Thursday, March 31, 2011

Food Trend Alert: Pinkies Up, It's Tea Time!

It is hard to believe that a beverage that's been around since, oh about 200 BC is the city's hottest "new" drink trend. Then again when we are talking about trends and the city, nothing really surprises me anymore.

Coffee drinkers beware, it's no longer all about the bean. Even though the resurgence of tea may seem bizarre, it's happening in a big way. Leave it to NYC to make the leafy brew seem exciting and fresh.

It's not about ordering the caffeine alternative at Starbucks, it's about tea partying at tea-exclusive joints or ordering from tea-specific menus.

 Yes, these places do exist!

Put on something proper and head to one of my tea-time picks for a trendy refreshment.

 If you have a particular blend, bag, or oasis to recommend, please do let me know :-)

Alice Tea's Cup (102 W. 73rd St., 212-799-3006) Taking a cue from Alice in Wonderland, this trio of joyful tea parlors indulges our inner child. You can play dress-up with the baskets full of tea attire and drink cup after cup while pretending to be lost in Alice's fictional fantasy land. So far I have only been to the one in UWS and I loved it!!! Their sanwiched and scones are to die for!!!
Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers St., 212-967-6047) Chinatown is hands down one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city.This 90-year old Chinatown tea institution is newly back in business after a six month renovation. It may look like a hole in the wall, but the quality of tea inside is unparalleled. The Tang family has kept its 10 traditional Asian tea options intact but has added more "Western" flavors to its menu.
Russian Tea Room (157 W. 57th St., 212-581-7100) The Russian Imperial Ballet founded this tea room in 1927, and it still lives up to its imperial roots. Over the years, the Russian Tea Room has been the meeting place for businessman, politicians, actors, and Carnegie Hall performers. With that kind of crowd, there's definitely something special in the tea, right?
Tea & Sympathy (108 Greenwich Ave., 212-989-9735)  This British import (Anglophiles, march this way!) specializes in Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Rosie Lee teas. Stock up on particularly English inventory — that includes house teas, an extensive collection of Union Jack memorabilia, teapots, mugs, British sweets, and chocolates.
Lady Mendl's Tea Salon (56 Irving Pl., 212-533-4466 ) Set in an inn on Irving Place, the Victorian design and ambiance lend itself to a very high tea afternoon. Enjoy a five-course tea sitting, complete with dainty finger foods and scones. It's not hard to see why Edith Wharton used to entertain guests here. I'm not making this stuff up.

McNulty's (109 Christopher St., 212-242-5351) Jars and jars of loose leaf tea are stacked in this West Village tea and coffee emporium. It feels very authentic (because it is!) and makes me feel as if I've actually traveled far and wide to get a hold of such exotic satchels of tea. It only helps that McNulty's employs the use of bins, chests, and scales that date back to the previous century — proof that tea drinking has been cool for a very long time.
Teany (90 Rivington St., 212-475-9190) Music artist Moby created this space as a haven for tea drinkers, vegans, and vegetarians alike. Pair these sensibilities with its cozy Lower East Side location, and it has all the elements for a great afternoon tea break. The minimalist design and mod tea pots with unmistakable "teany" logos are just a few of the ways in which the tea room reminds its drinkers that "Moby was here."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Obsession: SUNO

I have been craving color and prints after one too long and frigid winter in NYC and to quench my thirst for vivid colors and unconvential print, I have been following the print on print trend closely.

During my research, I happened to find out about SUNO's bold, worldly prints that are designed and developed in New York City's garment district and made in Kenya.

Kenyan-American designer Max Osterweis started SUNO in 2008 after more than a decade of collecting East African kangas that he compiled while visiting his mother's vacation home in Kenya.

Loefflar Randall for SUNO printed platforms

Though there's no doubt that Osterweis lets his clothes do the talking, the fact that the designer is stimulating Kenya's economy and development by working with local Kenyan talent is something worth buzzing about. 

Osterweis trained sewing techniques to citizens who had previously lost their jobs due to failure in Kenya's textile industry - therefore creating new commerce and job opportunities for the country.

Suno's head-turning prints can be found in Barney's, Opening Ceremony and Scoop in NYC.

A crash course in Gucci and Chanel

Welcome to the new master's degree in luxury retail: How to sell to the super-rich.

Like the idea of a degree in Dior?

How about college credits in Cartier?  Well my friend, you are in luck!

A new master's program in luxury retail management at at the International Uniiversity of Monaco is offering just that.

The program aims to produce graduates who are experts in the world's most expensive cars, yachts, jewelery, watches and fashion.

The English-language program, which launched last September, accepts 35 students a year.

However, knowledge of luxury doesn't come cheap. The tuition is 21,500 Euros around $30,000, not including living costs.

You might have to pawn your Birking bag :)

Cinderella Factor

I had read about  Brian Atwood's "Cinderella Factor" - what he describes as the instantaneous transformation that occurs when a woman slides her foot into the magical shoe.

This is exactly what I happened when I laid my eyes on Christian Louboutin's Almeria open toe espadrille wedges!

Were you expecting a pair of sky-high pumps? No, not me. I am all about style AND comfort especially during summer in the city. I would hate to ruin a pair of $500+ shoes while running errands in 90degrees and go home to swollen, bruised feet, thank you BUT no, thank you!

Espadrilles have really seen a revival in the last couple of years and I have been wearing mine for a good 3 years or so now. They are sexy but also casual in a perfect-breezy-summer-day-out kind of way.

have been looking for a pair of chic yet sporty / comfy brown espadrille wedges to replace my beloved Jil Sanders (mom's gift - shout out to my mom for her exquisite taste :) ) that I have literally worn to death.

Christian Louboutin always seems to get it right: They are perfectly fine and oh they shall BE MINE MINE MINE !

They come in a variety of colors but I will take the dark browns PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE. I cannot wait to pair them with the Jbrand Houlihans skinny cargo pants that I have become an essential staple of my wardrobe as well as mini summer dresses,  Joe's Jeans frayed shorts and fresh white denim :)

Almerias not only elongate your legs and make them look super lean and toned but they are also ultra comfortable.

In my case, I am pushing 6 feet  with them on and I should admit I have had some ex bfs voice their concern about me towering over them with heels on to which I have always said: GET OVER IT! :)

Hey maybe I should start dating taller men :) After all, men come and go but your FABULOUS Louboutins stay true to you :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sexy Little Things

Whether you're dressing for yourself or for a certain someone, there are times when you want your underthings to leave a big impression.

Red is always racy and black - a personal favorite of mine - is beyond chic, but right now you should maybe start considering something a little...BOLDER!!!

Take inspiration from S/S 11's rainbow brights and neons - e.g. Proenza Schouler's incredible show - and opt for sexy, sheer things in vibrant or high-contrast color combos.

To execute this look, simply go for lingerie with simple, even slightly sporty, silhouettes and subtle girly details, like ruffles or ruching.

Then, whether you wear them peeking out from underneath a silky draped tank or let them show through a sheer slip dress, you'll look modern and amazing—just as you should ;-)

Combat Boots - Urban Warriors Unite!

Combat boots aren't only for the androgynous dressers out there!

They also serve as an excellent way to add an unexpected element of edge to femininine pieces such as the sleek pencil skirt on Kate Bosworth below.

If you need to take a break from from the high heeled stilettos and looking for no-nonsense shoes, combat boots may just be the right sensible add-on to your closet.