The Bird is the Word

Fall is the time of year that fashion really is for the birds and from the birds — it’s all about the feathers! Of course birds and their plumage are always in style, it just seems to become more visible, ironically, as many real birds start to fly south. In the world of fashion you’ve got your “birds of a feather flocking together” quite apparent during fashion month particularly in the FROW at any high profile fashion show.

Feathers at Iris Apfel exhibit

Another avian reference belongs to maximalist style maven/ self proclaimed “geriatric starlet” Iris Apfel, known as the Rara Avis or Rare Bird. The Brits like to refer to someone wandering aimlessly as “swanning around” and were guilty of referring to females in the swinging sixties as “birds” which may have devolved into the universal term of “chicks.”

Alexis Bittar Raven clip earrings

When I started seeing “bird words” pop up this week in my Wordsmith “A Word A Day” emails I knew we’d hit critical mass. I’d actually started “giving everyone the bird” in late August when my eagle-eye spotted a raven theme in jeweler Alexis Bittar’s Madison Avenue window. I flew right in and tried on the Raven Portrait Cameo Feather clip earrings; your “basic” feathered shoulder-duster.

Alexis Bittar store in Greenwich

All Edgar Allen Poe references aside, I felt haunted by their Victorian/Goth avian awesomeness. Turning tail while mumbling “Quoth the raven nevermore” I resisted their call until a few weeks later when browsing on the main shopping avenue in Greenwich, Ct. with my husband, I happened to land on the Alexis Bittar store.

Alexis Bittar Raven Cameo Bracelet

The raven earrings beckoned and actually became irresistible due to a gift card promotion rendering them “evermore” in my jewelry collection. Should you prefer a plumage draped chest then check out the two bib style necklaces. If it’s raven imagery you’re after but don’t want to be tickled by feathers, there are two different cuff bracelets with the raven cameo as well as a raven cameo pair of earrings tous sans plume. The jewelry is all hand-made so inspect your feathers carefully–I had to exchange my first set as they were not quite right.

Coach biker Shearling and boots

Feeling more Tale of a Magpie? Look no further than Coach. Intrigued by their new ads featuring terrific looking outerwear, I recently swanned into the Coach store on 57th and Madison and didn’t leave until I’d tried on every piece of limited edition clothing that they could locate (it was mostly still packed away in the back and not yet on the sales floor). Upon further inspection and by putting one on my back, I realized that the shearling coats which look so heavenly are in fact way hellish to wear due to their sheer weight and heft. You could probably skip the gym if you carried this groaner around on your shoulders for long however you might end up at the chiropractor’s office.

Coach embellished racer jacket

Also weighty but still manageable is the embellished racer jacket: a black leather biker style with all manner of shiny objects affixed to it. According to my “bird of the day” email, a magpie is a chatterer or a person who collects things of little value. The Coach description of the outerwear includes “30 hand-assembled emoji-like pins that can be rearranged or removed to personalize” the jacket. Its inspiration is derived from “a vision of the Coach Girl as a wandering magpie collecting shiny objects on a journey across America, which is why it includes a custom-made Magpie pin.” Oh-kay! I’d like to meet the person who writes their copy. I did not buy the $1,995 jacket but settled for a pair of the shearling boots instead.

Rachel Zoe Sagely vest

If you really want to feel “flighty” you might try a feathered nest…uh, make that a feathered vest. Rachel Zoe has one of black chicken feathers which I briefly crossed paths with at Bloomies (also available at Nordstrom) but did not try on. The “Sagely” vest ($695) is made for preening while you’re “jean-ing” so no need to save it for a particularly “soaring” occasion. The one thing to watch out for with feathers, particularly ones that aren’t currently attached to a bird, is exactly how much molting you find acceptable. If you notice that you are leaving a trail of flying feathers in your wake you may want to squawk “Pluck it!” I recently did just that to a balding and only twice-worn headband from Bergdorf’s returning the swallow to Capistrano or in this case, taking the offending oiseau back to its basement cage aux folles where BG ” hawks” their makeup and hair accessories.

Fendi inspired Owl Bag on the subway

Should you feel inspired to learn a few “bird words,” here is the week in review on Monday was the gannett, a gull-like sea bird also a synonym for a greedy person. Tuesday was the snipe, a long billed marsh dwelling bird, or someone who takes a shot from a concealed position. (BTW anonymous nasty comments made in response to a blog article could be termed a snipe). Wednesday was the Dodo, an extinct flightless bird, also known as an old-fashioned, outdated, ineffective or stupid person. Thursday was the magpie, a black and white plumed bird which I’ve already detailed vis-a-vis Coach. Today’s bird is the dotterel, a mountain dwelling plover, or someone who is easily duped or weak-minded from old age thereby producing the word dote or dotage, a term I recently heard someone use referencing one’s declining years.

In the end, while the old saw about a “bird in the hand” suggests a greater immediate value, I’d still recommend holding out for the two bird (feathers) on the ears!

– Laurel Marcus

Bets: Fall Getaway

In the
picturesque Pocono Mountains, in the quaint, former mining town of Hawley,
Pennsylvania, you will find the Ledges Hotel, perched between rock ledges and
Paupack High Falls. One of the nation’s leading histor
ic, luxury hotels,
Ledges opened its doors in 1890 and its Federal-style building was originally
the John S. O’Conner Glass Factory, linking it to the area’s rich heritage as an
early center for American manufacturing.
Upon arrival, you can bask in the natural beauty of the river
gorge falls. Multi-tiered decks with sitting areas offer spectacular views of
the regions scenic vistas. Choose one of the hotel’s deluxe, duplex suites and
enjoy incomparable comfort in a “rustic-modern design style” that brings “the
outside in”.
The deluxe suites feature a rain shower and a Jacuzzi tub, which
are both large enough for two (this is the romantic Poconos, after all). In
addition, there is a full kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator. Concierge
service is available from the Mill Market at the Hawley Silk Mill Complex of
shops nearby and room service is available, so anything you need is just a phone
call away.
Dining at “Glass,” the Ledges restaurant, wine bar and kitchen,
is not to be missed. The restaurant features “small plate dining,” which allows
you to try small portions of several selections from the menu. The “Glass”
cuisine is absolutely delicious and seating is available either inside, where
you can enjoy panoramic views, or out on a ledge overlooking the gorge.  The
restaurant staff is extremely friendly and if you like, they will assist you
with your menu selections.  On Thursday and Friday nights, “Glass” also features
live entertainment.
While you are at Ledges, you may also want to pay a visit to its
sister hotel, The Settler’s Inn. It’s just a short drive away, and has an old
fashioned, 1920’s style charm. Stop in for breakfast at the Inn’s Pocono
restaurant to complete your Hawley experience.
Upcoming Events:
Halloween Disco Party
Fri. October 30, 8-midnight No cover
DJ & emcee Mr. David of Florida’s Copacabana. Costume
prizes. Glass—wine. bar. kitchen. at Ledges Hotel.
Free Rooms for Veterans
Wed. Nov. 11
Reservations required; call 570-226-1337
Ledges Hotel honors our nation’s veterans with a night of free
Thanksgiving Eve 80s Party
Wed. Nov. 25, 8pm-midnight No cover
to the 80s at Glass—wine. bar. kitchen. at Ledges Hotel. Music by Gone Crazy.
Costumes encouraged.
– Rhonda Erb
For more Better Bets visit:

Rhonda Erb

Rhonda Erb writes about fashion, travel and lifestyle from a New Yorker’s perspective in Better Bets. A self-confessed Instagram addict, her work has also appeared in such publications as Runway Magazine. Follow her at: Instagram: @betterbets Twitter: @betterbetsny tumblr:

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