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Darlings, I’m delighted to see you all here again! Well, my Fashionable Friends… The summer festivities are upon us, and there are so many opportunities to dress things up a bit. Whether you’re off to Saratoga for the horse races, the Hamptons for a polo match, or a cocktail party on the lawn, one must celebrate the occasion! I say, why not try something new?

Toss out your tried and true cropped pants and your go-to summer top. Yes you can wear that gorgeous barely there sundress. It’s simply a matter of making it wearable.

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The last time I bought a new pair of sunglasses was 1997, at the upscale Highland Park Village in Dallas. I remember picking up a roundish, Oliver Peoples, tortoise frame with clear glass. Using my best Marilyn Monroe imitation I put them on and turned to my mother and said, “Don’t you think these make me look smarter?”

In all seriousness mother replied, “No, I don’t.” While I knew something was wrong, I didn’t know dementia had already laid claim to mother’s brain. My attempt at humor had bombed.

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Has it been a hot and humid summer where you live? I’ve been tempted to go without underwear, or much of anything else for that matter, but don’t want to add “nudist” and maybe a mugshot to my resume. Just the thought of wearing a bra with elastic, underwires and clasps gives me the vapors.

At least girdles and corsets aren’t in fashion anymore!

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All images in this post are courtesy of the Special Collections and College Archives at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
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Meet one of my favorite artists, George Barbier (1882-1932), one of the master illustrators of the Art Moderne and Art Deco eras. Barbier was a preeminent figure of the period who shaped the visual landscape of the Teens and 20’s. A prolific artist, his work ranged from the graphic arts, set, costume and jewelry design, to book and fashion illustration.

Barbier honed his signature style during a revolutionary time in fashion illustration when artistic license was championed over the realistic—and traditional—depiction of clothing.

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No, I’m not a basket case, but I do need to make a case for owning a basket-bag.

The basket-bag, or wicker bag, is an essential summer handbag.

They aren’t just for picnics anymore. They have officially entered the realm of high-fashion.

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Brenda Ray Coffee, Mistress of Ceremonies, Fiesta's Cornyation @1995. Photos by Rob Beach
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Every year my hometown of San Antonio throws a mean party. Fiesta is a 10-day celebration attended by 3.5 million people from around the world. Fiesta first began in the late 1800’s to honor the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The entire city practically shuts down. Daily there are private and public events—fueled by music, margaritas and fajitas—including a day parade, a night parade and one that floats on barges down the San Antonio River. One of the most popular events is Cornyation, a bawdy spoof of Fiesta’s “royalty” that includes King Antonio, a Queen and her Court, all chosen from old San Antonio families. Tickets for Cornyation’s three-day, four-show event—downtown at the historic, 856-seat Empire Theatre—sell out in a few hours… faster than any other Fiesta event.

For almost 10 years, I was Mistress of Ceremonies of Cornyation which meant I was onstage, with a microphone, the entire show. Some years I also wrote the script.

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If you’re on Instagram then more than likely you already know style icon, Hildie Plumpepper, the silver-haired gal on the go. In many ways Hildie is every woman. She wears things the rest of us would love to wear; can’t afford to wear or have the guts to wear. On Instagram, Hildie Plumpepper is a sensation. We’re familiar with her joie de vivre; the designers she knows; the women who inspire her—and she inspires—and we love her sense of adventure and fun ways of dressing.

“But darlings… Did you know I’m now a fashion blogger on 1010ParkPlace with my own monthly column?”

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Darlings, I’m so excited to meet you all here. I’m now a fashion blogger on 1010ParkPlace with my own monthly column! I do hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

Well, my Fashionable Friends… It’s that time of year again. We all want to catch every bit of delightful weather we possibly can, so let’s get our picnic game on! Whether your basket is filled with a deelish assortment of delectables from Dean and Deluca, Whole Foods, or perhaps a basket full of Rosé, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio… like mine, it’s an outdoor celebration!

One must look effortless and fab when picnicking. I say, why not wear the gingham instead of just having it as your tablecloth?

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A month ago a friend sent me a day cream and a night cream, I’d never heard of, and asked if I would try them and give her my honest opinion. Because she built one of the most iconic beauty and fragrance brands in the world, she peaked my interest.

After two weeks, I started calling these bottles of Simply Venom™ my “magic creams.”

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