Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Aimez-vous Brahms?

As much as I like Françoise Sagan, this post has nothing to do with her novel Aimez-vous Brahms (1959). Instead, I will focus on the real piano concerto of Johannes Brahms I was lucky enough to listen at the Victoria Hall in Geneva. Frankly, I haven't been exposed to the classical music - performed live - for a while, so this concert truly overwhelmed me with a beauty and sophistication of this musical genre and reestablished emotions I used to know before. It was an extremely emotionally charged event, that featured two gifted composers - Johannes Brahms and Piotr Tchaikovsky. 

Both concertos were breathtakingly performed by the Swiss Romande Orchestra under the direction of Nicolaj Znaider with a piano accompaniment of Denis Matsuev. As I am not an often guest (unfortunately) of the music conservatories or performance halls, I've never heard Nicolaj before. In fact, this Danish-Israeli classical violinist and conductor at his age of 37 is regularly invited to work with the world’s leading orchestras including, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony etc. To listen to Nicolaj Znaider was a source of delight and astonishment. He made a tremendous impression on me and I will definitely search for another chance to visit his concert. Extremely talented man!

Now to the matter - my look of the night. As it was a classical music event, the classical black outfit was almost a must. This said, I went for a black close-fitting dress which I nicely paired with over-knee suede boots. The high boots - being unusual for such event yet fully in line with dress-code requirements - gave my outfit a noticeable TESS twist. Unfortunately, on all the pictures here my boots look like thick tights rather than boots, but at the end this was a part of the idea - to stay classy yet chic; to be appropriate for the event yet with a zest of TESS.

So, TESS of the day:
Sweater - JAEGER,
Boots, Watch - all by Karen Millen
Glasses, Necklace - all by CHANEL.

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Sunday, November 25, 2012

La vie est belle

Life is beautiful. Well, it is not a statement of the day (let's say, not only), but also a parfume of the day... week... month... I recently realized that I am getting addicted to this fabulous new scent from Lancôme. As it usually happens to me, I grabbed a test strip somewhere on the go, threw it in my bag and forgot. But then - that's where the story starts - I got literally caught by the delicate aroma I had in my tote. The decision was quick - I needed that bottle to be mine. 

Lancôme‘s La Vie Est Belle is one of the major perfumes' launches of the fall 2012. In hopes of creating a fragrance which would match iconic Trésor (1990) in its popularity, Lancôme spared neither efforts nor money to promote new product and make the launch best in class. True to the marketing books, La Vie Est Belle has it all to become sensational: 1) noted perfumers, 2) famous brand ambassador, 3) luxurious launch celebration, 4) intriguing commercial. 

The elegant composition of the new Lancôme parfume was developed together by three famous french perfumers: Olivier Polge, Dominique Ropion and Anne Flipo. It took them three years of probation and almost 5000 versions to create the final formula of 63 ingredients. They called it 'scent infused with a soul and light'. In this ensemble iris plays the lead, surrounded by orange blossoms and jasmine as middle notes. 

Iris Pallida
Orange Blossom Flowers
Top notes: Black currant, Pear. 
Middle notes: Iris, Jasmine, Orange blossom.  
Base notes: Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Praline, Patchouli. 

The idea of the flacon for new scent came as a redesigned version of the classic Lancôme bottle from 1949. It is a masterpiece of crystal in the shape of a smile, a square in the circle that was achieved after one year of meticulous works. 

For Lancôme, La Vie Est Belle is ‘the perfume of happiness, smiles and freedom… the perfume that makes life better and more beautiful!’ This fragrance embodies a woman, who has no obligations in her life, no imposed path to follow. She is looking for her own idea of happiness, and she does it with such TESS! To visualize the idea of this strong and free-spirited woman, Lancôme invited unfading Julia Roberts to become a face of the La Vie Est Belle campaign. The commercial for the campaign was directed by the international celebrity - Tarsem Singh. 

Advertorial Image/videos are courtesy of Lancôme

Now, I know that there are lots of negative reviews and sceptic comments about new Lancôme's scent. Frankly speaking, I truly like this perfume and secretly hope that the more people will hate it - the less chances it has to become a mainstream:) There is nothing more personal than a perfume, so choose the one which is right for you, your character and your personality. As Lancôme would say: La vie est belle. Ecrivez la votre. 

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful Tee

Thanksgiving is here, so live it up and be of good cheer, feast on goodies and have fun. Smile and be thankful!! There's so much to be thankful for!! Thank everyone you know. Thank your parents, your siblings, your love and all your friends and relatives.
Personally, I want to express my gratitude to every person who entered the bubble of my life whether they've done it actually or virtually. Thank you all for your trust, support, inspiration - thank you for making me who I am today. You are truly amazing! 

While Thanksgiving for most means family and turkey, for others it also means shopping:-) So, when you race through the stores, don't forget about cute T-shirt to TESS-up your wardrobe. On this Thanksgiving day let your tee speak for itself (and for you).

Be TESSfully thankful for WHO YOU ARE:
Printed T-shirt
TESS here (€57)
The Princess t-shirt
TESS here (€186)
Crème De La Crème Muscle Tee
TESS here ($88)

Be TESSfully thankful for WHAT YOU GOT:
Diamond Ring cotton-jersey T-shirt
TESS here ($260)
Printed cotton T-shirt
TESS here ($125)
Boys printed fine-jersey T-shirt
TESS here ($110)

Be TESSfully thankful for THE WAY YOU LOOK:
Women's French Theme T-Shirt
TESS here ($37)
You Me Oui jersey T-shirt
TESS here (€42)
Smile T-shirt 
TESS here (€112)

Happy Thanksgiving day with your families and significant others!

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Funky-Fluffy outfit

I think I wore this 'black & red' outfit only once or twice in my life... because  it is so funny, so crazy, so not me in a way. Nevertheless, people around adore this look, so I wanted to share it with you as well. The pictures were shot some time ago (as hinted by the green grass behind), but I guess my late post will give us an extra chance to revisit sunny autumn weather (when it is just 4° outside...huh).  
My little co-model here is called Nafanya. She is adorable little creature, who is apparently extremely lazy and camera shy. Nafanya is a cute doggie of my friends, but I was lucky enough to spend one weekend with her. For this particular walk around the lake Nafanya inspired me to wear something sporty-casual-yet-TESS. Obviously, getting ready for a walk with a dog I expected some kind of physical activities a la 'catch me if you can', but in reality Nafanya barely went off hands! Such a lazybone she is:-) 

So, TESS of the day:
Leather Jacket - Ted Baker
Skirt, Belt - all by GAP
Scarf - Unknown
Gloves - Karen Millen
Sunglasses - Prada,
Handbag, Key ring - Louis Vuitton
Socks - Calzedonia,
Boots - Sonia Rykiel

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Monday, November 19, 2012

UN.HATE with fashion

In the light of a recent reactivation of the terribly violent conflict between Israel and Palestine, I decided to give a re-post to this witty ad campaign of the Italian fashion brand Benetton and remind all of us how it is important to grow tolerance around the world. 

As a quick refresher, on 16th November 2011 Benetton eagerly launched so-called 'UNHATE' campaign, showing images of the world leaders like the Pope and U.S. President Barack Obama kissing their perceived enemies. The six notorious images were unfurled in Milan, New York, Paris, Tel Aviv and Rome on the bilboards, as well as got a broad coverage in the media and on-line. 'UNHATE' campaign was aimed at fostering tolerance and global love.

Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

U.S. President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 

The Pope and imam Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb 
To note, this particular image of Benetton's advertising campaign has been called 'totally unacceptable' by the Vatican and has been withdrawn from the campaign in a couple of days after its launch. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Lee Myung-bak, President of South Kore

China's leader Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama

Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel and French former president Nicolas Sarkozy

The official video of the UNHATE campaign tells of the precarious balance and complex interweaving between the drive to hate and the reasons to love.
Images/video are courtesy of Benetton

Worth to add, the UNHATE campaign won the Gran Prix of the International Festival of Creativity 'Cannes Lions' 2012 in the nomination 'Press Lions' with the visuals 'Palestine and Israel', 'USA and Venezuela', 'Germany and France'. 

So... Let's let fashion (and not only) UNHATE each other. 
Let's do it with TESS rather than with blood, violence and uncountable deaths.

Peace! TESS!

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Sunday, November 18, 2012

17th century Xmas

Christmas is rushing up on us! And it's getting more and more evident not only from fancy decoration in stores, winter cups in Starbucks, but also from HRs mails stating the theme of corporate New Year's parties. Well, here is the trick. While many of us (will) receive something neutral like 'Dress to impress' or 'Stay snowy-white', one of my friends got a task to show up in the christmas outfit inspired by the XVII century. Huh. Exhale.

I love putting different outfits together, but this one really brought me to a standstill. Well, it would be much easier if we talked about Halloween costume... But here... You need to consider the audience:) I bet you might not want to show up in front of your boss dressed as a carnival clown (unless you work for a creative agency and/or your next promotion doesn't really bother you). So, we need to keep TESS! 

I went through some sources, trying to figure out what elegant sophisticated women wore back then. Luckily, there were a multitude of ways to dress, so we definitely can pick up something more or less suitable for the modern times. Briefly, in the XVII century fashion was clearly separated up between 1st and 2nd halves with authentic attributes, marking each part. 

TESS in 1600–1650:
- soft and broad silhouette,
- high waist,
- extremely low, rounded necklines,
- full, slashed sleeves,
- broad lace or linen collars,
- functional ribbon bows,
- tall or broad hats with brims,
- hair worn in a bun at the back of the head with a cluster of curls framing the face.

Have a look at some visual inspirations below!

(1)  Anne of Denmark mourning the loss 
of her son Henry attributed to 
Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, 
1612 (National Portrait Gallery, London) 
(2) Mary Radclyffe by William Larkin, 
1610-1613 (Denver Art Museum)

(3) Anne of Austria by Peter Paul Rubens,
circa 1620-1625 (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

(1) Anne of Denmark wears a black wired cap and black lace.
(2) Mary Radclyffe in the very low rounded neckline and closed cartwheel ruff. The black silk strings on her jewelry were a passing fashion.
(3) Anne of Austria, Queen of France, wears an open bodice over a stomacher and virago sleeves, with a closed ruff. Note looser cuffs. 

TESS in 1650–1700:
- broad, high-waisted silhouette of the previous period was replaced by a long, lean line with a low waist,
- body was tightly corseted, with a low, broad neckline and dropped shoulder,
- sleeves became longer and tighter keeping with the new trend,
- curls were hanging gracefully on the shoulder.

(4) The Concert by Gerard ter Borch, 
1655 (Staatliche Museen, Berlin)
(5) Comtesse Mailly,
(6) Mary of Modena,
(4) Rear view of a Dutch jacket-bodice shows the tabbed skirts and the curved side-back seams.
(5) The Comtesse Mailly shows off a mantua with opulent under-skirt, a bodice with ribbons arranged en echelle, and a Fontanges headdress. The trained skirt is looped back to reveal a petticoat. She wears the short string of pearls that remained fashionable throughout this period.
(6) Mary of Modena wears a dress fastened with jeweled clasps over a simple chemise. Her hair curls over either temple, and long curls hang on her shoulders.

Now... I guess I already hear your questions: 'Pedantic studies of the fashion history are nice, but what should be the real life recommendation and  how actionable it can be assuming all these 'ruff-and-cuff' trends back then?'

So, here you go! My TESS sense found these 3 gorgeous pieces the most appropriate for the Christmas theme of XVII century!! All dresses have fitted silhouettes, luxuriously decorated with lace, have proper length for the corporate party and can be easily enriched with different accessories (elbow-length gloves, fur muff, string of pearls, stand-alone collars etc.) to bring the theme even more to life.

Spoiled Brat
Lace Bodice Feather Dress
TESS here ($ 357)
Lace-detailed Corset Dress
TESS here (€ 1850)
Free People
Vintage Floral and Lace Dress
TESS here ($ 228)

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Inside Chanel

Voilà! If you have ever dreamed to go through the sapid archives of CHANEL history (as I, for instance, did), CHANEL have them finally uncovered. With a launch of the 'Inside CHANEL' campaign, the brand will reveal piece by pieces this delicious information. 
A dedicated web-site (www.inside-chanel.com) was designed to be a heart of the campaign. There you can go back in time and experience a life history of the founder of the brand - Coco Chanel, as well as to follow the evolution of the 'marque de luxe'. The timeline starts with a birth of Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel in 1983 and goes as far as 2012, celebrating a launch of the book and photo exhibition "The Little Black Jacket' by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld.

The first iconic product what campaign is focusing on is surely perfume Chanel N°5. Mademoiselle Chanel launched this fragrance back in 1921 and since then this truly timeless classic remains the ultimate symbol of femininity.

Curious about the story-behind-the-scenes of N°5 creation and flowering? - Then have a look at the two films below. Done with such a TESS!!

Chapter 1:
The legend of N°5. Journey back in time through the CHANEL archives into the heart of this magical perfume, beginning with the revolutionary moment of its creation.

Chapter 2:
To the question "What do you wear to bed?" Marilyn responded, "CHANEL N°5." 
Discover what inspired Marilyn's world-famous reply.

Image/videos are courtesy of Chanel
So, what do YOU wear to bed?
I love CHANEL (not the scent of N°5 though), so have got those stickers on the wall of my bedroom far before the film was shoot. Very inspirational quote which puts me in the right mood when I am heading to bed. ...mmm, sweet dreams!


Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess

Friday, November 16, 2012

Art on wheels

A classical story - you go somewhere, check in your luggage and on arrival receive something what used to be 'your-chic, stylish-and-god-knows-how-expensieve' suitcase... Disappointing, indeed! It happened to me once, when a zipper got broken (have no clue why and how) and my poor 'suitie' showed up on the belt in a 'washtub' with my pyjamas and lingerie being all over around the place. Not cool! So, I gave a good search to my next travel buddy and eventually purchased one of the Heys masterpieces from the 'One day' collection. Since then we are inseparable for good.

Bright mood-making colors always make people smile when I am traveling around! My friends easily spot me while meeting at the airport! Hard shell case makes this suitcase unbreakable in the professional hands of ANY airline. And capaciousness... oooh, man! It can easily accomodate outcome of ANY shopping trips! Tested!

So, to make a long story short - I fell in love with my beautiful 'One day' suitcase from Heys. But... but... but... (there is always a 'but', right?!) Today I felt like I might cheat on it and replace with a new one. Before you blame me, have a look at these cutest ever luggage pieces I posted below!

Amazingly witty designed, creatively executed, developed by one of my favorite pop artistes - Nelson De La Nuez - those pieces are NO MISS!!! I love them all, even though I obviously don't need 4 suitcases at once (if only to fit all my shoes?! :)

So, if you are jetting off to somewhere fabulous these winter holidays, consider these TESS items:)

Keep TESSTaste.Elegance.Sophistication.Style!
Your Tess