Oct 29, 2015

In search of wonderland

While searching for the Wonderland Trail on Mount Desert Island in Maine, we stumbled upon the Ship Harbor Trail instead. It didn't look like much from the road, but we ventured on with little expectations and certainly not prepared for the hidden beauty at the end of the trail. Utterly breathtaking. I don't have the words to describe how magical it all was at sunset and dusk. I actually had a stomach flu that was particularly nasty that day, but it was all momentarily forgotten while standing on those rocks.

I am already dreaming of going back.

Outfit details: Cotton Sweater // Jeans (60% off) // Backpack // Sneakers

Oct 25, 2015

Shades of brown

A 100% cashmere turtleneck sweater for under $100 – yes I'll take them all please. You can't really argue with that (hat tip to K for sharing her find with me!). Of course, I don't expect any miracles from such affordable cashmere but since much of my $$$ cashmere still ends up pilling, I'd much rather deal with it at this price point. I admit, I'm still mostly loyal to Everlane's cashmere collection and particularly love the cropped crew, but I liked this particular shade of brown I was able to get in the Uniqlo version.

Here, I'm wearing the warmest Yak skirt from Hermes I splurged on last year (this sweater skirt gets across a similar idea), these shiny new boots, and this trusty shade of red I mentioned a few posts back.

Oct 23, 2015

The New Yorker Fest x Autograph Collection Hotels

A few weekends ago, I attended The New Yorker Festival as a guest of The Algonquin Hotel and Autograph Collection Hotels. It’s always fun to stay in a different area of NY — in a city so dense, I think even one block can make all the difference. It was a unique treat to stay in a hotel designated as a New York City Historic Landmark and especially one with a resident cat named Matilda!

The welcome party was also conveniently at The Algonquin so despite the relentless rain and chill that Friday night, I donned my highest heels and bared my legs. My Olympia Le Tan book clutch has become sort of a foolproof conversation starter, so it’s my safety net at parties where I don’t know anyone!

It was my first time to the festival and after attending a few talks, I felt a bit like I was back in college except that all my lectures were with incredibly engaging speakers whose visions and thoughtfulness about their work inspired and challenged the way I think about my own. I actually didn’t want them to stop talking. All the speakers were charming in their own way and I found myself laughing out loud at multiple times.

In the talk with Jesse Eisenberg, he said something that I felt like I could similarly apply to my travel photography. If I’m recalling right, he said he tries to have the most unusual experiences he could possibly have because they’re beneficial to his writing — “If I see a strange man on the street, I want to follow him.” (Ok, maybe I’d have to apply a little more caution in travel photography, but I liked his point.)

Thank you to Autograph Collection Hotels for the opportunity and for partnering on this post.

Oct 21, 2015

The Stahl House

I don't know if the Stahl House really needs much introduction, and there's little I can add to the conversation that hasn't been better said by others. It has been a dream of mine for a while now to visit (especially after I first watched Visual Acoustics), and I basically extended my recent LA trip just so I could finally take the tour. It's quite a visual feast, and hopefully these photos give you a taste of that (but really you should just plan a visit the next time you're in the area!). You're only allowed to take photos with mobile phones, so these were all shot on iPhone.

Outfit details: Rivet & Thread Jeans // Raey Cami (worn with these crazy things) // Trademark Mules

Oct 16, 2015

Everlane Room Service

Has anyone else been having shoe sizing issues recently, or is it just me? It seems that sizing between brands has become less and less consistent and suddenly I can wear a 35 in one brand and a 37 in another, and still everything in between (what gives??). If I could, of course, try every shoe that I want on in person, that would be ideal. Now I rarely order shoes online without having tried on the shoe first (because I still find exchanging/returning to be a pain in the ass). 

On that note, I’m excited to help one of my favorite brands (Everlane, that is – if the title of this post didn't give it away) announce their new initiative titled “Room Service.” They’re about to set up in hotel suites in four cities over the next few weeks and allow you to try on their four fall shoe styles in person. You can reserve a 30-minute appointment here for Manhattan and here for Brooklyn. (These are early access links by the way! ;)) They'll be setting up shop in SF and LA hotels as well. If you do purchase in person, you’ll receive a gift bag, free 1-hour delivery in Manhattan and free expedited shipping for Brooklyn. And knowing my friends at Everlane, it’ll be the most enjoyable try-on experience you’ll have in a while. I mean, there will be cocktails! Try on shoes, mingle, and have drinks — that sounds like my kind of fun. And no more guessing what shoe size you'd be.

Shown here is the Modern Point. (If you don’t happen to live in or plan on visiting those four cities, and are interested in this style, I’d recommend going up half a size!)

Photographed at Hotel Covell.

Oct 14, 2015

Tricking proportions

You've all probably heard me bemoan my proportions here (looonnnng torso, short legs), and I hate to beat a dead horse but now that I really recognize my proportions, I am constantly on the lookout for ways to trick the eye. While in Paris, I was on a mission to find a suitable outfit for the La Mer Celebration of an Icon event that I knew I'd be attending in LA. I didn't love the idea of getting a fancy dress because we all know the cost per wear on those ends up being terrible. I ideally wanted to find separates that I could make work for all sorts of other events, no matter the formality.

After a stressful morning (pre-flight back to NY and I almost made us late to the airport) trying to track down the right pieces, I came home with these high-waisted Valentino culottes and Stella McCartney bustier top (and wow, are prices way higher in the US than in Europe – yikes). I also picked up these Jimmy Choo pumps while in Paris knowing I'd get decent wear out of them. I can't wear high heels for shit, so if they are going to be 4 inches and up, they really need to be a chunkier heel for me to feel steady. Thanks to Rent the Runway, I borrowed this killer Anya Hindmarch clutch (I dig everything she does) and Alexis Bittar necklace.

To recreate this look for way less, I really love these culottes from James Jeans (and you can take advantage of Shopbop's 25% off Friends & Family sale, which ends on 10/15!). And if you happen to be a size 8, this corset/bustier top is lovely and on sale. This secondhand option would be very chic as well. For shoes, I've been very curious about the M.Gemi products after seeing a number of styles I've admired and then sell out immediately. Though this heel is lower, this pair has a somewhat similar feel with the ankle strap. I think I also just appreciate all the photos/design/art direction on the site.

I also wanted to call out a new beauty favorite of mine. After Min Min used it on me, I wanted to track it down immediately. It's this Charlotte Tilbury Powder and it literally feels I'm airbrushing my face when it goes on. I have no idea what magic is in it, but damn, it's good. I actually didn't have the product on me when I came to LA, so I made a mad dash to the Nordstrom at the Grove to pick one up before the event (you can read some more reviews on the product on their page here). On my lips, I'm wearing Lipstick Queen's Velvet Rope series in Brat Pack (did I mention I'm a sucker for amazing packaging...). Hoping to do an updated hair/skincare/beauty favorites soon!

Oct 9, 2015

Absolut x Hella Bitters

Vodka and bitters, hello. Sounds like a good start to a week, right? I was recently commissioned by Absolut for their Absolut Crafted with Love campaign, in which I had the pleasure of highlighting a local quality maker in the beverage/cocktail industry. Personally, I’m particularly drawn to any cocktails that have a healthy amount of bitters, so getting to feature Hella Bitters in this campaign was the perfect pairing.

Over the past few years, I’ve placed greater importance on the quality of everything I bring into my life, and ingredients are a big part of that. Most people probably don’t realize that Absolut sources all their ingredients within 75 miles of their distillery in Sweden. And of course, as a local small business, Hella Bitters cares a great deal about the quality of their craft and their end products, which are made in small batches with the finest ingredients available.

During a visit to the Hella Bitters production facility in Long Island City, we learned all about the process of bitter making, and it’s surprisingly simple (in the sense that you can easily make your own bitters at home with a bit of patience!). We started by looking at some of the ingredients that go into their Aromatic Bitters, and then we made a small test batch featuring chilies, cassia, cloves, and a custom spice mix.

The basic idea is to add any mixture of spices, orange peels – whatever you want really – to a high proof alcohol (the Hella Bitters guys use a 160 Proof Grain Neutral Spirit) and let it sit for ‘x’ amount of time (the time really varies depending on what you have in there too). Then, they manually tend to their production batches by shaking up the satchels of spices or stirring the mixture vigorously with a paddle.

You can also test your small batch during the process by using a dropper to get a few drips into your palms, rubbing your hands, and taking a deep breath. Of course you can taste as you go too. When your bitters are ready, just strain the liquid into a bottle and now you have a little extra something to strengthen your favorite cocktail recipe.

After we were all versed in bitters (at some base level at least), we made a few Moscow Mules featuring Absolut and Hella Bitters. Shown here is a take on the Absolut Spicy Pear Mule, which contains 1 part Paddy Devil’s Apple, 1 part Absolut Pears, lime juice, ginger beer, and Hella Bitters Ginger Lemon bitters. As cheesy as it may sound, bitters really are like the spices of cooking in the cocktail world. A little goes a long way, and adding just a few dashes can completely transform the cocktail (but still in a nuanced way).

I admit I’ve always been a bit skeptical about flavored liquors but I was surprised to find that Absolut Pears is made from natural ingredients and doesn’t contain added sugar. So the pear flavor actually tastes like a fresh pear. This particular cocktail hits a lot of my preferred elements in cocktails – it’s got a good amount of booze, no added sugar, a ginger element, and bitters.

The perfect Autumn drink.

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Absolut. Thank you to Hella Bitters for being awesome on this shoot and Pamela Duncan Silver for styling!

Oct 1, 2015

Rue Legouvé

I ran away to Paris for a few days and it really did feel like a sprint the whole time. Three days is just not enough time. Everyone has always said Paris in the fall is the best, and this was my first taste of that. I was greeted with super crisp chilly air and sunny days. Truly the best.

Rue Legouvé is a narrow street around the corner from Holybelly, and I poked in for a few quick shots one morning after pancakes and two rounds of coffee.


I never thought I could pull off mules (open-toed especially), but I wanted to branch out from my usual and try something new. These suede mules were a kind gift from Trademark and I love them. I walked for miles in them and felt ok! The heel is just about 3-inches and chunky without being clunky, so bring it on, cobblestone streets.

This coat is a Max Mara reversible coat, but I prefer it on the camel side – for some reason, the grey side really makes me feel like I'm wearing a bathrobe! Here's a similar style with a much friendlier price point. I like this oversized coat option too, for under $200.

I mentioned in this post I'd be wearing this mockneck with everything, and I literally have been living in it. It's held up just fine after a few washes too.

Ok, back to the grind!