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Before my first trip to Italy, nine years ago, I had to cut my vacation short.  The production company I worked for decided to shut down, permanently, two weeks before Christmas.  Happy Holidays everyone!

I was going to scrap the entire trip but my family was very worried about my mental state and insisted I go.

I decided to travel to only one city for just one week.  I narrowed down my choices to Rome or Florence.  One of my good friends in L.A. is a hardcore Italophile.  She proclaimed that I was a Rome person and should save Florence for another trip.

I’ve been to Florence twice. The art is stupendous and the city is beautiful.  Yet each time I felt anxious and couldn’t wait to return to Rome.  It’s not as if Rome is a laid back place.  However, Florence is a much smaller city and cannot handle the hordes of tourists and study aboard students.

Well, I need to get over it because I must see the new Portrait Firenze.  The architect/interior designer is Michele Bonan.  I’ve written about how much I LOVE his work, especially, the newish J.K. Place in Rome.

The hotel is owned by the Ferragamo family (the Lungarno Collection) and is located in the heart of the Historic Center. It has only thirty-six rooms and killer views of the Ponte Vecchio. It’s scheduled to open this spring.

I could think of worse places to have an aperitivo.

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This bathroom! The double shower heads, the warm marble, the tub, everything.

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Sigh. No words.

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Yes, please.

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Photos: Lungarno Collection

Everyone (who is everyone, really?) says print magazines are so over.  Dead.  Morte.  It’s all about the online space.

Sorry, but I still adore magazines.   I prefer to hold a magazine in my hands rather than read the same content on the computer/iPhone.

I’m very curious about the new magazine, PORTER, from the online powerhouse, Net-A-Porter.   They didn’t have to create a print version of the magazine.  I’m glad they decided to.

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It’s interesting that PORTER will shoot clothes by designers that are not available on Net-A-Porter, such as Chanel.   To me this (along with feature articles about traveling, design, the arts, tech, etc.),  sends a clear signal that PORTER is going to be a proper magazine, not just another venue for online shopping.

It will be sold in sixty countries.  While the company is based in London, the magazine is written in American English.

Given the consistently awful news about the state of print media, I’m excited to see Net-A- Porter take this risk.

I cannot wait to get my hands on it.

We are smack in the middle of the Hollywood awards season.  For fans of film, and/or fashion, these are glorious times.

Every season, a few people really stand out.  Some, unfortunately, stand out for all the wrong reasons and then there are stars like Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o.

These two actresses have been killing it on the red carpet.

I wasn’t surprised to find out that they share a stylist, Micaela Erlanger.  This has been a break out season for her as well.

I love that both woman wear clothes that fit their personalities.  Sometimes on the red carpet it looks like the clothes are wearing the star.

While it’s true most of the clothes are borrowed, there’s still no excuse for ill fitting garments.  One thing I’ve noticed with both Michelle and Lupita is the fit of their clothes.  Perfection.

How beautiful is this Oscar de la Renta dress?  On someone else it could’ve seemed too old fashioned but Michelle’s make-up and accessories keep it fresh.

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  Photo: OscarPRGirl

The detailing at the neckline and the color of this Gucci dress is stunning.  It’s a great color for Lupita’s complexion.

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Photo: E! online

I’m very curious to see what they will wear for the Oscars.

I recently saw Blue Jasmine.  Cate Blanchett is so outstanding, you forget the plot holes in the movie.

I haven’t seen all the other Best Actress nominees’ performances yet but if Cate wins the Oscar I wouldn’t be surprised.

The wardrobe was amazing as well.  I read that the costume designer, Suzy Benzinger, had a budget of only $35,000.  Most of the clothes were borrowed and every time Cate dropped the Birkin (which belonged to Benzinger and cost more than the entire budget) on the ground, people on set gasped.

Beautiful Chanel jacket.  Poor Jasmine.  She was bananas.

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Photo: Collider.com

How stunning is this red Carolina Herrera dress?  Love, love, love, it!

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Photo: indiewire.com

Stylish simplicity in a linen dress by Façonnable.

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Photo: NY Daily News

I have a completely different build from Ms. Blanchett.  I’m not sure how any of these clothes would look on my short self, but I can dream about the accessories.

Buon weekend!

Last week a fantastic Gordon Park’s exhibit opened in Rome. Titled, Una Storia Americana (an American History), this is one of the largest retrospectives of his work.

Gordon Parks was a true renaissance man.  He was a self-taught photographer, musician, writer, film director, and poet.

Parks was also quite popular with the ladies. When he was sixty he met a young aspiring writer named Candace Bushell, who had recently moved to New York City.  She moved in.  She was eighteen.

He became the first African-American to direct a major Hollywood movie and was the first African-American photographer hired by LIFE and VOGUE magazines.  His range of subjects, along his talent, made Parks one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century.  Many of his images are iconic and will be for years.

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I know there is a huge difference between want and need.  Many times I catch myself making statements such as, “that skirt needs to be in my closet.”

Hello, no it doesn’t.  I would like it to be there. That is a want.

I have written before about my lack of clothes for cold weather.  Now that I no longer spend the majority of my working hours in my house writing scripts, I really need to step up my fall/winter wardrobe.  I cannot meet with clients or vendors looking bananas.

Thank god I live in a city that is not as casual as Los Angeles.  If I wear a dress or a skirt to a meeting in Rome, nobody asks me why am I so dressed up.  Sometimes, wait for it, I even wear thigh-high stockings!

There are many things I would like to purchase this year but have narrowed down the list to five.

Long leather gloves. 

I’m thinking black or chocolate brown.  Why does Olivia Pope look so sad here?

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Ankle boots with heels that can handle cobblestone streets.

I have a pair of ankle boots with a narrow heel.  They have been destroyed.  RIP.

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A LBD.

Love the cut of this dress from J. Crew.

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A camel hair coat. 

i do need a new winter cloth coat but I think I can get another season out of my current one. This will go in the want column.  Max Mara’s coats are classic.

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Last but not least, I do need a short winter sports jacket.  I look like the Michelin Tire Man in puffy jackets.  I like the lines of this one.

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What’s on your list?

Dolce & Gabbana had one of the outstanding collections during Milan Fashion Week.  Folks are still talking about the last look.

It’s funny, Dolce & Gabbana is a house I’ve appreciated for it’s tailoring, marketing, and red carpet looks, yet for some reason I never paid much attention to their RTW.

Unlike most houses that are expanding like crazy, especially into the cash-cow lower priced lines, Dolce & Gabbana closed down their very profitable D&G line in 2011.  They said one reason was the desire to get back to basics.

In getting back to basics, they’ve also returned to Sicily.  The island has had a strong influence on the designer’s work (Dolce is Sicilian and the two have a house in Stromboli).

When I finally made it to Sicily, I understood how and why the island drives their creativity.   I cannot wait to explore more of it.

This collection has convinced me to at least think about adding some florals to my spring/summer wardrobe.

I never wear florals.  I like to keep things simple and clean.   I’m short and don’t want to look like Great Auntie Gertrude’s sofa.

This dress is so not my style. I cannot stop looking at it.  Is it the color, the cut?  I don’t know but I’m loving this Sicilian almond blossoms dress.

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Buon weekend!

No one really knows what makes a song THE song of the summer.

Is it the timing, the melody, the lyrics, sheer luck, or a combination of all these things?

One thing we know for sure is you cannot create “the song of the summer.” It just happens.

Pop culture, especially music, is so fragmented.  The song of the summer cuts across genre lines.

This year’s song of the summer, is Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”

The first time I heard this track it made me feel all the feelings.

It’s contemporary mixed with a disco-vibe.  It sounded a little like a classic from the band CHIC.  I was not surprised to read that the very talented Nile Rogers was one of the producers.

Pharell is also a producer on the song.  What a summer he’s having.  Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (with a Marvin Gaye sample) is also a monster summer hit.

I’ve just arrived in Salina and have heard this song all over the island.  When I hear it in the future it will always remind me of Summer 2013 on a beautiful Italian island.

Here is the male model version from the CFDA’s.  Unfortunately, it’s not a walk off.  I would like to see a gentleman wear an outfit from Thom Browne’s Amish/Hasidic collection off the runway, including the hat.

Someone did a ’70s Soul Train line mash up. The dude at 0:31 is too cool for school.  Love it. The fashion is amazing.  Some of these dresses you could wear now.

If this doesn’t make you move, call your doctor, you might be dead.

Buon weekend a tutti!

I was recently in the lovely city of Bologna for work.  I saw this skirt in the window of Dolce & Gabbana and it stopped me in my tracks.

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Stripes are huge this summer.  I adore them but must be careful with horizontal stripes unless I want to look like a Weeble.  I don’t.

I love the black edging and think this skirt is very versatile.  I could wear it to work, to an outdoor summer dinner party, or on a date to aperitivi with friends.

It’s stylish simplicity.

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