Sunday, November 29, 2009

happy happy


Wishing everyone a belated Happy Thanksgiving in The states!! We had a wonderful feast with folks from Amsterdam, South Africa, Australia, India and my family who travelled over from the US. There was a lot to be thankful for....especially my carmelized onion gravy :)....really, don't wait for next thanksgiving make up any excuse you can find to cook some onions in a stick of butter for an hour and then add balsamic and herbs and a touch of honey.
Oh and wild rice with toasted pecans, cranberries, chanterelles and fresh herbs...
ok ok I'll make that one again and give you photos and the recipe.
Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We had a brief respite from the rain.
I have never seen light like this.

It pours out of the sky ....

...illuminating otherwise ordinary objects.

It makes you feel like an alchemist...

..turning everything into golden treasure.


Monday, November 23, 2009

fine little day


Hi there, it's Monday. We have had rain with a side of rain here. I love the wonderful sounds it makes on the roof...going for a glass half full attitude...really really trying.
Fine little day, Elizabeth Dunker's wonderful blog, there is so much inspiration here. This picture just puts me in a cheerful mood and takes me back to being a child.
Enjoy your week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


sometimes there is the feeling that you have stepped into a fairy hill, a twilight...

it's easy to fall asleep under a shady tree..or a cloud

there are many kinds of sleep...

and soon it will be time to wake up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Unforeseen Circumstances

Introducing Unforeseen Circumstances.


I am not biased, really I'm not. I think Teo Griscom is one ridiculously talented lady. She is my jackson, johnston and roe partner and one of my dearest friends and I can truthfully say I am inspired continuously by everything this amazing woman creates!

Unforeseen Circomstances is Teo's newest baby. A georgeous line of undergarments carefully curated and inspired by interior spaces and furniture. Made in New York, with hand picked silks and cottons, Teo creates pieces for a women who strives for quality and a hint of extravagance.

In a semi quiet moment between the rush of fashion and market week and the next wave of sampling and production, Teo took some time to answer a few questions for us here, I hope you enjoy her answers as much as i did.


-What has inspired the fall/spring collection color palette and shapes?

I was looking at a lot of dance and performance books and photos. I
loved the dancers in their saturated colors contrasted with the stark
white or nude. Hence the green and nude combos. I also really love the
work of Vanessa Beecroft, there is a series that she did of organizing
scantily clad women in art galleries that she then photographed. The
photos have always had a profound affect on me, the relationship
between them and the space they were in and then the relationship to
the viewer. They also wore some amazing nudes and tans that inspired
me. I love the paintings of Klimt and the line drawings of Erte, and
books with photos of old 19th and 20th century furniture from France.
I am completely obsessed with furniture and the arrangements of rooms
and spaces. I spend quite a bit of time at home thinking about the
contrast of rug to wood floor to dark wooded armoire to plant to the
color of the wall. For me it is another way of dressing. It is also a
very intimate and very personal experience.


-Why the name Unforeseen circumstances?
I spent a lot of my youth traveling. I remember clearly a moment I had
on a plane when I was young, and the flight attendant was going
through the safety speech and something about the way she said due to
"unforeseen circumstances" registered with me. It seemed fitting for
a lingerie line.

-Based on your experience starting your own business, is there any
advise you would give to a fellow woman entrepreneur?

Try and learn as much as you can about every aspect of the business.
To understand the way each part of your machine works is so important.
There is no job within your company that is beneath you. For instance,
I have great satisfaction in packing and shipping, and I learn so much
from that one action, that perhaps to a designer would be an
unimportant job. And always remember, one of the most important
things... Quality vs. Quantity.


-Do you have any timeless style tips, a couple of live by rules that
will always make you look/ feel better?

A good pair of jeans and an amazing pair of shoes and always have
one special little item on your person, a piece of knotted string, a
necklace passed down, or a detail on a garment that pleases you. And
of course a beautiful pair of underwear for that unforeseen

-If you could live anywhere besides New York, where would it be and why?
Argentina. when I visited there I felt at home. The language the
food, the people. It reminded me of Galisteo, New Mexico, mixed with
a European city.


-Favorite Spot in NY to eat? To shop? To hide in public?
To eat-Salties... in Williamsburg. It's my new favorite place.. it
is delicious! I find satisfaction in window shopping in every
neighborhood in New York. I love A.P.C and of course the stores that I
like to support because they are woman owned like Castor&Pollux,
Jumelle and Bird. I am very excited about the new Isabel Marant store
opening next Spring. In New york the best place to hide in public is
any of the many beautiful parks, you can sit and watch and be
unnoticed, it's magical.


Where will UC be sold? Will it be available online? Do you do custom orders?
For Fall 2009 the jjr and UC collaboration is available at Bird,
Jumelle, Castor&Pollux, Souchi, all of which are available online. I
am also doing custom orders. For years I hand made the underwear for
friends on special occasions and I would like to continue that

Thank you Teo!!!!!!
These last two photos represent the Unforeseen Circumstances fall 09 collection as well as a UC + JJR collaboration available in stores now. Check out the website to find out where to buy these lovely under things and the blog for updates on the collection.

(website photos by Bill phelps, drawings by Teo Griscom, all other photos by Riley Salyards)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Come Darkness

I was visiting one of my favorite blogs grijs when I found out about this beautiful installation. Come Darkness is a small collection of art curated and installed by Maria Alexandra Vettese at Chellis Wilson in Portland. Maria has involved so many fantastic artists. Lorraine from grijs has one of her extraordinary hand dyed scarves in the exhibition (I have been wanting to get my hands on one for ages). The opening was last week..I am a little late posting, but this is good stuff and better late than never. Check out the site, you can contact the store to purchase any of the pieces you may fall in love with...I am smitten with several.




Friday, November 6, 2009

The light is falling out of the sky


It's getting dark here around 4:30 and I often have all the lights on during the day. These are rainy, banana bread baking, bowl making, train track building, Totoro watching, cozy inside days. When the sun makes an appearance we often head over to the botanical gardens to check up on the butterflies. My little guy wants to make sure they have enough oranges to eat, he's thoughtful like that. Last week, As we were enjoying a post butterfly coffee/ warm milk he looked up and said "oh no, the light is falling out of the sky"....he sure knows how to turn a phrase.





Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Castor & Pollux

Remember this pretty lady?

castor&pollux-jonpamer Photo by John Von Pamer

This is Kerrilynn Pamer, owner of one of my favorite boutiques in NY Castor and Pollux.

castorandpollux-kerrilynjvp Photo by John Von Pamer

Castor & Pollux
is rooted in creating a decorative conversation, recognizing that the act of getting dressed directly corresponds to the books on our shelves, the foods we eat, the scents we wear, and the way we set a dinner table.

For eight years owner Kerrilynn Pamer’s eclectic spot has been a destination well known for it's tightly curated selection of clothing, jewelry and vintage objects. Teaming emerging talent like Risto Bimboloski with established designers like women swear guru Sonia Rykiel, the store offers something for the fashion observers and fashion obsessed alike. Originally opened in 2001 in Prospect Heights at half its current size, Pamer knows how to maximize the space by constantly re-energizing the inventory, while staying true to the classic pieces that define her vision.

castorandpollux-1 Photo from Castor& Pollux

I lived down the street from Castor & Pollux during my last year in NYC. This happened to be my first year with a baby so to say I did a lot of walking and looking would be an understatement. Kerrilynn and her staff create a deliciously inviting space. It is almost impossible to go in and not really really want something...and some of my very favorite things come from C&P (including my all time favorite wallet, below) When my need for company was greater than my need for things it was such a pleasure just to walk in and see how the "decorative conversation" was evolving. I always received such a warm welcome, an invitation to stay and chat about clothes of course, but also food, art, life, children, love...everything. For me it was a home away from home.

castorandpollux-wallets2 Photo from Castor & Pollux

Last Summer when I was in NY I had the opportunity to take some photos and during fashion week this past September Kerrilynn took time out of her very busy schedule to do a little interview for us here.


I bet you are excited for all your new fall/Winter arrivals. Is there a designer or trend that you are especially excited about?

I truly am excited about everything coming in the store for Fall. I’ve always felt very attached to this time of year as my birthday and anniversary are in September and the store’s anniversary is in October so there is always a lot to look forward to. I feel as if this is the season that truly embodies C&P so it’s always fun to do our Fall buy.
In regards to how I buy for the store I’ve never been much of a trend driven person so that explains why I am so attracted to the Kimberly Ovitz sweaters that we have in the store currently. They remind me of sweaters that everyone in Portland used to get for Christmas, but upgraded to being totally decadent and luxe.. I am also loving the Acne pieces that we have; their collection just seems to keep getting better and better as time goes by. They are consistently updating classic shapes and ideas but always making them interesting and beautiful. In truth though, I love everything that is coming in the next months; in my opinion Fall should last for 9 out of 12 months, that would make me happy!


-How are you creatively navigating the recession? I read an article where you talk about being an M-3 racer and count me in, can you tell me about those programs?

Count Me In and Make Mine a Million are amazing organizations that are completely dedicated to helping women get their businesses to a place of profit by getting one million women owned businesses to sales of one million dollars. Currently, the number of women who reach that goal is remarkably small even though we have become major contributors to the economy through our businesses and being consumers.

Nell Merlino, who started Take Your Daughters to Work Day, also started Make Mine a Million and has been so supportive of C&P and myself. This October, Nell, Poppy King, (the Lipstick Queen), and I will be having an in-store party/networking event for Poppy’s new lipstick, Fired Up (all profits go towards Count Me In). I am honored to be hosting this event with these inspiring and amazing women; it makes you realize that when women work together we can affect so much change. Nothing is too large to make change.

In addition to this I am competing in the Make Mine a Million race, a year long competition that inspires you to reach sales goals, understand your financials, receive invaluable advice and communicate with other women who are running their own businesses. It’s a wonderful resource for entrepreneurs, I encourage all women to get involved with it.

In regards to the recession I think it has been an incredibly helpful way to look at my business and see exactly what I want it to be and also how I can contribute to the world in ways that are related to selling clothing but actually fall over into other disciplines. We have had charity dinners in the store; the first one was a six course Mexican feast that my friend Nils of Matador Records prepared that benefited The Tia Foundation, a wonderful organization that provides health care training for women in rural Mexican villages. We were able to fully sponsor two women to go through the program by having this event in our store. Very exciting! We have more of these on our calendar coming up. We have also had an Italian wine course, a dog adoption, trunk shows and many other events. I believe that all of these things make a person complete, not just the clothing they wear, so it has encouraged and allowed us to explore and host events that might not normally be associated with a clothing store.


-What is inspiring you right now; Food, books, artists, designers.

I always love this question and also dread it a bit because I feel like I will inevitably leave something out! But that being said, I have many things right now that I’m greatly interested in and would love to talk about.

Food is always a huge inspiration with me and although I’ve loved the summer foods that were available, I can’t wait to get into the kitchen and cook this Fall. Japanese fried chicken, chunky apple walnut cake, butternut squash soup, Hatch green chilies over eggs, Zuni’s roast chicken and bread salad. This list could go on for so long that I will stop myself here for fear of this turning into a cookbook!

Outside of food, I’m really inspired by Risto Bimbiloski’s collection and can’t wait to get my hands on all the pieces that are coming from Alexandre Herchcovitch.

I’m inspired by an organization that one of my clients, Melissa Kushner, started called www.goodsforgood, It is based on the simple idea that we have the ability to turn excess into progress. The organization receives donations of surplus goods from companies, coordinates shipments to Africa and puts them in the hands of schools and community centers. Just the smallest item can make a difference. A pen in the hand of a school child can make the difference between going to class or not. I can’t think of anything more inspiring.

And, then there is fragrance. This is a medium that has always spoken to me and I’ve always found immensely fascinating. I have been working on the development of the first Castor & Pollux scent since last year and we are launching this in Winter 2010;
I am beyond happy about this.


-When you think of Autumn what imagery does it evoke?

Fireplaces, Montauk, lobster rolls, crisp air, cozy nights, Indian summers, new beginnings. I just truly love Fall, all of it. There’s nothing about it that doesn’t make me completely happy. I think it’s magical.

-Why the name Castor and Pollux?

Such a beautiful story about the twins, so lovely, sad and poetic.

-Based on your experience starting your own business, is there any advise you would give to a fellow woman entrepreneur?

Know and understand your numbers.

Always do your routines when you are supposed to and don’t let them pile up. This can save so much frustration; a little bit a day is much easier to handle than a lot later on.

Ask and talk with other women entrepreneurs as it’s almost inevitable that someone has gone through what you are going through as no problem is new. It’s very reassuring to know that you are not reinventing the wheel and these conversations can be invaluable in getting you through difficult times.

Try not to take it all so seriously. Have fun with it and bring something to the world that people genuinely want and you are proud of.


-Do you have any timeless style tips, a couple of live by rules that will always make you look/ feel better?

I find that laying my clothes out the night before does wonders. Even with the best of intentions I always seem to run out of time when getting dressed in the morning and have a lot more fun getting ready when I’ve figured it out with a clear head (and a glass of wine!).

Being nice to people always makes you feel better.

And a pair of Christian Loubutin Miss Tick heels makes everyone feel (and look) just a little better than you can imagine.

-If you could live anywhere besides New York, where would it be and why?

I really long to spend more time on the West Coast where I grew up, but for now New York will do. (Good thing you didn’t ask me that on the most humid day of the year!) I love Los Angeles and imagine living there at some point in our future. Life there includes John and tons of animals that run the gamut from a pack of rescue dogs, horses (of course!), pigs, chickens, possibly a couple rabbits and what ever other wayward souls want to show up looking for a place to stay! The more the merrier!


I am thrilled to announce that Castor & Pollux is launching it's E-commerce site today! This is fantastic news for all of us that don't live in NY.

I am also very excited to tell you that since I began working on this post a couple of months ago kerrilynn began carrying jackson, johnston & roe and my ceramic raku bowls.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm afraid of the shark


Everyone at my house had the flu over the weekend, so there was no Halloween festivities. We made it out of the house today to buy a pumpkin...we live in Holland and he's only three so my son doesn't even know that we missed the event. He told the cashier at the store that we were going to make a "pumpkin soup happy birthday candle" (pumpkins do mean soup in our house and candles no matter what make him sing happy birthday.) Once it was carved he named it "hospital", that's right we have a jack-o-lantern named hospital in our window.

The light bulb on our stairs has blown out. As we were heading upstairs to read books and go to bed I heard a small voice behind me say "I'm afraid of the shark" "Do you mean you're afraid of the dark?" "no, the shark" "I think you mean the dark, it's dark on the stairs" "NO THE SHARK IS REALLY SCARY" he yelled hiding behind me and pointing at the wall. The ferocious shark, it turns out, is a oval shaped pattern of light made by the reflection of the outside street lamps coming through a circular window in the stairs. I explained this and he replied "oh!, a reflection...or maybe a whale!"

Happy belated Halloween.