kate spade

the spades

You know, it's funny, because I've been seeing the Kate Spade brand expand expand expand -- the jewelry, the fashion, outlet stores etc etc. And while I've been loving it (and even blogged about it here), there was a little part of me thinking hmmm, it just doesn't jive with the "we like to keep it small" philosophy I got from Kate when I interviewed her for an article for the Holt Renfrew magazine a couple of years ago. I shrugged it off thinking, well, I guess if you have such a good thing, you just go for it and pull out all the stops. So now I know the real truth. My hunch was right on the money. The Kate Spade and Jack Spade brands of today are neither of them. The whole kit and kaboodle is in the hands of the Liz Claiborne company. They cashed out. And they clearly did OK by the sale. Kate's living the life as a Park Ave Mommy, Andy's being the cool guy about town doing a lot of everything. Very Interesting! I can't believe I didn't know this until now! Don't think I'll blog about anything Kate Spade again -- 'cause every time I see something Kate Spade I'll always wonder -- but would Kate have liked/done this? -- and I'll never know the answer. Dang.

So now, for a moment just scroll back up and check out this pic of them in their Park Avenue place. Please. They kill me with their coolness. Art on every inch of wall, the gilt mirror, the fine furniture, the fresh colours. Hello -- dinosaurs on the table in the foreground! Andy's outfit: schlumpy cords, button-down and blazer, Kate in cheery yellow with retro bracelet sleeves. I have often thought how I would so love to be a guest at a party given by them. It would have the best music, the most interesting guests and a neverending supply of cocktails. And there would surely be dancing until the wee small hours.

To learn more about Kate and Andy and their biz check out this article in New York mag, which I found through my guilty pleasure The Fug Girls blog here.



kate spade's gold bows

Kate Spade is super cheeky. Interviewed her once for the Holt Renfrew mag. Met her and her cute hubby, Andy, at a Holts party. Love them. They live the life in NYC and do their best to make the world a happier, more stylish place.  Such a noble mission. Love them for it. Wish her web site shipped north of the 49th -- check out these pieces from her jewelry collection -- adorbs. Could be that the necklace is a touch de trop but it does make you smile, doesn't it? Sweet and perfect for a holiday party, just add LBD and hot date.


giving thanks

There are some days when I feel so happy and grateful that I do what I do. Today I was remembering a day like that 3 years ago. I think of it every year around this time. On the day, I awoke at 6 am and drove out to Oshawa -- I know, doesn't sound very good so far, but trust me, it gets better. The reason for the journey is that the good people at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden agreed to let me snip peonies for a story in STYLE AT HOME. So there I was, just after dawn on a glorious sunny June day, alone, save for the gardeners, snipping at least 5 buckets of peonies -- still not even making a dent in the garden's stunning collection.

I loaded all the buckets in my car and headed back to Toronto. I can only describe the experience of being in a small enclosed space with five buckets of peonies as aromatherapeutic bliss. Seriously, they should make a car air freshener out of pure peony essential oils -- it would eliminate road rage. As I was driving, it occured to me -- wow, this is my job! AMAZING!

When I got back to the city I delivered several buckets and a silver ice bucket vessel to Brad Currie of the now-gone-but-never-to-be-forgotten Fleur floral design. He designed the most staggeringly gorgeous giant display of peonies I have ever seen. I then took the rest of the peonies and prepared for the Peony story shoot the next day with photographer Virginia Macdonald. You can see most of the shots from that story in the Stying section of my site. The story ran in the June 2007 STYLE AT HOME. Here are a few more shots of current peony inspiration below.

And by the way, if you're free this weekend, why not visit the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden Peony Festival. Find all the info here.

Arrangement by Brad Currie. Photo by Virginia Macdonald.

I was so nuts for peonies that year that I bought this peony print jacket from Pearl River Mart in NYC. the day after the shoot I wore it and posed for this pic -- you can get a real sense of how huge the arrangement was!

You can't get the jacket any more at Pearl River, but they do have lots of other items in the peony print -- tote bags, folding camp stools (soooo perfect for Glamping!), and fabrics by the yard for just $13!

These are the peonies today in my Toronto garden (I didn't plant them). Hmmm, I have to say I really don't love this variety. Prefer the double-flowering ones and also don't like the overpowering yellow centres. 

this pic is from Kate Spade's web site here. She is a fellow peony-loving kindred spirit. I heart Kate.

And finally....

These are the withering blooms from my latest bittersweet peony assignment. I made these arrangements for the goodbye festivities for retiring longtime STYLE AT HOME ed-in-chief Gail Habs. These look wilted but still smell divine. I have a feeling we may keep them around as long as possible because letting them go kind of means, well, that Gail really isn't working with us anymore. It's a reality we are all quietly dealing with around the office this week. It's difficult. For my part, I am remembering that it's Gail who gave me the opportunity to work at a job that hands me plum assignments like playing with peonies and calling it "work". Thanks Gail.