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Fashion No Man’s Land

12 Jun

We’re between spring and fall fashion weeks. So I thought I would do a little fashion puck me up. This is also from Write Around the World. Jamaica hosts two annual fashion events: Style Week and Caribbean Fashion Week. Get a load of Style Week

Fashionistas and Gliterrati descended upon Kingston in May, and for a few days, everybody  flocked to shows and parties. Several models almost broke their wafer-thin faces on the bricks at Fort Charles at Port Royal , but fortunately, or should I say unfortunately, the night was trip-free. I do not have pics of that lovely ANTM finale-esque runway, however, I do have some choice pics from the mega stage on Knutsford Blvd for the last night of stylish events. However did Deiwght Peters do it? That’s pronounced “Dwight”, by the way.

The buns on this one……all they needed was some frosting.

You’re a tiger! You’re ferocious, eat the meat! Now run with the carcass! Drag it across the field! Excellent. Next model!

The Doctor made an appearance and all his future baby mammas in the crowd just lost it. I think some of them actually got pregnant that night by osmosis.

Product placement is everywhere. Even in the Third World.

She could stand to lose 15-20 pounds, easily. I don’t even know how she got this job. I need to raise this at the next meeting. That’s it, from now on, no one over 95 lbs. This thing has gone to the dogs.

My favourite male model. You could slice cheese with his cheekbones. I actually went backstage and tried. Best cheddar I ever had.


Coffee Makes You Gregular

4 Apr

Gregory Zamfois of Gregory's Coffee

Blogger, bloggers, bloggers…you wandering transplants huddled around the single outlet in the middle of the Astor Place Starbucks, I am here to tell you about a revolution: a coffee shop that not only wants us laptop luggers to come and while away the hours across their furniture, they actually reward it.

Last week bloggers, the Twitterati, and coffee gourmands feted at the 46th street location of Gregory’s Coffee, in celebration of the time old tradition of dragging yourself to the nearest drink house and getting stuff done. The franchise issued “growlers” to their favourite bloggers, in the categories of nightlife, foodie, online advice, music, fashion, and self-promotion; and in true caffeine-addiction conspiration, said growlers are refillable with iced coffee for life! Hallelujah, praise the lord!

Jonathan Valdez snags a growler for his fashion blog, Orange Juice and Biscuits

Tereza Nemmessanyi also gets a lifetime supply of iced coffee for Best Online Advice Blog

(SHTBC Tidbit: I filmed a segment with Tereza herself for Honestly Now‘s first ever webisode. The minute I get it, so will you…)

For Gregory, it’s all about supporting his biggest supporters, and bringing something new to the same ol’ Starbucks/Think Coffee routine. Zamfois says he wants to continue to provide a place where bloggers can gather and call their “office”. Mmmmm, four fresh midtown office locations and the price of rent is cup after cup of my favourite drink…I’m in.

Happy Working,


Plomo…Te Amo

30 Mar

My blogging dream has come true: Me. Shoes. Touching them. Taking their picture. And these were not just any shoes. Yesterday I got an invite to check out the Spaniexican line, Plomo Shoes, the merger of Spanish and Mexican BFF’s Keltse and Galia’s love of travel, rummaging around flea markets, and of course, shoes. The line is an exquisite marriage of supple leather, understated pastels and creative accessorizing, with a distinctly relaxed-weekend-by-the-Mediterranean feel to every pair. Though I can easily see them on a road trip through villages in the south of France, they would be just as at home on a bike ride through the LES or a stroll through the markets of Mexico City.

They held a warehouse sale to kick off the Spring 2012 collection, and amid all the neon out there (it’s a love/hate relationship), the pastels were a refreshing break. Seafoam, and pistachio, and passionfruit, it was like a gelato-filled European vacation for your feet.

Insider tidbit: modelling the green canvas Brunelas in the centre is co-designer Keltse

One of my faves, the black sheep leather wedge with the cut-out heel, the Chiara

And with all the talk about Spain and Mexico, you can relax, the collection is for sale just about everywhere —from international retailers in Switzerland and Japan, to a host of locations across the US  (NYC, California, Chicago, Texas), to online (one more reason to continue your daily visit to Shopbop and Revolve Clothing). And starting in April, you’ll be able to go straight to the online source, Go ahead, exhale.

I caught jewelry designer Heidi Gardener leaving with a newly acquired pair of the coral suede Rania boots. Stay tuned for her SHTBC début!

And if the gorgeous shoes weren’t enough, Denton Events provided scrumptious snacks to fuel the shoe-shopping.

Gorgeous shoes, sweet and savory spreads on French bread, it was all I could do to tear myself away.

Here’s to you falling as hard for Plomo as I have.

Happy Shoe Shopping!


Long Live the (Mc)Queen

11 Feb

“Beauty can come from the strangest of places, even the most disgusting places.”— Alexander McQueen

It’s February 11th, the 2-year anniversary of the death of Alexander ‘Lee’ McQueen. I was fortunate enough to be in New York at the time of his Savage Beauty exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the above is the only remnant of the pictures I tried to sneak, and has been the background pic on my phone ever since). I’ve never had the fortune to see an Alexander McQueen show, but I can only imagine how marvelous and visceral it must be. McQueen has said that he didn’t care if people liked his work, he just wanted them to leave his shows feeling something. I couldn’t leave the Savage Beauty exhibit not feeling something. As someone also in the arts (the creative writing grad programme at Hunter College), I do understand something about the process of inspiration and the subsequent translation of that inspiration into creation. It is arguable that no one, in fashion at least, did it better than McQueen.

Like all artists, he started with the autobiographical, the place that birthed him (Scotland) — but not so singularly that he forgot the place that raised him (England) — and then branched out into timeless muses: nature, other art (namely Literature), the cultures of the world, particularly their national dress. Yet, McQueen dove to dark depths with each collection and story, making clothes that told macabre tales of opposites, light and dark, tyrant and subject, destruction and redemption, the marginalized and the mainstream. That dark romanticism permeated all of the work produced in his epic 19-year career, and the exhibit at the Met was a journey through a fiercely driven and constantly-constructing creative mind. McQueen was an unyielding promoter of freedom of expression, and throughout the whole exhibit, there seemed to be a consistently underlying theme of struggle against the confines of what fashion can be.

Accessories like armour and bondage, rigid corsets, horns protruding from jackets, and who could ever forget the incredible “armadillo boots”; it’s as if McQueen was equipping his designs with the weaponry to fight against any attack. It should come as no surprise that he was inspired by Darwin, and the final collection in the exhibit, pieces from Plato’s Atlantis (spring/summer 2010), drew directly from On the Origin of the Species. It reflected McQueen’s thoughts on nature’s devolution with the prospect of the melting ice caps. It was a reptilian cornucopia, with scales (and who else but McQueen could channel that into armadillo boots!), kaleidoscopic prints, metallic textures, all while remaining true to the romantic ideal of the Sublime. After all, when you get swept up in a rushing hundreds-of-feet-high wave of hypothermic ice-cap water, I have to imagine that a certain calm will come over you as you are crushed in a muted death. But hey, that’s just me.

By the time the exhibit closed on August 7th, it was the most visited in the Met’s history. I waited in line for 2 hours, and of course it hurt my heart to have to spend that much time listening to some jock-infested family from the Midwest, or somewhere, with two 20-something boys, the father and the mother, with the latter being the only one who wanted to see the exhibit, though she didn’t know why. Assuredly, the men were going on about the wait and the only thing the mother could say was, “Everyone says it’s something to see.” And worse, they were in front of me! But I guess, if some knuckleheads can see such beauty and imagination and leave with more inspiration and knowledge than they had before, then I can let that one slide.

I’ll leave you with a quote by McQueen: “I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.” I’m grateful he had that ability, as he gave the world a pure outpouring of all that he was, and it was truly beautiful.

To Beauty,


P.S. Check out a review of a Fall 2011 Alexander McQueen show from Paris Fashion Week that I did for Fashion Pulse Daily.

The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park are Open!

5 Nov

The Holiday Shops At Bryant Park

I was recently invited (I still can’t get over it) to the opening of the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park. No matter where you’re from, what you do, or how much you hate Christmas (like my sister-in-law), there’s no way you can walk through Bryant Park and not get that tingly excited feeling. The shopping, the big family meals, the crushed wrapping paper, the screaming children, the insufficiently-stocked liquor cabinet, there’s nothing like the holidays. But drama and bird-carving accidents aside, the Shops are an eclectic collection of some of New York’s coolest design, food, and clothing artisans, from glassblowers, to jewelry makers, to designers of wearable art. If you do nothing else, go to be inspired by the creativity and the beauty.

A Gourmet Nutella Wafel from Wafels and Dinges

First off, the smell wafting from the vendors (with delicacies from the likes of Wafels and Dinges above) will bring you up the steps nose first. Then the simple elegance of the shops, diminutive yet festive in their soft pepper light glow, could hold your attention for hours. The artist, the homemaker, the kid, the kid at heart, you now have over 100 shops to choose from, enough Christmas cheer to cure even the staunchest Grinch. And the best part is, there’s free ice-skating on the spot. I can hear the anti-Christmas chill around your heart melting already.

Happy Holiday Shopping,


P.S. The Shops are open from now until January 8th, 2012, and there’s a tree-lighting ceremony on the 29th of November. Go! Go! Go!

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