1) I’m sad to say I don’t know who made this beautiful necklace. I know she’s a jewelry designer from Quebec. I was gifted this super uniquely designed piece at Christmas this year and have been wearing it non-stop since. I like it because of its shape and intricate metal work. I also love that it’s bronze, a color that I rarely wear. It really has a cool bohemian yet badass feel to it. If anyone recognizes this jewelry designer, please let me know 🙂
2) Alex and Ani Om Charm Bangle – You’ve probably seen the Alex and Ani bangles everywhere. These cute stackable bracelets are new to my collection of jewels. I was gifted this beautiful “Om” bracelet by the ladies at Lotus Leaf Communications and immediately added it to my stack of jewels. I love the charm because on a busy day, when I’m stressed it, I look at it and it reminds me to breathe, to remain calm and peaceful. They have some awesome colorful new bracelets and jewels coming for the spring and summer. I like that there are charms for just about everyone!
3) Elizabeth Stone Jewelry Double Geode Cuff Ring – My dear friend from Los Angeles, Elizabeth, is one talented lady! You may recall me posting about her jewels several times on my blog in the past (check out my interview with her here). She recently underwent a name change from OIA Jules to Elizabeth Stone Jewelry, a name that I find is a lot more representative of the beautiful creations she has been making. Elizabeth truly has a knack for picking out the most beautiful stones and making unique designs with them. I love that her jewelry is also bold but also feminine. This new cuff ring is my latest obsession. It adds glam to every outfit!
What do you do in your downtime? Are you someone who likes to read? I realized recently that I read less than 10 books this past year. How scary is that? I used to read all the time but with the advent of Netflix, getting and iPad, blogging, etc., most of the downtime I spend indoors is connected to some form of technology. I got a major reality check this month when Offner and I rented a house in Malibu in the middle of the canyon with no wifi, no tv and basically no technology whatsoever. What else is there to do at night when you take technology away? We’re so tied to it that it feels funny at first to not be able to “refresh” your twitter, instagram, etc. every 5 minutes.
We decided to embrace this lack of technology and found ourselves playing games (mimes anyone?), talking a lot more and reading a bunch before going to bed each night. It was actually quite calming. Though I’m not one to make yearly resolutions every January, one of the things I will make a conscious effort to do more this year is to read. It’s another form of relaxation that I often overlook and want to make sure I don’t as much in the future.
I’m always looking for reading suggestions so if you’ve got any good books you’d like to share, comment below! 😀
Outdoors! Beautiful outdoors! I had an amazing time hiking around the Griffith Observatory while I was in Los Angeles last week. Even if it wasn’t the sunniest day, it was so nice to explore new trails and enjoy the warm weather. I love the outdoors, I always have. As a kid, my mom would make us stay outdoors all day long when we had days off or on the weekend. It didn’t matter what temperature it was, it could be freezing outside but we had to find a way to entertain ourselves. My mom would always say that being outdoors could open our appetites and that getting fresh air is so important.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve always kept my love for the outdoors. Even if I unfortunately have to spend a lot of time indoors each week due to work, I make an effort to always go outdoors. Whether it’s a walk, a bike ride, picnics, a run, skiing/snowboarding, wakeboarding, surfing, etc. I love being outdoors!
As I write this, it’s -20C (-4F) outside in Toronto and though it’s hard to motivate yourself when it’s that cold to do anything outdoors, there’s nothing quite like getting some fresh air after a long day of work or on the weekend. Fresh air and outdoor activity sure beats the gym or anything you can do indoors. It’s a great mood booster and no matter how I feel, it always makes me feel better! Excited to keep celebrating the outdoors all throughout 2015, regardless of how warm or cold it is!! 😀
Life really is a beach, IF you choose to see it that way. Each day is like a little life, so it’s our job to make each day our best life. I just got back from an amazing month of traveling and resourcing. I spent the last week or so in California close to the ocean and the beach (I’ll be posting a new travel blog on my latest adventures shortly!).
While I was there, I had a lot of time to myself to think and reflect on this past year and also the future. I feel more ambitious and positive than ever to make 2015 the best year yet. I want to make 2015 a year of health for my mind, body and soul. I want to put my best foot forward every day and be the best version of myself that I can be. What are your hopes and aspirations for 2015?
Couldn’t be more excited about this last blog interview of the year! If you’ve been following my blog, you know just how much I LOVE the designer Anine Bing. Not only is she my favorite designer, she’s also someone I look up to and an inspiration! The Los Angeles designer by way of Denmark, is also an entrepreneur, a model, a singer and a mother of two young children. Since she launched her first collection in 2012, my closet has slowly been filling up with a lot of her designs. I love her minimalist yet rock n’ roll designs. Her clothes always have the perfect balance between edgy and feminine. I feel 100% myself when I wear her clothes. Her blog is also one of my daily go-to’s. I’m beyond thrilled that she was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few of my questions. To finish off the year, here are my 5 Questions With Anine Bing:
1) Do you remember when your love for fashion started? What made you want to become a designer?
My love for fashion started already as a kid. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up, so I got most of my clothes from my older siblings. But I did the best out of it and I got very inspired by my older brother who always wore cool jeans, Dr. Marten boots and a pallastina scarf. My dream of starting my own line started 4 years ago. I wanted to create the perfect pair of jeans and other great basic pieces that was easy to mix and match..
2) Where do you draw inspiration for the clothes that you design for your Anine Bing line?
I get inspired where ever I go. There is so much inspiration living here in LA. Wherever I go I feel inspired. I also love traveling and experience different cultures. Old movies, books and magazines are also places to look for inspiration..
3) What are some of your must-haves for the winter season?
For the winter I love layering. I am a big fan of chunky oversized knits, skinny jeans and a big scarf. Boots is also a must during winter, or actually all year around 🙂
4) In addition to being a designer, you are an entrepreneur, a singer, a model and you are also a mother of two. How do you balance all of these different aspects of your life? How each of these things feed your creativity and your life in general?
I love being creative and everything I do is very creative.. In different areas. Being a mom is the most important roll. Being a designer takes up must of my time and I just LOVE what I do.. It gives me energy to do so many different things. I love every part of my life and that makes it easier to balance then..
5) Those who follow you on social media will note that you also seem to love good food. What are your favorite spots to eat in LA?
I love Urth Caffe for lunch. Pace for dinner and Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast…
What’s next for Anine Bing?
I have soooo many exciting things coming up.. but I can’t give you any details right now… 🙂
Thanks to everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to take part in my 5 Questions With blog series this year. I’m incredibly honored and grateful! Here’s to more inspiring interviews in 2015!
Urban art is one of my favorite things and Toronto has some amazing art all around the city. This particular mural has been one of my favorites for a while, I absolutely love the color of this mural. To me, it’s one of Parkdale‘s signature murals and adds so much character to the area. I’m always excited to find new murals all around town and it’s also one of my favorite things to photograph when I travel. Do you have some favorite murals or urban art in your city?
Dylana Suarez is a stylist, photographer and blogger currently based in New York City. If you’ve been following my 5 Questions With series, you may have noticed that I’ve also had the privilege of featuring her lovely and also incredibly talented sister Natalie Suarez on the blog before. The Suarez sisters are a powerhouse duo. Dylana often works with her younger sister, photographing and styling her for shoots. Dylana’s many talents really fascinate me. She’s always working on the coolest creative projects with some of the most amazing brands and people. Her blog is one of my daily go-to websites. I love her unique style and her passion for food, travel & fashion! Dylana is currently in Vancouver to shoot a city guide for Free People and will then be heading to LA to photograph some more. She dreams of traveling the world and showcasing her adventures on her blog. Hope you’ll enjoy my 5 Questions With Dylana Suarez:
1) Do you remember when your love for fashion started? When did you make the decision to work in the fashion industry?
It started when I was really young, before I even started elementary school! My mom always sketched when I was younger, and I’d color in the patterns of the clothes the characters in her pictures wore. She also made clothes for us sometimes! I always loved what my mom wore, she was so stylish, so I think it just rubbed off on me. Imagery is so important to me, and I just automatically fell in love with pictures and what people wore. But I didn’t decide to work in fashion until way later. Halfway through college, I decided to switch majors (I used to be a biology major) and dabble into the idea of a career in fashion. So I did a few internships to see how I liked it that helped me network and inspired me to start my blog, and it slowly went from there.
2) You are a stylist, photographer and blogger, how do each of these things feed your creativity?
Being a stylist is so much fun for me because it brings me back to my childhood days of playing dress up at home. It’s the reason why I fell in love with fashion in the first place. I love playing with colors, shapes, textures, etc. Standing back and seeing a look you put together that instills a feeling or vibe feels so good to me. Photography is something I am truly very passionate about. I learned how to take photos myself, and slowly got better and better. I think because I grew with it, I feel most connected with it. Nothing makes me feel more happy that a gorgeous photo that inspires myself and others. Blogging is amazing because it has allowed me to do all the things I love: write, style, take photos, meet new people and collaborate. it has opened so many doors for me as a person and as a creative, it really is amazing. It has driven me to explore and challenge myself, and keep creating more and more 🙂
3) What are some of your favorite brands or go-to designers when styling?
I really, really love Free People, Topshop, Junim and Spell and the Gypsy. But if it was all up to me, I’d be pulling from Saint Laurent, Miu Miu and Dries van Noten! I never stick to just one brand, I pull from everything and even lots from my own closet just to change things up!
4) You were raised in Southern California but you now call NYC home, how much has the city impacted your career? Is Manhattan in your opinion, still a great place for fashion?
Moving to NYC has probably been the best decision of my 20’s so far! I’ve experience so much here! I love how go-go the life is here, and how many interactions I can have in a day. I meet so many people here and everything is so accessible. The city is so stimulating and really inspires me to keep pursuing my dreams, especially when I am able to work with a bunch of really great supportive people. Manhattan is full of fashion everywhere. So for someone like me, it’s an awesome place to live. All the brands, PR firms and creatives are here. There’s always something going on, and the fashion scene thrives because of it.
5) What are some of your must-haves for fall this year?
I distressed red leather boot, an oversized leather moto jacket, over-the-knee socks, and a beret!
This summer I returned to beautiful San Francisco. Though I travel to Los Angeles several times a year, I’ve only been to San Francisco once before, back in 2006 when I was on tour. I was delighted to be back in a city I didn’t know much about and that has changed so much over the past couple of years.
If you’re flying into San Francisco, the good news is that the airport is pretty awesome! It’s located only a few minutes from downtown (you can access it easily via cab or theBART), it’s new, clean and also offers some of the healthiest food options I’ve ever seen before in an airport. I loved their market and all of their fresh food options.
I spent five full days in San Francisco, which really gave me the opportunity to re-familiarize myself with this lovely city. We spent those days walking for hours non-stop. San Francisco is really a great city to explore by foot. If you’re going to go explore though, make sure you wear comfortable footwear as you will have to climb up and down hills to get to the different areas of town. San Francisco also has many bike paths than span across the downtown area. They have the Bay Area Bike Share system that you can use if you want to tour the city on wheels. I’ll be posting a special San Francisco food blog soon but in the meantime, here are some of the things that stood out while exploring the city.
1) Mission District. Is an incredibly unique neighborhood that is full of life and culture located in east-central San Francisco. What immediately stood out in this area was the huge presence of the Mexican culture. Everywhere you go you will find influences of Mexico in the food, the shops and the environment. Mission reminds me of a small Brooklyn or even Parkdale in Toronto. There are many young adults, artists and entrepreneurs that live in the area. Valencia Street between 24th and 14th street is the main street in the neighborhood where you’ll find a ton of really neat shops, restaurants, bars, schools, etc. Guerrero and Mission Street are also filled with tons of different businesses. Every street around these main arteries is filled with beautiful homes and apartments. The architecture in this neighborhood is stunning, just like anywhere in San Francisco. The Victorian rowhouses are all colorful and each have something special. One of my favorite shops that I found on Valencia was Paxton Gate, a boutique shop that specializes in taxidermy, fossils, plants, science & so much more. The shop is filled with so many interesting books, unique gifts & decorations. There’s also a handful of vintage stores on Valencia that have amazing clothes and accessories.
2) Coffee culture. I could have an entire blog just dedicated to coffee in San Francisco because it’s really a big deal. San Francisco’s coffee shops are renown across the US. You may have already heard of the legendary Philz Coffee located in Mission District, the place where each coffee is brewed individually and blended for each customer. For the past 25 years, Phil has been making his own unique blends of coffee and serving them to their faithful customers. Going into Philz is definitely a different experience. Other than Philz, you’ll also find Ritual Coffee Roasters in Mission, on Valencia Street. It’s smaller but a great spot to grab a croissant and coffee on the go or to stay for a few minutes. The simple and clean decor makes the place very modern and bright. Also, on Valencia you’ll find Fourbarrel Coffee, a spot that reminds me a lot of Intelligentsia Coffee in Los Angeles. It was rated as the #1 coffee spot in San Francisco by San Francisco Weekly. It’s a big open space. You can buy lot’s of coffee accessories and merch from the shop. It definitely feels a little more upscale than Philz and is also a major hipster hangout. If you go closer to the pier, you can grab coffee from Blue Bottle, a coffee shop that originated in Oakland, CA and that now can be found everywhere in the Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles.
3) Street art. Everywhere you look in downtown San Francisco, you’ll find beautiful and colorful street art. Artists of all types and backgrounds leave traces of their talent across the city. I was particularly drawn to the art I saw in Mission District, just because a lot of it was inspired by the Mexican culture. I really think that street art is so special and unique and makes a city so vibrant. It adds character to the building or structure it’s on. I think each city should make space for street artists to leave their marks.
4) Ocean Beach. I couldn’t go to San Francisco without going to Ocean Beach. Though a little far from downtown, the ocean is pretty easily accessible via bus if you take Judah Street. Another way to access the beach is to walk through Golden Gate Park, which is what we decided to do. Golden Gate Park is so incredibly vast and lush. It reminded me of Central Park minus the crowds. Once you get to the beach, you feel like you’re in a completely different place. We stopped at Java Beach Cafe to grab some beach snacks before crossing the road and climbing up the sand dunes. There’s a nice bike path located at the beach that goes on for miles. The beach in San Francisco is so large and quiet. The sand dunes prevent you from seeing the city behind you so you feel like you’re tucked away somewhere quiet and beautiful. Though I didn’t get out in the water, I did see a handful of surfers wearing 3/2 wetsuits riding some waves. A tip: Make sure you grab an extra layer of clothing when going to the beach, it tends to get a really windy. The view though… priceless!
5) Wine country. On the last day we were in San Francisco we were invited to go down to wine country in Sonoma. We visited a few family owned wineries including the Benziger Family Winery located in Glen Ellen. What I particularly enjoyed about this specific winery is that it uses Biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming methods to make their wine. We had a lovely tour of the estate and also had the best cheese & wine tasting I’ve ever had. They had such a tasty selection of cheeses, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Another fun winery on our tour was the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. This is a destination for the entire family, with a full hotel, restaurant, pool & spa. They also have a cool museum with artifacts from all of Coppola’s movies and his daughter’s movies as well. The pool and café are a great place to spend the afternoon.
Before finishing this post, I feel compelled to mention that homelessness still seems to be a very major issue in San Francisco. They are everywhere you go in the city. I’ve seen a lot of homeless people in Los Angeles and other cities on the west coast, but the problem seems even greater in the city of San Francisco. I really felt helpless as a tourist seeing all the people on the streets. I hope the city can continue working on making the lives of these people better!
Pink, Cher and Moby are just some of the artists superstar bassist Eva Gardner has played with thus far in her career. I first saw the Los Angeles native play bass on Pink’s DVD Funhouse tour that came out a couple of years ago. I then saw her play on several television shows and became captivated with her effortlessly cool playing style. Eva not only shreds bass but also looks great while doing so. Recently, she has also been writing a lot of songs on her own and hopes to release her own record in the near future. I’m extremely honored she agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her career and style. Here are my 5 Questions With Eva Gardner:
1) When did you start playing bass? What drew you to this instrument?
My father, Kim Gardner, was a bass player. He was from London and part of the British Invasion of the 60s and 70s. He played in bands like The Birds, The Creation and Ashton, Gardner & Dyke. Dad always had his musician friends over at the house when I was growing up – guys like Mick Taylor and Ron Wood hanging out, playing music, laughing and just having a blast. Dad was always telling me stories about his adventures touring as a musician – playing with bands like the Who and Deep Purple…sitting in on jam sessions with Jimi Hendrix. I remember calling myself a bass player before I even really knew what that meant. When I was in 2nd grade I sat in my Dad’s studio with some school friends and told them I was a bass player like Dad. I went to lift one of his basses and it was so heavy I think I just kinda dragged it along the floor! It wasn’t until I was about 12 that I really actively pursued playing. I was writing songs and performing shows with my first band by the age of 13.
2) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today?
Dad and his friends essentially got me started playing bass so I was very influenced by the music of his generation – Jimi Hendrix, the Kinks, Led Zeppelin, etc. As a teenager in the 90s, I was listening to bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins. So my musical experiences at that time had been mostly in the rock/alternative genre.
After 2 years at an all-girl Catholic high school, I decided I wanted to take my music career further. I auditioned for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and it was the best decision I ever made. I became part of the jazz band there and had many live performances in a big band setting. I was exposed to and playing various genres like Latin jazz, salsa, blues, progressive rock, reggae and African percussion. We studied different types of Classical music and performed pieces in our guitar ensemble. It was an unparalleled experience.
After LACHSA, I went on to study Ethnomusicology at UCLA. I continued formal music courses but was playing different instruments in world music ensembles – for instance, I was playing Balinese music in the Balinese gamelan and playing upright bass in the Middle Eastern orchestra. As an Ethnomusicology major I was exposed to so many different kinds of music from around the globe.
I was playing with the Mars Volta while I was finishing up college and it was such an amazingly creative time for me. It was like I had learned all these rules in school and now it was time to break them or use them or whatever I felt I needed to do to express myself. I like to look at everything I’ve learned in school and on the road as tools in my toolbox – to use if and when I need them. I am grateful that I have had all these various experiences because I believe they turned me into a well-rounded musician.
3) How do you pick out your clothes for tour and stage? What are your tour must-haves?
When touring for artists like Pink and Cher there are usually stage attire requirements for the musicians such as wear all black But normally it’s not a uniform so there are opportunities to express your unique style. Luckily, living in LA allows for some great store options. I often go to vintage shops like Jet Rag and Wasteland. Sometimes if I’m out and about and see something that may be great for stage at some point I’ll grab it – shows/tours sometimes come up last minute and there’s no time to shop so it’s nice to have options at hand. Being comfortable on stage is important so I love having the freedom to put together my own outfits.
Some tour must-haves would definitely include sock slippers like Muk Luks for the tour bus. We usually travel to the next city right after a show so I love getting comfy for the ride. Lip balm is essential – Flora Metaphor has some awesome natural products. I keep my V-Moda headphones handy at all times as well. It’s the little things that go a long way on the road.
4) In addition to playing with some of the world’s biggest artists (Cher, Pink, Moby), you also have your own band called Telstar. How do both of these aspects of your career feed your creativity and help you grow as an artist?
I’ve been so fortunate to work with some truly incredible artists. And I have been blessed to share the stage with some of the world’s most talented musicians. I learn so much from these experiences, spending time on the road with some serious tour veterans – people that had even worked with my Dad back in the 60s, 70s and 80s. When I have a break from the road it’s a great time for creative projects. Telstar was formed a few years ago. We do everything ourselves – Chris Unck (vox/guitar) is also a fantastic engineer/producer. So we record everything on our own, do all of our own artwork, etc. It’s a lot of fun, and brings you back to why you started playing music in the first place.
5) What are some of your favorite moments thus far in your career?
I have had so many incredible moments in my career. I have worked with some amazing people, been to some incredible places and created relationships with people that will last a lifetime. One of the things I am most proud of is having a signature bass with Fender. Fender had always been a household name for the Gardner Family. So to now have a Fender with my name on it is absolutely huge for me! It’s a combination of all my favorite basses that I’ve played. And to make it personal I added some of my tattoo artwork on it. You can check it out here:
Another day at WMCFW, another outfit! Wearing my brand new Anine Bing dress. I thought it was super cute when I saw it on the racks of the brand new Anine Bing store in Los Angeles last month so I had to get it. Happy the sun was finally out yesterday in Toronto 🙂