Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Pedal Power

So there are many reasons why I'd love to live in Europe. This morning in Brussels, I found yet another example.

Located inside the international terminal at Brussels Airport, a charging bar offers free Internet and electrical charging ports - but there's a catch. The seats are like cushy bicycles and you literally pedal for your power.

Brilliant. Beautiful. And bountiful supply.

Check it out:

Monday, November 19, 2012

These boots were made for...reflecting?

So I might have an obsession with Cole Haan shoes. Over the past several years, I've been really impressed with the design, style, quality, comfort, and value of the brand. But then there was a stale period for a couple years. Everything looked boring, out of touch, and too "old".

You all know my favorite colour is gray. So when I stumbled upon these gray / matte silver shoes, I had to try them on. And true to my love, they are spot on.

Cooper Square Wingtip
$298.00 #C11142 Silver Reflective

Our one-of-a-kind wingtip oxford fuses the latest technology with on-point presentation for a look and feel that redefines classic.
Reflective upper
Full leather lining and leather welt
Full length NIKE Lunarlon sockliner
Injected TPU outsole with leather border

While I tried them on, I took a few pictures. Little did I know...they are REFLECTIVE! Here are the unadulterated photographs from my phone.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Watch. Omega Watch.

Love me some double-o. Can't wait for the American premiere of Skyfall. The British reviews were fabulous (released in the UK 26 October). Can't get enough of DCraig. Or the limited edition Omega Seamaster 007, complete with co-axial mechanics, chronometer, and 007 logo strategically placed at the 7.

Other things I'm loving at the moment:

Tweed: in jackets or pants

Military inspiration: jackets, boots, bags, jewelry

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M (in select stores beginning 15 November at 9 am)

Everything fashionable about America's Cup. I love sailing, the fashion associated, and the glitz and glamour of the race and fest.

Drinks at the newly revamped The Scotch, St James London. 13 Masons Yard, SW1.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fashion Makes Cents

I might have been a little bored at church on Sunday. So I multitasked during the homily and got a little creative.

Holla at a dolla!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Crested fashion

I love a good crest. One party Ivy League prepster, one part stories family, one part nostalgia, I love the pomp and circumstance, the nod to yesterday, and the hope for tomorrow associated with the medallions, patches, and embroidered symbols.

Blazers instantly go from boring to brilliant, polos are transformed from average to awesome; anything adorned with a small crested patch or stitchery is simply beyond.

So you can imagine now why I love these deconstructed blazers from Chanel.

The details. The craftsmanship. The elegance. Brava, Mr Lagerfeld.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stylish Beats

Two things I love: fashion + music. So put the two together and naturally you get Diesel headphones from Beats by Dr Dre.

The look is en pointe and the sound actually delivers.

My buddy Micah Tappe is a singer / songwriter / music guru, so i asked him to check out the phones for a more professional view. Here's his vantage:

I compared them to the Dre Beats Studio. Similar in price. Get beats if you wanna be a sheep (everyone has those-they're old now). Get Diesel if you want to be different. In terms of specs, they're pretty much the same as the Beats. They'll perform just as well as the beats with distinctive highs, leveled mids, and thumping bass. Diesel has a way of doing things with style, though. So, stylistically, I think they're awesome and Far superior (just my opinion). Beats style is old and not very original. Diesel's design has a much more eye-catching appeal than the Beats. From small things like the angled 1/8-inch plug design to bigger features such as the tri-fold feature to easily store the headphones compactly in the included pouch. Quality: Just as with the Beats, Diesel made sure to use a high quality cable to deliver great sound without kinking cables. I especially like the ControlTalk feature allowing you to take calls and/or control music. Now, the last thing would be price. Always, we as consumers want to get the most out of our ¥€$, especially these days. I need to get my hands on them to inspect durability, materials, and design structure. The 1-year warrantee is nice, but to rival the Beats, I wish Diesel would come down just a little in price. I think most people will find that the style of these new Diesel headphones are the real reason the price is where it is.

Check out Micah on iTunes.

Must. Have. Now! Because fashion rocks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

At the bar

I love eating at bars or counters. You get the fastest service, the most entertaining seat, and the food is usually hotter / tastier / quicker. You also can always count on a good show via the kitchen production, will probably hear fabulous stories from the bar tender or kitchen manager, and will meet incredible people. A tip: when you're at an establishment for the first time, always order what the bar tender usually orders. The kitchen staff will probably think its for him, and make it beyond expectation.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

transport and travel

 I learned in college from a very influential mentor a piece of advice that has proven lasting: the answer is no, until you ask. Recently, I was in a car accident that resulted in the loss of my car. In addition to needing a new car, I adore traveling. So I thought what better idea than to start a transport/travel fund. 

I know this seems tacky.  We're in a terrible economy, I'm not dead or in poverty, and I have a job. 

I love traveling, and have been fortunate to do so quite frequently.  Whether on the road in my back yard or in the skies over yours, I relish in every moment and detail of the adventure.  University definitely taught me many skills and trades, but it was traveling that taught me flexibility, culture, human relations, diplomacy, and the ability to be creative and concise amid stress and unpredictable chaos.  Travel is never just a relaxing holiday; its a laboratory for learning and enrichment. 

I got this idea from a close family friend.  Her point was, she'd rather donate money to someone she knows personally, who will use it to stimulate the economy, spend wisely and as originally intended, and without caveat. 

I'm not going to pressure you or broadcast whether or not you contribute. Our friendship doesn't depend on it.   If you think this is silly, I'm happy to provide your entertainment.  Unlike those "prayer shows" on television that promise to only use your donations for God's will  or saving babies or feeding animals but somehow end up buying expensive homes and custom suits, I am without hidden agenda.  If you'd like to contribute, I thank you.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chukka what? Chukka where?

Tokyo + Diesel + he colour gray + Chukka Boots.

Chukka boots are ankle-length boots with two or three pairs of eyelets for lacing. They are usually made from calfskin or suede, but can also be found in more luxury skins like ostrich or crocodile.

Chukka boots are similar to desert boots, worn by British forces in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. After the world wars ended, the boots became popular casual accessories. The name chukka comes from the game of polo, which I adore.

Recently I saw these boots by Diesel. Shown in gray (my favorite colour), these chukka are made of incredibly lightweight mesh - perfect for steamy summer days.

And just in case you're lost in Tokyo, you can chukka your map - these boots' soles are a traveler's saving grace!

Friday, June 8, 2012


The corporate practice of having a dedicated space to someone else's products in a much larger store is far from a new business concept. Department stores such as Macy's, Harrod's, and David Jones have leased space within their stores to other designers. This partnership allows for greater distribution and access to goods, and significantly eases the strain on shopkeepers.

What is new regarding this concept is the trickle down effect. I was recently in Target and saw several shops within the shop.

Once a brand or business understand their market demographic, they may approach other brands to incorporate a shop-within-a-shop. This is especially beneficial to smaller, more boutique-like companies, as the partnership often expands their brand's reach exponentially. Even if the shop is only temporary, everyone seems to win.

What're your thoughts on this shopping trend?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

maximized meaning

over the past few years, there's been a fairly negative, depressing tone in the news. countries are crumbling, power is abused, people are starving, economies are crashing, resources are being wasted. it's easy to fall into an uninspired state of existence. but that doesn't have to be the case whatsoever.

there's a quarterly publication called kinfolk. and I'm absolutely obsessed. kinfolk is a community of the most fabulous designers, cooks, photographers, writers, stylists, and the like who all have one common thread: the commitment and adoration of fine living and entertaining for a few. it is the ultimate in aspirational living.

there are always different things that I'm loving. like kinfolk, there's always one constant: a commitment to living with maximized meaning, minimized distractions and uninspiring waste, and a devotion of time and resources to the things and people that I love most.

food, friends, family, fashion, fun, faith. those are the things that motivate, that inspire, that comfort me. combining any and all of those elements always makes the perfect recipe. whether a few friends gathering for an unplanned cocktail after work, or I'm spending an entire morning running from the farmer's market and a multitude of grocers and meat markets to gather those oh-so-perfect ingredients for an elaborately planned dinner party, I adore bringing together the people I love, to eat fabulous food, enjoy delicious drinks, and converse.

and it's all about the little details. grabbing a bundle of a friend's favourite flowers for the vase in your guest bathroom just in case they happen to visit your facilities. picking up your loved one's favourite drink. taking care of a dietary restriction and not broadcasting the effort. seamless comfort for others epitomizes glamour and grace. the goal is consistent: comfortable luxury, naturally.

this month, I can't help but think of my Mom. She died five years ago after an extended battle with multiple cancers. Her attributes were far too numerous to list. I can't help but recall her grace, her quiet elegance, and her ability to instantly put and keep everyone at ease. with a reckless disregard for the impossible and without pretension, She was ready to entertain at the drop of the hat. there was always room at the table, another mug of coffee, a moment to listen, or what always seemed to be like all the time in Her world. She maximized her life with the most minimal ego. I am forever grateful that I know how to entertain in Her style. because that will always be en vogue.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

sexiest commercial ever

I'm obsessed with this commercial. And not just because there's an incredibly sexy Italian woman.

Monday, March 5, 2012

naturally en vogue

I've really been drawn to texture the last few weeks. Texture can be created in many ways. Visually, colours may fade from one to the other (a gradient concept called degrade). You can also see a degrade effect with fabric combination (One of my favourite suits for women was from Dior and featured a chenille that had been burned out with acid towards the bottom to look like lace. The thick chenille with the transparent, delicate burnout made the perfect gradient). Layering colours and fabrics is the perfect way to add character and depth to any ensemble. Or living space. Or garden.

I love layering textures, patterns, and materials. And not just for clothing either. On a recent trip, the hotel had a massive atrium, and I absolutely adored seeing the landscape designs. Fashion always takes a cue from nature, and this is definitely a good thing.

Love how the red stalk of the plants pops against all the shades of green. Just how brightly coloured heels always make denim pop - adding a splash of colour is the difference between "vom" and "vogue".

This really interesting slice of wood was sitting on a cocktail table inside a department store. The glossiness of the lacquered dark table + the matte finish of the wood, and the incredible geometric grain and shape + the weave of the carpet = fabulous.

I absolutely adore everything that's happening in this above picture. The colours in the small hand knotted carpet in the top corner bring a modern splash of colour and texture, whilst the large area rug brings an added warm dimension, breaking up the pattern from the floor (notice: the colors of the wood floor are also in the area rug and the table cloth), and finished with yet another pattern introduced through the table cloth. It's all about proportion when mixing patterns. Pay attention to shapes and sizes. Keep the same colour family as your focus, and pepper in pops of colour for accent and pizzazz. The intricacies of the wood floor + the larger scale area rug + the geometry of the table cloth with the colour splash of the small carpet= perfection. And I can't get enough.

I snapped the photograph above inside Restoration Hardware. I can't get enough. I've always loved vintage steamer trunks, so to see a massive trunk transformed into a desk = must. have. now! The rich tones of the Mayfair Steamer Secretary Trunk's leather provide an incredible warmth, the metallics of the buttons make the lighter chestnut leather buckle chair come alive. The mix of media - leather, wood, metal, linen - it's so well done. Classic modernity at its best.

I captured this photograph inside Billy Reid - an incredible American designer who focuses on the most minute details for a genuine authenticity. I've been yelling for yellow for a while now, so to see this rich velvet sofa, with the terrific textures of the wood floor and area rug, you can imagine how excited I was. I can't get enough. (and as if it didn't look cool enough - add in the fact that the wood floor was reclaimed from an old cotton mill factory in New Orleans - and then it's instantly thrust into an entirely new stratosphere of coolness.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

comfortable luxury = convenient living

the only currency that is accepted and valued in every culture, throughout every age, is time. when we save time, when I give of you my time, when we spend time together, there's a special air. one of the biggest facets to comfortable luxury is having a life of convenience. here are some things you might love. I know I do.
-- towering trees need deep roots and a sturdy stump. I'm loving the stump portable tablet and device holder! Take this tiny hunk of rubber where ever you go - it's the perfect holder for your favourite devices. from iPads, iPhones, kindles, nooks, and any other iDevice you may love, this is a travel must. US$24,95.

-- we're always on the go. and let's face it, we need to be drinking more water. and always having to buy a new bottle of water adds only adds waste to the environment, wastes your budget, and wastes your time. that's why I love recyclable bottles. the Bkr Bottle is easy to grab, provides the perfect pop of colour, so you'll never forget it, and is made of glass - so it doesn't change the taste of your beverage like metals or plastics can. Glass bottle, silicone sleeve and gasket, polypropylene cap. FDA-approved, BPA-free, BPA replacement-free, phthalate free. US$28.

I don't mean to sound like an alcoholic, but i love cocktails. maybe it's the relaxation, the community and entertainment of sharing good times with good people. I love to make every hour happy. and I must say, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bar selections from bloomingdales. planning a cocktail party is so easy. invite some friends, make a few floral arrangements, light some candles, keep the snacks simple (chex mix, fresh fruits, cheese, nuts), make a signature cocktail and chill it in a big pitcher so you don't have to keep mixing individual drinks, and have a few mixers/selection of liquor. bam - instant fiesta.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

fixed faucets

It's not often that I fall in love with entire collections. Especially when it comes to furniture that's produced en masse. For the outdoors. But I must tell you, I am absolutely in love with the Majorca collection for outdoor spaces by Restoration Hardware. I can't get enough. Maybe it's the European inspiration, the quality and value I associate with the brand, or the fact that it is the epitome of comfortable luxury for your outdoor space.

And I'm especially loving the mixed-media of the fire table. The cold, dense nature of the concrete paired with the modern invisibility of glass makes for the perfect medium for the propane fueled fire feature.

Fire up a blaze instantly and provide hours of warmth. Our propane fire table pairs state-of-the-art fibercast concrete with clear glass panels that shelter the flames. The tabletop surface around the fire offers ample room for drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Decorative lava rocks fill the receptacle.

  • Made from heat-resistant fibercast concrete, with weathered slate or sand finish
  • Like oatural stone, will develop a patina when left outdoors; finish varies, and no two are exactly alike
  • Receptacle filled with decorative lava rocks
  • ¼"-thick tempered glass panels shelter the flame from breezes
  • Features battery-operated ignition (AAA battery included)
  • Comes with recessed glides that allow for proper leveling of the table
  • Adjustable flame control
  • Vinyl fire table cover included
  • Attaches to a standard 20-lb. propane tank (not included)
  • 8' connector hose included
  • Burns eco-friendly, non-toxic propane
  • Rated at 50,000 BTUs
  • Some assembly required
  • For propane use only; cannot be converted to natural gas
  • CSA-approved for safe, sustainable, clean-burning fuel by the Canadian Standards Association, the sole organization that provides electrical and gas standards for the US and Canada
  • For outdoor use only
  • Coordinating propane tank cover available in weathered slate or sand finish (sold separately)
  • Sand is Catalog and Web only

Shown in weathered slate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

one for you, one for me?

A client and I were talking the other day about my blog. He was looking around his apartment, taking a visual inventory of all the things he had amassed over the past few years, and got to thinking. Almost everything in his apartment came from my suggestion - whether through casual conversation, specific request, or recommended on my blog. And I must say, I'm kind of jealous. Piece by piece, I'm hoping to own most of them as well. Comfortable luxury isn't about going randomly and stuffing your house full of expensive things. Comfortable luxury is all about convenience, feeling casual and relaxed, and knowing that there's something special happening. Your favourite cashmere sweater. A hydrating body wash. The warm glow and fragrance of a fabulous candle. Freshly laundered linens.

And just so you know, I'm not paid to recommend the products and services you see here. If someone gives me something for free, and I review the product, you'll know about it straight away.

-- Yellin' for Yellow! I love yellow. It's the perfect pop of colour, especially when paired with navy, black, chocolate, white, or khaki. For those of you who "can't wear yellow", try layering it over another more neutral colour. For example, layer a chocolate brown tank under a bright yellow tank, so the colour nearest your skin is the colour most suited to you.

I'm loving this yellow jacket and stripped tank from Akris Punto. If you've never heard of Akris or Akris Punto, they're a Swiss brand under Creative Director ALbert Kriemler. Akris, the higher end couture range, and Akris Punto, they're ready-to-wear collection, feature some of the most exquisite tailoring and versatility - especially in the functionality and ability to mix-and-match separates.

  • Leather High-Collar Jacket:
    Top yourself in this sunny leather Akris Punto jacket. Luxurious, modern and radiating with the rigor and vigor you expect from Albert Kriemler.
    • Sun leather.
    • Notched stand collar; open front.
    • Long sleeves; bracelet cuffs.
    • Fitted silhouette.
    • Made in Switzerland.
    • US$ 2300
  • Striped Scoop-Neck Top:
    Yellow stripes envelop this Akris Punto top for an uncomplicated look to add to your wardrobe. While these stripes can stand alone, they show well under a jacket.
    • Yellow and white striped knit.
    • Scoop neckline.
    • Sleeveless.
    • Fitted silhouette.
    • Pull-on style.
    • Cotton/spandex.
    • Made in Switzerland.
    • US$ 325

Thursday, February 2, 2012

sprite style

add some bubbly fresh, crispy flavours to your style and instantly wash away the winter blues.

-- neon. Marc Jacobs' stinky rat t-shirts come in the perfect colours. I wear his t-shirts when I exercise, as added prevention from reckless cars whilst biking or running and affectionately refer to them as "construction cone orange", "electric tennis ball green", "oh-my-god, that's bright yellow", and "hyper pigmentation pink". Layer these colours with your tone-on-tone khaki, gray, or black, and you'll be set for an incredible night out. Just remember: limit the use of these intense shades or you'll end up looking more billboard and less Beverly Hills.

-- prints. Floral, animal, geometric, haphazard. Channel your inner Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, Etro, and DvF. Even conservative brands like Theory have invited themselves to the printed party. Pair a fantastic tie-dye printed blouse under a blazer for work, and then swap out the dress pants / skirt for your favourite skinny gray denim, and you're instantly transformed from business power to social star.

-- check out these brands, too: Isabel Marant, Cathy Waterman, and Hoorsenbuhs.