Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rio de Janeiro - Cidade Maravilhosa

Samba do Avião - Tom Jobim

Minha alma canta
Vejo o Rio de Janeiro
Estou morrendo de saudades
Rio, seu mar
Praia sem fim
Rio, você foi feito pra mim
Cristo Redentor
Braços abertos sobre a Guanabara
Este samba é só porque
Rio, eu gosto de você
A morena vai sambar
Seu corpo todo balançar

Rio de sol, de céu, de mar...

My earliest memories are of Rio de Janeiro. Here is where I took my first steps, and saw my first beach... I grew up on the beaches of Copacabana, Barra da Tijuca & Ipanema; grew up seeing the Corcovado with 'Christo Redentor' at the top, the Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf), and samba. Later visits to Rio to visit my grandparents (when we moved to SP) reinforced my love for Rio, and they had a great view of the Carnaval from their apartment window.
Below is a photo shoot for Vogue Brasil (earlier this year) with my favourite Brazilian model Caroline Ribeiro in Rio de Janeiro:


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Paraty & Buzios


Paraty is definitely my most favourite town in the world (officially founded in 1667). Located on the coast of Rio de Janeiro (the state, not the city), it boasts incredible colonial & colorful arquitecture, cobblestone-paved streets, amazing boat rides to surrounding islands, cute little street stalls selling inexpensive handmade jewellery, bars with bossa nova & jazz at night... Most of the architecture has not changed in the last 250 years, and is just so incredibly beautiful!


This is a gorgeous painting of Paraty (and yes, it does really look like that!) that I'm 'babysitting' for my parents. Oh dear, just realized my vase is off-centre, eeps! I hope to bring
one back for myself, and that Japanese Brazilian painter Murakami hasn't changed his style too much (my dad recently saw him, and the painter recognised him from almost 20 years back! Apparently he's changed his style of painting, but still produces some like this one, his original style...). The wooden candelabras & vase are mid-century Danish (gifts from my Uncle who is an amazing furniture designer), and the 'filing cabinet' is also mid-century Danish, a Christmas gift I gave hubby last year.


I'm heading to a new place I haven't been before (isn't it funny when you see more of your country after you've left it?). Buzios, also located on the coast of Rio de Janeiro state it boasts 20 magnificent beaches and crystal-clear waters & rustic charm. I can't wait to discover it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Arraial D'Ajuda in Bahia - Land of capoeira, capetas, caipirinhas & beach, beach, beach...

I won't be going to Salvador (pictured above), which was Brazil's first capital, and the largest city in Bahia. I will instead be in idyllic beaches & islands surrounding Arraial D'Ajuda instead.

Here are some pictures I took of Arraial D'Ajuda and surrounding beaches (eg. Trancoso) in Bahia that I took last time I was there.  I apologise for the poor quality, at the time I had a 2 megapixel camera with a 32MB card (so took photos in the lowest quality/resolution)! 

(click to enlarge)

For those who are wondering, the guy is making 'Caldo de Cana' with that contraption, which is Sugar Cane juice, delish with a dash of freshly squeezed lime & ice...mmmm...

So yes, a lot of sun, sea, coconuts (I love sipping the juice fresh from the green young coconuts), cocktails made with cachaca, bahaiana food (moqueca, biju), capoeira, night markets...ooh, am too excited!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brasil! Estou morrendo de saudades!


terra boa e gostosa
Da morena sestrosa
De olhar indiscreto
Ô Brasil, verde que dá
Para o mundo se admirá
Ô Brasil do meu amor
Terra de Nosso Senhor
Brasil! Brasil!
Prá mim... prá mim...

Ô, esse coqueiro que dá côco
Oi, onde amarro a minha rêde
E as noites claras de luar
Brasil! Brasil!
Ah, ouve essas fontes murmurantes
Aonde eu mato a minha sede
E onde a lua vem brincá
Ah, este Brasil lindo e trigueiro
É o meu Brasil brasileiro
Terra de samba e pandeiro
Brasil! Brasil!
Prá mim... prá mim...

This afternoon I leave Buenos Aires to go 'home' to Brazil. Oh, how I miss it! I have not seen my dad in 2 years, and home-country in almost five! many countries have a 'love song' written about them? Brazilians truly love their country, and although I'm not technically Brazilian (I was born in London, UK), I consider myself Brazilian, as I was raised here from the age of 1. What do I miss most about Brazil? Ooh, where do I start?

  1. The food: pao de queijo (little cheese breads made with tapioca flour, giving them an incredible gummy texture), brigadeiro (chocolate 'truffles' made with condensed milk), pasteis de palmito (palm heart 'pastries'), feijoada & arroz brasileiro (the national dish made of black turtle beans & pork, and even the rice is more delicious here, fried with onions & garlic before cooking), fresh young coconut juice, churrasco (chagrilled cuts of meat & fish), I could go on & on & on...
  2. The people: Brazilians are generally warm & easy-going people, who work hard but are always up for a party.
  3. The drinks: my favourite soft drink in the whole wide world is Guarana Antartica (light), great beers, cachaca and most importantly: the caipirinha cocktail (made with cachaca).
  4. The beaches! Coconut-tree-lined beaches, soft sand & clear waters.
  5. The music: I love Bossa Nova, Tom Jobim, Joao Gilberto, Miucha, Astrud Gilberto (I've always liked 'older' music more), and MPB (musica popular brasileira): Milton Nacimento, Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso...
  6. The lush green that is appreciate it even more when you move to the driest state in Australia.
  7. The weather: warm & humid...perfect for relaxing in a coconut-tree-lined beach.

Brasil has also made several contributions to fashion: such as the Havaiana sandal (I have this in countless colours to my mother's amazement, as when I was growing up, the humble Havaiana was deemed too daggy to even wear at home). Brasil is also the home of the 'dental floss biquini', not as popular now as it was a few years ago, now replaced with gorgeous offerings from Rosa Cha, Poko Pano, Salinas, & so many others. And it's not just swimwear, Brasilian designers have also been garnering international appreciation: including designers Alexandre Herchcovitch, Carlos Miele, and my favourite Brasilian designer: Francisco Costa, who, in my humble opinion has been doing amazing things as creative director for Calvin Klein . During a trip to Portugal this year I also discovered a Brazilian label called Osklen, and I loved everything instore, which has reignited my love for Brazilian fashion. And of course, Brazil has certainly also made its mark with our beautiful Brazilian models, my favourite being Caroline Ribeiro (pics of her to come in the next week or so), and pictured below on Alexandre Herchkovitch & Carlos Miele is Bruna Tenorio (google tells me she is part Japanese part Chinese part Brazilian). (*n.b. - I have been corrected, she is of Brazilian indigenous origin, hence her exotic looks, NOT Asian)

( - Rosa Cha, Carlos Miele & Alexandre Herchcovitch



This is one of my favourite dresses by Francisco Costa, from his debut collection for Calvin Klein SS2004.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Buenos Aires - Here we come!

Right about now hubby & I should have arrived in Buenos Aires, where we will spend 5 days & 4 nights. I am so excited, and am brushing up on the Spanish I studied for a year 12 years ago (yikes! As if my rusty Portuguese wasn't bad enough...)

Here are some of the things I plan to do whilst in Buenos Aires:
  1. Check out Palermo (markets & area) and Recoleta (markets & area)

  2. High Tea at Hotel Alvear (maybe on the 8th of December, which is hubby's b'day, what better place to have a birthday cake?) - My mother highly recommends doing so, and has 'reminded' me several times to include it in my 'to do list whilst in Buenos Aires'.

  3. Shop down Avenida Alvear - The street is not only famous for the most exclusive representatives of haute couture, but also for old residences and small palaces, and stretches 7 blocks, that's a lot of shopping!

  4. Check out Calle Florida & Galerias Pacifico, Palermo & Palermo Viejo (thanks Grazi for your excellent tips!), where I should find a lot of leathergoods & Argentinian goods/designers.

  5. Markets of San Telmo & Recoleta - thanks to Kira & Claudia for the tips, am looking forward to this, as I love 'feiras', especially when laden with exquisite jewellery.

  6. Watch a Tango (and if possible, try it myself, haha!)

  7. Eat 'carne parillada' (grilled meats) with lots of chimichurri sauce.

  8. Visit Plaza de Mayo (Evita, Evita!)

  9. Explore Recoleta & visit 'El cemiterio' where Evita was buried (sounds morbid, but it I hear it's an incredible place)

  10. Go to Cafe Tortoni - a 150 year old cafe full of history & music.

  11. Visit the incredible colourful arquitecture of El Caminito (in La Boca, where there is also great Tango).

Hasta luego!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Obrigada e Ate Logo!

Muito obrigada (thank you very much)!

I recently received two 'blog awards' from two incredible bloggers, and feel totally unworthy, but incredibly flattered & thankful! I'm relatively new to blogging, and even newer to awards:

This award is from the lovely Madame Dior who has an amazing blog with celebrity style (and most importantly), detailing where to purchase the amazing pieces they wear. Thank you so much MD!
I would love to pass this award to (sorry I only picked one, as it was taking me too long to figure out who, of my favourite bloggers, didn't already have one):

The lovely Songy of Style Discovery (love her blog!) passed me this 'I Love your Blog' award (sometimes I see this pic & think it's a bird, haha!) I pass this award on to:
  1. Dress your day with dreams
  2. i.d.
  3. Grazi at For Fashion's Sake
  4. Romeika at A Room of One's Own
  5. Rebecca at The Clothes Horse
Ate Logo (see you soon)!

This will be my last post from Australia in 2008, as I leave tomorrow for Buenos Aires & Brasil (am so incredibly excited! I will be away for 4 weeks). However, I have a few scheduled posts up my sleeve, hope they work. I won't be bringing my laptop with me, but I'm sure I will be able to read your comments (although I may not have time to reply to them, love reading them, so keep 'em coming!). Please feel free to comment in any post, I'll read them! I will certainly miss visiting many of your gorgeous blogs while I'm away, and hope I get some time to post some unscheduled posts for a quick update. Shopping in Buenos Aires should be amazing, thanks for everyone's tips!




Dress: Zac Posen Picnic dress (one of my favourite dresses)
Cuff: Tom Binns Faux Real
Shoes: Mauve-pink suede sandals with perspex slim wedge heel, bought in Brazil 8 years ago (still love them!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Akira 'Jewelled Lace' Dress - An Optical Illusion

Dress: Akira Isogawa
Shoes: Dries Van Noten sandals
Bag: Mulberry Joni in Bottled-Green
Shrug/Shawl: Zambesi silk jersey shrug
Necklace: Witchery
Tom Binns Faux Real

I bought this Akira Isogawa dress online, and hastily read its description, foolishly not paying attention to what was written. The close-up picture was not as clear as the one I took above, and I was under the impression it had a lace/knitted layer above the cotton, with jewels on it (it was called the Jewelled Lace dress!). Although my pictures don't do this dress justice, I was still happy with it (I love that it's so easy to wear), and kept it, and am packing it with me to go to Buenos Aires/Brasil (I leave in 4 days! Hence I apologise for the long gap between this post and the last).

I first saw the Mulberry Joni bag toted around by friend (who has it in the most gorgeously lush chocolate brown). Everytime I saw her I'd feel the incredibly butter-soft leather and coo. I don't usually buy items my friends (or someone I know) have, as I feel guilty. A year or so later, when preparing for a trip to Europe I thought this messenger-style would be perfect for walking around the busier big cities slung across my body to prevent my bag from being stolen, and succumbed to purchasing it. When it arrived I realised it didn't have a zip to close it at the top (defeating its original purpose of being a 'safe' bag), so didn't end up bringing it with me to Europe, haha, silly me! Still, I love it!


These were my first pair of Dries Van Noten shoes, and I still love them so much. So simple & easy-to-wear with a cute metal heel. Dries Van Noten makes such incredible shoes! Don't get me started on the clothes! *sigh*