Clothing for a Cause and the YWCA’s 22nd Annual Luncheon

It’s hard to believe how the annual YWCA fundraising luncheon, one of the most successful benefit events on the border, has grown since 1994. This special event on each spring’s social calendar is 22 years old this year!

Tres Mariposas has long been a supporter of the YWCA and particularly a donor to the organization’s Sara McKnight Transitional Living Center for homeless women and their children.

In addition to collecting gently used clothing for women to wear to the workplace, we often take on a specific challenge. For every piece of clothing we receive, we donate $1 to the center toward our goal.

In 2011, we raised enough money for the center to purchase a new water heater; in 2013, the funds went toward a significant upgrade in the center’s security system; and last year, we helped the center purchase activity uniforms for all the children taking part in Scouts, sports and other after-school groups requiring uniforms.

This year we have a whole wish list from the center and we’re striving to collect 1,000 items of clothing to donate and match with $1 per item to go toward easels, paint, brushes for art therapy for adults and children; exercise videos; transportation and registration fees for kids to take part in outside activities; and much more.

Our goal is to collect your gently used clothing and accessories over the next few weeks and then donate a check from Tres Mariposas for $1,000 before the luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 23 at Abraham Chavez Theatre.

The speaker promises to be another excellent choice, especially for our area. Amanda Wirtz, who served in the U.S. Navy in Iraq and Yugoslavia, is a former Ms. Veteran America and a passionate public health advocate. Currently she is partnering with Final Salute, Inc., an organization working on behalf of the more than 55,000 homeless female veterans and their children – sadly, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States.

If you’re thinking this to yourself – it’s such a hassle to go through my clothes and see what I can part with – I know you can do it. We all have items we never wear any more and it always feels good to clean out your closet and at the same time, give clothes away to someone who has not had the good fortune that we’ve enjoyed. Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:

• If you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Also, if it doesn’t fit you well, it is time for it to go. Instead of hanging on to your “skinny jeans” until you lose a few pounds, donate them.

• Try organizing your closet by color and hang similar types of clothing together, such as skirts, pants, jackets and blouses in those color groups. If you find you have, for instance, five navy blue tops and you really only prefer two of them, you will see quickly where you have duplication.

• You need to switch out your winter clothes for your spring and summer clothes anyway, so this is the perfect time to sort and scout out for clothing to donate. Even if your closet is huge enough to accommodate four seasons, it’s good to revisit and rearrange to put aside the wools and heavy fabrics and move into the cottons and silks.

While you organize and summerize your closet, think about what you can donate. Tres Mariposas, located at 5857 N. Mesa, is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day but Sunday. And buy your tickets now for the April 23 YWCA Luncheon. Visit www.ywcaelpaso.org. See you there!

TMClothingforaCause

Things to look forward to in 2015: Part II

 

Gesuina Legaspy

Gesuina Legaspy

Guest Columnist Gesuina Legaspy, contemporary and special occasion buyer at Tres Mariposas.

Last week we looked at five interesting trends and design houses that caught our attention on our recent New York buying trip; this week, we look at five more. Here’s a preview of what will be hot in 2015!

Fashions from Helmut Lang

Fashions from Helmut Lang

Helmut Lang: I was pleasantly surprised by the change in direction from Helmut Lang. Gone are the edgy twists on classic styles. His newest line has evolved with his collection, and the designer has ushered in a richer, more chic aesthetic. A longtime fan of Lang, I am excited and curious about the change.  It’s a risk for the designer, and a return to the fashion house’s core looks, but our buying team loved the collection and look forward to receiving the new and improved Helmut Lang Collection for 2015: Clean lines, crisp blouses, tailored suits and jackets. Trés chic!

1970's-inspired denim

1970′s-inspired denim

‘70s-inspired denim: High-waisted jeans and flare legs are back in style, but don’t throw away those skinnies just yet. Do add a few pieces of flare-legged denim to your collection. My favorite styles were from Rag and Bone, who showed dark washes that give off a dressier, cooler feel, but also expect to see many lighter-wash denim options. Each showroom we visited offered at least one pair of flared pants or jeans.

Athletic-inspired apparel.

Dynamic sportswear: Make room for dressy athletic wear like sweatshirts, jogging pants, and football jersey-inspired tops. Athletic wear is definitely having a moment and we want to capture it! I ordered some great jersey-inspired sweatshirts donning celebrities’ names, like Cara Delevigne, Kate Moss and Beyonce. Rag and Bone showcased the best athletic-inspired apparel. 

Special Occasion Drama

Special Occasion Drama

Evening Gowns: As we saw at the Oscars this year, intricate formal dresses are back in style. Lady Gaga, Emma Stone, and Lupita Nyongo all wore dresses that were works of art in their own right, and anything but plain. I was happy to see this shift in evening gowns. For Fall 2015, expect decadent, extravagant and over the top!

Soji Tadashi and his line of eveningwear.

Soji Tadashi and his line of eveningwear.

 

Soji Tadashi’s elegant gowns and dresses were by far my favorite line I saw this market. He showed leather, beads, fringe —you name it, he had it all! It was the most diverse, interesting collection by far. There was lots of jewels, beads and embroidery. All his dresses were red carpet-worthy.

Gray is the color for fall 2015.

Gray is the color for fall 2015.

50 Shades of Grey:  The color for Fall 2015 is none other than grey! This includes all shades, from heather to charcoal, slate to gunmetal. The color is clean and chic and pairs perfectly with a variety of other hues. Grey boots, grey evening wear, grey handbags and gr sweaters.  Mix it up with unexpected accent colors like burgundy, hunter green, and even navy blue. Gray is neutral and basic and should definitely be in your closet in 2015.

 

 

 

Things to look forward to this year: Part 1

 

I am delighted to welcome a guest columnist today: Gesuina Legaspy, contemporary and special occasion buyer at Tres Mariposas. We’re back from a very productive buying trip and I asked her to identify trends and designers to watch for in the coming year. Here’s the first half of this two-part series.Nan Napier

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Gesuina Legaspy

Gesuina Legaspy

 

The best part of being a buyer at Tres Mariposas is – well, the buying trips – particularly the trips to New York City. My most recent visit, just the week before last, was marked by 9-degree weather, vintage bags and of course, fashion.

We’re gearing up for spring in the Sun City, but the fashion industry is looking ahead to our autumnal wardrobe. However, some of the trends, designers and delicious items that I saw in New York already inform your 2015 wardrobe:

Stuart Weitzman's LoveFringe heel

Stuart Weitzman’s LoveFringe heel

• Go forward with fringe: Trends, by definition, fade away as quickly they’re introduced. Not fringe. Fringe is stronger than ever, with its versatile appeal on handbags, evening gowns, apparel and even shoes!

In the fall, we will be seeing fringed cashmere cardigans from Repeat and Central Park West, and fringe on supple leather handbags we ordered from a line called B-Low the Belt. Fringe forward and keep wearing it, because fringe is not going anywhere.

Fashions by Jonathan Simkai

Fashions by Jonathan Simkai

• Jonathan Simkhai: Jonathan Simkhai is a New York-based designer who was introduced to Tres Mariposas by our New York buyer, Lucie Jordan. She was right on by leading us to his showroom in 2014. We loved the collection and carry it in the store now, and it’s very exciting to see how this up-and-coming designer is now everywhere, seen on celebrities like Chanel Iman, Jennifer Lopez, Alessandra Ambrossio and Gigi Haddid.

Legions of Hollywood “It Girls” have been seen in Jonathan Simkhai, and I am proud to feature the collection at our store. The only thing better than the line itself is its price point – super affordable.

Jewelry by Goldish

• Jewelry trends, my favorite: I am a minimalist when it comes to fashion jewelry, but I can assure you that these trends will have me decked out! Edgy, eye-catching pieces like body chains, hand chains and ear cuffs will be everywhere this year.

Tres Mariposas owner Nan Napier and co-buyer Bobbie Baldridge discovered a new line called Goldish that makes necklaces that can also be worn as 14-karat gold hand chains, which are combination bracelets and rings.

This fresh and fun trend is a great way to play with fashion and an inexpensive way to try something different. The best part is that you can mix it all together; these pieces look even better when worn together to create a statement outfit.

Midi Dress by Elizabeth and James

Midi Dress by Elizabeth and James

• Midi-dresses/skirts: The longer the better! This look is called “The Midi,” referring to a hemline below the knee and above the ankle, a nod to the 1960s and ‘70s.

There are endless ways to wear this style. Pair midi dresses with tall boots or heels and midi skirts with anything from a basic t-shirt to a crop top. Midi styles can be pencil shaped, A-line or circular.

Vintage Celine Handbags

Vintage Celine Handbags

• Vintage handbags: Until now, it was impossible to purchase a Chanel, Celine or Louis Vuitton handbag in El Paso.

Three years ago at our Fashion’s Night Out event, we hosted a Vintage Chanel Trunk Show. We were surprised to find that our vintage friends carry not only vintage Chanel, but many other brands as well!

“Vintage?” you might ask. Doesn’t that mean they’ve been used? Not necessarily.

Vintage handbags aren’t always pre-worn; in some cases, the bags may have been an older style, gifted and never used, or worn once or twice and in impeccable condition.

Nan, Bobbie and I handpicked each bag while we were in New York, ensuring all classic styles are still available at regular price in the designer retail stores, and in pristine condition.

Each bag is certified and inspected, and less than the original price!

Stay tuned next week for more fashion news from New York!

Gift Buying For A Women On The Go

Packing, traveling, and being away from all the comforts of home really brings into sharp focus the need for items that are comfortable, practical, versatile or make travel smoother, more elegant, or less stressful.

At home we have all our “stuff.”  When get dressed, if an item doesn’t seem right, we just change it.  If an unexpected event comes up, we have a whole wardrobe to choose something appropriate.

Not so when traveling.  Most of us feel we’ve packed too much or packed too little, and get stressed when things don’t go as planned. 

Gifts that fit the needs of a traveler are especially appreciated given that just any old thing won’t do.

Gifts to transport her in mind or body:

1.Fly London Shoes.  At first blush they are a bit unattractive, maybe funky.  Then why do these shoes have a cult following with travelers?  They are so comfortable that one begins to love their quirkiness.   Portuguese owner Fortunato Frederico started with, “an idea for a lighter, less formal shoe, something casual, comfortable, soft, young and urban.” The company slogan is, “Fly, Don’t Walk.”   Great shoes are undoubtedly the number one priority for women on the go.

1. Fly London Shoes. At first blush they are a bit unattractive, maybe funky. Then why do these shoes have a cult following with travelers? They are so comfortable that one begins to love their quirkiness. Portuguese owner Fortunato Frederico started with, “an idea for a lighter, less formal shoe, something casual, comfortable, soft, young and urban.” The company slogan is, “Fly, Don’t Walk.” Great shoes are undoubtedly the number one priority for women on the go.

 

2. Cross-body Hammit handbag.  This entrepreneurial Los Angeles company produces bags that are a unique blend of a rock and roll vibe combined with a passion for practicality.  Sturdy soft leather is meant to stay with you until the bag is vintage. Bags are adjustable as shoulder bags to clutches to cross-body, a necessity for savvy security-conscious traveling women.  Various reinforced pockets and zippers hold all your “stuff.”  For some reason these bags just feel good, and the compartments are fun to play with.

2. Cross-body Hammit handbag. This entrepreneurial Los Angeles company produces bags that are a unique blend of a rock and roll vibe combined with a passion for practicality. Sturdy soft leather is meant to stay with you until the bag is vintage. Bags are adjustable as shoulder bags to clutches to cross-body, a necessity for savvy security-conscious traveling women. Various reinforced pockets and zippers hold all your “stuff.” For some reason these bags just feel good, and the compartments are fun to play with.

 

3.Fresh, colorful cosmetic bag.  Every woman needs new cosmetic bags that give her travel gear a refreshing lift.  Cosmetic bags get soiled and dowdy after a time.  A new bag in an uplifting or elegant color is a way to pamper the woman on the go.

3. Fresh, colorful cosmetic bag. Every woman needs new cosmetic bags that give her travel gear a refreshing lift. Cosmetic bags get soiled and dowdy after a time. A new bag in an uplifting or elegant color is a way to pamper the woman on the go.

 

Women love the luxury feel combined with practicality for cold-weather travel. Dragging around bulky coats and trying to keep them from getting dirty can be a real pain.  These coats are rainsilk on one side and lightest weight fur on the other.  It is easy to board a plane with the rainsilk side out and just fold up the lightweight coat and stow it above.   Depending on the occasions and weather that await at your destination – sightseeing, getting groceries for the grandkids or a special evening out – choose the dressy or casual side, the rain or shine side.

4. Women love the luxury feel combined with practicality for cold-weather travel. Dragging around bulky coats and trying to keep them from getting dirty can be a real pain. These coats are rainsilk on one side and lightest weight fur on the other. It is easy to board a plane with the rainsilk side out and just fold up the lightweight coat and stow it above. Depending on the occasions and weather that await at your destination – sightseeing, getting groceries for the grandkids or a special evening out – choose the dressy or casual side, the rain or shine side.

5.Luxurious airplane blanket/wrap. We all know that travel demands layering, ability to adjust to changing temperatures, and soft, comfortable airplane wraps.  Choose cashmere or a soft, soft wool.  Use it as a blanket to hide in during flight, then drape it over basic black pants and top for a casual elegant evening out.

5. Luxurious airplane blanket/wrap. We all know that travel demands layering, ability to adjust to changing temperatures, and soft, comfortable airplane wraps. Choose cashmere or a soft, soft wool. Use it as a blanket to hide in during flight, then drape it over basic black pants and top for a casual elegant evening out.

 

6.Jewelry Travel Organizer.  How do you take accessories and jewelry, which of course are necessary to add variety to the basic blacks that are rerun day after day?  With this fold open case, inspired by origami, and designed by a busy neat-freak mother of two.  Using it is magical.

6. Jewelry Travel Organizer. How do you take accessories and jewelry, which of course are necessary to add variety to the basic blacks that are rerun day after day? With this fold open case, inspired by origami, and designed by a busy neat-freak mother of two. Using it is magical.

 

7.Neoprene.  This futuristic spongey fabric is one of fashion’s big trends, and the ultimate travel fabric.  It bounces out of your suitcase in the exact same shape every time.  This is for the fashionista who travels.

7. Neoprene. This futuristic spongey fabric is one of fashion’s big trends, and the ultimate travel fabric. It bounces out of your suitcase in the exact same shape every time. This is for the fashionista who travels.

 

8.The Mighty Purse.  Have you ever been huddled near the power outlet at an airport recharging your phone?  Or asking strangers, like I do in New York showrooms, if I can borrow their power outlet?  No one wants to be powerless!  These small leather purses have hidden lightweight built-in batteries to recharge your phone on the go.  Saviors.

8. The Mighty Purse. Have you ever been huddled near the power outlet at an airport recharging your phone? Or asking strangers, like I do in New York showrooms, if I can borrow their power outlet? No one wants to be powerless! These small leather purses have hidden lightweight built-in batteries to recharge your phone on the go. Saviors.

 

Holiday Chic

Tres Mariposas hosted a Pro Musica holiday event Wednesday evening.  Gorgeous models gave the event plenty of glamour.  Holiday parties range from casual open houses to black tie events.  Don’t let your guard down!  Be good to yourself.  Go the extra mile in hair, makeup, and special attire to honor the season, your hosts and the event.  Make your “casual” luxurious, fashionable and 2014.

Fur vests are a fabulous way to create a luxe casual look.

Fur vests are a fabulous way to create a luxe casual look.

Update your cozy cashmere sweater wardrobe to include asymmetrical tunics that are nothing like those old classics you’ve got stashed away from years past.

Update your cozy cashmere sweater wardrobe to include asymmetrical tunics that are nothing like those old classics you’ve got stashed away from years past.

Red never fails to bring a festive feeling.  But go with something new and different such as this asymmetrical blazer of finely knitted in sonar wool.

Red never fails to bring a festive feeling. But go with something new and different such as this asymmetrical blazer of finely knitted in sonar wool.

Your wrap is a statement.  Make it a strong one.  Nothing is better than a fabulous cashmere cape with fox trim.

Your wrap is a statement. Make it a strong one. Nothing is better than a fabulous cashmere cape with fox trim.

Be the most stylish thing next to the Christmas tree with leather skinny pants, uber-cool boots and a silk bomber jacket.

Be the most stylish thing next to the Christmas tree with leather skinny pants, uber-cool boots and a silk bomber jacket.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Happy ThanksgivingIt’s Thanksgiving week and I have so much to be thankful for, starting off with the love and light from my family and nearest and dearest friends. I’m also very thankful for your support and readership over the last 19 years!

I would like to claim that Thanksgiving is about fashion, the number one worldwide priority in my book. But I guess I’ll admit it’s about a much more common priority – delicious food and eating together.

Food is an occasion for sharing. Think about it. Meals are often the social parts of our days, times for talking and laughing. Sharing a meal with others gives us a sense of security and provides vital connections among family members and friends. It also creates new bonds, among co-workers, members of our congregations, and participants in whatever groups that we join.

Of course all animals eat, but humans are the only animals who cook! Indeed, cooking is a nurturing social activity. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, cooking, and spending time with family and friends, I am sharing a few favorite Thanksgiving recipes.Cook Nan Napier making 160 jars of Tres Mariposas Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce.

If you’ve been by Tres Mariposas during the week before Christmas, maybe you have received a jar of cranberry-raspberry sauce as a gift. I make it to share with customers each year. At Tres Mariposas we serve it over cream cheese with crackers. It’s also great over turkey or any meat.

Tres Mariposas Cranberry-Raspberry Sauce

Makes about four and a half 8 oz jars.

1 bag (12 oz.) fresh cranberries

1 small box (3 oz.) raspberry Jello

3 cups sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

2/3 cup boiling water (only for stove top method)

Microwave: Omit water from recipe; Combine ingredients in 3-quart microwave-safe dish, loosely covered with waxed paper. Cook on high power 10-12 mins, stirring every 3 mins. Cook till sugar dissolves and most of the cranberries will burst. Pour directly into jars and let cool.

Stove Top method: Place all ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil; simmer 10 mins, stirring constantly. Spoon jam into jars; cool 1 hour. Cover with paraffin or refrigerate.

Be sure and cook until it is well dissolved and most of the cranberries are popped. If it isn’t cooked long enough, when it cools it will be grainy with a lot of sugar settling at the bottom of the jar. 

While there are many good sweet potato recipes out there, this one is from our buyer at Tres Mariposas, Bobbie Baldridge. Bobbie is not allowed to attend any Tres Mariposas holiday gatherings without it. Our staff would lynch her. It is mouth-watering, amazingly good.

 

Bobbie’s Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

Combine all ingredients in medium mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Pour into greased Pyrex deep baking dish and sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

 Topping:

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/3 cup butter

1 cup chopped pecans

For best results: Bake fresh sweet potatoes in foil, in oven, until soft. This can be done ahead of time and then refrigerated until ready to assemble. Use real butter. Cut into small pieces while still cold. This also works for the topping.

A lot of people are like me. Pumpkin pie is just a little too pulpy pumpkin intense. For people who don’t think they like Pumpkin pie, this one is fantastic. The recipe belongs to my Aunt Barbara Harrington of Memphis who, by the way, will be in town with other family to visit and honor my dad Leroy Harrington this week.

Pumpkin Pie for People Who Don’t Like Pumpkin Pie

Heat:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 and 1/3 tablespoon butter

 Separately, mix:

  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 3 rounded tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of ginger, cloves, and allspice

When the unbaked piecrust is ready for filling, add hot milk to pumpkin mixture. Do not add milk earlier as the heat will cook the egg. Fill 8” piecrust. Sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees, and 40-45 minutes more at 325 degrees.

Bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!

The Science of Color

Untitled-2Last week I wrote about designer Tory Burch’s gorgeous new book, “Tory Burch in Color.” Her collections are known for including colorful fabrics and accessories and the book certainly shows her love of color. Even the book’s chapters are arranged by color!

The book ends with a very brief interview on the “science of color” with Dr. Samantha Boardman, one of Tory Burch’s friends. The interview really intrigued me – enough so that I wanted to learn more about this person.

With a little research I found that Dr. Boardman is much like Tory Burch. She also grew up privileged and well educated, with an intense interest in style and fashion. Both women share an enthusiasm for color and interior decorating. Both are strong career women and both are passionate about what is positive and good in life.

Dr. Boardman is a psychiatrist at Cornell Medical College, and just last year she added another degree to her M.D.: a master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. On her website, www.PositivePrescription.com, she writes, “I am a psychiatrist with little interest in what is wrong with people and a lot of interest in what is right with them. I care about the tweaks and changes that make a difference.”

Here are a few things I found interesting from the interview with Dr. Boardman in “Tory Burch in Color:”

  • Dr. Boardman agrees wholeheartedly with psychologist Ulrich Beer who said, “No one can encounter color and stay neutral. We are immediately, instinctively and emotionally moved. We have sympathy or antipathy, pleasure or disapproval within us as soon as we perceive colors.” That is indeed apparent, but I hadn’t thought about it in just that way. For instance, as soon as I see red or yellow, or I even hear someone say a color, my brain has a reaction.c
  • Her research has shown that colors affect how others treat us and how we see ourselves. “One of the first things we notice about someone is the color of what they are wearing,” she writes. “Waitresses wearing red lipstick receive bigger tips and studies show men find women in red clothing to be more attractive, more sexually desirable, and they tend to sit closer to them.  Ladies wearing red tend to feel more attractive – they stand taller, smile more radiantly and are more outgoing.”red
  • It turns out that the color pink can have a significant effect on behavior – a pink environment can make us nicer, gentler. “In the book ‘Drunk Tank Pink,’ Adam Alter describes how a certain shade of pink decreases aggression among prisoners and improves behavior,” says Dr. Boardman. “The University of Iowa’s locker room for visiting football teams is famously painted pink for the exact same reason – to calm opponents and put them in a passive mood.” UTEP Coach Sean Kugler, are you listening?c46ccd8a4edf2cbc44f905f86d3ff1b7

It is true that color is amazingly significant in our culture and in fashion. When women find out I’m supposed to be an expert in fashion, their first question is, “What color is in this year?” Here’s a finding from my own research: the number one reason certain items of clothing do or do not sell at Tres Mariposas is often the color of the item.

I like Samantha Boardman’s emphasis on positivity. According to an interview with her at twenties/collective.com, she lists just three activities as the most significant lifestyle/outlook changes a person can make for a more fulfilling and positive life.

  1. Sleep more.
  2. Build more activity into your daily life.
  3. Spend more time with friends face to face and less time looking down at your mobile device.

P.S. Coming soon: a report on the top colors forecasted for 2015

New Tory Burch book celebrates color and style

Tory Burch

Tory Burch is one of the best-known lifestyle brands in America. My knowledge of the woman Tory Burch was that she was a picture-perfect blonde New York socialite who did not go to fashion school and who capitalized on her contacts to launch a line of clothing and accessories in 2004. There you go — another pretty rich girl who had it easy, or so it seemed.

After her nasty divorce from her wealthy husband, Christopher Burch, it was rumored that her company might not make it subsequently.

Not only did Tory Burch’s company survive, the brand has become a household name. This year Forbes listed her as the 79th most powerful woman in the world.

Now she is out with her first book, “Tory Burch in Color,” a gorgeous coffee table style volume. Since I am in the fashion industry and Tory Burch products are best sellers at Tres Mariposas, I purchased the book as soon as it was available.Tory Burch In Color book photo

I was beyond pleasantly surprised in several ways. First I learned enough about Tory Burch, the person to find out that she’s much more than a pretty face with money. Through the book I discovered that her taste and aesthetic talents are highly developed and honed. She is humble, gutsy, charming and very family-oriented. She has a serious work ethic that, along with a powerful vision for her brand, has contributed to her becoming an amazing businesswoman. Her collections are inspired by art, music, travel, interiors and her own stylish parents.

Second, I can’t say that I’ve run across very many coffee table books that I fervently liked. They are always pretty, but flipping through a few pages is generally enough for me. I found “Tory Burch in Color” to be different.

As you may know, the Tory Burch brand is known for eclectic details, prints, and color – gorgeous color. Her book is actually organized in chapters by color, with each color brought to life through images and information about her travels, her approaches to entertaining, works of art, and even advice of business leaders.

I enjoyed the section on work-life balance (in the purple chapter) with down-to-earth interviews with people such as Hilary Rodham Clinton, Carolina Herrera, and Arianna Huffington. I loved Tory’s drink recipes, such as the Screwdriver in the orange chapter and the Southside in the green chapter. At the end of the book is an interview with Dr. Samantha Boardman on the science of color.

I have always thought that much of Tory Burch’s success comes from the way her products connect with today’s American women: her designs balance tradition and heritage with fresh modernity. Tory is so in sync with the psyche of American women that her products resonate with a broad cross-section of customers.

She began the company seeking to create a culture that reflected her parents, and their values of kindness, integrity, humor and a sense of pride. The company’s signature Reva ballet flat was named after Tory’s mother. Tory writes, “Reva is my mother, the most effortlessly stylish woman I know and my greatest source of inspiration.”

Social responsibility is also important to Tory Burch. In 2009, the Tory Burch Foundation was formed to support the economic empowerment of American women entrepreneurs and their families. Through loans, mentorship, and entrepreneurial education, the foundation invests in the success and sustainability of women-owned small businesses. One hundred percent of the gross proceeds received by Tory Burch LLC from the sale of the book will go toward the foundation.

I encourage you to support the foundation and give yourself a treat by buying the book. Or you can stop by Tres Mariposas and peruse it there. I think you will find it a gorgeous addition to your library – or coffee table!

 

 

 

 

 

 

headerAnimal prints have become a classic trend, which means they are always in style. However, in some seasons these prints mimicking the markings of wild animals are more popular than other seasons. This fall and winter, animal prints are super popular. 

Why do women like them so much? These fabrics have a strong graphic identity, and some women even say they feel empowered when they wear animal prints.  Grrrr…..Hear me roar!

Animal prints are also so easy to wear, because they are like neutrals. Think about it: this season’s animal prints feature variations of browns, beiges, greys, and blacks.  

But wait, what about zebra prints? They’re not brown and beige – they’re black and white. Alas, although I am a lifelong lover of zebra prints, the zebra is just not popular this year. In fact, even when I see them, they look wrong somehow right now.

Right now, animal prints that have darker, neutral backgrounds are in. White and black zebra prints and orange and black tiger prints are not (sorry, El Paso High Tigers).

Here are a few tips on how to wear animal prints this fall and winter, along with a run-down of what’s hot and what’s not:

  • A little goes a long way.  It’s fantastic to have an animal print blouse, pants, scarf, and handbag in your closet.  Just don’t wear them all at once.  One at a time, please.
  • Done right, a pop of bright color, such as in a handbag, looks great with an animal print.
  • Do accessorize with animal prints: handbags, shoes, and scarves add some of the best touches.
Animal prints are all classics, but some seasons some are more popular than others.

Animal prints are all classics, but some seasons some are more popular than others.

Leopard Top Under a Fur Vest

Leopard Top Under a Fur Vest

MORE LOOKS

A New York Travelogue

1Last week we went to the Coterie apparel market at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York.  Self-described as “a premier global marketplace that bridges apparel and accessories designers to the international Who’s Who of Retailers,” this is the largest show of the year. It is so huge that it’s really hard to describe just how many vendors and buyers attend.

It is always held after the official New York Fashion Week.  Fashion Week is full of runway shows meant to impress celebrities and the press. The following week, it’s time to get down to the business of fashion.

For Tres Mariposas buyers, this September trip includes a couple of days at the huge convention center show and a couple of days dashing to showrooms from one end of Manhattan to the other – Seventh Avenue, Soho, and Midtown. Market is not all glamour. For instance, the Meat Packing District of Manhattan is now a “cool” fashion district.  That means riding up a nasty, grungy freight elevator to see the Rag & Bone showroom.

The Coterie is miles and miles of designer booths displaying their lines for the Spring 2014 season.  Clover Canyon is one of the most popular vendors due to their innovative mixing of prints and fabulous bright colors.

The Coterie is miles and miles of designer booths displaying their lines for the Spring 2014 season. Clover Canyon is one of the most popular vendors due to their innovative mixing of prints and fabulous bright colors.

Herve Leger, king of body conscious dresses, has an amazing showroom.

Herve Leger, king of body conscious dresses, has an amazing showroom.

The “Edit” show was a small, exclusive segregated area within the giant Coterie venue.  Vendors and buyers had to go through a rigorous vetting process.  Whew!  Tres Mariposas passed inspection.  Most of all I enjoyed the colorful sophisticated displays at the entry to Edit.

The “Edit” show was a small, exclusive segregated area within the giant Coterie venue. Vendors and buyers had to go through a rigorous vetting process. Whew! Tres Mariposas passed inspection. Most of all I enjoyed the colorful sophisticated displays at the entry to Edit.

Sometimes it’s hard to get work done because of the distraction of amazingly entertaining visual displays!  Alice and Olivia is a line full of young creativity.

Sometimes it’s hard to get work done because of the distraction of amazingly entertaining visual displays! Alice and Olivia is a line full of young creativity.

The fringe trend isn’t stopping anytime soon.  Go ahead and splurge.

The fringe trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. Go ahead and splurge.

A TRES customer, KC Nelson, happened to be in New York also.  Our contemporary buyer Gesuina Legaspy (right) and KC are excited to discover they have the same phone covers.

A TRES customer, KC Nelson, happened to be in New York also. Our contemporary buyer Gesuina Legaspy (right) and KC are excited to discover they have the same phone covers.

Jonathan Simkhai is a relatively new designer we discovered.  He started working in a boutique when he was 14.  A few good people helped him along the way and he’s making it in the fashion world – not easy to do.  This photo is in his showroom.  He was adorable to visit with.

Jonathan Simkhai is a relatively new designer we discovered. He started working in a boutique when he was 14. A few good people helped him along the way and he’s making it in the fashion world – not easy to do. This photo is in his showroom. He was adorable to visit with.

Our trusty travel agent, Priceline, put us at the very wonderful One UN Plaza Millennium Hotel.  Our 35th-floor rooms had a magnificent view of the East River and the city as well as the United Nations complex. Each morning when I got up I opened the curtains and felt exhilarated because it was so stunning, as you can see by this view from my window. Before going to bed at night, I marveled at the city lights reflecting in the river. Speaking of New York rivers, we all remember US Airways pilot “Sully” Sullenberger, the “Hero of the Hudson.” He executed that emergency water landing after his plane was disabled, saving every passenger and crew member. When I see that murky river water, I am in awe of that safe landing and admire Captain Sullenberger’s skills even more. I’m also proud of my son Creed, an Air Force pilot – he now shares a distinction with the hero: they both have received the Jabara Award from their shared alma mater, the U.S. Air Force Academy. Creed thought he was in mighty fine company to get the same award as Sully.

Our trusty travel agent, Priceline, put us at the very wonderful One UN Plaza Millennium Hotel. Our 35th-floor rooms had a magnificent view of the East River and the city as well as the United Nations complex. Each morning when I got up I opened the curtains and felt exhilarated because it was so stunning, as you can see by this view from my window. Before going to bed at night, I marveled at the city lights reflecting in the river.
Speaking of New York rivers, we all remember US Airways pilot “Sully” Sullenberger, the “Hero of the Hudson.” He executed that emergency water landing after his plane was disabled, saving every passenger and crew member. When I see that murky river water, I am in awe of that safe landing and admire Captain Sullenberger’s skills even more.
I’m also proud of my son Creed, an Air Force pilot – he now shares a distinction with the hero: they both have received the Jabara Award from their shared alma mater, the U.S. Air Force Academy. Creed thought he was in mighty fine company to get the same award as Sully.