Recent Style Articles

Street Photography from Pitti Fashion Week in Florence, Italy

Sharp dressed dog in Florence, Italy

Technically, I’m on “vacation” this week– tooling around Italy with my husband. But “vacation” is a tricky concept for someone who has been running a travel blog for 3 years… I’m not sure if it’s possible for me not to publish a post when I see something cool that I’d like to share. Fortunately, my husband is a workaholic and pretty tolerant when I feel the need to whip out my camera.

Even the dogs dress up during Pitti Fashion Week in Florence

I’ve been in Florence for the past few days, which happen to be part of Pitti Fashion Week. Italians are a stylish bunch– I even met a puppy who is better dressed than most and decided a photo essay of street photos wouldn’t be too intrusive on my “vacation.”

Florence’s Bapitstry is wrapped in Pucci in honor of Fashion week

Florence’s famous baptistry is currently wrapped in a Pucci print for Pitti Fashion Week. Pucci grew up in Florence and was at one point a member of the Italian parliament.

Linea Pelle Pop-up Shop for Pitti Fashion Week

Florence is famous for leather work. Italian leather goods manufacturer Linea Pelle has a pop up in the streets of Florence to show how their high end leather goods are made. It’s pretty cool.

Sticker street art in Firenze

The big news here in Florence is that as of two weeks ago, the Accademia Gallery started to allow non-flash photography in the gallery, which means now you get to see Michelangelo’s David– a true masterpiece– while darting a throng of iPad photographers taking selfies.

Old school photo booth on the streets of Florence

I’m sure David will start appearing in #selfies all over Instagram, Snapchat, and Grindr. But while Michaelangelo was a genius with perspective most selfie shooters are not. Expect amusing (and unflattering) #DavidSelfies in your social media streams.

Eurotrashy David-inspired Boxers

If you’re planning a trip to Florence, be aware that waiting times for the Accademia Gallery can be 3 hours or more. Do yourself a favor and book reserved tickets online before you come. It’s well worth it and there are much better ways to spend your time in Firenze other than waiting in line.

The David does not disappoint

Don’t miss seeing the David. I’d put it up there with the Pyramids of Giza and the Taj Mahal in terms of living up to the hype (unlike the tiny Mona Lisa).

Ciao for now.

Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze

Address: Via Bettino Ricasoli, 60, 50122 Firenze, Italy

Phone:+39 055 294883

You can book reserved tickets and schedule your visit to Accademia Gallery in Florence here.

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Behind the Scenes at the House of Krug

Champagne Tasting at the House of Krug

Be sure to check out my Obsessed: The House of Krug piece in the winter issue of Snap Magazine the #Color Issue. Snap is a digital lifestyle publication from the people behind Hipstamatic and Oggl apps.

Bottles and corksChampagne colored glassesPour from aboveKrug CourtyardKrug's signature Dark Cherry RedKrug SwagKrug ArchivesHand turning Champagne during the aging processDeep inside the Krug cellarsBarrels of sample winesHigh tech vatsLooks like something Walter White might have in Breaking BadKrug Picnic BasketKrug CorkKrug IDDeep in the Krug cellarWall of Champagne bottlesReims morning

Oggl Images from my day in Reims touring the House of Krug

It’s always difficult to pick which images to include in the edit I turn in, so I’ve included a few more of my favorite from my trip to the House of Krug here in this post for my blog readers.

You can subscribe to Snap for free in the iTunes store, but you don’t have to have an Apple device to read it. You can check it out online here.

Contributing to Snap is one of my favorite accomplishments of 2013. Combine that with a tour of my favorite Champagne house and this day was a total win. My HipStop piece on Marrakech is also featured in the #color issue and runs from pages 34-40.






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Monogram on the Spot at L’Aventure: The Louis Vuitton Travel Pop Up in Paris

Wall of luggage tags at the L’Aventure Travel Pop Up Shop

When I found out this week’s #FriFotos theme was the alphabet, I decided to take the opportunity to tell you about the really cool Parisian pop up shop I just visited.

If you’re going to be in Paris before the end of December, I highly recommend checking out Louis Vuitton’s travel-themed pop up shop, L’Aventure, located at 22 Avenue Montaigne. The store not only explains the history of Louis Vuitton’s brand origins as luggage makers to French aristocrats and now the likes of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. The shop will close on December 31st, 2013.

Wall of Louis Vuitton trunks, both old and new

The shop is full of travel related eye candy as well– from Louis Vuitton City Guides to colorful luggage tags you can have monogrammed with your initials right on the spot (it’s a free service for up to three initials). There is even a beyond fabulous Louis Vuitton leather hammock that I was temped to try out while the monogram machine was warming up.

Left:  Dear Santa- can I have this leather swing? Right: The Louis Vuitton leather hammock’s chic gold clasp

Service at the shop was top notch and I thought it served as a really good introduction to the brand. City guides and luggage tags and other accessories were surprisingly affordable, making them perfect holiday gifts.

One, two or three letter monograms are free of charge at the L’Aventure Pop Up

Left: The alphabet by LVMH Right: The monogram machine warming up

Not going to Paris anytime soon? You can check out the Louis Vuitton City Guides in Digital format using the Louis Vuitton Amble app for iPhone. The app is free and the Digital City guides on Amble come in multiple languages and are available as an in-app purchases (the Paris Guide cost $9.99).

An artist hand-painting Louis Vuitton travel accessories shows the hand craftsmanship that goes into the brand

So even if a custom monogrammed Louis Vuitton trunk is beyond your budget, the Amble app and City Guides are a digital budget luxury.

Colorful Louis Vuitton City Guides in Paperback format

L’Aventure Travel Pop Up Shop by Louis Vuitton (open through the end of December 2013)

22 Avenue Montaigne, Paris

Phone +33 1 45 62 47 00

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Chinese Destination Wedding Photos in Sydney: a Photo Essay

Chinese Wedding Photos in front of the Sydney Opera House

On my recent trip to Sydney I learned it’s a thing for Chinese couples to forget the destination wedding ceremony and instead opt for at trip and destination wedding photo shoot in sunny and scenic Sydney.

My Deluxe Opera view room at the Park Hyatt Sydney had a killer view of the Sydney Opera House and seemingly never ending parade of Chinese brides and grooms in rented (or “hired”as they say Down Under ) dresses and tuxes kissing and posing in various degrees of awkward.

Hipstamatic Chinese Groom + Bride in Sydney

I spent a little time researching on the Google and found there is a whole industry dedicated to the Chinese bridal market in Sydney. This niche market has everything from rental houses who will provide Chinese brides with selection of the latest in wedding dresses and accessories (note: poufy seems to be in vogue for Chinese brides),  to a team of hair and makeup people who specialize in Asian makeup, and tux rental. 

Thoughtful Posing in front of the Sydney Opera House

Many photographers charge by the hour and will photographing Chinese wedding couples in front of all of Sydney’s postcard worthy landmarks including: The Sydney Opera House, The Harbour Bridge, The Royal Botanic Gardens, The Rocks, and Circular Quay.

This photographer was getting edgy and mixing things up by making the Chinese groom pose with the bouquet.

The bride’s dress was too long, and the “lift up your bride” situation did not end well

Brides and grooms always make me smile with their optimism and joy. It was nice to see how good wishes for newlyweds transcended language barriers as passersby wished the newlyweds well.

Adorkable Chinese Bride in Sydney (hipstamatic)

Now I’m wondering if these couples opt for a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony at home. If you know, please let me know in the comments section.

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St. Regis Bora Bora Destination Weddings Complete With Exclusive Cecilie Melli Bridal Gowns

Cecile Melli’s Pitate Dress (all the photos of the Cecilie Melli wedding dresses in this post are courtesy of the St. Regis Bora Bora)

The holidays are always a popular time to get engaged, and the trend of destination weddings continues to be a favorite among couples that want to make their special day unique, memorable and intimate. Many couples have busy lives and want to avoid spending every minute micromanaging their wedding details, yet still want a dream wedding. The St. Regis Bora Bora is focused on providing 5 star service and one-stop shopping for couples planning a wedding in Bora Bora, removing all the hassle from wedding planning, allowing you to simply enjoy your marriage in paradise.

When I was recently invited to stay at the St. Regis Bora Bora, I got to sit down with Karine Vanhee, the lovely on-site wedding coordinator, to discuss some of the unique options available for St. Regis Bora Bora wedding couples. Karine told me there is a soon-to-open bridal boutique which will feature dresses from chic Norwegian designer Cecilie Melli.

The St. Regis Bora Bora even has a romance concierge dedicated to making your wedding wishes a reality. If you’re already married but want to celebrate a special anniversary, the romance concierge is happy to work with you to come up with some extra special activities in the unique and beautiful surrounds of the resort. They even have some innovative and romantic ideas for proposals if you’re you are looking for an unforgettable way to pop the question.

For brides-to-be who really like the idea of a destination wedding but dread the logistics of traveling with the gown of your dreams on an airplane, The St. Regis Bora Bora has come up with a genius solution: a wedding dress boutique on property, stocked with Cecilie Melli’s flowing and romantic wedding dresses available for both rent and for sale. Rates for rentals $550 USD for a short dress and $650 USD for a long gown. Melli has designed two wedding dresses which will be exclusively available for St. Regis Bora Bora brides.

Left: Low Pitate & Tiare Apetahi exclusive gowns for St. Regis Bora Bora bride, Right: Melli’s Low Laelia dress

Melli’s Pitate and Tiare Apetahi gowns will be exclusively available for St. Regis Bora Bora brides. These two dresses will be available for purchase only and must be custom ordered in advance, and Cecile Melli will tailor-make them. All Cecilie Melli dresses are available for purchase as well, but brides will have to buy them in advance.

For even more tropical gorgeousness, all St. Regis Bora Bora brides (and grooms) can borrow pearl jewelry from the Robert Wan boutique on property to wear them on their wedding day (for free).

Above: The Tiare Apetahi dress is floaty and perfect for a Bora Bora beach bride

Above: The blush colored Likiko’i dress by Cecilie Melli and Robert Wan Pearl Jewelry works perfect in the island paradise surroundings

Above: The Cecilie Melli Laelia gown and the gorgeous lagoon

Left: The Lantana gown  Right: Pitate & Tiare Apetahi, Melli’s gowns exclusive to St. Regis Bora Bora brides

The St. Regis Bora Bora can arrange legally recognized weddings in French Polynesia (with paperwork filed in advance,) although most couples opt for a “joining of hearts” ceremony. Anniversay couples and Same-sex couples are also welcome to have a ceremony at the St. Regis Bora Bora

Weddings can take place at many different sites on the 44 acre resort property, such as on the beach, on the deck of your overwater villa, or at the amazing Lagoon Restaurant. The toughest part might be deciding where on site to have your wedding at the St. Regis Bora Bora– there are so many beautiful options. The wedding coordinator can handle all the details regarding food, flowers, photography and video packages, too.

For more details on wedding packages, contact Karine Vanhee, the wedding co-ordinator at

Island in the Sun (magic hour off the deck of overwater villa 122 at the St. Regis Bora Bora) photo by Jen Pollack Bianco


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