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.