Milano Blog

These are all of the blog posts created to start off the Milano blog customized to their brand voice and directed toward a luxury audience. The three pages focus on style, travel and gift giving.

Gift Giving

A Gentleman's Guide to Valentine's Day

Guys, we know that dropping hints for Valentines Day gifts doesn't necessarily improve our chances of getting what we want. Your razor sharp minds are compartmentalized and focused. You don't have time for generalities and nuances. However, taping a picture of our favorite piece of jewelry to the mirror that you are sure to see during your morning grooming, steals the romance and mystery away. It means more to us if a little thought is put into it. 

Many guys want to buy their lady love a special piece of jewelry for Valentine's, but they are terrified of buying the wrong thing. Hopefully, our handy gift guide will help you out. If you know your lady's style, then you can easily find something she'll like. If she is a fashion chameleon and changes her look up daily, well, you're in luck. You can't go wrong picking from multiple styles!

Even better, many of these pieces are affordable and under $250, so you can still have enough left over to take her out somewhere fun!

Say, "I Care" with Cuff

My boyfriend once asked me if I wouldn't mind taking my phone with me when I took my dog for a walk at night. It wasn't so he could call or text at his convenience, but so that I could reach him in case of an emergency. 

Just because I'm the stubborn independent type or because I embrace feminism doesn't mean I need to be careless about my safety.

After all... 

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.

The most recent statistics gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that,

...women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape.

With these somber statistics in mind, giving the gift of smart technology, like CUFF, isn't to be looked at as a matter of one partner controlling another.

Smart jewelry, like CUFF, could save a life with its ability to notify friends and family in an emergency. The technology also allows the set up of text and call alerts from designated contacts. The jewelry would give her the freedom to enjoy activities without always worrying about keeping her phone directly on her person (because, let's be honest, not all outfits come with phone size pockets!). With alerts set, she can enjoy her time, but also be available to who she chooses at her convenience.

So, this Valentine’s Day, if you want to give a gift that truly says, "I care." give the gift of CUFF.

 

 

Do You Make These 4 Jewelry Cleaning Mistakes?

Jewelry is an investment. Even if a piece’s design becomes out of fashion, the gems and the metal will never go out of vogue.

Therefore, it is important to take good care of your jewelry.

Many probably think those little jars of “at home jewelry solution” or taking it to a professional, who will drop your jewelry into an ultrasonic cleaner, is the best course of action.

Unfortunately, an easily made mistake could ruin your jewelry forever.

The following are four of the most common mistakes made in jewelry cleaning and how you can avoid them.

1.     Using the wrong cleaning techniques for your particular piece.

It is important to know what your jewelry is made of.

Believe it or not, the way you clean jewelry with gemstones and/or diamonds is different than the way you clean pieces without.

Some metals even require different techniques.

For example…jewelry cleaning cloths are specifically designed to properly clean and restore the luster of specific metals like copper or gold.

A soft bristle toothbrush can also work wonders to pull out pieces of dirt or debris from hard to reach nooks and crannies.

2.     Using the wrong solution

Once again, this mistake falls under the problem of not knowing what your jewelry is made of, and it getting you into trouble. Gems with porous surfaces such as…

·       Pearls

·       Opals

·       Coral

·       Shell

·       Bone 

…will easily absorb harsh chemicals and detergents.

With these gems, a cleaning cloth and warm water are all that’s needed.

Non-porous gems like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, can be cleaned via the following techniques

-Drop your dulled diamond jewelry in a bowl of fizzing Alka-Seltzer water for about 5 minutes, then remove and wipe with a soft jewelry cleaning cloth.

- Soak in hot soapy water for about 10 minutes, then remove and clean with a soft bristled brush, and dry with a soft cloth

For plain gold or silver jewelry with no stones:

- Soak the piece of jewelry in 1/2cup warm water & 1/2 cup of ammonia(baking soda), for about 10 minutes. 
- Remove from the solution and gently wipe with a soft cloth
- Let it dry

3.      Using Ultrasonic Cleaning on the wrong Gems

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well, fine, I’ll just take it to the professionals and have them put it through an ultrasonic cleaner. That must be the best way, right?” Or perhaps you’ve bought a small ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for your home. While this may seem like the ultimate solution, just like the others, it may not work for every piece you own.

Emeralds are often oiled to give them a more lustrous look. The sound wave induced vibrations of the ultrasonic cleaner and the steam bath after will often strip the emeralds of their oil giving them a cloudy look. In addition, most porous gemstones will not fare well under this abrasive cleaning technique. Some silvers and coppers will likewise not benefit. Diamonds that have been treated in order to remove inclusions in the stone will also become damaged from the ultrasonic cleaner or high pressured steam clean. 

4.     Storing your jewelry improperly

Last but not least, storing your jewelry improperly can cause damage and prevent the pieces from remaining clean. Keep items in separate bags (cloth or plastic) and pearls should always be hung. Avoid exposure to harsh cleaning, hair or pool chemicals as well.

 

January Garnets

The color of January’s birthstone is reminiscent of December’s very popular Christmas holiday. However, the vivid red garnet is better suited for January, than the month prior. Why? The vivacious red gem was revered by ancient Egyptians as the “gem of life.”  It is believed to bring its wearer peace, prosperity and good health to their home.

The tantalizing red color of this gemstone symbolizes fire and power in mythology and was also seen as a source of protection for its wearer. It’s no surprise that this stone has been found in the graves of warriors from Rome to Sumeria as it was believed to protect against injury and demise.

More legends and history attribute victory, truth, purity, friendship, faith, and protection to the stone. In fact, the intense red stone has been, at times called the “Gem of Faith.” Furthermore, January’s birthstone is said to provide awareness, commitment, insight, regeneration, and counteracting black magic, negative forces and dark energies.

Seeing how January is the first month of the New Year, the protective power of the garnet is a much welcome talisman.

 

Squeal Worthy Gifts For Your Flower Girl

I’ve only been the flower girl at a wedding once when I was little, but the significance of the event at the time was not lost on me. I felt pretty important. Not only did I get to wear a beautiful dress and feel like a princess for a day, but I also got to sprinkle rose petals on the aisle for the bride. Since the flower girl is often the opener of the wedding, most brides probably don’t realize what a big deal this is! After all, they have enough on their minds.

So, what do you give your sweet little helper? Here are five gift ideas that are guaranteed to be squeal and giggle worthy.

Make-up Bag

As she watches you and your bridesmaids get ready, help her get in on the fun. Don't just give her kiddy make up, but the sample sizes of the adult stuff. The tiny sizes are perfect for little fingers, but just enough to make her feel like one of the adults.

Monogrammed Robe

You have your "Bride-to-be" robe or jacket, why not get her one too, but with her title? Make it extra special by adding her name!

Polaroid Camera

Let her know that even though there may be a professional photographer around, you are equally excited about whatever moments she captures. The instant process of the camera will be sure to up the silliness fun!

Snack & Play bag

This can be customized to any age. Hand her a cute tote bag with activity books, games, and snacks that are more kid friendly than what may be available.

Jewelry

No matter what age your flower girl is, she will always appreciate a bit of sparkle like these cute stud earrings and animal inspired necklaces. Here at Milano Jewelry, we have plenty to choose from!

 

 

The Complexities of a December Birthday

Anyone with a December birthday knows that this very busy holiday month is the worst. Did you know that from the 1st of November until the 15th of January, there are approximately 29 different holidays celebrated? Wow! Now try adding your birthday to the mix.

Most December birthdays get shorted in the gift department with family and friends sheepishly admitting, “This is your birthday and [insert holiday here] present!” Well, that’s no fun!

So, if you have a December birthday to buy for, give them the ultimate all-in-one gift. One that surpasses all holidays. Buy them their birthstone in a stunning setting, offset by dazzling gems.

Even if your recipient doesn’t have a December birthday, its birthstone, blue topaz, makes an excellent gift for a variety of fun reasons. For instance, did you know that blue topaz is called “the lover of gold” and brings the wearer wealth and money? Or that it can relieve stress by stimulating a brighter life outlook for its wearer? What a perfect gift for one of the most stressful months of the year!

Know someone who loves to travel? Blue topaz is said to protect those stricken with wanderlust from homesickness and danger. What if they are an artist or creative type? Blue topaz increases one’s intuition and appreciation of beauty.  The increased awareness allows the wearer to see the big picture and how it relates to the minute detail needed to create a work of art.

All in all, the blue topaz gemstone will surely impress your friend or loved one. Check out our collection, now!

 

Are You a Pick-Pocket's Dream?

Many of our stores are in cruise port locations and when traveling “cruise style” individuals have more down time than if they were traveling by air or train.

So many parts of your trip are taken care of for you. You aren’t schlepping from restaurant to boutique, to tourist attraction, or public transportation every day of your trip.

Most of your meals, drinks and activities are planned and prepared for you. When you get to port you have more opportunities to roam, but when relaxing on a cruise ship, you are allowed to let go a little more.

Most travelers, when sightseeing in an unfamiliar country, don’t bring along expensive jewelry, but many bring expensive electronics for staying in touch and taking photos. When you’re away from home, travel vouchers, credit cards and cash are usually always on hand, making you a pickpocket’s dream.

The extra downtime afforded by cruise travelers also may mean they feel relaxed and comfortable enough to bring more expensive jewelry, to wear during fine dining experiences and evening deck strolls.

No matter how you travel, here are some tips to keep your valuables safe.

1.      Hey is that Kim Kardashian?

This is an old, but very effective technique that works in crowded locations. A group of thieves will cause a commotion, either a fight, or a fall, or a spill that will cause others to look away from their belongings, allowing their comrades to pull items from unsuspecting individuals. Another technique of distraction is to start yelling that there is a pickpocket or thief in the area. Women will instinctively touch the jewelry on their person in order of value and men will do the same with their pockets. Since a man’s suit can easily have up to ten pockets, the thieves now know what areas to target first.

Women: If you want to check your belongings, quickly search your area to ensure you haven’t dropped anything, without touching your person. Go to a secluded place, like a bathroom, away from the crowd if you want to physically check the items.

Men: If you are carrying cash, split the denominations up into several pockets. If you are carrying $100 in cash, and have five or six pockets, put a $20 in each. That way, if a pickpocket manages to pull one pocket, they will only get $20, instead of the full $100.

Both: When it comes to cards, cash, or IDs, keep these in a money belt. This secure elastic holder fits under you clothes.

2.      Grab and Run.

Many thieves will look for the easy opportunity. If you are getting on a crowded bus or train, or sitting in a restaurant, not having your pockets or handbag secure can cost you. Thieves can take off with a bag or slit the pocket of your pants and run off the moving vehicle or leave the restaurant before you can.

Ladies: Make sure your handbag has a flap that covers the main opening or a zipper.

Never leave your handbag hanging on the back of your chair or next to you. Keep it in your lap or between your feet.

Don’t ever leave your purse in a shopping cart.

Always know where your credit card is. When done using it, put it back in your wallet or purse, never a pocket.

Men: tie a thick rubber band around your wallet. Making it harder to steal.

If you are in an airport, and want to take a siesta while on a lay-over, attach your luggage to you or keep it between, or under your feet. No thief will want to risk you waking up and catching them in the act.

The most important thing to remember is that nothing will guarantee that you won’t be a victim, but being aware and taking cautious measures will ensure that you are harder to steal from. Thieves want the easiest target and steal, if you make things more difficult for them, they’ll move on to the next target.

 

Sources:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams/outsmarting-pickpockets

http://www.pickpocket.com/Pickpocket-Prevention-Tips.asp

 

5 Ways to Pack Light For a Cruise

One of the many advantages of taking a cruise is not needing to schlep your suitcases from destination to destination, hotel to hotel. Your belongings can stay in one location during your entire trip rather than being dragged on and off trains, buses and in and out of taxi cabs.

What a relief!

So, packing for a cruise must be the easiest traveling task in the world, right?

…well…not so much…

Cruise packing comes with its own difficulties that may tempt you to over-pack. Since you are most likely going to be taking a flight to the cruise port and back home, the last thing you want to do is to have a check-in bag that could get lost or damaged.

Here are 5 quick tips to ensure you pack lite, pack everything you will need, and enjoy your trip worry free.

Multiple Climates

Even if all of your ports are tropical locations, packing only tank tops, bathing suits and shorts will not be enough. Sea towns can be unexpectedly chilly when a strong wind rolls through, you never know how cool the evenings will get and dining halls aboard ships are notorious for cranking up the A/C.

·       Pack thin layers

·       One or two sweaters/fleeces can be worn multiple times

·       Onboard laundry may not always be available and if it is, it can be costly. Bring either a travel size bottle of Febreeze to refresh your garments, or a small bottle of detergent that you can use to wash your clothes in your cabin shower.

·       Make sure you have adequate shoes for walking or hiking. Flip-flops will not always be enough.

Dress Codes

Many cruises have formal dinner options, and while not everyone gets decked out in full tux or formal gowns, it is an option. Some cruises provide tux rentals, but most dress codes allow more casual options that make room for cocktail or resort wear.

·       Men don’t always need a jacket or tie, but a collared shirt and slack will do (look for those made in non-wrinkled materials, like Docker’s brand.)

·       If multiple formal nights are available that you want to attend, accessories are the easiest way to make an outfit go a long way. Jewelry, scarves, and shoes, and different ties for men are smaller to pack.

·       Women should opt for a little black dress or a dress in a solid color that can easily be accessorized.

Depending on the countries you are traveling to, pay attention to the culture there. Certain dress codes may prevent you from enjoying all there is, if you are unprepared. In Muslim countries, women are often required to cover their heads and shoulders. In most European countries, the dress code is often fancy, where jeans and sneakers are not allowed and men need a suit-jacket or blazer.

Some onboard activities may also have certain clothing requirements like socks for trampoline or other bounce related activities. Athletic shoes may be required for certain sport related activities. Check your cruise line for these requirements and come prepared. These items can often be purchased onboard but for a much inflated price.

Emergencies

Speaking of buying items onboard at an inflated price, be very detailed about the travel size toiletries you bring.

·       Can your shampoo and body-wash be one and the same?

·       Do you have an extra memory card for your electronics?

·       Do you have plug in strips so everything can charge when needed?

·       If you need to use a hair-drier, most cruises have very weak ones in the cabins or none at all.

·       Make sure you bring band-aids, ointments (for cuts, bites, and burns), sunscreen, and painkillers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.). Women should bring feminine napkins, just in case.

 Souvenirs

As with any trip, you are definitely going to want to bring something back, but if you are already attempting to pack lite, you may be worried that you won’t have enough room.

Never fear!

Here’s a solution!

Back a foldable duffle or bag. Many come neatly packaged in their own satchels and you can most likely fit several in your bag. Just remember, that once filled, those will be extra bags you’ll need to carry.

Documents & Precious Items

These won’t take up much room, but are extremely important. Keep them on you and easily accessible at all times. Carry a money belt with you, instead of a wallet or purse to put passports, ID, immunization records, insurance cards, and any other valuables you don’t want lost or stolen. Pick-pockets can spot a tourist away. Also, depending on where you are traveling, check the rules on all destinations and ports. You never know what documentation may be required to enter or rent things in town (for instance, if you wanted to rent a bike to cover more ground at a specific port.)

 

 

Style

New Year Style 2016!

Winter 2016 has started off unseasonably warm across the nation in many places. While many may lament the the odd temperatures, we say, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Why not embrace warmer temps with a look that will easily transition you into spring when the time comes?

Slouchy boy-friend jeans will help us feel comfortable as we work through our holiday indulgences and back into our bikini-ready bodies while this light cardigan with adjustable sleeves will keep us warm, but not too hot. Worried about appearing too slouchy? Balance things out with a cute fitted white tank or tee underneath. 

Best, yet, these grey wedge booties will satisfy your winter boot yearnings while still keeping you cool.

Then there's the jewelry...

White diamond stud earrings and Chyrsalis stackable bangles are a fun way to keep your look elegant and fun.

Best of all is the techwear from Cuff.

Want to control how and when you are reached?

What about emergencies?

Cuff jewelry puts you in control and allows you to keep your phone in your handbag or somewhere unobtrusive while you enjoy your time hands free and worry free.

Only be alerted to texts and phone calls of your choosing.

Notify authorities and family with a press of a button in emergencies.

...and..

Coming this year...

Keep track of your health data too! Set Goals. Count Steps. Measure Calories!

 

Winter Trend Report

As adults we often get fewer gifts under the tree or around the menorah to unwrap, and more cards and cold hard cash. While the lack of personalization can, at times, be disappointing, we at least have the pleasure of catching those “after holiday” deals and buying pieces we actually want. Additionally, depending upon where you live, you may have another 4-5 months of winter weather ahead of you. So, with money and gift cards burning a hole in your pocket book, what’s a girl to do? Here are a few trend ideas pulled from the 2015 Fall/Winter runways.

The lace trend is still going strong, but the mood has turned dark and enchanting. Designers like Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Altuzzarra, Valentino, and Alice + Olivia played with black lace, high necklines, even higher slits, puffed sleeves, and ruffled silhouettes. The Victorian concept of demure conservatism was turned on its ear by the unlined lace and the body hugging seams. Milano’s 0.50 ctw Brilliant Diamond Drop Earrings in 14K white gold compliment the ardent, yet coy nature of the Neo-Victorian look.

This is one of those “essential” trends much like the statement boot, black pump, and white blouse. Every woman should have a pantsuit in her closet.  Of course, if you can get a bespoke one, even better. The trouble is that most bespoke tailors don’t study the female form and aren’t adept at creating those one of a kind pieces that move with us and hide our perceived “flaws”. Fortunately, designers like Chloe, Sonia Rykiel, and Stella McCartney are adept at draping the female form. They know how to take a typically masculine piece and still keep the lines soft and feminine. Another easy way to remain chic in a style mostly geared toward men is to wear jewelry with sensual curves like these Milano pieces.

Designers further evolved the statement coat trend of last year by adding length. Who wouldn’t love an extra layer of warmth around the legs? Especially if one is wearing a dress or skirt. Calvin Klein, Chanel and Dries Van Noten were the perfect structural designers to embrace this trend. Just like these design houses, who value clean lines and exquisitely simple silhouettes, Milano’s 4.74 ctw. Sterling Silver Pearl & Diamond Pendant creates a statement of class.

5 Brands Who Are Rocking at Reaching Millennials

Millennials are quickly becoming a sought-after audience for companies across all types of industry verticals. As the first digitally-savvy generation enters adulthood, they represent a market of over 80 million consumers in the US alone, poised to spend approximately $600 billion every year (according to research from Accenture).

In our earlier post on “Creating Content for the Selfie Generation,” we explored some of the trends that are driving Millennial behaviors and attitudes. Although they like taking pictures of themselves, that doesn’t mean they are selfish and vain. While they often seek out the best bargain — just like their parents do — they place serious value on corporate transparency. They care about how products are made and the impact a business has on the planet.

For marketers looking to engage this new cohort, we’ve highlighted some brands who are succeeding in meeting this fluid generation on their own turf. [more]

Championing the Colorado River: Grand Canyon Trust and American Rivers

In March our focus is #MooreWater and #MooreRivers, paying tribute to those tributaries and main arteries that connect communities within states and across borders through commerce, culture, livelihood, recreation and love of nature. We start with the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and our visionary partners who protect it: Grand Canyon Trust and American Rivers.

Carving its way 1,450 miles from its start in the Rocky Mountains, through canyons, high plains and low deserts until it empties into the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the Colorado River holds significance in America’s environmental, political and artistic history. Not only does this vast river tumble and flow through the states of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, and California, providing resources to 30 million people in the Southwest, major cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, and San Diego also depend upon the river for drinking water, landscaping and hydroelectric power. 

[more]

The Headline is 80% of the Message

According to “The Father of Advertising,” David Oglivy, five times as many people are likely to read the headline of an article or advertisement than the content it introduces. This was true during Oglivy’s “Mad Men”-era of advertising, and is even more relevant today, with publishers and content marketers competing in digital environments where an abundance of material is always present.

The power of the headline is enough to make any marketer scurry after the latest trends and hottest buzzwords. But while overly sensationalist headlines may initiate clicks, such tactics do little to drive your broader marketing goals, and can immediately undermine any foothold of trust with consumers.

Content marketing is a way to build your brand’s reputation, so think of headlines as a means by which to make a first impression to your readers – and making that first impression a good one requires catching readers’ interests. Headlines should make consumers curious about topics or introduce them to new ones.

So, how can you generate successful headlines while maintaining the trust and respect of your market? 

[more]

How to Create Content for the Selfie Generation

Taboola's Blog

How to Create Content for the Selfie Generation

Thursday January 21st

 

by Carly Eldridge

inShare9

 

Millennials are an elusive marketing unicorn. They are loosely defined, but egregiously misunderstood.

Dubbed the “selfie” generation, these “digital natives” who make up 24% of the US population will be in possession of more than $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020(according to Nielsen and Accenture). Therefore, it’s no wonder companies are grasping at straws to understand and market to Millennials.

The first step to understanding Millennials, and what drives their content consumption and buying decisions, is to throw assumptions out the window. The largest inference may be that this generation is self-absorbed and only cares about trite and meaningless fluff, fed by the latest reality TV star, but a 2014 Nielsen study reveals that Millennials, “…value authenticity and creativity, and they buy local goods made by members of their communities. They care about their families, friends and philanthropic causes.”

Step two is understanding that they have the highest “BS” detector of any generation and are not afraid to use it. As the co-founder and CEO of VICE Media, Shane Smith, succinctly put it, “Young people have been marketed to since they were babies, and they have developed this incredibly sophisticated BS detector, and the only way to circumvent that is to not BS.”

[more]

Glenmorangie Signet

Many distilleries pride themselves on the journey their beverages take from raw materials to bottle. However, the best acknowledge that the materials and process used are just some parts of the equation. Neither would matter much without the significance of their terroir. Most people associate terroir, which is the complete climate of any given area, with wine making. Glenmorangie, the maker of the famous single malt scotch whiskey, also gives special credence to their terroir. So much so that they commissioned Vermont-based environmental artist, Dan Snow, to create an installation named Rock Springs.

[more]

The Library Hotel

Nestled between the New York Public Library’s flagship location, and Grand Central Station, The Library Hotel is a book nerd’s paradise. The ivy and brick glad building rests on the corner of Madison Ave and 41st, in all of its neo-gothic glory, and is surrounded by the 100 bronze literary plates that line the infamous “Library Way.”

What’s fun about this hotel is the delightful lengths they take their theme. The rooms are organized based on the Dewey Decimal system. There are ten floors represented by ten Decimal categories and comprising of sixty unique rooms. For instance, the “General Knowledge” floor will have a “new media” room, while “The Arts” floor will have a “music” room. The subject assigned to the room will dictate the art and books available in that room. The hotel proudly holds over 6,000 hardcover books, stocked by one of Manhattan’s oldest bookstore, The Strand.

[more]

Quay Restaurant (Sydney)

Quay restaurant in Sydney, Australia, is the type of fine dining establishment that can immaculately preserve the fine balance between location, ambiance, service and cuisine that is required. The more you learn about this restaurant that sits directly across from the Sydney Opera House, on the water, with its floor to ceiling windows, it is no wonder it has won so many awards.

So far, the three-star restaurant has earned Three Chefs Hats for 12 consecutive years, been named Restaurant of the Year five times in “The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide,” and Restaurant of the Year three times in the “Australian Gourmet Traveler Restaurant Guide”. Its star chef, Peter Gilmore was named Chef of the Year, by the “The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2012,” celebrating ten years with Quay.

The clean lines and neutral interior of the restaurant provides a subdued foundation for the exquisite view of the bay and the Opera House. To see the infamous Sydney Opera House lit up at night, is truly a sight to behold. Especially, when there is one of Gilmore’s dishes before you.

[more]

Shangri-la Hotel (Sydney)

The Shangri-la Hotel revolves its purpose and service based on the core values of sincerity, humility, helpfulness, respect, courtesy and selflessness. Considering they are named after the Tibetan myth of Shambala–that tells of a lost paradise where wisdom is conserved and protected from the degeneration of society–the moniker is quite fitting. Most people these days know of the legend’s location as Shangri-la, a name given by James Hilton in his 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, where he fictionalizes this utopic paradise.

While the true Shangri-la has never been found, the Sydney location of this hotel, gets one pretty close to the ideal. It is, after all, the city’s leading deluxe hotel. It is located in the Rocks district between the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge. With 565 spacious rooms that have stunning water views, a royal suite and a presidential suite, the Shangri-la Hotel, is an experience one shouldn’t miss

[more]

 

Hotel Gansevoort

Hotel Gansevoort

The most troubling conflict about staying at a Hotel Gansevoort property is which location to choose. The hotel chain that prides itself on being the “ultimate urban resort” has a total of four properties situated in prime locations deep within must visit getaways. Park Avenue and the Meatpacking district in New York City, the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos.

Their flagship in the Meatpacking District boasts 360-degree panoramic views of the city and most importantly, the Hudson River. With floor to ceiling windows, watching the sun cast blush and persimmon colors across the dark hues of the river as it sets, is not a wonder to miss. After being wowed by the stunning Manhattan views, one would be recalcitrant to miss the hotel’s split level, American fare restaurant The Chester. The ambiance of the restaurant fully represents the quirk and circumstance that this hotel chain is known for. The historical meatpacking feel of the wooden planks along he stairwelland white tiles dressing the walls, juxtaposed against the gigantic chandeliers, the black and white diamond floor and deep-seated quilt pressed leather booths are a veritable feast for the eyes.

Hotel Gansevoort’s Meatpacking location sets the tone for the entire chain, and like a thumbprint, not one the of the hotels is the same and can barely be compared too much to their locations. Sure, you can see how, in the case of The Chester, inspiration was drawn from the location, but the eclectic design of the New York locations are in turns amusing, fanciful and a delight to the senses. The tropical locations blend into their surroundings, so seamlessly that you nearly forget that walls and fabric exist. You are instantly one with the replenishing beauty of your environment.

The mission of Hotel Gansevoort is “to provide its own ecosystem of guest services that offer our clientele little reason to venture outside the walls of our properties, should they so desire.” They do this by partnering with other luxury service companies to provide a variety of needs to the guests. Each hotel has a full-service salon and spa, an upscale restaurant, and a nightlife option among other amenities unique to each location. While this may not stand out from other resorts, what Gansevoort does have is a delightful sense of humor in their aesthetic that presents modern luxury with a witty flair. Don’t believe me? Check out the bikini-clad pin-up girl at the bottom of their Park Avenue location’s pool; or the cabana decks and palm trees blooming in the center of the pool at Turks and Caicos; or the dollhouse themed, glass enclosed Café Provocateur at the Meatpacking location; or the wine casket paneled columns in their Dominican Republic La Cantina Wine and Cigar Cellar.

Modern luxury and resort amenities can easily be found in many hotel chains, but none are quite as titillating as what the Hotel Ganesvoort has to offer.

 

 

 

Clyde Frazier's Wine and Dine

Walt “Clyde” Frazier’s Wine and Dine restaurant spanning an entire Hell’s kitchen New York City block is not just another incongruous homage to a beloved celebrity. After all, celebrities owning restaurants or other food and entertainment venues is nothing new. However, the moment one is exposed to Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine you are imbued with the expansiveness of Frazier’s delightfully entertaining character.

Frazier is probably best known for his ten-year career with the New York Knicks from 1967 to 1977. His ability to steal the ball and the game, earned him the nickname “Clyde,” after the legendary outlaw of Bonnie and Clyde fame. Frazier wasn’t just a talented player, he revolutionized the charisma and fame of what makes a basketball icon. A fellow player once referred to his artistry in his approach to the game, and he was a well-known personality in the press and after parties. Now, he parlays that same artistry and character in the game analysis he does for the Knicks and, at his restaurant.

There isn’t just one eye-catching piece that makes this restaurant special, but several. The first your gaze will most likely notice is the Zahner-engineered architectural sculpture stretching across the ceiling. The Morphosis created piece is comprised of 550 aluminum panels, each unique as they are covered in patterns from Frazier’s suit jacket collection. Considering the fact that Frazier was one of the first athletes paid to wear a fashion brand for advertising purposes, it’s no wonder that his unique sense of unflappable style is celebrated. Frazier is often asked about his fun wardrobe, and this expression of his personality is displayed not only in the ceiling features but also in the floor to ceiling columns found throughout the restaurant with images of Frazier in his best-known suits. The walls, in kind, celebrate his basketball career with photos from his most inspiring and famous plays.

The expansive restaurant includes the main dining area, a lounge that can be used privately upon request, and an NBA approved three-point court. No other restaurant in New York City can boast the indoor court, but don’t worry, if you are concerned with missing a moment of the game, the 42 flat screen televisions scattered about the restaurant will make sure you always have a viewpoint.

Of course, you aren’t just there to enjoy some basketball and gawk at the incredible ceiling sculpture, but thankfully this place is primed for entertainment. What’s entertainment without good food? Frazier’s Wine and Dine takes care of that too with American fare that is diverse in it’s cultural influence.  Examples of this delightful diversity are the crabmeat stuffed Creole barbeque shrimp and garlic mashed potatoes; the sweet and spicy glazed Scottish salmon with bok choy and jasmine rice; and crispy bacon wrapped scallops, shoestring potatoes, and Tabasco aioli.

If you are looking for a one of a kind sports themed restaurant, look no further than Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine in Hell’s Kitchen.

September, Industry Rules

La Petite Maison

It is quite common for businessmen and women to spend a great deal of time in Dubai for their company. In many cases they can be there for a couple of years on assignment. As such, Dubai becomes a home away from home for many people. Restaurants like La Petite Maison are in tune with the need of many of Dubai’s visitors to receive that home-cooked meal experience without sacrificing an ounce of quality or luxury.

Demand therefore, calls for La Petite Maison’s Mediterranean inspired Niçoise menu and cozy atmosphere. Expected to open in Dubai’s International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) Gate Village, La Petite Maison will offer fresh food made from scratch and inspired the Provence region and the Cote d’Azur. The dining experience is family style that encourages sharing among the diners in a warm ambiance that features a pewter-edged, lava top bar.

Fresh made dishes that are already a favorite at the company’s London location include whole roast leg of milk-fed lamb smoked with herbs and spices, green beans with fois gras and pain perdu with spiced ice cream. The Waney family instituted the first two La Petites in London and Nice. The Dubai establishment will be sure to equal the success its predecessors as it is under the direction of general manager Cedric Toussaint, and executive chef Izu Ani. Both were formerly of La Petite Maison London.

According to Toussaint, “What we felt the regional market would really embrace is an eating experience that is simple, fresh, a bit cheeky and consistently good – that’s what La Petite Maison Dubai offers. Nothing is pre-prepared, and everything on the menu is meant to be shared and enjoyed in a relaxed, convivial setting.”

People by Crystal

The Crystal group is well known for making waves in the hospitality industry across Beirut, Lebanon and Dubai with their exclusive and luxurious restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Their latest nightclub in Dubai is no exception to this establish reputation. Situated on the top two floors of the pyramid hotel, Raffles, the club offers patrons 360 degree views of the stunning Dubai skyline. The glittering night view provides an extra sense of enchantment to the ambiance. Of course, that’s if you can take your eyes off the interior’s splendor. As if being the only nightclub in the world to offer such a stunning view from inside a glass pyramid were not enough, the design team of the club seeks to satisfy and titillate your other senses as well. The cozy nooks and crannies provided by the lush carpet in the VIP room, along with the velvet and leather couches, provide a warm sense of comfort against the winged upper balcony, the exotic ring sculpture of the bar, and the studded texture of the metallic walls. The place prides itself on creative use of sculpture and design in every feature, in conjunction with lighting as an expressive artform to do more than just set the mood. The artistic lighting, combined with the club’s name spelled out in flames, and the two gorillas guarding the entry are just some of the many details that make this venue stand out while garnering consistent accolades as the place to be. If you are ready to party with some of the best DJs in the world and rub elbows with celebrities in a one of a kind, exotic venue, then People by The Crystal Group is a must.

Ema Shah

Not much time is needed to tell a powerful and compelling story. Moreover, in the case of the short Kuwaiti film, by Mohammed Ayyad, “I Wish We Were Dancers,” no words are needed either. An official selection of the 2011 Dubai International Film Festival and 2012 Gulf Film Festival, this heart-stirring lyrical short explores the depth of multiple sclerosis from both a physical and psychological perspective.  

In the film the audience is asked to step into the shoes of both patient and doctor as a routine medical exam, tests and prognosis culminate in a subconscious struggle of wills. What the soul desires and craves, the body will no longer tolerate. Consequently, we are immersed in this emotional battle through the daydream of the patient imagining her body obeying her command to dance. 

We were honored to speak with the film’s star, Ema Shah, about her experience and views on this debilitating disease. A disease whose message carries more than a physical limitation, but an awareness of ourselves as we merge with society. 

What about the film inspired you to get involved?

            There are certain situations and conditions that happen to people. Even though I have not specifically experienced these circumstances, I’m aware of them occurring somewhere. Diseases are part of the animalistic nature of our organic bodies. Our bodies are so sensitive, and we may lose it anytime. I do care much about any circumstances experienced by a fellow human being, because I think deeply in our lives and the meaning of it. Ultimately, this always leads us whether on the level of art as our industry or on the personal level of life. I get influenced a lot by what's in people lives, then I emulate through my abilities to transform them into artistic vision. It is important to me to support any project with the same approach, especially those which are not mentioned in the commercial media. 

MS affects many people across the globe; did you find a personal connection with the subject matter?

            I did not have a real or direct contact. Therefore I did not understand the disease until I met the director Mohamed Ayyad. And after we met I was surprised that he is infected with the disease (after he chooses me for the film), and that the movie is the real story about himself. Eventually the disease crippled him and he was bedridden, unable to move. He remembered telling his Spanish girlfriend, a flamingo dancer, “I wish we were dancers.” After the movie was produced he was sending money earned by the movie to support the dance hall she owned in Spain. I was very surprised and effected more, by his actions.

 What research, if any, did you have to do for this character?

            I did not search a lot about the disease, but I did read a little and got the director, Ayyad’s personal experience with it. He helped me in understanding his situation, and I watched him. He was often unable to sit still, and even verbal communication was difficult. This inspired to perform the role with more strength.

What do you hope to inspire in the audience as they view this film?

            That in this life there are many circumstances and stories, and that we have no need to be arrogant and greedy. Also, we should not be snooty to other people. On the contrary we should tolerate and forgive, and we have to look at the pain of others and help each other. And there are no place for jealousy and competition. We need to stop trying to compete with one because we are all equal in pain and in circumstances. We have all been forced into this life together, and even this shall come to an end one day. So we have to take advantage of every opportunity in which we are alive, and able to breathe life. We should take advantage of the benefits of our minds and emotions.

             Your question has reminded me of the secretary at the cinema club in Kuwait formally Mme Najah Karam.  I met her by chance three years after the discontinuity of the Dubai international Film festival in 2011. While viewing the film "I Wish We Were Dancers” at the festival, I did not recognize her, she had changed so much. Even her physical appearance had changed. Then I called her, and she called at the same time. “Najah?” “Ema?” She hugged me immediately and cried. I was surprised by her transformation, her shape and her tears. She was always well known by her strong personality, and for her support of cinema in the Gulf. I also supported this part of the industry.

She said to me, “I saw your film and you are confined to a chair and I cried. I remembered myself crippled, sick, and tired. I have changed after what happened to me. I became more sensitive, and I want to live and do many things in my life after my infection with cancer. Now, I want to write my life story about my disease.” I was shocked to see death in her eyes, and that was the moment of our farewell. She died three weeks later, suffering of blood cancer.

What was it like working with writer/director Mohammed Walid Ayyad?

            Working with the director Mohammed Ayyad was charming, because he is a moral person, kind and respectable. Despite the social and pathological conditions of his circumstances. Especially, after the loss of his close friend, and our colleague Tariq Alsanousi from cancer.  Sicknesses are widespread in Kuwait, some research has proven that this may be due to remnants of the Iraqi-Palestinian invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

On the technical level I complied with the orders of the director Mohammed Walid Ayyad, I did not learn to do things which were not what the director wanted, only if the work was directed by me or if I had different space in the performance. However it depends on the work conditions. It is always preferable to perform the technical requests according to the director's vision because only the director wants a form and specific image that I cannot intervene in. 

Is there anything about the project that you'd like to add

             I would like to thank Industry Rules Magazine in New York for this lovely interview.

 

Translated by: Sara El barouji

Ema Shah

Kuwait

www.emashah.com

The Address

When one mentions The Address Dubai, they may be pressed to specify a location. However luxury, style and entertainment are never in question. That is because there are five Address locations, each with their own unique look, set of entertainment options and amenities. Whether you choose the Mall, the Marina, the golf course resort Montgomerie, or the traditional Arabian styled Palace Downtown, a plethora of options await.

Take the sleek and modern styled Address Dubai Downtown location, for example. It stands at an impressive 63 stories high and is conveniently situated in the heart of downtown while still being only fifteen minutes from the Dubai International Airport. The hotel contains 196 brightly lit and spaciously designed rooms, 25 of which are suites, as well as four options for residencies. 

This five star location also features three top rated restaurants. The Cut, a steakhouse by Wolfgang Puck; Fazaris, which features both an Italian and a Japanese menu as well as an international breakfast buffet; and Zeta, an outdoor Asian inspired restaurant and lounge. Two more lounges include The Cigar Lounge and Risala for lighter fare. Once the sun goes down guests can enjoy The Address Dubai Downtown’s two nightlife options. Calabar features a more laid back vibe with South American fare and sundowners. If you’re looking to be seen and delight in the ultimate club experience then head up to the 63rd floor for the pulsing beats and mirrored atmosphere of Neos.

For rejuvenation when one needs a break from all of downtown Dubai’s many entertainments, guests can enjoy one of the spa’s many wellness treatments, or re-energize the state of the art 24-hour fitness center.

If you are interested in holding your wedding, event or meeting at the Address Dubai Downtown, the hotel is adequately equipped to accommodate you. With a highly trained banquet and events staff, a grand ballroom, meeting room and two conference rooms you can be assured of a smoothly run and stress free gathering. The views from each of these locations provide the perfect backdrop for creating memories of a lifetime.

The final amenities to consider if you choose the Address Dubai’s Downtown location are two elegant club lounges and the 1,000 square meter, five tiered infinity pool that cozies up next to the Zeta lounge. Luxurious cabanas surround the pool creating a private oasis for your relaxation.

If just one of The Address’ locations can provide a world of its own, one can only imagine what how the other four will dazzle the senses.

Kevin Thompson-Mr. Moviefone

As a twin and the fourth of nine children, it’s no wonder Kevin Thompson grew up with such a larger than life personality. The proud Brooklyn native has already made a name for himself as an entertainment host, and with his newest job of becoming Mr. Moviefone!, Kevin’s star is sure to continue soaring. iCandy456 was privileged enough to catch the busy entertainer for a few questions about his past success and how bright his future looks.

 

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Heather Arabadjis

An experienced educator who has been working in the school system for 11 years, Heather Arabadjis takes the education of our next generation to the next level. Her first book, Monster Mas, teaches young children how to handle their anger in an appropriate fashion. Her next book tackles standardized test taking. It’s a subject that is often addressed but rarely at the kids’ level. Heather kindly took a moment to speak with iCandy456 and we asked her about her books, her inspiration, and her dreams for the future.

CD: Your book focuses on the challenging topic of handling one’s anger. What has been your greatest challenge that you have overcome to this day?

HA: The greatest challenge that I have had to overcome was really believing in myself and telling myself continuously that I can do this. I needed to believe that I could write a children’s book series, and have it become successful. My goal was to have children from all over the world know who I am and will learn the important messages that are in my books.

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Hotel Hugo

For many people, traveling can either be exciting or a bit anxiety-inducing. You get to experience a new place, but you may also miss the comforts of home. Traveling to a big city like New York can heighten those feelings. There is so much to see and do, and so much noise! If you are looking for a hotel that is in the heart of things, but still offers a warm and inviting place where you can feel at home, look no further than SoHo’s newest acquisition, Hotel Hugo.

This new edition to the Hudson Square area seemingly has it all. As a boutique hotel, it is small, but brimming in luxury. The minute you walk past its secluded outdoor seating lounge and into the lobby, the seduction of your senses begins. The curved walls made of Italian walnut paneling gleam in the soft light of the chrome fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The exposed concrete and industrial look of the pipes find warmth in the highly polished Italian wood, the chocolate browns and the soft pastel blue of the décor. Large glass paneling behind the concierge desk and in the hotel’s restaurant showcase vibrant vertical garden walls while floor to ceiling gray travertine rounds out the earth tones of this ideally situated little oasis. Hotel Hugo’s designer, Beverly Hills-based architect Marcello Pozzi didn’t stop at providing a delightfully visual juxtaposition. A soft floral scent in the air greets you upon your arrival and gives one a sense of having walked into a blooming garden at the height of spring. It’s not overpowering or sickly sweet, but comforting.

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Bobby Roache

Bobby Roache

Bobby Roache’ knows what being judged on appearances is like. He’s worked as a model and actor for nearly ten years. He has just launched a sunglasses collection that have celebrities clamoring to wear, and his artwork is owned by First Lady Michelle Obama and musical group Earth Wind & Fire. When he came to New York City in 2006, it only took him seven months to launch his career as one of the most sought after models in the industry. No easy feat for a man in a female dominated industry.

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