style, whimsy

Aspen, Colorado

Recently, I had the pleasure of traveling to Aspen for a friend’s birthday right before the holidays.  The town was decorated so beautifully that I thought I’d share the photos of this winter wonderland on Christmas. I hope all of you are having a very Merry Christmas!  A very blessed day to you and yours. Cheers!

sitting cozy at the Little Nell with friends – Lindsey Dinges & Walker Wagner!

The St. Regis Aspen - LOVED the interior!

The bar at the St. Regis Aspen

Our short trip to Aspen might have been my favorite weekend getaway all year! I can’t wait to return to this adorable ski town – beyond charming!

 

I hope your Christmas is merry and bright! xoxo

style, whimsy

from top left: Blue Nights by Joan Didion, Loose Diamonds by Amy Ephron, The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy, Vintage Flashlight Lamp, Patch Candle, Antique Skeleton Key

 

It’s that time of year…. to reorder my bookshelves!  As I was sorting through the: have reads, to reads, half-reads, and where-did-this-one-come-from the other day, I was thinking about some of my favorite books from 2011 and the titles that I am hoping await me under the Christmas tree this year.  There are odd reasons books often stand out to an individual.  Maybe the book resonates because it was written by your favorite author, maybe (albeit guiltily) you simply liked the cover, or you picked up a title at the most adorable book store – whatever the reason, it’s always nice to have fond memories and feelings attributed to books.  On my “to read” list is Blue Nights by Joan Didion.  A recent “have read and LOVED” was Loose Diamonds by Amy Ephron (simply hilarious).  And, I began to read The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy, but haven’t finished yet.  I picked it up at Book Marc in New York City (one of those adorable book stores) – so that was reason enough to feature it.

1. At Home With Town & Country 2. Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities

3. Black & White (and a bit in between) - by Celerie Kemble 4. Bals - Assouline 5. The Grand Bazaar – Istanbul

from left: Vintage Books Boxed Set-Cooking, Vintage Boxed Book Set – Fashion

Some of the books that I added to my “wish list” this year, were: Bals by Assouline, Black and White (and a bit in between) by Celerie Kemble, and the Pictorial Webster’s: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities. I am very excited about the Pictorial Webster’s.  I think it will be such a fun book for a side table in my living room- so interesting!  I absolutely love the book on The Grand Bazaar by Assouline.  Though the price is a bit steep, the images are positively stunning.  After flipping through the book at a store recently, I left dreaming about a trip to Istanbul.  Which shows, though any quality and truly inspirational print publication may qualify for your “splurge” category when it comes to shopping, in the end, it is more than likely cheaper than a last minute plane ticket to Turkey.  The ticket you purchase on a whim- when you decide you absolutely must have the bracelet from the market featured on page 7.


What were your favorite books this year?

style

Vogue Archive with WGSN

I think if I were to rewrite my Christmas list, the new Vogue Archive would be right at the top.  Now, I have a new resolution to add to my journal for 2012: to keep up with my newspapers and magazines! Finally catching up with back issues this week, I came across the article “Now Online: 120 Years of Vogue Fashion” in the Wall Street Journal. This is truly a dream come true! The new digital archive is a partnership between Vogue and the trend forecasting company, WGSN. The new archive offers more than 425,000 images, 300,000 ads, and 1000,000 articles dating all the way back to 1892.  All of the content is indexed, searchable, and even printable! You can bookmark your favorites and scour through the history of your favorite designers.

Explore the Vogue ARCHIVE here.

A dream come true?  I think so.  If it wasn’t for the price of $1,575 per year – I’d assuredly be clicking through the archive right now! In 2012, Vogue will be offering special limited access to subscribers, but it’s not yet certain what the limitations it will hold.  For now, I will enjoy watching the video, reading about it, and dreaming about Vogue offering full access to its subscribers next year.  Positive thoughts!

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Rugby Ralph Lauren- Georgiana Glam Lace Top, Floral Print Georgette Skirt

Just last week, I was overwhelmed with excitement when I found a package on my doorstep from Rugby by Ralph Lauren sent through the Vogue Influencer Network! After hoping that it was one of their gorgeous holiday sweaters inside, I was delightfully surprised to find it was a floor-length tiered floral skirt- the Georgette skirt to be exact.  Full of brightly colored posies, it’s different and oh-so-romantic.  And, it’s absolutely perfect to add some variety to a holiday wardrobe this season.  With the touches of red and green, it’s festive without being too forward.  I loved pairing it with the Georgiana Glam Lace Top from Rugby and a beautiful burnt velvet scarf I picked up on a trip to Aspen.

After being rained out on a scheduled trip to a local farm, I came up with the Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas as the new location for this holiday photo shoot. The backdrop could not have been more perfect.  I was so thankful I was able to convince my best friend, Sarah Ludwig, into participating in this holiday shoot as well. We decided it would be a lot more fun to photograph more than one Rugby piece and it was the perfect excuse to shop Rugby’s holiday sale. She found the cutest pieces at the Highland Park Village store in Dallas!

Floral Print Georgette Skirt, scarf- The Aspen Emporium and Flying Circus

scarf- The Aspen Emporium and Flying Circus

Sarah Ludwig – vintage mink stole, Rugby by Ralph Lauren: Norris Plaid Tunic

Sarah- Nars lipstick in Jungle Red

Sarah paired the Rugby Norris Plaid Tunic with a belt of her own, a vintage mink stole, flat riding boots, and a pair of tights.  “The piece is extremely comfortable,” Sarah said, “I love how you are able to dress it up and dress it down.  I can wear it with boots or a pair of suede heels.”  Sarah is a teacher, so I’m sure it will fit in quite well in her classroom too. I could also see this dress paired with a furry vest or this Gaelia Shearling jacket from Rugby. And, it’s definitely perfect for a casual holiday party.  Plaid is always festive.

I had so much fun wearing this Jamie-Puff Sleeve Shirt from Rugby. It will be so perfect for family gatherings at home and it pairs just as well with black pants as it does with my favorite jeans and Ralph Lauren Isella Calfskin riding boots! And, the puff sleeves certainly do add the perfect touch of flair.

Sarah paired her plaid tunic with a pair of textured navy tights.  I think they certainly add a nice touch.  And, how fun is the vintage mink hat?  Sarah said this look would be perfect for one of her holiday parties at school and even for one of her family events at home.

For this look, I added a vintage ivory Yves Saint Laurent blazer to the mix.  It certainly dresses up the outfit and adds a bit of polish.  I would definitely wear this to a more formal holiday party with coworkers or even a holiday dinner.

Sarah picked up the Jadyn Plaid Ruffle Top from Rugby. She plans to pair this with jeans over the holidays at home.  I love how she wore it today with a simple gray cashmere sweater. It could easily be paired with a sleek pencil skirt and blazer for more formal occasions.


I think this outfit is perfect for a friend’s party or an evening event over the holidays. What is more romantic than a Georgian lace top matched with a floaty layered skirt?  Pair it with your favorite scarf or stole for a pop of color or an added bit of texture.  Shop the holiday gift boutique on Rugby Ralph Lauren here- or at least add a few pieces to your last minute wish list!  From plaids, to flowers, and furs – it’s true that Rugby offers the perfect mix of pieces for holiday party dressing with a twist. After all, if you can’t have fun with style during the holiday season – why bother?

A few other favorites:

Rugby Penywern Cadet Jacket

Rugby Wool Angora Cardigan Coat

Rugby Satin and Shearling Trapper Hat

 

*all photography (sans three clothing pieces above) by: Sarah Ludwig & Haley Schultheis

guests, style

holiday party do’s: pieces for the perfect look.

Yes, you’ve read the subject correctly. This is our first-ever guide to men’s style – and what could be more perfect than one that is holiday inspired?  There is still time to change your wardrobe for this weekend’s party and next week’s family event. Thankfully, my friend Mario Ingraffia agreed to write this post!  He’s very fashion savvy and has great taste, so I hope you enjoy his perspective!

A Man’s Guide to Holiday Style:

Recently, Haley asked me to write a guest post about men’s fashion during the holiday season. I was surprisingly excited. I don’t know if this stems from the fact Haley showed me such a great night out in Dallas, or the fact that I’ve been to five holiday parties already this year and have been appalled by what I have seen worn by my gender.  If you read just one section of this post, please read the following Do’s & Dont’s section.  This will prevent me from having to take pictures, which I will then post on my Twitter account in an attempt to find the “Worst Dressed Man of the Holidays.”

 

Don’t:  Brown Suits, Green Suits, Tan & Brown Sports Coats, Light Jeans, Worn Jeans (pretty much any jean that is lighter then the sky when you wake up in this morning) Holiday Tees, T-Shirts & Holiday Sweaters (leave these to your festive uncles).  If it has print on it, please leave it at home or pass it along to someone attending a Christmas sweater party.

Do’s: Cashmere Sweaters & Cardigans (No tampered waists), Dark Jeans, Dark Sport Coats, Custom Suits, Loafers, Scarves, Vests, Sunglasses….Layers, Layers, Layers. No, I am not offering motherly advice.  I could care less that layers keep me warm.  However, I know when coordinated correctly, layers can make you look like you just stepped off the runways of NYC or Paris.

Casual Parties: The majority of holiday events I attend fall into this category.  These range from holiday dinners at a friend’s place to the wild office parties everyone has stories about.  My go-to attire for a casual event is a plaid (grey & black) sports coat from Astor & Black, white dress shirt with red accents from Astor & Black, dark washed, tailed jeans from Paper Denim & red loafers from D&G.   At these events, I always want to convey a level of professionalism while having fun with my attire.  You cannot go wrong with dark jeans, dark sport coat, & dress shirts, but spice it up a little with some seasonally colored shirts (I love plaid dress shirts), tees, or even colored loafers.

Formal Parties: If I am headed to a formal event, I am always suiting up during the holidays.  I’ll wear a fitted, black suit & add some seasonal flair with a colorful shirt because I am not a tie wearer.  If it’s a black tie event, you have no choice but to wear a tux. But, don’t worry men- we look beyond amazing in tuxes.  If I am in a tux this holiday season, you can bet the house on the fact that I have on a red bow tie! Formal events should be the easiest ones to dress for each time.  However, I always see men dressed as if the 1980s haven’t ended. NO: light suits, brown suits, sweater vest combinations, etc.  It’s simple: modern black suit or a tux with a seasonally colored shirt or tee complete with polished shoes.

 

Family Events: Sweatpants and t-shirt OR Ultimate Onesie: NEITHER.  Whether you heading to your monster-in-laws Christmas or just opening present with your nieces and nephews, it time to leave the sweats at home.  These events are a great time for those new cashmere sweaters you recently purchased.  I prefer to pair a black/red cashmere ¼ zip, sweater, dark washed jeans, warm vest, scarf (if you feel the need, even a Christmas scarf will work), & pair of sunglasses.  I am obsessed with the new red loafers I recently purchased.  They will add a nice seasonal twist to any attire. At family events, I always want to be comfortable while looking good enough to earn bonus points with relatives I have not seen in a year or so, family members, and especially- her parents.

A couple of things regarding etiquette:  Don’t show up empty handed.  This year, I’ve been bringing a bottle of Johnnie Walker engraved for hosts.  However, a great gift can be as simple as a bottle of wine, flowers (HUGE Bonus points with her mother), or even cookies from a local bakery (in your own Tupperware, of course).  Every man should have at least one decent watch*, which I advise you wear daily & especially to any holiday party.   Not only are you judged by it, but it allows you to ensure you are on time without having to pull out your cell phone to check the time.  Lastly, I always have a toast prepared because I hate being placed on the spot without anything to say.  So, here is to a happy holiday season:

“May you see your dreams allowed before you see them from a cloud.  May your glass never reach half-empty…I wish you wealth and great health!”

- Mario Ingraffia

* If you don’t have a decent watch & don’t want spend a lot of money go with Michael Kors. You can find a quality, everyday watch under $300 & it’s worth the ability to carry your man card again…

**If this post gets me to 750 twitter followers, Ill give away a watch from my personal collection to one of the men that tweet/retweet this post/blog…
__________

Shop the looks:

Holiday Style Do’s: Ralph Lauren V-Neck Sweater, Dark Denim Jeans, Bottega & Veneta Wallet, Loro Piana Scarf, Gucci Loafers

Casual Style: V-Neck Sweater, Jacket, Burberry Scarf, Mulberry Crocodile Organiser, Similar Red Loafers

Formal Style: Ralph Lauren Black Label Blazer, Pocket Square, Gucci Crest Cuff Links, Bow Tie, D& G Wing Tip Brogues, Tie

Gift Guide: Smythson Journal, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Watches by Assouline, Cire Trudon – Ernesto, Baccarat Wine Glasses, Arrangement from Belle Fleur NY

style

1. Daniel Bellow Tea Mug 2. Glitter Moose with Fur Collar 3. Classic Quartz Votive 4. “In the Spirit of Aspen” Assouline 5. Elizabeth & James Suede E Base Shoe with Fur

Baby it is quite cold outside, but that shouldn’t keep you from staying cozy this holiday season with finds from Taigan. Keep chic during your self-induced cabin fever with and beautiful mugs from Daniel Bellowa lovely crystal votive that is sure to add a bit of wintery ambiance to the smallest of spaces.  And, what could possibly be more stylish than a glittery moose?  Talk about a centerpiece.

 

1. Daniel Bellow Coffee Cup 2. Alpine Park Pant – Space Ship 3. Chevron Cotton Blankets 4. Pillow Rex Rabbit Ivory 5. Sydney Evan Hedgehog Rosary 6. Drinking Chocolate and Marshmallows

This year’s fashionable snow bunny gets lost in a blanket of chevron with her head hoisted on furry pillows as she reads about her favorite ski town.  She loves sipping her hot chocolate (all the way from New Orleans) while admiring her arctic colored rosary from Sydney Evan at Ylang 23.  And, then, when all warmed up and ready to brave the cold – she slips on her alpine pants to play in the only thing that can even compare to her indoor winter wonderland: white snow.

And, better yet?  Taigan has offered an exclusive promotion to Nonsense & Sensibility readers!  Enjoy a $25 shopping credit to be used at 1 store on Taigan.  This credit can be applied to an item with a value of $100 or more. Simply enter: HolidayFun122011 at the time of payment to redeem your credit. Now how’s that for love to keep you warm?

* To guarantee holiday delivery, please make purchases by this Friday!

style

1. Veronica Beard Fur Vest 2. Jonathan Saunders for Smythson Panama Diary 3.Veronica Beard Tie Back Dress 4. YSL Stingray Effect Earrings 5. YSL Leopard Effect Scarf 6. Michael Kors Gia Ostrich Embossed Bag 7. Manolo Blahnik Ruched Suede Point-Toe d’Orsay

“Or, as Ms. Quinlan of Just Ask a Woman said, ‘It’s tacky to strut around in your red-soled shoes when other people are trying not to get a pink slip.’”- The New York Times

This past October, I came across an article titled “In His Shoes.” The New York Times article discussed the return to modesty in the fashion world and the regain in popularity for shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik. As, Elizabeth Semmelhack, senior curator of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, said: “If the first wave was an overexuberant expression of wealth, the next is of ostentatious restraint.I think we are certainly seeing this restrained elegance in lines and materials when it comes to fashion’s current mood.

The holidays were a return to celebrating classic tartan plaids, fair isle sweaters, decorated blazers, velvet, and accessories with tasteful fur details. Gone are the edgy spikes and jackets dripping in rhinestones.  “Manolo’s shoes are very much in the spirit of this moment’s clothes, pared down, with simple lines, and I hate to say ladylike, but classic,” Linda Fargo, the senior vice president for women’s fashion at Bergdorf Goodman told The New York Times. Recently, according to the article, deliveries to Bergdorf Goodman “of a particular Manolo Blahnik pump sold out so fast, the store was forced to institute a waiting list, that forgotten symbol of ’90s excess.”

1. J.Crew Sequined Wool Sweater 2. J.Crew Wool Felt Cape 3. Manolo Blahnik Satin and Chinchilla Pom Pom Fur 4. Joseph Cashmere and Wool Blend Coat 5.See by Chloe Almond Swing Skirt 6. Burberry Prorsum Raffia Effect Leather Wristlet 7. Wool and the Gang – Snood Dog DIY Scarf

Don’t want the same glittery scarf everyone else has this holiday season?  Knit your own with Wool and the Gang!

For women it’s a return to femininity and simple elegance.  And, to me, the only thing strutting around in red soled shoes “just because they are Louboutins” screams is: “I need you to know how much I paid for these shoes.”   As, contributing Vogue editor André Leon Talley put it, “Fashion had to turn on its ugly heel and return to beautiful shoes.” A return to clean lines and a lack of gimmickry couldn’t come at a better time.  I know I’m looking for a return to simplicity this holiday season and assuredly when it comes to style, fashion, and design in 2012.  And, when in doubt, follow the wise words of Coco Chanel: “I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it.”

style

Muzungu Sisters: Dana Alikhani and Tatiana Santo Domingo

“We were looking for a catchy and unusual name and we always liked the word Muzungu which in Swahili originally meant ‘traveler’ or ‘wanderer’ (but has now come to mean white person colloquially because the first travelers were white), i.e. the traveling sisters.” – Dana Alikhani on the Muzungu Sisters name.

Dana Alikhani and Tatiana Santo Domingo are working hard to infuse authenticity, history, and one-of-a-kind pieces back into style with their new business venture: the Muzungu Sisters. Just last week, I read an article in The New York Times titled, “A Return to Artisan in the Art World.” The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I have been thinking about the void of true individuality in much of the fashion and accessories market for quite some time.  Yes, the internet is wonderful in that it provides instant accessibility and the ease of shopping from anywhere, but for those that truly value and strive for unique and individual style, you don’t want to wear the “it bag” and the same shoes as everyone else.  And, often times, you don’t want to listen or hear someone else dictate what you should wear either.  But, beyond vintage, where does one find an assurance in individualism when it comes to style?  The boutiques in those cities where you once traveled and picked up unique finds, now offer e-commerce websites and ship around the globe. So, after reading about the Muzungu Sisters in British Vogue, and the company’s goal to celebrate true craft and pieces with a history and cultural relevance, I knew I had to learn more about them.

Left: Sonia Bolero Right: Jaipur Long Beads

Left: Fatima Jacket Right: Sicilian Basket

“Our green velvet Fatima jacket is ideal for looking elegant during the holidays and our fur moccasin slippers are the best for cold winter days.” - Tatiana Santo Domingo

Around 30% of the Muzungu Sisters collection consists of one of a kind pieces that are vintage and not able to be reproduced.

When it comes to the Muzungu Sisters, instant fans range from individuals who appreciate and are drawn to ethnic clothing, to people who dress in designer brands and wish to accentuate their look with a unique piece from the collection.   “Right now, we’re selling gaucho pants from Argentina, leather moccasins from Morocco, beautiful silver and thread necklaces from India, super-luxurious velvet embroidered jackets from Morocco, colorful boleros from Peru, Sicilian baskets, shawls from Kashmir, mochila bags woven by the Kankuamo tribe in Columbia, and much more,” said Dana.  So, how did both Dana and Tatiana come together to create such an eclectically purchasable closet?  “We both always appreciated ethnic clothes and things we’d bring back from trips abroad,” said Dana, “But, the idea for the site came about in 2009 in my apartment in New York when the two of us were both living there.  At the time, I was finishing my Masters degree in Human Rights and wanted to start an online portal that would promote fair labor practices through supporting artisans in various communities.  Tatiana had wanted to travel and collect things from around the world and curate a website including her favorite items she gathered, so we decided to merge our two ideas together.”

In fact, the company’s name, Muzungu originally meant “traveler” or “wanderer” in Swahili (but, has now come to mean white person colloquially because the first travelers were white.) “We were looking for a catchy and unusual name,” said Dana, “We always liked the word Muzungu – i.e. the traveling sisters.” And, of course, they find most of their style influence while on the trips – scouring the globe for the world’s most beautiful and one-of-a-kind pieces. “We find inspiration in the places we travel and the people and artisans we meet,” said Dana, “Our pieces are different aesthetically from mass-produced fashion in colour, texture and quality.  But, most importantly, they are different in the unique stories that form their histories.  In that sense, they’re like national treasures!  Many of our pieces form part of ethnic national dress like our Peruvian bolero jackets that are traditionally worn by women weavers in the Peruvian highlands.  We had them made in alpaca wool to make them more wearable, but otherwise we changed nothing else of the design.” Around 30% of the Muzungu Sisters collection consists of one of a kind pieces that are vintage and not able to be reproduced. These pieces are sold in the Muzungu Sisters pop-up shops, while the items they have online are the ones they custom-order.

Left: Leila Jacket Right: Fur Moccasin Slippers

Clockwise from Left: Tribal Kaftan, Jaipur Short Beads, Mochila Bag

“We both like things that are ‘ethnic,’ but have our own way of putting them together,” said Tatiana.

The Muzungu Sisters have traveled to Morocco (to Marrakech and Tangier), as well as to Peru (Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu), Argentina (Salta and Jujuy), Turkey (Istanbul), and India (Bombay, Jaipur, Delhi). In early 2012, they are planning a trip to Africa and Southeast Asia. Do Dana and Tatiana find themselves drawn to different styles? “We both like unique pieces with a story behind them,” said Dana. Do they find themselves dressing similar? “We both like things that are ‘ethnic,’ but have our own way of putting them together,” said Tatiana. Their picks for the holiday season will certainly spice up any ordinary wardrobe. “My picks for the holiday season are the red Sonia bolero from Peru:  it’s perfect with a silk maxi skirt for evening Christmas parties,” said Dana, “And, our black velvet Leila jacket with silver embroidery that works for family lunches and evening appearances alike!” And, as for Tatiana, she’s looking forward to a mix of festive sophistication.  “Our green velvet Fatima jacket is ideal for looking elegant during the holidays and our fur moccasin slippers are the best for cold winter days,” she said.

 

Left: Swirl Kaftan Right: Bali Sarong

Muzungu Sisters: Tatiana Santo Domingo and Dana Alikhani

“We know that for many online shoppers, the vibrant colors, textures and character of Muzungu Sisters items will be a form of virtual escapism.” - Dana Alikhani

So, though online shopping often makes finding those rare pieces you are sure no one else will have more difficult, when it comes to the Muzungu Sisters, it allows you to shop interesting and unique clothing and accessories from around the world. “There’s no doubt that online shopping has brought a whole new realm of accessibility for consumers, and this also extends to our products which are usually very hard to get your hands on,” said Dana, “We know that for many online shoppers, the vibrant colors, textures and character of Muzungu Sisters items will be a form of virtual escapism.”  For instance, you can’t travel to Peru in the near future, the Muzungu Sisters allows you to wear and own a bit of the culture. “For other shoppers, Muzungu Sisters will be a place where people who are used to traveling very often can find the items they usually have to travel thousands of miles to find, through one click,” she said, “In the same way that our products come from all over the world, we would like to make them accessible to as many places as possible, and being online enables us to do that!”

And, where can you shop these products that are sure to set your wardrobe apart from the rest? “Our products are currently online available on our online shop www.muzungusisters.com which is hosted on a new online shopping platform called Motilo, and our pop-up shop in London,” said Dana, “We’re planning various pop-up shops in the new year in different cities so stay tuned!”

I know what’s on my holiday wish list.

Though London based, the Muzungu Sisters ship to the US!

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Many thanks to Katie of the Modern Eve blog for including Nonsense & Sensibility in the 12 Days of Holiday Gift Guides from over 30 Dallas-based design and style bloggers!  I absolutely loved pulling together these pieces for an adorable project.  To shop my “rustic chic” picks below, please visit Modern Eve. I’m looking forward to grabbing coffee with Katie very soon. Cheers to all of her hard work on this!

guests, whimsy

Loose Diamonds … and other things I’ve lost (and found) along the way by Amy Ephron

book jacket: William Morrow

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing novelist, screenwriter, and producer – Amy Ephron.  Her work includes the New York Times bestselling novels A Cup of Tea and One Sunday Morning.  Her newest book, Loose Diamonds … and other things I’ve lost (and found) along the way, is a memoir and her first piece of nonfiction. Amy Ephron is exceptionally meticulous when it comes to writing. For her, a first draft doesn’t exist. “I write about one hundred drafts of every page before moving to the next,” she said, “My writing is almost minimalist, very short clean sentences.”  She is sure that each page is exactly the way she wants it before she moves to the next. This type of beautiful, clean, and meaningful language is the very core and spirit of Loose Diamonds.  Each short story is straightforward, touching, and honest.

The idea of the book first came after Amy’s short story, “I Love Saks” was published in Vogue magazine. Amy has been going to Saks since she was very young and much of her life can be chronicled through her relationship with the store. On her first trip to New York City, her mother brought her to Saks for the very first time. Years later, there were times when Amy couldn’t afford to shop there, but found a way to step inside and enjoy the comfort the space brought her– even if it was to just sip a lemonade.  “I flew to New York once to sell a book and needed an advance,” said Amy, “I went into Saks to buy a new cashmere sweater.  I used what I like to call ‘girl logic’ and thought if I looked as if I didn’t need the money, I’d get the book deal. It worked.”  Loose Diamonds includes Amy’s personal experiences and stories from a young age to those that are very recent. She shares personal accounts that provide insight into a variety of aspects of a woman’s life and how to overcome and rebuild from a seemingly insurmountable level of loss.

And, Amy believes every loose diamond in life is simply searching for a setting– for a secure place in that particular point in time. “There are moments of different decades that are not all happy and I wasn’t as good natured about it then as I am now,” she said.  When it comes to the end of a relationship or marriage, she recommends getting new pajamas and keeping your heart open to something new.  “Loose Diamonds is about finding permanence in an often unstable city (like Los Angeles), where marriages, everything seems momentary,” she said, “It’s hoping to find a sense of stability amidst the chaos.” What truly shines in Amy’s new book is her support for women through almost every one of life’s difficult trials. For Amy, even dating the second time around after her first marriage, was oddly similar to dating in her twenties. “I made the very same stupid mistakes,” she said, “But, then you meet someone and it’s the right thing.  And, there you are.”

 

Amy Ephron

photograph by: Jonathan Becker

From feeling the loss of Amy’s jewelry in a burglary (when it’s the memories behind the pieces that matter) to the recent loss of her entire home in a fire, Amy’s honesty, strength, and manner of placing things in perspective is beyond admirable.  “There has been so much material loss in my life,” she said, “I have to be good-natured about it.”  Right now, the writer seems to have a solid setting with her husband, Alan Rader, and their family.  She is also a contributing writer to The Daily Beast (where she recently covered the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray), The Huffington Post, and is the founder of One for the Table – an educational and inspiring website on “food, politics & love.” Amy was recently interviewed on “The Talk” and you can find an excerpt of Loose Diamonds in T Magazine and on the Saks Fifth Avenue POV blog.

So, what is some of the greatest advice Amy shares after trying to fit in so many different settings on her own? “You have to be able to say next,” she said, “It’s about licking your wounds and getting up again. There aren’t rules- it’s always changing, but as women we need to mentor each other.”

 

Purchase your copy of Loose Diamonds by Amy Ephron on Amazon. Follow Amy on Facebook and Twitter.