A longtime friend of mine from high school, Candice Corum, routinely tempts me on Facebook with fabulous pictures and descriptions of her home-cooked meals. ‘Home-cooked’ is a weak descriptive when you speak about Candice’s food fare; rather, her cooking skills and presentation style rival that of a fine restaurant, and the repertoire that she creates is equally impressive.
Given Candice’s gift for the gourmet, I asked her to compile a list of exactly that–gifts for the gourmet! This is her ultimate list for the savviest foodie. Thanks, CC! Next up? Dinner at my house!
Candice’s Gift Picks…
Sur la Table Sphere Ice Molds, Set of 2, $10.95
Clever ice molds create giant icy orbs that won’t water down your drink. Combining art and science, the balls are ultra slow-melting…Plus, they look hella cool! I love the way you can freeze a bit of mint or a sliver of citrus inside the balls for a true gourmet touch!
Easy-to-use mold and innovative cap effectively shapes your ice into large spheres. Simply fill with water and freeze. Perfect for holiday entertaining, and they make a great gift for the foodie.
Monogram Cheese Board & Spreader, $25
This maple cutting board and spreader set, exclusive to Williams-Sonoma, is just the right size for serving appetizers and cheese, and for small prep jobs in the kitchen. Makes an ideal personalized gift.
Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker, $29.95
Mix cocktails with ease in this all-American Mason jar shaker. Created by Virginia boys Josh Williams and Eric Prum, of W+P Design, it’s the perfect gift for showing your down-home Southern hospitality.
Artisanal Cocktail Gift Set, $119.95
This gift set is filled with artisanal ingredients for preparing the season’s most festive cocktails. It includes ginger syrup made by Brooklyn-based Morris Kitchen, Spanish olives and a bottle of Dillon’s Bitters, a complex flavor enhancer for Manhattans, martinis and Old Fashioneds. The book Winter Cocktails inspires creative drinks from mulled ciders to eggnog to holiday punch. A stainless steel, 23-ounce cocktail shaker means you can raise a toast to gleeful gift-giving!
Double Mezzaluna, $39.95
This old-fashioned tool, whose name means “half-moon” in Italian, is still an international favorite for quick chopping. Using an easy, two-handed rocking motion, you can swiftly chop or mince onions, garlic and herbs, reducing prep time. Two curved, hand-sharpened stainless-steel blades glide easily through herbs, vegetables and nuts. Strong beechwood handles are easy to grip and keep your hands and knuckles away from the blades.
Dubost Laguiole Olivewood Steak Knives, Set of 4, $179.95
Candice loves anything by Laguiole, but this handsome collection of knives makes a thoughtful gift for steak-lovers. The knives feature stainless-steel blades with riveted olivewood handles and come in an elegant wooden box, perfect for gifting.
OXO Adjustable Measuring Beakers, $5.95-$11.95
This handy tool is ideal for measuring and dispensing sticky ingredients such as nut butters, honey and molasses. Features a smooth, rotating body and comfortable turning knob to easily push up and dispense your ingredients. The cup is adjustable for convenient measurement of different volumes.
OXO V-Blade Mandoline, $39.95
No kitchen is complete without a mandoline, and this one, designed for safety, efficiency and ease of use, produces a variety of popular cuts for cooking and garnishing foods. V-shaped stainless-steel blades slice cleanly through soft and hard foods. Makes perfect crinkle and straight cuts in four thicknesses.
Tunisian Hand-Painted Fresco Tagine, $59.95
This hand-painted earthenware dish can be used to cook and serve traditional North African tagines, as well as couscous and rice dishes. The cone-shaped cover funnels condensation directly back to the food for moist, tender results.
The traditional Tunisian pattern is painted by hand using food-safe paints and glazes. Hand-thrown clay retains heat well for serving directly at the table.
Candice’s Kitchen Essentials…
Boos Cutting Block, $249.95
Boos butcher blocks are the best, and this 4″ thick beauty is manufactured from the finest northern-white species of hard rock maple. Maple wood is naturally anti-bacterial and won’t harbor any bacteria. On top of that, the Boos cream finish creates a protective layer that prevents food and moisture from damaging the wood.
Williams-Sonoma Meat Thermometer, $20.95
Scientifically calibrated for accuracy, this commercial-quality thermometer ensures a perfect bird every time, and features dual pointers that indicate both the numeric temperature and the degree of doneness for different types of meat.
Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender, $59.95
Cuisinart makes it quick, clean, and easy to blend, prep and whip a variety of ingredients. Blends or whips right in the bowl, pitcher or pot, to eliminate extra dishes, and with the chopper attached, it turns into a handy mini food-prep tool. Hand blender and chopper has a powerful 200-watt motor. Blends and chops, with push-button control for continuous or pulse action.
Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet, $10.95-$59.95
Lodge Logic offers heirloom-quality cast iron skillets with a size for every task. The smaller skillets are ideal when cooking for one or two. Choose a larger skillet for cooking in quantity; they’re great for serving up family-style meals or braising bigger cuts of meat. Whether it’s bacon, grilled sandwiches, fish, cornbread—no matter what you like to grill, sauté or fry, you’ll love these classic American skillets.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Get ready to slap your plastic, cuz Eugenia Weston, creator of the brilliant Senna Cosmetics, is offering 20% off all online orders today through December 2, 2013! This is an incredible sale with incredible values, just in time to get everything you need, for everyone on your list! Eugenia is extending this discount to even her new ‘Last Chance’ items. It’s a sale not to be missed, perfect for stocking stuffers, Secret Santa gifts, and Valentine’s day! Stock up now so you won’t sweat it later. You’ll be so glad you did.
Here’s what I’m snagging:
The Brush Clutch, $52.
A selection of Eugenia’s best brushes is perfect for anyone, but especially teens and travelers. This is a great gift for my niece. Honestly, a collection like these smart seven has everything you need, all wrapped up in a fantastic folio of baby blue faux snakeskin! Perfect for your purse! Plus, Eugenia’s brushes are divine, designed with the utmost intelligence and produced with the highest quality. You will never get these kind of brushes anywhere else for such a low, low price. When you break it down, it’s about $7 per brush. Try getting that at Target or your local drugstore…Oh, wait…you won’t!
Form-A-Brow Kit in Dark, $36.
Form-a-Brow is the original brow stencil kit, emulated by brow great Anastasia of Beverly Hills…but it was Eugenia Weston who thought of it first, and who still does it best! Thanks, Eugenia! This is a must for every makeup kit!
Haute Nudes Palette in Mystic, $38.40.
This palette is perfection: six gorgeous eye colors, a blush and a highlighter, tiny little brushes of the highest quality–all in a slim compact that slides easily in your purse or travel bag. I have one already for myself…but at this price, I need a few more for all my girlfriends! Makes a fab gift!
Haute Nudes Palette in Sultry, $38.40.
It’s the same palette in warmer tones for my tawny-skinned girls…This is gifting at its finest!
You absolutely must see the steals and deals that Eugenia is offering right now! Her products are manufactured with the highest integrity, and you can be certain that any gift from Senna Cosmetics will be a welcome surprise this holiday season. Now go forth my savvy beauty shoppers, and buy with confidence! We love you, Eugenia, for making holiday gift-giving a snap!
Monday, November 25, 2013
Hi guys. I am excited to share with you these fabulous ‘dos for your tresses. You can take these pictures to a skilled stylist for them to emulate. Each one is uniquely sophisticated. I hope you enjoy playing with your own hair as much as I enjoy playing with mine!
I am sooo in love with this sexy, low, tousled ponytail from a Valentino campaign, a fashionable find by my fashionable friend, Challis Parks Bandy.
Challis, who works as an interior architect and designer at A Certain Patina in North Carolina, has the most exquisite taste, and this hairdo that she unearthed for us can travel effortlessly from day to night as-is, or you can add a hair gem and bold drop earrings for sparkling night life!
New Year’s Eve
The antithesis of the low tousled pony is the sleek chignon above. So very elegant! The chandelier drop earrings are spectacular, and I love the dichotomy of the licorice-black nail polish worn with such an ethereal ensemble. It adds a modern complexity.
Last but definitely not least is this romantic nod to Amy Winehouse–a swirling hairstyle that’s ideal for Valentine’s Day. I had my hair styled exactly like this last year on VD…so very cool! My hairstylist wove in three extra-long hairpieces and merged the faux ponys with my own hair. I wore it with my fuzzy, bubble-gum pink vintage coat by Lilli Ann, made in Paris. Now, if only I could find those glasses!!! They’re fab!
Time to call Antonio Venegas, my favorite hairstylist…who, I might add, is a highly-talented stylist and skilled photographer. Antonio really knows his stuff, and if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area you owe it to yourself to look him up. If proximity is a problem, call him at 415.828.8883 anyway…He just might make a house call. Tell him Beauty Shall Save the World sent you.
See you around.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
“Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.”
–Vincent van Gogh
There’s no denying that Vincent van Gogh was a genius and that after his death he became a legend. And there’s no denying that his life, plagued with poverty and failure, was not a paved road. But flowers did indeed grow on it. Paintings of swirling madness, the flowers he left behind for us to ponder and enjoy.
British fashion icon Isabella Blow, above, was a flower that sprouted along a different path–a road less traveled, perhaps, but infinitely more interesting. She fought severe depression for years before killing herself by drinking weed killer in 2007 at age 48. Born November 19, 1958, today she would have been 55 years old.
Credited with discovering the brilliant British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, above…
…as well as the models Stella Tennant, pictured left, and Sophie Dahl, above right, her global influence in fashion is undeniable.
And now, Somerset House in London, in partnership with the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins, present Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!, a fashion exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and illustrious 30-year career of an undeniable flower, a patron of both fashion and art, Isabella Blow.
The muse of hat designer Philip Treacy, Isabella had a penchant for the unusual and the bizarre. She regularly wore outlandishly creative hats like the ones pictured in this article–all designed by Treacy, in fact–and she wore them with brazen, unapologetic glamour.
Jeremy Langmead, now the editor in chief of the online men’s clothing retailer MrPorter, hired Isabella as fashion director of the Sunday Times Style Magazine in London in 1997. He tells a memorable story to a reporter about this fashion eccentric:
“Imagine the office at News International, all the male journalists sitting around in shirt sleeves,” he said. “In comes Isabella wearing giant antlers sticking out from the top of a coat,” like the brown pony hair blazer with impala horns above, designed by her protégé, McQueen.
“It was absolutely about who she was in her soul,” Langmead continued. “At lunchtime she would sit among all the printers, eating her roast beef dressed like that, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.”
Her fantastic vision combining lobster and diamonds–two of my favorite things–was emulated by Lady Gaga as seen in the photograph above.
Isabella’s career began as Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue in 1983 before she moved back to London in 1986. On her return to London she worked at Tatler followed by British Vogue. In 1997 she became the Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style after which she returned to Tatler as Fashion Director.
The exhibition will showcase more than a hundred pieces from her incredibly rich collection, one of the most important private collections of late 20th Century/early 21st Century British fashion design, now owned by Isabella’s friend, Daphne Guinness.
“This exhibition is, to me, a bittersweet event,” Guinness said. “Isabella Blow made our world more vivid, trailing color with every pace she took. It is a sorrier place for her absence. When I visited her beloved clothes in a storage room in South Kensington, it seemed quite clear the collection would be of immense value to a great many people. I do believe that in choosing to exhibit them we’ve done the right thing–and that it is what she would have wanted. I am doing this in memory of a dear friend, in the hope that her legacy may continue to aid and inspire generations of designers to come.”
To accompany the exhibition, there will be a catalogue with new, commissioned photography of the Isabella Blow Collection, like the ones above and below, all with models wearing pieces from Isabella’s collection and shot by Nick Knight.
Incredibly, Knight, a British fashion photographer, shot all the photos on his iPhone camera.
Fashion Galore! opens tonight and runs through March 2, 2014 at the Somerset House in London, England. Book your tickets here.
Happy birthday, Isabella.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
In honor of Veterans Day I would like to dedicate this story to all the patriots and heroes who defend and preserve our freedoms, but especially to my dear friend, Tamra Pierce. Both Tamra’s husband, Kit, and son, Trevor are proud to be called Marines, and Trevor actually served our country when he fought in Afghanistan.
I can imagine Tam’s pride and elation when her son returned home safe and sound. As it also happens, Tamra is a bit of a fashionista with a penchant for Prada. We are both loving the military influence that is permeating fashion right now. I know unequivocally that both she–and you–will fall in love with the beautiful clothes and accessories presented in this article. FYI, this trend is H-O-T so get to shopping ASAP!
Feeling a Draft?
I love the military cut and waxed finish of this olive coat, which looks anything but drab. Wear it with dark or distressed denim, cargo pants, or chocolate leather leggings! You’ll be prepared for any eventuality! It’s rugged-chic at its best.
Above is another cold-weather cutie. I adore the complex mix of earth tones. Cross-body bag? Check. Scrunchy fingerless gloves? Check. Opaque tights and ankle boots? Check. This outfit is a magnificent way to go military!
I love skinny cargos with an ankle-zip detail. Every girl needs a pair of camo cargos–they look great in the summertime with flat sandals and a lace top, plus you can pair them with boots and a poncho in the winter. Dress them up with a towering heel, as seen above. Sexy.
I am positively infatuated with this fabulous prom/wedding dress, crafted from 37 army jackets, by Gary Harvey. It’s from Gary’s Eco-Couture collection. This is recycled fashion at its finest!
Strapless and form-fitting, the gown has a dramatic fishtail bottom, making militant more than mesmerizing! I pledge allegiance to this show-stopping dress!!! This gorgeous gown is army reserved for only the free and the brave. What a vixen. I would love to see it accessorized with a black leather choker…or…a plentiful tangle of pearls! Yes, go for the unexpected! The dichotomy is far more fascinating!
Military hats will be hot for summer as this trend transcends climate changes. Look for shorts, miniskirts, and of course, purses…like this pretty Prada, $2,100, from Saks Fifth Avenue, below.
But the greatest thing about the military trend is its affordability. You do not have to spend a fortune to add a little army into your repertoire. Check out surplus stores and vintage shops for unique finds.
A cool tip for the hottest hands: Look for black, gunmetal, or olive nail polish–like Butter of London’s Military Green, above, to complete the look. It’s a military manicure.
Peace. Love. Beauty.
Monday, November 11, 2013
I’m obsessed with the Queen of the Nile…maybe it’s the intrigue, the opulence or the Egyptian goddess part. Or perhaps it’s the dark snake imagery, I don’t know…but one thing I do know, is, Cleopatra was a badass. She killed herself by self-induced snake bite: A cobra to the heart! How much more badass can a girl be?
Therefore it stands to reason that couture fashion designer Rubin Singer would celebrate one of history’s most notorious rulers in this outstanding display of Spring 2014 fashions. Rubin stated, “My Serpent Queen is an enigmatic ruler of her universe. Seductively dangerous, she ominously enraptures all with her mystery and beauty.”
Take a look at these striking designs inspired by a faraway place and time. Read what my good friend, San Francisco fashion designer and interior decorator Giancarlo Vega, has to say about this unique roundup of couture, wildly imagined by Rubin Singer. Rubin, we love you!
A platinum leather bodice, above, is etched with pharaohs and encrusted with jewels.
Rubin, a virtuoso of drapery, lavishly cloaks the model in a jet display of diaphanous fabric–“a pharaoh’s cocktail dress,” said Giancarlo.
The colors of the Nile include white, teal, lapis and gold; Rubin’s Nile, however, is black, turquoise, and of course, rich metallics. A gold collar around the neck is reminiscent of the pharaohs’ jeweled bibs. “Seductive Egyptian cleavage brought to modern times with snakeskin accents is so sexy,” Giancarlo stated.
“The sparkle of the sequins on this dress remind me of the light hitting the waters of the Nile river,” said Giancarlo. “Such opulent fabrics convey the riches of ancient Egypt,” he stated, while gold cuff bracelets echo the jewels of that time period.
A gold lamé snakeskin dress with exaggerated shoulders and a deeply-draped back are a courageous tribute to the glistening metallics that permeated ancient Egypt. The model, “draped in a skin of sensuality,” Giancarlo said, “looks powerful and commanding in this particular silhouette.”
“Rich reptile skins,” above and below, “add texture–and in the most seductive way,” Giancarlo added.
I’m loving the rose gold tone of the scalloped dress below…
More rose gold, below, in Rubin’s unmistakeable style of drapery…
…the dress is at once clinging yet fluid.
Just look at the gown below! Spectacular, and befitting of a queen!
This is Rubin’s vision of a contemporary Cleopatra, and how she would have dressed if she lived today.
A shrunken vest of shimmering gold, below, is a structured silhouette in the hands of Rubin. “The Hieroglyphic golden bolero is just stunning…A story found in the details of beauty,” Giancarlo said.
Glistening turquoise and gold lamé, with a side bustle and floating train, below, are sublime.
This body-hugging dress in the same fabric is nothing short of breathtaking!
The model’s makeup, by Roberto Morelli, consists of the dark, kohl-rimmed eyes that are characteristic of the ancient Egyptians…
…and inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s 1963 classic film, Cleopatra, below.
A blunt black wig frames the model’s face, again, harkening back to the film.
This collection is another powerful example of history and art influencing fashion, as seen in Dolce & Gabbana’s breathtaking Byzantine, Alexander McQueen’s tribute to houndstooth featuring Dutch artist M.C. Escher, Sarah Burton’s Elizabethan homage, and Jean Paul Gaultier’s entire body of work.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
The wholesome doe-eyed Brit beauty, actress Felicity Jones, takes a dark and sultry turn in her acting career during a film noir fashion shoot for Vogue Italia, and we are positively obsessed with her transformation!
Poker-straight hair with a thick fringe of bangs, and a smoky eye with rich plum-hued lips play up the actress’s unique brand of exoticism. Check out these photos, shot by Tom Munro and styled by Arianne Phillips.
Best known for her performance as Anna in Drake Doremus’s Like Crazy, Jones won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. She had to do her own hair and make-up in the film, while the dialogue was entirely improvised.
Her performance earned comparisons to Carey Mulligan’s Academy Award-nominated role in An Education. She also received the Best New Hollywood Award for the film at the 2011 Hollywood Film Awards.
The petite actress, at only 5’3″ tall, has a large presence and looks like a glamazon in these shots.
But she’s not just a vapid pretty face: the Oxford-educated siren was recently announced as the new face of both Burberry, below…
…and Dolce & Gabbana!
Felicity has that incredible range in her modeling that’s associated with fine acting.
“In many ways they are actually very similar,” she said. “The process of getting ready is very important; going from being you, to being someone else. You see the change happen when you’re sitting in the make-up chair. The idea of theatre is so important to Stefano [Gabbana] and Domenico [Dolce], and as an actress who likes to explore new characters, that’s really appealing,” she added.
Talent, beauty, and brains. We call that a winning combination!