VA-VA-VOOOOOMMM

What’s spring without a big hit of color? 

 

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Red is well-known for its seductive powers, and we both feel it is the the fiercest shade in the wardrobe for a trailblazing Spring.  We jumped into this editorial layering different (but compatible) shades of crimson for power moves and playful laughs.  Wearing fiery red always helps boost our mood, stamina and confidence.  Not for the shy or faint of heart, our favorite bold color will satisfy anyone drawn to making a strong statement.

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On Francesca:

A lot of people write to me asking why I don’t wear jeans or pants, and then proceed to ask if it is ‘okay’ to wear pants.  Of course it is okay to wear pants (and whatever else you want), as long as you are comfortable in them!  Personally I find pants very restrictive and love to wear skirts for comfort and mobility.  But last week I embraced something new and bought the silkiest, loveliest crimson pants from H&M that feel like pajamas.   I had to add a feminine touch by pairing these relaxed pants with a bright red corset.  I satisfied all of my current fetishes…including my corset over blouse obsession, my sparkly chocker addiction, and (duh) my monochrome craze.

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On Valentina:

I resisted the urge to stop at just a pop – instead I created a long line of color that is often visually slimming and stunning.  As (almost) always I opted for pairing feminine (my light and silky dress) with masculine (my tough puffer jacket). I find an addictive balance in this combination, and I can’t seem to ever walk way from the habit of combining my daily outfit in this manner.

I’ve been obsessed with my red Ienki Ienki Puffer Jacket ever since I first tried it on, and even though it feels like summer has arrived, I have desperately been trying to wear it during the few, last remaining rainy California days.

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FRONT ROW

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BRING IT LIKE A SUPERHERO

 

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Confession:  2017 has been a rocky start for us.

Let’s be real.

It feels like monsoon season (cold, dark, and raining for days), Christmas is over, Trump’s executive orders scare us everyday, and in the midst of it all our New Year’s goals have been slightly sidelined.

All we want to do is getaway!

It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of life, and we often find ourselves neglecting our health (and sanity!)  Sometimes we need what feels like superhuman strength to keep pushing forward.

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How do we become our own superheros and power through?
Focus on reinvigorating inspiration, which for us starts with the power of a dramatic #OOTD.  To get re-inspired, we went back to basics in a clean  white and black palette (on the one day the sun came out to give us enough good light to shoot an editorial). Black and white are very cleansing to the mind, and always looks modern. The perfection of high contrast is shocking to the system in an ultra chic manner, jolting the wearer into action once again.

 

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VALENTINA’S BOLT OF WHITE

A refreshing hit of white is just the tonic for turning a palette of darks from boring and insignificant into something memorable and interesting.  Valentina took her creativity to the next level and re-designed an old Forever 21 long white dress (similar here) into a striking, minimalist, white coat – perfect for asserting her authority and confidence in herself and with others.  To elevate the clean lines from to ladylike into edgy territory, Valentina employed the sophisticated underpinnings of Wolford’s lacey black tights.  Valentina encourages us all to use the cold weather as a time to get creative with seductive touches of black lace, silk and suede a la her outfit here.

aimg_5460aimg_5420FRANCESCA’S SUPERWOMAN KA-POW!

The LBD has been around for at least 100 years.  Coco Chanel was the first designer to create a big shift in the 1920s with the LBD; she gave power to an alluring concept, that simple black meant strength.  In the 1920s Vogue had tipped the LBD to become, ‘a sort of uniform for women all over the world, from all backgrounds regardless of their walk of life’.  Today Francesca chooses to wear the LBD as a statement of freedom and confidence.

Legs. For. Days.

 Francesca’s perfect addition to her superwoman LBD has also become her official addiction.  Spring’s key statement heel – thigh high boots – are becoming a growing staple for Francesca.  This statement approach to dressing that instantly elongates the body. As someone who is never caught in pants, these velvet ( a hint of Old World elegance) Raven Simmi Shoes boots make the perfect addition to Francesca’s sculptural black cape dress.

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Tell us below – how do you conquer your stress and become your own superhero?  What are your go-to power outfits? 

 

LOVE POTION

Whether you are single, taken or in the first throws of passion, love is in the air!

We decided to shoot two romantic looks featuring our favorite combination – red and pink.  As we shot each look by our favorite new wall, we excavated the issues that Valentine’s Day often brings up:  what characterizes an amazing relationship and how do we (realistically) maintain that connection and effort?

 

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It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and see those closest to us as so familiar that we stop putting in the extra effort to truly hear and feel them on a deeply connected and respectful level.  As two people that have experienced the ups and downs of dating, of being in family fights, and of battling the intricacies of friendships, we have observed that there is an art to building term relationships.

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But how many of us have learned how to build loving relationships?
And where did we learn?
At home?
At school?
Here is our advice from the school of life experience:

 

1. Appreciation

Frequently we forget to let other people in our lives know that we appreciate them. We think it, but we don’t remember to show it. This occurs in our romantic relationships as well. Healthy couples vocalize their love for one another, saying “I love you” often and offering compliments. Show your special someone that you love him or her. This could be done with words, cards, flowers, acts of kindness, or more.

2. The Glass Half-Full

Sometimes, we get caught up in the negative. We hate our jobs, are annoyed with our friends, and our boyfriend or girlfriend is getting on our last nerve.  So instead of focusing on the bad, let’s make a conscious effort to look at the good.  It’s vital that we look at our partner’s positive qualities. Nobody is perfect, and that includes our significant other.  Practice observing yourself and your partner without judging.  Judging closes a door. The opposite of judging is compassion. When you are compassionate, you are open, connected, and more available to dialoguing respectfully with your partner. As you increasingly learn to see your partner compassionately, you will have more power to choose your response rather than just reacting.

3. Enjoy Dynamic Differences

Different is sexy and intriguing!  The differences between you and your loved one are not negatives. You don’t relationships with people who share all of your interests and views. We may sometimes fear that these differences are incompatibilities, but in fact, they’re often what keeps a relationship full of spark.  Plus you and your partner can learn from each other’s different strengths and become stronger together.

4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Maintaining a joyful relationship means respecting your partner’s time, heart, character, and trust. However, there are many things people do in relationships that can break down respect, like name-calling, talking negatively about the other to friends or family, and/or threatening to leave the relationship.

5. Quality Time, not Quantity Time.

No matter who you are or what your work is, you need to nurture your relationship. Make sure you schedule time for the well-being of your relationship. That includes making “play dates” and also taking downtime together. Frequently create a sacred space together by shutting off all things technological and digital. Like a garden, the more you tend to your relationship, the more it will grow.  It’s crucial to make sure you two are still engaging and spending quality time together to maintain a deep connection.

 

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How are you going to start putting in the extra TLC into your relationships?  You can start by spicing up your Valentine’s Day look – whether its a for a night out with the girls, for yourself, or for your lover.

FRANCESCA’S LITTLE RED DRESS

Francesca has a little more then lace up her sleeve in this statement number by Express!  A wildly sexy red mini dress that will make heads turn.  This dress transforms the stereotype of ‘lace’ as old school grandma into a red hot item for every bombshell. Paired with luxurious pink velvet Simmi Shoes boots, this look is an edgy take on symbols of decadence, femininity and romance.

MAXI SKIRT ROMANCE WITH VALENTINA

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Valentina embodied a playful, softer romantic look with her flirty maxi skirt and adventurous sneakers.  This look is perfect for bringing something sensual and sophisticated to an outdoorsy date like a picnic or walk into the sunset.

IGNITE A SPARK

There is so much to love about this country.  Too much to let this new Presidency slide.

Has much changed yet in our external life since the election results?  Not any immediate changes, but the fact that we are facing an abyss filled with unknowns about everything from our civil rights to our healthcare to our beautiful planet earth has become an impregnable cloud of gloom over our heads.   But in the last week, we have felt a renewed sense of empowerment.  Sometimes a fresh attitude and sense of unity in action is all we need to mobilize for a better world.

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As a team of two creative artists from multicultural backgrounds, we pride ourselves in upholding inclusive, intersectional, and nonhierarchical view points that foster openness.  That is why tomorrow we are heading out in raincoats to the Women’s March in San Francisco.  It is about honoring the legacy we have inherited as humans to protect basic equality for all people.  It is about finding strength in each other and protecting the next generation.
As we embark on a new chapter of civil disobedience, we have been asking each other what items of clothing will help tell our story. If we follow the examples set by our foremothers, we should seek out pieces that are bold, thoughtful, and memorable. In today’s #OOTD , we celebrate diversity in a new form of power dressing.

 

PEACE LOVING VALENTINA
Valentina pays boho-luxe homage to human interconnection with these colorful hippie-esq pants that bring back the nostalgia of the 60s and 70s.  These loose pants are filled with interwoven flower power patterns, and are a fabulous way to highlight the beauty of differences coming together.  Paired with a powerful black crop-top blouse, she is armed with love and strength leading the way.
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BLACK ON BLACK UNIFORM
Wallflowers need not apply. Francesca’s power-dressing is about matching her wardrobe with her optimistic, fearless state of mind. Black on black confers a no-nonsense power.  She also showed her sexy side with a hint of bare shoulder and a sculptural waist to hip ratio enhancing skirt.  And lets not forget the important pop of color!  Francesca had to add of a boldly colored rainbow necklace a la her favorite female artist Frida Kahlo, who always used fashion as a form of female empowerment.  Kahlo loved accessories and used her iconic style, often composed of traditional Tehuana garments, to project her feminist and socialist beliefs.  To top it off, velvet pink power boots were the only way to go from Simmi Shoes.

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REINA de España

Although we have never been to Spain, there is something about Spanish glamour that beckons to be explored in the middle of this dreary, California winter.

Perhaps Spain’s influence on the Bay Area is iginiting a craving for Flamenco dance, bullfights, fantastic beaches and lots of sunshine?

aimg_4352aimg_4406As we were contemplating all the glories of Spanish culture – from Penelope Cruz’s sex appeal to Pedro Almodóvar‘s eccentric art films to Basque fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra, we realized that Spain has some of the world’s richest contributions to art and culture.  And we must mention the amazing array of artists that have inspired our painterly side – from El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, to Dalí.  But most importantly, Spanish culture deeply embraces and celebrates the power of strong women.  When you dress like a Spanish woman, you truly feel like a Queen – whether you are in denim or lace.  You feel beautiful, confident and powerful in your own skin. And there’s no better feeling than this. No matter how strong we feel internally, fashion is always available to lend a helping hand in how we manifest our reality through a part of ourselves. With a hint of fire, hoop earrings and sexed up stilettos, we re-imagined ourselves as modern Spanish Queens under a lush setting of dancing Palm Trees shadows.aimg_4338aimg_4433aimg_4440

CAUSAL DENIM FLAIR
Valentina just bought the coziest pair of cool-girl Mom jeans from H&M, and her challenge was to sensualize this piece of denim with Spanish attitude. Valentina suggests carving out an hourglass figure by tucking a blouse into the high-waist jean or wearing a simple crop top to add femininity. She topped off her look with delicate hoop earrings, which have an uncanny ability to draw the eye towards your face, with the circular shape creating extra drama to your jaw and cheekbones, defining your features with both the shape and shade they create.  Valentina is also obsessed with her new handmade clutch by Kult by Artexco – a brand of handmade accessories created by very talented women in Guatemala.  With the addition of a bold red lip and Kurt Gieger heels, Valentina is ready for meetings, grocery shopping and even date night with this effortlessly chic look.

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SPANISH LACE
Francesca’s obsession with European history (especially the royalty) encourages her daily hunt to embrace all opportunities to dress with a regal air.  With a love of Spanish courtly dress, garments, and textiles from the 17th century in her heart, Francesca’s look pays homage to the elegance, sophistication, and supremacy which emanated from the Spanish Court’ fashion in the 16th nd 17th centuries.  With a hint of the theatrical in mind, she paired an H&M lace bodysuit with a sculptural white skirt and gold choker.  Paired with red hot heels, Francesca is ready to hold court and dance from day to night!

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MASQUERADE

Dress to disguise and play!

Our first post of 2017 celebrates the roots of Valentina & Francesca – here we allow fashion to bring out playful sides of our personality and reveal hidden depths.  The performative quality of clothes, make-up and accessories are so strong that they create the space to become someone else, even just for a little while. Masquerades have been, for centuries, grand affairs designed to play with our inner and outer deceptions, and costumes have been central catalysts of transformation.  In a number of examples, a mask may allow the wearer to transcend her ordinary physical nature and take on the identity of another creature, ancestor, or supernatural force…and who wouldn’t be interested in a bit more magical power?

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How did we dress for our Eyes Wide Shut drama?  With a sparkly cocktail dress from H&M suited for the big screen.  Since the 20s, cinema has used silver or silvered materials for the dresses and outfits of its stars.  Our chosen silver dress reflects the light and gives the person wearing it a sense of grandeur and fun even on short winter days.  We both fell in love with this silver number, and styled it for this editorial in two completely different ways – both inspired by Hollywood glamour.

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Valentina went for a roaring 20s’ Midnight in Paris meets Scott Fitzgerald at the Jazz bar look.  She added a dramatic, black cape-like over shirt with her graphic black velvet mask adding a touch of feathers and sequins.  Masquerade around in a similar look to become a part of your own Great Gatsby party!

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Francesca was inspired by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman meets the Beverly Hills Hotel Tihany Design pink, white and green LA palette. She paired her mini dress with Go-Go esq Naya Clear Nude thigh-high boots from Simmi Shoes for a sexy, badass look.

We challenge you to raise the temperature and Masquerade on! Be devilishly daring and bring out your inner seductress!

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SHINE ON IN 2017

Happy New Year to you fashionistas!

Let’s welcome 2017 by getting our glow on…

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Our V&F motto for 2017 is embrace your greatness, and what better way than with some metallic shine and shimmer?  Metallics are the perfect way to start the year off with a ‘snap, crackle and pop’ type of statement piece that will give you that extra bounce in your step.  We adore sophisticated metallics, and have been having the urge to incorporate shine into our everyday dressing. The key to making such head-turning pieces feel chic and not tacky is clean lines and simplicity. Let them do the talking by keeping the rest of your look simple. Here, get inspired to SHINE ON via two ultra cool outfits from H&M!

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LIQUID SILVER – Valentina channeled her inner David Bowie with these sliver faux leather pants from H&M. Her high shine pants were neutralized with an easy-to-wear black lace tank and silky cropped jacket.

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SILVER LINING – Francesca went ultra luxe pairing this pleated metallic midi skirt with a simple black body suit, dramatic biker jacket, and bling bling choker.  Shine on shine for can elevated power outfit.

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4 WAYS TO SLAY IN 2017

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner!   Yes, it is the best time to dress up, try something new and get downright creative – but more importantly we challenge you (and ourselves) to embrace your full potential.  aimg_3266

Lets make 2017 the year of reaching your infinite potential – begin in some thigh-high boots and meditate on these tips:

STOP CARING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK

Fact: Mot people are too busy thinking about themselves and how they are perceived to think or care at all about you. Think about that for another minute…
So if you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission and reach for the stars! You only have this one life to live, so why waste it worrying about other people’s imaginary opinions?

EXPRESS YOURSELF, DON’T REPRESS YOURSELF

As Madonna says…EXPRESS YOURSELF!  When you feel like your ideas or thoughts are not valid, smart, or relevant, make sure you stop yourself in your track. We used to reject potentially fantastic ideas for the mere reason that deep down we doubted ourselves and our greatness. Its so sad to reject your creativity, ideas and brilliance before giving the world a chance to hear you!

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THE FEAR OF FAILURE

Failure can also teach us things about ourselves that we would never have learned otherwise. For instance, failure can help you discover how strong a person you are. Failing at something can help you discover your truest friends, or help you find unexpected motivation to succeed. Often, valuable insights come only after a failure. Accepting and learning from those insights is key to succeeding in life

Start by setting a few small goals . These should be goals that are slightly, but not overwhelmingly, challenging. Think of these goals as “early wins” that are designed to help boost your confidence.

CHANGING COMMUNICATION

We tend to be somewhat passive individuals who avoid conflict by remaining quiet and avoiding expressing our point of view in certain situations…“Is that a good idea? I don’t know, I’m just putting it out there…” (Does that ring a bell?) In 2017, we are stamping out all non-powerful ways of communicating. The powerful person is assertive. The powerful person does not need to get her way on every occasion, but she is comfortable occasionally being aggressive. She lets others have their own way, but when her personal space is trampled on, she does something to regain that space. A powerful person knows how to get what she wants while giving others what they want. So let’s stop all this passive nonsense, okay?

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Tell us below your tips for reaching greatness below!

PARADISE FOUND

If you are in need of a vacation…

 

Aloha – Francesca here!

I am a self-proclaimed island child. When I was eight months old I took my first trip to Maui and ever since I’ve been a water baby (all known as a fish) – swimming, snorkeling and coming to land for sips of fresh coconut water.  My vision of paradise: swimming all day, lying on a hammock, fresh Mahi Mahi, bare feet on the sand and ocean surf tangling my hair.  Having recently spent a week in Maui with my sweetie, I cannot stop gushing about my passionate love for this lush, romantic Island!   Maui sucked us in, soothed us deeply, and turned us away to come home with a deep appreciation of the power of place and of each other.

WHERE TO STAY…

For me, Maui is about a balance of relaxation and adventure, and no other oasis better facilitates this than the Four Seasons in Wailea.  The Four Seasons Wailea remains my all-time favorite place to stay – it is simply spectacular and incomparable.  Our intention during this trip was to focus on romance and connection, so the beachfront to Wailea was perfect for our daily sunset swim followed by Pineapple Mai Tais in the saltwater hot tub overlooking the ocean.

The Four Seasons truly goes above and beyond with little touches of love… there were often unexpected treats waiting on the coffee table when returning to the room and the fresh ginger lemonade available daily in the lobby is to die for. These little extra treats made our experience all the more enjoyable.  One of our favorite discoveries was the comfortable and covered cabanas by the pool and beach (great for make-out sessions).  Unlike other resorts which charge $100-$500+ a day for such an amenity, the Four Seasons includes cabanas in your room charge.

WHERE TO ADVENTURE…

AHIHI-KINAU NATURAL RESERVE

Ahihi-Kina‘u is one of the last truly wild and protected places of natural wonder on the earth.  I am obsessed with snorkeling and although my partner in crime had never been snorkeling before, he quickly fell in love at this gorgeous coastal lava field that is a habitat for numerous rare and endangered species.  Common and uncommon fishes are found here, as are five of the state’s federally protected species: humpback whales, Hawaiian green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, spinner dolphins, and the exceptionally rare Hawaiian monk seal.  The water starts at about knee deep gradually getting deeper so there’s a variety of depths for all skill levels.  The water will be clearest in the morning before the wind picks up.  Because it’s so calm we were able to clearly see all the variety of fish and even sea turtles interacting with each other – an amazing experience filled with color, magic and delight.

THE ROAD TO HANA

The Road to Hana is like entering a mythical jungle filled with magic on every turn.   Hana is remote, wild, lush green, and has the most incredible beaches in all different shades, black, red, and white. I thought Maui was slow paced, but Hana as a slow rhythm of its own.  Hana is a small, rustic town filled with farmland on the far east side of the island in the middle of a lush jungle filled with waterfalls, mineral cave and gorgeous views of the ocean crashing against volcanic rock.  The drive is 64 miles and takes you around the whole island.  It leads you twisting and turning through luscious tropical landscape abundant in hidden treasures for the curious. Be ready for a full day trip and bring snacks in case the food stands on the side of the road are closed (the people of Hana lead a life of their own and do not keep strict business hours).

The drive is long, so leave early with a full tank of gas! Hana is a small, rustic town filled with farmland on the far east side of the island in the middle of a lush jungle filled with waterfalls, mineral cave and gorgeous views of the ocean crashing against volcanic rock. We took the road less travelled and completed the full drive around the backside of Haleakala. We watched the setting sun Upcountry near Makawao while snacking on our variety of jungle fruits we had collected from Hana.  It was amazing to say the least!

There are 59 bridges along the way, most of which are one lane so it’s important to learn yield etiquette.  We adored everything from red sands beach to the many waterfalls to the random fruit and coconut stands like the ones pictured above.

FAVORITE STOPS…


My favorite stop by far was 122 acre Wai’anapanapa State Park.  The translation for Wai’anapanapa is “glistening water” or “water flashing rainbow hues”.  It is obvious once you venture from your car to the ocean views that the name perfectly fits this powerful natural oasis – featuring a dramatic black sand beaches, large sea caves, volcanic tubes, and a volcanic blowhole.   I had a wonderful time swimming in one of the freshwater caves filled with skin-soothing mineral water.

Legend tells of a Hawaiian princess that ran away from her husband, hid in the cave only to be found and killed by that husband.  Supposedly every year thousands of tiny red shrimp appear in the pool making the water look like blood as a reminder of the Princess’s death.

Waioka pond aka Venus Pool

Waioka pond is the perfect gem for spending a day cliff jumping, swimming and sunbathing in a sheltered area from the rugged shoreline. The trail crosses coastal pastureland to the ocean, where there are beautiful freshwater pools in the sculpted deep rock grottos.There are two ledges, one higher and one lower for jumping off depending on your need for an adrenaline rush. Near the shore’s end there is a lava-rock island and another little pool where you can access a skylit cave, depending on the level of the water.

Accessing Waioka is a little bit difficult, as the locals do not want an influx of tourists invading their territory and it is gated off.  However near mile 48.1 we found the opening get to the trail head on the shore side of the road.  We hiked out about a mile to the entrance, and it was worth the effort!

EEEATS

I am a big foodie, and Maui has an abundance of delicious restaurant and local fare that will keep you in the tropical spirit! We did treat ourselves to the Four Seasons famous brunch and it was to die for, but we focused on venturing out around the Island to explore local flavors. Along the road vendors often sell locally grown treasures like starfruit, passionfruit, papaya and fresh young coconuts. Unfortunately the prices are relatively high ($10 a coconut is pretty normal), but we did find an amazing organic grocery store – Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods that sold local fruits, coffee and chocolate as well as a variety of delicious smoothie bowls and grass-fed burgers for a very reasonable price range.

MONKEYPOD KITCHEN

We adored this Farm-to-table eatery & bar for Hawaiian fare & its vast cocktail list (the Pod Thai and Passionfruit Mai Tai cocktails are soooooo good)!  We literally came her three times for Happy Hour and Dinner.  I literally inhaled the fresh fish tacos and stole some of my sweetie’s Hawaiian Pizza….mmmmmm…

ON THE HORIZON FOR MORE…

While I could go on and on about our adventures snorkeling along Kaanapali and trekking up to the freezing cold Haleakala, I’ll leave that for another trip!  I definitely left my heart in Maui and encourage you all to make it your own too!

 

Sending you lots of Mahalo Spirit this holiday season!

 

 

MAXIMUM MERRY WITH REXY

RAWR…’Tis the season to be playful, creative and get gifting!

Confession: we love all the cliché seasonal holiday activities, but easily get overwhelmed by our long list of superstar homies who can be tricky to shop for.  So who better to inspire youthful, child-like delight in us all and make the season’s shopping more joyful then a mischievous, female tyrannosaurus rex?

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Cue our festive, prehistoric, statement-making friend…
…a limited edition nostalgic play on the wooden dinosaur puzzles we built as kids.  No one has helped us rein in the holiday festivities more than our interactive, color-happy, imagination-igniting Coach mascot. Filled with a sense of wonder and child-like delight, Coach’s 2016 holiday capsule collection features a variety of prehistoric Beasts – Rexy, Woolly, Tricky and Steggy – delightful friends featured on the Coach’s classic glove-tanned leather bags, purses, and accessories.

 

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These color-blocked renderings made our holiday shopping easy and super fun, while ensuring that our list of receivers will be delighted by flair, individuality and character. Whether you are in need of stocking stuffers or something special for your significant other, give the gift of child-like delight and fearless adventure with Rexy and her friends.  Stuart Vevers’s Rexy incarnation brilliantly unifies the timeless elements of Coach with a rebellious spirit while still remaining super luxe.  Here is our easy go-to gift guide from Coach to make this year’s gifting effortless:

For the techie
 For the fashionista

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SPARKLE & SHINE

Tis the season to twinkle, and why limit that sparkly part of yourself to party dresses?

aimg_2179 aimg_2407We try hard to stay away from trends, but the holiday metallic palette of sequins, sparkles and velvet galore is really growing on us.  We love the idea of a shiny, sparkly jacket that can add some bling to an otherwise ordinary outfit.  We love shiny clothing and accessories because it means one thing: glamour.  Injecting a shot of glitz into your outfit on a gloomy winter day can give any woman a magnetic aura.   If you are brave, you can even take our December fashion challenge and wear your favorite pair of silk pajamas underneath a metallic jacket or coat – creating an ultra cozy yet sophisticated look.

aimg_2444aimg_2295Francesca jazzed up her causal #ootd look for this festive time with a mixture of athleisure and comfortable luxe luxe luxe!  She created a dynamic statement by styling her neon yellow Nike top with a sporty silver bomber Jacket from Forever 21.  Francesca loves investing in pieces that mix fashion with function, and always wears her Nike running tops out on the town paired with something fabulous for a tailored, vibrant look. aimg_2197Valentina paired sparkle with sparkle, because whether it’s magical or aspirational, there’s just something about sparkle, a mild thrill that makes Valentina’s breath catch in the best kind of way.  At times ethereal, supernatural, and futuristic, this shine on shine look reminds Valentina to catch the light even in winter!  aimg_2478aimg_2289aimg_2491

So shine on through all of the holiday hustle and bustle – combat any unnecessary stress with something shiny, silver and fabulous.  Trust us – you will feel that shiny glow on the inside as well!

SPARKLE & LACE

Dazzle them!

Forget ugly sweaters and stuffy plaids. Our formula for holiday style goes something like this: lots of glitz and a touch of irony.  Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can’t wait to get glitzy with that little statement dress for our favorite holiday parties.  Sure, a little black dress or Le Smoking suit is always on par for the party scene, but who says holiday dressing has to be so cut and dry?  Just make sure you look and feel fun!

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The only thing better than a really good party with dancing is a really amazing statement making dress. We painted the town red in these dazzling options by the stormy winter ocean at San Francisco’s Cliff House.  Whether you prefer standout sparkling mini like Valentina’s or a Lacey body-con slip-on like Francesca’s, this season’s offering has something for every one, these flirty dresses will get you in the mood for any soiree.

So dance well past midnight through December and show your inner flair!

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Dress on Francesca: Topshop Cold Shoulder Lace Body-Con Dress

BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE

What is timeless but not boring? Beautiful but still edgy? Sexy, but not vulgar? Retro, but not thrift store old? What is so versatile that it can work on different figures, skin tones, and different personal styles? Cue the Classic Trench Coat.  It ticks all the boxes and warms up our delicate California blood as the temperatures decrease.  But more importantly, it makes us feel like we are stepping into a Jean Luc Godard film and are Bridget Bardot personified! Or perhaps Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

What remains intriguing to us is the sliding scale of eclectic associations that this one garment can possess.  There is its professional role as a sophisticated, double-breasted, weather-resistant staple for businessmen; its powerful silver-screen status as the uniform of sly film noir gangsters and detectives; and then, of course, its seductive side. Add a pair of stilettos and something lacy or nothing at all underneath, and the buttoned up trench becomes erotically charged, suggesting an underlying state of undress.

Whatever mood you are in, this historical WWI piece will match the variety of personas you wish to portray.

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Francesca played the coy romantic by pairing her vintage Burberry Coat with a white lace corset peeking through. Not going to lie – she was inspired by the off-the-shoulder Kim Kardashian Balenciaga look pre-Paris robbery.  Fall 2016 has seen a revival of corsetry on the catwalk, and Francesca loves reinterpreting the corset in combination with the trench coat.  The key to making corsets contemporary and elegant is layering well.  The lace-up fabric belts a la Prada make a great accoutrement for wearing over your trench as well as wearing a classic corset under…

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SIMPLE STYLING, MAJOR IMPACT


Forget the little black dress; Valentina’s number one Fall obsession is  a classic, well made trench coat. Valentina loves wearing her trench as a statement piece and a canvas to create her own unique look. If you’re wondering when to wear a trench coat, Valentina’s answer is: don’t be limited by your imagination! Slip your trench coat over a tee and jeans, a mini dress, or in a silky blouse with tailored pants and heels.  Valentina wore this H&M trench as a statement piece on its own, and paired it with a bold red lip.  Having grown up in London, she loves the British heritage roots of the trench, and wishes more Californians would catch on to the elevated piece of British history.  The beauty of a trench coat is the way it lets you stand out, while blending in with your natural style.

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HAVANA NIGHTS

After the post-election shock turned into a week of heaviness filled with impending apocalyptic dread, we needed to re-capture the spirit of openness, global unity, and freedom that we hold so dearly.  We looked back through our recent shoots and found one that represents our current rebellious mood – an anarchic, colorful Cuban carnival editorial shot in San Francisco’s mission district – where people of all races and backgrounds can express themselves, the neighbor’s laugh together against the brightly painted houses and local bands play loudly while people dance up a storm!

aaimg_0599Inspired by Chanel’s recent staging of its Resort 2017 show in Havana, we picked up on the musical Havana essence associated with pre-Revolutionary exuberance, and donned a vibrate color palette that translates to a wearable sense of joy.  Cuba’s rich artistic and cultural heritage has inspired designers like Lagerfeld, McCartney and Piccioli, and similarly we have fallen in love with the romantic sunbaked colors, decaying colonial buildings, and clandestine retro cars.  The island has now become a potent symbol – an isolated, stagnating nation slowly embracing change.  Cuba’s own traditional dress is an exclusive synthesis of diverse nations, influenced by several cultures including Latin and African roots, empowering a sense of vivacity built on a tradition of simplicity and authenticity.

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aimg_0541aimg_0560What a perfect time to inject for Fall with the energy of island-infused Caribbean colors? Think coral, turquoise and bright yellow – and birds of paradise, palm fronds and Fifties car prints – all perfect for dancing the election blues away.  We focused on traditionally feminine, ’50s and ’60s-inspired silhouettes in the form of ankle-length skirts, paired with a fitted top on Francesca or a structured jacket on Valentina. We love this paring because it creates a fit-and-flare bombshell shape. Tropical motifs featured heavily, like the wildly colorful patterned vegetation on Francesca’s skirt and the bold embroidered prints on Valentina’s jacket.  Combined with simple, strong colors to balance out the patterned statement pieces, these outfit are perfect for an elevated day to night look.  We hope the Cuban spirit moves you to connect with the visual therapy of color and utilize what you wear to spread joy and positivity.

Kick up yours heels and cha cha cha!


Similar billowing skirts on Francesca: Stella Jean Graphic-print skirtMarni wool midi skirt, and Delpozo High-Waisted culottes 

Similar maxi skirts on Valentina – Peter Pilot Butterfly hemmed skirt and Diane Von Furstenberg  Melita Skirt 


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