Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010, Day 120


Today I went to the Pasadena Showcase House of Design with Mark Cutler. Gary and I originally Met Mark through the Showcase House in 1999. He had designed an amazing hexagonal bathroom and a beautiful master bedroom. We interviewed three designers whose work we saw in Pasadena, but Mark’s rooms were by far our favorites and I remember telling Gary that, if we could afford him, he was definitely my first choice for our designer. Luckily for us, it was when he was just starting out and the rest, as they say, is history.


After Pasadena, we went to the Andaz Hotel for a drink with Omid, Etienne and Etienne’s assistant Jen. In fact, Jen took this photo. I am standing in front of some ceramic heads by my friend and artist, Danny First. They are very likeable personalities resting on these beautiful steel stands. Hanging around them grouped together is almost like hanging around with some dear friends.


After the Andaz, Mark, Omid, Etienne and I had sushi at Wa just above Barry’s Bootcamp on La Cienega. We absolutely love it there and had another excellent meal.


I am wearing a top and skirt by Yeholee. The jacket is Rick Owens from Decades Two. Gary left this morning for Omaha with Russell. They are going to a Warren Buffet retreat and will be home on Sunday.

Thursday, April 29, 2010, Day 119


When we woke up, it was forty degrees outside according to our thermometer so I thought I better wear this outfit one more time and document it in this blog. Those of you who see me walking or riding with the kids to school are familiar with these crazy pants (Lucky Brand) and striped gloves (Old Navy). The sweatshirt is from Urban Outfitters.


The roses in front of our house are called “Peace” roses, hence our house’s name, “Maison de la Paix,” or “House of Peace” in French. They have beautiful yellow, cream and pink blossoms and almost no fragrance. They all burst open together around the second week in April and it’s a truly magnificent sight.


Today warmed up a little bit and it might get up in the eighties this weekend. Look out summer, here we come!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Day 118


Here we have a lovely Allessandro del Acqua blouse and some Comme des Garcon pants. The low boots are Sigerson Morrison from Barney’s in San Francisco. Tonight we went to dinner with Grazka and Stine and Alex at Maedeo's in West Hollywood.


Grazka has a beautiful home near Stone Canyon and an amazing art collection. It’s always a pleasure to see what new work she has collected. Today we saw an enormous Barbara Kruger she recently installed. It is a vintage black and white close up on a woman’s face being bathed in ice cubes. There is writing at the top and bottom that says "Super Rich, Ultra Gorgeous, Extra Skinny, Forever Young."


Above my left shoulder in the photo you can see part of a portrait by Rineke Dijkstra. Ms. Dijkstra lives and works in Amsterdam and focuses on single portraits of people in transitions in their lives. One memorable series featured women who had literally just given birth. There was a common look of bewilderment on all of their faces as they held their little newborns for the first time.


Our portrait is from series she did on Israeli military personal. Military service is mandatory in Israel and definitely represents a transition in a young person’s life. Ms. Dijkstra’s portrait of a young woman is very painterly and depicts an uncertainty in the sitter’s face.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010, Day 117


I am standing in our library next to a gorgeous tree that lives in our window. I am wearing a Marc By Marc Jacobs sweater and a pair of shorts by a “Young, Fabulous and Broke” that I bought at Lolita’s. The shoes are Rick Owens.


Barry Nelson died twelve years ago today. Somehow, it still sounds shocking to me. May he rest in peace.

Monday, April 26, 2010, Day 116


Graydon took this picture of me under our redwood trees. I love these trees. They are about sixty years old and in the summertime, we string a hammock between them.


When I was a freshman in college, I went home for Thanksgiving weekend with a friend of mine named Lisa, who lived with her family in Mendocino. Their house was absolutely surrounded by redwoods and there was a hammock hanging in the middle of a stand of them. I’ll never forget how gorgeous and peaceful it was to look up while lying in the hammock and see the tree tops stretched out above me. I consider it a major miracle that there are redwood trees on our property and that I get to recreate that extraordinary scene in my backyard. I mean, the Valley, especially in the summertime, is an awful long way from Mendocino!


I am wearing a dress by Odelle which I bought at Anthrolopologie on sale and a white Inhabit cardigan. It was another beautiful day in Hidden Hills.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010, Day 115

Today was Elodie’s First Holy Communion. She looked just like a little angel.


Shortly after I mentioned to Elodie we needed to start looking for her Communion dress, a new edition of the children’s clothing catalog, Chasing Fireflies, arrived in the mail. Inside were two full pages of white Communion/flower girl dresses, with matching veils, gloves and accessories. When Elodie saw it, she said, “Oh mama, it was like they knew we were looking for a dress!” I let her pick out any dress and veil she wanted and she ended up picking exactly the one I would have picked – embellished bodice and the fullest tulle skirt. It’s a cross between Swan Lake tutu and fantasy wedding gown.


The Communion service was lovely. We woke up early and cut roses from our garden for the brunch that followed at Bocacio’s in Westlake Village. Our whole family came and it was so touching to see everyone there. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect today – just look at that blue sky!


I am wearing a pair of Olivia + Alice pants with a top and jacket by Benson. I bought this whole ensemble from a little shop in Virginia one time while shopping with Patty. I remember it being one of the first times when I felt comfortable buying more than one piece from a little boutique. I love this outfit and yet, I may not have worn it today if not for this project. I may have had some other beautiful outfit newly bought for the occasion.


Gary is wearing a gorgeous Brioni checkered blazer that reminds me of Jude Law in The Talented Mr. Ripley. He picked out and bought his Todd shoes at Barney’s in San Francisco.

Saturday, April 24, Day 114


Today I am wearing the Azzedine Alaiia dress I was wearing on our shopping trip in London the day the camera was lost (see April 6). The shoes are Marni. I bought them at the Neiman’s in the Valley and wore them with a totally hot Balmain tuxedo to our Holiday Party last year.


I am standing by a self-portrait by Robert Russell. I love how it looks like a Renaissance painting except guys didn’t wear hoodies back then. When we first met Robert, he said he didn’t do commissioned portraits, but I managed to break down his resolve. He painted a beautiful portrait of me last year – very Singer Sargeant – and we have it hanging in the dining room.*


Elodie's Godparents, Russell and Hilary, flew in today for tomorrow’s festivities. Grandma Marilyn is coming down for dinner. It’s BLTA night** so we’re all excited.


*You can see my portrait in some of the pictures from my 40th Birthday party which are on my website: www.alifeimagined.com


**The amazing Mark Cutler bought Gary a six-month run of “Bacon-of-the-month-club” for Christmas last year. Every month we are sent another 12-16 ounces of premium bacon from various places around the country. We absolutely love it and look forward to the BLTAs Gary makes. We are totally resubscribing after it runs out in June!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010, Day 113


We had the Karlsens over to dinner tonight. Nathalie and Allan just bought the house directly behind ours and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We couldn’t imagine better neighbors and the fact our kids are friends with each other is a huge bonus.


Nanette joined us after dinner and she, Nathalie and I stole away upstairs to my closet to look at the beautiful things we brought back from London and to check on the progress of this project. I am happy to report both Nathalie and Nanette are followers of this blog (thanks, ladies!) and it was fun showing them what I have left to wear.


In keeping with my week of black dresses, I slipped into this classic and one of the girls took my picture. It’s by Gucci and I bought it on Ebay, but was not inexpensive. Less expensive for sure, but not inexpensive. I love the Spanish flamenco vibe. It was brand new with the tags and hanging on a dressmaker’s dummy when I saw it. I thought it might be too small, but it was hot and when I showed it to Gary, he said to take that chance and get it. When it arrived, I couldn’t zip it up. It was a good inch too small in the mid-section.


I called the Gucci store in Beverly Hills and asked what tailor they use. I went to that tailor and a small Latina expertly (and I do mean expertly) let a quarter of an inch out of all four seams (front, back and sides). This was no little job as there is quite a bit of detail around the middle and ten silk-covered buttons in the front.


I wore it to the Murakami Gala at MOCA when I met Marc Jacobs (see March 6). He had blue hair that night and was very polite. Later on he waved “bye” to me as he was leaving with a couple of super model types. I think it was the dress.


I wore it again as outfit number two to our Holiday Party that year. I’m afraid that it may not live to see another party. The fabric is very delicate and has a habit of shredding when dry-cleaned. Also, the skirt has gone from jet-black to a ghostly green color. It’s really too bad, but it was still worth all the expense and effort to feel as beautiful as I did in it both nights. I am happy to have it documented here.


I am lying outside on the side balcony off of our master bathroom. I love it up here. In the summertime, I come out in the mornings and meditate. The grapevines growing overhead keep the space cool and we installed rolling screens that make it feel like a room when they are rolled down. Right now the geraniums are in full bloom and are just beautiful.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010, Day 112


I went to a MOCA event at Bulgari today with my friend Nanette. It was a "kick-off" event leading up to a luncheon next week in honor of art patroness and former Hidden Hills neighbor Pamela Smith. It was good to see her and her new daughter-in-law Mandy, among other friends. I am wearing a dress by Allessandro del Acqua and a belt by Azzedine Allaia. The cardigan is by Inhabit.


This evening we took Elodie over to St. Bernadine’s for her First Holy Communion rehearsal which will take place on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010, Day 111



Here I am wearing a silk dress by Martin Margiela and a pair of knee-high leather Florentine and Baker boots. I am standing next to a sculpture by my friend Danny First and an etching by Lucian Freud on loan from Brenda Potter.


Speaking of Brenda, we went out this night with Brenda and Marc Selwyn to (belatedly) celebrate Brenda’s birthday at Spago. It was great to catch up with them both.


Our roses are really going crazy right now. They are so beautiful and love this warm, spring weather. We have vases of them all over the house.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010, Day 110


This morning I went for a walk a with my good friend Julie Dufine (also known as the “hot one’s wife” to some friends of mine, wink). It was great seeing her and even better catching up while burning some calories.


I am wearing a dress by Mason I bought at Dash sometime ago. I was actually ready to send it onto someone else when our friend and IT guy Omid said he really liked it. Gary seconded that when he came home. I am wearing it here with a pair of Donna Karan pumps I bought at the Cabazon outlets, but I wore black stockings and black Dansk shoes* most of the day.


I am standing next to a self-portrait by our new friend, the artist Travis Collinson (see April 16). It is hung upstairs in the former nursery and, while not in a public line of traffic, is nevertheless positioned in a place where we see it multiple times a day while passing through our bedroom to the upper landing.


Its colors are so soothing and I love the overall emotion to the piece. It should be noted that Travis Collinson is way better looking in real life. He shares the figure's large eyes, but it was probably his modesty which “uglied” him down with the flat lank hair in the painting.


Today was April 20 (4/20) and I probably don’t have to tell you what that meant to many people.


*Dansk shoes are favored by chefs and waitstaff. I wear them around the house because there are a lot of stone surfaces and the thick soles cushion my shins and hamstrings.


Monday, April 19, 2010, Day 109


Here I am in a lovely Marni dress I bought half off at Madison Gallery. It has ties at the waist that cinch and it feels light and airy There was sun this morning and I wore the dress with my new Acne shoes I bought at Poste Mistress in London (see April 2). They are very comfortable because of the platform.


I love platform heels – all the height for minimum pain. Of course I always prefer a pair of tennis shoes to most any other in terms of comfort. God help our finances if I were to be able to wear Christian Louboutin or Manalo Blaniks with ease.


I am standing next to a fascinating pen and ink drawing by Lee Mullican. If you look at it from a few feet away, it looks like an elephant with ears, trunk and “toe nails.” But if you look closely there is so much more going on. The elephant is made up of little designs, both real and abstract.


Mr. Mullican died a few years ago, but his widow Luchita came out to the house a year ago for an art party we had. I showed her this piece hanging upstairs on the landing. It says “1945” in the corner. She looked closely and said, “Oh, yes, I remember this work. We were married in 1943 and I remember Lee working on this series.”


You can see the edge of a frame around the corner under my arm. It’s another piece by Mr. Mullican, this time from 1981. It’s a nice companion piece and I like having them next to each other.


I went to meditation this morning and then got gas for my car. I was about to drive away when a man came up and rapped loudly on my passenger side window. I had started my engine with the gas nozzle still protruding from my tank. What a hassle I would have been in had I driven away and what an angel of a person he was for telling me!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010, Day 108


Today kicks off a week of black dresses. This one is by James Perse. It is soft jersey and can be dressed up or down as needed.


I am standing next to a photogravure* by Tracey Moffat in our living room in San Francisco. This piece was originally loaned to us by Brenda Potter, but we bought it from her so now it is ours. I love the emotion behind it and think it is so beautiful.


After breakfast, we flew home and took the kids out to Green Thumb to pick out vegetable plants for our garden. We got tomatoes (regular and cherry), bell peppers (purple, red and green), eggplant (Japanese and American), basil, chili peppers, snap beans, cucumbers, squash and casaba melon. When everything is ripe (usually in July), Gary makes the best grilled vegetable sandwiches. I make pesto for the sandwiches from scratch with our homegrown basil. The sandwiches are really delicious and we look forward to having them every year.


* Photogravure is a photo-mechanical process whereby a copper plate is coated with a light-sensitive gelatin tissue which had been exposed to a film positive, and then etched, resulting in a high quality intaglio print that can reproduce the detail and continuous tones of a photograph.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010, Day 107


I was on the radio today! I was interviewed on “Good Enough Radio” which is broadcast out of Colorado by Dr. Karyl McBride. I called in from our apartment and was interviewed about my book, A Life Imagined.*


I am wearing a pair of workout pants I bought at Lucy on Union Street and a James Perse zip cardigan. I am standing in the exact spot where Gary asked me to marry him in December 1998.


I'll never forget that glorious day. We had been staying back then at the Sherman House on Green Street. One morning, we put on our workout gear and headed for these stairs which run alongside the park on the west end of Pacific Heights. When we got to the very top (see photo), Gary dropped to his knee and pulled out a poem and a small box. If you haven’t read his ultra romantic proposal to me, you can find it on page 289 in my book, A Life Imagined.


We spent the day reading and napping and enjoying the gorgeous view from our apartment. We toyed with going out to see the Luc Tuyman exhibit at SFMOMA, but we were so into our books (Gary: Ken Follett, World Without End; Gilena: Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar) that we ended up reading until an early dinner at Elite Café on Fillmore.


All day long, I kept thinking, “I was on the radio today!”


*The interview will be archived and available on my website soon.

Friday, April 16, 2010, Day 106


We woke up this beautiful day and went for a long walk. Then we had breakfast at the Boulangerie on Fillmore and read the paper. Gary needed some new jeans so we went to the Levi’s store on Union Square and had lunch in the rotunda at the Neiman Marcus.


We went back to our apartment and relaxed. Then we walked down to Mureta’s on Fillmore where a huge credit was burning a hole in my pocket. Gary had bought me a lovely antique bracelet for my birthday from there, but the clasp broke. When I took it to be fixed, our local jeweler tried to clean it and about thirty of the tiny diamonds fell out. Luckily, we know Gary, the proprietor of Mureta’s, very well, having bought many, many antiques and vintage jewelry from him over the years. He graciously took it back and gave us a credit for the full amount. I used up my credit on some lovely things which I’m sure will pop up on this very blog.


I am wearing a pair of Levi's I bought at Urban Outfitters and a grey Velvet t-shirt I bought at Margaret O'Leary's on Fillmore. I am looking at a table in our living room which holds all kinds of treasures we bought at Mureta’s and an Eiffle Tower made from Legos which Graydon, Grandma, Gary and I built ourselves from a kit. Hanging over the table is a light fixture made from Ostrich eggs. I bought it for cheap because one of the eggs was broken. I took a chance that I could find another egg – who knew they sell them on the internet? – and our amazing Diego drilled the tiny holes in it so it exactly matches the others. Hanging on the wall to my left is a fabulous piece by Brian Wills. It is made up of rows and rows of colored thread, meticulously positioned parallel to each other. It’s really stunning.


Later, the artist Travis Collinson joined us for dinner at Choquet’s. We love meeting the artists whose pieces we have hanging in our house.* Travis is a lot of fun and we had a great time!


*I haven’t put Travis’ work in this blog yet, but I will!

Thursday, April 15, 2010, Day 105


Gary and I decided to take a little trip to San Francisco sans children. We left Thursday afternoon and were up here in time for dinner at our favorite restaurant, Jackson Fillmore.


I am wearing an old Theory dress and TSE cardigan I bought at the Cabazon outlets. I love this dress and still get compliments on it. Today a woman asked who “it was by” and if it was (hopefully) this season. Another woman told me she liked my “fashion sense.” Ah, yes…


I am standing in our master bedroom here in San Francisco. I love the juxtaposition of the ornate mirror and the clean lines if the dresser. The small sconces were bought on clearance at the Malibu Colony Company at the Malibu Country Mart. The shades are alabaster and cast the prettiest glow at night with candles in them.


The frame contains a quote from Herb Caen who wrote for the San Francisco Examiner for many years. It says, “Isn’t it nice that people who prefer Los Angeles to San Francisco live there?"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010, Day 104


Elodie took this picture of me sitting on my favorite bench. That’s a little inside joke between the esteemed interior designer Mark Cutler and me. We had seen it on a shopping trip and had ordered one for the house, but when it came in, I hated it and told Mark I absolutely did not want that bench. A few months later (it may have even been a year), I saw said bench at his house where he was using it as seating next to his dining table. It looked chic and elegant and I fell back in love with it. The kind hearted and very patient Mark Cutler handed it over and found himself some different seating. What a guy!


I am wearing an old navy James Perse dress and a cream James Perse cardigan. The turquoise beads around my neck were found in a gift shop in Colorado (or maybe Utah) on a ski trip. I was told that the green tone to them came from the high level of copper found in the ground wear the turquoise was mined.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010, Day 103


I am wearing a Barry’s Bootcamp* t-shirt over a white thermal and a pair of velour Juicy Couture sweatpants.** My loving sister Rachel started Barry’s Bootcamp*** in 1998. I’ll never forget the night she took me to see the first one on La Cienega Blvd. in West Hollywood. It was late at night and she had the key to the space. She gave me a little tour, showing me where the mirrors would be installed and where the hand weights would be stacked. I could tell the whole time that she could really see it all in her mind. And look at her now! I couldn’t be more proud.


We had Colt Patrol at the kids’ school this morning and then I ran errands until my massage at 4pm.

Graydon took this shot. Gary says I look three feet high.


*Some people have asked about the Barry in Barry’s Bootcamp, especially since Rachel founded it the year my Barry died. Rest assured, there is a living, breathing Barry – Rachel’s partner, the incomparable, Barry Jay.


**Close, but not the same as the TERRY white Juicy Couture sweatpants I am wearing January 16.


***Rachel has the hottest website (www.barrysbootcamp.com) of anybody I know. I am always impressed, always in awe of its creative use and harnessing of technology. It’s truly a work of art.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010, Day 102


We joked with people in London that we “brought our weather with us” when it ended up being so nice instead of rainy. I guess we left it there too, but maybe it’s just on a little delay. We could not get over how many things bloomed while were gone. It’s such an exciting time in the garden. April showers and all that.


Today I am wearing a skirt by Lutz with a cashmere Barney’s private label shell and a, Alice + Olivia cardigan I bought at Dash. The skirt has these cute sailor buttons in the front and the sweater ties into a bow in front. It’s funny because I’d been procrastinating when it came to wearing this skirt – I never felt like I quite knew how to style it – but today, it all seemed to come together. I even got compliments on my outfit from people, including Gary. It felt chic and effortless.


I am standing next to a really cool piece of art we picked up at MOCA’s Fresh auction a few years back. It’s by Moshe Elimelech and consists of nine removable cubes. Each cube has various colors and shapes painted on it. The viewer is invited to move around and turn the cubes, thereby changing the overall composition.


Naturally Graydon and Elodie love this piece. They use the old highchair below it as a step stool and change out the cubes. Sometimes they are all black and white. Once they were all solid colors.


Have a look at that highchair. Both our babies sat in it. We bought it at an unfinished furniture store and my darling husband finished it that mossy green. The apron is all worn down from scraping baby food off of it. I’m sure we bought it because we thought a modern, plastic highchair would ruin the aesthetics of the guest house. I remember I used to be a little jealous of other babies on our children's behalf, falling asleep in their fancy, cushy, padded highchairs that their mommies could tilt back for extra comfort. Well, at least ours looked cool.


We really enjoyed our trip, but it feels great to be home again.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010, Day 101


Still feeling lazy, like I’m on vacation, so I am inserting this picture here instead of properly dressing for today.


Here I am in a voluptuous Vivienne Westwood black stretch silk dress I bought on sale at Brown’s. It has a built in corset (similar to the one in the La Perla dress from February 23) for supporting the girls and showing them off to their full advantage. I am standing in our room at the Covent Garden Hotel in a pair of Vivienne Westwood strappy pumps I bought at Poste Mistress. Notice all the shopping bags? Like I said, we had an excellent time.


Back to work tomorrow!

Saturday, April 10, 2010, Day 100


Let is be said that the best day to return home from a long trip is Friday with the whole weekend stretched out in front of you. We did a lot of unpacking and catching up todayand the spent the evening at home with the kids.


Here is a picture of us outside the Woolsley (see April 6) in some of the clothes we bought that day from Brown's. I am wearing a Botega Venetta dress and my man is wearing a Lanvin leather jacket. Don’t we look nice?