Most Wanted | A New Year's Soiree



leather and vintage sparkle



Most Wanted | Winter Obsessions


I've had quite a few sartorial sugar plums dancing around in my mind's eye recently...


luxurious items for winter



Maybe you already know *Ahem* that I reserve a special, cozy, cuddly place in my heart for the strange, the darling, and the macabre.  So without further ado let's take a moment to focus on that handcuffed bear...



macabre gold jewelry
A thorough combination of the adorable, the delicate, and the very dark.  You can even see his little teeth! 
Designed by Momocreatura, a jewelry brand created by a Japanese, Central Saint Martins graduate called Momo.  She has a delightfully twisted sense of humor, and designs for those who are "curious enough to glance into another world".   Don't miss her other clever talismans as well, particularly those from the "Nearly Dead" collection.   
No, these darlings are not cheap - unless you are looking for an absolute treasure and future heirloom. (The gold bear is $522.50, and prices run between $100 and $600)  They are also not fast fashion, and are not clumsily made.  Massive understatement right there. 
Lastly, I'd like to draw your attention to this:

"now or never" luxury leather planner


Pretty much the sentiment that I ought to go ahead and get engraved across my forehead, as I tend to be a nervous nellie when it comes to doing things, as opposed to thinking things.  Appropriately placed dead center on a (really delicious) Smythson leather agenda.
Oh god, that reminds me.   The new year is fast approaching.   
Wait - scratch everything on your To-Do list...  

COCKTAIL PARTY FIRST.

1  /  "Cleopatra's Curtains" Ring  /  2  /   Chloe Leather ankle boot  /  3  /  Chloe glossed leather knee boots  /  4  /  Levin stripe clutch  /  5  /  Smythson "Now or Never" Notebook  /  6  /  Jil Sander hazelnut leather wedge booties  /  7  /  Momocreatura hand-cuffed bear necklace  /  8  /   "Rive Gauche Craft "Unearthed" iPhone 5 case  /  layout made with Polyvore

Boutique & Illustration | Spring Sneak Peek!


Forgive me for my absence.  I have been quite the bedraggled, caffeinated artist, holed up in my (very tiny) studio, creating some new things like this:

shop  /   Teapot  /  Espresso Mugs 

How eccentric would it be to have friends over for tea, served in these strange and dainty ceramics?  A conversation starter, for sure.  Fear not - I couldn't stop myself from incorporating a good dose of classic flora into the mix.   

iPhone 5 Cases  /  One  /  Two  /  Three

For spring's Unearthed collection of housewares, stationery, and personal accessories, I drew inspiration from nature, particularly the regal silhouettes and elegant minimalist spartan nature of what some might call "grotesque" creatures.   
I can't help but appreciate their physical beauty, their strange little lives, and their handsome built-in weaponry.  I find them thoroughly enigmatic, to say the least.  They both terrify and fascinate me at the same time.  What's more, they become strangely feminine when re-colored in refreshing hues of fog and sea foam, and invigorated by a splash of masterful lapis lazuli blue.  
These items are really just a peek at what's to come for spring, but I did put a little sampling of them in the Rive Gauche Craft BOUTIQUE.
Have a gander at the Anastasia & Friends Gallery on Main St (Columbia, SC) this month- my original illustrations will be on display, and available for sale!  Everything will be reasonably priced, especially for holiday gifting. 
These illustrations are now available in the Print Shop and on a variety of decorative items in the Boutique. 
Oh, yes.  It's gift giving time!

Best Of | Ugly Sweaters

chunky knits and kooky sweaters



I guess there's not really any such thing as an "ugly sweater" anymore, since ugly became cool.

I'm going with these as favorites because they're just super.......sweater-y.  You know what I mean?  Either they have something big and hokey smack on the front of them, or they came right out of a log cabin. 




LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING FESTIVITY

You've probably got all of your Thanksgiving affairs planned and underway, but just in case...here are a few last minute inspirations.

From Traditional to whimsical table settings


As much as I enjoy Norman Rockwell's painting style, his traditional table setting leaves a bit to be desired.  I love the idea of taking inspiration from this bright and whimsical tablescape (via Style Me Pretty).  Okay, originally this was for a wedding, but do those golden pigs not lend a certain dose of hilarity and downright appropriateness to the FEAST of the year?  Thank you.  You're welcome.

Here's a secret: You can buy a package of plastic farm animals and gold spray paint from any dollar store.  Really, any of them.  It takes only a few minutes to paint the little guys, and only a few more to dry enough to set them on a table.

How about a few more inspiring table adornments?




These are some of my favorites from across the web.  I guess my personal default decor strategy is "When in need of something instantly fancy, paint it gold.  Or white."     

Top  /  Painted pumpkin DIY centerpieces via Chatelaine  /  DIY Walnut place card holders via Martha Stewart  /  Bottom  /  DIY Gold turkey place card holders via The Sweetest Occasion  /  Shop felted acorns by Fairyfolk on Etsy  


I'm sure you have your menu planned out (and I'm not really one for cooking) so I'm offering these tasty ideas instead.  Drinks?  I can do that.  Jazzed up leftovers?  I can do that, too.

So, this "Tipsy Turkey"cocktail.  Sounds suspicious, looks...divine.   Among the ingredients are bourbon, maple syrup, and roasted pumpkin cubes.  I'm salivating like it's my job.  Recipe & photo via Refinery29.com

Pumpkin. Pie. Milkshake. (Ohmigod) With. PIECRUST. in it.  Somebody scrape me off the floor?  Then make me another one.  Recipe & photo via A Cozy Kitchen.

Discover clever ways to re-arrange your feast leftovers into scrumptious post-feast feasts.  Recipes & photo via SouthernLiving.



And finally...


This is one of the most important parts of any gathering.  Thank the host(-ess) with something useful, pretty, and classic.  These can all be found for under $40.

My personal favorite?  That PB&J Apron.  Because it's modern and charming (and emblazoned with my own illustration !).  Purchase it from my Boutique.


Happy Thanksgiving.


That. Is a Crazy Ass Bag.

I saw this bag and went 'EW!".




the craziest ugly bag I've ever seen




And then I had a revelation...







how to transform ugly into cool with neon and gold




Snakeskin is a horror unto itself, even without Dolce & Gabbana's ever-so-thoughtful color vomit.  And yet...

And yet ... I have come around.  Suddenly, it's just another dash of exuberant color.  A god-awful eyesore that becomes a fashionista's tongue in cheek, stylish humor when paired with carefully curated items.  This is definitely something the infamous Man Repeller could get behind.

Final Conclusion?  I would wear it.  In a heartbeat.




Color Lust | Acidic Euphoria


I find the color and texture in artist Brittany Bass's paintings so inspiring.  Not only does her work soothe my optic nerves, it also seems to invigorate my sense of cheer.

Thus, my sartorial take on Bass's simultaneously gentle and lively painting "Abstract III".

stylish outfit with patent leather skirt and marni shoes


Nude classics get an energetic injection of deliriously happy, intoxicating charm via bright (if not other-wordly) accessories.  I'm enchanted like a little girl with a brand new fluffy kitten. 

I didn't want to skimp on aesthetic pleasure in this post, so here are a few more of my favorite paintings from this artist.  


fashion and style inspiration, bright geometric art


You can find prints of these works, and lots more of Bass's lovely things in her online shops via Etsy and Bigcartel.

You're welcome. 




Bohemian Style Interior with "Happiness"

I couldn't resist.  Forgive me for shamelessly styling an interior design inspiration board around one of my own paintings?


Bohemian Style with Rive Gauche Craft




I love how cheery and quirky it is when paired with rich teals, velvet, and shiny lacquered sky blue items.  Its sort of romantic and fresh at the same time, with Art Nouveau and Art Deco elements.    


You can purchase a print or giclee version of "Nude Wearing Stag Beetles" (a.k.a. "Happiness") in my online print shop.




Candy Reds for Fall







Rich Cranberry and Candy Apple Reds really get me in the mood for chilly weather with a dash of whimsy.  The thick grey sweater by VPL makes it suuuuuuuper cozy...on top of an already easy, swingy floor length skirt.  Proenza Schouler cranberry booties seal the deal.   (And I couldn't leave out my obsession...THAT Prada clutch.)








Furthermore, wintery raw wood and folksy bright patterns transform even the coldest of days into something to look forward to.



My Cold Weather Survival Kit:

1. Kiehl's Creme de Corps - the ultimate, delectably rich, skin saving cream.  I would be horrendously scaly (both in appearance and attitude) without it.

2.  A Cozy Blanket - Sonia Rykiel's regal red tasseled throw would be perfect to cuddle up with on a chilly day.

3.  An Oversized Sweater - Add Stella McCartney's kooky cabin-esque sweater for an extra luxe indulgence

4.  Hot Chocolate! - A cheerily patterned mug of homemade hot chocolate can go a looooong way.


Home Decor / I enjoy a dazzling feast of glitter as much as the next girl.  However, for general holiday decorum I'd be delighted to get festive with items like this spare wooden polar bear box by Karl Zahn.  There's nothing more wintery than a polar bear, and nothing more refreshing than minimalist, unvarnished wood...particularly in the midst of the usual unbridled opulence.  These branchy tapered candle holders and woven basket add just the right amount of log-cabin charm.


The Print Shop is Now Open!


So excited to say that I've finally got something up for sale!

This is one of my most popular paintings, "Happiness", now available in 3 different sizes of super high quality prints in my Society6 shop.  Yay!


woman with stag beetles illustration
"Happiness" oil on canvas by Katherine Elliott


The original painting in oil is also available for sale.  For details, contact me!


TREND : MAD FOR PATTERN


This season there are loads of geometric, often art nouveau-esque prints for Fall.  These are a few of my very favorites.



Tapestry, floral, and geometric patterns from the runway


I'd wear these one of two ways:
1.  Just a couple of patterned items, mixed seamlessly with classics.  
2.  Devil-may-care pattern on top of pattern on top of pattern.

Mixing patterns together is so tricky, and still often eludes me (see photo below).  But when done right, it has a whimsical, albeit bizarre, bohemian appeal (see photos at the verrrry bottom).

To answer your question, no; non-fashion people will not understand.  Yes, they will think you're slightly eccentric off your rocker, and that's part of the fun. 

Prada Clutch  /  Miu Miu printed jacket  /  Proenza Schouler platform boots  /  Marni silk printed blouse  /   Proenza Schouler woven clutch  /  Marni beaded clutch  /  Missoni skirt  /  Balenciaga tri-color heels


Example of Pattern Mixing Gone Wrong:

Blogger Style experiment with patterns gone wrong
Me.  Oh yeah.  2009 in NYC.

Oh, this is shameful!  This was me during my senior year of college. I was clearly feeling effervescent (earlier) that morning, and decided to experiment with mixing pattern, and (unfortunately) color, too.  Anyways, allow me to teach you a lesson:  if you must experiment (and indeed, you must) please try for one or the other.  Not both.  Okay, this is painful to look at.  Let's move on...


Reassurance that I dress cool sometimes:

stylist wardrobe, mixing patterns and leather
Me & a friend in front of FIT between classes.  NYC, 2009.

My friend there, yes, he has much better pattern intuition than I do.  I think he's working for Proenza Schouler these days.  He definitely belongs there, with the Kings of pattern and print.


[Big Tangent Right Here]
Oh, do you observe me wearing leggings as pants beneath a headline that reads, "I Dress Cool"?
Indeed!  Your eyes do not deceive you.  This too is a tricky thing to wear, but luckily I mastered it early on.  Yes, shameless me - I mastered it!  The trick is...
A) know your size/shape, don't lie to yourself, and love yourself anyway.  if you're the type who can't get away with leggings, don't sweat it.  there are plenty of other awesome options for you.  if you're the type who can't get away with leggings, but doesn't give a fuck what anyone else thinks, mad props to you.  I'd love to wear your skin (and chutzpah) for a day.
B) Always wear nude underwear that matches your own ass.  Ideally, it should be ridiculously smooth, thin, and as minimal as possible.  Yes, I'm talking about G-strings.
C) if you don't want your butt cheeks to be the center of everyone's attention, wear a tunic or long shirt that covers some, most, or all of your behind.
D) tights & panty hose are not leggings.  at all.  ever.

This is one of my go-to looks for fall.  Even in 2012.



Finally, some samples of successful pattern mixing:

Street Style: pattern mixing during fashion week.  Photo by Tommy Ton


I'll be honest with you, I don't understand why the outfit on the right works, but it does.
Yes, my fashion degree is no help in this case.

Alas, the difference between nature & nurture.


Granny florals on the street during fashion week.  Photo by Tommy Ton


So granny.  So wonderful.


Pattern Mixing on the Street during Fashion Week.  Photo by Tommy Ton


Woman on the right - I'm in love.  Floral + polka dot + oversized check?  I envy her gall.



Let's hear it for mixing it up.

!


last 3 photos via Tommy Ton 




PERFUME MOOD

The sense of smell is supposed to be one of the most powerful senses we have, as far as memory triggers are concerned.  Here's a glimpse at the world I'm transported to with my two favorite scents:


Happy parisian style, perfume, photos, curated style
























Lancome Miracle  /  Clever, elegant, and happy!  Like hot air balloons over Paris.  This has been my fragrance for years.  Like, Since high school.  And I'm still not tired of it.  The scent is fresh, crisp, and floral.  Without being overly sweet.  Nowadays I wear either this or Sarah Jessica Parker's "Lovely" every single day.  It's like, intoxicating.


Foldable Star Sculptures   /  Photos by Hello Twiggs  &  Eye Poetry   




Style inspired by perfume, fashion, shoes, photos, italy



Prada Infusion d'Iris  /  This updated version of Prada's classic fragrance is lighter and more modern than before, but still deep and velvety.  Like a whimsical Modern-Baroque hybrid wonderland, maybe. The scent is elegantly balanced - not too crisp and not too soft.  I wear this one more often in winter than in summer, plus whenever I go out at night.


INSPIRATION | CARNIVAL

Just a bit of current inspiration.  Brights, florals, polka dots, and stripes!  The State Fair is going on right now.  I can't wait to visit.  {Plus I have a hard time leaving spring/summer where it belongs on the calendar.} 

I love the idea of incorporating these deliriously happy hues into my work for Autumn.  I'm currently working with tassels and all sorts of animal motifs too.  



style inspired by bright colors, prints, and carnival


In other news:  my online shops are up, but not quite open yet.   I'm working on taking photos of all the work I've created for Rive Gauche Craft up till now.  So far there are lots of illustrations, watercolor paintings, note cards, jewelry, knitted things for the home, and several sorts of bags.  And of course, more is always on the way. 
I find myself having so many ideas, that it's difficult to balance creating new projects while also building Rive Gauche Craft's online presence.  Not to be deterred, I'm plodding along! (Well, still at full speed, but feels more like plodding)  
 
Altea Tassel Scarf  /  Charlotte Olympia Clutch  /  Mr. Fox Illustration  /  Tiger Illustration  / Fifi Lapin  /  Kenneth Jay Lane Flower Ring  /  Zebra Illustration  /  J. Crew Sweater  /  Ferris Wheel Photo  



COLOR LUST | COZY GREY

Too early for snow cloud grey?  Oops.  It's so cozy though.


Winter grey style essentials and cravings






HELLO RIVE GAUCHE CRAFT!

I started this project called 'Rive Gauche Craft' a while back.  Like, a whiiiiiiiiiile back.  Embarrassingly far back.   
I'm happy (and terrified!) to say that I'm breathing life into it again.  Since last time, I've gotten a few life type things out of the way.  Now I'm ready to buckle up and FULL SPEED AHEAD.  (<--Omg that was so nerdy.)

Wait, let me make it nerdy-er.  

ENGAGE!  




Please check back frequently for updates.  I'll be working on getting the website up and running, online shops filled with goodies, and lots more.  

I've been drawing, painting, and crafting like a madwoman!  I can't wait to show you what I've been working on.  I'll be taking photos of my new work this week, so hopefully things will be running in no time. 


RISKY TREND | ULTRA BRIGHT BROCADE

How to wear miu miu ultra bright brocade fashion




I actually love this as a matchy matchy suit.  The crazy pattern makes it absolutely un-soccer mom.   
These brocade trousers from Miu Miu's FW 2012 collection look almost juicy when paired with even more brights...and surprisingly modern when anchored with a beige jacket.

Runway photo via Style.com  /  Illustration by Garance Dore  /  Miu Miu trouser  /  Alexander Wang blouse  /  The Row leather jacket  /  Proenza Schouler leather tote  /  Miu Miu glitter pumps  /  Portolano gloves

HOW TO WEAR : GEOMETRIC DETAILS

An enchanting mix of old and new.  Layers of pattern make it a bit whimsical.  Denim keeps it down to earth.


Charming Geometry



Marc by Marc Jacobs button down  /  Missoni skirt  / Zara cowboy booties / Prada leather clutch / Marni earrings / Marc by Marc Jacobs watch / Rome photo St. Peter's Basilica 

Ensemble | WorkPlay





Kind of like an Edward Gorey drawing.  Lots of black.  A bit of red.  Elegant and timeless, amusing and clever.  

Romwe Dress  /  Charlotte Olympia Platform Shoes  /  Smythson Leather Tote  /  Kate Spade Silk Shawl  /  Mellor Ware Animal Teaparty Teacup and Saucer  /  Beach Photography by Lupen Grainne  /  Orange Stone Pearl Cluster Ring         /  Kate Spade Watch

CAT LADY





A little strange, a little whimsical, a little granny.  Cat ladies.  There's nothing quite like them.     
I'll be the first to admit, I'm crazy about my cat.  And granny sweaters.  Vintage thingies.  Awkward proportions.  Lipstick that is literally shaped like a cat wearing a porkpie hat.  Cats on my feet.  Cat portraits on the mantle. 
I take my cat for walks. Well, I do the walking while she rides in a basket under my arm.  And when she's bad, I shout in a loud Italian-Russian hybrid accent that I will make a pair of gloves out of her. (Not entirely sure where/when that bit originated).
And now I reveal my secret indulgence.  I love the Cat-Who books.  The ones by Lilian Jackson Braun.  They feature two crime-solving kitties : Koko and YumYum.  I don't make this up. And a newspaper reporter with a mustache.  And typewriters.  No cell phones.  No computers.  Good old fashioned kitsch.

But don't let me out-shine the original Cat Lady:
kooky cat lady style


Ciao!


Wildfox Couture Cat Sweater  /  Charlotte Olympia Cat Shoes  /  Chloe Clutch  /  Paul & Joe Lipstick  /  Ibride Irina Cat Tray  /  Smallable Cat Tee Shirt  

IT'S SEPTEMBER IN HELL.

I don't know if you live in the South or not, but the heat is PERVASIVE.  You know what else it is?  Perverse.  This heat is PERVERSE.

In preparation for the coming lack of cool weather, I'm fantasizing about how I'd like to Autumn-ize accordingly.



what to wear for fall in the south, style layout


Fall details that add "warmth" rather than warmth  +  Climate appropriate actual clothing in subdued tones 
ChloĆ© dress  /  Givenchy shoes  /  Z Spoke by Zac Posen bag  /  Juicy Couture bracelet  /  Iman lipstick  

ECLECTIC PREP


eclectic preppy style craving with pops of color



These are the things I'm craving.  Color and structure that blend Summer into Fall.  But I'm kidding myself if I think I'm really going to wear a scarf in South Carolina before January.

An airy skull print scarf, googly glasses, and an architectural knob of jewelry twist the preppy elements into something rather artful and nonchalant. 

Mango tie dye shirt  /  Zara shoes  /  Dannijo Jewelry  /  Alexander McQueen iPad case  & scarf  

COLOR LUST | GLORIOUS BEIGE



Anything But Vanilla



My favorite color is grey, but beige comes in second place.  
No!  It isn't boring!  It isn't an empty canvas waiting to be filled.  It is the main event sometimes.  That's the beauty of it.  Stop trying to do things to it.  Just let it be beige.  Glorious beige.  
That A.P.C shift dress?  Yes, it's really just a big expanse of non-colored rectangle.  I like to refer to it as modern and understated.  I've paired it with a few notably whimsical elements that add just the right amount of feminine decoration to enhance it's beigeness.  A dash of glitter across the shoes.  A couple of immortalized gold cicadas.  A little square purse to echo the shape of the tunic, trimmed with gold.  And I couldn't resist the skulls. 
There's nothing more alluring than a woman outfitted in something feminine, and sprinkled with subtle traces of mortality.  You just can't pin her down.  The effect is generally inviting, but on closer examination - a complete mystery. 

A.P.C. Silk Dress / Maison Martin Margiela Leather Boots / Christian Louboutin Heels / Z Spoke by Zac Posen Patent Leather Clutch /  Alexander McQueen Scarf & Ring / Stella McCartney Sunglasses

HOW TO | POPSICLE HUES

Popsicle Hues


I won't lie: The world of colorful dressing can be perplexing.  It isn't always formulaic.
I used to wear a self-imposed uniform of black, myself.  I have always envied those women who were able to master color effortlessly.

The most important thing everyone should learn early about cultivating your own sense of style is to give up your certainty that some things just don't go together. You must try it on and see all of the elements working as one.  You can't imagine.  Throw your imagination out the window.  No pictures, paper dolls, or what-have-yous.  Nothing comes close to actually trying something on and literally seeing what happens.

BUT, A Few Guidelines Might be Handy... 
1  //  Balance colors and shapes.  If the colors are bright, keep the silhouettes simple and classic.  If you go crazy in one area, you must stay tame in another.  
2  //  NO Polyester.  Bright things can look cheap more easily than neutrals.  Stick with natural fibers like silk, cotton, cashmere, or rayon.  Yes, I consider rayon a natural fiber since it's made from wood pulp.
3  //   Keep bright colors within a similar range of intensity OR within a similar hue, i.e. tertiary colors, in which case the intensity (brightness and darkness) may vary.
4  //  Give yourself a quick and painless study of basic Color Theory.  

You might also like to have a go at Color Scheme Designer, to get some ideas of where to start in your own wardrobe. 

Good Luck!

Kooky Style Finds | Ichabod & Gaga Make A Baby

The more I plunder the Etsy marketplace, the more bizarre and and wonderful the little hand-crafted treasures become.  I've been so delighted with the variety and creativity of the little notions I've found, Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters seem to hold my interest less and less. 
Ichabod Crane and Lady Gaga would be terribly pleased at my latest find....

Johnny depp as ichabod crane
Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane
Lady Gaga with a mermaid umbrella
Lady Gaga


I'm assuming you know where this is going.  But in case it isn't clear enough, remember the Alejandro video?





I. Cannot. Wait. Until. Lenscrafters. Catches. On.  Say hello to the new hipster.  The anti-hipster.  The "I-genuinely-don't-give-a-rat's-ass", baditude.  
Ray-bans are cool and everything, but they have prudish appeal at best compared to these bizarre and beautiful optical contraptions by Mann & Co.While Mann & Co advertises these as "Steampunk", I say wear them with your wholesome 1940's picnic clothes.  On your bicycle.  With something like these...



The Moody Bohemian Biker

steampunk goggles in black leather
Blackened Brass & Black Leather with Gears, $200
Altuzarra fall 2012 style

Altuzarra, Fall 2012





The Optimistic Bohemian
 At a Weekend Soiree?


Gold brass and brown leather steampunk goggles
Solid Brass & Brown Leather, $170

givenchy fall 2012 style


Givenchy, Fall 2012




Polished Conservative
And Closeted Style Kook

brass and brown leather steampunk goggles
Leather & Brass, $140

Gucci fall 2012 style
Gucci, Fall 2012



They've got the old-world, Victorian nerd appeal of Ichabod, and the striking shock appeal of Gaga.  All expertly hand crafted, using delicious leather and elegant metals. 
And if the price seems rather steep, remind yourself that all you need to justify the practicality of these little babies is a motorcycle, a chemistry lab, or a welding kit.  Yeah.  Switch the lenses out for all your different eyeball risking activities.  These things are deceptively functional.




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