haute so fabulous

Who Is.. Jeff Koons

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Jeff Koons is a renowned American contemporary artist best known for his transformations of everyday objects such as puppies and inflatable plastic toys to vacuum cleaners and delicate trinkets, turning them into fantastical, larger than life masterpieces, including, most iconically, balloon animals in vibrant, garish colours, produced in stainless steel with mirror-finish surfaces.

Born in York, Pennsylvania, on January 21, 1955, the celebrated artist is something of a living legend. After finishing high school he attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. During his time in Maryland, a school trip to the Whitney Museum in New York to see a Jim Nutt exhibition would prove a major turning point as he was so infatuated with the Chicago artist’s work that he up and left Maryland, leaving to enroll at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the very establishment that would afford him an honorary doctorate some 30 years later. 

Swiftly making a beeline for New York in 1977, Koons took a job at MoMA in an administrative role. His presence was always noticed due to his brightly coloured and outlandish attire and hair, sometimes he would adorn himself with an inflatable plastic flower and large brash bow-ties - the first signs of his now infamous sculptures. In 1980, he jumped ship and got a job working on Wall Street, selling mutual funds and stocks at First Investors Corporation. This job was a strategic move however as it allowed the young artist fund his creations which would eventually appear in his first solo show, The New series (1980–83) in which he had vacuum cleaners and shampoo polishers displayed in clear Plexigas vitrines.

In the years since his first solo show in 1980 his work has been shown at all the world’s major museums and galleries, in cities around the world, from Berlin to Sydney, New York to Los Angeles, London and Paris, Oslo, Venice, Zurich, Shanghai and beyond. His most recognisable pieces are of course his larger-than-life balloon animals but beyond his Neo-kitsch materialisations is his artistic love of a variety of other art forms including human sculptures and paintings, all born of his eclectic portrayal of his misunderstood vision. 

Astute and media-savvy, the self-proclaimed crowd-pleaser is not one to shy away from applause or acclaim. In 2014, the self-assured and extrovert artist posed naked in his gym for a major Vanity Fair profile, shot by Annie Leibovitz, which was published to welcome one of the most crucial points in his career, a retrospective of his entire body of work shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. This is one of many solo exhibitions the artist has enjoyed internationally. Not only is his work enjoyed by millions, the world over, he has influenced many other artists over the past few decades, most notably perhaps, Damien Hirst, another of the 21st century’s most prolific contemporaries. Of his hero’s work, Hirst has said “The first time I saw his work, in the late 1980s, it just blew me away”.

Commanding a team of over 100 in his New York City studio, in the Chelsea neighbourhood, Jeff Koons continues to test the boundaries between high-brow art and the pull of mass culture, not to mention the potential as an artist found in the mass market following he has cultivated. In his long standing career to date, he has created something very unique: the combining of the art world and celebrity, his status as both artist and celebrity firmly rooted in our innate interest in both his art and him as a person. Koons has noted that there are no hidden meanings in his art and he leaves the world deeply divided, some think his work is innovative and holds a major place in art-history, while others feel it is vacuous, tacky and full of self-importance, some even referring to him as the “king of kitsch”. However despite the critical divide, Koons continues to have the last laugh - as do those who invest in his work; he is the most lucrative living artist, his famous Rabbit fetched the highest price ever for a piece by a living artist in May 2019, selling for $91 million. The epitome of Neo-Pop, investing in a Jeff Koons is definitely worth the hype whether you’re after high art or something more culturally popular. 

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12 of the Best Red Lipsticks

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Whether you’re more into something silky and smooth or mate and moody, a good red lipstick can change everything.. and I mean everything. It’s a statement of confidence and one of the most instant attainments of an" “ok world, I’m ready for you” kind of mood, of course not forgetting the tiny detail that takes many an outfit from day to night in the simple swipe of an application. High-pigment is vital for a power play while slightly more subtle options that can be worn during the day are also a good addition to your lipstick wardrobe. Here we look at 12 of the best on the beauty market, from MAC’s cult favourite Ruby Roo to Tom Ford’s ever classic take on the world of red in Armie 33 from the Boys & Girls II collection and of course one of my all time favourites, Modern Matte Powder Lipstick in Flame 509 from Shiseido.

CHANEL

ALLURE Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate // £31

Shop here...

L’ORÉAL

Color Riche Matte Addiction in Haute Rouge // £7.99

Shop here..


TOM FORD

Boys & Girls II in Armie 33 // £30

Shop here..

BOBBI BROWN

Luxe Lip Color in Parisian Red // £25

Shop here..


SHISEIDO

ModernMatte Powder Lipstick in Flame 509 // £25

Shop here..

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RIMMEL

Lasting Finish By Kate Moss in shade 01 // £5.49

Shop here..


LANCÔME

L'Absolu Rouge Drama Matte Lipstick in shade 507 Dramatic // £27

Shop here..

GIORGIO ARMANI

Rouge d'Armani Matte Lipstick in shade 401 // £31

Shop here..


CHARLOTTE TILBURY

Matte Revolution in shade Red Carpet Red // £25

Shop here..

NARS

Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red // £23

Shop here..


MAC COSMETICS

Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Roo // £17.50

Shop here..

REVLON

Revlon SuperLustrous Matte Lipstick in shade Reds Rule the World // £7.99

Shop here..


Laura Beckford of Supernova Living, The Interview

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Laura, how tell us a little about your journey into the health industry and how Supernova Living came to be..

Hello, firstly thank you so much for wanting to interview me for your beautiful website. 

My journey into the health industry was a pretty spontaneous one, I have always lived a holistic life, being brought up on homeopathy instead of pharmaceuticals, living in a vegetarian house, my dad is a Reiki Master and my aunt is a Naturopath, this way of living was just ‘the norm’ for me and I only realised it wasn’t for most, the older I got. After being a TV presenter for a few years, I opened a children’s casting and modelling agency, Ology Kids Casting, aged 22, which is still going strong but I wanted to spend more of my life living my passion, which is health and wellness. So after years of people continually asking, “how was I always so positive, rarely ill and always have so much energy?” I thought it’d be great to create products which we, as a family use, and helps us in all areas of life on a daily basis, presented in a luxurious and modern way. The first product came from a need to initially help my husband, who was a professional footballer at the time, to create super pure, plant-based protein powder and support what a professional athlete needed, which was much more than just protein. Ingredients to reduce stress in such a high pressured environment, reduce fatigue and inflammation, increase stamina, focus and endurance and help with gut health which most men don’t acknowledge or talk about at all. This was the start of Supernova Protein and we’ve since been developing products specifically tailored to the needs of men and women, which we did a lot of market research on.

As a tried-and-tested customer, it feels the essence of the brand is about living a beautiful life from the inside out, how best would you describe the philosophy and heart of the company?

What a lovely description of the brand, thank you. Quite simply we’re creating products that we, as a family need and we’re genuinely passionate about; our brand is our way of living with honesty and integrity which is so freeing. I couldn’t release products which I didn’t believe in or use every day. I do love being surrounded by beauty, as Marie Kondo says “it fills me with joy” and raises my vibration but that beauty comes in so many forms. It could be the mist of our lawn at 6am, the contagious giggling of our children or the smoothness of our hand carved coconut wood scoops, made from a small village in Vietnam. It sounds cliched but I do find beauty, joy and inspiration in so much. Our philosophy is to create the highest quality wellness products, with integrity, to elevate the body and mind as a whole. To help create balance in all areas of life as we lead such fast faced, demanding lifestyles.


You currently have three proteins and the (most amazing) cans to shake up delicious drinks in, can you explain to us your process in creating each product thus far..

I briefly mentioned that the MAN 02 product was the one we initially developed, for my husband, as a substitute for the whey proteins n the market that are so full of chemicals, sugars and artificial ingredients that he was being given at the professional football clubs he played at. For such a high pressured profession, we felt he needed much more than ‘just protein’ to succeed and thrive. He also suffered with digestive problems so we wanted gut health to be a focus, more energy, as well as ingredients to reduce stress, anxiety, increase focus, stamina and endurance and aid with recovery and fatigue. His statistics went through the roof after using Supernova Protein, instead of the ones he previously used and all his teammates were wanting his blend, so we thought we’d try and make a bigger batch and it sold out within weeks. From experimenting myself with this powder, I personally wanted an easy, go to blend that ticked all the things I wanted! More energy, gut support, anti ageing ingredients with masses of antioxidants, anti stress ingredients, hormone balancing and immune boosting. So we developed the WOMAN 01, which is now our best seller. The NAKED 00 was born from the desire to create the purest powder, without stevia for those who might not want a cacao based blend. The Supernova Can was always in the pipeline but we just couldn’t find one that ticked every box, I always used to use a glass bottle, but it was so heavy and I would constantly smash it when I put my handbag down and end up with water all over a shop floor, restaurant or my car! I then bought stainless steel bottles but when in the gym or driving they were too difficult to drink from and I would regularly spill water or the shake all over me! Plus they were really difficult to clean or put the powder into with a small opening. So we developed the Supernova Can, which is Stainless Steel, not plastic, so doesn’t leech chemicals into the drink. Lightweight, easy to carry, non drip, keeps it cold or hot for up to 12 hours and is a great travel size of 400ml. Plus it has a wide straw which is a pleasure to drink from and a durable outer coating in a sleek, modern design, unlike anything else out there. We love it.

Is there a plan to extend the product range?

Yes, creating and developing is my passion. We hope to release a product in Spring 2020 which we feel a large majority of our demographic will need and we’re also working with a factory now to create an innovative product inspired from something my mother gave to me as a child which I know you will love. As a brand we want to stay innovative and pioneering in the wellness industry, as it is so saturated. Unfortunately, as a small business this takes time but we want to get it right and only release products we’re super passionate about and know are not only beautiful but also highly effective.

Your branding is stunning, what inspired you to create such a beautiful, sleek and elegant vibe?

Thank you so much, branding is something I adore and although it seems a little superficial, it is the initial perception of a brand and ours had to show quality and luxury from the outset. There is a still a big stereotype of protein brands being a big black plastic tub with a huge body builder on the front. We wanted to get as far away from that as possible and show that protein is also essential for overall wellness. Amino acids are necessary for hormone production, hair, skin and nails as well as to replenish muscles after a workout! We’re a lifestyle wellness brand and want to show that health is not just about taking a powder, including ours! It’s a mindset, daily rituals, nutrition and exercise to elevate your life. Health is not a destination, it’s a continually evolving journey and needs attention every day which is why we show our personal experiences and how we live as a family too on social media. We also felt simplicity is important in our branding for ‘wellness’ as a concept can sometimes be overwhelming and people don’t know where to start, Supernova Living is about elevating your mind and body with ease. One to two scoops of powder a day with plant milk, it couldn’t get much easier!

You work alongside your co-funder and husband, Jermaine, how do you navigate a high-pressure working relationship with your husband and do you have any tips on working with a spouse?

I always said I would never ever work with my husband. I thought it was a recipe for disaster. He’s so laid back and I’m so motivated and driven, that’s why we work as a couple and ironically that’s why our working relationship is also proving to be great and epitomises Supernova Living philosophy of balance. Jermaine said in an interview recently that we are each other’s adaptogen, we keep each other in balance which is so true!

We wanted to work together as we simply wanted to spend more time together, as a family, as a couple and to travel together. I’ve always thought if you’re lucky enough to find someone who you adore and want to spend your life with, why do you go to work 10 hours a day, five days a week, with other people?! It’s great that Jermaine and I still have other passions that we work on each week, my other business, Ology Kids Casting and Jermaine is commentating and presenting for Sky Sports, Talk Sport and BBC Sport so we till have other ventures to discuss with each other which I think this is important.

My main advice would be to find what each of you excels in, this has taken us 12 months. Inevitably as a small business you both have to do everything to start with, whether you like it or not! Always listen to the other person’s perspective and opinions as it makes you think outside of your own mindset. Make time for you as a couple, not work related, time not spent talking about work or you could risk becoming colleagues first and a couple second! Appreciate each other, when you’re working together, you don’t have a boss to say ‘good job today’ or award you with ‘employee of the week’ so to just be grateful of each other and vocalise it.

What has been one of the most formative experiences thus far for you in building up Supernova Living?

So many lessons have been learnt on our journey with Supernova, which I love as we always want to continue to grow and evolve as people and a business. I feel my childhood and mindset instilled from my parents has been the most prolific experience to set a precedent for Supernova Living. The foundations of listening to your body, we usually know instinctively what we need and to work on acknowledging that instinct. To look at what we’re putting into our bodies, question whether it’s right for us and don’t always trust huge companies just because they say it’s ‘ok’ and have the strength to go against convention if necessary. My mother taught us about manifestation so it’s always been a natural part of our lives, visualising and being grateful creates more opportunities. My experiences of holistic medicine from homeopathy, acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine have had such a positive effect on our lives it’s definitely had an influence on developing Supernova Living. Have integrity and do the right thing when no-one is watching, that’s one of my favourite philosophies, along with ‘to thine own self be true’, which my dad wrote on my 18th Birthday Card. Also life lessons such as never expect anything, be humble and kind.

And perhaps you’d share your most notable failure to date and how it helped you grow both personally and professionally…

I’ve been racking my brain for this one and think I am struggling because I try not to see experiences as ‘failures’ I just don’t compute them as a ‘failure’ as they are simply lessons that I can learn and grow from. I don’t see them as a negative. There have been lots of things that I have done wrong; I apologise, rectify it and most importantly make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’re currently out of stock of all sachets, which I am very frustrated about and could see as a failure but it’s because we have had an influx of stockists and demand. So although this could be viewed as a ‘failure’ (and is very frustrating to me) I need to see it as a fantastic progression that they’re in such demand. I know this isn’t probably the answer you’d like so I do apologise and trust me I do get things wrong but I feel it’s all perception and there is no benefit to acknowledging anything we do as a failure, it will only create negative energy.

Seeing a gap in the market for a simplified but high-quality protein powder, sans all the horrible additives that so many are privy to, Supernova is really making a mark on the industry, positioning yourselves as a truly reliable substitute to other well-known market leaders - how difficult is it in reality to break into that kind of oversaturated market?

I think starting any business is incredibly difficult, on so many levels, emotionally, financially, physically. To develop a product with USP’s and to get awareness for the product is a real challenge, especially as a small business when we’re up against companies who have millions of pounds of investment or have global awareness from being in business for decades. We’re crazy aren’t we?! We obviously did do research before we developed Supernova Protein but I’m a big believer in focusing on your own journey and not worrying about others around you. We do find it very difficult to get awareness for us as a new brand, as some still see it as ‘a protein powder’ when it is so much more than just protein. We find educating our customers and the press on the unique ingredients is the key and giving them the opportunity to sample the powder. There seems to be an association with wellness powders and vegan proteins as awful tasting and gritty texture which we focused on in our development process. We still have a long long way to go and we’re a very ambitious company. We really do appreciate all the magazines, influencers, bloggers and customers who we have never paid, who can see our vision and have supported us since the beginning, it’s these people and companies who can make or break a small business so it means a lot.

Starting any new business is a huge risk and comes with many complications, what advice would you impart to those at the beginning of such a process?

Jump and the net will appear! I am pretty spontaneous and don’t have the same cautiousness that most do, apart from money. I don’t worry about what people will think but I am careful with money. Fear plays too much of a role in peoples lives and prevents people doing things they love and are passionate about. I would recommend to plan and do research before starting, look at your finances and plan how you will invest money in the business and also have enough to live, it’s boring but imperative. Aim high, I have huge expectations and I work incredibly hard to achieve them. I see from people we interview for jobs that not many have so much drive or desire to succeed, if you are your own boss you HAVE to have self discipline and drive to succeed as no-one else is going to tell you to get up and do the emails or be proactive in the business. To find the drive you have to start a business that you’re passionate about or it will feel too much like ‘work’ and you won’t succeed. Surround yourself with likeminded, positive people and get help from specialists with skills that you may not be the greatest at. Perhaps invest in a PR agency and a business coach for guidance now and again. I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet but I know I couldn’t work any harder, I plan to work smarter to get the same results….it’s a work in progress!! Create a life that feels good on the inside and not just one that looks good on the outside.


What does a day in the life of Laura Beckford look like and what role do you play in the daily running of the company?

A busy one! I get up at 6am, drink a pint of water when I wake, go over emails and highlight important ones I need to address urgently. I then do a mini meditation or yoga to wake me up and put me in a positive frame of mind. I body brush and if I have time I’ll do a 10-15 cardio in our gym to raise my vibrations and mindset to start the day. This can take no longer than 20 minutes in total as I then have to get the children up and ready for school and is my ideal way to start the day, it does not happen every day though!! My husband and I are a great team in the morning and have specific roles to get them out of the door on the school run by 7.30am, if I take the kids I listen to a podcast about business on the way to the office or back home, then I make lists! I love lists. A list to our creative team, a list to our executive assistant, a list for Jermaine and myself for life jobs and also Supernova jobs all whilst having a WOMAN 01 with plant milk! My days are so varied, I can be meeting a new stockist, journalist or sampling at events, festivals or partnerships like Barrecore, Lululemon or Facegym. I do spend a lot of time on emails, as I do everything for Supernova from designing, developing, invoicing, marketing, social media. I am trying to delegate and we are starting to hire people but it’s difficult as I have very high expectations. It’s especially busy at the moment as we’re improving and making a new batch of each blend which is always difficult as I’m so conscientious to get the right certification, organic, processing etc to make sure it’s as pure as we want. If I have to pick the children up, my day is short, as I leave at 2.30pm, then I’m mum and take them to tennis, netball, football, swimming, horse riding etc! I do try to be present with them but it’s difficult especially when I have emails coming in every day that are important and I need to reply to. I always put them to bed and then maybe do a Peloton session, or yoga at home or a couple of of times a week I go to play tennis (which is my sanity saviour!) I get my laptop back out at 8pm and will usually work until at least 11pm. I love to unwind at the end of the day in our far infra red sauna with Headspace on, followed by an episode of Working Moms on Netflix!

You’re a busy lady Laura, with your young family, two flourishing businesses (Laura also owns Ology Kids Casting) and generally just being a superwoman, how do you find balance in your life or time for yourself though?

I’m certainly not Superwoman! It’s a daily challenge and I have to remind myself that it is not an ultimate destination, as things are always changing we have to adapt. Which does fit in with the Supernova Protein as the adaptogens literally adapt to what your body needs at a certain time!!  

Ironically it is a challenge for me everyday whilst the business is still so young but it is at the forefront of my mind as I believe balance is so important for a happy life. My children give me the balance I need as they are my first priority which makes me cook healthy meals, get outside and exercise with them, play and be silly, which is underrated as an adult. My husband also makes me switch off by dragging me out for brunch or for a bike ride if I’m super stressed. I also always make sure I go to play tennis if I can as it’s my two hours in fresh air that’s just for me. I am always busy but I like it that way. I also write down every few weeks the areas of my life such as friends, family, me time, work, exercise etc and see where I am spending most of my time and perhaps reassess which areas need more attention.

Do you have any daily routines or rituals you can’t survive without?

A pint of alkaline water on waking, Supernova WOMAN 01 every morning, lists, Neom Face / Body oil, being outside, preferably on the beach, in the woods, in the countryside where we live, kissing my children goodnight.


What's your guiltiest pleasure?

A vegan chocolate mochi ball by Mini Moons…..SO good but I don’t feel guilty about it!!


What is your beauty routine and what are your favourite brands?

I’m pretty low maintenance with regards to beauty, I’m a big believer in if you eat pure organic food and a lot of filtered water, your skin will glow naturally. I am at my happiest without make up, hair in a bun on the beach in the sun. I always body brush and use Neom oil and Ren shower products. That’s all I use!!

If you’re hitting up the gym, which classes or trainers are you loving right now?

We’ve just partnered with Hero Wellbeing and their new space at Angel Gardens in Manchester which is just fantastic for all types of workouts, it’s inspiring. I love yoga and have practiced since I left ballet for yoga at 15. I regularly do Tara Stiles workouts at home and whenever she’s in the UK, Claudia Mirallegro does a great hip hop yoga class at Lululemon in Manchester and Barrecore too. When in London I love Louisa Drake and Simone De La Rue as I used to dance as a child so love the choreographed classes. I do try to get to a pilates reformer class whenever I can and although I’m not a lover of high intensity classes I’m really looking forward to trying The Trip by Les Mills in the Cycle Studio at Hero. I also love outdoor tennis too.


If you had one more hour in your day how would you spend it?

Going to the beach with my children.

To what do you attribute your success thus far with Supernova Living?

Tenacity. I don’t look left or right, I solely focus on our journey, how we can continually improve and I don’t accept no for an answer!

With all it’s pros and cons, social media can, at times, be a real pressure to depict the picture-perfect life. Do you feel it and how do you deal with that strain?

Yes, I think it is inevitable. We were having this discussion in the office earlier this week and I started Instagram on my personal account as a ‘photo album’ of our life. All the best bits to look back on, I wouldn’t choose the pictures of us arguing or crying to put in a photo frame so I don’t do it on Instagram. It has now, however evolved into this facade of life and becomes worrying when people see it as ‘real life’ not just a highlighted showreel to be inspired by. From a business perspective, it is frustrating as it’s a full time job in itself to promote a brand on social media and you can be judged by the amount of followers or engagement you get which is crazy. Life is not perfect and I do like that there are more and more accounts on Instagram, especially for young girls with women showing cellulite and rolls of skin which is completely normal, even with a healthy diet and exercise. My focus, as I briefly mentioned, is not to look at other brands in our genre and just follow inspiring businesses and accounts who I am motivated by. 

Do you have a personal motto that you live by?

Oh wow, I have so many. I love a quote and positive affirmation.

“To thine own self be true.” // “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” // ‘Carpe Diem” // “Happiness and balance are not something you find but something you create.” // “Just do it”

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing where might we find you?

I’d be expanding my other business Ology Kids Casting which I’m also passionate about.


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50 Things to Shop for your Next Travel Adventure

TravelRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Today I’m sharing 50 things to help you prepare for your next travel adventure.. from cosy airport attire to cashmere socks and in-flight eye-masks to hero beauty products and even a little sneaky travel-sized vibrator. Whatever your destination or travel time, I got you covered. Click through on any of the images to shop.

** Disclaimer, all the links below are affiliate links, meaning if you click through and decide to purchase the item, I get a small percentage of the price. Only if you purchase though and you do not pay any more than the store’s recommend retail price **

 
 

Who Is.. Yayoi Kusama

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment
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You may already be aware of and completely in awe of Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese artist, who despite many personal difficulties is one of the most revered contemporary artists alive. Born on March 22nd 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Kusama was born into an affluent merchant family where her artist tendencies and creative disposition were completely unaccepted by her family. She began drawing and painting at a very early age and determined as she was, Kusama never steered off her path as a born-to-be artist. Enraged by her daughters most undesirable behaviours, something the family believed brought endless shame upon them, her mother would intentionally rip up her creations, leaving the young artist even more determined and purposeful. It was about this time that she admits to her hallucinations beginning. Involving vast expanses of open space, filled with polka dots, these imaginative delusions would prove to become the matter of her most iconic pieces and haunt her for the entirety of her life. 

Despite much unrest and turmoil at home, she somehow persuaded her parents to allow her attend art school to study as a painter. It was at the Kyōto City Specialist School of Arts that she attained a not-so-influencial and brief training. Amid immense family conflict which very much hindered her yearning to work as an artist, she moved to New York city in 1957. Before immigrating, she destroyed much of her early work. 

New York was her ticket to freedom, something she’d craved since childhood. There her obsessive repetition flourished and she began what she called her “infinity net” paintings - large canvases consisting of millions of tiny dots that she never let the edge of the canvas limit, their presence a reflection of the limitlessness of infinity. This early work was her contribution to the emerging Minimalist movement however her transition into performance art meant she was seen as a leader of the Pop art group soon after, a movement well-known of that time. She found herself at the centre of the city’s avant-garde scene and around this time her creations were beginning to gain major recognition, exhibited alongside some of the era’s most notable artists including Donald Judd, Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg.

At the height of the 60’s in New York, her work mirrored the issues of the time, especially her performance pieces which saw her touch on politic themes and society-induced limitations around homosexuality and the rights of women. She sought to be a voice for those who were silenced by the time’s controlling constraints. Her performance pieces were hugely successful, despite the many controversies surrounding them, what with her overindulgent use of nudity in public. Her public performances saw her arrested several times, yet these dangers never dampened desire to convey sensitive themes and her longing to help those she felt needed a platform from which they could be acknowledged and heard. 

Her work has been shown in endless exhibitions around the world and is part of the permanent collections at the LACMA, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, MOMA in New York among many others. In 2014 and 2016 she was regarded as the most expensive artist. She has acquired world acclaim, both from those deeply imbedded in the the art world and those who, simply embarking upon a must-do visit to MOMA while in New York, tend to fall for her madly beautiful masterpieces. 

Kusama never married, and amid the endless rumours that surrounded her and many of the artists she worked with during her time in New York, she only ever admitted to her relationship with Joseph Cornell, the legendary artist who, 25 years her senior, was an obsessively controlling figure in her life. The union was non-sexual though, in fact they never had sex and were simply bound by a pure love for almost a decade. 

After Cornell’s death in 1977, her mental health deteriorated rapidly and she permanently relocated to her home country where she voluntarily checked herself into a psychiatric hospital; she resides there to this very day. She has remained an outsider to her peers ever since and, despite a certain self-consciousness, she keeps it that way. Her studio is across the road from the hospital where she works on new works, all while fighting the hallucinations and mental illness that have plagued her her entire life. Known as the ‘princess of polka dots’, the celebrated artist has known many hardships in her life. Turning her demons into something beautiful, her life is a story of survival and endurance and her art some of the most sought after pieces of her generation. Known for her mirror rooms, polka dots, mushrooms, pumpkins and at one time the repeated drawing of penises, her compulsion to repeat patterns is her way of dealing with her demons. Yet thanks to this unwavering desire to create, her desire to die has always been outweighed.

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Designer Spotlight; Eudon Choi

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Born and raised in Seoul, Eudon Choi is one of fashion’s hottest young designers right now. The London based womenswear designer originally studied and worked in menswear in his home city in Korea before moving to London where he attained his MA in womenswear in 2006 from the Royal College of Art. Sitting somewhere chic between designer and contemporary the outrageously talented designer creates exquisitely tailored pieces that have won the hearts of fashionistas the world over.  

So notably talented for the get-go, Choi was offered a job with All Saints a year before graduating, with the company holding a job for him as a Senior Designer upon completing his course. In the meantime his final collection was swooped up by one of the industries most prestigious stockists, Dover Street Market, which for any designer stands as a mark of reaching the top - which for Choi was a mark set before he even began. Despite his ‘arrival’ as such, Choi decided to take the opportunity to hone his craft learning from others; taking a job at Twenty8Twelve. He worked as one of the brands Senior Designers white also playing a part in the the overall picture of the company, working with top casting directors and stylists during the brand’s London Fashion Week shows, all of which gave Choi a taste of what it’s like to put together a show. This experience proved all too valuable now that he is creating his own collections which he began doing in 2009 with his eponymous label Eudon Choi. 

For his collections, he cuts every pattern by hand and works very closely with his seamstresses on the process of each single garment, finalising each piece with any concluding tweaks. Describing his designs as ‘unique, understated and intellectual’, Choi is known for his in-depth knowledge of tailoring techniques and his flawless eye for detail. With a distinct emphasis placed in his origins of tailored detailing, he tends to draws upon the beauty at the crux of more masculine cuts, reworking them into his vision for his now predominately female customer base. 

Supported by the industry from the beginning, Choi has received many awards for his work. And deservedly so, including backing from the British Fashion Council and the Fashion Trust through the Fashion Trust Initiative.  

Classic but with a contemporary twist, he continues to develop his own aesthetics and evolve his signature style season on season. Its safe t say that investing in a piece of Choi for your wardrobe is likely to last a lifetime, marrying it’s way into your style like the most perfectly fitting glove. 

FOLLOW @eudonchoi // SHOP @ farfetch.com


SHOP EUDON CHOI



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Image Credit vogue.com

 

What Is.. FaceGym

Style, TravelRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Maybe you’re a spin enthusiast or a resistance-goddess, perhaps you love your morning run or sweating it out at Bikram? Whatever your chosen method of movement you understand and agree with the benefits in time spent working the body and a dedicated commitment to strengthening the muscles of our body; simply put it pays off to workout, right? Why then have we never connected such dedication to the face? Step forth FaceGym, the world’s first ever gym session for the face.

FaceGym was founded in 2016, by ex-beauty journalist Inge Theron who as a contributor for the Financial Times, documented her search for the next big thing in beauty in her column ‘Chronicles of a Spa Junkie”. Over a 3 year period she visited 57 spas, tried 25 anti-ageing treatments, tolerated 15 detoxes and sweated her way through 32 different types of movement classes. In her extreme search she underwent a face-lift procedure that left her house-bound due to complications and with a new outlook on skincare and the search for what works, she wondered if perhaps there was a less invasive was of ageing gracefully?

FaceGym is her resulting creation, the fruits of a two-year study that saw her travel the world to work with fitness experts, doctors, gurus and facialists. It’s a non-invasive facial workout requiring no knives, needles or recovery time; just 45 - 60 minutes in the hands of one of the company’s expert trainers. Exercising the face works to increase the blood circulation (allowing oxygen and nourishment to reach skin cells) and develop the 43 muscles in the face, making the shape of the face more full and defined. The ‘training’ part of the workout varies depending on the outcome you desire, so whether it’s a lifted look, tightening, detox, de-puffing or sculpting there is a varying custom-created workout. However the overall aim of a session at FaceGym is to stimulate the muscles, bringing back the skin’s natural elasticity and promoting collagen production. 

With similar steps to a body workout, the trainer will take you through the warm up, cardio, sculpting, and cool down stages of the workout. Using high energy kneading movements, a carefully selected selection of high-quality products from around the globe alongside optional vitamin boosters, a jade gua sha tool, a yoga ball and an electrical muscle stimulator (EMS), a session at FaceGym leaves your skin looks instantly tighter and brighter with your face visibly more sculpted. Fresh skin, the natural way, what’s not to love?

Available in London, Manchester, New York & coming soon to Los Angeles // Book your workout here // Workouts cost bewteen £50 and £225 or $70 and $270


SHOP FACEGYM APPROVED PRODCUTS



 

Who Is.. Linda Boronkay

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment
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It’s an undeniable love, an elegance as such, of a moment, a day or perhaps a night spent at any one of Soho House’s series of fabulous clubs around the world. As with most things in well working order though, beyond the scenes there is a strong, talented woman with a vision. Linda Boronkay, design director of the groups UK, Europe and Asia territories, is just that for the famed hospitality group. A woman with a fantastical dream that lives far beyond her aesthetically pleasurable designs, Boronkay joined the group in 2016 and has overseen the direction of the brands newest openings since. 

Boronkay was born in Budapest where her love of design was cultivated at home from a young age; her father an architect and her mother the editor of a fashion magazine before eventually becoming an antiques dealer. Full of antiques and vintage pieces, her home was a solid starting ground for what her career would later become. She moved to Paris to study fashion at first and, travelled the world as a model before acknowledging that her heart was really in interiors, moving to London to pursue her career in the industry. Her job is a dream for many, something she has worked undeniably hard for and nurtured since winning the prestigious recognition of Britain’s Best Emerging Interior Design Award. Prior to undertaking her position at Soho House she worked with some of the world’s top designers and firms including Martin Brudnizki, global studio Woods Bagot, Tara Bernerd & Partners and Tom Dixon, each of whom she gained significant experience with and invaluable knowledge from at such high level of design. 

Pioneering in her ability to create a feeling through the combination of the functionality and aesthetics of her creations, Boronkay is a busy lady, traveling the world to oversee the groups newest global openings. For Nick Jones, Soho House’s founder, deciding to open a new club for the brand is always about finding the right building rather than location. Each club has a history and the team begins every project through a conversation with a local historian to understand the buildings past, aiming to bring it’s natural characteristics to life in the redesign. Furniture is either bought vintage or custom made - something Boronkay is very much involved in from her experience of product design during her time with Tom Dixon. The design process is a lengthy one that sees her and her team take into account everything from the history of the building to the important aspects of comfort and functionality of the buildings various spaces, all while keeping the celebrated strong, distinctive style of Soho House very much in tact. And she does it seamlessly. 

During her lengthy and successful career, the designer has developed a diverse and impressive portfolio in luxury hospitality and residential design. Some of her completed projects include work for Nobu, Jamie Oliver, Qantas, Morgans Hotel Group, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Capital Group, Lend Lease and of course Soho House. Spanning 4 continents and 10 countries, you’re bound to stumble upon a Linda Boronkay creation no matter where your travels may take you.


SHOP HOMEWARES FROM SOHO HOUSE


 

Who Is.. Mr. Pearl

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment
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With his 18 inch trained waistline, Mark Erskine-Pullin famously known as Mr. Pearl is something of a 21st century genius and a mysterious father figure in the fashion world. It is not just his commitment to his beloved craft as a corsetier - he wears a corset 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (relieving himself of the garments only to bath) - that he really skyrocketed to fame but rather the fact that he is arguably the most iconic, talented and sought-after corset maker in existence. 

Born in South Africa in 1962, he grew up in a working class family and lived a modest life there with his father Neil, an English toolmaker and his half-English, half-Dutch mother Yvette. Upon their divorce however, he was sent to live with his grandparents Hetty and Ruben Searle. Falling in love with corsets and the art of waist training at a young age, his fascination was encouraged living with his Grandmother, where he would lace her into her corsets upon her request and, loving every minute of it, so his journey into the fashion world was born. Feeling under much pressure to conform, Pullin married a South African actress but later ended it before moving to London, where he found his freedom. He worked as a dresser and costume designer for the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden by day and by night he was a regular nightclub attendee and performer - going under his alter ego “Pearl”; it was later that Isabella Blow named him “Mr. Pearl”, which has stuck ever since. 

After a stint working under the legendary performance artist, fashion designer and club promoter, Leigh Bowery, Pullin moved to Paris to pursue his career as a corsetier after meeting designer Thierry Mugler at the Love Ball in New York City. Paris has become his home and there he works on a made-to-order basis for private clients only. Marking a history of controversy, the corset is often seen as a symbol of female oppression, yet to the contrary a sign of sexuality, power and the pursuit of pleasure. For Pullin it is a form of self-discipline and of his work he says, “it is not about being fashionable. I do not follow fashion at all. I’m interested in an ideal, a kind of expression of elegance, which really has nothing to do with fashion”.

From conception to materialisation, a Mr. Pearl piece can take months of hard work and craftsmanship. Mr. Pearl has produced creations for designers such as Chloe, John Galliano, Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix and Antonio Berardi, while celebrities like Kylie Minogue, Jerry Hall, Sophie Dahl, Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian not forgetting his long-term collaborator Dita Von Teese have been known to wear his designs. 

In a time when fashion is fast and seasons are multiplying, there’s something nurturing in the fact that Mr. Pearl’s work will always take time. His dedication to the art sees him refuse to use any form of modern technology in the making of his famously extravagant and opulent inventions. And so it stands that if you’re in the market for one of the world’s most iconic corsets, Paris is calling.

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The HSF Movie List

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment

A life filled with movies is a life well lived. From real-life stories that inspire, to fictional creations and (my favourite) indie films that leave you in a sense of awe at the creativity involved in producing such a piece of art in motion; in all their forms, movies move us. Here, the HSF Movie List is updated weekly to bring you more essential moments in cinema..

This list is updated bi-monthly.

 

Great Reads, October 2019

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment

What's Hot on Your Bookshelf, October 2019


 

‘THE MARS ROOM’ BY RACHEL KUSHNER

Romy Hall is starting two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility. Her crime? The killing of her stalker.

Inside awaits a world where women must hustle and fight for the bare essentials. Outside: the San Francisco of her youth. The Mars Room strip club where she was once a dancer. Her seven-year-old son, Jackson.

As Romy forms friendships over liquor brewed in socks and stories shared through sewage pipes her future seems to unfurl in one long, unwavering line – until news from beyond the prison bars forces Romy to try and outrun her destiny.

Shop this title on Amazon


‘CELESTIAL BODIES’ BY JOHKA ALHARTHI

Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, Celestial Bodies is a coiled spring of a novel, telling of Oman's coming-of-age through the prism of one family's losses and loves.

Shop this title on Amazon


All Lina wanted was to be desired. How did she end up in a marriage with two children and a husband who wouldn't touch her?

All Maggie wanted was to be understood. How did she end up in a relationship with her teacher and then in court, a hated pariah in her small town?

All Sloane wanted was to be admired. How did she end up a sexual object of men, including her husband, who liked to watch her have sex with other men and women?

Three Women is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions.

Shop this title on Amazon


‘FIND ME’ BY ANDRÉ ACIMAN

In this spellbinding new exploration of the varieties of love, the author of Call Me by Your Name lets us back into his characters' lives years after their first meeting

In Find Me, Aciman shows us Elio's father, Samuel, on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, now a gifted classical pianist. A chance encounter on the train upends Sami's visit and changes his life forever.

Elio soon moves to Paris, where he, too, has a consequential affair, while Oliver, a New England college professor with a family, suddenly finds himself contemplating a return trip across the Atlantic.

Aciman is a master of sensibility, of the intimate details and the nuances of emotion that are the substance of passion. Find Me brings us back inside the world of one of our greatest contemporary romances to show us that in fact true love never dies.

Shop this title on Amazon


‘NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER’ BY KEVIN BARRY

It's late one night at the Spanish port of Algeciras and two fading Irish gangsters are waiting on the boat from Tangier. A lover has been lost, a daughter has gone missing, their world has come asunder - can it be put together again?

Night Boat to Tangier is a novel drenched in sex and death and narcotics, in sudden violence and old magic. But above all, it is a book obsessed with the mysteries of love. A tragicomic masterwork from the award-winning Kevin Barry, Night Boat to Tangier is a work of melancholy beauty, wit and lyrical brilliance.

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‘QUICHOTTE’ BY SALMAN RUSHDIE

Inspired by the Cervantes classic, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand, gallantly braving the tragicomic perils of an age where “Anything-Can-Happen.” Meanwhile, his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own.

Just as Cervantes wrote Don Quixote to satirize the culture of his time, Rushdie takes the reader on a wild ride through a country on the verge of moral and spiritual collapse. And with the kind of storytelling magic that is the hallmark of Rushdie’s work, the fully realized lives of DuChamp and Quichotte intertwine in a profoundly human quest for love and a wickedly entertaining portrait of an age in which fact is so often indiscernible from fiction.

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‘GIRL, WOMAN, OTHER’ BY BERNADINE EVARISTO

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

Joyfully polyphonic and vibrantly contemporary, this is a gloriously new kind of history, a novel of our times: celebratory, ever-dynamic and utterly irresistible.

Shop this title on Amazon


Designer Spot Light; Sophie Buhai

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment
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It’s not always easy to follow your heart but taking the lead from Sophie Buhai, self-reinvention seems all too easily attainable, not to mention rather stylish. 

Leading the way as the ultimate example of originality, Sophie Buhai is firmly back in her native LA lifestyle, having left her life in NYC and selling her stake in Vena Cava, the clothing line she co-founded and designed with her friend Lisa Mayock, straight out of Parsons. With 10 years experience in the industry, not to mention a manic New York City paced career in the rearview, she took a year out to develop other passions. During that time, Sophie thoughtfully designed her newly purchased home which led to her organic movement into an interiors role - a role she still holds today, designing for fashion insiders. However, it was in 2015 that she truly found her feet, launching her namesake jewellery brand, Sophie Buhai. Housed on her website, alongside a wide variety of life-style findings she has discovered along the way, including a Natalie Smith painting, Mark Pavlovits homeware and an Elsa Peretti terracotta vase, her designs and collections have been received with significant regard. Known now for her beautifully bold yet powerfully delicate modernist pieces, Sophie continues to reinvent the world of sculptural silhouettes, bringing to life her take on modern classics.

Shop the collection now at Net-A-Porter.com

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Image Credits 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Great Reads, March 2019

LifeRebecca O'ByrneComment

What's Hot on Your Bookshelf, March 2019


If you’re like me, your reading list is forever growing and evolving and not to be moody or anything but life’s sometimes as weird as it is in your favourite fictional chronicles. Some days you just want the world to leave you alone and let you figure it out. No matter the situation or day though, there’s always an escape in a trusty book. And as I make this list a monthly feature on HSF, here are my top five picks for the month ahead.

 
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‘Daisy Jones & The Six’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Shop this title on Amazon


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‘Hollywood’s Eve: Eve Babitz & the Secret History of L.A’ by Lili Anolik

Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s was the pop culture capital of the world—a movie factory, a music factory, a dream factory. Eve Babitz was the ultimate factory girl, a pure product of LA.

The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Babitz posed in 1963, at age twenty, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph, cheesecake with a Dadaist twist, made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade rocking and rolling on the Sunset Strip, honing her notoriety. There were the album covers she designed: for Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, to name but a few. There were the men she seduced: Jim Morrison, Ed Ruscha, Harrison Ford, to name but a very few.


Then, at nearly thirty, her It girl days numbered, Babitz was discovered—as a writer—by Joan Didion. She would go on to produce seven books, usually billed as novels or short story collections, always autobiographies and confessionals. Under-known and under-read during her career, she’s since experienced a breakthrough. Now in her mid-seventies, she’s on the cusp of literary stardom and recognition as an essential—as the essential—LA writer. Her prose achieves that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, and is so sheerly enjoyable as to be mistaken for simple entertainment.


For Babitz, life was slow days, fast company until a freak fire in the 90s turned her into a recluse, living in a condo in West Hollywood, where Lili Anolik tracked her down in 2012. Anolik’s elegant and provocative new book is equal parts biography and detective story. It is also on dangerously intimate terms with its subject: artist, writer, muse, and one-woman zeitgeist, Eve Babitz.

Shop this title on Amazon


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Water Cure: A Novel by Sophie Mackintosh

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave. Here women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world.
     But when their father, the only man they've ever seen, disappears, they retreat further inward until the day two men and a boy wash ashore. Over the span of one blistering hot week, a psychological cat-and-mouse game plays out. Sexual tensions and sibling rivalries flare as the sisters confront the amorphous threat the strangers represent. Can they survive the men?
     A haunting, riveting debut about the capacity for violence and the potency of female desire, The Water Cure both devastates and astonishes as it reflects our own world back at us.

Shop this title on Amazon


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‘The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays’ by Esmé Weijun Wang

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang’s analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

Shop this title on Amazon


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'The Lost Night' by Andrea Bartz

In 2009, Edie had New York’s social world in her thrall. Mercurial and beguiling, she was the shining star of a group of recent graduates living in a Brooklyn loft and treating New York like their playground. When Edie’s body was found near a suicide note at the end of a long, drunken night, no one could believe it. Grief, shock, and resentment scattered the group and brought the era to an abrupt end.
 
A decade later, Lindsay has come a long way from the drug-addled world of Calhoun Lofts. She has devoted best friends, a cozy apartment, and a thriving career as a magazine’s head fact-checker. But when a chance reunion leads Lindsay to discover an unsettling video from that hazy night, she starts to wonder if Edie was actually murdered—and, worse, if she herself was involved. As she rifles through those months in 2009—combing through case files, old technology, and her fractured memories—Lindsay is forced to confront the demons of her own violent history to bring the truth to light.

Shop this title on Amazon


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'Gingerbread' by Helen Oyeyemi

Influenced by the mysterious place gingerbread holds in classic children's stories, beloved novelist Helen Oyeyemi invites readers into a delightful tale of a surprising family legacy, in which the inheritance is a recipe. 

Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it's very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (or, according to many sources, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. The world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread, however, is Harriet's charismatic childhood friend Gretel Kercheval —a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met. 

Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value. Endlessly surprising and satisfying, written with Helen Oyeyemi's inimitable style and imagination, it is a true feast for the reader.

Shop this title on Amazon


#ConsideredCurations Jewellery Brands HSF is Loving

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment

Dainty jewels are always a good idea. And as we come to the end of January, not to mention the end of those January blues there’s absolutely every excuse to treat yourself to a little self-gifting of some pretty little treasures. In a follow up edition to my new “Considered Curation” series, a new venture in which I share the brands, people and places I love, today it’s all about decorating yourself and those you love with something beautiful from local and international designers who have built something that simply must be shared and worn.

So darlings, get in, we’re going shopping!


SORU JEWELLERY

Soru is a UK based jewellery brand that has brought all my jewellery dreams to life. Soru, meaning sisters in Sicilian, was aptly created and curated by two half English-Sicilian sisters Francesca Kelly and Marianna Doyle in 2013. Full of ornate flair and made for the every-day wearer, carrying her to those every-night occasions, each Soru creation is ethically handmade in Italy or Turkey using gold plated sterling silver, set to precious metals and semi precious gemstones. Francesca and Marianna’s story is a gorgeous one and their philosophy, that jewellery should complete a look and make you feel transformed, is part of the brand’s elegant aesthetic. To say I’m in love would be an understatement.

FOLLOW @sorujewellery // SHOP harveynichols.com


BEATRIZ PALAOIS

Founded in Madrid in 2011 by Beatriz Palacios Jiménez, Beatriz Palacios, is an elegant mix of feminine strength and unconventional sophistication. After graduating as a mining engineer, Beatriz worked as a jewellery designer in Dublin before moving back to her hometown of Madrid to embark upon her own creative journey with her now well-established brand. With a strong insistence on quality and craftsmanship, each season sees a newly developed collection originating from the depts of her innate sense of playful experimentation with new forms and previously unused materials.

FOLLOW @beatrizpalaois_jewelry // SHOP beatrizpalacios.com


LEAH ALEXANDRA

Creating the pieces that can’t be found anywhere else, Leah Alexandra, knows exactly what we need in to create the most beautifully adorned jewellery wardrobe. Having spent time as a metalsmith, Leah now marries her love of creation by traveling the world to source the most unique, beautiful materials which play part in the distinctive nature of all her designs. Versatile and timeless, investing in a Leah Alexandra piece will never loose it’s charm.

FOLLOW @leahalexandrajewelry // SHOP leahalexandra.com


MOMUSE

Delicate by nature and simply irresistible, MoMuse Jewellery is a stunning collection of contemporary jewellery pieces designed by Irish native Margaret O’Rourke. Margaret has seen herself go from selling her designs at weekend markets to being recommended by the New York Times as one of the most coveted shops to visit in Dublin (don’t miss her haven, MoMuse in the Powerscourt Townhouse in Dublin’s city centre). Classic and unapologetically simple, her designs are a clear vision of her own beautiful way of seeing the world and have made their way into the lives and wardrobes of many in all their elegantly understated glory. Expect diamonds in white, champagne and black as well as emeralds, sapphires & rubies set to the backdrop of 9 karat gold metals.

FOLLOW @momusejewellery // SHOP momuse.ie


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MEJURI

Setting the ethical standards high, Mujuri is an everyday touch of luxury at dangerously seductive prices. Working to make luxury so affordable, this beautiful brand teams up with their manufacturers to sell directly to their consumer, meaning they get to create using top quality materials and craftsmanship without the mainstream markups. Each piece is inspired by the idea of quality essentials being a fun and fabulous part of your everyday looks.

FOLLOW @mujuri // SHOP mejuri.com


Image Credits 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Spritz Up Your Life

StyleRebecca O'ByrneComment

Scent is an important part of one’s identity. Unlike the clothes we wear and the manner in which we act - both of which are only linkable to a physical interaction, the scent a person wears is a beautiful, delicate impression that lingers and lives on long past the time spent in their company. It can also ignite memories- sometimes in the most unassuming and unexpected places, reminding you of them from a far. Frangrance is sexy. In a way, so sneakily suggestive, you don’t even need to see or feel the person to know it’s theirs.

It’s important to really know what you want and love when it comes to fragrances, to find something sexily unidentifiable yet distinctly all encompassing. I’m a believer in building out a wardrobe of scents, ones for different situations in life; the one you wear during the day and then a special one for nighttime only. Ones for summer and others for winter. Our senses change all the time, be it due to seasonal changes or situational ones. Really it’s all about moods, the mood you’re in or the one you want to project and a scent always helps create that.

In an age where brands bang out a million products and cover every imaginable genre of commodities, it’s an understatement to say how much I love a good niche perfume brand! My all time favourite is ROADS, an Irish brand that has gone super global. They focus on incredible, multi-layered scents which take a year to create from the birth of idea to the end product and the luxuriousness of each scent transport you into the person you want to be while wearing it. Here, we take a look at some of my favourite luxury perfume brands and a personal favourite in each one..


ROADS

Unsaid Eau de Parfum 50ml

£95


 

BYREDO

Bal D'Afrique Eau de Parfum - Neroli & Cedar Wood, 50ml

€98

 

Maison Margiela Replica

Beach Walk Eau de Toilette 100ml

€112.80


 

LE LABO

Santal 33 - Eau de Parfum, 50ml

€152

 

FREDERIC MALLE

L'Eau D'Hiver Eau De Parfum 100ml

€226


 

ACQUA DI PARMA

Colonia Eau de Cologne Spray 100ml

£95

 
 

DIPTYQUE PARIS

Philosykos Eau de Parfum 75ml

€125


 

KILIAN

Good Girl Gone Bad Icon Eau de Parfum

€203.68

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Stay at The London EDITION, Soho London

TravelRebecca O'ByrneComment
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Primely situated on the edge of Soho and just a seven-minute walk from Oxford Circus, The London EDITION is a faultless blend of edgy elegance. The brainchild of American entrepreneur Ian Schrager, the once co-founder of Studio 54, it’s a bucket list London stay that doesn’t disappoint. 

Upon stepping inside, one is left somewhat open-mouthed at the splendour of the lobby. Swiftly captured by the sheer opulence, it’s a room within itself, doubling as a meeting space come day or night with it’s statement, low-lit bar and stylish seating area. A destination of sorts, the hotel conquers the quintessential magnificence of London with it’s social hub spirit. Whether staying the night or just spending a few hours hiding out from the hustle and bustle, the hotel’s selection of hangout spots is exceptional. Starting with bespoke cocktails at the Punch Room to the back of the building, followed by dinner at the now infamous Berners Tavern, a dining delight directed by famed Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton; while later winding down the evening back to the lobby bar for a night cap where the atmosphere sparkles with out-of-towners and locals alike.

Retiring to your room, guests are treated to a minimalist affair; one that lovers of contemporary interiors will really appreciate. Cosy in a chalet way, the rooms are a true escape; the perfect place to unwind. From loft to penthouse, each room captures the essence of old world London while being flawlessly à la mode. Wood panelled walls lend themselves to the perfect contrast of crisp whites and calming tones of modern luxuriousness, while an array of amenities make you feel right at home. 

The London Edition is a new generation of luxury with an attainable feel at the heart of exactly what makes London have that London feel. 

10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP, England  //  020 7781 0000  // www.editionhotels.com

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Images from The London EDITION