Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Alright people, you had your chance and you ignored my Christmas gift list. I even told you what size I wear and yet, nothing, nada! 

But since I hold no grudge let us move on to some of my top picks of 2011. Yes there was a lot of crap and very little couture, but I managed to suss out some terrific stuff on my travels around the city.

Not that I need it mind you, however I’ve been using ARTISTRY’s Time Defiance System moisturizer, vitamins and the Clear Now acne treatment device for an occasional breakout (yes, you’re never too old to get one), that combines heat technology to target bacteria. All very technical but my complexion’s never looked better. Either that or my eyesight is worse and I just can’t see.

Treat Your Skin Like Your Favorite Piece of Couture!  C&C Does.



JUICY COUTURE’s spring collection made a favorable impression on me. The clothes seemed to project a more sophisticated vibe and even the way they utilized the trend for neon colors worked nicely in small doses. My favorites included the preppy country club crocheted sweaters and ‘20s inspired pleated tennis dresses. I also loved the striped pencil skirts and blazers plus the hot pink and orange resin charm bracelets and necklaces.

On the First Day of Winter, Juicy gave to me... Hope for Spring!
Juicy Couture is Growing Up and Looking Good.

No one would have stabbed Caesar had he been wearing Juicy's Necklaces!

 Photo Credit for all Juicy Couture Photographs: M. McKenzie

While we’re on the subject of jewelry one of my best finds was a chocolate brown enamel link bracelet from LEE ANGEL and LIA SOPHIA’s jeweled “Athena”cocktail ring with its ‘60s vibe. A little glitz never hurt. And speaking of glitz it pays to occasionally check out H&M. Don’t snicker, it’s where I found a fabulous rhinestone snake ring for less than six bucks! There was a matching bracelet but that would have been overkill. My point is, never turn your nose up at some of these chain stores since you never know what treasure will turn up.

For example, I found a great pair of black glitter “Mouse” shoes at JOE FRESH. Yes they copied Marc Jacobs but so what? I wear mine with grey flannel trousers and skirts during the day. Wearing them after dark is too cliché. 

Speaking of late day I have the hots for Galanos’s black wool crepe cocktail sheath at my favorite Upper East Side vintage boutique, the MARION ALEXANDER GALLERY. She always has great vintage and couture finds in apparel, handbags. accessories and shoes. Marion may be off the beaten track for you vintage lovers but her boutique’s worth checking out periodically. 

Ah shoes! Who doesn’t love shoes? Let’s forget about some of those overpriced towering monstrosities for now (I don’t care how trendy they are) and get real fashion at a price. For that we turn to URBAN OUTFITTERS where I saw a fab pair of velvet carpet slippers that looked every bit as chic as the Stubbs and Wooten version. In the dark blue or black for $36 bucks apiece why not get both?

For handbag lovers there’s a new game in town. KNOMO USA. A line out of London has a stunning range of bags and travel goods that I compare to Tumi and Longchamp. Prices are affordable and the styling is sophisticated and timeless. I’d opt for any of the quilted, leather trimmed totes (perfect for laptops) and any one of the top handled bags from the “Berkeley” range. Keep your eye out for this brand. 

If I had holiday plans that call for luggage (and I, sob, don’t), I would be delighted to carry NAUTICA’s latest items from their “Harbor 83” collection. The wheeled carry-on offered in navy or yellow would fit the bill nicely for any upcoming trip. Anything from this brand gets my stamp of approval.

C&C is Getting on Santa's Nautica List This Year!

While we’re on the subject of jewelry –and we are- I’d personally rather own the diamond encrusted gold Pepsi bottle pin from the Joan Crawford estate sale at DOYLE’s auction house than the over the top baubles from Christie’s Elizabeth Taylor estate. 

Being a full time fashionista can take its toll on the bod and my latest remedy calls for a slice of the best pie outside of Montreal.

HILL COUNTRY CHICKEN (at 1123 Broadway in Manhattan) to me offers up the couture of desserts! I’ve sampled the double cherry with streusel topping and I plan to work my way through their whole pie assortment. 

Now if only I could find the perfect chocolate malted… 

Until next time, have a happy holiday from C&C.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Close Encounters Of A Different Kind

C&C editors - jaded fashion mavens that we are - recently had the chance to attend a most interesting New York City event even though the event was not primarily the kind of fashion event we usually would be invited to or even want to attend. This particular event, hosted by the Los Angeles-based Publicity firm, American Rebel, was held not only to introduce members of the East-Coast press to some of the clothing and accessory lines that American Rebel promotes, but perhaps more importantly, to publicize and benefit a most worthy cause – “H.E.L.P. Malawi´ (

The charity, which aids over one million needy and impoverished children in Malawai, spreads Hope, Education, Love and Protection to African children. In rural areas of the country, in order to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty by improving education, health care, and many other significant life-saving programs.

The event, which was held at The Bryant Park Hotel, made this editor-at-large, fondly remember the good old days when the fashion cognoscenti could hop, skip, and pop into so many unique goings-on during Fashion Week at Bryant Park, before everything moved uptown to Lincoln Center. But, that is another story for another time.

While the American Rebel event featured a goodly share of wonderful and stylishly-cool collections, the three collections below stand out as break-away’s, for their ultra-high-fashion and charitable-quotient, both within the United States and in exotic, far-away lands, such as Malawi, Africa and Bali, Indonesia.

So, with all of this being said, here for your reading and viewing enjoyment, are C&C’s personal and exclusive picks from a most fun, enjoyable, and quite different kind of fashion event:


Although the emphasis on the whimsical, brightly-colored slipper line, obviously inspired by the vivid, saturated tones of Belgian designer, Jil Sander’s recent runway collection, right along with the cuter-than-cute, totally vintage-y, capsule PJ grouping (so very Sandra Dee “Gidget”; Doris Day “Pillow Talk”, et al) at the event was indeed Spring 2012, guests received a lovely, wintertime surprise, by way of a special selection of cozy, warm, kitten-soft, inside and outside slippers as a take-away. This editor-at-large is already planning an outfit to wear around town, with her alpine-inspired Dearforms. FYI, C&C’s editor, DDM, received a so-very special pair of adorable, animal-print boots; perfectly fitting and totally groovy. 

Fashionable, Comfortable, and Warm
Dearfoams makes the C&C editors ready for NYC's Winter 

Dearfoams' Leopard Print Boots:  The Perfect Footwear for Running the C&C Media Empire

All Dearfoams Photos Credited to M. McKenzie
HELP Malawi

In addition to the rustic jewelry and accessories shown at the event, C&C readers can learn more about this most worthy cause at Along with personal stories and background information on the charity, there is a wide array of jewelry, featuring beautiful collections with inspiring names, such as H.E.L.P., Panthera, and What Love Means, along with capsule lines of apparel and travel items, all available for purchase and benefitting (naturally) the charity. The short version of the story here: HELP Malawi is a non-profit organization committed to reducing rural poverty through empowering communities. HELP uses a child-centered and integrated approach to sustainable development and continued education, by addressing Malawi’s teacher shortage via pairing government teachers with local assistant teachers and international volunteer teachers. With a strong emphasis on sustainable development, HELP strives to transform primary (elementary) schools into epicenters of social and economic development. The partnership with the socially-conscious tourism agency Wilderness Safaris works to bring HELP’s vision of rural development to the most remote regions in Africa.


The accessories and jewelry company, whose name translates into the “Best of Bali”, launched its flagship store in 2002 in Stamford, CT. Currently, Agabhumi has four stores across Connecticut, Barbados and California, as well as an online shopping destination

Owners Michael and Regina Kirshbaum have traveled the world for decades, drawing from the personal and professional inspiration from the many sights and people they have encountered on their many journeys. The couple chose the name "Agabhumi", to not only reflect their design statement, but also because the word relates strongly to "ancient firmament", which strongly represents a reflection of strength and creativity of the artisans with whom the couple collaborate. The Kirshbaums regularly travel to Bali to hand-select designs and products from an array of craftspeople, often taking inspiration from the trends proposed by the couple. The result is a wide array of fabulousness, as evidenced by a broad range of unique jewelry, handbags, apparel, shoes and gifts; all of which are specially designed and chosen to help expose the breadth of the collective talents of the designers, living, working and creating in the exotic island of Bali, Indonesia.

Exotic, Stylish, and Supportive - Agabhumi's Owners Do It All!

All Agabhumi Photos Credited to M. McKenzie

– ADWB, C&C editor-at-large

Crap and Couture, Notes From the Back Row