Funny Face (1957): A Paris Collage

A collage inspired by Funny Face (1957)

Jo Stockton (played by Audrey Hepburn) works at a bookshop in Greenwich Village. She loves philosophical conversations and dreams of going to Paris. When Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), editor-in-chief of Quailty Magazine, decides to stage a photoshoot at Jo’s place of employement, the shop assistant gets the opportunity of a lifetime. Enter: the dancing photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire). Suddenly the universe aligns to bring Jo to her favorite city where Champagne laced with Existentialism overflows.

Works Sighted

Jaxon Hats straw skimmer hat // Yves Saint Laurent trench coat // Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut

Diptyque Eau Duelle eau de toilette // J.Crew ruffle-collar shirt

Oscar de la Renta black dress // Saint James Breton // Bass weejuns // L’Oréal mascara // peonies from Arôm

Valentino heels // J.Crew Martie pant in bi-stretch cotton // Yves Saint Laurent concealer pen // Dior lip sugar scrub // Dior lip glow // Alexander McQueen dress // L’existentialisme est un humanisme // Christian Louboutin flats

Summersalt Swimsuits

Navy Summersalt sidestroke

My extensive search for a one-piece swimsuit came to an end this summer. I’d discovered the brand Summersalt online, but the constant flood of promotional mailings ultimately convinced me to place my first order. The women-owned business celebrates the variety of the female form by diversifying the personalities in its campaign. I recognized the faces of some of their ambassadors including Jessica Nabongo, Chelsea Werner, and Carly Cushnie. I decided to put the company’s motto, Every body is a Summersalt body, to the test.

I ended up returning my first order, which included the tie belted cove and the ruffle backflip. The tie belted cove didn’t suit me, but I ordered the ruffle backflip in sea urchin again, this time in the perfect size. A week or two later, I rounded out my collection with the sidestroke in deep sea.

In the past, I’d wasted time trying on one-pieces that didn’t offer any support. In contrast, when I wear my Summersalt suits, it feels like I’m being gently hugged. Everything stays in place, and readjusting my suit is a thing of the past. When I return to the city, the sidestroke will surely be accompanying me to the indoor pool. The ruffle backflip is a little too low-cut for laps but stunning nonetheless. If you’re in need of a confidence-boosting one-piece, I highly recommend you begin your search with Summersalt.

Works Sighted

Summersalt sidestroke

The Alex Mill Edit

Alex Mill linen skirt

I can’t remember when I discovered Alex Mill, but I recall that it was love at first sight. The company’s motto, uniforms for individuals, and slogan, wake up, get dressed, don’t overthink it, embody the principles of this blog. The brand, launched officially in 2012, came into its own when Alex Drexler found a formidable business partner in Somsack Sikhounmuong. Alex, son of Mickey Drexler (former CEO and Chairman of J.Crew Group), was introduced to Somsack by his father a few years after the company’s inception. The co-founders (with Somsack heading the design team) make, in their words, the right clothes. I’m drawn to their timeless staples. My Alex Mill item of the moment: the khaki Kelsey skirt in linen.

Works Sighted

J.Crew slim perfect shirt in Baird McNutt Irish linen // Alex Mill Kelsey skirt in linen // Cole Haan Avani city sandal (old)

Alex Mill pull-on skirt in paper cotton // Alex Mill Paulie tunic dress // Alex Mill Kelsey skirt in linen // Alex Mill pull-on skirt in paper cotton

Further Reading

Somsack Sikhounmuong on designing for Alex Mill and life after J. Crew (Glossy)

Somsack Sikhounmuong Is Back—and He’s Launching Affordable Women’s Wear at Alex Mill (Glamour)

Shop Bargain Manhattan Thrift Stores: An Airbnb Experience

black Mara Hoffman dress

My first day in New York since March 2020 was a success. I arrived at Moynihan Train Hall with two events lined up: an in-person Airbnb Experience in the morning and my university reunion in the evening. After getting acquainted with Amtrak’s new hub, I headed to Made Hotel where I met up with Sammy Davis, the host of “Shop Bargain Manhattan Thrift Stores.” Two other women from the West Coast rounded out our group of four.

We settled ourselves in low-profile seating around a large coffee table in the hotel’s lobby. As the conversation struck up, I realized that our time together would be special. Our combined personalities created a vibe that was energetic yet relaxed. We discussed our personal styles, shopping goals, and motives for joining the group.

The women in my company had a real zest for life, and we connected over our shared interest of shopping. The social aspect and exercise appealed to me the most. I closed the rings on my Apple watch effortlessly while trekking between shops. We visited a total of five secondhand stores. Of all the clothing I saw that day, two items stood out. The first: the Ingrid wrap dress by Mara Hoffman. Originally retailing at $398, I spotted it in black at Crossroads Trading for $65. I ultimately decided to pass on the item because the style was a little too long and the price a little too steep.

The second item, found at Housing Works, was a khaki-colored pleated skirt from Talbots. I left with this one. A year-round staple for sure! One lucky woman ended up with several bags of great finds, but I was more than content with one. (Quality over quantity.) And besides, I didn’t want to show up to my reunion with extra bags.

To find the best deals, it is wise to thrift early in the day and often. I’ve added the stores from the experience to the New York Guide, but thrifting alone doesn’t compare to bargain hunting with Sammy. She’s an expert and recently shared her tips for shopping secondhand on New York Live.

Works Sighted

Photos by Sammy Davis

Mara Hoffman dress // J.Crew mask

Sail to Sable dress // Talbots skirt // Superga 2790 Acotw

The Leatherology Edit

Leather keychain

My urgent need for a new keychain led me to Leatherology. I’d included some of the company’s products in past collages on the blog but only recently made my first purchase—the circle keychain. I decided to order it in electric blue with light gold hardware and a gold monogram. When it comes to style, no detail is too small to overlook.

As I perused other products on the site, it became clear that Leatherology’s design team prioritizes functionality. Founders Rae and David Liu “draw inspiration from [their] daily routines to design fresh and familiar pieces to enhance [the] everyday.” I can’t think of anywhere else to buy a sophisticated, travel-sized tissue holder. The website is incredibly user-friendly and allows customers to preview their monogram on item(s) of their choice prior to purchasing. Personalized purchases aren’t returnable, but the preview feature will allow you to add your initials to any product with confidence.

Works Sighted

cirlce keychain // lipstick case // small tech bag

small accessories pouch // passport holder // small crossbody

tissue holder // belt bag // cord wrap set

How I Thrift Without Buyer’s Remorse

Navy and white Sail to Sable dress (front view)

A thrift shop is a treasure chest. You never know what you’re going to find, which is why it is best to visit frequently. I don’t go to secondhand shops as often as I would like. Thus, I have to remind myself to exercise a little restraint on trips like these. How do I shop intentionally in a store full of bargains?

First, I allow myself to pick up any and every item that speaks to me. If I bypass something that piques my interest, someone else might scoop it up (and we can’t have that). I see the other shoppers as my opponents, and from the moment I enter the store, I am competing with them for the best finds.

After hunting and gathering to my heart’s content, it’s time to edit. I’ve found it helpful to research products by brand name on my phone. On my last trip to Goodwill in May, I returned a set of teacups and saucers to the shelf when I discovered they contained lead.

After letting go of items that I don’t have any use for, it’s time to edit again. I hold each item and, à la Marie Kondo’s method, ask myself if it sparks joy. If I’m in possession of any excessive products at this point, I return them to their original places.

Finally, I evaluate how the item(s) I am left with will fit into my life. At the end of my last excursion to Goodwill, I walked away with a Sail to Sable dress for US$ 25. The original tag read $198, and even after paying $50 to get it tailored, I still consider the price a bargain. (The vertical, white inserts on the sides were added to allow for more hip room.) If I factor in cost per wear, the dress was practically free. I’ve been wearing it several times per week and intend to do so for the rest of the summer. It gets washed in a bucket and hung to dry between laundry loads.

Works Sighted

Sail to Sable dress (thrifted) // Superga 2750 Cotu Classic