I always wanted to post this picture of Janelle Monáe. Her cape is to die for, but the quality of the photo is quite forgettable. I must have reviewed the image at least 100 times, her irresistibly gutsy and witty approach to style kept inviting me to open the file. Then luckily, Christmas, in the form of a ridiculously fantastic mantella (thanks mamma-in-law!), came along and wiped away all my hangups.

I have always loved capes. Their drama is addictive. It is all about the tail blowing up and out when the wind blows. Who doesn't like to make a statement? I owned two before my mother-in-law's incredibly stylish and much appreciated Christmas present. The gray one by Marc by Marc Jacobs is totally Sherlock Holmes material. I feel rather smart when I wear it. The black one, a gift from a dear friend, is inspired by the traditional Tyrolean tabarro (cloak). Custom made for me, it is one of the most spectacular gifts I have ever received. I reserve it for nights at the Scala.

Voilà, my new mantella by Annalisa Castellini (the go-to brand for elegant Milanese women). Russian inspired, silk embroidered with velvet detail, and down-filled, I'm beyond over the moon about it! I guess I was a very good daughter-in-law this year. (smile)