Monthly Archives

June 2017

Accessories fashion Fitness Life Lifestyle shoes Travel Uncategorized

Hilton Short Hills Travel and Lifestyle Event with TravelingMom

Hilton Short Hills

Getting away for the summer is always a treat. Whether it’s a month long vacation or a weekend, it’s great to find hotels that accommodate your every need.  The Hilton Short Hills, in Short Hills, NJ does this and more. I was invited to experience and learn about what this hotel has to offer by TravelingMom and She Buys Cars. The day was full of relaxation and travel education. With an ideal location close to NYC and across from Short Hills Mall there is plenty to see and do. The hotel offers shuttle service to the mall and has an on site rental car service. However there is no shortage of relaxing activities for adults to enjoy right in the Hilton Short Hills. While the whole family is bound to have fun as well.

Hilton Short Hills

Short Hills Hilton Lobby

 

If your looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating escape from the everyday hustle and bustle step into the Hilton’s spa. The Eforea Spa’s soothing atmosphere is sure to put you in a relaxed mood as it did me. With thirteen treatment rooms you’ll find something to relax and rejuvenate you. Whether you’re getting ready for a big event hosted at the hotel or simply want a mani or pedi, the salon is sure to take care of you. You and your spouse can  receive hair cuts, styling and waxing services. Looking forward to a massage instead? The Hilton Short Hills offers both single and couple massages. A private room ensures that you are at your most relaxed. Mommies to be can also enjoy prenatal massages and services.  After the massage make your way into the “Transition Room” to relax, drink and eat a healthy snack.

Hilton Short Hills Hilton Short Hills

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hilton Short Hills Hilton Short Hills

 

 

If the gym is more your sanctuary look no further than their fitness center. Enjoy a class of Pilates or sweat it out in their state of the art gym. If you’re in the mood for a high intensity sport take a swing in their tennis court. Group lessons, cardio tennis and evening socials are available to guests. You can rent on site racquets if you’ve left yours at home. Not a tennis pro? The Hilton Short Hills offers private and hitting lessons to spruce up your skills. After a great work out and a shower why not take a dip in one of the hotels pools. The indoor pool’s relaxing and cool ambience is perfect for a lap. While the connected hot tub is perfect for warm relaxation. Their outdoor pool is great for sunbathing and swimming as well.

Hilton Short Hills

 

Conduct business meetings and summits in one of the hotels seven meeting suites. Plan your wedding or sweet 15/ 16 in the grand ballroom. The more intimate Pavilion with large windows is perfect for a small wedding. The Pavilion’s soft cascading white drapes add the perfect romantic and enchanted feel. The TravelingMom Travel and Lifestyle event was held in this relaxing room. Brands Ann Taylor, The Walking Company and Henri Bendal showcased there newest products here while a makeup artist was also on hand for refreshing touch up’s. These brands are just a few that can be found conveniently at the Short Hills Mall across from the hotel.

Hilton Short Hills

Ann Taylor

Hilton Short Hills

Hilton Short Hills

The Walking Company

Hilton Short Hills

Hilton Short Hills

Henri Bendel

 

 

We enjoyed a cooking demonstration of Scallop Avocado Toast with Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce by the hotel’s Chef Richard Kennedy. I was excited to try this dish as I am a sea food enthusiast and it did not disappoint. A delicious salad previous to the seafood dish and an array of mini desserts completed this delectable meal. Chef Kennedy and the culinary team at the Hilton offer a live cooking and tasting series for guests. The delicious food prepared by Chef Kennedy is sustainably soured from local NJ farmers, a point in my book! Check out Chef Kennedy’s  Youtube Channel for great recipes.

Hilton Short Hills

Hilton Short Hills

Chef Richard Kennedy

Hilton Short Hills

Scallop Avocado Toast

 

Hilton Short Hills

 

As always the creators of She Buys Cars, Kim Orlando and Scotty Reiss were full of travel tips and tricks. Here are some of the tips I learned and plan to add them to my future trip planning.

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best travel cards to have.
  • Feel free to call the hotel your staying in ahead of time for price matches and specials.
  • And check out apps like LuggageFree, Jet Setter, and Get My Boat for easier travel and planning.

Current trends in travel include:

  • Brewery hopping
  • Bleisure (Business and leisure in one trip)
  • Food tourism
  • Big weekend getaways
  • Responsible travel (economically, environmentally)

I so enjoyed my day at the Hilton Short Hills and plan to return. With a great location, extensive accommodations and services the Hilton Short Hills has plenty to offer. Have you ever been? I’m sure you’ll want to visit now!

T.S.

 

 

Accessories art Beauty fashion Fashion exhibit Jewlery shoes The Museum at FIT

FIT’s School of Art and Design Graduating Exhibition

FIT Museum

Recently on display at the Museum at FIT was the work and thesis projects of the graduating class of 2017. Many know FIT is a prestigious school for fashion, but it also teaches many of the arts. The exhibition showcased students work from all sixteen major areas of study. The exhibition was showcased in various areas of the museum and the school itself.

Accessories Design

For their final steps to achieving their degree’s students were instructed to create a collection around the concept of  ” Design Perspective”. Each took on a different interpretation to create their collections. Students used research on consumers, seasons, and inspirations to bring them to life. They created pieces belonging to either footwear, handbags, millinery (hats), or art. Every piece exhibited was judged and selected by FIT staff and fashion industry critics.

 

FIt Museum Museum at FIT Mujseum at FIT

 

Advertising Design

The students of advertising design were to creating content that reaches today’s public. Not only do these final projects advertise a product , they become one with the consumer. The students created experiences, much like we are used to today. To bring out an emotion or thought, not simply an agreement to buy. The advertisements  reflect much of what is currently happening and resonates with exhibition viewers.

Museum at FIT Museum at FIT

Computer Animation and Interactive Media

Graduates from the computer animation and interactive media program also focused on engaging with the viewer. They created apps, games,  environments and more that integrated their knowledge of technology design. This particular class used many personal experiences and social causes in their work. Race, sexuality, religion and how they felt about these topics came across in these pieces.

Museum at FIT

Fabric Styling

The class in fabric styling forecasted the color story of Summer/ Spring 2018. Through market research, trend forecasting and four colors they showcased the latest in women’s wear and home décor. Much of the public does not realize how ahead of time forecasters like these students are. Their work is continually a year ahead of its time.

Fashion Design

Fashion Design students used their expertise with fashion design art, CAD, journaling, and art portfolio to create their final designs. Their work was critiqued and selected by industry critics, guest designers and professors who mentored these students. On the judging day the selecteded looks were included in the BFA Future of Fashion runway show. Once the looks were selected the students work with experienced models for their final fittings. Students in the individual categories of Children’s Wear, Intimate Apparel, Knitwear, Special Occasion and Sportswear showcased their looks in the fashion show. Through these steps the students’ personal take on fashion design evolved and prepared them for their careers.

FIT Museum Museum at FIT Museum at FIT

 

Fine Arts

Fine Arts graduates were tasked with answering the question “How does a young artist create work that is relevant in our  contemporary culture?” Their work answered this question by adding their personal experience’s and identity to demonstrate advertising, consumerism, environmental issues, and social media. The proximity to multiple museums in NYC helped them cultivate their thoughts and creative process. They are now able to create fine art relevant to the ever changing society.

 

Museum at FIT

 

Graphic Design

Graphic design students were to write their thesis exploring the past, present and future on the topic they chose. Through the use of graphic media the students expressed their thoughts. With the images and words they selected they offered a fresh perspective on what’s occurring in today’s society. All the work displayed was critiqued by professionals in graphic design.

Musuem at FIT Museum at FIT Museum at FIt

Illustration

Students of the illustration program used their traditional and digital art media experience to creatively problem solve. The issue being how to create images for commercial distribution that targets specific audiences. Through their personal style, technique, expression and body of work cultivated at FIT they were able to solve the issue.

Museum at FIT Museum at FIT Museum at FIT

Interior Design

The class of interior design took their education in problem solving, space planning  and research to create their own perspectives. Their perspectives and the issues of sustainability, culture and constructions helped them create their thesis. The objective was to create interiors that looked great and spoke to the viewers. Unlike other students Interior design students created their final projects with aesthetic, functional and program constraints. To work around these limitations they used materials, colors and furnishings to create their interior design stories.

Museuma at FIT museum at FIT

Jewelry Design

Jewelry Design graduates created jewelry with design, craft, economics and ethics in mind. They also thought of sustainability and social responsibility when creating their pieces. They used both modern and ancient techniques to create their jewelry. Their work is to be viewed as both jewelry and individual works of art.

Musuem at FIT Museum at FIT

 

 

Menswear

The menswear graduating class created their final thesis much like a tailor makes suits.  They showcased their designs in their portfolios to their class during a presentation. Next they created their muslin, a plain white fabric designers use to create the base of their designs. Once their muslins were criticized and reworked they began the final process. Finished fabrics and tailoring techniques were then used to create their final menswear pieces. Finally their work was critiqued by well known menswear designers and put on display. Past graduating classes have been critiqued by John Varvatos, Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein and John Bartlett.

 

 

Packing Design

The students of the packing design program worked to advance the principals wing branding and packing design. They used innovative techniques to reach the consumers of food, beverage and home products. They also created designs to speak to packing designs to reach the consumers of beauty, personal care and technology products. They were tasked to create the designs within the constraints of conceptual development, graphic execution, production and compliance requirements.  They also took into account marketing and what would be their competition.

Museum at FIT Museum at FIT

Photography

Students of the graduating photography class expressed political views, fashion trends, and emotions. They also used documentary photography and  their personal experiences with family and their childhood to inspire their final captures.Their photography much like those of regarded professional photographers have the ability to impact the societal culture of the present and future.

FIT museum

Textile/Surface Design

Textile/Surface Design students created textiles of painted, woven, and screen printed techniques. They implemented classical forms of textile creation with innovative new technologies. They created their own aesthetics within the requirements of the textile industry. Their final pieces showcase the students ability to create new textiles that are creative, full of required techniques and its ability to be  marketable.

Museumat FIT Museum at FIT Mueseum at FIT

Toy Design

The class of Toy Design uses imagination to help develop kids self -image. Students created toys that help create a healthy lifestyle of play. Their toys also challenge critical thinking in the child who plays with them. Students incorporated community issues, culture, nature into their interactive children’s games. The toys ranged from stuffed animals, board games, digital worlds and more.

Muesuma t FIt Museum at FIt

 

Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design

The Visual Presentation and Exhibition Design program focuses on the ability create environments that inspire, inform and persuade the viewer. Students created life size mock ups of events such as a retail space, display, museum exhibition, event or individual place. The students process included the design process and market analysis with the help of industry experts. Their designs were reviewed in an exhibition and finally developed digitally and physically.

Musuem at FIT Museum at FIT

 

 

It was immensely interesting to see what the future of the creative fields have in store. There is no shortage of creativity with students like these and the colleges that mold them into productive creators. As I walked through the exhibition I was not only learning about these creative majors but remembering my own time in college. There are more details and hours that go into the final product of a creative industry than consumers and viewers realize.

T.S.

Fitness Life Lifestyle Uncategorized

Raka! Fitmatch Fitness Class and App

Summer is here and we all want to feel healthy! Why not try out a new fitness class to start. Or better yet find a workout buddy and gym wherever you are in the world! That’s what the Fitmatch app does. I know by personal experience  going to a class on your own can be less appealing than going with a friend.  Who wants to struggle in a class without a friend  who is feeling the burn just as bad as you are? NO ONE! The app’s 5 steps help customize the app to your liking, find a gym near you and match you to people based on the type of workout you like. You then can chat and finally meet up at a class with your new workout pal.

FitMatch

Screenshots of the FitMatch app.

Fit Match Fit Match App

Fit Match

Screenshots of the app!

To learn more about this app bloggers and press were invited to a Raka Fitness class led by Fitmatch creator and celebrity trainer Ngo Okafor. The class was held on the rooftop of the Clay Health Club + Spa located near Union Square in downtown NYC. The class was set to a mix of reggae music which made it that much easier for me to get moving. To my rejoice we worked out in intervals with breaks in between. Cardio, strength training, and boxing is what consisted of the class. By far my favorite part of the class were the boxing intervals and my least favorite, those planks and burpees! Each interval had a Raka twist adding intensity to each movement.

Clay Fitness Club Fit match app

 

A cool down of stretches on yoga mats brought the class to an end. The class was followed by an array of healthy chicken wraps, fruit and protein shakes. I didn’t get a chance to stop by the spa and sauna, but plan to make my way back. As a person who doesn’t workout daily I did enjoy how strong my body felt after this class. Although the soreness was something I was not looking forward to, I still feel a difference in my body. Currently Raka is being held in NYC, but Ngo plans to expand his classes around the USA.

Ngo, friend and blogger Lillie Morales of JerseyFashionista and I. We survived the workout and were enjoying the scenery. Ngo was a pleasure to talk to.

Clay fitnessandspa Clay fitness and Spa

 

I’ve download the app have you? Let me know what workout class you go to and how you and your workout buddy did. I enjoyed the class and plan to return. Ngo’s classes are free and so is the app! So make sure to  make your way to the his classes and download the app. There are no more excuses! FitMatch makes it possible to find a workout class anywhere in the world! With a new workout partner to support your workout journey, making it easier than ever.

T.S.

art fashion Fashion exhibit History The Metropolitan Museum of Art Uncategorized

The Met’s: Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garcons, Art of the In-Between

The Met Museum

Currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the “Art of the In-Between”. The exhibition is a look into creator of Commes des Garcons, Rei Kawakubo’s inspirations and work. Rei founded Commes des Garcons (French for “like some boys”) in 1969. Rei’s expression of fashion is one of disruption. Her designs are what we in the industry call Avant Garde. They are unconventional and challenges what society accepts as fashion.

1.Absence/Presence

Much of her work revolves around two notions, koan mu (emptiness) and ma (space). The exhibition explores nine translations of in-betweenness through Rei’s collections and explores the  emptiness in conventional clothing. The architectural displays and circular path that visitors walk through to view the exhibition are inspired “Mu” and “Ma” the Zen Buddhism symbolizim for emptiness and space. Ma also translates to void and volume. Ma is both something with and without shape, much like Rei’s voluminous designs.

The Met Museum The Met Museum

 

2.Design/ Not Design

Rei doesn’t have a formal design education, her self education allowed her to explore how to design unconventionally. Many times her inspiration comes from a word or abstract image. Many of her collections are inspired by fusion, imbalance, the unfinished, elimination and design without design. These templates for her work are also rooted in the Zen Buddhist principle wabi-sabi.

The Met Fashion musuemThe Met Museum

3.Fashion/ Antifashion

During the late 1970’s and early 80’s Rei moved away from her traditionally Japanese inspired collections. Her need to design something with strength led her to become a modern archetypal designer. Her goal was one of originality or ” newness” and has been what defines all of her collections. Fashion/ Antifashion showcases Rei’s early 80s collections. The color story of predominately  black expresses the thought of mu (emptiness) while the shapeless and oversized garments express ma (space).

 

4.Model/Multiple

Rei has also explored the contrast of original work and the replicas that are made. In Model/ Multiple Rei’s collection Abstract Excellence the pieces take on these differences. The repetition of clothes not only represents replicas but uniformity. Her pieces in this collection have very little differences.This showcases the rift between original art and designs and knockoffs. Many of these techniques have been used in the fashion industry and are being used today in fast fashion.

Met Museum fashion

5.High/Low

The collection “Motorbike Ballerina” expresses the ties between elitist and pop culture.  High society forms of dressing like a tutu and a low society form like a biker jacket are combined. Street style takes on high end fashion and the collection explores how society see’s both.

The MET MueseumFashion at the Met Museum

 

In the collection “Bad Taste” Rei explores what bad taste is. Style associated with punk which are made with cheaper fabrics like polyester are combined with high end tulle for tutus. Her goal was to shine a light on what upper society sees as good taste. While combining those exact forms of bad taste with what society might view as good taste.

 

The Met Museum

6.Then/Now

In the collections Modern Sweetness, Sweeter Than Sweet, Body Meets Dress-Dress Meets Body, Inside Decoration and White Drama Rei travels through both modern and historical fashion. As a designer her work has been constantly influenced by fashion history. It can be seen in these collections that consists of silhouettes that are from the 19th century.

The Met Museum The Met Museum

 

In her collections Broken Bride, White Drama and Ceremony Rei explores the movement of time through life experiences. Birth, marriage and death are expressed through what Rei and much of society think about these time periods. The traditions we believe in during these periods of living are expressed both in ways we recognize and don’t.

7.Self/Other

Self/ Other explores what fashion looks like when boundaries are crossed. This part of the exhibition showcases how Rei’s work blurs the lines between East/ West, Male/ Female and Child/ Adult. East and West displays what eastern and western cultures clash in fashion. Male/ Female fuses what we typically recocnize as male attire with womenswear. While Child/ Adult focuses on what age appropriate dressing while using the Japanese cultural aspects of Kawaii (cuteness). A form of dressing made popular by the Japanese youth who use playful aspects in their dressing.

The Met Museum The Met Museum

8.Object/Subject

Object/ Subject focuses on the form of our bodies and drasticly changing the way it looks and how we think about it. In this part of the exhibition the collection Body Meets Dress- Dress- Meets Body challenges that notion. The looks include extreme padding challenging what society thinks is a beautiful body. These deformed looks contrast with the traditional cuts of fabric and prints of gingham.  The line between  dress or the object and subject the body are blurred.

Met Museum

9.Clothes/ Not Clothes

Once again Rei felt the need for reinvention and in 2014 left behind the the notion of newness in presute of making “objects for bodies’.  In the ninth installation the collection is broken down in to nine categories. In Clothes/ Not Clothes Rei introduced forms that have never been introduced to fashion. The collection is a constant rif on what can be worn and what is simply expressional pieces. They have similarities but also have considerable differences.

The Met Museum

9.1  Form/Function

Form/ Function features the collection Not Making Clothing. Continuing her search of objects for the body she created the piece as if she were not a designer. The pieces are structured, three dimensional and don’t form to the body naturally. The cuts and forms are similar to a dolls whose clothing is too big. The pieces seem cut and pasted together and don’t look as if they should go together. (Picture above)

 

9.2  Abstraction/ Representation

The collection “invisible clothes” in 9.2 challenges the thought of the body being dominate over clothing. Recognizable forms of clothes like an arm are obscured through the voluminus shapes. In doing so body and the form of the dress become one. There is not a clarity of what is body and what is dress. The goal is to see clothes not as clothes but as a form of the body.

The Met MuseumThye Met Museum

 

 

9.3 Beautiful/Grostesque

In Beautiful/ Grotesque Rei’s collections ” Holes” and ” Monster”showcase how Rei’s 1980’s collections were criticized by Western society as grotesque. Although to Rei they were simply different forms of beauty. The collection “Monster” delves into humanity, fear and going beyond what we see as common sense. Rei once again goes against ordinary fashion by creating pieces that are big and can be perceived as both beautiful and ugly. The knots and twist of the garments are meant to expand what people see as beauty.

The Met Museum

 

 

9.4 War/Peace

War/ Peace showcases the collections ” Flowering Clothes” and “Blood and Roses”. These collections are Rei’s response to the unjust events in society. Her reactions to what is happening around us is never literal, but symbolic. Her reactions and knowledge of history inspired her to create these collections. Throughout history the symbol of the rose has been used to represent both good and bad. ” Flowering Clothes” focuses on the positive connotations associated with roses. The pieces are inspired by the strength, happiness and positivity of a rose. “Blood and Roses” focuses on the dark significance a rose can have. It’s inspired by the historical use of a rose in war, political and religious clashes. In “Blood and Roses” Rei used both expressional and literal expressions of the topic with the color of bold red.

The Met Museum

9.5 Life/Loss

When one looks at Rei’s clothes they must understand that she is not an intellectual designer but an emotional one. Her own feelings inspire the collections, even those of fear and doubt. Her collections are a look into her intense emotions and spirituality. Life/Loss expands on the collection in Then/ Now with theme of transition. In Life/ Loss the concepts of the memory of a subject and memorialization of something are explored.

The Met Museum

Life/ Loss presents the collection ” Ceremony of Separation” which brings to the forefront the feelings of pain of losing someone and the beautiful ceremonies we put on to say good bye. The dresses in this collection are translations of traditional mourning dresses. The clothes are sad but extravagant with delicate lace representing how fragile life is. This collection is similar to her earlier collection “Square” where the clothes are made of one square of fabric and express the ritual of pilgrimage. The “Square” and “Ceremony of Separation” collections both explore the traditional outlets of expression during these points in life.

9.6 Fact/Fiction

Fact/ Fiction demonstrates Rei’s expressions through storytelling. The collections ” Blue Witch”, “Lilith”, “Dark Romance”and “Witch”. The collections are filled with strong silhouettes and mix menswear with womenswear.  Although the traditional forms in menswear are distorted. In all three collections menswear  becomes a feminine piece like a skirt.  The collections are pieces of dismantled and distorted, mashed together women and men’s wear. They are also expressions of  the fictional topics, witches and  storybooks.

The Met Museum

9.7 Order/Chaos

When Rei formed “Comme des Garcons” her goals were “newness” and independence. She pursued independence of conventional subjects and expression. This search lead her to appreciate street style and the punk culture. Both going against the grain of tradition and what society thinks is fashion. In “Order/ Chaos” combines history and the theme of transition. The collection “18th- Century Punk” uses the traditional silhouettes of the 1700’s combined with 1970’s punk aesthetics. The pieced together collection recalls the collection “Adult Delinquent” which was also inspired by the punk movement.

The Met Museum

 

9.8  Bound/ Unbound

In Bound/ Unbound the collection “The Future of the Silhouette” made not of clothes necessarily  but of objects for the body is on display. Here fabric is replaced by synthetic wadding  that is constructed around the body. They take inspiration from the collection used in Then/ Now without the historical references. The pieces are distorted hourglass forms that become parts of the body like that of the Body Meets Dress- Dress Meets Body collection. The pieces are binding to the body without arm holes, pressing against the notion of what accepted beauty is. The goal is not to give a body purpose, place or period in which to be but to simply exist between these aspects of life.

The Met Museum

 

Rei’s work will not instantly make you think of fashion, but of expressionism. Once you are able to understand what she is expressing , you will be able to understand and see the fashion in it. Much of it is not meant to be worn but translate and affect how society thinks and feels about what’s acceptable in fashion and beauty. It is a story of the “art of the in-between.”

The exhibition Rei Kawakubo: Commes des Garcons/ Art of the In- Between is on display at the Met until September 4th. I enjoyed learning more about this fascinating designer and hope you do to. Her take on fashion and its emotional connections are what I relate to most. Let me know if you visit the exhibition and what your thoughts are. Pay attention to my Instagram for more pictures throughout the week.

T.S.