Palm trees, salty air, ocean breeze and driving with the top down…the small things that make up a whole season of summer. Some might even call it a Young Summer. DC-based electronic pop songstress Bobbie Allen did just that. Her band, Young Summer, started when she found herself opening for American singer/songwriter Trent Dabbs from Mississippi. With great anticipation and hard work, Bobbie released her debut EP, Fever Dream, which made her songs infectious across the country. With her song, ‘Waves That Rolled You Under’ making TV placements from hit shows including “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Pretty Little Liars” and “Vampire Diaries”, to name a few.
Bobbie Allen’s voice, which has been compared to Sarah McLachlan and Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, is smooth and soulful. Her voice is light, but is strong enough to carry heavy lyrics. Signed to Ready Set Records, her debut album, SIREN- a collaboration with Trent Dabbs- dropped August 26, 2014. Get it now on iTunes: http://bit.ly/ysSIREN.
There is something for everyone at Tremblant, Quebec’s most upscale mountain resort destination. The skiing and riding is superb, but what really makes Tremblant worth the trip is the charm of the pedestrian village, the après scene, and the myriad of activities available to those who don’t get their thrills on the hill. Join the worship of everything maple syrup, go shopping, get your spa on, experience dog sledding, ice skate under the stars, and enjoy the diverse cuisine. Tremblant is a great choice for couples, families, and singles looking to mingle. Teeming with Brits and Europeans, there is always “a party on the patio” regardless of what the temperature is.
I love the French chic that is evident everywhere you look in Tremblant. Here skiers and riders step it up a notch, maybe several notches actually, with what they wear both on and off the mountain. Paging Dr. Zahivago: Real fur is the big story at Tremblant and the fashion forward are mixing it up a by wearing furs of different origins at the same time. Not your ‘80’s neons, yellow, pinks, and graphic prints stood out boldly against the snow and metallic touches were everywhere. The hottest accessory is the knit hat with an oversized pom pom, with spikey fox or raccoon fur poms being the most sought after. Tremblant boutiques cannot keep these hats in stock right now and remember fashion fans, the bigger and higher your pom pom, the closer to god.
This week I bit the proverbial bullet and went to see 50 Shades of Grey. I have been very vocal in my seething hatred of the books, and I figured the movie would be just as bad. Why did I hate the book? Because it was written by someone whose grasp of the English language is that of a high schooler. It was embarrassing to read. Not because I was openly reading smut in public, but because the writing was so bad it made me feel dumber. I got through half the book and threw it across the room as I could not hear our heroine say “oh my” one more fucking time. That said, a screenwriter got a hold of the script so there was hope.
I attended my screening at the SuperLuxe in Chestnut Hill. If I’m going to sit in a dark room watching soft core porn, I want Davio’s to cater it. I took my assigned seat in the back and waited. The theater slowly filled with maybe 25 people. There were those, like me, the single women. We were in the majority. We were strong in number, we the sad ones. There was one mother/daughter pairing, which was just plain odd and one real full-fledged couple. That poor bastard. The lone man. NO WAIT! A guy just came in alone. Clearly there is something very wrong with him. Women are the only ones allowed to watch this kind of movie solo. Right? That sounds sexist but I’m standing by it.
I overhear the waitress talking to the mother/daughter. It’s clear they know each other. Waitress is overheard saying “It’s no love story! He had her hanging from the racks grrrrrlllll!” I. Was. Dying.
The woman next to me was in full recline sending out huge deep exhalations for no apparent reason. I’m worried about her making it through the rough stuff.
The story is as old as time. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy asks girl to sign confidentiality and bondage agreement. Boy falls for girl. Girl gets flogged and finds herself. I mean the whole thing happened to me when I studied abroad.
I’m not going to go into elaborate detail, you know you are going to see it so I’ll let you make your own judgements, but here are my highlights.
-If a man buckles me into a helicopter to go on a date, I’ll absolutely give him a safe word.
-I laughed OUT LOUD a few times during the movie where I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to. The first was when he opened the door to his play room I was in hysterics. “like, where do you keep your Playstation?”
-After he took our heroine’s virginity, he played her a concert on his large grand piano. I got half a Purple Passion and a walk home.
-When there is a scene of two people in a tub acting comfortable I call bullshit. Someone always ends up with the spout in their back.
-Laugh out loud moment #2: when they are going over the “contract” line by line and she says… “Anal Fisting .. hard limit.” I was laughing so hard I went into a coughing fit. I’m sorry, but those two words never need to be said aloud in the same sentence. EVER.
-The longer I watch, the more I’m convinced he’s total stalker, less Dom to her Sub. I mean if some dude I was .. whatever you call what they were doing .. showed up in GEORGIA while I was visiting mom, we’d have bigger things to worry about than the above fisting.
She bit her lip 19 times and put things near her mouth at least 6. This is sexy you see.
There is much to be said about the erotic nature of this movie (21 minutes of sex) and the nature of that sex. Many women say they loved this book and wanted their husbands to be more like Christian Grey. I don’t think they do, I don’t think most of the women I know would put up with any of this nonsense. Most women I know have no desire to be submissive. And, I’m sorry, when Target comes out with a line of 50 Shades adult products, the whole concept pretty much looses it’s umph. Did the movie make me tingly in places? Sure. Did the shopping spree I did after the movie take care of it? Yep.
At the end of the movie we are left with a big old cliffhanger. I’m sure the second movie is going to suck worse than this one because I understand they are letting the actual author do the screenplay. Either way, I’ll be there, waiting in the dark. To laugh.
You might think that running Childs Gallery, one of Boston’s most established purveyors of fine art, would mean that Richard Baiano is stuffy, living like a citizen of the mid-20th century. But you would be wrong. Very wrong. Richard and his business partner, Stephanie Bond, who have co-owned the gallery since 2009, are constantly on the prowl looking for the next great artist all while honoring the 70-year history of the Newbury Street gallery that was founded by Charles D. Childs. Baiano got the art bug while working as an architect at GUND Partnership. We check in with him not just about the current state of Boston’s visual arts scene, but where he thinks it is going and which artists will be blazing that trail
The 87th Academy Awards was a night of pearls, embellishments, simple high ponies, lots of red, strapless downward turned necklines, and statement necklaces.
LUPITA NYONGO, custom Calvin Klein Collection
FAITH HILL, J. Mendel
DAKOTA JOHNSON, St. Laurent
MARGOT ROBBIE, St. Laurent
JENNIFER ANNISTON, Versace
ROSAMUND PIKE, Givenchy
ZOE SALDANA, Atelier Versace
SIENNA MILLER, Oscar de la Renta
REESE WITHERSPOON, Tom Ford
JENNIFER LOPEZ, Ellie Saab
FELICITY JONES, Alexander McQueen
NAOMI WATTS, Armani Privé
JULIANNE MOORE, custom Chanel
KERRY WASHINGTON, Miu Miu
VIOLA DAVIS, Zac Posen
GWYNETH PALTROW, Ralph & Russo
JESSICA CHASTAIN, Givenchy
NICOLE KIDMAN, Louis Vuitton
EMMA STONE, Ellie Saab
SCARLETT JOHANSEN, Versace
This track blew me away on so many levels, the first being that I did not believe it was the bass heavy, synthesizer enthusiast and producer Dabin, whom I discovered via Pandora last summer. The track is unlike any of his previous work, which tended to be on the heavier side of the electronic music spectrum. Dabin brings his signature electro style to Bloodless with impeccable melodic instrumentation, but with a softer touch. It is filled with screaming synthesizers, hand claps, ominous horns and an interchangeable bass line that gives you enough time to let it all out on the dance floor, take a break and start all over again. The composition of the track, combined with breathy vocals provided by guest feature Sarah Lee – not to be confused with the cake – conjoin in an effortless, electro dance production. I give Dabin’s new sound five stars and look forward to hearing more from this illusive DJ. His newest track was just featured as a premier on the popular Euro based UKF, which could be a real sign to rising recognition. Give Bloodless a listen below and see if you agree.
THE SCENE The Upper East Side. A luxury streamlined visit.
THE MUSTS: Ultimate destinations – all within 10 blocks.
THE EATS – Day One: Rev your engine with – Ralph’s coffee at the Polo Store 5th & 55th – THE best cup in the city – An exclusive blend of Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Columbian beans. Pair it with a cured salmon sandwich on country bread with watercress and preserved lemons, and an all American chocolate walnut brownie (A secret recipe from Mr. Lauren’s mother-in-law.)
Day Two: Breakfast- La Viand Coffee Shop at 61st & Madison – real authentic diner for locals – can’t beat the eggs over easy, bacon, rye toast and hash browns – in and out in 20 minutes!
Dinner- Le Bilbouquet at 61st between Madison & Park – chic neighborhood spot –order the signature endive salad with granny apple, candied walnuts and Roquefort and the Branzino –practice your French with the uber charming maître d’s.
THE COCKTAIL – Sirios at the Pierre – sip the “PEAR SE” –grey goose pear, alchemia ginger vodka, pear puree, solerno, lemon juice or the “Bitter Love” – a potion of Greenhook Ginsmith gin, Campari, strawberry puree, lime juice.
THE SHOPPING – Bergdorf’s on 5th Ave for Old world experience, Barney’s on Madison Ave for New world experience, and Ralph Lauren Women’s store on Madison for a combination of the two– The Beaux Art Hotel Particular Style Building is a recent addition to the street – All three are a part of the true luxury retail fabric of New York.
THE SHOW – “The River” – Starring the charismatic Hugh Jackman at the Circle in the Square at 50th –get “hooked” on this darkly romantic tale about a fisherman in a remote cabin and the 2 women he entertains there. 1 hour 25 minutes with no intermission.
Billy Porter, Tony-winning star of the colorful musical “Kinky Boots,” trades his drag gown for the director’s chair with Huntington Theatre Company’s production of “The Colored Museum,” a scathing comedy that cycles through nearly a dozen vignettes that explore slavery, modern gender roles, beauty standards, and other issues as they relate to the African-American culture. Each theatrical exhibits offers a chance to comment, critique, and frequently satirize — as any good “Museum” would.
WHERE: Avenue of the Arts/BU Theatre
WHEN: March 6 — April 5
I found this armoire back in July which I previously posted about and had yet to finish until now – here’s a quick back story on my original idea. My first thought was to create a shabby chic, black and gold armoire for myself. After realizing it wouldn’t fit in my apartment, (I pretty much knew that already) I decided to go back to the drawing board and give it another look. Shabby chic was still the direction I was going in, but this bulky, hard angled piece needed a softer, more neutral look for potential buyers-more of a rustic influence the second time around.
Both mirrored panels were nearly unsalvageable, with a good amount of scratches on them. After I dropped and shattered one, they were ultimately scrapped. I began to fear that the true nature of this soon to be “armoire from hell” was too dark without the mirrors and I had to start over. Previously the black stain worked well because the mirrored panels brought light to the armoire. While the gold Victorian-esque pull handles and crown molding added elegance and detail, they now looked out of place without the mirrors and black stain. Adding anymore black to the piece would have made it even darker and a lighter color for the doors, paneling and drawer faces would have brought out a contrast I wasn’t looking for.
With a pile of vintage pine tongue and groove bead board, some scrapped pallet wood and a can of oil based, high gloss, cream paint, I achieved the softer, more rustic look I envisioned without the mirrors. The warmer tones, custom made pull handles and a glossier sheen transformed the hard angled bulky armoire to something softer and a lot more neutral. I added two vintage brass knobs from my hoarded hardware collection to each door and stayed consistent with brass on the pull handles – though the hinges are still brushed chrome.
I like this piece because of how it evolved into something completely different than I first pictured, all while using salvaged materials. It’s eclectic, though not perfect, shabby chic and unique. It was a pain in the ass using the materials that I did but at the end of the day I created a statement piece from something a person tossed in my dumpster (still wondering why and how they managed to actually put it inside the dumpster).
Like what you see? Visit my website to see more of what I do. Perhaps you have furniture that needs to be seen in a new light.
Valentine’s day is just around the corner so I thought I would make it easy for you guys and feature a few great gifts in every price range.
These days, my favorite thing in jewelry is personalization. I love being able to give people meaningful gifts, and what better way to do this than showing some love with an engraved pendant. A favorite of mine is the Melene Kent single letter pendants. A great gift idea is the use of the initial of the person’s child, or pet, or first letter of their name. I love to shop local and this company is based in Massachusetts.
Three Sisters Jewelry Design makes gorgeous hand engraved name plates. I was lucky enough to get one with the names of both my children and my husband’s and mine initials “B M T”, all on three separate pendants layered in a single chain. I love the idea of layering, so if you really want to splurge, consider more than one.
In the medium tier price range, but also sticking with the personalization theme, I found these gorgeous GV Gemvara customizable stacker rings:
These are very cool when worn on the knuckles of the younger set. I love the idea of birthstones for every family member, and adding a fifth one for your anniversary date! My ring would be 14K yellow gold with ruby, aquamarine, smoky quartz, sapphire and amethyst. Depending on the size of your family, there are one stone, two stone and five stone options. There is also the option of customizing necklaces the same way. This is another local company started right here in Boston, which makes it a more meaningful purchase.
Also in the medium tier price range is the new T Square bracelet from Tiffany in rose gold. Their new boutique at the head of Newbury Street in the Taj Hotel, has a wide range of pricing, from $100-$10,000.00 And who doesn’t love getting the teal blue box with a neatly tied white satin ribbon?
If your price range teeters on the luxury end, I have also recently fallen in love with Mimi So’s diamonds. I first met her when she came to town for the MGH Storybook Ball, where she had donated a $25,000 package of her baubles. Don’t worry, there are items below $25,000 in her collection. What I suggest for a gift from her collection, are the stacker bracelets, though I LOVE the unexpected nature of the split rings and bows which are a huge signature item of Mimi’s. However, rings are often a dicey gift item unless you are already married…(according to my hubby). For the stackers, try a single one in rosegold, and add on the white gold stacker at a future birthday and the black diamond one at Christmas. Here are a few more favorite looks from Mimi So.
In any event, if you are late with your shopping—as we all often are!– some of these, such as Gemvara.com have a very quick turn around for customization. But you could also order it, and give a romantic handmade card with a “token” or “coupon” for the item, which will be coming in at a later date. Simply attach this to the bouquet of flowers you are getting your honey and you are guaranteed a smash hit.
Did you sit through the endless red carpet coverage? I did. I’m pretty sure I lost some IQ points and all I wanted to do was feed Giuliana Rancic a sandwich, but I powered through it. Ryan Seacrest just needs to embrace his vertical challenge and start standing on a phone book because when he interviews people like Taylor Swift or Nicole Kidman, he looks like a 12 year-old. It’s so awkward. Kat McPhee looked like a deer in the headlights when she was interviewed by Seacrest. I mean they KNOW each other right? Why was she so weird? I’m thinking it’s because she forgot to wash her hair.
Ariana Grande was interviewed with her new guy Big Sean and he was her biggest accessory. The level of cuteness was pretty high on the nausea scale, I mean she wanted everyone to know “this is my man and you can’t have him”. Look girl, if you want a man that will take your inevitable breakup and use it to write a marginally interesting song that will be played on radio stations everywhere, then you do you. I look at this and I think about my ex that I brought to my sister’s wedding. He’s in the pictures and I wish he wasn’t. I feel like when Ariana looks back at these pics after the public breakup, she will wish she hadn’t hung all over him like a cheap suit.
I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but here are my picks from the red carpet.
BEST: Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigan, Jessie J and Gwen Stefani.
WORST: Rihanna (WHAT WAS THAT?) Iggy Azalea’s hair crown, Kim Kardashian’s bedazzled robe and Keith Urban’s ponytail.
New England Patriots will be on stage? What!! I had no idea. I was hoping for a Grammy Gronking, but Edelman and Butler did pretty well with a well-played interception joke.
Kanye West put on his best sweats to Auto-Tune his way through a crappy song. Someone please explain Kanye and his “art” to me, because I don’t get it.
Keith Urban has a ponytail? Stop. Just stop.
I felt the song with Paul McCartney, Kanye and Rihanna was all over the place. Matching black suits? Is it me or did Rihanna show NO skin this evening? Something is wrong in the world somewhere. The song is good, but I just can’t listen to Kanye sing. Mostly because he can’t. And Paul just looks so out of place. And constantly surprised.
The Grammy’s were far too long and peppered with performances that truly sucked (Usher singing Stevie Wonder) and performances that delivered (Madonna, Beyonce and Tom Jones) but it’s the one time where I will sit in front of the TV for hours on end that doesn’t involve Netflix.
When newly minted Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Monday night, the host asked the dancing tight end if he would read an excerpt from Lacey Noonan’s erotic novel “A Gronking to Remember.” Not one to be easily embarrassed, No. 87 told Kimmel that he’d give it a go, but that he hadn’t read a book “since the ninth grade.” Gronk even referred to that last book as “A Mocking to Remember” and then “A Mockingbird to Remember.”
That got us thinking that now that Gronkowski is in the off-season, we’d make a vacation reading list for him. (I asked the help of our Facebook friends to offer some suggestions as well.)
The Gronkowski Summer Reading List:
- Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird” (or the Gregory Peck movie adaptation) since Scout & Co. didn’t seem to leave much of a lasting impression. And, Gronk can be caught up when the new sequel is released.
- Nicole Barrick Chiasson suggested we “keep it classic and start easy?” So her suggestion is Maurice Sendak’s classic “Where the Wild Things Are.”
- Kathleen Drohan wrote that she thought Gronk should have some spirituality on his readling list so she proposed “The Tao of Pooh.”
- Meg Harris gave a twist on Don Miguel Ruiz’ “The Four Agreements” and suggested that Gronk might create “The Four Agronkments: 1. No Readin’ 2. No Writin’ 3. No ‘rithmetic 4. Girls
- Ryan Bruner thinks that maybe Gronkowski would make for the perfect replacement in “The Gronk That Stole Christmas.”
- styleboston’s dear friend Mary J. Kakas “went there” and suggested Gronk might first start with elocution lessons, but lightened up a bit and said that he should read “War and Peace.”
- Cathy Kleinbart made such a wonderful suggestion that we almost claimed we thought of it: “Make Way for Ducklings.”
And, we’d like to throw on the list the not-yet-released (due in March from Triumph books) “Pumped” by the staff of the Boston Globe. Yes, that’s its actual title.
By the way, since Gronkowski’s appearance on Kimmel’s show, “A Gronking…” has since risen to a “No. 1 Bestseller” on Amazon.com.
WHEN THE STARS BEGIN TO FALL: IMAGINATION AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH
Marginalized and “outsider” artists dominate the 35 talents represented in this showcase of photography, paintings, and sculpture produced mainly between the 1960s and today — from people of faith to people in prison. But each unique piece is a brush stroke in a larger depiction of the sultry fable that is America’s Deep South. And if some of them happen to involve eerie photographs of semi-humanoid creatures in kitschy wood-paneled dens — well then, color this true blue Yankee heart intrigued.
WHERE: The Institute of Contemporary Art
WHEN: February 4 — May 10
Overall impression: Go for the architecture, the inspired shopping, creative and friendly atmosphere and the trendy dining. A must in Amsterdam? The enchanted 9th Street District for its swirl of everything amazing.
I love vintage and I really love European vintage. European fashion from a previous era tells a story that more contemporary fashion rarely does. Owning the original version of a fashion moment is more inspiring to me then the “easy get” of that mass produced look today.
My favorite spot to source unique and envy inspiring pieces is Episode. Episode is a small chain, but you can’t hold that against them as they are all about budget friendly, quality merchandise that is organized with dewy decimal precision. The focus on grouping like merchandise together is a godsend when time is tight – and your husband’s patience is growing thin. Their mens collection is just as fabulous as their ladies. If you’ve never “been into vintage” or found vintage to be too much work, Episode will convert and spoil you.
HIGHLIGHTS OF MY VINTAGE BINGE:
The tuxedo jacket with tails of my dreams – €30.00 (euros) and a heavily metal grommeted ’80’s jacket done in buttery soft suede – €25.00.
Amazing fur accessories: muffs, collars, boleros, hats, scarves, gloves. Sorry PETA but I bought bags full and I certainly wasn’t alone. Everybody is buying and wearing fur in Amsterdam, and with prices that start at €10.00 and topped out at about €50.00, you can see why. The fur coats were all in the €100.00. range and would easily go for much more in the US.
An epic, embroidered lederhosen, with incredible leather braided suspenders. I am obsessed with the buttons, the pewter buckles, and the embroidery. Super flattering and completely unexpected, I can’t wait to wear this with a killer pair of high heels. At only €35.00 , I now wish I had bought more.
LAURA DOLS VINTAGE
My spirit animal has got to be the magpie. Its bad rap for attraction to shiny things hits close to home, because I too am absurdly attracted to everything that glitters – especially vintage. Indulge your inner magpie while in Amsterdam and be sure to visit Laura Dols, located in the heart of the 9th Street District. This sweet, well curated two level shop is filled with a wide range of girly party dresses that will have you feeling ready to go get flirty. Sequins, beading, and feathers embellished on silks, satins, and all varieties of polyester from the last 5 decades boast impressive quality. What did I bring back to my nest? The diaphanous, white belted dress with a subtle metallic sheen, very Kathleen Turner in “Body Heat”.
Attention all femme fatales: for unabashedly feminine lingerie, a stop at Stout is a must when visiting Amsterdam’s 9th Street District. Don’t let its unfortunate name fool you; this small but incredible boutique is for grown up ladies, who need something more stimulating than Victoria’s tired secrets. All 50 shades of exquisite underpinnings are offered and well displayed. Sexy, bold, sweet, classic, naughty…whatever your personal taste, this is an upscale shopping experience that will surprise and delight you with its wide range of European brands. I’m always impressed with their selection of beautiful bras, panties, teddies, swim wear, accessories and other items that will help you break hearts and get your groove on.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
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