Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Men’s Fashion Roundup With My Fashionable Friend, Stylish Steve Pauley

Hi guys. I love to hang with the fash­ion­able crowd and sur­round myself with those in-the-know, and of course I am always anx­ious to intro­duce you to my friends in the field. Steve Pauley is one of my clos­est inside con­nects for fab­u­lous insights in both beauty and fash­ion. He knows what’s up way before it goes down, with an intu­ition that’s notably on-point.

Steve with olivianj

Here he is, pic­tured above with Olivia Newton-John, on a recent trip to Vegas. A lit­tle FYI on Steve…just like me, he is no stranger to sac­ri­fic­ing neces­si­ties for lux­u­ries, and he is into fash­ion in a big way. I asked ‘Styl­ish Steve’ to record his fall fash­ion roundup for men–a 2014 style fore­cast! Now, for all you women shop­ping for your man for fall, and for all you men want­ing to know what’s com­pletely hip and on-the-scene…Steve is in the house! Read and enjoy. You’ll adore him.

Hello fel­low fash­ion fiends in Beauty-land! It’s me, your fash­ion sleuth on the beat, report­ing every­where from the pent­house to the street! Allow me to intro­duce myself: my name is Steve, and I’m just another appre­ci­a­tor of all that is beau­ti­ful in life, and for me, some of the most beau­ti­ful things fall under the cat­e­gory of men’s fash­ion. Yep, I’m obsessed with it and have been pretty much all my life.

But enough about me…let us get on with it. Today I am here to give you all my lit­tle take on what’s up in men’s fash­ion for fall/winter 2014. (Applause, applause!)

Men in Blue

Lede blue image

Now, being the visual artist that I am, let’s first talk color. To my rov­ing eye THE color of the sea­son is blue, baby. And I don’t mean baby blue–I’m talk­ing elec­tric blue, majes­tic blue, bright, deep and dark blue–you know that hue! Oh yes you do, it’s everywhere.

Men in blue 2

Everything’s gone blue from shoes to sun­glasses and every­thing in between. If you want some­thing new, get your­self into some hot blue.

Cobalt blue

Put down your acces­sories in black and brown; we’ve all got enough of that, and right now, blue is where it’s at!

Blue pants

Fendi is stay­ing true to the trend offer­ing an over­dose of blue in the col­lec­tion includ­ing a divine men’s leather suite of match­ing blue leather clutch, mes­sen­ger, wal­let and key­chain! Why choose and lose? Get ‘em all and be set.

Beyond blue, col­ors are pop­ping all over the place, but in sharp punc­tu­a­tions rather than tak­ing over the whole space. I’m see­ing that so many col­lec­tions this sea­son are based on solids in darks and a good amount of beiges or tra­di­tional pat­terns like plaids and checks accented with a bright blast of color–at the cuff, waist, chest or at the collar.

Gucci is sport­ing vibrant neon col­ored sneak­ers and and belts in every color of the rain­bow to give your ensem­ble that essen­tial kick.

The Fact is Fur

Kanye in paris

Also in, in a big way, is fur–in all forms such as scarves, vests, jack­ets and coats. Kanye wore a floor-length rab­bit coat to the Givency fash­ion show at Paris Fash­ion Week…And Givenchy, one of my fave design­ers of the moment, does in fact have it; so does Valentino, whose coats and scarves are TDF!

Dries van noten fur scarves

Check out the col­or­ful options by Dries Van Noten, above…and Louis Vuit­ton is also rock­ing some awe­some items includ­ing a deca­dent fur vest with a mono­grammed chest that I would love to put myself into and for­get the rest.

Textured sweaters

Saint laurent and dior fuzzy coats

In fact, lux­u­ri­ous, tex­tured fab­rics are all over the run­way and in the shops. In that respect, thin is not in. It’s the chunky fab­rics that are rul­ing again! Two wardrobe sta­ples incor­po­rat­ing this aes­thetic that are thriv­ing right now are the long coat, as seen above left in hound­stooth at Saint Lau­rent and above right at Dior…as well as the chunky, fuzzy sweater, as seen at Louis Vuit­ton, top. Who doesn’t love sump­tu­ous weaves and blends of wool, cash­mere, mohair, alpaca, angora and oth­ers? You could never have too many of these!

Just For Kicks

Fan­ci­ful footwear has cap­tured my soul! Wow, have I seen some excit­ing shoes this sea­son. High-top sneak­ers are still step­ping high! If mem­ory serves me cor­rectly, I seem to remem­ber Kris Van Ashe doing high-tops when he took over for Dior, and that’s no lie. With today’s appre­ci­a­tion hav­ing grown out of that, and that was a rel­a­tively slow-growing process, but here we are today when every designer under the sun is pulling a high-top out of his hat. Those Giuseppe Zanotti’s are pretty rad with all the fur, jew­els, metal hard­ware, crazy, unex­pected col­ors and every kind of doo-dad.

Giuseppe zanottis

Rap­per Ace Hood sports $875 Zanotti’s in crisp, clean, white croc­o­dile, pic­tured above and below. Worn with white jeans and a white T-shirt (and we will get to the best T’s later…!) the look is, oddly, urban and simul­ta­ne­ously ele­gant. Rich. Of course you need not be a rap­per to wrap up these shop­ping acqui­si­tions; they also adapt bril­liantly for the mod­ern Everyman.

Ace hood

But the design house that gets my vote for coolest high-tops is Mai­son Mar­tin Margiela. I love this fella!


I love the style (highly cov­eted and appre­ci­ated by the legion of fans, of which I am one) known as the Replica, which comes out every sea­son in dif­fer­ent fab­rics and leathers with sub­tle mod­i­fi­ca­tions, per­fect for home life and vaca­tions! Celebs love the Replica, too…from Kanye West to Orlando Bloom. They’re just so sim­ple and effort­lessly hip.

Loos­en­ing Up

The sil­hou­ette I’m appre­ci­at­ing right now is the relaxed one. I don’t want to rant, but I sin­cerely love the big, baggy, wide-leg pant. They seem so nice now after so long with all the skinny stove-pipe cuts I’ve been rock­ing for so long. I am all for get­ting back into this pant with its higher waist with the fab­ric flow­ing like a song.

Givenchy runwy 2014

Givenchy’s run­way trouser, above, is one of my favorites with its inter­est­ing dual flaps along the front. They really are a lit­tle dif­fer­ent and dar­ing but at the same time clas­sic and blunt. Louis Vuit­ton also has a gor­geous wool draw­string trouser in grey that I think I could make great use of this day. And what to wear with the volu­mi­nous trouser? How about my fave sweater of the moment, the long cardi­gan, a sen­sual arrouser. Damir Doma, Ann Demeul­meester and Rick Owens among oth­ers, know how to do some great longer-cut cardi­gans correctly.

To A Tee

The T-shirt is often an under­es­ti­mated item, but it is oh so impor­tant, though so often we hide em. T-shirts should be cho­sen very care­fully, because the right one can lib­er­ate you, while the wrong one can oblit­er­ate you! Well, sort of! It’s def­i­nitely Rick Owens for me when it comes to the T. I think he makes the best T-shirts hands down.

Rick owens tee

They are the soft­est, most com­fort­able I have ever worn, and he makes them in so many dif­fer­ent styles. I adore the stan­dard T’s of cot­ton and silk with the extended hem because they are great for lay­er­ing beneath and beyond some­thing worn over them. I have these in both long and short sleeve styles and don’t even recall how I ever got along with­out them, but now I’m all smiles.

And don’t think I’d leave you all hang­ing. I don’t do this all the time, but since we are in Beauty-land, I will pass on to you my top 5 most-shopped web sites where many of the items men­tioned here, and so much more, may be seen and pur­chased (and they all fea­ture items for women too!)

And in no par­tic­u­lar order they are:
An incred­i­ble array of fash­ion, ships straight from Italy, free ship­ping and free returns via DHL, duty and sales tax free…does it get any better!?
Great, great stuff, ships from Canada, free ship­ping usu­ally, duty and sales tax free, though returns are paid by buyer.
Excel­lent selec­tion of mer­chan­dise, often free ship­ping, free returns, ships from US so they do charge sales tax.
A net­work of inde­pen­dent bou­tiques span­ning the globe! Fan­tas­tic selec­tion! Ships from the bou­tique that is list­ing the item, so ship­ping costs vary, though all returns are free. If shipped from within the US there is sales tax. If shipped from out­side the US, there is no duty nor sales tax.
I’ve watched this site grow over the last 14 years into what it is today…great fash­ion at some really good prices! Stock is usu­ally from pre­vi­ous sea­sons but it’s all new and you can find some incred­i­ble deals on items that you may have orig­i­nally missed or those you thought were gone for­ever. Often free ship­ping, always free returns. Items are shipped orig­i­nally from Italy and then dis­trib­uted from the US. Yes to sales tax, but no duties.

All of these sites do have end-of-season sales and pro­mo­tions, so get on the mail­ing lists and keep your eyes peeled!!

Well, that brings my chat to a close, my lit­tle beau­ties in Beauty-land. Now, if you take all of this infor­ma­tion and put it together within rea­son you will have the ingre­di­ents for an absolutely well-dressed man this sea­son! Now go out there and get some­thing great…or work hard and save for sale time…it’s never too late!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Marianna Harutunian Collection & The Future Face of Jewelry

The mod­ern con­cept of jew­elry is chang­ing. Design­ers are chal­leng­ing con­ven­tional ideas of jew­elry with dif­fer­ent areas of the body to embell­ish while they rein­vent those types of jew­elry in aston­ish­ingly beau­ti­ful and unex­pected ways.

Nicki minaj

These changes are com­ing from exotic places…toe rings and pierced noses, from India…hand jew­elry and body har­nesses, from the Mid­dle East, crowns and head­dresses, from all through­out his­tory. And the list goes on.

I am so excited to intro­duce you to a friend of mine, Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian, who is at the fore­front of jew­elry design. Mar­i­anna, a cherry-haired vision­ary, pic­tured below, designs and exe­cutes pieces that can define an entire wardrobe. As jew­eler to celebri­ties like Cher, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, pic­tured above wear­ing a jew­eled glove from the Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian Col­lec­tion, Mar­i­anna has a pretty impres­sive resumé…but she’s also really down-to-earth. Her acces­sories, how­ever, are not.


This woman cre­ates the most out­ra­geous jewels…jewels that look like they came from another world, another time, or both. Some­times her work is fem­i­nine, some­times it’s dark–really, really dark–but it’s always mind-bogglingly unique, very inter­est­ing, bizarre, and com­pletely sur­pris­ing, and I love it all…from her dagger-sharp rings to her fin­ger­nail armor. From her intri­cately fil­i­greed har­nesses to her heavily-jeweled masks, which, I must say, I can­not decide whether they dis­turb me or have seduced me. I think it’s a bit of both.

Stunning rings

Marianna’s pieces have been fea­tured in Vogue Japan and on the run­ways of London’s Fash­ion Week…plus, she counts a for­mi­da­ble force in fash­ion, Italian-Japanese fash­ion direc­tor Nicola Formichetti, as one of her Face­book fol­low­ers! He’s the for­mer art direc­tor at the French fash­ion house, Mugler. Now that is impressive.

Dramatic ring and necklace

You scarcely see a repeat idea; and when you do, its exe­cu­tion is so dif­fer­ent that it ren­ders it com­pletely unique. Mar­i­anna just never runs out of ideas.

And so I am so excited to have com­mis­sioned Mar­i­anna to work on a piece for me: a dress for Hal­loween, fash­ioned entirely out of jew­elry! The back will be a spider’s web…But that’s another arti­cle for another time. For now, I am delighted to show you some of her most cap­ti­vat­ing creations.

Hematite bodice

This elab­o­rate bodice is actu­ally encrusted with hematite and smoky grey pearls. Just look at the detail invested in this piece. This is ART!


The left sleeve of the bodice rede­fines the impact of jew­elry. Wear it over a flesh-toned bodysuit…or a corset, if you’re daring!

Gold ring and claw

My cur­rent obses­sion with gold meets an intri­cate struc­ture that’s crazy-beautiful. Check out those huge, shoulder-dusting ear­rings! And I’m way into the claw the model is wear­ing on her index fin­ger. Keep your eyes open for claws. They’re going to be a new ‘thing’ for the youth.

Nicki minaj claws

Nicki Minaj is already a huge fan, as seen with one of Marianna’s claws on every fin­ger in the photo above.

Green jewelled glasses

Green gem-encrusted sun­glasses? Why not. Snoop (yes, the only Snoop) uti­lized Marianna’s tal­ents in a recent video with his females decked out in bejew­eled sun­glasses, tak­ing eye­wear cou­ture to new heights.

Black mask

A glis­ten­ing mask of tiny black jew­els makes a dra­matic and most mem­o­rable entrance…I don’t know where, but that’s up to you to fig­ure out…

Dramatic blackened metal bodice

I do think it would look quite spec­tac­u­lar with the body chains above. It just doesn’t get any bet­ter than this!

Bold gold

This is as ordi­nary as Mar­i­anna will go: a bold gold bib, ornate with fil­i­gree, and a bracelet, heavy with pearls, trans­form a sim­ple black pantsuit.

Black facial jewelry

Facial jew­elry is a new devel­op­ment in fash­ion, and this delicately-draped, lace-like cre­ation couldn’t look any more cur­rent. Wear it to the clubs.

Crystal encrusted dress

Sparkling crys­tals com­pose an entire dress! And just look at that headpiece!

Lady g

Lady Gaga shines in a pale dis­play of Swarovski crys­tals, set in shim­mer­ing silver.

Intricate gold set

Lov­ing this har­ness, this fab­u­lous bracelet, and the enor­mous hinged knuckle ring. The detail is out­stand­ing. And that ring is a must for many a woman’s wardrobe.

Gold exaggerated bracelet

Check out the detail stu­dio shot above of a near-identical bracelet, if you choose to call it that, in dif­fer­ent light­ing, just so you can mar­vel its work­man­ship, the design, the details…Isn’t it com­plex and gor­geous and unex­pected? It’s pos­i­tively arm candy in Marianna’s skilled hands, where pieces are ‘more is more.’

Enormous gem encrusted bangle

And speak­ing of arm candy, this obscenely huge, gem-encrusted ban­gle is taken to such an extreme as to be inde­scrib­able. The scale of the piece is almost ridiculous…Isn’t it great?!? I love the drama. Don’t you just adore Marianna?!?

Feathered mask2

Another arrest­ingly beau­ti­ful mask/headdress is sure to leave every­one speech­less, includ­ing the per­son who is wear­ing it.

Shoulder piece

This shoul­der piece is both bold yet fem­i­nine. Wear it over some­thing, or wear it under some­thing. Just wear it.

Dramatic V necklace

Marianna’s ver­sion of a “sim­ple” neck­lace is one that plunges prac­ti­cally to the waist. It’s any­thing but average.

Gold set

Too gor­geous for words, this gold-and-pearl set is pos­i­tively spellbinding!

Now I know what some of you are think­ing: “Where would I wear any of these designs? They might be beau­ti­ful, but they’re a lit­tle ‘out-there’ for me. Too weird.” Per­son­ally, I think any woman would look fab wear­ing one of Marianna’s over­sized rings or a giant cuff bracelet. If you’re a lit­tle more dar­ing, go for a bold state­ment neck­lace, or a com­bi­na­tion of the afore­men­tioned. You can wear her things casu­ally with jeans and an off-shoulder sweater, for exam­ple, or with cou­ture, for that mat­ter. Loosen up and get creative.

Elegant necklace

And if you really, seri­ously can­not bring your­self to fall in love with these most edgy, iconic jew­els, then stick with some­thing ele­gant and sim­ple, like this gold neck­lace that speaks of sophis­ti­ca­tion. You can’t go wrong wear­ing this cre­ation to the opera with a plung­ing neck­line, or as-is over a black cash­mere turtle­neck dur­ing the day and into the night for din­ner and drinks with friends.

Knuckle rings and fingernail armor

My advice is to go to Marianna’s Shop­ping & Retail Page on Face­book, and poke around. Make sure you ‘fol­low’ her on FB. She some­times has big sales with slashed prices that make own­ing a Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian an irre­sistible bargain.

Also check out the Mar­i­anna Haru­tun­ian Etsy store­front. There are 375 items in that store. You may find a few you like. I’m cur­rently lust­ing after her adjustable knuckle rings with match­ing fin­ger­nail armor, $125, above. I need these in my life, lol! I want a set for both hands…Now how dra­matic would that be?!?! You must admit, it’s a tad more sophis­ti­cated than nail art!

I’m also cov­et­ing the black grapevine-style cuff made with hematite Swarovski crys­tals and plated in black metal, $375; the dia­mond clus­ter choker made with lime green Swarovski crys­tals, plated in 24 karat gold, $278; the triple-stone ring made with vit­rail medium Swarovski crys­tals and gold-plated with adjustable band, $85; the Medieval arrow ring, with hematite Swarovski crys­tals, $55; the antique sil­ver hematite clus­ter ring made with Swarovski crys­tals, $65; the emer­ald beauty neck­lace, $195; the fairy ear cover, $38; the Queen Bee ring made with light peach Swarovski crys­tals and gold-plated with adjustable band, $55; the cou­ture body armor, $3,500; the large cock­tail ring, $98; and the crys­tal flower cuff, $145.

Marianna’s pieces are cer­tainly more inter­est­ing than what you’ll find at the mall. And it’s not even that expen­sive to walk away look­ing hip and cool and com­pletely unique. Get a piece of Mar­i­anna before she’s too costly for us mere mor­tals; she is Cher’s go-to jew­eler, remember?

You’ll be see­ing Marianna’s pieces on the celebs, of course, and these types of cre­ations on the street as they infil­trate urban fash­ions. But you’re not merely wear­ing Marianna’s pieces. Let them become a part of who you are. Some­one once said that when you buy some­thing made by a per­son, there is some­thing spe­cial there, and you do feel it. The con­scious­ness with which a thing is made is often more impor­tant than the thing itself. And trust me, you’ll look amaz­ing, dar­lings! Ciao.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Makeup Artist Rae Morris: Low-Maintenance Tips for High-Maintenance Girls

It is bet­ter to arrive late than ugly. How­ever, it is best to be punc­tual and look banging.

Award-winning makeup artist Rae Mor­ris has worked on many a famous face–from Miranda Kerr to Naomi Campbell–and she knows all too well that makeup appli­ca­tion and shop­ping for cos­met­ics can be both time-consuming and confusing.

But it need not be. Rae is author of five out­stand­ing ref­er­ence books on the art of mak­ing up, and now she is prepar­ing to give birth to a new baby: The Ulti­mate Beauty Guide, her sixth tome on look­ing lovely. Just check out her work from the forth­com­ing book, below, on model Lana Zaco­cela, shot by pho­tog­ra­pher Gavin O’Neill…It’s noth­ing short of awe-inspiring! This is a sneak peek into her new project, not even avail­able in stores yet!!! Just look at those eyes!

Lana zakocela

I have col­lected every book from Rae’s illus­tri­ous 20+ year career in makeup, and I find them to be invalu­able ref­er­ences. They are chock-full of low-maintenance tips for high-maintenance girls.

Here are the rest of Rae’s incred­i­ble books. You’ll want to buy them all!

Makeup the ultimate guide

Makeup, the Ulti­mate Guide was Rae’s first attempt in pub­lish­ing back in 2008, and this book is bril­liant! “I wanted to cre­ate a book that would bring high-end fash­ion makeup into the realm of every­day life,” Rae said. “Every sin­gle look–even the most glam­orous ones–was bro­ken down into a sim­ple step-by-step photo guide with clear and con­cise instruc­tions, so that no mat­ter your expe­ri­ence, you could teach your­self.” She con­tin­ued, “This is the for­mat that I have stuck with ever since. The response was amaz­ing and the book became an instant best-seller.”

As a quick aside, Rae man­aged to get Cather­ine McNeil for the front cover and Miranda Kerr for the back cover. Not bad for book num­ber one.

Express makeup

Rae changed focus with book num­ber two, Express Makeup. “I have spent a lot of time in my career work­ing back stage at fash­ion shows where every­thing has to be done quickly,” Rae stated. The tricks that she has learned in the trenches of fash­ion were the inspi­ra­tion for this book.

Whether you have fif­teen min­utes to spare or just five, there are express fixes per­fect for women who may be put off by how long it takes them to do their makeup,” she said. This book is all about real women with real-world time frames, about tricks like using sticky tape to do eye­liner and the most effi­cient sequence in which to do your makeup. “Express Makeup is about mak­ing makeup liv­able,” she added.

Timeless makeup

Time­less Makeup was Rae’s third book in 2011. “It was really a cul­mi­na­tion of sev­eral things for me,” she said. “I’d just turned 40 and hav­ing been a pro­fes­sional makeup artist for almost 20 years my appre­ci­a­tion of beauty at all ages had really evolved.”

Fas­ci­nated with the dif­fer­ence makeup could make in reduc­ing the signs of aging and, when applied with age appro­pri­ate­ness, how makeup could actu­ally cre­ate a time­less beauty as we age, Rae belted out another win­ner with Time­less Makeup.

Rather than work­ing on 15-year-old super­mod­els, I found I actu­ally often pre­ferred older mod­els where a sim­ple tech­nique could lit­er­ally takes years off appar­ent age,” she said.

This book focuses on women over 30 where the signs of aging are start­ing to show, and the aver­age model age in Time­less Makeup was 56.

Beautiful eyes

Along the way two other books emerged as extracts: Beau­ti­ful Eyes, being the eye sec­tion of Makeup, the Ulti­mate Guide, and Quick Looks, below, Rae’s lat­est release, which is derived from Express Makeup.

My books are now pub­lished in eight lan­guages and are used as the cur­ricu­lum text for makeup acad­e­mies around the world.”

She con­tin­ued, “I’m par­tic­u­larly proud of this because I’m dyslexic,” she stated, adding, “I’m just more pas­sion­ate than I am dyslexic!”

Quick looks

You can find all of Rae’s books on her web­site, and while you’re at it, you just have to check out her awe­some col­lec­tion of mag­netic brushes…Yes! Mag­netic!

Rae s brushes

The mag­net in the base of the han­dle means the brushes can securely stand upright,” as opposed to just lying down, Rae explained. “This takes up less space, makes them extremely easy to orga­nize and find, and is great from a hygiene per­spec­tive because the brush heads don’t have to be in con­tact with any­thing. In com­bi­na­tion with our stor­age sys­tem, the mag­nets secure the brushes in tran­sit, this pro­tects the heads so that you don’t open your kit on arrival to find bent brush bris­tles every­where,” mak­ing them per­fect for travel!

Another nice trick is that when you clean your brushes you can hang them upside down (using a metal sur­face) and they drip dry!

But the most impor­tant aspect to Rae’s brushes is the intel­li­gence with which they are shaped–the artis­tic keen knowl­edge that’s applied to each and every brush.

Over time I became more pas­sion­ate about brushes than any­thing else in my kit–over years I tested dif­fer­ent designs and tex­tures and in the process, almost with­out real­iz­ing it, I came up with my own range of brushes. My brushes are the secret behind many of my most famous creations.”

To me, makeup is all about the brushes. You can do more with min­i­mal prod­uct and an incred­i­ble brush range than you can with cot­ton buds and draw­ers full of makeup.”

Thanks, Rae, for shar­ing! You are an inspi­ra­tion to women every­where who want to look great but don’t have hours and hours to primp. We love you!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Magnificent Gowns for The Maverick Bride & The Edgy Fashionista, designed by Michael Cinco

Impalpable dream of religion

I some­times think that life with­out fash­ion would be a mis­take. There is an infin­ity of art and crafts­man­ship wrapped up in a fine wardrobe.

Michael cinco

Cur­rently, I am absolutely seized by the mag­nif­i­cence of Dubai-based Fil­ipino fash­ion designer Michael Cinco, above.

Michael cinco ecru layered wedding gown

Through­out his­tory every once in a while a few flash­ing jew­els will sparkle so bril­liantly bright, influ­enc­ing fash­ion and art with unig­nor­able mag­ni­tude. Right now those jew­els are sit­ting squarely in Dubai with the peer­less Cinco at its helm. Cinco is bring­ing back lux­ury haute cou­ture, the avant-garde, the fash­ion eccentric…and all in excit­ing ways that most of us could not con­ceive. I find his work to be some of the most beau­ti­ful art in fash­ion that I have ever seen.

Cinco’s unmatched cre­ativ­ity, uncom­pro­mis­ing atten­tion to detail, bound­less under­stand­ing of mate­ri­als and obses­sion with per­fect tai­lor­ing have cat­a­pulted this quiet crea­ture into internationally-famous cir­cles, dress­ing both Hol­ly­wood stars and Mid­dle East roy­als alike.


He has secured him­self well with the Red Car­pet crowd world­wide, hav­ing dressed both Rihanna, as seen above for Harper’s Bazaar Ara­bia, and Bey­oncé for her video, Haunted, below.

Beyonce haunted

An indis­putable genius and fash­ion vision­ary, Cinco looks at the world through a com­pound eye like that of a fly, per­haps a result of his giant dark eyes which must see so much–eyes that he per­pet­u­ally con­ceals behind enor­mous black shades–eyes which see things dif­fer­ently than the rest of us.

Here are some of Cinco’s most mem­o­rable in bridal attire and haute cou­ture. By decon­struct­ing the typ­i­cal for atyp­i­cal results, Cinco yields gown after epic gown so glo­ri­ously grande that they aston­ish, defy­ing description.

Recycled gown

Above is Cinco’s favorite shot from America’s Next Top Model Cycle 16, Hip­pie Han­nah wear­ing a recy­cled Michael Cinco gown.

Valentine s day couture

Cinco pays trib­ute to Valentine’s Day with this crystal-encrusted con­coc­tion that is steeped in Asian undertones.

Elle china

Elle China fea­tures Michael Cinco bridal 2013.

La couture fashion week

Another Cinco cou­ture favorite, from L.A. Fash­ion Week.

Russian czarinas

The Russ­ian Czari­nas, above, from Dubai Fash­ion Forward.

Met gala

One of my biggest dreams in fash­ion is to see my cou­ture dress on the steps of the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum of Art in New York,” Cinco stated. And his wish was real­ized when British singer Paloma Faith wore his cre­ation at the most pres­ti­gious event in fash­ion: The Met Gala, in 2013.

Ria bolivar

Super­model Ria Boli­var spins on the cat­walk in a spec­tac­u­lar Cinco creation.

Black swan

Super­model Rod­ina Luspo, above, as the Black Swan.

Impalpable dream of india

The Impal­pa­ble Dream of India,’ above and below, was Cinco’s first solo show in Philip­pine Fash­ion Week 2009. Inspired by the Mahara­jas of India, the dresses are fash­ioned almost entirely from gems.

India 2

His head­pieces are works of art in their own right.

India 3

And yet more from the ‘Impal­pa­ble India’ col­lec­tion, above.

Wedding couture 2013

More wed­ding cou­ture, from 2013.

Ara magazine

Detail from the cover of Ara Mag­a­zine in Dubai.

Bridal 2008

A Cinco cre­ation from a 2008 Wed­ding Col­lec­tion, above, was shown at Philip­pine Fash­ion Week.


Here are some breath­tak­ing cou­ture details of a Swarovski dress inspired by the Basil­ica of Santa Maria Novella.

Draculas bride 1

The dress pic­tured above Cinco describes as suit­able for Dracula’s Bride.

Draculas bride 2

The back is equally riveting.

Dubai bride

This gown and head­piece would make any bride blush.

Glow in the dark gown

And Cinco takes fash­ion into sci-fi with a glow-in-the-dark bridal beauty that fas­ci­nates. This dress could define an entire wed­ding theme, start­ing with a dark entrance of the bride fol­lowed by nup­tials in a spot­light and end­ing with lights up for a full cel­e­bra­tory scenic moment. What genius!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wedding Attire for Rebel Brides: 8 Iconic Looks

We are gath­ered here today to cel­e­brate a love of the most unique and the most iconic in bridal attire. Check out these out­stand­ing options for the nuptial-bound, pho­tographed by Anthony Maule for V Magazine.

Bride 1

Styl­ist Patti Wil­son ups the ante on the avant-garde by com­bin­ing an utterly unique head­dress and bold, chunky pearls with fin­ger­less gloves…for a look that makes being an acces­sory to mat­ri­mony utterly divine!

Bride 2

A Vic­to­rian ruff round the neck is the only thing that’s clas­sic about this wed­ding ensem­ble. A white and pale grey hound­stooth checked micro-kilt, pat­terned stock­ings and pig-tail braids speak of schoolgirl.

Bride 3

Tons of tulle and lay­ers of lace are the dra­matic back­drop for this bridal look. Love the stock­ings and the uncon­ven­tional veil.

Bride 4

Here comes the bride in a lace pantsuit, bound at the waist with a satin sash. Gorgeous!

Bride 5

This ivory laser-cut lace gown is utterly beguiling!

Bride 6

A plung­ing neck­line and com­pli­cated mix of cro­cheted tex­tures reveal a rebel bridal gown if ever there was one. Roses round the neck and del­i­cate flow­ers fram­ing the face com­plete the look.

Bride 7

Makeup artist Frankie Boyd adheres sil­ver gems with lash glue beneath the eyes for the uncon­ven­tional bride. Worn with a lace capelet, the look is unde­ni­ably unique.

Bride 8

This blush­ing bride is beyond beau­ti­ful wear­ing an asym­met­ri­cal veil and lace smock with bell sleeves.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Beauty & The Beach: Hats & Shades For Warm-Weather Days

Beach beauty

Year-round sun pro­tec­tion is the wise choice for a life­time of beau­ti­ful skin. It’s a good idea to have in your wardrobe a hat or two to shield your face, because hon­estly, reap­ply­ing sun­screen through­out the day is not the most con­ve­nient process; in fact, it’s beyond high main­te­nance, and if you wear foun­da­tion, it’s going to ruin your canvas.

I have a deep appre­ci­a­tion for beau­ti­ful things, and cou­ture hats are no excep­tion. There will always be an occa­sion for a fash­ion­able hat, but the most impor­tant thing that you want to invest in first is a very prac­ti­cal, col­lapsable sun hat that you can fold neatly in your purse so you are always prepared.

Pre­pared­ness is essen­tial to sun pro­tec­tion, because you never know when you might get trapped in traf­fic while the sun is beat­ing down on your face and chest. And for the sporty at heart, you will value a hat that you can just throw in your gym bag and rest assured that you will always be, lit­er­ally, covered!

Solum­bra gar­ments, made by the inge­nious peo­ple over at Sun Pre­cau­tions, guar­an­tee 100% SPF which is built into their fab­ric due to its spe­cial weave. I wrote an arti­cle on Sun Pre­cau­tions here on BSSTW, and I really believe in their com­pany. They have a wide, wide vari­ety of intelligently-designed cloth­ing and smart acces­sories (such as fin­ger­less dri­ving gloves, hand and face guards, para­sols, and of course, their crush­able, soft cloth hats.)

At rea­son­able prices and in end­less col­ors and styles, you are sure to find a great hat for your needs and pref­er­ences. Remem­ber, this is your go-to hat for pro­tec­tion, so don’t worry if it’s not entirely chic. This sun hat is strictly util­i­tar­ian and will become invalu­able when you’re trapped in the heat.

Sundappled model in hat

With regard to fash­ion hats, you really must try them on before you pur­chase because everyone’s face is unique and you need to eval­u­ate how a color and style will look with your hair­style, skin tone and features.

This is also true with your shades. There are so many tempt­ing sun­glass styles out there avail­able via online only. But the fit of the glasses is crit­i­cal, as well as the frame size and shape and the lens color, so make sure that if you shop online, the return pol­icy is fair and convenient.

Because the fit and com­fort are so impor­tant, eval­u­ate care­fully. When you are eval­u­at­ing the fit, be sure to notice whether or not the glasses are going to leave marks on the bridge of your nose or on your cheek­bones. This is not a flat­ter­ing look, so when invest­ing in qual­ity frames, take your time.

White summer dress cool shades

Shop high-end brands, it is so worth it. Cheap flimsy sun­glasses are eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able even from afar. They will never look chic. Plus they aren’t usu­ally equipped with proper UV pro­tec­tion and they fall apart easily.

Some of the bet­ter brands are Tom Ford, Oliver Peo­ples, Oliver Gold­smith, Cut­ler & Gross of Lon­don, Col­ors in Optics, Miu Miu, Balen­ci­aga, Mat­suda, Chrome Hearts, Ver­sace and Per­sol. I love Per­sol sun­glasses on men, and they are the choice of both Jack Nichol­son, who most cer­tainly knows a thing or two about lux­ury, as well as the dash­ing Pierce Bros­nan: James Bond, 007.

Per­son­ally, I have been search­ing and search­ing for a pair of unique fash­ion sun­glasses with a heart-shaped frame, and another pair with a lot of gold, prefer­ably gold frames and a gold mir­ror lens, but gold avi­a­tors look too severe on my face. And as for the heart-shaped frames, well, they always ended up look­ing cheap or less than glam­orous. You must be very dis­crim­i­nat­ing because a trend can go from flashy to tacky in the blink of an eye, all based on the details and the over­all execution.

I was absolutely thrilled to find these giant heart-shaped beau­ties, below, made by Wild­fox Sun­wear, which com­bine every­thing I want in one gor­geous gilded frame.

Heart sunglasses

They are the Lolita Deluxe Frame, $196, from The Trend Bou­tique, an online retail source for in-the-know fash­ion­istas and count­less celebri­ties, like Kim and Chloe Kar­dashian, Rihanna, Bey­oncé, Vanessa Hud­gens, Selena Gomez, and mod­els Cara Delev­ingne and Kylie Jenner.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessan­dra Ambro­sio wore the Lolita Deluxe Frame to the 2014 Coachella Music Fes­ti­val. They are hand­made from Ital­ian acetate with a flash mir­ror lens, and look as cool with a nou­veau Bohemian out­fit as they do with couture.

Lolita frames

Two hun­dred may seem like a lot to invest, but hon­estly, it is dif­fi­cult to find any­thing in the depart­ment stores that’s both func­tional and fash­ion­able for a lesser price tag…That’s why I am so delighted to share with you my new favorite source: The Trend Bou­tique. I adore this web­site, a great place for clothes and acces­sories with Hol­ly­wood glam, and at rea­son­able prices.

It’s run by three perpetually-hip chicks in L.A. These women know where it’s at in the world of fash­ion, they ship inter­na­tion­ally, and they stand behind their mer­chan­dise with a friendly return pol­icy. The Trend Bou­tique car­ries the coolest stuff–like unique body jew­elry, sexy swimwear, and stuff you just can­not find any­where else. That’s why I love shop­ping there.

Here are some more of my favorite sun­glasses from The Trend Boutique.


Beyonce 2

Wild­fox Sun­wear Cry­baby Deluxe Frame, $196. A celebrity favorite, this hand­made metal cat-eye is a reg­u­lar in Beyoncé’s sum­mer stash. A glam­orous, optical-grade gra­di­ent lens looks cool in the heat, and all while pro­vid­ing com­plete UVA and UVB pro­tec­tion. Now that is smart.


Gwen stefani 3

Quay Eye­ware 1521 Sun­glasses in Blue, $39. Australian-made Quay [pro­nounced: ‘key’] offers up a deli­cious daiquiri-blue translu­cent frame with a recessed red lens. Gwen Ste­fani, above, clearly cov­ets them, and we are fond of them as well, thank you very much. Worn with a bold red lip, you’re good to go. And this low low price makes sun pro­tec­tion both chic and afford­able, too. Love.


Beyonce 1

Quay Eyeware’s Yibrow Sun­glasses in Gold, $43. A per­fect cir­cle ensures round-the-clock pro­tec­tion in these Bey­oncé beau­ties, which have their own lit­tle golden-gilded hood that pro­tects the lid and the top of the eye espe­cially well. Those sneaky harm­ful rays that slide right through in other lesser designs will be blocked faster than a Face­book stalker.


Model 5

Wild­fox Sun­wear Starstruck Frame in Sil­ver, $174.99, marked down from $249, is a hip answer to stop­ping squint­ing. As seen on Selena Gomez, above, the over­sized John Lennon-style lenses are embed­ded with a star design. Smok­ing hot!


Beyonce black horn rimmed 1

Wild­fox Sun­wear Le Femme Frame in Black, $169. An exag­ger­ated cat-eye looks fierce on Bey­oncé, above. Whether you’re loung­ing pool­side or run­ning errands all day long in the swel­ter­ing heat, your orbs will be fully pro­tected, because, like all Wild­fox sun­glasses, these retro beau­ties are designed using opti­cal grade lenses that offer 100% UVA and UVB pro­tec­tion. Plus, they look fab on! Oh, the drama!


Miley 7

Wild­fox Sun­wear Winona Cir­cle Frame Sun­glasses in Silver/Black, $149. Miley Cyrus knows what’s up in these promi­nent rounded frames. Nor­mally priced at $199, this sale makes these specs a steal!


Gwen 4

And last but def­i­nitely not least are these tiger tor­toise­shell shades favored by Gwen Ste­fani. They are Quay Eyeware’s Kitti Sun­glasses, $43. Hon­estly, The Trend Bou­tique has some of the best deals going for hip, qual­ity sun­glasses at great prices. Com­pared to your Tom Fords, they are rad­i­cally lower-priced, plus, and here’s the best part….You won’t go out of the house look­ing any­thing less than a celebrity! That’s one perk that’s hard to beat.

I rec­om­mend that you peruse The Trend Bou­tique in their sun­glasses sec­tion to see what some of your favorite stars are sport­ing for specs. Kendall and Kylie Jen­ner, Nicole Richie, Kelly Osbourne and Vanessa Hud­gens are all pho­tographed in this gallery, and all while wear­ing their cool shades from The Trend Boutique.

While you’re at it, you can pick up a breezy lace dress or a cool ring to freshen up your wardrobe. Now that you know about this online hid­den gem, easy sum­mer dress­ing is just a mouse-click away! Gotta run dar­lings, my agent is call­ing. Ciao.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Easy Summer Living: The Best Beach Bags & Totes & What To Put In Them

If you’re suit­ing up for sum­mer, crav­ing the hottest in hand­bags and the most stel­lar of sun­dries, you’ve just hit pay­dirt. Here is a list of musts for those easy days by the beach and the pool: the best bags and totes, and what to put in them.

What To Put In Them

Let’s start with the inside…because we all know that’s where true beauty begins in the first place! Sum­mer is a great time to loosen up and lighten up–with regard to your hair and your makeup. Iron­i­cally, this can mean even more prod­ucts in your hand­bag due to the harsh ele­ments that will oth­er­wise wreak havoc on your skin and hair.

I try to always pack a giant floppy col­lapsable hat; my shades (equipped with proper UV pro­tec­tion); sun­screen and min­eral makeup; and of course some clips and pins for hot-weather hair. Usu­ally I pull my hair off the face into a high pony or a tou­sled or braided bun for sum­mer­time. For hair, as you know by now, I love my Philip B. hair­care prod­ucts. The four-step hair and scalp treat­ment kit below, $94, con­tains a few of my favorite things in one travel-size bag.

Philip b travel kit

Within this con­ve­nient set you can find Philip B.‘s cult-status Reju­ve­nat­ing Oil, the deli­cious Pep­per­mint and Avo­cado Volu­miz­ing and Clar­i­fy­ing Sham­poo, his Light-Weight Deep Con­di­tion­ing Creme Rinse, and the very nec­es­sary pH Restora­tive Detan­gling Ton­ing Mist. These botanical-rich prod­ucts will keep your hair shiny and man­age­able all through the swel­ter­ing sum­mer months.

R and F eye wipes

For skin, I make sure to have my Rodan + Fields Rede­fine Pep­tide Eye Wipes, $30, for quick clean-ups on my face and around the eye area. These things are a peptide-rich God­send! They are the soft­est pre-soaked cloths…perfect on hot days, whether you’re sweaty from a game of beach vol­ley­ball or run­ning errands in the heat. If you need a quick fix to take off your makeup at the end of the day before reap­ply­ing a fresh face for an evening out, or, if you’re just too exhausted to run the water before col­laps­ing into bed at night, these wipes are the shiznit. They’re great for your man, too. Pack them in his gym bag and his com­plex­ion will thank you. They are so rich in pep­tides that you will notice a tan­gi­ble dif­fer­ence in your skin right away. If you’re tak­ing a day trip, stash these wipes in the cooler that is hold­ing the food and drinks. They feel so refresh­ing on a hot sum­mer day.

And speak­ing about refreshments…I love Susan Ciminelli’s Marine Lotion, $125. It’s a light serum that you can spray on to freshen and mois­tur­ize the skin, and it’s spiked with algae oil, one of nature’s most nour­ish­ing clock-stoppers, and other essen­tial oils, such as calm­ing cypress, aro­mather­a­peu­tic mar­jo­ram, anti-inflammatory juniper, and antibac­te­r­ial vetiver. A quick spritz or two leaves skin dewey and com­fort­ably mois­tur­ized. This is a can’t-live-without prod­uct for too many celebri­ties to name…I’m absolutely addicted! You will notice from the first use how trans­for­ma­tive this serum is. It really gives a great glow, and you can use it over the full body after you shower, under your mois­tur­izer. Bliss!

Marine lotion

As a quick aside, Susan pro­duces some of the most delec­table skin­care prod­ucts you can find, high praise from a licensed aes­theti­cian, myself. I love her detox­i­fy­ing prod­ucts and masks, and you’ll get to know Susan later, when I dis­cuss her prod­ucts more in-depth. In the mean­time, she has a great blog that dis­cusses cleans­ing and puri­fy­ing foods, com­plete with recipes for the skin-conscious! I rec­om­mend that every­one sub­scribe to her infor­ma­tive newslet­ter, com­plete with great recipes and help­ful skin tips. You will love it.

Triple defense

Rodan + Fields make a won­der­ful col­lec­tion of sun­screens for every skin type. I use their Triple Defense Treat­ment, $80, a sun­screen that sinks into the skin in the most lux­u­ri­ous way. This is part of their anti-aging skin care line, which employs the ulti­mate ingre­di­ents and tech­nol­ogy for mature skin. I love the radi­ance it gives me, while pro­tect­ing from those harm­ful UV rays and free-radicals.

Mineral makeup and brush

I also pack my min­eral makeup for touch-ups which will pro­vide extra SPF all the day long. The Rodan + Fields min­eral makeup, $29, is the best min­eral pow­der in the cos­metic indus­try, period. The light­weight fluffy pow­der, devel­oped by the two Stanford-trained der­ma­tol­o­gists Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, reduces red­ness with anti-inflammatory pep­tides that build col­la­gen, and it phys­i­cally blocks the sun with tita­nium diox­ide and micronized zinc.

This pow­der pro­vides a phys­i­cal sun­screen block sim­i­lar to the kind you used to see in the old days–the cliché life­guard with the white strip of zinc on the nose. But this stuff buffs on beau­ti­fully and the shades are incred­i­bly ver­sa­tile and nat­ural look­ing. The pow­der is water– and sweat-resistant, too, mean­ing its longevity out­lasts a liq­uid or cream foun­da­tion. But don’t for­get to touch up…Your skin will eat up the pep­tides, and it’s a fact that if I skip a few days of my min­eral makeup, I notice less vibrancy and a lit­tle less skin den­sity and firm­ness. This is a treat­ment prod­uct, as well as a sun­screen and a cosmetic.

The min­eral makeup comes with a retractable antimi­cro­bial brush, $37. The dense, soft, fluffy bris­tles are treated to repel bac­te­ria. Isn’t that smart?

Hand shield

And when you are pro­tect­ing your skin from the sun, do not neglect your hands. They are a dead give­away as to your age, so take care and use a sun­screen. I am in love with the Rodan + Fields Shield Hand Balm, $43, which comes in a solid stick form and can be applied to the back of the hands only. Genius.

And that’s the dirt on what I put in my bag. Now, let’s look at the bags them­selves, shall we?

The Best Beach Bags & Totes

I’m retir­ing my red pony hair Dior and my fab­u­lously tac­tile stingray purse for some­thing that looks lighter for sum­mer. This gives my expen­sive purses a break and extends their lifespan.

It is not nec­es­sary to spend a lot on a sum­mer bag. Invest in your skin­care and hair­care first, they should be your top pri­or­ity. Here are some fab bags at all price points.

Marc jacobs tote

This is Marc Jacobs’s answer to easy sum­mer dressing–a struc­tured nat­ural and black cir­cu­lar raf­fia bas­ket bag , $198, that you can carry cross body over the shoul­der or hand­held. It’s chic either way.

Marc jacobs detail

The tex­ture screams sum­mer, and the smart water-resistant raf­fia mate­r­ial make this tote both pretty and practical.

Tory burch molly tote

Another raf­fia beauty, the Tory Burch Molly Cross­body Tote , $195, is a play­ful take on the beach bag. With whim­si­cal fringe and adorned with puka shells and beads, this car­ryall speaks of far-flung chic. Exotic.

Platia straw bag

Platia’s straw bag is a steal at only $34.50. The nat­ural color and rugged tex­ture make this car­ryall a great, prac­ti­cal invest­ment for easy sum­mer dressing.

Rugby tote

The Rugby Stripe Straw Beach Tote above, on sale for $38.99 at, is a roomy bucket bag that will stash every­thing stylishly.


I love every­thing by Lan­vin, and this beau­ti­ful woven straw tote, $360, is trimmed with a leather snake print dou­ble han­dle and gros­grain ribbon.

Yesstyle coffee striped tote

YesStyle offers up a chic on the cheap Striped Straw Tote in Cof­fee, above, for a mere $14! Now that’s a bargain!

Check out the fab­u­lous wooden beads and the braided organic tex­ture, below.

Coffee striped tote detail

And finally, a bliz­zard of but­ter­flies makes the beau­ti­ful back­drop on Valentino’s But­ter­fly Cam­ou­flage Tote Bag, $3,995, avail­able at Neiman Mar­cus by pre-order only.

Valentino butterfly tote scaled

This bag already sold out at Saks Fifth Avenue online, but if you hap­pen to have four grand lying around…plus tax…this bag could be all yours. You bet­ter hurry though, cuz it will sell out again. Trust me.

Valentino butterfly tote

I love the vivid col­ors, the richly tex­tured mix of can­vas and napa leather, and the raised laser-cut but­ter­flies which have been painstak­ingly stitched on for a 3-D effect. This bag is a real beauty, even more strik­ing in person.

Valentino has cap­tured the essence of one of fashion’s hottest trends (and one of nature’s most com­plex crea­tures) in this spa­cious and most cov­eted square tote with winged sides. You can take this bag to the board­walk or to the board­room with­out bore­dom. It’s just that ver­sa­tile, com­pletely appro­pri­ate for any ven­ture, and oh so strik­ing. Plus the crafts­man­ship is unpar­al­leled. It’s Valentino, after all. The wear­a­bil­ity, the qual­ity of mate­ri­als and work­man­ship, and the ver­sa­til­ity and utter gor­geous­ness is what you get when you shell out four racks for a lux­ury cou­ture hand­bag such as this.

Next up? Hats and shades. I hope you’ll join me. See you soon.