Twilight Gallery, The Cool Girl of West Seattle

Walking into Twilight Gallery in the Alaska Junction of West Seattle is akin to stepping into a cool, artsy friend’s living room filled with elegant yet cozy furniture of various genres, arranged in funky, thought-provoking ways, the walls covered in obscure art pieces which beg you to step in for a closer look. You feel at once comfortable and a bit on edge for the mixture of energies around you. It’s a delightful space, a wickedly wonderful feast for the eyes where you could hang out all day and see something new every time you glance up. IMG_1667

But the best thing of all is the jewelry. Oh the beautiful, masterful, “how did they think of that?” jewelry. Many of the pieces in Twilight Gallery are one-of-a-kind, wearable art, true investments. Some of the featured artists in the gallery are local, but there are many jewelry designers who are based on the West Coast, around the U.S. and some are also international. The earrings I am wearing in the photo below (taken by my five-year old son) are by a designer who lives in Bali.

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Jewelry is my Achilles heel.  I have been investing in jewelry (mostly semi-precious) since my mid-twenties, and it is fascinating to see how my taste has evolved since that time, much like my style overall.  My early twenties were about looking “right,” proper and conservative. From there I began to participate more in fashion, most notably after a trip to San Francisco when I was in my later 20’s. I have never felt so plain and boring-looking as I walked around the city in awe of the fashionable gals confidently striding past me in their tall leather boots, knee-length skirts and trench coats. Now my style is more modern, clean and relaxed. I am not spending energy or time wondering what other people think about how I look. I know what I like and I wear it. Period. Love it or leave it.

Enjoy the sampling of photos I took this week in Twilight Gallery, and if you have not been there in a while (or ever), go as soon as possible and return as frequently as you can. It changes every time you go. She’s tricky that way!—BethanyIMG_1683

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Who doesn’t need a ram head ring?!
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These are so lightweight.
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Get a rope.

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Angela Scott in Chicago

On my way to Chicago recently, I noticed shoe designer Angela Scott posted on Instagram from the stainless steel sculpture Cloud Gate in Millennium Park (aka the Chicago Bean).  She invited anyone viewing the post to come see her at Neiman Marcus that evening. You don’t have to ask me twice!

As soon as I landed and picked up my bag, my brother Edwards and I made our way downtown for the soiree where we found the second floor shoe salon bustling with lovely Chicago fashionistas.  Neiman’s, as always, was a wonderful host, wining us, stuffing us with sweets and giving away a pair of designer shoes to one lucky person. Sadly, I did not win.

IMG_0832Fashion blogger Jennifer Worman of Red Wine & Red Soles gave a short presentation about spring shoe styles she loves, followed by a short talk by Angela who was looking quite California laid-back chic.  IMG_0842Angela could not have been nicer.  She told me a funny story of her recent world travels, and she admitted she was ready to be home after a long time on the road.

Enjoy photos from the evening! (Apologies for my jet-lagged appearance!)IMG_0877IMG_0848

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Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style

I was fortunate enough to have recently viewed many works of the great fashion designer Mr. Oscar de la Renta at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.  The exhibit, Oscar de la Renta: Five Decades of Style, was open to the public from July 19 – October 5, 2014.  Putting things off until the last moment is my modus operandi.  Thus, I waited until the last week and a half to see the exhibit, and my goodness I am glad I did.  In fact, it was so nice I saw it twice.

I was naturally fascinated by the designs Mr. de la Renta created for the first ladies Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, and I was dazzled by the wedding gown he designed for Jenna Bush, along with the gorgeous white ensemble he designed for Laura Bush for George W.’s second swearing in ceremony.  Of course splendid creations worn on various red carpets were in abundance, and there were several gorgeous caftans from early in Mr. de la Renta’s career.  In short, to pick a favorite piece is impossible.  I’d die to have any of them.

Below is a sampling from the exhibit.  Sadly, Mr. de la Renta died last week at his home in Connecticut the age of 82 after battling cancer, which had been in remission for several years.  A private funeral is planned at a Manhattan church on November 3.  His departure leaves a gaping hole in the fashion community.  Mr. de la Renta’s talent, humility, humor and love of life and women made him inimitable.  He will have many imitators, no doubt, but there will never be another Oscar.  Thank you, Mr. de la Renta for your courage and for showing us how to truly live.

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Tory Burch “In Color”

ToryJessicaTory Burch, known as much for her love of the color orange as for her sporty flats and dreamy caftans, has released a gorgeous coffee table book today, “Tory Burch: In  Color” about her 11 favorite colors: orange, blue, green, purple, pink, red, yellow, white, black, natural and gold.  I was blessed to meet Tory last week and have her sign the book, which is being released today.  Last Friday afternoon at the Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas, Tory was joined by her friend Jessica Alba (actress and founder of The Honest Company) to discuss the book and other topics of interest including how she balances motherhood and a career, and the roundabout path she took in starting her namesake company.

Tory considers herself a late bloomer having only started her wildly successful company 10 years ago.  Tory departed a career on the rise with LVMH to stay at home with her three young boys.  Four years later, she started her company because she felt there was a need for high-quality, affordable clothing and accessories.  She certainly hit the mark!  However, she said she was not an overnight success, spending many of her first two years on the phone with her Hong Kong operations until 3:00 a.m. her time.

Tory was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania with three brothers.  Her parents Buddy and Reva (for whom Tory named her first flat) who would leave Tory and her brothers with family to take six-week worldly vacations, returning with various exotic souvenirs.  In addition, Tory’s childhood home entertained many “overnight” guests who invariably would stay long past their expected departure dates.  As as result of this unique upbringing, Tory’s aesthetic reflects an appreciation for diversity, one that is decidedly multicultural.

I greatly enjoyed the event, hosted by American Express, and I am very appreciative to my dear friend Peg Baird for allowing me to be her plus one!  Pick up a copy of the book, even if you are not familiar with Tory or her company.  I think you will find the content, including many beautiful photographs, to be highly inspiring and a lovely addition to your library.  Tory sees the world in color, and I think we all should!

Alternative “Neutral” Colors

girlplaidI suppose one definition for a neutral color would be a color that pairs well with most other colors.  When we think of neutrals, our minds generally go to cream, black, white, gray, taupe and so on.  But what about mustard, periwinkle and royal blue as neutrals?  Hmmm…  Once you start to think about it, there are a wide variety of colors one could pair with the colors I just mentioned.

The problem is, most of our wardrobes lack color which makes it difficult to test-drive our theory of using colors as neutrals.  Frankly, well-designed pieces in dark and light neutrals are easier to find.  However, as we enter spring when well-designed colorful pieces are a bit easier to find, let’s make an effort to bring much-needed color to our mostly neutral wardrobes.

As I show you here, colorful pieces are not as difficult to work with as you may initially imagine.  I am using both forest green in the first set (created on Polyvore) and dark red in the second set to show you how they act as “neutral” and pair well with a variety of other colors.

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So, look at your wardrobe a bit differently in the coming weeks.  Mix colors together, in ways you have not previously.  When you start to do this, you have a much greater variety of combinations in your closet, saving you lots of time and money.  If you need help seeing the possibilities, call me.  I’d be delighted to spend and hour or two in your closet showing you new combinations.  Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Worth the Investment: A Gucci Handbag

As you’ve learned by now, hopefully by what I’ve been saying, great style can be achieved at any price point.  It only takes a bit of discernment and education to know what is best for you and how to pull it all together.  However, if you would like to add a special piece to your wardrobe that could be with you the rest of your life, I highly recommend a Gucci handbag.  In fact, I’ll go so far as to say there are two designer things every woman should own, if possible: a handbag and a piece of luggage.  Choose wisely.  Don’t purchase a trendy piece you won’t love it in a year or two.  Go with a classic and your grandchildren will be fighting over it.

If you are ready to take the plunge now, did you know you can save 20% at Gucci now through November 7? Purchase a Partner’s Card in the store for $60, which supports The Family Place programs, and start saving at Gucci and hundreds of other stores in the Dallas area.

Special Event:  the brand spanking new Gucci boutique at Dallas’ NorthPark Center is hosting a special event on Wed, Nov 3 from 6 – 8 p.m.  Sample savories and sips whilst perusing handbags, ready-to-wear, fine jewelry, luggage and accessories. Oooo-la-laaaaa!  Take this opportunity to save while helping a worthy non-profit.  Send me a photo of your purchase!

When:
Wednesday, November 3rd, 6-8 pm.

Where:
GUCCI

NorthPark Center

8687 North Central Expressway, Suite # 1408, Dallas

To RSVP, please contact:

Rhonda Sargent Chambers:
214.707.7724
rschambers@sbcglobal.net

or
Tiffany Griffin Hall:
214.705.0610
tgriffinhall.guccidallas@gmail.com