Friday, December 23, 2011

Beautiful Home Interiors from Brasil

Random interior and exterior pictures from

These are pictures from three different locations - check out the website for more beautiful inspirations!  I love the colorful and tropical vibes from Brasil.  They translate to Polynesian very easily.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fashion designer Katie Ermilio

Fashion Designer Discovery: Katie Ermilio


I hadn’t heard of Katie Ermilio until I read about her in Elle Magazine’s 9 to 5 feature. Although, when I read her bio, I certainly was familiar with her family’s fashion lineage. Her grandmother was Grace Kelly’s personal clothier (!!!) Say no more, I’m sold on this resume. Not only that, but her grandfather was the creator of the iconic green jacket awarded to the master’s golf tournament. I was curious as to how this kind of background would impact her design, and it’s evident that the classic ladylike style of her grandmother’s designs have stayed in her blood.

Designer Spotlight: Katie Ermilio

November 28, 2011
 Katie Ermilio is my new favorite up-and-coming designer. Her clothes are incredibly simple, but beautifully made and insanely chic. I love the feminine but still conservative cuts and little details, like unexpected pleating and cut-out backs. The bright bursts of colors don’t hurt much, either, and she works almost exclusively with black, whites, navy, hot pink, red, and bright blue. Indeed a very bold but chic color palette.

My favorite thing about Katie’s designs is that you can see the care and craftsmanship that went into every single piece. They are as simple and bare as can be, yet they still manage to be totally original and fashion-forward. Her clothing is like modern art. It also really speaks to my style — I love sequins and pretty add-ons as much as the next girl, but my favorite pieces are all super simple and versatile. But they still stand out.
I think there’s a quote floating around somewhere about how clothes don’t wear the woman, the woman must wear the clothes. (I might be making this up, but it still works nonetheless…I think.) I feel like this rings especially true for Katie Ermilio’s clothing. The styles are minimal and the attitude of the wearer really shines through. Confidence makes these clothes (or rather, the wearer) beautiful.

 I have heard some fantastic things and some not-so-fantastic things about Katie’s work, but I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, for one, am very attracted to her clothing and find it very chic and beautiful. As I briefly mentioned in this post, I rarely wear prints or patterns — much of my wardrobe is full of solid basics that I layer and combine in different ways. So I find her take on ready-to-wear very appealing: a simple color palette (with some fun colors to add a playful touch…can you imagine how boring these clothes would be if they were all black, white, and gray?) and plenty of chic but flirty silhouettes.
Katie Ermilio, only 25 years old and already on the fast track to becoming the next big designer, was originally hoping for a position editing a fashion magazine, with internships at both Teen Vogue and Vogue under her belt. But she began sewing dresses to wear to work and soon was accepting custom orders from colleagues who wanted chic frocks of their own. She also sold many of her dresses in her father’s storefront for extra money. Before she knew it, she had become a self-professed “accidental designer.” You can read the rest of her interview with here!

Seven Questions for Katie Ermilio

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2011 / 7:00 PM

 Katie Ermilio is one of our favorite up-and-coming designers. Her clothes are so feminine, elegant and special, but also wearable and versatile. Katie was born into a family of clothiers, but refers to herself as an “accidental designer,” as she grew what she calls a “little hobby passion project” of making made-to-order pieces for private clients into a full-fledged career.

In just a few years she’s gone from a Vogue intern to having her own clothing line and now, at 25, she’s getting ready for her second-ever fashion week presentation (which Andrew Mukamal is styling). Yesterday, we stopped by her model casting to chat about fashion week prep, designing wedding dresses while still in college, and what’s in store for spring 2012.

What do you look for in a model?

I don’t go into it with any sort of idea on the exact girl that I want. I just sort of choose based on who I respond to in the casting. Obviously, they have to be around the sample size that we make so they’ll fit the sample and it’s always nice to keep them about the same hight, so you have a cohesiveness. Just a girl that has a little something extra and I also love a good personality, someone who’s fun to work with and is laughing and bubbly. That always makes the experience so much more fun.

Can you tell us a little bit about what’s in store for Spring 2012?

It’s still coming together at this point. We won’t be entirely ready until…three months after the show. [laughs] It’s bright–there’s a lot of color once again and it has a little bit of a sportier feel than last season. My sort of tagline for it is that everything has a minimalistic base with like femininity layered on top of it and once you see the clothes, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Starting out with a very simple sheath with very hard angles and a racerback and then doing like huge draped panel on top or something like that.
Also, I’m doing knits this season! I’m so excited, I live in cashmere sweaters. I used to steal them from my dad all the time. He has all these big oversized cardigans. I’m actually doing a bunch of knit pieces–little tops and shorts and sweaters and bodysuits.

How did you end up working with Andrew Mukamal?

He styled my show last year. We met out–I forget how–a while ago and became friends and he’s one of my dearest friends and I love his style, so he’s doing the show again this year and I’m super excited!

I know you do a lot of custom, made-to-order pieces. How did that start?

That was sort of how I got into the business. I’m kind of a designer by accident. I was working at Teen Vogue and had a dream job situation and while I was in college I started making dresses and stuff to wear to my internships. My dad is a menswear designer so when I was finished wearing the clothes–I have this very set pattern of how i wear clothes. I’ll pick an outfit I love and exhaust it and wear it like three months straight and then it’s retired. So I would retire these dresses, then my dad would have them in his office in Philadelphia and men would come in for suit fittings and their wives would come with them and buy the dresses or the husbands would buy them for their wives. My dad would have me come home from school on the weekends–I was at NYU, so it’s a pretty short bolt bus drive away–and I accidentally built up this private clientele and by the time I was at Teen Vogue, it had sort of snowballed from this little hobby passion project into something that really could have been a career.

And now you’re doing more wholesale?

The goal was always to go into wholesale and have my stuff in stores because I see the way my clients respond to the clothes, so I’ve always thought to myself these stores can be a platform and an outlet for more women to reach the stuff than I could ever possibly get to, like that’s the dream. So we just had our first wholesale season for fall 2011 and it was amazing. We’re so excited.

How did you end up doing bridal?

Looking back on it, it’s crazy to think that people trusted me to do their wedding gowns when I was in college, but they did, so I’ve been doing it throughout my career. When Ali [Katie's PR rep] set up re-sees for this collection last season for editors to come in, I had one of my old pieces hanging in the showroom and this editor Julie Wilson–who just left Real Simple for Huffington Post–she bought the dress and then I had in Kerry Pierri from Stylecaster and she bought a dress as well, so I ended up doing a bunch of brides this summer. It’s been so much fun. They’re actually all getting married in September, so it’s going to be very busy. Who cares about fashion week, I have brides to deal with. I mean, please, we have to get these girls down the aisle! Also, it’s a great way for me to get back to the root of why I love making clothes, so it’s probably just as exciting for me as it is for them.
How did interning at Vogue help prepare you for running your own fashion business?
I always say that I grew up in a clothing business and I learned what it meant to be a designer by working at magazines. I always had a really strong work ethic. I come from a small family business. My first internship was with Tracy Reese and then I went to Women’s Wear and then Vogue and then ended up working at Teen Vogue. Every internship experience I had gave me like a Cliff Notes version of different segments of the industry and it was invaluable going into a design career knowing the way that you function and you work with magazines and how important they are as a vehicle for your product to consumers and how PR works in the machine and how everything’s so interconnected. It’s so hard to know the nuances of that if you don’t get to live its, so I literally thank my lucky stars every day that I got to be there and see it all from the inside.


Home Tour: Fashion designer Katie Ermilio




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Parisienne Farmgirl: Meet My Best Friend...

06 December 2011

Meet My Best Friend...

No, sorry Big Daddy... I'm not referring to you...
Sorry Momma... not you either...

Meet my best friend-

 Suzy Seamripper.
Actually, she's not my best friend.
She offers no friendship like qualities.
She's never around when I need her.  Always buried at the bottom of some heap of scraps on my table.  She offers no kind words of encouragement.  On the contrary, she mocks me scornfully whenever we meet.  She's used and broken, but does not offer her friendship humbly; instead she is proud and haughty as she knows how very desperately I need her.   The more I think about it the more I hate her.  I know she thinks I am a fool and that my reliance on her is rather pathetic.
Today pattern lingo is alluding me.
I mean - what the heck?  Why can't a pattern speak in a normal language?

"Easy Sew" - Easy sew my rear end!!!  Maybe if your last name is Versace!

"Stitch in the Ditch" - This sounds like something one might do after too many glasses of Bordeaux!

"Baste" - Isn't that something you do to a turkey?

"Right sides together" - Sounds like a Tea Party rally to me!

Today I read some "Under stitching" directions that might as well have said:

So went my sewing day today.
I have three skirts and two dresses to finish in two weeks.  (Can you hear her laughing???)  I had joy in finally finding plaid that I love but it has since departed in a sea of bias-cut blues.  I've got a little over two weeks...

Somedays I think I am getting so good and others I feel a drunken costume designer.
  Sad clown face-n-all.

The designs in my head (cause of course, I can't just be happy with the outcome the pattern has for me... I always have to "do more") are going to be really cute.  Either that or the girls and I will be in potato sacks for their birthdays and Christmas...

Hey - it worked for my girl Marilyn!

Parisienne Farmgirl: Meet My Best Friend...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blue Atelie, Trancoso, Brazil -possibly my dream home!

A chic cabana for two in the charming town of Transcoso, named one of the most “singularly beautiful places” in the world by Travel+Leisure.

Modeled on traditional fisherman’s huts of the area, Blue Atelie is decorated with an eye for roughed up sophistication. Locally sourced arts and crafts are mixed with colorful antiques and chic touches, like a dressmaker’s dummy (perfect for keeping wrinkles out of your evening dress).

A fully equipped kitchen, outdoor garden, and private pool might make it difficult to drag yourself down to the nearby beach. 1-bedroom with King bed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

American Indians Learn Native Hawaiian Ancient Healing Practices on Oahu Retreat

Natives enjoy a kapu kai cleansing ceremony. (Courtesy of AIM)

American Indians will travel off the tourist path on the island of Oahu to learn about traditional medicines and healing practices first-hand from Native Hawaiians on a retreat, “Personal Wellness in Hidden Hawaii,” November 3-9.

Authentic “Kupuna” (Native Hawaiian elders) who are also Master Practitioners, will share little known ancient healing methods, Ann McCommas, founder of AIM (Attitude, Insight, Motivation) Seminars, told Indian Country Today Media Network.

The cultural excursion is organized by AIM, a Tempe, Arizona-based company that launched in 1980 and offers additional training workshops and programs on landing a job, building leadership skills and inspiring personal motivation and wellness, amongst other things. AIM facilitators, who are primarily American Indian or Native Hawaiian, according to McCommas, have lead the retreat to Hawaii since 2001, although the most recent trip to explore Indigenous wellness traditions in Hawaii took place in 2008.

There approximately 10 to 15 retreat participants—most of who are Navajo or Tohono O’odham, according to McCommas—will stay at a resort in Waikiki for six nights and tour the island for seven days with Hawaii’s indigenous elders, teachers, Storytellers and healers. Participants will trek through the Island’s natural beauty to sacred sites—many of them not open to the public. For instance, on day two of the retreat, participants will head to the center of the island to a sacred spot, where Queens gave birth to the highest Princes or Princesses. “That’s where we’ll be saying our prayers,” McCommas told ICTMN. “The purpose is to align us with our natural selves—being by the ocean and surrounded by amazing people with ‘mana’ [the spiritual power and energy that Hawaiians believe inhibit all things and creatures].”

 Jo'Lin Kalimapau offers the ocean a blessing with tea leaf, ho'okupu (gift to the ocean). (Courtesy of AIM)

During a visit to the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, a traditional healing center specializing in diabetes care, participants will learn long-term practices for chronic disease management and healing techniques for diabetes, as well as other health-related issues affecting indigenous people, according to an AIM press release.

After visiting the center, AIM co-facilitator Jo’lin Kalimapau (Native Hawaiian) will take the group 20 minutes away to the ocean to perform a healing ceremony as the sun sets, McCommas told ICTMN.

AIM facilitator Celina Mahinalani Garza (Native Hawaiian) emphasizes the power of the healing techniques “lomilomi.” The Hawaiian traditional massage involves an exchange of energy and nurtures the person as a whole. “In Hawaiian, when you say something more than once, it is more powerful; there is more meaning behind it,” Garza told ICTMN of lomilomi. “When someone is sick, we lay our hands on them and massage them,” she said, noting examples of chronic pain, such as women in post-pregnancy suffering from a distended stomach.

Throughout the course of the retreat, American Indians will learn of “Ho’oponopono,” a Hawaiian tradition of engaging in family or group counseling. Garza translates “Ho’oponopono” as “Hawaiian psychology.” Garza explained, “Ho’oponopono” is the practice of putting things back together, making it right out in the open, like a counseling session.”

Retreat goers will also visit landmark cultural sites, including the Bishop Museum and the Polynesian Cultural Center. An Indigenous Storyteller will guide participants through the Bishop Museum, a natural and cultural history institution representing the interests of Native Hawaiians, according to its website. A Native Hawaiian’s knowledge and perspective on the museum’s collections enhances the visitors’ experience, McCommas told ICTMN.

Throughout the week-long stay, participants will likewise explore the beautiful adventurous of Hawaii. One day, they will tour the lush green valleys of Oahu’s North Shore to Waimea Falls, a waterfall that drops 45 feet into a pool. Kalimapau will then explain how Hawaiians use water for spiritual cleansing known as a “kapu kai” cleansing ceremony before diving in. Hawaiian’s believe that the ceremony helps them reconnect to the water, sustaining them and giving them more “mana.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to Create a Lilly Design Pattern


Follow this simple technique to make your own Lilly Pulitzer-inspired design.
Tools and Materials
Inspiration photo
Vellum paper
Colored permanent markers
Watercolor paper
Graphite paper
Blunt pencil
Watercolor paints
Frame (optional)

Lilly Pulitzer Design Technique How-To
 1. Start with an inspiration photo to determine the shapes and color scheme. Your theme can center around botanicals, animals, landmarks, nautical motifs, even everyday items such as bicycles or maps!

2. Trace a shape in the inspiration photo (for example, a shell) by placing vellum paper over the original picture and outlining the shape with a permanent marker. Go over only the line details you'd like to include in your print design. Repeat for other shapes in the photo you'd like to include.

3. Transfer the design from the vellum paper to the watercolor paper. Layer the paper as follows, from bottom to top: watercolor paper, graphite paper, vellum paper with traced design. Run a blunt pencil tip over the traced design, applying moderate pressure, to transfer the design from the graphite paper to the watercolor paper.

4. Go over the transferred image outline on the watercolor paper with a colored permanent marker, and further define the design by adding whimsical details, such as swirls, bubbles, dots, etc.

5. Determine the color palette for the design and paint with watercolor in stages. Fill in key colors, then accent colors.

6. Frame the print when dry, if desired.

All tools and materials available at art-supply and crafts stores.

Tutorial video from show included in link.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A peek at Stella McCartney’s new denim line

 A peek at Stella McCartney’s new denim line (complete with Hawaiian prints!) straight from our December issue. Read the other hot fashion stories of the month, over on Slaves to Fashion. Photo: Frances Tulk-Hart

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

From About Last Weekend's Blog.......Tales of a Kiwi mum-of-four living in the bay area

Maori Boy Genius

Link to the movie trailer:

He learned to memorise through the Maori tradition of singing and story telling and almost never takes notes. His first language is Maori and he learned English at four years. At 12 he began his first university degree, at 14 he googled "international politics'' and "education" and he came up with "Yale University." He applied to the Yale summer semester programme at age 15 and was accepted last year at the age of 16.

Who is this boy? His name is Ngaa Ruuira Pumanawawhiti and his journey to Yale is the subject of my sister Pietra's latest documentary, Maori Boy Genius.

Ngaa posses such evident spirituality and charisma that watching even footage of him is strangely moving. You find yourself close to tears. Among his people he is being hailed as a new leader for our confused and troubled age, a visionary who can directly tap into the wisdom of his ancestors.

Ngaa was born in the small coastal New Zealand town of Otaki. He has lived with his retired grandparents (his grandfather worked on the railways and his grandmother was a prison nurse) since the age of eight (customarily the eldest child in a family is given to their grandparents) while Ngaa's five siblings stayed with his parents.

Surrounded by his "iwi" (tribe) he has been educated in the Maori tradition where knowledge is passed down through story telling and songs. That means he seldom takes notes - he simply reads or listens and recites. Ngaa says: "We learnt songs, we learnt dances about everything like fishing. How can you go fishing if you don't know where the fish are? A song will tell us how to look for the fish and we would sing it as we went fishing."

He's also also a goofy, gangling 16 year-old Maori boy who loves to hang out with his mates; watching his best friend Riwai -  already a dad at 17 -  practise his old school popping-and-locking dance moves, eating meat pies in his friend Daniel's car and discussing girls.

"His interest is human rights,'' his mother Maakarita says: "He's been talking that way since he was 10.'' But his life is not buried in books or the internet: ``He's still a typical teenager, and he likes to be with his mates.''

Ngaa at Yale last summer

In April I saw Ngaa perform the Haka in the Te Hui Ahurei of Tuhoe, an annual festival. It had taken all night to draw the tattoos (ta Moko) on his and his group's faces and bodies. Ngaa has also smudged his face to try and reflect the environment and look like the bush as his ancestors had done. "He's different that one" said one of his elders.
   For the past two years Pietra has filmed him with his friends, travelling to Yale (for the summer semester programme) and back again to his family. "There is always the time during the filming process when you know your subjects are sick of you, sick of the camera and wished they'd never agreed to be filmed, exposed, prodded. Ngaa and his family never gave me that impression - they believed that me and my crew were part of Ngaa's kaupapa - or journey - and were committed to the film, because in the end, as he says, this educational/future leader journey is not for him, it is for his people, to bring them out of poverty."

"But please don't think this film is all worthiness" Pietra says: "there is a lot of laughter, especially hanging out with his mates, and a lot of tears when his 5th sibling is born with the whole family around and Ngaa is handed her to be named, and in his extraordinary relationship with his grandfather." 
At a time when a survey of teens just voted spray-tans and the iPhones as the top inventions of all time, Ngaa is passionately political. One look at his Facebook page tells how he champions the rights of the oppressed including his own people who were ousted from their lands, introduced to cigarettes and alcohol and banned from speaking their own language. Today a high percent of young Maori men drop out of High School and end up in prison. 

One of Ngaa's favourite quotes: "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Marching for Maori land rights
Ngaa: "We have come here to show you we will not bow down!"
 Ngaa's name is based on an old tribal (Tuhoe) saying: “He uira ki te rangi he tauira ki te whenua....Like lightning in the sky, here is an example on earth.”

But it is Ngaa's grandmother who gently notes: “He’s a Matakite, a Wiseman. But he's also a boy."

The television documentary version of Maori Boy Genius will be screened on Maori Television in New Zealand on Sat November 12 at 8.30pm and repeated Sunday November 27 at 6pm.

Interior Designer Lauren Liess - Pure Style Home

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Da cozinha para o guarda-roupa ~ From the kitchen to the wardrobe

A italiana Colomba Leddi usa frutas e verduras como inspiração para sua coleção do verão 2012

The Colomba Italian Ledda uses fruits and vegetables as inspiration for his collection of summer 2012
For Fernanda Massarotto, Milan October 21, 2011, 8H01
The Italian designer Colomba Ledda is above all an artist. His pieces are unique and unmistakable. Be on the streets of Milan, Tokyo, London or Los Angeles, it is impossible not to recognize a dress or a coat signed by her. His new collection spring-summer 2012, invests in natural fabrics such as linen, cotton, Japanese, Indian silk and batik. But his forte is the fun and unique digital prints. The inspiration this time are not ethnic or tropical countries, but the kitchen of a friend (so that the collection was named "La Cucina di Ada"). "The kitchen of Ada is a fountain of ideas, colors and joy: dishcloths striped or plaid, vegetables, colorful aprons. All these ingredients helped me compose the new collection. Not to mention, of course, recipes, aromatic and delicious, blending cultures and flavors, "says Ledda.

During the process of creation, Colomba sliced ​​onions, carrots, lemons, cauliflower and peppers. "I put on each ingredient dish cloths or linen and photographed everything," he says. The next step was to work the images digitally. "From the kitchen, I created an entire line to the wardrobe next summer!" Colomba liked the "joke" that have produced cushions and curtains for your home collection. The creations are for sale in his studio, opened in 1996 in Milan Some of the pieces are unique. Outside, the brand is present in the Egg and Few and Far, in London, Noodles, Los Angeles, and Takashimaya in Tokyo. In his spare time, Colomba teaches fashion design at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, and respond by the board of course fashion design school.



Original article in Portuguese translated to English via Google translator by me.