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John Fleuvog has long been a go-to shop for men and women who expect their footwear to be distinct, fun, and quirky. The designs are whimsical yet classically cool, and each is expertly constructed. The company’s tagline, Unique Shoes for Unique Souls, isn’t just a clever play on words, it’s a style truism: from wingtips to high-top sneakers, the signature designs add a fanciful flourish to any wardrobe, and to the wearer. Few companies can call their offerings art, but Fleuvog has as great a claim to the title as any brand in the market.

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P.L.U.R. (peace love unity and respect) are the four pillars of raver culture.  This acronym is frequently featured on the brightly colored ‘Kandi’ jewelry that so often adorn the limbs of these ecstatic dancers.  Now, I’m not saying you should walk out of work right this second and buy super baggy neon pants and furry ears to wear around on the daily, but there is something magnetic about the colors featured in this culture, and Blandine Bardeau, the French jewelry designer has very succinctly captured this fluorescence in her pieces.  These are by no means understated, in fact, they are outright loud, yet they carry a beauty that evokes Zulu tribal jewelry, Native American beadwork, and most notably the aforementioned London rave scene.

Blandine Bardeau graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009, and in addition to her jewelry she actively pursues illustration.  In both mediums she deals with the fantastic, allowing for a graceful touch of the absurd in all of her work.  Despite her newcomer status, she has already designed and put together jewelry for a Selfridges storefront, had her jewelry featured in many music videos, and has pieces that can be purchased in stores all over the world.

GET IT HERE.

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DAY ONE: 10AM
I’m hiding out in the pristine lockerroom at the posh Sports Club/LA Boston when it hits me: a faintness in my limbs, an uneasiness in my stomach so strong I can hardly stand.  I’m sweating more than I have in two years, cumulatively, and in my paranoia imagine the dude across the aisle knows what’s up. I’m going to be sick. The question playing over and over in my head is not why but how did I get into this situation?

The truth is pretty simple. It’s my own damn fault.

* * * * * * *

THREE YEARS AGO, I moved from Santa Barbara to Boston for a change of scenery and a change of pace. I’ve since found both, and the short story is that I’ve settled into Boston quite happily, found myself feeling more and more at home here. I can’t say it was that way from the beginning, however. With change comes tumult, and that tumult meant a new job, new commitments, new friendships, and new projects. In my excitement to cultivate this new life, I lost sight of how I was living.

First, my eating habits: somehow they deteriorated further and further over time. There wasn’t a junkfood I didn’t know and love, a fried thing I wouldn’t eat (save for a few, esoteric exceptions). My diet began to look less like a well-balanced pyramid and more like a flat-bed truck chock full of cheese, carbohydrates (of the starch-y, white-bread variety!), cups of coffee (nearly six a day), and, in the spirit of honesty, an awful lot of pie. Lemon meringue. Apple. Strawberry rhubarb. I didn’t really care. If it had sugar and some sort of pastry crust, I was game. And I’d eat an entire damn pie by myself. In one sitting.  I’d like to say this only happened while watching Jane Austen film adaptations and crying to myself about my inevitable spinsterhood. Sadly, that was only some of the time.

In short, I was putting my body through a Sally Struthers sort of hell. And while I only gained maybe ten pounds in the course of three years–a softening of the midsection widely known as muffin top or, during the holidays, Santa belly–the effect on my energy levels was decidedly more dramatic. What was once a seemingly endless supply bordering on hyperactivity has steadily dwindled, settling into sluggishness. I have attempted to counteract that shift with more, and more, and more coffee. And RedBull. In combination. Each and every day.

And then there’s the smoking. An awful lot of that. Because, you know, I work in fashion! And it’s sexy, right? Not so much. But it was a steady habit, around a pack a day. NYFW or photoshoot days meant a far greater intake, and while NYFW is only a few weeks a year, as time passed I found myself doing more and more editorial shoots, both for styleboston and freelance for other publications. Basically, I was smoking a lot. A LOT.

Much as I’d like to, blaming my bad habits on an intensely stressful workload–between sixty and eighty hours per week–is taking the easy way out. How I parcel out my time is a matter of priorities, and at some point about half a year ago I realized that those priorities needed to include my health. Make time, I told myself.

Months passed. My habits remained.

* * * * * * *

My long-overdue change came just a few weeks ago, in the form of a challenge.

Terri, the Creator of styleboston, had told her friends at The Sports Club/LA Boston of my less-than-exemplary lifestyle, but what should have been simply a watercooler joke manage to metamorphose into an offer: The Sports Club/LA would provide a complimentary membership if I’d commit to a comprehensive program they’d devised to get me back to a healthy lifestyle.  Good luck, I thought.

Those who know me know I always accept a challenge. And I decided to write about it because a) I knew it would be damn funny and b) while I don’t know exactly what is in store for me, I do know that if it can help me, it can definitely help you, too.

I mean, honestly, when was the last time you ate an entire lemon meringue pie by yourself and chased it with a bag of chips? Yeah. Thought so.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Health Hater
Near-daily installments of my journey back to health at The Sports Club/LA Boston.

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“Marc Jacobs International is known for its commitment to charity in the communities in which it operates…” From an interview I did last Spring with Marc Jacobs International President & Cofounder Robert Duffy. Yeah, I just quoted myself. Isn’t that cool? NAWT…

What is cool, however, is that Marc Jacobs has started a special promotion to support one of Boston’s greatest cultural institutions, the Boston Ballet. In all seriousness, two programs from last year’s season at the Boston Ballet had me in tears, and, as you’ve probably surmised from reading my misanthropic tomes, I don’t much fancy crying. The dancers and the repertoire are really just that good. James Whiteside + Lia Cirio = OTHERWORDLY AND BREATHTAKING AND OMGWHATAMIWATCHINGTHISCAN’TBEREAL AND WAAAATAMICRYINGDAMNYOUDAMNYOUDAMNYOU. And of course we all already know that Marc is dope.

Want to do your part? Marc Jacobs is making it easy-peasy for you. Through December 31st, all you have to do is:

1) Go see the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker because a) it’s incredible and b) this is the last year the ballet will perform the now decade-running production. It will be revamped next year.
2) Keep your ticket stubs.
3) Take said ticket stubs to Marc Jacobs at 81 Newbury Street, Boston, MA.
4) Be super proud of yourself because…

Marc Jacobs is donating a crisp dollar bill to the Boston Ballet for every ticket stub submitted. Basically, you enrich yourself by seeing the Ballet (Hi, you’re a cultural noob, get on it) and then, without doing anything except exercising your way to MJ, you support the Ballet alongside, you know, Marc Jacobs and his crew of übercool, acid-washed-denim-wearing, tattoo-having, always-smiling-because-they’re-cooler-than-you-but-still-somehow-unnervingly-nice cats. (I realize saying übercool cats = me not being cool at all. TOTALLY AWARE KTHX.)

If that weren’t enough, a submitted ticket stub means you’ll also be entered into a raffle that could result in you being $350 of Marc Jacobs richer. Which is like $1278931287312381237123 richer in regular dollars. OBVIOUSLY.

You read that right. So…. go do it. And STAT.

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Call your boss, invent some elaborate excuse–cholera, for example–but whatever you have to do: TAKE TOMORROW OFF.

Daniela Corte, the inimitable Boston-based designer who is unimpeachably chic as she is talented, is celebrating the recent opening of her flagship boutique with… A SAMPLE SALE. Yes, you read that correctly. And don’t think I don’t know you’re drooling over there. Get a damn napkin, will ya?

Get your shopping gear on (read: easy-on-easy-off-clothes-and-shoes, and seamless underwear, as always): it’s game time! The sample sale will include feather-weight silk blouses in an array of prints and colors, Corte’s signature body-slimming silhouettes– a perfectly-cut pencil skirt, for example–, statement-making brocade capes, and streamlined evening gowns with make-’em-look-twice plunging necklines.

And though the recent onset of blistering cold may not exactly bring you back to the lazy haze of Summer, this sale is a damn good opportunity to snatch up some of Corte’s signature swimwear. If it’s good enough for Sports Illustrated (Corte was featured this year), it’s good enough for me.

Discounts as steep as 80% off original retail means prices will mostly hover in the $20 to $50 range. 

Move aside, Forever 21 and H&M: snapping up your investment-worthy treasure finds at Daniela Corte Sample Sale is Smart Shopping 2.0.

DANIELA CORTE SAMPLE SALE

Friday, 12/9 – Sunday, 12/11
FRI & SAT| 11AM-7PM // SUN | Noon-5PM
211 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116
P | (617) 608-4778

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I don’t know about you, but I find numbers stiff, rigid, stuck in the interminable grasp of tradition, each digit signifying aging, death, and destruction. They make reading a clock an utter chore, droll forms leering back at you, forcing you to linger on how much time you just wasted.  Ick.

So I searched for an alternative… a clock unlike all other clocks.  I found just that in the above, a clever take on the age-old device, courtesy of the London-based Paula Collective.

Introduce yourself to the Solid Ho Clock, a time-telling device that employs shapes to do the job of numbers.  The clock begins with a tetrahedron, and ends with a dodecahedron.  This is for the geometrically minded, the artists, the unabashed aesthetes.

GET IT HERE.

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“Not the next Ella or Sarah but the first Sophie Milman… she is one of a kind” — Los Angeles Times

Sophie Milman’s most-recent release, In the Moonlight, is a smoldering set of tunes, rich and enchanting, an incredible catalog of the versatility and restraint of Milman’s delivery. Her tone is pure silk, unraveling into some of the sweetest motifs I’ve heard in contemporary jazz in ages, all the while avoiding the pop clichés of which other, perhaps more famous, current jazz singers are often guilty.

Mostly, though, what sets Sophie apart from her contemporaries is that her singing is sincere. It isn’t simply saccharine, and the difference is evident. So Sorry, Milman’s cover of the rather delicious song made semi-famous by Feist, is hands down my favorite track from the record.

Curious yet? Milman comes to the Regattabar tonight for a performance that’s sure to be worth the trip, and then some. Details below.

SOPHIE MILMAN
November 16, 2011
Regattabar Boston
One Bennett Street
Cambridge, MA 02128
P | (617) 661-5000
7:30PM — $25
10:00PM — $22

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE.

 

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Aksyon presents, ‘Contemporary Haiti’, a fundraising Gala at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, featuring a headlining performance from Grammy-award winning Wyclef Jean, and a diverse group of superlative Haitian talent.

Aksyon was established to promote the richness of Haitian culture and highlight the innovation, artistry and works created by emerging Haitian artists and designers from the US and Haiti.

What: A special evening supporting Aksyonfeaturing:
– VIP Dinner Reception featuring Haitian fusion cuisine by celebrity chef Todd English
– Musical performance by Grammy-award and Haitian-American superstar – Wyclef Jean
– Artist Showcase- gorgeous, eye-popping, hand selected fashion, art and design from emerging Haitian artists and artisans
– After Party with Dancing and a Dessert Reception
– Online auction hosted by charitybuzz from Nov 10 – Dec 1 at www.charitybuzz.com/aksyon with incredible celebrity experiences, luxury travel and Haitian art
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2011
7PM – MIDNIGHT
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston |
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

TICKETS (PER PERSON) | $500 VIP  & $250 Concert and After Party

For more information & to purchase tickets, contact:
AJ WILLIAMS
Creative Events
P |  (617) 778-5770
W | creativeeventsinc.com 

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Fashion & design powerhouse Hermes is  gettin’ bizzay: through the 22nd of November they are teaming up with some well-known contemporary Dee-zigners to produce ‘Petit h’, a line of accessories, gifts, and just plain coolness made from leftover materials.

Here’s to making recycling even greater than it already was. Hippy never sounded sooooooo good.

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A Brussels advertising agency uses an incendiary realization of Kafka’s metamorphoses to make a point: read more books.  Would this bring you to the bookstore or keep you away from it?

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Oscar de la Renta’s new flower-shaped ring brings you the best of both worlds: an on-trend accessory and a convenient way to deliver a much-needed spritz during that mid-day malaise. The scent? Oscar’s ever-flourishing Espirit d’Oscar fragrance, a spin-off from his signature scent released in 77’. And yes, you did spot it on his Spring/Summer 2012 runway… Not bad company to keep, I’d say.

You can claim your fragrance ring exclusively on Oscar’s Facebook.  The damage is $65 and comes with a refill.

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Don’t miss Samson Gallery’s current show by Mark Cooper, titled “More is More”.

The exhibit is an apotheosis of decades of work, spanning every tangible medium imaginable.  Walking in, the senses are hit as if by a freight train, each fragment of the work puncturing a different visceral moment of recognition.  Cooper works with sculpture, paint, and paper primarily, but his antic shapes are maggots in doll’s clothes, playful yet completely and compellingly unsettling.

There is something grossly honest about this work, like the first time a child looks at you in earnest and asks why people have to die.  The show runs through December 10th.

MARC COOPER
‘More is More’
Samson Gallery
450 Harrison Avenue / 29 Thayer Street
Boston, MA 02118
T | (617) 357-7177

 

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