Monthly Archives

February 2017

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Hottest Travel Destinations

While I love travelling, sometimes figuring out the best place to go to reignite my passion and satisfy my fashion cravings can be difficult. After all, we literally have the whole world to wade through!

Taking style as my guide, I’ve put together a list of six fashion-forward cities that are travel musts for 2017. These six hot destinations offer some of the most beautiful, artistic, and fashionable places on the globe—I’ve already booked my tickets!

Ibiza, Spain

Those who’ve heard Mike Posner’s hit single, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” know that things can get wild at this gorgeous tourist attraction and party city. While Ibiza is well deserving of this reputation, there is far more to do in this historic town than simply drink and dance. Popular among beautiful people from the world over, this island city is known for its breezy bohemian fashion in addition to being a world heritage site featuring architecture that dates back as early as the 7th century BC.

Sip at a classic Mai Tai and browse the shops—don’t miss Charo Ruiz, Ibiza’s most famous fashion brand—to discover the perfect boho chic ensemble for a night partying under the stars. Plus, the Ibiza Fashion Festival returns this June 9-11!

Tokyo, Japan

Even if you aren’t the “big city” type, Tokyo’s many districts offer a smaller community feel in the midst of this sprawling metropolis. As one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world, Tokyo’s diverse neighborhoods are a dream for any fashion diva! Take in Harajuku street fashion, enjoy a martini at one of the jazz clubs near Tokyo Tower, visit the upscale shopping district of Odaiba, or have a ball at Shibuya’s entertainment district. Chances are that you’ll find plenty of inspiration and more than one on-trend piece to add to your wardrobe while visiting this magnificent city, famous for its street fashion!

The biggest celebration of Japanese style is Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, coming up this October and featuring the latest in Tokyo street style and top Japanese designers!

Havana, Cuba

One of the more fabulous effects of the U.S. improved relations with Cuba is that the breathtaking capitol of Havana is now open for all tourists to visit! Stepping onto the streets of Havana feels like stepping back in time, with colorful buildings and vintage 1950s automobiles all around. The perfect environment for rocking a pin-up aesthetic, I love drinking a virgin-mojito and waiting for an impromptu street party to begin!

For a day of romance and sightseeing, check out the architecture and history of Habana Vieja (Old Havana), with one of the area’s many walking tours. Or visit the Museum of Rum for a taste of the island’s most popular libation. Who knows, you just might stumble upon a clothing shop offering some killer vintage finds!

To see and be seen in what is perhaps THE hottest travel destination this year, book your ticket for the 19th Habano Cigar Festival, running Feb. 27-March 3.

Hollywood, California, USA

Repopularized with the success of 2016’s La La Land, Hollywood remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Whether you visit the sets of some of America’s most iconic films, enjoy a scenic hike above the cityscape (Runyon Canyon and Los Leones Trail are two of my frequent haunts), or enjoy a delish meal at one of the city’s posh restaurants (Gwen and Norah are hot right now!), there’s truly something for everyone. I might be a little biased since I call L.A. home these days, but there’s no denying that it’s a trendy city when it comes to the fashion game.

Don’t miss the luxe Rodeo Drive shopping district for VIP treatment from the top luxury brands, and stroll along Melrose Place for access to some of the chicest fashion houses—Marni, Isabel Marant, and Zimmerman among them! While you’re in West Hollywood, be sure to stop by my favorite little coffee shop, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen. After the sun sets, enjoy drinks at one of L.A.’s iconic music venues. Plus, the city’s fashion district is a wonderland of wholesale finds featuring the latest designs at manufacturer prices.

You don’t have to be a movie star to feel like one amidst the glitz and glam of Hollywood!

Melbourne, Australia

Established largely during the 1850s gold rush, Melbourne remains as vibrant as ever with an influential flair for fashion that is quickly catching on the world over. Make sure to check out the the hottest Australian brands this year, from Ellery to Dion Lee and Jac and Jack—shop them and other top Aussie designers at the Bourke Street Mall or High Street Armadale. Visit the majestic Block Arcade in Collins Street to see some of the most beautiful mosaic floors and 19th century architectural details the world has to offer. Fitzroy is also a must-see: an up-and-coming neighborhood known for street art, dive bars, and fabulous music venues.

And, if you want to catch the largest consumer fashion festival in the world, grab tickets for this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), which runs March 1-19, before they sell out!

Tangier, Morocco

Known colloquially as the “door to Africa,” Tangier boasts a rich and complex history dating back millennia. Featuring posh beachfront resorts and mountain views, Tangier has all the beauty of the natural world, as well as some of our favorite urban luxuries. After spending a morning basking by the Mediterranean Sea, get in some amazing shopping and discover great deals on everything from custom-made handbags to ceramic tableware—the stunning Moroccan rugs are my favorite!

Before you head home, you just might want to stop off in Marakesh for a visit to some of the top Moroccan designers, including Bakchic and Kaftan Queen!

 

Travel With Style 

While I like to bring fashion with me wherever I go, there’s absolutely nothing better than building up my wardrobe from inspiration received while travelling abroad. By glimpsing all of the wonder that the world has to offer, we learn about new colors, fabrics, and styles that can help boost our fashion to a whole new level.

Take your fashionista spirit with you as you enjoy the delights that these six destinations have to offer!

Featured Lifestyle

Setting the Mood

There’s nothing like some lovely company over a sweet delicacy to cap off the perfect Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart. With the right china, a perfect dessert combination, and a few glasses of chilled champagne, your table can set the mood for a wonderful evening rich in romance. I’m excited to share the perfect love-themed dessert setting to enjoy with your beloved this February 14th—all it takes is a few treats and some luxe table elements!

Start off with some classic flavor combinations—the light sweetness of colorful macarons leads into a luscious chocolate cheesecake, finished off with chocolate-dipped strawberries, the perfect aphrodisiac! Don’t forget to toast to your romance with a few glasses of champagne and some gorgeous flowers that scent the air between you, dressed in an elegant vase.

While the company and the dessert will make the night special, the right décor helps set the perfect intimate ambiance. That’s why I chose to complement these delectable sweets with gorgeous dinner plates from the fabulous Lionel Richie Home Collection—the LOVE theme is the perfect embodiment of the everlasting flame that burns between you and your beloved. If you’re an L.A. local, you’re in luck—Geary’s Beverly Hills just happens to carry this ornate plate set, along with the entire Lionel Richie Home Collection!

This sweet, playful “love” plating conjures up memories of countless moments spent together, evocative of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE statues the world over. Looking at these plates, I’m reminded of stopping to admire Indiana’s iconic statue at 55th and 6th Ave in Midtown Manhattan. If you’re like me and you love to travel, these lovely dishes might even spark a memory from a romantic trip to Tokyo, London, or any number of destinations across the globe.

Indulge in some sweetness this February 14th by re-creating this exquisite dessert setting for your lover—it has all the makings of an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!

 

Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Him

While Valentine’s Day tends to put more pressure on men in relationships, the truth is our gents like to be pampered just as much as we do! After all, if Valentine’s Day is the one day a year when we really go out of our way to make our lovers feel special, then valentine gift-giving should go both ways in a relationship.

This year, make the man in your life feel like a sophisticated and tech-savvy gentleman with these gifts inspired by five different guy types. Whether he’s channeling his inner international man of mystery, working hard to get that muscled physique, or flaunting his modern style, these gifts will ensure that your partner feels sexy and adored.

The Jetsetter

For the mysterious and worldly gentleman, try a gift that exudes internationalism, intelligence, and style. The Estate Collection’s St. Tropez luxury candle will make him feel like he’s in the middle of a speedboat chase in the South of France with you at his side. With notes of cypress, eucalyptus, and patchouli, St. Tropez offers the manliest of scents. Pair it with Tom Ford’s Marko sunglasses and your man will be poised to take you jet-setting across the globe!

The Debonair Gent

Smooth, charming, and talented, the debonair gent loves only one thing more than the dame at his side: a smooth pour of whiskey in a cool, solid glass. A set of iconic crooner Lionel Richie’s Home Collection Black Onyx Rocks glasses and a bottle of top-shelf whiskey is the perfect gift to show your man how much he lights your fire. Snuggle up on the couch, pour him a tumbler of his favorite libation, and enjoy a romantic evening together!

The Outdoorsman

Tech-savvy and not afraid of getting his hands dirty, the outdoorsman is the rugged survivalist we wouldn’t mind being stranded on a desert island with! While your guy may not be a professional adventurer, he’s sure to appreciate techy gadgets he can play with in the great outdoors. Celebrate his adventurous streak with a recreational hobby drone, perfect for taking aerial videos, whether he’s close to home or trekking through the Australian outback.

The Metropolitan Metrosexual

If your man sports a classy, metro style and is constantly on the move, choose a gift that complements his busy lifestyle. Chances are your metro man simply doesn’t have the time to spare when it comes to finding his wallet and keys. For a sleek techy solution that will keep him on trend, try Tile with the Bellroy Leather Note Sleeve Wallet, which can easily fit in the pocket of even the tightest pair of pants. Tile offers small Bluetooth trackers that attach to one’s keys, wallet, remote control, and other easily lost items. Simply download the app on a smartphone and computer, and your guy will never be slowed down by misplaced items again!

The Fit Guy

A true fitness aficionado, the fit guy works hard to make sure he looks good just for you! Whether a weight trainer, martial arts enthusiast, or runner, this guy loves staying active and keeping it tight. With so much time spent working out, a signature scent will enhance the allure of his amazing bod even more. Make him feel sexy all day long with the iconic Givenchy π (Pi) Cologne. This deeply masculine, sensual fragrance will make your man feel as irresistible as you find him, even while he’s completing a triathlon!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Make this Valentine’s Day an unforgettable one with these fun, sexy, and sophisticated gifts for him. Whether your lover is more of the athletic type, a man of mystery, a debonair gentleman, or just plain sexy, these gifts will let him know that you appreciate him just as he is.

Photo: Runner

Featured Lifestyle

The Year of the Rooster: Celebrating Chinese New Year, LA Style

Last Saturday on January 28, Chinese New Year came fire-cracking in—cymbals clashing, brightly scaled dragons roving the streets, and the most vivid explosions of all shades red and yellow. Traditionally, these celebrations last up to three weeks, and welcoming in 2017 means that we’re celebrating the year of the proud, crimson-combed rooster.

I’m excited to share some fun facts about Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rooster with you—and some savvy locals-only tips (shhhh) for how to continue to ring in the Chinese New Year, LA-style!

What exactly is Chinese New Year?

Historically, China followed its own calendar—different than the one developed by the West. The Chinese calendar dates back to around the 14th century BC, making it much, much older than the Gregorian calendar used in the U.S. and most of the world. And although the modern-day Chinese no longer use the traditional Chinese calendar, it still holds cultural significance and determines the dates of celebrations like Chinese New Year. Read on for more interesting nuggets about this celebratory time of year!

The Myth of Nian and the Birth of Chinese New Year

Legend has it that many centuries ago a great monster called Nian, or “Year” in English, ravaged a small village in China towards the end of the winter months when food was scarce, feasting on the people who lived there. One day, a brave old man visited the village, decorated himself with bright red paper, armed himself with firecrackers, and went to brave the beast. Everyone else in the village thought he was a lunatic and a fool.

But the loud noises and the color red drove Nian away, much to the villagers’ surprise! Every year thereafter at this time of year, the villagers would festoon everything in red and set firecrackers hissing and screaming the air. Nian never returned, and the yearly ritual eventually turned into a celebration observed throughout China—and around the world.

What is the Chinese Zodiac?

The Chinese Zodiac features twelve animals, one for every year in the lunar calendar, making up a twelve-year cycle. The ancient tale of The Great Race tells of a dozen animals who all set out to cross a stream. The quickest one to make it across was the Rat. Then came the Ox, Tiger, and Rabbit. Next, the Dragon flew over, followed by the Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and, finally, the Pig. They all tried different ways of getting across the stream, with some of them helping each other or lingering along the way. The order that the animals made it across determined the order of what is now known as the Chinese Zodiac.

So, if you were born in the following years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, then the Rooster is your Chinese Zodiac sign. But remember that your birth year needs to be based on the Chinese, or lunar, calendar instead of the Gregorian calendar. The lunar year generally starts between January 21 and February 20 of each year, depending on the moon cycle and whether it’s a leap year or not—check out this guide for more details on how it works!

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the year of your animal may be filled with bad luck, so be careful about your decisions and actions during that time (hint: it might not be the best year to make any dramatic changes in your life)!

What are the Qualities of the Rooster?   

According to the Chinese Zodiac, those of you lucky enough to be born in a Rooster Year are hardworking and honest people who are confident in your abilities, love to talk, and enjoy spending time with others.

But because in Chinese culture every year is not only associated with an animal, but also an element, if you’ve just had a little one or know of someone who has, then he or she is a Fire Rooster. And if you were born in 1957, you’re a Fire Rooster also!

In addition to the qualities of the Rooster I’ve already mentioned, a Fire Rooster is even more active, motivated, and successful, but with a fiery temper to accompany those traits, and a zeal for his or her own ideas. Watch out, new parents!!!

How to Celebrate the Chinese New Year in LA Style

If you’re anything like me, you’ll take any excuse to celebrate! Let’s talk about some great spots in L.A. to dazzle and be dazzled in celebration of the Chinese New Year. These are some of my personal L.A.-local favs!If you’re a lover of the arts, the galleries along Chung King Road in Chinatown, off the 110 Freeway by the Hill Street exit, feature a fabulous variety of styles and pieces. This narrow street is mostly quiet by day, but these galleries have been known to throw some unforgettable parties for the art aficionado crowd by night. From the Charlie James Gallery to the Red Pipe Gallery to Automata, your creative side is sure to be sparked by these innovative spaces!

Another one of my frequent haunts is the Chinese American Museum, located at 425 N Los Angeles St. The museum is housed in the oldest structure of L.A.’s original Chinatown, and does a lovely job curating and preserving the rich heritage of Chinese Americans.

Finally, no celebration is complete without some fabulous food. Luckily, L.A. is home to some of the best Chinese restaurants in the country. Yang Chow is a beloved fixture in the heart of Chinatown that’s proven its mastery of Chinese cuisine over the decades. And for some amazing dim sum, don’t miss Lunasia—it’s well worth the trek to Alhambra!

I hope you enjoy the scenery and soak up the history of Chinese Americans’ deep roots in L.A. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!

Photos: New Land MagazinePaolo Camera, Maridethsisco.com, Time Out