10.30.2014

Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography Book Giveaway



What a truly wonderful book we are featuring on the blog today: Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography by Meryle Secrest.

Here's the description from Knopf:

Her name was Elsa Schiaparelli. She was known as the Queen of Fashion; a headline attraction in the international glitter-glamour show of the late twenties and thirties, feted in Rome (where she was born), Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Hollywood . . .

Her style was a social revolution through clothing—luxurious, eccentric, ironic, sexy. Her fashions, inspired, from the whimsical to the most practical—from a Venetian cape of the commedia dell’arte to the Soviet parachute. She collaborated with some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century: on jewelry designs with Jean Schlumberger; on clothes with Salvador Dalí (his lobster dress for her, a lobster garnished with parsley painted on the skirt of an organdy dress, was instantly bought by Wallis Simpson for her honeymoon with the Duke of Windsor); with Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti, Christian Bérard, photographers Baron Adolph de Meyer, Horst, Cecil Beaton, and the young Richard Avedon.

She was the first designer to use rayon and latex, thick velvets, transparent and waterproof, and cellophane. Her perfume—Shocking!—was a bottle in the shape of a bust sculpted by Léonor Fini, inspired by the body of Mae West. Her boutique at an eighteenth-century palace at 21 Place Vendôme opened into a cage designed by Jean-Michel Frank. American Vogue, in 1927, presented her entire collection as Works of Art. A decade later, she was the first European to win the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award.
Here is the never-before-told story of this most extraordinary fashion designer, perhaps the most extraordinary fashion designer of the twentieth century, in her day more famous than Chanel. Meryle Secrest, acclaimed biographer, who has captured the lives of many of the twentieth century’s most iconic cultural figures, among them: Frank Lloyd Wright, Bernard Berenson, and Modigliani, gives us the first full life of the grand couturier—surrealist and embattled figure–-whose medium was apparel.

“Dare to be different,” Schiaparelli advised women, and she lived it to the height; a rebel against convention—social as well as fashion. She designed an otter-fur bathing suit and a hat inspired by a lamb chop. (“I like to amuse myself,” she said. “If I didn’t, I would die.”) Chanel, her arch rival, called her, “that Italian woman who makes dresses.”

Here is the story of Schiaparelli’s rise to fame (as brazen and unique as any of the artistic creations that emerged from her Paris workrooms before World War II); her emotionally starved upbringing in Rome (her mother was part Scottish, part Neapolitan; her father, a prominent medieval scholar specializing in Islamic manuscripts, dean of the faculty of Rome; her uncle, an astronomer famous for his description in 1877 of “canals” on Mars); her years overshadowed by a prettier sister; her elopement with a Swiss-born man who claimed to be a count, disciple of mysticism and the occult—who managed to get himself and his young bride deported from Britain . . . her struggle to care for her polio-stricken daughter, Gogo, as a single and financially destitute mother living in Greenwich Village.

Secrest writes of Schiaparelli’s keen instincts—an astute businesswoman, she launched herself into hats, hose, soaps, shoes, handbags, in the space of a few years. By 1930, her company was grossing millions of francs a year.

Secrest chronicles her exploits during World War II (she managed to escape from Europe to the United States) and, using FBI files, shows that during Schiaparelli’s stay in New York, her whereabouts were documented almost week by week; she was never explicitly charged, but the cloud of collaboration lingered long after her return to Paris.

As Secrest traces the unfolding of this dazzling career, she reveals the spirit that gave shape to this large and extravagant life, a woman—a force—whose artistic vision forever changed the face of fashion and redefined the boundaries of art.


Knopf are kindly offering to give away one copy of Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography. Please enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by the publisher). The winner will be announced on the widget and contacted by email one week from today. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more on Meryle Secrest, visit her website here.


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10.26.2014

Two Easy Chignons: A Tutorial



I often like to post my "Sunday Best" chignon pictures on social media and many of you have requested a video tutorial for them. This week I share two of the easiest chignons I do. Both work great with long hair but could also be achieved, with modification, on shorter hair. I love a good chignon because it is a classic, elegant look perfect for bad hair days or when you just want your hair out of your face and off your shoulders.

We start with a messy (but chic) chignon. This look is more casual and etherial. You can make it quite messy and undone (as I have shown in the video) or you can keep pinning it until it is more under control. Here is one of my Sunday Best chignon pictures from last spring wearing this 'messy' chignon.


from Instagram


slightly messier

To achieve this look, brush your hair into a low side-ponytail. Secure with an elastic two times. On the third time, do not pull your hair all the way through. Take the hair that is sticking out and wrap it around your ponytail. Pin into place. Then take the rest of the bun and pin it against your head. (Please see the video for the visual effect.)

The second look is a sophisticated chignon. This is a polished chignon that has beautiful texture to it.



To achieve this look, section off hair on either side of your face. Take the middle section of hair and create a low messy bun at the base of your head. Secure twice with an elastic. Then take one of the side sections and wrap counterclockwise around the bun. Pin into place. Repeat with the other side. You now have a sophisticated chignon.

Check out this week's video for a visual tutorial set to Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 (such a beautiful song!). If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Come up with a handful of chic ways to do your hair, especially good fixes for bad hair days. Practice these and overtime you'll be able to get ready and look presentable in no time at all. Try modern twists on old classics (like this week's chignons).


Comment of the Week
On my Get Ready With Me: A Night at the Ballet post, Madeleine in Australia writes:
Your comment about being someone who used to enjoy the arts pre-kids and responsibilities struck a chord. When I lived in Sydney I was a subscriber to the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Chamber Orchestra (I'm a pianist by profession so this really wasn't excessive, just part of my life). I now reside about 500 kilometres from Sydney, so no ballet. We are fortunate to have many fantastic concerts here, though, and your post made me remember that I have some fabulous ballets on DVD (Ballet Russe) - so no excuse not to enjoy some ballet!

I love Madeleine's comment because it reminds us that we can still appreciate the arts no matter where we live. These days you can even watch an entire ballet on YouTube! Not quite the same as the real thing but it is a place to start.


News

Check out my interview with Laura Dennison of BADIZM . We discuss everything from Frenchwomen, to feminism, to public speaking. Thank you Laura!

The Madame Chic books are featured in Turquoise and Teale's 9 Must Read Fall Books

Rich Mom Business does a hilarious review of At Home With Madame Chic in her Spa Day at Home video.

Jenny Williams mentions the ten-item wardrobe in her piece on XO Jane called How I Found My Personal Style When I Let Go of Most of my Clothes.

Upcoming Events
Southern California readers: come meet me at one of my upcoming book signings:

October 28, 2014 (this Tuesday!) DIESEL bookstore, Brentwood, CA Presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm

November 2, 2014 Laguna Beach Books Presentation, Q&A + signing 4pm

(more venues and dates to be announced on my author website events page)



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10.23.2014

Elements of Style Book Giveaway



Today I have an exciting new book that will inspire the interior designer in you: Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life by Erin Gates. Charming, inspiring, witty and funny, this is a beautiful book from start to finish that would not only be a great addition to your interior design library, but would also make an excellent gift.

Erin has a wildly popular blog called Elements of Style Blog that can provide you with even more inspiration.
Here is the description of the book from Simon & Schuster:

From the rising-star designer and author of the hit blog, Elements of Style, a full-color, fully illustrated book packed with honest advice, inspiration, ideas, and lessons learned about designing a home that reflects your personality and style.

Elements of Style is a uniquely personal and practical decorating guide that shows how designing a home can be an outlet of personal expression and an exercise in self-discovery. Drawing on her ten years of experience in the interior design industry, Erin combines honest design advice and gorgeous professional photographs and illustrations with personal essays about the lessons she has learned while designing her own home and her own life—the first being: none of our homes or lives is perfect. Like a funny best friend, she reveals the disasters she confronted in her own kitchen renovation, her struggles with anorexia, her epic fight with her husband over a Lucite table, and her secrets for starting a successful blog.

Organized by rooms in the house, Elements of Style invites readers into Erin’s own home as well as homes she has designed for clients. Fresh, modern, and colorful, it is brimming glamour and style as well as advice on practical matters from choosing kitchen counter materials to dressing a bed with pillows, picking a sofa, and decorating a nursery without cartoon characters. You’ll also find a charming foreword by Erin’s husband, Andrew, and an extensive Resource and Shopping Guide that provides an indispensable a roadmap for anyone embarking on their first serious home decorating adventure. With Erin’s help, you can finally make your house your home.


Simon & Schuster are kindly offering to give away 3 copies. Please enter the giveaway via the rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by the publisher). The winners will be announced on the widget and contacted by email one week from today. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


To learn more about Erin Gates visit her blog, Elements of Style.

News
Check out my interview with Heidi Bock of Beauty in Believing blog.

A Domestic Goddess is loving the Madame Chic books.

At Home With Madame Chis is mentioned on the lovely In Sewtopia quilting blog this week.

Don't forget to enter the Christy Luxury Linens giveaway (for Daily Connoisseur readers only!)

Reading
43 Reasons Why Studying Abroad in Paris Destroys You For Life (You'll love this! Thanks to my readers who shared this with me.)

Upcoming Events
Southern California readers: come meet me at one of my upcoming book signings:

October 28, 2014 (next Tuesday!) DIESEL bookstore, Brentwood, CA Presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm

November 2, 2014 Laguna Beach Books Presentation, Q&A + signing 4pm

(more venues and dates to be announced on my author website events page)



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Twitter @JL_Scott

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10.19.2014

Get Ready With Me: A Night at the Ballet



A night at the theatre... one of my favorite pastimes ever. Last Friday I saw The Los Angeles Ballet's production of Swan Lake at Royce Hall. It was a double treat for me because Allyssa Bross, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at London Sole last year, was playing the principle role of Odette / Odile. She was superb. The entire company was such a joy to watch.

This week's video shares a black swan inspired makeup tutorial and shows my outfit for the evening. Pour yourself a cup of tea and come get ready with me...



Makeup used in the video:

CHANEL Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation

Benefit Fake Up undereye concealer

Benefit Boi-ing concealer

Makeup Forever HD Powder

Sephora eyebrow editor in honey/ blonde

Urban Decay Primer Potion

MAC eyeshadow in bamboo

Urban Decay eyeshadow in Naked

Urban Decay Naked basics eyeliner in Venus/ Crave

CHANEL Inimitable Intense mascara

Hourglass ambient blush in mood exposure

MAC lipstick in Hang-up

Dior nail polish in nuit 1947

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Perhaps you used to attend the theatre when you were younger, but now that life, with all of its responsibilities and stresses, has taken over, you can't remember the last time you saw a show. It feels wonderful to get back into it. Treat yourself and schedule in a date to see a play, ballet, opera, concert or art show in the next few weeks. Seek out the arts and allow that part of yourself to reawaken.

Comment of the week
Christina N. on YouTube shares a wise Buddhist saying:
"Before Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

This is such a great quote that really relates to At Home With Madame Chic. No matter what is going on in our exciting lives, we can always rely on our chores to be there waiting for us when we get home, so we might as well enjoy them!

Reviews

The Gilmore Guide to Books is charmed by At Home With Madame Chic.

News
I had the pleasure of attending SCIBA, The Southern California Independent Booksellers Association, this weekend in North Hollywood. I spoke on At Home With Madame Chic, signed books and got to meet so many wonderful authors, booksellers, teachers and librarians.



Upcoming Events
Southern California readers: come meet me at one of my upcoming book signings:

October 28, 2014 DIESEL bookstore, Brentwood, CA Presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm

November 2, 2014 Laguna Beach Books Presentation, Q&A + signing 4pm

(more venues and dates to be announced on my author website events page)


This week I would love to know... have you seen Swan Lake? What is your favorite ballet?



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10.16.2014

How to Fold a Towel + Christy Luxury Linens Giveaway



How to Fold a Towel
One of the fun tutorials found in At Home With Madame Chic is how to fold a towel. Many people don't think about this small detail, but when you fold your towels this way, it not only makes your linen cupboards a joy to look at, but it makes storage more efficient.

As mentioned in the book, I learned this technique from Anthea Turner's Perfect Housewife series (no longer on the air but such a motivating show!). Once you start folding your towels in this way, you'll never go back.


illustration by Virginia Johnson

First start with the towel lying flat. Then fold into thirds lengthwise. Take the long ends and fold them to meet in the middle, flip the towel over in half again and enjoy your beautifully folded towel.



Check out this special video to see the visual tutorial. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.


Giveaway

Christy, a high-quality linen company, has kindly offered to give away one luxury hamper of Supreme Hygro towels with matching robe and bath mat to a very lucky reader of The Daily Connoisseur. This hamper has a $395 value. You may enter the giveaway on Christy's special Daily Connoisseur page.

Christy sent me this hamper and I have had the pleasure of using these Supreme Hygro towels for the past few weeks. Made of 100% supima cotton, the towels are so soft, fluffy and luxurious and only get better with each wash.The Hygro technology are unique to Christy as they are made from a special luxury cotton that actually gets softer with washes, so the towels keep their plushness over time. I chose the white towels and bathrobe (you know how I love white linens!) but their towels come in 26 colors.


image from Christy website


image from Christy website

The giveaway will be open until December 1, 2014. Enter here and good luck!

For more on Christy, visit www.christylinens.com or check them out on Twitter and Facebook.

Reviews
Thank you to Sequins and Sunflowers and JackieMania for your lovely reviews of At Home With Madame Chic.

Thank you for all of your wonderful feedback about the book! If you loved it too, make sure to write a review online to help spread the Madame Chic message.

Upcoming Events
Southern California readers: come meet me at one of my upcoming book signings:

October 28, 2014 DIESEL bookstore, Brentwood, CA Presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm

November 2, 2014 Laguna Beach Books Presentation, Q&A + signing 4pm

(more venues and dates to be announced on my author website events page)



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10.12.2014

Making Home Life a Priority



Thank you for your incredible response to the release of At Home With Madame Chic. I've already heard from so many of you who have read the book and enjoyed incorporating many of its ideas into your daily life. One of the driving reasons behind why I wrote this book is because I think we could all benefit from making our home life a priority again. We can get so distracted these days spending hours on the internet, watching great shows and reading good books. We tend to procrastinate where it really matters: tending to our home. I truly believe if you live well at home, you set yourself up for success in the outside world. After all, it's how we live behind closed doors, when no one is looking that shows our authentic self.

If you've let things slip, my challenge to you this week is to make your home life a priority again. Write a list of the areas in your life you'd like to improve and just think of how these small (or large) adjustments could benefit you and your entire family.

Check out this week's video for more. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel, www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.

And for an expanded article on this topic, check out my Huffington Post article that came out this week called, Make Home Life A Priority Again.

To all of my readers in other countries: At Home With Madame Chic might be coming to you soon! So far it will be translated into Portuguese, Polish and Italian. My hope is that all of the countries who received Lessons from Madame Chic will also get book two. I will keep you posted on the blog. Thank you for your patience!

For those of you who have already read (or are currently reading) At Home With Madame Chic, I would love to hear from you. What parts of the book really resonated with you? Have you incorporated any of the ideas into your life? Do you have any future video/ blog requests based on the book? Let me know in the comment section below.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Cut down your time on the internet this week (yes, even if it means shutting down this blog post early) and do something for your home: clear out a messy drawer, bake a loaf of bread or dust off the front step. Enjoy peace and quiet while you do it or play beautiful music in the background. Give your home and family some TLC today.


Comments of the Week
Here are what some readers are already saying about At Home With Madame Chic:

Susan B. writes: "Got the book yesterday, and have read 77% already. Sumptuous, gorgeous, resplendent reading...I don't want it to end!"

Mala M. writes: "It's the best personal development book I have read."

Jaclyn W. writes: "Started the book this morning and cannot put it down!"

Ladylike writes: "I devoured the book in one day. My only unfulfilled wish was for it to be longer. The next day I felt so inspired that I pruned my roses, changed all the bedsheets, and cooked a pork roast in advance to be enjoyed later in the day. This was all while wearing a silk dress with an apron, which made it all more fun."


News & Reviews

At Home With Madame Chic is already receiving rave reviews in the blog and newspaper world. Check out the most recent articles:

Metro US

JenEricGeneration

The Wardrobe Code

Birdie to Be

Little Bright Things

Kathryn Bechen INK

Vital Mommy

Upcoming Events
Southern California readers: come meet me at one of my upcoming book signings:

October 28, 2014 DIESEL bookstore, Brentwood, CA Presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm

November 2, 2014 Laguna Beach Books Presentation, Q&A + signing 4pm

(more venues and dates to be announced on my author website events page)



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10.07.2014

At Home With Madame Chic



The wait is over. At Home With Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life comes out today!

This is a very special book for me because homemaking is one of my great passions. Sadly I believe the subtle art of keeping a home is something that is dying out in our society. We all lead such hectic lives full of outside influences, sometimes our busy schedules put our homes at the bottom of the priority list. We take our home for granted. When we do our daily chores we would rather be doing anything else in the world. At Home With Madame Chic aims to bring pleasure and passion back to your daily routine and to revive the art of homemaking for the benefit of the entire family.


Here is the book description from Simon & Schuster:

Approach life at home the Madame Chic way: a beautiful, illustrated toolbox of tips and ideas for organizing, entertaining, and savoring a stylish life.

When she arrived at Madame Chic’s Parisian apartment as a foreign exchange student, Jennifer Scott was a casual California girl who thought sweatpants were appropriate street attire. Madame Chic took Jennifer under her wing and tutored her in the secrets of how the French elevate the little things in life to the art of living.

Years later, Jennifer was back in California with a husband, two young daughters, a dog, and her first home. Every day she confronted mundane duties like folding laundry and unloading the dishwasher, and she began to think about Madame Chic’s home—how the breakfast table was set beautifully the night before, the music that always played in the background, the calm of Madame and Monsieur Chic’s ritual cocktail hour together. Jennifer wanted that life. She decided to see what would happen if she didn’t perform her chores impatiently or mindlessly, if, instead, she could live like Madame Chic.

At Home with Madame Chic reveals the secrets to having a happy, fulfilling, and passionate life at home. Jennifer explains the morning send-off need not be chaotic, it’s possible to look stylish with minimal time and effort, a little forethought makes it possible to serve a home-cooked dinner every night, and details like music and scented candles can set the tone for the whole family’s evening. Organized by the pleasures that can be found throughout the day, this charming, helpful book is full of ideas, playlists, recipes, beauty routines, and advice that can turn an irritating day into an enjoyable experience.


Over the coming weeks we will discuss many of the valuable topics in this book. I look forward to delving into it with you!

If you enjoy reading At Home With Madame Chic, please help spread the word: share it with your friends, write a review online or mention it on your social media outlets. By helping to spread the message of Madame Chic and The Daily Connoisseur, together we can make the world a classier place. Check out the video above to hear more.

Upcoming Events
Southern California readers: come meet me at one of my upcoming book signings:
October 8, 2014 Pages A Bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm
October 28, 2014 DIESEL bookstore, Brentwood, CA Presentation, Q&A + book signing 7pm
November 2, 2014 Laguna Beach Books Presentation, Q&A + signing 4pm
(more venues and dates to be announced)


Visit my Author Website

Facebook facebook.com/JenniferLScottAuthor

Twitter @JL_Scott

Instagram @dailyconnoisseur

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter
 
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