Saffron in The City Palace

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In the heart of the pink city of Jaipur was my last enchanting architectural encounter at The City Palace. Still the residence of Jaipur’s Royal Family, the complex echoes with opulence and some of the most exquisite craftsmanship I’ve ever laid eyes. Open and airy each ornamental gateway leads to one divine courtyard after the next, a true feast for the eyes. The most lovely is the Pitam Niwas Chouk, the peacock courtyard. What lies within are four adorned gates representing the four seasons and Hindu Gods. Peacocking myself, I chose this long saffron silk dress by Isabel Marant complimented with the most exquisite Lovegold find, the jewelry designer Azva. This intricately handcrafted gold medallion pendant is to die for and I fell for these lustrous gold dangle bell earrings. The perfect end to the most dreamy trip and adventure with Lovegold. India, I hope we meet again soon.

Isabel Marant dress, Azva medallion pendant & bell earrings, Mui Mui sandals

The City Palace, Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh

Photographs by Chris Roman

Gem Paradise

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In India it is believed that a stone is living material, an entity unto itself, which is partly divine and endowed with supernatural powers. It is this heart and precious appreciation that goes into every piece of jewelry made by The Gem Palace. A family business for over eight generations, The Gem Palace is now run by Siddharth Kasliwal after his legendary father Munnu’s passing last year. After spending a few days with Sidd and his brother Sam their enthusiasm for an ancient family tradition so rich and spectacular was infectious. On this unforgettable day in Jaipur with LoveGold, my dream of being iced in the most exquisite way was realized. An afternoon at The Gem Palace revealed a dedication to craft and attention to detail that is at the core of the family’s dynasty. I experienced this process as we watched the in-house craftsmen work by hand to cut, polish and set the stones for these heirloom pieces. I was touched not only by the joy that went into the creation but by the inspiration documented beautifully in a book I could not part with, Munnu Irresistible Jewels. A man after my own, in this book Munnu’s most stunning creations are pictured next to elements of inspiration from Indian architecture and art, elements that I incorporated in my imagery. Jewelry that truly is art, I am so grateful to have experienced The Gem Palace firsthand with Lovegold and the family who keeps their fairy tale pieces timeless and fresh.

Tome dress, The Gem Palace rose-cut diamond & gold necklace, rose-cut diamond necklace with emerald drops, cuff bracelets set with rubies, emeralds & diamonds, diamond & gold ring, ruby, gold & pearl tikka headpiece

The Gem Palace, Jaipur

Photographs by Chris Roman collaged against architectural imagery from Munnu Irresistible Jewels by Eric Deroo

Dove Grey & Amber Light

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Set high upon the Arawali Hills right outside of Jaipur is the majestic Amber Fort. Built by Raja Man Singh I in the 16th century the fort is known for its exquisite blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Ascending the hill on painted elephant the procession into the historical palace is something I’ll never forget. Within the main gate is the stunning complex of red sandstone and white marble with intricate carvings and painted motifs. I am struck by the airy colonnades framing surroundings that seem trapped in a different time. The layout of the palace is marked by the process of discovery, each gate revealing more splendors. The most dazzling of which is the Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace. Covered with mirrored inlay, the hall was made to reflect the light of a single candle so that it would give the effect of a night filled with glittering stars. I glided through the space in this drapey and elegant dress by Rick Owens. My time in India with Lovegold is like a fairy tale that I never want to end.

Rick Owens dress, LoveGold feather pendant, Mui Mui sandals

Amber Fort, Jaipur, Raja Man Singh I

Photographs by Chris Roman

Shades of Jodhpur, Blue City

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My fantastical plunge into Indian culture began upon entering the blue walled city of Jodhpur. I fell in love immediately as we drove through the chaos and colorful madness that is the essence of Rajasthan, India’s largest and most vibrant state. As we weaved through the tuk tuks, textile shops, past the sacred and prevalent cows tucked away was one of the most magical places I’ve ever stayed, the Raas. Preserving the bones of a 300-year-old mansion, which the hotel occupies, the design is a brilliant blend of the old and new. The red sandstone screens of the Raas echo the splendor of the Mehrangarh Fort, which hovers on a high cliff directly above. Trickling down below the fort are a smattering of pool blue buildings for which the city gets its name. With my first foray in Rajasthan came my first Indian wedding, first sari, and first encounter with gems from the iconic Gem Palace. Myself washed in shades of blue and green I felt embraced by a place so unique unto its own. More colours, architecture, and exquisite gems to come in Jaipur on my dazzling trip with Lovegold, till then.

First Sari, Munnu Gem Palace necklace, Beirn box clutch, Mui Mui sandals

RAAS, Jodhpur, The Lotus Praxis Intiative

Photographs by Chris Roman

Ox Blood, Turquoise and Gold for Delhi

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Last week I had the pleasure of embarking on the most beautiful adventure through India. A place so steeped in culture and tradition I was transported not only physically but spiritually, the pride of its people and eagerness to convey what is special about a place struck me unlike any other. As for my journey, it begins here in India’s sprawling capital, Delhi. I found this exquisite site, Jantar Mantar to be much like a massive art installation. Built by Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur in the 18th century these sculptural structures were designed for solar observation. To compliment the ox blood sandstone ruins I chose this pale turquoise silk crepe dress by Burberry, the geometric detailing and romantic feel wove right through the leafy surroundings and abstract forms. As much of India’s tradition flows around their love affair with gold and my own Middle Eastern background too shares this inherent love, I adorned myself in these geometric cuffs by Pamela Love and this stunning Temple St. Clair peridot and diamond ring. Delhi was a sweet beginning, my journey with Lovegold, the fabulous curator of gold jewelry from around the world, continues. Next stop is the magical city of Jodhpur.

Burberry dress, Pamela Love cuffs, Temple St. Clair ring, Janis Savitt earrings, Beirn box clutch, Mui Mui sandals

Jantar Mantar, Delhi, Maharaja Jai Singh II

Photographs by Chris Roman

Floral Play

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The combination of something beautiful, organic, and free eternalized into a perfect world of symmetry are Todd Eberle’s photographic bouquets. At a 6×8’ scale, analogous to paintings, Eberle’s kaleidoscopic florals pop to vibrance within the schoolhouse-like charm of The National Exemplar Gallery. The works are an homage to Warhol’s Flowers and Rorschach paintings and also seem to magnify the joy of receiving flowers as ritual, a practice established by Eberle’s long time partner, Richard Pandiscio. Complimentary to the work’s exaggerated scale and explosive pattern is this bouncy baby doll dress by Mary Katrantzou, who realized her rococo dreams in this collection. A remembrance that you can never have too much of a good thing.

Mary Katrantzou dress, Gianvito Rossio sandals

The National Exemplar, Todd Eberle, FLOWER’S (for Richard)

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Jason Gringler

Splash Nostalgia

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Two parts nostalgia and one part hope is Dan Colen’s exhibition Help! at the blissful Brant Foundation. The show is a journey beginning at the end with two massive half buried box trucks dominating the lawn’s expanse. Within the foundation is the overlying theme of life and death and everything in between. The focus of the show is spun from the artist’s dear friend Dash Snow’s death from an overdose in 2009. What results is an array of emotions wrapped in different mediums. On the ground floor is the remembrance, a video of Snow and Colen on a bender, early chewing gum paintings, a curtain of rose encased crack pipes, and a heap of fences, wires and junk that creates an enormous bird sanctuary with songbirds. Upstairs are the newer works, a sense of overcoming, celebratory confetti, trash and smashed flower paintings delight in the light filled atrium. I chose this willowy trapeze dress splashed with a custom print by Tanya Taylor, whose clothes are injected with something fun, mysterious and fleeting much like this exhibition.

Tanya Taylor dress, Topshop sandals

The Brant Foundation, Dan Colen, Help!

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Radiant Forms

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Sterling Ruby’s Bauhaus mentality, one that has no barriers within genres radiates through his show of monumental scale at Hauser & Wirth. Touching almost every medium and speaking to a range of cultural influences SUNRISE SUNSET seems to crack open the essence of a personal existence. What captures me is the dynamic interplay between themes, the classicism of the columns taken on an acid trip with their bright red psychedelic drips, the breakdown of fine art and craft exalted in the bleached and dyed flag, the collages of repurposed rags, fabric scraps, and clothing carry a postmodernist sensibility while harking back to the Amish quilts Ruby was surrounded with growing up. Wanting to play upon the idea of symbolism and its break down, I chose this embroidered lace dress by Valentino, giving an edge to the ornate with grunge hair and glossy red platforms by Carven. To me, Sterling Ruby’s work represents something perfectly undone, my ideal vision of aesthetic beauty and meaning.

Valentino dress, Carven platforms

Hauser & Wirth, Sterling Ruby. SUNRISE SUNSET

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Dreamy Everything

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The past week has felt like a dream, very excited and grateful to share that I’ve been nominated by the CFDA for their Fashion Instagrammer of the Year award. In honor of the nomination I was paired with Accessories Designer of the Year nominee, The Row, whose minimal aesthetic and easy elegance I adore. I let the fashion story unfold within Tara Donovan’s dazzling sensory installation at Pace Gallery by documenting one look with each organic form. Donovan is an artist who uses the inherent physical characteristics of common objects and assembles them to create natural formations. Enter into the first installation room and one is met with a grouping of mountainous peaks, varying in hue from icy blue grey to sea foam green, subtle variations so seductive in the way they convey depth. The sculpture is composed of several million 3×5” white cards stacked and glued to form a topographical wonderland, the perfect environment for this midi skirt with its faint striations paired with this ethereal blouse. Wandering into Donovan’s second installation called for an outfit change. This work, a sea anemone like creature that seemed to be growing and expanding, offers a play on viewer’s perceptions. Seemingly spongy and soft the piece is actually comprised of thousands of clear plastic rods radiating and pulsing into space. Drawing on the glimmering color and textural qualities of the work I chose this luminous embroidered mesh dress as the final piece in this fairytale. As for Fashion Instagrammer of the Year, votes will be crowd sourced by liking posts tagged #MyCFDA by nominees. See the amazing company I keep Here, am forever grateful to be put in this realm and for all the support!

The Row dress, midi skirt, and blouse, Sophia Webster leather and vinyl ankle boots

Pace Gallery, Tara Donovan

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Iconic Spirit

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Keith Haring is an artist whose exuberant work is ingrained in our consciousness. On view now at Gladstone Gallery are his iconic painted works on canvas and tarp from the 1980s. This exhibition with its bold abstract imagery is indicative of Haring’s dynamic spirit and conveys his ability to invent something on the spot. As he was first recognized for his public work, mostly done in the New York subway system, the works on tarp continue this idea of accessibility. In his lifetime Haring sought to create work that was lasting and meaningful in the sense that it could symbolize the spread of creative energy and bring joy. This same spirit of iconic innovation runs through the line Rodarte, this dress brings a graphic punch in keeping with its surroundings, paired with a crystal ear cuff by Ryan Storer for a punk edge. Haring ‘s expressive vocabulary and philanthropy exemplified what an artist should be, The Keith Haring Foundation continues his legacy by generously providing grants to those in need.

Rodarte dress, Ryan Storer ear cuff, Alexandre Birman sandals

Gladstone Gallery, Keith Haring, May 3 — June 14, 2014

Hair by Cosma De Marinis, Photographs by Tylor Hou

Images © Keith Haring Foundation