24 october 2014

{upper east side, NYC} via chevrons & éclairs {upper east side, NYC} via chevrons & éclairs {upper east side, NYC} via chevrons & éclairs

“We live in an era of globalization and the era of the woman. Never in history of the world have women been more in control of their destiny.”

♫♪ Yuna – I Want You Back

This week we’re celebrating two things. First, the life of Oscar de la Renta. I know most of the blogosphere has poured out their hearts as his mark on the fashion industry was quite significant. Though, what makes Oscar de la Renta, both the man and his brand, so unique is what his name has symbolized and will continue to symbolize.

As you may know, my previous specialization was in international development and social entrepreneurship. My collaboration with Craftsman and a general theme of c&é is to open your eyes to world outside. A world that may be limited in resources and facilities. A world that sees fashion as a luxury instead of, what I believe, a philosophy. Fashion enables one to not only showcase themselves, but also represent their past. Either depicting their culture, ancestry, or family.

Oscar de la Renta brought women to the forefront by highlighting their natural features of grace and elegance married with power and confidence. He politicized fashion to make a visual statement. And it is that narrative that drapes over this blog. So a long and warm farewell, but a hello to the birth of a lifetime’s legend.

Second reason for celebration, the Indian festival and new year, Diwali. It’s the time of the year that we come together to cherish all that we have been given throughout the years from obstacles to opportunities. It’s also that time of the year where we light candles towards a path for an enlightened new year. So my heartiest warm wishes to all of my family, friends and all of you too… xo. -S

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gift guide for a new mama

how to pack a hat in your suitcase

in interiors a lovely warehouse

25 life changing apps to try

escape to paris and northern france

currently on my nightstand

inspired by denim and sartorial icons

the absolute perfect shade for autumn

north indian lentil stew for the autumn days

autumn in new york city

mr. c&é in modern classics

join the conversation | seek more inspiration | follow my weekend

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{photographs of the Upper East Side, NYC by chevrons & éclairs}

modern classics

{modern classics} via chevrons & éclairs {modern classics} via chevrons & éclairs {modern classics} via chevrons & éclairs {modern classics} via chevrons & éclairs {modern classics} via chevrons & éclairs

{shirt} express
{trousers} express
{tie} express
{shoes} steve madden
{sunglasses} ray-bans
{watch} rolex
{reversible belt} guess

A timeless look is what I love on any man’s sartorial silhouette. Fitted trousers, a crisp shirt, accompanying shoes and a bit of personality on the socks of the pocket square in the blazer’s pocket. It’s simple to get lost in the same old look, varying colors, but same look. It’s why we decided to share something that still holds that classic silhouette, but modernizing the look with a edgier accessories and cuts. Straight cut trousers with only the most subtle crease at the ankle. A square toe shoe and bold, yet modest shapes as exemplified in the gingham tie and reversible belt. Instead of matching your accessories, work with a complimenting palette.

{shop the post}

north indian lentil stew

{north indian lentil stew} via chevrons & éclairs
{north indian lentil stew} via chevrons & éclairs
{north indian lentil stew} via chevrons & éclairs

Right after graduating from St. Andrews, I spent a bit of time at home before kickstarting my career. During this time, I spent my days developing professionally by reading, studying for a license, trying to pinpoint my specialization and of course relaxing a bit. Though my weekends consisted of more leisurely activities, those that included time in the kitchen with my mother of course. As you probably can tell, at home we don’t really cook too much non-Indian food. Sure over the weekend we spend it at restaurants and various pubs and during the week one day is dedicated to a “western” dish. We eat traditional Indian food, not like the stuff you’re thinking of. In the time I was home, I wanted to learn some of the main dishes that I missed whilst at St. Andrews and a few that we frequently make. One dish that my mom is often keen to make and a personal favorite was this lentil stew. We serve it over rice and I usually finish it as a soup the next day. It has the most glorious ginger taste and just a subtle heat. And of course, it’s one that I often make on my own now.

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north indian lentil stew recipe Click on the image to enlarge the recipe.
Print on a 3 x 5 index card setting and store with the rest of your recipes.
For more recipe, visit the recipe index here!

volume two

{literary lust, vol. II} via chevrons & éclairs

After the first installment of the literary lust series, some of you emailed me about enjoying this series. I was humbled to hear that so many of you read such interesting, captivating and thought-provoking books. I always tell friends and family who ask about c&é followers that my readers are composed of some of the most articulate and intelligent women I know. So I’m glad I’m able to “geek out” a bit on here with you. Among all things beautiful, whimsical and pretty, it’s nice to engage the intellect. And so I thought it was time to share the updated collection of books that currently sit on my nightstand.

{tea & cake: london, zena alkayat}
Though this is not much of a novel, fiction or the sort we’re used to reading. Sometimes I need something to peruse for the sake of getting inspiration for interior or food photography. Alkayat’s tea and cake book is perfect for those moments you need some creative inspiration away from the computer. And trust me, skimming this book before bed is the perfect way to have a majestic dream about indulgences.

{animal farm; george orwell}
We all remember this one from grade school, inspired by Orwell’s disenchantment with Soviet Communist. Animal Farm is about the oppressed animals of Manor Farm as they oust their intoxicated human master and take control over the management of the farm. Bringing in themes and beliefs of Lenin and Marx, everyone works overtime with productivity rising and just to feel that short desire of happiness and content.

{eats, shoots & leaves, lynne truss}
Everyone and anyone should have a read of this book, especially bloggers who want to improve their writing and substance. Truss brings life and importance back to punctuation with chapters focusing on apostrophes and commas, semicolons and colons, brackets, ellipses, emoticons and more. Intermingled with anecdotes, cute phrases and explanations of grammatical rules. It’s surprisingly a fast and joyful read.

{beloved, tony morrison}
I have a friend that studied English at Durham that speaks nothing but stellar things of Toni Morrison. I read beloved back in high school and after recently re-reading it I realized that I missed so much of the prose.  Following the years after the American Civil War, following the life of Sethe, born a slaved and escaped. Sethe still has juxtaposing memories of her life on a beautiful farm but undergoing horrible things, still not free, as her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby. Written beautifully intermingled with poetry and mystery.

{great game, local rules, alexander cooley}
This is a bit of a random draw as it is not as poetic or visually appealing as the other, though still just as insightful. As someone who specializes in Middle East and Central Asian security concerns, Cooley’s book covers the fascinating struggle between Russia, China and the US for influence in Central Asia. What is far more fascinating in this multipolar region, however, is the local political agency’s power and savviness to manipulate the great powers for personal gain. A geopolitical phenomenon that is unique to this century and this ticking time bomb region.

So tell me, what sits on your nightstand? Please do share anything you’re reading from a magazine issue, collection of poems, a play or even your favorite trilogy…

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{all images original of chevrons & éclairs}

warehouse wonder

As of lately I have been drawn to large, open spaces. It is probably my body telling me to get away from the city and indulge in an organic escape of a sort. Recently, I was getting coffee with a former classmate. His taste, though more eclectic than mine, has still refined over the years and he was intent on sharing this space with me. The natural lighting pouring in and the natural indoor landscape made my arms fill of goosebumps. The Oregon beams and trusses flirt with the natural light, the monochromatic scheme against the moody dark wood against the white walls make for a harmonious design relationship. A warehouse conversion with über sophistication and a honed eye for detail makes this the perfect space for a mr. c&é.

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{images via Est Magazine, designed by Stoll Long Architecture, photography by Tara Pearce,
styling by Stephanie Stamatis}