Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tis the season to be jolly...and fashionable. It's been a rough year for many. Whether economically, emotionally, employment related, or even everything, we've all had some sort of accident or blunder or challenge. And now it's time to put on a happy face, your party dress, and ring in 2011 with optimism and positivity.
I'm loving this entire outfit.
Joie Storm Somerville jacket(US$748) in luscious lambskin is the perfect way to add some fashion funk to any wardrobe, from basic denim and plain white t, to this incredibly fabulous and flirtatious Indigo Belle skirt (US$385) by fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg. Time Square's New Year's crystal ball isn't the only thing that sparkles at holiday, especially when you're rocking this White Sparkle tank by Velvet (US$54). The smoothness of the luxe leather, coupled with the volume of the skirt, and the sparkle of the tank brings the perfect mix of tantalizing texture.
And don't freak out about staying fabulous and frugal! These XL Crystal Earrings are just US$90 and this Vita Fede white and gunmetal bracelet can play double duty as a choker for just US$182. And don't forget that every girl-on-the-go needs her essentials close at hand, so this Linea Pelle Grey Dylan Folding Tote (US$535) is the perfect marriage of design and function.
This incredible look is styled by Tanis Milicevic and are available at her modelcitizen boutiques.
Friday, December 17, 2010
I can't get enough of Energie. I could eagerly echo my sentiments for Energie for at least eight months and still couldn't get exactly enough.
Youthful + Edgy + Fun + Utility + Style + Character + Urban + City Chic + Quality = Energie.
What gets you energized?
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I have no idea what rock I've been living under. Or at least that's how I feel right now. I love L'Occitane en Provence. I think they have some pretty fabulous skincare and treats for the home. I love the story. Tried and true remedies and traditional ingredients from the south of France, mixed with the power of science to pack some serious results. Sexy skin. Fabulous fragrance. All natural.
Regardless, L'Occitane has spas! First opening in 2001 in both Brazil and Vietnam, the company has 16 exclusive locations worldwide. So now you can relax, rejuvenate, and renew yourself in the style of Provence! So for the ones you really love, I recommend a trip focused around the visit of this tranquil paradise. And if you decide on a location in France, you can also arrange a tour of the L'Occitane facility as well!
Many of L'Occitane's products contain Shea Butter -a super fabulous ingredient from Burkina Faso, Africa. Shea Butter is full of anti-oxidants, protecting your skin from deterioration, dehydration, and oxidation. It's full of natural vitamins and minerals, so it brings you a healthy, radiant glow. It's incredibly moisturizing, so it literally melts into the skin.
We all know that when you look good, you feel better. So start feeling better today and celebrate le joie de vivre today!
Friday, December 10, 2010
some top fragrance recommendations, in no particular order of course.
pour le femme:
-- Poison by Christian Dior
-- Champaca Absolute Eau de Parfum by Tom Ford
-- Clive Christian No. 1
-- Omnia by Bvlgari
-- L'eau D'Issey by Issey Miyake
-- Stella McCartney's Stella
-- Balenciaga Paris
--Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
-- Acqua di Gioia by Giorgio Armani
-- Acqua di Parma's Colonia
-- Bleu de Chanel
-- Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone
-- John Varvatos Limited Edition Artisan Black
-- Bang by Marc Jacobs
-- Black Orchid by Tom Ford
-- Silver Mountain Water by Creed
-- Dior Homme Sport
-- Voyage D'Hermes
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Well hello, my friends! After a few hundreds of entries here at Thirsty.Threads, I thought we all needed a little break. I remember when Galliano first came out with Dior's coveted Saddle Bags - there was so much excitement and furvor. But after the countless collections featuring the same bags, we were all over them. So I thought a month off would be fitting for us all.
With that being said, I'm combining two of my favourite articles into one - my annual gift giving suggestions, paired with the things I love. Because after all, they're one in the same.
- Malin and Goetz Peppermint Hair Shampoo (US$20 from www.malinandgoetz.com). This amazing shampoo lathers, making mountains of suds and brings a deep clean. Plus the menthol tingles and really wakes you up.
- Prada camouflage card case (US$180). featuring 2 card slots, this camo printed leather case is made in Italia and is the perfect way to present your business cards and make your network not so behind the scenes.
- Burberry cashmere robe (US$2250). luxuriate to the nth degree with this shawl collar robe. features banded cuffs, tie waist, and patch pockets at the hip.
- Louis Vuitton Guide Books (US$34 each or US$135 for 9 European Cities collection). I've written about these books before. They're amazing. Exclusively at Louis Vuiton worldwide.
- Beaver lined Field Jacket from Marc Jacobs (US$2500). Military Inspiration + Safari utility + supreme everyday elegance + ultimate luxury = this jacket. Marc Jacobs rocks, and so does this jacket.
- I rarely like entire collections from designers. But I'm loving Michael Bastian for Gant, Thom Browne's Gamme Bleu collection for Moncler, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, and of course the great Mason Martin Margiella.
- Diamond Love Letter necklace from Roberto Coin ( about US$460). Roberto began sells his master crafted creations in 1977 in Vicenza, the city of gold. Enough said.
- the original Huntress Boot by Hunter Boots (US$125). They're good enough for the Queen. Literally. And they're smart design is street chic as well - including the shorter height to prevent pinching at the knee. Function meets Fashion.
- AirEssence by Agraria (US$110). These fragrance diffusers are sourced in Provence and contain only the most fragrant ingredients and oil - so they last much longer and smell much better than virtually every other fragrance diffuser on the market. My favourites include: Lime & Orange Blossoms, Balsam, and Mission Fig. For a generous selection, visit The Villa in Winter Park, Fl.; The Retail Shop at The Cloisers on Sea Island, Ga.; C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries nationwide; Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly, UK; and Peter's of Kensington, Sydney, Australia.
- 8-cup, double-walled French Press by Bodum (US$99). I love iced coffee. So give this little gem, and then make her the most amazing iced cafe. It's simple.
- upgrade your bathroom situation. at your place. for her. get a new shower curtain and liner, better lighting, a pretty yet functional mirror, some apothecary jars stocked with essentials, new linens and towels, and give the whole place a good, deep cleaning. I love the bathroom stock from CB2 and especially the towels from Garnier-Thiebaut.
- plan a day at the spa. my favourite spa is the Bliss Spa. and they've got locations everywhere you want to be. or should be.
for the host/hostess:
- recyclable produce bags from Branch Home (US$11 for a set of 5). Stop wasting plastic bags at the supermarket; keep your produce organized at the farmers market; use them to store your shoes whilst traveling.
- Skybar Wine Bottle Travelers (US$19,95). Keeps wine (or prosecco or champagne) chilled for hours, protected, and makes a brilliant accessory for the evening. Also makes great host or hostess gifts.
- J.Me Seville Orange Marmalade by Jamie Oliver (US$19.95). The English make the best marmalade, and this definitely packs a delicious punch. Delicious on toast, french toast, over chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream, and when heated on the stove with some powdered sugar, makes the most amazing glaze for brownies, cookies, doughnuts, and virtually anything.
for the ones you really love: my favourite watches for both men and women are from Zenith; I dream of taking every itinerary offered from Abercrombie & Kent; I'd love to live in the Waldorf=Astoria hotels for a month; the Imperial Hamper from Fortum & Mason; a shiny red Vespa; personalised luggage from Goyard;
multipurpose gifts for everyone: you can never go wrong with gift cards to Starbucks or iTunes; a delicious sampling of your favourite foods; fresh flower arrangements from B. Brooks.
'tis the season to be jolly. so dawn your season's best, put on your happy face, and celebrate the reason for the season. remember my favourite F's: good food and good fashion with good friends and good family.
PS: I'd like to give a shout out to Josette at Armani and Mike at Gucci in Chicago, Jase at Armani in Beverly Hills, and both Catherine at RRL and Paul at Varvatos in West Hollywood.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
-- what do you get when you take kitchen gadgets + useful accessories for the home and style them with art and beauty? None other than the iconic Italian powerhouse Alessi. And to prove the point, you can visit "Alessi: ethical and radical" - an exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 21 November to 10 April.
-- what looks like a flute + tells the time + wakes you up + and controls the power to your television or stereo? Scandinavian electronics giant Bang + Olufsen brings you BeoTime, an alarm clock and remote control combination device that's must-have-now worthy. Just under US$400 and perfect for the holiday season.
-- I've always loved military inspiration in fashion, so naturally I'm loving the amazing Chiffre Rouge Chronograph watch from Dior Homme. Featuring a two-tone army green and olive strap, the watch collides sport and elegance with utility and durability. US$3450.
-- James Perse might make the softest, most comfortable tshirts ever. Well, along with John Varvatos and Marc Jacobs.
-- Speaking of Varvatos, I'm loving the broken in shoes from John Varvatos - especially in gray or olive green options. To load up, call Paul Carter at the Los Angeles location.
+1 (310) 859-2791
-- I love true philanthropic shopping. By this, I mean when a company does NOT profit from participating in a charity or worthy cause. There are few things I love more than fashion; cooking and cancer advocacy are definitely two of the select passions I'd include with fashion. So when Williams-Sonoma announced their sixth year of partnering with St. Jude's Children's Hospital (a national model for researching and treating children with cancer), I had to take note. From 12 November - 12 December, customers can donate any amount at any of the Williams-Sonoma branded stores (Williams-Sonoma, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Teen and Kids, Williams-Sonoma Home), and all monies collected will be donated to St. Jude's. Additionally, there are specific items available at all of the company's stores where all proceeds will be donated. Shopping + the best of the best kitchen electrics, accessories, and food hall + cancer advocacy and research = a match made in heaven.
-- Asymmetric Crocodile-Embossed Jacket: Inspired by ruggedly functional motocross design, this Giorgio Armani jacket takes things in a more refined direction, sending a message of understated elegance—but never losing sight of its eminently functional forebears.
- Midnight (dark blue) asymmetric crocodile-embossed double-faced lambskin; cognac lining.
- Stand collar; asymmetric hidden front zip.
- Long sleeves.
- Front on-seam pockets.
- Made in Italy of imported material.
-- I'm loving the "Ivy League Prep" right now - but mixed with a bit of edge or character. Repp-stripe ties, nautical inspired outerwear, all things Americana. Imagine jet set + ski lodge chic + street smarts + utility + a college degree.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Firstly, we must benefit from this teaching moment. Most people under the age of 50 have never really felt an economic pressure like we've experienced over the past few years. We didn't really have to worry about money, our financial stability, or whether or not we could pay our bills and provide for our families. But on some level, no matter how great or small, we've all felt the pinch in our pocketbooks.
I've said before that I really think the economy has done the retail industry a favour - it has eliminated the retailers who weren't at the top of their segment in customer service, shopping experience, selection of inventory, and customer friendly policies and procedures. Circuit City was never Best Buy. Additionally, those "museum shoppers" or people who would constantly come in to a store but never buy anything have stopped the playing the game of "just looking but not buying" and allowed associates to focus on their actual potential clientele.
With that being said, I'm really excited for those individuals who have and are still able to stimulate the economy and promote growth through shopping and commerce. The luxury industry has felt the pressure for sure, but the most successful and prominent brands have readjusted their approach to recapture, redefine, and refocus on their actual demographic and clientele. Designers have strengthened their visions and honed in on brand heritage and history. After all, fashion is the ultimate fantasy and escape from reality.
Luxury brands in particular are investing more than ever to cater to the needs of their clients. With unprecedented access through internet sites and ecommerce portals, companies like Burberry, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs are increasing their profits and intensifying brand identity constantly through virtual stores and the most mesmerizing multimedia campaigns.
Companies are also taking chances to further their positions and leverage their business. Marc Jacobs has intensified his identity and shaped his consumer's lifestyle choices with his bookmarc bookstores. When designers offer consumers an opportunity to live the life, everyone wins. When you sell the lifestyle, the emotion, and the romance, product suddenly flies off the shelf. For example, I could tell you that the Lady D collection from Christian Dior is a trendy handbag with a quilted pattern and looks great for all occasions. Or I could tell you that the Lady Dior collection was created in 1996 at the request of Madam Chirac for the eternally elegant Princess Diana to serve as a symbol of France, and that quilted pattern is called Cannage, a Louis XVI print that was found on the gold gilded chairs in Christian Dior's original main salon. Suddenly the bag is not just another bag, but a piece of art and history, a focus on fabulosity if you will.
Another great economic lesson - better quality goods are more expensive than their cheaper counterparts, but are often longer lasting. US$250 for a pair of Diesel jeans might seem expensive at first glance, but when you're still wearing those jeans 10 years later, the investment suddenly seems more reasonable when you consider paying just US$25 per year for amazing denim.
Economic distress also forces companies to re-evaluate their business models. When money is no object, customers are more inclined to spend more frivolously. Designers can sell anything and everything with their name or a logo. Marc Jacobs sold pet gear called Bark Jacobs. Dior sold baby bottles and other infant items. Versace sold a helicopter. But when the buyers dry up (or start being a little wiser with their money!), designers refocus on the more lasting categories.
Hopefully, we're saving more money than we might have before. Having immediate availability and access to cash and assets is incredibly important. A small nest egg in the bank is the new must-have accessory. Additionally, quality and value now play an even more important influence when making purchases - from basic necessities to the most exclusive of luxuries, customers demand the best quality their money can buy. What do you think?
Friday, October 1, 2010
-- the unending pleasure and satisfaction of cooking a simple, delicious meal for friends and/or family. Maybe it's fueled by my secret obsession with kitchen gadgets, electrics, and tools. I might possibly be able to spend hours and hours inside stores like Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Sur le Table, and the food halls of Marks & Spencer, Harrods, or David Jones.
-- Bleu de Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana's The One Gentleman fragrances
-- The Louis Vuitton/Edun collaboration for the Conservation Cotton Initiative Uganda.
-- It seems like the two most colored words and textured nouns in fashion are "Marc Jacobs" - from high fashion to awesome accessories to brilliant books to fabulous fragrance, with new store openings and globe trotting like no other, from facebook to twitter to live streaming shows online, Marc Jacobs is bangin'.
-- Christopher Bailey is also rocking my world. A magical mix of military inspired versions of traditional English tailoring thrust forward into the 21st century - his anglomania is going to dominate the world. And your closet, if you're lucky.
-- I live for Olive. This fall, it's great to be green, and I don't just mean for the environment. Olive green, military green, army green, British racing green - I just can't get enough.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I tried a new product this weekend and might be in love. I've respected Bumble & Bumble for quite some time, and am really impressed with their new "Surf Hair" product.
Sexy, salty, sun-dried, windswept styles - whenever, wherever.
Who: Anyone; excellent for wavy types and surfers with winter blues; adds body to fine hair; a nice texture for silver hair.
When: Anytime; after Prep or Tonic Lotion, during styling.
How: Work through damp or dry hair; let dry naturally or blow-dry with a diffuser. Or on dry hair for detailing and adding lift at the roots. The less you touch it, the longer it will hold.
I don't care how they describe it; a few spritzes of this awesome product helped create easy texture, hold, and my hair looked great without being weighed down or feeling gunky.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
We've all seen them. Those pictures, whether advertisements in a magazine or online, billboard spreads of epic proportion, flash animations on our iPhones and iPads, or in random spaces like bus stops, in airports, and a host of other locations. From chiseled Italians sprawling their bronzed, buff bodies on exotic beaches, to ethereal blondes echoing everything we imagine a real princess to possess in the most amazing, flowing gown - luxury advertisements captivate, spark creativity, and definitely ooze character.
And now, as if a match made in fashion heaven, the luxury industry has collided with the camera industry to create the most amazing, exclusive device ever: the Leica M7 Edition Hermes.
This Leica M7 limited Edition Hermès offers a total of 200 silver chrome Leica M7 cameras with exquisite leather finishes applied by Hermès. The body and the carrying strap of the camera are made in Swift calfskin, a drummed leather with extreme suppleness. Connoisseurs of pieces that are extraordinary in both quality and style may choose between two eye-catching varieties in "étoupe" and "orange". Only 100 cameras are available in each of the two leather colours.
In addition to the silver chrome camera, the special Leica M7 Edition Hermès set also includes a matching, silver anodised Leica Summilux-M 35 mm f/1.4 ASPH. wide-angle lens. The lens is complemented by a classical round lens hood in silver anodised metal manufactured exclusively for the Edition Hermès. The set also includes a Leicavit M rapid winder finished in silver chrome. The finishing touch to the special edition is provided by the leather carrying strap handcrafted in the Hermès ateliers to match the colour of the camera chosen.
For many decades the 35mm lenses are seen as the basic equipment for M-cameras and therefore they are very popular. The Summilux-M 35 mm/ f1.4 ASPH. is one of the reference lenses in the fast wide angle field. Its excellent image reproduction features honour this exclusive Edition Hermès available in a silver anodised version. Due to the silver anodised surface being based on aluminium it has been possible to maintain the low weight of the black version. The lens is complemented by the classic round lens hood made of metal again with silver anodised finish which is exclusively manufactured for the Edition Hermès. Front and rear cap are also made of silver anodised metal.
The Leicavit-M is a compact, non electrical, manual rapid winder which is mounted in stead of the camera bottom plate. It gives the Leica M7 Edition Hermès not only a special appearance but in combination with the aperture priority of the M7 a very fast shooting option. It is also matches the camera and the lens in silver chrome finish.I've had a love affair with both of these iconic brands for years, so you can only begin to imagine my excitement upon discovering this coveted device.
Must. Have. Now.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
-- Tweed, Tweed, Tweed - especially trousers, jackets, and vests.
-- Jackets - blazers, lightweight coats, and rain gear especially - I love how refined and complete your look becomes whilst wearing a jacket.
-- Casually wearing a dress shirt (unbuttoned, rolled/flipped cuffs, a few buttons undone) with a terrifically tailored suit.
-- Unexpected pops of colour - like in dress socks, ties, and those iconic Moncler jackets and vests.
-- Chunky hand-knit sweaters.
-- Global living with a purpose - like the bilingual article headings in September's US version of GQ Magazine. English and Spanish for Spain's tennis great Fernando Verdasco, English and Italian for the article on the best dress shoes, English and French for "the new business casual", and English and German for the spot on military inspired watches. Adding international input for poignance and perspective is the best accessory speech can ever imagine.
-- Living your life with courtesy - I'm bringing back the "courtesy wave" whilst driving to signal thanks for others driving with kindness, the "courtesy flush" during visits to public toilets that trigger even your own gag reflex, and the "courtesy call/message" if you're running late to an appointment, will be unable to keep an arrangement, etc.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Loving Armani Jeans' new cinematic advertisements featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and sultry actress Megan Fox.
Take a look for yourself. Bravo, Maestro Armani!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Crazy for camel - khaki in all shades (from the most elegant eggshell to the most outstanding olive) - this is your neutral base for fall/winter.
Dior Homme's le chiffre rouge watch and Chanel's J-12 Marine watch.
The old world ruggedness with refinement and masculinity of Aglini.
The fashion forward yet understated casual coolness of Desigual
Slim fitting, tremendously tailored suiting from Hermes, Gucci, and Prada especially
Military Mania and all things dandy at Burberry. Christopher Bailey keeps his innovation and creativity at incredible levels
Friday, September 10, 2010
Today is the second anniversary broadcast of Stand Up 2 Cancer. It will be on every network that matters at 8 PM EST.
For as long as I can remember, my Mother had skin cancer. Trips to the dermatologist, surgery, radiation, and other treatments became the norm. But she never let cancer stop her from living. She was a quiet fighter. She was born with Polio, but that didn't stop her from walking normally. In 2006, the cancer spread to her brain and lungs. I moved home to help care for her, stopped living for me, and started living for her. In April 2007, my Mom died. I've begun living for me again, and definitely live for her now. In her honor, I stand up to cancer. And although she didn't know it, I think Meryl Streep did this for my Mom. Join me. Spread the word. Donate now. And Stand Up 2 Cancer!
And a crazy thought? If all of my facebook friends donated $12.23, we collectively would raise more than $10,000 for cancer research and advocacy. To those who have donated already, I thank you. To those who haven't, $12 is less than 3 grande drinks at Starbucks.
To those who have donated to my team, I thank you. If you are considering a donation, please donate to my team. I'm trying to raise $10,000 in honor of my Mom and all the fabulous women in my life who have battled this awful disease. This is where the end of cancer begins: http://su2c.standup2cancer
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tomorrow, 10 September, the style maven, rock star, glamourous mother, and fabulous woman will be at Sephora SoHo in the city that doesn't sleep. The first 100 customers to purchase the US$90 wicked style fragrance package will have their bottles autographed by Gwen Stefani! And as if that wasn't amazing enough, the newest additions to the Harajuku Lovers collection of fragrances will be driving around in the HL Treat Truck with fragrance samples and giveaways all throughout Manhatten! Like an ice cream truck for fashion freaks!
For more information, and to learn exactly where the HL Treat Truck will be located throughout the day, click here.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
From Brooklyn to Brazil to Boston, the fashion industry is already buzzing about the news that this year’s globe-spanning extravaganza Fashion’s Night Out, is back!
The 2010 edition of the biggest fashion party in history promises to be equally epic, splurge inspiring and full of even more stylish surprises. Start your wish lists now, we look forward to seeing you in September. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.I recommend this sampling of designer fabulosity:
Friday, September 3, 2010
All eyes will be on the Paris Motor Show in the next several days as Land Rover's latest car is unveiled - the Range Rover Evoque. As this is a concept, I don't know anything about it. But I must say, it is absolutely beautiful.
In the United States and Western Europe, Land Rover enjoys a luxurious, high end branding connotation. I'm sure this newer, sleeker, younger model will only intensify this positioning, especially with the ever-important young adult demographic.
Upon seeing the Evoque, what emotions does it evoke?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I've spoken frequently about loving the aesthetic of men wearing multiple bracelets. Mixing and matching fabrics and textures - like pairing your Grandfather's Zenith watch with a woven sailor style bracelet or a leather wrapped cord style bracelet with equestrian inspired hardware from Hermes with a brightly coloured techno-fabric ribbon bracelet.
I've just discovered Miansai. And to be honest - I'm impressed. I've yet to see their work in person, but I love the pictures and love the story. The pricepoint is very affordable, the colours and styles available extensive, and the aesthetic pleasing.
MICHAEL ANDREW SAIGER
Twenty-three year old native New Yorker, Michael Andrew Saiger grew an appreciation for WWII relics and paraphernalia at a very young age. As a child, he was surrounded by his mother's collection of antique auction finds and quickly developed a fascination for historic curiosities. His earliest and most memorable influences ranged from old knives and BB guns, to Indian motorcycle parts and a helicopter propeller.
As a young adult, Michael studied Sports Management at the University of Miami, modeled and traveled the world. After years of eye-opening experiences in Europe, Peru and Costa Rica, Michael fused his worldly style with his affinity for past treasures. The outcome? An eclectic and elegant line of vintage-inspired jewelry, which he proudly calls MIANSAI.
The MIANSAI philosophy is the more worn, the better. "Every piece has its own rich history," says Michael. "All my designs, especially the more controversial ones, are meant to get people talking. It's almost like the pieces themselves have a secret or a story to tell. Keeping that in mind, I try to find each relic in its natural habitat. That way it maintains a raw integrity, a quality I hold high when I create my designs.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I can't get enough of Christian Louboutin's Toundra Fur Booty.
- Two leather belts strap in pieced natural coyote (Canada) fur covering.
- light golden hardware.
- Round toe.
- 5" covered heel; 1 1/2" platform.
- Leather lining.
- Signature red sole.
- Shaft approximately 6"H.
- "Toundra" is made in Italy
Friday, August 27, 2010
Michael Bastian for Gant
Tone on tone on tone (especially accessories like watches, belts, shoes, and sunglasses)
Slim fitting but not overly tight pants and shorts.
Lightweight cashmere vneck sweaters for those cool evenings (or frigidly conditioned locations indoors).
Gucci's over the knee brown boots and fabulous thigh length fur jackets, vests, and coats.
Donna Karan's stunning, dramatic tuxedo shirts for women (happy 25th anniversary DK!)
Prada's use of patent leather as an accessory and highlight on this season's bags and small leather goods.
Christian Dior's over the top, outrageously delicious purple suede over-the-knee high heeled boots.
Tom Ford's attention to detail and unequalled mastery of craft and creativity.
Tweed and chunky knitwear mixed with sleek, thin fabrics and high tech outerwear like Moncler's iconic offerings.
Missoni's Hotel in Kuwait, complete with Cucina Missoni restaurant.
Orange, golden yellow, khaki, chocolate brown, navy blue, and the wine/burgundy/eggplant colour families.
Free refills and fabulous service with the Starbucks gold card.
The elegance and instant style that scarves bring to any outfit.
Club Monaco's sale rack - great clothes and accessories at even better price points.
Ryan's excitement for the brand and quality product at The Art of Shaving at The Galleria in Dallas, Texas.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Sears has yet to credit my debit card account yet. On Wednesday I learned that the supervisor who was issuing my credit didn't fill out the paperwork properly, so the credit had to be reissued. I was told the process would be complete within 1-2 business days, that a new supervisor and off-line department would see to this resolution as quickly as possible, and that everything would be taken care of.
I phoned Sears again this evening, because I had yet to see the credit - only to discover that the credit had yet to be issued, as it was caught up in the off-line department still. And to make matters worse, after multiple employees were told of my situation and worked on the solution - all knowing very plainly that I had cancelled the order and expected my full refund immediately - I STILL continued to receive an email from Sears today, updating me that my parts were "back ordered and would arrive on 26 June 2010" ... you can imagine how thrilling this was.
So yet another supervisor/associate/account manager/employee of Sears is "working" on the "solution" to refund my money. Long, drawn out, dramatic story short: it's been more than 90 days since I ordered my replacement parts. It's been more than 90 days since Sears received my payment. I have canceled my order. I continue to receive emails proclaiming a "26 June 2010" delivery for said back ordered items. And I still don't have my money.
When you place an online order and follow up or make any communication with the retailer - keep a detailed log of all communication. Document employee names AND identification numbers, the time and date of the communication, the issue, action, and result, and any specific instructions or notes they may tell you.
Ask for the representative to read back to you their notes, before you end the call, so that you're comfortable and aware of exactly what they have notated on your account.
And when in doubt, know that your credit card company and the Better Business Bureau are on your side.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Back in May, I ordered 2 replacement tires for my lawnmower from Sears Parts Direct. I've been very happy with my lawnmower, and living in hot, sunny Florida, it gets more than it's share of work. I needed new tires, and since I bought the lawnmower from Sears, I wanted to get the parts as well.
Within the span of a month, I received more than a dozen emails from Sears, saying that the tires were on backorder, and would be shipped on a new date.
More than a month after I ordered the tires, they had yet to arrive, and I only received an email with yet another promised shipping date.
I went on vacation. I focused on projects for work. I visited family and friends. I forgot that I had even ordered the tires.
About two weeks ago, my father was tired of seeing a lawnmower strung apart in our garage. So he went to our local Sears Parts Store, where he walked in, told the cashier our dilemma, where in just a few short minutes, my Dad was able to buy the tires IN THE STORE without waiting. Tires that were supposedly backordered. For nearly three months. And to make matter worse, the associate checked the "national inventory" and found that 398 tires were available.
As you can imagine, I wasn't thrilled. I called Sears Parts Direct to ask about my tires. They said the tires were still on backorder. I told them I wasn't happy that for nearly 3 months, Sears had debited my checking account nearly US$60 for a product it had yet to ship, and hadn't contact me in nearly 2 months to give me an update. I requested a full refunded.
The next day, I had yet to receive the refund. So I asked to speak to a supervisor. The supervisor was at lunch. So I left my number with the agent, and was told I'd hear back when they returned from lunch. No one ever called. So now I'm feeling like, not only have I paid for a product three months ago that's yet to be delivered, now no one can even talk to me about the situation and a remedy.
So I call back the following day. When I explain the situation to the agent, the agent asks "why didn't you ask for a backorder charge-back"? I'm sorry - as a luxury retail consultant, with more than a decade of retail experience, I've never heard of a "backorder charge-back"...and in more than a dozen emails from Sears updating me on my situation, I was never given the option of a "backorder charge-back".
I'm still waiting for Sears to credt my account. And they've had my money for nearly 90 days now.
I'm not telling you this story out of vengeance or spite. I want you to know what I didn't.
If you order products online:
-- familiarize yourself with the policies of the individual vendor. In my case, Sears pushed the blame to the manufacturer and has a policy that "orders cannot be canceled".
-- monitor the process of your shipment. If you haven't received your product within a reasonable amount of time, follow up with the retailer. Track shipments and progress. If you need to dispute a charge, remember that your Credit Card is on your side. They can help you block payment or recover money in the event of undelivered merchandise.
-- if a product is on backorder, ask for a "backorder charge-back" - which apparently is a temporary refund until the product is actually in stock, and then is recharged by the company upon actually shipping the product.
Be smart. Be educated. Be ware.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
Look for skincare containing honey. Honey has been used for thousands of years for it's medicinal powers - from being mentioned in The Bible, to preserving dead bodies in ancient Egypt, to the Buddha himself, nature's sugary elixir has passed the hands of time.
The sticky, sweet natural concoction from bees is a natural antiseptic, cleanser, and is full of antioxidants. Researchers at the University of Ottawa , led by Tala Alandejani, MD provided scientific evidence that honey can naturally kill bacteria that cause sinus infections and inflammation of the airways. Additionally, several studies have shown that honey speeds the recovery time of superficial burns to the skin, minor cuts and scratches, and also helps reduce scarring.
I know this sounds far fetched - but honey stops the clock on aging. Using skincare with honey protects your skin against oxidation and dehydration - two effects of stress, pollution, sun damage, and oxidants. When your skin is blocked from free radicals, moisturized, and protected, a more youthful appearance is gained. Think about it - honey never goes bad, doesn't need any preservatives, and is all natural. So when this ingredient is used in skin care, it helps nourish and protect. Honey absorbs impurities on the skin and in pores, so it brings a natural cleansing property and helps rejuvenate and refresh the skin. Honey also naturally soothes and calms. In short - honey makes your skin softer, look better, more youthful, more radiant.
Here are some products that contain honey:
Guerlain 'Abeille Royale' Youth Serum - US$140 for 1 ounce.
L'Occitane en Provence's Shea Butter Hand Cream - £16.50 for 150 mL.
Korres Wheat & Honey Intensified Vitamin E Anti-Aging Cream - AU$54.
Smashbox Lip Treatment SPF 15 - US$15.
Peter Thomas Roth Viz-1000 skin serum - US$65.
Mind your beeswax, leave the hive, and get some honey! Your skin will thank you!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
There's a certain nostalgia that is incredibly valuable in the fashion industry. I don't just mean taking inspiration from the past, or updating a vintage look. The nostalgia I mean is the the same feeling you'd achieve in showing an Ivy League alumnus the repp stripe tie he wore in college with coordinating crested blazer. Or the same vivid feeling your Grandfather might have when he sees the Royal Marines uniform cap. It's more than just fashion - it's a sense of self, a sense of belonging, and a proud reflection.
So, too, does Lilly Pulitzer enter the fall fashion lineup with pizazz and nostalgia. Joining those iconic prints of pink, orange, yellow, blue, green, and white that have been splashing colour from Palm Beach to Pittsburgh is Lilly Pulitzer Sorority Line. Beginning with four sororities, Delta Zeta, Tri Delt, Kappa Delta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma ladies can now accessorize with pride and style. Featuring vintage inspired prints, these brightly coloured bags, accessories, and scarves are sure to bring women of all ages back to their glory days.
As if we needed another means to network, now you can easily identify your sisters from afar! Building a community, remembering the good times, and looking good are always en vogue.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Fashion shows aren't meant to be duplicated on just any street in your town. They're meant to inspire a particular trend or emphasis, serve as a public relations blitz to build buzz and excitement for the designer and current collection, and to entertain. Think about it - if your hairdresser wore head-to-toe McQueen or Dior to cut and style your hair, you'd be so distracted and probably wouldn't trust him. Imagine a grocery store full of customers all clad in couture - you'd be so distracted that you'd forget why you were there in the first place.
Fashion to me is like a diet. Your doctor might recommend a new food to eat, or foods to avoid, or a special exercise plan. Your friends and family might also all try to chime in (whether asked or not) on how you should be living. And there's an unlimited stream of internet, radio, television, and print advertisements by an even bigger supply of companies trying to sway your dietary decisions as well. But only you know what's best for your diet. As for fashion - designers create months and even years in advance collections that might be totally wrong (or totally right!) without you particularly in mind. Stylists share their ideas. Magazines and television programing highlight what they think. And advertisements tell you what they think you can't live without. Everyone weighs in and wants a portion of your closet space, and more importantly, your wallet.
Sometimes I think the information en masse now available, thanks to the internet, satellite television, and mobile communications devices, has really done us a disservice. Does it really impact your life and livelihood to know that the price of raisins in Montana is $.30 less per pound than the price of raisins at your local grocery store? By the time you 1) figure out how to get to Montana, or even order some for shipment, you've spent much more than you could have saved.
Look at the varying food categories. Do you only buy "organic" or "natrual" or "low-sodium" or "low-calorie" or "low-fat" or "locally grown" or "hydroponic"? Do you buy from a wholesale warehouse, a locally owned grocer, a speciality shoppe, or a farmers market? No matter what your spending choices include, someone's going to weigh in. Some farms go out of their weight to be ECONOMICAL in growing their crops - so they may try to use environmentally friendly techniques - but sometimes they need reinforcement to control/protect their goods (I read in July's GQ magazine about a farm in New York that tries to use organic preventative measures, but sometimes only chemicals or manmade options are effective, just like honey and lemon can do only so much for a sore throat before your doctor needs to prescribe antibiotics to get the job done properly!). So technically the farm isn't considered "natural" or "organic" - even though they've gone out of their way to be fiscally and environmentally responsible.
The same can be applied to fashion. As much as the folks at Peta want to stop the incorporation of fur and leather, it will never succeed. Think about it - back in the day, before the widespread availability of nylon, polyblended everything, and synthetic fabrics - everything was "all natural and organic" - from the leather, cotton, silk, and fur. That's pretty much all the materials available. And they were earth sourced. I'm not saying we need to walk around like cavewomen with fur pelts and leather loincloths.
What I am saying is that WE NEED TO LIGHTEN UP! Eat what you want, when you want. Wear what want, because you love it - not because a poorly dressed stylist who is getting paid to tell you what they think is trending for the season says so. When you start living for you, making educated, thoughtful decisions, you'll really look good. Because we all know - when you look good, you feel better. And when you feel better, you look best.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Loving these boots. Hunter has made the most wonderful Wellies since the 19th Century. Available to the common citizen all the way to private appointments by the Queen of England, these boots are great in the garden, resilient in the rain, stellar in the snow, and perfect in the pasture. Add a pop of colour to the dull, gray day - and put your best (dry) foot forward!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
In a recent live webchat with fans, Beckham expressed his love for the building blocks saying, if I was not a footballer I would love to be a Lego model builder. Why is this important you ask?
Well, following Beckham's statements expressing his love for the tiny toys and admission that during a recent stay in Italy he occupied his time by building Legos exclusive replica of the Taj Mahal, sales of this particular model rose a whopping 663 percent in one day, said Emma Owen, the spokeswoman for Lego UK. "As a fan of the product, David Beckham and his family have been invited to tour the Lego headquarters in Billund, Denmark, and contribute new ideas to the Lego Group," Owen said. The Beckhams have not yet responded.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Lean into the services a good hotel offers as if it were a way of life and it will be. On the first day, order the same breakfast to be delivered to your room at the same time, every day thence. Tell them you like the newspaper on the cart, with no plastic bag. Take long showers. Stop in at the front desk for messages. Greet the doormen with a twenty. Take walks. Take saunas. Learn the name of the room-service manager. Establish a routine involving a cocktail, the balcony, and a bowl of olives. Tell the concierge to make you seven dinner reservations for seven nights. Tell him to surprise you. After you leave, go back a year later and they will remember your name. At a hotel, it is good to be known.
So I'm curious. Where do you think I should check in? Kindly leave your suggested favourite hotel name and city in the comment sections.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
(in no particular order)
-- Chicago's Rush Street is doing more than it's part. With a bold and beautiful new location, Barneys New York is taking Chicago by storm. The six level department store features many of the world's best brands and must-haves. And Hermes has just relocated their fabulous flagship boutique to the intersection of Rush and Oak Streets, bringing one of the most exclusive, sought after French brands to the Windy City in all of it's grandeur and glory. There's even an extremely limited edition silk scarf called "Paddock" available solely in this location (for a mere US$375). Chicago also boasts boutiques by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Tiffany & Co., Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, and La Perla to name a few.
-- Luxury powerhouse Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton is hiring again. The luxe conglomerate has posted a handful of opportunities on their corporate site for positions in media relations, project management, training, and public relations. Is the brand looking to further expand its reach in North America? Regardless, investing in internal improvement and productivity is definitely a positive sign of growth and success.
-- The Waldorf=Astoria, one of the world's most luxurious hotel brands, is expanded to new locations. Joining the historic New York location, Waldorf=Astoria Orlando brings the world class service you expect with the perfect Floridian atmosphere. Also set to open within the next several months are Waldorf=Astoria Shanghai, Waldorf=Astoria Berlin, and Waldorf=Astoria Jerusalem. Long term buzz also includes locations in Beverly Hills and Philadelphia, among others.
-- Cosmetics and Fragrance mecca Sephora has struck a deal with the storied American department store JC Penney. While the chain isn't typically considered a luxury player, the new partnership with Sephora will bring luxe brands to the retailer from favourites like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Bliss, and Armani. The move definitely signals an increased desire for luxury brands across all demographics, especially in the health and beauty segment.
-- Tiffany & Co., one of the most recognized and sought after jewelers around the world, is set to expand their product ranges with a collection of high end leather goods. The iconic retailers will begin selling handbags, wallets, coin purses, and other small leather goods by the famous duo Richard Lambertson and John Truex. “Richard Lambertson and John Truex are the latest in our tradition of inviting the world’s best designers to work exclusively with Tiffany,” says Jon King, executive vice president of Tiffany & Co. “Their vision and mastery of the craft combined with the skill of the finest Italian artisans have produced a leather collection of timeless simplicity, with all the quality and luxury of the Tiffany experience.” Highlighting the collection is a glazed crocodile Manhattan satchel for US$17,500. Other bags and brief cases will be available in various animal prints, full grain calf skin, lambskin, and python. The collection is set to launch September 2010 in 12 exclusive locations and online.
-- Electronics giant Apple sold more than 1,7 million 4th generation iPhones - setting a company record product release. Additionally, the big mobilephone companies in the US are investing millions of dollars to upgrade their networks to 4G. Currently American customers only receive cellular data transmissions at 3G speeds.
We're not in the clear yet. Unemployment rates are still at record highs, people are still starving, and homes are still being lost. But there is definitely light at the end of this long, dark tunnel. The more you shop, the more you eat out, and the more you spend in your local community, the more jobs you support and the more growth you provide - which are always en vogue.