Now here’s a documentary for those who adore art, culture, music, fashion, politics, celebrity & larger than life celebratory, astonishing and horrendously shocking legendary moments in time.
Saying that Scottish photographer Harry Benson is a Zelig-like character who’s witnessed every major cultural and political event of the last 50 years is not an exaggeration. Here’s just a partial resumé of the man’s astounding life: he arrived in America with the Beatles in 1964 as a photographer for their American tour (he took the famous photo of the Beatles’ hotel room pillow fight); he has photographed every American president from Eisenhower to Obama; he was just a few feet away from Bobby Kennedy on the night Kennedy was assassinated; he was alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Meredith march and attended his funeral; he was in the room when Nixon resigned; he was there when the Berlin Wall went up—and when it came down; and he has taken iconic fashion photos for the likes of Vanity Fair, Paris Match and a half-dozen other magazines.
Benson, now 86 and still working, certainly deserves the wonderful tribute offered here in Matthew Miele and Justin Bare’s fascinating portrait. Featuring testimonials from Sharon Stone, Alec Baldwin, Donald Trump, Piers Morgan, Dan Rather, James L. Brooks, Henry Kissinger, Ralph Lauren and Joe Namath among others, the film reveals that Benson is not only a globetrotting legend of the photography world but that he’s also a nice guy!
Glamorous products to help make you a better version of yourself
That’s what I think of Chanel beauty. It’s not that I believe because the logo says “Chanel” that they are necessarily better than anything else on the market….however I’m loving these two products that happen to be under the label “Chanel”. Aside from how nicely they apply, wearability and comfort let’s just admit that the packaging is pretty elegant. And sometimes that counts for a lot. Especially with something you tend to wear every day. And with the Chanel name you can expect nothing but the best.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF 15
Chanel Les Beiges Powder is a compact setting powder that is designed to give your complexion a sheer, healthy, glow without looking too bronzy or unnatural. Released in Fall 2013, it is part of Chanel’s permanent collection. It boasts SPF15++, though, as with any makeup product with sun protection claims, you would have to use an unreal amount of this product to achieve the amount of protection claimed. A bonus factor is that the half-moon brush that comes encased is made with all natural bristles and you can actually use it. I suggest choosing a slightly more intense shade than your normal skin tone for a sun-kissed effect.
It’s available in 7 luminous shades: N°10, N°20, N°30, N°40, N°50, N°60, and N°70. Interestingly, the official Chanel website only offers six shades – N°10, N°20, N°25, N°30, N°40, and N°50. However, Nordstrom carries all 7 shades, as will most department store Chanel counters you visit in person.
Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo:
There’s a new lipstick formula from Chanel called Rouge Coco Stylo (stylo means pen in French and when you look at the photo you’ll see why this name is perfect) which comes in a slim twist-up tube that’s described as having “the intensity of a lipstick, the shine of a lip gloss and comfort of a lip balm.” It truly is a three-in-one kind of lipstick. The texture is great, the colour is beautiful and it is relatively long-wearing. I have #214 – Message which is a vibrant berry shade for Fall. It is sophisticated and above all, moisturizing which is very important to me right now.
I’m in a soup making mood and that explains my pure of heartiness. Blame it on the weather, flu season or just craving a warm bowl of healthy goodness. In any case in the last week alone I’ve made homemade Miso Soup, Sweet Potato & Lentil, Bone Broth and last night for the first time, Thai Beet Soup. What I look for is nutritional value, tastiness, uniqueness and lastly (it is soup) presentation. I think this one falls into all those categories. It was delicious. The beets make this a colourful and liver supporting meal. The beautiful Thai flavours are also full of antioxidants. See bottom for health benefits of select ingredients. If you make it, I’d love your feedback.
THAI BEET SOUP
5 medium beets – peel if not organic and chop into bite size pieces
1 stalk *lemongrass, discard outer dry leaves and mince the bottom (1/3 of stalk)
2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk
1 Tbsp. tamari (or low sodium soy sauce if you don’t have tamari)
1 tsp. raw honey
2 limes, juiced
½ tsp. unrefined salt (try Himalayan)
¼ cup cilantro for garnish (or try fresh dill)
Preheat oven to 350F. Place beets in baking dish and cover the bottom of the dish with ½ inch of water (to prevent from drying out). Cover and bake until tender – approx. 45 minutes or until a fork can easily be inserted into middle.
Once beets are ready, melt coconut oil in large pot over medium heat.
Add shallots and garlic, cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
For the remainder of the lemongrass that is inedible (outer leaves and upper portion), you can bruise/pound them with a mortar to release the oils and add to the soup whole for extra flavour. Of course remove them when soup is done.
Add the beets and the rest of the ingredients, except for the cilantro or dill if using. Simmer until heated through.
Serve in bowls and garnish with cilantro or dill. You can add a dollop of yogurt if you like to make it more like a borscht.
If you prefer a pureed soup, you can use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Just remove the bruised lemongrass first.
*Lemongrass can be substituted for lemon zest (zest of ½ lemon = 1 stalk of lemongrass).
Nutritional Value of Select Ingredients
Beets: The beetroot is an excellent source of folic acid, and a great source of fibre, manganese and potassium. It is an excellent tonic for the liver, has anti-cancer properties, increases bowel function and decreases cholesterol levels. The greens are even higher in nutritional value than the roots; they are rich in calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C.
Garlic: Garlic is touted as a “cure-all” due to its many uses in medicine. It has a beneficial effect on heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. It decreases cholesterol levels, detoxifies the body, stimulates the immune system, and the list goes on and on. It’s more beneficial if you smash it or at least chop it beforehand to let the oxygen get to it and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before using.
Ginger: This root is an excellent remedy for nausea, morning sickness, upset stomach, indigestion, vomiting, motion sickness, and cramps. It helps to lower blood pressure, reduce fever, prevent internal blood clots, etc. Who ever knew that something so medicinal could be so tasty!
I don’t know. Being way before my time I couldn’t personally tell you but from all the photos and stories from others who were around then, it sure looked like everyone was having fun. We all know that fun doesn’t last forever though.
But we try. Saturday night we tried to re-create the era as best we could for the 16th annual 65 Roses Gala to raise money to help find a cure for a terrible disease called cystic fibrosis (CF).
My personal connection to the evening is my good friend and a true inspiration; Colleen Kohse. Aside from sharing select photos from the evening here is what Colleen had to say:
On this day, 28 years ago, I had my heart double-lung transplant. It’s truly amazing to be here after such a long time, although it really doesn’t feel that long ago. I’m thankful for all the wonderful people who helped me survive and thrive.
Tonight, my friends are having a small, intimate party for just over 300 people, with formal dress, cocktails, a gourmet dinner and dancing at a high-end Vancouver hotel. In truth, it’s not actually a party for me, but I can pretend!! It’s the 65 Roses Gala for Cystic Fibrosis and I’m proud to be on the committee putting together this fabulous event. So I’ll be drinking, eating and dancing until midnight to celebrate my special day and a special day to help everyone with cystic fibrosis survive and thrive. Cheers 🍾🍸
“I like LARGE PARTIES. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t ANY privacy.” – Jordan Miller, The Great Gatsby
And if you want to know more……….here is a great article
The rhythms and beats of jazz permeated the visual – Dennis Nothdruft
“It was an age of miracles,” F Scott Fitzgerald wrote in his essay Echoes of the Jazz Age. “It was an age of art, it was an age of excess.” In his fiction, the author beguilingly captured the sybaritic Roaring 20s – hedonistic, glamorous, decadent, opulent.Photographs and illustrations from the era reflect this seductive, dazzling sense of wildness and fun – flapper girls smiling ecstatically and dancing with abandon in their swishing, tasseled dresses and bobbed hair, or posing in tumbling marabou boas and towering feathered head-dresses.
“There is a constant sense of rhythm and femininity and glamour,” says Dennis Nothdruft, who has curated an exhibition at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum called Jazz Age: Fashion and Photographs of the 1920s. “There’s a sense of society crashing into the modern age, with movement and speed and romanticism.” So how and why did the 1920s ‘roar’? And what made the Jazz Age so unique – and influential?
The speed of change during the 1920s was dizzying. Booming prosperity and social upheaval combined with a youthful, post-war euphoria and new female empowerment to make the 1920s paradigm-shifting, boundary-busting decade. “The generation before them had been slaughtered in the war, and there was a devil-may-care attitude,” Nothdruft says. And like the musical genre it was named after, the Jazz Age was full of unruly spontaneity, improvisation and edginess. “Jazz was the sound of the ‘20s, and the rhythms and beats of the music permeate the visual.”
Sin and Spectacle
The 1920s was when “the modern woman’s wardrobe began,” Nothdruft says. Out went the tight corsets and bustles of the Edwardian era, as did the long, hugely impractical dresses, elaborate hair styles and hats of that time, and in came the shorter, drop-waisted dresses and easy-to-manage bobbed hairstyles. Silk pyjamas became popular for lounging, entertaining at home or for the beach, with chinoiserie and Egyptian styles particularly popular in clothing and jewellery – the latter due largely to the blockbuster exhibition of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Coco Chanel even took to wearing trousers. What began as a niche, bohemian youthquake soon trickled down. The fashions became pervasive and the bobbed hairstyles de rigeur among the general female population, and with them a sense of liberation and confidence.
And now that the motion picture was emerging, the new trends could reach more people faster than ever before. Hollywood was bursting into the popular consciousness with an explosion of film palaces going up across the world, and massive stars coming into their own – like the glamorous Gloria Swanson in her elaborate head dresses and rebellious ‘it girl’ Clara Bow.
In the extravagantly ruffled robes de style by Lanvin and in the ubiquitous feathered boas, fringes and tassles, there was a new feeling of dynamism – perfectly captured by American illustrator Gordon Conway, herself a flapper career girl, whose work encapsulates the music, sensuality and glamour of the time. “These clothes were made to move and dance in, and the capes with huge collars and no structure literally fell off the wearer as she moved,” says Nothdruft.
A new sense of speed and movement pervaded culture – crucially the motorcar had arrived, and even tennis became racey. “There was an explosion of athleticism,” says Nothdruft, whose exhibition devotes a section to the sportswear of the era. Women’s tennis had previously been a genteel pastime, with ladies in long dresses and heavy petticoats drifting daintily around a lawn. But in the 1920s the first female star of tennis, French player Suzanne Lenglen, was transforming the women’s game with her tough, fast playing style (considered by some commentators ‘unladylike’) and her diva-ish ways. She always arrived courtside in a fur coat, whatever the weather, and played in modern flapper outfits – calf-length, slim-silhouetted silk dresses in red or orange. She also had a tendency to smoke and drink cognac on the court – to steady her nerves, she said. She shocked the crowd by serving overhead, and became known as ‘the Goddess’.
Breaking the mould
It was also the first time that mannish styles became fashionable. “There was a trend for women wearing tuxedos and tailored suits. Coco Chanel borrowed hers from her boyfriend along with fisherman’s sweaters and tweeds,” says Nothdruft. “And lesbianism was also fashionable for the first time, certainly in café society in Paris, London and New York.” Among the stylish, talented lesbian stars of the era were painter Romaine Brooks and her partner, writer Natalie Barney, along with the poet and author of The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall. Women like these helped set the agenda for the decades that followed, and their chic, androgynous style has proved enduring – androgynous dressing and masculine tailoring for women have appeared at regular intervals over the subsequent decades, and now, nearly a century on, the look is once again enjoying a renaissance, at French label Céline in particular.
In New York it was the era of the Harlem Renaissance, with a wave of creative energy from black artists, musicians and writers, notably writer and social activist Langston Hughes, one of the earliest innovators of jazz poetry. Meanwhile in Europe racial boundaries were increasingly being challenged, with African-American jazz musicians widely feted, and the talented and flamboyant cabaret dancer Josephine Baker becoming an icon of the era.
It was a time of liberation and boundary breaking, says Nothdruft: “The career woman was born, and for the first time women could choose not to marry. Young women were working in the day, and were out un-chaperoned in Chinatown dens, jazz clubs and speakeasies.” The party lasted for 10 years and then, as Fitzgerald put it: “leaped to a spectacular death in October 1929”. Glittering but tragic, beautiful and damned, the emotionally bankrupt lost generation – this is how the Jazz Agers have often been depicted. But in its mood and its aesthetic, not to mention its sheer progressiveness, the Jazz Age remains arguably the most beguiling and culturally influential era of them all.
And fun while it lasted. As Fitzgerald wrote in Echoes of the Jazz Age, his essay for a 1931 issue of Scribner’s Magazine: “After two years the Jazz Age seems as far away as the days before the War. It was borrowed time anyhow – the whole upper tenth of a nation living with the insouciance of grand ducs and the casualness of chorus girls. But moralizing is easy now and it was pleasant to be in one’s twenties in such a certain and unworried time.”
Oh those poor men – they often don’t know what hit them.
If women came with warning labels….. I may or may not kill you. If I don’t F….you then at least I’ll F…with your head!
Because I’m worth ALL the trouble
what would your warning label be?
Me? Sorry; someone tore mine off when I was born.
Men seem to like it when we’re being a little nasty.
HERE’S TO NASTY WOMEN EVERYWHERE!
Always read the fine print!
“The spider’s web: She finds an innocuous corner in which to spin her web. The longer the web takes, the more fabulous its construction. She has no need to chase. She sits quietly, her patience a consummate force; she waits for her prey to come to her on their own, and then she ensnares them, injects them with venom, rendering them unable to escape. Spiders – so needed and yet so misunderstood.” – Donna Lynn Hope
I’m striving to get my Vitamin C any way possible especially during the colder months. Luckily I love apples. Green Apples have multiple beauty benefits aside from being good for one’s overall health as they also help keep your teeth and gums healthy. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to call it a natural beauty remedy.
If you’re a person focused on your beauty and skin health, then you’ll certainly reap the benefits of green apples. They contain vitamins A, B, C, as well as E. They also help keep your skin fresh and glowing.
And even though we’re lucky to see a ray of sunshine now, we should still be applying a moisturizer with SPF daily. At this time of the year I lower the amount to at least SPF 15. This is the lowest SPF you should consider. In my opinion anything less is a waste of time and anything higher than 30 (unless you ski) may not be necessary either.
So I was really pleased to receive a full size Green Apple Brightening moisturizer with SPF from natural beauty company, Juice Beauty. It was in my Spring Box of Style but I just only started using it.
I just received my Fall Box of Style which I’ll share with you next week….it’s amazing!As it so happens the brand’s new creative director of makeup is Gwyneth Paltrow. She should know a thing or two. Apparently she benchmarked every item against conventional versions (mostly prestige), pushing the company’s chemist, Mimi, to match their efficacies. “It can’t be that the makeup is organic and that’s why you should use it,” she says. “It has to be as good or better than anything else. That’s how you’re going to move the needle in a real way.”
So guess I’ll be trying some of the makeup next….
Have you tried any of their products? If so, which ones and how do you like them?
For fashion lovers, making the transition to a full-on Fall wardrobe can be FUN.
And for those of us living on the West Coast we must be prepared for this:For that in-between time we must be prepared. It can go from sunny one minute to wet and cold the next. We’ll need warm sweaters, trench coats and rain boots (by the way I’m loving my rain boots). And for people like me who walk more than one dog at a time…
I bought this exact same wool hat. I swear that I did not even see this photo until after. And I’m pretty sure that I’m the one who started the leopard trend.
But what does that tell you? Great style icons think alike!
As I mentioned before, the series Chef’s Table is not your run-of-the-mill cooking series.
I just finished watching the series on NetFlix. Many of the restaurants in the series are Michelin star or at the very least, way above average. Some are destinations in that they are in very remote locations. They all take food to a whole other level. It’s a total experience for the senses. They are among the 50 best in the world. If you love food then prepare to be inspired!
I loved all the shows but I think my favourite was the one which appeared the most artistic – that of Alinea Restaurant in Chicago.
Chef and RestaurateurGrant Achatz is more than another rock star chef; he’s a true artist.
The opening scene shows him staring at an abstract art painting and appreciating what he sees. He tries to incorporate art into his food while retaining the integrity of the taste and overall dining experience. He offers something unique. You’ve got to appreciate that.
Alinea is a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
If you’ve never eaten at Alinea – where diners must purchase a ticket in advance rather than pay on the day – you may have a long wait: every meal for the rest of the year (apart from New Year’s Eve) is sold out.
Alinea’s tasting menu costs diners between $210 and $295 per person, depending upon availability and demand and excluding beverages.
“There is a difference between dining and eating. Dining is an art. When you eat to get most out of your meal, to please the palate, just as well as to satiate the appetite, that,my friend, is dining.” – Yuan Mei
*What is Huitlacoche?. Pronounced whee-tla-KO-cheh, huitlacoche is also known as corn mushroom, corn smut or Mexican truffle. It is a fungus, which randomly grows on organic corn (not sprayed with any fungicide). It is rare, as it develops on the corn ears as they ripen after the rainy season or an errant rainstorm. Huitlacoche will consume the corn kernels and push itself out through the corn shucks, easily visible in a cornfield.
Your guide to Michelin Star Restaurants around the Globe: