Tortuga Bay

Tortuga_Bay_02 The last time I had the joy of going on an all girls trip was right before I got married a couple of years ago. We found ourselves hypnotized in the rose scented air of Morocco and the rugs I brought from the souk lay at the studio as a constant reminder of that meaningful trip with friends. Now I have a new treasure to put away in the box of unforgettable memories, a journey to paradise.

Tortuga Bay, the luxury boutique hotel on the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic in an area called Puntacana, is known for many things- powdery white sand beaches that feel like you are walking on flour, beautiful warm aquamarine Caribbean water, ceviche that is out of this world fresh, but most notably, having the 13 luxurious beachfront villas in the private enclave designed by the elegant fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. I loved being there, in Mr. de la Renta’s home country, and discovering his essence in everything, in the white lattice work chairs, chic wicker canopy beds, embroidered pillows, all the ODLR bathroom amenities, charming hotel staff. You were living in the lifestyle of Oscar de la Renta which can only mean one thing: total beauty.

You walk off the plane on the runway, that warm sticky air licks you immediately and in what could only be ten minutes you are standing on your private balcony looking out at that perfect ocean forgetting where you even came from before. Our canary yellow villa, with your personal golf cart parked out front for “getting around”, was a beautiful compliment to green of the palms, blue of the sky and turquoise of the ocean. With an small and intimate number of villas comprising the property you can easily find yourself alone on the three mile stretch of white sand beaches which is what my soul needs sometimes living in a city where we all literally are on top of each other.

So what did we do with ourselves sans men?… We started the day paddle boarding at playa blanco. We took our golf carts to the Six Senses Spa for facials and massages. We laid in lounge chairs sipping coconut cocktails and marveled at the most stunning panoramic view of the setting sun’s sky, a wash of colors only comparable to a Monet painting.  There was five course dinner on the beach,  a tapas parade for lunch, a dinner at the dock accompanied by three Dominican musicians serenading us. Most of the food we ate was sourced locally, caught that day or grown in the resort’s garden which is all about their focus on sustainability. In the evenings after dinner we would all go for a midnight swim watching thunderstorms light up the sky in the distant horizon. Mostly though, we talked and laughed and stared in awe at a place too beautiful to explain, it can only be experienced.

I’m writing this on our flight back to New York where I will pivot into full autumn mode, layering, apple cider and watching the days get shorter and shorter. But, if I find myself cold one night I’ll think back on that golden sun sliding up on the horizon, flooding my suite in honey colored light and warming my soul with natural beauty.

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Island Girl

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The beauty of Punta Cana was not limited to the just the resorts, but I found the island people of the Dominican Republic mirrored what nature had created. From their charming personality to beautiful warm skin color I found them intoxicating. A strange hybrid of latin culture mixing with European elegance, most of the people we met spoke multiple languages, lived abroad in Europe for a time and had a history of world experience. Being a photographer left alone on a island with her best friend (a stylist) and all these beautiful locals, we decided to focus our lens on Ana Nicole, another one of the Dominican Republic’s beautiful island girls, before she sets out to university in Holland… but for now, she’s just hanging out in Elle Sasson, letting the sun warm her skin, getting guys to open coconuts for us.

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Natural Beauty

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Natural beauty comes in all forms, in the bareness of a woman’s face, the sweeping landscape of our earth’s vistas, the colors of a sunset and in a precious metal that came crashing down to earth 4 billion years ago: GOLD. We talk about gold jewelry here a lot from what it means to us to where we wear it. I’m always inspired by what designers do with these natural elements, how they create magic with something that traveled across the universe and existed here before mankind.

Modeled by my own natural beauty muse Alli Lanier here are 5 new jewelry designers I’m finding inspiring these days to watch~

Temple St. Clair

Temple St. Clair began, like many great works of art, in Florence, Italy in 1986. A city where the namesake designer still draws inspiration from stating, “Each object that I create carries the soul of the history of the artisans of Florence.” With her signature cocktail rings, rock crystal amulets and elegant gold work, this very chic woman has created a line of jewelry that is collected by in-the-know women that appreciate the balance of art, history and craftsmanship.

Above cover~ 18K Gold Classic Horizontal Oval Ring with Blue Sapphire & Diamond Granulation

Below~ Royal Blue Moonstone & Diamond 18K Gold Bella Bangle

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Below~ 18K Gold Owl Face Post Earring with Diamonds

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IWC’s Timeless New York

IWC_Watches__02 IWC has launched a new Portofino Midsize watch for both men and women. When they reached out to me to show me the new line to see if I could come up with a creative idea inspired by it, I kept thinking about time, having time, making time, sharing time. So I thought – to me, time is the most valuable thing we’ve got- why don’t we take time together? So how do you do that with thousands of people and one small city girl? Well, yesterday we had an adventure together on Instagram- I let you decide how to spend my day in New York City, the perfect timeless backdrop to a timeless watch design, through a series of questions where time was of the essence. You chose what coffee we had, where we found inspiration, how we spent the afternoon and what to wear to dinner and I shared with you in real time what I saw. When I woke up yesterday morning I didn’t know where you would send me or what you guys most wanted to see in our city of dreams~ It was a thrilling experiment together…

but most all, thank you for your time.

{above~ four of the new IWC #Portofino Midsize watches I rotated between on our journey through Manhattan}

8:34am

I thought we’d spend some time together today, in my city, inspired by the new @IWCwatches #Portofino Midsize. Every minute counts… stayed tuned for a “choose your own adventure” journey with me in NYC! #TimelessNewYork

8:46am

Film or digital? What should I capture the day with? #TimelessNewYork

10:09am

Ok! Film camera it is! According to my @iwcwatchesit’s time for coffee ☕️ Should I go uptown chic to #RalphsCoffee or downtown cool to @Shinola??? #TimelessNewYork

12:20pm

Here we go to the coffee place you all voted for! #TimelessNewYork

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