CANDICE WU

Candice Wu of Candice Wu Couture is presently one of the best-known designers in Boston. Originally from Hong Kong, Candice followed her love of fashion to Boston where she received a business degree as well as a degree in Fashion Design. Inspired by both her Chinese and English ancestry, Candice approaches her designs with creativity and a passion for fun. Most notably, her designs have been featured at Boston Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week, and a plethora of charitable events such as The Catwalk for a Cure which benefits the Susan G. Komen Fund.

I was fortunate enough to catch up with Candice regarding the beginning of her fashion career and where she sees herself in the future.

Continue reading »

ClassicKeep your summer alive with this indie-disco electronic tune. The Knocks never fail to disappoint me so I may be biased but in my opinion this is their best song to date. The production/vocal content is on point, the breezy guitar riffs backed by a thumping bass and charming piano keys instantly take you away to your best night of summer. Powers, whom I’ve never heard before supplies raspy vocals, ever so fitting for this smooth tune, crooning come to me baby don’t be shy, don’t be shy….what else could you ask for? Classic is a feel good song anyone can appreciate. Check out the quirky video below and get ready to groove.

Tagged with:
 

MyopiaLittles10-07-06 023

Since 1935, Boston’s Suffolk Downs has been home to the sport of kings, horse racing. Sadly, it closed its doors this past October, as the clientele over the last few decades dwindled significantly and the casino deal, where Mohegan Sun would incorporate the track into its new resort, failed.  So that leaves many people wondering, what happens to the horses?

There are a few potential scenarios that many of you may not be aware of.  Some of the horses will go to other tracks to continue their racing careers, but race horse owners may not have any interest in relocating them to another state. Therefore, many will be available for adoption. The owners may not be aware of the potential value of these horses and the need to be trained to a new discipline, so often times they can be bought for bargain basement prices.  It’s not uncommon to see a stunning, well bred, 3 year old race horse sold for as little as $500 (that same horse may have been purchased for $100,000 as a yearling) simply because it’s owners have no use for the animal any longer in the sport of racing. Thoroughbred race horses generally retire very young, and being beautiful, finely bred athletic animals, they have the potential to go on to be show jumpers, pleasure horses, polo ponies or, in my case, fox hunters.

I am an owner of one of these horses; a beautiful, sure footed, jumper named Eros. I bought him 8 years ago for the ridiculously low price of $600.00 and since we are in the midst of  fox hunting season, I’m riding him with the Myopia Hunt Club. Fox hunting in New England is actually a misnomer-there is no “fox”and there is no “hunting”. In the North East it’s a drag hunt where a scent is laid across the country coarse ranging about 10 miles. The sport is really about the excitement of keeping up with the hounds cross-country once they have found that scent. If you want to get the real skinny on what happens in a fox hunt watch my styleboston segment below, and you’ll see some horses that got a second chance at a whole new career!

Chair

This dining room set was passed along to me from my aunt; it had been sitting in her basement for about 15 years and previously belonged to my grandmother. I was up for the challenge to modernize the set and experiment with it, mainly because I remember sitting around the table in Fort Lauderdale in my grandparents sunroom and I didn’t want it to be trashed. Unfortunately all the before pictures were gone for good after my outdated iPhone 4s leapt out of my hands and plummeted to its death onto my hardwood floors.

chair5

Besides the maple tinted stain being outdated (in a bad way) and the table itself looking like it belonged somewhere tropical, it was covered in dirt and a lot of the bamboo was damaged around the feet of the chairs. There was no way I was going to sand and stain the set again, that would have taken quite some time so I decided to use a bonding agent (an oil based paint designed specifically for smooth surfaces and hiding stains) and went with a charcoal gray to match the slightly black tinted glass. Since there are many grooves in the set a paint sprayer was necessary to ensure even coverage and durability as the sprayer can create a thicker coat than both a roller or brush.

Once that was finished it was time to tackle the hideous floral print seat covers (sorry Bubbie). Originally I envisioned a black and white chevron print, but when the fabric seen below was on sale from $35.00 a yard to $5.00 a yard, I made the decision to go with that. The previous covering technique was simple, a standard diaper fold which I recreated with the new material. I kept the diaper fold because the print is intricate and speaks for itself, no need for piping or any fabric nails.

I was on the fence about painting bamboo, but overall was satisfied with the results. The unique lines of the bamboo, combined with the black tinted glass and new seat covers created a one of a kind look that was rather easy to accomplish. It’s also nice to say I saved something that had sentimental value, it doesn’t hurt that I created a dining room set for under $300.00 either.

table1

Michael DePaulo

Fashion designer Michael DePaulo is having a good year. Last February, the Boston native made his Palm Beach debut to critical acclaim and is getting ready to launch a new bridal and ready-to-wear line in December. Known primarily for his cocktail, evening and special occasion designs, DePaulo’s use of sophisticated lines with an innovative edge has attracted an A-list clientele that includes media and sports powerhouse Linda Pizzuti Henry and Tony Award-winning theater director Diane Paulus. We recently caught up with the handsome and peripatetic 34-year-old over coffee in the South End, where we talked about the intersection of fashion, design and architecture as well as the joys of the perfect plate of pasta.

Continue reading »

Fashion/Floppy hat:

An old boyfriend once told me “I like women in hats. It makes them look smart.” I was never quite sure how to take that remark, but I know I took it to heart. I’ve boldly worn hats and fascinators to both casual gatherings and swanky soirees for years. At the very least,  it’s a conversation starter. But this year I’m pleased to report, hats are back big time and you and I won’t be the only ones wearing one. Not since the 1940’s have hats looked so good – and I’m not talking about pull over ski beanies. Specifically I’m talking about floppy brimmed hats. Rag & Bone carries a really snazzy series of floppy brim felt hats that are both “smart” and practical. Depending on the style,  you can choose from a rich pecan, navy or black. While the Rag & Bone hat is $195.00,  you can find cheaper versions of the floppy hat at Kate Spade, Urban Outfitters, and Nordstrom.  One of my favorites is the Nordstrom two-tone for just $48.00.  The hats are warm and double as an umbrella in light rain or snow. And it’s a good way to avoid too much exposure to the sun. Flop in anytime.

Roasted Tomato, Ginger & Basil Soup

Nothing screams fall or winter like a hearty tomato soup, especially on a chilly day. Lucky for me, New England brings lots of days that call for this recipe. And if you love carbohydrates and starches as much as I do, to make it even heartier, add rice or orzo pasta. Serve with a classic grilled cheese sandwich and you have a perfect meal.

Tomato Soup

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 
At first I thought the details on Lanvin’s shirt were suspenders. It would look pretty rad if they were.

At first I thought the details on Lanvin’s shirt were suspenders. It would look pretty rad if they were.

Boho is making a comeback for Resort ’15 – though I can’t say it ever left my closet and I don’t think it will. My wardrobe consists mostly of long, free flowing shirts and dresses, fringe and some more fringe. Perhaps I keep Boho around to hide my food baby – and I secretly wish I lived inside a Free People magazine. Don’t get me wrong; I love the minimal, streamlined look Boho encompasses, there’s this understated vibe it exudes, a kind of bold and carefree look if you will. It won’t go away anytime soon because contemporary classics are a staple. It is just a matter of keeping them fresh.

The floral print will always pair nicely with bohemian style threads; it’s just a matter of how the print is presented. We see designers reinvent floral each season, the question is, are they executed correctly? Another boho staple is the tie-dye print, which again can be hit or miss depending on the representation of the print. Here are some of my favorite boho-chic inspired designs from the likes of Lanvin, Giles and Michael Kors featured on style.com and Elle’s Nov. ’14 issue. Head over to style.com to check out more of the Resort trends.

Tagged with:
 

The Lunch Break Dresser

Since it’s been a little over two years after I found this piece, I think its okay that I tell the truth about this dresser. After a nice lunch at the now closed Channel Café in Fort Point (still not happy about that) with my friend and co-worker Allie Hyde, we drove back to the styleboston office in Southie and parked on M Street behind the building.

It was trash day in late August so I had been keeping my eyes peeled for furniture, as this is the time of year when lots of people toss their belongings they can’t move and find a new rental. It was pouring outside but that didn’t stop me from trying to shove this dresser in my little Toyota which of course, did not fit. I had been gone for over an hour now and the boss lady was not happy, but I decided this dresser was worth getting ripped a new one. I called my sister and told her how much I wanted it and since she is so great, came and picked it up for me in her SUV.

The Lunch Break Dresser 2

Allie and I walked in soaking wet looking not so stylish….Terri just looked at us like WTF and said “really guys, an hour and a half lunch break?” We also had coffee in our hands so that didn’t help, but that’s not the point – the point is I got my new dresser! So yes sitting in a cold office with a pissed off boss and wet pants was totally worth it, sorry Terri.

 

Mid-restoration, after I sanded the drawer faces. We do not endorse Dunkin Donuts - that coffee is not staged, I was just lazy.

Mid-restoration, after I sanded the drawer faces. We do not endorse Dunkin Donuts – that coffee is not staged, I was just lazy.

The dresser was simple and country, with brown shellac and white porcelain knobs. I decided to add a little flair and make it standout with a bold color scheme and oversized knobs. The four small drawers across the top we’re really what caught my eye. A great piece for a guy – the perfect amount of space for socks, underwear and toiletries. I kept the faces of the drawers clear to expose the Pine wood grain while using a slightly tinted polyurethane to enhance the pattern of the grain. To make the drawer faces standout I chose a deep gray-blue for the frame that I felt complimented the small brushed nickel knobs. Ceramic knobs with a cracked emerald glass overlay from Anthropologie were added to the top drawers. Again adding contrast in size, shape and color. The bold colors and fixtures make this formerly quaint, country and feminine dresser a unique statement piece.

Items from trash: brushed nickel knobs, mirror (refinished), plant tray (made from scrap wood), terracotta pot.

 

Items purchased: ceramic knobs, paint.

View more of my creations HERE

Digitalism-Wolves

No intro or build, just immediate bass. The bass is strong but not obnoxious or overpowering, it’s smooth and infectious – creating an intriguing backdrop for the rest of the song. I start by mentioning the bass line because it’s what made my ears perk up and take notice of the song in the first place. The vocals, provided by Young Blood Hawke are smooth and subtle, while choppy synthesizers hit hard mimicking the tempo of the bass. Combine the elements of Wolves and your product is that of a funky, indie-dance banger. Young Blood Hawke’s pitchy vocals make this track fun and bring the energy needed to match the heavily produced track. I’ve had my eye on Digitalism for a few years now as they’ve attracted some well known DJ’s to remix their tracks (Dillon Francis, Eric Prydz) and this tune, in my opinion surpasses any previous production I’ve heard by the German electro duo. Listen below and see for yourself.

Tagged with:
 

Now for part 2 of our series on Top Chef alums: Boston’s dining scene has always been a vibrant one. With such easy access to an abundance of farm-raised, season-changing ingredients, our region has always been much more than the “land of bean and cod.” Our corner of the country has always been quietly pushing culinary boundaries. (Thanksgiving? Totally America’s first dinner party.)

Tiffani Faison

Tiffani FaisonFaison placed runner-up on the very first season of “Top Chef,” and earlier this month she scored the number two spot again on the inaugural season of “Top Chef Duels,” a spin-off that pits popular alums in culinary face-offs. (She also competed in a special “Top Chef All Stars” season.) When she’s not in front of the camera, you’ll find her in the kitchen at Sweet Cheeks Q, her popular barbecue restaurant steps from Fenway Park. With its smartly sourced meats, house made sauces and creative, bourbon-drenched cocktails served in mason jars, there’s a slightly elevated touch to her down-home fare.

Pro Tip: Chilly out? Fear not. Sweet Cheeks’ popular beer garden has a retractable roof, so you can still drink outside (sort of) when the cool weather comes.

 

Mark Gaier & Clark Frasier

Mark Gaier & Clark FrasierThis culinary power couple competed together on “Top Chef Masters.” But they first made their mark at Arrows, an Ogunquit icon that introduced locals to “farm to table” dining long before the phrase became ubiquitous. They still operate a slightly more casual restaurant, M.C. Perkins Cove, up in that resort town. But earlier this year they opened their first Boston spot: M.C. Spiedo, at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, a glitzy option for historic Italian cooking based on the traditions of – what else? – Renaissance-era cuisine.

Pro Tip: How down to detail are the recipes? Check out “Leonardo’s Salad,” is comprised of a list of ingredients found in Da Vinci’s notebooks.

 

Kristen Kish

Kristen KishKish was chef de cuisine at Barbara Lynch’s fine dining destination Menton when she won the 10th season of “Top Chef.” Since then, she’s moved on and parlayed her fame into a number of opportunities: from roving the country for special cooking engagement to scoring an endorsement deal with Rembrandt toothpaste. She hasn’t yet settled into a new permanent home, so keep an eye on her Twitter account (@KristenLKish) to see where she’s cooking next.

Pro Tip: In this case, tip your hat. Kish made “Top Chef” history by being the first contestant to win after being (temporarily eliminated). She made a comeback in the show’s “Last Chance Kitchen” and wound up only the second female winner to date.

 

Michael Schlow

He may not have won the inaugural season of “Top Chef Masters,” but the star chef behind Via Matta, Tico, and Alta Strada says he would “absolutely” return to reality TV again. “Although it’s really stressful and demanding, I’m competitive and seek vindication,” says Schlow. “I understand the challenges a little better and hope that given the opportunity I would fair a little better on the show.”

Pro Tip: Traveling? Good news. Schlow recently opened some new restuarants outside the Hub: Cavatina at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, and a Washington, DC brand of Tico.

 

Ana Sortun

ana-sortunAnother “Top Chef Masters” alum, Sortun is the major talent behind Oleana, a Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean restaurant that earns its recurring recognition as one of the area’s best restaurants. But late last year she also opened Sarma in Somerville, a hip destination for cocktails and small plates. And her Sofra Bakery continues to satisfy sweet teeth, specifically.

Pro Tip: Want to try your hand at the plates that this James Beard-winning chef puts together? Sortun is also the author of a cookbook, “Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean.”

FROM WARRIORS TO WAR  It seems that each project I become involved with takes on a life of its own. I’ve been told that is a good thing when projects do that; they start to tell you what they want to be. This is certainly true for CharityWarriors.

The first evidence of this is in the name of the project. Our project, initially called “Charity Wars,” was going to be about women in Boston, all associated with different charities and all vying for the same dollar in the relatively small town. I still don’t think that this is a bad idea for a show – in other words, showing a bit of how tough it is to raise money  – maybe some cat fights, table flipping, this apparently makes for “good TV.” After all, charity is a business and I was interested at the time of getting into that story. But, it didn’t take long to realize that, at least for this show, we were going down the wrong path.

The women we met simply didn’t have that mentality. They are at war, yes, but not with other women. They are at war with the FDA to release the drug that is a known cure for their child. They are at war with the politicians and leaders of the state to impress upon them the importance for healthcare and housing for our elderly and homeless individuals. They are fighting for awareness for the education of children who would never be able to experience it in a safe, nurturing environment. They are at war with navigating the social media maze to get their message out there in a place where the average person has more than 1,000 unanswered emails in their inbox (I’m guessing based on my experience). They wake up every day to press on and perhaps not find a cure for their own child but to be able to be “this close” and say it’s all been worth it just so more children in the future won’t suffer from a debilitating disease. These women are tireless sorts. They really are Warriors.

Let me introduce you to the women and their charities. They are Erica Corsano, the MSPCA-Angell; Barbara Quiroga, Rogerson Communities; Christine McSherry, the JETT Foundation; Reia Briggs-Connor, Hip Hop for Hope; Michelle Sanchez, the Epiphany School. All the money they raised through www.charitywarriors.org will go directly benefit their cause and one will be awarded a $10,000 bonus at the end of six weeks.

 

From the time that Mary Chiochios and I started to document the women in their every day life, we saw the challenges. Christine McSherry has five kids! Jett, her middle son who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy has been wheelchair-bound since he was 11 years old. Reia Briggs-Connor is a former Patriots cheerleader. Her passion is dance. She decided to keep dancing and to use dance as a way to get the message out there about her son Jared’s disease, even when her first instinct was to curl up in a corner.  He was diagnosed with San Filippo syndrome when he was 24 months old. There is not just one story. There are five truly touching stories of truly amazing women who live with such purpose and drive and ambition every day.

 

I think that this is the strongest point to me. I look at the women I have met as Mary and I have worked on this project. I see they have the same 24 hours in a day as all people do, they have jobs, families, food to put on the table and soccer games to get to. But, they manage so much more. They seem to don capes and take up swords and shields and drink elixirs that allow them to transcend their circumstances and accomplish so much more in a day.  In my mind they are Warriors.

 

Unlike any other project I have worked on, CharityWarriors has been set up to perpetuate itself. There are so many causes to support and there are so many amazing women who buoy these causes up with their personalities, their attitude and their perseverance and resilience. I’ve become drawn to their stories. Of course we all want to support their causes but, for me, it’s these amazing women at the helm who inspire me to want to give more, be better and live passionately. On the night of Nov. 13 we will reveal who raised the most money in six weeks.  If you join us at the event I believe you will walk away feeling good you attended and inspired. Will you be the next Charity Warrior?  Or do you know someone who is?

For more information on the event go to www.charitywarriors.org

Top chef Boston

 

Hey, food TV fans! Here’s where to find “Top Chef” alums around Boston.

Boston’s dining scene has always been a vibrant one. With such easy access to an abundance of farm-raised, season-changing ingredients, our region has always been much more than the “land of bean and cod.” Our corner of the country has always been quietly pushing culinary boundaries. (Thanksgiving? Totally America’s first dinner party.)

Continue reading »

Dress for Success

Styleboston was at Royale nightclub to show our support for the Dress for Success Boston event featuring designer Denise Hajjar. Headlining for the 6th year in a row, Denise had some of Boston’s most fashionable women participating in the evening, raising money and awareness for disadvantaged women looking for a fresh start in the workplace. We chat with Linda Holliday, Janet Wu and Yolanda Cellucci, who all walked the runway wearing the designer’s latest collection, as well as Denise Hajjar and the co-founder of Dress for Success, Nancy Schneider.

Carla Fernandez

The Carla Fernandez fashion show during BFW was more than just a runway, it was an art exhibit. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum created an enchanting backdrop with its multicultural architectural design and indoor garden perfect for Fernandez’s ethnic collection.

The audience was situated around a square shaped room with massive overhead space that faded to black by the top floor. Positioned in the middle of the space was a small ceramic pedestal that was crafted by her husband which the models slowly walked out to one at a time. With their motions reminiscent of a robotic marching army, each model circled the outside perimeter making their way to the pedestal. There they stood and did another rotation, moving as if they were being digitally controlled. This pace actually gave you the chance to fully appreciate the garments. So many fashion shows are over in a blink of an eye, not having enough time to fully absorb each look. Fernandez gave the audience the time to observe all of her fine detailing and intricacies.

If I had to hone in on a style, I would knight the collection streamlined tribal. Simple shapes created amazing drapery around the models with ornate patterns and colorful materials. The barefoot models with their white painted feet were an interesting touch, blending nicely with the aesthetic of the collection. It also made for a silent runway which was nice for a change – there wasn’t that distracting sound of clunking heels. The style was on trend, but so classic at the same time. Creating a balance of timeless and contemporary is difficult to achieve, and I think Carla’s inspirations helped her accomplish that harmony.

After the show Carla spoke about how she works with artisans from different regions in Mexico every season. The indigenous craftsmanship was apparent in her designs. Her geometric silhouettes and patterns, made up of squares, rings true to traditional Mexican style.  After learning this, the showcase formation of a square made even more sense. Everything from the motions of the models, to the music, to the atmosphere tied in together with the clothing. This designer represents how fashion is more than just a functional part of our lives, it is an art form. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Carla Fernandez

photography by Harry Koffman

 

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.