Dear ladies, and may I say my dear girlfriends all over the world, I wish you all a happy International Women's Day! I know that here, in the US, more and more people are becoming aware of this holiday which I grew up with in Russia. March 8th is one of the big holidays celebrated in every small and big town, every village and city in my home country. We haven't treated this holiday as a political one (though it is how it started over 100 years ago, read the history here) - rather, it was partly a romantic holiday which we had long before Valentine's Day caught up, partly a celebration of mothers (long before we had a separate Mother's Day), and partly a celebration of sisterhood and women's friendship. The celebratory customs include giving flowers to women who are dear and significant in your life, partying with friends and family, exchanging little presents and, without a doubt, dressing up. It's always been one of my very favorite holidays. And I feel so happy and so lucky to celebrate it with you today - you see, I dressed up, brought you some flowers with my Russian platok, and even prepared a little present for you all.
It so happened that a little while ago, I was approached by a wonderful little boutique from Bronxville, New York called Chaos NY. From the letter I received I learned that the philosophy behind the business is in some ways similar to that which got the International Women's Day started - women supporting other women. Chaos NY offers unique artful clothing, jewelry, accessories and household items which are created by talented, but maybe not widely known designers, and also partners with women's cooperatives from around the world - South Africa, India, South America. The letter sounded so delightful and intriguing - I couldn't wait to open their web site. I was amazed with the variety of colorful, whimsical, funky designs and immediately fell in love with quite a few items. I do not accept just any offer to collaborate that I receive (in fact this is the first such offer I've accepted), but Chaos NY truly won over my heart. I was offered to pick an item of my liking from a few different ones, and even from the category I was interested in the most - jewelry and accessories. Here is what I received in an envelope with a kindly hand written note of gratitude...
...this gorgeous purple silk bracelet by Mozaic International! It is soft, delicate and feels luxurious to wear. I love the contrasting black rock and colorful beads, and all those rich golden details make me happy. It has a regal and yet whimsical feeling to it, and I think it would look great with many outfits, but for my first wearing I wanted to dress it up and went a little over the top with this fancy dress by Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant which I wear on very special occasions.
I love when fanciful items don't stop upfront, but continue their fancifulness even "on the back" - as you can see, even the closure has playful golden flowers on it. Such a delightful treat!
And now a little gift to you, my dear friends and readers. If you shop at the Chaos NY from March 9 till March 23, you will receive 30% off your entire purchase. Please enter WRITER30 in the discount code box when you are ready to check out.
As I have told you, I loved quite a few items in the store, and before I received my bracelet, I actually went ahead and purchased this beautiful ring I showed in my blog here and here. So that was the little secret I held from you. The ring is made by the San Francisco based designer Jan Michaels. It is made of brass and cinnabar which is commonly known for traditional Chinese carved lacquerware - you might have seen it before. Because cinnabar is the ore of mercury, it can be toxic in its natural state, but in the modern jewelry industry, they replace the toxic pigment with a polymer which makes it safe to wear. (You can read more about cinnabar here.) You noticed that I love my ring and wear it a lot, and when I received it, the women of Chaos NY sent me a sweet note and admitted that the ring was one of their favorite pieces in the store. I think I snapped the last one, because it disappeared from the site. But I am loving many more pieces, just look at these funky bracelets or the colorful bag made out of recycled tees!
And the last thing I wanted to talk about is my choice of shoes. I've mentioned before that I have wide feet, and it is challenging to find really comfortable footwear which is still stylish. I can't tell you how many moons ago I owned a pair of pumps. Many! But a couple of weeks back, I spotted this pair at Nordstrom Rack which were discounted from $140 to $30, something like that. I know, it's crazy! I put them on and walked around the store for quite a while. I was amazed how comfortable they were. But then I thought, "Where I'm going to wear them? How many chances that I even will wear them?" And I put them back on the rack and went home... A couple of days later, I was still thinking of this pair. "How often do I find a pair of shoes that fit me well? How often are they high heels? How often do I buy shoes which cost over a hundred for just 30 bucks? What was I thinking leaving that pair at the store?" I searched for them online and read feedback, and eventually decided that I should better go back and get them if they are still there... Well what do you know - they were still there, in wide width, in my size, and I bought them. So happy I did. They are python print, which is quite exciting, but read as neutral and go with so many things. And they are truly comfortable!
I hope you enjoyed my shopping stories today. I sure have fun telling them to you. That's what girlfriends are for, right? Well, that and a few other things. :)
Happy Women's Day!
Hugs to you all,
Dress - Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant
Russian platok - gift from my parents
Pumps - Rockport via Nordstrom Rack
Earrings - Chico's
Bracelet - c/o Chaos NY
Clutch - Cole Haan via TJ MAXX
Linking up with Patti's Visible Monday
and Anne's 52 Pick-me-up - see you there!