Go Barefoot on the Beach for NYE

NYE is fast approaching and the thought at the top of everyone’s head, as usual, is how to celebrate.

I suspect my Ole Year’s will involve copious amounts of prosecco and Netflix…but for those of you heading over to the sister isle, there’s a slightly less ‘future cat lady’ option.

Mount Irvine Bay Resort is making NYE in Tobago fabulous with Barefoot on the Beach, a premium all-inclusive event, hosted at Mount Irvine’s Private Beach Facility on December 31st, 2015 from 9PM to 3AM.

Mount Irvine Bay Resort recently enjoyed a rejuvenation if you will, enlisting the superior branding expertise à la the geniuses at Abovegroup and embarking on a significant redesign via the Mac Farlane (yes, THAT Mac Farlane) Design Studio.

How do you lose with a combination like that?

Spoiler alert: you don’t.

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Imagine ringing in 2016 with waves lapping gently around your feet, with a glass of champagne in one hand and the other holding a plate stacked high with food. If that isn’t a great way to start the year I’m not sure why you’re reading my blog because literally…all I care about is food.

Now naturally, when an event’s tagline is ‘island chic, footwear optional’, you start thinking about what faboosh wardrobe you’d be stuffing into Caribbean Airlines Dash 8-friendly carry on suitcase for the weekend.

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Here’s what I would pack for a weekend away in Tobago, and a New Year’s Eve romp in the sand at Barefoot on the Beach.

Indie Swim

Indie Swim bikini available online or at NIXPIXX

Jae Jolly 1

Jae Jolly playsuit available at Exhibit A

Shop Shari

Shop Shari dress available online

cocoa vintage

Cocoa Vintage earrings available at The Shop at Normandie

Kite Dress

Kite dress by Meiling available at 6 Carlos

Sokanaval

Sokanaval ensemble available online

So…before the booty shorts and crop tops of Carnival come out to play, let’s end 2015 with some style.

Barefoot on the Beach tickets are available through Island E Tickets.

You can get more information or RSVP to the event on Facebook or send a message via Mount Irvine Bay Resort’s Facebook page.

 

I’ll be hosting a giveaway on my Instagram profile @CeolaB this week. One lucky winner gets a pair of tickets to Barefoot on the Beach, courtesy of the Mount Irvine Bay Resort.

Just repost the Barefoot on the Beach image and my caption and you have a chance to win a ticket to this exclusive bram!

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid to post about Mount Irvine Bay Resort or Barefoot on the Beach 🙂

Out & About // Meet Me at Fanatic – ‘Fresh”

It’s Lent y’all. Time to purge the sins of Carnival away with our seasonal stint of devotion and piousness (kind of).

In keeping with the holy season, Sean decided to throw a vegetarian edition of Meet Me At Fanatic – out with the meat and in with the veggies (and a touch of fish, I guess for the people who think fish isn’t meat).

I don’t eat beef nor pork, and my best friend Sandi is pescetarian, so we both left the event feeling WAY more full than we normally do, since this was the first Fanatic that we could actually eat every single dish. Those small bites add up in a big way when you’re not looking.

Ambience wise, the crowd was noticeably less thick than I’m accustomed to, but the good thing about that was I didn’t have to elbow anyone in the face for taking my seat (which Sean constantly forgets/declines to reserve for me). DJ ShyGuy, as usual, kept the vibe up with a mix of his house, lounge and soca music.

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Drinky drinks. Cucumber and mint martini to fit in with the night’s theme of ‘Fresh’.

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Cous cous galette with mushroom ragout, topped with goat cheese.

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When I saw cassava ceviche on the menu I was perturbed. A ceviche with no fish? Quel horror! It was actually probably one of the most delicious dishes of the night. IMG_9264

Phyllo pastry stuffed with mushrooms, olives, spinach and raisins and drizzled with an agro dolce sauce (sweet and sour for us native english speakers).

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Super delicious lentil and roast corn patty atop a fennel-scented bun. Those kale chips on the side were the bomb dot com.

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We also got a nifty recipe card at the end of the event with the recipe for the patty.

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A smoked salmon and cream cheese roulade. My least favourite dish of the night, but only because I despise cream cheese. The reviews from the cream cheese lovers were great though.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any snaps of the spinach and mushroom fettuccine, or the desert, which was fruit clafoutis, but they were both God damned delicious.

To maybe make up for that (not really, I know) here are some bonus shots of the prep/plating:

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Pencil This In // Racked 2.0

Racks on racks…on racks…of clothes.

That’s the forecast for this weekend with the highly anticipated Racked 2.0 touching down this Sunday at The Verandah on Rust Street, St Clair.

You know the drill (or do you? hmm) – show up early…because I can guarantee everything you love will be sold out in the blink of an eye (I know this because I’ll be the one buying them, ha!).

Doors open at 11am and the first 50 customers get a complimentary cocktail from the bar. Parking is available on both sides of Rust Street on a Sunday so there’s no fear of the wrecker swooping through and grabbing your shopping money. The event only runs til 5:30pm so it might be a good idea to skip the beach. The weather has been shit anyway…Racked is the better idea.

Ain and Emma, the ladies running the event basically dished that patrons can look forward to even MORE apparel designers this time around. They’ve made a concerted effort to cater to everyone – women (duh, but we always get the best stuff), men (with BCO Style, Mark Eastman and Peta Odini) and kids (San Sarai, Sew Lisa and ESPJr). There will be more than 22 of our best and brightest in local fashion on hand to serve up all the fabulous hand-made goodness that frankly, we don’t see enough of.

If you’re like me and are in the quiet throes of desperation, trying to get everyone’s name checked off your Christmas list before the end of November, then Racked 2.0 provides the perfect opportunity to do exactly that, all while supporting the #SupportLocal movement.

Here are a few of the designers you can look forward to at Racked tomorrow:

See you tomorrow guys!

Ceola does Colombiamoda // Day 1

Ok so some of you may have figured out by now that I am in the land that gave us Shakira, Gabriel García Márquez and James Rodriguez (no ladies…I am yet to see him or any of his doppelgängers).
To be more specific, I’m in Medellín, the former stomping grounds of one Pablo Escobar, and a city that’s seen a radical transformation since the aforementioned’s reign.
To be fair, where I’m staying is one of the more affluent areas – El Poblado is an upscale neighborhood nestled in the hills just outside of the city centre of Medellín. Here there’s lots of hotels (as it seems to be the preferred domain of tourists), restaurants and malls. I love how green everything is – trees line the streets and there are a lot of green spaces or parques scattered throughout the area.

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I’m here covering Colombiamoda on behalf of Metro Magazine. The actual Colombiamoda didn’t kick off til last night with an inaugural presentation by Camilo Álvarez, a Medellín native and one of their rising stars in the fashion circuit. Anyway, I’m jumping ahead. Will give you more on Camilo’s show later.
The press (and we are a hefty number) was invited to attend an overview of the city and brunch hosted by the Medellín City Hall and the organisers of the event Inexmoda.
One of Medellín’s most impressive features, to me, so far is their Metro system. They’re obviously quite proud of it as well, because we all hopped aboard to head out to Parque Arví, where the event was being held. Their Metro system is new, clean and accessible. Imagine my surprise when I realised that they’ve integrated cable cars into their Metro – a concerted effort to provide more accessible transportation to those who live further up the hills of Medellín (the more impoverished communities here proved to be a stark contrast to the sanitized facade of Poblado). We sailed in the sky above a sea of red brick and galvanize.

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I noted with some amusement that rather than having billboards, some advertisers have actually painted marketing messaging on the rooftops of some homes. Apt, when you consider the length of the journey up to the top of the mountain. Eventually the scene changed from houses to forest and we made our way across an expanse of greenery before arriving at our final destination. – Parque Arví.
Parque Arví is stunning. As soon as we walked out of the Metro station we were greeted with a quaint reception – finger foods and a delicious fruit juice (I think it was pineapple).

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After milling about for a bit, we were all invited to don our cool gardening gloves that we got in our goodie bags and go plant a tree! I named my tree Paco, and with any luck I’ll be able to come back to Medellín in a few years and see him again.

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After flexing our green thumbs, we assembled for brunch. First course was a delicious stuffed portobello mushroom. I was about to dig in when my seat mate Monica (one of the directors of Look Magazine in Guatemala) informed that there was ham in it. Whoops! Don’t eat ham. The caterers were kind enough to organise a ham-free plate for me though. Main course was a tomato quiche and desert was rice pudding and a cheesecake made with a local fruit called uchuva.

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Once we finished brunch it was back down the mountain for us. We headed back to the hotel and I headed out to a nearby mall SantaFe to capitalise on all the ‘Rebajas’ signs in the windows of some of my favourite stores. I also managed to find a sushi restaurant in Poblado – Sushi Light. The sushi was fair to fine considering they didn’t have the variety of rolls I’m accustomed to. It’s always fascinating to me how sushi differs from country to country depending on tastes.

That night was the inaugural runway of Colombiamoda featuring one Camilo Álavarez, in conjunction with title sponsor Cementos Argos. A curious marriage no? Of construction material and fashion…? Not when you think about it though…for many designers, architecture and environment are a key influence and inspiration and for Álvarez it was no different. The press release by Inexmoda had this to say:

This interest for urban themes was taken as a theme of study and analysis, perfect for collaborative work with Cementos Argos – which takes the idea of fashion and the city as a construction – an idea that is becoming both stronger and viable in Medellín as well as Colombia as a whole. The strengthening of these themes is partly due to talented young designers who have started to reconstruct national identity through design.

Camilo Álvarez has been a key player in the transformation of a new generation of critical, creative and original designers. “Desayuno” is an example of the evolution of Colombian design. It is a collection through which the inspiration of the designer is seen through a series of tones which travel from early morning until midday hours demonstrated in a palate of colours that go from cold and neutral colours to warmer shades.

Naturally, I loved the collection. I’m a fan of anything I consider to be ‘elevated casual’ and that looks super comfortable while still bringing something unique and fresh to the table. I was a particular fan of the colour palette, and the way the looks transitioned from white to light blue, to blush, to black, to the metallic copper accents found on many garments later in the show.

Álvarez set the bar quite high for the three days to follow.

Pencil This In // Pop Up Shop Times 5

Looks like I really will be living on ramen noodles for the remainder of July. Good thing I love ramen *smirk*

Right after Racked TT we have another shopping extravaganza to look forward to. It’s those three little words that every woman is dying to hear – Pop Up Shop.

A Pop Up of massive proportions as well…with five fabulous designers and all the wonderful goodies that come with.

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Get familiar with some of the designers/artists on show (in case you weren’t already)

MEILING

SANIANITOS

AISLING CAMPS

RACHEL ROSS

CHRISTIAN WAINWRIGHT

Admittedly I’m not familiar with this artist but I have on good authority that he’s the mastermind behind these gorgeous Christmas trees that were featured at the Christmas Pop Up Shop last year. I’m anticipating some fabulous decor and visual art from this individual.

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Pencil This In // Racked TT

Shoppppeeeeennnnnggggggg.

Nothing makes me happier. Well that’s not true….shopping LOCAL makes me happier than plain old shopping. For whatever reason – and I’m sure I’ve expressed this before – I just don’t get shopper’s remorse when I buy local. Even if I decide I’m not in love with something after the fact, seizing the opportunity to gift it is still a viable option.

Markets have been growing in popularity over the last year or two, with events like UpMarket and San Antonio Green Market hosting packed out installments every month and week respectively. However, markets tend to focus predominantly on the food aspect of our local industry…which is great! I love food, and locally produced food products…even better. But sometimes a girl just wants to be surrounded by clothes and accessories (and of course I’m not referring to a mall).

So I’ve already decided…the disposable part of my pay cheque for the month of June is going to have a very short lifespan. Thanks in large part to this little ditty right here:

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Racked TT – no doubt by now you’ve seen the super attractive flyers floating around the interwebs. Hosted by local fashion lovers Emma Forster-Hiscock, Ain Earle and Stephanie Rydle (who’s responsible for all the gorgeous artwork, btw) Racked TT promises to be the local shopping event we’ve all been waiting for with a plethora of local apparel and accessory designers including, but not limited to:

So if that hasn’t piqued your interest…I don’t actually know what will. Walk with your cash or cheque books ladies and gents…no cards will be accepted at the event, unfortunately.

I’ll be there at 11, opening The Verandah, obv. See you then!

Color Revolution SXM (Part Deux)

Oh yes….white sand between my toes, a comfy lounge upon which to rest my tush, a dedicated bar service and some mini tiki torches lapping playfully at the hem of my Christian Boucaud convertible dress (Oh hell no fire! Not you and me today). Contrary to what you may be thinking at this point…no…I wasn’t on some sun-drenched beach, but rather, at the painfully chic rooftop Sky Beach Bar & Lounge for night two of Color Revolution’s runway presentation.

On the cards to show that night were nine designers, hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, St. Martin, Barbados, St. Vincent, Haiti and the U.S.

First up was Tobagonian-based Kaj Designs – a minimalist, elegant resort collection named Tribu Savage, that boasted lots of neutral colour palettes and animal print. Kaj is always a dream to watch walk down a runway – what isn’t flowing and romantic is ultra-sexy and fitted, all with plunging necklines and slits to show off the legs darling, the LEGS.

The second designer from St. Martin, Sheila Sorton, interestingly enough, also featured crochet designs. Hers though, were a bit sexier and more resort than Kai Designs’ the night before. It’s the kind of thing you expect to see some socialite clad in while sipping cocktails on a private yacht, anchored off the coast of St. Martin.

When you think of menswear in the Caribbean…your first thought probably isn’t of sharp, structured, beautifully tailored suits, jackets and trousers, paired with stylish comfortable polos and dapper button up shirts. Well…Ecliff Elie, which is a name I’ve associated with menswear for as long as I’ve known myself, does exactly that. Ecliff (sidebar: who also happened to make a hot pink silk suit for my brother for his graduation) is something of a fashion stalwart in Trinidad & Tobago. His collection was, simply put, an immaculate interpretation of sleek modern menswear.

Barbadian but NYC-based Christina Goddard, under her brand Conrad Sinclair,  presented a collection that was, interestingly enough, a combination of Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Her inspiration came from the brief respite she got in her home island of Barbados, during the polar vortex that engulfed New York this year. I actually preferred her Autumn/Winter looks, like her smart capes and cropped jackets.

Kimya Glasgow, out of St. Vincent, showed a collection of what I could only refer to as Caribbean glamour. Amidst her palette of blue, green and white, she also offered up some beautiful hand painted fabrics and a floral print to die for. I really loved how easy all her clothing was, punctuated ever so often by luxurious raw silk details.

My boo, Jacqueline Charles of Koko Karibi Designs, was the sole accessory designer for the entire weekend. It’s great to see an accessory designer stepping up to the plate the way Jacquie has with the marketing and branding of her work. Of course she showed what she’s best known for – minimalist designs that are artfully and masterfully created. From more subtle choker necklaces featuring slices of agate, to more elaborate, statement pieces like her popular dreamcatcher necklace, Koko Karibi offered up something for everyone to lust after.

Pajje1983 was one of my favourite collections for the night. The mononymous designer, Prajje, is Haitian born, but NYC based, and you could easily see the influence of his tenure in the US reflected in his garments. The Prajje1983 girl is an island transplant, stalking the streets of New York City in the peak of summer. His collection featured a lot of bold prints and solids, with texture incorporated throughout with the leather panels, broderie anglaise and ruffle details.

The night closed with a whopping 30-gown presentation by Andre Soriano, former contestant on Rihanna’s Styled To Rock reality television show. Not so much a collection as an array of statement garments, Soriano’s clothes seemed a bit out of place in the grand scheme of things. There were of course many stunning pieces from his presentation, notedly the massive, ornate, Madonna-esque ball-gown that closed the show. Much love to Andre – I heard he was the life of the party and a real sweetheart to boot – but I had eyes (and photos) mainly for my Caribbean massive.

Color Revolution SXM, thanks for having me. Let’s do it again soon, k?