Monday, August 24, 2009

Feels Like Fall

Into The Woods

The weather in Omaha this past weekend was unseasonably cool. Rather than melting from sweltering 90 degree days, we enjoyed early-Fall-like temperatures in the low-to-mid 70s. As I pulled on my jean jacket over my sundress, I got to thinking about what I plan to wear when the season officially changes to Autumn. I'm looking forward to bundling myself in warm, rich colors and materials, such as flannel, and accessorizing with camel, hunter green, maroon and navy shoes and handbags. For some reason, whenever I think about Fall, I envision camping and hunting in the woods, sitting around the fire making s'mores at night. Let it be known that I've never done any of these things in my life, but a girl can daydream, can't she?

In an ideal world, I'd carry my red Rafe clutch inside my sage L.A.M.B "Alwar" tote and wear my L.A.M.B. Rosebury booties with opaque tights when I went to work. On the weekends I'd make the boots more casual by pairing them with a pair of skinny jeans and Kara by Kara Ross hoop earrings, which remind me of tree branches. Of course I'd have to burn a Diptyque Feu De Bois candle because it smells like a wood-burning fire!

What does Fall make you think of?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Black Beauty

As Fall slowly creeps around the corner, the weather is getting cooler and the clothes are getting heavier. I was searching through my closet yesterday and I realized how crazy it seemed that I was searching for my black Ugg boots and a long sleeve shirt... in the middle of August! I figured, though, since I can't change the weather, I might as well change my clothing. This Fall season, prepare to make a bold statement with a great pair of black boots from the Troc. The boots pictured above range in sizes, style, and price. From the Giuseppe Zanotti thigh-high leather tie boots to the Botkier ruffled ankle boots, this trend covers a wide range. You can dress them up with tights and a mini dress or tone them down with a pair of skinny-leg jeans and a comfy tee. Either way, these black boots will turn your outfit from drab to fab.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scholastic Rock n' Roll

My favorite trend of the season is STUDS. I love their rough aspect paired with soft leather and the rocker facade they provide for any outfit a studded accessory is paired. Unfortunately academia doesn't cater to the rocker in all of us when trips to the library are more important than the latest show at Slowdown. Therefore I have put together a collection of items that say rebellion while secretly hiding your Calculus textbook.

Back to School
My favorite and most affordable item is the Jonathan Wright and Company bookplates each blessed with an individual skull and crossbones and a dose of latin. I can't wait to add some rebellious flair to my boring and beat-up trapper keepers in class. I also am in love with the "Kate" bag (I swear no bias) from MZ Wallace. Originally intended for a diaper bag this brilliant tote has pockets for every pencil, pen, and protractor as well as plenty of room for that brand new environmentally safe Macbook your parents gifted you for graduation. The sleek Botkier clutch also doubles as a perfect pencil pouch or makeup bag for those school days turned late, late nights.

I'm dreading leaving the cobblestoned streets of the Old Market to return to the foothills of Appalachia for school but hopefully with some of these items in tow it will make the transition a little more glam-rock.

Mojito Madness!

The mojito, a traditional Cuban highball, is one of my favorite summertime drinks. It was also a favorite of author Ernest Hemingway! According to the website Taste of Cuba, this is the mojito recipe that Hemingway enjoyed at La Bodeguita del Medio in Havana, Cuba, the supposed birthplace of the mojito.

1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Juice from 1 lime (2 ounces)
4 mint leaves
1 sprig of mint
Havana Club white Rum (2 ounces)
2 ounces club soda

While we can't mix you a drink at the Troc, we can offer you Malin + Goetz's mojito-scented candles and mojito soap sets, featuring individual bars of peppermint, rum and lime soap. Almost as good as the real thing!

What is your favorite beverage to sip during the summer?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Trocadero Top Twenty

It's mid-August but surprisingly it seems as if everyone is back-to-school already. What happened to summer vacation? I'd like to take a cue from the Europeans and be on holiday the whole month of August but in the real world of the U.S.A., it seems like summer break has been cut short and everyone is in back-to-school mode. That also means that the shops are full of fall/winter merchandise even though most of the nation is in 80-100 degree weather.

At the Troc, we have our first shipments of fall. In the coming weeks we'll have our website up and running with all our new fall merchandise from Botkier, L.A.M.B., Marc by Marc Jacobs, Rafe, Be & D, Harajuku Lovers, Anya Hindmarch and much more.

In this week's Trocadero Tidbits newsletter, we featured the story, "The Trocadero Top Twenty" which is our picks for the trends in which you should BUY, SEARCH, SKIP or INVEST. I think the key to shopping during this downward economy is to follow those words above and use our guide to make wise purchasing decisions. We know how hard you work for your money and we want to make sure your dollar goes a long way.

Tune in each week as we reveal more tips until you're all set with our TOP TWENTY. Happy Shopping!

The Trocadero Top Twenty: Our Must-Have Items To Get You Through The Fall Fashion Season

20. It's not just the temperature outside that's stuck in the 80s. The decade of excess, shoulder pads, neon, metallic studding, leggings and acid washed jeans are all back in full fashion force. Just be careful not to pile it all on at once or you'll risk looking like a true fashion victim. Search for a vintage 80s strong-shoulder blazer in your closet (or your Mom's) or at a thrift/consignment shop (like Esther's on 75th St. north of Pacific), buy inexpensive leggings in black, metallics or neons at Target or American Apparel, skip the acid washed jeans (or just bleach an old pair at home) and invest in a studded accessory (because trust me, this trend will always come back every few years). We love this look from Balmain (above) and this Be & D shoulder bag available right now at the Troc.

19. Nothing is more polished this season than a crisp white cotton button shirt. The good thing is that this style is available almost everywhere at every price. If you're prone to spilling and yellowing underarms, stick to more throwaway shirts that you can ditch after a season or two. I love the Simply Vera by Vera Wang one from Kohl's with a tuxedo-style front pleating detail.

18. Black tie isn't just for after-hours. Whether it's double-breasted, black, with a notched lapel or my personal favorite: the shawl-collar, a tuxedo jacket is a fresh, new look to pair with a feminine, flirty mini skirt or pair of skinny leggings or jeans. There are tons of designer versions out there to invest in from Stella McCartney, Thakoon, See by Chloe and others. This is a great classic jacket that is current but great to have for years to come so I'd say spend the money and get a really fabulous one if you can.

17. Look Ma, No Hands! This season it's all about the hands-free bag. Whether it's a messenger-style large tote or one that is big enough to just hold the essentials, a cross-body bag is something every wardrobe should have. And at the Troc we have many styles from L.A.M.B., MZ Wallace and Anya Hindmarch (coming soon). Here, is the Paige from MZ Wallace...we love it in this black color but the nutmeg is equally delicious.

16. Steal from Dad's closet. It's all about menswear this fall season so take a cue from Daddy dearest and incorporate some of his houndstooth, herringbone and pinstripe patterns into your own closet. While you might not be able to physically wear his clothes, at least steal the inspiration. At least grab a tie (one size fits all). There's a reason why ex-NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani stopped me on a street corner when I was wearing a navy blazer, white shirt, tie and khaki...shorts. Ok, so maybe the shorts was the real reason (he and his whole crew were wearing my same look minus the shorts). I like menswear mixed with some femininity (in my case it was the shorts). But for fall, I would pair it with a wool pencil skirt, bermudas, a pair of high heel pumps. You get the idea. Just don't be afraid to embrace your testosterone.

*These next tips from Tidbits 08.26.09*

15. Make a Statement. A "wow" necklace can really make an entrance and truly transform any hum-drum outfit. Think multi-strand chains, chunky, bauble styles in jewel tone colors to complement fall's earth tones when searching for the right piece. We love this one from Kara by Kara Ross (available at Trocadero) and would pair it with a tweed blazer, crisp blouse, slim jeans and an oxford bootie. For more of our styling tips, check out our Personal Stylist page of our website.

14. Get your motor running. We've been talking about it for months and yes, it's true...the biker jacket is the key piece to own. If you find a fabulous one at a thrift store, grab it while you can. Otherwise, there are plenty of choices both online and in stores so just search for one that suits you and your budget. Wear it with something softer on bottom such as a satin knee-length skirt or sweater dress.

13. Be like Sporty Spice. While we might live in a more Posh Spice-centric, a.k.a. Victoria Beckham, world, rugby stripes, polo shirts, shorts and sneakers look equally at home next to fur trim, rhinestones, satins and boucle suits. Incorporate and layer the pieces to create rugged ladylike silhouettes or preppy glamour looks.
This L.A.M.B. "Lambert" tote is one of our favorite bags at the Troc for its versatile handheld and long shoulder strap. And of course for its sporty stripes. It's ample size is large enough to fit a laptop and some some knee pad guards for that rugby game after work.

12. Up, up and away! The over-the-knee boot this season is almost like a second skin, especially if you live in colder climates (hello, can we say O-M-A-H-A in December thru February?). Good thing that the Troc has come prepared to offer the bomb of a boot from Joie: the black Caravan double-zipper thigh high leather style. Most of the boots on the runway are on a heel but we love the fact that this is practical, chic, oh-so-stylish, super cool and most importantly FLAT. We're counting the days when it arrives on our doorstep courtesy of our awesome UPS man, Bob. He's almost as much as the bomb as the boots. Here, a sneak peak. And if you're worried because you're petite, have no fear: this boot looked great on Kim from Joie who is not much taller than 5'2". But if you need a heel, we do have these incredible Giuseppe Zanotti thigh-high boots on a hidden platform heel.

11. Show some shoulder.
It's a season about showing some skin. Whether it's a mini dress or skirt or the one shoulder or one sleeve top or dress, the designers want you to liberate your legs and your arms. Remember Freida Pinto at the Oscars (in John Galliano)? For fall, Oscar de la Renta showcased a few gorgeous dresses with the bare shoulder look, such as this stunning jewel tone one at left. If you want to do the ultimate one-two punch: this Emilio Pucci hot pink mini dress with one sleeve will do double, or triple duty (the hot pink makes it a trifecta).

Meet Team Trocadero: KATE

This month we were lucky to have our out-of-state intern, Kate, join the Troc. Sadly, it seems that time does indeed fly by and we seem to already be at the close of an incredibly active month. Kate learned not only about the brands of Trocadero but also the buying, merchandising and selling of all our items, the joy of the Troc required film list and last but not least, the art of the Tiffany bow. Here, we find out a little bit about Kate before she ventures back to the Buckeye state...

Favorite film right now? The Thomas Crown Affair. I watched the remake with Pierce Brosnan and Faye Dunaway not realizing there was an "original one" (found out in a magazine fashion spread, surprise). I was drawn to the complete honesty of the characters and found Rene Russo's character captivating. (*ed note: The Thomas Crown Affair, 1968 is on the Trocadero Required Film List for its continuing influence in fashion)

How would you describe your personal style in one sentence? A grown-up child, with accessories from Dad and silhouettes from Mom.

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be right now? Although cliché, the streets of Paris completely immersed in culture.

My Troc pick-of-the-month: Definitely the Bed & D studded bag or the matching wallet!

My guilty pleasure is:

My favorite item of clothing in my closet: A white and grey sweater that I bought at a thrift store for a unicorn costume and ended up integrating into my wardrobe.

Current fashion icon? Zooey Deschanel

If I had 36 hours in Omaha, I would: Go to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning in the Old Market then sit and people watch at La Buvette right next door. Omaha is a mecca for thrifting and I recommend Bellwether Boutique (local designers with an art gallery along with cheap finds), Second Chance (the basement is a secret find filled with vintage clothes, accessories and luggage), Retro and the Flying Worm (cool boots and faded tees). And I'd never pass up eating an itchy seabass roll at Blue Sushi downtown. And if you're into live music, head over to the Slowdown or catch an indie, docu (like Food, Inc.) or classic flick at Film Streams.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Season's change

Fall is--and always has been--my favorite season. Come mid-August I'm already itching to put on sweaters and boots, to snuggle in an over sized scarf and to start my yearly slew of knitting projects (a huge shawl and a cabled scarf are on my needles as we speak.) Last Sunday at Trocadero I noticed a hint of season's change in the air; the bright hues of summer are slowly being exchanged for the rich hues of fall.

Rich Hues

Touches of navy--in M.Z. Wallace and L.A.M.B. handbags, in Giuseppe Zanotti pumps--caught my eye. Some fetching new pieces from Kara Ross' line in rich gold, navy and emerald stood out in the jewelry case. A set of ten aubergine-hued Rescue Beauty Lounge fingernails suddenly felt of the moment, especially when one has a matching bag in hand. New styles from Botkier fit the bill. A buttery soft flat--again from Giuseppe--with a shiny gold capped toe felt new when I thought of wearing it with thick ribbed tights and a tweedy blazer.
Here's to fall!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rock and Roll Lifestyle

I have been totally inspired by the rock and roll-inspired editorial spreads filling the September issues so far. Motorcycle chic isn't my go-to style--I'm much more of a vintage modern gal--and the only item in my closet that even approaches this aesthetic is my Diane von Furstenberg navy blue motorcycle jacket. I think it'll be seeing a lot more wear this season, and I'm definitely hoping to pair it with some of the amazing studded pieces Alice has in the store this fall.
Studs and Chains

I swooned over the Be & D "Colette," pictured at the bottom left, which Trocadero has in black with a silver chain handle. The leather is butter-soft, and its one of those pieces that has to be seen in person to truly appreciate. The Be & D "Garbo" clutch, which Alice bought in gunmetal and nickel, has a long chain strap hidden inside; it embraces two of fall's biggest trends in one.

The best thing about this trend is that, even if your style verges on the conservative or lady-like, a piece with a harder edge can still work - check out Botkier's more gentle take on the stud trend with the champagne "Marcel" bag (another long chain strap, too!) and its rose gold "Studio" clutch. Instead of overpowering a softer look, these two bags will just bring a touch of your inner biker chic to the surface.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Farmer's Market Saturdays

Last week we received our first shipment from a new vendor...Flip & Tumble eco-chic foldable totes. Their name describes the way these lightweight ripstop nylon bags fold up and turn into a convenient ball to stow in a handbag, tote, glove compartment, suitcase, etc. At the Troc, we carry them in bright, cheerful color combinations as seen in our window, expertly decorated by PJ and Kate. Do you notice the gorgeous cut out fruits and veggies that Kate painstakingly created for our windows? Who said an intern's job was thankless? We also have two cute patterned ones: this brown tote with an image of a pink bicycle and another brown tote with the image of little birdies. With both the plain and patterned totes priced under $15, these are great gifts to give and receive. And, the perfect carryall for local farmer's market shopping. Or a trip to the pool. Though today it looks like Omaha's weather is not cooperating with either. Torrential rain and thundershowers this morning woke me up at the crack of dawn. Which makes me think about those See by Chloe rain boots we have on order (see August 11th's post). Too bad Italy is closed for the month of August! That means we won't be receiving our shipment of boots until September. If you don't have a proper (and cool-looking rain boot), definitely stop into the Troc to pick up a pair of See by Chloe ones. They'll make you wish for rainy days.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jewels in the 'hood

Lately I've been wearing a medley of necklaces and have received many compliments from friends and strangers alike. I don't usually change my jewelry up as often as I would like to or even recommend to others. And judging by my repeat wearing of this four-necklace combo, I am clearly someone who gets stuck in a rut...even if it's somewhat stylish!

The necklace I wear everyday is my 24 inch 14 kt gold twist chain from Helen Ficalora with A, H, K and "Project Sunshine" charms from her and then a gold vintage dice charm given to me by my friend Heather Severs, the Accessories Director for Town & Country, when I left NYC for Nebraska. She said it was for luck. I love the gold paired with the white beads and ribbon necklace on a nude "bra-strap" from Prada, one of my purchases one season in Milan during the shows. The third necklace to be added to this grouping was an old Judith Leiber pillcase necklace encrusted with Swarovski crystals with a coin purse closure with peridot and garnet.
And then the last piece is a sterling silver camera pendant that I bought at the Gallery of Functional Art in Santa Monica on my July visit to L.A. It was the perfect length to work with the other three and I also liked the idea of showcasing how mixing metals can really look beautiful together.

Speaking of mixing metals...I was in Vegas for the shoe show and Kaitlyn from Joie was wearing an armful of Alex and Ani expandable bracelets. I loved how she embraced mixing the textures, the metals, the different materials. We love carrying the Alex and Ani line at Trocadero -- they make such a great gift both for oneself and for bridesmaids, friends, wives and teenagers too. We've sold out of many of the single charm bracelets but they're on reorder for fall. We can't wait to get more of them in. But in the meantime, come by and check out what we have currently in stock. And while you're at it, you can view our exclusive Helen Ficalora Sterling Silver Collection. I don't know anyone who doesn't love the simplicity and charming prettiness of Helen Ficalora's initial pendants. And at a recession-friendly price tag of only $50 per alphabet charm and $35 for a 16 inch chain and $40 for an 18 inch, it makes a great under $100 gift.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's Raining Umbrellas...and Boots

I was just recently in Las Vegas shopping for shoes for Spring 2010 for Trocadero. Needless to say, it's rather difficult to look at styles to buy for 6-7 months from now when Fall 2009 shoes haven't really even hit the sales floor yet. Yes, while the big cities already have winter coats, fall thigh high boots and fur trimmed jackets in the windows of their major department stores, it's like Omaha hasn't really had its summer yet in many ways. The weather has been rather mild, albeit we've had some hot and humid ones as of late. But all in all, this has been a summer that has been marked with unmemorable dramatic weather patterns.

While I was in Vegas I walked through the Palazzo Hotel, the beautiful newish tower adjacent to the Venetian. In the shopping area of the Palazzo, outside of the Barneys New York is this amazing decorative spectacle of colorful umbrellas against a backdrop of a waterfall. I'm not often taken aback by these visions; I usually walk on by and go about my business. But this time I was truly struck by the beauty of these open umbrellas. I stood there like a Japanese tourist (in fact, there was one right in front of me taking photographs as well!), whipping out my point and shoot and taking a couple of shots to keep the memory alive.

With Fall right around the corner, Marie took some time before she left for London (speaking of rain!) to create a Polyvore paying homage to the Trench Coat called FRENCH & TRENCH. I love the images she picked: from the memorable Audrey Hepburn in her trench coat to stylish icon, Kate Moss, in hers alongside chic accessories (all available at Trocadero of course!) that are perfect for foul-weather. This layout reminds me of the great rain boots we have coming in from See by Chloe. In two-tone gray with taupe as well as taupe with lavender, these are the rain boots you want to own and wear. Just because it's raining and dreary outside does not mean one should trade style for comfort. In a torrential rain storm or just a simple light thunder shower, we'd find any excuse to put these cute rain boots on.

As for umbrellas, we love the ones from Kaneko. This Omaha-based sculptor has graced his modern colorful, patterns and designs on a genius one-button open and close umbrella. The handle is like a work of art and for $50, is a great way to own a piece of Kaneko at a fraction of the cost of a large-scale piece of his (well over $100,000+). The umbrella comes with a great matching tote ($295) and both items are available at Trocadero as well as at the Kaneko.