Archived entries for Style

Cathay Pacific party!

Flying doesn’t get much better than Cathay Pacific, the only airline I spend more time on than JetBlue, thanks to their daily JFK – Vancouver flight which is perfect to supporting the life of the Vanyorker. So I was thrilled to attend a party they hosted the other night at the Madison Avenue outpost of Shanghai Tang, the Hong Kong retailer that makes Cathay’s first class pajamas (not to mention some of the most fabulous leather goods). Great champagne, great company, a great fashion show!

My new K-Way

Sometimes in life you see something and just have to have it. Such was the case the other day in Vancouver. I popped into Holt Renfrew’s gorgeous Pacific Center store and as soon as I spotted this French drapeau-inspired K-Way creation, I couldn’t keep my eyes off it. I kept trying it on and walking away from it, thinking that it was a bit frivolous of a purchase. So off I went to roam Vancouver, but thoughts of this beauty kept swirling in my head. So two hours later I returned and snagged the only one on the rack! (Of course that night I was told by a local that they used to buy K-Way at Wal-Mart…and hear I was being duped into buying mine at Holt’s.)

Lunatic Fringe

I’m as big a salon snob as any urbanite, which I why I was so thrilled when I broke my big city-salon only rule and tried out Lunatic Fringe when I was recently in Salt Lake City.

From the second I stepped into the place, in the city’s gayish Sugar House section, I felt my stresses disappear in this oasis of clipping calm. After introductions more fitting for a first date (it’s that friendly Rocky Mountain way), I was whisked into the warm “Lather Lounge,” where my hair advisor Jon spent no fewer than five minutes rubbing all that ails my hair out of it with various tea tree potions.

Afterward a lengthy consultation on the merits of various styles, he sliced away, giving me a look certainly more fitting for NYC than SLC. And all it took to finish off was tonic lotion, thickening spray, and Surf Spray and Sumo Tech (whatever that is) from Bumble and bumble. I can’t recommend the place enough…(seriously.)

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AA in NYC

Angela Adams stopped into New York tonight with a terrific trunk show at Design Within Reach on the Upper East Side. My favorite designer, and not only because she is the only one of my babysitters to become well known, down-to-earth Angela gave an excellent presentation on her design inspirations (i.e. North Haven, Maine). A flock of North Haveners were in attendance, including 3/5 of my elementary school class (those in the know will understand..ha!). She has motivated me to finally pick up the “Kelly” runner below.

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The many things I love: Angela Adams

angela_1119My fav designer and former babysitter Angela Adams launched a new web site this week and it’s to-die-for. Fellow North Haveners will recognize some of our favorite spots and people throughout her revamped site.

Even though her goods can be spotted in shops from Vancouver to Mexico City and from New York to the Virgin Islands, her roots and the influences of her hometown shine through in all her work.

As always, the best part of her site are the personal touches, like quotes from her mom: “‘How are things in America,’ my mother asks when she calls me in Portland. Not because she is not in America, but because the mainland feels so foreign when you live on an island. Miles — and time — separate the island from the distractions and chaos of most daily lives.”

South Beach

It’s not every day I get to see models showing off their stuff, but that’s precisely what I’ve been doing at the swimwear shows at Miami Fashion Week. Before anyone begins to get the mistaken impression that I’m a fashionista, let me set the record straight: I’m certainly not. A friend who helps organize the event dragged a gang of us. Why else would anyone want to go to Florida in the middle of July?

Here are a couple of shots from the weekend: in the first, my friends Chad and Justin look out to sea from the rooftop of the Raleigh Hotel before the VIP after-party began (yes, somehow we managed to become VIPs, thank you very much.). In the second shot, a blurry model struts her stuff at the Lycra show on Saturday night. If you squint you can see actress Tara Reid in the front row.

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Below are shots of the Art Deco Delano Hotel on Collins Avenue, and some pebbles just off the main drag on the way to the beach. Though I have publicly professed my disdain for Florida in various forums, I have never dissed on Miami. The city is relatively attractive — especially in the Art Deco South Beach — and it’s cosmopolitan as any city. It was interesting to talk to locals who have seen major changes in the city over the past decade as Miami has grown into a upscale destination catering to the ultra-rich of Latin America.

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My beautiful new hat

Faithful blog readers may remember that I was getting hot and heavy for the 2006 Canadian Olympic hat when designs for it were first made public last year. Today I finally got the nerve to buy one at the Hudson’s Bay Company (aka The Bay), and all day I walked around Toronto getting looks. My pouty friend Joe, pictured here, assured me I’d look like a fool wearing the hat, so we agreed I just had to buy it.

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You’re not 16 anymore!

There are many people who should probably not be wearing Abercrombie, including the company’s 61-year-old founder.

Update: Apparently I’m not the only one scared by Mike Jeffries. Gawker talks to Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the piece’s author.

Racy undies

Style guru Russell Smith at the Globe and Mail has discovered an online undie emporium, UnderU (This site may not be suitable for work, so beware!). He calls it “an amusing experience, particularly if you are an admirer of hairless muscular youths pretending to play Twister or doing their laundry in clingy briefs.”

“Part of the fun of such a catalogue, of course, is, let’s be honest, the eye-popping bulges, and in this particular one, a few of the models appear to be, let’s say, particularly happy to be photographed.”

Hot new Canadian spas

spas_for_menAir Canada’s e-zine, onAir, features a piece on male grooming, or manscaping, and a few tempting spas in this month’s edition.

“Metrosexuals move over. There’s a new man in town. Introducing the übersexual: men who want to be in touch with their feminine side and feel like real men again. Catching on to this new market of men who watch basketball and take care of their skin (think P.Diddy), manly spas are cropping up all over the country.”

• Absolute Spa at the Hotel Vancouver is “luxury spa with a major injection of testosterone…At this downtown spa, you might spot Ben Affleck or Simon Cowell having a hot towel shave or eyebrow shaping but you definitely won’t find anything pink.”

• At Bode Spa in Ottawa, “shots of scotch or tequila are on hand to bolster the courage of waxing virgins.”

Male salons catch on with sports, beer and waxing

All men need a little pampering from time to time and the growing business of salons for men, replete with beer for men getting their nails done, is taking off to meet a growing demand. “Men are getting more vain,” said Marian Salzman, author of “The Future of Men” and director of strategic content at ad agency JWT in New York. “There’s more pressure to look young and sexy. Even young boys are waxing their bodies to be hairless.”

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How to make a pretty face

Occasionally, I get asked about the products I use to keep my skin so radiant (I’m not convinced that it is; this week it’s rather zitted, in fact). It’s not that difficult to achieve doll face skin, as long as you have the right tools: at least six different kinds of face washes, two or more pumice scrubs, three kinds of lotion, coarse face cloths, and sturdy cotton pads.

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1. To begin, get your pores wide open with a steamy hot shower.

2. Use a small amount of Kiehl’s Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser ($11, available at Holt Renfrew, Neiman Marcus, and Saks), in gentle circular motions, all over your face, focusing on the “t-zone,” that oil-catching area comprised of your forehead and nose. Rinse. Because it’s good to alternate products, every other day replace the Kiehl’s with Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser ($6, at Walgreens and Target). You’ll die when you feel how soft and supple your skin is after using this stuff.

3. Out of the shower, the shave is a tough proposition. It kills your face, so you must pick a product that will help your skin revive itself after repeated scraping. I prefer Anthony Logistics for Men Shave Gel ($15, at Sephora and Parkleigh in Rochester). Also appropriate is the Jack Black Beard Lube Conditioning Shave with Jojoba and Eucalyptus ($15, at Bloomingdale’s and Ogilvy in Montreal). Neither will lather, and they shouldn’t. Only a thin layer is needed for an effective shave.

4. After your shave, drape a steaming hot face cloth (preferably a rough, hard-water-washed one) on your face, let stand for 15 seconds, then rub all over to clear your pores. Be rough. You have a lot of dead skin to take off.

5. Now that your pores are wide open and vulnerable to toxin filled-air, close ‘em up with the Kiehl’s Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion ($10 at Kiehl’s in Vancouver). Use a sturdy cotton pad to apply, using circular motions and again focusing on the t-zone.

6. After these five simple steps, just slather your face with Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture($10 at CVS), or during the sunny months, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer with SPF ($16). By now, you should look fabulous!

7. If you’ve made it all the way to Step 7 without quitting, your hands are feeling a little wrinkly with all the product lathering you’ve done. So rejuvenate your hands with sweet grass-scented hand lotion from Nancy Boy, the San Francisco cosmetics line designed especially for gay men. ($15, at Nancy Boy in the Castro, or nancyboy.com). Two pumps does the trick, and then people will say, “Wow! How do you smell so good?”

It’s that easy.

Angela Adams

Last night I went to an Angela Adams trunk show in Boston and picked up a surprise or two as holiday gifts. I really love her stuff; she has such a great sense of style, with a strong understanding of space and place inspired by her hometown, North Haven Island.

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Canada’s new Olympic outfits

canada_olympic_uniformsIt’s a classic “Is it the clothes or is it the model?” conundrum. But either way, I like this Toronto Star shot from yesterday’s unveiling of the Canadian line of officially licensed clothing for the 2006 Olympics in Turin.

The ho-hum and almost lifelessHudson’s Bay Company brand (aka the Bay, a 335-year-old  department store chain) paid $100 million for the privilege of outfitting Canada’s Olympians through 2012, which includes the 2010 Vancouver games, and as with any commercial enterprise, they’re hoping the stylish retro outfits they’ve created for athletes translate into big sales for the company. Consumer versions will soon be on sale.

“It will remain to be seen which item (takes off with the public),” said Suzanne Timmins, fashion director at the Bay. “Right now, we’ve gotten some feedback on our trapper hat that everyone seems to love. That’s the one people seem to be talking about the most.” I have to agree — I want one of these hats. Now.

Written in the scars

hollywood_scarsEver wondered what L.A. people talk about? “It’s a stereotype that people in Los Angeles sit around at dinner parties and discuss cosmetic surgery,” Nell Scovell writes in the New York Times. “And, of course, it’s true.”

Start with Nicole Kidman. Her ubiquitous and strangely frozen forehead kicks off the discussion with the insoluble question:

What the heck did Nicole Kidman do to her face?

The theories start to fly.

“She definitely had a brow lift.”

“No, no, it was an eye job plus Botox.”

“It looks to me like she had a liquid nitrogen peel.”

“I heard she no longer has expression in her face, so she had to change her acting style, and now she has to act more with her body.”

Many more hilarious examples online…

The many things I love: Angela Adams goods

I serendipitously ran into my childhood babysitter Angela Adams yesterday in San Francisco. If you don’t know her stuff, you should, and you should buy lots of it. Her rugs and handbags turn heads, and her glassware, which fills the shelves of many fine homes (and many of ill repute, such as mine), are absolutely beautiful!

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Poor Martha, stuck on Mount Desert

martha_leaves_jailMartha Stewart was stuck in the rain on her plane in Maineand unable to jet across the bay from Bar Harbor to Nova Scotia for her long-awaited, on-again, off-again appearance rowing a hollowed-out pumpkin in a local regatta. Many tears have been shed on both sides of the border — mostly from the poor producer of hers who was already in Nova Scotia and ended up having to row a pumpkin in Martha’s absence.

Canada had initially refused the domestic maven permission to enter the country because of her criminal record, but she was issued a temporary residency permit a few days ago when the snafu was realized. Her fast-tracking has caused no small controversy, especially because this is just another in a long line of immigration mini-scandals this year

Martha can come to Canada!

A quick bit of diplomacy and Martha Stewart will be coming to Canada on Sunday after all. It certainly wasn’t a good thing that until this morning the domestic maven was not being allowed into Canada because of her criminal record. She is scheduled to squeeze into an oversized, hollowed-out gourd and paddle across a lake in the annual Pumpkin Regatta near Halifax.

Metrosexuals hit Calgary

Apparently, metrosexuals are now running rampant in Calgary.

Outdoor clothes for the indoors set

fleece_modelAutumn has returned to New England and it’s hard to miss the signs all around. A cursory glance down Newbury Street reveals that everyone is back in their fall finest — which in new England means a sturdy yet stylish piece of Patagucci or a fleece from the North Face, even if the wearer never ventures north of Beacon Street. Outdoor clothes for the indoor set are all the rage here in Boston, like elsewhere. In Vancouver, fleece is a way of life. “Buy fleece, wear fleece, love fleece,” could easily be the city’s mantra.

The explosive growth in brands like Patagonia and North Face is all about form over function. One college student shopping at North Face told the Globe, “I’m sure it keeps everyone warm, but it’s really about the look. Everyone at my school wears it. It has a preppy, clean-cut look.”

Of her new jacket, the student said, “If I ever did go camping, I wouldn’t take it. I wouldn’t want to ruin it.”



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