Her catwalk is the sidewalk.
Her catwalk is the sidewalk.

Posts from — May 2011

Stumbling for Style

While having drinks with my girlfriends Steph and Heather the other night at Brabo Tasting Room, we started chatting about our top mortifying moments.  More specifically, we were sharing our most embarrassing oh-no-you-didn’t trips and falls.

Steph mentioned that on her way to meet a co-worker for lunch the other day she decided to save time by cutting through a park and ended up falling flat on the ground! Within seconds she went from vertical to horizontal. Luckily, she was able to quickly pick herself up with a gymnast-worthy recovery, and sashay back on her way. When she arrived at the restaurant I have no doubt she still  looked smashing – even though her Louis Vuitton bag was accented with flecks of mud. 

Even Beyonce has had terrible tumbles (like this one in Orlando in 2007) - on stage, no less – and gotten herself together to continue performing without missing a beat. Ouch… Although I’m not the least bit surprised, the girl is a phenomenal performer.

Sidebar: have you seen how fabulous she looks lately? She rocked the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night.

So as the girls and I were spilling about our spills, I started to have flashbacks of my own teeters and trips - and I realized my most mortifying missteps involved some sort of platforms or wedges. Like the time I cut across a grassy lot while walking to my office one summer morning, and wiped out when my strappy white platform espadrilles got caught in a ditch. I didn’t realize until I had arrived at the office that I had grass-stains on my white pants, shoes, and the palms of my hands. I never lived that one down – since then, my friend Jenny loves to threaten to “tip me over” whenever I’m wearing platforms.

Or the time I managed to trip on my wedge slides and  fall on the “Up” escalator at a local Metro station, sprawled smack across the steps during busy morning rush hour.  My tote, still attached to my right hand, had flown forward when I fell so that my arm was flung out in front of me. My frock was bright pink, so there was no blending in with the scenery either! I quite literally rode it out, picked myself up before getting stuck in the grooves at the top, turned around  to give a quick smile to my audience behind me — and ran out to the street (as if I had to catch a bus) until I was safely out of sight.

The girls and I agreed that the moral of the stumble is - if you are going to do it, you need to own it, girl. Don’t laugh nervously or simply scuttle off, post-fall. At least stick around first and acknowledge it in some way, or finish it off à la Mary Katherine Gallagher’s “Superstar!” recovery. My friend Amy has mastered this one – works every time!

My friends and I are also huge fans of Molly Shannon’s Sally O’Malley skits on SNL. Why? Because Sally loves to “kick and stretch!”  Who doesn’t love a spunky, flexible, hilarious woman in a tight, bright red pantsuit? For the record, a kickin’ and stretchin’ recovery after a fall is always in style.   

So let’s just blame the pratfalls on the platforms, shall we? It happens to the best of us. Just remember a kickin’ recovery is key. Just for fun (and to make us all feel better the next time we tip over), here’s a stumble-worthy sampling of falls in the name of fashion. 

Fergie falls

Gaga goes down

Hilton hurtles

Lindsay lurches

Ritchie reels

SJP stumbles

Supermodels slip up

Oh my Choo!

Prada plunge

What the what?

Last but not least, applause-worthy recovery with a smile!

 When in doubt?  Just laugh and bat those eyelashes.

May 24, 2011   No Comments

Thank Heaven for Lily Girls

The setting: The home of much-loved junior fashion plate and all around girly-girl, Lily Bertles. Her Mom, Aunt Steph and I are helping her get ready for her first Father-Daughter dance at school. The last time Lily graciously gave her time for Medestrian Minutes, she was 6 ½. She is now much wiser (a full year’s worth!) at 7 ½.

MMII (2)

First order of business when we arrive:  give Lily a few essentials for the evening  – a selection of pink lipglosses and a white, lace design compact mirror.  As she is ooh-ing and aah-ing over her goodies, the rest of the “girls” open a bottle of prosecco.

So Lily, what is your favorite part of your outfit?

Lily:    I don’t know…I like the shoes…well…I like the dress and the shoes. I’ll say those are my favorite things.

Tell me about your shoes.

Lily:    Hmmm…how would I describe them…they have flowers on them and they’re white. They’re basically sandals, you know. And, on the flowers, there’s little tiny silver dots.

What purse will you carry?

Lily:    Probably the one you gave me, Aunt Dolly – the gold one – and it has a gold bow on it? That’s the one.


Lily then runs upstairs to change into her bathrobe and comes back downstairs – let the primping begin! From hair to mani/pedi, we’re in full girly-girl mode.


What essentials will you carry in your purse?

Lily:     Let me think. I know I’m gonna put some lipgloss in but don’t know which color…can we come back to this question?

Sure. Do you have any advice for other girls getting ready for a dance?

Lily:    Well…(she is deep in thought for a minute)…girls should NOT wear a short dress – but a long dress. And it should be…pink! And the shoes – they should be white or black!

Is this your first dance?

Lily:    Yes!

So, any more thoughts on what you’ll need in your purse?

Lily:    Yes…(as she tries on the different lipglosses we brought her)…I’m going to bring at least one of these glosses, and definitely my mirror. My pretty new white mirror. From you guys.

Is there any song you’re hoping to dance to tonight?

Lily:    Umm…California Girls! Oh and Teenage Dream! (Katy Perry also happens to be the soundtrack of this evening’s little primping-party.)

What color have you selected for your nails?

Lily:    Mom, what color is it? (Amy reads the name on the nail polish bottle,  “I Pink I Can” – and we realize I’m wearing the same exact color. We think this is pretty cool, and snap a photo of our matching nails.)


In between questions as Lily eats her dinner while her toes are drying, I top off the grown-ups’ glasses with more prosecco. Lily says, “Wow, you guys really like that stuff, huh?” – the girl doesn’t miss a trick.

So is your Dad a good dancer?

Lily:     I don’t know…but I bet he is definitely gonna be OK for sure!

What do you love most about your Dad?

Lily:    Can it be more than one thing? Yes? Ok, good. Oh gosh, well he’s FUN…and he let’s us jump on him! He also let’s me kiss him whenever I want…so, yeah, pretty much a really great Dad all around.

What’s some of the best advice your Dad has given you?

Lily:    To practice my dancing.

Lily has selected a very specific hairstyle that she saw in a magazine, and luckily, we are able to recreate it for her. It consists of two small braids gathered in the back with a pink organza bow, and sprigs of baby’s breath intertwined in the braids.


How’s lacrosse going?

Lily:    I love it! My favorite part is the attack!

Do you have any other fashion advice for your audience?

Lily:    Yes. Whenever you can, you should wear a long skirt.

Why is that?

Lily:    Well because long skirts are fancy, and it’s really good to be fancy! (We all nod in agreement that it’s good to be fancy. Then we have a quick discussion on whether it’s better to be a Beauty Queen or a Diva and come to the conclusion that it’s probably better to be a Beauty Queen.)

Do you have any “fashion don’ts” you’d like to share?

Lily:    Never wear too much gray.

What’s the worst outfit you’ve seen lately?

Lily:    Well the worst shoes would have to be sneaker boots. (I ask her does she mean the ones Willow wears? She says yes, she does not like Willow’s sneaker boots or pants, but that she likes Willow.)

Aunt Steph asks Lily what her favorite part of the prep and pampering is.

Lily:    My favorite part is…just getting ready! That’s all I can say. It’s fun!

It’s time for Lily to get dressed, so we have time for one last question. I ask her what her plans are for the summer.

Lily:    We’re going to the beach. I’m also going to camp. To horse-riding camp. Will you come? You’d better come!

I say yes, of course I’ll come. Although I’m  not sure if I’ve just agreed to the beach, horse-riding camp with Lily, or both.

The dress…

Lily’s dress is gorgeous – pale pink silk taffeta with rosettes below the sash and covering the full skirt. She looks like a princess. Her brother, Billy, who just got home from lacrosse practice, must have agreed – as soon as he sees his sister he tells her, “Lily – you look beautiful!”


 And of course, what it’s really all about is a great memory for Lily and her Dad…


What a lucky girl.


May 16, 2011   No Comments

Fabulous Lives Here

April showers bring May flowers so what are you waiting for? With these sunny 70-degree days it’s high time to stop and smell the roses, and I know just the place. One of my favorite spots to enjoy gorgeous gardens in the spring is Hillwood – and if you haven’t had the pleasure, then you don’t know where fabulous lives.


Fabulous has always lived at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, thanks to Marjorie Merriweather Post: art collector, philanthropist, socialite, entrepreneur, and heiress to the Post cereal empire.


Before becoming the treasure trove of covet-worthy art and gardens that it’s known for today, Hillwood Estate was just one of many opulent, palatial homes owned by Marjorie and her Wall Street financier husband, E.F. Hutton.


When the power couple wasn’t filling Hillwood with art from their travels or building the General Foods empire, they were entertaining and basking in the sun at their Palm Beach party palace, Mar-a-Lago. And if you were someone, you received an invitation to visit during the winter social season, darling.

Mar-a-Lago party


Marjorie and E.F.’s daughter, the lovely and gracious movie star Dina Merrill, was right at home with the VIPs at Mar-a-Lago. For a brief time, Cary Grant was even a member of the family – he was married to Dina’s first cousin and Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton. When Dina wasn’t chatting up Cary, Frank, Dean and other stars, she was busy charming members of DC society back at Hillwood.



Nestled away on 25 wooded acres in Northwest DC, Hillwood features the most extensive collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia. Highlights include a diamond crown worn by Empress Alexandra at her wedding to Nicholas II and fantastic Fabergé Easter eggs.


The collections don’t stop there. After four marriages, Marjorie had quite a collection of wedding gowns. Like mother, like daughters…the three Post girls racked up a dozen marriages (Adelaide-3; Eleanor-6; Dina-3).  All of these dresses are on display at the Museum through January 2012.


Generous to the end, Mrs. Post’s final gift was to leave Hillwood Estate and Gardens as a museum to the public upon her death in 1973. Not only is the home très exquisite, but the lush gardens are beyond beautiful…


The Rose Garden



The Greenhouse


The Cutting Garden


The Japanese Garden


The French Parterre


This is only a sampling of the treasures you’ll find here. You can also visit the Museum Shop, grab lunch at the Hillwood Cafe, or enjoy a picnic on the lavish lawns.

Marjorie’s philanthropic spirit and flair for all things fabulous make a visit to Hillwood the “must-have” invitation of the DC spring season.

Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and select Sundays; closed Mondays.

4155 Linnean Avenue, NW, Washington DC,  www.HillwoodMuseum.org.

Suggested donations: Adults – $15; Seniors – $12; College students – $10; Children (6-18) – $5; Children under 6 – free.


May 10, 2011   2 Comments

Her Sunny, Funny Face

The beautiful, incomparable Audrey Hepburn would have been 82 83 years old today. Her generous and philanthropic spirit was an inspiration, and made her even lovelier in life than she was in her films. Not only did she have style in spades but she was a true lady: she carried herself with poise and grace, and treated others with kindness and respect. In my book that makes her one in infinity.


So “clink!” to the Birthday Girl and her memorable silver screen personas – Holly, Sabrina, Princess Ann, Jo, Joanna, Eliza, Regina, Gaby - and all the other fabulous characters brought to life by the unforgettable Audrey.


“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe tomorrow is another day.”  ~Audrey Hepburn

Audrey & Famous

I’ve got to do something about the way I look. I mean a girl just can’t go to Sing Sing with a green face.” ~Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Sing Sing

“Oh, but Paris isn’t for changing planes, it’s for changing your outlook! For throwing open the windows and letting in… letting in la vie en rose.”  ~Sabrina Fairchild, Sabrina


“I hate this nightgown. I hate all my nightgowns, and I hate all my underwear too…I’m not two hundred years old. Why can’t I sleep in pajamas?” ~Princess Ann, Roman Holiday

Ann & Joe

“Take the picture, take the picture!” ~Jo Stockton, Funny Face

Funny Face red dress

“I’m three dimensional, as a matter of fact.” ~Joanna Wallace, Two for the Road


“The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.”  ~Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady


“Marriage license, did you say marriage license? Oh I love you Adam, Alex, Peter, Brian, whatever your name is.”  ~Regina Lampert, Charade


“Actually, depravity can be terribly boring if you don’t smoke or drink.” ~Gaby Simpson, Paris When It Sizzles


“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” ~ Audrey Hepburn


May 4, 2011   1 Comment