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Want to create, grow or mend a personal or professional relationship? Our life coach columnist explains why it’s important to listen up.

It happened about a month ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was attending an event and had worked my way over to this gentleman that I really wanted to meet. Bob (not his real name) and I had been having a wonderful conversation for about four minutes when a third person joined us.

Neither Bob nor myself had ever met this third individual. She interrupted our conversation and immediately started sharing her story. This story went on and on and on. I patiently waited for her to finish, but that didn’t happen. The story continued as she gave minute details, oblivious to the cues around her. She left no space for the gentleman or myself to say even a word. I hung in there waiting for a turn for at least 10 minutes before it became clear that she was not going to give up control of the situation. I desperately wanted to finish my train of thought with Bob since the interruption had come at a crucial part of our conversation.

Seeing no other choice, I finally mouthed to him that I would be contacting him and he smiled back, trying to make the best of the situation. When I was walking away, I heard her sharing all the big accounts that she had landed- not that this gentleman was in the least bit interested. As I walked out to the car, I pondered why she would have been so blind as to not notice that she had rudely interrupted us. I’m certain that in her mind she was having a conversation. From our perspective, it wasn’t a conversation– it was more like a monologue.

After giving it some thought, I realized that she was so intent on sharing her information that it never occurred to her that it might serve her to do some listening. She might benefit by noticing the subtle cues of the others and attempting to engage them in her conversation. If she allowed others to talk, she might learn a thing or two. In this case, the end result was one where the gentleman felt as if he was being held hostage, waiting for the chance to be released from his imprisonment. If this was an effort to score a client, I can assure you that her attempt was an epic fail.

I know this is an extreme example, but I see many individuals daily in my work that fail to make the grade on their listening skills. They are so intent on relaying their own important message that they forget to actually listen. They fail to remember that focused listening is the key to effective communication. From this, relationships are built.

Listening skills matter in your personal AND professional life. Many successful leaders today attribute their ability to listen as the secret to their success. People want to engage in a conversation, not be on the other end of a monologue. So, when in doubt, be quiet and LISTEN.

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From Louis Vuitton and Prada to Michael Kors and Coach, these designer bags join fashionable forces to not only improve your wardrobe but also improve literacy across the community thanks to one special upcoming event. Keep reading to bag up all the details.

022315FEATURELiteracy isn’t a luxury everyone enjoys. That’s why the Literacy Network hosts their annual Handbags for Hope event: so you can invest in a new bag, while also investing in the community.

This year’s event will be the 4th annual Handbags for Hope, and it’s slated for February 26 at the Cincinnati Club downtown.

According to the Literacy Network’s Director of Communications and Grant Writer Kim Raterman McDermott, the idea for the event is to welcome those from across the Tri-State to celebrate literacy in the city in a one-of-a-kind way.

The night features a number of activities including live and silent auctions of handbags, raffles, cocktails, dinner and entertainment. “The Literacy Network hosts the event to raise awareness and funding for our children and adult literacy programs,” explains Raterman McDermott.

The Literacy Network’s President, Kathy A. Ciarla, started Handbags for Hope because she wanted to raise awareness and funds for the programs in order to honor the students who are working hard to improve literacy and serve as an inspiration for those around them.

“We wanted to bring the community together in a unique way and create a one-of-a-kind evening designed to inspire guests and treat them to a great night out to help improve literacy,” Ciarla says.

Raterman McDermott also says that the event is also about reminding people that without the ability to read, many things in life are challenging. It’s also about empowering Handbags for Hope attendees to make a difference and help grow the programs that serve those in need.

“The Cincinnati Club and their staff are extremely helpful and supportive of the Literacy Network staff in helping make this event a success,” says Raterman McDermott.

In addition to the Cincinnati Club, there is a huge team that is behind the event. Ally Kraemer, multimedia journalist at WCPO Channel 9 News, will be this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Big Dave, Chelsea and Jason statt from the B105 Mornign Show promote and attend the event and Maggie Beckmeyer from Auctions by Maggie will host the live auction.

Then there’s event co-chairs Josh and Melissa Gerth who have worked for the last year to support the Literacy Network as well as Sharon Johnson and Jarmall Sweeten who will be honored for their work in the Adult Literacy Program.

Event sponsors for Handbags for Hope include Tri-County Mall, Raymond James, Charitable Words Scholars, Holy Grail-Banks, Zaring Family Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Busam Nissan, Ulmer & Berne LLP, Keating Muething & Klekamp, Scripps Foundation, Empower Media Marketing, Fifth Third Bank, Diamonds Rock, Read Aloud, David Powell-Bill Gerth (Partner), Ken and Cathy Feldmann, Graydon Head, Mercy Health: Dr. Robert Cranley, Mansion Hill Custom Floors, Kroger, Macy’s, Spark People, Prestige, Jeff and Lee Rose, Auctions by Maggie, M. Hopple & Co., The Cobb Group, Mary Meinhardt, Katy Meinhardt, Fox 19 News, B105, Saks Fifth Avenue and Josh and Melissa Gerth.

“All of our amazing event sponsors, prize sponsors, board members, volunteers and supporters continue to make the event a success and help it grow so we can serve more adults and children throughout the city who struggle with literacy,” says Raterman McDermott.

A limited number of tickets for Handbags for Hope are still available. You can purchase them by calling the Literacy Network at 513-621-7323.

To learn more about the event and the Literacy Network, visit or “like” them on Facebook.

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The Junior League of Cincinnati is hosting its annual CinSation gala, themed “Jewels of the Queen City.” See why this year’s event is one both your inner fashionista and foodie will love.

CinSation 2014 attendees
CinSation 2014 attendees and Junior League members

Good food, fab fashion, and mingling with Cincinnati’s movers and shakers? If this has you saying “yes, yes, yes!” you’ll want to mark your calendar for the Junior League of Cincinnati’s CinSation gala.

The Junior League of Cincinnati has been serving the Greater Cincinnati community for nearly a century. There are nearly 1,000 members who are committed to its mission of promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The service-based, non-profit organization takes the time to educate its members as well as the surrounding community about what’s going on in the area in order to make an even greater impact on the lives of those whom the Junior League of Cincinnati benefits.

One of the ways that the Junior League of Cincinnati continues to help the community is through its annual CinSation gala. This year’s event theme is “Jewels of the Queen City,” and it will be held at the Cincinnati Masonic Center on Saturday, February 28.

Emily Ryan of the Junior League of Cincinnati says that the 2015 CinSation gala celebrates the Junior League of Cincinnati’s 95th anniversary as well as the impact the organization has had on the people and neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati.

“The Junior League of Cincinnati’s footprint on the community has been evident throughout the past 95 years incubating or accelerating organizations such as The Children’s Theatre, The Cincinnati Art Museum Docent Program, ProKids, MindPeace, Fernside and The Cincinnati Children’s Museum,” explains Susan Shelton, president of the Junior League of Cincinnati. “The Junior League of Cincinnati’s current signature projects include GrinUp! (formerly Pediatric Oral Health) and RefugeeConnect.”

The gala is black tie optional and features an open bar, live auction, silent auction and plenty of entertainment. Guests attending the event also enjoy light bites from Cincinnati’s best restaurants who are competing in the 5th Annual “Best Bite of the Night.”

Ryan says that, to date, there are several eateries already confirmed for the competition including Alfio’s, Eli’s BBQ, Keystone Bar & Grill and many more. She adds that new to this year’s event is that desserts will be included in the Best Bite competition, and thus far include Macaron Bar and GiGi’s Cupcakes.

Conductor John Morris Russell of the Cincinnati Pops and morning news anchor Kara Sewell of FOX19 will serve as the masters of ceremonies for the event.

Tickets for the dinner and gala are $125 or $85 for the gala only. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door.

For more information on the Junior League of Cincinnati, visit You can also click here to purchase your CinSation 2015 ticket.

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CinSation 2014
CinSation 2014

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From vintage and designer fashions, to emerging local designers and Project Runway finalists — learn about the local event that’s bringing all of this and more to a runway near you.


As the curtains close on New York Fashion Week, a sartorially savvy event heats up right here in Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Fashion Event will take place on Saturday, March 7 at the Bertke Electric Warehouse located at 1645 Blue Rock St. in Cincinnati.

“We are looking at an attendance of around 500 people – which is very exciting,” says Andrew Salzbrun, managing partner at AGAR. “The biggest thing that we are hoping to achieve is a blending of people varying in both age and cultural backgrounds.”

Evolution Studio will present the event in partnership with Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa, AMY KIRCHEN Boutique, AGAR and Navarro Photography. Doors will open at 7 p.m. with the fashion show starting at 8 p.m. and an after party to follow at the Evolution Fashion Studio.

Lines from major designers including two finalists from Tim Gunn’s “Under the Gunn”, Asha Daniels and Sam Donovan and designer collections from fashion historian, stylist and collector, Tony Tiemeyer’s Evolution Fashion Studio will be showcased. Rising designer, Amy Kirchen, will also be featured along with a Spring 2015 line of local men’s fashion styled by Ivy Costa.

“I hope this event sheds light on local talent and that Cincinnati can be a city known for fashion,” says Amy Kirchen, designer of her self-titled label. “I love that this city is rich with talent and we have created a platform to showcase it. This event will impact the city with style, talent and design.”

In addition, Shayna Jordan Arnold, a graduate from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program, will get the opportunity of a lifetime as her collection shares the runway with some of fashion’s biggest names.

Event pricing is $30 for general admission and $100 for front row VIP tickets. Proceeds from the Front Row VIP tickets will benefit Cincinnati Opera’s world premier production of the new American opera “Morning Star,” which will be presented June 30 through July 19, 2015.

The Cincinnati Fashion Event has come a long way since its debut two years ago. “The event was formally known as ‘Chaser’ and was held at the Masonic Temple,” says Salzbrun. “The name change from Chaser to the Cincinnati Fashion Event was ultimately inspired by New York Fashion Week. We wanted to be able to showcase the talent and local designers right here in Cincinnati – so this was a great way to do that.”

“For us, it’s all about continuing to develop program level support and focusing on local talent,” Salzbrun continues. “I’m sure that Cincinnati will see a series of events popping up after this one is over.”

For more information about The Cincinnati Fashion Event or to purchase tickets, visit

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A local woman launched a mobile art party business that brings the fun to you. Keep reading to see how you can reserve a private painting party, or join in the fun at a local wine shop.


A glass of red wine, laughter, girlfriend time, and creativity are good for the body, mind and spirit. So grab a glass, paint brush, and gal pal for a Gallery to Go outing.

Gallery to Go is a mobile art party business that brings the fun to you. “All the supplies are brought to your group anywhere in the Tri-State area,” explains Gallery to Go Founder Christine Smith. “We start with a studio and end with a gallery of artwork created by your friends, family and co-workers.”

Smith’s business held its first party in September 2011 with a mother-daughter fireworks party at a private residence. Since then, Smith says, parties have been held at restaurants, clubhouses, business conference rooms and anywhere else there’s room for a painting party.

If you don’t quite have the space to host a gathering like this, the Elk Creek Wine Store in Crestview Hills hosts a Gallery to Go event on the second Thursday of every month. There’s also an event on the third Thursday of each month at DEP’s Fine Wine in Fort Thomas.

To participate in a paint party at one of these locations, all you need to do is sign up for you and a friend or bring a group to enjoy a night of wine tasting in addition to the paint party.

The next event will be held March 12 at the Elk Creek Wine Store in Crestview Hills. Also, since the Elk Creek paint party is expected to sell out, they’ve decided to add a second date or March 14. It’s $30 to attend and guests are welcome to bring their favorite snacks and purchase a bottle of wine on-site. “No painting skills or wine wisdom is necessary,” Smith laughs. “It’s more about the party than the paint!”

Once the event gets started at 7:00 p.m., attendees receive step-by-step guidance through the painting process. However, Smith says, it’s important to keep in mind that the event is more about having fun with the people next to you than to focus on the look of your painting.

Most parties typically last an hour and a half. Space for the events is limited so you’ll want to register early on the events page of You can also call 859-816-9053 if you have questions.

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Learn about the Fort Thomas Woman’s Club and their upcoming shows — perfect for a girl's night out — and the local charities they support.

022315CAREERIf you’re looking for a place to see a thought-provoking performance, check out the Fort Thomas Woman’s Club where the organization’s mission is to “create and maintain an organized center of thought and action among the woman members for the promotion of social, educational, literacy and artistic growth and to promote these interests in relation to the City of Fort Thomas.”

The history of the Fort Thomas Woman’s Club dates back to the early 1900s. The first president of the club was Mrs. Murray R. Hubbard. Today, the club’s president is Ginger Paul, who continues to fulfill its mission.

While the season has been alive and strong since September and will be wrapping up in May, you still have time to catch a show, according to Valeria Amburgey, Publicity Chair for the Village Players of Fort Thomas, a department of the Fort Thomas Woman’s Club. “Typically, our season includes three shows and a Children’s Show in December,” explains Amburgey. “The last show of the season typically includes a charity benefit and the profits from the spring show are donated to an identified charity.”

The current production is called “The Women” and it started on Feb. 20 and will finish up on Feb. 28. Amburgey says the season concludes with “Blood Relations” from April 17 through April 25 and will benefit the Hoxworth Blood Center.

“The Women” is a classic comedy follows a Manhattan socialite who recently discovered her husband is having an affair. After her friends turn out to be less than helpful, the show proves to be a hilarious, satirical look into the lives of “the ladies who lunch” and the world that determines their behavior.

Cast members are Teresa Myers, Anne-Marie Ireland, Julia Hedges, Patricia Mullins, Eylie Lorenz, Renee Maria, Andrianne Underhill, Allison Hinkel, Amy Sullivan, Kimberly Boyle, Monica Weber, Elaine Michael, Peggy Kenney, Sarah Spencer, Jeri Nakamura, Olivia Anderson, Betsy Evans, Rilla Foster, Gaylene May and Lori Bowling.

Upcoming performances will take place on Feb. 26, Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 at 8:00 p.m. at The Fort Thomas Woman’s Club on 8 North Fort Thomas Avenue in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Tickets to the shows are $17 and can be ordered by calling the box office or online.

To purchase tickets, learn more or get involved with the Woman’s Club or Village Players of Fort Thomas, visit their website or call 859-392-0500. Audition announcements are also posted on their Facebook page.

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Art gallery, frame shop, design consultant firm, and event space — learn more about ADC Fine Art and the team behind this art-lover’s paradise.

Elizabeth Davis, Art Gallery Director at ADC Fine Art:
Elizabeth Davis, Art Gallery Director at ADC Fine Art:

Cincy Chic: What is ADC Fine Art?
Elizabeth Davis, Art Gallery Director at ADC Fine Art: Art Design Consultants (ADC) is affectionately known as Cincinnati’s “Gallery in the Sky,” and rightly so! We’re located on the 5th floor of a renovated warehouse on the edge of downtown. We have floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing sweeping views of the Mt. Adams and Cincinnati cityscapes, but most of the time people don’t even make it that far because our 10,000-square-foot gallery space captivates them first. We have everything from luscious traditional landscapes to vibrant, non-representational contemporary artworks to satisfy our every client’s taste. We are first and foremost an art consultant agency and gallery and we love helping our clients choose the best art for their spaces, but we also have an in-house frame shop that does custom and contract pieces and we rent out our space for fantastic events! We can’t wait for Cincy Chic’s Eco Chic Fashion Show on March 26.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind ADC?
Davis: Litsa Spanos is the Founder and President of Art Design Consultants. For more than 20 years she has helped friends and clients – corporate and residential – select just the right, amazing artworks for their space.

Currently, her vision continues to grow with new clients and exciting projects like Art Comes Alive, an annual nationally juried art competition and exhibition that awards over $150,000 to the nation’s top artists, and Blink, a high-end print and online art catalog created to help designers source beautiful art for their projects faster. Her award-winning company currently ranks in the top two percent of all women-owned business in the nation.

To meet project deadlines and awe clients, Litsa relies on her incredibly talented and passionate team comprised of Senior Art Consultant Allison Banzhaf, Art Director Sandy Eichert, Gallery Director Elizabeth David, Master Framer and Artist Kevin Poole, master framers Chris Bungenstock and Matt Estenfelder, Blink Sales Director Chelsea Tucker and Blink Circulation Director Rachael Moore.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind ADC Fine Art?
Davis: At Art Design Consultants, we’re passionate about creating beautiful environments with art that inspires and excites. With art and design, the two truly go hand in hand. A piece will look different in the gallery than it will in your home or office space, and that’s where we come in. We nurture our clients through the art selection process from beginning to end. Art is more than a decorative piece displayed on a wall, it has the ability to transform a room adding both dimension and personality. As art consultants we have the vision to see how art or a custom frame really completes the space.

Cincy Chic: When did ADC Fine Art launch?
Davis: In 1992, Litsa founded ADC out of her basement with only two customers. She was determined to take her passion for art and bring beauty into as many homes and offices as possible. Since then she has taken this passion and established a thriving and vibrant business in Cincinnati’s art market creating beautiful and inspirational spaces for numerous clients.

Cincy Chic: What types of services do you offer customers?
Davis: ADC is a multi-faceted company. We sell fine art, offer free art consulting services for healthcare, corporate and residential clients, custom and contract framing and event venue and most recently we became a publisher.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for ADC Fine Art?
Davis: Yes, there is! In March we’ll be publishing Blink Art Resource! The inspiration behind Blink came out of necessity:

“I was awarded a large corporate project requiring a variety of original works. I needed to find great artists and put together a presentation in less than a week. Sure, there were thousands of artists on-line as well as many around me, but the thought of searching for professional artists and then narrowing them down was daunting. In reality, this meant a lot of time wasted sitting at my computer and becoming overwhelmed by too many options. I had to get exciting ideas and make a great impression on my client fast…If only I had an inspiring art catalogue with everything I needed from paintings to site-specific sculpture at my fingertips.” – Litsa Spanos

And because of this frustration, BLINK was born!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Davis: Readers can go to to learn more and be inspired by beautiful art!

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Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter that explains where the grass is truly greener.

022315LOLAI remember my first garden. Well, technically it was my sandbox. But I planted radish seeds in it once, and they surprisingly grew, so we called it my garden.

My parents were so shocked that anything grew in it because, for one, it was a sandbox. No soil, just sand. It was also in the shade, and a fairly long walk from our house so it wasn’t necessarily easy to get to.

This poor little “garden” had everything stacked against it. I had every excuse for it not to work. But I saw gardens in magazines and wanted one so badly.

I remember visiting my radishes each day, bringing them water — never looking at other plants to notice they were in soil not sand, or if they were bigger than my little radishes. I just watered watered watered, and loved seeing the little green sprouts get bigger every day. Then, eventually, that proud moment when my parents said my radishes were big enough to pick!

We pulled them out of the ground and I couldn’t believe I had grown them all by myself. I think I stared at them for hours – so proud – before I finally caved and ate one. I’ll never forget that day.

Somehow along the way, though, I forgot the lessons this little garden taught me. With the huge hurdles we’ve had to clear lately, it’s been tough to not look at everyone else’s “garden.” I started looking at other people’s soil. Their plants. Their harvests. Why did gardening seem so much easier for them than it did for us? Did I have a black thumb?

There was one woman in particular who seemed to have it all: healthy family, lots of kids, nice house, traveled often, great job, etc. From an outsider’s perspective, their life just looked effortless and happy. Like a beautiful, self-watering garden full of huge, fruitful plants. Who wouldn’t be jealous of that?

Last week, I had a business meeting with this woman. I even thought “It must be so nice to be her” when she welcomed me in to her perfectly organized office, shook my hand with her perfectly manicured nails, and smiled at me with her perfect Hollywood smile. Then, about 15 minutes into the conversation, she poured out her heart to me. She hadn’t been happy in years and she had just told her husband she wanted a divorce. Life had been secretly crumbling behind the facade she kept so well-manicured.

I was shocked. It was like learning that the dream gardens in my magazines as a kid were really a bunch of silk plants stuck in dirt (which they very well might have been). And here it had me – a person who somehow made radishes grow in a shady pile of sand – wondering if I had a black thumb. In reality, I made something really special happen when I focused on my own little plants. I willed those little radishes to grow with lots of love and water. Your daddy and I did the same thing – despite all odds, we willed our special little family to grow with lots of love and strength. We just needed to keep doing that and not worry about anything else.

So, keep that in mind when you feel the urge to compare your life to others. While it might look like it from afar, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. But the grass will always be greener where you water it, even if it’s just a few radishes in the sand.

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It was at one time considered a potential sleeper for award season, but then got shut out. But is A Most Violent Year still a film worth most certainly worth watching? Click here to find out!

“Do you know why I’m holding your face like this? Because I cannot believe how well that mascara is holding up under all these lights!” Immigrant-turned-aspiring-heating mogul Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) embraces his wife daughter-of-a-gangster Anna (Jessica Chastain) in a scene from writer/director J.C. Chandor’s drama A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. Credit: A24 Films. All Rights Reserved.



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Elyes Gabel and Albert Brooks

WRITER(S): J.C. Chandor

DIRECTOR(S): J.C. Chandor



 Set against the backdrop of the most – statistically, anyway – the most violent year in the history of New York City (1981), A Most Violent Year tells the story of aspiring heating oil industry player Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac). An immigrant trying to make an honest living, he seems to be the only person around him that is.His wife Anna (Jessica Chastain) is the son of a gangster, his accountant (Albert Brooks) may have looked the other way one time to many when it came to her management of the company’s books. The same can’t be said for Lawrence (David Oyelowo), the district attorney hot on their heels, however …Things could be worse, though – at least he is not his cousin Julian (Elyes Gabel) just can’t seem to catch a break … unless it’s one in his face from the thugs that are trying to shut Abel’s company down. You see, things are HIGHLY competitive in the heating oil game, which is why jacking of rival trucks, beating of rival drivers/salesman and potential home intimidation/invasions have become commonplace.

A most violent year it is, indeed – but is it one Abel can survive as he chases the American dream he still so steadfastly believes in?

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST?: People who don’t like films with potentially unsatisfying resolutions; people who want a character to respond differently than they do when their convictions threaten their very own well being.

WHO WON’T – OR SHOULDN’T – LIKE THIS FILM?: Oscar Isaac fans; Jessica Chastain fans; people who enjoy the unfolding of a story in carefully designed layers; audience members who enjoy watching a man stick to his morals; those who remember New York City’s storied (or should that be infamous) past.

FINAL VERDICT – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? A Most Violent Year is a very well ACTED movie … It’s just not a movie that is always exciting to watch, which is why it may be very well done, audiences may have trouble remembering it once they leave the theater.

Especially if the convictions of the lead character produce as much conflict in their own mind as it does everyone around him.

Essentially a morality play of sorts, A Most Violent Year uses its setting as an effective backdrop to explore a simple theme: Can, or rather will, one waver from their convictions (In this case, Abel’s belief in the American dream and the need to do things the right way) or fall victim to the evil surrounding him. The role seems tailor made for Isaac, who seems to specialize in playing characters with deep convictions in their talent that may ultimately serve to be his undoing/make him seem weak (see Inside Llewyn Davis for more).

There is never a moment where you don’t know exactly what Abel is thinking or why he is thinking it; he is a man who is determined and will not let anything sway him from his path. This in turn makes Chastain a great mirror to judge himself against, for her take-no-prisoners, family-over-everything-and-anybody mentality is fun to watch. This is also why one can view Julian as a sort of anti-Abel and view the resulting effects of his actions as the “see what happens?” when comparing the two characters. (Albert Brooks is fun as always as he has perfected the art of playing a put upon older guy trying to help a younger person be reasonable very well.)

All that being said, A Most Violent Year moves at such an unhurried pace that the story itself comes off as a little dry and – dare I say – secondary to its characters. You’ll likely figure out the film’s moves before the characters do … And unless you are extremely ensnared by Abel’s plight to continue to do right in the face of so much trauma, you may lose your empathy midstream.

So, while A Most Violent Year isn’t a bad film at all, it certainly isn’t the most memorable one you’ll see this year. And that’s probably not the emotion writer/director J.C. Candor hoped to create.


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Our fashion columnist explores the art of mixing colors, playing with patterns and incorporating prints into your outfits. Learn more about the dos and dos of mixing it up and creating style recipes.

If you run into me bopping around Hyde Park and you don’t know me, you might think to yourself, Why is she wearing all of those prints? What is she thinking? Does she know those don’t match? Or hopefully, you’re inspired to see style as an expression of self. Maybe you’ll decide to try to mix up your outfits a bit as to avoid the same old recipes you continue to put together, limiting yourself to pants that are married to a certain sweater or a dress that only goes with one belt and certain shoes. Sound familiar?

I’ve been researching Pinterest (don’t judge, I know you’ve pinned 6 things in the last 24 hours on a secret board). Anyway, I’d like to summarize my findings to help you incorporate pattern play into your wardrobe.

Study Color Experts
As much as style should be individual, fashion is often driven by designers and retailers. Browse the J.Crew catalog for a little guidance on styling a monochromatic look or to find new color combinations. Interior design is another great source of color inspiration. It’s amazing what you already have in your closet to make up these looks.
Keep a list of ideas for moments when you’re lacking creative combinations.

Try a few, including:
• Mustard & Grey
• Navy & Fuchsia
• Marsala & Bright Blue
• Camel & Hot Pink
• Yellow, Turquoise, & Black
• Olive, White, & Tan

Common Thread
This is both a literal and figurative suggestion but make sure when mixing prints that there is a common thread to pull the look together. For example, when mixing two or three patterns, make sure there is a commonality. Wear black and white prints of varying scales or ensure there is a unifying color in the multiple patterns. Remember it doesn’t have to perfectly match but be purposeful in the color coordination of your look.

Leopard is Neutral
While I can’t take credit for this concept, I do believe and practice it as a fashionista. Leopard goes with everything. Buy a pair of leopard pumps or flats to wear as often as you do your nude shoes. If you are nervous to incorporate more than one pattern, use leopard as your safety net. With leopard, ignore the common thread rule mentioned above.

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