Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fashion is Bleeding Red!

Red just happens to be my favourite colour, so I'm very excited that designers are showing red as the perfect pop of pizazz for men this fall. I love the tone on tone on tone appeal of khakis, browns, and greys - especially as the weather cools off and we can pile on the layers! To break up the colour schemes and prevent your monotone palate from being boring, add in a pop of colour in the form of an accessory or statement piece. Here are some amazing accessories that're sure to bring your style to red hot levels!

Hat and Scarf, Prada:

Silk Ties, Burberry:

Quilted Nylon Jacket, Dolce & Gabbana:

Red corral spiritual bracelet, David Yurman:

Knot clasp leather bracelet, Gucci:

And in honour of my favourite colour and one of my favourite initiatives, I present to you the (red) manifesto:

all things being equal. they are not.

as first world consumers, we have tremendous power. what we collectively choose to buy, or not buy, can change the course of life and history on this planet.

(red) is that simple an idea. and that powerful. now, you have a choice. there are (red) credit cards, (red) phones, (red) shoes, (red) fashion brands. and no, this does not mean they are all red in color, although some are.

if you buy a (red) product or sign up for a (red) service, at no cost to you, a (red) company will give some of its profits to buy and distribute anti-retroviral medicine to our brothers and sisters dying of aids in africa.

we believe that when consumers are offered this choice, and the products meet their needs, they will choose (red). and when they choose (red) over non-(red), then more brands will choose to become (red) because it will make good business sense to do so. and more lives will be saved.

(red) is not a charity. it is simply a business model. you buy (red) stuff, we get the money, buy the pills and distribute them. they take the pills, stay alive, and continue to take care of their families and contribute socially and economically in their communities.

if they don't get the pills, they die. we don't want them to die. we want to give them the pills. and we can. and you can. and it's easy.

all you have to do is upgrade your choice.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hermès Yacht

LONDON, England (CNN) -- French retailer Hermès and Monaco-based Wally Construct have teamed up to design a 125-foot wide, wedge-shaped yacht offering the ultimate life of luxury on the water.

The innovative new craft, which is yet to be built, has features including an 82 ft on-board salt water swimming pool, a 118 ft "beach" on the back deck and cutting-edge sustainable technologies.

The ship's central power system will recycle thermal energy and draw power from a diesel engine, a telescopic wind-turbine and 10,000 square feet of photovolactic solar panels, which ring the glass portion of the hull.
The unique triangular design of the hull will keep the yacht stable even amidst storms and high waves. In full swell the hull barely moves.

Inside, a 2,200 square foot master-suite decorated by Hermès occupies the entire 3rd floor and boasts its own private deck. On the second floor five guest suites and a recreational lounge offer luxurious accommodation for 12 people. The lower floor holds common space including a spa, dinning room and cinema.

Now all Hermès and Wally need is a buyer, so they can build it.

Until there's a buyer - take a virtual tour online. Few can afford the real thing, but everyone can dream!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Baskets of Inspiration

I love baskets. Maybe it's because when I was little, I always went with my Mom to those Longaberger basket parties. Or maybe it's the shear fact that one of my favourite design features is actual utility; and we all know that baskets are actually useful! There can be baskets for everything, but my favourites are the multifunctional. Right now, we have a bunch of important cards and letters in the double pie carrier; I've got toiletries in a breadbasket in the bathroom.

This season, Pottery Barn steps it up a notch with their creative uses for baskets.

I love the basket full of wreathes, leaves, and even pillows and tree branches. They can be used for storage, like a vase, to transport food, or to hold anything and everything you desire. What do you think?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Objects of Desire

Classic elegance. Flawless craftsmanship. Super luxe. The perfect accessories for fall/winter.

Christian Dior's Demi-Lune Boot (shown with undeniably, the most classic, elegant Lady Dior - which, as I've said here several times, was created at the request of Madame Chirac for Princess Diana as a symbol of France and features the iconic Canage pattern in super supple lambskin. )

• Noir (black) nappa leather.

• Pointed toe.

• Ruched shaft; pull tabs with logo-engraved D-rings.

• Leather sole.

• 3 5/8" covered heel.

• Shaft, approximately 11 1/2"H.

• Made in Italy.

US$1260 at Dior Boutiques and better department stores.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Big Black Book

So the other day I was perusing my local bookseller and found Esquire Magazine's new Big Black Book. I must say - I am very impressed. Practical advice, serious style, and amazing inspiration. Here's what I love and thought was noteworthy:

The rugged edge and spirit of luxe travel to untouched beaches evoked in Louis Vuitton's ad campaign with sir Sean Connery.

The drama and opulence of Giorgio Armani.

The exotic locale and jovial love of Brunello Cucinelli and the ad with the Mongolian tribe.

The sinister set of Barneys New York featuring Oxxford and impeccable tailoring displayed.

The attention to detail and brilliant design aesthetic of allegri and their fabulous outerwear.

The Hermès peacoat in double face broadcloth designed by Véronique Nichanian in fabulous green and gray. (US$5200)

The casual elegance of the shawl collar cardigan.

The look of irritation on Tom Ford's face in the new Grey Vetiver advert.

The reemergence of carbon fibre as a trend in both fashion, automobiles, and electronics.

The pairing of grays and purples.

The easy way to wear a scarf in five different looks.

The cartoon style advertisement of John Lobb in brilliant yellow with a humourous take on their over the top and fabulous customer service.

The Phillip Lim 3.1 cotton blend coat with detachable rabbit fur lined vest. (US$995) (In NYC call 212.334.1160 for more information or to purchase).

Globe Trotter luggage.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fashion Foot Forward

When you're putting your best foot forward, both literally and physically, you want to make sure your footwear is in the best condition possible. Plain and simple: polish your shoes.

1) clean your shoes. remove any dust or dirt with a damp cloth or brush.

2) ensure you're using a polish that closely matches the colour of your leather. for example, black shoes would require black polish; brown shoes require brown polish. using round brush strokes, apply a light coating of polish to the surface of both shoes. use a small brush (like an old toothbrush) to get into the tighter/hard to reach spots.

3) after about 15 minutes of rest time, brush the leather again with the shoeshine brush to remove any excess. then buff the leather to a perfect shine with a clean, dry cloth. if you don't have a dedicated buffing cloth, a clean cotton shirt or old wash cloth will do just fine.

With regular wear, you should shine and polish your shoes about once a month. In between regular wear, be sure to keep shoes clean and free of dirt or dust. You can also restore and enhance the shine by simply buffing quickly with a clean, dry cloth.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Serious Style

and other luxe loves of the moment, in no particular order:

Chunky cable knit

Navy blue

Luminous, radiant skin

Funky, memorable leggings

Wingtips with unexpected colour like electric blue and acid yellow

Velvet mixed with unexpected fabrics like silks and leathers

Edgier jewelry paired with classic clothing

Tone on tone on tone

Purples, grays, and various shades of brown or white

Structured, fitted jackets

Extra slim fit shirts, like all those from Ted Baker and Tom Ford, or the new offerings from Brooks brothers

Matte everything - from skin to car to leather - Keep the colour, lose the shine

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's all in the Details

In fashion, especially the luxury segment of the market, it really is all about the details of the garment that separate the professionals from the amateurs. In October's Details magazine, there are two great pieces of information that I want to pass along to you here regarding suits and how to guarantee the best fit.

Buy the Numbers

Look inside any top-notch suit and you'll probably see a label like Super 100s or Super 120s. The numbers refer to yarn count and were devised to classify super-lightweight wools. The higher the figure, the finer the material. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should splurge on a Super 200s suit. Anything above the 80s and you're in quality territory - hit the 150s, however, and though you may love the weightless feel, your suit becomes far more vulnerable to wear and tear.

In a perfect world, we'd all wear suits that were made-to-measure, just for us. Gone would be the boxlike silhouettes so familiar with racks and racks of discounted suits, and instead we'd all look modern, well shaped, and perfectly dressed. But with a little tailoring and alterations, your off-the-rack suit can look substantially better and more suited for real business.

How to Trim Your Box

1. Sleeves and Pants

Your sleeves should hit right at he little round bone in your wrists, about a half-inch above your shirt cuff, and your pants should have a single, medium break in the front. Make sure the back of the pant leg falls where the top of your shoe heel meets the leather.

2. Armholes

If the armholes are a bit too high and tight, your tailor can probably get you some more room. But if the bottom of the arm opening is too low and baggy, it really can't be brought up.

3. Rollout

Most off-the-rack suits are cut with a slightly sloped shoulder. As a result, men with broad square shoulders often get unsightly collar roll - fabric that gathers where the collar and body meet. It's easily removed, but it might take more than one try to get it right.

4. Around the Middle

When your jacket is buttoned, give it a tug away from your body; you should have about two inches of room. Anything over three inches and you're in box territory. The desired effect is a defined waist.

5. The Magic Inch

Standing with your arms at your sides, curl your fingers around the bottom edge of the jacket. If it's the right length, the lip should fall just between your first and second knuckles. An easy way to make a suit look young and modern is to shave off another inch (bump it up a knuckle). Anything more might ruin the proportions of the jacket.

Tip: A good tailor will always insist you try the suit on again when you pick it up. If yours lets you leave without a second fitting, find somewhere else to get your clothes altered.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Eyes to Kill

I'm loving Giorgio Armani Beauty's eyes to kill palette. It combines an eyeliner, a neutral highlighter, and an intense shadow all in one convenient compact. In four different colour schemes, this eye wonder tool is the perfect accoutrement for any glamourous girl on the go. For fall, I'm definitely loving #1 steel black for the perfect (and signature Armani) smoky eye, and #3 gun metal gray for the perfect fall/winter hues of grays and purples.

And for the perfect eye, Giorgio Armani celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn shows how to take your eyes from day-to-night with the same three products. Simple, easy, and realistic - the way cosmetics should be. Take a look!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

First Look: Martin + Osa

I just got a first look at the new arrivals over at Martin + Osa, and I must say that I'm really excited and proud of the brand. Their imaginations and creativity must be moving at the same rate as their lives are in motion. Flirty and fun tops for women, paired with rugged motorcycle inspired jackets, mixed with classic coats, dashed with a few sequins and the perfectly placed ruffle. For men, I'm loving the utilitarian nature with a stylish side for the outwear. It's the vintage inspired military jacket you actually want to wear because it fits perfectly in all the right places. Casual coolness is woven into the plaid and stripes, and there's even a washed tuxedo style shirt. Tshirts offered are just as expected - interesting enough to catch your eye, but not so busy that you get motion sickness trying to figure out just what exactly that graphic is supposed to be. And the fabric - like your favourite tshirt, from the very beginning. Not exactly thrilled with the limited and lackluster accessories for men, but the pizazz and panache of the double dyed khaki wash straight fit denim definitely makes up for this! Here's what I love:

Double-Dye Khaki Wash
Style: 3410/1096

This is an every guy, everyday jean. A rise that sits at the waist makes this fit comfortable and completely versatile.
• Sits at waist
• Easy through the hip + thigh
• 17" narrows at leg opening
• Five-pocket style

• 100% cotton, 11 oz.
• Tacking at waist + pockets

Wash Details
WHISKERING refers to the lines that naturally develop on denim when worn over + over before washing. They are creases that form behind the knees, to the sides of the zipper and at the top of the thigh. We apply whiskering by hand to lend a well-worn look to a new pair of jeans.
SANDING is the action of scraping away the top layer of dye from the jean. We do it by hand with fine grain sandpaper for the most precise results.
• Logo button, rivets, embroidery, patch
• Machine wash

Waxed Nylon Motorcycle Jacket
Style: 3820/2180

Inspired by authentic motorcycle gear + outfitted with a quilted lining for warmth, this jacket in water-resistant waxed nylon is the ultimate in roadworthy winter style.
• Modern slim fit
• Covered zip + snap placket
• Elbow patches, snap cuffs with gussets
• Five zip welt pockets
• Hem hits at hip
• Shell: 100% PU waxed nylon
• Lining: 100% cotton jersey
• Midweight
• Felt lining inside collar
• Machine wash

Zip Mac
Style: 3830/2185

A quilted lining + a zip/snap placket transform the classic trench coat into a cold-weather essential. Water-resistant cotton-poly handles the elements in style.
• Modern slim fit
• Covered zip + snap placket
• Adjustable snap cuffs
• Outer vertical welt pockets
• Vented button hem hits mid-thigh
• Shell: 65% cotton, 35% polyester
• Lining: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
• Midweight
• Interior leather piping
• Dry clean

Double-Layer Poplin Workshirt
Style: 3315/7001

Washed for softness + detailed with a nod to its heritage, our vintage double-layer shirt is your new favorite, inspired by a workwear essential.
• Straight collar
• One-button cuffs
• Two chest patch pockets with buttons
• Shirttail hem with side-seam gussets
• Hits at hip
• Double-layer cotton
• Navy plaid exterior
• Black check interior
• Double-needle stitching
• Machine wash

White Tuxedo Shirt

Style: 3330/7994

Winter Trench
Style: 1840/0332
A button-out metallic lining + overlapping lapels transform our seasonless favorite into a chic essential for cold weather. The fitted silhouette gives it feminine style.
• Fitted silhouette, removable self-belt
• Metal button placket, overlapping lapels
• Hook-and-eye closure at spread collar
• Adjustable cuff belts, button pockets
• Vented button-tab hem falls above knee
• Shell: 64% cotton, 36% nylon
• Button lining: 100% quilted polyester
• Midweight
• Gun flap, storm yoke, epaulettes
• Dry clean

Sheer Layered Tank
Style: 1110/8395

Asymmetrical tiers of ruffled fabric give this fashion-forward tank pattern + soft texture.

• Easy-fit, slight A-line silhouette
• Scoop neck with button keyhole at back
• 1" shoulder straps
• Shaped hem hits at low hip

• 65% polyester, 35% rayon
• Lightweight
• Top-applied layered tiers of self-fabric
• Machine wash

Instantly revs up the flirtiness and fun to otherwise boring pants suits. Perfectly professional when paired with a great wool gray skirt and navy or black cardigan, and but equally as exciting with your favourite denim and a jacket for night.

Long-Sleeve Cascade Ruffle Tee
Style: 1140/8394

Raw-edge ruffles of silk chiffon add delicate texture to the long + lean silhouette of this feminine tee.
• Long + lean silhouette
• V-neck
• Long sleeves
• Raw-edge hem hits at low hip

• 100% modal
• Lightweight
• Ruffle detail with silk chiffon layer
• Machine wash

I definitely recommend putting this under a great black or navy pants suit for the office, and then easily transitioning from day to night by throwing on your favourite denim and keeping the blazer and shirt on. Add sexy heels, a light and airy scarf, and your favourite bag - and the night is yours to own!

Denim Western Shirt
Murky Depth Wash
Style: 1310/6511

Finished by hand for a lived-in look + feel, our western denim shirt is updated with a fitted silhouette + authentic details like pearl snap buttons + a curved back yoke.
• Fitted silhouette with princess seams
• Pearl snap-button placket
• Straight collar, one-snap cuffs
• Two patch snap-flap pockets
• Shirttail hem hits at low hip
• 100% cotton
• Lightweight, soft feel
• Subtle grinding on collar + cuffs
• Interior tonal piping in collar + cuffs
• Machine wash

I love this shirt. To add a splash of colour and character, I'd wear this shirt with a bright yellow or orange tank underneath and leave a few more buttons undone for a casual luxe. Keep the sleeves a little more unrolled and even a little sloppier for a less formal feel. To emphasize the vintage feel and texture of the fabric, I'd pair this amazing shirt with white pants, or even tuck it in to a great white skirt and accessorize with chunky brown leather belt. Just keep the western accessories and appeal to a minimum, or you'll look more like you belong at a rodeo show and less like on Rodeo Drive.

Ponte Button Tab Skirt
Style: 1750/2068

A sophisticated mini in softly pleated ponte with a touch of stretch. Button tabs on a shaped yoke + slant pockets add feminine trouser detailing.
• Slight A-line silhouette sits at waist
• Side zip with mini hook-and-eye
• Shaped front yoke with button tabs
• Front slant pockets
• Hem falls to mid-thigh

• 86% viscose, 12% nylon, 2% spandex
• Lightweight, soft feel
• Front + back pleats below waistband
• Woven trim inside waistband + hem
• Dry clean

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bathe in Bliss

I love Bliss products. Plain and simple. I got hooked several years ago while staying at the W Hotel in Chicago, and after using the amazing products in my room, I wanted to dive body first into a world of bliss and promptly booked an appointment at the Bliss Spa. And it was indeed love at first sight.

As if the fragrance and feel of the Blood Orange + White Pepper range wasn't awesome enough - now Bliss has just introduced a new product in the line - soapy suds! Twice the amount. Half the price. No parabens. (For those who don't know - parabens are preservatives used in cosmetics and skincare. One scientific study reports that parabens were found in samples of breast tumors. While not entirely conclusive, this study has resulted in a call for further research. Nevertheless, this same study has fueled the belief that parabens in underarm deodorants or other cosmetics may migrate into breast tissue and contribute to the development of tumors. However, no causal link with cancer has ever been proven and so far there is no scientific evidence to support any link with any form of cancer. Some scientists believe that it may be correlated with breast cancer, based on a study by UK scientists in which preservative chemicals were found in samples of breast tumors. Their analysis of 20 breast tumors found high concentrations of parabens in 18 samples. What supports this argument is based on the ability of parabens to mimic the hormone estrogen, which is known to play a role in the development of breast cancers.)

This vibrantly scented liquid soap whips up a luxe lather that cleans and conditions for supremely soft skin. Use as a body wash to shake up your shower, or pour a bit into the bath for a more stimulating soak; either way, it’ll make routine foaming much more fabulous. Paraben free. 16 oz. US$18.

I've got it in my shower. Bathe in Bliss.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2009

The Neiman Marcus 2009 Christmas Book was released today. I hope we're all on Santa's "good" list, because this collection of all things fashionable is simply amazing. If you've got people on your shopping list who are hard to shop for, picky, have discerning eyes, or just love luxury - this list will definitely point you in the right direction.

For men, I'm loving the John Hardy bracelets, the Cole Haan gloves, and the entire Dolce & Gabbana ski ensemble.

For women, the black and red Alexander McQueen dress is wildly wonderful, the Stella McCartney motorcycle jacket and dress makes for the perfect rock and roll chic appeal for any lucky lady, the Theory blazer and leggings is sleek and sultry for day or night, and of course - all of the glamourous gowns. As for jewels, I'm loving the serious statement pieces.

For the home, I love the glitz of L'Objet, the portable powerhouse of Tivoli Audio, and the collection of style and wonder with Dior's 60th anniversary book.

The indulgent section - wow wow wow. From a US$10,000 Baccarat vase, stunning watches and jewels, to the US$14,000 fur trim cashmere cape, to the most exquisite handbags - this is definitely the collection for dreamers.

I'm impressed with the selection - there really is something for everyone - with respect to both taste, function, style, and value.

If this book is any indication of the 2009 holiday season, it's sure to be merry!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Today, history is made. The Waldorf=Astoria, famed for bringing luxury, romance, and amazing stories of lifestyles of the rich and famous and the most fairy tale of weddings opens their first landmark property in tourist rich, sunny Orlando, Florida.

I'm so excited to visit this property. The Waldorf=Astoria Orlando fills more comfort and luxury onto 482 amazing acres of land than Central Florida could ever imagine. Perfect for the power playing business client or the ultimate leisure guest, the newest WA is sure to wow your minds and expectations. Amazing restaurants, golf, the spa by Guerlain and fitness, along with a host of other activities and amenities, there's something for everyone at WA.

I can't wait to report back at the grandeur, the majesty, and the awe-inspiring amazingness of this property. Your wildest dreams are sure to become reality.