Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vogue Knitting Live 2013 and Some Makeup


View from the 26th floor Marriot Marquis in Times Square.  I could barely approach the window!

Thank goodness the snow arrived this week instead of last when I was in New York.   I went there primarily to attend Vogue Knitting  Live (VKL) at the Marriot Marquis, and while I would never have had to have left the hotel for VKL events, I wouldn’t have visited the Fashion District or shopped for makeup.  To get right to the point, VKL New York was a bit of a disappointment this year.  I arrived at my hotel about noon on Friday and went straight to the yarn market only ot find that it was a zoo already.  The usual complement of vendors were there, crammed into small spaces on two floors.  I had to fight my way into the Habu booth.  I was interested in finding some mercerized cotton yarn and any kind of Habu, but everything looked a big blur of sock and novelty yarn.  For the first time ever, I was faced with yarn and bought nothing. I was tempted this Habu Cotton Gima:


But I decided to just take a photo and order later if I decide what to make out of it.

I took one class on knitting peblums.  Granted, I learned something new, but I could  have done the same by reading instructions in a book or finding them on the Internet.  A class should have value added not readily translated into written instructions, in my opinion.  The instructor did have an interesting story about her work with Ralph Lauren, but it would have been even more itneresting if she had had a garment or two of her own design to show us and if she had shared more of her experiences as a knitwear designer.  The Vogue fashion show, so inspiring last year, was full of pedestrian designs and didn’t live up the Vogue name.  While the Marriott Marquis was comfortable hotel, the Hyatt, where it was held last year, was a better venue for Vogue Knitting Live.

This is not to discourage attendance to VKL generally.  I realize that these events are dependent upon hotel availability and the instructors the organizers are able to recruit; the Chicago class roster looked much more interesting for instance.  Also, there were a couple of three-day long design classes that looked interesting, but that I couldn't take because I could only stay in New York for two days. 

That said, it was good to be around knitters and my roomie, Diane.  We talked about knitting, design, bounced ideas off of each other, and tooled around the Fashion District looking for beads for her class, notions at M & J Trimming, and got a makeover for her at the Meatpacking District Sephora.  It was also great to see Shirley Paden, master knitter and designer.  Shirley, by the way, will be back in DC in February to teach her day-long design class and finishing class at Looped Yarn Works near Dupont Circle in DC, February 15-17.  I highly recommend it.  You can read my review here.

I also got to visit with my buddy Dustin Lujan at Saks.  Dustin works for Dolce and Gabbana Beauty now and gave me a beautiful makeover.  Here are some of the things I got:

D&G 2013

I’ll write a full review in other posts, after I’ve had a chance to take decent photos, but will say that the taupes in the quad are a good match for my skin tone, which is unusual.  Most taupes just look like a blot of gray on my eyelids, but these look like a natural enhancement – i.e. actual shadows.  The green eyeliner works surprising well with the taupes, giving them a different look.  The concealer is the best I've used, and as others have said, the Passion Duo lipstick is luscious. 

Naomi Yasuda, celebrity manicurist and creator of Barneys Lady Gaga Nail Collection, was giving free D&G manicures that day.  Many of her nail designs are over the top for me, but she gave me a pretty lace and crystal manicure, which I will remove with great reluctance.


Naomi Yasuda D&G Mani
the crystals are not as milky as they appear in the photo.
I visited several Sephoras (they all seem to have different stuff).  The Times Square store had nail stations stocked with a variety of polishes and removers where customers can try on different looks.  I wish the Sephoras here had those. The stations were a mess thus no photos.  The stores in Time Square were just as crowded as the Square itself; Sephora did not seem to be sufficiently staffed to keep things in order.  The Soho store was just as crowded, but clean; had no nail bars, but they did have Edward Bess.  I wanted to look at his new eye shadow quads in person after seeing them all over the Net.  Given that eyeshadows look different on the eyelid than on the back of one’s hand, I should have tried them on, but they looked dupable out of my own stash, so I passed on them. 
The Meatpacking District Sephora was very elegant, which is not a characteristic that comes to my mind when I think of Sephora.  I should have taken photos, but I got totally caught up Diane’s makeover, then by actually looking around.  The store was bright enough to properly show the products, but not starkly bright like other Sephoras.  The walls were dark and potted orchids were scattered about.  Applicators and cleansers discretely placed around displays - so discrete they were almost invisible.  There were no cashiers; each sales assistant had an iPhone equipped with a price scanner and a credit card swiper.  Like the other stores, they carried Dolce and Gabbana and Giorgio Armani (surprise! I didn’t know Sephora carried Armani cosmetics).  Diane, who is not a makeup junkie, needed some basic products that she can apply easily and quickly with little fuss.   A sales assistant listened carefully to our requests and explanations, then sat her down at one of several clean and neat, mirrored stations and brought out some products out for us to consider. Here's what she got:
Diane's stuff  
From top left:  Marula Facial Oil; Hourglass Illume Creme-to-Powder Bronzer Duo; Bite Lipstick; Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment; Makeup Forever eye pencil; Anastacia tinted brow gel; Dr. Jart+ Waterfuse Smart Gel (BB Cream)
The sales assistant was very good.  As Diane commented, she really heard what we said, and nailed suitable colors for Diane at the first go.  We were really impressed.  I enjoyed helping Diane navigate products, decide what she really wanted and would use, and make recommendations.  Now I want to shop for my other friends! 
I bought a couple of things there for myself too, and at Inglot, which I will review later. 

I did not see my DC knitting pals; I know that some stayed in Washington for Inauguration events.  Did you go to Vogue Knitting Live?  What did you think? 


  1. Your post really makes me miss attending all these knitting shindigs. I miss the connection and being in the room full of like-minded people. Sorry to hear that the event was not what you expected from it. I was thinking of doing it next year. I am heading back to NoVa in May. Excited to catch up!! And need a serious review of my make-up. Love your haul! Please say hello to Diane for me, I want to see more photos of her makeover. xox

    1. Olga, I'm so happy to hear that you'll be back in NoVa in May! Perhaps you'll teach at VKL New York next year. They definitely need some of your designs in the show. And we will review your makeup too!

  2. Thanks for your take on VKL NY. After having so much fun last year in New York, I ventured to VKL Chicago in the fall. Enjoyed the lecture (not the class); vendor spots in the marketplace were much too small to shop comfortably; & the lack of staff allowed open access to classes/lectures that others paid for. I'm switching back to Stitches this year. Sorry I missed your trip to M&J again & glad you enjoyed your other ventures. Deb

    1. Deb, sorry to hear that your experience at VKL Chicago was as bad as mine, worse actually. I heard several people say that Stitches was better. Will you go again next year? I probably will since I like being in NY anyway. Did you finish the gray sweater we started last year? I haven't - :\ By the way, I saw that ATS closed. So sad! I wonder if the rent just got too high.

  3. Sounds like you had quite the trip, Ava! I don't know anything about VKL so I can't comment about that :S BUT, I will say that I totally know what you mean about taupes being tricky - usually they do nothing for me either and make me look washed out. However, this D&G palette sounds really appealing! Also, its wonderful to hear that you and your friend had a great SA - sometimes that can be hard to come by, someone who truly listens to your kinda makes me want to go to New York (even more)!!



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