Friday File

Happy Friday! I signed up for a week of unlimited pilates this week at a little local studio, and I am definitely feeling it today. But I need the push because I haven’t gotten much exercise in the last couple months because of life’s various detours. I’ve been sampling all the different options the studio offers. So far the barre class is my favorite. This weekend I’ll try out two more types of classes, and then relax at the beach. What are you up to?

Here are some great links to check out:

Lou Stoppard analyzes fun fur and its contradictions between fad, luxury, throwaway, and timelessness.

This is an interesting story of one woman’s quest to find Bing Crosby’s Levi’s denim tuxedo.

Before her death last week, the Museum at FIT was developing an exhibition of Lauren Bacall’s wardrobe. This week the museum announced that the show will open next spring.

Ok, so yesterday I mentioned that I didn’t want to start thinking about fall fashion yet. But, I admit, there is some cute stuff coming in Asos’ holiday collection.

Even though this is a few weeks old, this tell-all by Alexander McQueen’s long-time partner is a must read. Don’t miss it if you haven’t already read it.

Have a great weekend!

Hoping for an Endless Summer


Modes à Bagatelle, 1919, from National Library of France

Oh the late days of summer. I’m in denial that school begins in less than two weeks, and that there will soon be a nip in the air. Right now I’m trying to soak in as much sun and heat as I can as the summer days begin to wane.

I have no interest in checking out fall clothing yet which is quite unusual. Bring on more summery clothes and start hoping that Mother Nature misses the memo that fall is coming.

Friday File

Happy Friday! I have the day off and am starting to packing up our apartment in anticipation of our move next weekend. Packing is far from my favorite thing, so please wish me luck.

If you are looking for something cool to do this weekend in Chicago, check out the exhibition “Field Works Gallery Extravaganza.” The show is this weekend only and features 18 emerging artists who were inspired by the Natural History Collection at the Field Museum. Tonight is the opening at Ian Sherwin Gallery from 7-11 p.m.

Hope you have a great weekend!

The Dolce & Gabbana fall 2014 Alta Moda show sounds like the most luxury fashion show possible. Christina Binkley takes us along to Capri for an insider’s look at the exclusive weekend in Capri.

Mad Men is known for being fastidious about its attention to period detail, and of course the furniture is no exception.

I have no idea if this story is true, but this craigslist post about a NYC restaurant’s turnaround issue makes you think about the effect our cell phones have on our culture.

Miss Idaho wore her insulin pump visible on her bikini during the swimsuit portion of the competition.

All about women’s knickers in the 1920s.

Introducing Our Rescue Beagle

Almost two months ago we added a new member to our family — our little Dakota beagle. She is a rescue from BREW Midwest. She was living with a foster family in Ohio following time on the street and in a shelter.

BREW throws Beaglefest every May, which was where we met her and fell in love. She was running around among 100+ beagles in a suburban dog park with a yellow bandana that said her foster name and indicated that she was available for adoption. I bent down to pet her, and she started licking me. She was so friendly and loving that we knew she was the pup for us. She came home with us that afternoon and became Dakota beagle.

When we adopted her, we were told Dakota was between 5-7 years old. But our vet revealed that she is probably closer to 9-10 based on the greying in her eyes. Also, it is highly likely that she has given birth.

Dakota is a blue-tick beagle, which refers to her coloring. Her grey hairs are not from old age, they are her “ticking.”

On the Fourth of July, we took Dakota out to a dog park and let her run around for 1 ½ hours. Travis brought his camera along and snapped these great photos. At first she was a little unsure of what to do and kept to the fence, perhaps checking it for weaknesses. But then she figured out that she could go wherever she wanted and started running around.

She keeps us on our toes. She is 100% a scent hound. There are so many smells outdoors, and Dakota must smell of all the smells. Chasing squirrels is so much fun, and she loses her mind barking at bunnies. In fact, she tries to wake me up earlier and earlier because she knows the neighborhood critters are most active in the morning.

Indoors Dakota is very, very quiet and sleeps most of the day. Sometimes she snuggles, and she prefers to stretch out her legs when she sleeps. She cocks her head at funny beeping or squeaking sounds and twitches her paws in her sleep (we imagine she is squirrel chasing even in her dreams). Dakota loves bacon and peanut butter treats, but isn’t interested in toys. She’s pretty little — the American Kennel Club puts her in the 13-inch variety.

It’s clear that someone long ago taught her some basic obedience skills, but after her time on the street, Dakota is rusty. We are gradually uncovering and reinforcing them.

My husband Travis had a beagle when he was very little but I’ve never owned a dog. So we are learning too. After we move at the end of the month, we’ll hire a trainer to help brush up her obedience skills and give us a lot of pointers. But if you have any advice on dogs and training, we would love to hear. Know of any great resources online or dog blogs? Lay them on us!

photos by Travis Haughton of Wasabi Photography

Third Anniversary

Today marks my third wedding anniversary. I honestly cannot believe how lucky I’ve been to find a partner who supports with me and grows with me as Travis has done. He complements me so well, and I can only hope that I make him as happy as he makes me.

Happy anniversary, Travis. I love you so much.

photo by Craig Watson

Friday File

It’s been awhile since my last Friday File, and there have been a few big changes in my life. First, we are moving at the end of next month. I’m pretty excited about our new apartment, even if moving is a pain. And second, my husband and I adopted a beagle! Her name is Dakota, and I promise a post about her soon.

At work I’m doing inventory of all the hanging garments in the collection with the help of my student intern. It’s very enlightening to go piece by piece examining the contents of the collection. We’ve finished the European designer section and are almost through the American designers. Need to pick up the pace a little though to get through everything by the end of the summer.

Hope you have a happy weekend!

The Cooper-Hewitt Design Library has digitized a couple of Victorian hair jewelry how-to books. So tempted to hire someone to make something for me from the books. Is that weird?

Somewhat sad, but also very interesting, Olivia Laing takes a look at female literary alcoholics.

Vanessa Friedman feels like she’s experiencing deja vu regarding the lack of change to fast fashion manufacturing conditions. Like her, I don’t understand why the industry is still figuring out how to address human rights violations in garment factories.

An artist is filling Chicago potholes with custom mosaics.

Friday File

Happy Friday! My apologies for writing here less often lately. My evenings have become a bit busier. Also, I’m rededicating myself to exercising regularly — I signed up for Zumba and am getting back into strength training. This means I have less time to write after work, or I collapse in exhaustion when I get home.

On Monday I attended a documentary screening that I co-organized. If you have the opportunity to see “Men of the Cloth,” don’t miss it. It’s a captivating look at the lives of master tailors and their dedication to the craft.

Also, last night I got a haircut with a new stylist, Dae. He didn’t do anything dramatic to my hair, but I really liked what he had to say about developing a relationship with his clients. I felt like he really listened to me and that my hair was in good hands.

And now for some great links:

gowns by Charles James at the Met’s exhibition preview, photo by Hannah Thomson, from Vogue.com

Are you ready for Monday’s Met Gala 2014, which celebrates the opening of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion?” I’ll be watching online.

Fashion designer Patrick Kelly is the subject of a retrospective exhibition opening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art this Sunday.

Great news!

I don’t follow celebrity relationships, but I greatly enjoyed this open letter to George Clooney’s fiancée. She is one accomplished woman.

Do you read The Gentlewoman? I’ve been meaning to subscribe since it launched in 2010.

Just discovered The Courtauld Institute of Art’s new fashion history blog.

Beauty DIY vs. Pro

Yesterday I was reading this post by Garance Dore, when her post script got me thinking. She mentions that most French women color their own hair, but most women in the United States pay professionals to do it, along with manicures, waxing, etc. I’m wondering if that’s true and what beauty regimes you outsource.

Personally, I’m willing to spend a bit more on my hair. I think a really good hair cut is worth something. (Although I admit to touching up the cowlick that forms at the nape of my neck with embroidery scissors between cuts.) When it comes to hair color, I’ll only let a professional do it. I have a horrendous DIY dye-job story from college. And after a recent bad dye job from my regular stylist, I might only let a “colorist” do it from now on.

I’ve only ever had two professional manicures, but last summer I indulged semi-regularly in professional pedicures. I loved the way my toes looked all cleaned up with cute polish. But that ish is expensive, and I should save my money this summer. I’ve never had a facial, but I’d like to some day.

So what beauty and skin care things do you pay a professional to do? Are there one or two things you’ll pay a little more for on a regular basis and do the rest yourself? Only pay for beauty treatments on special occasions? Or do you outsource it all?

Friday File

Happy Friday! Unfortunately today isn’t the end of my workweek, because the college has Open House tomorrow. But it’s always fun to show off the collection to prospective students. We pull out the show-stoppers, so there’s lots of dazzling things to see. Hopefully I’ll get to catch up on sleep on Sunday and hang out with my husband, who has been on location shooting in California all week. I’ve missed him.

Now for the best of the week:

The new Victoria & Albert Museum exhibition on Italian fashion looks amazing. See some behind-the-scenes images of its mannequins getting dressed.

Not a huge fan of April Fools’ pranks, but this one by NPR is pretty great.

This would be a really fun job to have — fashion librarian.

Those ubiquitous rock-stud heels by Valentino are one of the lynchpins in the luxury fashion house’s financial success. Valentino is an interesting case study about how to stay relevant in the current market.

Uniqlo, the Japanese brand, is partnering with the Museum of Modern Art for a capsule collection in stores. I’m all for bringing the museum to the people, but this doesn’t seem to have any educational value, just a chance to make some bucks.

This article drives home how little has changed in the garment industry 103 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. In fact, you could argue it’s gotten worse. We’ve got to wake up to the exploitation happening in countries like Bangladesh so that Westerners can buy cheap clothes.

Bite Beauty Lipstick

Throughout the past year or so, I’ve been slowly getting into lipstick. I didn’t like wearing it a few years ago, but through gradual experimentation it’s grown on me.

One of the first signs of aging I’ve noticed is that the color in my lips is fading. And I just got a new pair of glasses that are a brighter shade of red and a little more masculine than I’ve worn before. Both of these things have convinced me that a little more color on my lips maintains femininity and balances the frame.

About a month ago, I wandered into Sephora looking for a new deep red. The associate who helped me introduced me to Bite Beauty and its line of Luminous Crème Lipstick.

There’s so much to love about this lipstick. First, it’s super hydrating. Most of the lipsticks I was experimenting with were drug store brands, and they would leave my lips chapped shortly after applying it. This stuff doesn’t at all. Even a few hours after lecturing, my lips still feel moist with no signs of flaking or feeling cakey.

Second, it’s super saturated in color. This was not the lipstick that would have worked for me as I was developing my preference for it, as I started with sheerer formulas. But now that I’ve grown to like it, I love how full of pigment this lipstick is. A little goes a long way.

And surprisingly, it’s long lasting — no fading. I don’t need to touch up unless I’ve had a bite to eat. It can smear a little if I’m not careful though.

I picked up shades Cin Cin, Zin, and Tannin.

I like the design of the tubes too. Sleek, minimal, soft to the touch, and a unique shape for each color family.

The last cool part is that Bite Beauty’s Luminous Crème Lipstick is free of synthetics, polybutenes, and petroleum byproducts. It’s made of food-grade ingredients so it’s healthy enough to eat! And they don’t test on animals.

photos by Travis Haughton