• Hollaback Girl!

    Tokyo, Japan…love Gwen Stefani and the Harujuka Girls she made famous! Today was shopping day in the Harajuka area and the adjoining Omotesando area…

    Colorful fashion, platform sneakers, sparkly accessories and cartoon graphics galore! This area mixes this Japanese love of “cute” fashion through the winding side streets and brand name designer fashion on the major avenues…These young fashion girls are colorful pop culture icons in Japan and they are visible working in as well as shopping in the shops all along this area! They are the real life version of the colorful Japanese drawings…

    Funny enough, fashion wasn’t what inspired me today! It was a great shop of unique handmade stickers that I loved! These digitally rendered stickers at “B-Side Label” looked great used all together on a wall or on a bike…so many cool ways to make a statement!

    I got a feel for young Tokyo today and it was a cool peek into this colorful world!





  • Luxury Overload!

    Tokyo, Japan…this morning’s view was of a snow capped Mount Fuji in the distance! What a beautiful sight looming far beyond Tokyo’s urban sprawl!

    Today is fashion time! We braved navigating the city’s subway system to get us to the shopping mecca of Ginza! We managed to get there without getting lost and once we arrived we were struck with the amount of mega luxury brands jammed into one area! Luxury after luxury with one being more expensive than the next…it’s mind blowing to even think who is buying all this! I admit my head was spinning and needed to stop for directions a few times as some stores are down alleyways that you would never expect!

    I thought the buildings themselves were interesting…the bland modernity was transformed with custom facades to set each brand apart!

    Dover Street Market by Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons is a curated collection of fashion cool…this bazaar of sorts is meant to give off a vibe of “beautiful chaos”…but to me, the sales people stole the limelight from the store itself! Each Japanese associate had such amazing style that was unique and so distinctly Japanese! It’s this kind of “out-there” fashion mixing that is totally chic yet interestingly new that you rarely see elsewhere! Very inspiring!

    The day flew by as we walked the streets going store to store and the sun sets early now and the day darkened very fast! As we wrapped up this day of fashion mega brand overload, we headed back to the hotel admiring the city’s lights all around us!







  • Playing the Arcades!

    Melbourne, Australia…what a difference a day makes! This city is totally different from Sydney…the vibe, the look, the style, all of it! The “beachy” body consciousness of Sydney is a direct contrast to Melbourne’s hip urban eclecticism!

    A great walking city, Melbourne is a shoppers paradise! Lanes, alleyways, little streets, and arcades abound filled with cool shops!

    I love the mix of Victorian 19th century architecture seamlessly alongside Art Deco throughout the shopping meccas of Collins Street and Bourke Street!

    The shopping arcades are stunning! Intricately tiled walkways open into these narrow light filled arcades with a Victorian feel…I understand these beautiful arcades started as little lane ways that provided rear access to properties facing big streets. Later they were roofed to provide refuge from weather and the crowds! These arcades give Melbourne it’s unique character and I really love how you just stumble upon one after another unexpectedly!

    It gives this city a much more European feel and comes off much more sophisticated than Sydney…I feel an individual edgy chic vibe on the residents here and artsy individuality seems much the norm!

    Melbourne is really surprising me with it’s charm and fashionable edge! Traveling to this southern city is allowing me to see Australians through a difference filter…







  • La Belle Vie!

    Paris, France…I arrived in the City of Light a bit weary after 20 hours of air travel from Cape Town via Doha. I always love Paris and have spent a lot of time here over my years in the fashion industry!

    Regardless of being tired I am anxious to hit the Parisian streets! I am staying in the Marais which is my favorite area in Paris…how convenient to go check out all my favorite haunts…I love this area for it’s artsy vibe. It has become a fashion destination as well since designers have discovered this neighborhood and set up shop!

    Place Des Vosges instantly puts me in a French mood and gets me in a Paris state of mind! From there, I stroll the shops of the Marais, peeking into little hidden squares and taking in some grand architecture.

    Next it’s on to the old Jewish ghetto area of the Marais that is still filled with butchers and bakeries! I must stop and indulge in the famous falafel sandwiches and admire the beautiful challah in the bakery windows.

    Tea lovers come to the Marais for Maraige Freres, the famous tea shop tucked down a short street in the heart of the Marais. I continue my window shopping and enjoy the beautiful Fall day!

    I wind up my stroll through my favorite arrondissement at Hotel d’Ville. This beautiful piece of history is alive with pedestrians and the light sort of bounces off the Seine in the distance!

    Paris is feast for the eyes and the palate! I relish my few days here every year in the early Fall…Oh, this is the good life!








  • 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!




  • 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!





  • 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!