Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Winter is a very VERY hard season to dress for: layers, coats, boots, bulky sweaters OY! And we should know, we live in a city where winter lasts a looooooong looooooooooooog time...so to help all of you who have this same dilemma, here is Rania Abdulla, Ottawa Stylist Extraordinaire, with some great style tips for the winter and the New Year...
HSN has partnered with an extensive roster of celebrities and experts including IMAN and Reem Acra to bring viewers tips and tricks, unique stories, gift giving suggestions and exciting products in time for the holidays.
Here are some helpful holiday tips from some of HSN’s top 2010 holiday season guests and other gifting suggestions from various HSN brand partners including Mariah Carey.
1: Never underestimate the power of sparkle! Pair an eye-catching piece with even the most casual of items to take any outfit into party mode.
2: Rely on the little black dress, but find one with a unique twist, like my Sexy Snake-Print LBD for $79.95
3: Choose one statement piece of jewelry to create conversation at any cocktail party.
Reem Acra’s Holiday Dressing Tips
1: When picking the perfect holiday outfit, opt for a special top over a simple bottom. A silky shirt with an embellished accent will draw attention to your face and give you that little extra glow.
2: Sequins are a tried-and-true party option. When in doubt, find a piece with just the right amount of sparkle to achieve your own “go to” look of understated elegance.
3: When going straight from the office to your company holiday party, plan ahead. Wear a work appropriate dress during the day and dress it up for evening with something eye-catching like my patterned sequin jacket.
Bangle Set from RJ Graziano
Tori Spelling's Cluster Gem Set Necklace on Rope Chain
Set of bangles by V by Eva
Mariah Carey's Suede Bootie with Fur Trim
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Designing a new collection is still my favourite part of the whole creative process, with seeing your hard work walk down the runway following a close second. There is nothing like choosing your own fabric, creating the initial sample and seeing the finished product for the first time. It is a laborious process and with an architect’s eye you scrutinize every detail , fit and function. There is always a charm to wearing a dress for the first time, but by the time it hits the boutique sales floor, it will have already gone through photo shoot, runway, press and already be filed away in my mental archive. Moving on to the next project...
Mylett Dress $260 available March 2011.
The new Spring Summer 2011 Collection is truly a collection that I would love to wear. As any artist or designer, you are constantly defining your style and reinventing yourself. I always picture myself going to an event in a modern building, what would wear that would complement the space and become as timeless as the building itself? You know you look good when you are comfortable in your own skin, when you don’t have to try too hard, when your wardrobe becomes an extension of your confidence, originality and personal style. What I love about the new collection is that combines unexpected elements to achieve a balance of sensual cool with an edge, a polished look with understated style. I love pairing sensual lightweight fabrics with edgier metallic sequins or thicker sculptural fabrics. The opposition is fun and emphasizes the play on the delicate verses hard edge.
Elle Dress $250 available March 2011.
I love the Model off the runway look, a style that so quintessentially describes Rachel Sin. So downtown cool, so rocker glam, so effortlessly functional. We are excited to announce, you heard it first at LoveK—Rachel Sin will be expanding the collection to include a new line of separates appropriately named Model Off Duty. Look for something to stand out in, whether it is texture that that draws the eyes without being overbearing or exquisite detailing that you can’t take your eyes off of.
Model Off Duty looks I love.
Fur vest over leather leggings, Andrew Marc Mongolian Lamb Vest $1495.
This Model Off Duty line transitions effortlessly from day to night, downtown to red carpet and right into the after party. It's the perfect match of sophistication, fun and function for the chic city woman.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
These gift ideas are perfect for the hostess who tells you that “you don’t need to bring a thing” but still appreciates it when you do, the in-law who says “oh, don’t bother with gifts for me” but doesn’t mean it, and that person who has everything but still likes a little something under the tree with their name on it…
1. A tree ornament: Inexpensive thin-cut wood and felt ornaments are increasingly plentiful and have an artistic, funky vibe – check your local craft store or the holiday section of your local hardware store – you’ll be surprised what you can find there (see some simple examples below). Or for a more playful, kid-friendly feel, make your own candy cane reindeer using a brown pipe cleaner for antlers, googly eyes, and a small black pompom for a nose applied with a glue gun, all available at your local craft store.
1. A small vase full of simple white flowers: Buy a small glass or silver vase in the flower section of your grocery store and choose some inexpensive white flowers for an elegant look. This makes a great gift for a Christmas party or even a glamorous New Year’s get-together.
2. Home-made baked goodies in a cellophane bag: A lovely little decorated cellophane bag makes anything look good. Fill it with a half dozen cookies, or a couple of muffins, or fudge – as pictured below - and tie with a holiday ribbon. Festive cellophane bags are available at your local craft store or bulk food store.
1. Never underestimate the broad appeal of cheese: Have you ever noticed the sheer variety of cheeses at your local grocery store? Most of them are wonderful specialty cheeses that the majority of us don’t buy on a daily basis, like jalapeno cheddar or dill favored havarti, never mind the dozens of brands of soft cheeses. Choose something creative and festive -cranberry brie anyone?, you don’t have to spend a lot -$10 will buy a nice piece of cheese, and you can even amp up the festive quotient by placing it a cellophane bag tied with holiday ribbon.
2. Personalize a store bought gift: There are all sorts of ways to add a personalized touch to a store bought scarf, socks, dish cloth, or tea towel. Stitch the recipient’s initials into the hem or buy some iron-on letters to create an easy monogrammed gift. Also consider personalizing store-bought Christmas tree ornaments, as seen below. I bought these little tree ornament stockings and, using simple grey sewing thread, stitched my sister’s initials on one and my own on another. They make a great gift for my mom, who loves simple and thoughtful presents.
Happy Holidays and Happy gift giving!
Monday, December 20, 2010
The fist banged loudly on my apartment door.
“Yoboseyo!” came the voice of the Korean mailman outside.
Yes! It had arrived!
I scrambled expectantly from my chair and hurried to click off the door lock before turning the handle to push the door open.
There it was.
A parcel wrapped in green paper covered with cute, white, christmas bears and red boughs of holly. Its size came in at just a bit bigger than a 400-page trashy-thriller paperback.
The mailman looked at me and looked down at the package as if to confirm the recipient. He pointed to my name written clearly in the Korean alphabet, Hangul.
“Jim son-doh-suh?” he enquired, wonderfully Koreanizing my distinctly western name.
“Yes, that's me!” I replied.
Jeju Island, South Korea, then, had received its gift involving some 14,959 people from 87 different countries.
But there was still fifty per cent to finish, going from me to elsewhere in the world.
And when that recipient received that gift, all would be done for Christmas.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Reddit Secret Santa 2010.
The gift I got. It was mailed from inside Korea. But what is it?
Now I could take up the rest of the blog post with trying to explain what Reddit actually is. But apart from being pure awesomeness, it can mean something different to each and every one of its users. So I just decided to do the easy thing and search Wikipedia on your behalf. Enjoy a very standard definition:
“Users (also called redditors) can browse and have the option to submit links to content on the Internet or submit "self" posts that contain original, user-submitted text. Other users may then vote the posted links "up" or "down" with the most successful links gaining prominence by reaching the front page. In addition, users can comment on the posted links and reply to other commentators consequently forming an online community.”
The most important words there for me are online community. That's what I feel I'm part of having been a member of Reddit for three-plus years now. And that online community is what made me want to finally take the plunge for the secret santa this year. Since I live on Korea's largest island, I thought best I send something unique (and costing about $15) USD from there.
These days, that “something unique” from Jeju could be related to the Jeju Olle walking trails which loop the island. After a quick trip to one of the trail centres I now had a 2011 calendar, postcards, neck scarf, guidebook and key chain.
So did my giftee enjoy my gift when he got it all the way over in Alabama? His response warmed my heart and made all the effort more than worth it:
“I really like my secret santa gift! Although I do not know his reddit username, but would like to thank him for the gift. (I won't post his real name).
What makes it special is I had asked for something unique from areas/countries around the world and thats what I got!
I have never heard of Jeju olle before, but I do love hiking and travel and the guide really makes me want to go! Looks like a unique experience.
Thanks again secret santa and everyone reading, check out Jeju Olle South Korea, its beautiful! I will have to come back and upload more pictures of the beautiful places in Jeju Olle.”
Jeju Olle items successfully arrive in Alabama!
Oh and remember that gift the mailman delivered to me for my part in secret santa?
Well, just like me, you'll just have to wait until Dec. 25 to find out what's inside the wrapping.
I mean, it is a Christmas present!