“Donna Karan collects sea glass and used pieces to weight down the hems of dresses during a fashion show.” – Lauren Curran


I’m thrilled to share an interview with Lauren Curran of Mermaid Tear Designs today on Nonsense & Sensibility.  My mom introduced me to Lauren’s handmade sea glass jewelry earlier this year and I’ve been in love with it ever since!  The pieces are worn, beautiful, and delicate at the same time.  And, I love that when wearing the pieces, you know there’s a story behind them – even if there’s no way of every knowing it.  Currently, Lauren’s work is available on Etsy, the Charlestown Gallery (Art) in Charlestown, R.I., and at Fayerwether House, Kingston, R.I., where she gives annual wire-wrapping presentations.   On top of offering custom creations, I think the most amazing thing about her collection is that each piece is unique.  With every purchase, you know you have a one-of-a-kind item.
I am a romantic, but isn’t there something truly lovely about wearing a gem that was tossed about waves and molded by the sea, salt, and sand?


N/S: How long have you lived by the sea?

Lauren: Here’s a secret: I actually don’t live by the ocean. However, since I was a child my parents summered in Rhode Island. My father’s parents took him as a child and, I guess, you could say it’s in the blood. My children now love RI too – 4th generation. My parents moved to RI years ago and, so, when the need to be by the ocean and to pick sea glass  swells inside of me I pick up and go, which is often!
N/S: Did you always know you wanted to create jewelry?
Lauren: The jewelry designing was a result of a life unfolding.  I love to create whether with words or objects. Part of my life was spent creating with words: as a reporter for the Associated Press in CT and, later, working in public relations. And now that creativity has branched out into jewelry designing.
N/S: How did your business come to be?
Lauren: Well, when you have buckets of beautifully frosted glass in colors of every hue you start thinking: maybe I should do something with ALL this! Lol. Honestly, I took a wire-wrapping class at a shop in Jamestown, RI. After designing sea glass jewelry for friends I started seeing how mesmerized people were with it. AND the stories! It seems everyone has a story about sea glass, especially from years prior to recycling laws when sea glass could easily be found. Also, I love challenging myself to create original designs.

N/S: What was the first piece of jewelry you created with sea glass?
Lauren: Just a simple pair of sterling wire wrapped earrings. But it was that one pair and the reaction of people that got me thinking about other designs.

N/S:  On which beaches do you find your sea glass gems?
Lauren: Now THAT’S top secret. Lol Actually, it’s funny: most people never reveal their spot because sea glass is becoming rare.Last year, NPR  did a story on a Newport, RI woman and her hunt for sea glass. Sure enough, the reporter said she was asked not to reveal the location. Long ago, by the sea, people tossed their broken bottles, dishware, etc. on the rocky cliffs. Luckily, the spot where I go sea glassing was a wealthy resort area during the 1800-1900s and the sea glass, china, porcelain, pottery shards are amazingly beautiful AND plentiful. Colors in every hue, lavender, yellow, black.

N/S: Where and when do you feel most inspired?

Lauren: I feel most inspired when walking in my ‘secret coves’, and I spot a piece of sea glass of sea foam hue. Frosted, perfectly rounded. Really, it looks like a gem. Just lovely. I hold it in my hand and think, ‘what can I design with this in a way that’s never been done before?’
N/S:  Describe a typical or perfect day for you?
Lauren: The perfect day: sun is shining, boats are traveling through the channel, nice breeze, and I’m walking alone near the old sub base on the little beach there. The view, the smell of the salty air, the sound of the buoy swinging in the channel: heaven! Of course, finding a nice hunk of frosted aqua sea glass is the topper! I like to imagine it’s from an old Coca-Cola bottle that a sailor from WW II tossed onto the rocks. And, honestly, it probably is!

N/S: Where can your jewelry be purchased?
Lauren: My jewelry, which also includes pieces made with typewriter keys and vintage buttons, can be purchased at my Etsy site here. Also there’s an amazing art gallery in Charlestown, RI: the ‘Charlestown Gallery’ that carries my seaglass bracelets and sterling chains with sea china and seaglass charms. My items do well there and the gallery is beautiful, featuring the work of regional artists.
N/S: How would you like or hope to see your company grow?
Lauren: I’m an optimist and love taking a chance. I often Tweet pics of my designs to people working in fashion, style, design, entertainment. I read where Donna Karan collects seaglass and used pieces to weight down the hems of dresses during a fashion show.
I’m open to any and all opportunities. I love making custom pieces. I’m also considering reaching out to other boutiques in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and resort areas in other parts of the country.
N/S: Do you have a piece that is most meaningful or memorable?

Lauren: Yes! One really hot summer day I got up early and drove to the cove. It was blistering hot. Anyways, near a rock I found a beautiful lavender glass stopper- it has a round top with an old fashioned ‘W’ scrolled on top. I don’t know if it is a perfume stopper or was used atop a wine carafe. It’s breathtaking. My other fav piece is more fun than valuable. This past summer I was walking on the beach near the old sub base, and I saw a diamond-shaped object. In fact, it WAS a diamond – albeit fake! It must’ve been from costume jewelry. It’s the size of a large gumball.
N/S: What pieces or piece of your jewelry would make a great gift?

Lauren: My sea glass bracelets are always a hit as are my sterling chains with a piece of sea china dangling at the end and a tiny piece of sea glass dangling from the china.
Also, I just introduced a new design called the ‘Chandelier’: several pieces of tiny sea glass each individually wrapped in sterling wire and attached together to hang vertically from a sterling chain. I’m looking to design more ornate pieces to be worn around the neck.

N/S: Why sea glass?

Lauren: I love the beauty of bygone eras: music of 1940s, clothes of 1950s, the designs of homes and dishware from those two periods. Finding old pieces of sea glass, china, porcelain, etc. it’s like going back. It’s the thrill of wondering where it came from, for what it was used.And now, I will use it to make something beautiful, again!

Shop Lauren’s sea glass jewelry here and feel free to contact her with ideas for your own custom creation!



Shop this look here.

I truly don’t think I could ever get enough of Maggy Frances! From the gorgeous prints, fitted blazers, and fantastic cuts – the look is clean, polished, and always fresh.  Fall/Winter 2013 from Maggy Frances certainly does not disappoint. From gorgeous floral patterns to one incredible red coat, shopping wearable pieces that will easily mix into any wardrobe is simple.


My Maggy Frances Fall 2013 Wish List:

- The Audrey Coat

- The Simone Blouse

- The Diane Blouse

- The Ruby Dress - for holiday!

- The Claire Mini Skirt


Shop new arrivals from Maggy Frances here.


Shop this look here.

Shop this look here.

Shop this look here.

Shop this look here.

Shop this look here.

Shop this look here.


This is one of Sharon’s favorite photographs – the red carpet over a sewer grate. “It’s fantasy over real life,” she said.

It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to meet photographer Sharon Socol at the T Room during her visit to Dallas to learn about her new book, Plus One. The book (which would be a welcomed addition to any chic coffee table), chronicles her experiences traveling with her husband, Howard Socol, the former CEO of Barneys as his “plus one.” She’s been interested in photography for over 35 years since she had her first Kodak Instamatic camera. Socol studied photography and history and became interested in street documentary photography.  Because she considered herself an outsider to the fashion world, documenting it as a non-participating observer was comparable to foreign travel- an eye into a different space.

She lists her own personal inspirations to be the work of esteemed photographers: Helen Levitt, Robert Frank, and Lee Friedlander. As for travel, Socol lists Bali, Antarctica, and Israel as some of her favorite places to visit.  Plus One was created from 8-9 years in the fashion world – over 3,000 images – all shot in film and then scanned.  With her editor, Socol managed to narrow it down to 100 photos.  ”This book is self-published, a storybook,” she said, “It’s not about fashion, not a photography book, and not a written book. It’s dedicated to passion, creativity, and the talented people of the fashion industry.”   Does she have a favorite photograph? “Once I was sitting in this little restaurant in Paris and could see across the street to a couple kissing,” said Socol, “I got up and went over there and snapped a photograph. People bought it and loved it!”  Another she mentioned, was a photo of two ladies standing at a bar in the south of France with a dog.  She ended up giving the photograph of the two women and a poodle to Lauren Hutton.

You can purchase Sharon’s book on her website (I love my copy) along with some of her gorgeous prints.

Purchase the book here.





The Celine Tri-Color Trapeze Bag

It’s inarguable, By George has a pristine collection of gorgeous fall favorites. Known as the go-to for a mix of well-edited designer and contemporary collections, By George has remained a retail staple (and celeb favorite) in Austin for 34 years. Beautiful Celine wallets and handbags and standout Golden Goose boots make shopping for the perfect fall accessories simple. For the handbag with flair, choose the Cleobella Banjo Fringe Crossbody bag. By George’s resident stylists suggest pairing it with a lightweight, airy top and adding punch of color with a skirt or pair of shorts.

Learn more about By George here.

Golden Goose Young Boot

Celine Zip Wallets

Golden Goose Wedge Black Boots

Celine Woven Clutch


Veronica Beard has recently launched four limited edition numbered jackets.  The first is a gorgeous navy double breasted wool tux jacket created with Jessica Pare, the actress (known for her role as Megan in Mad Men) with Cristina Ehrlich, a red carpet stylist.  This jacket can certainly be paired with jeans for a casual look as well as with something more formal. “It was such an honor to work with the two Veronicas on this exciting project,” said Jessica, “I’ve admired their aesthetic for a long time; being given the opportunity to put my personal touch on a Veronica Beard jacket was a dream. And of course, collaborating with Cristina is always a total blast! Aside from being one of my favorite people in the world, Cristina has an incredible eye and impeccable taste. Our Double Breasted Tux is a classic: perfect to throw on over jeans or dress up for evening – Can’t wait to get my hands on one!”

The second is New York Times bestselling author Jill Kargman‘s leather jacket.  This chic biker chic jacket is perfect for an evening out or anyone on-the-go. I absolutely love the statement collar. The third jacket is from model Michele Ouellet – a simple relaxed wool jacket.  This piece is interchangeable with other dickeys. And, last but not least, shop the new piece from SoulCycle founders, Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice. This jacket is the ultimate mix of high and low. It is the perfect length to throw over leggings and run around in. “We are so thrilled to be able to partner with Veronica Beard to create a custom, limited edition SoulCycle jacket,” said Elizabeth and Julie, “We’ve long been Veronica Beard fans and with this collaboration, were able to meld the urban, athletic SoulCycle sensibility with the classic Veronica Beard look and feel.”

The launch party for the limited edition jackets was at NYC’s Kirna Zabete.

Shop the Veronica Beard numbered jackets on




Jessica Pare and Cristina Ehrlich Jacket

The Jill Kargman Jacket

The Michele Ouellet Jacket
The SoulCycle Jacket


1. Kate Somerville Dilo Oil 2. Olivia Chantecaille Horses Compact 3. Jo Malone candle in Peony & Blush Suede 4. Napoleon lipstick in Xenia 5. Dior Beauty l’Or de Vie La Lotion


Here are five fall beauty essentials that I will be using through the season.  I’m looking forward to trying Kate Somerville’s Dilo Oil. Have you tried it? It’s one of her newest products and is a restorative treatment that is rich in natural lipids that work to improve the skin’s elasticity and reduces the appearance of aging.  I also can’t wait to use the Olivia Chantecaille Horses compact. Not only does it support and protect wild horses, but it’s comprised of the loveliest of autumn hues.  I had the pleasure of previewing the Peony and Blush Suede scent from Jo Malone and it’s one of the loveliest of autumn’s scents.  The Napoleon lipstick in Xenia is the perfect fall color.  You must add trying Dior’s new l’Or de Vie La Lotion to your list.  I’ve been using this for weeks and it’s made my skin noticeably smoother and certainly more hydrated without being oily!

What are your fall beauty must-haves?

decor, style, whimsy

Julia’s own wedding – view more here!

Yes, it’s true, Julia Lake Parties! After seeing quite a few events this party planner has expertly executed, I reached out to her to learn a little bit more about her social expertise.


N/S: Did you always know you wanted to be an event or party planner?  What was the first party or event you ever planned?

Julia Lake: I’ve always been a romantic- a romantic with an affection for seeking out the charming moments in our lives & in them, finding cause for celebration. In middle school I started throwing theme parties with strict costume requirements & for the past 10 years I’ve thrown an annual summer bash at my family’s place in the Napa Valley so I’ve built up a reputation through that. Since ever, I’ve been big on organizing activities, events, etc… so all signs have pointed to me becoming a professional party thrower, even though I ignored it for years. I thought I should do something more ‘high brow’ but didn’t know what. I worked for a magazine in Paris straight out of college and then later for my family’s Napa based winery but never felt true passion for my work until I finally resolved to follow my heart. After I planned my sisters wedding 4 years ago and then later my own, I just knew there was no going back. It sounds cheesy but the moment I decided to start my own party planning company, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and now I find sheer happiness in my work every day. Its non stop fun and a perfect fit for my personality and strengths.


the Julia Lake wedding of Mieke ten Have as featured in Vogue

as seen in Vogue

N/S: When did you launch your business?  Where are you based?


Julia Lake: It was a slow progression really since I’ve been doing it here and there for years but julia lake parties! officially launched in 2012. I’m more or less bi-coastal between Brooklyn & the Napa Valley. I spend most of my time in Brooklyn but am always on the road and every few months spend long chunks of time in my Napa studio.



N/S: What is one of the most rewarding aspects of your job?  The most challenging?


Julia Lake: I adore the process- not just the result. I love the entire journey: from day-dreaming ideas, forming the concept of the theme and building it up over time to create a cohesive event and vibe.


The most challenging part of my job is simply time. There’s never enough. Oh, and mothers-of-the-bride for weddings. Those can be tricky…


N/S: What’s one of the most memorable events you ever planned?   What made it so special?


Julia Lake: My wedding. It was my tour-de-force through and through. I poured my heart and soul into it & it was etherial magic.


N/S: What are just a few of the parties you’ve helped with- what were their types of themes and celebrations?


Julia Lake: There’s been so many. Some fun ones include: an adult cowboys & indians birthday party, an intimate wedding in Maine for, a Gatsby Napa wedding for which I made custom head pieces for all of the female attendees, a memorial (that was a challenge but so special), a glamorous New Years party at a private estate, & a hat party for a 70th birthday party. That was a riot actually.


N/S: Where do you find your own inspiration for your work?  What blogs and websites do you read?


Julia Lake: I find it everywhere, every day but when in doubt I call my mother. I’m pretty good at making something out of nothing so I’ve always got my eyes open- walking down the street, foraging at flea markets, & discovering treasures in the attic. I try to incorporate history into my events by using a lot of personal items & always favoring authentic decor. I get ideas from finding a great antique, reading an old novel, etc… The creative process is fundamentally unique to each event. My work is ultimately a collaborative process, building a true kinship with my clients, their stories & their dreams.


As for blogs: Honestly, I’m not a big blog reader: a) i try not to be on my computer more than I have to- i like getting my hands dirty b) because I can’t figure out how to get it all in one place b) there’s a lot of repeated mainstream ideas, trends, etc that I try to avoid BUT I do love Pinterest. Here’s my page!


N/S: How do you hope to see your business grow?  Any plans you can share for the future?


Julia Lake: First, I’d love to hire an intern. Then, I’d love to hire an assistant or better yet, find a partner that compliments my aesthetic. Maybe one day I’ll write a book. Who knows?

N/S: Explain Party in a Box- how did this come to be?  How can this help someone throwing a soiree?


Julia Lake: This DIY service is perfect for the person who wants to do most everything on the day of the event but needs help. They want help coming up with the overall concept, list of to do’s & how to’s. They get a big, fun box delivered to their door filled with all the custom party decor you need & a step-by-step instruction kit. Here are some pics of a custom bachelorette Party-in-a-Box that I did.


N/S: When it comes to planning parties, why do you think it can be most helpful to hire a professional like yourself?


Julia Lake: Planning a memorable party – meaning, creating a tangible vibe, an atmosphere that delights guests at every turn, from refreshments to bites to music and other entertainment – requires way more work than people expect. And there’s never enough time.


I’ve come to realize that I have a unique strength for throwing fabulous parties. I’m hyper creative and extremely organized so the two together make a pretty good combination. Throwing a party or entertaining can be overwhelming & difficult to execute, so it’s nice to have someone who can bring something to the table in terms of scheming up a plan that will wow your guests and have everyone leaving with nice memories. On a practical level, if it’s a bigger event, you’ll spend less if you have someone who knows where to source affordable gear & knows how much of what to get, etc…



N/S: What are a few mistakes you see when people are planning parties and events of their own?


Julia Lake: The most common mistake is trying to do too much yourself, getting stressed out and having an awful time because you have too much on your plate. We’ve all done it. This especially happens with DIY brides. They want to do a lot themselves & dont leave themselves enough time.


N/S: If you could describe your business in three words what would they be?


Julia Lake: Style & Grace with a Fiery spirit


N/S: When not planning parties, what do you do to relax and destress?  What’s an ideal or perfect day for you?


Julia Lake: Good one. After a non-stop summer of back to back events (mostly weddings), just last week I went to Nantucket with my husband & poodle, Otto von Pickles. We walked on the beach every morning & evening, took long baths, had picnics, drank sunset cocktails, ordered in, read books. It was pretty dreamy. So I guess my favorite way to wind down is taking a trip with Mr.Lake.

Julia with her husband and poodle, Otto von Pickles

N/S: What’s one piece of advice or inspirational quote you try to live by?

Julia Lake:

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Oscar Wilde

that or

“Never have a New Year’s party without confetti.”- julia lake

Party with Julia Lake on the web here, Facebook here, and Twitter here.


* all photos courtesy of Lake Facebook


Blogger breakfast! How many phones can you count?

Dallas media ladies gathered for a très chic affair - a Net-A-Porter media breakfast at the Mansion on Turtle Creek to peruse some of the latest items and fall trends the luxury website will offer for the new season.  The event was elegantly planned and styled by Droese PR.  Guests arrived and previewed three key trends: Animal Instinct, Rebel Rebel, and Winter White.  It was wonderful to get to see the gorgeous items in person. I think my favorite trend was certainly Winter White!

I was lucky enough to chat and have dinner with Net-A-Porter PR Director Kilee Hughes during the weekend following the breakfast while we were both visiting Austin.  She’s beyond lovely!  As you may recall, I attended the spring 2013 trend event in NYC earlier this year at Net-A-Porter’s Manhattan headquarters during fashion week. That’s where I first had the pleasure of meeting Kilee.

I’ve included a few images from the event and of course, shop the latest from Net-A-Porter here.







Shop new NET-A-PORTER looks here.



Photo Credit: Jason Acton.

Photo #2 and final photo: Haley Schultheis



Per usual, I’m positively smitten with the latest collection from Veronica Beard.  Spring/Summer 2014 from Veronica Beard was inspired by NYC in the 1980s and “the opulence and energy of the city that never sleeps.”   A mix of uptown class and gritty grafitti creates the perfect balance of modernity and elegance. Vivid colors (bold yellow) and graphic prints (an eye-catching red leopard) are mixed with an array of textures and fabrics like denim leather, mesh, and spacer panels.  The raincoat is fantastic! With clean jumpsuit silhouettes and perfect floral prints, this collection has left me dreaming of spring in a very fresh way.

Learn more about Veronica Beard here.