Inspired by the stately manner in which Kehinde Wiley portrays his young, contemporary African American subjects, artist Jess Phoenix just recently completed her own series of portraitures entitled Queens. Four women of color are each cloaked in dresses printed with Jess’ signature florals and drenched in vibrant colors. I’d love to see her broaden the series even further by delving into more races and cultures. But at the moment, I’m wowed by the beauty of these four Queens.
This ain’t your ordinary straw bag. WaiWai designer Leo Neves has given summer’s hottest handbag some playful, Rio de Janeiro flair with acrylic details, braided leather straps and oversized silk and beaded tassels. The possibilities with this colorful twist on the classic rattan tote are endless as the Brazilian designer is already adding unique details like African-inspired beadwork and charms to his latest designs. Honestly, love.
Ever since I made my first purchase of embroidered and smocked tops from Innika Choo, I’ve been waiting ever so impatiently for the launch of new product. The Bali-based Australian designer’s long awaited collection finally launched last week and as expected, it’s perfect. Dreamy brocade anglaise blouses are smocked on the shoulders to be worn multiple ways, floor length maxis feature ruffled cap sleeves and prairie-inspired bibs, and hand printed linen tops are finished with Edwardian inspired collars and embroidered rose appliqués. New silhouettes are available in a milky white, peachy pink, lemon yellow and ink black. Yes, yes, yes and yes.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I enrolled in my first pottery workshop last year, while 6 months pregnant with Coco. It was only after the first class that I immediately gained a newfound respect for the art of mastering clay. Pottery requires patience, endurance, and tenacity – all are traits which could use a little polishing. In pottery and in life. I never quite got into the rhythm before Coco was born, but I’m looking forward to re-enrolling and experimenting with more interesting vessels and glazes. In the meantime, I’ve got some new plants that are in desperate need of homes. I stumbled across a lot of awesomely simple $3 terra pots from a recent Ikea pilgrimage. They went from being a temporary solution to a bevy of chic planters, thanks to some extra paint and gold leaf I had laying around in my craft closet. The possibilities are endless here but there’s nothing quite like gilding with high quality gold leaf. Besides, it’s such an easy way to make something look far more expensive than it really is!
If you look down at my feet, on any given day of the week, I’ll most likely be wearing a pair of FRĒDA SALVADOR shoes. I love, and live in, them. But then again, you already know that. Megan Papay and Cristina Palomo-Nelson’s spring collection is honestly their best yet. New silhouettes include round toed, flat mules in embossed cobra snake and red crocodile leather, and wide strapped, slip-on sandals in jaguar printed calf hair (so good!) and black and white woven leather. Some of the brand’s most beloved styles, like oxfords and ankle boots, are reimagined in metallic gold and the most perfect shade of toffee leather. All of FRĒDA SALVADOR‘s shoes are cut, sewn and lasted in a tiny, family run factory in Spain, which means production is limited. So a little piece of advice: if you’re lucky enough to see your size available, snatch it up. Because shoe FOMO is real.