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.