Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Egg Shells

Quail eggs -- they're not like Cadbury
   
I stopped by the grand reopening of Todd English's Olives in Charlestown's City Square. It was nice to see the newly renovated space since a costly fire closed the restaurant two years ago. English partnered with Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil for a pre-party olive oil tasting. The experience was...memorable.

José Miguel Cuevas, an olive oil expert, educated guests on how to enjoy the extra virgin elixir. Cuevas asked me to cup a blue tasting glass with one hand and cover its opening with my other hand. After warming the olive oil with several swirls to awaken its aroma, I placed my nose at the edge of the glass and was met with the succulent scent of herbs and spices. The taste was just as tantalizing when it slid down my throat. Delicious.

Next, I sampled some smoking ceviche (with a dash of dry ice), a Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil martini and an unforgettable treat. While in deep conversation with my friend, Miss M, we were offered a tray of what-resembled-Cadbury eggs. Miss M politely declined and I (being a dessert lover) popped one into my mouth without hesitation. As soon as the salty substance stung my palate, I knew it couldn't be Cadbury. Nonetheless, I crunched away and pretended to enjoy the foreign flavor while desperately trying to figure out what I was eating.

"Are you eating the shell?" Miss M asked innocently.

"Yes," I replied with a horrified look. "What is this?"

"It's a quail egg," she responded.

Before Miss M could finish the word 'quail,' I was discreetly discarding the crunchy contents into a napkin. Neither of us could contain our laughter. This was and is "classic me." Had anyone noticed the lifestyle blogger popping an entire quail egg into her mouth?!? I hoped not. Then again, I've never claimed to be a food expert. I immediately booked it to the bar and washed away my shame with a glass of champagne.

Ceviche Bar

Ceviche Bar

Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive Oil Tasting

José Miguel Cuevas

Chilean Extra Virgin Olive Oil Martini

Post quail egg elixir

Rue Le Chat & Chef Todd English 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cat Chat :: Hayden Williams

Maleficent


While little girls were swooning over Snow White and Cinderella in the 1980s, I was intrigued by the mysterious, Walt Disney "mean girl" Maleficent. Maybe it was her narrow chiseled chin, her overly arched eyebrows or her blue-green skin tone. I was just a little girl who loved purple, so maybe it was her brilliant magenta cape that captured me. Whatever the reason, I thought she was gorgeous. I still do. Believe me, I did not have a "dark" childhood. You can't always love the "good girl." 

Recently, I came across a drawing of the sexy sorceress on Pinterest. Her powerful stance was so perfectly sketched and her slender features were so meticulously etched that I was eager to learn more about the master behind Maleficent.

The artist was Hayden Williams and a closer look at his Pinterest page and blog revealed a fashionable portfolio. A native of London, Williams began drawing when he was three-years-old. He describes himself as a self-taught artist who, as a child, focused his energy on sketching female cartoon characters. Williams studied fashion design in college and by the time he was a young adult, he was creating fashion illustrations.

"I come up with collections and designs via illustration and share them online with the following I have built via social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook," Williams said in a recent interview.

Williams draws inspiration from women and he is especially fascinated by classic clothing from the 1950s and 1960s. The artist enjoys creating timeless pieces, with a modern edge, that flatter the female physique. 

"I love creating pieces that women would want to invest in," Williams said. "The aim is for women to look at my sketches and envision themselves wearing the designs until I can make them a reality one day."

Williams dreams of one day working with a team of professionals who can help him bring the 'Hayden Williams woman' to life. For the sake of fashion, I hope his dream becomes a reality.

I'm a fan of so many illustrations that it's hard to pick favorites (aside from Maleficent). "Stepford Wives" is a step back in time. I love classic clothing and, like the artist, crush on dresses from decades ago. "A Stroll in Paris" is simply sexy -- a girl, her designer heels, her dog (or cat in my case) and Paris. And as for Williams' spring/summer 2012 collection, I'll take one of each. I'll be a Barbie doll living in a fashion designer's world.

Prints found online are not for sale. If you would like a custom illustration, please contact Hayden Williams via email.

Stepford Wives

Miranda Priestly

A Stroll in Paris



Perfectly Polished

Spring/Summer 2012 Collection  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Funday

Monday doesn't have to be a bore (evening when it's raining). Make your Monday marvelous with bubbles, beats and a best-seller (or the July issue of Vogue). A furry friend who waits for you to finish your bath is optional, but recommended.

{source: Pinterest}

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dressing Room: Cocktail Chic

Tonight, I'm meeting the girls for cocktails and conversation. Since we're old  adults now, using the term conversation seems more fitting than gossip. Although, gossip sounds juicy and a bit more fulfilling. Ladies love meeting up for a chilled martini and a dose of the latest drama. It's in our DNA. The hot temperature in Boston is calling for lights, brights and sparkle tonight (I've pieced together a sexy sample below). See you harbor side. 

Cocktail Chic

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Narciso Rodriguez for Kohl's

{source: nymag.com}

When I heard that Massachusetts-based retailer Kohl's was partnering with fashion extraordinaire Narciso Rodriguez, I was thrilled. I'm not a Kohl's shopper because I've never felt a connection to their clothing. However, I will certainly pay a visit once Rodriguez hits the racks in November.

The high-end designer will kickoff  "Design Nation" -- a month long capsule collection. For those of you unfamiliar with the term "capsule collection," it's easy-to-wear items that can be mixed and matched to create various ensembles (think Rihanna for Armani and Rachel Roy for HSN).

This high-low collaboration is unique from others because designers will travel to a destination of their choice in search of inspiration. Rodriguez chose Istanbul and came way with a edgy perspective and a collection rich in fuchsia and eggplant. I've recently read about trending Turkish designers, so I'm excited to see this Rodriquez-Kohl's collaboration with a Turkish twist.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lobster Day Dress

  
In honor of National Lobster Day, would you wear this vintage lobster-inspired dress? Italian fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli designed the frock in 1937 in collaboration with Spanish artist Salvador Dalí. Wow is all I can say. That's a big lobster, but perhaps back in the day it was ladylike. 
    
Schiaparelli, along with her rival Gabriel "Coco" Chanel, paved the fashion frontier for female designers and largely influenced the world of Parisian haute couture. The famous dress was weaved from white silk and embellished with a crimson waistband. Lore says that Dali, who began an infatuation with incorporating lobsters into his work in 1934, wanted to apply real mayonnaise to the lobster on the dress. Schiaparelli sensibly objected. Famously worn by Wallis Warfield Simpson, former Duchess of Windsor, in photographs taken at Château de Candé in France, the dress now resides in a museum.
    
National Lobster Day or not I would still wear this dress. It's French couture after all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Moms & Dallas


Wednesday night I spent the better part of two hours with my favorite Texas oil tycoon, J.R. Ewing. Throw in a honorable brother Bobby, a ruthless rebel John Ross (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree), a charming cousin Christopher and you have the drama known as "Dallas." Finally, TNT has revived and released one of the most-watched prime-time soap operas in television history.

I remember watching the original series (which aired from 1978 to 1991) with my mom like it was yesterday. And surprisingly, my Twitter feed revealed that I wasn't the only 30-something who had memories of watching "Dallas" with her mom. There were others like me who (as a young girl) had enjoyed the scandalous scenarios between a vicious villain (J.R.) and a gorgeous good guy (Bobby).

My mom and I would make a batch of microwavable popcorn (a treat in those days) and sink into the family room sofa every Friday night for a dose of J.R., Sue Ellen, Bobby, Pam and the rest of Southfork Ranch. Remember Priscilla Presley as Bobby's first true love, Jenna Wade? She wasn't one of my favorite characters, but I remember my mom telling me stories about her early days with Elvis.

I spent many cold nights and stormy weekends last year addicted to reliving all 14 original seasons in anticipation of last night's premiere. And boy was it worth it. I was afraid the remake was going to be too "young Hollywood" with stars such as Jesse Metcalfe (Christopher) and Josh Henderson (John Ross). But with the return of Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, much of the bewilderment and betrayal from the 1980s was brought back to life.

Did you watch the new series premiere of "Dallas" or have you watched the original series? Share your story.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M


My style is classic rather than contemporary. Though I do enjoy an edgy accent here and an over-the-top accessory there, I tend to limit myself to trends in favor of more timeless pieces. Does that make me boring?! I don't think so, but others may have a different opinion.
    
When I first read about the H&M and Maison Martin Margiela collaboration, I had my doubts. The French fashion house is absolutely avant garde and extremely edgy. With a reputation for deconstruction, they love ripping apart traditional clothes and remaking them as something new. That's a far cry from the mainstream, but a novel approach to fashion design.
        
The collection of accessories and ready-to-wear for men and women will hit 203 stores worldwide on November 15 and include beautifully cut black and white shirts, skirts and pants. The items will also be available online, but let's hope Boston makes the cut.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trendy in Trina

Pink Pisces Printed Sonya Strapless Patio Dress



Recently I popped into Banana Republic for a splash of their colorful collaboration with Trina Turk. The Palm Springs-based designer is now offering dreamy dresses, posh pool-wear and sun-drenched accessories for roughly half of the department store sticker price. Swoon.  What a perfect way for me to save while still maintaining style and adding color to my closet. With a sea of lemony yellows, brilliant blues and cheerful corals, the 60-piece collection was designed for those of us who favor fun in the sun. This is Palm Springs meets print which means this season my Newport days and Nantucket nights will be bold and bright.

Blue Pisces Printed Wren Top

Chartreuse Bracelets


Black and White Zazzy Zebra Printed Sateen Skirt 

Tomato with Turquoise Stone Box Clutch


Blue Coachella Printed Cowl-Neck Top

Vermillion Sateen Trouser Skirt

{images via Instyle.com}

Friday, June 8, 2012

Boston, You're My Home


Last summer, GQ ranked Boston #1 among the 40 worst-dressed cities in America. Apparently the so-called-article is still making its rounds on the Internet because readers left comments as of this week. I'd never compare Boston to Paris or Milan, but I'd never think my quaint metropolis could come in #1 on an any worst-dressed list. There is no way the citizens of Nashville #39, Buffalo #25 and Wasilla (ALASKA) #22 are better dressed than Bostonians. Absolutely not!

The online feature claims "it's the Jurassic Park of fashion troglodytes." Troglodytes?! Now, I did graduate from college and I think I do pretty well with words, but I had to turn to my trusty thesaurus for this term. For those of you who don't know, a troglodyte is just a fancy name for a caveman. Whatever.

One of the worst statements "it's hard to be a fashion capital when half of your population is made up of undergraduate monsters." First off, Boston is not trying to compete with any other city in America. Secondly, just because Boston is saturated with students, it doesn't mean the entire city succumbs to bad style. Third, students have style. Just take a look at my alma mater's fashion program.

Above all, I laughed when I read "and any classy lady from Beantown is bound to be impressed by formal sportswear." Boston may have a double dose of sports bars and college nightclubs, but there is also another side to Boston -- a stylishly sophisticated, post-graduate population. I know because I'm one of them. This writer has clearly never been to Boston.

In the last decade (and even within the last year), Boston has certainly evolved with its fashion, fine dinning and exterior facades. I do think the city could use a luxury lift, so perhaps designer stand-alone stores such as Manolo Blahnik and Prada would do the trick. You know, Downtown Crossing could use a facelift after all. Let's see if GQ rates us again this year.

Four Seasons Hotel

Vertical Catwalk at the Revere Hotel

The TENT at Boston Fashion Week 
{images via various sources on Google}

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fit for a Queen


Kate Middleton stepped out in style for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee extravaganza last weekend. But would you have expected anything less?! Not from the darling Duchess of Cambridge. By far the most gorgeous dress she wore during the four-day festivity was a nude (almost peach-like) sheath by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. The frock's slim fit flattered Kate's feminine figure and sent average girls like me to the nearest Nieman Marcus in search of a piece of perfection.
     
I think there are many misconceptions when it comes to formal dresses and long sleeves. A formal dress with long sleeves can still be stylish, though it can be difficult to find (even in the winter). Stores are so saturated with strapless this and off-the-shoulder that. As the Duchess demonstrates, the "right" kind of long sleeve dress can exude style and sophistication while still being sexy. And that's the key word here: style. As women, I think many of us crave exceptional style, a touch of sophistication and of course something sexy. I know I do. I have a formal dress with long sleeves that I love (and that makes me feel sexy)...although I don't think I love it as much as I love this Alexander McQueen number.
     
Finishing off her look, Kate added a Jane Taylor cocktail hat, a blush Prada clutch and her famous L.K. Bennett nude heels (I'm so getting a pair of these shoes). Although it was the Queen's celebration, Kate Middleton stole the show wearing couture fit for a queen.




{images via huffingtonpost.com}

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Best of the Best at the CFDA

The créme de la créme of the fashion and style world (and those guilty of fierce fashion flops) walked the red carpet at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards held at Lincoln Center on Monday. With a vast guest list of designers, stylists, models and celebrities, the CFDA Awards ceremony is just as momentous (and mind-blowing in terms of haute couture) as the annual Met Gala. Here's a look at Rue Le Chat's top 5 best dressed:

1. Doutzen Kroes in Sophie Theallet
Black is always beautiful...especially on a statuesque supermodel. I'm loving her toned arms. I'll be sure to do extra bicep curls tonight. 

2. Sophia Bush in David Meister
What a striking tribute to tangerine...not to mention I'm loving the peek-a-boo leg and multi-colored Christian Louboutin heels. I've been crushing on a variety of vivid hues this season.

3. Jessica Pare in Jason Wu
One of my go-to color combinations is black + pink. I'm loving the velvet top paired with a hot pink, velvet embroidered skirt. Simple and sleek in a two-piece.

4. Jessica Chastain in Parbal Gurung
This feminine ivory and gold dress pairs perfectly with strawberry hair, and how can you not crush over these Nicholas Kirkwood for Prabal Gurung heels. Naughty meets nice!
 
 
5. Kate Bosworth in Altuzarra. 
This dress is dramatically different and that's the point. The color and pattern make it fashion-forward, flirty and fun. I'm loving the Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra heels, but not sure I love them paired with this dress.

{images via Peoplestylewatch.com}

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Sparkling Sunday


My Sunday afternoons are often spent lounging in my stretchy yoga pants and comfy cotton tank while sipping endless cups of the Starbucks Espresso Roast, devouring the local papers and indulging in my favorite blogs. Yesterday, I took a detour from my restful routine and savored a sparkling Sunday at the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro.
                
I attended Sparkle V, a charity fashion show that raises funds for Rosie’s Place. Luckily, the drizzle did not dampen the day, the darling crowd or the dolled up models which included a mix of writers, editors and on-air talent from various Boston media outlets.
    
Christina K. Pierce, personal stylist and owner of the Christina K. Pierce: Boutique Fashion Agency, co-hosted the annual event with Karen Fabbri, owner of Moxie in Beacon Hill and Wellesley. A few of my favorite shops such as Twilight, Moxie, Beauty Mark, Crush Boutique and LIT Boutique styled the ladies who strutted the catwalk. Wish, Soodee and Shake the Tree (which I have not yet shopped -- shame on me) also offered clothing and accessories. The sexy selection of shoes, courtesy of Moxie, were by far my favorite pieces. I'd say I'm overdue for my first pair of (well deserved) Brian Atwood heels -- the type of fancy footwear I like to call taxi-to-table.

Bringing sparkle into the lives of homeless women by supporting Rosie's Place was certainly a wonderful close to my weekend.

Bianca de la Garza | WCVB-TV

Ami Albernaz | Boston Globe

Cheryl Fenton | Stuff Magazine

Kelly Malone | TV 38 & WBZ-TV

Lisa Pierpont | Boldfacers.com

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Cat named Manolo


Manolo's favorite month is June and that's because it's Adopt-A-Cat Month. I rescued my furry best friend from the mean city streets on May 17, 2008 (now his official birthday). He was roughly 5-weeks-old and in really bad shape. The vet diagnosed him with a serious case of fleas, an upper respiratory cough and a "gooey" eye infection. It was all pretty gross, but at the same time heartbreaking and a great way for me to test my maternal capabilities. I guess I never formally adopted Manolo, but rescuing him (rather than buying a cat from a pet shop or breeder) was pretty close to adoption in my book.

When Manolo (literally) walked into my life, I was crushing on a pair of Manolo Blahnik Sedaraby d'Orsay heels. I had slipped into these heels a million times and each time hoped the fit would feel more perfect on my size 10 feet than the last. Alas, those dreamy d'Orsay heels and my extremely flat feet were never a perfect pair. If Manolo (Blahnik) couldn't fancy my feet, Manolo (the cat) would certainly hold my heart. Within two weeks of being on almost every medication known to cat-kind, Manolo was enjoying the lap of luxury as a healthy and happy cat. Consider adoption. You won't regret it.