What's in a random gift guide of things many of us have never tried? Instead, here's a list of food, clothes, and treats that made my 2019 exponentially better.
Third Love house bra
Now, I’m not one to own ‘house’ anything. But when Third Love first got on my radar while writing an article, I got curious about their house bra.Could it be the perfect middle ground between the underwire (try lounging in one, it hurts!) and the unflattering zero bra situation (try hosting unexpected guests like that-it’s awkward). And guess what, it was!! Supportive, yet gentle, comfy but reliable, it’s become an item I can’t live without.
Merchant Roots flavored salt
Sometime in January, I attended a truly magical dinner at Merchant Roots. Chef Ryan Shelton sent us home with their house-made flavored salt, in a stylish jar, So what, it just salt, I said to myself. But I was bitterly wrong! The tiny jar, containing volcanic salt, lemon zest and Szechuan pepper, among other things, has become the perfect companion to avocado toast, 7-minute eggs and pasta, delivering both a chef-y visual effect and interesting flavors. Now, it’s a staple in my spice cabinet.
Maison Miru jewelry
Some accessories are beloved from the start. Others grow on you, with every compliment you receive and with every moment of delight they add to morning routines. Maison Miru’s delicate necklaces and pendants, which I discovered through a chic Glitter Guide event, are daintier than what I normally go for, but every white T, every sweatshirt and every summer dress I wore with them, ended up benefiting from this conversation-starter bling.
Elder Island music
Desperately trying to stay on top of things is hobby. When it comes to music, however, the ball is easy to drop, so I’ve come, embarrassingly, to rely on tunes that flash in my Stories. Elder Island came into my life this way, and became this winter’s soundtrack. Both moody and uplifting, danceable and complex, the British band’s sound got me imagining a rainy night out clubbing in London, while stuck in Bay Area traffic.
Teleties hair ties
When Gwyneth Paltrow gifts you a hair tie, you take it! The already swanky gift bag of In Goop Health, the summit embodying all things Gwyneth, contained a humble-looking plastic Teletie that changed my life. Zero pull. I repeat - zero pull. When you have curly hair, this is nearly a miracle. Plus, it looks like a chic little bracelet and not an adolescent 90s relic. I own 7 now.
Saint Haven leisurewear
The brand, brought to my attention through a local PR firm, is the proof manifestation works. For a while, I’ve longed for something to wear to bed that won’t annoy me - I’m the unfortunate combination of fidgety sleeper and a neurotic weirdo, so I need my sleeping clothes to stay put and not crease and shift on my body. Saint Haven’s stretch, ultra-soft long and short-sleeved tees are a godsend. They snug my tired body and don’t let go, without being too restrictive. Manifestation - it’s in the small details, isn’t it?
Welcome to Bicoastalista's new monthly segment, highlighting recent cultural and commercial obsessions, recommendations and infatuations. This month: a radioactive Gwyneth Paltrow read, a sneaky skincare darling and much more!
1. Check out: Orange is the New Black-Superwoman-jumpsuits photo shoot in InStyle Magazine
Orange is the New Black is back for season 5 super soon, and instead of going for the familiar yawn-and-questionnaire routine, the InStyle team decided to have the cast members model jumpsuits. While floating above an urban skyline. Like the superwomen they are. The whole thing is a just a little too insane, and that's why I love it.
2. Watch: The Goddesses of Food
Last month, I was invited by Celebrity Cruises to watch this film at the Sonoma International Film Festival. Their events at the festival are always unique (last year there was a meal-movie pairing!), and this time around the movie was screening in a decked-out mobile cinema trailer, complete with gourmet snack boxes and a restroom. Facilities aside, if you love food, feminism, creativity and sexy accents you should most definitely see The Goddesses of Food, a witty, informative documentary about female chefs around the world.
3. Go On: a Badass Bitches Museum Hack tour
I know I've been slightly obsessed with Georgia O'Keeffe lately, but for a good reason. The woman is the real deal, the most honest, inspiring role model for today's watered-down 'women empowerment'. She really did whatever she wanted, and she didn't need fluffy magazine articles and seminars to help her do so. Her art, and the work of many other talented females, was the center of the Badass Bitches tour I recently took at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Powered by Museum Hack, the recurring female-led tour is a funny, enjoyable and educational take on the famous museum and the often overlooked women featured in it. The de Young is my favorite San Francisco museum, and even though I've been there more than a few times, I learnt quite a bit, spotted a bunch of vagina interpretations (and more!) and walked out feeling quite badass myself. Info and tickets can be found here.
4. Buy: a Belle&Sue + Vender T shirt
Full disclosure: Belle&Sue is an Israeli online boutique founded by one of my best friends and her twin sister. Their taste is always impeccable and their offerings always chic, but this recent collaboration with Vender, a hot local brand, is next level cool. Who wouldn't want a I have Friends in Low Places embroidered T shirt? Shop the collaboration here.
5. Read: Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett
Reading isn't an easy feat. I've been struggling to restart my inner reader last year, and managed to do so with the help of these 5 steps. These days, I'm a library subscriber, aiming for a book a month (baby steps, small goals). My latest obsession is this haunting creation, which is both a tough read and a page turner. Borrowing from one Amazon reviewer, Pond is "more a meditation than a novel" and has very little plot, but all the feels, plus some exquisite writing.
6. Try: the Madame Renaissance Airbnb Experience
Last month, Airbnb jumped on the 'be like a local' train with a new offering - experiences led by local luminaries, experts and cool folks. Currently available in over 12 cities worldwide, it's an EatWith/Cool Cousin/Verlocal mashup and a trendy move. The San Francisco experience I recently attended, however, was anti-trendy and old-school in the best possible way, and I couldn't recommend it more; thanks to Toby Klayman, the 82 years-old artist behind the Madame Renaissance offering. Toby has been living in her house for almost 40 years, gradually turning it into a gallery of hers and her husband's work. For the experience, we came to visit twice, learning about her art, practicing drawing and printing techniques and eventually creating something of our choice (in my case - a portrait of my parents and a series of whimsical plates and mugs). Being around Toby, whose humor wit are second to none, and taking the time to draw and be creative in the most playful, child-like way, was an experience way beyond the buzzword. Tickets can be purchased here.
7. Put on your face: Clinique Fresh Pressed Daily Booster
It's orange! It smells great! It looks like cooked-down juice! I have no idea what this new Clinique product does on the deeper level, but pumping the fragrant liquid out of the container and smearing it all over my face has become a must-have morning ritual. On paper, it's a vitamin C booster, in real life, it gives you a healthy, pink glow and a smooth finish. I start with it, then pile moisturizer and SPF on top. Want to smell like an orange and feel like you're treating yourself for $19.50? Buy it here.
Bonus: a few good reads
Here are a few things I got a kick out of reading this month:
This hilarious take on Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop Wealth summit
This excerpt from Anne Helen Petersen's new book Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud, about Kim Kardashian's pregnancy.
This brilliant Katy Perry profile by the New York Times.
In my early days as a fashion writer, the subject of personal style reigned supreme. Every publication I wrote for back then was on the hunt for the next red carpet style star, or the bona fide 'fashionista', eager to pinpoint her signature moves. As everything about celebrity became highly personal thanks to social media, and designers came to rely on influencers, I watched the quest for 'personal style' fade.
Some claim that personal style is dead. Others, from time to time, declare it revived. Both sides might be right, but, as far as fashion journalism goes, having it, owning it and celebrating it is just not that interesting anymore. And yet, the importance of style as a statement was shining ever so brightly at the two exhibitions I visited on my last trip to New York. They couldn't be more different, at first glance. yet had so much in common.
The first, Art of the In Between at the Metropolitan Museum, is dedicated to the craft of visionary designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons. The second, at the Brooklyn Museum, is Georgia O'Keeffe: Living Modern, diving into the painter's wardrobe and taste. Both exhibitions were clearly destined to delight fashion addicts of all kinds. While the Met built impressive white installations to display Kawakubo's imaginative designs (plus those wigs!! perfection), and the Brooklyn museum displayed O'Keeffe's clothes in simple, straightforward quarters, the goal was achieved. But each experience hits your fashion palate differently, leaving strong flavors of individual style - and food for thoughts.
O'Keeffe would have never worn Kawakubo's exaggerated, curvy and bold dresses. Divided into simple dichotomies like High/Low and Life/Loss, the designer pieces at the Met are elaborate, sometimes grotesque, larger than life. "How could you sit in this?", quipped one jeans-wearing lady to her friends, as I stood behind them in front of one exhibit. It's very clear, however, how to sit, walk and lay down in O'Keeffe's simple linen gowns and sturdy jackets. She loved designers too, and commissioned the likes of Balenciaga and Chanel to create her simple wardrobe, but hers was a understated, stripped-down aesthetic, almost monastic and, smartly, totally ageless.
Inspirations may vary. Kawakubo, 74, is known for her keenness on privacy, and once said in a Vogue interview that "young people get satisfied too easily, they're too soft on themselves". She reported that, being hard on yourself, true inspiration is harder and harder to come by. O'Keeffe, who died at 99, famously bought her New Mexico home because of its black door - an element she fell in love with and immortalized in her paintings. Both women, seemingly polar opposites in their views of style and fashion, have had the same force moving them forward - their gut feeling. No one works with volume and lines like Kawakubo. No one wore black in the desert (or painted. Or behaved) like O'Keeffe. Visit their exhibition back to back, and you might just scratch the surface of what personal style is really about; an inevitable extension of the self no red carpet review or Instagram feed can capture.
Rei Kawakubo: Ar of the In Between closes September 4th.
Georgia O'Keefe: Living Modern closes July 23rd.
Spring is here. I welcome it with mixed emotions, and mixed prints. Images by Tzipi Vilmovski.
It's the end of March. The weather is flirtatious, excitement is peaking. Is there a better time to don a neutral shirt dress and sheer nuances? I think not. Images courtesy of Two Tone Spring 2017 collection, photos by: Rotem Lebel