Category Archives: style

The Perfect Gift for Mom, Sister, Wife… or Lover

More is More, a beautiful customizable fragrance by the always luxe and classic Judith Leiber

Talk about a special treat. The gift of this fragrance opened up a new designer door of culture for me. I’m talking about Judith Leiber. You’ve probably heard her name, if you haven’t been lucky enough to own one of her purses yet. They’re special – and special occasion – pieces, so you’ve likely looked longingly at one in a glass case as it sparkled under bright department store lights.

Like this kitschy beauty, which sells for around $5,900 at Bergdorf Goodman

I first heard of Judith Leiber over 30 years ago from my beautiful (and oh so classy aunt), Candace, who lived in the Hollywood Hills. She was married to a hot shot screenwriter who made it in the 1970s and 80s, so she knew all of the beautiful designers. Judith Leiber was already a classic by the time I was a kid. She was known for her beautifully crafted, intricately jeweled minaudières, evening purses made of a metal shell usually encrusted with Swarovski crystals, plated with silver or gold in fun designs like a peach, peacock, watermelon, cupcakes, or snakes.

One of many Judith Leiber masterpieces

And now her legacy lives on with the first daily customizable fragrance. Fashioned in a stunning sculpted perfume bottle adorned with Swarovski crystals, this isn’t your ordinary perfume. It’s a piece of olfactory heaven and a gem for the bathroom or vanity — just like her handbags.

With More is More you can choose from three separate scents that work together as one, depending on your mood or flavor that day. Just select from a sliding dial at the top to get More Gourmand, More Zest, or More Floral and create your own mix. It’s the perfect gift for the maximalist (or minimalist who likes variety) in your life.

How it Works!

FYI: Jerome di Marino, the nose behind the fragrance, loves combining More Gourmand with a touch of More Floral for an indulgent, sexy scent. So, yeah, this is pretty much the perfect gift for any woman in your life.

The legend herself, Judith Leiber

But perhaps the most fascinatingly beautiful thing about this brand is the origin story of survival… the woman herself, Judith Leiber aka. Judit Pető. While researching this piece, I learned that she fled Nazi Europe from Hungary, lived in a house with other refugees, and finally made it to America to find success and meet/marry her first and only husband of over 70 years. She was awarded the highest honors for design in her field, has a museum of her works, and, if all that isn’t impressive and interesting enough, she passed away just a few hours after her husband at the ripe old age of 97. Talk about a long, amazing life filled with survival, beauty, and art.

Looks gorgeous, smells great, feels good. Your mom or wife or girlfriend will thank me.

More is More by Judith Leiber

Latest Fashion Find: Carla Sta Cruz Handbags

The Julia Tote in Black/Aqua
The Julia Tote in Black/Aqua

My latest fashion find from Carla Sta Cruz. Perfect for traveling in style.

Originally from Manila, Phillipines, Carla graduated from Parsons and is now a New Yorker but visits Manila every 3 months where she produces her collections.

Inspirations: Savage Beauty at the MET inspired a more cerebral approach to fashion design as art. Inspired by designer brands like Givenchy, Tom Ford, and Alexander McQueen, Carla brings edge to classic good looks.

Price: The Julia tote is $450
Website: www.carlastacruz.com

A Shopping Treat: Babalu, Miami

Miami Best Shopping
Babalu

It’s a rare treat when you find a retail experience that excites you with seemingly simple items like toothpaste. Anyone who’s had a ball at the original Babalu Miami location on the famed 1111 Lincoln Road, one of the world’s most renowned retail and dining spots designed by Herzog & De Meuron, understands Babalu is no ordinary store.
We like it because it’s a glamorous conceptual twist on the ubiquitous hotel sundries shop, the curated selection begins with classed-up, sassed-up basics at a high design level —think crème de la crème of categories as common as toothpaste and chewing gum. All perfectly finished off with Babalu’s signature deluxe gift wrap program. If Babe Paley and the other society swans got together to open a convenience store, this would be the place.

shopping in miami
Shhh… it’s a best kept shopping secret

It brings out the kid in the candy store as a true point of discovery with a continually evolving brand assortment and merchandising concept. A typical visit may offer Missoni, Comme Des Garcons, Alexandra von Furstenberg and Paul Smith, among other coveted brands, as well as emerging and exclusive designers. Merchandise weaves in organic apothecary products, resort wear, fine and costume jewelry, hair accessories, small leather goods, travel, sunglasses, fragrances, books, house wares, pet items, beach towels and gifts from big-ticket purchases to a little something special for one’s host.

comme des garcon perfume
Just a few unique fragrances on display

Owners Greg Melvin and Paolo Ambu also use their talents to create the signature Perfume Bar featuring the whos-who in the industry: Humiecki & Graef, Carner Barcelona, Montale, Mona di Orio, Mancera, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, which is one of the most sought-after scents by the same nose behind Dior and Gaultier fragrances,Mark Buxton, who created Comme des Garcons’ perfumes, and Amouage, which was custom made for the Sultan of Oman. Scented home lines include Fornasetti Profumi, Costes, Ex Voto Paris and Europe’s oldest candle maker Cire Trudon.

miami
I don’t know what these are (lighters?), but I want them!

John Rawlins, the former creative director for retail design at Bergdorf Goodman who designed the original Babalu, was brought on board to also design the Palm Beach location. And shoppers aren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. Melvin and Ambu have made it their mission to source stylish, fresh, often wild, wares. They couldn’t be happier partaking in a lifelong shopping spree.
Power-packed grab-and-go sophistication, for you, the sassy kid in the candy store.

These Sunglasses Can Pull a Small Aircraft!

Cool Sunglasses

These sunglasses can pull a small aircraft!

Yes, it’s true. We recently came across this interesting line a few weeks ago and had to check it out. After all, durability is of the utmost importance when it comes to travel gear. OVVO Optics designs exceptionally durable frames for any type of excursion a travel warrior may stumble upon.

Why we like them:

  • OVVO is a small and lovely family company
  • They use spacecraft technology to design frames composed of fused surgical steel and titanium, producing virtually indestructible eyewear
  • Stretched flat, OVVO frames can lift 90 lbs or pull a small aircraft
  • OVVO Optics’ screw-free hinge frames can withstand more than 300,000 rotations and reveal no changes in structure or appearance
  • OVVO eyewear is handmade in Europe (Germany and Poland)
  • As many as 65-85 steps are needed to complete an OVVO frame

Quality like this is particularly hard to find in a day and age when people are outsourcing to China and we like the fact that everything is manufactured in Europe through family owned factories.

http://www.ovvooptics.com

Where To Eat, Drink, and Shop in Hong Kong

Marie France Van Damme
Marie France Van Damme

Marie France Van Damme, the woman behind the eponymous line of luxury resort wear, will be opening her first store in Hong Kong.  This Hong Kong-based globe-trotter store will showcase resort wear, ready-to-wear and accessories collections in a sanctuary that draws inspiration from Marie France’s travels and immerses clients in her global aesthetic. Originally from Montreal, Marie France has lived in Hong Kong for over 20 years and to celebrate the opening of her store, she’s also happy to share her knowledge about what to do, see and eat while visiting her dynamic city.

Here are her fine tips!

Restaurant recommendation:

Yin Yang.  Located in the heart of Wanchai, it only accommodates 30 seats. All dishes on the menu are created by Chef and founder Margaret Xu Yuan, an ex-interior designer. They get their produce on a newly acquired organic farm and create their own fruit wines. A true farm- to- table Chinese cuisine.

http://www.yinyang.hk/www.yinyang.hk/Welcome.html

 Where To Get A Drink:

The Intercontinental. If you go at sundown it’s beautiful. It’s actually where I met my husband- whenever my single friends complain about not finding someone – I tell them to go for a drink at the Intercontinental.

 http://www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/

Best Hidden Gem:

The beach. From Sai Kung Street you can take a Sampan (a boat) to nearby deserted beaches. Many people do not realize that 70% of Hong Kong is protected, so there is a lot of green space and deserted beaches.

 http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294217-d2050638-r117017614-Sai_Kung-Hong_Kong.html

Favorite Place To Shop:

Shanghai Street is fantastic for home goods- they sell understated porcelain pieces that are great for dinner parties or decorating the home.  I love to get little trinkets here, many of these pieces when situated correctly can add an understated elegance to any home. IFC is a fantastic mall to go to if you are shopping for clothes. Stanley Market is next to the beach and is in the oldest part of Hong Kong. It is an outdoor flee market, great if you are looking for deals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Street

Best Place For Tea:

Teakha located in Sheung Wan, is a small, hidden spot where you can sit on the terrace.  It has good pastries and treats too.

 http://teakha.com/