Jun 19, 2014

The Navy Blazer

I've been searching high and low for the right lightweight blazer - ideally, it would have cropped sleeves, not scream "finance interview outfit", come in some neutral color, and be short enough for my petite frame. I think I've found one as close as I can get, short of designing one from scratch. This Rag & Bone blazer immediately caught my attention while browsing one day, so I took a chance and ordered it.

Let me tell you, it is not easy taking photos of yourself when you've lost your camera remote shutter. Not only did I set up a light, I used a tape measure from the camera to where I was standing so I could figure out where to manually focus the lens to. For each shot, I'd hit the shutter, head back to the mark on the tape measure and wait for the 10 seconds to run up. It sounds crazy, I know. A live-in photographer would be nice, but you do what you gotta do. So if these look a bit silly, that's because I felt quite silly doing it.

I think this blazer feels polished without looking too stiff. I also tend to push up the sleeves and always wear my blazers unbuttoned for a more casual look. I sized up because I do have wider shoulders, but I think I could have stuck to my usual too. Though this blazer is not a particularly wallet-friendly option, it's a piece that will get a lot of wear (and bonus, it's made in the USA).

Blazer (I ordered mine from Matches - insanely fast shipping for being in the UK) // Jeans // Tank // Shoes

Jun 16, 2014

La Garçonne

I was pretty excited when I heard that online retailer La Garçonne had opened a brick and mortar in Tribeca. I've long admired the minimal and refined aesthetic of the brands they carry. I stopped in one weekend and the interior is pretty much exactly how you'd imagine it would be, a total reflection of their online personality. You can easily walk past the store on the street and miss it (and I did) because it's got that cool unmarked facade going on.

Also I don't know what kind of magic they put in their fitting rooms, but the lighting is airy and perfect and the mirrors make you look at least 10 pounds skinnier (untrustworthy!). They also carry some beautiful ceramics and understated jewelry. A few sneaky iPhone photos below.

La Garçonne
465 Greenwich St.
NY, NY 10013

Jun 12, 2014

Chef Collection by Samsung

"You have to really share your heart in the dish when you're preparing it," says Éric Fréchon (well, says his translator), chef of the restaurant at the Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris. And "butter", he declares without hesitation when I ask what is the one thing he always has in his fridge. I can get behind that, of course. Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with some of the chefs who collaborated with Samsung on their new collection of premium kitchen appliances which include a dual-temperature oven, fridge, and dishwasher. It was an intimate chat session just for me and three other bloggers/photographers (Tiffany of Offbeat and Inspired, Byron Talbott, and Jeanine of Love and Lemons).

Later that evening, we watched these chefs in action in the Samsung Living Atelier "test kitchen" where they prepared little treats for a much larger press group. It was really like a game of "how many Michelin-starred chefs can you fit in one kitchen?"

Alongside Chef Fréchon, Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, Michel Troisgros of La Maison Troisgros in Roanne, and newcomer of the Club des Chefs, Daniel Boulud of too many restaurants to name, chatted with us about their cooking philosophies, inspirations, home cooking life, and involvement with Samsung. While we were on the topic of how little details can make a big difference, Chef Kostow mentioned how important it is to make every member of your team realize their importance and impact on a guests's experience as a whole, so the demands don't just feel arbitrary. I really liked that sentiment. Meanwhile, I admired his striped socks.

Above, Samsung CEO BK Yoon pins Chef Boulud with the Club Des Chefs badge during the evening session. Then the fun part began. And finally, a benefit of being petite! I elbowed my way through crowds of press photographers who were armed with telephoto lenses, and managed to sneak in some shots with my tiny camera and iPhone. Even when they have a million cameras and flashes in their face, the chefs work with a neurotic precision. I'm sure it's just in their blood now, but I could not help but notice it.

The four of us walked away with the kindest parting gift - signed aprons! The best part had to be when Michel Troisgros (who is such a rock star) was about to write my name and didn't quite understand me. Then his eyes lit up as he said, "Ah! Like Alice Waters?" Yes, I'll take that. (The second best was my selfie with Daniel Boulud.)

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Samsung.

Jun 8, 2014

The Poplin

I'd been excitedly waiting for this one, even making a mental note of its launch date. The moment the Everlane poplin shirt hit the website, I ordered a white one. When it came, I was stoked it wasn't too long (like so many of their other styles for us petite folk) and that it was machine washable, so I got another one in navy (also because I managed to stain the white within 20 minutes of wearing it). Now that it's starting to get a bit uncomfortably warm for my liking, I'm retiring my silk shirts, which unfortunately comprise, like, 90% of my wardrobe. I'm trying to build a practical but still chic summer wardrobe. Of course, what I dream about having are Hermès and Celine linen shirts and shorts, but I have to start somewhere...

Outfit one: Shirt / Pants (similar, as I can't find the exact style) / Shoes

Outfit two: Shirt / Skirt (old J.Crew) / Shoes (last season Chloé)

For sizing reference, I'm wearing an XS but could probably do a S too; I like these type of shirts to be a bit oversized/breezy.

In other summer wardrobe updates, I've also picked up this Rag & Bone dress in both white and chambray (both on sale now!). They're totally tent-like and will be very welcome when the humidity spikes up. And you don't have to pay full price like I did. Damn.

Jun 6, 2014

Jardin du Luxembourg

It rained three out of the four days we spent in Paris. On the one beautiful dry day, we wandered over to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a stunning park that I had not yet visited over the past few trips. The scenes were more glorious than I had imagined. It makes me wonder though, why do we have no grand parks like this in the states? We clearly have to step it up.

Jun 4, 2014

Amulette II

In part two of my project with Cartier (see part one here), I've illustrated the dream world of the Amulette, specifically my dream world. When I sat down to think about what this world of unlocked wishes looked like, I couldn't really come up with anything tangible. After all, that's part of the magic of such a dream world.

But my thoughts always returned to Paris. As cliché as it may sound, the idea of Paris at dusk and night time always resonated with as concrete of a dream world as I could conjure up. There is something about the beautiful courtyard entry doors that seems to hide a secret world of which we passersby can only imagine. Perhaps it is what is unseen that I find so alluring. On this past trip to Paris, I paid a bit more attention to light and shadow than I had on previous trips. I still hoped to portray a sense of mystery in this set of photos, and leave you to imagine the rest.

"What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind."
-T.S. Eliot

Jun 2, 2014

100FA Vintage | Milan

I've been a little all over the place in terms of sharing travel posts in a chronological order. I completely forgot I had these photos from Milan that I wanted to post. One afternoon, we wandered into this great antique and vintage shop, 100FA with the help of our guide that day, the very kind Emanuela of Milano Secrets. There were some killer pieces in there, and we found out that a lot of the good stuff was actually being rented for the upcoming design week, so their inventory was lower than usual.

After some extreme sticker shock when I asked about a small vintage chalkboard (I mean, extreme and I have a pretty good stomach for sticker shock), we peeled ourselves away. Despite that, it was a fun visit and I'd recommend exploring the shop if you get the chance.

Viale Col di Lana 8
4° cortile
20136 Milan, Italy