Amandari

Photographer Jamie Beck visits the resort Amandari in Ubud, Bali on vacation.

An Aman in Paradise… the last time I stayed at an Aman resort it totally changed my idea of what resort hospitality could be. The attention to detail and service, design and quality are exceptional in a way you typically only find in private residences. Maybe that is because Aman resorts make themselves at home in the communities they inhabit – winners of the Global Green Award, they maintain the importance of looking at their social and environmental responsibility of taking care of the community where you conduct business. Their foundation is built on the relationship with the local community, from hiring to supporting local issues.

It makes sense that John Hardy, who also has such a huge community impact on Bali and focuses their company on social and environmental issues, would be a natural partner with the Aman resorts in Bali where their products are now sold. An inspiring approach leads to a beautiful property where you start the day on your patio overlooking rice fields and end it with a glass of wine in your private outdoor bathtub…

From snow capped mountains now to damp warm rice fields, here is the experience that is Amandari~

Photographer Jamie Beck visits the resort Amandari in Ubud, Bali on vacation.

Above, taking a closer look at the beautiful rice fields outside our door in a 90s linen flax dress I bought off eBay and ballerina body suit with silver John Hardy bamboo double coil bracelet

Photographer Jamie Beck visits the resort Amandari in Ubud, Bali on vacation. Photographer Jamie Beck visits the resort Amandari in Ubud, Bali on vacation. Photographer Jamie Beck visits the resort Amandari in Ubud, Bali on vacation. Continue reading…

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Threads of Life

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One of the great arts of Indonesia is traditional weaving, which has been passed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. Each tribe or region in this cluster of islands has their own style and patterns with specific meanings, as well as unique techniques for making their dyes.

Threads of Life is a Bali-based initiative that is centered around fair trade and conservation of this cultural history, especially in rural Indonesia. They help these communities, some of which takes two days journey to reach, sell these naturally dyed and locally made artifacts. Many designers have visited the store in Ubud for inspiration including one of my personal heroes, Donna Karan. Everything from growing the cotton to tending the plants used to make the dyes is done by these craftsmen and it takes months or even up to a year to finish one piece. We met the co-founder Jean Howe, an ex-San Francisco native who has lived in Bali for a couple decades, whose passion for preserving this craft was infectious. She took us to visit Threads of Life in Seraya where we could see in person the traditional textile weaving taking place from start to finish~

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Above- picking a piece of mature cotton right off the plant and showing how the threading process begins.

Below- using traditional tools to spin and make the tread.

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Como Shambhala

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After the thirty-something hours and three flights it took to get to Bali, perfectly 12 hours ahead of New York (and my natural body clock), we needed a resort just like Como Shambhala. Tucked away at the end of a very local road is this explosion of natural wonder. On the edge of a jungle vista descending down to the rapid Ayung River (Ayung meaning beautiful) there are endless ways to pass the day, from hiking the 250 stone steps down to the stunning natural spring pools to yoga and spa treatments to wonderful afternoon naps on outdoor beds. The juice menu put all my favorite New York haunts to shame. Everything was amazingly fresh and organic, light and natural, mirroring the environment this special place was nestled in. My mind and body were healed being here and for once in a very long time I felt as though I could simply breathe

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Pantin in Polaroids

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Recently we played around the studio with Chanel’s Spring Summer collection. Here are some behind-the-scenes Polaroids I fired off with my passport camera as Laurel brought to life all these kooky characters that reminded me of the subjects Cindy Sherman portrayed in her old black & white photographs…but this time, wrapped in Chanel and in living color.

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