Weekend Warrior: Wendy Brandes

New York jewelry designer Wendy Brandes walks us through her perfect weekend.

I’m a night person. A serious night person. A vampire-level night person. So assuming that I am up till 3 or 4AM – even when I’m not doing anything special, I’d be getting up at 11AM. It would be ideal if I opened my eyes and saw a Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin muffin on a plate, perched on top of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. My husband is a great guy, so once in a while that actually happens!

After the muffin and the newspapers, I drag myself to the gym. I go every day. When you eat as many muffins as I do, you have to work out. I go alone. Around 2:30, when I’m finally starting to perk up, I might get dressed in my casual uniform: Acne jeans, a black Splendid T-shirt, my studded Miu Miu high-heel loafers from 2010 and my vintage black leather jacket with a peplum. I wear at least five rings of my own design and my favorite lipstick, which is MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolor in Lasting Lust. I wear that nearly every day. I’d meet my friend, hairstylist Julie Matos, at Balthazar on Spring Street for a post-brunch-rush drink. After two glasses of white wine, I’d be in a fine mood to stroll over to Julie’s apartment, where I’ll try on all her fabulous ’80s clothing. (Julie and I first bonded over our love of ’80s fashions.)

I’ve been wanting to go back to Lincoln Ristorante at Lincoln Center. The first time my husband and I ate there, we were with our friends Carl and Barbaralee, so I’d invite them to join us again. I’d change into one of my vintage Ossie Clark dresses, my old suede over-the-knee Manolo Blahnik boots and add one of the necklaces from my line to my jewelry collection. The Lasting Lust lipstick would stay.

As for Sunday? Maybe I’d have a different kind of muffin on Sunday. But I really do like those pumpkin ones. I’d go to the gym again. Then I’d put on my jeans/black T-shirt/red lipstick uniform and meet up with my clothing-designer friend Stacy Lomman for a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. My favorite parts of the museum are the medieval and Egyptian artifacts ones. I get a lot of concepts for my jewelry designs from those exhibits. My Hathor swivel ring was inspired by the Egyptian swivel rings on display at the museum, though mine looks very different from the originals. I’d want to make sure that I was home that night to watch The Good Wife. (Christine Baranski is my hero.) Maybe Stacy would join us, in which case Gigi (my Tibetan Spaniel) will spend the show staring lovingly at her. The other dog, Henry (a Pekingese), will sit on my feet till I get overheated and move him.

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

January 21, 2012


  1. Jayne says:

    Why is she posting this and is there an audience?
    I guess it seems like this should be in a personal journal but I may not understand the intention of this. Is this an advertisement for these products and services?

  2. lisa Phillpott says:

    I am also a night owl and love it when others are up until 4:00 and wake at noon. Pumpkin muffins would be great. Love her life.

  3. Andrea says:

    This sounds like an awesome weekend! It’s great to know that there are other vampire-level night people out there :)

  4. Jayne, Rue La La blog asked me to describe my ideal weekend. I understood it to be a regular feature, as they showed me some examples.

  5. I’m always relieved to know that too, because it can feel lonely!

  6. Lisa, I’m so sad that pumpkin-muffin season is over!

  7. Mary Panjari says:

    Sounds like an ideal weekend. If only I lived in NYC! Hey Wendy, 11 am is my preferred rising time too, every day. Sadly this cannot be.

  8. kristinm100 says:

    Pumpkin muffins notwithstanding, I’m up for this :-)

  9. I wish you lived in NYC too!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I love a peek into Wendy’s wardrobe and world.

  11. Actually, I’ll take any kind of muffin. Except bran!

  12. This ideal weekend was so far from this weekend…sigh!

  13. Lauren says:

    Hi Jayne,

    Weekend Warrior is column I write regularly for Rue’s blog; it’s a fun look at a fashion industry insider’s ideal weekend (in this case, jewelry designer Wendy Brandes), in their own voice. We feature talented people we like and admire.

  14. Great description!! We are really a novice to this certain however truly like activity.