My feet always cry the first day of fall. Why? Why must we give up the every day sandals to be stuffed, squeezed, and forced into those viciously gorgeous things you like to hide us with?
Well, those viciously gorgeous things are the weakness for most women! High-heels! Boots! Stilettos! I always get so excited when the weather comes around to slip all of these beautiful things back on, but my god!! I always forget how painful it is to get back into them after the skin on my feet has been practically regenerated back to baby-skin quality thanks to the freedom sandals provide! Regardless, I will not give up my love for high-heels. Let's talk about some simple favorites of mine that I want in my closet... pronto.
I have a huge crush on these YSL babies. I always find myself buying black shoes over and over again; flats, heels, boots, heels again.. you can never go wrong!
I'm well aware that some of you think these pumps look like stripper heels, but clearly you need to be wise with what you pair these with. Wear a super short, tight dress and DUH! you'll look like a stripper. Keep it classy.
These Isabel Marant beauties are everywhere in magazine spreads and they make my heart melt every time I see them...
And finally, I don't care how crazy these look (not all that crazy compared to Prada's hideous platforms on the Spring 2011 runway), I simply adore Christian Louboutin for creating these...
Okay, now please excuse me while I run off to go cover my battle wounds with band-aids! (An irony in itself isn't it?...Not attractive at all)
In case you don't know me, my hair is currently bob length. Although I'm not a huge fan of Rodarte (although I absolutely respect the innovative ideas behind their collections), I'm most def. in love with the hairdos in the latest collection:
Ummm... yeah. Can I please have long hair again so I can sweep my hair to the side with an awesome little hairpiece!?! I suppose we all want what we can't have, because god knows I refuse to spend $ x,xxx on good extensions!
Reviewing the first day of New York Fashion Week's collections had me a bit nostalgic. A couple of years ago I spent the summer in NYC interning for the designers of Ruffian and so I am quite familiar with past collections they have done, and I must say... this new collection is my absolute favorite.
First off, who doesn't want to wear their opening look? Sleek, sophisticated, creating a lean, long look. I love the oversized military buttons and the beautiful blue belt accentuating the waist.
How about these lovely evening looks (that I would personally wear evening or day)... the silky dress (or blouse and skirt) makes me want to put it on right now! Not only is it elegant looking, it looks like it feels like water on the skin!
And the skirt in this look is perfectly awkward. In a way it looks like it should close all of the way but it's just enough peek-a-boo for the sexy touch without showing too much (I love the surprise underneath, pretty lining!) The color of the blouse, repeated throughout the whole collection, is just beautiful.
Extending from yesterdays post talking about how excited I am for these super feminine silhouettes that fall is blessing us with, I came across this editorial. Red can look good on everyone if worn right, but we can't deny it takes a brave woman to do so! If this doesn't inspire you to embrace the red trend... I don't know what will.
The 1st of September! Rather than starting off the month with the sunny days I've been used to lately, this morning it was raining; the perfect weather to put me in the mood for fall! If you have seen The September Issue (a documentary about Anna Wintour and her team at Vogue magazine preparing the most important issue of the year) you may remember a certain woman quoting "September is like the January in fashion" and she is so right. It is time to renew that wardrobe and fill it with new, wonderful and beautiful things!
When you begin witnessing every version possible of a trend trickling down from high-end designer lines to affordable, multi-national chains dressing everyone in similar looks for better, or for worse you know that trend is coming to an end. This is why I love trends! Right as your getting tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, something semi-new and reinvented comes along to refresh your closet... and your eyes.
While some of you may embrace the risqué rocker look with shorts so short the pockets hang out, I quite frankly am a bit tired of it. The main reason being... I just don't quite pull off this look as well as perhaps this chick here:
Let's face it, she's a total hottie (thank you Stockholm Street Style). However, these classy ladies in the following images are the embodiment of the kind of style I want to have this fall and they represent everything I love about being a woman; call me old-fashioned but I just can't help myself.
Here comes the best one, I want everything she is wearing... or better yet... can I just be her?
Oh, I just can't wait! To start off my shopping list for this fall, I'll include (other than an amazing coat, always my weakness) ...
1.) An updated version of the 50's silhouette dress above
2.) The perfect pump
3.) An awesome cape like the wonderful YSL one above
And I'm sure this list will grow...
In honor of the January of fashion, my blog will be primarily dedicated to fashion talk this month!
I'm back! I apologize to my fellow readers for my absence but I was on a bit of a hiatus. August in Spain can be quite boring as everyone leaves to go on vacation so I myself escaped to Germany for a bit (what a fantastic country) and now I am back in Valladolid.
As if I had not already ate like a queen in Germany thanks to my dear friends introducing me to delicious restaurants (I will get to that later), the very next day after arriving in Spain a family friend took us out for lunch. Lunchtime in Spain is equivalent to dinner time in the United States and other countries. Almost every local store shuts down at 14:00 h for lunch break and doesn't open again until 17:00 h! The tradition is to have the strongest meal of the day at that time with family and, well... usually end up taking a nap afterwards.
Newsweek recently voted Spain the best country for dining and I can understand why. We chose a restaurant named Fortuna 25 in the heart of the city. Most restaurants are very similar in look and offer mostly mediterranean dishes. Usually there is a fixed price for a three course lunch with plenty options to choose from. For the "entrante" or first plate, I chose "chipirones a la plancha con alioli" or grilled squid with olive oil mayonnaise. This dish is very traditional and I had tried it several times before, but this was by far the best. Tender, perfectly salted, and so delicious it was all in my stomach before I blinked twice.
I had decided on the second course the minute I picked up the menu, because as usual I magnetized automatically to the duck options. Duck confit in a grape sauce? YES, please! When will be the day that I get tired of the tender, delicious, and gamey taste of this beautiful bird? The answer is, never! To be honest I couldn't taste the grape in the "grape sauce" all that much and it almost reminded me a bit of stew, but it was nonetheless amazing.
Almost everything on the table was absolutely mouth-watering but I was introduced to one thing I had never tried before... The tail of a bull. To some it sounds repulsive, but it was actually awesome; very gamey, strong flavor and super tender.
Finally, for dessert I tried to pick the least sweet thing on the menu. Although once in a blue moon I go crazy for certain desserts, I find that lately I am drawn much more to salty dishes. The "peras al vino" or pears soaked in wine sauce were the perfect choice! Definitely sweet, but with a dash of sour flavor.
I have officially made myself hungry revisiting this experience, so I'm off for now!
I'm well aware that Paris Couture Week took place a few weeks ago, but through my travels I haven't really sat down and analyzed the shows until now. I remember at the beginning of my fashion design studies all I dreamt of was working for a couture house and keeping the art alive. I am still very much in love with couture but the only way I see it surviving is if the designers begin to simplify and edit their designs and collections. As our society adjusts to a faster pace of life with constant flow of information, we are looking for comfortable, simple pieces to wear that fit our fast lifestyles and pieces that can be easily combined with classics in the wardrobe to cut out "trying-on-outfits-time" in the mornings.
With that said, the Armani Privé Couture Fall 2010 collection walked right off the catwalk and into my heart. The simple silhouettes with fluid curvy lines and draping details in perfectly tailored ensembles have enchanted me.
How about a suit for work? One with strong shoulders in the jacket balanced by the draping detail and curved edges for a feminine interpretation of the power suit.
And this sexy little number, perfect for so many occasions; a cocktail party, sunday brunch, or a hot date... yes, please!
Oh, wait! It's getting cold out, let me cover my gorgeous dress with my even more gorgeous coat versatile enough for any outfit...
You want to show off that silhouette that you climbed 500 stairs for everyday? No problem, how about this sexy, fitted dress...
And if that isn't fancy enough for that wedding you've been invited to this fall, don't worry because this one will do the trick...
If you're brave enough to steal the spotlight from the bride, than the final look of the collection is for you!
Stunning, absolutely stunning! Feminine, flawless, and versatile collection!
After a heated debate with a stranger a couple of days ago it has recently come to my attention that people outside of the United States consider New York City to be the Capital of the world, and for some reason I feel a little bit surprised.
Now, I do believe that at one point NYC was the capital and melting pot of the world, but quite frankly I think this image is slowly fading and the privilege seems to be shifting to some other place. I have not traveled as much as I wish, but simply keeping in touch with current events has me thinking that perhaps it has shifted to a city in China; but for everything other than sports, we all know the sports capitol is Spain!
I would really like to know what my fellow friends and readers have to say about this. Every opinion is valid! Which city gives you the sensation of being the cultural melting pot, where you hear approximately five different languages a day minimum, and can choose from many, many different world cuisines to eat for dinner?
Throughout my life I have spent many summers in Spain, and the heat can be brutal (although never as brutal as Florida summers). To cool down, Spaniards treat themselves to either one of the following: beer (sometimes with lemon Fanta) or MILKSHAKES!
But these aren't just milkshakes, they are smooth, creamy, delicious, and fattening milkshakes. You can walk into any bar in this lovely plaza (Plaza Mayor) and choose from a wide variation of these decadent cold drinks.
We're not just talking about vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate. They get quite creative with these drinks, but my favorite place to treat myself to one is Niccola cafe. They serve everything from ice cream to frappés, and from pancackes to icey slushy drinks. This place is filled with way more awesome than Starbucks. Starbucks Shmarbucks!
While my cousin chose a raspberry milkshake I decided to opt for something a little more innovative. How about an orange juice slushy or 'granizado' with a ball of vanilla ice cream on top? Vitamin C and mega-delicious-cool-down all in one cup? BINGO! Needless to say, my sweet tooth was begging for more after I finished but my stomach won the battle crying for me to stop feeding it.
Although I wouldn't mind having one every day, my wallet would dwindle since these drinks can get a little pricey and...well... my waist line would do anything but dwindle; I'll go back to drinking my cold sparkling water for now.
Outside of Spain most people are not familiar with Valladolid, so when asked about this wonderful province/city I typically respond that it is best known as the old capitol of Spain and the one place in the world where the best spanish is spoken. Apart from those two facts, I consider it to be one of the most charming and beautiful cities I've ever lived in or even visited. Filled with historical architecture and about 300,000 habitants, this city is oozing with culture; always an exhibition to see, or a new restaurant/bar to try.
This evening I visited an exhibition at the Teatro Zorrilla named Vestidos de Papel - Colección del Museo de Mollerussa, a.k.a 'Paper Dresses'. Never in my life have I seen such intricate hand work done with paper. As if sewing couture level dresses with fabric by hand wasn't hard enough, every pleat, embroidery, thread, and pearl was handmade with paper! These extravagant, and original dresses on display were entered in a paper dress contest that has been in the running for 45 years now, awarding fashionistas in categories such as period costumes, contemporary dresses, and fantasy dresses.
Every category has its merit, but I personally think it is far more interesting when a designer can achieve a wearable look made of anything but fabric. The dress that stole my gaze was the 2008 winner of the contemporary dress category; an outfit reminiscent of Chanel with perhaps a touch of Balmain.
By: Josefina Xufré Sirera Cerdanyola
I suppose the best part about making paper dresses is that it hardly costs you the price of using 'real' materials, but if this dress were to be realized in 'real' fabric and metal I would buy it in a heart beat (we'll go ahead and pretend it would NOT cost exuberant amounts of cash). Yet, how could one not appreciate this creation after careful observation of the delicate pleating?...
The other little wearable number I was impressed by (and with which my aunt fell head over heals in love) was this flower embellished dress...
By: Grupo de Arte Deltebre
At a first glance this piece looked like something they picked out of a local boutique and it is only when you get close that you begin to notice it is all paper.
Every detail is manipulated by twisting, turning, and cutting to trick your eye into believing it is fabric! I could really go on and on about every look I saw today, but instead of boring you I'll leave you with a couple more images and call it a day.
Period Costume category...
By: Joan Banyeras Alguaire
And fantasy category...
By: Concepción Arias Sanz
Inspiring, intimidating, and very impressive! Oh and huge 'by the way'... these dresses are all worn by real women during the competition.
The exhibition itself is reason enough for any fashionista to make a trip to Valladolid!
Now that I will be between Valladolid and Madrid for a while, I have plenty of time to tell you about the styles and foods of Spain, so before I do so I feel the need to revisit my trip to London once again.
The United States really spoiled me on hot summer days with the full blast air conditioning in every building possible, so accustoming my body to the lack of air conditioning here is quite a task. Thankfully the 90% humidity of Florida does not exist here so surviving 40 degree celsius weather is a completely different animal. It is nonetheless 40 degree-scorching-hot-summer-weather and I can't help but remember the amazing green coconut I drank water out of on the streets of London.
Coping with the heat can be torture and sometimes a glass of cold water doesn't cut it anymore; fresh coconut water actually hydrates the body by replacing the fluids and minerals the body loses during physical activity. I do recognize that opening coconuts to access this magical water is anything but easy and convenient, so why not clone a few more of this guy to cut them open with a machete?
I think if this guy were on the corner of every street on hot summer days, no one would suffer from dehydration; walking around sipping out of a coconut looks way cooler than sipping out of a soda can anyway!
Last time I was in Madrid I tasted some wonderful foods that have not left my memory, and being back here reminds me of a mental note I made myself in London.
For those of you who know me, this entry may be very unexpected; I was in fact a vegetarian for a year, or 'pescatarian' rather. However, lately I have made a confession to myself: I love a good, juicy burger! What I am getting at ladies and gentleman is that there are two places that are in fierce competition to win the "best burger" award. The names are (drum roll please) Fast Good of Madrid and Carnaby Burger Co. of London.
Fast Good was actually something I learned about from my dear Madrid Lonely Planet. The title of the place is actually a play on words; the concept is a 'fast food' joint that is actually healthy. This concept was transformed into reality by famous chef Ferran Adriá ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferran_Adrià ) of Spain who is very much against the concept of fast food and how it is transforming people of our culture into obese $1-low-quality-burger eaters; even I am guilty of an occasional McDonnald's indulgence. Anyway, the menu at Fast Good ranges from pastas to paninis and from yogurts to burgers. The best part, it that the meat is organic and local while the fries are fried in olive oil.
As you can see I was so excited about this burger that I remembered to snap a shot only after I took a bite, sorry about that...
But I will go ahead and point out the inside is PINK! It is illegal in some States of the USA to serve undercooked burgers for the simple fact that there has been so many E-coli epidemics (can you say, "gross"?). The quality of this burger is unlike any burger meat I had tasted before.
The rival, Carnaby Burger Co, also serves ecological burgers but their menu offers a much wider selection of burgers. For some reason I usually find myself drawn to the 'Blue Cheese Burger'; perhaps to merge my love for cheese with an already sinful item. This was the most amazing blue cheese burger ever and luckily you don't have to see my bite marks this time...
What I did find odd, however, is that the burgers do not automatically come with fries which allowed me the opportunity to order these amazing fries with a guacamole and sweet thai chili fusion on them...
The fries take the award between the two places, but the burgers are tied. The atmosphere award goes to Carnaby Burger Co. since obviously has more of a restaurant feel whereas Fast Good clearly has a clean, modern interpretation of a fast food atmosphere.
Conclusion: If you are having severe cravings for burgers eat one for lunch at the Madrid based joint, and then fly to London for dinner to indulge in one of the many Carnaby burgers.
It is not the places that create memories when we migrate to different cities, it is the people we travel with and meet along the way. This past Saturday was the most memorable of the whole London trip and was achieved through pure spontaneity. When traveling, my Lonely Planets never leave my side, but I've learned that it is best to use them only for navigation purposes. I hope that through sharing my experiences on that Saturday I can convey to you the fruitful possibilities of a plan-less day!
We began by nourishing our bodies with the protein and carbs necessary to start off our walking-filled day. The perfect summer breakfast consisted of smoked salmon, avocado, grilled tomato, and scrambled eggs...
We jumped on the "tube" and headed to Camden Town to see the diverse crowd the area is famous for and shop the street markets. Walking through the bustling crowd can be exhausting on a hot summer day, but my eyes take over when viewing so many different styles and interesting people.
In this area, you'll see everything from extreme metal rocker, to vintage girl, to... typical tourist. The markets are unlike any I've seen before; selling rocker tees, silver necklaces, plastic coats, neon tutus, and street foods from all over the world.
Who doesn't love a Nutella filled crepe? or a cheese filled Arepa?
After sampling some of these delicious street foods we explored the vintage shops and ran into a series of peculiar stores that were heaven for any romantic girly-girl; racks filled with lace dresses, jeweled headbands, and vintage-inspired purses.
Right as we were about to hop back on the tube, we couldn't help but notice a huge crowd of people jumping and singing. As we got closer we realized an indie band was putting on a show in the middle of the street. The guitarist and singer were rocking out and jumping around sometimes standing in the middle of the street blocking traffic despite the honking busses. Sometimes the bus drivers even joined by honking to the beat and dancing in their seats. The energy and excitement in the crowd was incredible and after 5 minutes everyone caught on to the chorus and sang along.
This rebellious attitude and oozing talent sent an adrenaline rush through our bodies and was an embodiment of the attitude and style seen in Camden.
Exploring a big city based on impulses can be a hit or miss situation and although Camden was definitely the hit, the miss was the river tour we decided to take. NEVER take the Thames Clippers unless you want to view the city behind foggy, dirty windows in airplane-like seats with no actual tour guide. After wasting a few pounds and almost 2 hours on this ride, it was time to find a dinner spot.
After walking, and walking, and tubing, and walking we randomly found this enchanting little street...
And ended up at this restaurant with french-inspired dishes ran by casually dressed ladies eager to give the best in customer service...
The delicious dishes and South African white wine served here were the perfect ending to our adventure filled day. To run into this little spot by coincidence gave us a satisfying feeling that could only have occurred through our spontaneous decisions. The styles we saw, and foods we tried that day were everything I love about traveling and it was that evening that London ran away with my heart.