another #girlbook

I always judge a book by it's cover, let's get that straight right now, so when Lauren Millian Bass' leggy, Hermes-y cover popped up in my Amazon suggestions, I was interested. Since I'm at that quarter-life-crisis age, I've been drawn to these type of career inspiring books for women that seem to be popping up as of late. (Loved #Girlboss, and Leandra Medine's Manrepeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls, and CAN'T WAIT for DVF's new one, already pre-ordred that shit.) 

Lauren's a serious business woman who most definitely orders the "Business Woman Special" (points if you get that reference) for lunch, starting a successful winery at the ripe age of 24. She then moved on to become a partner at a venture capital firm specializing in young technology startups. And while her fierce pursuit of success in the male-dominted business world has brought her amazing accolades and plenty of money, at the end, I was left wondering if I could ever be so driven as to put so much of my personal life on the back burner. 

A great read for any girl looking for some career-boosting straight talk. 

A look inside my styling kit

Ah the styling kit... a collection of useful, bizarre, and heavy objects that, together, arm me for almost any fashion emergency. 

1. Gaff tape- after a few years of batting my eyes and begging some grips (the guys who handle the lighting and rigging on set) to use some of their gaff tape, I finally bought my own. Then I learned why they're always so reluctant to let me borrow some- it's freaking expensive! But I can't tell you how many times I've blocked out a logo, or performed a make-shift boot alteration with this stuff. 

2. First aid kit- Because for every time I've borrowed some gaff tape, some guy on set has asked me for a band-aid. 

3. Lint roller- Because an HD camera will find the lint on that tuxedo jacket. 

4. Needlenose pliers- Because zippers and necklaces only ever break on set- why is that? 

5. Shout Wipes- Many an actor has wiped his hands on his pants at lunch time. (I'm looking at you Guttenberg.) 

6. Measuring tape- To convince the lady that her size 4 Balmain pants are actually a size 2 by normal standards. 

7. Safety pins- The classic large silver ones, and the infinitely better matte black ones- imperceptible on camera. 

8. Manilla labels- These little buggers are how a movie is made. Ok, fine, not totally, but they are what keeps wardrobe continuity straight. 

9. Cheese grater- For the block of parmesan you bring for lunch. Just kidding. It's really for distressing things like jeans, tee shirts, anything you want to have a lived in look. 

10. Belt hole puncher- This damn heavy thing has rescued me a few times, when a belt is too big, or too small. 

11. Makeup bag- My little stash of girl things one might need during a 12-14 hour day. Deodorant, tampons, lipstick, you know stuff like that. 

12. Spill-able stuff- Fabreez, bug spray, sunblock, anti-bacterial gel. All imperative especially in the summer months. 

13. Baby wipes- For stain removal, cleaning up shoes, hands, baby butts... makeup stains... etc...

14. Topstick- Originally invented to adhere a man's toupee to his head- hence the name. I use it to tape down collars, buttons, and other annoying things. 

15. Umbrella- Cuz it's gon rain (at some point), and everyone knows actors melt in the rain. 

16. Breast petals- What a cute name for these little band-aid stickers that prevent nippelage on camera in thin tops. 

17. Hand steamer- Throw away your iron and get one of these. They're the best for de-wrinkling, and de-stinking. 

18. Le pièce de résistance, my Luis Vuitton fanny pack- This baby's been with me since my first film (Down The Shore, starring the late, great, James Gandolfini) Snatched from my mom's closet partly because it was so bad it was hilarious and I couldn't bear to see her wear it, and partly because it's the PERFECT set bag. Slim, durable, fits my camera, phone, topstick, scissors, loads of safety pins, lip balm, pens, and anything else I can shove into it. And it's as fake as the day is long, but every fashion person I've ever met on set has thrown a fit "Oh my God!!! I DIE! The 90s were so good, I wish Louis still made that." I just smile and say "I knowwwww right?" 

Now I have to pack it all back up and drag it into the city for this week's shoot... 

So you're gonna be on set all day...What's in my bag

Being on the set of a fashion, commercial, or film shoot is always a long haul kind of day; with hours usually clocking in around 12, and sometimes climbing painfully towards 14 or 16. For such a day, there are a few absolute essentials that I must have with me to survive (yes, dramatic, I know). Here's all the stuff I throw into my DKNY bag (which fashion people always think is Margiela) 

1. Comfortable sneakers- Non-negotialble. These Vans are what I'm feeling lately, but frankly, there doesn't exist a pair of shoes that are comfortable enough for a 12 hour day in a concrete-floored studio, which is why these Doctor Scholl's 12 hour inserts are an absolute must for me. Glamorous, I know. 

2. Notebook/cellphone- For taking down sizes, making lists, and (unfortunately) being reachable for sudden wardrobe demands. 

3. Hand sanitizer- Because its New York City. 

4. Ibuprofen- Nothing is more satisfying or needed after a full day on set than a glass of wine and two of these babies. 

5. Sustenance- I always bring some granola bars or something of the like to sustain myself. Especially when I was assisting, there was rarely a minute to eat the delicious catering. Good for my skinny jeans. Bad for my temper. 

6. Magazine- A little entertainment for the commute. 

7. Perfume/Lipstain- I don't know about you, but Happy Hour is my favorite hour- especially after a grueling 12-14 hour shoot. A little roll of Elizabeth and James Black, and this Revlon Moisture Stain in Miami Fever, and I'm ready for a Cosmo or two. 

8. Sunglasses/Wallet- Because duh. 

Stay tuned for a peak into my styling kit this weekend! 

Man of Style: Steve McQueen

The King of Cool was notorious for three things:

  • Speed
  • Being difficult to work with
  • Style

A true All-American man, and a Hollywood man's-man, Steve McQueen's style is classic and eternal, and is still tapped for inspiration by menswear designers today (hi J.Crew, Ami, Incotex, Todd Snyder). McQueen's timeless style is so classic it's still relevant today- what guy wouldn't want to look that bad ass? Even if you can't spring for the vintage Ferrari, or a 1934 Indian motorcycle, you can channel The King of Cool with the classic looks below. 

A Hollywood anecdote: When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I made an appointment to take a look around Western Costume, one of the largest and most famous costume houses in Hollywood. Although I didn't have a project to work on, I met a lovely woman in the research library who took to my curious New Yorker enthusiasm, and showed me to an inconspicuous door in the back of the library- marked only by a gold star. This was The Star Room, an oversized closet filled with racks and racks of wardrobe, I got the impression that few people know this room exists, and even fewer are granted access. As I moved through the racks, the clothes came to life- Leonardo DiCaprio's wardrobe from The Aviator(!), Elizabeth Taylor's Egyptian bodysuits from Cleopatra(!), Kate Winslet's lifejacket from Titanic(!!), Katherine Hepburn's trousers, and a whole rack of Steve McQueen's jeans. Classic Levis, slim, high-waisted, and kinda small. One of my first days in LA was truly one of Old Hollywood dreams. 

Click on...

Hot child in the city: Staying cool in the heat of NYC

Remember back in college (or wherever you were in 2006), when you were avoiding working on your visual language project (or whatever you studied) and you discovered Polyvore? Oh what a time waster it was... but really, what a great way to plan outfits, whether they be using things you own, or fantasy (oh all The Row slip dresses and Givenchy bags!) As the heat continues to turn up in NYC, allow me to share with you some chic melt-proof summer outfits... 

To Stroll The Met

Stay cool and dry with a cotton tee dress, comfy flat sneakers, and a smallish bag. Don't forget to layer delicate jewelry and add an anklet- so summery.

Happy Hour

Add red lips to a great summer work look- a sheer white tank, strappy nude heels, and a fun skirt.

For the Beach or Boat

Stay cool and protected in a panama hat, cut offs, and crisp white vans.

Job Interview 

Stay polished but not sweaty in a tailored sleeveless vest, silk tank, and neutral colors. Add a chic leather portfolio.

Sunday Brunch 

Pair a cool cotton sundress with tan booties and sunglasses to hide that hangover.