Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday gift ideas for the bride or her bridal party

Ok, so you may have had a blast (or avoided) Black Friday, or taken to your keyboard (or decided it was time to hand-write all day) for Cyber Monday.  No matter what you did, the holidays and growing number of newly engaged couples are just around the corner. Here are some of my holiday gift ideas for the bride, bridal party and even the mom’s. Tomorrow there will be more. I hope you enjoy them. 
Joya’s first foray into artisanal fine fragrance worked out wonderfully with ceramic artist Sarah Cihat to create two beautiful bottles filled with equally beautiful fragrances.  These so beautiful and a wonderful gift to the bride – is the handcrafted porcelain (Black is Comp #6 and White is Comp #5) bottle and 22k gold dipped wand.  Luxury by any other name wouldn’t be as sweet. 
Utilizing chains with shimmer and stones with saturated color, these pieces convey a sense of luxury and richness found during this festive time of year. I think some of these would be lovely gifts for the bridal party as well as perhaps something special for your future mother (and sister) in law.  Prices range from $39 to $220. The Holiday Collection is currently available on her web site.
Azuri is my new favorite line of wraps, shawls and scarves created from the finest natural fabrics including silk, chiffon, wool, pashmina, cashmere, charmeuse, organic cotton, linen and bamboo. The Azuri range is perfect anytime but especially for brides and bridal parties as the wraps and shawls provide warmth, and add a touch of elegance to any outfit.  Remember just because you’re having an island destination wedding, it does get chilly.  Honestly, these are just perfect anytime for anyone.  They have over 110 color options, so there is a color for everyone.

Mar Y Sol
Speaking of destination weddings, these cute and colorful clutches are a great accent for the bridal party and ideal for a tropical island setting!  Mar Y Sol has tons on their website including some that are more ‘beachy’ if that’s the look you’re going for.
 There will be more tomorrow, so see you then...

Monday, November 15, 2010

2011 Simon Carvalli Couture Collection

“Simone Carvalli dresses incorporate principles of architecture and romantic design.  With unique construction and patent pending ‘Magic Fit’ that reduces between two to four inches off a bride’s waist, gives her a flawless hour-glass shape.  This is why we can say, with sincerity that we have mastered the fitted silhouette.” Terry Brumley, manager of sales for Carvalli.
Known for designing a sophisticated silhouette, this season the Carvalli designs feature Swarovski crystal embellishments, blended with luxurious fabrics creating a contemporary ad classic style.  These styles are truly timeless and their elegance combines with his signature style are surprisingly affordable.

The Carvalli bride is confident, alluring, has a sense of style because she is a style-setter.  She also seeks a gown that won’t be worn by the masses.  This is a bride that knows couture fashion and her gown reflects her personality.

This 2011 Collection delivers a couture sensibility that began with a classical base yet reinterpreted for today’s modern bride.  

Bridal: $1,600 for the short dress; $2,500 - $3,900 for the long gowns.
Bridesmaids: $215- $285
Color Trends Brides: Champagne, Dia, Ivory, White and Silk White
Color Trends - Bridesmaids: Black/Lime, Forest Green, Wine, Espresso, Turquoise, Amethyst, BlueMarine, Taupe, Eggplant, Sienna, Cosmo, Cobalt, Avocado, Cranberry, Magenta and Sienna
Fabric Trends: Silk Chiffon, Silk Taffeta, Silk Organza Satin, Silk Charmeuse and Lace

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wine Wednesday: Campari celebrates your new life together

This fall when you make plans to celebrate the season, your engagement or post wedding celebration with friends and family, add an unexpected twist. Why not embrace the longtime ritual of the “aperitivo?” The aperitivo (which translates “to open”) has been an Italian tradition for more than a century, where friends and family mingle over cocktails and enjoy light appetizers to stimulate their appetite before the main meal that lies ahead.

This type of cocktail typically low in alcohol, traditionally features the world’s number one-selling aperitif, Campari. This very versatile spirit is made from the infusion of herbs, aromatic plants, fruit in alcohol and water. I think that serving Campari as you celebrate will be a good omen.  How?  Well, they are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, so it should bring you and your marriage, the same good luck for the same longevity.

I hope you enjoy this collection of Campari aperitif cocktails from some of the best restaurants and notable mixologists in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles.  Today, I’m also including this yummy Mediterranean Crostini. 

Cheers, don’t forget to drink responsibly and Happy Aperitivo!

Sorrento in Red
Served at Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria in New York
1 ½ oz. Campari
1 oz. Limoncello
Splash of Tangerine Juice
Splash of Lime Juice
Dash of Orange Bitters

Pour ingredients over ice into a shaker. Shake and strain ingredients over ice into stemmed wine glass. No garnish.

Served at the Tarpit in Los Angeles
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth
Splash of Champagne

Pour Campari and Sweet Vermouth over ice into a shaker.  Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Add a splash of champagne. Garnish with lemon twist.

Roasted Orange Negroni Sbagliato
Created by Joe Campanale of dell’Anima in New York
1 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth
1 ¼ oz. Campari
1 ¼ oz. Sparkling White Wine
1 Roasted Orange Wedge
Orange Peel for Garnish

Place the orange in a mixing glass and add vermouth. Muddle the two so that the charred bits are released into the vermouth. Add Campari and ice, and stir. Strain into a chilled rocks glass that is filled with ice and top with sparkling wine. Do not stir as this will dissipate the bubbles. Garnish with orange peel.

**Roasted Orange preparation: Slice oranges into wedges and place in a sealable container. Top with sweet red vermouth and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove oranges from the vermouth and char on a grill until the sugar caramelizes and black specks form on the oranges.

Mediterranean Crostini
Yields 4 Servings
150g Tomato Pulp
4 Slices of Homemade Bread
30g Pitted Olives
10g Fresh Oregano
2 Anchovy Fillets in Oil
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Capers in Salt
1 Clove of Garlic

1) Cut each slice of bread into 6 square/rectangular pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 200°C for 5 minutes (or until toasted), turning halfway through the cooking time.

2) Meanwhile, wash and dry the oregano, scraping the leaves off the stems and chopping with a knife. Rinse the capers under running water to remove the salt then chop together with the anchovies.

3) Peel and crush the garlic then cook in a pan with a little oil until it softens. After about 5 minutes, remove the garlic, turn up the heat, add the capers, anchovies and coarsely chopped olives and stir. Sauté for 1 minute and then add the tomato pulp. Add a little salt and leave to cook for 10 minutes. Stir and turn off the heat.

4) Spread some of the mixture over each slice of toast and sprinkle the oregano over the top. Serve while still warm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DC Company Punk Rock Bride

Are you a punk rock bride?  Don’t let the name fool you.  Designer Stephanie Ward has launched her third collection incorporating non-traditional fabrics and mixing layering textures.  The focus of this Capitol Hill, DC based company is to maintain very simple yet classic silhouettes to flatter every figure.  Their Motto “For Punk Rock Bride dresses, the devil really is in the details.”  This is truly a fashion forward line and the value you are looking for.

Punk Rock has been known to reflect personal expressions that are alternative to the norm and individual style.   Therefore if this reflects your personality, this new rising star in the industry may be the brand for you.  

Special Note: All of their dresses are designed and manufactured in the US, and each is made to order.  The collection retails under $1,000.

Fabric Trends: Silk Cotton, Cotton Eyelet, Silk Chiffon and Charmeuse

Monday, November 8, 2010

2011 Claire Pettibone collection

For Claire Pettibone, there hasn’t been a time when she didn’t believe in fairies.  This idea comes from her childhood when she imagined leaves were dresses and flower petals were winged sprites. It was a time when everything was magical and her imagination could roam this magical world freely.  The 2011 collection reflects this belief that every bride should be equally luminous and magical on her wedding day.

Greeted by hostess fairies and instead of pixie-dust, there were chocolate and cocktails.  Looks like today’s modern fairytale has really grown up. As each model made her way down the isle, one couldn’t help but notice the luminescent sleeves, the light almost dewdrop roses and sequins’, beads and pearls to add to the sparkle.

 For this season, the Claire Pettibone bride is nestled between reality and fantasy, moonlit gold and spurn silver, day and night.  However in the place where bridal dreams are made, the moon rises and fairies come out to dance and play.

If you are a fan, you’ll be happy to know that “The enchanted Atelier for Claire Pettibone” collection of jeweled headpieces will be available spring 2011.

Color Trends:  White, Silver, Opalescent Paillette, Grey, Champaign, Ivory, Soft Pink, Rose, Celadon, Smoke, Olive, Platinum and Gold
Fabric Trends: Lace, Sequin, Silk Chiffon, Tulle,
Style Trends: Crystals, Jeweled Straps, Moonstone beads, Appliqué Leaves, Embellishments, Draped Tulle, Lace Bodice, Bubble skirt, and Bolero

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