The Best Way To Spend $5: Give To #FairTuesday!

HEY.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only CRAZY ONE who believes that we can make a difference. OR NOT? We (nonprofit Global Goods Partners, volunteers and me) are trying to raise money to promote companies that give back through ‪#‎FairTuesday during the 2013 Holiday season‬. Some educate kids in Uganda, some give people in forgotten villages in Pakistan a chance to make money, some plant much needed trees in Madagascar, some support victims of sex trafficking. There’s so many people that need help. To do that, we need to raise 5K for a website and promo materials.

I’m not asking you to volunteer hundreds of hours like I did. $5 from each is all we need to make it happen. I don’t care what your financial situation is. This will be the best $5 you’ve spent, I promise. I’ll even do a public victory dance if we meet our goal.

Donate 5 bucks NOW: http://wedid.it/campaigns/385

“Only God Forgives” Portrays Ryan Gosling In Violence… Again

Image

I got to see Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” on its opening night, and as it has happened to me before at Angelika Film Center in New York, the director showed up after the movie to speak about it (one of the reasons I love NYC!).

The movie surpassed even “Drive” in its level of graphic violence, enough to make you cringe. Aside from that, the artistic side of the movie definitely deserves attention. From its exotic Bangkok setting, to the use of beauty of women and art to level off the fight scenes, and the fact that every scene was filmed in chronological order with enough space for the actors to improvise, it’s quite special.

The post-movie Q&A was conducted by Leslye Headland, a.k.a. the director of “Bachelorette.”

When someone asked Nicolas why he casts angelic-like, “beautiful” Ryan Gosling to act in such violent movies, the answer was short: “Ryan looks sexy violent”. Hey, Girl.

Image

I Am Malala

Attending “Women In The World” Summit this year with the Global Goods Partners team, I had the honor of finding out more about Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who survived a terrorist attack and proved that what extremists fear the most is a girl with a book.

Her 16th birthday, July 12, has been designated a Malala Day by the U.N. and represents the goal of education for all children.

Here’s an amazing, moving video that raises awareness for the issue and gives Malala a voice in a medium that has more potential to reach her peers worldwide than a U.N. or other social good event, – a captivating music video.

Le Labo Prefumes: Handmade in Nolita

Le Labo Instagram Nolita

When it comes to perfume, I’m over the mass produced overpriced choices. Back high school, you would not have been trendy, if you didn’t have “Ultraviolet” by Paco Rabanne, “Light Blue” by Dolce & Gabbana or “Bright Crystal” by Versace at different points of time.

As soon as I smelled “Ambrette 9″ by Le Labo for the first time in the basement of Barneys on a cold winter NYC day, I fell in love with its subtly and natural smell that adapts to your skin and is quite durable. Today I treated myself to a refill – the store offers around 15% discount when you refill your old bottle. Reduce, reuse, recycle and smell amazing! xo Ksenia

Le Labo Instagram Nolita Perfume handmade boutiqueLe Labo in Nolita: 233 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012 212.219.2230

My Acai Bowlism Recognized by Sambazon

On my January trip to Hawaii, I got hooked on Hawaiian air, the hula dance, the water of unbelievably clear blue color, the Aloha approach to life, and açaí bowls. Let me get it straight: none of the above can be replicated in New York where I live, except for the latter.

Acai Bowl from Island Vintage Coffee in Honolulu, HI

Acai Bowl from Island Vintage Coffee in Honolulu, HI (c) Xenia_Lova

ACAI BOWL [pronounced ah-sa-EE]: An acai bowl, originally called acai na tigela, is a dish that has its origins in the Amazon of Brazil. The main ingredient is the mashed and frozen fruit of the acai palm which has recently been popularized due its many health benefits. Can be served with granola, fruit, coconut flakes and honey or agave syrup.

My almond butter acai bowl with homemade granola

My almond butter acai bowl with homemade granola. (c) BreakfastCriminals

A health nut who strongly believes that breakfast is the most important meal, I’ve been experimenting with superfood-loaded acai bowls: from traditional to vegan and raw. The subjects of my experiments include mango, papaya, raw chocolate, kiwis, goji berries, raspberries, aloe vera juice, vegan protein and homemade granola, among others. You can see the results of creative loving approach to food on #BreakfastCriminals. Well guess what, the company that popularized acai in the US – Sambazon – has noticed my creations through Instagram and featured 6 of my recipes on their website, wohoo (look out for my heart-shaped acai bowls and more!)

My acai bowl recipes on Sambazon.com

My acai bowl recipes on Sambazon.com

You And Who: Giving Made Cool

You and Who T-Shirt

As a supporter of fair trade and organizer of #FairTuesday, I am always on the lookout for innovative and cool ways to DO GOOD. I recently found out about You and Who, and it’s worth a mention! YaW is a buy-one-give-one company that sells t-shirts with fun prints that help causes in 40 US cities, with each design from the most recent collection dedicated to a different city. The prints are created by talented designers across the US, and You and Who donates a matching t-shirt to a local shelter in the city the artist is from (when checking out, you are given a choice of a t-shirt or three meals). LOVE the cause and WANT the tees!

You and Who T-Shirt Ksenia

My favorite You and Who tees from the City Pride line

My favorite You and Who tees from the 2013 City Pride line

6 Fall 2013 Trends You Can’t Miss

Before my attention is completely swayed away by the NYC Social Media Week, I’d like to talk to you about the most notable trends of the Fall 2013 New York Fashion Week.

Trend #1: It’s in the Cropped Jacket

Cropped Jacket Trend at NYFW Fall 2013

Cropped Jacket Trend at NYFW Fall 2013

Tonal perfection by J. Brand / Yeehaw! by Holmes & Yang / Leather bomber and beanie DKNY / Quilted Leather bomber and boots by Belstaff

Trend #2: Leather Obsession

Leather was all over the place, ruling the runways with its rocked out 90s feel. One of the strongest statements – and my personal favorite – were leather pants that ranged from skinny (yay!) to baggy (if you have model body, go for it).

Leather Pants Trend at NYFW Fall 2013

Leather Pants Trend at NYFW Fall 2013

Leather skinnies by Pierre Balmain / Rocked out look by BLK DNM / Baggy leather pants by Reed Krakoff 

Trend #3: Black or White

You simply can’t go wrong with a black and white combo next fall. What’s simpler than that? Add some pleats, unexpected fabric combos (such as chiffon with leather), and you’re all set for your most fashionable season ever. Look up to Jason Wu: Mrs. Obama’s designer of choice has nailed the golden section for romantic + edgy.

Black and White Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Black and White Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Black and white a-la Bianca Jagger suits by Jenni Kayne / Beautiful pleats by Jason Wu 

Trend #4:  Show Me Some Boho

I love bohemian pieces here and there, and nothing says more boho than some fur. This time around, it’s more tailored, sleek and grown up. Love.

Boho Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Boho Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Fur rebel by Rebecca Taylor, who drew inspiration from David Bowie / “What kind of bird are you?” by Pierre Balmain / Belted boho perfection by Jason Wu

Trend #5: Sexy Cutouts

If you want to tastefully expose some skin – black chiffon is for you. And even though exposed midriffs are so Spring 2012, this earthy number from Katie Gallagher makes it look relevant again.

Sexy Cutouts Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Sexy Cutouts Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Cutout goddess by Katie Gallagher / Elegant and edgy by Yigal Azrouel / Stripy sexy by Jason Wu

Trend #6: Just Try to Keep Looking into My Eyes, or Plunging V-Neck

As your mom probably has taught you in one of those “how to be a lady” talks, when you want to wear something sexy, focus on one part of your body. If it’s a mini skirt, then forget about a deep décolletage, and vice versa. You get the point. Here’s a perfect example of that: deep, magnetizing v-neck combined with a maxi length simple skirt. He will love it, and so will your mom.

Plunging V-Neck Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Plunging V-Neck Trend NYFW Fall 2013

Elegant  simplicity by Jenni Kayne / Cool & sexy by Pierre Balmain / Flowy gorgeousness by Diane von Furstenberg

Bonus: What a Girl Wants, or The Gowns

References to nature in these gowns blew me away. Veronica Beard’s creation looks like a costume of an alien coming from a planet where clothes are made from pyrite.

Gowns NYFW Fall 2013

Gowns NYFW Fall 2013

Gatsby-esque Tadashi Shoji / Malachite-inspired organic ornaments by my favorite Monique Lhuillier / Liquid gold gown by Veronica Beard