Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Alexis Bittar Cluster Necklace

Alexis Bittar makes gorgeous jewelry, and lucky for me (and you!), Trocadero carries his line! My favorite piece at the moment is this oxidized silver double link necklace with aquamarine, green tiger's eye and iolite stones. Simple yet sophisticated, this necklace looks fantastic with an outfit as simple as a white tank top and navy cardigan or as fancy as a cocktail dress at a Spring wedding. And I should know--I had the pleasure of trying it on in the store yesterday, and, boy, was I reluctant to take it off! I recently celebrated my birthday and would've been more than thrilled to have received it as a gift.

Trocadero Happy Home: candles

Candles are a small but totally necessary luxury. Trocadero has an amazing selection of scents, sizes and styles of candles. In this edition of Trocadero Happy Home, we'll give you more insight into what you can find - and take home - during your next visit to Omaha's Old Market.

Trocadero Happy Home: candles

Diptyque candles - made famous in the pages of Vogue, on the set of Sex and the City and countless other places - are worth the hype. Diptyque's first scented candles (Aubépine, Cannelle and Thé) were made by Jean-Claude Bullens in 1963. A graduate of the school of perfumery in Versailles, Bullens was known as one of the best craftsmen in his field; his candles were a huge hit. The luscious scents, beautiful packaging and storied history make these candles a best seller still today. Trocadero carries a number of scents, including Violet, Sweetpea, Baies (clear and black glass), Figuier, Pomander, Verveine, Essence of John Galliano, Lavender, Fennel, Feu de Bois, and Rose Geranium.

Red Flower candles are beautifully packaged. In a variety of exotic scents, each candle comes toped with a fetching pile of dried blossoms that the user removes before burning. Trocadero carries a number of scents, including Icelandic Moonflower, Indian Jasmine, Japanese Peony, Italian Blood Orange, and Spanish Gardenia.

Interior designer Jonathan Adler is known for his stylish hotels and keen sense of interior design, so when he grew his line to include home products, everyone knew they'd be great. His candles are no exception. Long lasting and sweetly scented, you can find his simple and classic candles at Trocadero in scents named after some of his favorite destinations: Palm Beach, Shelter Island, Capri, and Big Sur.

For the man of style who likes a less feminine candle, consider Malin + Goetz. These have the stylish man aesthetic written all over them, and in scents like Dark Rum, Mojito and Cannabis, they're sure to please even the most discerning gentleman.

Finally, if you want a candle that not only smells great but looks different than all the rest, consider D.L. & Company. The pretty candles come in eye-catching glass holders that can be re-used after the wax is gone. The scents inside the glass cups are just as lovely: Thorn Apple (small and large), Lady Rhubarb (small, medium and large), Absinthe (small and large), Seaweed (etched decorative glass), Tuberose (medium), and Orange Blossom (medium). Trocadero carries them in a variety of sizes and gift sets, too.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Anne Black for Your Spring Flowers

There's an on-going feature in Trocadero Tidbits, our e-newsletter, called "45 Tips to Gear up for Spring." Last week we suggested you buy yourself some flowers to welcome the arrival of Spring. But now that you've purchased yourself some beautifully colorful flowers, like Anemones, Crocuses and Irises, where should you store them? Trocadero has the perfect solution: vases by Anne Black Ceramics. Handmade in Copenhagen, these small and simple Scandanavian-designed vases are fantastic vessels to display individual flowers. The purple and red designs available at the store were silkcreen printed and applied by hand. Perfect for everyday use, I think they look terrific when bunched together. Consider creating a lovely tableau on your dining room table with 3 Anne Black vases each with 3 flowers. Make sure you trim the stems even shorter than in the above photo so that the flowers sit just above the vase opening.

Hello, Spring!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Omaha Steak and an Ear of Corn...to go!

Let's just say we're totally addicted to Kidrobot's newest zipper pulls to arrive at Trocadero. It's not hard when you see what we're talking about. An ear of corn? A Ribeye steak wearing a fedora and pair of boots? C'mon! They're just way too adorable to resist. Today my friend came in and purchased three to add to her Harajuku Lovers bag from Trocadero. With a cute ice cream cone charmattached to her bag, the three new zipper pulls of an ear of corn, tea cup with sugar cube and a lemon with straw, just added more to the "kawaii"-ness of these irresistible treats. Every day it's a challenge to not tear open a box to see what's inside. Luckily we have wonderfully generous customers who open their boxes at the counter so we can see what they got! And of course, everyone loves our "free trade" policy. We want people to be happy with the zipper pull they get. Which also means once in a while we let ourselves open up some more boxes so that there are more to trade from. Really, we're just making it easier for our customers. Really. It's not like we enjoy opening those boxes or anything...Don't you believe us?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Trocadero pick: modern monograms

I love monograms. Whether it be a monogrammed cardigan (I got my first one in eighth grade), monogrammed luggage or, in this case, monogrammed jewelry, I covet it all. Trocadero has a lovely selection of high-end monogrammed jewelry, but the sort of modern, wearable looks that will last a lifetime instead of just a season.

Trocadero pick: the modern monogram

Trocadero stocks Ginette_NY's now classic monogram styles in both the subtle engraved disc version and the more dramatic lace monogram, which is my personal favorite. Alice loves Helen Ficalora pieces - as do many of the other girls in the store - and the monogrammed initial discs look modern next to the other pieces Alice chose to carry, including horseshoes, paw prints, zodiac charms and puffy hearts. These charms, which come with or without diamonds - are simply made for stacking and wearing every single day.

Logos and Love

It seems like the art of hand written notes and letter writing has become sadly a very infrequent part of our weekly routine. But we'd like to change that at Trocadero! And it's not hard when you see the beauty of Bernard Maisner's handcrafted signature calligraphy cards. His "tree cards" are special works of art and make beautiful gifts on their own. With simple sayings of "Best Wishes," "Love," and "Happy Birthday," these cards are perfect when celebrating special anniversaries, events and birthdays.

I first heard of Bernard when I was living in NYC and my colleague Brooke had her wedding invitations created by Mr. Maisner. They were some of the most visually stunning works of art I had ever seen. The calligraphy just blew me away; I still have my handwritten envelope (as well as the invitation itself). Who knew that five months later I would have Bernard, himself, create the logo for my new store, Trocadero. I feel lucky to have found Bernard's exquisite art; he adds another unique touch to my store that is very personal. At Trocadero, we carry his tree cards in addition to his box set of "crown" cards. During the holidays we also have a small assortment of individual greeting cards that are, again, so very unique in that Bernard Maisner sort of way. Check out his website as well and see some of his custom work. Another thing we like: we read in a great Q&A with Bernard for the AIGA that he did the original window logo of one of the best pizza joints in NYC: Una Pizza Napoletana.  And a final little bit of trivia: Bernard has also been seen on the wide screen in movies like Sleepy Hollow, as the hand of Johnny Depp when he is seen writing.

The Perfect Gift to Give and Receive

If you're looking for a great gift under $100, my pick is this great "hat box" set of six candles from D.L. & Company. They make some of the most visually aesthetic candles in truly interesting scents like rhubarb and absinthe. This special set includes the 1 oz size candles of six scents: Lady Rhubarb, Black Thorn Apple, Angels Trumpet, Pink Pepper, Violet Absolu and Amber. I'm a big fan of packaging and I love the black box and satin ribbon and of course the actual scalloped edges of the candle pot. After the wax has melted you can reuse the small pots for trinkets like rings and earrings or put a tea light in them and use it as a votive. If you're a fan of absinthe, unfortunately this gift set does not include that scent but it is available at Trocadero in the new 2 oz size. It's a great value for under $50 and again, the scent is intoxicatingly good! Plus, the individual D.L. & Company candles have the signature pleated paper sealed with a decorative sticker inside that makes opening the candle a true visual gift to boot!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Trocadero loves Alex and Ani

Even before I started working at Trocadero, I was in love with Alex and Ani's genius expandable bangles. The first purchase I made after Alice's store opened was a set of three gold bangles to add to my collection. Everything about these bracelets is just grand.

Trocadero Pick: Alex & Ani

As a girl with a small wrist, Alex and Ani's patented design is what first caught my attention. The designers replaced the traditional concept of a clasp with a sliding mechanism, making each piece completely adjustable to the wearer's wrist. When you first put one on your wrist, you'll get it. The bracelets stretch to fit over the larger part of your hand and then spring back to a size that hugs your wrist perfectly, whatever its size. In both Russian gold and Russian silver, the bracelets come in a variety of sets: plain bangles, textured bangles, thin and thick widths and many adorned with charms, stones or vintage beads.

Trocadero sells many varieties of the sets, and Alice also has single bangles available in gold and silver with a variety of charms, including Zodiac symbols and Alex and Ani's signature "love" charm. If you can't decide between silver and gold, the store also has mixed sets that include both Russian silver and gold together.

Giuseppe to Go-go-go!!!

This is the new two-tone shoe from Giuseppe Zanotti with the zip-up back and everyone is going crazy for it. The colors are so ladylike, a blush paired with black, but the open cut-out sides and of course the zipper give it a rock and roll, "not so ladylike afterall" look. What can we say, WE HEART IT! It also comes on a lower heel instead of the super high ones that are available at other retailers. While I love a high heel, I think this one is definitely more sensible to wear literally all day long. I don't know about you, but it seems like these days I cannot last more than 3 hours in a high heel if it doesn't have a platform.

I am loving, however, the trick I heard from one of my customers. She mentioned that she has what is called a "met bar" attached to the bottom of her high heels. It's something we mentioned in our last Tidbits newsletter and it's an inch-wide horizontal pad attached to the bottom of the shoe so the pressure is more on the back of the ball of the foot. I am definitely going to have to check this out. In all my years working in magazines and using top shoe repair places like "Shoe Service Plus," who would have thought a little cobbler in Omaha, NE would have the answer to making high heels comfortable? Andy's Shoe Repair is the place and it's at 4954 Grover (402-558-1030).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let's Hang!

Today we received the newest addition to Trocadero's Kidrobot collection: Let's Hang. Like eager children on Christmas morning, Alice, Helen and I ripped open a couple of boxes to see what adorable 1-inch soft-vinyl zipper pulls we'd get. The thing about Let's Hang, as well as the rest of Kidrobot's toys, is that they come in blind boxes. This means that you don't know if you're going to get a happy husk of corn, a double-scoop ice-cream cone, a rib-eye with a fedora or any of the other 23 cute companions by illustrator Aaron Meshon.

Truth be told, at first I didn't understand the allure of the Kidrobot toys. After all, I'm hardly a kid -- why do I need to play with toys? But after I opened my first box -- sad toast from the Yummy Breakfast collection -- I was hooked. The thrill of finding out what's inside the little cardboard box is addictive.

It's like taking a gamble for just $5 a pop that ALWAYS has a positive outcome!

Sleep tight thanks to Trocadero

Full disclosure: I bought a Kikkerland mood light sound machine as a baby shower gift. I also bought an adorable Holly's of Copenhagen clover onesie in red (for a baby girl with a daddy who is a huge Nebraska Cornhuskers fan.) I happily gave the onesie away.

But the sound machine was something I just couldn't part with.

After bringing it home from one of my shifts at Trocadero, I sat looking at it, all boxed up on my floor for a few days. Finally, I bit the bullet, tore it out of its wrapper, put in some batteries and set it on my nightstand. I'm not a troubled sleeper - at least not when I'm at home - but my full-time job requires me to travel quite a bit. I love visiting other places, but in a foreign bed in a sterile hotel room, sometimes I could use some help. The Kikkerland machine is small enough to fit easily in my carry-on bag, runs on batteries, so no extra outlets will be necessary and has a built-in timer function, so you can sleep to soothing sounds and soft light for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or indefinitely.

The machine comes with four soothing sound options: falling rain, rolling waves with or without the sound of seagulls and dolphins or a babbling brook, which is the one I like best.

You can either turn on the light to your favorite hue (white, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink or red) or do what I do, and press the top of the machine down until the colors begin to cycle through into an ever-changing rainbow. You can also set the machine to do just one function - sound or light only.

After falling asleep last night to a very soft sound of water, I have to say, the machine is soothing investment (even though my fiance thinks it's goofy.) It would also be great for a new baby - so much so that I might buy another one for the next shower I'm invited to.

And, at under $40, it's a gift for yourself or someone else that won't put a dent in your pocketbook.

Get your motor running

It isn't hard to crave this Botkier moto-clutch crossbody bag. Everyday at least one of us (today was Christine's turn as she models the moto-clutch above) tries it on and thinks of a million things to wear it with. Actually Sarah chose the mint green bag as one of her items in her Polyvore layouts seen here. I had her explain to me what exactly this site was and I am amazed at how many items she has found on that site that are available at the Troc.

I know I am curious to see how many more layouts Sarah will come up with. Maybe one day I will log on myself and create some new Trocadero looks for Spring/Summer.

Speaking of store models: today Kathleen happened to wear her cute colorful dress that reminded us all of our new Bond No. 9 "Brooklyn" scent display. We couldn't resist showing her in her perfectly matched dress with our display case along with the bottle. Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All that Glitters

When I was first was introduced to Glamo-Glitz, a multi-use cosmetic dust from Scarlett Cosmetics, I was a bit skeptical.  I guess it's something you just have to try because Scarlett herself gave us each a Glamo-Glitz to test out. I chose Medusa, a dark yellow-green, and have been wearing it ever since either over eyeshadow or by itself. I was happily surprised that the glitter doesn't irritate my contacts, and after further research, I learned that Glamo-Glitz is mineral-based and talc-free. It can be used wet or dry, and can be worn as mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lip shimmer or body shimmer. Talk about practical makeup! Today I brushed on Creamsicle over my trusty Medusa and was very pleased at how well the colors blended together to create my very own personal look. And we carry 12 different Glamo-Glitzs to choose from. But don't just listen to me rave, you have to try it for yourself....it's the Scarlett way. 

Trocadero Shops Your Closet: The LBD edition

Everyone, no matter what her style, has a "LBD," or a Little Black Dress, hiding somewhere in the depths of her closet. In this edition of Trocadero Shops Your Closet, we tackle this simple item that can go from day to night, work to cocktails, simple to simply fantastic with the addition of just a few accessories.

Trocadero shops your closet: LBD

First, we'll tackle the day look, which offers options for the weekend or workday. We chose an eye-catching bag, the Botkier "James" Tote, in a vibrant purple - it's roomy enough to carry all your datyime essentials but does it while looking great. For the weekend look, we paired the dress with Marc by Marc Jacobs' whimsical Miss Marc Flat in neutral grey and white stripes. If you're headed to the office, these Sigerson Morrison patent open toe kitten heels are workday ready but still show off a spring pedicure. Finish your look with a fun but professional Pluma feather headband and a spritz or three of Bond No. 9's Scent of Peace.

In our night look, we went sexy. Either shoe here - the Giuseppe Zanotti sandal bootie in blush and black patent or the Brian Atwood "Lidia Self" sandal in soft black suede - will be an eye-catcher during your date night or girls night. The bag and jewelry work with either look: a zap of electric blue comes courtesy of Anya Hindmarch and her pleated patent "Ivo" clutch. Kara by Kara Ross finishes off this after-dark look with one of her signature two-petal flower rings, which are a modern take on the classic knuckle-duster style.

Of course, you can find all of these accessories at Trocadero, in Omaha's Old Market, where any of the stylistas will be more than happy to help you put together a look for your spring wardrobe.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Anya's "I'm not a plastic bag"...part two!

We love Anya Hindmarch for her classic and ladylike but whimsical and elegant handbags. I know that's a mouthful but really it's hard to sum up the simplicity of her designs along with the ultra sophistication but with a smidgen of whimsy or playfulness. Right now we have her brand new canvas bags hanging in the window at the Troc. They're this year's version of "I'm Not A Plastic Bag," the total runaway sensation that Anya created back in 2007 (article and photo courtesy of Time magazine). Back when I was an editor I received one of the first samples and I must admit it was like owning a prized pony!

Now her new and improved version of the eco-chic bag has lots of upgrades like leather handles and gold hardware that say "Anya Hindmarch" on it. And of course there is the signature Anya "bow" at the top. We have the Dairy (pink), Fruit and Veg (orange) and Meat and Poultry (blue).  It's definitely covetable, don't you think? Which one is your favorite? I am feeling the "Dairy" one, myself. But with only limited quantities of all three totes, I don't think I'll be able to snag one for myself. I'm definitely not an accessories director anymore!

Summer scarves are here!

Of all the accessories in the world, scarves are one of my favorites. In fact, about a month ago I decided to try and organize my scarf collection only to learn that I had close to 75 scarves in my apartment! If I were to add one more to the already vast pile, I'd have to add one of these Yarnz scarves that Alice bought for Trocadero.

A scarf seems like such a simple thing - just a square of fabric - but in reality, a lot goes into it: weight, length, how it feels against your skin and of course, what it looks like. The ivory peacock feather design we ordered in a light cashmere hits all the perfect notes: it's big enough to tie a number of different ways, feels great against your skin and is lightweight enough to be worn in summer but still warm enough to protect your bare shoulders from chilly central air conditioning that will soon be blasting all over Omaha.

I tied this scarf in my favorite way for the photo on the left, by doubling it in half and pulling the ends through the loop, but it also looks great worn wrapped around the neck or even tied in a long, loose knot.
The pattern shows through no matter how it's tied, and its both subtle and colorful at once. The perfect wear-every day piece.

If you're more of a plain scarf lady, don't worry. A selection of summer weight Mai Scarves, made of a 50/50 blend of linen and cashmere arrived in the store this week, in midori green and onyx.
Solid 100 percent cashmere scarves by Mai are available, too. As spring progresses, the store will get even more great new scarf designs, so stop by and tie one on for yourself.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pade Vavra Jewelry

So after my shift Sunday at Trocadero, I came home with a gorgeous bottle of Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polish in Black Russian and an equally gorgeous Pade Vavra ring that I am bonkers over.

Alice is brilliant at choosing jewelry that is both on-trend and affordable; her new costume pieces by Vavra and the Kara by Kara Ross line are worth taking a gander at. Celebrities like Rachel Bilson, Cameron Diaz, Lauren Conrad and Demi Moore sport these jewelry designs; plan to stop in the store if you want a new eye-catching bauble for spring.

Here's my ring. There's more equally gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pieces to be had in the store now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Role Play Rene

This past Thursday was the party celebrating my friend, the shoe designer Brian Atwood's new book called Role Play Rene, featuring model-turned-actress Rene Russo in provocative poses with Jon Kortajarena shot by Tony Duran. While my RSVP to the event was an unfortunate "No," (I had to stay in Omaha to sell Brian Atwood shoes!), it didn't mean I wasn't anxious to see what the book was all about. I had received a rather large size poster of Rene a while back previewing what was to be revealed. These photos are all taken from Blackbookmag.com and I especially like the photo above as they are the exact style shoe that Brian first gave me back when I was an editor. Here they are: the above shoe but in turquoise.It was my first pair of Brian Atwood heels.

I find Brian's shoes to be incredibly sexy and feminine and I only hope that more people discover what a true talent he is.
Clearly something happened the week before at the Troc when three women purchased the same shoe and two others purchased their first pair of Brian Atwoods.

The Eta slingback in mocha suede with the oval crystal brooch is one of the most timeless, elegant styles I have ever seen. It's too bad that I sold the 37.5, 37 and 36.5 all in the span of three days to prevent me from ever owning that shoe! I absolutely adore the gray snakeskin pump because of its incredible toe cleavage and I already snagged that pair for myself when it first arrived. The Dorian in purple satin is the most show-stopping evening shoe and I know that the women who have purchased it will forever have it in their closets and it will be passed down through generations of daughters, nieces and granddaughters. It's that special!

I leave you with a couple more images of Role Play Rene...and a last look at Rene when she used to be a Vogue cover model....back in 1976 (photo courtesy of ebay.com)! I think she looks hotter today at age 55. What do you think?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We are loving Rescue Beauty Lounge

It’s definitely Spring according to the calendar and the new product arrivals this week from Bond No. 9 (new scent: Brooklyn!), shoes from Marc by Marc Jacobs (Miss Marc patent striped ballets!!) and bags from Anya Hindmarch (the cutest canvas totes of veggies, meat/poultry or dairy!!!). With all the new open-toed sandals and brightly colored bags, we just want to show off freshly manicured and pedicured hands and toes (to show off the new shoes and bags of course!). And we really just want to try all the colors from Rescue Beauty Lounge that we have. Right now I am wearing alternating fingernails of “Grunge” and “Black Russian” while PJ is sporting “Stormy.” I am getting ready to take some polish remover and use my new “Cotton Clouds” from NYC (my favorite from Duane Reade that Christine brought back for me as I am unable to find it in Omaha!) so that I can start wearing a new color. Perhaps it’ll be “Purple Haze” (shown above) or else “Plié,” a wonderful pink beige that is reminiscent of a classic ballet slipper. Oh, the decision!