Setting the Mood: Runway Runaround

By |September 8th, 2014|Setting the Mood|

mercedes benz fashion weekLast Thursday officially marked the beginning of New York Fashion Week although I think brands and PR firms have sneakily stretched one grueling week into two seeing as my Fashion Week began last Tuesday with a party for Fohr Card on the rooftop of the James Hotel and an amazing panel discussion with Zac Posen.  From that point forward, it’s been game on.  Friends who are not involved in the industry and even those who are have vowed to reunite after the madness has died down next week.  As much excitement, beauty, and straight up style Fashion Week brings with it, there’s an equal and opposite amount of stress, snarkiness, and showboating involved.  I’ve come to a place in my life and career where I both love and loathe these two times a year (February and September) nearly as much as my annual trip to those shiny silver stirrups, which I think I adequately verbalized last season.

It can be downright infuriating, dealing with the crowds, the egos, and the newbies who haven’t been alive long enough to understand the underlying purpose of the week, but it is a necessary evil and actually being a part of it is truly humbling.  Much like all things that are American these days, Fashion Week has become commercialized and almost a social media safari as to who can capture what picture from what show first and from the best angle.  It’s a virtual pissing contest that can leave some victorious and others vexed.  However, just when I’m about to roll my eyes and begin to grumble as I traipse through Lincoln Center cursing myself for wearing those shoes, I am reminded that at one point in time I was just a little girl from West Virginia playing dress up in her mom’s clothes.   nyfw fashion essentials editorLoeffler Randall Work Tote with Haircalf, Italia Independent Velvet Flat Top Sunglasses, Smythson Inspirations and Ideas Notebook, Olloclip iPhone Camera Lens System



Why Did You Wear That: Spot On

By |November 16th, 2013|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

kirsten smithI’ve always felt a little conflicted about wearing leather and fur. When I was ten, I begged and pleaded (to no avail) with my parents for a cute little spotted potbelly pig. One morning over breakfast, it was revealed to me that bacon, in fact, comes from pigs. For the next year, I refused to eat meat thinking about that poor little pig in the pet shop. (I also begged and pleaded for a chinchilla around that same time). After finding it far too difficult to gain sustenance without any meat in my diet, I gave up vegetarianism the next year, but the feelings of guilt about fur, stuck with me. While home visiting my mom in Wheeling between semesters in college, we ventured into an antique store in Centre Market. Amongst the delicate tea sets and tiny trinkets, there was a rack of vintage clothing and hanging in the midst of these dated duds, was the most amazing leopard coat. I am my mother’s daughter and she insisted that I would be thankful that I’d bought this coat one day. While it was first worn to a “pimp n’ hoe” party in college, I’ve held onto it throughout the years and am happy to bring it back into rotation this fall. When worn with a simple tee, vegan leather pants, pumps, and topped off with a knit beanie, the look is definitely not outdated and to me, it says more “hollaback girl” than call girl.

Kirsten Smith

leopard coat

kirsten smith

kirsten smithbeanie: H&M, coat: vintage (similar here), top: Express, pants: Black Orchid (similar here), shoes: Yves Saint Laurent, bag: Celine, sunglasses: RayBan




photos by Catherine Sampietro

WhyDid Wisdom: Judgey Wudgey Was a Bear…

By |June 6th, 2013|WhyDid Wisdom|

It’s very rare I bat even an eyelash at a guy when I’m out on the town.  Partially because I’m a bit shy, but mostly because I rarely come across anyone the slightest bit bat worthy.  But on one particular evening, I was feeling flirtatious, not to mention that I knew my marled grey sweater dress was hugging my curves in precisely the right places and my hair was on a whole new level of Pantene Pro-V commercial bounciness.  I might have also had two glasses of champagne, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, when I saw a guy at the table next to ours who did not resemble a Wall Street douchebag just let loose from his trading desk (unmistakable by their unbuttoned  custom tailored shirts, pressed grey trousers, and shiny black Ferragamos), I gave him the ol’ eye.  Even more so, I gave him the eye, eyebrow and half smile—my signature move.  Message delivered.  This tall, handsome, man of a man took his time, but made his way over to me to say, “hello.”   Names were exchanged, leading to the standard, “Where are you from?” question.  Him: New Jersey, Me: West Virginia.  We took digs at each other’s respective hometowns and a bond was forged.

Bonus points for his ability to not only dish it, but take it.  Double bonus points for texting me the moment he woke up the next morning (which was awfully early for the record) and having saved his number with both first and last name in my phone.  I never go out with someone sans knowing his surname anymore—but that story is for a different day.

After snoozing for another hour or so, I did what every twenty-first century woman in her right mind does… I first searched for him on Facebook to see if we had any overlapping friends, but found no relevant matches.  Up next, Google.  Due to his fairly common name, I had to think of another identifier that would make him more Googleable.  Oh, right, he told me he reverse commuted for work, so I typed in his name along with the city where he worked and, “BAM!” there he was.

Oh no.  How could this delicious dreamboat be a … carpet cleaner?  I’ve never even met a carpet cleaner.  There had to be some mistake.  Except there wasn’t because the same number listed on his website was the number so sweetly saved in my cell phone.  After discounting him for his less than desirable job title, I texted with him casually and one Monday night while having cocktails with a friend, Mr. Dreamboat suggested we come join him at Hudson Bar & Books (the irony is not lost on me) since we were down the street and we were essentially neighbors.

Having exhausted the people watching at our current watering hole, we obliged and found him sitting at the bar enjoying a Manhattan and a stogie.  He was warm and gracious towards my friend, a gay gentleman with a biting sense of snark.  We toyed with him by telling him my friend was the host of  an after hours radio show about sex to which he asked thoughtful questions.  My friend asked Dreamboat what he did and his answer surprised us both.  He ran a janitorial business.  My carpet cleaner was now a janitor?  When I asked what might be considered blatantly rude questions to his face, he didn’t flinch or get defensive, but instead answered them in earnest.

Wow, he’s a genuinely nice human.  Wow, I’m a bitch.

As he walked me home, he told me about how he’d started collecting art and couldn’t figure out where to hang a vintage mirror in his new apartment.  He told me he’d just seen a great movie and I was half expecting him to tell me something embarrassing and low brow like Iron Man, but instead he named a movie I had never heard of playing in a theater I didn’t even know existed.  Perhaps I’d judged Dreamboat a little too quickly.

This earned him a kiss goodnight.  One that must have been impressive because my doorman gave me a high five on my way through the lobby.

Things continued on casually.  Texts here and there, a date planned and then canceled and a run in with him during brunch at The Standard followed by a boozy Saturday afternoon with my friends mixing with his—one of which I had dated five years prior and another who may or may not have been a high end hooker.  Not much transpired past that day, not due to my lack of trying though.  As we’d been judging Dreamboat for being less than desirable on paper, he’d written me off for his own reasons.  Probably for being a sarcastic snob.

During one of my marathon phone calls with my dad, he was quick to remind me that sanitation is recession proof and while I’m sitting here writing this in my robe, he’s on vacation in the Dominican Republic.  Dick Smith, always thinking of things I didn’t.

Point being: careful when making judgments and remember that you, too, are being judged… even by your janitor.



Why Did You Wear That: Holiday Red-y

By |December 12th, 2012|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

whydid kirsten smithAnd the hits just keep on coming thanks to my ahead of her time mother.  This is yet another adorable dress straight from the closet of Georgia Lynn.  I’m so thankful my mom had the good sense to hold onto some of her favorite pieces.  While I won’t be inheriting any Chanel tweed jackets (wasn’t her bohemian style), I’m happy to give several stunners of the sweater dress variety a new home.  True, you won’t be able to go out and grab this exact one but, I think it’s a great example of a dress that’s more than appropriate for a couple of upcoming holiday party occasions.

  1. The office holiday party.
  2. Semi-formal family functions (whether yours or his).

A form fitting sweater dress (or knit) in a festive color (we all know emerald green would be a fantastic choice as well) at a moderate length says, “Cheers!” not “cheap.”  No one wants to be the girl in a mini dancing on the desk/table with a lampshade on her head.  And should you have one too many egg nogs and find yourself perched upon said table, this dress will be long enough to keep Victoria’s secret.

red sweater dress kirsten smith

kirsten whydidyouwearthat

whydidyouwearthat kirsten smith

dress: vintage, boots: Steve Madden, bag: Amrita Singh, hair: Sultra Bombshell

Thanks, I’ll have another.



Why Did You Wear That: Dress Up

By |November 28th, 2012|Personal Style, Why Did You Wear That?|

whydid kirsten smithIt’s always so relaxing to go home.  There are no worries, no pressure, nothing to do, and I gain about ten pounds.  Turns out, the fine folks here are not particularly interested in juicing, Pilates, or whether or not hunting gear should be worn to dinner at Applebee’s.  That said, I am looking forward to heading home (to New York), starting a cleanse, and hitting the treadmill– hard.  In the meantime, I played a little game of dress up in a sweater dress of my mother’s that I’ve been eying for several years.  It hung in my closet in New York for a bit, but never got any play because I couldn’t quite figure out when and where I wanted to wear it, so I returned it during my West Coast intermission.  Now seems like the perfect time for this knit confection to make its way back to my closet once again.  Let’s give it another go.  Whaddya say?

kirsten smith

vintage sweater dress

all saints boots

kirsten smith why did you wear thatdress: vintage, bag: Balenciaga, boots: All Saints, hat: Croft & Barrow

Thanks, mom.