Brenda Coffee | 1010 Park Place

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There are a lot of simple things we can do to prevent a fall. Many of the devastating injuries I see every day in my medical practice are a result of a fall. I’m hoping the fall prevention measures I share with you will become part of the habitual things you do to protect yourself from injury. Continue Reading

— Life —

THE VIEW OF TUSCANY FROM OUR VILLA All Photographs ©Brenda Coffee, 2017
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My recent trip to Italy was the best trip I’ve taken in a long time. Perhaps it was because my traveling companions were women approximately my age. Whether we talked about cultural references, age-related issues we’re all facing, or went gaga over the scenery, this group of women was an easy-going sisterhood.

Next September, 2018, my friend and professional guide, and I are talking about a 1010 Park Place trip to Tuscany! Are you interested in coming with us?

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— Style —

All photographs ©Brenda Coffee, 2017
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My recent FASHIONABLE ITALIAN WOMEN OVER 50 post struck a chord with many of you. From the emails, comments on social media and the blog post, women over 50 want to look classier, like the women of Florence, but tweaked in for our more casual lifestyle. Women are also frustrated because fashion designers don’t design with us in mind, especially since we’re the ones with the money.

As one wise reader said, “American women need to have a fashion Renaissance.”

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— Life —

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“I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date.”

And just how important was that date, when you’re sitting in the ER with a broken wrist and nose? We’re always in such a big hurry, and if it’s not an important date we’re headed to, we just think we’re running out of time. We’re even in a hurry to be at leisure. Continue Reading

— Life —

All photographs @Brenda Coffee, 2017
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If you saw the video tour I did, last year of my new house, then you may remember my favorite food is prosciutto. Just the mention of the word ‘prosciutto’ is akin to food porn foreplay, and when I’m actually in the presence of thinly sliced prosciutto, I’m more than ready to go all the way and indulge myself with wild, orgiastic abandon. On my recent trip to Italy I not only ate copious amounts of prosciutto, I indulged in fresh pasta, figs—straight from the tree—and gelato. Lots and lots of gelato.

Every time I’m in Italy, I’m reminded of how much better and how different the food is from the Italian American food we find in our neighborhood restaurants.

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— Life —

All photographs ©Brenda Coffee, 2017
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Like an Italian Woodstock, people of all ages and nationalities, wearing Rolling Stones t-shirts, poured into the walled Renaissance city of Lucca, Italy, last Saturday to see what might be the last tour of the Rolling Stones. A reported 55 to 75,000 people made the pilgrimage for their #NoFilter European tour. I was one of them. It’s always a great day when I get to see the Rolling Stones. They’ve been part of my life since I was 12 and had a front row, center seat to their second U.S. performance in San Antonio, Texas.

It’s an even better day when I get to see the Stones and meet an angel.

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— Style —

All Photographs ©Brenda Coffee
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Florence took my breath away, especially the Florentine women over 50. They are the epitome of style and elegance. While they acknowledge some fashion trends, others they ignore. I spent five days in Florence and never once saw a Florentine woman over 50 wearing an off the shoulder or cold shoulder blouse, ripped or skinny jeans, leggings, capri pants, camel toes or flip flops. It was the American and the Asian tourists who wore trendy clothes, usually every trend at the same time.

If I’m to be brutally honest, the American women were tacky looking compared to the women of Florence.

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Everyone has a favorite classic rock song that pops up on the radio and transports you to your younger days. Mine is “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones. Those were heady times Darlings! What fun we had! Mick and those lips! Let’s leave that one for another time, shall we? Continue Reading

— Life —

Photograph by Chris Seriale
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Peter Cincotti’s grandmother couldn’t have known that her gift of a toy piano would create the stage for her then, three-year-old grandson, to someday be a performer and a recording artist. Now over 30 years later, Peter Cincotti is releasing his fifth studio album, Long Way From Home, on October 13.

He’s been called a virtuoso pianist and the rebirth of cool.

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— Style —

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS OF BRENDA COFFEE BY MICHAEL WARING
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A few years ago my friend, Lois Joy Johnson, founding editor and beauty and fashion director of MORE magazine and now editor of AARP’s Beauty & Style DigiMag app, asked me to be in her book, The Woman’s Wakeup: How to Shake Up Your Looks, Life, and Love After 50. I was flattered and excited. Over the years Lois has worked with every top magazine, fashion brand, photographer, model, makeup artist and hairstylist. She knows more about putting together an outfit than anyone I know.

Imagine my surprise when Lois sent me the finished book, and there were 11 photos of me, plus I’m featured on page one of Chapter One.

Before I went to New York City for the photoshoot, Lois told me to bring three or four changes of clothes I felt comfortable in and the jewelry I wore all the time. She didn’t want me to go out and buy anything new for the shoot. She wanted it to be a reflection of how I dressed and who I was.

Since my mother had been a model and a buyer in couture, clothes have always been part of my life—or should I say mother’s life. I think she was disappointed I wasn’t a clotheshorse. Most of the clothes in my closet are black workout pants and t-shirts, but I have a few investment pieces. Like Lois, mother was a wizard at mixing scarves and jackets with different skirts and pants.

When I look back over the years at women like Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Onassis, Diane Von Furstenberg, Anita Pallenberg and Ali McGraw, the clothes they wore then are the clothes we’re wearing now. That’s because they’re classic!

Classics are the antithesis of “fast fashion.” They’ll still be “in fashion” and look great 30 years from now.

My thanks to Michael Waring for letting me use some of the photos from Lois’s book. I knew I was in great hands with Michael because he’s photographed all of Lois’s other books, including  Makeup Wakeup, Revitalizing Your Look at Any Age she did with Sandy Linter.

The clothes I’m wearing are all classics, plus they’re investment pieces. Investing in a handful of great, timeless pieces isn’t as bad as you might think. Since my 20’s, I’ve followed mother’s advice and bought one really nice piece in the fall and one in the spring. Over time, you put together a great wardrobe, plus you know you’re paying for good fabrics and workmanship.

ALL PHOTOGRAPHS OF BRENDA COFFEE BY MICHAEL WARING

In this first photo I’m wearing all Carolina Herrera. It was the first time I splurged on a really good cashmere sweater. It was worth it because it never pills, it holds its shape, and years later, it still looks brand new. The navy trousers are so well made, and I’d never owned anything like Herrera’s fox sweater. I wear it with everything from jeans to something dressier.

Until a few years ago I didn’t own much jewelry except for my wedding ring, a watch and two pairs of earrings. Since then I’ve bought a few bold necklaces like this one by Marquita Masterson, a double strand of grey glass pearls with a dark grey, glass centerpiece set in sterling silver. Lois pulled it to one side so the dark grey glass wasn’t centered under my chin or at the back of my neck. That’s the genius of a great stylist.

My berry wool dress is Chanel, one of the few things I owned, at the time, that had color. Typically I’ve been drawn to neutrals like taupe, grey and cream and of course… blue jeans! My berry shoes are Prada and have gold kitten heels, which still doesn’t make them any more comfortable for my feet. My necklace is made from hand-rolled rose petals by women in India from Urban Zen in New York City. Yes, my legs really bend like that, and no, my hand is not deformed.

I’ve mentioned this before, but my friend, Vinetta Rosin at Neiman Marcus, talked me into these Escada Leather pants. I thought I might be too old to wear leather pants, but for the last four years, I’ve worn them more than anything in my closet… except gym clothes. My sweater is Rick Owens and is cut higher in the front than the back and has slits down both sides. It’s a bit avantguarde but classic at the same time. My necklace is Christian Dior and is articulated so it folds up smaller for storage. Perhaps it’s the Texas girl in me, but I love thin soled boots with a cowboy heel. These are from Saint Laurent.

Trendy clothes and fast fashion are fun, but for the most part, I’d rather pass on a season’s worth of cutout shoulders and the color dujour in favor of one classic piece I’ll have forever.

I’m just curious, how do you feel about fast fashion?