Thursday, 21 July 2011

the Socialite

Today on the Socialite: postcard from New York!

Ah, New York. The real City of Lights, the city that never sleeps, my favourite place in the world. I'm sure you all know by now how much I love New York, so when I got an email from a potential paramour last week offering to fly me out for 5 days of the kind of fast-paced living that only New York can offer, I jumped at the chance. After the most blissful 9 hours I've ever spent inside a pressurized tin can (First Class = totally worth it) and a lovely limousine ride, I arrived at my final destination refreshed and relaxed (although I suspect the champagne in the limo may have had something to do with the latter quality), and ready to tear up the town.

My companion and I spent a marvellous 5 days in New York, enjoying late room service breakfasts in his suite at the Plaza hotel, indulgent brunches and treats at the Russian Tea Room, and rather unrestrained shopping at some of my favourites boutiques in the whole world (totally worth whichever one of Dante's circles I end up in. Whoever said money can't buy happiness just didn't spend enough).

Some of the highlights of my trip: daring each other to call up the butler at 2.30AM requesting 24-karat gold handcuffs and Dita Von Teese, the Dannijo Whitely necklace, Pierre Hardy shoes designed to mirror the Manhattan skyline (a perfect souvenir, no?), Hermès scarf and shoes, staying at the Plaza, and the treats at the Russian Tea Room. We ordered the same things everyday: pecan pancakes, cinnamon Russian toast, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and the Czar's gold and caviar parfait (nougat cream, toasted almonds, chocolate sauce and 24-karat edible gold).

Images, from top:,, Hermè, and

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Postcard from New York (lost in the mail)

This week, both the Socialite and I reflect on our visits to New York. My (long overdue - damn postal system) metaphorical postcard from New York includes a few of the highlights of my trip, including a visit to the Met to check out the Alexander McQueen exhibit; a bit of shopping at Bendel's, where I picked up this lovely Elizabeth Cole piece (out of interest, she is now collaborating with Zac Posen on the Resort 2012 collection), and a trip to Bill's Gay Nineties, an original New York speakeasy which has been visited by the likes of Marilyn Monroe over the years (love the crabcakes).

To find out what the Socialite did in New York last week...tune in on Thursday!

Images, from top: top image, copyright Sølve Sundsbø, found at the Met Savage Beauty page. All other images, my own.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The new preppy

As summer really begins to kick in (hey, I live in Oregon, OK?), I find myself perplexed by the usual conundrum that I find myself faced with at this time of year. I have traditionally always found myself, come summer, in a stylistic tug of war: the choice between being preppy, or being fashionable. Sure, being preppy is chic and desirable and totally summer-appropriate, but it’s not really current, perhaps because it’s such a classic style. So, when summer arrives, I find myself torn between a vision of floaty asymmetric Sartorialist-worthy skirts, and the hazy heat-struck dream of Hamptons style. This year, I’m looking to break the frustrating cycle, and ask myself the million-dollar question: can you be preppy and fashionable?

Well, the short answer is yes. The key is to work preppy elements into an otherwise on-the-pulse outfit, or vice versa. Take this fall-friendly outfit, for example (ever the diligent fashion editor, looking ahead a season). The preppy element, here, is the Hanna Andersson striped Long John Top. I’m not a fan of the brand (the stuff is way too plain and way too expensive), but this top is perfect for our preppy purposes (like the alliteration there? I worked hard on that); it’s probably the only great Hanna Andersson piece, so thank goodness I found it! Tucked into a nude chiffon asymmetric Topshop skirt and accessorized with summery Jeffrey Campbell El Carmen shoes and a chunky gold watch, this look is both a perfect mix of preppy and trendy, and a great summer-fall transitional outfit that can be worn into late autumn. Well, thank goodness for that. Someone pass me a mid-morning Mojito.

For those of you looking for a little discount on your preppy, check out Refinery29 Reserve's new deal on Splendid. You can spend $75, $150 or $250 and GET DOUBLE YOUR MONEY to spend on Splendid stuff (pun thoroughly intended). That means if you spend $75, you get $150 in Splendid store credit to spend online, and so on. But hurry - the deal's only live for another 6 days, ending at 11:59PM on the 18th. Get it here. Having taken care of your wallet woes, the only thing you'll have to worry about is how to get the perfect mix of preppy and chic. My advice? Just refer to the photo above of Refinery29 Reserve team members in Splendid. If that ain't it, nothing is.

Oh, and for those of you hardcore preps who are totally outraged with me right now, pick up a copy of True Prep to calm your nerves.

Images: top image, left to right: Hanna Andersson, Topshop, and Solestruck.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

the Socialite

Today on the Socialite: the hot list

Hi darlings! Well, I'm back from holiday, and boy, did I recharge my batteries! I shacked up for a couple of weeks at the divine hotel Le Touessrok in Mauritius, enjoying Shirley Temples (yeah, I know, but I've loved them ever since my first exotic sojourn as a kid, so don't judge, OK?) hand-delivered to my beachside lounger by Bermuda shorts-wearing waiters, and soaking in the sun, sounds, and marvellous treatments offered at the Givenchy spa. Ah, heaven. But I digress.

This week, I wanted to let you all in on the hottest places, happenings, and products to make sure that the rest of your summer is a scorcher. Because after all, darling, summer is a verb, and if you don't starve yourself into that designer bikini that cost you an arm and a leg (oh, look at that, you're 30 pounds lighter already!), ruin it all with cocktails and drinking from 11AM at your all-inclusive resort (what? It's all-inclusive), and fuck a few delicious young locals, well then, you simply haven't lived.

1.) First on the list: making sure you look like a supermodel. Instead of mindlessly hitting the gym (do you even know what you're going to achieve on that machine?) or working out with your regular run-of-the-mill personal trainer (he's only going to make sure you elicit those "Wow, looks like she spends her whole life in the gym" responses. You want the '"Don't worry about it hun, she's clearly just naturally skinny." "Bitch."' ones. No matter how hot he is, he's not worth it. Oh, alright, maybe he is - go ahead. But don't try too hard - at anything other than securing his number), why not get the results you actually want with the Ballet Beautiful method? Originally created by ballet dancer Mary Helen Bowers to perfect and maintain her physique while dancing with the New York City Ballet, this fitness miracle will give you "the ideal ballerina body shape". And if you need any more reasons to try it, know this: Mary Helen's the genius behind Natalie Portman's Black Swan frame. Purchase workout videos or take an online class at Ballet Beautiful.

2.) While you're working on your ballet body and planning your holiday, why not also plan your holiday wardrobe? eBay, in partnership with the CFDA, is hosting an anti-counterfeit event on Monday. Totes designed by such legends as Phillip Lim, The Row, Jason Wu, Rodarte, Coach, and many more, all bearing the slogan 'You Can't Fake Fashion', will be sold for the bargain price of $150, with all proceeds going to the CFDA. The bags exude different vibes - from the luxurious scarf-adorned Milly tote, seen above, to a preppy blue and white Coach version - but all share one thing in common: they're the perfect summer carryall. Get those twitching fingers ready. The event begins on Monday at 8AM PDT on the eBay Fashion Vault.

3.) Carbs, not cocktails? Meeting friends and dates is about to take a sweet turn: dessert bars are becoming the social spots du jour. Check in at Pollen Street Social's dedicated dessert bar (and leave ten pounds heavier) for watermelon, candied goat's curd, and basil sorbet and the chocolate table, or drop in to my personal favourite, Ladurée at Harrods (both located in London), where you can find such delicacies as afternoon tea, rose framboise cupcakes and, of course, the cult macaroons. If they're good enough for Jean Paul Gaultier and Erin O'Connor... Check out the Pollen Street Social and Ladurée websites for more information.

4.) So, you're finally ready to jet off to a fabulous location, but where? I'd recommend the Rixos Premium Bodrum in Turkey. Touted as the new Saint-Tropez, this lovely retreat is called "castle-like" by Harper's Bazaar, and features a beautiful private beach, hip destination and undeniably cool crowd. You can also indulge in the treatments offered at the Rixos Royal Spa, relaxing in the Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi, or indoor pool once the therapists have finished with you. You can even maintain your bikini body in the gym with personal yoga and Pilates instructors or Total Body Sculpting classes. Check out the Rixos Hotels website here.

Images, top to bottom: Juicy mashKulture, Ballet Beautiful and Plight of the Pumpernickel.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Sexy summer steals

Firstly, I’d like to apologize for my absence this past couple of weeks – between training for, and competing at, the last couple of fencing competitions of the season and a trip to New York City (details coming soon!), things have been absolutely crazy! But I’m back now, and I have some amazing things to share with you very soon – I can’t wait!

Summer can be a rather aggravating sort of time – at least in as far as shopping is concerned! The events you can expect to be expected at range from white tie fundraisers to lazy days at the pool at your St. Lucia hotel to summer parties in the Hamptons. When shopping for your summer wardrobe, you’ve got tricky holiday dressing to take into account (the club scene, potentially formal evening restaurants, pools and beaches, casual day dressing, day-tour dressing…). Basically, this all equals a rather exhausting shopping experience, both for you and your wallet!

But no more! Below, I’ve included a roundup of some of the best summer steals around, so you can complete your stunning summer wardrobe and still have enough money to actually buy yourself a cocktail at that cool Ibiza bar you’ve been planning a trip to. You can thank me later.

1.) These gorgeous pointy-toed nude pumps (seen above) are available at Gap for the slashed price of $98.99 (down from $125). These shoes are perfect for more formal events (they can be dressed up for a wedding or white tie event) or just in adding more polish to your everyday look. Get them here.

2.) To go with your lovely new shoes, how about a fittingly ladylike necklace (also seen above)? This stunner from Charlotte Russe, of all places, offers a hint of straight-laced sophistication, and would be perfect paired with a 50's bathing suit and gladiator sandals at the pool, or with a maxi dress that screams "laidback luxury" for an evening event. It's also a nice transitional piece: the coming Fall trend of ladylike elegance (think pencil skirts, pointy-toed pumps and pussybow blouses) will be wonderfully accompanied by this pretty necklace. And the best part? It's available here for just $7.99! Now, I'm normally not a fan of Charlotte Russe, as I think that items that cheap must also be made inexpensively, and I hate things that might break prematurely, but I must say, at a price like this, it's worth the shortened lifespan. Plus, cheap accessories are much easier, in many ways, to pass off as respectable than cheap clothing. So dress up this necklace and tell everyone that it's a vintage piece. I won't tell.

3.) I'm sure you're all aware of the ASOS and Topshop summer sales taking place right now, but they're definitely worth reiterating!

4.) And to give you the satisfaction of ordering a size down in your new, bargain-priced summer wardrobe, why not score a Joulebody cleanse for 40% off? Refinery29 Reserve is offering you the chance to slim down at a crazy-good price in just 5 days (!) with this super-easy cleanse from Joulebody (seriously. No yuckiness involved, just a simple, short cleanse that comes with meals - yes, you actually get to eat! - and a personal supermarket tour to correct your shopping - and, thereby, eating - habits once you've finished your cleanse and are ready to consolidate your new life and slender bod). But you'd better get your skates on, because this deal's only going to be around for 6 more days! It's the perfect cleanse because, just like it says on the tin, you can "slim down without starving with a real-life cleanse you can actually do". Hello, size 4! Get your new clothes label here.

5.) And last but not least...I have some super exciting deals coming exclusively to my readers very shortly...think discounted Brazilian blowouts to give you salon-worthy locks and hot Hollywood workouts at a fraction of the cost... Will keep you posted!

Images, top to bottom:, and Refinery29 Reserve.