For Hire

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

relax and bake

That's right, relax....... You don't have to run around like crazy during the last days of the year. Bake some cookies, enjoy your tree, listen to easy listening, go for walks in the snow or just chill!

My grandmother who was from Basel always made a variety of cookies and stored them in the dark cellar for freshness. They where there protected from the heat and the light but certainly not from our hungry children mouths! Then again, that is what cookies are here for. To be eaten.

So whenever she sent one of us down there to make a cookie plate, it was an adventure! Nicely stacked and packed into different tins covered with silk paper. Tons and tons of cookies! There were Mailänderli, Brunzli, Zimtsterne, Anisbrötli, Spitzbuebe and many more Swiss traditional cookies. Did we know that we were privileged to taste them all? No.

Nowadays with my grandmother gone, I can always call on my mother who continues the traditions of baking and knows most of those recipes by heart. I guess my favorite would be the Zimtsterne cookie - a cinnamon star cookie - it's something out of this world - You've got to try it!

Here are the ingredients you need to make 40-50 biscuits:

3 Egg whites
A pinch of salt
300g Powder sugar (0.7lb)
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 Tbs Cinnamon powder
1 - 1 1/2 Tbs Kirsch
350g Finely ground almonds (0.8lb)
3/4 Tbs Lemon zest
A bit of plain flour

1. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff and standing up in well-defined peaks.
2. Sieve the sugar and progressively incorporate it in the egg whites while continuously beating.
3. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture for the icing (at the end).
4. Add the cinnamon and kirsch to the leftover egg mixture.
5. Delicately incorporate the almonds and lemon zest to the mixture and "knead" very lightly.
6. Roll the pastry (1/3inch thickness) on a floured surface.
7. Cut out stars using a cookie cutter.
8. Place the cut out shapes on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
9. Brush with the leftover 1/2 cup icing mixture (see point 3) and refrigerate.
10. Cook in a preheated oven 250°C (500°F) for 3-5 minutes.
11. Detach delicately with a spatula.

I enjoy them at any time of the day (pretty healthy snack besides all the sugar) alone or with a hot chocolate, coffee or tea!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

my 2009 tribute to that taco bell dog

At the end of each year, tributes are usually paid to the ones that passed away or the few who did something ground breaking. As always, there are many things to be remembered about 2009, but - understandably - I didn't want to go through all of it here... Now, I previously stated that I am not in particular a dog lover or anything, but there are a rare couple of times when I talk about dogs, cute ones that is. So at the very end of this year 2009, my tribute goes to Gidget, that tiny dog famous for appearing in all the Taco Bell commercials - yes, he's dead.

Gidget - think gadget - appeared a few times on IdilViceFashionRocks clothing (the pictured Taco Bell Sweater below unfortunately has long sold out and is indefinitely out of print) because I felt he rocked, in some ways... He was cute as heck wasn't he? Or she, excuse me.

...idilvice wearing the taco bell sweater with gidget as a mexican revolutionary in a beret...
...all these incredible photos are by carl posey...

Althought Gidget had a few stand-ins during his modeling years, we loved him because he was a Mexican revolutionary wearing a beret or a bandido wearing a sombrero. His advertising catch-phrase was "¡Yo quiero Taco Bell!" ("I want Taco Bell!" or "I love Taco Bell!")

Gidget grew popular, so much so that toy figures of the dog were produced, and "Yo quiero (X)" became a recognized piece of pop culture. The dog also started another catch phrase: "Drop the chalupa!" Wewh - I almost started eating that stuff after that, honestly.

This dog even had a noted crossover with my favorite monster in the 1998 Godzilla film! Anyway, not sure if Gidget ate that Taco Bell stuff herself but on or around July 21, 2009 he was euthanized after suffering a massive stroke. Oh... he was only 15 years old. But hey, we had him!

R.I.P. Gidget!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

holidays à la swiss miss

...martina struck pictured with her alphorn and idilvice in the meat packing district on a recent photo shoot for schweizer illustrierte (switzerland's people magazine)...

Correct. Martina and I, we're both Swiss misses. We found each other here, far away from our homeland, by chance and due to the fine ear and thanks to the good old American forwardness of my hubby Carl, who instantly recognized Martina's Swiss accent - unmistakably standing out - and said "Grüezi!"

So we learned that Martina is not only Swiss, she even owns an Alphorn and knows how to play it. Well, that's an understatement! Being the president of the International Alphorn Society, which mission it is to enrich lives by providing opportunities to develop and encourage a greater appreciation of the Alphorn though instructions and performance, Martina Struck, together with her production staff, arranged a booklet containing sheet music of the most beautiful melodies of the season for the quartet with some duet opportunities. This collection of European/American Christmas/Chanukah songs is believed to be the first of its kind.

So there you go - Swiss miss or not - check out how holidays blend with Alphorns in this repertoire, or download some Alphorn tunes.

...alphorns rock! martina with alphorn dressed in a traditional zürich uniform (zürcher tracht) and idilvice in a rolling stones dress from the fashion rocks collection...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

in work mode flirting with holidays

It's so close to the holidays now and many of my colleagues and friends have already departed and if they aren't getting ready to board a plane they'll hit the road to go to where they're spending those last days of the year - kinda glad this one's over, aren't you? Not me though, I mean, I am not hitting the road just yet, I am still in work mode, editing photos from our late night shoots in the studio and the Meat Packing District (I told you about the discovery of all the murals there).

monique wears an idilvicefashionrocks madonna skirt $75, ralph lauren tuxedo blazer $650, helmut lang v-neck tee $80, repetto sandals $335 and rick owens leggings $495, hat & jewelry stylist's own. photo by carl posey.

I am in love with this photo, without exaggeration. It really makes me feel like I did my part to close this season in a fine way! I feel fulfilled, ready to stretch out and indulge in some time off, soon anyway. Like I usually do. What might be on my plate this time around?

A holiday in far and away Thailand?

...idilvice in bankok, thailand, dressed in vintage...

Maybe even a trip to the beautiful, historic Catalonian city Barcelona? No wait - How about ancient Egypt? Cairo!

...idilvice in cairo, egypt, dressed in vintage...

Well, I won't give it away...

...idilvice in barcelona, spain, dressed in vintage...

...but I am flirting with holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

rock 'n' royalty

Readers of a recent article with the title "Rock Royalty Meets Authentic Royalty" were appalled by the fact that the New York Times readily included Lady Gaga in the exclusive league of rock royalty. In a comment the question was asked 'Which one of them is Lady Gaga?", which I thought was hilarious. Indeed, hard to tell. Both, the authentic royalty Queen Elisabeth II of England and the - O.K. - "not-just-yet-rock-royalty" Miss Germanotta from New York, widely know as Lady Gaga, seem to have applied the exact same shade of foundation and they both sport their hair white, straight and puffed up on the top and curly at the ends... also both favor a little glitter in their lives... even the red shade of their lipstick is a match!

So, can Lady Gaga be called rock royalty or not? Maybe today's rock stars have but 15 minutes of fame, so they have to become rock royalty faster?!

Lady Gaga was among the artists who were invited to entertain the queen at the Royal Variety Performance and she attended the event at Blackpool’s Opera House wearing a red PVC outfit and played her song “Speechless” on a piano supported by stilts.

If Lady Gaga is not rock royalty yet, then she sure is familiar with rock royalty's history, because she began her performance by telling the crowd: “Good evening Blackpool. Let me hear you rattle your jewelry.” A line originally invented by John Lennon.

Build your own opinion: Read my post Lady Gaga Raw.

Monday, December 7, 2009

ready to wear

It's always a nice feeling of accomplishment when the last touch is put on a garment. Finished! Ready to wear.

Now of course as long as this jacket is not sold and in my possession you can't keep me from adding something else. I was thinking to add this patch to the front... the order is placed, it just has to get here...

Don't you think it would give it the seal of approval of the hippies ? Of course it already has a hippie vibe without it (the colors, the texture of the woven fabric, the patch working, top stitching, the classic jacket pattern, etc.), but considering that the print depicts Madonna, some may be confused and hesitant to label it hippie.

I was very fortunate to find those sequin lined brass buttons! They really make the coat. Sometimes a garment does not come together until that last crucial detail is added. Read the beginning of how I got inspired to go ahead and make this jacket.

The creative process to get to something great in fashion is a constant tip toeing around in the unknown and uncertain. You've got to become open minded, self conscious and bold, make decisions, know when it's time to stop and when and where to make the cut. You bet, this can all go wrong, but when it's right, then there's that deserved feeling of accomplishment, which is so neat!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

holiday feeling

It's no secret, we are reminded every day that it's that time of year again where the x-mas holiday celebrations are upon us and I must say I am feeling cozy and festive these days, especially since they are forecasting a few days of snow storms... Ahhh! There we go - I love Winter! So during times like these I like to come up with some garments and accessories that are making me feel... well, exactly that: cozy and festive!

Have a look at this evening pouch I just made...

It's a One-Of-A-Kind. The screen print depicts a woman in 1920's attire posing with a leopard. I found a very small batch of prints of different 1920's images, so there will be a couple of similar bags, but each and every one will be a different picture and they'll vary in sizes too. The color theme here is black, white, gray, rusty orange (dress), copper (glass beads), pearl gray (glass beads) and antique silver (chain).

It's kind of thought to accent an evening dress with some eclectic sparkle... it really works with any black dress. I even see an elegant pair of pants - wide leg, satin and a blouse or an evening top with some more beading accents perhaps? Crushed velvet in a jacket or coat, might be a good choice... anyhow, I just wanted to get in the mood a bit...

Of course, it's handmade. And it features an array of tiny little details which make this handbag so fabulous!

It's fully lined with a black on black patterned silk charmeuse and I added padding to give it a nice soft thickness. An inner small pocket comes in handy and the cotton crushed velvet backside brings that certain cozy vintage vibe and richness with it's texture. The silver gray and copper glass beaded fringe and a slippery snake chain strap add sparkle and last but certainly not least a smooth riri zipper for quick and easy access!

Yes, just simply a great piece to compliment and finish an evening look for years to come! Own this One Of A Kind...

Monday, November 30, 2009

wedding in las vegas, part 3

Sssssshhhhh! Quiet please! The wedding is going on as I type... watch as I lead in the bride to meet the groom!

Hey, we just witnessed a perfect wedding in every way... now, let's go party! In Vegas, baby!
Photography by Carl Posey.

Follow the full story from when I started designing the wedding gown all the way to this current post: The ceremony! And don't forget to check back for the visuals of the incredible after party in Vegas, coming soon!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

ella bella

A Herman Leonard photograph of Ella Fitzgerald performing at the New York nightclub Downbeat in 1948. Watching rapturously are Duke Ellington, center, and Benny Goodman, in glasses behind Ellington.

Love me some Ella Fitzgerald - yes, I am a huge fan! Listen to this: Verve just released “Twelve Nights in Hollywood,” a four-CD boxed set of Ella Fitzgerald singing 76 songs at the Crescendo, a small jazz club in Los Angeles, in 1961 and ’62 — and none of it has ever been released until now. A TREAT!

After so many multi-disc jazz boxes came out in recent years — the complete Charlie Parker on Savoy, the complete Miles Davis on Columbia, the complete Duke Ellington on RCA and so on — it was hard to believe that any significant tapes by any major musician might still be languishing undiscovered in a record company’s archives.

Yale Joel depicts Ella Fitzgerald performing in Chicago in 1958. A new four-disc boxed set on Verve captures her onstage in a small club setting.

Read the full story about the rediscovery of these life recordings of Ella Fitzgerald and listen in on some of the incredible audio samples!

This set would make a very, very neat gift, if you are still looking for one... or maybe you rather give this cool Ella Fitzgerald Skirt instead.... it's up to you - either way - you're going to be someone's coolest gift-giver, that's for sure.

...Ella Fitzgerald Skirt from the Jazz Clothing Category of the Fashion Rocks collection ...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy happy happy!

I am already in the kitchen, FYI.


My photo
New York, NY, United States
Just like the rare Swiss mountain flower Edelweiss - a symbol of prestige and distinction - the clothing brand IDILVICE (pronouced "Edel-vice") was born in the mountains of Switzerland and since then it's flourishing on the concrete of Manhattan and recently even in the rolling hills of the San Francisco Bay Area. However as the spelling indicates, the label is not meant to be associated with too much folkloric alpine tradition, but rather and probably in the contrary, with unconventionality. The IDILVICE label was founded in 1995 by Swiss Native fashion designer Idil from the city of Saint Gallen, Switzerland, who's foundation dates back to the 7th Century and which became famous for their quality textile products, especially embroidery textiles, which are still popular with Parisian Haute Couture designers today. In search for something less traditional, Master Graphic Designer Idil ventured out to New York City where she fell in love with American Pop Culture.