The Diva Does Paris with Travel + Leisure

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”,+toma+clark+haines,+claudia+strasser.jpg” border=”0″ />Dear Diva Readers,

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>Shortly after moving from Amsterdam to Berlin this Spring, I received the nicest email from one of my favorite bloggers, Claudia Strasser – author of The Paris Apartment book, blog, Paris shopping tour operator and NYC boutique of the same name. Claudia invited me to join her in Paris in April, collaborating behind-the-scenes for a few brocante visits with clients from the West Coast of the United States and it just so happened that Travel + Leisure would be along for the ride, documenting the French antique shopping fun!

Claudia and I are of one mind when it comes to Paris – we are both gaga over everything French, from antiques to l’art de vivre, and it was an utter delight spending time in the city of light with Claudia – a woman who has Taste with a capital “T”. The fact that the legendary writer to/Lynn+Yaeger” target=”_blank”>Lynn Yaeger was on hand to write about the event added glamour, panache and the type of style that only Lynnie can add to a certain situation. Upon meeting Lynn, I must confess I was a little nervous – this is, after all, a woman with her own Wikipedia listing and a quintessential voice of New York City, but as the day evolved, my nerves went to the wayside and as we sat giggling on the metro I felt like I’d known her for ages! We had a ball! It was an honor to join Claudia Strasser & Lynn Yaeger in Paris and now you can read all about it in the October 2009 Travel+Leisure.

to 10px; WIDTH: 298px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Photo from Travel + Leisure Oct 2009: Marie Hennechart

Lynn Yaeger writes:

“When I am in the City of Light, I rarely set foot in a gallery unless it has a gift shop. My favorite place to dine is the department-store café, with the frites stand at the flea market a close second. But recently it dawned on me that even a world-class compulsive shopper like myself has a tendency to visit the same markets, the same charming boutiques, the same venerable department stores. So on my latest trip I decided to consult three shopping gurus—two natives and one honorary citizen—about their favorite local haunts….”

the article goes on to say:

“When Claudia Strasser sweeps into the café across from the Vanves Métro stop on Sunday morning she has quite an entourage with her—three members of the B. family, whose 15-room mansion in Seattle she is helping to furnish, along with Toma Haines, an Oklahoma native who calls herself The Antiques Diva™. Before we hit even the first booth, Strasser and The Diva are unloading trade secrets: Did I know that the traveling fairs that set up in different neighborhoods on summer weekends are listed at the Vide-Greniers website, and that there are three keywords to look for: antiquités (for items at least 100 years old), brocante (for classic flea market merchandise), and vide-greniers (what in other cultures is commonly referred to as junk)? Was I aware that the best time to go to markets is the last weekend in July, before the whole of France goes on vacation, when dealers are desperate to empty their booths and want quick cash?”

Continue reading Lynn Yaeger’s Travel + Leisure article here and while on the Travel + Leisure site make sure to check out some of her other great articles on topics as wide ranging as Touring Coco Chanel’s Old Haunts to Dutch by Design.

Do make sure to visit Claudia’s blog The Paris Apartment – she has some of the best Parisian photography in one locale featured on her site as well as an incredible inventory of French antiques for sale in her online shop and if you’ve not bought her book The Paris Apartment be sure to order a copy! Rumor has it she’s working on her next book… and I can’t wait to read it!

Click here to read what Claudia had to say about the adventure in Paris with Travel + Leisure!

Bonne Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™
(seen right with Claudia Strasser of The Paris Apartment)

I won! I won! I really won!!

to 10px; WIDTH: 355px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ /> I won! I won! I really won!

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>The last time I won something I was in 3rd grade. At the end of the school year my teacher gave away the class gerbil. Weeks prior to the grand drawing, Mrs. Garretson sent home Parental Consent Forms for the parents to sign, giving their young ones permission to enter the competition. My mother neatly signed her name on my “chance to win” slip saying discretely to my father, “She’ll never win. What’s the harm in letting her enter the drawing?”

Mom ate those words on the last day of school before summer vacation when I carried my gerbil (complete with cage and running ball) out to greet her at the car. Sadly, however, a few days later my cat, Princess Elizabeth, ate the gerbil when a traveling evangelist visited our home. You might wonder about the correlation between a missionary and the cat eating the gerbil, but this is a key element in the story. The evangelist had brought with them not only a stack of Bibles but also their child (whom they couldn’t find a babysitter for). My mother later described “said child” as “The Holy Terror”.

“The Holy Terror” wrecked havoc in the living room while mom and the missionary were having an intense conversation about God. So my mom, my dear old mom, sent “The Holy Terror” to my bedroom to play. All was going fine until “The Holy Terror” decided that my newest pet needed to meet my cat. The rest is, as they say, history. Since the cat ate my gerbil I haven’t won another prize.

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Thus, imagine my surprise when Kristie, the blogger behind Girlville (aka, My Craft Closet), did a “Birds of Change Drawing” and I was the grand prize winner! She notified me just as I was about to move from Amsterdam to Berlin and the package, which arrived a week or two later, was the first package I received at my new home in Germany! Nothing makes me happier than a package in the mail! I’d like to give a special thank you to Kristie at Girlville!

to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 258px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />to 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 240px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Diva Readers, I encourage you to check out the pondering of “an over 30-something with a husband, 4 cats and a tendency towards unfinished projects…” She loves reading, cooking, knitting, sewing, painting, needlepoint(ing), playing with her 4 kitties (one of whom needs liposuction), baking, watching TV, refinishing furniture and making lists of things that she’s started doing but not yet finished!

Now – I suspect you’re a little jealous that I’ve got a birdie and you don’t…. if I were “The Holy Terror” I might stick out my tongue and say “Nanny, nanny, boo-boo – I have a birdie and you don’t!” – however, I’m simply not that kind of girl. I’m a nice diva and I play well with others (although I do occasionally run with scissors) – thus I’m going to let you in on a little secret! You too can own a birdie!

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Kristie not only blogs and crafts and blogs about crafting, she also has a fabulous Etsy Store called Fait Pour Vous (Made For You) where she sells her hand-made creations. She does limited edition and custom orders. You can shop by theme (St Patrick’s Day or Wine & Things, etc), paintings or merely items on sale. When you stop by to visit her, do make sure you tell her “A Little Birdie Sent You!”


Until next time,

The Antiques Diva™

(Photo at right taken by The Diva while her husband The Wine Guy drove from Amsterdam to Berlin for their most recent move. Catpuccino sat at attention on The Diva’s lap ready to take his turn at the wheel should WG need a break from driving!)


Note to reader: To the best of my knowledge, no gerbils were harmed in the taking of the top “intro” picture. The tos/31847658@N00/1414078784/” target=”_blank”>photo of the cat watching the gerbil is merely a stunt double found in a Google search and “borrowed” from Flicker. If you’d like to hear more tragic details of my childhood… my brother’s dog later ate Princess Elizabeth, then my parent’s house blew away in a tornado (along with my mom) and all our family photos were lost (my mom was found). Thus no photo of Princess Elizabeth, my gerbil or my childhood remains. But for photos of a stranger’s cat, tos/31847658@N00/sets/72157603920996756/” target=”_blank”>visit Rigsby’s flicker site.

Guest Blog – Paris Parfait Writes “The Art of the Deal”

As The Antiques Diva continues taking a “break from her blog” whilst settling into her new home in Berlin post-move, the Guest Blog Marathon continues with a highly esteemed visitor taking the helm in today’s muse.

Today’s Guest Blogger is Tara Bradford, American author of the “tres populaire” blog Paris Parfait, which seems to have a dash of everything from art, antiques, culture and poetry to photography and a liberal dose of political ponderings. In today’s special Antiques Diva post, you’ll see why The Diva fell in love with Paris Parfait’s writing style as Tara writes about a recent visit to a flea market as if she were recounting a romance tale.


Paris Parfait Guest Blog – The Art of the Deal

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 317px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>She spotted it right away, but pretended not to notice. In French, she asked him to show her Russian religious icons, one after the other. But she wasn’t interested in Russian icons; not today.

Before that afternoon at the brocante at Parc des Princes, she’d never been interested in daggers. But at first glance at the antique dealer’s table, she could see one was very special. Four ancient ceremonial daggers were lined up in a row, their scabbards gleaming; the handles studded with semi-precious stones. Casually, she asked to see the one she liked least. He detected an accent and began talking in English about his days at university in Scotland. He went on and on, caught up in happy memories, no longer paying any attention to trying to sell his antiques.

“I’m not English,” she said. He looked crestfallen. “But your accent?…”

“I’m American,” she responded. “Perhaps you think my accent sounds a bit English, because my husband is British.”

“Ah, that’s it,” he nodded, knowingly. And he kept talking about Scotland, about his English girlfriends at university; about the fierce winters that made him long for the desert.

She asked him to show her another dagger. It was beautiful, but not unusual. Finally, she asked to see the one that had made her inwardly catch her breath.

As he drew the dagger from its silver and bronze scabbard, she tried not to react at the rare sight of the hand-carved keyhole and hand-etched design. She brushed aside his talk of the ivory handle, inlaid with coral stones. She shrugged and said, “Yes, it’s nice. How much”?

“550 Euros,” he replied gravely. She laughed. “You might as well stab me in the heart with it then.”

“350 Euros,” he offered. “No, I don’t have that kind of cash with me, but thanks,” she said, shaking her head and turning to go.

Then she looked back at him and asked, in Arabic, “Do you speak Arabic?”

“Do I speak Arabic??!!” he exclaimed. And the words came tumbling out, one after the other, so fast she could barely keep up, as he told her his story. She listened, nodding and trying to make appropriate remarks in the flowery language she hadn’t attempted for ages. After a few minutes, she asked, in Arabic, his best price for the dagger.

“For you, 100 Euros!” he shouted, beaming. “Thank you,” she responded, smiling as she handed over the cash. And he, too was happy, even though he’d dramatically undersold a 200-year-old piece.

Photo of Tara, courtesy of Di Mackey Photographer, Woman Wandering


Paris Parfait Photography:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 France License.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 317px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Caption: Antique Syrian dagger, which has not been cleaned in many, many years on top of a Lehnert & Landrock photograph.

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 227px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Caption: Close-up view of the silver and bronze dagger’s keyhole design.
to 10px; WIDTH: 277px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Caption: A 19th-century Moroccan silver coin necklace purchased Sunday from another dealer at the brocante – no bargaining required. The coins rubbing together sound like little tinkling bells, as you walk. The mosque image is part of Tara’s collection of Lehnert & Landrock photographs

The Diva Returns

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>The greatest problem of going away for a month-long holiday is that you have to return home when the vacation is over – back to reality and all its demands. to-moi.html” target=”_blank”>My August vacation, a short driving tour through Italy before taking a 20 day Mediterranean Cruise, was heaven! The return, a week ago today, has been hell. Loads of laundry and unopened email aside, life looms large before me. As demands on my time outweigh the hours in the day, I’ve found I’m in a post-vacation funk. Apparently this is a fairly normal occurrence, as torial.cfm?Ed=322″ target=”_blank”>Performance and Profits newsletter writes:

“Post-vacation blues are such a common malady, even His Holiness has had something to say on the matter. ‘I try to imagine what passes through the spirit of one who comes back after a period of relaxation, perhaps long desired and now already over,’ the late Pope John Paul II once said, adding that some people often dread ‘daily reality, with its concreteness, its problems, its heaviness’.”

The Pope’s words ring true as I face this post-vacation hang-over. August was a month at sea with no worries, not a care in the world, and no responsibilities or looming deadlines. The vacation was excellent. I’ve returned sun-tanned, a solid 5 pounds fatter than when I departed, and full of glorious memories of a month spent side by side with my husband, renewing our energies and relationship.

While this vacation was among the best we’ve ever had, I must admit I have mixed feelings about the actual process of cruising. One part of me loved the cruise – the glamour of going to bed at sea and waking in a new location each day in the heat of the Mediterranean, with the sun slowly teasing me awake each day. I loved the 16 destinations, 8 countries, 6 formal nights full of ball gowns and tuxedos, nightly 5 course dinners, and room service breakfasts.

Yet, another part of me mildly hated the lack of authenticity one experiences when contained in the cultural cruise bubble. When traveling in the Med, I want to taste the local culture, to wake up to Turkish coffee or a perfectly frothed Italian cappuccino. Instead, I found myself surrounded by taco bars and hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza by the poolside while eavesdropping on people saying “Well, we’ve done Greece”, as if a 4 hour tour in Corfu constitutes a check mark.

What we did find was that cruising was an excellent way to test-drive a country. Our desired future vacation “to do” list has grown with comments such as, “We must return to Dubrovnik, Croatia someday – a day wasn’t nearly enough!” And research has already begun on low cost airlines for a return to Ephesus for a long weekend around Easter next year. Weaving through the alleyways of Sicily, we stumbled into La Vucciria, one of Italy’s greatest markets with its crowded souk-like passage ways. We loaded our arms with vacuum packed sundried tomatoes, capers and olives as fat and ripe as mandarins, knowing that we’d just done the grocery shopping for our next cocktail party.

Cruising was also an excellent way to recall past trips, returning to Barcelona to recall everything toni_Gaud%C3%AD” target=”_blank”>Gaudi, or to” target=”_blank”>Santorini, climbing to the top of the caldera on donkey-back, an experience we’d missed on our last trip and swear we would never repeat again. We tasted Tunisia and loved bartering in French with the locals who exclaimed in delight that we couldn’t possibly be from the cruise, giving us an extra discount because we spoke French. We finally entered the magnificent St John’s Co-Cathedral in town” target=”_blank”>Valletta that we had missed seeing on our first trip to Malta and realized that for the last 7 years we had missed out on seeing one of the most interesting cathedrals in the world.

Days at sea found us bidding at art auctions, taking cooking courses and passing hours gazing out at a still blue sea over the top of a Truman Capote novella. For perhaps my first time on vacation, I entirely forgot about the life I’d left behind at shore as I lost track of the days of the week or the hours in the day. Upon filling our first tank of gas on a 2 day drive home from Rome, my husband realized that in the absence of responsibility the month before he had forgotten the code to his gas card. Days after I returned home I went to call my sister and couldn’t remember her phone number. Given that I usually call her weekly, this lapse in memory was just a small example of how far removed from reality we’d been while at sea. Having not had a care in the world for an entire month, it’s no wonder I’ve returned from vacation a little blue… but it’s a deep Mediterranean blue, the color of a church roof in Santorini or the sea when the sun is setting and you’re sailing away from the rising rocky coastline of Croatia…

The Antiques Diva™

The Diva Does The Wall Street Journal!

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Extra, Extra – Read All About It!!!
I’m interrupting my Mediterranean Cruise to post the latest divalicious news… after all, it’s not every day that The Antiques Diva gets name-dropped in the Wall Street Journal. As this month’s “Person in the Know” on Spire, an online social resource, I was recently asked to write a blurb on Doing Belgium, Diva Style. You can read the article on the Spire website. While you’re at it, I’d love to invite you to join – free of charge – as part of my network of friends.

Meanwhile, Robert Frank of the Wall Street Journal has posted on his WSJ blog an informative article about Spire and this new means of social networking targeted towards people who are interested in travel, gourmet food, wine, cultural events, etc. In this article, they mention three “People in the Know” including me, The Antiques Diva™! Click here to read all about it,


The Antiques Diva™

The Diva’s Dish on Naarden’s Art and Antiques Weekend

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#781300;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:100px;line-height:90px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>When I went to the Kunst & Antiek Weekend in Naarden-Vesting a few weeks ago, I had such a good time that I decided it would be downright criminal to neglect to divulge the details of my diva-licious day! Plus, you know me… I love to share shopping secrets and on that particular day, my pocketbook was stuffed to overflowing as I collected business cards, pamphlets, brochures and magazines.

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This fair is a great source for antique shops, art galleries and boutiques

While the Art and Antiques Weekend is great to visit, in my opinion it is even better to use as a resource for compiling your own personal database of shops, galleries and boutiques you would like to visit in the future. Going to this show is much like enjoying a wine tasting – it tempts your taste buds for more. All this to say, I didn’t spend one euro more than the 12.50 Euro entrance fee – however that fee might end up costing me thousands in the long run as I revisit all the stores and websites on my list!

While I can’t share a full list of all the shops servicing the show, I will share a few of my favorite finds – the best of the best of Naarden’s Art and Antiques Weekend. First off is the eponymously-named Anouk Beerents Antiek Spiegels, whose owner is as exceedingly charming as her inventory of 18th and 19th C gilt and silver-leafed antique mirrors. I was immediately bewitched upon entering her stall and her laughter was delightful as I danced around the many mirrors, unable to take my eyes off my reflecting reflections.

“You should see my atelier” she enticed as I pirouetted past one mirror and into another. Her studio in Amsterdam, located on the Prinsengracht, is so big that she has more than 300 mirrors in inventory. Although the warehouse is only open by appointment, she does offer an incredible perk, saying “just drive into Amsterdam, and pull your car directly into my studio!” Now that is what I call on-site parking!

Just next to Anouk’s stall was another shop bearing the name of its owner — Robert Schreuder’s Antiquair. Robert charmed me immediately by commenting on my new purse and regaled me with a tale of his recent visit to the Louis Vuitton museum outside of Paris, a place I hadn’t realized existed. His stall was beautifully decorated with an assortment of antiques and he spoke with a friendly and engaging smile that encouraged me to linger. Unfortunately, Robert doesn’t have a shop address you can pop into and visit at will, as he is, in fact, a hobby-antiquaire while keeping his day job as a high-powered attorney. He spends his weekends assembling a remarkable collection of furniture from the Neoclassical, Empire and Biedermeier periods and amassing an assortment of antique Grand Tour souvenirs. You can visit him at one of the many upcoming fairs where he’ll be displaying pieces from his collections. Better yet, make an appointment to visit him in his private atelier in Amsterdam nearby tos/ig/Top-5-Amsterdam-Parks/Photos–Amsterdam-s-Best-Parks.htm” target=”_blank”>Sarphati Park. I have half a mind to give him a call to make an appointment and take a second look at his French mahogany writing desk (dated around 1830) and priced at 5,700E.

Perhaps more in my price range was the English Davenport Desk (complete with secret drawer right out of a Sherlock Holmes novel), also from the 1830’s, selling for 3,600E at S. Van Leeuwen’s. S. Van Leeuwen’s is located in the north end of The Hague, nearby the Royal Palace, in a beautiful 18th C mansion. For almost 100 years they have been selling a delicious inventory of high-quality 17th and 18th C antiques as well as collectibles from the 19th C.

Another vendor from The Hague who caught my attention was the Galerie Het Cleyne Huys, a modern art gallery specializing in Dutch artists. A significant amount of their wall space was devoted to the works of Corry Kooy who simply stole the show with her portraits and travel impressions. The prices on her pastels and oil paintings were such a good deal that I considered purchasing one on the spot. Ultimately, I decided to wait and attend one of her upcoming shows at the gallery so that WG could have a say in the decision.

Amsterdam’s Dolf D. Van Omme’s 19th – 21st C European Fine Arts dazzled me with their collection of high-end art. Prices started around the 2,000E price point and moved judiciously towards the teens and twenties as the pedigrees improved. Of particular interest was the work by Leo Gestel and Piet van der Hem. While I know Antiek de Eikelhof more for their 17th C Dutch, English, Spanish and French commodes, armoires and bureaus, it was their paintings at the fair that caused me to pause for more than an instant. A well-versed clerk explained the difference in the paintings and informed me which artist was undervalued and what was a good investment piece. While I’ve never visited their store in Marienheem, I’m certainly adding them to my list of “Must See’s” in the future.

Last, but not least, I cannot neglect mentioning two of my favorite jewelers at the fair – Le Camee and Ans Hemke Kuilboer (Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 67, Amsterdam). Anyone who knows me well knows that I love Ans Hemke Kuilboer, and an afternoon in Amsterdam’s Spiegelkwartier is not complete without trying on a few baubles in her shop. I was delighted to find her at the fair! Sadly, Le Camee doesn’t have a shop in town. They only “do the fairs” but I’ve been assured that they’ve already signed up to have a stall at InterEvent’s next fair, Authentiek, held in the Paleis Het Loo on April 17 – 20.

At the end of the day I was exhausted from all that hard-core Antiques Diva research. You must know it’s hard work being a diva! In fact, I was so worn out from all that window-shopping I had half a mind to rush over to Het Arsenaal to check out the services in their day spa – Beauty Results.

After all, a Diva’s work is never done!

Until next time, Happy Shopping!

The Antiques Diva™

The Diva’s Wardrobe Stylist Extraordinaire!

Today’s blog comes to you from The Diva’s dear friend — a Parisian-Trained, California-Based Wardrobe Stylist Extraordinaire!

Ms. Kelli and I met in Paris years ago and I’ll never forget the way she wore her scarf, always managing to look perfectly coiffed regardless of the dreadful Parisian weather. When I found out that she and her darling husband were moving to the USA, it didn’t surprise me a bit to discover that, within a few months of opening her Wardrobe Styling business, she had clients lining up around the corner awaiting her advice and expertise!

Happy Reading,

The Antiques Diva™


Dear Antiques Diva™ Readers,

Happy New Year and Heureuse Année 2008!

As I begin writing this blog, I can’t help but wonder what topics you, the Diva’s loyal readers, would like to read about most. So, for my 1st guest blog, I will cover a few different topics to get you started off on the right foot for the New Year.

Let’s first talk about wardrobe purging and closet organization. Ladies and gentlemen, I know this can seem like a daunting task and one that you might be tempted to place at the bottom of your very long to-do list. However, I encourage you to move it much closer to the top! Mess is stress and this is one easy way to bring the stress level down in your life. Whether your closet is the same size mine was in Paris, itty-bitty, or if you have the luxury of a larger walk-in, once you purge & organize each time you open your closet, armoire or dresser drawer you will feel relaxed, happy and zen!

It is worth setting aside a few hours for the many added benefits of purging and organizing. You will most likely find pieces that you forgot you had, which creates the possibilities of new outfits. If some of your old clothes do not fit you like they should (this is when I, your Stylist, come in handy) and they are classic foundational pieces, in good condition, take them to the top tailor in your city for a fresh touch and perfect fit! As any sophisticated and stylish diva knows, the key to looking fabulous is in the fit! You will be adding “new” pieces for a fraction of the cost.

Now, as you begin to pull pieces out of your closet, give each one a good, long look.

Do you love it? Do you wear it? Do you REALLY need it? All the clothing in your closet should relate to each other, therefore creating a wardrobe that is fluid. If you need to, try it on! Make 4 piles and get started. (Charity, Tailoring, Dry Cleaning or To-Be-Stored and Trash) If you live in an area of the world where you store seasonal wardrobes, be sureto pull those out as well. To help you with your organizing and to keep your closet organized long term, invest in some good quality wood hangers, skirt & pant hangers, sweater bags, uniform shoe boxes and scented shelf & drawer liners.

Ideal pieces to always keep on hand in your wardrobe:

* Classic wool coat
* Trench coat to bridge the seasons
* A classic handbag, coat or shoes in leopard

* Black cashmere turtleneck along with 1 or 2 cashmere sweaters to add a great punch of color in winter
* Knee length pencil skirts and A-line skirts
* Designer dark wash trouser leg jeans – 1 pair tailored for flats and one for heels

* V-neck, sweetheart neck, scoop neck, boat neck blouses
* Crisp button front shirts (FYI – not all body types can wear button front. If it gaps, do not buy it!)
* Flawless suit, jacket and skirt, in a neutral color (espresso, steel gray, navy or aubergine)
* An LBD

* Shoes, shoes and more shoes! A pair of black pumps & slingbacks with a classic pointed toe and at least a 2 ½ inch heel, black leather boots, kitten heels, ballet flats, a Euro sneaker and a pair of flat, simple thong sandals for your tropical adventures.

Don’t forget to express your love for color and your style with your shoes! Buy many and in all colors!

* High quality scarves (Hermès, Dior, et cetera)
* Classic handbag

* Pearl earrings and necklace

** Side note: I highly advise owning fewer things of better quality. The classic, foundational pieces of any wardrobe are worth spending more money on. They will last you much longer and will always be in style. Pay close attention to the cut of your pants, skirts and suits when buying classic pieces.

Invest in high quality foundational pieces

Secondly, let’s talk briefly about sunglasses! As the Spring ’08 lines start to become available in stores, I think it is time for a gentle reminder that sunglasses are a must during any season; rain, snow or shine! Now, I know that half of the world is in the dead of winter but it is still very important to keep your eyes protected and plus… glasses add a bit of style to a sometimes boring and dark winter wardrobe!

Spring 2008 Trends Alert:
Animal print
Belts – All sizes and colors
Asymmetrical shoulder lines
Vibrant splashes of color (pinks, greens, yellows)
Large graphical prints (somewhat reminiscent of the 1980’s)
Grecian goddess inspired transparent layered dresses
Shoes: wedges, demi-wedges, patent, sporty, animal print
*careful that the wedge doesn’t appear chunkier than they actually are

I want to thank The Antiques Diva™ for this opportunity to guest blog with her! It was a pleasure!

If you are interested in more information about the Styling & Wardrobe services I offer, please email me at

Until next time…
Keep It Sophisticated, Keep It Simple, Be Beautiful!






The Diva’s Wardrobe Stylist Extraordinaire!

The Diva’s Whirlwind European Antique Shopping Tour – Part One!

top:5px;float:left;color:white;background:#382900;border:1px solid darkkhaki;font-size:80px;line-height:50px;padding-top:1px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>What do Paris, Provence, London, Bath and The Cotswold’s have in common with Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp, Tongeren and Ghent?

They are all featured as having fabulous antique shopping in the new series The Antiques Diva™ is writing for

In case you’re not yet readers of this online magazine, click here to join me as I take you on a whirlwind antique shopping tour of Europe! But I warn you, you’d best bookmark this article as you won’t want to take a trip without consulting this series before hand!

Happy Reading and, as always, Happy Travels,

The Antiques Diva ™