy. But he's finally coming! He came up a few years ago to support me for an event I was doing, but this is the first one all about him. The last one I can remember was when Mireille Guiliano (yes, the CEO of Veuve) honored him with a fete for doing the cover of French Women Don't Get Fat.

Anyway, he has created a Washington, DC themed line exclusively for Apres Peau. And they are SO FABULOUS. You'll see one of the basic original drafts in the November issue of DC Magazine, but the finals are just incredible. And not only will he be doing notecards, but he is also creating a limited edition serious of prints (signed and numbered, series of 25) and it looks like he may even sell the originals, which he RARELY does.

If you'd like to receive an invite, email me and I'll put you on the invite list!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Event #5: Be That Mom!

My graphic skills: not so the very bestest here...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Event #3: Belle Fleur NY!


Ask anyone in the know that lives in New York, "who is your favorite florist?" I've done that and 5 for 5 and the answer was an instantaneous, "Belle Fleur New York," usually punctuated with an additional, "I luuuuuurrrrvvve them." Dreamy sighs sometimes follow.

Belle Fleur NY clients, who include everyone from Salma to Uma to Trudy & Sting to every Manhattan hostess worth knowing, all love the fact that her bouquets are lush and gorgeous and smell terrific--her bouquets usually include a dozen or more types of flowers.

She applied the same basic concept to her new line of candles--and they are nothing short of amazing. I've heard that Jennifer Aniston orders the White Tea Orchid by the case. I'm a fan of the Orange Blossom Pomegranate, myself.

Anyway, I'm such a fan that I convinced my friend and owner of Belle Fleur NY, Meredith Waga Perez, to come down here to launch her candles exclusively at Apres Peau this Wednesday at a cocktail fete from 7-9.

Come see for yourself what the croc-boxed craze is all about. Rsvp to events@aprespeau.com.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Seize The Day (or the couch at the end of it).

Today, well, it was bloody hot. And like the DSS only much smaller (though with no less clutter), my car: no a.c.

Nine: planned to crank out one of two proposals due by tomorrow. Ended up saddled down with 800 emails.

Eleven: Followup interview questions with client while driving, then repeating said quotes to reporter, reading notes while driving that were written while driving. Lucky I wasn't reading it whilst wrapped around a tree.

Noon: reporter lunch at Brasserie Beck. company: wonderful. Food: well, have I told you about my literal fear of mayonaisse? I have one. A big one. And that place is like Willy Wonka and the Mayo Factory. Everything on the entire menu has it. EVERYTHING with a side of gelatinous nastiness. Shivering just thinking about it. Carefully navigated the menu and survived.

One: Race home to check emails that I couldn't open on Blackberry, grab clothes for tonight, head back downtown.

Three: Off to the magic that is Cyrille at one80. My chemically straightened hair is about half grown out, and I'm not getting it done again for a while, which leaves blowouts, which I'm incapable of doing. I've probably had 150 blowouts in my life, and his are by far the best I've ever had.

Four and a half: Next, off to MenzFit to help with setup. Thinking it was at 15th and K, I left my car at one80 (13th & K) and clomped down in my 5' heels. Wrong. It was 13th & H. Crap. Clompclompclomp back down the street.

Six and a half: Party starts, great crowd, money raised, all good.

Seven and a half: run over to Milano for Knock Out Abuse Kickoff. Bloody hot. It is going to be a great event, though. South Beach theme, Debra Lee as chair. She had on a fabulous snakeskin belt.

Nine: Head back over to MenzFit to help with cleanup. I'm just better as the worker bee than attendee. Snag a killer goodie bag, a literal armful of LaMer from my dear friend who works for them, and help with the post-event auction chaos.

Ten: Home. Couch. Zone.

Eleven: Remember I now have 1-1/4 proposals still left to write (just about finished one whilst in the care of Cyrille).

Eleven and a half: procrastinate. See post above.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

DVFabulous

Ah, home from the longest of days. I love going to the city though, even if my shoulder STILL feels like it's going to fall off of my body from lugging around my laptop all day.

So after the first meeting (and a great salad at Astor Place at the St. Regis), I was browsing bags at Bergdorf's, talking about how the genius design skills of Lambertson Truex has never been more apparent than in this season with an incredibly educated salesman, when my cellphone rang.

"I'M STARVING! GET TO THE SEVENTH FLOOR AND ORDER ME THE LOBSTER." Click.

My sister had officially arrived.

Following orders, as I always do when it comes to my elder sibling, I headed up the elevator, then sat at our windowside table, listening to the clinking of glass, the purring of customers and husbands, and thinking about the percentage of women in New York vs. DC that are trying to look WAY younger than they should (seemed to me to be about 30%), when I looked up and simultaneously the lobster pasta and my sister in a great DVF headed directly to the table.

I slowly sipped my butternut squash soup as she grilled me about the meeting, gave me pointers, and we caught up about our mom (traveling in Croatia at the moment) and our respective lives.

Pasta done, we bolted back down to Floor One, past the Goyards, and out the door to our waiting car.

Next: Meatpacking District for a meeting at DVF.

I'm pretty sure that I've never been to a cooler place. All white and black and fuschia, with original and incredibly beautiful artworks, all of Diane, covering the walls. The receptionist, positioned behind a wrought iron framed room of sorts that was 1920's bank teller and incredibly uber-modern all at the same time, phoned our contact as we waited on a comfy upholstered bench. We heard the clickclickclicking of heels down the white staircase, were greeted and escorted up the stairs.

"I stayed at Diane's Paris apartment a few years ago," is always a good opener, and in this case, it happened to be true. Right after my sister's divorce, she flew over and stayed with close friends of Diane, who was out of town at the time. Her highlight was borrowing a cowboy hat of Diane's and heading out to Buddha Bar in said hat that was so cool that she left her pajamas on as her ensemble and got away with it.

Meeting: went well, as to be expected, cards and handshakes exchanged, and then past the newest collection (literally from the runway, hanging up RIGHT. THERE.), and out to our waiting car.

My sister felt bad for being a little gruff upon her arrival, so next we went to Trina Turk where she got me the most fabulous dress (which will be worn at two events tomorrow, along with hair done by the amazingly talented Parisian find, Cyrille of one80). The dress won't make me as fabulous as my sister, but then again, it was never really a competition.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

NYC

Greetings from 10022-SHOE! It is HUGE. ISO the perfect pair of black heels, though no luck thus far. Givenchy peephole patents were close, but I think I've finally learned the lesson that patent=pain.

Next, off to a meeting at one of the world's largest jewelers. My sister (/boss) was supposed to meet me here for it, but her flight is superbly delayed. So it's me versus a literal army of New York PR powerhouses. I figure if I don't weep it will be a victory.

Wish me luck!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Event #2


Brought to you by the great people of Proper Topper and others (music and passion: always in fashion), at the 9:30. See you there!

Yes, this is 2 of like 20. Told you I was a busy bee! More to come...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What Gaping Black Hole In My Blog?

When I got married, last on my list was getting a great photographer. A photojournalist to capture the action as it happened would have been ideal, but we were poor Deadhead scrappers and that just wasn't in the budget. My theory then, as it is now, is that I'd much rather have the fabulously incredible memory than spend the time posing for pictures that are getting in the way of having said memories.*

I say this because the past few weeks have involved so much fabulousness that I just couldn't take the breather to stop and document. And while I did miss writing here, there just wasn't the time. And not to say I have all that much more right now, but I'm certainly going to try to make the effort.

Well, all that plus I was a bit crispyfriedtoast from working my ass off. A smidge of that, too.

One quick note: in the midst of all of my craziness, it was amazing how many friends took the time to offer to help and meant it. Even though I may have barked a gruff, "thanksbusygotstogo," at the time, it was so touching that so many peeps made the offer. Thank you.

So a quick recap:
Sample Sale: 850 people and no air conditioning. So sorry about that. If it's any consolation, while you were digging for bargains, I was crawling around in even more sweltering dark back rooms looking for anything that even remotely resembled a thermostat. But so many great friends were in attendance, so much generosity, and so much money was raised (we should hae the final tally very shortly). So thank you, thank you, thank you.

Life: My brother-in-law is home from Iraq, safe and sound. He wants nothing more than to sit in his very own house and just be there; my sister-in-law wants nothing more than to Get. The. Eff. Out. Of. The. Damn. House. So that should be interesting. We head down in a few weeks for the official homecoming. The elephant in the room is that they're essentially out of people, so he's going ot have to go back, and in some ways, I think it might be worse the next time around. We're a little terrified.

Work: Signed an incredible client this week, fly to New York on Tuesday to lock down THE event of the winter months (!), fly to Greece in a few weeks for my actor client who is wrapping up a film there. And I'm going with my BFF. Total perk.

What Else:Threw a pretty kickass Brazilian Birthday party; Artefacto/DC party was fun, though I don't think I've been in there since I did their launch, so it was a bit weird. And still ONE damn bathroom; Bloomie's/Kennedy Center fundraiser was fab last night--a nice CC addition, that; helping to throw a baby shower for one of my fave people in this town this weekend, cannot wait.

And now upcoming: mark your calendars for fabulous. We'll do this one at a time. There's a lot. Brace yourselves.


Event #1: MenzFit, October 4. (lovely design above by yours truly, photo by Abby Greenawalt. While I've been away, my design skills have not improved, but I've become a bit of a Photoshop genius out of total necessity).

MenzFit helps men move from poverty to the workforce with career education, interview training and appropriate attire. If you want to change the face of poverty, this is a pretty incredible place to start.

Tickets are $100; auction includes a trip for two to the wine country (including airfare), a men's sheared mink bomber jacket (worth $10k!--sorry, Dah, my leetle vegan friend), box tickets for the Wizards, Caps and Ken Cen, and my favorite, a beauty party for 10 including styling, refreshments, and the all-important product baskets for all. And there's LaMer in the gift bag. Kabam!

Side note event: Isaac Mizrahi at the new Bloomie's, 12-2 tomorrow. Got to find a copy of Unzippped pronto for signature purposes...

*Caviat on that: event photos: fine. Wedding photos, where you spend four hours posing with Aunt Gertrude on the church steps when really, you JUST WANT A DAMN DRINK and to have fun at your one-day, 800 kazillion dollar event: AARGH.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Do you still love me?

Okay, almost dug out. I haven't left. Just a little bit burnt and need to refresh a bit. Be back right quick.

xoxo
BabsieD

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Holy crapamole

That was exhausting. And thrilling. And exhausting. And amazing. And bloody damn hot.

Thank you to all of you-all eight hundred and fifty (!) of you who came tonight. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

blogging during blowout

Thank goodness Remi Metsu is a hair god, as the rest of me, on 3 hours of sleep, looks like complete utter crap.

Just wanted to day thank you to everyone for all of your support, especially to my BFF E and her compatriot S, who, despite humongous looming deadlines of their own, stayed with me packing goodie bag stuffs until the wee hours.

Full report tomorrow!

Xo

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Quick Report from the Front Lines...

Hi all. Okay: one huge event down (Saturday); the BIGGEE happens on Wednesday. I can't believe it's already here!

Here are a few top-secret pointers for you to best navigate this year's DSS:
-First, advance ticket sales close at 5pm today. So get them now or you may not get them at all (on site sales only happen if they don't sell out, which they tend to do).

-Head to the back left corner when you make it through the door: The Purse Store selection of designer bags at 80% off tend to sell REALLY QUICKLY, and Zelaya Shoes has a lot of variety and sizes coming, but the most common sizes, as you know, will sell quickly.

-Make sure you grab a program when you go through the door--page 13 has the store map--key for negotiating the best bargains. You can also prep by visiting this page, the bottom of which lists a sampling of the bargains to be had at some of the participating stores.

-If you were lucky enough to get a VIP ticket, check inside your fabulously adorable gift from one80, as someone will win a $300 gift certificate.

-The DSS raffle ROCKS this year. A $10 ticket could win you some sick prizes, starting with a $730 Gryson bag from Urban Chic.

-Bloggers' Corner goodie bags rock, so if you signed up, be sure to stop by (also located in the back left side).

-Also, drop a business card off (or fill out a raffle form) at the Miriam's House booth, as they are doing a free raffle. They, by the way, are AMAZING. And they could use your help. Please take some info from them at their booth so you too can be inspired by Carol Marsh, their ED, and her fantastic staff and board that provide a roof, help and comfort to women who need it more than you can ever imagine.

See you there!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

To Whom It May Concern (and FashionGirl),

Sorry that I've been so nuts.

Like crazy busy.

Like answer one email and seven more crop up busy.

(I feel like that annoying Yoplait commercial).

Right now, my life involves: checking 7--yes SEVEN--different email accounts; doing 3 presentations; mapping, designing ads, and keeping track of a 24-page program; having a client currently filming in Spain (that I might actually have to go visit in October--who hoo!); managing two photo shoots; getting together 3 pieces of collateral in production; getting 30 signs with 30 different logos printed (me luuuuurrrves Shano, my lifesaver on that one); and running a 200-person birthday party. Oh, and there's a baby shower too.

That's the short list.

So anyway, I will try to come back and regale you with stories of my fabulously fashionable life. Soon.

As soon as it's back to being either fabulous or fashionable.

xo

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bloggers Corner at the DSS!

So if you're coming to the DSS and you're a blogger, please do the following:
-Get your ticket now, as they're going quickly!
-Email blogger@districtsamplesale.com with your full blog name, address, and a 25-word description of your blog, and we'll feature it in our Fashion & Events Blog page in the DSS program.
-Stop by the Bloggers Corner at the DSS and pick up your fabulous free goodie bag!

That is all. Carry on.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nether Tasering

Sorry, busy as crap with the Sample Sale; this has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few...

So today, I had my second laser hair removal treatment. Or, as I like to call it, having my nethers tasered.

I "won" a spa silent auction package whilst a wee bit buzzed at an event (does every one of my posts involve drinking?*).

Anyhoo, turns out the package was a bit (a lot) of a bait and switch--it was for 2 of 5 necessary treatments (which they didn't inform me of until heading into appointment #2), combined with some random services that I didn't really need (and definitely don't need to drive a damn hour for). So to get optimal tasering results, I would have to buy a package of 5, which they offer at a volume discount, or the remaining 3 at regular price.

So the math: I spent $700 at the auction for something that was listed at a value of $1,400. But would have to spend another $900 to buy the remaining 3 treatments, or get a package of 5 for $675--so a minimum spend of $1,375 for something that they are currently selling for $675. Niiiiice.

So. Back to the tasering. In my two appointments, the first was using the standard laser, the second one was an upgrade using IPL.

First time out: took a lot of time, as you have to numb the whole area for about an hour, and then it still hurts somewhat. But after one treatment it was about 30% gone.

This time: no numbing, it took 15 minutes total (something about the IPL hitting far more follicles than with a normal laser), and same amount of pain (which isn't bad at all). As for results, we'll see what comes back.

As for the pain, it kind of feels like I went to Great Southern and asked for a tattoo that looks like chicken pox. But with about 40% less pain. It's just a quick sharp stinging, that really isn't that bad in most parts. You get used to it after the first few rounds.

If you're thinking about doing it, now is the time--tasered nethers cannot see the light of day at all, so I was the freak in the shorts at my pool all summer (with the farmer's tan to prove it).

And now that I've completely scarred you with way TMI (and you haven't read the postscript yet), I'm off to more DSS. Have a great weekend!

*Don't answer that. Though I JUST found out that I'm not preggers. But to backtrack, the initial thought (that I might be) occured around 10:00 this a.m. By 11:00 I was picking out guest room decor to convert it into a nursery, by 11:30 I was figuring out how to wittily tell my husband, by 2:00 I was buying a test, by 3:00..oh wait. Never mind. Not pregnant. Point is, tonight's post, if not about drinking, will defintely be sponsored by the concept. So back off.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Live Blogging: From the DSS War Room

If you're planning on getting a VIP ticket, do so quickly: there are only about 20 left!

Monday, August 20, 2007

We're Number, Um, FIVE!

So another fun fact from WWD: The DC Metro area has been ranked fifth in the nation in annual beauty spending, with an average annual spend of $453 (I don't believe procedures were included in the calculations--if they were, my group alone would add about $35 per capita...).

So I started doing the math (as really, when it comes down to it, I'm a number-crunching statistical analysis wonk more than anything else):
La Mer foundation, sold by pushy saleswoman, two shades too dark. Grrr. : $65
La Mer foundation, correct color (whitewhitewhite) sold by Jamie, the fantastic LaMer rep at Saks CC: $65
Laura Mercier Sunkissed (bought all left in stock as they were discontinuing it): $66
Nars Blush (Orgasm, but of course): $25
Too-Faced eyeshadow, George and Weezie: $17
Lipglosses: 8 colors, all in search of the perfect shade of tangerine that I don't think exists: $80 (approx)
Drunkypants Cosmetic Shopping at Random Department Store Beauty Event: $330 (the last one I went to, anyway).

That's $648 without really thinking about it. To achieve a fabulous level of...complete mediocrity. Damn. Guess maybe I should allocate that to the procedure side of that ledger. But that's another post entirely.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Toast

Happy Sunday!

I'm enjoying my Sunday a.m. routine: Snow Queen BM, Sunday Source, NYT front to back (front page first, weddings a close second, though the Mrs. Astor article by Bill Cunningham trumped both this week), and catching up on the WWD's I've skipped over the course of my busybusydamnbusy week.

...but I had to interrupt to share this bit of spectacular marketing prowess, from Friday's WWD...

Now I love me Barneys' shoe department more than just about anything else. But Saks' new shoe department at its NYC flagship: effing BRILLIANT:
-It's an entire floor (Eight). 50 vendors, 100,000 pairs (it is listed as "stockkeeping units" actually--but that's got to be pairs, right?).
-They lobbied for--and got--their own zipcode from the USPS:
10022-SHOE, which is incorporated into all their collateral.
-It features a shoe repair shop.
-They set it up so that the seating is arranged around tables--so while you're trying on Stuart Weitzmans, the person across from you is trying on Chanels--so you KNOW you're going to upgrade (though the real VIPs have their own luxe room, but of course).

So, CMO of Saks, whomever and wherever you are: I raise my glass of tomato-infused deliciousness and salute you. You are a marketing genius.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ain't No Accident...

Blogger News:

So my editorial genius friend H just started a new blog: Accidental Chic.

The blog features great writeups (short, fact-filled, to the point: hoorah!) on beauty, home and fashion: a great place to stop by to catch up on store, product and event info. Me likey very much.

Next is Mom Stylist Joyce Neave, whose blog also just kicked off. She's featuring weekly interviews, style Q&A, and local recommendations for everything from tailors to makeup artists.

AND then, to top it all off, here's a little detail on the Blogger's Corner at the DSS: it will feature a place for all in ze blogosphere to meet and greet, plus goodies for all. We will also be featuring your blog and description in our program! Just email blogger@districtsamplesale.com with your blog name and writeup (the shorter the better, please!) and we'll hold a goodie bag for you! There is no additional fee, but you will need to buy your ticket (on sale 8/23!) to get access. See you there!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Sad Note

Dr. Adrian, one of Washington's best dermatologists (and the first to give me Botox) passed away suddenly of leukemia.

He was a great doctor, patient and kind, and a complete innovator in the field.

If you would like to contribute to the DC Chapter of the L&L Society, there's an opportunity to do so here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pour a Bit of Champagne on the Boxwoods



...and write a check to your favorite charity in honor of the grandest doyenne and hostess of them all, Brooke Astor. What an amazing example for all to follow, each in our own little way.

Of Crowds & Chaos (and Cup Sizes)

I'm just not a fan of huge crowds, lest it's the DSS or My Morning Jacket playing on a stage in front of me. Nor am I a fan of total disorganization, unless it's my closet (okay, fine. My house).

Route 123 is the DMZ for me, with the left side featuring Scary Tyson's, the right featuring Actual Tysons. Scary Tyson's because EVERY SINGLE TIME I've ever been there, it's the Perfect Storm, packed with heinous crowds of sketch people and nasty moms pushing their sneezing kid's stroller directly into my kneecaps no matter how far to the right I move and teens in horribly inappropriate clothing that make me just want to lecture them forming dense packs that you simply cannot walk around even though they're walking 0.000004 mph and lines at the register when you just want to buy one little thing and just stacks of messy crap in every store.*

I'll just pay the 30% markup and buy across the way. Thanks.

That is why, on the surface, H&M would be the bane of my total existence.

But I love to mix up a little throwaway with the rest of my wardrobe, so every now and again, I suck it up ("it" may or may not be a Xanax) and head on in.

While in NYC a few weeks ago with my Miami team, I was dragged into the H&M down by Rockefeller Plaza. There is no H&M in Miami, so our fabulous event be damned, H&M was the absolute highlight of our trip for them. It must be like when my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Cavanaugh, went to Russia back in the Eighties (okay, Seventies) with a suitcase full of pantyhose to give out as gifts because they were such a rare luxury and the maids in hotels cried when they received them. Well, I guess like the horribly spoiled American version of that.

I got a couple of things for fall (as well as the orange star underwear, etc. for Aquaman), and then, while doing a lap on floor 4, a huge wall of bras caught my eye.

The perfect bra has always seemed like the unattainable for me, save for one beautifully crafted lavender lace concoction I bought in Paris a few years ago, whose maker was never to be found again.

Lacy is okay, but not delicate (eg., won't fall apart after one wearing). Fitted around the back without looking like a tourniquet. Little to no padding but not see through. Supportive without looking like an 18-Hour Bra from Playtex (I'm turning into my mother in enough other ways, which is Just Awesome. See "Teenagers, Incessant Need to Scold About Clothing Choices" from above).

Chantelle has come close, but they just don't support all that well, certainly not for $70 a pop (though I keep going back and shelling out my money like a cheated-on spouse thinking that this time, they'll do me right. Definitely this time. I just know it.).

But these, here at H&M, looked like they actually might be worth a shot. So into the 20-person long dressing room line I went.

Perfection. Absolutely, complete perfection. I couldn't even believe it. And SEVENTEEN DOLLARS.

Downside: I bought two colors, but didn't look to make sure the tag on the other one matched the sizing on the hanger, which of course it didn't, being H&M and crowded and chaotic and all.

But even at $34 (because I will always mean to, but will never, ever return it), still perfection. So if you're a fan of crowds and chaos (or even if you're not), definitely give them a try.

I'll be the one outside wagging her finger at some 14-year old in a belly shirt.

*Fine, the new wing is better. But it's still Scary Tyson's to me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

District Sample Sale

As a rule, if I'm going out to the press with something big, I don't break it here--would rather give them the honors.

So now that the word is out, here's the whole official scoop!
The website is updated for full scoopage.

See you there!

I AM THE BEST WIFE EVER.

Actually, not so much.

But, for the first time in about, oh, six months, I cooked dinner last night. You would think I brought home an Oscar considering the huge deal I made of it. I asked my husband when the party was going to be held (in honor of me making dinner), and I wasn't entirely kidding.

Anyway, I googled the four things we happened to have in our house: chicken, cilantro, a mango and curry and landed here. It was awesome. I am genius fabulous chef, wife and mother.

On a side note, I need to find a small, funky space for a cocktail or luncheon this fall. Very VIP jetset, but they're looking for very funky as well. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Hex In The City

Is it just me, or does SJP look pretty extra crazypants in her new ads?

Like she's possessed by some heinous otherworldly parfum demon who, with his evil olfactory-based powers, Photoshopped a ridiculously-sized bottle of Covet into her dainty little hands.

But, then again, maybe it's just me.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Three Words

There are days that you wake up, usually after a restless night, with a level of stress that you just can't shake. Days filled with frustration and tension and unanswered questions and no end in sight.

And then three simple words like, "Look, Mommy: butterfly."
...bring it all back into perspective.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lunch With D

Today, in between meetingsmeetingsmeetings, I met my very good friend and work partner for about 7 years, D. I miss having her in my life every day--we went through hell and back together, and have just such an amazing bond--but I'll take what I can get and today it was about 2-1/2 hours start to finish.

D always looks so incredibly demure and professional. But beneath that poised exterior is an completely uncensored mouth (beneath which is usually a perfectly tied Hermes scarf--today's was an extraordinary fuschia number) and a side-splitting sense of humor. We took a lap at an event at the convention center, then headed over to PS7. I've heard completely disparate reviews of the place--people seem to either really LOVE it or really HATE it, so I thought it was worth checking out for myself.

The verdict. Hmm. Well, parts I LOVED, parts I HATED.

The bread (I'm quite pro-carb): fantastic. Some of the best I've ever had. Hot, fresh and flaky. Perfection on a butter-smeared plate.

The menu: very interesting. But very pricy, especially for lunch. $14 for soup is kind of ridiculous.

Speaking of, the soup: we ordered one of each: one (tomato): great, one (chilled watermelon): horrible. Disappointing as watermelon and cilantro is one of the greatest flavor combinations ever, and they blew it.

Salad course: okay. Kind of pedestrian, though implemented well.

Server: I'll let this conversation sum it up:
D: Can I get this sandwich without the bacon? I'm a vegetarian.
Server: Absolutely. You can also get....hmm. I don't know what else. But you can get that.
One minute later...
D: Okay, instead of the non-bacon sandwich. I'll have the Sarah's Salad.
Server: Okay. Would you like chicken on that?

Our lunch somehow took an hour and a half for soup and salad, so I guess "very nice, but not very attentive in the least" would best sum it up.

So I guess you've just wasted two minutes of your time, as I've offered absolutely no guidance on this one whatsoever. Sorry.

Photo above: D, that one's for you.

Richard's Roof

Sant Antoni de Portmany is the section of Ibiza that is just packed with huge clubs, of which I'm generally not a big fan. Give me the quiet violin player at Firefly overlooking the Caribbean (see fantastic view to the left) with a Grenadine Suite at the Cotton House at which to crash at the end of the night (preferably the one with the plunge pool). Best. Vacation. Ever.

...but I digress. Last night I headed over to our own little Ibiza, the one on First Street, for a party thrown by Tony Cord and featuring DJ Neekola, who is about to go on air with her own show on XM.

The rooftop looks just like the one at Pure Las Vegas (less the amazing view at dusk as the sun dims and the city of Vegas lights up all around). It was for about 100 people, so it was far less crowded than Ibiza on a typical night--exactly my type of event.

The weather was just perfect. We sat in our banquette, discussing with the fabulous Tony Hudgins how amazing it is that on a Tuesday night such a diverse group of people were out and about--this is not Washington of five years ago. Dominique Dawes was on the guest list, but I didn't see her--good thing, as I probably would have turned into the Chris Farley bad interviewer character on the spot ("Do you, um, remember? In the Olympics? When you, um, stuck that landing? That...was...SO....cool").

While it is recommended that you subscribe the The Liquid Muse's Cocktail of the Week email as she's the true professional, here are the drinks we whipped up for the event:
Sant Antonitini: Vodka (Snow Queen, but of course!), Triple sec, blue curacao; orange slice garnish.
Richard’s Roof: Snow Queen, dry vermouth, muddled mint leaves and a "roof" of mint on top.
Queen Neekola On The Rocks: Snow Queen, muddled limes, about a tsp. of sugar (she was lovely--and so excited to have a drink named after her!).

I can't believe it's already August. But summer: so far, so good!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Five Star Pampering

So while in Miami for Fashion Week, I headed back to Acqualina, mom in tow. We were originally there for the launch, and after the rough weekend battling paparazzo and denying my need for sleep in more than 4-hour increments, some big huge pampering was in order.

Miami's version of the Mercedes in DC is the Bentley--on a percentage basis, it's about equal. And as you drive up the circular brick driveway in Sunny Isles Beach, about 30% of the town's Bentley allotment is parked there. I think they leave those in front and hide the non-Bentleys in the valet garage. It's an impressive site nonetheless.

Clicking down the marbled foyer, left, left, and there in front it sits: Espa, the 20,000 square foot haven of spa perfection.

We each chose the 2-hour custom package simply called "Espa Time": the time block is open; you meet with your consultant and together you lay out your treatment package on the spot. Facial, foot massage (see FW Mayhem--this was the day after), back massage, salt scrub were my choices.

In front of us at the reception counter was a Marshall--she was about 70 with more work done than anyone I had ever seen before. Her wraparound Diors couldn't hide what had to be at least four eyejobs, her short white shorts definitely had some lipo relocation beneath them, and she had the chest of a 20 year old (beneath a Versace strapless scarf blouse, natch). It was rather unsettling.

As you're filling out your leather-bound preferences list, the assistant quietly brings over a tray with a lemongrass-infused icy cold washcloth and a small cup of their cold soup dujour--orange watermelon on this particular day. Yum.

You are then led into the exquisitely appointed changing rooms, complete with hot, cold and ice shower stations, then to the "relaxation room"--a bedded, bambooed room to meditate (or, if, say, you are not quite the fan of sitting still for 30 seconds, for catching up on T&C and US Weekly). You also have use of the private Espa pool during your stay, before and after your service, so pack up if you head down.

The spa decor consists of browns, plums, glass and bamboo throughout; the custom products they use are scented with a spicy, woody yet not too heavy mix (their candles hold the scent perfectly). Very relaxing all. Kind of a darker, more zen-inspired version of John Barrett, actually.

The services have been Americanized a bit since their launch--they were anti-extractions for facials, but have now incorporated them; the emphasis overall seems a bit more results-focused on services than before.

My aesthetician, Elizabeth: wonderful. The obligatory product mention, but no hardsell; a top-notch facial, and a massage that put me to sleep (and I'm not usually a massage person).

So when you're sunning in Miami this winter, head there if you can. The resort is wonderful. But Espa: extraordinary.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ninth Floor, Please.

I don't know exactly when it happened, but one day, after lobbying DirectTV for years, we finally got the Style channel. Hoorah!

But apparently while I was away, Style went to Suckytown. Who replaced hour-long shows of the Paris shows with weird and creepy "dress like your favorite star" shows? Boo.

But then tonight, the greatest man in the universe, my husband*, was flipping channels. And due to the aforementioned greatestness, he looked at his new plasma and said, "Hey, isn't that the guy that used to do your hair?". And there in front of me was John Barrett. Cutting hair in Knoxville, Tennessee.*

Split Ends: the show that made Style not suck. Awesome.

*My husband has also identified Dolce and Gabbana and Zac Posen and, maybe he couldn't tell them apart, but there's a good chance he would be able to point to Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough and know that those were the guys whose suit I desperately needed from Kirna Zabete last year. Greatest. Husband. Ever.

They (I) Say That All Press Is Good Press...

Placid

Back from the Adirondacks. What a relaxing week.

We stayed at Silver Lake, at what was a prestigious camp for girls that operated from 1911 until 1972. Each of the rooms in the main lodge and bungalows had a name--ours was Park Avenue. At the end of each summer, each of the groups of campers would make a plaque in honor of theirs. As an American Studies major, it was just fascinating--rows and rows of handmade pictures from the 1940's lining the walls, painted and signed by little girls with names like Rockefeller and Pulitzer and Hutton. My favorite ones were signs that incorporated their printed name tags from their clothing. You could almost hear the little girls giggling in the halls at night. Oh wait, that was the bats.

Aquaman appeared on the last day, which was the perfect way to end the week. Those in charge went for replicating the true Aquaman outfit vs. some of us who wanted to embellish, so his orange-starred speedos and flipppers went unused. A solid all-around humiliation nonetheless.

I had no internet access for the entire week, save for about an hour each day when we drove the half-hour ride into the nearest town, Au Sable Forks, where spotty Blackberry access could be found. Trying to answer 15 vms and 30 emails each day with no way to send attachments and in a very small window was challenging (especially with everyone's fall issues closing up rightthisveryminute), but I survived with a few glitches and one quick glance at Page Six at the end of the week (Lindsay--for shame! Get yourself a new entourage!).

But upside: in a true smalltown moment, as my BFF and I were in the local general store, the owner happened to mention that he was heading over to the Grand Union, bouquet of balloons in hand. We mentioned that we were heading there next, and he asked us if we could drop off the balloons for his son, Mark, who was celebrating his birthday.

When we arrived, the cashiers and produce people started gathering around with excitement. As they went to fetch the birthday boy, one stepped forward and asked, "So, are you one of those singing telegrams?". "Um...sure," came our wary reply. And then there we were, belting out Happy Birthday (not altogether well, though most from the crowd joined in). So when we headed into town for the rest of the week, we were the Singing Telegram Girls.

Okay, off to a photoshoot, then finishing up some web projects, but first a little DSS scoop: the VIP hour will be DJ'd by none other than Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Off to vaca....



Off to a week in the Adirondacks, Dirty Dancing style. A group of us have rented an old girls' camp, complete with rundown cabins and lake. Hopefully we'll have the time of our lives.

We were iffy about going until our friend, Halfro (college friends and roommates all), bet our group in a somewhat drunken stupor that if the "marrieds" (four of us total) actually showed up, he would don a full-on Aquaman costume, have one of us canoe him out to the middle of the lake, he'd swim to shore, emerge from the water and walk down the shoreline introducing himself, friends and strangers alike, as Aquaman with a completely serious look on his face.

And with that, our vacation plans were set. Although the costume didn't arrive, so ten of us each picked a piece of the ensemble to bring. I'm in charge of the orange speedos. Of note in the costume are the green leggings, yellow dishwashing gloves, nose plug, waterwings, flippers and "A" buckle.

Needless to say, we've granted ourselves a bit of artistic license.

When I return: news of the District Sample Sale (okay, I'll spill it now: Wednesday, September 12. The VIP tickets will be So. Damn. Worthwhile. Believe tickets will go on sale 8/23), two other tres fun events locked down for the fall, and a play by play of the world's greatest 5-star spa, Acqualina.

Or maybe you'll get those from me during my vaca if we get bored with the torturing of Halfro.

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back to the vapid in a flash....

A beautiful story from a beautiful person (who happens to be my sister-in-law) can be found here. And if you're a dear and vote for it, she could win a trip, courtesy of Conde Nast. Being that she's taking care of her awesome 3-year old by herself in Texas while her husband is in Iraq, she deserves it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back to NYC

Tonight: the opening of the Maria Felix sale at Christie's New York.

Of note: the leopard print "red" carpet; the fabulousness that, once again, is Lydia Fenet; the estate of Ms. Felix; meeting James of Park Avenue Peerage. What a sweet guy, a total highlight. Loved him. And the way cool Billy Farrell from Patrick McMullan.

Estate sales are a such a mix of emotions: attend one and you're part historian, part collector, part creepy voyeur. But it almost moved me to tears walking though what was her amazing life, just in things.

Beautiful paintings, china, hand-embroidered chairs, old, old books, so many awards, and an entire room lit in blue, filled with her Tiffany blue pieces: chandeliers, vases, a salt and pepper shaker shaped like a coach with blue s&p's in the carriage; couture clothing.

Then the red carpet started: first: smacked down by Bill Cunningham. Doh! Then Tinsley Mortimer, Chita Rivera, Hamish Bowles, Nina Garcia, Thom Filicia, Brandon Davis (once again) who completely tried to maul one of the girls in our group; Norma Quintero; photo editor Cary Leitzes; Angel Sanchez (fresh from designing Eva's wedding gown!); and countless others that, had I not guzzled about 4 glasses of champagne and quick, I'd probably remember better.

Some from our group split off to head to the Hairspray premiere, some to some bar near the Shoreham, our cute little hotel. And a few of us: back to our beds, end of a long, fun, but tiring weekend.

P.S. Additional sighting: Lucy Liu, heading off my elevator at Bergdorf's.

Turns Out, We're All Star-Effers...

I don't know, I guess I just kinda thought that Miami people were more used to the notion of celebrity than those of us in DC. There's just SO much ostentatious wealth everywhere you look, lots of celebs are down there, the events scene is about 100x that of Washington...

...but then Jessica Simpson's swimwear launched at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. And then my theory proved all kinds of wrong.

Shay Todd show: oh, about 20 photogs, seating was at capacity, which was maybe 350.

JS show: about 200 photogs, standing room only. Just utter madness.

But first, a little digression.

I was staying at my sister's beautiful apartment (she's still on her uber-luxe tour of Italy), so I had free reign in her closet and with her beauty products. Worth the trip in and of itself.

First night: Dolce & Gabbana black lace stretch dress, which I've been coveting forever. Standing in line to get into the tent, saw Brandon Davis' girlfriend breeze through the VIP line, but Mr. Davis: denied. Tried the "don't you know who I am" bit, but not so much. Also seen: club promoter Ingrid Casares with her companion all weekend, stylist Robert Verdi; Andy Summers, though holed up in the VIP room at the Sagamore (a collection of his photos from the Police taken in the 80's is currently on display/on sale there); heard Andy Garcia was there but didn't spot him.

Next day: favorite Tory top, also a long-time covet, during the day; pilfered for night: gold alligator strappy sandals with twisted metal stiletto heel (worn with my Chinese silk RL pants that I wear to damn everything).

First stop: Rik-Rak Salon's Sagamore outpost for an editorial meeting/foot massage. Yeah, tough. But thank goodness for that relaxing start, because the night ahead...

So, the JS Show. First, the suits: surprisingly cute. The show soundtrack opened with American Woman, some Prince thrown in as well--was very fun. The models: better than at any other show; all were skinny with huge boobies. One looked EXACTLY like JS (who was seated in the front row with her mother and Jamie-Lynn Sigler).

Also of note: crazypants Dennis Rodman, there with drag queen extraordinaire Elaine Lancaster. Apparently not happy that he wasn't the center of attention, he got up mid-show, started dancing across the runway, then over to the left of the runway (but still in front of the photogs) and continued dancing. It was just bizarre.

Then came the after party at the Shore Club.

First, a shout-out: to the three J's: Josh and his two cohorts whose names I can't remember but they were J's, managers of the Red Room all. Cool as hell, especially under pressure. That's a job where you could seriously be a complete prick with attitude, and none of them were, not in the least. They were quite fabulous.

My job: get bottle of liquor into the hands of Ms. Simpson when she arrived. Get CEO of said liquor in her velvet-roped area. Find our photog and snap a picture. Easy, right?

As the night ticked on, the Red Room at Sky Bar (at Shore Club) was just getting more and more (and more and more) packed. Then I noticed security sweeps starting to come through. Then the paparazzi started coming in. Then I started inching my way up and...

KABLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMKABLAM went the flashbulbs. Talent hath arrived.

I was about three people back from the ropes, literally getting thrown around like a ping pong ball in my gold stilettos (which, as they were pilfered, didn't fit me perfectly so they hurt like hell and I was pretty wobbly). Seriously thought I was going to get trampled. It was actually frightening. Security tried to calm things down, but that was just not happening.

Made it up to the front, about 5 feet away. Ken Paves was dancing on a chair for the photogs, Jessica was vamping like the expert that she is. It was impressive to see her turn it on just like that.

Then I found myself barking some orders, handing stuff over, we grabbed the photog, SNAPSNAP. Done.

Turned around and JS's publicist was standing there, release order in hand stating that we couldn't use the photo.

Foiled at the velvet rope. Damn. Impressed by her people, though. I mean, it was lightning fast.

Hobbled out of the event, stopping to load up from the Smashbox lady--a woman walking around with a literal tray of Smashbox that was yours for the taking. Awesome. Then over to the outside bar, to order two $20 glasses of champagne (it was free inside, but we just couldn't be bothered--it was just so packed and exhausting), sat outside with our Blackberries, emailing the media our scoops, then through the hotel where two men who looked exactly like the Night at the Roxbury guys tried to pick us up, even when I said, "thanks, but happily married with a baby."

Then out of South Beach, back to the apartment, gingerly placing the somewhat trashed shoes into their plastic case labeled with a Polaroid (and then went straight for the La Mer).

Next installment: spa day at five-star Acqualina.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

part three...

At Jessica Simpson's show. Good god: mass chaos.

Friday, July 13, 2007

blogging via cell, part deux

I'm at MB fashion week (swim) in Miami, currently at the Shay Todd show. Kind of Tory meets.Juicy meets lower-rent Balenciaga. Oh, and a little Xanadu.

For the record, I'm a pasty white, non-exotic cow.

Though the model heading down the runway at present has a horrific wedgie.

Ps. Andy Summers is here!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's a..:

Blogging via cell to let you know that at 2:30 am, DC Celine had herself a bouncing baby girl!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ode to Valentino

I was just reading about Valentino's 45th anniversary/75th birthday in Rome* (unfortunately, I couldn't make it because I, um, was busy...with...um...).

Anyhoo, in honor of the man and his legendary career, I share with you my very own Valentino story. It would have been published in Glamour in 1998, but they shortened my brilliant, enchanting 1,500 word essay to basically the following:

"I met Oprah. She was nice."

So I will bore you with said story here.

It was my sister's birthday, and as her present, her husband at the time bought her two very fabulous tables at a charity fashion show for Valentino. Oprah was the mistress of ceremonies; Donald T. was at the table next to us (his wife at the time, Marla Maples, was one of the models). Elizabeth Vargas was at my table along with a bunch of my sister's other friends/New York contemporaries.

I, still in full-on hippie era, was shipped the entire ensemble I was to wear to the function: (completely non-flattering) Chanel suit and shoes, proper jewelry, I think even some mascara was sent my way. It's not like I would have shown up in my Birks, but what with my whopping editorial pittance, I couldn't afford much better than the AT sale rack.

Models are models for a reason. Celebs and wives of should stay off the runway without some serious training. But I digress.

Our group was invited to the opening of the Valentino boutique afterward, and it was just beautiful. The red-carpeted entrance featured two HUGE V's made from red roses; I was handed a biscotti and iced tea with a dainty mint sprig by a gorgeous tuxedoed butler at the door. I was feeling quite cool (which is ALWAYS foreshadowing. Someday I will learn...).

So we met Oprah. She was nice.

And then I was feeling REALLY, REALLY cool.

So I'm strutting around the store, thinking I'm all fabulous, sipping my iced tea with mint, already bragging in my head to my friends about how cool I am, when I found myself in the men's department: a rectangular room that dead ended in the back.

And out of nowhere, Valentino himself just *POOF* appears. I didn't see him come through a door, he was just there, coming toward me. Just he and I (him and I?).

He walked closer and looked me directly in the eye. He's about my height, as tan in person as on film.

I lowered my glass and prepared to speak, knowing that since I was now incredibly cool, something just uber-fabulous was destined to fall from my lips. It would be brilliantly witty. He would find me charming. Yacht invitations would invariably ensue.

And then, just as he got close up and we were face to face, his expression changed to one of utter contempt. He looked away and moved on in disgust.

And then I felt the mint sprig, which, to that point, had happily rested atop my glass of tea, but apparently decided to take up a new place of residence.

Under my top lip, wrapped around it, with the very tip inserted into my nose.

Cool no more. The end.

Happy belated birthday and anniversary, Mr. Garavani.

*OP's P.R. people: I salute you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Biggest Thunderstorm in the Universe

Right now, my dog is probably looking down from her 500 acre grassy meadow in the sky, not panting, drooling or pooping in a corner, and completely digging it, I'm sure.

Photo: Shuba hiding in basement during storm, 2004.

Total Job Perk

I think my favorite part is the cover, which is leopard print with her name in gold. Can't wait.

Read a great bio on La Dona by The Liquid Muse (whose family actually has a pretty amazing art-related connection to the acclaimed actress!) here.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I Am SO Not Fabulous

Within 30 seconds of each other, I just received two emails:

To: BabsieD
From: My Sister
Subject: We are in Capri

Just got off our private plane. Mykonos was nice but this, this is to DIE. We are at the Hotel Tiberio Palace in a beautiful room with a big balcony overlooking the water and all of Capri.

I think this where we have to come* - the fauna is spectacular. We walked through the square (you take a hydrofoil from Naples to Capri) and from the port you take an open air cab to the square and then you walk through the square filled with shops and up this cobblestone hill with more shops. It's like a movie set and the people are so gorgeous. It's really special!!!

To: BabsieD
From: Bride
Subject: My wedding

I won't quote the whole thing, but the words "Kevin Costner's band arrives at 4," an explanation of her fam's estate location, and the fact that the reception is being held at ruins were all mentioned.

And me: I'm here working, interspersed with a quick round of "Let's Do The DUMBEST Thing Ever": in the process of arranging my new kitchen(!), I have a pile of MacKenzie-Childs cabinet knobs that I won't be using (in fact, much to my husband's chagrin as I've spent a small pile on this collection, I'm kind of sick to death of all of it). Anyway, much like when you literally watch yourself shut your hand in your car door, I just thought I'd try to fill the paper thin kazillion-dollar** McK-C handpainted vase with said knobs. Heavy, ceramic knobs. I gingerly placed one inside, it rolled for a second, and shattered the vase--the one piece I still really liked--into a million shards. So effing dumb. The end.

*Riiiiight.
**Yet bought at the Church Mouse in Palm Beach, the greatest thrift store ever, for a mere $28, tags still on. Just makes it all the more painful.

Match.com

Someone once told me* that when you walk into Aerin Lauder's apartment, there's a big crystal bowl filled with monogrammed matchboxes, an idea that I just love (and will someday totally plagarize).

Anyway, enter Meredith Waga Perez at Belle Fleur New York, florist to Salma Hayek, Uma Thurman et. al (and featured in Vogue, W and InStyle just about every time I pick up a copy, it seems).

It was a natural progression for them (the company is run by her and her mom) to take their floral knowhow and aesthetic expertise and apply it to candles, and, as you can see from the above, they nailed it.

The gorgeous scents, which seem strong when you first open the box, actually linger without overpowering. The packaging is beyond exquisite. And the matches that come with each: needless to say, I think it's a completely genius touch. All around, the perfect hostess gift.

If you're lucky enough, you may even get a note from Meredith in her PERFECT penmanship on their signature Cartier stationery; their brochure comes packaged in faux croc-lined envelopes (that I think are from Allie Munroe...).

It looks like the candles will be featured at Apres Peau soon (and there may even eventually be a little, ahem, personal appearance around it by the fabulous Ms. Perez herself), and in the meantime, they can be ordered online here.

*or maybe I just read it, I can't remember.

UPDATE: They just arrived at Apres Peau. One smelled fantastic. But ten--now that smells INCREDIBLE.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ladies Who Lunch

Had a lunch today with the head of the Bethesda/Silver Spring Stroller Strides, ostensibly about some of my clients, but she was way cool so it evolved into a multi-subject discussion ranging from where to get a great Mojito (she's a fan of Ceviche) to decorating our little houses to hosting lunches (including the one I'll be throwing in the hopefully not-too-distant future). Which got me thinking about my favorite part of hosting my girls over for lunch or dinner: party favors!

Here are some of my faves:
• Homemade fortune cookies in box (Chinese carry-out boxes, $.89, Container Store, see Fortune Cookie Recipe here--wow, posted a year ago yesterday!)
• R. Nichols Singles Notecards ($3 each, r-nichols.com)
• Garden Sprinkler Seed Tins ($3.25 each, pottingshedcreations.com)
• 2-piece Beach-themed Chocolate Favors ($4 set of two, delochoc.com)
• Marimekko kitchen magnets ($5.90 each, Marimekkodc.com) (tip: use a separate magnet on the back to make these placecard holders)
• Tortoise shell toothbrushes (good if you’re serving garlic for dinner!) ($4.99, edentalstuff.com)
• DC Chocolate Tour Candy Bars ($25 for 4 bars, Apres Peau, DC—as soon as they come back in stock!*)
• Kiehl’s Lip Balms ($7 each, Blue Mercury, Georgetown)
• Hydrangeas/whatever is in your backyard in silver cups (head over to Home Goods or a few estate sales and do a little mix & matching—looks fabulous, starts at around $3 each)
• Paperback chick-lit books (all different so everyone can trade at the table).

Any other great ideas I can swipe?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Proof: In the Pudding?

...that, my friends, was the question over dessert at last night's preview dinner at Proof. My fabulous tablemate (Happy Birthday!) didn't think so: she wanted it to be more pudding-y. I just wanted a bit more ice cream with it. And that little convo about our bread pudding was the biggest complaint we could muster at our fabulous dinner.

Proof, which is a slice of New York across from the Portrait Gallery, has poached lots of talent from around town (from Asia Nora, Teatro Goldini and fantastic sommelier Sebastian Zutant from Rasika, to name a few). And running it all is detail-obsessed* owner Mark Kuller. Ask him about the little bronze-ringed candles at the table, the color of the menus, the grommets on the chairs, the deli slicer from the 1940's, the light bulbs--yes, the man has fretted over Every. Last. Detail.

After sending over two great bottles of wine (whose names I can't recall because, well, he sent over two bottles of wine. Oh, and topped it off with a bottle of exceptional champagne), we enjoyed selections from each of the courses:

Charcuterie: Proscuitto di Parma (exceptional) and Speck Wrapped Burrata (so eloquently described by me as "Adult Bubbalicious"--although now that I think of it, it's actually Freshen Up that had the surprise sweet center. Anyway, phenomenal).

First: Braised Meatballs and Blue Prawns (both yum).

Second: Wild King Salmon (not the most exciting choice, but solid).

Dessert: Incredible chocolate pie of some type and the aforementioned bread pudding (and French Press Decaf--yay!!!)

Final because we weren't quite stuffed enough: Cheese sampler plate (frigging incredible).

Then the tour: from the bathroom decor (laboriously chosen, see Detail, Obsession With above)--hot chick mural in the M, silver and fuschia garter patterned wallpaper in the W, the spotless spotless kitchen (new kitchens are always so fun!), the tiny tiny cramped office (two people were shoved in there when we saw it), the incredible-smelling wine storage room, the metal curtain that rolls out to create a private room for 12--this is a great new addition to the DC restaurant scene.

It officially opens for business on the 5th, so make your reservations now.

No cinnamon muffins, but he said he'd think about it.

Understatement of the century. Seriously.

Monday, July 02, 2007

BabsieD: Making Friends Famous Since 2006-ish

My first E!Online score, and for one of my favoritist bloggers--and people--on the planet!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Fabulous, Fabulous Nick

R. Nichols Sale: It's almost over (tomorrow)!: save 30% off your R. Nichols order by listing "SWEET" as your code.

And now there are four whole reasons not to hate Orlando:
1.) Prive for blowouts
2.) Seasons 52
3.) Orlando Premium Outlets
4.) ....and the R. Nichols Shop, opening Fall 2007!

Above: Just The Ladies notecards, which I'm thinking will be the invites for my Pucci and Marimekko-inspired girls afternoon housewarming luncheon. As soon as I get some furniture!