Blog posts of '2016' 'July'

I recently came across the Netflix show, VELVET while browsing their content. The story centers around fashion in a high-end Madrid department store in the 1950's with references to Coco Chanel, Balenciaga and Dior. We see their designs upstairs on the selling floor and can dream about them with the seamstresses downstairs in the atelier. And then there are actors like Miguel Angel Silvestre who plays the prodigal son Alberto that we can just simply dream of...

Besides fashion, love Spanish style plays a big part in this show. With its cast of beautiful characters, we get to fall in and out of love, experience the high drama of their escapades, and admire the intensity and loyalty of their friendships. Having lived in Madrid in the 70's and having dated 3 men all coincidently named Carlos, makes this show even more enjoyable for me. I am reliving my Madrid moment while revitalizing my Spanish language skills (The show is in Castilian Spanish with English subtitles) -- so much fun!

My fashion education and my love of pearl jewelry began that year in Spain. I admired the dark-haired Spanish beauties that invariably wore pearl earrings and necklaces as their everyday accessories. The Majorica Pearl Company was well represented in the department store El Corte Inglés and pearl jewerly graced the windows of fine jewelers along the Calle de Serrano and the Gran Vía. I lived on a small street off of the Gran Vía with my Señora Carmen and had the pleasure of window shopping and people watching on my way to and from school each day. I still have the pair of pearl earrings I eventually bought for myself....

The women I most admired had beautiful posture -- dance posture, and dressed in navy blue straight skirts with silk blouses and wore high heeled pumps. Their hair was often secured in a bun and their white pearls glistened against their creamy skin and dark hair. In VELVET, the actresses that play Clara, Isabel Navarro and Gloria all have Spanish dance training and it shows. With great posture, all the clothes that they wear look even more exceptional.

Currently, in the fall collections, Valentino's designs make me think of the ladies in VELVET and of all that I loved about the stylish Spanish woman. I am reminded of the first fashion advice I received at the age of 20 (albeit given to me by my flamenco dance instructor!)-- To find your style, you have to find yourself. With that confidence you begin to carry yourself differently and then with that posture, elegance walks into the room.

¡ Hasta Pronto! xx Carla


Independence Day gives us a moment to pause and appreciate what our freedoms are both universally and personally. It's a time to see all that we have, rather than all that we don't.

In the summers as a young girl, my mother would ask me what I wanted to do as a special treat. My answer was always the same; go to the international terminal arrivals at the Los Angeles International Airport to people watch and then have lunch in the sky at the airport restaurant. (Besides the great view, they shaped butter into rosettes and served it on ice!) We studied the arrivals board and proceeded to the chosen gate to watch the passengers arrive. At that time, we were free to go all the way to the gate to get a close-up view... When you are small, the world seems so big but this trip to the airport brought it all much closer to me. This big world seemed friendly and beautiful and above all, full of possibilities. Freedom is an exercise in courage and I felt that all these people from all these different countries were brave to travel so far and arrive someplace new. I marvelled at the freedom to move about the world like this-- It made me dream.

While travel in today's world is more complicated-- that freedom has only become more precious. I will continue to exercise it! In the words of Coco Chanel: " The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud!"

Happy 4th of July-- Let freedom ring!

XX Carla