Fashion: East Versus West

Continue reading “Fashion: East Versus West”

Miléo Elixir Oil; Skin Luxury

Miléo Elixir Oud is an upscale serum which is colorful, organic and pampers the skin with botanicals, flowers, oud and bakuchiol. The NY brand, cultivated by Matthew Miléo, is a treat for improving face and neck skin’s elasticity, firmness, glow and aids in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. It is a serum and a cream which is applied during the morning and or night, in circular motions, after cleansing and toning. Research has shown the percentage of improvement with each of the 6 elixirs. One can purchase a set of smaller bottles to try out and then choose your favorite potion to stay with as part of your ritual beautifying routine.

Miléo is pamper and gift ready. Allure Magazine’s Beauty Edition Pick’s named the product line, “the most luxurious we have encountered”. Labyrinthe Vert which is named after The Gardens of Versailles, thus the name Green Labyrinth. A vivid emerald colored serum which refines skin’s texture and normalizes pore texture. It contains oud wood, bakuchiol and French violet leaf and after 3 weeks use, one should see a 40 % change in skin smoothness and pore size. Maroc D’Azur is the Moroccan Blue of the Azures and contains; Moroccan blue tansy, oud and bakuchiol. It drenches the skin with moisture and helps with drier skin and fine lines. Monte D’Oro, Mountain of Gold, is a serum colored with a golden glow. Derived from Corsican flowers and oud as well as botanicals rich with healthy skin ingredients. This serum improves skin radiance and restores skin cells for a healthier tone. Amber Fort is strong and the color is an amber yellow like the name. It helps to brighten and add a radiant glow with a few drops each day. La Rose De Joell, a pink rose color serum helps with redness, inflammation and protects the skin from pollution and free radicals. Collognes De Rouge is a red named after the red stones in a French province. It is the serum known for collagen and helps with firmness and elasticity.

Miléo is made of 100 % botanicals, organic, petrochemical free, PETA tested and is GC/MS (gas chromoagraphy/mass specific. The flowers such as; Thai Frangipani and Chinese Osmanthus are sent to Grasse, France to be treated as chemical free. They are handpicked, cultivated and processed. They are sent in a metal suitcase to prevent petal bruising. The product line uses ethically sourced ingredients, wild farming and prides itself in sustainable sourcing. The packaging and bottling is recyclable with a wood pulp cap. The East Indian wood is now retrieved from the sap and the small amount of plastic used is often used again in other products or disposed of responsibly. Oud the main aspect of the elixir is often found in perfumes and has long been known as a regal substance used by kings and queens. It is a wood which comes from South East Asian agarwood trees. Oud is an anti inflammatory and has regenerative properties. Miléo is meant to enhance the skin after bath time and has skin benefits, but it feels good and is aromatic. It might change its color or fragrance because it is natural, but it has a shelf life of three years, as long as it is stored away from the sunlight. Indulge your senses with this colorful, multi cultural, beneficial and playful skin luxury. Household fashion and beauty magazines and websites endorse this product, a brainchild of a NY entrepreneur. Bustle says; “it is almost to pretty to use”. It is sold online, in high end boutiques and department stores, prices range from $70 for small bottles to $300 for the larger bottles, soak these magical serums into your skin.

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Danish Influence: Supermodel Helena Christensen’s Dreams

Photo by Daniel Jurin on Pexels.com

Helena Christensen is a 90’s supermodel. She has worked in high end international runway, editorial and is a well recognized presence for the apparel industry. Christensen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and won the 1986 Miss World title. A picture does not seem to do her justice with her olive skin, dark hair, bedroom green eyes, chameleon look and perfectly toned body… one might think they are seeing the Danish version of Wonder Woman. Her mother is Peruvian and her father, Danish. Thus, a combination of dark sensuality and lighter Danish features. Christensen rose to popularity in the late 80’s and 90’s as one of the models coined a supermodel. She worked along fashion supermodel colleagues: Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour. Aside from sauntering down the Versace, Chanel and Cavalli catwalks, gracing magazine covers from Vogue to i-D and posing for countless ads, she has been a fixture of pop culture. She dated lead singer of INXS, Micheal Hutchence, and starred in the erotic beach music video for Chris Issak’s pop love song; Wicked Game. The romantic black and white music montage was photographed by fashion photographer, Herb Ritts. The song is played in David Lynch’s noir film; Wild at Heart. She had a long term relationship with actor, Norman Reedus, and they have a son, Mingus.

Flash forward a decade, Helena Christensen models and looks amazing at 50, but she channels her creative side too. A passion for photography, fashion, architecture, design and film enable her to use these skills for alternative business venues. Her lingerie design creations became the initialed brand H.C.. Helena is co founder and creative director for Nylon Magazine. Nylon, an avant garde publication, shows a style and creativity of photographic fashion spreads which rival the larger media outlets. Christensen is creative director for high end perfumery; Strangelove. The new perfume house is modern and focuses on interesting fragrance notes: oud, amber, chocolate and jasmine. The sizes vary from a pocket spray to 50 ml and larger, prices range from $200 to $800. This is an exclusive fragrance brand and has not yet become a household name. The scents are packaged in black lacquer boxes and the four bottles have names; Silence of the Seas, Dead Night, Melt My Heart and Lost in Flowers. Christensen’s latest endeavor, NYC studio, Staerk and Christensen. Camilla Staerk, a fellow Dane, was a textile and fabric major in London and is now a photographer and artist. Staerk’s style and eye for the camera is a perfect match for partner, Helena, the model and photographer. Together, they work on photography, films, architecture and fashion. The studio focuses on collaborations, projects, merchandising and exhibitions. The decor is Scandinavian with a gothic, romantic and noir aura and features mythological images. The website Staerk and Christensen, along with social media, profiles samples and pictures of their work and vision. Photography from the current resort collection is filled with pictures online of Helena and Camilla modeling. Their bathing suit line consists of alluring suits which are styled in a design called the wave. It is a black suit with the middle of the garment open with a wave pattern, another suit is the rope. There are variations of black swim apparel and beach or pool coverups. One can even purchase a turban to go with these ensembles. A golden sandal follows in the shape of a swallow bird which is often used in their designs since the swallow is a native breed in Denmark. Gold earrings with flower filaments and golden wide rimmed sunglasses also echo the swallow’s shadow and shape. The bird has become a signature of the company. Of course, vacation clothing is a major piece of the collection. Currently, 30 % of the store’s sale proceeds are going to City Meals which provide 250,000 prepared meals for those homebound and affected by COVID19. The sizzling summer 2020 resort collection was photographed for a campaign at The Dorado Resort, A Ritz Carlton Reserve. Helena Christensen, Camilla Staerk, Maye Musk and Brooke Shields modeled the bathing suits, outfits and accessories with a background focus on Puerto Rican geography, the beaches and a carefree colorful lifestyle. A percentage of sales profits go to help victims of Hurricane Maria, causes are as relevant as fashion. Christensen travels in order to help refugees and displaced people. To lighten the mood, Helena Christensen recently walked around NYC in a 1991 silver Thierry Muglar bikini which she had saved in her closet. Barring many stares, she summed it up as being typical of the oddities which occur in NYC and her ideology of a body is a body. Much of Camilla Staerk and Helena Christensen’s brainstorming takes place in upstate NY, even though they both live in downtown NYC, Nolita and The West Village, respectively.

A big architecture project is the prefabricated design of a modular chic cabin style home. It resembles the hull of an upside down Viking vessel and has a curved black lacquer roof which angles the shape of a swallow. It is primarily designed in metal and persimmon black and grey woods. There are two master bedrooms and one other bedroom with a plan for a spa and gym, the team has named it the pavilions. The pair has received help with design consultation and mentorship from Robbie Antonio. Antonio is a real estate developer who has worked with 13 Pritzker Prize architects/starchitects such as; Jean Nouvel, I. M. Pei and Zaha Hadid. Robbie Antonio engages and collaborates with fashion designers; Armani for Armani Casa, Missoni Home and Versace, bringing contemporary “dressing” to the buildings. Antonio has done real estate work in his birthplace of Manila. He has worked for the family real estate company, Century, in the Philippines. Robbie’s work highlights modern residences and beachfront architecture. One well known residence; The Trump Manila Towers. Robbie Antonio came to NYC, ten years ago, and started Antonio Development. His new architectural brand is Revolutionary Precast. Some Filipino citizens have been in awe and or criticized his lavish Manila residence, monikered, Stealth. Robbie Antonio is an avid art collector with works from artists such as; Julian Schnabel. In addition to Robbie Antonio’s guidance with prefabrication, Staerk and Christensen have been influenced by Daniel Stile’s architecture which uses a combination of wood and metal. Architect, Christian de Portzemparc, gravitates towards glass structures and open spaces, elements Staerk and Christensen embody in their homes. The success of the prefabricated homes, remains to be seen. Yet, the design work and architectural conception is impressive and unique.

Helena and Camilla have been avid photographers and were involved, in 2014, with Copenhagen Fashion Week, an exhibition and a photography competition in Denmark. The images are stark, sensual, frequently black and white images and they often use their own images in the works. The entrance to film consists of projects the studio has done in collaboration with Waris, Sean Penn, Salman Rushdie, Trentmoller/Fritz and female singer, Chrysta Bell. The National Arts Club has been of assistance to the studio. The film, “In My Dream Last Night”, is an artist collaboration of a universe displaying sight and sound. It illustrates darkness and light as well as themes of love, eroticism, solitude and personal dreams and thoughts. A noir romance genre, it focuses on physical movement and emotional impact. “In My Dream Last Night” is filmed by Christian Larsen and James Demetri with production by Milk and Velem. “Nightsong” is a short film with Sean Penn. Snapshots of the rebel actor are caught on tape, showing a rugged demeanor. “Waris” is a solo performance, featuring, Waris Ahluwalia. Waris is an artist, actor, in Wes Andersen’s movie; The Darleejing Limited. In NYC, he entered fashion as the first Sikh GAP model, collaborated with Illesteva eyewear and was chosen for the best dressed list by Vanity Fair US. Waris made it as a fashion designer and he developed the House of Waris. He was born in Amritsar, a Punjab region of India and immigrated to Brooklyn. He focuses his trend setting designs on ancient kingdoms in Rome and Rasjathan, these locations used to make crests for royal families. His style was picked up by Maxfield’s of LA because they admired Ahluwhalia’s diamond rings. A new enterprise, he started the company, Waris Botanicals. The consumer can make healthy mixed drinks from plant science or adaptogenic blends, no alcohol mixology is required. In the film of black and white images, he rides solo along the beach on horseback while wearing a turban headpiece. It has an artistic fashion theme with highlights from Indian Sikh culture. The film clips move fast, maybe connoting speed or an escape from reality. “Waris” depicts arduous terrain and movement, sending an interpretative message of possible solitude in the desert, strength, self reliance, athletic prowess and fearlessness by a male figure. Helena Christensen has moved in high powered fashion circles and now we can watch her rise as a super artistic and creative talent.