Sunday, October 20, 2013

Black and White and Read All Over

We're in Suitcase Magazine's Metamorphosis Issue

Some of our blog postings can be done start to finish over the course of several hours, but this one is special to us because it's taken six months to bring you the finished product. It's been worth the wait. At long last, here we are in Suitcase magazine. A mutual favorite of ours, designer Zandra Rhodes, rules the cover page.  We couldn't have asked for more!

It all started in April, when a Suitcase staff writer approached us at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with an idea for an article that would appear in the autumn 2013 issue. The theme was to be metamorphosis. What a great topic! As these things always do, the shoot concept evolved over the next several weeks, and at last it was agreed that we would each assemble two separate outfits. (One and a spare. Good idea!  Always have a back-up plan.) Except that the outfits had to be appropriate for early fall, we were given pretty much free rein.  We tried to come up with two looks which were as coordinated as possible with each other.  First, one black and white outfit - which we built around our huge matching black and white bracelets; and then one color outfit (yes!  Jean wore color!) in shades of blue.

There was plenty of time to prepare as our photographer, Nadia Sarwar, had planned our shoot for early July. At the end of the shoot, we had wonderful photos to share but couldn't jump the gun. It was the blogging equivalent of "money burning a hole in your pocket". We had to be patient, and anyone who knows us also knows that patience is not our long suit.  Because Suitcase is published on a quarterly basis, it was nearly three months before the finished product arrived in our post office box. We're delighted that we can post about it now. Waiting is hard.

Until we received our copies of the magazine, we didn't know which outfits had been featured, but as you can see from our opening photo of the magazine spread, the black and white looks won out. These two photos show the outfits head to toe. Putting together two outfits around black and white cuffs was fun. Above, Valerie matched hers with black and white checked earrings, black and white harlequin leggings and half black half white shoes.

Below, Jean accessorized with her black straw hat with the white rim, black and white polka dot earrings, and black shoes with black and white striped soles.

Following the shoot, Suitcase editor Serena Guen emailed us a series of interesting and thought-provoking interview questions to accompany the photo essay.

So, would you like to see the whole photo essay in order? Good, because we can't wait to show it to you. And forgive us, because we're going to repeat two of the above photos.

First, cover lady Zandra Rhodes. Who can do color or design as well as she can, and combine them so lyrically? (We'd like to say Cover Dame Zandra Rhodes.  We fully support the movement afoot to get Ms. Rhodes the title and acknowledgment she so richly deserves.)

And now for a little surprise. The photo essay, Once Upon Another Time, features four women of a certain age.  It opens with skin care entrepreneur Linda Rodin,

and continues with her interview;

then on to writer Alice Carey, and her responses to the same interview questions. (It was very interesting to see how different everyone's responses were.)

Then us,

And then, on the next page, our interviews, more or less unedited in this era of soundbites. Since Suitcase is based in the U.K., we were tickled to see a u added to the word favorite, and the word pants followed with this discreet translation: [trousers]. Behind the interviews, we loved the grayed-out background photo that centers on our hats. (The Marilyns above, by the way, are vibrant pink and yellow. All the color in the photo has been toned down except our red lipsticks. Way cool!)

As its name suggests, Suitcase focuses on travel, with articles in this issue about Istanbul, Madrid, Cartagena and Bogota, among other exotic locations. Stylistas should look for the interview with Zandra Rhodes, and another with makeup entrepreneur Bobbi Brown.

So now some of you must be saying "yeah, but what about the color outfits in shades of blue?" As we have mentioned in previous posts, despite more than four years of blogging experience, sometimes we can still manage not to take pictures of ourselves. This time, however, we were careful to occasionally hand our digitals to Nadia to document the whole thing. So we have some pictures with both of us - not just one or the other - for the blog. We can't show you all the photos, but we loved all the pictures Nadia took of us.

And here's a tip of our hats to our photographer, Nadia, based, like Suitcase, in the U.K. Young, talented, professional, efficient and gorgeous, Nadia was terrific to work with.  (We were in fall clothes, sitting in air conditioned splendor. Nadia, who brought the photographer's kitchen sink with her, is dressed for the daunting summer heat she had to battle to make her way to the shoot.)

Thanks to Serena and Nadia and everyone at Suitcase for putting together a great photo spread. We really enjoyed the experience, and loved the results!

BONUS: The Marilyns Show Their True Colors


  1. Terrific photos for two terrific Fashionistas.

  2. This must have been driving you nuts not being able to talk about this til the magazine came out! I love the black and white outfits you put together - the shapes are interesting and you coordinate, but not match. I think when I am Zandra's age I will colour my hair that shade of pink. Congratulations ladies!

  3. Love the last photo! Somehow, the happy yous and the colorful Marilyn make a fun photo! xxoo

  4. Chic, sophisticated, elegant! Congratulations. Love the black and white and your hats are to live for.