cat’s out of the bag…

Sandra's vintage cat bag

Sandra’s vintage cat bag is a Superstar! Everyone we met oohed and aahed over it.

…and on it.

This year for my birthday, I decided to give myself a few hours Off The Leash, so said “d*mn the torpedoes!” and took a vacation day away from the office. I checked in with Sandra Sallin (Apart From My Art) who is always fun and delightful company, and luckily for me, she was able to clear her calendar for some breakfast and a bit of flaneurie around West Hollywood.

Sandra showed up looking fabulous and chic in an all-black outfit with a charcoal poncho (which sets off her gorgeous silver hair) and great jewelry. And this fabulous vintage cat bag, which everyone from waiters to sales associates to baristas to random people on the street went gaga over.

We started off in the morning at The Ivy, which can be a bit of a “scene” for lunch and dinner, but is pretty mellow for a late breakfast. We both ordered the Huevos Rancheros, which were excellent and hearty enough to keep the glass of champagne from going too much to our heads!

Huevos Rancheros at The Ivy

Some little birdie told the waiter that it was my birthday 😉 so this arrived at the table…

birthday dessert with welding torch

No, that isn’t a welding torch, though you could have fooled me! The desserts were delicious, but we barely made a dent after that filling breakfast.

Well fortified, we hit the streets. As we were just a block away from the Eileen Fisher store, we had to go check out what was new.

linen denim jacket

another one that’s better in person than it looks online

Sandra tried on a few things including this linen jacket, which looked AMAZING on her. She tried two sizes and decided she liked the slouchier effect of the larger size and I agreed.

Next stop was Melrose Place (the actual street, not the 90’s TV show), one of LA’s Cool Brand Epicenters. Sandra introduced me to Violet Gray where we explored their “curated” selection of cosmetics, and I left with the RMS Beauty “Un-Cover-Up,” which works as both a concealer and spot foundation. Lately I’ve found that all-over foundation is just overkill, so have been using the Revision Intellishade, and the RMS works nicely on the areas that are prone to redness (nose, chin) and just need a little extra coverage. I like that the packaging is portable and travel-friendly, and the ingredients organic!

Isabel Marant Melrose Place

This gorgeous succulent garden in front of the Isabel Marant boutique is apparently a popular style blogger Instagram spot. Not to be outdone…

vintage cat bag, ready for closeup

We agreed this bag should have its own Instagram account. BTW, you can follow Sandra on Instagram here, and me here.

We perused some of the tony shops: Isabel Marant, Chloé, Vince (where we had an interesting conversation with one sales associate about the decline in quality over the last few seasons, the return of founders Rea and Christopher as creative consultants, and the anticipated improvements in quality and design with the fall collection), Bottega Veneta (the Melrose Place store has a lighter, more modern and less staid vibe than their other locations, and more home decor) and finally to Zero + Maria Cornejo, a boutique I’ve been wanting to visit for some time. I’ve seen a few of their pieces worn on other style blogs and once on a red carpet (can’t remember who/where) and the aesthetic appealed to me. Edgier and a little more architectural than Eileen Fisher, but still wearable.

The sales associate Felix* pulled several pieces for me to try. He warned me right off not to judge the garments by how they looked on the hanger, and he was right. Though I didn’t like everything he suggested, there were a couple of items that I LOVED on me, and one of those was something I’d initially rejected when I saw it on the hanger.

We wandered a little more, stopped for a coffee, and then said our goodbyes. Thank you again, Sandy, for a really splendid birthday!

*If you plan to visit this boutique on Melrose Place, ask for Felix. He really knows the merchandise and fashion in general, and was SO helpful and fun to talk to!

More Eileen Fisher jackets…

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  1. sybes1
    March 7, 2016 / 2:40 am

    what a fun birthday!! Susan, I used to use Revision’s Intellishade also but now I use Replenix Antioxidant Sunscreen Moisturizer 50 Plus. It’s tinted and has a hefty 16% zinc oxide. It’s a primer, moisturizer, sunscreen all in one. The small container makes it good for travel. I get it from Kaiser Cosmetic Services in Northern California but you can also get it from Amazon I think.

  2. March 7, 2016 / 2:45 am

    I have two Victorian cat prints that belonged to my grandmother, but scrupulously avoid any cat-themed clothing, being lagatta et al. One is easily tagged as a “mad cat lady”.

  3. Amie
    March 7, 2016 / 2:50 am

    Looks like you’ve had a wonderful time. The cat bag is wonderful! Happy birthday!

  4. Nancy
    March 7, 2016 / 3:38 am

    A perfect birthday…a walk in Paris and a walk in Los Angeles. Happy Birthday!

  5. March 7, 2016 / 4:03 am

    Happy belated birthday! Oh what a fun day!
    I hope our schedules can be worked out so that we can have lunch together the next time I am in L.A. You are such a delight!

  6. Patricia
    March 7, 2016 / 4:48 am

    When I first glanced at the photo, I thought there was a real cat on the table! (It’s early a.m. now, and apparently my eyes aren’t awake yet.)

    What a perfect way to spend your birthday; wish we all could have been there.

  7. March 7, 2016 / 5:19 am

    Oh my! That cat bag is FANTASTIC!!! Gah!

    Sounds like a wonderful way to spend your birthday : )


  8. March 7, 2016 / 5:44 am

    I’m so happy that you had a wonderful day – you deserve a break, and some posh indulgences!
    big hug,

  9. Julie
    March 7, 2016 / 6:01 am

    Joyeux anniversaire!

  10. March 7, 2016 / 6:14 am

    Well you might not have managed to stroll through Paris on your birthday, except in your imagination, but what a great day you had in your own back yard (helps that your backyard is LA!). So fun to see another well-loved blogger show up here, especially with such a fabulous bag.

  11. Kristi
    March 7, 2016 / 6:35 am

    Happy Brithday – and best “fishes” for your next year!

  12. Murphy
    March 7, 2016 / 6:38 am

    Happy belated birthday!

  13. March 7, 2016 / 7:19 am

    Sandra is an amazing woman! Sounds like you two had a fabulous celebration. Her bag is the cats meow 🙂

  14. Donna (59 in 2 weeks)
    March 7, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Sounds like a PERFECT birthday. Well done.

  15. iolacontessa
    March 7, 2016 / 9:30 am

    HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY YEAR TO YOU!WHat fun to do THE IVY and head out to SHOP!My idea of a HEAVENLY DAY!
    I just bought some Eileen Fisher sandals………..LOVE THEM at least the try on part too cold and rainy yet to actually wear.I have a narrow foot and they HUG ME which is rare!LOved that blazer SANDRA tried on……is it DENIM?
    I will be LOOKING for your NEW outfit on INSTAGRAM!!!!
    SEIZE the MONTH and CELEBRATE all the way through……………………..

  16. Barbra Goering
    March 7, 2016 / 9:33 am

    I certainly second your recommendation of Felix at Zero + Maria Cornejo. I went there a couple of years ago and came out with a perfect piece to boost my basic black tie dress, and I’ve worn it many times. I’m so glad to know he is still on the job! I never post comments but am a devoted reader. Keep it up!

  17. March 7, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Next time I’m crashing your party. You are forewarned;).

    • Susan B
      March 7, 2016 / 11:07 am

      That would be awesome!!

    • March 8, 2016 / 8:07 am

      What fun to have you join us. Actually we could do it any day you’re down in LA. Come on down.

  18. March 7, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Oh what a delightful surprise to see your birthday fun posted. Champagne first thing in the morning. Then the day got better with lots gabbing, laughing, eating, shopping and taking photos. I was truly honored to be included in Pseu’s special day and was very nervous about what to wear. After all Pseu knows her stuff. But I girded my loins and tried to channel @Lacontessa’s opulent style. Plus I had to show Cherrie at @stylenudge my carpet bag. PS. This bag now has a life of it’s own. Shopping with Pseu is fascinating. She really knows designers and exactly what she is looking for. We never stopped talking, laughing and looking. Great Day! Let’s do more like that. Cheers!

  19. March 7, 2016 / 10:06 am

    Loooove ze bag!

  20. March 7, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    Happy Birthday! Looks like you Sandra & the cat bag had fun.

  21. March 8, 2016 / 5:21 am

    Looks like so much fun…but where is a picture of the birthday girl? And yes, the bag should have it’s own account!

  22. Adele Miller
    March 8, 2016 / 7:49 am

    Happy Birthday!! Sounds like a lovely way to spend your special day. Love RMS un-concealer — my 26 yr old daughter turned me onto it. Also love their luminizer, which adds just a bit of highlighting and is really versatile. I dab on cheekbones, browbone and even on my lips before applying balm or lip pencil.

  23. March 8, 2016 / 8:00 am

    I agree, this is a wonderful, wonderful way to spend a birthday. Did you buy anything too? Or just tried on?
    The cat bag is fabulous.

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