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Tag Archives: life

The Look of Love – Met Gala 2012

8 May

The list of beautiful gowns and ladies in them on the red carpet at the 2012 Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala is endless.  I will get to the standouts…but first – the real standout of the evening (for me anyway) – was the THE LOOK OF LOVE.  There is just something about the look of a happy couple…it’s always in style.

Andre Balaz and Chelsea Handler

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady

Funny Couple Will Arnett and Amy Poehler

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel (in Prada)

More of the Best Dressed at the Met to come…

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Met Worthy

7 May

Sorry sports fans…this entry is not referring to baseball players worthy of wearing a Mets’ uniform (in fact, as a Yankee fan – I am not even sure what that means anyway).  Quite the contrary – this entry is dedicated to Oscars of the East Coast, otherwise known as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala.  A once a year event that unites the entire fashion world together and brings designers and muses to the red carpet dressed in head-to-toe perfection.

The day is now upon us and in its honor  – I have compiled a list of “Met Worthy” looks that I hope to see grace the red carpet.  Each designer will bring a “display date” – I.E. a beautiful piece of arm candy to model one of his/her most outstanding gowns.  Here are a few looks from designers and their confirmed dates.

LEFT: Karlie Kloss, Jason Wu’s Date RIGHT: Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2012 Gown

LEFT: Azealia Banks, date to Alexander Wang RIGHT: Potential Wang dress – although it will need to be “glammed” up for the event. That said, her knock out bod will look great in a simple, figure hugging classic black gown.

LEFT: Arizona Muse, date to Erdem Moralioglu RIGHT: Erdem gown…in need of some work – lengthening perhaps? BUT – the color pink is perfect for honoring Schiaparelli – the real star of the evening.

LEFT: Karolina Kurkova, date to celebrity stylist and designer Rachel Zoe RIGHT: Rachel Zoe Fall 2012 Gown

LEFT: Bite-sized Christina Ricci, date of Thakoon Panichgul RIGHT: Thakoon dress – perhaps in need of tightening and lengthening.

And here are looks that I truly hope make an appearance on the muses yet unknown…

SHOW STOPPER! Giambattista Valli Spring Couture 2012

Christian Dior Couture Spring 2012

Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall 2012

Zac Posen Pre Fall 2012

And finally – the vintage that I hope to see… As the gala is to celebrate the opening of the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit,  I am excited about the possibilities of a variety of beauties gracing the red carpet in Schiaparelli’s famous pink and puffs!

Vintage Schiaparelli Gown

Vintage Schiaparelli circa 1951

Vintage Schiaparelli circa 1955

Vintage Schiaparelli Gown

Elsa Schiaparelli circa 1933

Be sure to watch the live stream of the Costume Institute’s red carpet for the first time ever!  Follow the link: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2012/impossible-conversations/audio-and-video

Sunny Singapore

3 May

On a whim, Brett and I decided to take a last-minute trip to Singapore during the Chinese May Day Holiday.  After almost 3 years of hearing numerous friends tell us of its greatness, we thought we should see it for ourselves.  I am so pleased that we did.  It truly is a great little country.

Several airlines offer non-stop flights from Beijing, but Jet Star (a division of Qantas) offered the best red-eye option, and as an additional bonus – they were running an online special for business class fares.  It’s no Emirates – but the flights were on time, the service was friendly, and we arrived safely.

We landed in Singapore at 8:30 AM with an entire sunshine filled day ahead of us.  So – our natural first stop (while waiting for our noon check-in) was the hotel pool.  Beijing hasn’t quite grasped the concept of an outdoor hotel pool – so we are starved for the smell of chlorine, cucumber infused water, and cool hand towels smelling of eucalyptus.  A morning of vitamin D (not from a bottle) and lunch al fresco was just what the doctor ordered.

There are many lovely hotel pools in Singapore that offer beautiful views of the city and the bay including classics like The Fullerton, as well as stunning newcomers like the Sands, but after doing a bit of research – the rooms at the Mandarin Oriental pushed me over the edge. Also – The Fullerton Hotel and The Sands are tourist attractions in and of themselves. Fun to visit for a cocktail or afternoon tea, but the crowds could be a bit much at times if you were staying there.

Mandarin Oriental Pool in Singapore

The picture below shows our view of The Sands Hotel from our room. The entire 57th floor is an outdoor observation deck complete with 2 restaurants, a lounge, and a magnificent pool surrounded by palms. The ground floor and basement levels house the casino which now also houses some of our money! While lucky in love…not so lucky at the blackjack table.

The Sands Singapore. The white structure in front, resembling the bottom part of an artichoke is the Art & Science Museum of Singapore. To its immediate right (unfortunately not in this picture) is the floating Louis Vuitton store – that’s right, it is on the water.  That soccer field is floating too!

For first time visitors (like us), I strongly suggest staying around the harbor. The views are spectacular and taxis can easily and quickly take you to other parts of the city…like Orchard Street for shopping! That said, you will find plenty to do around the bay – all within walking distance. Or, you can take a water taxi, which is fun.

Morgan & Brett Hutchinson Singapore May 2012

We decided to take a little cruise on the water to see the Singapore sights.  It really is a charming city with colorful outdoor cafés lining the banks of the river.  Beautiful and intricate foot and motor bridges are found at each turn and old, deep south looking trees with roots the size of humans flank either side.  Along our journey we saw many historic buildings and heard the brief history of the city’s development.  There are a couple different companies that offer these hour-long trips (around $20USD per person).  We chose the Singapore River Cruise Company – but they all appear to be about the same.  It was a great, easy way to learn about the city.  But be sure to apply sunscreen before setting sail…my pearly white, hadn’t seen the sun in months skin (thanks to BJ’s not so friendly skies) was fried by the end of our short cruise.

Brett on the river cruise boat

This set of bronze sculptures captures the joy of little children, who years before Singapore’s commercialization escaped the heat by leaping into the cool river.

On the river cruise admiring Singapore’s famous MerLion (half-fish, half-lion). Over 1 million tourists come to see her and her cub (which is currently under renovation) every year.

Brett taking in the sights…

While there seems to be an endless amount of things to see and do in Singapore – theater, music, breathtaking golf courses, lush parks filled with colorful blooms, etc. – we opted for a more leisurely stay with loads of pool time and delicious cuisine.  In the picture below – we are winding down on our last night with very happy (and VERY full) bellies after having eaten at Cut, Wolfgang’s amazing steak house. Excuse my ignorance  – but I had no idea that Guy Savoy, Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck, Daniel Boulud, and countless other top chefs all have outposts here!  Well played Singapore.

Nighttime view of the Singapore Bay from our hotel room

Thank you Singapore for such a rejuvenating long weekend.  I am very much looking forward to our return!

Harlem Globetrotters at Hua Xin Hospital

28 Apr

Volunteering as Magic Hospital’s Playtime Coordinator has proved to be a truly rewarding experience time and time again.  Yesterday’s Playtime visit to Hua Xin Hospital with the Harlem Globetrotters was no exception.  In fact, it was utterly unforgettable!

I am so thankful to the Harlem Globetrotters for partnering with our organization to bring ear to ear grins to the faces of these sick little ones.  While I was familiar with their basketball skills, I had no idea just how amazing they would be with the children.  It was a blessing to watch, and I am just grateful to have played a small part.

Spinning the ball like a B-ball superstar! What better way to prep for his upcoming heart surgery?

Measuring in at 7 Feet 8 Inches, "Tiny" as they call him towers over everyone. He is certainly someone to look up to!

On behalf of Magic Hospital, I would like to thank the Harlem Globetrotters and the wonderful staff at Hua Xin Hospital for making this magical day possible!

Blue Skies Smiling at Me

26 Apr

Sometimes it feels like life is one giant rain cloud – spitting its cold hard drops all over our individual “parades”.  But somehow we push through – believing that it is all part of the master plan.  Pushing through is often possible by focusing on the blue sky days.  Yesterday – we miraculously had a legitimate blue sky day in Beijing.  They are few and far between and cannot be taken for granted.  So although yesterday was not a personal “blue sky” day for me – it was God’s beautiful sunshine and white puffy clouds that got me through it.  And so, it is not entirely surprising to me that many designers have recently found His beautiful blue to be an inspiration to their collections.  I suppose if I can’t have blue skies everyday (literally or figuratively) I can at least wear this color that in so many ways represents the essence of a truly happy day…smiling at me.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall 2012

Mathew Williamson

Lyn Devon

Osman

YSL

Elie Saab

I hope that each of you are having a blue sky kind of day!

Ice Fishing???

24 Feb

Only in China can you find two men “ice fishing”, on a Wednesday afternoon in below freezing temperatures from a shallow, trash-filled stream in the middle of Beijing.  With cold fingers and a red nose, I watched them for quite some time.  Unfortunately – but not surprising at all…there was no catch of the day!  Love the dedication, Zhong Guo Nan Ren!

Only in China: JAMMED!

21 Feb

While it was certainly not the first “JAM” I have spotted in China, it was one of the more intense.  It is also Reason Number 486:  Why I will not be driving a motor bike anytime soon.  Reasons 1 through 485….I am a terrible driver.  Period.

FALLing Forward

9 Feb

The world of fashion moves so fast.  It seems that before it is even time to buy a spring wardrobe, it is time to look forward to buying a fall one.  The pace can be overwhelming at times, but it can also be beneficial.  It helps you recognize which trends have staying power, and more importantly – it pushes bad trends out the door a little more quickly.  In honor of the start of NYFW Fall 2012 tomorrow, this post is dedicated to those looks from the Spring 2012 collections that needed to be shoved, not just pushed out the door.  Here are my favorite Spring 2012 Fashion DON’TS!

Don’t Wear a Cabby’s Car Seat Cover as a Dress

Daniell Scutt Spring 2012

Don’t Forget to Remove Your Dry Cleaning Bag

Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2012

 Don’t Dress as a Toilet Paper Bride

(Outside of a Bridal Shower)

Comme des Garçons Spring 2012

Don’t Be Borderline Bjork

Giles Spring 2012

Don’t Wear Tissue Paper Skivvies Over Your Clothes

Maarten Van der Horst Spring 2012

Don’t Wear a Keg Around Your Waist

Thimister Spring 2012

Don’t Wear Pea Green Ankle Socks – Ever

Don’t Shop at the Local Looney Bin

Nicolas Andrea Taralis Spring 2012

Don’t Let the Dog Eat Your Wardrobe

Mugler Spring 2012

Don’t Bare All But Your Face

Alexander McQueen Spring 2012

Royal Russia – Day 4

9 Feb

I woke up on our 4th day in Saint Petersburg with ballerinas on the brain.  The night we would go to the Mariinsky theater to see Swan Lake, starring one of Russia’s Prima ballerinas, Diana Vishneva, had arrived.  The Mariinsky, now in its 229th season opened in October 1860.  Music by Tchaikovsky (and other famous Russian composers) was heard here for the very first time.  I was so excited I couldn’t stand it!  But it was still hours before curtain call…we had plenty of time to explore more of Saint Petersburg!  So – to the Yusupov Palace we went.

Mirrors and crystal balustrades were used in the ballroom to make it appear even larger.  Because even though they were not part of the Royal Family, as one of the wealthiest families in Russia before the revolution, the Yusupovs wanted nothing more than to impress their peers…and the Romanovs for that matter.  The Yusupov palace certainly leaves quite the impression. (Recognize the kissing couple in the mirror??)

While the ballrooms and music rooms of the palace were rather magnificent, it was the private theater that amazed us most.  Can you imagine having such a theater room in your home for you and your closest friends? Much less one with its own “tsar box”.   A bit pompous to say the least!

The Yusupov palace was one of our favorite sites in Saint Petersburg.  In addition to all of its splendor, its history is remarkable.  Knowing that Rasputin was murdered within its walls just before the start of the revolution gives it an extra eerie and mystical feeling.  I highly recommend it!

We worked up quite an appetite touring the palace – so we headed to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch before  returning to the hotel to get ready for our night at the theater.

I honestly can’t say that Brett and I are ballet connoisseurs, but I don’t think that one has to see a million ballets to know that Diana Vishneva is the real deal – a real show stealer.  Her movements are nymph like – graceful and absolutely beautiful.  It is hard to take your eyes off of her.  That paired with the perfect backdrop of the Mariinsky Theater created a truly magical moment.

A quick photo opportunity during one of the two intermissions.

They flutter around so much that it was very difficult for me to snap any clear images.  That said, I actually like the way the pictures turned out.  I think they show just how quickly the dancers pirouette about.

Following the ballet, we went to The Russian Empire Restaurant.   While the style of the place is a bit clichéd, we couldn’t resist having a meal inside the Stroganov Palace.  Where better to have Beef Stroganoff, am I right?

There is a  famous “tale” told of Catherine the Great visiting the palace for a dinner in which the Count promised her the most delicious olive in the world.  As it turned out, her olive was basically served to her in the predecessor to the Turducken.  As the story goes…she was first presented a full cow, within it a full pig, within it a full lamb, within it a goose, and so on and so on until a tiny squab held inside the most perfect and delicious olive within it.  The restaurant tries to keep this legend alive by serving what I considered to be an extremely tasty olive.  Stuffed with sturgeon and served in a succulent sauce, it offers a very unique and enjoyable flavor. So although, The Russian Empire is not avant guard in terms of modern cuisine or style, I would still recommend it.  In a city like Saint Petersburg…it is actually quite fun to be a tourist – to allow yourself to live and dine as Russian Royalty.

The Countdown to NYC Fashion Week Begins

7 Feb

New York Fashion Week is just days away.  But before we shift our focus to the 2012 fall collections, I would like to highlight 10 of my favorite looks from the spring 2012 couture shows.

Dior Couture Spring 2012

Valentino Couture Spring 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Spring 2012

Giambattista Valli Couture Spring 2012

Chanel Couture Spring 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Spring 2012

Maxime Simoens Couture Spring 2012

Chanel Couture Spring 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier Couture Spring 2012

Chanel Couture Spring 2012

Do you have a favorite? 

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