Saturday, October 17, 2009

60 Seconds of Style Project, J. Crew

Vintage inspires J. Crew. For a couple of years, I have visited the company offices with treasures in tow. Elements of my picks have appeared in J. Crew stores. Example: punch out leather. I took a handbag with this design element, it was purchased, then turned up on a pair of ballet flats.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cheryl Dunn + Michael Karbelnikoff

Wedding Fantastic in Norfolk, Connecticut

White is passe, plaid is in, black is so back, and remembering loved ones lost makes sense.

This wedding visually veered from traditional nuptials, resulting in its own (and I daresay truer) tradition. Savor these images from the bliss of Cheryl Dunn and Michael Karbelnikoff.

I am left dreaming: Maybe marriage is magical.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Vanity Fair Letter to the Editor published November 2009.

The Art of Couture

AS AN ATTORNEY and writer who set aside her Columbia Law School education to dedicate the past five years of her life to being a purveyor of vintage clothes, I can attest to the everlasting allure of couture [“Toujours Couture,” by Amy Fine Collins, September]. I am an avid consumer of contemporary design—which owes nearly everything to vintage—but the pinnacle of my sartorial adventure came last January. Just before I dashed back into another frigid New England night after a house party, the host asked me what I do for a living. Upon hearing that I am a shopgirl, he descended to his basement and returned with a black garbage bag. From that rather unpromising blob of plastic emerged a cocoa-brown Christian Dior New Look ball gown from 1952. Christened “Esther” on her muslin tag and created for Mrs. John Wanamaker of Philadelphia, the masterpiece featured a finely boned corset, intricate beading, and a ballerina-inspired silhouette that must have been blessed by Monsieur Dior himself. It was the most beautiful dress I’d ever touched, I told its then owner, who offered it to me. Eventually, I sold Esther, my flower of all frocks. Today, she preens before me still, as my computer desktop image. —PETRIA MAY, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Club Monaco and DKNY visit PB.

I received a Sunday visit today from a few fashion designers.  With laser eyes, they turn the seams, try the latches on handbags, inspect all construction very carefully and, when in a group, mumble. I imagine that they are thinking about mass manufacturing.  

Today, that sartorial set included Jane Ibarra (photo, right) from Club Monaco.

There was also a DKNY designer trying to take pictures with his phone. Why buy when you can take the idea? 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Virginia Smith and Victor Glemaud Visit Petria Boutiq

Virginia Smith, Editor at Vogue (New York), visited PB with designer Victor Glemaud.  Victor was dressed in country chic, but see him wearing his game suit.  

Alison Hyde in The New York Times

Petria Boutiq client and Ralph Lauren designer Alison Hyde (number 12), has been photographed by Bill Cunningham. Congrats.  

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boutiq News: NYT, Cheryl Dunn and Pat Fox, plus Issey Miyake

Two of Petria's style ladies have made a mark by appearing in The New York Times recently.  

Patricia Fox appeared in the style section's weekly photo essay--the feature was the opening of the new Highline (July 12, 2009).  I recognized her from the back, since she is wearing a vintage Kamali skirt from Petria.  

Cheryl Dunn directed a two-minute documentary about her friend Anna Sheffield, a jewelry designer.  The doc is featured online today for The Moment blog at (August 9, 2009).  Cheryl's web address is  I found a picture on her online wearing a PB dress.  

September 4 note:  Cheryl came in today and told me that Horacio Silva (The New York Times) "flipped" over the dress pictured.  Whose it it?! he wanted to know.  She then said two of my favorite words: "It's vintage!" You can't find it anywhere at any cost.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Isaiah Sheffer of Selected Shorts Visits the Berkshires

Some people like to meet movie stars. I don't enjoy that awkward, one-way familiarity that one finds in those interactions.

However, I have always found great joy when meeting women and men of words.  Isaiah Sheffer, shown with me here, fits the 'scription.  He attended a brunch in Stockbridge before a taping go Selected Shorts at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, Mass.  

my shoes

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Alternate Facebook Reality (And Yours, Too)

Making friends on Facebook is risky business.

Those of us who use the Internet as an extension of our fingertips are well aware that Facebook is a brilliant networking site. Still, folks born solidly between the television revolution and The Computer Age continue to view Internet networking (and dating, too) with more than a little suspicion. ... FULL PIECE UPON REQUEST. 

Patrick McBride's Invisible Tattoo

Here is Patrick McBride. I wrote a style profile of him for the January/February issue of Berkshire Living magazine. I promised to tell readers about Patrick's invisible tattoo.

I have an invisible tattoo, too. Actually, I ave no tattoo at all. Is that the same thing?

To take a photograph of Patrick's tattoo is not to know it at all (indeed, you would hardly see it under normal lighting).  It's complicated, unless you happen to be a lighting genius.  The circles-and-dots ttoo is visible only under black light.  "I felt I could have it on my body for the rest of my life," he says.  

I understand.  I, too, could wear an invisible tattoo for the rest of my life!  Now you don't see it and... now you don't!  

So, the ttoo is composed of a special ink from Japan "and they don't sell it in America," according to Patrick.  He found the inside scoop this way:  he saw a guy on the street with the tattoo [Patrick is clearly more attuned to all things lighting-related] and asked him where he got it.  "He told me about the tattoo artist.  And that's the whole truth."  

Given that it glows only under special lighting, Patrick's ttoo is the ultimate stamp of authenticity, for a man who knows the light.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Baggy, Baba Cool Pants

This picture hails from May 30, 2007.  Original text and photo on view at