Cashmere Wrap & Macadamia Nuts

On Fashion, Travel and Lifestyle.

Month: July, 2014

Berlin Diary. Part II.

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Today some captions taken during my recent stay in Berlin. Perhaps not typical snapshots of the most renowned landmarks, but for me those small things are equally important to remember, as they create the whole experience no less than famous ones.

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Berlin Diary. Part I.

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Berlin is a beautiful city that offers variety of activities – starting from experiences culture and art, through historical sites, up to shopping and enjoying a great food as well as night life. However, be smarter than I was and be prepared that on many occasions as an English speaker you would be totally lost, even at so called “tourist friendly sites” like airport and some galleries. Shopping is perhaps the most international, though only to the point, so do not expect a friendly small talk from sales assistants.

I enjoyed the most my visit to Martin Gropius Bau, where I saw a touring V&A exhibition dedicated to the art and influence of David Bowie, seeing collection of Helmut Newton arts at Helmut Newton Foundation building as well as shopping at KaDeWe and K’damm as well as my evenings spent at friendly and bustling with life Savigny Platz.

Overall my Berlin experience was very positive despite some language challenges and initial problems with understanding the public transportation web. For travelers who target shopping, I can definitely recommend Bristol Kempinski Hotel, with ever friendly service and great location at the heart of Kurfürstendamm. For lovely dining experience, a cosy French restaurant Brel at Savigny Platz 1. Are there any lessons learned? Yes, dusting my school time German before boarding next plane with a destination in Germany.

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From the Bookshelf. “Dior. The Legendary Images. Great Photographers and Dior”.

Dior Legendary Images

“Dior. The Legendary Images. Great Photographers and Dior.” is another beautiful publication by Rizzoli. This album accompanies the exhibition of iconic images documenting the history of the House of Dior, presenting photographs from the New Look era up till recent fashion editorials, covering famous looks and captions, such as Dovima with Elephants, Bar suit, Charlize Theron J’adore perfume campaign, Dior with his friend and muse Mitzah Bricard as well as modern faces of Dior personified by Natalie Portman and Marion Cotillard. All this and more is covered on 152 pages in this exquisite publication – a must have for all who adore French fashion and have a healthy sentiment to the history of fashion. 

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Paris and Haute Couture.

Haute Couture is the highest form of fashion – exclusive, elite, hermetic and mesmerizing. It is not something that is available for everyone (nor should it ever be), but it doesn’t mean that those who are not so fortunate to be in the Couture circle can’t covet it from afar and admire its beauty by following fashion editorials or selected exhibitions dedicated to Haute Couture. 

To mark the latest Paris Couture fashion shows, some looks from my favorite collections. With some resentment I have to observe that Couture seems to be moving from elaborated gowns towards über luxurious, yet modest to the point of being austere designs, like those seen at Valentino. Perhaps it is an influence of the wobbly economy that pushed the world of fashion towards more somber looks, although looking at stunning creations by Elie Saab there still is some hope that Couture glamour is not lost forever.

Valentino

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Elie Saab.

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(Photos: http://www.vogue.ru)

My Fashion Icons. Olivia Palermo.

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Olivia Palermo has this special quality that makes her shine. I am not sure what it really is, perhaps her beauty, elegance, amazing personal style, nice smile or photogenic glow, but whatever it is, she has plenty! I am always looking forward to more pictures on her Instagram profile (contrary to the character from “The City”, she seems to be a genuinely nice and friendly person) or new articles on her lifestyle blog http://www.oliviapalermo.com

Whatever she does, from advertising campaigns, commercial undertakings or selecting a wedding outfit (I loved the cashmere top and her simple, wind-blown pony tail), she seems to be very successful. Not to forget her charity work for the Maasai Project. And when it comes to fashion, her style is urban, fresh, classic and so chic. I find Olivia truly inspirational and like to follow up with her recent outfits, travels and designer collaborations.

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(Photos: www.oliviapalermo.com)

Everyday Cakes. Clafoutis.

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Clafoutis is a French cake that most often is prepared with cherries, though it tastes equally well with other fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, plums and such. This recipe contains no fat and sugar in the reasonable amount, so it can be considered a healthy alternative for a desert, especially if you share it in moderate slices and do not use extra sugar for icing. And even though Clafoutis is not my no.2 when it comes to everyday cakes, I share the recipe now, as it is perfect with all seasonal fruits.

Clafoutis – List of Ingredients:

  • 60 g. of all purpose flour
  • about 250 – 300 g. of selected fruits
  • 1/2 ts. of baking soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 60 g. of sugar
  • 300 ml. of milk
  • 1/2 ts. of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Clafoutis – Preparation:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until you get a creamy dough that is more liquid than solid (bit like a pancake dough).
  2. Set the dough aside, preheat the owen to 180 C degrees.
  3. Grease the oval baking form with some butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  4. Place fruits in the baking form and pour the dough on top of them.
  5. Bake for around 30 – 35 minutes, until it is puffy and golden on top. 
  6. Serve warm or cold; according to your preferences Clafoutis may be accompanied by ice cream, yoghurt or whipped cream.

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New in June. Sale, sale, sale away…

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Sales often lead to impulsive purchases that result with a plethora of clothes that are either not flattering, impossible to mix with pieces already owned or reflecting seasonal trends with a very short expiry date… I learned my lessons after many accidental purchases, so this year a different story happened.

When I found myself entering my private shopping heaven, which is commonly known as Massimo Dutti boutique, I decided to be clear headed and very realistic. I opted for classic, timeless garments in white, navy blue and beige, in quality fabrics as well as made in Europe (yes, I did check every label looking for the country of origin – made in Italy, Spain and Portugal convinced me that fabrics and finishing are at the highest standard). When back at home I went through the shopping bag contents and decided that… I need to organize my closet once and for all. Having a free afternoon, I was arranging and rearranging, trying on, selecting and dismissing, planning and cleaning. As a result, I let go of many (MANY) items that I either had for years and at present failed to represent my personal style or those that I bought on impulse and never wore. 

Now, after the rearranging and with additional purchases, my closet is clatter free and well thought through. I found myself wearing new pieces on many occasions and mixing them with earlier purchases, as they are all in the same style and reflect my lifestyle as well as personal esthetics. Once again I proved to myself that “less is more” and  that by having fewer items I feel much happier when opening my closet in the morning. 

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LifeStyle Mix. June.

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June was quite eventful with long weekend by the Baltic Sea, some work challenges (and recognitions), cooking, family gatherings, wining and dining… and did I mention shopping? Quite accidentally I managed to get to my favourite Massimo Dutti boutique at the very beginning of seasonal sale, so I was able to find a good selection of XS size pieces that made into some great purchases. This combined with wardrobe clearance made me even more assured in my personal style, but all the sale talk requires a separate post! Last, but not least, I selected my next destination… who can guess where am I travelling in July? Have a great summer!

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For more captions, visit Instagram profile at @cashmerewrap_and_macadamianuts