My First Spacecraft S.S.W.A.P.!

Cristina Dodd & Stella Metzner, Owners of Spacecraft Brooklyn

I have been doing clothing swaps forever. Some of the greatest ones that I have participated in involved hundreds of women at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. Not much is more fun than getting a gaggle of gals together to share, inspire, and swap their favorite clothes. It is one of the reasons why I created the art of Soul Style… teaching women to adore and adorn themselves through their precious gift of Turn On.

And for some time, I have been seriously desiring to do one myself, focusing on my Soul Styling techniques and my love of service.  So this summer I heard from my briliant agents at Plant about this store in Williamsburg that might be interested in my new swap idea . . . S.S.W.A.P – Soul Styling With a Purpose. Which was nice, but I WAS NOT GOING TO DO THIS IN BROOKLYN. I am a Manhattanite and even tho I love and lived in Brooklyn, and Williamsburg is supremely, divinely hip- I was not schlepping there. NO WAY. That is… until I actually went to the store, Spacecraft, and met one of the beautiful owners, Stella Metzner. And in one heartbeat, I practically puddled with the delight of being in one of the most original stores in NYC. My jaw dropped, my heart sang and I flashed back into a world that I always wanted to live in…looking at jars filled with marbles, vintage beads and buttons and geegaws and thingamajigs and ribbons and endless wondrous crafts projects that will transform you into a brilliant artist. Soulful, loving fairies created here and I wanted to, too. In my charmed state of mind, I told everybody that this is our new home for my first S.S.W.A.P. And that because of the struggles that owners Cristina and Stella were facing right now to survive and stay open, I knew that my purpose to serve was fulfilled. So where there is a desire, you bet there is always tremendous pleasure to be had. Just like their 2nd Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-off Benefit that happened today. And the Amy Sedaris new book signing coming up on December 4th; Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. Hysterically funny.

So join the Dame, my gorgeous Soul Stylists, Kayte, Rochelle & Sherie and Spacecraft for the best Clothing SSWAP of your life where you can enjoy Brooklyn Brewery Beer, spacecraft snacks, a runway spectacular, the hottest pieces, the Dame’s sassy Soul Stylings, surprises and all the silly, sharing, inspiring love you can handle. Here are the deets, my friends:

 

Saturday, November 20th, 2010, 5:00-7:30pm

Spacecraft Brooklyn- The Best Crafts Store in NYC

358 Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg, NY, DIRECTIONS

$20 Door Donation to Benefit the Spacecraft Revolution and The Sewing Rebellion.

A SSWAP (Soul Styling With A Purpose) is for friendly gals swapping clothes, accessories and fun to serve our souls, the Earth and our wallets!
Bring your best clothing, shoes and accessories to swap and upcycle your wardrobe.

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Dame Lori is a passionate pleasure and sensuality expert who inspires women to adore and adorn themselves with their own intimate Soul Style.

The Sewing Rebellion offer free workshops that teach people to reclaim sewing skills.

Spacecraft Brooklyn is the best craft store in NYC and is adored by all, including craft experts Martha Stewart and Amy Sedaris.

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Dame’s SSWAP Tip #1:

Please bring your cherished pieces in the best, cleanest quality-
A SSWAP brings great prosperity and health to donor and recipient.
Bring your own SSWAP bag for your booty, too!

Any questions: please email me at lori@damelori.com or call: 646-373-9038.

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September Soul Style Seductions!

Tis the Season for a Soul Style Surrender with the Dame . . .

It was Spring 2011, Fashion Week in New York City and the entire month was packed with the beauty, the bang and the brilliance of doing something NEW while shaking summer sand out of my ears and sharing my signature solvent to Adore & Adorn around town. (for a contest to join me for a special designer showroom visit…see below!)

I swear it literally took my breath away (I actually had an asthma attack!) with plenty of good gasps, giggles, leaps of joy, shameless flirts, time transports, sensual situations, and the eternal love of a Mama. I dedicate all these moments to my new beautiful friend, Claude Serieux, the hottest Parisian DJ, NYC will ever see and one with whom I shared the breath-giving diffusion of the essential oils Thieves & Peppermint when his allergies were activated after sleeping with a pussycat. Herewith, I humbly offer you my view of My Favorite Top Turn Ons in my Town this month . . .

 

Tziporah & her beloved wheels at Lincoln Center

 

This Soul Stylist’s Secret Stylist: I captured my muse, Tziporah Salamon, right before the High Holidays, Fashion Week and her new course, “The Art of Dressing with Tziporah” and put her in my closets where she decreed me to dress with simple elegant chic, Grace Kelly Style. I took it and ran with a new, slightly foggy, Rear Window Treatment to display on my Fashion’s Night Out event at Worth & Worth, NYC’s oldest hat shop!

 

I love my tiny topper!

 

The Haberdashery Was a Topper: Beause I am so good at swooning, I was invited by the amazing team at Worth & Worth to be hostess of their Fashion Night’s Out event. What a scene; next door to Bergdorf Goodman, on W. 57 St., the mood was super sexy speakeasy with flattened fedora felt hat vests, plaid suits, DJ and artist Pasha and Jelly Jewels, a rappin’, soulful, hi-jumpin’ crooner.

 

Dame Lori, Worth & Worth's Orlando Palacios and Cathy Petignant

 

With live music all night, the joint was vibin’ big with a “Design Your Own Hat” station (stay tuned for their Soho pop shop opening in December) and Portraits With Hats photo shoot. Check out these amazing shots by Roger Dong . . . absolute proof that the power of owning your beauty is contained under one’s lid.

The Lion Purrs: A spontaneous, luscious birthday dinner at The Lion, hosted by my agents, Jade Dressler & Kristen Paladino of PLANT. to celebrate the September birthdays of Claude and myself.  After dinner,  John DeLucie, the chef and co-owner of this spot and The Waverly Inn, who was recently cast by Kristen for a Sesame Street spot through Paladino Casting, invited us for a sneak peek into his very discreet, ultra private upstairs Courtesan Salon (for dinner parties up to 30). Electrifying sensual elegance, as if designed by La Belle Otero herself, where only the most cheeky are permitted. I love a personal invitation to doors unexplored, don’t you?

Reggie- A Back Row Dream Come True: I am a longtime fan of Cynthia Rowley…she is such the image of grace and fun, I co-chaired an event with her and frequently saw her for my surfing seasons out in Ditch Plains, Long Island, so I will follow her forever. Which brought me to the back row, standing room only site where my slow burning indignance was complemented by a fine gent in front of me. Through my quick seductive charms (I call it “The Bitch Must Switch Move”), I decided to have fun with him and the next thing you know Reggie Wells is sharing that he came to town to do Naomi Campbell’s make-up for Dolce & Gabbana’s Fashion’s Night Out event and has been doing Oprah’s make-up for the past TWENTY ONE YEARS. I met a KING and I bow to Reggie!

Now that’s why you act like you live your gracious life in Front Row, even when you get blinded in the back. Yet that did not stop me from seeing the mature, modern and very wise collection that Cynthia created this Spring, ever riding the waves for the peaks of high pleasure with dots and spots in all the right places. I loved her full swingin’ skirts, an evolved Soul Sister, mother and surfer whose collection glowed with the best of downtown and summer sand colors and fun.

 

Sara Galindo, Elle Mexican Leather Goddess

 

The Leather Coat Dress that Required an Inhalant: I swear this is the cause of my asthma attack. I was hanging with Jade and Claude at the best rest station at Cafe 65 at Alice Tully Hall and from across the room floated in the best leather piece I have ever seen in my life. It was as if Bonnie Cashin got sexy and decided to swing. I casually sprinted to this beauty (of course, it was Sara Galindo, Editor in Chief, Elle Mexico) and I gratefully gushed that I had to know where it came from…. MEXICO! And she gave me her email so that I can coordinate my very own buy in military green. She had just finished hanging out with Placido Domingo and was thrilled that another King, King Karl had just agreed to come bless Mexican designers & their collections.

A Humanitarian Serves It Up: I love a he-man with a heart…and I send mine to the designer Manuel de la Cruz. This man not only designed a great collection, filled with simple, ultra chic pieces inspired by his Quatemalan roots and the Semana Santa celebration, where Catholics celebrate and show their devotion to The Passion, he advocated for his own spiritual cause, The Leslie Munzer Neurological Institute. It is the best when one so savvy shares another enraptured inspiration with captive others. The gorgeous symbolic colors of purple and black were so sensually conveyed in fabrications of chiffon, silk cotton, double face duchess satin, silk georgette and French lace. Devotional Passion describes the state of my mind when I think of wearing fabulous cocktail dresses of purple and black lace!

A Mama’s Rise to Her Son’s Stardom:

Timo Weiland designers, Timo and Alan Eckstein are so fresh and original and beautiful boys, full of life and wonder amongst fans, cherished friends and family surrounding them with love. I met Alan’s mother, Barbara Frankel, who was swept away in pride and joy over her blessed fortune. Perfect testimony to the true life slogan that “When Mama’s Happy, Everybody’s Happy!” I love the playfulness that was communicated in still form, as models were arranged in a still life tableau, inspired by Swedish Fjordlands and the seaside colors of Ingmar Bergman’s life-saving, famous film, “Persona.” I was so swept away by the vivid composition of colors, silhouettes, outstanding eyewear and endless charm, that I wanted to jump up myself and pose in my Rag & Bone and Ray-Bans. Has any designer ever pulled up guests and styled them in the middle of their show before? Or will the Dame have to be the first?

When the Shoe Falls off, Applaud: Front Row at the Eva Minge show, a silent demonstration of what happens when one uncomfortable shoe starts to drop off . .the other one easily comes off, too, with a little help!  With true grace and dignity, a brazen bareheeled model strolled in her long sensual nude silk jersey gown casually dangling the pair the rest of the walk to a solid round of applause from the audience. It was a beautiful Buster Keaton moment of comic relief inspired from a collection whose ultra-cool theme was “Freedom and Solidarity in Fashion.” The huge hobo feedbags and clutches were fabulous and offered the spirit of the show into the hands for all of us to share. I will stand in line to buy one, please!

Thuy (pronouncd “Twee”) is a Buy Me: I get first class attention when I witness any Company Agenda fashion show or event. This beautiful, sweet, original, hot, sexy, glamour goddess collection was genius and as gorgeous as its designer, Thuy Diep. The details are divine with so much spot-on soul style…I am still lusting over her fox tailed tote bag that I want to buy online!  It is so obvious that she designs for a super confident woman who owns her life force AND wants to confide that she is creating a legendary life cause Thuy is all that and more.

Sigh, inhale, release, love, let go and breathe…Oh, man, is this Fall going to be one hell of a Humdinger! The Dame Knights New York City for being the gracious and generous hostess to all who leap at the chance to pursuit beauty, love and service with pleasure!

photos: style.com, Jade Dressler, Dame Lori

 

Dame Lori & Claude Leaving Lincoln Center

 

CONTEST!
OH, YES, I have a Soul Styling Challenge and Contest for you All! I have several delicious and cool offers to visit some very ultra-chic designer showrooms in October.

What lucky bird will accept this offer to attend with me?
The offer is yours…I will choose only one lucky person this month, the best answer wins. Give me your answers to the following in the comments section of this post… and get ready…I might choose you!

What is your favorite Soul Styled Possession that you are TURNED ON about for this Fall? 
Write me on why, and what and how it inspires your desires, your style, your personality, your being, your life. In other words, why does this PIECE demonstrate your self adoration and what happens to you when you are adorned in it? I’ll announce the winners soon so Hurrrrrry!
 

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My Mystery Hat Man: Orlando Rene Palacios

Mom & Daughter Dame, 1963

How can I explain my first encounter with Orlando Rene Palacios?

It involved a short elevator ride, my knees buckling and a swooning gasp in which I muttered out something like, “Oh my god, what are you and where did you come from?” What brought me to my knees? Was it the richly faded, bluish green, thick felt Spanish bowler on top of his head, or the gorgeous camel wool jodhpurs with the front laced-up legs tucked into his worn-out brown leather boots? Or the rugged Spanish hunkiness with the booming sexy voice that stopped time? Dunno. I just instantly knew that this was someone I NEEDED to know. As much as I could remember during this bliss blackout, I heard that he was a hat designer and owner of Worth & Worth, a hat shop that began in 1921, which was perfect ’cause I love hats and a lot of hats love me.

Soon after, I had an inspiration: to revive and reinstate a fifty-plus-year-old Italian straw hat that my mother adored and had given me years ago, and adorn it with the original Steiff animals on the band, along with a mohair teddy bear pin that my sister and I had found. When my mother first gave me this hat years ago, I immediately cut off all the animals and let them go, for I thought they were very silly and, of course, since my mother passed away five years ago, I have kept them at my bedside to grieve as I felt the soft mohair on my fingertips.

I accepted the spiritual expedition that was in store for me (picture a Lost-inspired epic with Javier Bardem at the helm) as I stepped into the showroom at Worth & Worth, which was filled with original wonders, and handed over the hat and the animals. As soon as I did so, I started to cry. I knew I had been guided to Orlando to honor my mother’s original style, charm, and spunk.  So Orlando created a little animal farm on my hat; he stitched, steamed, and expanded it in front of my eyes. Before I left, I asked Orlando (who had just completed designing countless red hot lip hats for the Diva DVF and THE Rockettes) for some smoldering yet simple wisdom, and here’s what I received: “I make tall hats, small hats, happy hats, and sad hats. And a sad hat is a hat without a head underneath it.”

Thank you, Orlando, for your festooning, your fun, and your brilliance at creating comfort and beauty, and helping soulful memories to come true. The Dame knights you for your rich warmth and outrageous unlocking of the magical wonders that take place between a mother, a daughter, and a hat.  Your conviction for topping ALL heads with hats is tucked away in my heart forever.

Orlando Rene Palacios & My Hat!

Chilled out old friends!

Summer of Love 2010

Drop by and get a Hat on Your Head for Fashion Night Out on Friday, September 10th, 6-11pm. The Dame and the brilliant Dame Game Blogger, Tziporah Salamon will Soul Style You for a Worth & Worth Photo Shoot amongst an incredible cast of chic characters and events plus make your own hat for a sweet song?!?!

Worth & Worth, 45 West 57 St., 6th floor, New York City, 1-800-hatshop (1-800-428-7467) or 1-212-265-2887

Dame Lori


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Man-Hattan Musings

To be male in Man-Hattan is uber-exquisite. It’s a testosterone-tinged town teeming with tweeters, tweakers and twisted dreamers. Men from all over the world pounce on the city rabid for more—more sex, food, power, fashion. And we find it. Each month, I’ll share some of the best I’ve tumbled upon. With New York Fall Fashion Week fast approaching, let me share a few final late summer musts.

August into September is Manhattan’s most sensual time. The heat peaks and the flesh quotient soars. My favorite people-watching perch is at The Roasting Plant at Greenwich and 7th Avenue in the West Village. The coffee is amazing—they roast the
beans and brew it cup by cup—but the front of store street runway bench is the real draw. Within a half hour you’ll see leggy teen girl fashion models, city celebs (John Cameron Mitchell, Phillip Seymour Hoffman at my last stop) and Chelsea boys with bodies as
hard as my Mastercard. Speaking of stunning physiques: take a peek at the door boys at California style hut, Hollister at Houston and Broadway. Yummy.

Grab a martini at the Metropolitan Museum’s Roof Garden on a Friday night. Chic view, fun crowd, classic Man-Hattan and the rooftop’s Big Bambu installation by Mike and Doug Starn is up until October. And quite a few eligible bachelors if you’re hunting, ladies. Also, the film series at the Bryant Park outdoor cinema may have ended but September weather is still fine for taking an outdoor yoga class or listening to some piano concerts. Hint: skip the maddening crowd on the Bryant Park lawn. Sit at one of the chic little tables on the raised area behind and eavesdrop as film industry regulars hang and chat. You might score an agent for that screenplay you wrote. Plus, make sure to upload the song of the summer into Fall (sorry Katie Perry and Kelis) Kylie Minogue’s ‘All the Lovers’, the Wawa Mmb anthem remix. I discovered the song while swimming in a sea of men at the Boat Slip tea dance in Provincetown July 4.

Finally, what really electrifies me about this city, is the melting pot mix of fabulous urbanites. Spotted this month at the fountain in front of the delectable Time Warner Mall: A gaggle of gorgeous gal cougars, heeled and hip, on their way to Bergdorf Goodman, were stopped momentarily by a group of young boys from the Bronx who were dipping into the fountain, one of them momentarily nude.

“Look at me lady” he screamed. And they did.

See you next month when I’ll report on Fashion’s Night Out, Sept. 10

Court Artisan: Scott Alexander Hess

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Little Mishaps to Grand Entrances

Little mishaps can remind us of what is strongest inside.

I was on my way to the Carlyle Hotel where I was to be photographed for an article by Lynn Yaeger for The New York Times about women, like myself, who have their own distinct style and how we came to it.

As I walked up Madison Ave., I felt the tear. The snap of the collar of my cheongsam had come undone; with it, my equilibrium, well-being and serenity.  “What an inconvenient time!” “Now what?” I knew that I had to have the snap repaired – immediately. I knew that if I didn’t the imperfection would tear away at me, and that my time at the Carlyle would be totally ruined. I needed a tailor and I needed one now.  I had a grand total of 20 minutes.

I quickly assessed the situation. The Ralph Lauren store was a few blocks away and I knew they had tailors on the premises. With determination and resolve, I quickly made my way up to the store, found my favorite sales associate, Michael and within minutes one of the tailors was sewing my snap. I relaxed into the ease and familiarity of allowing him to do his work. Ten minutes later, and right on time, I entered the Carlyle, totally restored and bursting with confidence.  I was whole again.

Therein is the key to my strong distinct style. My father, Itzhak Izidore Salamon was a tailor; my mother, Ida Dina Berner was a seamstress. They made all my clothes.  I grew up surrounded by the richness and color of cloth and design and I adored getting dressed.

And from day one I was the best dressed girl in town.  Fast forward to today when I still adore getting dressed. Nothing thrills me more than opening up my closets and feasting my eyes on my huge collection of amazing antique clothes – Victorian, Edwardian, 20’s and ethnic Chinese, Japanese and Persian.  It is this connection to beautiful, one-of-a-kind clothes and tailors and dressmakers that keeps me rooted and reminds me of my origins and roots and the fabric of my being.

Court Artisan: Tziporah Salamon

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NYC Style Pilgrims: Brian and Richard

COMMiti ego Questionnaire for Creative Teams:

Brian Bennett and Richard Ives

Pilgrims. Handy Pioneers make the best go-to visionaries and this week’s Creative Team, Richard Ives and Brian Bennett of New York’s “Pilgrim” answer the blare of a shofar calling in the style hounds and devoted for a cornicopia of style. (It’s Fall Harvest time…Rosh Hoshana and Thanksgiving is coming…we just had to go there!)

The store is called Pilgrim on the historic Lower East Side, Garmento block of Orchard Street in New York City and the style creds are vast. Richard has been a stylist, art director and designer for the likes of Richard Avedon, Steven Klein, Michael Thompson, and Donna Karan and partner, Brian Bennett, a connoisseur and collector of art and music for most of his life.

Love and passion for the arts and style equals Pilgram, located at 70 Orchard Street in Manhattan. Dive into Richard Ives’ custom collection plus vintage designer runway styles and bijoux from Valentino, Christian LaCroix, Dior, Fendi, KJL Studio, Wendy Gell, JMP Paris, YSL, Ugo Correani, Versace, Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Ben Amun, Miriam Haskell, Napier, Ciner, Kramer, Lisner, Guy LaRoche, Claude Montana, Chanel, Dior, Alaia, Krizia and Sonia Rykiel. Here is a link to the lively and active Pilgrim Facebook page and here is what makes them tick as Creative Partners.

1. how do you access your creative?

Brian: I try to meditate daily, I try to do creative thinking during my morning walk with my dogs — which is every morning.

Richard: I don’t even think about it, just a part of my thought mechanism. it’s not like I sit down and say to myself: “be creative now”. lol. It’s like someone who is good at math or basketball, it just happens.

2. how do you transform fear and disdain into brilliance + partnership + productivity?

Brian: I think creative things often come from a place of fear which is kind of a paradox as I try not to live in fear and try to live in the present.  I don’t think that makes much sense, but creative brilliance often comes for tapping into searching for one’s sense of self.

Richard:. The fear is of being”found out,” that you really aren’t talented and you have to stay one step ahead of everyone so they don’t discover this. lol. It keeps me motivated.

3. what have you realized about yourself as a result of creative partnerships?

Brian: I’ve been in creative partnerships my whole adult life.  I can’t imagine doing it alone.  I don’t think great things come from doing it on your own.  Everything that is magnificent is always a collaboration, but it’s never easy–negotiating your ideas vs. their ideas–there is often conflict, and conflict resolution is not easy until you reach the resolution.

Richard: I’m a control freak, but I still need input and ideas and critique in order to grow and produce.

Brian and Richard’s collaborative creative / partnership ritual.

Brian: Richard usually buys the fabrics before anything. Richard then usually asks my opinion about what I think.  Usually he has an idea right off the bat — that is usually great.  I sometimes offer my advice about changing it here or there, or what dress, top or pant it should be done with.  We often talk about what’s going on every day in the world of fashion, design, music, the news, everything is an influence. Even the subway ride over to work.  Sometimes I’ll see something that I’ll share that I loved someone’s look on the subway.  It just evolves from there into long conversations…LOL.

Richard: As Brian stated, fabric selection is a major factor in our collaboration. I pick something and then we discuss the possibilities or the limitations. It has become our design ritual.

Court Artisan: Jade Dressler

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And the role of housewife will be played by…

Today I am playing a housewife.

I’m trying it on. Yesterday I harvested organic vegetables at the farm where there’s a share included in my August rental in Sag Harbor. Today, I gathered towels and sheets and miscellaneous linens in a laundry basket, nestling the plastic latticework into my side as I scooped up the textile remains of weekend guests. I lovingly rinsed every lettuce leaf I had pulled from the ground at the farm. I watched the very same dirt I rinsed off my toes go down the drain as it freed the fresh greens from their earthen coat. I arranged fresh flowers cut from the rows of cosmos, black-eyed susans, and sunflowers that punctuate the potato furrows and lines of tomato vines at the farm. As I found a place for our abundant harvest in our overstuffed refrigerator I reveled in the continuity of handpicking the very same food that’s sustaining my summer energy. I organized the Tupperware, matching long-separated pairs to their beloved other halves. I took great satisfaction in fitting a few more glasses into the dishwasher after some purposeful rearranging.

I’m finding that I’m a gifted domestic goddess, even if I may never figure out how to fold a fitted sheet into anything more than a clumsy heap. And the joy in trying this role on for comes from the fact that it is simply that: a role—one among a multitude from which I can choose on a daily basis. I am so blessed to live in a time and place in which options abound and choice is as taken for granted as breathing. (I have consciously created my personal and business life to allow for maximum freedom.) And for the fact that I can choose to don a little apron and dishwashing gloves and cook dinner every night, or simply hire a cleaning service and order out, I am eternally grateful. Because though the label “domestic goddess” suits me quite well, the joy in it comes from the fact that I get to choose it today, whether or not I choose it again tomorrow.

Court Artisan: Kate Northrup

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