Archive | June, 2010

Christian Siriano’s Sister’s Wedding Gown

29 Jun

As promised! Here is one of the dresses that Christian Siriano designed for his sister,  Shannon’s wedding!  He published this picture on Twitter!  Simply divine!  Or as he would say…FIERCE!

Christian Siriano Design 

Project Runway’s winner!  ” Tim Gunn calls him “a prodigy” and “the next great American fashion designer.” Only 24 years old, Christian Siriano was born to design.  Christian is one of my top 3 favorite designers (Tadashi and Michael Kors) and for those who do not know, he also has a shoe line in Payless® shoes, so check out their website or a store near  you!  To see more of  his fabulous designs, please go to  The designs are amazing and absolute a work of art!

Be well  – Lee!   🙂

Ladies, To Keep Or Not To Keep?

24 Jun

Ladies, this evening,  I received a question from one of my readers today, Dana out of Harlan, IA.  She started off by saying,  “Miss Mitchell..I know you blog about decorating and a few other topics, but you’re very fashionista and I have a little question…..!” 

 Dana wanted to know whether the hang straps inside her formal gown she was wearing could be cut, she’s tried it on and they were noticable.  This made me think,  I’d never thought about cutting the hang straps from my blouses, skirts or dresses! LOL  Hmmm, should I be? 

I have always tucked or taped the hang straps, so they would not show when wearing; especially if it’s strapless.  I would keep the hang straps in tack to hang back the garment, thinking it assisted in preserving the shape while it’s hanged in the closet or secure when I’m travelling!   It wouldn’t be placed in the garment; if they weren’t important! Right? 

(Just imagine me asking this to Michael Kors or Christian Siriano, Mr. Fierce himself,  do we really need these things? LOL  Oh.. by the way, Christian’s  sister is getting married this week, he designed 3 dresses for her wedding…just wanted you to know!  I’ll post if he publishes them!!)

OK, this is such a great question, so I said let me put up a poll on this topic and see what other people would do with these infamous hang straps!  I’m curious! 

See, you had no idea, that this would be a topic of discussion! Neither did I, thanks Dana! (giggle

Oh! Yes, I did e-mail Dana back, saying to not to cut them from her strapless dress – tape them down, so she would feel comfortable;  also with a thank you for the compliment and her readership!  Why? She did say it was a formal gown and to keep its form, the hang straps will help keep its shape.

 Image by © Condé Nast Archive/CORBIS  1936

Be well – Letia 🙂

Gardens….In Bloom

20 Jun

It’s important to make your spaces enjoyable, there should be a certain feeling that you want to convey!  The feeling should express, I don’t want to leave – OR – I can’t wait to get home.  In earlier posts, I provided you with quizzes to find your personal style or suggested using a paint color, that you love, but you’ve dare to tell anyone that you’re; let’s say BOLD!   A home should be filled with furniture, flowers, textures..things that make you just happy.  Whatever you decide, you don’t have to always hire a designer,  decorator or landscaper.. there are various magazines, which can give you great ideas.    However,  if you just don’t know how, what to do or where to start, they are available to help you; making the experience and journey enjoyable!

Yes! Your space should be exactly how you want it to BE!  One of my dearest friends, Mark Kramer, Executive Chef, Creative Director & Proprietor of Susan Lawrence in Chappaqua NY for years has often talked about changing the gardens surrounding his Patterson, NY home to show how he feels.   Mark has such a great appreciation of life and has had this internal vision for maintaining a certain balance for quite some time, often speaking to him constantly….that he decided  “I better do this; it’s very important to me.”

I had the great opportunity of seeing his vision from start to fruition!  Mark was so very passionate about this project, taking careful consideration on selecting the right people to help him.  Now and then, he would in passing speak with Michael Spitzer; renown landscape architect and partner of New York City landscape architecture firm Landgarden®.  He decided to call him; which began a wonderful collaboration of creativity; as well as a wonderful friendship for them both.

Michael Spitzer’s work is quite remarkable; however the careful detail plan he developed on Mark’s vision was beyond superb!  I am so used to looking at floor plans; that I’d remember that day when Mark received the plans drawn up by Michael Spitzer.  Mark spreaded them across his dining room table;  I was simply floored and Mark was so excited; he was actually blushing in joy.  Every foot of  the proposed land was considered;  the intended flower beds, tree types, pathways, inclinations, daylight direction and water irrigations! Every foot (giggle)!

Now this is the time, the grounds would depict their true blooming period; the end of May, the  middle of June.  So Mark called me up and invited me over to see (he was so excited).  Well the experience for me was kind of surreal, because when you arrive to Mark’s home, you first walk up a driveway, a normal driveway to a very inviting tall white gate, with this very intriguing black door handle to enter.  

Upon going through the gate, you’re simply blown away!  It’s like partaking in story you’ve read about, where you’ve moved from reality to enchantment!   You are greeted with the sound of various birds just chirping away, a beautiful assortment of flower beds, in so many varieties and such an array of colors.  There’s this alliance of holly trees, lilac trees (my favorite) and these poignant evergreens standing tall.  As I walked closer, the luring fragrance of jasmine just captured my attention as I approached the first sitting area!  Then, when I turn slightly to my far left, I then saw an alluring white trellis protecting this beautiful herb garden!  

In my amazement, it got even better!  In between my footsteps, I then heard this trickling of water; very calm I must say.  As we both walked together a little further, I found slate steps descending down to a miniature patio!  As I stepped down, I found to my surprise I was right in front of a koi pond with this simple, yet quite lovely waterfall.   The koi pond filled with ten of the most happiest exotic, rather large koi fish you ever did want to see.  I kid you not, as I sat there for a while at the foot of the pond I noticed all sorts of nature friends around; from the littlest frog to these two chipmunks popping in out of the cat mint shrubs.  Even the bumble bees were quite friendly! 

If asked what’s my favorite thing,  I can’t decide whether it’s the scrumptious peonies or even the secret path to wisp you beyond the grounds; which literally gives anyone the invitation to have another magical moment.  The type of enjoyment which reminds you of your childhood hide and seek days!   Pssst, take a sneak peek of Mark Kramer’s gardens!

While sitting drinking my Elderflower martini, Mark expressed how he now wanted to concentrate on the home’s interior.   A few rooms have been changed (which he is so pleased with), however understands the same approach as he did for his gardens, should be done for the home’s interior.   To help him with this task, Mark indicated that he recently met with Marsha Russell of Satinwood, Ltd Interior Design to share his ideas and is so excited that they are going to be working together!

Marsha Russell recently provided her expertise to one of America’s favorite actresses, Meg Ryan!   You can see Meg Ryan’s beach home in the June issue of ELLE DECOR titled “relax”!  A five-year project, where Meg Ryan’s Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts’ home also scripted a wonderful collaboration between them both, reflecting Meg’s personal style.   While talking with Mark, I’d looked through the pages more intently, Meg Ryan’s home is simply divine!  My favorite is the dining area, it’s informal, yet very inviting and the multitude of  beautiful indoor windows reflects the sunlight spectacularly; incredible!  I will say this…without a doubt, Mark will definitely be in great hands with Marsha Russell!  If you get a chance review the issue to see Meg Ryan’s home; it’s full of great ideas!


Well, it’s time for me to leave (I didn’t want to go)! Leaving through the same gate I entered only 2 hours ago, I am feeling like I’m placing a bookmark in a magical book I’m reading, pausing the story and now here I’m at my car searching for my keys in my pocketbook!   Back to driving and the traffic lights; but oh what a good feeling I will have while driving home!  I am truly happy for my friend, truly!!!   

Be well – Letia 😉  Photos by ELLE DECOR Magazine 

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