Friday, March 22, 2013

Cat Chat :: CATatelier

Bond-insipred Untied Bow Tie

Writing a blog centered around style, beauty, décor...and occasionally cats, I’m often in pursuit of fresh designers and tastemakers who work with a creative eye and exude an entrepreneurial spirit. When I found the feline fashion boutique that is CATatelier, I knew I had to learn more about the visionary creator and the always camera-ready cat.

Julie is the brains behind CATatelier, a business she started on Etsy in January 2011. The New Jersey native is a self-described “crazy cat lady” who began designing accessories for her 3-year-old cat, Toki Nantucket, a few years ago.

“I wanted to dress my own cat and take photos, but I wanted to do it in a way that was chic and cute,” Julie said. “I knew that I could design something that fit properly as opposed to using items that were made for dogs.”

Julie draws inspiration from her childhood. She has vivid memories of watching cartoons and reading books with animals dressed in clothing. “Taking a photo with a cat wearing something is creating a little scenario and a character,” Julie said. “It's not really a new idea. It's just usually reserved for dogs."

One of the first garments Julie made for her purebred ruddy Abyssinian was an elf hood. She had designed smaller accoutrements for his long and lean frame, but never with the intention of selling them publicly. Tokie wore the elf hood for a Christmas photo and the headpiece quickly became a hit. 

CATatelier offers a selection of stylish hats, scarves and ties with the newsboy cap reigning as Julie’s favorite. “It makes me think of a little street hoodlum hanging out in an alley playing dice,” Julie described in an interview. “This is definitely a throwback to childhood cartoons, from Looney Tunes to Heathcliff and the Cadillac Cats.”

For females, Julie loves the lace edge bib collar which reminds her of a baby traveling in a Mary Poppins-style perambulator. Cats cruising in carriages without a care in the world. What a thought. 

Prior to beginning a photo shoot, Julie preps the camera, lighting and accessories so that Toki is only dressed for a short time. She uses positive reinforcement as a way to snap the purrfect pose. Since cats are pragmatic creatures and have lasting memories, Julie rewards Toki with homemade chicken treats for his model behavior. Being the intelligent and instinctual animal that he is, the frisky feline immediately runs to the refrigerator for “payment” after each session.

Toki is amazing. Now when I dress him for photos, he sits down and poses, and then gets his chicken, Julie said. It is all very professional and funny.

Visit CATatelier for a look into the chic world of cat couture. As for my favorite accessory, it's the very dapper, Bond-inspired bow tie (pictured above).

Sweet Round Collar with Bow Tie

White Bib Collar with Lace Trim {inspired by Mary Poppins}

Newsboy Cap
{all photos via CATatelier}

Monday, March 18, 2013

Closet Candy :: Spring Style 2013

I am disappointed that I did not make it to the Gilt City Boston Warehouse Sale last week due to circumstances beyond my control. Having missed out on some serious bargain hunting, I'm flinging spring to the blog today. Wednesday is the first day of spring after all...even with snow still covering parts of the pavement in Boston. So, what's my closet coveting this season, you ask? Well, a lot and way more than my wallet can handle. Here's a look at five of my favorites...

Vine Camuto Torta Wedges
I have a passive, agressive relationship with wedges. I love them because I could practically run a marathon in them, however (at times) they can look and feel clunky and un-lady like. With all prim and properness aside, I love this cantaloupe pair from Vince Camuto. The bold medallion is a show stopper. What a perfect companion to white, cropped skinny pants. And if you call them espadrilles, it sounds far more glamours. Espadrilles, my darlings. Espadrilles.

Banana Republic Piped Navy Trench
I love navy...even a little more than I love black. Navy and white are two colors that herald in spring. Banana Republic does right by the classic combination this spring with a piped navy trench. This coat is coastal-chic and so very New England. Add a pop of fuchsia, turquoise or tangerine for contrast. 

Joseph Altuzarra Dress
Joseph Altuzarra has an impeccable eye for authentic, feminine style. His collection is also worthy of every penny marked on the tag. I adore almost anything in gray and cream, so naturally I felt compelled to include this darling ikat-print dress. The solid bodice and leather-trimmed silk and grosgrain belt lends this piece an authentic feel that is perfect for an alfresco dinner date. Also shown: Hervé Van Der Straeten cuffYves Saint Laurent ringBottega Veneta shoesNewbarK bag.

Gap Fitted Boyfriend Cat Print Shirt
It's a cotton shirt with a million cats. That is all.

Prada Degrade Sequin Clutch
And from the haute home of handbags (my favorite accessory) comes a sleek Prada blue-to-green sequin clutch. This scaly pouch looks like something fit for a mermaid and her fin. As for me, I would pair this sparkler with dark cropped jeans, a white silk blouse and gray peep-toe heels.

What kind of candy are you and your closet coveting for spring?

{images via}

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Gilt City Boston Warehouse Sale

On Friday, March 8, I will join Gilt City Boston for a media preview of their highly anticipated Warehouse Sale at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter. Touted as one of the best shopping events in the city, the two-day extravaganza will offer a selection of designer apparel and accessories for men, woman and children at up to 90% off the retail price. Designer décor for the home, including bedding accessories and bath accouterments, will also be on sale for those with the philosophy that your adobe should look and feel just as fabulous as your wardrobe.

A live DJ will spin tunes and set the scene for the savvy shoppers in search of serious sales. And style seekers wanting a refreshing refuge from the racks can enjoy cocktails courtesy of La Marca Prosecco, Whitehaven Wine and New Amsterdam Vodka. 

The event will open to the public at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, March 8. On Saturday, March 9, shoppers can once again raid the racks from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are required for entry and can be purchased here.

Happy haute hunting and don't forget to tweet and instagram photos of your luscious loot with hashtag #RaidtheWarehouse for a chance to win $100 in Gilt City credit. Visit me next week for a look into the treasures I'm sure to discover.

{images via Gilt City}