Friday, November 21, 2008

YPF: Malabrigo

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Malabrigo! I never understood what the fuss was until I saw this skein at A Tangled Skein, a LYS in Hyattsville, Maryland. I know it pills but it's worth it, many think.

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I saw it at Knit Night at A Tangled Skein. What a lovely place! The yarn displays are placed in such a way as to create four knitting spaces. I've attended twice with Deb. The staff and other knitters are so nice and welcoming.

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Deb and A Tangled Skein Owner

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tim Gunn!


photo by Olga

We saw Tim Gunn today! In his new role as creative director for Liz Claiborne, Tim is hosting fashion shows across the country including one today at one of military exchanges in Washington, DC metro area. Olga invited me a few weeks ago - thank you, Olga! - and we were put on the waiting list. We didn't know that we were actually going until last night.

We got there early, way early. There was only one other person waiting, who kindly offered to save our places, so we decided to look around the PX for a while. Just as we went back to queue up, one of Tim's assistants came out to look for 6 additional people to attend the private brunch they were holding for Tim. We couldn't believe it! We were second and third in line. I'm not a celebrity hound, but this was really exciting!

Tim taking questions at a private brunch

there he is sitting at the little round table!
I wore my Habu coat. I live in it now!

Tim answered questions for about 30 minutes. I wish I had recorded the question and answer session. He is such a nice man: his manners are impeccable, he treated us as though he was personally hosting this brunch and we were all his BFFs. He doesn't believe in "gotcha" makeovers, in which people are turned in by their friends and made over against their will. His philosophy to styling is to help people present themselves at their best in whatever way they want to present themselves to the world. Nor does he believe in "aspirational dressing," i.e. buying clothes for when one is 10 pounds lighter. He believes people should dress for their current body type, keeping fit, silhouette, and proportion in mind. But Tim's not too nice: he was willing to admit that Kendal from this season's Project Runway was a major pain, trying even his patience. In addition to the tasty brunch, there was a gift waiting for us: Tim's 2009 Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style Daily Calendar.

A Liz Claiborne fashion show followed brunch. I have to admit that I tend to walk by Liz Claiborne collections. They have just lacked a certain something. And though they didn't look like much on the hangers today, they looked great on the models. It really pays to try things on.

The collection included professional, casual, and evening clothing at very affordable prices. I really appreciated that they hired models of all sizes. The model in the bottom left photo has on cabled cardi, much like the ones we've all seen and knit. It's really cute belted.

Tim took a few more questions at the end of the show. More about evil Kendal; a few style questions - experiment with accessories if you work in a conservative office; belts help define the waist on most body types; use color in your accessories; don't go matchy-matchy. He isn't sure what will happen to the PR: it's still in litigation. He and Heidi fear it will not air at all, though in his opinion, it's the best season of all. They record an entire season of PR in 30 days! No breaks! He said the designers are fried by the third week. Isaac Mizrahi will have a collection out for Liz Claiborne in the spring.

Tim Gunn taking questions

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The New Millennium

The elections are finally over. Like many of you, I'm a news junkie and have been parked in front of the TV late every night for months and I've got dark circles under my eyes to show it! I'll be tracking the new Obama administration's transition, of course, but now I can get a life.

I'm so pleased that we may re-engage the rest of the world now and I know many people around the world feel the same. If you have time and if you're inclined, read this Washington Post article about reactions around the world. It astounds me that the world still looks up to us as the embodiment of possibility and craves - needs - a better relationship with us. We need them too.

Washington should be an interesting place for a while. I've been here through a few administrations, but this one feels different already. Washington usually feels like the city described in The Jungle (I think?), in which the characters live largely in anonymity, unseen by others. I found this disturbing at first, but I've gotten used to it. I can be plenty self-absorbed too, especially on my way to work in the morning or speeding home at night. But something odd has happened over the last 24 hours - people see me. In my encounters at the grocery store last night with the clerk and another customer, and with a bookstore cashier and at Starbucks this morning, people have found an excuse to talk to me and look me in eye longer than they usually do. It's nice to be seen.

I've thought about moving at least once a month since I moved here 20 years ago, but I'm glad I'm here now. I've watched all those other inaugurations on TV, but I'll attend this one. I want to be bathed in this positive energy for as long as it lasts.

Though I expect that Washington will return to being Washington again as we settle into addressing our devastating problems, right now it finally feels like the 21st century has really begun.


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