details and craftsmanship

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. 
 
 

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Wang, deconstructed.

A few years ago, when I first visited Hong Kong, I discovered Joyce – the HK version of Barneys. I was going around looking for a birthday present from myself to myself.. finally got a black leather shoulder bag without knowing anything about the brand. That was the day i put Alexander Wang on my watchlist.

A true master of garments – his cuts, structures, textures, shapes… so beautifully crafted. Talented, intelligent and most certainly inspirational to many. Here are some fave pieces from his Resort 2013 Collection.

A Hidden Treasure in Bozburun: Karia Bel’

With special thanks first to dearest Beliz Uke, the impeccable host of this paradise.. to the Karia Bel’ family.. to my amazing friend Begum to make this happen.. and of course, to my golden girls for turning this short getaway into an unforgettable memory.

Imagine waking up on a terrace that looks over the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas after you fell asleep watching the starts the night before… That is the kind of holidays you would have at Karia Bel’.

Situated in Bozburun, 50 kilometers from Marmaris, Karia Bel’ is right opposite the Symi island, situated directly on the seashore. The name “Bozburun” signifies the point where the land reaches the sea. “Boz” means “grey” (referring to the grey mountains), and “nose” means “burun”.

The boutique hotel, which used to be a family summer house, offers 14 uniquely decorated guestrooms. Each room has a different atmosphere with its theme and colors. The color palettes, textiles, antique pieces of family furniture and numerous small touches in the rooms do take your stay to another level. Before i forget to mention – there is a constant scent of lemon and almond trees, jasmine and thyme all around.

There are two kind of summer holidays. In one, you experiment different beaches every day, arrange dinners in different locations during your stay.. there is sun, there is music, drinks, friends… In the latter, you check into a small paradise. All you hear are the birds. All you see at night are the stars. It literally takes you to a different world during your stay. It’s so relaxing and calm.. that even 2-3 days feel like a week. You go home refreshed. It is simply a self-treat.

If you’re looking for the second kind, all you need is a few days at Karia Bel’. In a few words, it’s a getaway to your home in Bozburun. The rooms will comfort you. The food will amaze you. You will wake up in the morning, have some white cheese with herbs and fresh tomatoes accompanied by an olive fest. Not to mention – i had 20 olives per day on average!

In the afternoon, you can have a glass of chilled rose, accompanied by fresh almonds from the trees. The dinner! Oh the dinner! At night, you will sit at one of the tables put on the private deck. You will only see the stars – and if any light needed, the little lamp on your table will be by your side. You will have a 5-star dinner starting with a different summer soup every day, then Mediterranean mezes (small dishes) followed by fish or meat. Before going back to your terrace, do not forget to taste the dessert of the day!

Private boat rentals also available if you’d like to take a daytour to Symi, or swim in the crystal clear waters of the breathtaking bays around. (Dipcik Bay was my fave.)

Very rarely vacations feel so much home, and very rarely they are genuinly relaxing. Pack some bathing suits, a summer hat, an ipod and somebody to share this experience with – and you’re good to go! When was the last time you did something for yourself? Time is now.

For more info on Karia Bel’, please visit: http://www.kariabel.com  

Stéphane Rolland

Here’s a new designer I came accross while checking the Fall 2012 shows. With no doubt, Stéphane Rolland seems to be an impeccable couturier – he was trained in the Balenciaga and Jean-Louis Scherrer schools. In 2006/2007, he was awarded the Molière Award of best costume design for Amadeus.

Here are a few of my faves from his Fall show.

PS – that black jumpsuit is one of the most impressing pieces of clothing i’ve seen for some time.

A Midwinter Night’s Dream

You know I enjoy daydreaming – especially when it comes to winter getaways. Remember my Alpine Dream last year?

Chalet La Grande Roche, as luxurious as skiing can get. Couldn’t stop myself from sharing this with you.

Enjoy this breathtaking chalet in Courchevel – with 7 bedrooms, lots of fireplaces, balconies, an amazing kitchen, a swimming pool, ski changing rooms and even its own cinema. All you’d need would be a group of nice friends, a few ipods, some wine and cheese.

Dream Much?

Istanbul Doors Impresses Again with CA’D’ORO

CA’D’ORO is the latest gem of Istanbul Doors Group, a nearly twenty-year-old leading restaurant and entertainment group based in Turkey. Located in the newly opened SALT Galata building on Bankalar Caddesi in Karaköy, CA’D’ORO offers a menu designed by French chef Julien Maisonneuve, consisting mainly of international cuisine spiced up with a Turkish touch that will indulge your appetite and sense of adventure.

The décor is quite minimal, already feeding from the classic architecture of the building itself, which was designed by architect Alexandre Vallaury and opened in 1892 as the official state bank of the Ottoman Empire. The interior of the restaurant is designed by Han Tümertekin, and is spread accross two floors – with a café downstairs and a more formal restaurant upstairs. 

Talking about food… the menu is simply de li cious. It offers a little bit of everything. Breakfast offerings are mostly traditional Turkish selections, while the rest offers diverse choice options ranging from fish to fillet, from Turkish Burger to pide. Appetizers are extremely rich in flavor and texture; desert list is too good to suffice with a single one.

My personal favorites… for starters – grilled artichoke, crispy risotto with tomato, goat cheese and pide with Keş cheese accompanied by eggplant gratin. For main course – strongly recommend the grilled fillet served with the yummy spinach/ricotta cheese souflé. Do make sure to spare some room for desert because they really are among the best (if not THE best) I’ve tried. Strongly recommend the chestnut Mont Blanc and the caramelized pumpkin.

I barely use the word “favorite” for a restaurant just because it’s not so easy to like the atmosphere, location, service, food and wine menu all at the same time.. but no hesitation for CA’D’ORO. Go pamper yourself for a Sunday brunch with your newspaper, or enjoy a sophisticated dinner on a Friday evening with friends and family. Downstairs would also be the perfect coffee break spot if you’re in the area for some art action.

For more about CA’D’ORO, and Istanbul Doors Group, please visit http://www.istanbuldoors.com

Bon Appétit!

CÉLINE. J’adore.

CÉLINE has been constantly impressing me since its new creative director debuted three years ago.  In a world where designers contend to show off creativity and inspiration on the runway, where textiles wow us, designs surprise us.. there is also Phoebe Philo who – I believe – actually cares about building a wardrobe for women. Each collection presents a wardrobe concept – there are basics and then some more. No unneccessary extras. These shoes are the shoes to wear, these bags the bags to carry.

Here’s some snaps from the RTW 2012 Collection. It’s all about the shapes and proportions – kind of reminding me of 50s/60s silhouettes. It’s beautiful. Every piece is wearable. So simple yet so elegant. Basic colors, suddenly surprising yellows, reds, stripes, leather, belts, pleated tops, super-wide pants, envelope clutches, those heels.. vraiment chouette. Simply great-great-great-looking.

Take a look!

Andiamo

Benvenuto a Villa Muri Antichi.

In the heart of Tuscany, you now have a new home where you can spend some time, enjoy fine food and superb wine. From a fireplace to spacious terraces, from an eclectic library to dreamlike showers.. this Villa has all you need – and possibly more. 

All you need is to pack a few clothes, take your ipod and leave all worries behind. 

Villa Muri Antichi is available for rental at Monteverdi Tuscany.

Andiamo.

 

as Haute as Couture can get

Quite unusual for a Fall/Winter collection, Givency’s Ricardo Tisci does it again. Naming “purity” as his inspiration, Tisci presents light, airy, heavenly pieces of art. Beige, ivory, white.. tulles, chiffons, shimmering pearls, feathers, crystal drops, ankle straps, white China beads, waterfall of fine golden chains.. his world is heavenly, his work is sculpture-like. 

Pieces made entirely by hand in the Givenchy workshop (one piece took over one month to make in working hours), these pieces looks like what angels would keep in their wardrobes.

coolness in a podshell

Speaking of design – Domenic Fiorello, a truly gifted furniture designer, came up with these plant pods, as he calls them. ” After researching the care needed for succulent plants”, he says, he designed this “pod-like planter to be created on a CNC router.”

Coolness in a podshell. Isn’t it?

Inspirations: Elie Saab

There is not much to say about Elie Saab and his Haute Couture world. The Lebanese designer has long been a leading name with his romantic, crystal-encrusted gowns. His couture signature is brightly colored silks, chiffons, pearl beading, flounces, fringes…  and of course sequins.

Below are some snaps from the Elie Saab Fall 2011 Couture Show. From his signature sequin textured gowns to colors, from the U-shaped décolletés to the embroidered lace, it’s breathtaking and dreamlike.

Inspirations: Dries Van Noten

Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten presented his debut collection in 1986. Garnered so much international press that Barneys New York immediately picked the brand up.

Here are some snaps from the Fall 2011 Collection. Textures, layers, art-inspired signature prints – all developed in-house, menswear tailoring, military fabrics, 50s and 60s ladylike shapes, sweatshirts. Wide legged trousers, incredible coats.. rich colors, lush textures, brilliant prints. And of course, the socks! It’s all about the socks.

Dries Van Noten will give you what you want. And effortless. Casual yet formal enough – completely wearable fashion. Shuffle as much as you can.

Inside My Dream: Château de Moissac

Built in early 17th century, Château de Moissac was owned by a noble family from Provence. Located in a hill-top village, where provencial beauty meets history, it’s dreamlike and sublime. It’s magical. It’s theatrical. It’s majestic.

Wait.. before I forget – the château is available for private receptions. So inside my dream, I was there with a group of close friends.. a tiny wedding. A weekend of wine & dine. Music and all.. White napkins, chiffon dresses, candlelight.. The smell of lavender all around. 

So tell me now – do fairytales come true? 

Misela: In Between the East and the West

To a dearest friend who has always been a true inspiration to me…

A journey between East and West, a smooth mix between chic and casual, a perfect blend of colors and textures.. Misela is all about details. Founded by Serra Turker, a textile design grad from RISD and an ex-New Yorker, the brand aims to transform its collection into timeless art pieces that are not meant to be on the wall but could as well be carried.

Rich colors and textures that combine the ethnic touch of the East as well as the modern look of the West, influenced by Moroccan tiles, New York interiors and the antique soul of Istanbul, blend in perfectly to give a bold feminine look. The collection, with a diverse range of designs, textures and colors, can accomodate any style and event.

Sea snakes, leathers, furs, vintage trims, special-cast metal accessories, handmade antique chains, custom interiors, zipper pockets… I don’t want to tell you all about it. Here, discover Misela yourself. (You can also shop online at http://www.shopmisela.com/ )

In addition to the accessories line, Misela also offers a home collection consisting of pillows, trays and other decorative objects. Again, colors, textures and signature prints dominate the line. In addition to taking custom orders for the home line, Misela also works on personalized interior design projects.

An Alpine Dream

You’re now officially in my Alpine dream.

We’re in Verbier, southwest of Switzerland. You, me and some friends..  We wake up early in the morning.. around 8.30sh, prepare a nice and rich breakfast to have a good start to our day. Some freshly brewed coffee, a cheese platter with some charcuterie, a light omlette, warm bread and of course.. freshly squeezed OJ. Wrapping up our breakfast, we part into our rooms, get ready to ski. The upbeat music is making me already excited. The snow is just like we dreamt of, the sun is shining and the fresh mountain air is so crisp. We go around the mountain until around 1 – 1.30pm. Then grab lunch – accompanied with a nice glass of wine – and enjoy being exposed to the sun for a few minutes before we resume skiing. Which chaise-longue are you taking? I’ll take the one in front.

Around 3.30 – 4.00pm, we get ready to go back home.. La Vallée Blanche is located just off the slopes, a few minutes stroll down from Medran the ski lift. Hey can you please plug in the ipod? I’ll go ahead and open a fresh bottle of wine.. let’s get on one of the chaise-longues outside to enjoy the last minutes of sunshine. I know it’s cold.. but bear with me for a few minutes. Enjoyed your wine? Alright, I’ll go take a shower. Taking a bath in that bathtub filled with some warm water is the best way of taking a break. I love the smell of that magnolia scented foaming bath milk!

With the fatigue kicking on you as minutes go by.. maybe a few mins of a nap? Or lay down with friends.. another glass of wine? How about dinner? What do you wanna have? Some steak and wine? Or something lobsterish? How about some pasta? You know we have a Top Chef with us here – maybe with truffle, her expertise? The Chef is already working on the menu.. a dreamlike smell is coming out of the kitchen.. here I am on this chaise longue again.. enjoying the track the ipod is playing. Dinner is ready, she says! Bon appétit. A few more drinks, laughing, dancing on the sofas is all I remember.. I love you guys.

Night night.