Tuesday, December 6, 2011

more jingle and jangle

more gift ideas:

-- the king of pop (art) = Andy Warhol. And no matter how old or young your recipient may be, everyone will appreciate and love this Andy Warhol colouring book. | Illustrated by Andy Warhol, commissioned by Teddy and Arthur Edelman

Now back in print, A Coloring Book: Drawings by Andy Warhol (1961/2011) will amuse and charm a new audience with its delightfully carefree menagerie. Not long after arriving in New York City in 1953, a young artist named Andy Warhol began to make his way in the world of commercial illustration. Arthur Edelman, his former employer, recalls the first time he met Warhol in the introductory note: "In a hallway of the Empire State Building, outside a shoe manufacturer's office, stood a young man with Jackson Pollock shoes, a rumpled black suit, a portfolio, and a shock of white hair." Over several years, the Edelman's and Warhol worked closely together. Their relationship culminated in a coloring book that could have only come from the mind of Warhol, created especially for clients' children for Christmas in 1961, and somewhat of a cause célèbre when it was published in 1990. Published by W.W. Norton & Company in September 2011. US$19,95

-- Not only amazing headphones, a portion of the profits from the Beats Solo HD (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition headphones will go straight to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Proprietary titanium coated driver technology ensures they preserve every bit of the lush bass and vital details of your music. Plus, the ingenious tri-fold design make for easy storage when not in use. Solo HD's cable also features Monster ControlTalk™ for iPod® playback control and iPhone™/music phone hands-free calling. US$229.

-- I have no idea what this figurine/thing is, but I love it. I love l'Objet's fabulousity for the home, I love elephants, and I love the black and gold. I think it'd make a lovely hostess gift.

-- there's nothing more important than oral care. I know it sounds silly to recommend a dental hygiene product for a gift giving occasion, but this seems incredible and I have to have it. Sonicare AirFloss is specially designed to give your patients an easy, effective way to clean interproximally. It features microburst technology that delivers microdroplets of air and water to remove plaque biofilm between teeth, and it’s proven safe and gentle on gums and teeth. With one-button functionality and a guidance tip that ensures targeted cleaning interproximally, patients using Sonicare AirFloss can quickly clean the entire mouth in just 60 seconds. Sonicare AirFloss has been through meticulous clinical validation and adheres to the Philips Sonicare standards of performance and safety requirements. With Sonicare AirFloss, interdental cleaning has just been reinvented.

-- The Question: What to buy neighbors, friends, the doctor, colleagues, teachers, family members, or anyone else who you just need the perfect gift for? The Answer: the question mark!

Katarzyna Question mark 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot 0.75 l. 36.00 BGL ( € 18.41)

What started as a simple question how we should present the first wine to be released from Katarzyna Estate made such a successful launch that we unanimously agreed the “question mark” is our good luck charm and decided to keep it that way. This wine is amazing for its deep, crimson color with garnet gleams. The abundant and intricate bouquet of plum scents, black forest fruits, pepper and dominating noble tinge of tobacco contribute to its explosive nose. It has powerful, rich, full body with velvet taste of black chocolate, mocha and caramel. The final is very pleasant with harmonious and soft tannins and long aftertaste. Perfect with grilled red meat, cheese.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday suggestions 2011, part deux

'tis the season to be giving. more suggestions, in no particular order, of course:

-- I can't get enough of Santa Maria Novella, the storied Florentine bath and body purveyor. It's not cheap, and you know you always get what you pay for. Once you have tried Santa Maria Novella's Pomegranate soap, it is impossible to imagine ever using anything else. Triple milled, each exquisite bar is hand molded one by one using 19th century equipment, aged for 60 days in ventilated cabinets, and then hand-wrapped. The all-natural whole milk formula is infused with the classic Florentine scent of pomegranate oil for a lather that is rich, gentle and softly moisturizing. And because each soap is hand pressed, all Santa Maria Novella soaps will last about three times longer than ordinary soaps while maintaining their shape and scent, preventing that icky mushy pile most consider "soap". Suitable for all skin types.

-- I love Porsche Design - they make the coolest, most well done products. From kitchen knives to kicks, from covers for the car to your iPad, you can't go wrong with something from the German design firm.

-- Geneva Sound System - take your iPod to the iMax. Small system, big sound. Winner of the 2010 I.D. International Design Magazine Consumer Products Award, this small but mighty hi-fi system offers superb musical fidelity and the most versatility in its class. Minimal design packs maximum patented technology including invisible TouchLight controls, PowerDock connector for iPod/iPhone and digital clock radio with programmable alarm for radio, ipod or iphone. Energy-saving design consumes 80% less power than conventional audio devices. Sleek all-white high density polyresin hybrid with genuine piano lacquer finish. Perfect space-saving size for office, bedroom, shelf, tabletop, countertop. Optional table stand and remote included.

  • High density composite resin with lacquer finish
  • High fidelity sound in petite minimalist cabinet
  • Plays iPod/iPhone, radio & alarm clock
  • Seamless surface means no unsightly buttons
  • Backlit TouchLight controls brighten on contact - full menu control of iPod, unique to Geneva
  • Motorized PowerDock spins closed when iPod/iPhone not in use
  • Stereo mini line-in jack for external audio (computer, MP3, TV, etc.)
  • Digital radio with 6 presets
  • Digital clock with alarm - wake to iPod, radio or beep
  • Two 3" full-range speakers, individually powered
  • Two digital, energy-efficient 15W amplifiers (30W total output)
  • LED display for time, mode, track, volume
  • Optional stand and remote control included
  • Made in China

Note: This item is UL-Listed and manufactured in compliance with U.S. standards. If you are purchasing this item for use outside of the U.S. or Canada, use only with the appropriate outlet adaptor and voltage converter for your country. Do not plug into an electrical outlet higher than 110-120V as this could result in fire and/or injury.

I've seen this for sale at CB2, Design Within Reach, and Fred Segal.

-- Fortnum & Mason might possibly house everything delicious on earth. I especially love their jams, marmalade, and preserves. Each Christmas, they create the most lovely decadence, tucked smartly into a hamper (that's basket for my North American readers). £55.00 gets you a taste of several favourite things, including three classic loose-leaf teas, a St James Christmas pudding, handmade preserves, the exclusive chocolate bar and a bottle of rather good Cotes du Rhone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Suggestions 2011

there are several things this year that I'm really loving, so over the next month, I'm devoting my blog posts to highlighting some fabulous finds. in no particular order:

-- Latissima Plus, by DeLonghi + Nespresso: Nespresso is owned corporately by Nestle, the world's largest food distributor. Collectively, they buy one third of the world's coffee, and reserve the top 1% of that for their own Nespresso pods - so the quality of the coffee is beyond incredible, and only $,57 per shot. Each machine has 19 bars of pressure and a flash heating system, so in less than 30 seconds, they instantly create the best espresso, with the perfect crema and are always between 186 and 195 degrees. Each pod is hermetically sealed, so they stay fresh for a year. And with a flat shipping rate of less than $7, you can order as little as 10 pods or 10,000 pods, and when you place your order by noon, you get them the next business day. What's not to love?! Plus this little gizmo froths the milk, so you get the perfect cappuccino or latte.
-- Garden in a Bag, Christmas Tree!
Made by Potting Shed Creations, in Troy, ID, and sold through Branch Home, this plastic-lined kraft-paper bag contains soil, seeds, and the perfect amount of eco-friendly holiday cheer! This great gift allows the giver to color and sign the "tag" on the front of the bag, making it a work of art that also grows. When the plant has outgrown the bag, simply re-pot the plant by removing it from the bag. US$9.00.

-- take the guesswork out of giving with these "get the hint" gift tags from CB2! Ask and you shall receive (or at least be heard). Five not so subtle message pads peel, stick and flag your faves. Set of five pads includes: I Want This, Love These, Buy This, And This, Yes Please. Five assorted mini pads, 20 sticky notes per pad. US$5,95. -- fresh flowers from bbrooks. Why wait for an anniversary, a birthday, or Valentine's Day to send the most incredible bouquet? Sprinkle a bit of holiday cheer with an unexpected, unbelievable arrangement.

- it's not snooty to wear a snood! fur + snood = MUST. HAVE. NOW! I can't get enough - this might be the hottest (and warmest!) accessory ever. Available only for the coolest modelcitizen you know.

-- three things I love: GQ Magazine, Maison Martin Margiela, and my iPhone. Put them all together and you get the GQ recommended MMM iPhone case. Yes please! Here's what GQ had to say: "To paraphrase our pal Yeezy, "What's that phone case, Margiela?" Yes, yes it is. So does your iPhone really need a leather sheath and shearling interior? Probably not. Will it thank you every time you drop it behind the bar at 3a.m. after one too many whiskeys? Count on it." US$410 at porvocacao.com.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

new post, new fashion

Hello long lost friends and fashion fanatics! I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. When I started this blog, I promised myself I wouldn't post merely for the sake of posting. If I didn't have something new, exciting, or inspiring, I wouldn't post. I'm not saying that fashion and style have been boring lately, but quite honestly, I've been a little bored, and super busy.

So, I'm going to finish compiling my annual holiday gift giving guide soon.

Until then, stay classy.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a smorgasbord of international fashion

Ralph Lauren's Black Label denim. Everything you'd expect from a fashionable, rugged cowboy committed and slightly obsessed with luxury. The perfect mix of tailored fits, luxury quality, rugged style, intense character. Check out Vincent at the Ralph Lauren store on Robertson in Los Angeles. He's got great style and knows the inventory well. +310.274.0171

Loving the pops of red from Dolce & Gabbana's new collection. Red is one of my favourite colours, so I'm excited to see the trend again.

Unique, large, shaped bags for men. Giorgio Armani has an incredible crocodile bag in a classic shopper shape, but longer than expected and with the most elegant, rounded edges.

Giant, chunky, super cozy Hermes knit sweaters. Envelop in luxury.

Maybe because I've read GQ for more than half my life, but part of me gets super excited when the fashion bible likes brands I'm really loving as well. Like this month's pick of Woolrich Woolen Mills. I might possibly have been living in my navy blue, light weight trousers for the past year. With luxe fabrics, casual design, and impeccable tailoring and construction, their creations are perfect for paring with tshirts as they are for dress shirts and ties.

Gucci. Cinquecento. Made in Italy. Fiat. La Moda Italiana. Classic. Sexy. Iconic. Fiat's 500 Gucci edition. Must have.

Super exciting - the Fiat 500 Gucci version debuts in North America tomorrow at New York fashion week, and will be available in limited quantity in late 2011.

I can't get enough of Moods of Norway. I visited their store in Los Angeles and couldn't get enough. Imagine Ted Baker + Scandinavia + humour + quality + incredible wit = Moods of Norway! They had a giant golden tractor in the store - so fun and random. I love it. Here's their philosophy:

We believe in different clothes for different moods, that is why the collection is divided into three different parts: street, casual and cocktail. Just like a well casted boy band, there is something for everyone. Every product is made with lots of love and a few Norwegian details, telling the long lost stories from the country of the midnight sun. Our philosophy is happy clothes for happy people, so put on your dancing shoes, slip into something comfortable, and dance the night away.

Call, click, or pop in. +310.271.7172

When you think of Japanese fashion, a few thoughts pop to mind: kimonos, geisha girls, harijuku girls, and edgy street denim. So what could be better than smashing Japanese hip street wear + vintage Americana? Hence, Superdry, a British company that combines the best of both east and west. You all know I love fashion and love Tokyo, so naturally, I love Superdry, too.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

100 degrees and I want to buy sweaters

Go figure. It's 100 degrees F / 37 degrees C right now outside. And I'm shopping for winter clothes. I can't get enough:

-- Puffer jackets, coats, and vests from Moncler. And speaking of Moncler, there's nothing I hate more in fashion than fake stuff. Fakes benefit no one, and fool no one. Check out Moncler's efforts to combat this nastiness.

-- Toggle closure coats, jackets, and sweaters, especially like this one from Pringle of Scotland:

Merino wool knit jacket with toggle closures, front slash pockets and removable hood. Available in Grey. Imported. Wool. Dry clean. US$1195. Barneys style #: 501284915

-- And I definitely see the streets this fall/winter filled with the double faced wool jackets, like these from Marni.

-- I'm really loving cowl neck, boat neck, and interesting neck lines for shirts, sweaters, and dresses right now. Especially this Jil Sander Navy cowl neck dress, shown in eggplant. Sleeveless, jersey, and perfect for warm summer nights on the town. US$450.

-- I'm loving the sweet elegance of Lithuanian born jewelery designer Alex Sepkus. Incredibly special, all hand made, and flawless in design and quality. Very well done. And available at one of my favourite jewelry boutiques, Be On Park, in Winter Park, FL.

-- I really like the aesthetic of mix-and-match. Big patterns mixed with little patterns. Like a table mixed with old flatware and new dishes. I'm not saying you have to rock a look a la Etro or Roberto Cavalli, but I love when things are a little miss matched for the perfect appeal.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

a little for the home, a little for the heart

what I'm loving right now, in no particular order of course:

-- Velvet Devanee dress, shown in oatmeal - US$120. love love love this dress. can't get enough. imagine how sexy with red patent heels. or how fun in the office with a chocolate or navy fitted blazer over top. or rockstar chic with a black leather jacket. so many options. one great dress.

--Compostable cold cups. Made in Taiwan from PLA (polylactic acid, or Polylactide), a polymer that comes from corn and other 100% renewable resources. PLA is 100% biodegradable and commercially compostable. These cold cups, lids, and straws look and feel a lot like their plastic counterparts, but with two big differences: for one, they're made entirely from renewable resources.

Second, these pieces meet the ASTM D6400 specification for compostable plastic, which means they will compost rapidly and safely in a municipal or commercial composting facility. They're also BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) certified by the US Composting Council.

To find a composting facility near you, visit FindAComposter.com.

-- What happens when you take two of the brightest, most cheerful, quality fashion products and smash them together into one giant dream sequence? Missoni flipflops by Havaianas! So incredible, so comfortable, and incredibly chic. And only US$70.

Thom Browne's Basic Cardigan - US$1,410.00. Cashmere knit long sleeve cardigan with grosgrain ribbon trim at placket, stripe at sleeve and button placket at cuffs. Shown in Navy. Made in Scotland. Cashmere. Dry clean. Available at Barneys New York (style #: 501368924)

And speaking of the great Mr. Browne, starting this September, you'll be able to shop anytime, anywhere at his virtual boutique!

Friday, July 22, 2011

ABCs of a sizzling summer, part deux

Oscar de la Renta: (happy birthday, by the way!). He knows hot to flatter the feminine physique like no other. For glamourous gowns and dynamite dresses, Oscar is the industry go-to-guy. And as if that weren't enough, I might possibly be in love with Oscar's tweeting pal, who chronicles his every move with style and class.

Periodicals - maybe I'm just nostalgic for the days when you went to the library and pulled the card catalog for find an armful of books to check out for your summer reading. But there's something so very fulfilling about reading an actual book or magazine. Don't get me wrong - I love the virtual features brought to you only on the iPad, like videos, sound, etc. But I love a relaxing day at the pool, beach, or coffee shop with a magazine or book or two.

quality: it sounds like a given, but let "quality" be your mantra for the summer. eat quality food. drink quality drinks. spend quality time with quality friends. stay at a hotel with quality. travel with quality. sleep with quality. live with quality. quality quality quality.

(public) radio (international): I can't get enough. Maybe because I grew up listening to National Public Radio and Public Radio International. Maybe because they're programing is entertaining, informative, and meaningful. Maybe because I studied broadcast journalism in university. Maybe because it just might possibly be one of the coolest applications for the iPhone/iPad.

Sun (protection): Cancer is never en vogue. My Mother had skin cancer, which turned into brain cancer, lung cancer, and eventually killed her. Something like 80% of your skin damage is done by the time you're 18. As Marc Jacobs says, "protect the skin you're in" and slather up the sun screen. Wear a hat. And big, giant sun glasses with super dark lenses. They'll protect the delicate skin around your eyes, are definitely fashionable, and prevent people from seeing you stare.

Travel. At every opportunity, you must travel. Maybe there's a new restaurant or park on the other side of your city that you've not yet been to. Maybe there's an art exhibition in your country/Provence/state's biggest city that you've been putting off visiting. Or, if time/resources allow, maybe it's time to take a trip to the other side of the globe and discover a new land, a new people, a new way of life, and a new fashion. My point: get out! Discover. Explore. Shop!

And speaking of travel, I'd be doing a disservice if I didn't tell you about the most exciting and incredible travel opportunity for my American friends: Abercrombie & Kent, the luxury travel leaders, have the first opportunity for ordinary Americans to visit CUBA! Must. Go. Now!

Unique fabrics: I'm really loving fabrics that are special. Fun, flirty, floral prints - like from Liberty of London. Or iconic, insatiable, irresistible fabrics from Marimekko. The fashion high of Missoni's undeniably rich textiles. The luxe, heritage weaves of Ralph Lauren Home. I love the incredible texture, design, and aesthetic of quality, unique fabric.

Very Valentino - I'm not a purveyor of parfume. I don't get paid millions of euro each year to formulate special blends. I keep my fragrances in cool, dark places because I read in GQ several years ago that it extends the life of your fragrances. And when I graduated high school, my awesome friend Janet bought me Very Valentino. It smelled really fabulous, and was obviously a nighttime scent, with smoky, woodsy notes. I've heard that fragrances go rancid over time. But it must be more than 10 years, because I recently found my bottle of Very Valentino, that I received 10 years ago, and it smells as deliciously intoxicating today as it did the very first time I sprayed the cologne. I don't think it's currently in production, so I'll use it sparingly for sure.

White - whether you're in summer or winter right now, it's all about white. White linen in the north, white wool/fur in the south. White is so clean, so classic, so crisp, and so perfect for every occasion.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ABCs of a sizzling summer

Summer is here (in the northern hemisphere, at least) and I couldn't be happier. Don't get me wrong - I love winter clothes, especially outerwear and accessories. But I'm so excited for shorts, linen, trips to the beach that don't require blankets and coats, and fun in the sun! So dust off your favourite sandals, shake your relaxation inducing liquid refreshment, and get outside!

Here are some things I'm loving, in no particular order, of course!

Axe buzzed look cream
- I've not tried this yet myself, but I absolutely love the concept. Haircare + sun protection = a match made in summer's heaven.

Bvlgari Aqva pour Homme Marine toniq - everything I love all in one: freshness of water, clean crispness of citrus, and spicy masculinity of sandalwood.

CB2 - I can't get enough of the younger, hipper brother to furniture giant Crate & Barrel. CB2 brings modernity, utility, and a touch of humour and whimsy to your spaces with purpose and pizzazz.

Denim, especially WHITE denim from Dior. I know white denim is so cyclical, but Dior Homme has mastered their craft for sure. They've incorporated Japanese denim with a slight stretch for comfort and have a lower rise, so they sit casually on the hip. They fit like your favourite pair of jeans from the moment you own them, and incredibly get better with time.

Etiqueta Negra - imagine Ralph Lauren's Argentinian, polo playing cousin. Now splash in a bit more European sensibility, pull out some of the English dandy, and hand him a delicious Mexican cerveza - and you've got Etiqueta Negra. Summer done simply with EN for sure.
Fiat's 500 - finally available stateside. It was almost Euro-overload for me when the cinquecento AND Magnum's classic ice cream bars became available within a short time of each other. I love this little car. Smart, economical, stylish, and room enough for you, your date, and luggage for the weekend jaunt.

Goyard luggage - opulent, incredibly luxurious, long-lasting, well-made, and the perfect travel accessory. As much as I love Louis Vuitton, Goyard makes the best statement whilst away.

Hermes - the luxe French fashion house is always en pointe. Summer wouldn't be complete for me without their intoxicating eau de pamplemousse rose. It's incredible.

iEverything - I know it's just stuff - but my life wouldn't be as organised, I wouldn't be as entertained, and I wouldn't be as connected if it weren't for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. I can't get enough. I'm especially loving the PRI app.

Last name: Jacobs. First name: Marc. If I could only be obsessed with one fashion brand, I think it'd be with MJ. He's been the pulse of all things kickass since the 80s. I don't know how his creative genius continues to keep evolving in a better-than-expected manner, but each season I seem to love his designs more and more. He took Louis Vuitton from your grandmother's preferred luggage maker to the red-hot luxe brand it is today. (too bad he can't do the same for Dior...)

Kiehl's Cross-Terain UV face protector SPF 50. Broad-spectrum skincare that protects against UVA and UVB damage - Kiehl's knows skincare like Galliano knows how to be offensive. Skin cancer is never en vogue, so protect yourself (in more ways than one!).

Loomstate - Launched in New York City in 2004 by designer Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn, Loomstate was founded as a casual brand dedicated to creating demand for certified organic cotton using socially and environmentally responsible methods of production. Now they've expanded beyond clothes to accessories, home goods, and specialty collections. Their board shorts and tshirts are summer staples.

Maison Martin Margiela - Like my love affair with Marc Jacobs, I also love Martin Margiela. Understated elegance. The best materials, cut in the best designs, for the perfect aesthetic. Light, airy shirts. Comfortable, durable trousers. Awesome accessories. Expensive, and worth every cent. Check out Margiela's new eBoutique. It's virtual heaven.

Neroli Portofino, the fragrance by Tom Ford. Citruses, with the quiet elegance of orange blossom. It smells like the summer sun in Sorrento.

Monday, June 6, 2011

march to the beat of the drum

Fashion Rocks.

My friend Jason has awesome style and is an incredible musician. Cool video shot in Los Angeles.

Bring style and class, and march to the beat of your own fashionable drums.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fashion Rocks

I can't get enough of this song.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Style and luxe loves

in no particular order, of course:

good tequila + fresh grapefruit juice, shaken over chunks of ice.

thin long-sleeved tshirts, especially in premium cotton or cotton/linen blends.

incredibly soft v-neck t-shirts. like James Perse. For the best assortment, call Megan at the Bal Harbour shop. tell her I recommended you, and she'll take good care of you. their t-shirts are beyond perfect.

rumpled, wrinkled, roughed up white, light-weight, deconsructed blazers. casual, cool, and crazy-awesome. perfect with khakis and a polo. perfect with jeans and a t-shirt.

old-fashion cocktails made with Maker's Mark and other good bourbons. the perfect "I'm not in a hurry and am happy to sip this" cocktail.

I love gray. I wear gray year round. And in the summer time, I love pairing gray with white, and gray with navy blue. it goes with everything. and is glamourous for sure.

Jeans from Dior Homme, Armani Jeans, and Diesel Jeans. my 3 faves.

La Prairie's revitalizing shampoo. It's only available at the most incredible European hotels, and randomly in gifts-with-purchase. It's definitely a must.

Monday, May 30, 2011

international style

I've noticed a huge trend in the US lately, and I must admit: I am in love with the fact that an influx of international fashion has exploded here. Some of my favourite retailers from around the world are opening up shop stateside. Here are some that I can't get enough of:

-- Etiqueta Negra from Argentina. Imagine if Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, and the creative people behind American Eagle's Martin + Osa all made a South American love child! Rugged. Masculine. Refined. Modern. I cannot get enough. Currently only two stateside stores: Miami and New York City. Shout out to David in Aventura (Miami) if you need assistance. He is very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional.

-- Allsaints Spitalfields from London. One of the coolest throwback stores. I'd say if you took John Varvatos and made him shack up in the UK on a tour bus with the coolest independent rock band ever, the place they'd shop and hang out would be Allsaints. Quality, style, character, and creativity are the name of the game. And music is more than the soundtrack. Fashion rocks at Allsaints. Currently about 15 retail locations nationwide.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ice cream for fashion!

Two things I love: Karl Lagerfeld + Magnum Classic Ice Cream Bar =
fashionable foods!

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream fashion!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

As thought and seen from the comfort of the Starbucks leather armchair:

Today is Cinco de Mayo, the day when Americans pretend to care about and live Mexico, when really it's just another excuse to party and drink one too many shots of tequila. Regardless of the reason, I love festive moods. And it's my brother's birthday! So we're having our share if birthday shots and pretend the mariachi band is just a birthday band coincidence.

A couple just came in. Think cowboys from the ranch. With matching wrangler jeans, he in a plaid shirt, her in a halter top. My favorite part? She had a fake Valentino handbag. Incredible.

Then a guy comes in wearing flip flops, board shorts, and an overly baggy golf shirt. We're not near the beach. Or the pool. Surf stuff belongs on the sands. And golf gear belongs on the links. Not together. And definitely not at inland Starbucks.

Then there's the eastern European man, about mid-30s, with his laptop, iPad, iPod, and iPhone. He needs to get an iLife. I, too, like well-fitting designer jeans. But the so-skinny-we-can-see-that-you're-not-Jewish variety is unacceptable. And for the love of Jesus y Maria, sunglasses are for when it's sunny - not indoors in coffee shops.

Ooh - actually someone with fabulous style arrived. She's got on these sexy python printed gray pumps, with a gray, black, and bright yellow houndstooth skirt, skinny patent leather bright yellow belt, and a very light gray silky looking tanktop. If she didn't scoot in and out so quickly, I would have gone all Scott Schuman and taken a fabulous picture of her and posted here for your enjoyment.

Seeing her bright belt made me remember the spread in thus month's US version of GQ - it's all about men's belts. I couldn't agree more - complimenting, yet contrasting belts in brilliant colours are the perfect way to add some pizzazz and panache to your look. I have a bright orange canvas belt with off-white trim that I'm loving with khaki suits or white pants. And there's another orange Hermes belt I just can't get enough of.

I feel like there's a sudden invasion of designer watches again. I know fashion is cyclical. And we saw big emphasis on watches a few years back. But even mid- markets are seeing luxury watch stores. Like Jacksonville, FL and Nashville, TN and Indianapolis, IN are suddenly hoLinkme to luxury watch stores. Omega used to be the top tier for the Swatch Watch kingdom - but with so many access points popping up, the luxe factor is diminishing. Sure, the watches are incredibly well done, but one of the biggest parts of luxury is exclusivity. When Dior opened outlet stores, loyal customers felt the brand was cheapened and too accessible. (thankfully, the outlet in tourism centric Orlando, FL has closed shop!)

I love summertime. Especially when girls are running outside more often, getting fit, tan, and healthy. One girl just walked in here to Starbucks who I recognize from my frequent neighborhood runs. Her khaki skirt, casually rumpled chambray shirt, and flirty, fun flats were perfect compliments to her sunkissed skin and beautiful blonde locks.

Well, it's 4 o'clock and it's time to meet my brother and his wife. We'll be at the cantina for tequila and guacamole, but not to pretend we supported Mexico in their battle against France so many years ago. Today we celebrate his birth, and the fact that we're fortunate enough to be together and drink in the middle of the day.

Sent from my iPhone from the comfort of Starbucks.

Friday, April 29, 2011

fabulous finds

in no particular order, here are some people and things that I cannot simply get enough of:

Glamourous, gorgeous gray of all hues and all sort. In my bumble opinion, gray is the most versatile colour, from casual t's to formal tuxedos and gowns, to paint and jewelry, gray is always en vogue. It's the perfect canvas for every occasion.

I love denim that's not overly worked. Leave those super whiskered, beyond destroyed, hanging-by-a-thread jeans for yardwork and camping.

Dior Homme jeans - classic fabrics, modern silhouettes, streamline, not-so-tight-we-can-tell-your-religion, not-so-baggy that you lose shape, these jeans are casual, comfortable, and certifiably cool.

The Fiat 500 is finally available in the US, and I think I must. have. now! And speaking of things available for the first time in the US, MAGNUM ICE CREAM BARS are here, too! Happiness. Pure happiness.

Two kitchen ranges you should know, own, and use frequently: Staub and Shun. Staub, makers of enamel coated cast iron cookery from France, and Shun, makers of my favourite Edo collection of knives, are masters of their craft. Classic, time-tested kitchen traditions with modern, marvelous flair. Well done doesn't begin to describe the technique and end result. Cooking and chopping has never been the same.

Kate Middleton, or Princess Catherine as she's now known, in her incredible Sarah Burton dress for Alexander McQueen. The neckline. The silhouette. The modernity to the top, with the classic inspiration for the bottom, that quietly elegant lace, the flawless makeup, the vintage Cartier tiara. I could go on and on. (And dear, God, I think I might be in love with her sister Pippa!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beyonce + Lady Gaga

love it or hate it, I can't get enough of Beyonce's new single and Lady Gaga's new single. Above is Gaga, below is Beyonce.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

loving luxury

Elegant gentlemen seem to have a well traveled, obvious spirit of adventure, a little playfulness, a dash of formality without being stuffy, and an obvious masculinity without being forced or fussed.

I'm still, as always, loving Belstaff jackets, travel cases by Goyard, Hermes, and Tom Ford, and beautiful pops of colour like Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander, and Michael Bastian.

And speaking of colour, I'm loving ink and paint splattered fabrics. Especially with denim or anything Dries Van Noten. Just keep your splattering to a minimum.

I love the texture we're seeing in Louis Vuitton, Diesel Black Gold, Lanvin, and Bottega Veneta.

I love classic accessories with a purpose - like the writing notebooks from Smythson, good cedar shoe trees, or a heritage collection catchall tray for your cufflinks and daily accoutrements.

I read a recipe in the GQ Style magazine from the UK and I'm absolutely loving this cocktail called "Before breakfast martini" - 50 mL gin, 20 mL cointreau, 20 mL lemon juice, 2-3 thin slices fresh Ginger, 1.5 tsp orange marmalade, splash cranberry. Muddle, shake, pour.

Tom Ford's
neroli portofino parfum. Absurdly intoxicating.

Friday, April 15, 2011

still in luxe

sorry for my brief hiatus from posting - this is the fourth anniversary of my Mother's death, so I've been focused on other items of importance, as you can imagine.

Today I woke up early, went to the cemetery, daily mass, and had breakfast at one of Her favourite places. Whilst there, I was flipping through a few magazines, and here's what I'm really loving now:

Glam in green - especially celery, grass, sage, olive, and lime.

Worn and woven bracelets - nylon and cotton sailor versions or effort leather wraps.

Fresh flowers - just because. Hands down, B.Brooks still has the best flowers.

Seersucker blazers with jeans and Tshirts.

Vintage inspired luggage - especially from Filson, Globe Trotter, and Goyard.

Ivy league prep + Naval utilitarianism and classicism.

Gant, and everything else Michael Bastian dreams up. It's like Montauk + Edgartown + St Barths all wrapped in one preppy package and tied with sailing line.

Gingham - of all shapes and sizes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

loving luxury

trends and tricks of the season that I can't get enough of, in no particular order, of course.

Destroyed white denim. Think slim, not skinny. The general public should walk past a gentleman wearing white skinny jeans and be able to tell what religion he is. I'm loving leather cuff watches. Almost like an edgy wrap bracelet, this is the perfect way to add rugged masculinity in a functional manner to any wardrobe. Especially love the Burberry Prorsum leather cuff watch.

Dolce & Gabbana's woven sandals for both men and women. Not the gladiator, chunky style, but elegant, minimally profiled versions.

I'm loving patterns and prints - especially florals, geometrical designs, and mixed textures. Until we're actually in spring, this look can be achieved by selecting winter colors in spring fabrics, or spring colors in season appropriate fabrics, depending on your climate. Remember, mixing patterns is easy - just pair one larger scaled design with a smaller scaled design. For example, Burberry's megacheck plaid printed blouse is incredible with a pin dot speckled scarf. For makeup - keep it fresh. Minimal makeup for maximum statement and allure. I'm loving supple, dewy skin with a naturally enhanced eye and lively, luscious lip. And as summer approaches, a sunny disposition goes a long way - so get acquainted with your favorite bronzer.

I'm so sick of John Galliano - but my love for the House of
Dior will never end, no matter how disrespectful or despicable Galliano may be. China is emerging as the new Luxury Leader. More and more Chinese and snatching up luxury brands than ever before. So where better for Dior to put on a show than Shanghai? The Christian Dior Resort 2011 collection conjured the French New Wave — the same spirit of excitement and change that took hold of 1960s Paris pervades Shanghai today. Modern elegance with an homage to heritage and rich history. Continuing the designer's themes of melding old and new, this dress joins Mr. Dior's beloved Prince of Wales check to the same cannage motif (inspired by the chairs at the first Dior runway show) quilted on the house's signature handbags. It's shown here in glorious, glamourous Gray Prince of Wales check with tonal cannage design, features a bateau neckline with friged self-box accent below, cap sleeves, a thin automatic belt with covered buckle, the brilliant precision-seamed sheath silhouette that's so incredibly flattering, a back zipper for convenience and ease, and is woven of wool and silk. US$ 3200,00.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

luxe loves of the moment

in no particular order of course!

colored canvas belts

That khaki slim fit motorcycle jacket from
Louis Vuitton with laced panels on the front and sleeves

The just-plain-cool juxtaposition of pairing a terrifically tailored
Burberry jacket, shirt, and slim (but not too skinny!) tie with your favourite, broken-in denim and sweet shoes (for help with great denim and shoes, call Paul from John Varvatos Los Angeles at 310-859-27910)

The elegance
Tom Ford can bring to every single man. (ps - I still can't get enough of the visual artistry the movie styling brings!)

The incredible paisley that only Etro knows best

Canali 14000 series. Modern fit for modern men. Incredible fabrics. Very chic. Call John at Bloomingdale's at 407-264-2400)

Plastic aviators with smokey gray lenses. Especially from
Marc Jacobs and Persol

The incredible political pun behind
Diesel's new "Diesel Island" campaign. With slogans and sayings like "pioneers arrived on Diesel Island seeking refuge from tyrannical regimes, economic crisis, political corruption, and reality shows. Land of the stupid, home of the brave." and "Diesel Island's border walk prevents illegal immigrants from walking into our territory. (they'll have to jump in instead!).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shower in Style

The bathroom is a sanctuary. After all, the place where you spend some of your most personal daily moments should at least be aesthetically pleasing, functional, and relaxing. Here are some new products that I'm loving for the bathroom.

Egg and bean shapes have been in fashion forever. Elsa Peretti's bean collection has been one of the highest grossing, most recognizable collections for Tiffany & Co. since debut. Now Kohler offers an egg/bean shaped bathtub. This is the shape of things to come. The Lithocast line of freestanding baths introduces a premium solid-surface material that allows for new geometries, textures and designs for the modern bath. Lithocast offers the beauty of real stone yet is warm and comfortable against the body. And it's easy to clean.

Some of my favourite qualities in luxury are functionality, quality design and application, and intermixing materials and colours. For example, I love Dior Homme's Chiffre Rouge watches for men - incredible Swiss movement, the finest materials, and fabulous appearance. The strong black accents the stainless steel and red impeccably. Naturally, I love Kohler's Karbon Lavatory Sinks.

With two pivoting joints, the Karbon articulating bathroom lavatory faucet lets you put water exactly where you want it as you shave, wash your hands or rinse the basin. The multifunction sprayhead can save up to 14,700 gallons of water each year compared to faucets with standard aerators. It sounds silly saying you "love" a sink, but the design, the function, and pure beauty of this sink really are spot on.

I've never heard of the bathroom and fixture supplier called Kallista before, but I can't seem to get enough of this bathroom design:

I love the mixed textures and colours - the browns, the polished metals, the crisp white towels, toilet, and natural stone sink vessel. The surfaces smooth, rough, sleek, natural, and man-made. And it all works so harmoniously. Here are the product numbers and additional information on this display.

The Axor Starck shower and bathroom scape is absolutely unreal. Words can't describe how amazing this looks. Simple. Irresistible. So well done. Philippe Starck is one of my favourite designers anyway, so I'm not surprised I love this bathroom as well. Who knew the lavatory could be so pretty?!

Did you know that dry hands can spread up to 1,000 times less bacteria than wet ones? I don't know if this is available for residential purchase and installation, or only for professional/industrial use, but the Dyson Airblade hand dryer is a true work of art. Filtering the air so there's less bacteria, reducing the carbon footprint by thousands, dries hands in just 12 seconds (or less), and so much fun to use - I can't say enough good things about this device. To get your own - click here.
I know it's expensive to redo the bathroom. But doing so can save you loads of money. Investing in quality fixtures and serene spaces improves your health, too! When you look good, you feel better. And that will always be en vogue.

Friday, February 11, 2011

the not so hi-lo Presidential fashion

I love talking about style and fashion. I like discovering and analyzing how fashion plays a part of our every day, how the power of fashion and trends can influence a decision, a perspective, a point of view (and to view a point).

Today a buddy asked what I thought about First Lady Michelle Obama. For those who don't know, our First Lady was recently interviewed on the nationally televised morning chat programme
The Today Show. Mrs. Obama wore a US$35 dress from Swedish H&M paired with a fabulous orange belt and bright yellow pumps.

My thoughts? Firstly, Mrs. O looked fabulous. I'm such a fan of rocking the hi-lo - pairing expensive luxury with everyday, casual wear. And the vivid pops of colour accentuated her physique brilliantly.

On the other hand, I got to thinking. Our First Lady, no matter what the agenda or task at hand, represents America. She represents our ideals, is a beacon of hope and inspiration, and is the perfect PR commercial for the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

Mrs. O could have very easily featured one of many incredible American designers. The iconic
Diane von Furstenberg. Calvin Klein. Marc Jacobs. Michael Bastian. Ralph Lauren. The list goes on. But she purposely picked a mass-produced, albeit stylish, garment from a Swedish department store found in every majour city. It wasn't special.

Our First Lady is anything but ordinary. In her private life, she can rock whatever threads she desires. This is a free country, after all. But when she's in a public arena, especially on national television, I expect the best. Both stylistically and politically. Leave the mass-produced, discounted knockoffs for Mr. Mubarak.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, February 10, 2011

luxe loves, sounds, and tastes

(in no particular order of importance)

-- basketweave - from those fabulously fierce peep toe stiletto boots from Gucci, to the lambskin woven jacket for men from Dolce & Gabbana, I'm loving basketweave. And speaking of baskets - Longaberger baskets bring an old world Americana vibe to any room, any time.

-- Chanel's J-12 marine watch, featuring black sand blasted ceramic, matte rubber sport strap, self winding Swiss mechanical movement, and 42-hour power reserve. Resists water to 300 feet, and attracts women up to 300 miles.

-- floral everything - much like basketweave, I'm loving the mix of florals and patterns. Liberty of London packs a powerful punch.

-- I can't get enough of Ministry of Sound - their beats are the soundtrack to my mind right now.

-- my new favourite snack is toast. with proper jams and jellies. Like Orange and Fortnum's Champagne marmalade from Fortnum & Mason and the Sicilian red orange marmalade from Colle Vicario.

-- I love the renewed excitement and discovery that Verizon users have for their new iPhones. Now they understand my technological dependence. my iPhone revolutionized my life a few years ago. Welcome to the party.

Monday, January 31, 2011

powerful pennies

I don't know why, but I've been glued to the latest news regarding the protests and uprising in Tunisia, Egypt, and on smaller scales in Yemen, Jordan, and Algeria. I can't imagine how the young people must feel, having worked so hard to attend and graduate college, only to find a jobless reality and incredibly corrupt governments with exorbitantly priced daily necessities. Frustrating to say the least.

It's understandable for those of us out of the region to feel helpless. But our pennies are powerful. Here are some fabulous finds. Let our pocketbooks send a message - we support those who want to support themselves through education, hard work, and peace.

Azza Fahmy
- Known to be the leading jewelery designer in the Arab World, Ms. Fahmy has more than 40 years experience leading her company with the most amazing Egyptian design influence. Her pieces can be found from London to Cairo and are simply stunning.

Williams-Sonoma - The purveyor of all things cooking, the kitchen giant currently features a Tunisian tagine, hand-painted by a single artist. This earthenware dish can be used for traditional North African dishes, as well as couscous and rice dishes. If you've never cooked with a tagine - the cone shape makes for incredibly moist foods. This version features food-safe paints and glazes, is made of hand-thrown clay to retain heat, is perfect for cooking and serving, and is oven and microwave safe.

Eau de Sisley 2, one of my favourite fragrances, features Jasmine from Egypt. The sultry mix of delicate florals and strong organic notes is incredibly intoxicating.

Sometimes when our voices can't be heard, our dollars can make sense.