Monthly Archives: June 2009

Dining in Style


I’ve been thinking about investing in fine china for years now, but can never seem to settle on just one pattern (not to mention it’s a substantial investment!).  I think most likely I’ll end up mixing and matching.  Here are some of my long-time favorites!  Above: Constance by Bernardaud.

Syracuse by Haviland

Oriental Flower by Meissen

Weave by Tiffany and Co.

Balcon du Guadalquivir by Hermes

Primrose Hill by Kate Spade.

Vanessa Bruno – Parisian Fashion Goddess

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I bought my one and only Vanessa Bruno dress at a vintage store in New York’s East Village.  I fell in love with it’s soft, subtle Grecian pleats and there was simply no turning back.  Of course I came home to do some research and what I found only made me love the dress more!  Vanessa’s website is quintessential Parisian chic.

Vanessa opened her first boutique in the happening Marais district in Paris in 1991 after having explored fashion production and modeling.  We love her motto: “easy clothes for difficult girls.”  Modeling in these photos is Parisian it-girl Lou Doillon, daughter of style icon Jane Birkin.


Neo-Trad Wishlist: Finn Jewelry

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When I first saw a piece of Finn Jewelry in the June 2009 issue of Vogue it was love at first sight.  Finn’s love knot rings were featured in Vogue’s article about budget friendly weddings and they stole the show.  Sold at Barney’s New York the rings run start at a mere $500—now that’s hard to beat!  Below are the rings from Vogue.

Well, I was so in love with the rings that I promptly made an appointment at the Finn Jewelry headquarters on Great Jones Street (Barney’s had sold out!) in Manhattan.  The girls behind the company, Candice and Soraya, are sweet as can be and were SO very helpful during our visit.  Here’s a picture of Candice and Soraya taken by Emily Travis Photography.


Maira Kalman and “The Principles of Uncertainty”

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My dear friend Jane is a graphic designer in Manhattan (and a very good one at that) and is always introducing me to the most amazing art/design/boutiques/etc.  Well, one day we were strolling about Soho when we came across Maira Kalman’s book The Principles of Uncertainty.  Jane insisted I buy it, promising I would  be “obsessed.”  Well, buy it I did and quite frankly, obsessed is an understatement.  Kalman’s paintings are not only genius (bright, color saturated, whimsical), but the thoughts that are written beside them are nothing less than brilliant in their honesty.  The woman is remarkable—what I would give to be such a talented artist and with such intellectual capacity and great wit!  As for her background, Maira Kalman is an illustrator, author and designer and currently resides in Manhattan where she teaches graduate courses at the School of Visual Arts.  She is also the NEO-trad’s imaginary best friend (“move over Jane Austen” is right).  Oh and did we mention she likes people who like Matisse?  Enough said.  For a regular dose of Kalman check out her blog on The New York Times website.


Eco-Friendly Crush: Rubie Green Textiles

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Those of us here at the NEO-traditionalist have long adored Rubie Green textiles and now that they’ve launched a bedding line, well, we’re absolutely smitten!  The creation of former Domino staff member Michelle Adams (a NEO-trad muse), Rubie Green brings us fun, chic fabric patterns that respect our planet.  My personal favorite from the new bedding line is the pale pink and white “East Village.”  It reminds me of my days living in Manhattan’s Alphabet City and is bound to be a classic.


Stationery Obsession – Bella Muse


I will never forget the first day I came across a Bella Muse greeting card in a teeny boutique in my hometown.  The “have expensive luggage will travel” line made me laugh out loud and I was instantly hooked.  Thanks to the Bella Muse website I was able to order a wide variety of wise-cracking, vintage inspired cards all of which receive a gushingly positive response from their recipients.  My boyfriend still has his “especially for my sweetie pie” hanging above his desk—certainly a classic in the making.  The woman behind the witticisms that comprise Bella Muse is artist and typographer (what a cool title) Alicia Peck.  She opened the company in 2003 drawing from her love of “writing, whimsy, humor and antique illustrations.”  Her work is sold at upscale home stores and boutiques throughout the States.  We can’t wait to see what Alicia comes up with next!