• Fashion Forward!

    Cape Town, South Africa…the beautiful surroundings of this city has spawned a recent surge in up and coming and hip designers The hillside is full of magazine worthy contemporary homes that overlook the amazing beaches of Camp’s Bay and Clifton and now the city has an cool emerging design scene focusing on clothing and interiors with an ode to that amazing African color sensibility.

    African style seems to always include an evocative use of color mixes. Art galleries, street art, and the new interior design hub of Bree Street showcase these ideas. Quirky interior design shop, Sarah Ord, seems to be getting acclaim for her melding of this aesthetic into a her own contemporary language for home decoration.

    Long Street has a concentration of cool womenswear shops. A plethora of Vintage clothing that’s been reworked, great artisan jewelry, and contemporary young clothing designers. The focus is on the unknown brands and more artistic young talent as opposed to the international mega labels!

    Adjacent to Long Street is also Greenmarket Square, which is a bustling open air market filled with African crafts using unlikely materials and colors. You can find some clever takes on classic crafts here.

    I have also discovered the pop up shop concept here, a way to showcase an edgy new idea. SECRET is a gold clad emporium I stumbled upon that was totally chic with a mix of hand selected items.

    Finally there is Montebello Design Center specializing in locally inspired and made products. There are loads of creative types in little nooks and crannies making one of a kind gems!

    Creativity is so refreshing and I love being exposed to different points of views and aesthetics! I am inspired even by things that I personally wouldn’t wear or typically gravitate to!

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  • Retail Therapy!

    St.Tropez, France…Mother Nature is not being kind to my visit to the Cote d’Azure! Clouds are stopping the sun from shining and dampening everyone’s spirits! But regardless, the yachts are still lined up in Saint Tropez’s harbor and the beautiful people won’t let summer slip away that easily!

    I did a quick boat tour of St. Tropez, admiring the houses that dot the waterfront. These mega rich digs are vacation homes for the Fayeds, the Hiltons, the Loreal Company, and numerous other billionaires and international elite!

    They love the paparazzi here and star spotting is a major sport! The boat is decked out with shots of celebrities in St. Tropez and they pass around a photo book that documents the who’s who that came to town this summer! Rihana, Zac Efron, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Magic Johnson to name a few!

    Since today isn’t a beach day…the next best thing to do here is to SHOP! It’s like being in Paris, except at the beach…the shops are housed in the most magnificent settings and it’s fun going from designer to designer!

    Oh la la…I am tempted but gotta have some self control! There are some Lanvin high tops calling my name!

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  • The Long Way Home!

    Mykonos, Greece…I am truly changing my ways..well, in some ways! On this island, taxis are scarce…I usually swear by the reliable comfort of the private car & driver type of transport, but that is not an easy solution here. So, I am going to have go it in a whole new way.

    A long day at the beach, I was ready to get back…After waiting awhile for the water taxi, I tried very hard to find a nice air conditioned taxi to take me, I had zero luck and came up empty…The bus it is going to be!

    Well the bus looked fine until the sign saying 45 seats was spotted by a crowd numbering over 70 strong. Now the craziness starts! I couldn’t help myself and had to be the difficult diva; after pushing my way onboard, I had no ticket! The driver is screaming at me to go to the mini-mart to buy a ticket!?! No way, I throw 3 euros at him (ticket was 1.20) and proceed to board…ok that tantrum worked!

    Now the bus is packed beyond belief…is this legal? Are we gonna flip over? We all think it, but no one is gonna do anything about it! Pulling into the final station, I decide this diva needs some retail therapy and an indulgent dinner…who cares that I am in my swimsuit with a towel strewn over my shoulder…This is Mykonos not St. Tropez!

    The town has tonnage of shopping…even Louis Vuitton got in on the action with a summer pop up store. You can find everything, but the locally produced items are coolest to me! Hand-knit and hand-loomed sweaters, cobbler made sandals, and intricately woven scarves. Scarves! Everyone knows I LUV a scarf! To my surprise a Greek widow (Traditional Greek women wear black exclusively after their husband dies) was the artisan at the loom. How cool! She loved my interest and tried to teach me some things. I am on sabbatical, no work!

    The sun was setting and I topped off the evening in a little seafood taverna in little Venice: fresh mussels simmered in a broth of tomato,feta,and scallions with delicately fried zucchini on the side! Delicious! I needed extra bread to soak up every last drop…

    As I walked back to my hotel along the waterfront, I relished that tangerine haze that hangs on the horizon after the sun sets. I came across the town stork on his nightly stroll right before I get “home” in time for my “disco nap”! I must get refreshed for another late night on the town!
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  • Un-Orthodox Inspiration!

    Old Town Corfu, Greece..luckily we stayed in port late tonight…after a nice Greek dinner, a stroll thru Old Town was a welcome way to work off a few calories. The town starts hoping late, as Greeks eat dinner well after 10pm…

    Hearing the sounds of singing, I could see a little Orthodox church (the hieroglyphic Greek writing doesn’t allow me to make out the name) alive with people and glowing with plenty of candlelight. Inside, a choir was caroling some Greek songs as bearded men clad in heavy black robes looked on. The ornate tiny church housed a brilliant display of religious vestments that dated back over century. The sophisticated brocades, subtle metallic colors, and intricate trims held inspiration for something totally modern. I need to ponder this surprise fashion moment…

    Lighting a candle as we left, we took a final walk through the crescent moon lit town and bid goodbye to another enchanting port on this journey!

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  • Getting Lucky!?!

    En route to Athens!

    I didn’t realize today was Friday the 13th and I am flying on what is considered an unlucky day! I wonder why we consider this day unlucky?

    In Europe, they don’t have this superstition…maybe I’ll be ok!
    It seems 13 is following me this trip or has some hidden meaning that I am yet to find out; in Barcelona, I was in room 13, now I am flying on Friday the 13th, and the hotel I was just in had 13 in the address…

    Putting the date out of my mind, I am sitting in the Barcelona airport and enjoying people watching and fashion critiquing! It’s amazing how fashion is so universal. Certain clothing trends just click worldwide..this is the summer of NEON everything,TOM’s shoes, guys wearing slouchy tanks, and everyone in colored skinny shorts/pants…definitely less fedora hats, cargo shorts, and maxi dresses that are suddenly seeming so last year! It’s like the 80’s really made a comeback minus the shoulder pads. My youth re-lived! I do love how European guys really embrace fashion and make it seem so effortless…

    Well off I go, hoping for continued good luck!

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  • The Extra Ordinary!

    Sitges…Spain. My last day in this great beach town and the skies once again don’t disappoint in the perfect shade of clear azure blue. I have totally gotten into my groove of lazy days seaside just in time for it to end!

    Strolling to the beach this morning, I was struck by the everyday beauty I was amongst and in a way I was totally taking it all for granted. I stopped and slowed down and decided to REALLY LOOK!

    As a tourist, we become fixated on the big sights, the bucket list moments, and the postcard perfect pictures to bring home. But wait, I am forgetting the beauty of the ordinary…the unique yet mundane elements that make up every locale…inspiration many times comes from obscure places and things. Suddenly, you can look at something you have seen a thousand times and it strikes you as totally new, seeing something you never did before. As a fashion designer, I am constantly making the everyday into the fabulous; re-looking at vintage finds, re-discovering classic movies, and re-imagining iconic eras in a new and modern way!

    I was struck by the beauty of Spanish tiles…on floors, walls, and doorways…these beautiful works of art that are so prevalent throughout Spain! Graphic & artisan geometrics in sun-washed colors look utterly chic! I can see re-adapting these into an accent ottoman, a throw pillow, a chiffon blouse, or cool printed short. Let your imagination run wild!

    Muchas Gracias to Spain for the sights, tastes, and inspiration!

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  • A new obsession!

    I love finding that one thing, that new accessory, that cool piece that becomes like a new toy on Christmas morning…

    I am totally surprised by how much fashion shopping there is in Sitges…mostly beach oriented, but definitely cool watches, amazing glasses/sunglasses, and shoes. What has surprised me is the designer beach towels…who knew you could get a Moncler or Dior beach towel, I guess everybody likes to get their designer fix in a different way!

    Well, I am totally obsessing over my new flip-flops,of all things! I know everybody is still coveting their Havaianas, not me…I found these all rubber sandals here in a cool little store that I want in every color!

    These made in Italy matte rubber “Henry & Henry” flips have a grooved sole and are as light as air…you don’t even feel you have anything on! I think the bright range of colors are great way to “pop” your wardrobe…best of all they were 24 euros or just under US $30.

    I love that I can discover new destinations as well as new fashion finds! Luckily I am practicing some self control and not buying every color cause I have already reached max capacity in my luggage…20120710-113104.jpg20120710-113140.jpg