Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Gucci bomber jacket you covet...

... Is now being sported by a 4 month old. Rachel Zoe's 4 month old son, Skylar, has a walk in closet that most grown ups would die for. Not only does he have said bomber jacket, but Margerita Missoni custom made him his own sweaters! Most fashionable kid ever?? Not a chance! I know I've talked about her a whole bunch of times, but really can ANYONE ever get cuter than this kid? She has a wardrobe Rachel Zoe herself would die for! And then of course, there's her Mother whose Facebook pictures I flick through just as you would the American Vogue. Coveting!
But I digress... Here's a little snippet from the ABC interview that gives us a peak of Skylar's closet as well as his Mother's-

Monday, July 25, 2011

Restaurant Review: Junoon, NYC

I'm not usually a huge fan of Indian food and apart from having sporadic cravings for chaat while I was visiting NYC last year, I never need my Indian food fix while I'm away. So when my best friend suggested that we go to the Indian eatery Junoon for dinner, I agreed more to make her happy than out of having any desire to have Indian that evening. Payal's (said BFF) Father in Law, Sushil Malhotra is actually a partner in this upscale restaurant and I'd heard so much about it that I really wanted to try the food. He actually has been in the food business for decades now and used to be the owner of the restaurant Dawat and the popular chain Cafe Spice and has now moved on to Indian catering, pre-packaged and microwaveable meals under the name Zaika, which if you live in the city you must have definitely seen around. Bottom line- they know their food. 
Junoon as a concept is an interesting one- the food isn't traditionally Indian, but doesn't stray so far as to be weird and gimmicky. I didn't quite know what to expect but was quite blown away by the Interiors of the restaurant when I visited. Fun fact: the same designer that has done up Mr Malhotra's gorgeous home has also designed the restaurant which is a cross between elegant and homely, while having the perfect balance between traditional and modern. 
 While I've taken these pictures from the Junoon website, they unfortunately don't have pictures of my favourite part of the restaurant which is the entrance which has 3 massive candle-like structures in the middle of a bed of water. Well, my favourite part about the restaurant is actually the food, but I'll come to that in a moment. 
The restaurant has received rave reviews from both, the New York Times and New York Magazine and it's no wonder why. Unfortunately I did not have my camera on me, neither did I have my iPhone on hand, and the pictures on my Blackberry made the delicious tasting and looking food, look quite insipid so I decided not to post them. As I wanted to stick to my diet, we ordered mostly the kebabs and a few other dry starters, and followed it up with a chicken, the lamb chops, a yellow daal and saag. I absolutely LOVED the lamb chops and that was by far my favourite dish of the evening. I also couldn't quite stop having the daal with rice, as it was extremely flavourful without being spicy. The meal was amazing and you could tell the quality of the meats were really good and the food, unlike what  is available at other Indian restaurants, was not at all greasy nor was it lathered in butter or oil. If you usually find Indian food too spicy or heavy or have to have a generous helping of Tums to relieve heartburn after dipping into regular Indian fare, you're definitely going to want to give Junoon a try! And I haven't even reached the best part! The dessert! Payal had warned me that the restaurant had an incredible Pastry Chef and that I would want to set aside a few calories to try bites out of what she ordered. Since we were three of us, we ordered the Passion fruit Bombe and the Seasonal Trio of Kulfi. I can't quite remember the Kulfi flavours we had but I do remember one being some sort of fruit and the other being a cardamom. Apparently their Paan flavoured Kulfi is to die for, but they didn't have any that evening. Payal literally had to pull my spoon away as I couldn't stop once I tried a bite! Again, there are no standard rasmalai's and gulab jamun's at Junoon, but I urge you to definitely have the dessert a try... You won't be disappointed.
All in all, a fabulous meal and all you need to do is read the reviews of the restaurant (can be found on their website here) to know I'm not being biased! I can't wait to go back again and have the incredible lamb chops. Oh, and the Executive Chef, Vikas Khanna has also been nominated by online magazine Eatery as New York's Hottest Chef! Alas, he wasn't there the evening I visited, so that's yet another reason for me to want to visit very, very soon. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kiran's Corner moves to NYC!!

Well, the move isn't permanent and when I say "Kiran's Corner" I really mean "I"! As I did last year, I've left the heat of Dubai to move to the heat of New York for two months over the summer. I absolutely LOVE this city and I've been spending summers here for a few years now so am very familiar with the place and have enough friends to keep me occupied. My best friend also lives an hour away from the city so it's always great to be able to spend time with her. I've been here for a few days already but because of some confusion I had no internet at home and wasn't able to post on my blog. But now that I have everything working again and I'm almost done with my jetlag, I should be back to regular posts, updates, reviews and the like, all from the best city in the world! In these past few days I've already tried out quite a few new restaurants including the La Petite Maison in NYC (you'll remember that I LOVE the London and Dubai branches) for which I'll have a review up in a day or two. I also made it out to a Rihanna concert in Long Island a few days back, so I'll post up a few video clips (albeit horribly shaky ones on my Blackberry) as well.
I'm going to try to post as often as I can, but in the summer it really is SO hard to sit on the computer and put up stuff when all you really want to do is go outside and play! But I promise I'll try to be as consistent as possible. And in the meantime, do follow me on Twitter to find out what I'm up to and to request any reviews on any place I may be at or something I may be doing. Which reminds me, if you enjoy watching Bollywood movies you MUST see Zindagi na Milegi Dobara which I saw last evening. Such a fun, great movie to watch and definitely something I'd quite enjoy seeing again. Anyhow, it's time for me to get out into the hot sun and hit some stores on 5th Ave. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kiehls launches new products!

I absolutely LOVE trying new skincare and body care products and for YEARS now Kiehls has been one of my favourite brands. I used to use a lot of their haircare products while at college, and even though they were quite expensive to splurge on on a limited student's budget, I still used to make sure to save up to buy a lot of my staple favourites. Ok so it's been a few years since I graduated (ok quite a few years!) and I still stayed loyal to quite a few of the Kiehls products and would make it a point to stock up on them every time I went to the US. My mother is another fan of their stuff and used to make me buy some of her favourites while I was away too. You can imagine my thrill when a few years back (I think it's around 2?) Kiehls started to stock in Dubai. You can imagine my SUPER thrill when I received a little goodie bag from them a few days back with samples of two of their new products for me to try! Ok so I've received a few goodies from my friends in the electronics world (Sony Ericsson being one of the most generous with their gifts to them- thank you guys for that!!) but I was so thrilled to get samples of skin products as I absolutely love love LOVE shopping for them and trying out new things in that segment as well as make up. Anyhow, I thought I'd do a small feature on their two new launches as well as let you know more about the other stuff of theirs I'm obsessed with.

The new products they've come out with are the Ultra Facial Oil Free Lotion as well as the Ultra Facial Gel Cream (pictured above). The two are perfect to be used in Dubai's hot summer as wearing regular cream can sometimes become way too greasy and cause you to have breakouts and your make up to slip right off your face. They have two other products out in the same range that are the Oil free cleanser and Oil free toner which they haven't sent me, but I'm sure are great as well. To be honest, I haven't tried the products yet as I have recently picked up some new products at Biolite  after a facial I got there (I'll get around to doing a review of them soon too!) and I want to finish those before opening up any new products. I also used to use the regular Ultra Facial Cream which is one of their best sellers and I used to absolutely love it, till I started to be a victim of adult acne and had to switch to oil free products, so I can't wait to try these!
If you're curious about Kiehls as a brand, here are some of my favourites that you might want to try-

Creme with Silk Groom- This has been the one hair product that I've been using since college. It is a favourite with celebs and product junkies and is an absolute must have! It is directed to be used before styling, but I use it after as well to add some luster and shine to my hair, especially when it's looking dry and frazzled.

Lip Balm #1- There is a reason why a product like a lip balm that is available for very cheap prices at a supermarket or pharmacy remains one of the top sellers at Kiehls. It is superbly moisturizing and actually applies into the lips rather than a lot that just tend to layer a coating on the lips if you know what I mean. I used to buy tons of these from the US and bring them back. Kiehls also was one of the first to have a rose tinted lip balm that I absolutely LOVED. I use the Mac ones now but if you love the feel of their lip balm you must try their tinted one too!

Cucumber Herbal Alcohol Free Toner- I have extremely sensitive skin and while I don't like using a toner every day, I like keeping this on hand for days I do want to use one. While I usually use a La Mer cleanser, I love this non-irritating Kiehls toner.

Creme de Corps- This used to be my mother's absolute favourite as she likes her creams to be massaged into her skin. She used to make me buy loads of these for her, but I just ran into her bathroom to check as I know she switched products and she now has a ginormous bottle of the Instant Satin Soft Body Rub Moisturizer. I know the product has been discontinued so I don't know what she's going to after she gets done with this. Creme de Corps has a light-weight version as well so maybe she'll go for that?

I have 3 products from the "Superbly Restorative Argan Oil" collection- I have the dry oil, the skin salve as well as the body cream. I SWEAR by all 3 as I have really really dry skin and need all the moisture I can get. The dry oil is great on legs when you want a bit of moisture but are running out of the house and don't have time to use cream and wait for it to absorb, etc. The skin salve I use on particularly dry areas that need some TLC and the skin cream is for when I have time to moisturize all over. I just saw on their website that they have a Body Cleansing Oil which I think I'm going to have to try! I also noticed that the body oil I use now comes in two sizes... It used to irritate me to run out of the damn thing so soon with the smaller bottles.

I know I've tried a whole bunch of their other products that I can't really think of right now, but these are ones that I currently own and hence have gone back for repeat purchases. If you do want me to do a review of the oil-free products I was sent, let me know and I'll pop them open and give them a try before I leave for the summer (which is incidentally in a few days!)

Thank you Kiehls for sending them to me, and if any other brands want to send me products to review or feature, do let me know! (Mac.. are you listening???)

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Dior Post Galliano

There are a few fashion news items a year that even the most unfashionable are aware of. This year has seen Sarah Burton become a household name (it amuses me how everyone pretends they knew exactly who she was way before Kate Middleton stepped out of that car on her way to that church) and John Galliano become the new Mel Gibson- the man everyone seems to love to hate. Whether he's making news for his anti Semitic slurs or for designing Kate Moss's wedding dress, he's absolutely everywhere these days. Except for Dior that is. So how is the brand going to get on without him? Not very well, if the Dior Couture show held a few days back in Paris was anything to go by.

"Dior kicked off Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week with what can only be described as extras outfits from Katy Perry's California Gurls video. Not exactly what we were expecting from a fall/winter collection, the colours were bright, bold and in every shade and stripe imaginable," said one fashion blog
Online fashion bible proclaimed, "On the evidence of today's first Dior couture show without John Galliano, what happens is a misjudged effort to impress an alien thumbprint on an aesthetic that, for better or worse, is one of the fashion industry's most clearly defined."
"Things must be very strange these days at the House of Dior, judging by the haute couture show we saw Monday afternoon at the Musée Rodin. All sorts of weird vibes, along with a lack of design leadership, have a way of surfacing in clothes. A runway is like a shrink’s couch; stuff just comes out."- This quote was from Cathy Horyn of the New York Times who said of Dior's interim designer, Bill Gaytten, "He’s a sweetheart, but he is not a designer."

"How bad could the clothes be?" I thought to myself while reading the horrible reviews being Tweeted during the duration of the show. I've seen fashion shows in the past where I've shuddered at the clothes being shown, only for the clothes to have gotten raves reviews from the press. And sometimes, I've seen clothes that are quite pretty being worn by a celebrity and had the fashion critics slam it for being too safe or boring. To put it bluntly, I'm really no expert! Looking at the clothes though, I sort of understood what the fuss was about. Here are some pics of it below-

 The collection seemed disjointed and a complete mish-mash of colours and patterns- and not in a cool colour-blocking kinda way. The theme too seems to be all over the place with use of every single colour in the designers colour palette being put to good use. Yes we've seen designers come up with crazy fantastical, completely unwearable stuff on runways in the past, but think what your reaction would be if your favourite movie star wore one of these crazy designs on the red carpet? Exactly!

While some may argue that Galliano deserves whatever is coming to him, it's really sad to see Dior lose it's luster in the way that it has. I don't think I've ever witnessed a fashion show being slammed as publicly or universally as this one... And in the outspoken, fickle world of fashion, that sure is saying a lot!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Have dress.. Will repeat!

So I was never a huge fan of Waity Katy... oops sorry I mean Kate Middleton... until of course one short carriage ride later she transformed herself into Catherine Duchess of Cambridge. You've gotta love fairy tales and happy endings! You've all seen the picture of her with her Prince shot by Mario Testino, and have no doubt heard the story of how the dress suddenly made the High Street brand Reiss popular again.
Since then Kate has favoured the store's designs for a lot of official functions (including one I'd featured here) and the Princess once again chose a Reiss design to wear while out with her hubby in Canada. Only this time, she put on a repeat performance and wore the same dress as she had for her engagement picture shown above. I really have to give the girl credit for not only wearing high street, but wearing it with such aplomb and as tastefully as she does. The fact that she doesn't shy away from repeating, makes me love her even more.
And yes, those are Canadian maple leaves on her hat! I know.. maybe a bit much, but she just is so cute!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Hotel Review- Ritz Carlton Singapore

Two weeks back I returned from a short trip I'd taken with my Mother to Singapore. We had some work over there but decided to stay on for a few days to enjoy some time away from Dubai. I've been to Singapore a few times in the past and have always stayed at the Ritz Carlton there, but decided to stay at the St Regis the last time I went and absolutely LOVED it! It was by far one of the best hotels I've stayed at, so was looking forward to going back and enjoying another stay at the beautiful hotel. Alas when our contact in Singapore heard where we were booked, they let us know that while it was the rainy season there, Orchard Road (the main shopping area in Singapore and where the St Regis is conveniently located) might get flooded so we were better off picking another hotel. Since we didn't feel like experimenting, we returned to the Ritz Carlton and under advice by my brother in law who frequents the country (and the hotel) often, requested a newly refurbished room on the Club Floor.
The Ritz in Singapore is an absolutely gorgeous hotel with a stunning lobby and that has not changed over the years. Since I had booked my stay through my American Express, I knew I'd be getting an upgraded room so was looking forward to seeing what it looked like.

Since we'd taken a club suite, check in was done on the Club Floor which was quite convenient. When we walked into our room however, I was absolutely blown away! The room was huge and gorgeous! The decor was extremely tasteful with the trademark Ritz eye to detail like plugs hidden in every drawer and nook and corner of the room (which came in handy with my million gadgets I travel with!) and a Nespresso machine to make delicious coffee. There was also a separate study table area as well as a spacious half bathroom for visitors to use.

The pictures above don't do the room justice AT ALL since I didn't photograph the entire space at the entrance of the room as well. 
So yes, back to the bathroom... One of my most favourite things about the hotel when I'd visited before was the bathroom, and this stay reminded me why. The tub was by a massive window that overlooked the Singapore skyline which looked absolutely stunning at night! They were kind enough to remind us to put the shades down before hopping into the tub though!

The most important part of any hotel room of course is the bed area (I'd argue the bathroom, but whatever!) and this one was also large and spacious with twin beds as I'd opted to stay with my Mother. I'm not an early riser and she is and since we needed to be up and out early on most days, I figured it would just be easy to coordinate if we stayed together. 
Again, the space looks a lot smaller in the picture but it was really large and spacious. 
Since we were on the club floor, we had access to the Club lounge which pretty much had food available the whole day. As anyone who has ever been to Singapore will tell you, the food there is divine, and as anyone who has ever stayed at any Ritz will tell you, the quality of food is astounding! Since I was on a strict diet (for fear of Amir's wrath) I could only look at the food longingly while having a Singaporean specialty, Hiananese Chicken Rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner! The times I could have some of the food like if there was a soup or fresh salad preparation, I was in seventh heaven as it just tasted so damn good! If you ARE visiting Singapore and DO decide to stay at the Ritz Carlton there, I can't recommend enough that you book yourself on the Club Floor, especially if you do plan on spending some time enjoying the hotel and your room.
All in all, I can't recommend the hotel enough and matching Far Eastern hospitality along with legendary Ritz service really can't be beat! It didn't rain a single drop during my entire week in Singapore, but I'm glad I got to return to this hotel and remember why I loved it so much to begin with.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sneak peek at Kate's wedding dress!

Do I need to even specify which Kate I'm talking about? I think the ad for Agent Provocateur says it all-
So after weeks (if not months) of speculation, Kate Moss finally stepped out in her John Galliano wedding gown. I thought it was pretty and fresh and very much indicative of what Kate's style has always been- cool without being overly fussy. Had she stepped out in a short "November rain" type of white dress I'd have thought she was trying way too hard, and anything too styled would have not been her style at all.
So when it was first rumoured that Galliano would be designing her dress, like all others with an interest in fashion, I wondered what the message was that Moss was sending. I'm sure she has been and will be slammed for her decision to go with Galliano considering the mess he's in right now. But I read an article in The Daily Beast  that said- 
"Some might think that in wearing the dress, Moss was making a symbolic statement about Galliano's skill as a designer, his importance in the fashion industry, or even the justice—or injustice—of his being fired. But Moss would be a flawed messenger. She is not some rarefied doyenne whose choices carry moral clout. She is not a power broker who speaks for the establishment. And she is not some surprising outlier whose decision to wear Galliano required complex and painful intellectual gymnastics."

 It's true... Galliano is a fabulous designer and Moss isn't exactly the poster-child of Morality herself! You may remember a few years back pictures of Kate doing Cocaine had been released after which she had been dropped as the face of a lot of major labels. Even if she isn't trying to make a statement with the dress, it's nice that she chose to support a friend and be with him in his time of crisis... especially if he had been there to support her during hers.


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