Someone once said, I used to think that a muse was like a fairy that whispered in your ear, you know one of those sexy little tinker bells girls in a short skirt who look like cheerleaders such as Elle Woods or the Elle Fanning  fairy whom people love so much even possibly that Marlyland-Betty we know as Alicia Sylverstone

A muse. hmmmm, why is our muse so special.  Well first of all she is special because she is everywhere and in everything and sometimes the blessing is inside our own eyes and is a very personal blessing.  This attention to detail of our spirits by our muse is why creativity, commerce and business is so successfull.

Fashion Week is upon us.

Fashion week is always upon us with beautiful gorgeous women blessing our eyes with pouty lips and faces like little girls in need of daddy’s attention and affections.  What more could we ask for in this world?

Looking at fashion magazines I notice that Vanity Fair‘s lineup seems at times to bring out the best in the designers who create clothes for them or with them in mind.  Then as you pick up each different magazine its muse comes to life with fashion relationships compounding on fashion relationships.

Such is the way of the muse.

In the absence of talent and the blessing then a muse is “. . . someone or something who is blessed that lights a spark and get things moving.”

A muse is magical,  like the magic that happened when Audrey Hepburn met Hubert Givenchy.

Talented designers and the women who inspire them have created “musical” pairings  an energy so irresistable that without knowing they created fashion history.

Perhaps the greatest pairing of all time is the Hepburn/Givenchy relationship.

Then there is that of: Millicent Rogers and Charles James. Millicent certainly fit the gorgeous, skinny, somber requirement, but she was more than another Ideal women who made shine James’s fashions.

Millicent’s own taste and style often directed and invariably influenced the designers she worked with. Millicent pushed James to create what she wanted and perhaps was the cause of his success and the reason their relationship produced such great fashion sense. Their relationship began in 1930 when Millicent went to London with a group of friends to see a talked-about young designer named Charles James.

They say that Millicent’s name became paired with his at the height of his fame when she functioned as both his patron and muse.  But a good designer should need no human muse, unless it’s the spirit of woman in the flesh which is a whole different proposal.   That is why our muse is so special.

In the quickly changing world of twenty-first century fashion, it is hard to imagine the influence that a few key and highly respected fashion designers wielded in their time.  However, it is not hard to imagine that Fashion could not be successful without some sort of blessing from our blessed tender Holy Spirit

To keep our minds on beauty and color from pitty and compassion our Muse weaves in and out of a fashion world making sure God’s favor is seen in one or more designers through the collective of efforts of people dedicated to peace and beauty.

The fashion business would not exist if not for God. God, people and the human spirit are what keep alive designer brands.

After World War II, fashion became even more important  and Charles James was back then considered a giant, an innovator on the tip of every fashionable woman’s tongue in the forties and fifties.

His sculpted party dresses created in lavish fabrics and inventive colors was his signature.  His coats and capes trimmed with fur and embroidery also left their mark in fashion history but where is his work today?  Does anyone even care anymore?  Many names from his era are still around and his name is still around but his label has yet again to make a come back and the label has to confront Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta and shoot directly for the top and nothing less will do.


It has also been noted that James was one of the oddest and most difficult personalities in the legends of fashion history.  Men of genius are often difficult.  They also inspire critics often say things in compliment that if they knew what they were talking about, they would retract their statesment.

One reviewer called him “kissed by the furies.”    God forbid. That is like being tapped by fates and drawn into a whirlwind relationship only later be dropped into some fashion folder and forgotten by the very people you helped rise to the top.

Despite all in the life of this kind and peaceful man there was Millicent who tamed James with her matchless manner; soothing, demanding and yet flattering. She always got what she asked for.  A good woman always does and their relationship was considered one of the most famous and fruitful designer-client collaborations in American fashion history.   Her tender kiss upon his work is what kept him going.


Oh him Cherri Burns wrote, “His first design for her was a nightgown, a “deshabille” of white and rose organdy trimmed with lace and biscuit colored ribbons when she was hospitalized with a bout of her recurring heart ailment. Instinctively he understood style and finery as a tonic for her morale. “

In all James created more than 45 original designs for Millicent, and her financial patronage was essential to his business success in the late 1940s.  Millicent was the prototype modern woman.

James passed away in 1978.  He has been born again and may even be in a business  unrelated to fashion. …aughh the horror to even think of not being involved in the fashion business,  

During his life as Charles James shared much with his wife Nancy who  explained, “Millicent Rogers inspired him more than anyone and that he felt that Millicent could help him to resolve a design when he wasn’t certain how to finish it.”

James was direct in his own admiration of Millicent and wrote to her in one letter writing,

“…when you came into my house everyone at once knew what they were to do, and how to do it. And that special quality of bringing out people’s work at its best was what gave you a special rating.”  

James’s crediting and kind and specially tender words of Millicent is what today has today brought his memory back and to the pages of JC Angelcraft Paris. We need more kind words about each other and less jealously.  At least that’s the I see things. JC Angelcraft




This of course reminds me of several girls in my life but not more than one who sleeps on her tummy who with wisdom, I would give her my heart once again even as a friend.

With that said and my hopes for friendship still carried in my heart, todays topic is life & luggage.

Oh joy! you might say.  I hear ya.  Many people do not pay attention to luggage, but luggage is a very important part of life.

I go through luggage like I go through life, generously.  And because of tender hearts in my closet at the beach there is never enough luggage to go around.  Even my mom takes my luggage.  What else are friends and moms for?

Despite my generosity, I still find myself today lacking for a better luggage sense of mind and find myself always buying luggage as needed, but be patient, the Holy Spirit is still working with me

What is important is that in business I take luggage very seriously and we are in the process of reviving luggage once again as an important part of every day life.

I am influenced by people in history who took luggage very seriously like Louis Vuitton and H.J. Cave & Sons, a London-based leather luxury goods company founded in 1839 and regarded as the inspiration for modern luggage concepts.

Then there is Samsonite and various other labels that also take this business very seriously, as business should be taken and some companies go to extreme lengths believing people should feel good about their luggage and I like that.

When I think how important transcontinental travel is,  I think about luggage.  I think about luggage durability, waterproofing, stability and even styling.

I love trains and despite our advances in modern aviation, I see a great, wonderful and romantic future in travel by train and more affordable cabins so people can truly enjoy a cross-country trip in style something few people get to experience and having appropriate luggage will be the icing on the cake for any travelers’ cross-country train trip.

When traveling large distances on trains, planes, buses or automobiles, luggage details in travel are always a very important part to every trip we make in of our lives.

And if you ever lived out of your suitcase like me you know the importance of luggage and filing a baggage insurance claim when you luggage gets stolen.

C’est la vie

Next to Louis Vuitton in the designer luggage category are many companies but Mark Cross 1845 drew my attention first to designer luggage in 1980’s buying of all things their cologne.   

Mark. W. Cross & Co. was founded in 1845 in Boston, Massachusetts starting as a purveyor of carriage saddles and harnesses.

With time the house became known simply as Mark Cross and as time progressed they opened shops in New York and London and not yet known for luggage, rather they were importers and exporters of fine products aside from their basic business practices.

Mark Cross expansion overseas translated to first-time access to luxuries yet unknown to the American market. Beyond leather goods,  Mark Cross indulged in the finest china, crystal and other delights exporting them from abroad to the United States and became known as a company with exquisite taste.

In 1921 Mark Cross entered the market at Paris, France, like never before ushering in the roaring twenties and bringing to paris their unique style and personality and shipping back to America the finest Paris had to offer.

In the 30’s and 40’s the company entered into many lives during history most notably Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter and Fitzgerald family all who fell in love with all things Mark Cross 1845.

In 1934, Mark Cross expanded its offerings to include luggage, cigarette cases, jeweled evening bags, some of which were a collaboration with Seamen Schepps 1904.

In 1961 Mark Cross exchanged hands and in 1964 I was born.  17 years later  I fell in love with Mark Cross mens cologne and Carrera sunglass at a hundred dollars a pop before lost touch with Mark Cross which subsequently closed its doors in the 1990s.

The Horror to think of South Coast plaza without Mark Cross 1845 for their scent alone was truly unique and could be found no other place.  Thank God for FENDI a more than acceptable alternative.

I look forward again to giving men and women a taste of Mark Cross elegance, an aroma so rare and unique that I am surprised the company folded and its scent hard to find even since its reopening.

In 2011, Mark Cross had snuck back into the limelight and the Mark Cross Men’s collection, was introduced in Spring 2014,  a collection that combines vintage luxury with a new vision of sleek sophistication.

Both the Women’s and Men’s Mark Cross collections are inspired by the brand’s rich heritage, dedication to fine craftsmanship and use of the finest leathers in the world.

I look forward to incorporating Mark Cross into a greater fashion presence and competitive once again the luggage business.



LITERACY: EXCERPTS FROM FRANKENSTEIN 1818 BY MARY SHELLY  “In my education my father had taken the greatest precautions that my mind should be impressed with no supernatural horrors. “

FROM this day natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of the term, became nearly my sole occupation. I read with ardour those works, so full of genius and discrimination, which modern inquirers have written on these subjects. I attended the lectures, and cultivated the acquaintance, of the men of science of the university; and I found even in M. Krempe a great deal of sound sense and real information, combined, it is true, with a repulsive physiognomy and manners, but not on that account the less valuable. In M. Waldman I found a true friend. His gentleness was never tinged by dogmatism; and his instructions were given with an air of frankness and good nature that banished every idea of pedantry. It was, perhaps, the amiable character of this man that inclined me more to that branch of natural philosophy which he professed, than an intrinsic love for the science itself. But this state of mind had place only in the first steps towards knowledge: the more fully I entered into the science, the more exclusively I pursued it for its own sake. That application, which at first had been a matter of duty and resolution, now became so ardent and eager, that the stars often disappeared in the light of morning whilst I was yet engaged in my laboratory.

As I applied so closely, it may be easily conceived that I improved rapidly. My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students; and my proficiency, that of the masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on? whilst M. Waldman expressed the most heartfelt exultation in my progress. Two years passed in this manner, during which I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries, which I hoped to make. None but those who have experienced them can conceive of the enticements of science. In other studies you go as far as others have gone before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder. A mind of moderate capacity, which closely pursues one study, must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study; and I, who continually sought the attainment of one object of pursuit, and was solely wrapped up in this, improved so rapidly, that, at the end of two years, I made some discoveries in the improvement of some chemical instruments, which procured me great esteem and admiration at the university. When I had arrived at this point, and had become as well acquainted with the theory and practice of natural philosophy as depended on the lessons of any of the professors at Ingolstadt, my residence there being no longer conducive to my improvements, I thought of returning to my friends and my native town, when an incident happened that protracted my stay.

One of the phænomena which had peculiarly attracted my attention was the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life. Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed? It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery; yet with how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries. I revolved these circumstances in my mind, and determined thenceforth to apply myself more particularly to those branches of natural philosophy which relate to physiology. Unless I had been animated by an almost supernatural enthusiasm, my application to this study would have been irksome, and almost intolerable. To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death. I became acquainted with the science of anatomy: but this was not sufficient; I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body. In my education my father had taken the greatest precautions that my mind should be impressed with no supernatural horrors. I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition, or to have feared the apparition of a spirit.   which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm. Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay, and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain. I paused, examining and analysing all the minutiae of causation, as exemplified in the change from life to death, and death to life, until from the midst of this darkness a sudden light broke in upon me—a light so brilliant and wondrous, yet so simple, that while I became dizzy with the immensity of the prospect which it illustrated, I was surprised that among so many men of genius, who had directed their inquiries towards the same science, that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret.