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Annie - San Francisco, CA

I don't live-blog from the tents.

poeticandchic [at] gmail

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Image by Julie Michelle.

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Postcard: A Park Scene in Florida

Blissful isn't it? Amazingly enough, this very vintage postcard was never sent to anyone. My guess is that it was kept as a souvenir in a scrap book because it's still in perfect shape and has these amazing colors. It's also printed on that great linen-weave textured stock.

Images like this make me think of one of those screwball comedies where everyone is in Florida going to horse races and night clubs. Like The Palm Beach Story, or Saratoga... Too bad no one makes movies like that any more!


J.Crew Spring Catalog Theatre!

It's been a very long time since the last episode of J.Crew catalog theatre and the only reason I can give you is that the stylists at J.Crew have seriously upped their game of late. I'm not going to lie - they've done a great job at making their pages both appealing and shoppable. That is, until now... (I hope my sister and her New York crew enjoy... I hear they love it when I get sacriligious.)

I was so happy to find this issue in my mailbox full of odd, ackward poses, models who are both pale and hungry, and very very strange styling choices.

There's a lot of ground to cover here, so indulge me. And yes, I edited out a few pages too - there was just too much good stuff...







Bon Weekend!

Happy (King) Friday!

Sorry I've been remiss in my Bon Weekend posts. No explanation or excuse, really. I've been going through some of my Pinterest boards though and I've realized I have lots of content to share over time! Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and if you're in SF - enjoy the balmy weather!


Postcard: Kong's Floraleigh Gardens, Hilo, HI

The most photographed Orchid Gardens of the World...

I've heard about the mythic tropical gardens of Kong's before, but when I came across it, I thought this postcard was particularly quaint. It seems to show the Hawaii of yesteryear - before the Hilton Hawaiian Village, daily flights, and luaus every night. This is the Hawaii of the mid-century, before Blue Hawaii and the tourist invasion.

I couldn't find much on Kong's Floraleigh Gardens, but I did find what are called the Hilo Tropical Gardens - a modern-day hostel and guest house for travelers. Founded in 1948 by En Loy Kong, the gardens hold all sorts of tropical ornamental plants including orchids and anthuriums, in a setting of walkways, ponds and Oriental bridges. Apparently Kong established the gardens on land owned by one of Hawaii's princesses, and it was an attraction of the Big Island for decades. It's unclear how it descended into neglect and disrepair, but it sounds like the Hilo Tropical Gardens are now being restored to their former glory.


What I Wore: Accessorizing F21

The jewelry rack at Forever 21 can be a bit of a minefield. The quality can be inconsistent, and, unless you're 14 years old, a lot of the pieces (while temporarily adorable) are not exactly anything you'd wear. But then, once in a fast-fashion blue moon, you spot something that is not only unique but especially luxe. The smug satisfaction (is it really only $12.90?) practically comes out of your pores as you dodge your way through the checkout queue, lined with a spectrum of nail polishes, toe socks, and neon-colored hairbands en masse. At least this is the feeling I got when I found this cut-leather flower necklace the other day...

Okay, so it's probably not really leather and the questionable metal backing might give me a rash if I wear it too much, but still - it's a find.

To pull it together I dug out some old favorites for the arm party: the famous Tarina Tarantino carved rose bracelet, "Fashion can be bought, style one must possess" bracelet by Jessica Kagan Cushman, and a yellow enameled bracelet from J.Crew.


Influences: Last Year at Marienbad

 Two posters for Last Year at Marienbad, 1961

As we approach the final list of films for the FashFilmFest, I’ve been screening and re-screening a number of different films to hopefully narrow some selections. One film I’ve always had in mind is Alain Resnais’ 1961 film, Last Year at Marienbad. It’s under consideration, but I’m hesitant. Certain films you love without question; this is a film I’m always forced to question. What is happening here? Do I understand anything that’s happening? What is this place? Why am I so uncomfortable? Do I even like it? When it comes to Last Year at Marienbad, at any given time the answer could be either yes or no. Even when considering writing about this film (which I have many times in the past) I've also hesitated. Is there anything new to say that hasn't already been said? Perhaps not, but I can still state the facts of this film as a significant influencer of style, film, and fashion.

Delphine Seyrig in Chanel in Last Year at Marienbad

One of the more obscure French New Wave films of the early 1960s, Last Year at Marienbad has none of the color or humor of a Godard film, nor the youthful angst of a Truffaut, but it’s a film that designers and cinemaphiles come back to again and again for its style and unconventional narrative. It’s lengthy hallway shots, endless interiors, strange landscapes, and languorous story line have influenced everyone from Stanly Kubrick (especially in The Shining) to David Lynch (especially in Inland Empire). Peter Greenaway cites Marienbad as the film that had the most important influence on his body of work. In the fashion world, everyone from Marc Jacobs to Diane von Furstenberg have expressed their love of film, and as recently as Spring 2011, Karl Lagerfeld used the film as the theme for his collection for Chanel.

For his Spring 2011 show, Karl Lagerfeld re-created the black & white gardens of Last Year at Marienbad in the Grand Palais, Paris.

Stella Tennant in Chanel, Spring 2011. Inspired by Last Year at Marienbad. (Image from

Of course this is fitting because it was Mademoiselle Chanel who dressed Delphine Seyrig in the character of the woman, apart from two feathered gowns by production designer Bernard Evein. The clothing is impeccable. Alternating between light and dark, the dresses are either ephemeral or funereal. Resnais looked to the style of Louise Brooks in G.W. Pabst’s 1929 film Pandora’s Box for the woman, and even sought a special “silent film” film stock from Kodak in order to enchance the look of 1920s silent cinema. The look of the 1920s mixes well with the contemporary 1960s (both heydays of Chanel), or the 1960s looks are suited to the 1920s – either way, the seamless transition between eras creates some of the disorientation.

The famous mirror shot from Last Year at Marienbad.

Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box.

When re-watching this film, I gave myself over to the uneasiness that begins almost immediately. The whining organ music, empty hallways, sonorous voice-overs that fade in and out – the effect is like being drawn into someone nightmare from moment one, and in moment two you’re already looking for a way to wake up. The setting is elaborate and labyrinthine and the people posed here and there make them seem like bas relief figures on the side of a temple. People are silent or intensely focused, gossiping or watching. There seems to be a love triangle, but no one's actually very loving. There has always been a lot of discussion about a "rape" scene, and possibly a murder, but it's still difficult to tell what's really happening between the three main characters. Everyone else is socializing but no one’s really interacting. Drinks are imbibed, games are played, but it all has a menacing quality to it. There seems to be a lot of money around, but no one is happy and everyone is bored. Indeed, Last Year at Marienbad has been called one of the “most boring films ever made”, even as others hail it as a masterpiece for those very same reasons.

Seyrig in the white feather gown by Bernard Evein.

Carmen Kass in a blush-colored feathered dress from Chanel, Spring 2011. (Image from

Beyond the time-warp-surrealist narrative and down-the-rabbit-hole-and-into-Hotel-California feel, this is a beautiful film to simply look at. Every frame is considered and composed, almost like paintings in their stillness and precision. A recent editorial spread by Outumuro in Spanish Marie Claire magazine capitalized on the look of Last Year at Marienbad in a gorgeous homage to the film. It's no stretch to see how the famous "broken shoe" scene translates to our modern love of footwear...


The famous "broken shoe" scene from Last Year at Marienbad, and...

...recreated in Spanish Marie Claire by Outumuro.

Outumuro images from Spanish Marie Claire from The Terrier and Lobster

I think it is this visual appeal that keeps drawing designers, photographers, art directors, and yes, film directors, back to Last Year at Marienbad. Strange and misunderstood, it’s confusing mix of narratives keep generations of people conjuring their own opinions, while its eternal Gothic style provides its own frisson that’s difficult to ignore…no matter how much you may want to.

So will it be showing at the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival? I'm still unsure. As much as it's influential and intriguing, my vote is still undecided.


Postcard: New London, CT 1912

Old Town Mill, built 1650, New London, Conn.

Although this postcard was sent in 1912 by the postmark, I can't read anything further on this one because it's written in German to a Hilda Johnson of Providence, RI...

But I looked up the Old Town Mill and found that it was burnt by Benedict Arnold's army in the Revolutionary War, and then re-built shortly thereafter. It has actually been re-built many times, functioning as both a tourist attraction and a part of daily life over the centuries. Today it is located near a freeway overpass, but still hosts an open space for concerts and picnics. The wheel still turns and the mill still works, even in the middle of a modern city!


Greens and Grains and Legumes, Oh My!

The other night I had this salad of roasted brussel sprouts and arugula (with a ricotta crostini) at Pizzeria of course I had to go home and make it for myself the next night. So easy! Roast those sprouts, toss them in a good, mustardy vinaigrette with arugula and voila! Dinner. And yes, it's delish.

You'd think that trying to eat gluten-free would be a little bit harder than it is, or than it has been for me. In all fairness, I am not actually allergic to gluten which probably makes things quite a bit easier. If my health experienced more serious repercussions with gluten than it does, this effort would be entirely different! I do make every attempt to be gluten-free whenever I can. I don't by breads or pastas any more for home cooking, and when I go out I generally opt for something else too. (But if I want the pasta, I'll order it...) I will say that I am feeling much more healthy without a lot of gluten in my life, and the inclusion of extra greens have helped me to build a much better habit for groceries and cooking.

My parents gave me a very inspired gift this Christmas - the Rancho Gordo Deluxe Gift Box which included 5 varieties of heirloom beans and a wonderful cookbook for enjoying them. This has started me on a kick of cooking beans a million different ways. I'd already been doing a lot lentils lately (especially with different chards and butternut squash), but these beans are definitely stretching me beyond chilis or tacos.

On New Year's Eve, I brought an hors d'oeuvre over to my friends' party from the Rancho Gordo cookbook: Bruschetta with Cranberry Beans and Garlicky Kale. Kale and beans in one chic appetizer? Yes please! Tonight I'm cooking up the gorgeous yellow Mayacoba Beans for Fennel and Radicchio with Mayacoba Beans, Hazelnuts and Bacon. The best part about these kinds of dishes is that they make plenty for lunches too, which helps save money too.

I'm also digging into new grains (to me) such as farro. I bought a sack of farro the other day and didn't know quite what to do with it. I knew I'd seen some recipes with farro on Giada at Home or Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel, but other than salad recipes, I only found Giada's recipe for cheesy farro which was like a mac-and-cheese but with farro instead of pasta. Don't get my wrong - this sounds amazing! But not what I need to be eating post-holidays. Neither Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone nor Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking (farro is a typically Italian grain) had recipes for farro. But, by a stroke of pure luck, my newest cookbook (which is quickly becoming a favorite), Melissa Clark's Cook This Now, has a White Bean Stew with Rosemary, Garlic, and Farro as its very first recipe. That sounds like the perfect thing for a cold night in January...

I'm also figuring out some gluten-free baking here and there. I made the Bob's Red Mill Devil's Food Cake mix as cupcakes for New Year's Eve, and they were a huge hit. (Just remember NOT to sample the batter - it's disgusting!) I also made Lisa's Flourless Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip cookies which were up on her blog in December, and they were simply amazing. Light, airy, crispy, and chocolatey, but not so filling and rich that you'd get a headache from them. I brought them to work and had plenty to take on a picnic the next day too - everyone went crazy.

My health coaching group only goes on for another 2 weeks or so, but I'm considering signing up for the Level 2 course to keep the momentum going. Lisa & Lacy are starting another group on the 25th as well, so be sure to sign up while you can! These changes are the good kind...


Postcard: Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 1976

La Playa de San Juan, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

I know this seriously looks like a Corona Beer advertisement, but I found this postcard this week and I thought it was the perfect antidote to the post-holiday blues. In fact, I'm going to be mixing traditional "winter" postcards with more "tropical/vacation" postcards since, as we know, birds (and rich New Yorkers) fly south for the winter. Thus the ever-popular Cruise and Resort collections created by fashion houses everywhere.

Sent in 1976, this view of Cozumel probably hasn't changed a whole lot. I'll be those chairs are just sitting there waiting for all of us.... And isn't that a lovely thought?


Last Day to Support the SF Fashion Film Festival!

Marlene Dietrich in The Devil is a Woman, Paramount Pictures, 1935

If you were thinking of supporting the San Francisco Fashion Film Festival with a Kickstarter donation, now is the time to do it!!! There's about 40 hours left on our Kickstarter, which ends on January 4th!

Here's the link to the Kickstarter: San Francisco Fashion Film Festival

We have reached our initial goal of $6000, but we would like to make a little bit more so we can expand our festival and bring in some truly fabulous events, panels, lectures, and surprises!

ALSO, be sure to follow the Film Festival here:

Twitter: @fashfilmfest



We're really working hard to find some amazing images and anecdotes for the Tumblr, appropriately entitled P.O.V., so please be sure to follow us!

Norma Shearer in a fitting with designer Adrian and an assistant, 1930s.