NYC: A DESIGNERS' GUIDE

This week I’m in the Big Apple for my NYC launch of CLOSET DESIGN BIBLE, and I’m soaking up all the energy and inspiration that inevitably comes with a visit here. I don’t have time to make it to my favorites or to check out all the hot new haunts, but in the spirit of being here, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite design-driven hotels, restaurants, boutiques and cultural attractions across the city’s top neighborhoods.


Lower East Side

Hotel: The Ludlow Hotel  -- Adorned with factory-style casement windows, red-brick facade  and a lofty industrial vibe, this gritty-meets-chic boutique hotel feels quintessentially NYC.

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Restaurant: Russ & Daughters --  For a classic NYC-style bagel and lox breakfast, this fourth generation, family-owned eatery and shop delivers the ultimate East Coast deli experience with classic counters and wood serving platters.

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Boutique: Moscot -- This 100+ year old eyewear boutique is the go-to spectacle shop for those in-the-know. Blending traditional with a hipster edge, getting glasses and shades here is a true NYC experience only enhanced by the cool, vintage displays.

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Cultural attraction: Tenement Museum -- A National Historic Site, the Museum's two historical tenement buildings were home to an estimated 15,000 people, from over 20 nations, between 1863 and 2011. Tours spotlight apartments that recreate immigrant life in the 19th and 20th centuries, which give you a new appreciation of small spaces, even by today’s standards!

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Midtown

Hotel:  The Whitby -- From the famed Kit Kemp, The Whitby is impeccably designed, fusing contemporary design with traditional elements. And, the location can’t be beat with Central Park, museums and world-class shopping steps away.  

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Restaurant: The Polo Bar -- Even after being open a few years, this is still a hot ticket in town. The food is excellent and the Ralph Lauren decor, inclusive of plaid pillows, equestrian artifacts and mahogany walls, is even better.

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Store: Bergdorf Goodman -- Chloe, Gucci, Prada...oh my! It doesn’t get better than this iconic multi-level store that was established in 1899 and maintains many of its original details.  The stunningly-designed retail institution features everything from gowns to sportswear to home decor. And, the shoe department alone is a sight to be seen!

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Cultural attraction: The Museum of Modern Art is a midtown-must! In addition to featuring incredible art, the MoMa store is the best place to scoop up cool finds and unique gifts.

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SoHo

Hotel: 11 Howard -- This cutting-edge Scandinavian designed hotel has my heart. From the clean lines to the bathroom’s marble countertops and brass hardware to the cozy, perfectly-pink throw blanket, this place is a design-dream! PSA: You can purchase the blanket which makes a great throw!

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Restaurant: Le Coucou -- It’s no coincidence one of my favorite downtown restaurants is located in 11 Howard. Though grand and glamorous, this lavish, candle-lit French eatery feels totally intimate.  

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Boutique: The Apartment by The Line -- SoHo is dotted with incredible shopping, but one of my must-visits is this unique concept store that you enter through an unsumming door. Head upstairs and find an impeccably designed apartment with every item for sale. Modern rugs, lighting, candles and clothes are styled to a T.

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Cultural attraction: Jeffery Deitch Gallery -- The founder of Deitch Projects, Jeffery is a staple in the art community. I adore his curation of provocative pop-culture pieces that always make a powerful statement and his gallery is always a fun experience.

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West Village

Hotel: The Jane -- Originally built as a hotel for sailors with cabin-like rooms, this bohemian boutique hotel transports you back in time, while offering a refreshingly timeless experience.

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Restaurant: Waverly Inn -- This exclusive townhouse-style eatery owned by media mogul Graydon Carter, is the perfect place to enjoy a cozy meal. The low-lighting and lots of little tchotchkes are all part of the homey ambiance.

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Boutique: Aedes Perfumery -- This niche shop stocks the best fragrances in the world. Not only does it smell amazing, the moody, almost gothic space brings together the best small and unknown perfumers from around the globe.

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Cultural attraction: The Whitney Museum -- Not far from the Village, the Whitney has become one of the world's leading museums of 20th-century and contemporary art, exhibiting promising and influential artists. The building itself is rather sterile, but the views from the top are some of the best in the city!

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Williamsberg

Hotel: Williamsburg Hotel -- Nostalgia meets modern at this hip Brooklyn hotel. A mix of design details like architectural fixtures, artwork from locals and custom toile-inspired Flavor Paper wallpaper designed by Mike Diamond of the Beastie Boys, makes for a memorable stay. And, not to mention, the rooms’ floor-to-ceiling 10-foot window views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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Restaurant: Lilia -- A visit to NYC wouldn’t be complete without an indulgent Italian feast and this is just the place to do it. The modern, monochromatic space shows a bit of restraint, while still feeling comfortable and intimate. Reservations are tough to get, so pan ahead!

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Boutique: Bird -- This longrunning shopping staple first opened in 1999, pioneering stylish storefronts in Brooklyn. The store makes you feel like you’re enveloped in nature with wood-paneled walls and plenty of plants. In addition to being the first LEED-certified retail store in NYC, this is the place to find of-the-moment-fashion from designers like Isabel Marant and Rachel Comey.    

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Cultural attraction: Brooklyn Botanic Gardens -- Just a short cab, Uber or bike ride away, this beloved Brooklyn attraction is the best place to wander and enjoy the expansive outdoors. With acres of beautiful and unique plants and flowers, the gardens are a reminder that nature is near, even in this urban concrete jungle.

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WILD WILD WEST

They say everything’s bigger in Texas and now spending a few days in the Lone Star State, I can see why. Hair, houses, personalities, and of course, closets are all supersized in this statement-making southern state. I’m in the middle of my launch events for CLOSET DESIGN BIBLE, and we’re making stops in Dallas and Houston this week! I’ve also done a few Texas closet projects and it’s always exhilarating to have an opportunity to design in such grand spaces. Let’s just say gold walls and mirrored islands are just the beginning — in honor of my visit, I thought I’d share some of my favorite over-the-top Texas spaces!

It’s always nice when a client wants to take risks, and do something original! This gold glam closet we designed for one of our TX clients does not disappoint, and just goes to show that they really do it bigger in Texas!

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Another favorite from the Lonestar State, this fabulous 2-story Chanel-inspired closet takes glam to another level (literally)! With a black lacquer finish, checkered marble floor, and monogrammed inlay, this closet really brings the idea of “shopping in your closet” to life!

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To see more of the iconic Champ d’Or Estate in Hickory Creek, TX, visit Elle Decor!



My timing here in Texas couldn’t align better with one of the top fall trends hitting the streets: western wear.  Rodeo-ready threads like denim on denim, buckles, bolos, fringe, turquoise, rhinestones, cowhide and endless iterations of cowboy boots are making a strong statement this season.Isabel Marant, Dsquared, Alberta Ferretti, Veronica Beard, Ralph Lauren and Etro were just a few of the brands that showcased giddy-up garb in their Fall 2018 collections. Whether you’re inspired by the influence of Westworld or the need for the good ol’ all-American aesthetic, it’s time to saddle up in style.

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RHINESTONE COWBOY

DOLCE & GABBANA

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WILDERNESS HAT

DIOR CRUISE 2018

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ROCKSTUD DENIM SHIRT

VALENTINO

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STUDDED PANTS

ISABEL MARANT

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TEXAN LEOPARD

DOLCE & GABBANA

LAST-MINUTE LABOR DAY GETAWAYS

Long, sunny days and warm, clear nights may be coming to an end, but a last minute Labor Day weekend getaway sounds like the perfect way savor the last days of summer. Here are a few of my endless summer escape picks:

Blackberry Farm -- Tucked into the Tennessee countryside, this dreamy hideaway has always beguiled me. Between the intimate rustic-chic accommodations, the on-site bakery and the world-renowned spa, this place is heaven on Earth! 

Essential packing item: Carrie Forbes Marisa Raffia Tote -- whether heading out for a picnic on the 42,000-acre property or trotting from a fitness class to the spa to lunch,  this versatile tote is the ultimate upscale farm accessory.            

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Hotel Joaquin -- This Robert McKinley-designed hotel just opened and I can’t wait to visit. The aesthetic is elegant, while still capturing Laguna’s laid-back energy. Between the private beach, in-room Vinyl record players, Le Labo products and snacks curated by Farm to People, I’m guessing this is going to be a consistent go-to getaway (like, every weekend!).

Essential packing item: Spell and the Gypsy Collective Nightingale Reversible Maxi Kimono -- who doesn’t love a twofer when traveling?...this reversible kimono works as a bathing suit coverup by day and open jacket by night.

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La Serena Villas -- A relatively new addition to the Palm Springs boutique hotel scene, this modern Moroccan-inspired escape is super IG-worthy. Originally built in 1933, the charming property offers vintage desert vibes, while still providing all the modern comforts. 

Essential packing item: Dita Nightbird-One Sunglasses -- filter that strong Cali sunshine with sunnies that make a real style statement!

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Montage Los Cabos  -- The Montage brand never disappoints and neither does Cabo, so this must be a muy bien Mexico long-weekend escape. Every room has ocean views and an outdoor shower, the spa has a shaman who performs mezcal massages and the stones-throw beach is swimmable. What more could you ask for? 

Essential packing item: Loren Stewart Infinity 14-karat Gold Hoop Earrings -- these timeless hoops go from the beach to the bar to brunch, meaning you won’t need to worry about frequent jewelry changes!

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Post Ranch Inn -- One of California’s most iconic luxury hotels, this stunning coastal, cliffside sanctuary is set in the most seductive setting and seamlessly blends with the environment around it. Multiple pools, a spa, an award-winning restaurant and photographic views means truly unwinding, even if just for a few days.  

Essential packing item: Reformation’s Costa Bra & Nadja Hotpant -- part of the eco-friendly brand’s new lingerie offering, these pretty underpinnings are perfect for making the most of a romantic retreat.

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STYLE AT SEA

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We all know how much I love a well-designed dressing space - where clothes and shoes have room to breathe and boutique backlit displays showcase all the finest accessories! BUT, have you ever wondered what the ultra-rich do with all their wearables at sea?! Strap on your life vests for some summer travel inspo, because we're looking at the pinnacle of luxury leisure - superyacht closets! 

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That's right - these billionaire boats ensure all the comforts of home, dream closets included. Representing the ultimate level of craftsmanship and efficiency, nothing goes to waste. Closets on land can take note of the highly-functional designs, executed in exquisite detail. High-gloss woods, metal inlays, and leather details bring all the style and sophistication of a luxury home to sea, and the process of getting dressed is meant to be both effortless and elegant.

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Often I take notes from boutique stores and high end hotels to enrich my clients' closets, but if any space truly brings leisure to the luxury dressing experience, it has to be aboard one of these beautiful boats.

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In case you thought 2-story closets were reserved for the mega-mansions of the world, think again! The 77m, 10-bedroom Smeralda super yacht even features a 2-story dressing space and spa. Vacation goals achieved!

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HAUTE HOTEL CLOSETS

Hotel closets are the ultimate amenity for traveling in style!

When it comes to travel, little beats a great hotel in my book.  As much as I enjoy soaking up a city’s culture, I’m not opposed to hibernating in my hotel and taking in all the design details. And, of course, I can’t resist a chic hotel closet. As some new reports show, travelers are willing to forego a dressing room for other amenities. But, naturally, I still appreciate a stylish space to hang my wardrobe and have a place to primp.

Though I have yet to experience all the gorgeous hotel closets around the globe, here are five that are worth the trek:

Armani Hotel Dubai -- Dubai hotels are known for over-the-top luxury, so it’s no surprise that in addition to two bedrooms, a dining room, a study and a private gym, the Armani Dubai Suite boasts a killer wood-paneled walk-in closet with multiple hanging rods and ample storage lining both sides.

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Burj Al Arab Jumeirah -- This sailboat-shaped hotel off the coast of Dubai embraces true Middle Eastern decadence. The opulent Two-Bedroom Deluxe Suite comes with 24k-gold iPads, a private butler, and a colorful closet featuring wood accents and a vanity. Bonus: the hotel offers professional wardrobe packing, unpacking and shoe shine services.

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Hotel Principe Di Savoia -- One of Milan’s most historic hotels (it opened in the 1920s), this divine Dorchester Collection destination is big on design and decor.  The Imperial Suite, designed by architect Celeste Dell’Anna, boasts impeccable details, including two marble bathrooms, a turkish bath and a chromotherapy system. But the best feature is the spacious walk-in closet that can comfortably house all those Prada and Dolce & Gabbana purchases.

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Lotte Hotel Moscow -- Truly fit for a queen, this hotel has the largest Royal Suite in Russia. Beyond the massie living room, separate study and library, and whirlpool and sauna, the roomy walk-in wardrobe is equipped with stone countertops, vanity and oversized full-length mirror. Let’s just say there’s plenty of space to store unlimited ushankas.

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Peninsula Hotel, Paris -- When you combine the chicest city in the world and the best hotel brand, you’re bound to get dreamy design details. The Peninsula Suite is the pinnacle of Parisian luxury.  Beyond the high ceilings, traditional moldings, a fireplace and a grand piano is the pièce de résistance -- an elegant, neutral-colored walk-in dressing room and vanity with pristine lighting and plenty of room to hang and fold designer duds (there’s even a spacious shelf to line up all the Chanel bags you collect on your trip).  

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SUMMER STARTER KIT

With the Summer travel season upon us, I'm looking for ways to pack smarter! Warmer temps mean packing lighter, but you can still be prepared for any occasion if you're strategic about the items you bring along. I'm in Bailey Island, Maine for the holiday weekend, and my LA Move Mobile Closet is packed with some of my favorite summer staples!

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Staging with Separates

I start by staging a few of my favorite summer separates! When packing for a short trip, I always try to choose pieces I can wear multiple ways! With patterned separates, I can mix and play with different looks, without the fuss of an overstuffed bag.

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Protect your Precious Cargo

Travel can be hard for your fashionable accessories, and it's important to take the extra steps to protect these pieces and avoid unnecessary wear! Stuff your handbags with smaller clothing items (socks, etc) to keep them from getting crushed in your carry-on -- this is also a clever way to maximize space in your suitcase. Don't forget the dust bags! Shoes, leather goods, and sunnies should all be protected before a long flight. There's nothing worse than arriving on vacation with a broken/scratched pair of sunnies!

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Packing like a Pro

The perfect bag can make packing a breeze! For short trips, nothing beats my LA Move! It does a lot of the work for me, making it easier to pack smaller accessories without fear of causing damage in transit, and keeps everything neatly organized for an easy arrival at my destination. I don't even have to unpack - simply hang up the bag and head for the beach!

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SUMMER SOLE-STICE

Sandal Season Has Arrived

Well, hello, summer! Today is officially the longest day of the year and I, for one, am ready for some fun in the sun. To celebrate summer solstice and start the season on the right foot,  I’m rounding up some of my favorite warm weather “soles.” Living in LA, one can’t have enough sandals -- sleek slides, embellished thongs, ankle strap heels all have a place in my wardrobe. Here’s a selection from Net-a-Porter that caught my eye this year:

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Alaia Bombe Studded Satin Sandals

Totally splurge-worthy and in the season’s hottest hue, these luxe yellow satin ankle strap flats scream summer.

Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Leather Slides

Bottega’s signature butter-soft leather woven technique makes its way to these pretty peach slides that are perfect for going to a girl’s brunch or a family BBQ.

Chloe Qassie Leather Sandals

Block heels are great for summer; they’re comfortable enough to shuffle between meetings and yet still dressy. I love this pair with a cool hammered heel. Not to mention, they’re on sale!

Gianvito Rossi Portofino 105 Leather Sandals

I’m a sucker for strappy blush tone sandals, and these ankle strap stunners from one of my favorite footwear designers work with jeans and a blazer as well as they do with a floral midi dress.

Gucci Embellished Grosgrain-Trimmed Leather Sandals

There’s no better way to “kick off” summer than with these Gucci beauties! The ultimate sandal eye candy, I like how these feel modern, yet are adorned with the label's iconic webbing and signature grosgrain bow for a touch of vintage.  

Rene Caovilla Crystal-Embellished Leather Sandals

Thongs get a chic upgrade with this pretty pearl pair that’s inspired by Venice and the city's architecture. Get ready for the constant compliments in these!

Saint Laurent Woven Leather Slides

I’m currently living in these stylish slides. Versatile and comfy they are the ultimate summer staple.

Valentino Garavani Moonwalk Studded Leather and PVC Sandals

Rockstuds are officially a fixture in fashion and I’m liking this casual take on the studded staple. Bonus: they’re on sale!

Pro tip:

Storing your shoes -- whether archiving winter shoes or organizing the sandals in your regular summer rotation -- is critical to keeping them looking good and extending their life. I recommend boot trees to help your winter warriors stay upright and shoe inserts for pumps, sneakers and sandals.










 

NYFW NECESSITIES

STYLISH STAPLES TO NAIL NYFW

With New York Fashion Week in full force, my mind is on my packing list! Though planning looks for NYC trips can have its share of challenges -- especially when the temps drop and the snow falls -- I always welcome wearing the winter pieces from my wardrobe that don’t always get a ton of time off the hangers.  

This season, in addition to taking in a few shows, indulging in late night dinners with friends and soaking up all of NYC’s design inspiration,  I’ll be speaking at SIMPLY’s NYC Fashion & Beauty Conference on Feb. 10.  I’ll be joined by some inspirational and fearless females like Catt Sadler and Brittany Snow. If you’ll be in NYC and want to attend, you can still grab your tickets here.

OK, back to PACKING! Here are a few of the looks you can expect to see in my feed for the next few days!

 

Additionally, if you're looking for some fashionable and functional wearables of your own, check out a few more essentials I'm sure will be a hit in the Big Apple this season:

Fendi 3Jours Suede-Paneled Leather Tote -- NYFW requires the right size bag and sometimes it can feel like Goldielocks...too big or too small..but this one feels just right. It’s large enough to keep show notes and other essentials but not so bulky it’ll bump people on the busy streets. I love the structural shape and classic color combo, too!

Gianvito Rossi Leather Side-Zip Ankle Boots -- Booties are a winter staple and these (from one of my go-to shoe brands) are perfect for pairing with a midi skirt or high waisted jeans and can take me from shows to supper. Plus, the minimal heel gives me little extra height, which I’ll gladly take.

Gucci Miniorophin Floral & Logo Wool Scarf -- For extra warmth, I’m eyeing this stylish double-sided scarf that will go with just about everything. All hail Gucci!  

Joseph Beth Patch-Pocket Wool and Cashmere-Blend Coat -- I imagine there will be a sea of black and fur coats during NYFW, so I’m opting for something a little different, but equally classic. I adore the neutral shade on this long wrap coat and think the double-faceted wool and cashmere blend will keep me nice and warm (hopefully!).

Saks Potts Bille Fur-Trimmed Wool Sweater -- I’ll need no shortage of cozy knits and this one crafted from heavyweight crepe offers a versatile, contemporary silhouette that is sartorial enough for the City.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'Tis the Travel Season

She’s making her (travel) list, and checking it twice!

So, you’ve got your holiday gift checklists, but what about your packing checklist? As I gear up for some holiday travel, I’ve started to gather some of my can’t-live-without travel essentials that I wouldn’t dream of leaving home without. Here are a few of my holiday travel must-haves:


Alexander Wang Amelia Studded Shearling Slippers -- Slippers aren’t for everyone, but this shearling pair with embellished silver studs look comfy enough to wear inside with a robe and stylish enough to wear outside with a flowy dress.

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Chinti and Parker Striped Cashmere Onesie -- It wouldn’t be the holidays without a playful onesie, right? There are endless onesie options out there, but if you’re looking for a luxe version, this is it.  Made from super soft cashmere that is cozy, but not too thick, I’ll be spending a lot of time lounging in this guy (especially in cold Colorado where I’ll be for New Year’s Eve!).

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Conair ExtremeSteam GS38 Handheld Fabric Steamer -- There’s nothing worse than unpacking for your holiday vacation and finding wrinkles in your clothes. So, I always travel with a handheld steamer to ensure my items look their best. This one from Conair is consistently top rated for its efficiency and effectiveness.

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FRENDS Layla Headphones -- You can usually find me working on a plane, but I can also be found listening to some good tunes or interesting podcasts to help make flights more enjoyable. These chic metallic and leather headphones are designed to match "your every outfit, mood or style” which is music to my ears. Plus, they’re on sale!

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Gucci GG Marmont Cosmetic Case -- A good compact cosmetic case is essential no matter where you’re going. And this Gucci one is the perfect size for holding all my favorite beauty items like Edward Bess Cosmetics, ToGoSpa lip masks, and Hourglass brow pencil.

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LIFE'S A BEACH

SUN. SAND. SURF.

 

Beach life really is the best. Though I don’t make it to the California coastline as much as I’d like, this summer I’m vowing to make more of an effort to soak up the seaside rays. Plus, I love any opportunity to break out stylish new swimsuits, airy cover-ups and all the beach-ready pieces that see more of my closet than they do sunshine. I’m sharing some of my favorite beach-chic essentials and also how to properly care for, and store them.

 

Swimsuit

Marysia Swim Palm Springs Laser Cut Maillot: This feminine one-piece is sure to make a splash this summer. The scalloped edges and laser cut details uniquely elevate seaside style. Plus, it’s super flattering!

 
 

Storage tip: File your swimsuits instead of folding. This way, you can see all your pieces in the drawer without having to dig through tangled two-pieces!


 

Cover-up

Madewell Belize Cover-Up Dress: The ideal cover-up to me is one that looks like a real piece of clothing and this floaty dress is just that. I can see myself going from brunch to beach comfortably in this breezy beauty.

 

Storage tip: Create a separate section in your closet for beachwear and packable cover-ups, to make for easy summer packing and travel!


 

Hat

Eugenia Kim Sunny Do Not Disturb Hat: If a hat blocks the harmful rays and also makes a style statement, I’m all for it. Get ready for a major Instagram moment with this whimsical, head-turning hat. I’m not sure sitting by the sea has ever looked better.

 

Storage tip: Store hats somewhere low in your closet! Rather than sticking them high on a shelf, you'll be more likely to wear them if you have them on hooks or in cubbies at an easily accessible level.


 

Towel 

Zimmermann Turkish Towel & Leather Carry: This beach towel looks more like a chic throw than an offensive towel, and has the most beautiful leather carrying strap. Schlepping to find the perfect beach seat will be a touch more glamorous this summer.

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Storage tip: A towel with a carrier like this is great, as it can be stored on a purse hook, shelf, or in a drawer!

 

Tote

Sophie Anderson Adorada Circle Straw Bag: Versatility in a bag is key for me and this tote is so much more than a basic beach bag. The sophisticated shape, classic colors and playful pompoms are the formula for a cute carry-all.

 

Storage tip: Care for your bigger bags by making sure they're properly stuffed! Never flatten or fold a bag when you stow it in your closet - this can cause creases and cracks, and your tote will never be the same.

 

Extras!

Don’t forget SPF (I’m liking Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce) and a good beach read (next up for me: Material Girl, Mystical World because “a closetful of designer shoes can happily coexist with a deeply meaningful life”).









 

Introducing the LA Move

A carry-on should be like a well-organized closet - functional, optimized for efficiency, and stylish!

 

As I’ve documented on CLOSETPHILE, I travel A LOT! It’s a mix of business and pleasure, but along the way I’ve become much more thoughtful about what I pack and how I pack. Which is one reason I developed LAMove a few years ago. I partnered with luggage designer and industry innovator Max Mirani to develop a luxurious carry-on that feels like a closet on wheels, as I like to say. When designing LAMove, I thought carefully about each element and what works for guys and gals on the go. Keeping in mind functionality, efficiency, and, of course, a sophisticated aesthetic, we created the ultimate mobile wardrobe that marries the elegance and efficient organization of wardrobe trunks with the portability and style demanded by today's travelers.

Designed just like one of LA Closet Design’s high-functioning and detailed home closets, LAMove ensures everything has its place. Here are a few of the fun features that set LAMove apart from other carry-ons:



  • Two separate sections help maximize space -- a garment portion for neatly hanging dresses, slacks and blouses, and a removable wardrobe section that can easily be zipped out and carried separately as a chic tote

  • Two magnetically-closed pockets for toiletries and undergarments

  • A designated shoe section that fits both heels and flats

  • A jewelry roll that can be easily detached and used as a clutch or stored in a hotel safe

  • A heat-resistant pocket for flat irons or curling irons

  • A patented cantilevered shelf to keep pants, sweaters and tops organized and accessible

  • A precise and sculptured hard-shell shape with a rich-touch, treated textile surface -- a significant innovation in luggage and exclusive to this signature collection  

  • Brushed gold hardware and leather trim

  • Dove grey, silky micro-suede interior with matching leather details

 

Be sure to follow along with my many travels here.

DESERT STYLE DREAMS

Seaside Chic

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The Look: LBD, Céline sunglasses, Gucci snake bag, Dior flats


 

J'ADIOR Flats

This is the perfect easy summer shoe to elevate any look!

The elastic back makes them very packable and keeps them in place for a long travel day on your feet.

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Emirati Evening

The Look: open-back dress, Gucci shoe, Hermés Kelly


 
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Hermés Kelly Bag

The ideal travel companion, the Kelly transitions effortlessly from utilitarian to uber-chic. Keep her with you on the journey to tote your travel accessories, then treat her to a night out when you reach your destination!

 

 

Printed Poolside

The Look: Valentino lace-up sandal, Gucci cross-body bag, floral printed skirt


 

Valentino Lace-Up Sandal

When weathering the desert heat, nothing keeps you light on your feet like a good sandal. These flats from Valentino not only transition well from morning to night (meaning fewer wardrobe changes and more time to see the sights!), but they also store totally flat! This way, they take up almost no space in your luggage.

Minimal headache, maximum impact!

 

 

Desert Downtown

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The Look: Isabel Marant dress, Gucci snake bag, Prada flats


 

Gucci Lilith Snake Bag

Slim in stature and soft to the touch, this elegant shoulder bag takes up very little space in a suitcase, but requires proper care. A great statement accessory to complete any look, I always have it in tow, with the proper dustbag, of course.

 

To further protect the bag, and help retain its shape in transit, it's always a good idea to store smaller travel items (socks/toiletries, etc) inside!

 

 

Blush X BALMAIN

The Look: Balmain dress, Céline frames, Chanel sandal, Chanel cross-body bag

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Balmain Draped Dress

This cold-shoulder number in white is ideal for the desert climate, catching every breeze! The lightweight fabric breathes while protecting against the midday sun.

 

Lightweight garments like this are great for traveling, so as not to weigh down your luggage - the trick is a good pre-flight steaming and a travel garment bag!

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MILE HIGH MUST-HAVES

Sit back, relax, and enjoy these carry-on cures for your next long-haul travel leg!

 

Who else dreads a long flight? It’s one thing to fly coast to coast, but crossing an ocean is another beast. This past weekend, I took to the skies for a 16-hour direct journey from Los Angeles to the United Arab Emirates, and I’m grateful to have some high-elevation essentials in my flight time survival kit. Here are a few of my favorite products that helped me look and feel my best at 35,000 feet.

 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir - Caudalie is one of my favorite skincare brands, so no surprise I love their Beauty Elixir. It’s great for combating a dull complexion and brightening skin, which is essential for a refresh after a long flight. Plus, the scent is heavenly!

 

Chanel Body Excellence Nourishing and Rejuvenating Hand Cream -  This Chanel hand cream is so worth the splurge. From its decadent velvety texture to its multi-tasking properties, this  revitalizing hand cream is no match for stale plane air.

 

Colgate Wisp Disposable Toothbrush - If you don’t love bringing your toothbrush in your carry-on, these clever disposable toothbrushes are super handy and great for a quick mouth cleanse. You don’t even need water!  

 

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy - We all know the plane air can be dreadfully drying, so I like to keep a powerful lip product within reach. This one keeps my lips feeling soft and smooth, and most importantly hydrated. It has a semi-matte, non-slip finish, so it’s great for layering under lipstick, too.

 

SK-II Facial Treatment Masks - I swear by these sheet masks! Sure, you may get some suspicious stares from your seatmates when you slap this on, but the mask does wonders to revive plane-plagued skin irritated by in-flight conditions. Wearing this for just a few minutes will ensure you have that vacation glow no matter what.

 

Slip Silk Eye Mask - Sleep is a natural way for the body to repair and  regenerate cells; but, getting shut-eye while high in the sky can be challenging. So, having a good blackout eye mask, like this one from Silk, is “eye-ssential.” I like that this one uses natural, pure mulberry silk and is designed to reduce friction against the skin.

 

The Elder Statesman Super Blanket Cashmere Scarf - There’s really nothing worse than being cold on a plane, which is why I’m enamored with this Elder Statesman blanket scarf.  Super soft, oversized and totally cozy, this versatile and luxurious piece just invites you to cocoon in your seat and find a good movie.  

 

COLORS OF CUBA


Cuba's vibrant colors and culture can't be missed!


I’ve heard people say visiting Cuba is like stepping back in time, and it wasn’t until I experienced it firsthand on my recent trip that I fully understood this. From the aging art-deco architecture to the retro cars that we typically only see in movies, the island revealed one splendor after another and left me feeling so inspired.

What’s hard to put into words, and even to capture in photographs, is the depth of Cuba’s soul. Wandering the cobblestone streets of Havana is transportive -- the vintage cars lining a brightly colored streetscape of historic facades -- but talking to people and experiencing the richness of the country’s culture proved to be more eye-opening than its aesthetic vibrancy.

Some of my favorite memories from my visit include are our salsa dance lessons, followed by dancing with native Cubans (equal parts nerve wracking and fun!); meeting a Cuban entrepreneur, Julio Alvarez Torres, who runs his own tour company and is working to motivate other Cubans to pursue enterprising opportunities.

It was a trip I won’t soon forget, and I’m thrilled to share with you some of my snaps that can only begin to showcase the magic of Cuba!

SUITE STYLE


UNPACKING AT THE PARK HYATT


As a part of my ongoing look at luxury dressing spaces from my travels, I'm sharing one of the chicest hotel dressing suites I've seen. The walk-in closet manages to pack plenty of luxury perks in a small space, making vacation wardrobe woes a thing of the past! The closet incorporates hanging for a variety of garment lengths, and features divided shoe storage, open and closed adjustable shelving, and a built-in jewelry safe.

THE WANDERLUST'S WARDROBE

 

I'm unpacking my list of travel items to always have in tow!


I’ve been on the road and traveling quite a bit this year, so I’m hyper-aware of what items make me look and feel my best. Whether I’m jet-setting to a client's project or enjoying a sun-filled girls getaway, I’ve narrowed down my current favorite travel essentials -- from gear to gloss -- to stow when on the go.

 

AirPods

No headphones can begin to compete with these innovative Apple ones. They’re so intuitive that when you remove them from the charging case, they instantly turn on and connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac. Then, audio automatically plays as soon as you put them in your ears and pauses when you take them out.

 

Caroline Constas 'Giselle' Top

I absolutely adore the the voluminous balloon sleeves on this wear-anywhere top. Equal parts preppy and sexy, this blouse is on-trend and perfect for a client meeting or a romantic date night.

 

EYES by ToGoSpa Under Eye Collagen Gel Masks

Fatigue is often most noticeable in the eyes, so I find these under eye masks to be a real life saver. They hydrate, plump and smooth the area round the eyes in just a few minutes. Don’t say “eye” didn’t tell you so!

 

Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo

I’m so obsessed with these nude lip crayons from one of my favorite beauty brands. They have the creamiest consistency and leave lips with a satin finish that hides any signs of dehydration.

 

J. Crew Panama Hat

A hat is a must when traveling, whether to shade the face from the sun or conceal unwashed hair, and a good Panama hat works double duty with its stylish design. This one from J. Crew is woven by hand in Ecuador from fronds of the toquilla palm, so no two are exactly alike.

 

Vince Washed Shrunken Bomber

One of the hottest trends of the season is also one of the most wearable when in transit. Great for bundling up on a plane ride to keep warm or layering over a more dressed up evening look, this chic bomber hits a style high note.

 

DESIGN DESTINATION

 

Top Creators and Curators


It’s such an exciting time to live and work in Los Angeles! The city is officially on the map as one of the world's definitive design destinations and it’s truly inspiring. With a rolodex of resources throughout LA, I’m not sure I could ever satisfy my heart’s design desire. But, there are a few stores around the city that consistently challenge and electrify me, and are my ultimate “go-to’s” for all things design.  


 

A+R

This is one of the best curated stores in the city with incredible global brands. From architectural furniture pieces to modern light fixtures to clever decor items you don’t see anywhere else, I can almost always find items for my clients (and myself!) every time I’m there.

 

Cisco Home

As a designer I pay attention to every detail and Cisco Home has the same level of technical awareness. Each unique item is built by local craftspeople at their Los Angeles headquarters and uses top-of-the-line healthy materials like organic wool, goose feathers and down, and properly stained FSC woods.

 

Huset

A true one-shop-stop, Huset is a multi-purpose store, offering Scandinavian furniture and accessory brands for home and office, men’s and women’s fashions, as well as kid’s clothing and toys. This is by far one of LA’s best lifestyle stores.

 

JF Chen

Hollywood set designers know this place well and when you see the merchandise in the grand space you can understand why. Offering an eclectic collection of furniture and decorative arts from period pieces to masterworks, this 30,000 + square foot gallery and showroom is a sight to be seen.

 

Kelly Wearstler

A maverick in her own right, I adore Kelly’s discerning design eye. The brand is a genuine extension of Kelly’s aesthetic, with unique and playful products. Whether you’re searching for an art deco inspired wallpaper, cool marble stool or bejeweled bottle opener, her designs brilliantly balance historical reference points with contemporary influences, masculine with feminine, and classic with contemporary, in the coolest way possible.


 

Lawson-Fenning

The guys behind this brand are something special. Their vintage-modern furniture and home goods embrace the spirit of  Southern California’s raw beauty — the desert, the beach, the mountains — with a contemporary sensibility rooted in mid-century lines.  I love what they’re doing -- always mixing up their inventory, but still staying true to their California spirit.

 

The Line

A retail concept shop in which merchandise is arranged as an immersive experience within an apartment, you can shop fashion, home and beauty items with context. A focus on craftsmanship and emerging designers, The Line is one of the most alluring stores in SoCal. Insider tip: be sure to take advantage of their by-appointment shopping, personal styling, interior design consultation, and gift registries for the full experience.        

       

 

RH Modern

If you’ve been inside their LA flagship store you know it’s quite the experience. I love how they curate pieces from international artisans that are consistently stylish and timeless, whether you’re buying a coffee table for your living room, headboard for your bed or lighting for your kitchen. You always know what you’re getting in terms of quality which makes RH one of my favorite retailers.