Thursday, March 31, 2011

Art Eye: Go Bears.

For my final guy-centric post of the day I wanted to pay homage to the main guy in my life, who is obsessed with bears (not surprising, considering I attend UC Berkeley, home of the golden bears) and is himself quite like a playful black bear. This Red Bear Poster available on Banquet is sure to be a lovely present for my bear or any other bear lover in that case. File under go bears.

[Image via: Banquet]

Bachelor Pad.

In an ode to all the guys out there today, I figured that since I already tried to help them along with their style pursuits that I may as well help them out when it comes to home decor. Even the word sounds feminine so it comes as no surprise why most guys will shy away from the concept. However, decorating doesn't have to imply injecting a space with a dose of femininity and there is something to be said about the sexiness of a rather masculine interior. I'm not talking leather and zebra print here, but instead a balance of textures, simple patterns, dark wood, clean lines and a vintage element combined in one look. Oh, and a little black paint never hurt anybody. File as the boys are back in town.

[Images via: Apartment Therapy]

Suit Up.

As previously stated, there is nothing sexier on a man than a suit. Now take the classic masculine silhouette, mix it up a bit and put it on a gorgeous female and it might even be more sexy than it was before. Something that I'm loving about all of these suit looks for the ladies is that they each have their own unique take on the basic be it matching gold brocade, a shot of hot pink, altering proportions or mix-and-match separates. It just goes to show that girls just want to have way more fun than the boys. File under classic redone.  

[Images via: Sartorialist, Garance Dore, Tommy Ton]

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

For the Gentlemen.

When it comes to gentlemen on the.margaret.files., I would say that they don’t exactly get quite as much attention as the ladies. But being honest, most of the guys in my life probably couldn’t even spell the word fashion let alone style. Shopping for them is like an episode of Supermarket Sweep albeit much more painful to watch. This translates into looks that are boring, tiresome and straight from the playbook. Some of the worst offenses I’ve witnessed are a white shirt underneath a black button down, steel-toe boots during all hours, super-light ill-fitting Levi denim and baseball caps as a go-to accessory. Nevertheless, I'd like to think that there is hope for all guys. Sometimes it just takes a certain girl to lead them along the right pathway, one that is filled with fashion and maybe even a little style. Check out after the jump for some basic tips for the guys. File under never-ending project.

Hey there, mister.

Listening to the Lady Gaga song Boys, Boys, Boys on one of my thousands of Pandora stations this morning really made me realize how little time I spend acknowledging the guys on the.margaret.files. I waste enough time thinking about them during the day that I figured I might as well pay homage to them right here. So the next two days are all about the boys who, let's be serious, are no match for our girl power. Wink. Keep reading after the jump for one of my absolute favorite couples who are almost never photographed together as well as a photo I took myself of the two of them in Milan. File as love.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Closet Envy.

Every time I move into a new apartment the deal breaker usually comes down to what may be the least square footage in the place, but to me is the most important room, that is the closet. Although I tend to live in apartments that are about as large as a shoebox themselves, my closets have been rather oversized. Turns out that I seem to be able to smell a walk-in closet from a mile away. Friends will always enter my apartment saying how cute and charming it is (euphemisms for girlish and cramped) and be completely gawking by the time they reach the inner sanctum of the closet. I’ve had double mirrored sliding doors across from each other (that one was actually rather sad looking), a 6x6 square that was doubly as tall, and closet large enough to fit a queen bed and then some, another large square with a window in it and now a ten foot one that I can barely fit in by hugging the wall. And these are all in studios and a one-bedroom (if you could even call it that) mind you. Alas, I am still envious of those women who have closets that rival any major department store, which are perfectly organized and filled to the brim with shoes, of course. Once I stop renting I know the first home project that will most certainly take place in my new place. File under jealous.

[Images via: The Coveteur, Elle Decor, Apartment Therapy, Lonny]

One Skirt, Three Ways.

To say that Muiccia Prada would be voted Miss Popular this season would probably be considered the understatement of the year. Her striped confections have been splashed across magazine covers and spreads including Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue and even the red carpet. It’s hard to resist the fun, whimsical allure of hot pink and black horizontal stripes to spice up the most basic of items, the pencil skirt. So, here are two fashionistas, both spotted during Milan Fashion Week this February wearing the same skirt, although with completely different takes on it. If I had it my way, I think I’d pair it with something feisty like snakeskin pumps while softening the lines with a buttery leather cropped trench belted over a mini soft sweater. Complete the look with a fabulous silver necklace and a woven clutch. To see my version in its entirety click over the jump. File under style for all.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How Low Can you Go?

First things first, I haven’t had my bed close to the ground since I was ten and that was only because we had just moved and hadn’t purchased a frame for me right upon move-in. Secondly, seeing an Oprah Winfrey episode while in high school about the disgusting dust mite continues to haunt me to this day. Thirdly, mattresses on the floor don’t usually scream glamour to me, especially when found in houses of the even less glamorous. All in all, there are a few pressing reasons why I was extremely hesitant to even begin thinking about putting my bed anywhere close to the floor. But with an open mind, I think I might be ready to go a bit lower with my bed. The look can be a bit bohemian and even serene, and would make even the shortest of ceilings seem cavernous. Perhaps with some new cleaning supplies, some gorgeous bedding and grown-up accessories could my bed get low, if not just by a bit.

[Images via: Apartment Therapy]

Art Eye: Different Strokes.

I know; I know. It’s just a stroke of paint. But that stroke of paint is so perfect in its simplicity and effortlessness that it pops right off the canvas. I’ve always been drawn to art which concentrates on the pure aesthetic of the brush and what way to better showcase its qualities than with a single or few flourishes in a knock-out color no less. If you’re brave enough you can try it on your own, but for me I’ll be leaving it up to the pros. You know what I’m talking about Willis. 

[Images via: This is not new, Lonny, Apartment Therapy]

Spring Forward.

Did I miss the memo where it became spring all of the sudden? Apparently we are beginning the new season yet the weather in the bay is sticking firmly in winter it seems. Nonetheless, if there is one thing I love about spring it is the chance to bring out those white gams dying for some Vitamin D and (gasp) open-toed sandals. I must say that my toes and I have dearly missed my sandals this winter as it has been one for the record books. So here’s to hoping that it will warm-up just a tad so that I can bring out my favorite eternal spring look that includes a loose button down, shorts, a man’s watch and an oversized leather bag. File under spring ahead. 

[Images via: My Files, The Sartorialist]

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to Life; Back to Reality.

Reality has the funny characteristic of slapping you in the face when you least expect it. And so, with much kicking and screaming, I am being dragged back to reality with the end of spring break and the beginning of a new chapter in my life, that is my last semester at school and my subsequent career path. I must say that the vacations I’ve been exploring with the.margaret.files have turned out to be therapeutic themselves, but I am approaching the time where such pursuits will be more distant than ever with my busy schedule. Alas, (as one of my favorite sayings go) a girl can dream and if there is one thing I know it is that I will never stop exploring for more regardless of how busy life may be. File under back to work. 

[Image via: Garance Dore]

Ultimate Destination: Europe.

As the final ultimate destination for the.margaret.files. I decided to focus on the mantra "go big or go home." And this vacation is one that will not be leaving you homesick. Check out after the jump for the ultimate pre-board outfit. File as until next vacation.

  • What: 17 days aboard the National Geographic Explorer along Europe's northern coast
  • Where: Multiple stops in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal
  • What's Included: Enough culture to make your head explode, a stop in one of my all-time must-see cities Brugge, ultimate relaxation in luxury accommodations onboard and personalized city tours
  • How Much: beginning at $12,590 up to $23,090 per person, double occupancy

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ultimate Destination: Asia.

Bhutan's nickname as the Kingdom in the Clouds is a name that is well-deserved: not only is it nestled among the Himalayas but it boasts a population almost completely unchanged by the modern world. As the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom in these mountains, visiting this site is not only a breathtaking photo opportunity but really a spiritual adventure. Keep reading after the jump for the ultimate dinner outfit and some quick facts about Bhutan. File as must go. 
  • What: 12 days in Bhutan, Asia
  • Where: First class hotels in two cities for maximum Bhutan exposure
  • What's Included: Access to the Tiger's Nest Temple (pictured above) and one of the oldest private monasteries in Bhutan, rub elbows with government officials at catered dinners, local festivals
  • How Much: $6,295 per person double occupancy 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Art Eye: The City.

Channeling Albert Hammond Jr.'s song, "Hard to Live (In the City)" Stefan Ruiz is an artist who captures the striking architecture of cityscapes includes La Paz, Bolivia (shown after the jump) and Cairo, Egypt (above). There is just something spectacular about the architecture here that can tell a story sometimes better than a portrait can. I've been lusting after his Cairo print for years and I think I might have to just give in and purchase it. File under don't let anybody know.

Ultimate Destination: Central & South America.

Is there any better way to travel the world than by private jet? Well, I would like to firmly answer probably not. With this amazingly over-the-top vacation you can travel in style from Central America to South America and back up again, covering some of the most beautiful places in the southern hemisphere. Although the price tag may resemble that of a mid-sized car, I thought I'd completely indulge my travel fantasies just this once. Keep reading after the jump to see the ultimate outfit and some destination tips. File under so decadent. 

  • What: 16-day tour of Central and South America via Florida by private jet with National Geographic Team
  • Where: Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica
  • What's Included: Trips to Mayan and Incan sites, the Amazon rainforest, Wildlife Refuges along the way, hotel accommodations at the Ritz Carlton in Florida and the Four-Seasons Costa Rica among many smaller hotels in between, catered meals and who could forget the private Boeing 757 for 78 passengers
  • How Much: $46,950 per person double occupancy

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Art Eye: Through the Golden Gate.

Like many other tourists and citizens of the Bay Area I am always finding myself enthralled by the Golden Gate bridge. Not only is it a feat of construction and materials, but it also has a timeless design that makes it unlike any other. There is a certain point on the Berkeley campus that I pass by whenever I get the chance because it has a picturesque view of the Golden Gate stretching across the Bay. I can't help but smile every time I see it and I'm always exploring for new photography featuring the bridge and the surrounding rocks. File this one under love the Bay.

[Images via: this is not new]

Destination: USA.

Putting the brakes on these outlandish (albeit insanely awesome vacations) I felt it only necessary to feature one that is maybe just a tiny bit more tangible. And what is more American than a road trip full of barbeque pit stops, a drive through the redwoods and classic rock playing on the radio? Think more Thelma and Louise and less Clark Griswald. Check out after the jump for some destination tips and the ultimate outfit. File under drive safe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Art Eye: Vitamin Deficiency.

Praia Piquinia 27/08/09 15h17

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." —Marcel Proust

In this photo series by Christian Chaize, a picture perfect Portugal beach filled with unexpecting sunbathers is shot not from various angles but rather with the different eyes Marcel Proust described in his prolific quote. I can't imagine any other place I'd rather be this week than sunbathing on a beach and soaking up all the Vitamin D possible. Keep reading after the jump to see another one of my favorite pieces from the series. File under get your vitamins today.

Ultimate Destination: Australia.

The two words luxury and wilderness don’t usually seem to fit together; however at Longitute 131, the resort seems to do the impossible by creating harmony between these two seemingly opposite words. With Ayers Rock as your main viewpoint from your private tent (if you could even call them tents; they are definitely worthy of the term “glamping”) there are all sorts of outdoor activities to partake in. But in fact, the resort could be seen as a microcosm of Australia itself: in some areas extremely rural where you can see every star in the sky and in other very metropolitan (the Sydney Opera House anyone) where shopping is the choice of recreational sports. G’day Australia. Check out after the jump for the ultimate outfit along with a few tips for this vacation. File under pure magic. 

  • What: Longitude 131 5-Star Luxury Campsite
  • Where: At the edge of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
  • What's Included: Personal constellation guide, private tent with luxury accommodations, unlimited outdoor adventures, spiritual serenity classes and 24 hour concierge
  • How Much: Starting at $1,353 per night with minimum three night stay 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Well-traveled Rooms.

How can a room be well-traveled might you ask? Consider these rooms, which combine elements reminiscent of many different locations and cultures all thrown together. In honor of spring break and my lack of major travel plans (does a road trip across two states even count?) I'm left to explore through my files for something more. Yet even if you also won't be leaving the states this week, creating the layered, well-traveled look is as easy as visiting the local flea market and maybe a stop into the nearest Cost Plus World Market (for the best price woven rugs around.) A trip around the world may be quite easy to imagine when it comes to home decor. File under dreaming.

[Images via: Lonny]

Ultimate Destination: Africa.

The continent may be better known for its gross inequalities in living standards or its political instabilities but something that Africa is rich in is its many distinct cultures and untouched picturesque landscape. Take Rwanda for example; their past may have been described as horrific at best but there is a continued hope of its people for a new beginning. And what better way than to take an adventure to an untouched gem and receive an all access pass to Parc National des Volcans where you can interact with adorable gorillas. I know playing with these intriguing creatures would make me wish that life could be simple and delightful each and every day. Check out after the jump for some destination tips and the ultimate outfit. File under adding to the bucket list. 

  • What: 5 Days up-close and personal with 300 gorillas in Parc National des Volcans
  • Where: 8 private cottages in the exceptionally luxurious Virunga Safari Lodge
  • What’s Included: Access to the world's only gorilla research center, personal playtime with the gorillas and unlimited hiking around the reserve
  • How much: Don't ask.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ultimate Destination: Antarctica.

Haven’t you always wanted to scream “Iceberg dead ahead!” and actually meant it? I have to admit I have seen Titanic about ten times too many but I think I might be up for the frightening adventure of a trip down to Antarctica through a whole sea of icebergs. And with a team from National Geographic you absolutely can. Check out after the jump tips for this ultimate destination and the ultimate outfit for onboard lounging. File under very chilly. 

  • What: 14 Days aboard the Explorer filled with 81 cabins and National Geographic experts
  • Where: Antarctica and its surrounding islands
  • What’s Included: Plenty of ice formations, wildlife interactions, luxury amenities and day trips to the mainland 
  • How Much: beginning at $10,580 for main deck room and up to $19,920 for an upper deck suite with balcony

Art Eye: Map It.


Maps as art is something that is not particularly new or groundbreaking, but for some reason I am always drawn to them. And these altered maps by Aaron Straup Cope are a fabulous way to update a tired old road map. Check out after the jump for maps of L.A. and San Francisco, but I am totally loving Paris. File under Europe withdrawals. 

Packing 101.

There is one thing which I absolutely dread upon realizing that I’ll be traveling. You guessed it: fitting all of my favorite things into one itty-bitty suitcase. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought: well I might need another pair of heels just in case my feet hurt from walking around in these flats all day and in that case I’ll definitely need another dress and that jacket that I always wear with it and this necklace looks best with it… You get the point. One extra item leads to another until I am pretty much packing my entire wardrobe for a weekend getaway. Notwithstanding my two luggage mishaps (once at Charles de Gual and the other at an airport in Budapest) I always realize upon arrival that I’ve packed entirely too many things and that I might save myself some back pain by editing and (oh the horror) leaving some of my things behind. I’ve learned a great deal of packing tips over the years- some from painful personal experience while others from my George Clooney Up in the Air status-worthy dad. Check out the tips after the jump.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Art of the Trench.

There are few items of clothing more iconic or classic than the trench coat. Wear it in any city in the world and you’ll look instantly chic and pulled together. I relied on my Michael Kors black trench while traveling around Europe and let’s just say I never once felt like an American tourist. The Brits are well versed in the art of the trench, not many designers can compare to Burberry in terms of their expertise in jackets and each year they upgrade the timeless silhouette. These two ladies epitomize the elegance of the trench at any age. File under time to dust mine off.

[Images via: The Sartorialist]
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