The soundtrack to my life might be David Bowie’s Fashion. I can’t help humming it, and trying to remember the lyrics as I write this.

Jewels pictured with Twiggy in a London Times article
I lived for dressing up, forever mimicking some character I admired. When barely eight, I became enthralled with Twiggy staring out at me from the covers of my mother’s fashion magazines. I wore white go-go boots with short trapeze dresses, and snuck black eyeliner to school. I’d paint on lashes like Twiggy’s, then wash it all off before coming home. My teacher told my parents, who quickly confiscated the offending make-up until I was at least thirteen.
Des Moines, Iowa was hardly the fashion Mecca of the world. All the more reason I longed to be different. As luck would have it, I grew up in a retailing family. Bill Blass and Halston were guests in my home as a child. They would come to do trunk shows at Younker’s flagship store in Des Moines, while I studied their models every move – from how they applied their make-up to their swagger and posture on the runway. I wanted to wear exquisite clothes too!
The blue jean rebellion years with my Grandmother

Yes, I did go through a rebellious stage in my teens when I refused to wear anything but faded old jeans and t-shirts – my hippy era. It drove my parents crazy (which was precisely the point). That’s probably why I have a strong aversion to jeans today. It’s kind of like dieting on nothing but the polyester of salad, iceberg lettuce, for so long that you just want to gag when it is placed in front of you again.
I traveled with my father on buying trips to Europe, and pleaded with him to turn Younkers into the midwest version of Biba’s where Art Nouveau met Rock and Roll on Kensington High Street. The hippest department store on the planet, ever! I still have my treasured burnt orange bathrobe with marabou feathers from that trip to London.
Gerard Depardieu
Rocking the Alaia with Gerard Depardieu on set in Paris

My mind remembers crazy things, like when Janice Dickinson stole a taxi from us in the pouring rain after a fashion show in New York. Little did I know at the time, it would be Janice that got me my first runway show in Paris with Azzadine Alaia a few years later. Life is funny that way.
Wearing Max & Co Christmas Eve 2009
The wardrobe budget of personal chef compared to a pop star’s wife is significantly different, but then style can’t be bought – it evolves as you do throughout life. A few of you asked me to write about some of the designers and events that influenced my sense of style over the years. I’ll be examining that aspect of my personality and how it translates to my food periodically over the next few months, but in the meantime…

Golden Beets with Pencil Thin Roasted Asparagus and Almonds, topped with Truffle Tremor Cheese

… here is a guaranteed gag-free, simply divine salad I had at Jar (Executive Chef/Owner Suzanne Tracht) last Friday night. What a simple, clean, yet delicious way to dress up the salad doldrums. The cheese is absolutely insane! Why not mimic this salad in your own kitchen? If you can’t obtain the cheese (I think you have to purchase restaurant size orders, but Cypress Grove Chevre may be able to direct you to a gourmet shop carrying it), try using a good soft goats cheese and drizzle with a little white truffle oil and a pinch of sea salt.

What ingredients do you use to add style to your salad?

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  • June 22, 2010
    9:15 am

    Ok…fashion and I don't actually go well together. Thanks to your old friend John Taylor, my love of all things with an old military twist still draws me like a magnet and even now I'm a Doc Marten flunkie. Recently, my younger sister suggested I dress my age – that really hurt. My friend told me to ignore her – that even though I'm somewhat of an 80's Throwback – I'm unique and what I wear is so me. As for juzshing up my salads I usually add toasted nuts – pecans and buttermilk to coleslaw and hazelnuts to potato salad (with maple syrup,smoked bacon and grain mustard). Sundried tomato oil with a little pesto whisked in and a spritz of lemon juice transforms any sort of greenery and tiny broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes and feta can really zing with the aforementioned hazelnuts and a dash if Balsamic vinegar.Problem is….with all this food…the old me of the eighties has slightly expanded ๐Ÿ˜€

  • June 22, 2010
    1:53 pm

    I'm a dedicated follower of fashion in the sense I read all about it, but with my size (I think you'd class me as plus in the USA), what I like and what I can wear are a whole different thing. I like a classic style with a bit of bling here and there. I'm not a shoe girl but oh how I love a handbag.Style is acquired not bought, someone can have all the money they desire but still look like they have dressed in the dark

  • June 22, 2010
    2:27 pm

    Hey JT… when you wear what's "you", you have achieved your own style.. much more important than fashion. Don't let anyone dictate what you should or shouldn't wear other than you!Love your style with the salads! The potato salad sounds off the charts!

  • June 22, 2010
    3:12 pm

    I don't know that I ever really went into denim until recently (is that a mid life crisis?). I think it was because the parents all were big on wearing jeans. It didn't pack the same rebellious punch as my thigh high black patent leather boots. I recently found this super cute fitted denim blazer that I wear quite a bit now. With style I find that if I discover a blouse that fits well, and looks good on me, I buy a few in different patterns/colors. Because I'm, er, "blessed" up top, it's hard to find blouses that don't look obnoxious or obscene. Salad style…we eat lots of salad here–most lunches, and several nights a week for dinner (the kids love it). Usually I top it with grilled chicken breast (if we're eating it for dinner), red peppers, red onions, all manner of edible flowers (I originally found your blog while googling ideas for using edible flowers, by the way), which I grow in my garden…and fresh herbs especially fresh basil (also from the garden). I also like fresh grated Parmesan and some nuts on my salad too, if available. I don't always put all of that on there at once…it depends on what I'm in the mood for. Instead of dressing it's almost always flax seed oil and rice wine vinegar. My dream is that one of these days, my healthy eating habits will finally be reflected in my waistline. LOL

  • June 22, 2010
    6:32 pm

    I've always liked unique clothes with a vintage flair. I love mixing a 50's housewife look with a twist of sluttiness. haha ๐Ÿ™‚ I have an hour glass figure and I think it's a complete shame that most clothes totally ignore a woman's waistline! Unless I'm in the garden or working out, I must wear at least a 4 inch heel as well. I'm not one for being very practical. I love to dress a part and stand out from the usual. I happen to live in a very kick back coastal town where the hippie vibe dominates. I think this is why I run for the other end of the style spectrum…. I live on salads! I eat 1-2 every single day. My only rule is that I like more "goodies" than lettuce. I could list a zillion variations. Here's the mexican inspired version I'll be having tonight… Romain lettuce, fresh tomato, grated carrot, cucumber slices, black beans, chopped red bell pepper and loads of fresh copped cilantro. I'll top that with slices of seasoned grilled chicken breast smothered in fresh lime juice and a dressing made from mixing fat free plain yogurt with my favorite salsa. All of the yum and zero guilt! Kim Cuccia ๐Ÿ™‚

  • June 24, 2010
    4:34 pm

    Isn't it interesting how we all seem to develop our own style. Even those of you that don't think you have a style of your own surely do.The best thing about salad is only your imagination can limit the possibilities.

  • June 24, 2010
    4:35 pm

    'There's a brand new dance and de-dum-dum its name'Tim Willis

  • June 24, 2010
    4:35 pm

    Thanks Tim… now I REALLY can't get it out of my head!

  • June 24, 2010
    4:36 pm

    Turn to the left – turn to the right !Alasdair Scott

  • June 24, 2010
    4:42 pm

    Ooooooooo fashion!

  • June 24, 2010
    4:43 pm

    There's a brand new dance, but I don't know its name. The people from bad homes do again and again. Its dahdah da da…oh dear, I can't think of the next line.Cynthia Zeman Godwin

  • June 24, 2010
    7:18 pm

    Great actor!!!MariFer Cruz Ortega

  • June 24, 2010
    7:39 pm

    The "polyester of lettuce"… I love it! Can't remember the last time I subjected myself to iceberg. For the truffle cheese, I have found at a local Italian specialty market some cheese that sounds just like what you ate. Truly divine! I'm fairly certain that I've seen truffle cheese at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, though I'm almost as certain that it won't be as good as Cypress Grove's.

  • June 27, 2010
    5:29 am

    Hi jewels,The salad looks delicious. You can definitely by the truffle tremor cheese at Whole Foods. It is quite pricey, but they will cut you a piece as big as you want. Also people can taste it before buying. It does have a strong flavor.