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Located directly across from each other, in the college town of Berkeley, are two shopping jewels that are the perfect pairing for any party girl who has a fondness for beautiful things with a provenance.

Labels Accessories at 2659 Ashby Avenue houses an inventory packed offering of shoes, sunglasses and purses in a 2 story boutique space. Many of the designer bags are displayed in clear, locked boxes which line the walls of the first floor.  Shoes are on the second floor.  In the boxes I spotted lots of Prada, Bottega Veneta and Chanel with pieces from Cole Hahn or vintage croc bags displayed openly. 

Visiting Tail of the Yak at 2632 Ashby Avenue is a visual wonderland that must be experienced  gradually as there is much to study in the cleverly designed display vignettes imagined by the shop owners with surprises everywhere you look, including a pair of doves in a muslim beribboned confection of a cage, one nesting on an egg!

There are French soaps pretty enough for any powder room, wonderful paper creations from South America and beyond including paper garlands, paper flowers, heavyweight paper embossed place cards and invitations with gold leaf.  I picked up some beautiful paper watches in gold and silver for $1 that I thought would look lovely on my next party table setting.  Tin toy reproductions were well crafted and beautifully displayed jewelry in a case was enticing.  Glass objects d’art were placed under domes to great effect.

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BAHAUS style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design.  Its’ streamlined, minimalist vocabulary translates easily into today’s clean approach to dressing.  One designer embracing this modern, minimalist mindset is Jil Sander.






BAUHAUS DESSAU                                     JILSANDER STRETCH SATIN COAT

POST MODERNISTS like architect Frank Gehry have their fashion counterpart in Junya Watanabe.








BARD FISHER CENTER                                               BRODERIE ANGLAISSE SKIRT

Antoni Gaudi the brilliant Spanish architect of the last century was a member of the  Expressionist movement.  A master of many media including ceramics, stained glass and wrought iron, he employed the use of color and bold pattern in his design work.  His modern day fashion equivalent is Miu Miu, with its’ large scale geometric patterned dresses and brilliant color combinations the connections are clear.











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It’s Halloween and my mind is on all the alluring and dark scents available in perfume or candle form.  I have three recommendations for you to peruse and discover what appeals to you.

If you are interested in a unique perfumerie check out Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab available online at

This website is wonderfully creative and unfolds like a surreal story with scents cleverly organized under various themes like Carnaval Diabolique and Bewitching Brews.  What could be more perfect for all hallow’s eve?

If you are in the mood for candle scents I recommend you visit for their Baies “Noire/Black” Berries candle $68.  While the scent is classified as fruit based, the candle container sets a dark and somber mood so fitting for today’s theme.

Go to for talented designer favorite of mine Jonathan Adler’s Muse Noir Candle $68.  It comes in an intriguing container that will last long after the candle has burned down.  The fragrance features plum and bergamot mixed with amber and vetiver.

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