Since summer is in full swing, and shorter hemlines are on the horizon, I decided a seasonal beauty overhaul was in order. After all, with sunny spells coming and going as they please, a girl has to be ready to flash some leg at a moment’s notice. With that in mind, I beelined it to G2O Spa to see expert esthetician Gina Hernandez for the secret tricks of the trade on how to get summer ready skin from head-to-toe. Luckily for you, I’m “spa’ing” and telling…
That’s A Wrap
Looking for skin that is both radiant and soft to the touch? Enter G20 Spa’s body wrap. Carefully balanced to both cleanse and replenish, G20’s body wrap treatments lift the veil of dullness and dryness to restore hydrated silkiness to skin. Using seaweed from the seas of France, Gina told me this purifying treatment detoxifies the body while restoring skin tone and vitality by drawing out toxins from the skin. Gina finished my treatment with lymphatic drainage to enhance detoxification, boost circulation and promote overall slimming and toning effects.
Glow on Girl
Think facials are just for women who love to be pampered? Think again. If done regularly while you’re still in your early 20s, they can prevent premature wrinkles, sun damage and aging. Not sure where to begin? Let G20 Spa be your guide. After a skin consult, Gina started by applying a Pumpkin Peptide Polish to my face to exfoliate skin cells; provide antioxidant support and stimulate collagen activity, leaving skin feeling smooth and looking bright. Next, Gia helped me get my glow on with the use of LED, which stands for Light Emitting Diodes, that help to target common skin problems such as blemishes, redness and uneven pigmentation by stimulating new cell growth.
Looking to nail your summer look? Step into summer by looking polished from head to toe with a G20 Spa deluxe pedicure. This full service pedicure includes a lower leg and foot exfoliation, nail grooming, and massage. Conclude this relaxing experience with a natural nail buffing or a bright polish application of your choice for a look that is sure to start your summer off on the right foot.
Photography by: Lisa Richov
Have you heard of Jennifer Aniston’s line of beauty products called Living Proof? I just learned that this uber cool brand is headquartered right here in our own backyard. Scientists from MIT got together with beauty experts and developed this brand with one simple ambition: “To challenge conventional wisdom to solve your toughest beauty problems.”
Now this may sound like something rather simple to do, however, this lab has taken hair care and hair products to a new level, measuring out what works and what doesn’t on specific hair types, colors and textures. Living Proof has done for hair what Mario Testino has done for fashion photography. There are a core group of testees who come in periodically to test out new products, see what works, what doesn’t. We got to play a little, and discover the inner workings of this lab the other night at the opening and debut of their Style Lab. My favorite part of the tour was seeing a row of mannequin heads, hair of all different colors and textures, all lined up, ready for testing—the first phase of product development, apparently. Though their office, which consists of 60% female employees, is located in tech den Kendall Square, their outreach spans all the way to the west coast where Jennifer serves as brand ambassador.
I was so excited to get my hands on the Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Protector, an overnight hair mask that you simply apply and let the magic happen while you sleep. A genius idea for busy moms like myself! Another notable that I can’t wait to try: Blowout, and Restore Instant Protection—it protects your hair from UV rays for 24 hours and is perfect for those summer beach days. Stop by to have your hair tested and find out what product will suit you best. I assure you, every woman I saw that was working for the company had gorgeous locks. I asked Grace Ray if great hair was a pre-requisite for being hired. She said, “ Definitely not!” and chuckled a bit. I suggested they make a “before-after” facebook! I’ll be on the lookout for that.
photocredit: Michael Blanchard
On Wednesday June 11th, I was honored to attend the second annual “Swing into Summer,” fashion show benefitting Crossroads for Kids, a non-profit that inspires youth to develop their innate potential by breaking the cycle of poverty and under-achievement by yielding systemic change in the communities where they live.
The event was designed by the ever chic Holly Safford of The Catered Affair and took place at the historic Winsor House Inn in Duxbury where models strut down the runway in stunning fashions by Sara Campbell Designs and accessories by JoJo Loves You.
While the fashion industry often has a reputation for being frivolous, I’ve always believed that fashion has the ability to design a better world. Often starting with the spark of a single idea, entrepreneurs and designers like Holly and Sara are changing how the world views fashion’s potential and ability to leave a lasting and powerful influence on society by hosting events that are filled with both style and heart. Truth be told, no matter what happens in retail or on the runways, there’s one thing that never goes out of style: giving back.
Want to lose weight without dieting and exercising? I will let you in on my little secret…perfectly bronzed skin. With Custom Airbrush Tanning, I was treated to a session with Jen Barry at Bliss Spa W Boston Hotel. I had no expectations but was thrilled when I went home feeling 10 lbs lighter. My husband recently came home from a business trip and said, “Wow, you look great! Very skinny. What have you been doing?” I smiled and said nothing.
How does it work?
- Take a relaxing steam shower, (they don’t recommend exfoliating beforehand, because it will leave you with a streaky tan.)
- Remove all face makeup.
- Sit in the lounge and snack on my favorites- the signature brownie bites and cheese cubes with a hot tea.
- Have a moment of peace without your phone, because it’s that blissful.
- Within minutes Jen comes by to bring you to the tanning room. She has a sweet demeanor, very warm and bubbly and makes you feel instantly comfortable, (you will come to realize this is something very important as you are going to be standing there buck naked in a few minutes.)
- Remove all jewelry and put your hair up in a bun. You can optionally strip down to nothing at all, or use the disposable undies they have available.( I opted for the latter because it’s kinda nice to see the “tanline” so you know how much of a tan you actually got!)
A whirring sound then a smell of flowers, and the process begins…I held my arms out to the side and Jen began spraying the cool mist on my body from the gun that looks like a blow dryer. We had pre-selected medium, since I already had a nice base tan. I had booked my appointment on a Monday since I had a Wednesday event. Two days seems to be the optimal resting time. After being airbrushed and then dried with the same device, Jen gave me a disposable blue robe to put on and we walked back, barefoot, to the lounge where she had me wait another 10-15 minutes to further dry.
Wear loose fitting black clothing! My dress was lighter colored and ended up getting some of the tanning product on it, (which washed out easily). I went home feeling sexy but a bit sticky and followed instructions not to take a shower or wash my face until the next day. The shower water turned a bit brown, washing off the external tanning solution, but the skin remained a beautiful golden glow. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate is the key to keeping this tan. Lotion on your skin after showering and later in the day as well will keep the tan going for up to 2 weeks. The cost of the service is $60, (not including gratuity), which isn’t too bad to look like you’ve spent the summer in St. Tropez…
They say the camera adds 10 lbs, but all I can say is that the airbrush tanning takes off 10lbs. Try it, you’ll like it.
I love London; it always leaves me wanting more. The fashion is next level, the pubs super fun, and the people are genuinely enthusiastic about America and Americans. As a history fan, London does not disappoint and there is always something in view to remind you that Britain is great for a reason. I was there last month to see Eric Clapton’s final night at The Royal Albert Hall and brought an almost empty suitcase that I filled past capacity for my return home, British pound vs. American Dollar conversion rate be damned. Pick your poison fashion fans, or pick them all as I did. Whoops.
MAYFAIR / BOND STREET: HARRODS & SELFRIDGES
Want it ultra posh, upscale, and pricey? Heading to Mayfair and Bond Street are musts but be sure to go to Harrods and Selfridges. These London retailers are considered national treasures for a reason. Teeming with shoppers keeping the cash boxes ringing, the conspicuous consumption of the most exclusive brands and logomania makes for excellent people watching and will suck you in as well. I dare you to visit Harrods and not walk out swinging one of their hunter green shopping bags. Sticker shock got you down when in Harrods or Selfridges? Head to the food halls and prepare to be amazed by the cornucopia of culinary choices. Harrods is the more incredible of the two, pretty sure I ruptured an optic nerve trying to take it all in. There is nothing like these food halls in America and nothing like these two very British institutions.
Like your fashion fast, served up easy peasy, and budget friendly? Then Oxford Street / Oxford Circus is for you. Try not to go on the weekend when the immense crowds will slow you down. Send your bloke to the pub and wear comfortable shoes and clothes easy to change in and out of, you are going to want to move like a fashion ninja to experience the insane amount of choices. Get your fleek on at the Primark store, which is a playground of must haves at incredibly reasonable prices. I can’t wait for the Primark to open in Downtown Crossing this fall; that’s right Boston we are going to have our own Primark, which will be the first one to open in the USA. Topshop’s flagship store is like the hot boyfriend you can never really get over because its just so good, why aren’t the Topshops in America this yummy? Given my obsession perhaps it’s for the best.
Rihanna’s favorite River Island exceeded my expectations especially as a source for interesting accessories and custom jewelry, how I wish there were stores stateside. There is a Zara on every other corner yet the mix of merchandise varies slightly by store making it necessary for me to visit each one. Damn you and thank you Zara, European Zaras trump their sister stores in America every time. Even H&M seems to have upped their game offering merchandise I have never seen on this side of the pond. Festival fashion is currently THE theme in all of these stores so rock on fast fashion groupies.
My favorite places to shop in London are the vintage areas and markets. You’ll love it too if you are all about the hunt for the truly unique and original. Leave the tony neighborhoods of the West End and the madness of the main shopping streets and head to gritty Brick Lane for some of the best fashion vintage shopping on the globe. It’s not posh or pretty, but Brick Lane has a great assortment of vintage stores that offer their wares categorized with British military precision. Prices are in the reasonable range and in the individually owned stores you can feel free to haggle a bit. Blitz was the star store; the assortment and quality of their vintage merchandise blew me away. Expertly curated, make sure you visit the basement for their clearance area where I scored some fringed pieces that are totally on trend, leather and furs, and classic capes that I know will be standouts come the fall. Once you’ve made your way down Brick Lane, be sure to hit nearby Spitafields Market where you can find independent purveyors of fashion both vintage and current. It was love at first site for me when I walked in Collectif. This retro rockabilly boutique was all 40’s and 50’s sex symbol with a new age edge stray cat strut that just won’t quit. Shopping making you thirsty and working a Jack The Ripper fascination? Be sure to stop by The Ten Bells for a pint (or two) before heading back to modern day reality.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news as we head to the hot season, but most women do not look good in shorts. As I often say, why do you want two “a..es” when one is plenty enough. Shorts accentuate the backside of women in a way they do not with men. So here are a few dos and don’ts on shorts.
Do: Wear neutral colors. If shorts are the only way to go for certain activities, go with blue, khaki or off-white.
Don’t: Go extreme with cut-off jeans as in the American Eagle design with the pockets drooping down in front and silly distress holes.
Don’t: Wear shorts with cuffs, they only accent the thigh.
Do: Wear a belt with shorts. Gives them a nice sophisticated look even over a T-shirt.
Don’t: wear anything gathered at the waist – no drawstrings even if the fabric is really lightweight.
Do: Consider a jeans skirt as an alternative. Nordstrom’s has a variety from a mini by Rag & Bone @ $225.00 to a Levi’s @ $68.00. They even have a cute Plus Size by JUNAROSE @ $79.00.
“Designers offer the message on what’s new, what’s trending. MassArt fashion designers present a vision into the future with imagination and wisdom.″
Sondra Grace, Chair of Fashion Department, MassArt.
I was honored to attend the annual MassArt Senior Fashion Show a few weeks ago, a tradition at the college that dates back to 1907. This year’s show in three words? It was sensational! I have attended the last few years and have seen the show metamorphose into the professional, dynamic runway show that it was. The title was “Vision” and it was created by one of the largest classes of graduating seniors. Thirty-five aspiring designers displayed their work on the runway, and 15 of them were selected to show their entire collections.
While all the designers were inspirational, a few of the stand outs for me were Erin Robertson, Christian Restrepo,whose spiked platforms were to die for and Joseph Carl, who had some of my favorite looks of the night. His gowns were constructed pristinely, with color blocking and piping flowing down the runway as though they were made to walk the Carousel in Paris. The gowns had structure and high turtleneck collars, which were reminiscent of Hawthorne’s Hester Prynne—but with a modern twist.
Erin Robertson is a woman to watch. She was the recipient of the 2013 Council of Fashion Designers of America’s CFDA/Teen Vogue Target Scholarship (a $25,000 prize) when she was just a sophomore. That night she was wearing an outfit she designed-an elegant, banana yellow pantsuit with a matching stole and purse. Loved her look, her collection and was instantly intrigued by her.
Christian Restrepo finaled the show, closing with a strong multi-media textured collection. During my interview with him, he impressed me with his view on designing. It struck me that he was more interested in the design process itself and creating textures and movement, than being a “designer”. I liked the rawness of his attitude and the fact that it incorporated the same tenets that lead to the success of the fantastic duo Proenza Schouler. In a past interview with them, they spoke passionately of always being focused on the creation process, developing their custom fabrics and playing with the notion of ‘refined ease’ rather than being designers.
The entire show was tight and produced perfectly down to the lighting, the music and the large screen video footage of the catwalk that graced the back walls. The attendees were as beautiful and stylish as the runway show, and none of this would have been possible without the amazing help of the donors who provide scholarships to students in need. For the second year in a row, a gala was organized by those who volunteer their time and funds and believe in the continuation of the opportunity for an affordable education in the arts. As a guest of one of the co-chairs, Ashley Karger, I was grateful to be in attendance on this night, which was truly fashion perfection.
Michael Blanchard photographer
For more MassArt coverage, watch styleboston’s season 2 Fashion Forward runway show.
Boston’s annual Party in the Park was held last week to benefit the Justine Mee Liff Fund and the theme this year was “The Fascinator”. Since 2005, this party has been taking place in the Emerald Necklace, one of the many greeneries throughout Boston, which the fund helps maintain and restore. 700 of Boston’s most beautifully dressed women and a handful of gentlemen came out to celebrate and raise money for the parks.
Thankfully, we were graced with sunny, beautiful weather for the first time in a few years and raised approximately one million dollars, a great gift for the city of Boston. This money will work nicely alongside the 4.1 million dollars committed by Mayor Marty Walsh at the event on behalf of the city. Hats off to the guests and to Boston for helping to take care of our parks!
photo credit: Lisa Richov, The Social Stylist
Corinne Grousebeck continued an annual spring tradition at Barney’s New York with a sumptuous breakfast hosted to benefit Perkins School for the Blind. As a special treat this year we were joined by designer Sarah Flint and jewelry designer Nak Armstrong, who recently dressed the earlobes of Michele Obama at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner in Washington, D.C. I was able to spend some time chatting with Nak and he told me he chose a ruffle top tear drop signature style, which was chunky, but lightweight for the First Lady–another signature element of his designs.
I fell in love with a moonstone earring, which upon first glance, looked somewhat heavy, but when I tried it on was light as a feather. Another item I fancied were his ear jackets. Sculptural and organic at the same time, the jewelry is light and wearable and runs in the 2,000-15,000.00 price range. (hint-Mother’s Day is right around the corner.) Nak is working on a fall collection at the moment and counts origami as a main inspiration. He does all the sketching and relies on his top notch production team to create the jewels.
The presentation was relaxed and fashion guru Simon Doonan moderated, throwing in a few tips on taking selflies. In his adorable, self deprecating way, Nak explained that because of his “big head” he tends to go towards the back of the pic when a selfie is being taken. Somon then offered up the opposite—he said run to the front of the picture and fill up the empty space. He was also privy to hints from a few of the models he’s worked with over the years—Kate Moss, “put your chin on a ledge”—Irving Penn, “say Thursday” because your mouth will never look bad in any part of the word.” Though Sarah hasn’t had quite the experience of Simon, she too had excellent tips for selflies and recommended holding the camera up high so as to avoid the dreaded double chin.
When asked about trends for spring/summer, Simon shied away from the question, stating that he doesn’t really pay attention to trends because fashion is evolving and trends never stay the same. But when pressed for an answer he did say that St Laurent was doing the glam rock 70’s, which was a trend that he saw as relevant.
Here are some of the fabulous women who came out to support not only Perkins School for the Blind but…twist my arm…Barneys.
After our lovely breakfast, we were set free on the floors of Barneys to shop privately before the store opened. Letting a group of women do this is almost as cool as letting a group of kids spend the night in a library or museum. Linda Henry and I hit the shoe department immediately. We got to chat with Sarah a bit and learned that she is from Lincoln and now runs her operation out of her atelier in New York City and in Italy. Knowing that she always wanted to be a shoe designer, Sarah studied at FIT. She worked as a nanny when she was starting her company, and considers it a real honor to see her first collection at Barneys this season. There are 28 styles in the collection; you can find 10 in Boston and 14 in NYC. Sarah told us the number of styles will grow, but so far she’s been happy and so have her clients, who include Blake Lively, Jessica Alba, and Heidi Klum.
We all got our outfits and jewelry for the Perkins Gala on May 7 and our shoes for our trip to Greece this summer!
Photo Credit: Pretty Instant Photographers/Rosa Caban
When you think of white shirts, the brand Anne Fontaine comes immediately to mind. I met with the designer during a trip to Boston at her flagship store, 280 Boylston St, Heritage On the Garden. (I tried not to get too distracted by the big orange box on the corner of the street where Hermes is getting its makeover.) Upon entering the cozy boutique, I was drawn to a wall of shirt collars. Anne told me in her shy and sexy portugese accent (her father is French and her mother Brazilian), that the collars developed initially because she uses them in the design process. She has about 3,000 of these collars in her atelier in the North of France–Normandy to be exact.
And she likes to “play” with them, experimenting with the shirt designs by changing the collars. She initially put them up as a gallery in her store in Paris about 5 years ago. They weren’t for sale, just for display, but immediately customers wanted them. A new idea was born, and she started selling the collars as accoutrements to her beautiful shirts. They can be worn over round neck shirts, as well as with strapless gowns–as a sort of collar/necklace, skin showing between the two. Their versatility is endless. I am even reminded of the green beaded collar that Scarlett Johansen wore to the Oscars this year. Anne’s collars tend to stay in the black and/or white color scheme and vary from extremely conservative to supremely fabulous.
Anne is currently working on her Summer 2016 collection. She is inspired by life and the silhouette of the femme fatale–a strong 60’s influence with idols such as Marlene Dietrich serving as muses. The Anne Fontaine woman in her eyes can be a young lady, a mother, a grandmother, anyone who wants their first white shirt.
After studying marine biology, she ended up in fashion and launched the brand in 1993. Anne has always had a passion for nature, and felt that it was time to give back. The Amazon rainforest is close to her heart because she lived there when she was 17. She established the Anne Fontaine Foundation to benefit the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, an area in peril, and once a year on Forest Day, 50% of the proceeds from any sales in her store go to this charity.
I was invited to serve as a professional reviewer for the Fashion Design Department at MassArt. It’s an honor to be invited to participate in this Review, and my third year being asked back. I took a close look at the portfolios, sketches, and actual garments of the four students I was assigned. Get to know the four fabulous and fashionable students below and take a peek at their designs. styleboston will be on site for the event titled “Vision” — taking place at The Castle on Columbus Ave on May 9’th.
Kimberly Gale Nowers
Eric Levin decided it was time to take a day of indulgence to a whole new level. styleboston visits Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine. Featuring a “farm-to-fork” dining room named Earth, massage sessions in a tree house, and an afternoon of yoga and cavorting on the beach.
From the runways of London to the streets of Boston, maximalist print mixing is au courant for Spring. Joseph Gordon Cleveland takes on the trend in a surrealist editorial shoot with photographer Eric Levin.
All apparel, accessories and shoes courtesy of Neiman Marcus Copley Place.
I had the pleasure of meeting hat designer Susan van der Linde and her husband yesterday at a trunk show to benefit the Emerald Necklace Conservancy for Party in the Park. But before I sat down to look at her beautiful hats, I was greeted with a friendly smile from owner Nicholas Penna and the lovely staff at Salon Capri. I was treated to a beautiful blowout and styling by expert stylist Graziella Lembo. I’ve never been to the salon, but was immediately taken by the inviting decor and comfortable clean sleek feeling. The atmosphere–distressed wood paneling juxtaposed with the clean white cabinets, was like being inside a Philippe Starck hotel. I asked for something simple as to not overpower the hats, and Graziella styled my locks with ease and speed and made “making waves” seem like a piece of cake (although I know trying this at home would definitely not yield the same results!).
I walked over to chat with Susan and her husband Tom in the beautiful makeshift boutique and discovered that Susan and I had a lot in common. In addition to an eye for style, we shared a love of France; we had both lived in Neuilly while in Paris. Upon returning to the states, Susan eventually apprenticed with Don Marshall, the ultimate hat designer who had designed hats for Grace Kelly in his day. After his death in 1995, Susan started her own business to keep up all the trade secrets she had learned from the master.
Named by Vanity Fair as one of the top 10 Milliners of Fascinators, Susan describes her style as classic styles with a twist or pop of color or texture. I sat down with Susan to see what’s hot in hats.
Fascinator vs a full hat?
Fascinators have their place and should frame the face of the woman. But hats are beautiful and more dramatic – a woman needs to be certain of her ability to handle the attention wearing a full hat will give. If you are not confident enough to wear a full hat, then a fascinator is a very good option. They can be fun and whimsical and just as dramatic as a full hat too, worn by the right woman.
Trends in hats ?
Go big or go home!. Women want to go for drama. Hats seem to keep developing in materials, shape and how it frames the face of a woman. I am also seeing a lot of developments in texture and color. A Texan wants to look good from head to toe, so she is making sure her hat matches perfectly with her outfit, whereas a New Yorker is more concerned about being the perfect fashion plate, and about what others are wearing. Boston has a very polite crowd of hat wearers, who appreciate the beauty of other women’s hats.
Hat Etiquette-Europe vs. America?
There are very strict rules about wearing hats in Europe, such as, if you are going to an event after 6pm, you would NEVER wear a hat. It makes sense because there is typically no longer bright sunlight after this hour. Europeans, especially the French, who I have the most experience with, are more sedate, they will wear a single color from head to toe–very monochromatic. It isn’t as exciting for me as a designer, so I spice it up by adding a fun color to a classic shape, or vice versa and a crazy shape in a more sedate color like taupe. I always enjoy giving a little bit of a wink too, like a bumble bee, or other jewel attachment–something the client provides, but I will certainly direct them as to where to pin it on the hat. In the US, rules are more lenient, and you can be more adventurous with your hat. Americans can easily change up the color of the hat, and don’t need to be dressed in a monochromatic palette. I like the flexibility of that, and find it very satisfying as a designer.
I had a great time with Susan trying on her hats, she had a way of placing them on my head in positions I would not have thought of myself. She tilted the hats more forward and worn this way it gave a sense of allure, as the eyes just peeked out slightly under the brim. I could use her help in my hat placement on May 13th, wonder if she’ll be in town? She helped pick perfect pieces to complement my face and body and I am confident she chose the perfect hat for me. I highly recommend stopping by to shop her collection and at the very least to try on some of the most gorgeous hats of our time.
Susan will be taking walk-ins to shop her hats at Salon Capri until Thursday at 7pm, and will ship any special orders to arrive in time for The Party in the Park. 15% of the proceeds from trunk show item sales will be donated to the Justine Mee Liff Fund for the Emerald Necklace.
Party in the Park attendees are invited to book hair blowout and/or styling appointments for the morning of Party in the Park (May 13th) at any of SalonCapri’s three Massachusetts locations and the salon will donate 15% of the cost of services to the Justine Mee Liff Fund. Hair appointments can be booked via phone by calling: Boston/617-236-0020, Newton/617-969-1970 or Dedham’s Legacy Place/781-320-0900.
Photocredit: Lisa Richov
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