Style and jazz go hand in hand

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed at the Peace Center on March 14. What a rare treat it was to see and hear the best jazz musicians on the planet all under one roof. Wynton’s brilliance as a musician, band leader, composer, and teacher illuminated the house that night. The audience honored Marsalis and his orchestra with exuberant applause, and insistence on an encore. Known as “America’s classical music”, jazz originated in New Orleans in the early twentieth century and emerged from both African and classical European rhythms. I am not a student of jazz, but I do like listening to it. Sometimes it makes me extraordinarily happy, and other times it cuts me to the quick.  One thing I know is true about this home grown art form. Jazz always takes me for a ride, and I’m never quite sure of the destination. The road twists in unexpected places and detours to unfamiliar terrain. The best part about jazz for me is its element of surprise.

So how is jazz like style? Those who dress with panache do exactly what jazz does. They surprise you. During intermission at the March 14 concert, I engaged in people watching. I spied a young woman with a New York vibe and she carried a small black marabou feathered shoulder bag. I honed in on the bag immediately.  When I asked her if I could take a photo of her purse, she said that her coat was the best thing about her outfit. She graciously ran back to her seat and returned wearing a real show stopper of a coat. It had so many lovely surprising elements such as the black and white patterned piping against the rich red fabric. It also had gorgeous blousy sleeves. Designer An Ren of New York (how appropriate for the evening) created this beauty. Here is a photo of the label with the designer’s name in case you want one for yourself. Alas, the picture of the sweet little bag disappeared from my cell phone. Just imagine lightness and fullness at the same time. Something like a jazz note!

Wynton Marsalis concert goer wearing coat by designer An Ren


Coat by New York designer An Ren

Four fabulous 2011 jewelry trends

Saturday, October 1st, 2011
All eyes are on jewelry this fall as this ultimate accessory shares center stage with the latest clothing fashions.  Jewelry animates the wearer and delights the beholder. It also possesses the power to instantaneously transform a somber outfit into a sensational one.  Holobi  DRES System has created jewelry and accessory guidelines for each of the four body types and face shapes: diamond, emerald, sapphire and ruby. The team of Holobi independent stylist consultants will train individuals how to incorporate fabulous fall jewelry trends like the following into their wardrobe:
·       Feather’s Unfurled:  Exotic plumes in the form of cascading earrings, choker necklaces and brooches are certain to add “glam” to jeans as well as a LBD.  A feathered pin strategically placed on a lapel or at the waist draws attention to those areas.  Feathers appeal to dramatic dressers who enjoy making a statement with their clothes and accessories as well as Ethnic style personalities who favor a bohemian look. 
·        Pendant Power: This 1970’s iconic necklace has morphed into a thoroughly modern style.  Pendants come in all sizes and shapes this season. Designs include delicate filigree leaves, bejeweled Byzantine crosses and glass and bead pendants. Ethnic fashion styles will take to pendants made of natural elements like stone, bone and wood. Antique brass and semi precious stone pendants, on the other hand, inspire the romantics at heart.  Sapphire body types, whose hips are larger than their bust and shoulders, look smashing in bold “statement” pendants that rest at mid chest and highlight the décolleté.  Ruby body types, the opposite of sapphires, can sport longer pendant necklaces, provided that they are small busted. Rubies have broader shoulders and/or a larger bust compared to their narrower hips and thighs.
·       Metal Magic: Brass, silver, hematite and antique gold standout as this season’s most sought after metals. A single strand silver or gold necklace projects timeless elegance for those who prefer a conservative sheath dress or tailored suiting. The multi strand mixed metal designs infuse a pair of jeans and a simple tee-shirt with an edgy vibe, especially those with twisted strands and interwoven beading.  What better way to showcase mixed metals than by wearing an eclectic assortment of bangles or a turquoise cocktail ring set in gold and silver. Assorted stacked bracelets and rings work well on ruby body types because they extend the hip line and showcase the legs. The beauty of mixed metals is that they complement both warm and cool skin tones.
·        Welcome Back Chokers:  One just might find a long forgotten choker somewhere in the recesses of a jewelry armoire. This season’s hot style runs the gamut from woven designs with feathers and beads to sleek hammered silver minimalist collars. Chokers bring attention to the face, hair and eyes. They also suit petite women better than many of the popular oversized chunky necklaces. Since chokers rest at the base of the neck, they coexist nicely with a variety of tops including those with shawl collars, turtlenecks, peplum jackets with notched collars and oxford style blouses.
Frank Sinatra once crooned about “baubles, bangles (and), bright shiny beads” and their power to delight. This season’s array of jewelry options offers women the opportunity to take their personal style to new heights and add extra brilliance to their image.  As the song goes, “sparkles, spangles, your heart will sing….wearin’ baubles, bangles and beads”.