Monday, August 30, 2010

Kanon Vodka/Grand Life Party in Southampton

Me, Stef Skinner, David Hsu

David Tsu and Sophie Elgort

Cristina Civetta (right) and friend

Jenn Camp from Le Fashion and Olsens Anonymous (center) with me and her beau

Me and David Tsu

I'm in love with photographer (and personal friend) Sophie Elgort's pictures from the weekend. Sophie showed up to the Kanon Vodka/Grand Life party toting her Leica camera around and this is the result. I love the grainy black-and-white shots. They remind me of old newspaper photos--kind of old-fashioned and romantic, no? 

Sophie's an amazing emerging photographer, not to mention co-founder of fashion site Aliomi

More to come tomorrow--for now, I'm so exhausted, I can barely form coherent sentences. Good night loves. xo

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Emmy Awards 2010: 6 Best Dressed

Claire Danes in Armani Prive

 Anna Paquin in Alexander McQueen

Emily Blunt in Christian Dior

Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta

Nina Dobrev in Zuhair Murad

Olivia Munn in Zac Posen

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just a Few Little Bits I Picked Up

Perfect stripes from Madewell. I always make sure to refresh my stock of these shirts every season. Such a great classic. Madewell sailaway tee, $55, at

Total impulse buy at Topshop. I liked it because it looks like a dreamcatcher. Maybe I'll hang it over my bed instead of using it as a necklace. Topshop necklace, $28, at Topshop stores.

Random lingerie slip-skirt from Topshop. It's actually a lot more nude than it seems in the picture--I'm into nudes, creams, and pale pale beige ballerina pinks for fall. Topshop lace zip skirt, $50, at

First hat buy of the season! I love cozy knit hats during fall/winter. Topshop bow beret, $16, at

FYI--Madewell has the best socks. I've been looking for a good pair of over the knee ones and the dark slate gray ones in the middle are just about perfect. Also, love love love the perfect shade of gray on the trouser socks to the right. Madewell socks, $10.50-$16.50, at

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shape Shift and Trick the Past Again

This week has been one long slew of stormy weather, crazy fashion week prep, new clients (yay!), fall travel planning (Shanghai and Paris in September, Hawaii in November so far), and trying to gracefully manage my personal life and it's various relationships in an evolved, mature manner (which, incidentally, this hasn't been the best week for). I think it's safe to say that Mercury is definitely in retrograde. (Please excuse my constant kooky astrological references. I'm a Susan Miller junkie.)

Anyway, that said, I'm ready for a change in season. I want crisp, cool fall air, no more summer storms and a little bit of quiet focus. I took a walk in the park the other day and stumbled upon a patch of grass with a miraculous little mid-August scattering of toasty golden leaves that were so reminiscent of autumn that if I hadn't known better, I would've sworn we were well into October. Aren't they pretty?

I'm wearing a Jessica Simpson denim shirt,  white Siwy cut-offs, summer friendship bracelets and Jessica Simpson laceless oxfords. Photos by Mark Iantosca. xoxo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Will You Do?

How will you use your gifts? What choices will you make?

Will inertia be your guide, or will you follow your passions?

Will you follow dogma, or will you be original?

Will you choose a life of ease, or a life of service and adventure?

Will you wilt under criticism, or will you follow your convictions?

Will you bluff it out when you're wrong, or will you apologize?

Will you guard your heart against rejection, or will you act when you fall in love?

Will you play it safe, or will you be a little bit swashbuckling?

When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?

Will you be a cynic, or will you be a builder?

Will you be clever at the expense of others, or will you be kind?

It's important to stop sometimes and think about what we're doing. So often, we get so caught up in the speed of life, in the urgency of our ambitions, in the need of right now, that we forget to stop and think. Every moment is a choice. And any one of those choices could be your "sliding doors" moment. Everything that we do, no matter how banal it may seem at the time, could alter the entire course of our lives. So we should choose wisely and thoughtfully and with care. And we should always make choices that come from a place of love and truth.

Because, as Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, says at the very end of this commencement speech for the class of 2010 at Princeton, "In the end, we are our choices."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

I'm not having the best day today. NYC is cold and rainy and so windy that it's making my windows rattle and my puppy bark. Work is piling up with no end in sight. My ankle is still slightly sore from when I twisted it over the weekend, making it almost impossible to do any sort of physical exercise. And let's just say that when Susan Miller predicted that "loved ones will be difficult" in August--well, she wasn't kidding. Ugh.

And so, when 4 PM hit and I received the latest in a slew of annoying emails, I did what I always do in situations like these. I baked. And an hour later, hands covered in a sticky combination of sugar and butter, apartment smelling warm and nutty and homey, I felt better. These cookies are basically just classic lace cookies. I never realized how easy they are to make until I actually went ahead and did it. It's only six ingredients with no need for a fancy electric mixer. Just a bowl, a spoon and you. They come out delicate and fragrant with a satisfying nutty flavor due to the combination of oats, deep brown sugar and melted butter. Plus, they're pretty. They look like lace. Except edible. Can't beat that.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

2 1/2 cups instant oats
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together.

Melt the butter and add to dry ingredients. Mix well. Add the egg and the vanilla.

Drop by tiny spoonfuls onto a well-greased cookie sheet or a cookie sheet with parchment paper lined onto it and flatten with your fingers. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Remove from oven, let sit a minute or two and then remove from the sheet.  If they stick to the cookie sheet, put them back into the oven for a minute or two.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Penne with Heirloom Tomatoes and Garlic-Anchovy Breadcrumbs

This dish (and others like it) is one of my most favorite things about summer. You can go to the farmers' market and wander around aimlessly enjoying the warm sunshine and food eye candy, picking up bits and pieces as you go until your arms are suddenly filled with fresh fruit, veggies, bread, and other yummy things. When you get home, the fun part starts: figuring out what to do with all of it.

Last weekend's precious little haul included freshly baked ciabatta bread, heirloom tomatoes and garlic. With those simple, but perfect ingredients, along with a few others I had hanging around the kitchen, I pulled together this delicious pasta dish for a weekday dinner. It includes a light sauce made entirely from one juicy tomato and some good olive oil and handmade garlic-anchovy breadcrumbs to give the pasta a crunchy little kick and it tastes just like summer should. Sidenote: from-scratch breadcrumbs are super quick and easy to make, in case you were wondering. Recipe below. Happy weekend! xoxo

Penne with Heirloom Tomatoes and Garlic-Anchovy Breadcrumbs

Penne (enough for two people to eat)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 anchovy fillets, mashed to paste with 1 teaspoon oil from can
3 garlic cloves, pressed, divided
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless country bread
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

Cook penne until just tender but firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. 

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add anchovies and 2 garlic cloves, then breadcrumbs. Cook breadcrumbs until golden, tossing to distribute evenly, about 5 minutes. Scrape crumbs onto plate and cool. 

Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, a scattering of basil and remaining garlic clove. Cover; cook until tomatoes begin to break down, about 10 minutes. Using fork, crush 1/4 of tomatoes. Add pasta, basil, cheese. Toss, adding reserved cooking liquid if dry. Mix in half of crumbs. Season pasta with salt and pepper.

Transfer pasta to large shallow bowl; top with remaining breadcrumbs and serve.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Isabel Marant

I popped into the Isabel Marant boutique in SoHo a couple of days ago when I had a minute or two to spare between meetings and immediately fell in love with just about every single piece in there. Case in point--take a look at that rack. Is there a SINGLE thing you wouldn't want?? No. The answer to that is "no." Look at that big soft fur! That perfectly worn in t-shirt! The just-right shades of grey! That little black leather jacket! Le sigh.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Too Little Too Late But We Can't Say No

I've pretty much lived in this super simple floor-length sheer cotton Opening Ceremony t-shirt dress since I snagged it at the sample sale a couple of months ago for a mere $50. One of the best buys I've gotten in years! It's just the sort of thing I love to wear when it's warm out and you can bet I'll be figuring out how to layer it up for fall. I'm thinking I'll need a long-sleeved black or nude Wolford bodysuit to put on underneath the dress, a long cozy knit boyfriend cardigan, a scarf, some lace-up boots, and maybe an oversized knit hat. Mmmmm. Perfect outfit for an October walk in Central Park, no?

I'm wearing Jessica Simpson shoes, Eddie Borgo for Jen Kao bracelets, friendship bracelets and, of course, my Opening Ceremony dress.

Pictures, as always, by the talented Mark Iantosca. xoxo

P.S. Excuse my messy apartment, please (yes, that's a pile of laundry next to my couch).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Breakfast of the Champions

There is a large contingent of people who firmly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I wouldn't disagree. There is a tangible difference between the days you wake up late, rush through the morning routine and run like bat out of hell through your apartment door, not a Quaker's chocolate chip granola bar in sight and the days when you actually manage to get it together enough to sit down with a cup of tea and little bit of toast. It's true: breakfast can make a day great. Or at least it can see you off to a good start.

My favorite breakfast (pictured above, made with all the ingredients I picked up at the farmers' market over the weekend) is simple and easy and delicious. It's made up of fried eggs, sunny side up so that the yolks are still golden and runny, home fries with garlic and rosemary, pan-toasted bread and a wedge of good cheese to nibble on between bites of everything else.

I think everything on the plate is pretty self-explanatory recipe-wise, except for that delectable, crispy little pile of potatoes. Here's how I make mine:

Garlic Rosemary Home Fries

2 lbs small potatoes

  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
    Sea salt
    Black pepper
    1/2 stick unsalted butter
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    A few sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped

    Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a large pot, then boil until just tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and cool completely, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 8 hours.

    Quarter potatoes lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. 

    Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil to skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then sauté half of potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm, covered. Cook remaining potatoes in same manner. 

    Return all vegetables to skillet and gently toss with remaining tablespoon butter, the sliced garlic and a scattering of chopped rosemary until butter is melted and garlic is just beginning to lightly color. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (4 cups)

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Fall Must-Have: Celine Bag

    All pictures by Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil

    I've been thinking a lot about my shopping list for fall lately and at the very top of it is a new bag to tote around in the chillier weather. I've been carrying my trusty old Chanel bag around for so long that the strap is beginning to fray a bit, which is a sign that it may be time to switch it up. And what better piece of uber-luxury leather to do so with than a lean, clean, mean Celine bag? None. That's what.

    Looking at all the "Philo-files" shot by the incredibly talented Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil makes me laugh. It looks like a whole lot of stylish women are way ahead of me. Time to catch up!

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    I'm Doing it Wrong, Singing Along

    Last week's unexpected fall-like weather brought on a sudden craving for the drapey knits and cozy layers I'll be wearing come late September. So, I decided to pull on this loose, romantic sweater by Kimberly Ovitz and take a walk in the park. There's almost nothing better than those exhilarating few days when the weather is slowly changing, bringing with it the inexplicable feeling that life itself can change too, that anything could happen. The changing of the seasons always refreshes me in a way and reminds me that all things are possible.

    I picked up a memoir called "Spoon Fed," by Kim Severson, a food writer for the New York Times over the weekend and haven't been able to put it down. In it, Severson writes a lot about the various cooks (i.e. Edna Lewis, Ruth Reichl, Marcella Hazan, Marion Cunningham, Alice Waters) who changed her life and taught her invaluable lessons that saved her, in a way. There's a line in the book that reads, "When you wake up, you never know if the day might end up meaning everything." When I read that, I thought to myself: Wouldn't it be great to wake up every single day with that thought? With a feeling of expectancy and hope and endless possibility? This could be the day you meet your husband. This could be the day you get a life-changing job offer. This could be the day your baby is born. This could be the day you unexpectedly change someone else's life. This could be the day that means everything.

    Hopefully, I can learn to hold onto that feeling regardless of the season.

    All pictures by my favorite Mark Iantosca (he tried something super different with these pics--let me know what you think in the comments, por favor!). xoxoxo

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Abingdon Square

    After a night out at the Jane Hotel's ballroom last night, I woke up this morning absolutely starved and desperate for breakfast with no food to speak of in the refrigerator. So, I threw on a pair of my beloved Siwy denim cut-offs, left on the shirt I had slept in and embarked on a casual stroll through the West Village in search of something good to eat. It was quite a pleasant surprise when I walked right into the tiniest, but most thorough little farmers' market I've encountered yet in Abingdon Square at the intersection of West 12th Street and 8th Avenue. This little jewel of a market is made up of around 10 perfect stands containing everything that the much bigger, more overwhelming Union Square market has, except it feels edited, more personal and very special. It's open every Saturday from 8AM -- 3PM and you can bet you'll find me there weekly.

    As you can see in the picture above, I made out like a bandit. Here's what I got:

    • 3 ears of white corn
    • farm fresh eggs 
    • butterhead lettuce
    • ciabatta loaf
    • 2 heads of garlic 
    • 2 ripe heirloom tomatoes
    • 3 young potatoes
    • bunch of rosemary
    • wedge of cow's milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm called Pawlet

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Tomato Pie

    Okay, so I know that Ruth Reichl JUST blogged about tomato pie today (P.S. How did I just now discover that she's had a blog for a couple of years now??) but I seriously could not bring myself to write about anything else. After reading her recipe, how could I not blog it? Tomato pie is just about the most perfect food to make right now--tomatoes are red and ripe and plentiful at the market and they'll never be juicier or more flavorful than they are today, in the midst of late summer. Take advantage of them while you can, readers, before the chill hits and they're gone just like the long, hot beach days we've all been savoring.

    Reichl uses an old James Beard recipe for her particular pie and this is the one that I've replicated here, minus the parsley since it seems to be only for decorative purposes (and at Milk & Mode, we make things as simple and ingredient-light as possible). It uses a homemade buttermilk biscuit crust that is surprisingly easy to make and tops it with fresh market tomatoes, some basil and a scattering of grated cheddar and mayonnaise. Mmmmm. It's summer itself, in a pie dish.

    Tomato Pie

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/3 cup butter
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    4-6 ripe tomatoes
    1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
    1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (light will do just fine)

    Combine 2 cups of flour with 2 and a half teaspoons of baking powder and a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda. Cut in 1/3 cup of butter until it’s the size of peas. Stir in ¾ cups of buttermilk until the dough holds together, turn out onto a floured surface and knead a few minutes. Pat it into the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan.

    Cover the biscuits with 4 to 6 ripe tomatoes, sliced into nice fat rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Shower a couple of tablespoons of shredded basil on top.

    Mix a cup or so of grated Cheddar cheese with a cup and a half of mayonnaise and spread the mixture on top of the tomatoes.

    Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Fall Campaigns: Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang

    Two of my favorite designers came out with first-time ad campaigns today (both shot by the same photographer, natch). Proenza Schouler enlisted photographer Dan Jackson to shoot models-of-the-moment Ann and Kirby Kenny and Tati Cotliar in the Fall ‘10 collection, styled by Marie Chaix. And Alexander Wang has released his the much-anticipated T by Alexander Wang campaign starring his pals Zoe Kravitz and Max Motta shot (again!) by Dan Jackson and styled by Alastair McKimm. Check them out--if this doesn't get you in the mood for a little chill in the air, I don't know what will. xo

    01. Proenza Schouler

    02. Alexander Wang