FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

J-Crew

FASHION | Travel To The South of France + Spain

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SHIRT | EARRINGS | JACKET | HEELS | HAT | BATHING SUIT | SKIRT

I've finally settled our itinerary for our upcoming trip to France and Spain this May. It's going to be a bit of a splurge, but something well deserved for the both of us. The next step is planning our activities each day. I'm set on horseback riding in the Camargue region while we're in Arles, and the theme of the trip will be based around modernist painters, ones in particular; Cezanne, Van Gogh, Chagall, Renoir, Picasso and Dali, with visits to house museums and such. Another big part of our trip will be Cannes (which is also the main reason why we're going). My husband's student thesis film was submitted to Cannes and accepted! It is not likely that we will be rubbing noses with the stars, but we will have passes to the festival and I believe access to the shows. We are still finalizing those details. Another great concern for me, being a lady, is what will I pack and what will I wear for all of these marvelous activities?! Horseback riding is dirty stinky activity (although the smell is pleasing to me) and Cannes will probably include some put-together date night ensembles. I can't help myself but pull some inspiration from my favorite classic films like Breathless and To Catch A Thief. One thing's for sure, there will be lots of horizontal stripes - and I'm preparing for that by hitting the gym hard for the next few months! 

Above is a short list of a few things I'll be adding to my staples of tees, tank tops, denim, and sandals. I'm not much of a sneakers gal, but I have to find a good pair that will be cute and not too bulky. Luckily, it's en vogue to wear sneakers for almost any occasion. 

ON TREND: Leather Gloves

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It's getting a bit chilly out and I'm pulling out my favorite accessories of the season . . . scarves, hats and gloves! I love to accessorize with the oversize scarfs, floppy knit hats and well crafted leather gloves. Yearly, I hit up TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack to find the best designer gloves on sale. I also love to swoon over the most gorgeous new designs of the season. There's something especially so chic about leather gloves, whether they're driving, horseback riding or evening inspired. Here are a few of my favorites right now.

Clockwise: 1. DKNY, 2. Rag & Bone, 3. Rag & Bone, 4. Anthropologie, 5. J. Crew, 6. Anthropologie

 

Leopard: When Does "On Trend" Become The Bandwagon?

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Yesterday on my way home from work I decided to walk to the 14th street 2/3 train.  I work up around the Flatiron building so taking that jaunt is a bit of trek - not too far but 9 blocks and 2 avenues.  Along the way I started noticing how many people I saw wearing Leopard print.  It was in a range of ways from small accessories to extensively large coats.  I've always had a fondness for this print - including the use of it in small doses for interiors - unless you're Tony Duquette, he always did it right.  Since May though, I have been wanting to fill the void of this animal print in my closet.  I haven't been able decide between a blouse or a scarf.  It's now September, post Fashion Week in NY and I still haven't purchased anything.

There were plenty of ladies and gentlemen caught wearing the sexy print around Lincoln Center two weeks ago and now it's just exploded.

Back to my walk home where I counted the Leopard wear:  5 scarves, 3 blouses, 2 jackets/coats, 1 pair of leopard shoes and 1 handbag.  Can you believe that?! All on my walk to the train and I must add that only maybe 3 of those 12 people wore it well (in my opinion).

Leopard Cardigan from Sadie & Stella

So what do I do, it's such a classic print but when something becomes such a mass trend it becomes very tired very quickly.  If I rock the Leopard will I be too late, will I just be hopping on the band wagon?  I tweeted about there being an over abundance of Leopard on the streets of New York and a few of my friends commented in disagreement but really, do we all think this will last? For how long will we LOVE Leopard like we do right now?

Check out my Pinterest "Monthly Mix Up" Board for more Leopard Print Images.

Mini Trend: Charts for Classrooms Up-Cycled Into Works of Art

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Last year I visited a friend of a friend's apartment who had a large diagram of the human skeleton hanging above the couch.  At first I thought this was an odd choice for wall art, but soon I recognized that I was more captivated by this screen than the usual painting or print.  It may have been because the diagram was both educational and interactive (I really started thinking about the skeletal, neuro, and muscular structure), but also because  the large skeleton held the same sort of characteristics that maps do- which also come on these large pulldown screens.  Since that evening, I have been on the look out for a similar screen.

For the July Brimfield Antiques Show Jack and I discovered a vendor who specialized in selling large hanging, pulldown charts/screens (whatever they're called).  At his booth the majority of the diagrams were based on scientific and biographic subject matter.  They were all in German, seemingly to have come from one school.  We both loved the idea of purchasing one as an inexpensive yet graphically interesting piece of artwork for our new apartment.  Unfortunately we could not agree on a favorite, (although I still remember mine) so we decided to pass on these until the next time.

Fast forward 1 month later and I am passing by the recently renovated, downtown  J. Crew store on 5th Ave.  What do I see but a window display with a large hanging diagram!  At first glance I thought it was a vintage screen of the Periodic Table of Elements, but upon closer examination I realized that it is actually a replica formatted to fit their visual story.  The title is "Elements of Style" with a graphic that reads like a table with the initials of each element as well as the boxes laid out in the same fashion.  In some of the boxes however, there is text that defines some of their classic skus.  I must say that I think this interpretation is a chic and simplistic concept that really works.

 

Aside from the J. Crew windows, I have also began to see this screens pop up at antique stores and within interiors.  Last weekend when we were upstate for a friends wedding I saw a real antique screen in the window of the antique/curio shop Kabinett and Kramer.  This shop also sold several styles of diagrams, mostly related to biology and chemistry.

Lastly, while perusing the sneak peaks section of Design Sponge the other day, I noticed that one of their featured home owners (Jesse James & Kostas Anagnopoulos) hang multiples of these screens throughout their home.  I think these screens look very

Would you ever use one of these screens in your home?  Do you think that they are they soon to be the next overused and overpriced item in the design world?  Especially since a mass-market brand like J. Crew has tapped into the mini-trend? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Hoping for Cooler Days Ahead

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Not to sound negative but, I have to say, I'm pretty sick of this weather right now. It has "cooled" down recently in New York with temperatures dropping into the high 80s to low 90s, but the past few weeks have just knocked the energy out of me.  Granted I have been very busy lately stressing out about my living situation. This heat has really managed to bog down my wardrobe.  I'm sick of all of my clothes at the moment and really just can't wait for the new season to begin.  My favorite time of year is the end of summer when the days are still warm, the nights are cooler; it's the early part of the summer to fall transition.  There's a feeling of refreshment as the new collections hit the stores and outfit options triple with the opportunity to throw on extra layers.  I especially love being able to put a pair of dark jeans on without feeling disgusting!

This brings me to the few pieces that I've been lusting over and coincidentally would make a great outfit together.  They are the wardrobe staples; dark denim, a canvas tote, an anytime scarf but there's a slight twist or difference in each that makes them noteworthy to me.  The color palette of warm hues with dark blues feels right in step with the current trend of color blocking and I can just picture myself (well a model with my head pasted on top) strutting my stuff over the Highline in this outfit.