What’s the Buzz? Part II

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Following the buzzing of the beetles, I found myself in the wild wonderland of the Adirondack Mountains in a place called Garnet Hill Lodge overlooking picturesque Thirteen Lake. A secluded retreat with a private beach where you can take a plunge into the pristine water and the only sounds you hear are the humming of dragonflies and eerie calls of a loon echoing across the lake. Mesmerizing!

The vivid beetle print of my Tory Burch Robinson Printed Middy satchel made it easy to pick this Dressbarn belted trapeze dress and Michael Antonio Kaula heels. Green, blue and white harmonize beautifully with the forest, lake and sky in this serene scenery.

The intensity of colors on the dress matches the strong hues of the scarab beetles on the bag. I like the abstract floral pattern that makes the dress blend nicely with the wild landscape. The fit & flare cut adds this feminine, subtle touch that I love. The bright blue belt is yet another pop of color on this rich painted dress. No wonder it drew insects’ attention!

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My eyes were somewhere else though. I was spellbound by the engrossing garnet-bearing rocks at the Hooper Mine. Just a short hike from the Garnet Hill Lodge and you are there, surrounded by massive, sparkling rocks, each containing garnets of various shapes and sizes. What an impressive, peculiar view! A real paradise for geologists and all sorts of bugs that kept me company buzzing around on that hot summer day. As the sun was going down, the air became denser and you could feel that something hanging high in the stratosphere. The drama of the sky didn’t leave any doubts about the storm coming closer with every cloud pushed by a northern wind. It seems my beetles like that kind of weather- a promise of rain.

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The necklace, earrings and a ring are all malachite scarabs (Impres. Art) that must have crawled from the handbag. Handmade in a silver setting, these timeless, artistic pieces are exquisite. Malachite is an amazing gemstone with such an intensive green color. It has been wildly mined in the Urals, Russia but it can be found all over the world. In the USA, Arizona is a state where you can spot malachite. The butterfly bracelet is a souvenir from the Butterfly Conservatory at Niagara Falls. The other bracelet (NY&Company) features green stones imitating malachite, and although it is not a real gemstone, it complements perfectly the rest of the green pieces. The ring on my left hand finger (JCPenny, similar, similar, similar) displays a stunning green rectangular stone with the sparkling crystals on the sides.

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Green, blue and white are the hues that dominate the panoramic vista of the Thirteen Lake from the Garnet Hill Lodge. The same as the colors on my Michael Antonio Kaula heels. Extraordinary shoes with this surprising removable ribbon around the ankle. You can wear them in two ways: with or without a ribbon. What an ingenious design- both, versatile and fun! The color spectrum reflects the exact shades of the purse and the dress, so the whole outfit is picture-perfect framed by this delightful, tranquil view of the Adirondacks. Ideal getaway to find your inner strengths, soothe your nerves and calm your feelings. So relaxing!

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But then, it comes a moment when you have to leave and coming back from the wild forest to the crazy jungle of NYC is quite an adventure in itself. So I packed my bags, collected all my scarabs and drove back home, full of new ideas, positive energy and happy thoughts! Because at the end of each journey, the best souvenirs are the ones that make you smile and give a boost to face new challenges and take an extra step to follow your dreams.

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So what is your summer escape? Are you still planning your vacation or you just returned from one? Let me hear your story!

Aussie Party at the Skylark

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Yesterday evening, The Skylark was a hot spot! Located in the Garment District in Manhattan, this glamorous 30th floor cocktail lounge with an open air rooftop terrace was Sydney in the heart of NYC! The Australian Fashion Foundation gathered all Aussies for the 6th Annual Summer Party.

If you are not from “Down Under” you might not hear about the AUSFF- the foundation that promotes and helps talented, passionate Australians open the door of the fashion industry, gain experience  and recognition on a global scale. The Australian Fashion Foundation was created in 2008 by Julie Anne Quay and Malcolm Carfrae. I had a pleasure to meet Mr. Carfrae (see the photo!) at such an important moment in his career. A few days ago, he left the position of Executive Vice President of Global Communications at Calvin Klein to join the crew of Ralph Lauren as a global head of communications, public relations and media next week. How exciting is that! Carfrae was so busy at the event that unfortunately I didn’t have a chance for an interview with him. Next time Mr. Carfrae!

I was and still am curious about the beginnings of the AUSFF, what he is proud of the most and about the key initiative of the foundation that is an internship. I know that the foundation works in partnership with The Woolmark Company that helps the AUSFF expand into Europe. Once a year, there are two scholarships offered to two winners that are selected through a competition. They receive the AUSFF Prize of $20,000 grant and an internship with a global fashion company in New York City or Europe. To check out the rules, see here. The new submissions will open in September!

It was an interesting experience for me to feel the Aussie spirit at this exclusive social event in one of the most spectacular venues in NYC. The view of the Empire State Building from the rooftop is amazing!

Thanks to Aussies for this fun summer party and see you next year!

Maika Jewelry: From Japan to NYC

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Delicate, chic and beautifully crafted, Maika Jewelry is all handmade in Japan. Created with a unique technique and unexpected materials, the Maika collection soared over the Pacific Ocean straight to NYC to win your hearts!

A few days ago on 16th July, I had the pleasure to interview Jasmine Maika Wilson, the designer behind Maika Jewelry. It was a big day for Jasmine as she launched her jewelry collection here in NYC at The Ainsworth on 26th St. in Manhattan. It was very sweet of her to take time and talk to me about her latest collections: ChicDots, Fouli and Summer Beach. 

ChicDots SUN30-GD-NV $105 SUN11-GD-OR $68Multi_bib_neck

You are invited to watch the video interview (my first ever so please forgive all the imperfections!) to learn what special technique is used to create pieces from the ChicDots collection, what are “cotton pearls” and what inspired the Summer Beach line.

Aren’t you already in love with these elegant pieces? To purchase, visit www.bymaika.com

Many thanks to Jasmin Maika Wilson for the interview and the photos!

What’s the Buzz? Part I

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Dragonflies, grasshoppers, scarab beetles, butterflies, bees, cicadas: they all conquer the fashion world spreading their wings on the Red Carpet and beyond! Striking prints, embellished appliqués, exquisitely crafted jewelry, ornamented accessories: insects have them all covered. Allured by the papparazi’s flashes, bugs become stars in Valentino, Vera Wang, Givenchy, Lanvin, to enumerate a few. Metamorphosing from creepy, crawly beasts into mesmerizing, beautiful creatures, insects touch our imagination and convince us to come closer and look at them in amazement.

So let’s take a look!

I heard my heart fluttering when I first saw this Tory Burch Robinson Printed Middy Satchel. The graphic, vivid and detailed beetle print with painting-like qualities and vibrant, fresh colors captivated me utterly. It’s so realistic, dynamic and rich that it keeps stimulating your imagination. Startling how classy and elegant this jaunty beetle motif can be! Water-resistant, coated Italian canvas and timeless shape add an extra “must-have” element to this one of a kind purse! Adore it!

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It seems like the bugs are coming out to bask in the sun and savor a gourmet meal in the freshness of the after-the-rain grass. The vibrant colors of the handbag inspired me to pick up this bright top (similarsimilar, similar) and lime skirt (similar, similarsimilar), both from Worthington, JCPenny and the Mix No.6 Izabelle pumps.

The blouse is like a luminous brush painting made with intense watercolors. Truly resplendent! I love how the blue, green, lime and white melt together and become a delightful setting for the colony of beetles. The fabric feels so soft and a draped neckline flows gracefully with every move creating a lovely cowl.

It’s fascinating how many fashion terms are there for necklines in women’s garments and a cowl is just one of many. The word comes from cuculla which in Latin means “hood of a cloak” and was originally worn by monks in Northern Europe in the Middle Ages. But who was the queen of this bias cut and introduced a cowl to the fashion world? A French designer of course! Madeleine Vionnet revolutionized fashion of the time (1930s) and set trends with her fancy draped dresses that, thanks to the unique technique of bias cut, moved with the wearer. Voilà! Ah, these French!

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But our jeweled insects buzz for attention! Look! Two beautiful American Painted Lady butterflies rest on my left hand (similar braceletsimilar braceletsimilar ringsimilar ring, similar ring). Love the painstaking carvings, truthful size and elaborate shape. It seems like they don’t mind beetles’ company at all! They must know that scarab brings good luck! It was commonly believed in Ancient Egypt that scarabs are sacred symbols of rebirth because like the sun god Ra (often depicted as a scarab beetle), who rolls across the sky transforming bodies, similarly scarab beetles roll dung into balls as brood chambers where they lay eggs that transform into larva. That’s why the amulets in the shape of scarabs became so popular in Ancient Egypt throughout the pharaonic period and later.

My scarab amulet is a Rachel Roy beetle cocktail ring with shell-colored resin and sparkling glass stones crafted in gold-plated metal. Resin is a popular material frequently used in jewelry, watches and all kinds of accessories. Natural resin is a plant secretion, particularly of coniferous tree, used in the production of adhesives, food glazing agents and also as components of incense or perfume. For instance, amber is a hard fossilized resin. The term “resin” is also widely used for many synthetic substances that harden into transparent solids and some insects’ secretions. Looking at a jewelry piece with “resin” in it, you may still wonder which one it is: natural or synthetic. Most likely the price will be your best visual cue. Synthetics tend to be much cheaper.

Natural or synthetic, the resin on my scarab ring is exquisite and opalescent, showing a magnificent spectrum of bright metallic green and blue colors. Truly remarkable! The scarab looks like a king among the colony of beetles on the bag! The same colors, same shape but dominant brightness and powerful head structure.

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The necklace (similar, similar) and earrings (Top Secret) add some more fellow scarabs to the beetle party. The store didn’t actually have earrings but I purchased three necklaces and made earrings (similar, similar, similar) myself out of these two pendants. Need is a mother of invention, as they say! The bracelet from JCPenny is composed of green and blue triangle and lozenge pieces in a gold tone setting. It blends perfectly into the scenery of the beetle kingdom.

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The skirt (Worthington, JCPenny, similar) is of a fresh lime color with almost a neon intensity to it which pairs greatly with the tip of the Mix No.6 heels but also emphasizes the color of some of the scarabs on the purse and hues of the blouse.

Now, tell me how can you not feel sympathy for these little creatures around us? Fashion changes our perception! Something that once was creepy and unpleasant, now becomes a sophisticated fashion statement at which we look with admiration.

And you, have you been bitten by this fashion trend? Do you own any insect inspired piece? What’s your bug fixation?

Kate Upton’s Denim Story

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It was a hot summer evening yesterday at the Express Time Square flagship store where Kate Upton made her appearance to launch a new fall denim campaign for the brand. You may recognize Kate’s face from her stunning photos in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues (check out Zero Gravity shots!), June2013 Vogue cover or commercials for David Yurman and Sam Edelman. She was also a face of Guess (2010-2011) and this year she starred next to Cameron Diaz in the comedy ‘The Other Woman” (beware cheating guys!). Few months ago, she became a brand ambassador for clothing line Express and their new jeans collection. How thrilling! However, it was yesterday when she officially launched her campaign at Time Square Express store and I was there!

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Kate looked cute in her Express mid-rise white ankle jean leggings (her favorite this summer!), short sleeve baroque lace tee (love it!) and turquoise heels. She talked about her new venture with Express, how she grew up with this brand, her love for denim, her style and excitements about being a spokesperson for Express (watch this!)

She also took time to answer my question on Twitter #AskKate (yeah!) about how she would achieve a glamorous look with denim as a starting point. Her response was short and sweet (below)! Check out my tweet!

. A good pair of heels and a bright colored lip!

So how would you answer this question? Please leave a comment and let me know!

 

Razzle Dazzle Part II

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“Come on, babe Why don’t we paint the town And all that jazz… Slick your hair And wear your buckle shoes And all that jazz…”

 

I love the spirit of New York City. Flashy, extravagant, loud, glitzy, cosmopolitan: all that jazz! It fits my Razzle Dazzle look like a glove! Gold, metallic accents, shimmer and glamour, it’s what I see in the flamboyant eyes of NYC. There is so much to do; something for everybody. I recently saw “Chicago” on Broadway and it was grand! If you liked the movie with Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, you will be awed. And I was in the front row!

“Give’em the old razzle dazzle Razzle Dazzle’em Give’em an act with lots of flash in it And the reaction will be passionate”
Razzle Dazzle from Chicago CD
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The act I am giving you with this post definitely has a lot of flash. I picked a sparkling golden top (Worthington, JCPenny, similar, similar), shimmering Ann Taylor skirt and gold Jessica Simpson heels.

This shiny blouse is all about texture and glistering metallic material. The fabric resembles so much the glossy python-embossed leather of the Michael Kors Hamilton handbag (similar). I also love the black zipper at the back that adds the edgy character to this top.

The Ann Taylor Striped Organza Skirt is a sparkling jewel itself. I adore the combination of stripes and organza fabric that gives the skirt that luxurious, silky-like look, lightweight effects and beautiful volume.

For some of you who may not be familiar with the organza, it is thin, stiff and sheer fabric made from silk or woven with synthetic yarn. Often seen on the Red Carpet, it’s used for gowns and wedding dresses. Silk organza is mostly woven in the mills in China and India. However, the deluxe versions come from France and Italy.

I must say I love this fabric. It gleams with a gold metallic intensity that pairs so well with all the other shiny pieces of this outfit. The inverted pleats, together with the perfect length, enhance the feminine look of the skirt. And, it feels so light that it makes you want to twist and turn all night in it!

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I put these Jessica Simpson strappy heels on and I am ready to swing! Seriously, they are comfortable! I love the snake-like texture and gold color that complement perfectly my Michael Kors bag (similar).

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New York City has so much to offer, day or night. It’s hard to choose your favorite streets or corners. I love wandering around the city and exploring, but I also catch myself on coming back to the same familiar areas: Broadway, Avenue of the Americas, Fifth and Madison Avenues. People, colors, lights, energy, sounds seduce and inspire me all the time! It’s amazing to stand in the middle of it all and feel a part of what makes New York City such a captivating place!

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“It’s good Isn’t it grand? Isn’t it great? Isn’t it swell? Isn’t it fun? Isn’t it? Nowadays There’s men Everywhere jazz, everywhere booze Everywhere life, everywhere joy Everywhere, nowadays”
Nowadays from Chicago CD

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My Razzle Dazzle look wouldn’t be complete without some swell jewelry pieces. When I saw this snake set from Eva Mendes collection (similar necklace) at NY&Company, I thought this was something really remarkable. The necklace itself is a great conversation-starter. Striking zigzag snake, curved with details, covered with sparkling stones and those green eyes immediately attract your attention. The earrings and three bracelets feature the same snake and point to the python-embossed leather of the purse.

 To keep the reptile theme, I picked a crocodile ring (Bonton, similar, similar) with shiny white and green stones. The other golden ring and bracelet combo (Aldo, similar) adds a modern twist to the jeweled look. I love these two-in-one pieces! Sophisticated and eye-catching. I like how the two loose chains connect the bracelet with the ring and sway on the top of my hand.

And, here I am! Ready to conquer the glamorous heart of New York City! The city that never sleeps but that makes you believe in dreams!

“Place rose colored glasses on your nose And you will see the robins Not the crows For in the tense and tangled web Our weary lives can weave You’re so much better off If you believe…”
A Little Bit of Good from Chicago CD

Did I Razzle Dazzle you? What is your inspiration for your glamorous looks?

D80_20140704_149                                                              Happy 4th of July weekend!!!

Fashion Networking Event

Fashion Networking Event

I love NYC life! There is always something going on! Yesterday, I attended Fashion Industry Networking Event and Fashion Show at the Time Hotel on 49th Street. How thrilling! Emerging stylists, models, bloggers, designers-everybody was there! The event was hosted by Fashion Avenue News Magazine. You could get a copy of magazine signed and take photos with cover models! We enjoyed upbeat music by DJ Frank Neitti ,refreshing drinks, cool show and great networking!

Check out my NYC Fashion Events page for more exciting events to come in July!

Renata

Thanks to Fernanda, Ameriangel and Flore-yanha for great company!