ROSE & IVY Journal No.11

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Cult Gaia Global Design Curaçao Josephine Langford

JULIA STILES Journal No. 11

Peru Isabella Boylston Palm Springs Guatemala

For the unique woman who is feminine and layered like a rose. She is wild and free like ivy.



ack when I was 16, I decided to participate in my high school’s French exchange program. I didn’t know entirely what I was signing up for except that I would spend a few days in Paris with my classmates before going our separate ways and syncing up with our appropriate host families in Dijon. There I would stay for two weeks, attend a local school and live like a teenager in France. This was a big deal for me because it was my first time traveling on an airplane and going abroad. At that point, I had one year of French under my belt and let’s just say, the language didn’t come as easily as I had hoped, my grades certainly reflected that! I saved money from my part-time job and I went—I saw it as an escape from my not so pleasant high school experience, but little did I know, something larger was at play. First and foremost, I fell in love with Paris. After a few days there, I met my host family. I pictured them living in the city—at the time I was living in Vermont and I craved anything with a glimmer of metropolitan—and I’d walk to school every day. I came to find out that they lived in Vézelay, a very small town located over an hour away from Dijon. They resided in an old house on a vineyard in the heart of Burgundy, reached by flat, windy roads edged with stone walls. Adjusting to life with my family was hard. The parents spoke little to no English, and what little English the father could speak was mostly anti-American rhetoric. Truth be told, I cried almost every night—I felt uncomfortable and out of place. I wanted to leave but knew I had to stick it out. I’m glad I did. I returned knowing that the world was much more expansive than my small, familiar bubble. That experience ultimately opened my eyes to the world and in turn, planted a desire within me to see

more of it—an eternal wanderlust of sorts. It taught me to step outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. I’ve learned that seeing the world is vital and while it can be unpredictable at times, it’s important to understand that there are many unique ways of life. I believe it’s more vital than ever to witness and have compassion for how different cultures live and thrive. With that notion, you’ll find woven throughout this edition a global theme. We spotlight and celebrate the interior and fashion companies who champion and sustain traditional crafts in far-flung places by providing economic development and livable wages. For our cover story, I am beyond delighted to feature Julia Stiles. Who could forget Julia’s earlier iconic work that defined the late 1990s and early 2000s pop culture with her films Ten Things I Hate About You and Save the Last Dance to later roles in the Bourne franchise. Today, she stars in the hit drama series Riviera. I caught up with the actress in New York to talk about growing up in the city, her new show and how life has changed since becoming a mom. In this issue, I was able to check off a mega bucket list destination, Peru. Ever since I started taking photographs it has been on my list of places I dreamed to visit. You can read all about my journey in The Valley of the Sun. Elsewhere, we explored the vibrant island of Curaçao in True Blue and ventured to Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán in A Land of Many Colors. When it came to how I wanted you, our dear reader, to feel while reading our newest edition, it boiled down to happiness. It’s so easy to get bogged down by what we see and hear on a daily basis, which is why we infused colorful places and stories throughout the issue. I hope you find inspiration on each page and enjoy a season that is both joyful and free. Cheers!




Founding Editor, Creative Director and Photographer MONICA PICCA

Art Director, Head Designer, Contributing Photographer and Writer Contributing Photographers SHARON Studio SERGEY AKINFIEV




For advertising inquiries, product consideration or to contribute to the next issue, please contact ON THE COVER

was photographed by Sharon Radisch; Fashion Stylist Sarah Slutsky at THE WALL GROUP ; Makeup by Lisa Aharon at THE WALL GROUP ; Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo at HONEY ARTISTS ; Photography Assistant Kyle Aaron Lacy; Styling Assistant Cameron Cipolla; Editorial Interns Mia Martins and Calleigh Sheehan. JULIA is wearing a Lorod jacket, Cinq à Sept shirt and Closer by Wwake earrings.



previous Alison Engstrom by Evgenia Sizanyuk opposite Evan D'Arpino by Dareshanie D’Arpino; Sharon Radisch by Lauren Damaskinos; Ryan Slack by Monika Kratochvil; Sarah Slutsky by Shoji van Kuzumi; Bárbara Vélez by César Balcázar




We have been fortunate to collaborate and feature photographer Sharon Radisch's work on many occasions. In this issue, she captured our cover star Julia Stiles; a beauty spotlight on Chanel; ‘In the Flow’ with Isabella Boylston; ‘From Hilltop to Hilltop’ a pictorial essay on Tuscany.

What was the moment you knew you wanted to be a photographer? I have always loved photography, and decided to make the leap in 2013. I remember New Years Eve of 2012, I told my friends that I was quitting my job to pursue photography full-time. It felt so great (and scary) to say it out loud. In February 2013, I left my job in research and never looked back! Where do you draw your inspiration? Sculpture, architecture and travel all get me very excited about creating; however, the real inspiration comes to me when I have time to actually think in a quiet place. Most of my ideas arrive when I'm trying fall asleep at night; it's when I can truly have some quiet time with no distractions. How would you describe your work? Sculptural, graphic with a hint of obscurity, elegance and a hint of eccentricity. Who or what is your dream subject? I love traveling and shooting beautiful hotels. It is a dream of mine to visit and photograph every Aman resort.

GET TO KNOW OUR CONTRIBUTORS from left to right I.The

Place I Return to Over and Over Again II.Three Travel Necessities

Photographer Making Scents Oramie Fragrances HOMETOWN Voorheesville, NY RESIDES Beacon, NY I. Storm King Art Center. It’s a short drive from me and a perfect blend of art and natural beauty. II. My camera, sunglasses and an all-terrain stroller. E VAN D'ARPINO, PHOTOGR APHED

Editorial Intern Akron, OH RESIDES San Diego, CA I. The beaches of South Florida. II. Tan Luxe Tanning Drops, a couple of different colored scrunches and my notebook/planner.


Stylist The Beauty File Chanel and Orcé Cosmetics HOMETOWN Caxias do Sul, Brazil RESIDES Harrison, NY I. Lisbon, Portugal because of the history, architecture, antique shopping and heart warming cuisine makes it my favorite place on earth! II. Multiple lip balms, Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir and SkinCeuticals H.A Intensifier, since airplanes and hotel air-conditioning makes my skin scream for moisture. MARIANA MARCKI-MATOS ,

RYAN S L ACK , Photographer

A Global Rhythm Houston, TX RESIDES Brooklyn, NY I. Galveston, Texas. My parents have restored the most beautiful French Victorian home from 1860. When we’re there, we drive golf carts and drink piña coladas. II. My skateboard, sunglasses and an ever-growing collection of zipper pouches. PHOTOGR APHED HOME TOWN

Stylist Becoming Julia HOMETOWN Chicago, IL RESIDES New York, NY I. Phoenicia in Upstate New York. II. Sunscreen, lip balm—I love Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask—and a good book. SAR AH S LUT S K Y,



Stylist In the Flow HOMETOWN Buenos Aires, Argentina RESIDES New York, NY I. Isla Mujeres, Mexico. There is a sense of magic on this island that my husband and I both love—we feel home every time we are there. II. A new playlist, a book and my analog camera. BÁRBAR A VÉLEZ , ST YLED






Becoming Julia

True Blue

Josephine Langford

The Valley of the Sun




Style Notes

Beauty Notes

Inspired Living




Isabella Boylston

From Hilltop to Hilltop





48 Hours in Palm Springs

A Land of Many Colors

An Island in the Sun

The Final Note




A limited printed collection of our favorite stories from Journal No. 11 ROS E ANDIV YJOURNAL .COM / PURCHAS E

6 Discover the world of ROSE & IVY, your daily destination for inspiring content spanning fashion, beauty, travel and food.




Start your day with an inspiring woman in film or television.

Recipes incorporating seasonal and local ingredients

A spotlight on intriguing products that have caught our eye

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Hula Time 10 Light Bright 12 A Brand on a Mission Article22 16 Designer Details Cult Gaia 20 A Global Rhythm 24 Words of Wisdom Lydia Fenet 34




Hula 10


Photographed & Styled by Alison Engstrom

Sway a little to the right and a little to the left in colorful slides reminiscent of a Hawaiian hula skirt.

Time featured in Purple & Orange and Silver & Rose Available at




LIGHT Photographed by Alison Engstrom

Bags in splashy hues of citron and sky blue set the tone for a sunny season ahead.


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above, SENSI STUDIO CIRCLE HANDBAGS IN YELLOW , available at opposite, SENSI STUDIO CAL ADO STR AW HANDBAG IN BL ACK , available at Photographed on location in Willemstad, Curaçao






A Brand on a Mission W

hen it comes to making a positive impact, Article22 is doing their part. The Brooklyn-based brand, co-founded by Elizabeth Suda and Camille Hautefort, started when Elizabeth left her job at Coach and traveled abroad to Laos. There she discovered women making spoons by melting the metal of undetonated bombs from the Secret War that ravaged the country between 1963 to 1974. According to reports, there were over two hundred million tons of bombs dropped on the country but one out of every three failed to ignite, leaving the region infiltrated with unexploded ordnance or UXO. The brand’s first creation was the Peacebomb bracelet, as a way to help buy back bombs and in turn to clear the land, so that farming could resume as a way of life. Every piece of jewelry purchased benefits Laotian artisans and gives back to the communities; each indicates how many bombs were cleared from the Laotian landscape to create the design. Today the brand has grown to include keepsake items like stackable bangles engraved with empowering messages such as, "in your body is a good place to be,” quoted by artist Beatrix Ost, delicate birthstone rings and a collaboration with model Angela Lindvall.

ARTICLE22 To learn more on how you can make a positive impact visit Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom Presented by ARTICLE22



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Photographed by Daniel G. Castrillon Styled by Alison Engstrom


Jasmin Larian of Cult Gaia



ult Gaia founder, Jasmin Larian is the creator of the handbag design felt around the fashion world, of course, we are referring to Gaia's Ark bamboo bag. Her visionary design work has amassed a devoted fan base who can't get enough of her feminine clothing and show-stopping accessories. We connected with the Los Angeles-based designer to find out how she started and the keys to her success.


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Congratulations on all that you have accomplished with your brand. Would you say that you always had an entrepreneurial drive? Thank you so much! I’m very humbled. Yes, I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family and was always driven to create something of my own. What is so wonderful about each Cult Gaia bag is that they have a similar sense of glamour from bygone eras like the 20s and 50s. Would you say you are a nostalgic fashion person by nature? Yes, very. I grew up finding hidden treasures in my mother's closet. Every time I went, I found something new. I believe this is where my nostalgic aesthetic was born. Each Cult Gaia bag is like a work of art. Where do you look to get inspired? Everywhere, especially home goods and nature. A bag should give you joy and ignite those same feelings in the people who see you wearing it. I try to bring this idea to everything we make. The brand has really pushed the envelope on what a modern day handbag can look like and many brands have followed suit. When you first started your brand, did you have an idea that it would be such a game changer in the fashion world? In my eyes, I thought that it absolutely would. It took three years of marketing and persistence to prove that the bag was wearable. No one bought it at first. How did you move past that initial response and not give up? I kept pivoting and kept on going. I started doing fresh flower crown events to keep us afloat and luckily right when I was about to give up, it took off. Giving up is also not in my DNA. I will try and retry something a million times until I succeed. Unlike most ‘it’ bags, your pieces don’t come with sticker shock. Why was this important to you? I want my customer to come back to us, as well as collect our pieces without having to spend a lot of money. I feel like you should be able to own beautiful pieces without breaking the bank. That’s how I shop. Tell us about the inspiration for the spring and summer 2019 collections. It’s your travel wardrobe—everything is sexy and made for the sun. My inspiration is very consistent, it’s always a modern woman in the sunshine from day to night. What lessons have you learned since running your own company? I feel like I’m learning to be a better manager. I love my team and it's important to me and the brand's growth that they can thrive and grow here. Cult Gaia in three words… Sexy, architectural and unique. At ROSE & IVY, we love discovering beauty through the eyes of creatives. How do you define beauty? Confidence and authenticity.

Starring Madelane De Jesus at WILHEMINA Makeup by Evie Ry Hair by Li Murillo To learn more visit






here are a new crop of fashion brands on the rise, where designers are looking beyond their own backyard and typical means of production to points in Kenya, Ecuador and Peru to create their goods. There, they partner directly with artisans, who specialize in traditional crafts like weaving and embroidery, to create jewelry, handbags and clothing. This close-knit process ensures that they are taking a sustainable and honest approach to manufacturing and in turn that the women and men receive fair wages, business training and can ultimately provide for their families. “I always knew I wanted to do something meaningful,” says Carolina Kleinman, founder of fashion and lifestyle brand Carolina K. Born in Argentina, she was somewhat of a nomad moving to points in Mexico and Peru before ultimately settling in Miami. It was her time in the Sacred Valley when she recalls falling in love with both the artisans and their work. “It became my mission to help preserve their ancestral techniques,” she says. Today, she works around the globe including in Mexico for hand-loomed cotton and hand-embroidered pieces, India for printed silks, Peru for shoe-making, Ecuador for hat making and Uruguay for swimwear.

Photographed by Ryan Slack Written by Alison Engstrom Styled by Ana Tess




Her cause extends to environmental responsibility as well, making some parts of her production 100% sustainable. “We are doing a zero waste project with our extra fabric. Our hang tags are printed on recycled paper and the bags the garments are packed in are entirely compostable.” She is also branching outside of the norm when it comes to the fabrics she utilizes. “We started using Econyl for our swimwear last year, which is 100% regenerated nylon that has the potential to be recycled indefinitely, without ever losing its quality. It is also better when it comes to climate change—avoiding CO2 emissions and the use of crude oil reduces the global warming impact of nylon by up to 80%.” For São Paulo-based brand Lolitta, the process is everything when it comes to her knitwear pieces. Founder Lolita Zurita Hannud was first immersed in fashion at a very early age by her mother, Rosana Zurita, an accomplished artist, who has over 40 years of knitting experience under her belt. “I observed and followed the seamstresses who worked with her since I was a child. I was always curious to learn and understand their craft—some of them have even become like family to me. I’m fortunate that I get to work alongside many of them today with my own brand.” The heart of her knitting process is craftsmanship, as it can take an average of five hours to produce forty inches of fabric for certain dresses and skirts. She notes, “All of the pieces are handmade and knitted with European silk yarns. It can take up to 20 days to produce a single skirt because the preparation process can include details like manual sewing and molding.” The most recent collection moved away from her signature body-hugging silhouettes instead focusing on romantic details like bustiers and ruffles, in checked patterns and a parade of caramel and raspberry tones. As the brand continues to grow and evolve. She says, “I always praise and prioritize artisanal work, quality and our personality-filled color palette. It’s important to invest in the perfect fit and maintain our unique fashion identify, which gives the label the life it has.” Stephanie Sensi launched her eponymous line, Sensi Studio, as an homage to her native country, Ecuador. After a stint abroad in Milan, she says it was inevitable that she would return to her homeland. “I always had a sense of nostalgia to come back,” she confesses. “Ecuador inspires me every single day. There is a certain feeling of ‘joie de vivre’ in South America, especially in the city of Guayaquil. There is a prevailing sense of fun, like the feeling of an endless summer.” Stephanie takes that sentiment and turns out an array of show-stopping handbags, wide-brimmed hats and embroidered garments.

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The majority of Sensi’s items are created by women in rural areas of the Andes. “I love being able to provide work for them. I consider this the most rewarding personal achievement. It’s very important for me to provide a fair environment for the artisans and give them a sense of independence, while also giving them the opportunity of being part of creating something truly special,” Stephanie says. She also notes how she doesn’t soley refer to them as artisans, but rather artists. “Our main goal in the elaboration of these products is to give creative work opportunities, where they can show off their craft and abilities. Supporting this method in the age of modernization is very vital for us, as we are helping maintain the millenary craft of weaving Toquilla straw, which has continued on for generations.” Carmen Myers, the founder of Meyelo, says she instantly fell in love with Kenya, the moment she set foot 11 years ago. Everything felt like home, between the people and the landscape. Kenya is part of my heart,” she says. She originally went to the country to set up a non-profit that would help marginalized Maasai communities get out of poverty; however, she soon realized that she wanted to do more. “Meyelo was born out of a desire to create sustainable solutions for helping those in need. We work with a variety of men and women who come from different circumstances and backgrounds.” The design process for Meyelo is two-fold. First, the pieces, including totes and jewelry, are conceived in the U.S., then the materials and items are produced

in Kenya. They utilize a network of over 150 artisans, who receive business tools, education and a sustainable income while working for the brand. When it comes to success stories there are many according to Carmen. “An artisan named Violet recently shared, ‘I am extremely grateful for Meyelo, through my work, I have been able to provide a home and an education for my children. I see a bright future.” Amal Al Mulla is another designer popping up on the global stage. Hailing from the Kingdom of Bahrain, Amal started her company after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. Together, she works in tandem with Bahrain’s government, who assists young entrepreneurs with training, mentorship and monetary support, in order to grow. The aim of her venture is to push the boundaries on what a classic piece in your wardrobe can look like. Amal is moved by the notion of nature and escapism, which is evident in her use of fabrics ranging from sheer organza to dresses adorned with tortoise-patterned details. Design, tradition and inclusion are the three pillars that Philippines-based brand Likhâ employs for their fashion, jewelry and home lines. The company works with artists across the country who transform discarded husks from coconuts, plant fibers and recycled wood into planters, clutches and necklaces. It goes without saying that by purchasing from any of the brands latest collections, not only are you adding a colorful look to your wardrobe with a story to boot, but ultimately supporting a diverse range of communities around the world to grow, evolve and thrive.

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Kickback in one of the ultimate forms of relaxation, a hammock. Brooklyn-based company Studio Nudo—Spanish for the word ‘knot’—partners with master weavers in El Salvador to create each unique, handmade lounger. Available at


below for more information visit BECK JEWELS EARRINGS and RINGS , available at MEYELO EARRING and RING , for similar visit


Starring Victoria Seng at FORD Hair by Gloria Espinoza Makeup by Robert Reyes Shot on location at MEDIUMPLEX DAYLIGHT


A very special thank you to the following team Set Design, Kelly Mayhugh Tech, Billy Manchuck Assistant, Monika Kratochvil Post Production, WEB FUTURE STUDIO




Tailored by REBECCA


Stripe Suiting Jacket in Lilac, available at


WORDS OF WISDOM WITH LYDIA FENET Photographed by Daniel G. Castrillon Written by Alison Engstrom


ydia Fenet is on a mission to make women understand that within each of us, we hold the power to transform our lives. The newly minted author has risen through the ranks at Christie’s, the esteemed auction house in New York, from intern to her role today as Managing Director and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships. In her first book, The Most Powerful Woman in the Room is You (Simon & Schuster), she shares key strategies and thought provoking ideas that can add value to those beginning their careers, starting a business or climbing the corporate ladder. She says, “The message of the book is that our power comes from within each of us—we don’t need to look around for approval—we just need to be confident in ourselves.” We asked Lydia to share five concepts about commanding a room, the art of negotiating and inspiring those around you.


by Lydia Fenet is now available at



Tailored by REBECCA TAYLOR is the newest collection from the eponymous designer and our latest go-to for polished, yet feminine suiting. Each look, whether it’s a skirt or pant option, is designed to empower women by incorporating unique details, like eyelet embroidery or fringed edges, all in a versatile color palette that ranges from rich navy to soft lilac.

The Most Powerful Woman in the Room… RI S ES ABOVE FAILURE.

No one likes to fail, but the key is that fear doesn’t stop you from trying in the first place. The fear of failure, or the fear of whatever other people might think about you, can be debilitating. Next time something doesn’t work out, stop and give yourself credit for trying instead of focusing on the fact that you failed. Even if you don’t see it at that moment, there is a reason that it didn’t work out. There will be other opportunities. IN S PIRES OTHER S TO BE THEIR BEST.

I truly believe that strong leaders are people who lead by encouraging everyone around them to reach their greatest potential. I have seen so many people over the course of my career who believe that if someone else is succeeding they are failing. The opposite is true. Surround yourself with people who have your back and pay it forward. There is room at the top for all of us—it is so much more fun to celebrate success with friends! LE VEL S THE PL AYING FIELD.

Transparency and honesty are integral to success. Be open about what you want to achieve and ask for help in all facets of your life. So much of my success is due to the help of my family and friends. I couldn’t do it without them. GE T S OUT OF HER L ANE.

I talk to so many people who feel stuck in a rut, in their job or in their life. The world is yours for the taking. If you are in a job that provides a paycheck but doesn’t fulfill a dream that you have, start something creative on the side that allows you that outlet. Don’t sit around complaining about your life—you have the power to change it—so make it happen! KNOWS THE POWER OF NEGOTIATION.

My father has been telling me 'you are what you negotiate', ever since I was a little girl. At that age, I didn’t understand what a powerful message that was or how to apply it to my life. No one will ever give you something unless you ask for it, so ask for it, and then keep asking until you get it.

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Tailored by REBECCA


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Feel Good Beauty aavrani 40 Scent Profile Ormaie 42 Waves of Amber 46 The Woman Behind the Brand Orcé 52 The Beauty File Chanel 54 What's New, What's Next 58 Beauty Minutes Zoë Foster-Blake 60







he stars aligned for Nina Davuluri and Rooshy Roy, when they met by chance after Nina delivered a keynote speech at the University of Pennsylvania. Rooshy, who is currently studying at Wharton Business School, attended the talk Nina was giving about diversity and cultural competency. Upon meeting, the two instantly bonded over growing up as first generation Indian-Americans, their mission to redefine what ‘beauty’ means and their desire to make a positive impact on the world. Together they founded aavrani, a skincare brand that calls upon ancient Indian rituals that harness


natural ingredients and ultimately supports the greater good. “We donate a portion of our annual revenue to the Shanti Bhavan School, which empowers children from impoverished backgrounds by helping them take control of their lives and bring positive change to their families and communities,” says Rooshy. “Every single U.S. dollar provides a student with their classroom needs for a day, giving us comfort around our pledge and our commitment to make a real difference.” As Nina puts it, “I never thought turmeric and coconut oil would lead me to my business partner, but they did.”

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What was your professional background before launching aavrani? was born and raised in the Detroit area surrounded by a strong community of Indian American families, who fostered an enriched, cultural upbringing. I moved to New York after college to work in investment banking at Goldman Sachs then private equity at Warburg Pincus. After six years in finance, I decided to pursue an MBA at Wharton, where I just so happened to meet Nina. That first conversation swiftly evolved into a partnership, and I am so grateful for it. NINA Prior to winning Miss America, I was in the process of applying to medical school; needless to say, my life quickly took another turn overnight. Shortly after, I found myself as an advocate and speaker on diversity and cultural competency. I later went on the produce and host a reality show called Made In America focusing on empowering young South Asian women to break their own stereotypes. What inspired you to venture out and see start your own brand? NINA Growing up in a South Asian household, I was influenced by the traditional notions of beauty in our culture. From the time I was in elementary school, I experienced comments like, “You would be so much prettier if you were lighter.” The morning after I won Miss America, I remember reading international headlines saying, “Is Miss America too dark to be Miss India”? A flood of insecurities came back, but I decided in that moment, enough was enough. I wasn’t going to have anyone’s opinion of my skin color dictate my success, beauty or intelligence. Creating aavrani was so much more than just skincare for me—it’s who I am, what I believe in, and everything I stand for. ROOSHY The sudden stress and anxiety I experienced in the early days of investment banking caused me to break out in ways I’d never experienced. When I’d visit home, my mother would come up with solutions by using ingredients from the kitchen. I remember turmeric masks being the most effective. She’d make the formula, dab it directly on my skin and after just a few days, my acne would be calmed. When I’d return back to New York, I’d long for that solution but I couldn’t find it in any store and I didn’t have the time or energy to make it myself. This was the acutely personal pain point that inspired aavrani. Do you think that the beauty world is finally doing their part to be inclusive? NINA We’re standing at a time where the industry is finally understanding the strength and value in diversity. It’s not simply an afterthought; it’s shifting to be the expectation. For me, true ROOSHY I

representation is when people can walk into the beauty aisle and feel that their culture and traditions are truly accepted and more importantly, celebrated. What are some of the ancient Indian skincare rituals and ingredients that you keyed into? ROOSHY Throughout our formative years, our Indian culture had a huge impact on our approach to health and beauty—from our grandmothers and mothers applying raw coconut oil in our hair to making turmeric masks to cleanse and nourish our skin. As we grew older and busier, we began using a variety of other skincare products, but we longed for something that worked like the way our childhood remedies did. We wanted to share these very ingredients and create a South Asian inspired ritual that would be safe, effective and stand the test of time. Why was it important to you that aarvani incorporated natural ingredients? NINA Natural ingredients are at the very core of ancient Indian beauty rituals, so it was imperative that we incorporated them. In reviving the time-honored selfcare practices that these women have used for centuries, we deliver products that effectively leverage them. Turmeric, for example, is a powerhouse ingredient; it’s an anti-inflammatory, antiviral root that combats hyperpigmentation and acne. The brand’s mission is to empower women, something that you extend to your Shanti Bhavan School initiative. Can you tell us more about your involvement with this inspiring cause? NINA Through my thousands of conversations across the country, it made me ask myself what empowerment truly means. Now more than ever, companies are throwing this word around as a marketing technique. However, in order to truly talk about it, we need to start at the core and for me that was education. Unfortunately, millions of girls around the world face barriers that prevent them from attending school that boys simply do not. As a female founder, it’s incredibly important to provide young women with the opportunity to find and use their own voices through education—this partnership does exactly that. ROOSHY Philanthropy has always been a huge part of our lives, so working with a charitable organization was the one of the very first pillars of our business. This partnership is a small way of honoring our parents’ sacrifices and paying it forward. We donate a portion of our annual revenue to this cause, which empowers children from impoverished backgrounds by helping them take control of their lives and bring positive change to their families and communities.

Written & Photographed by Alison Enstrom Portrait Courtesy of A AVR ANI







aking scents is all in the family for Baptiste Bouygues and his mother, MarieLise Jonak. The Paris-based duo and founders of Ormaie are working their way to shake up the fragrance industry by combining natural ingredients with recycled packaging that could be considered an objet d’art. Each essence is topped with a uniquely shaped cap, carved from renewable beechwood, giving even more gravitas to a stunning debut collection.


A contrasted scent that plays upon the subtle sweetness of licorice. The fragrance opens with a complex mélange of coffee and cardamom, while nuances of nutmeg and coriander lend a warming depth. The scent dries down with woody notes of Haitian vetiver and guaiac wood. LE PAS SANT

The brand’s homage to men’s fragrances, but it's just as suitable for women who gravitate towards a more masculine scent. This cologne is bright and invigorating featuring splashy notes of bergamot that mingle with herbaceous lavender and tonka.

Photographed by Evan D’Arpino Written by Alison Engstrom





The phrase, ‘toï toï toï’ is often uttered as a proclamation of luck to a performer before they hit the stage, so it’s no surprise that the performing arts inspired this rendition. Their interpretation blends the heady aroma of incense and black pepper, which is tempered with grounding notes of patchouli and vetiver. Y VONNE

A sumptuous and feminine scent that’s an ode to women’s perfumes from days gone by. Centered around an addictive, voluptuous rose note that's beautifully sheared out with grapefruit and black currant; the fragrance settles into a creamy base with hints of vanilla and tonka. To learn more visit All fragrances available at




Photographed by Evgenia Sizanyuk Styled by Ana Tess

Waves of Amber Beauty looks inspired by the terracotta landscape of the Southwest.

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Upgrade an everyday pony tail by adding both texture and volume. For this look, New York-based hair stylist Andy Tseng added undulated waves by using a 1 ½ inch curling iron and then spritzed on Oribe Après Beach Spray. Next, he ran a wide tooth comb through the hair to soften the curls and give them an undone feel. THE MAKEUP

Achieve a buildable, sun-kissed look by dusting MAKE’s Bronzing Brick all over the face.



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To create this free-spirited fishtail braid, Tseng prepped the hair with R+Co Prep Spray then used a blow dryer for some additional texture. He started the braid from the side and moved it towards the front as he finished it. THE MAKEUP

Inspired by the saturated, earthy shade of terracotta, New York-based makeup artist Marijana Zivanovic dusted Tom Ford’s The Ultimate Bronzer in Terra all over the eyelid with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Next, she applied Tom Ford’s Cream and Powder Eye Color in Naked Bronze into the crease and onto the lower lid; she followed by smudging a dark brown eyeliner, like Surratt’s Smoky Eye Baton in Fumée Brun onto the bottom lash line.



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Impart a major dose of pretty with Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Antoinette, it's the perfect blend of peach and nude.

Makeup by Marijana Zivanovic Hair by Andy Tseng Starring Fekes at NEW YORK MODEL Creative Direction by Alison Engstrom








u-Chen Shih is an inspiring woman, who is on a mis- majority of brands fail to address is skin tone. Even the color sion to make other women feel beautiful in their skin. At ranges created for our skin complexions miss the mark, in my the young age of eleven, she received her first makeup opinion. I’m a bit more tan than most because my Polynesian kit and you could say the rest is history. “I immediately blood blessed me with this melanin. It’s hard for me to find founstarted doing makeovers, but I admit they were not very good. dation because a lot of shades that have a yellow undertone tend My first clients, or victims, were my little cousins whom I would to be either too yellow or too pink. Especially for people like me force to sit in the chair and let me have my way with their faces,” who are darker—there are not that many options available.” she laughs. Over time, she came to realize the roots of her passion While many new brands launch a range of products right out for doing other people’s makeup. “Growof the gate, Shih is being more intentional ing up, I looked different from all of my with her approach. “A lot of people are peers. I grew up in Singapore which is shocked that I’m starting with a single predominantly Chinese. My mother’s Taiproduct. They wonder why I’m not doing wanese and my father is Malaysian with lipstick and eyeshadow. My response Polynesian blood. I looked different from is that foundation is the hardest thing my relatives and classmates. I had a darker to find, especially for minorities here in complexion and was on the chubbier side the United States and in Eastern counwith curly hair—these were all traits that tries. My idea is to do one product and to were not easily embraced in Asian society. do it extremely well.” That debut prodOne of the standards of beauty is to look uct, the Come Closer Skin Perfecting Foundation, as white as possible. It was rather difficult an oil-free base, available in six shades, for me when I was younger since I did not which delivers a luminous finish powered fit that mold.” At times she even went to by ingredients that have personal signifextremes. “At fourteen, I was put on an IV icance to her. “When I was growing up, drip that had a skin lightening ingredient my parents would give me pearl powder. in it; this was very normal. People would It’s been used in traditional Chinese medtell me that what I was doing was great icine for centuries; it’s renowned for many and that I was investing in my future.” things including its skincare benefits, like The pressure culminated in her eventual anti-aging and brightening properties. So, development of body dysmorphia and for me, adding the Tahitian black pearl bulimia. “I turned to giving makeovers, I think in hindsight, as extract into the foundation has a strong cultural meaning. I used a way to heal myself by helping others around me see their own to think it was something weird that only my mother used to do, beauty.” but it’s actually the Rolls-Royce of treatments.” The formula After graduating from college, she worked at a media planning also contains hyaluronic acid to maintain moisture and evodia firm that specialized in diversity marketing. She realized through rutaecarpa, a fruit used in traditional Chinese medicine, to boost her experience, which included working with various beauty radiance. brands, that she could merge her passion for makeup with her Over the years, she has gained a new perspective about herself and professionally training—thus Orcé was born. Derived from the wisdom about the unrealistic demands that we put on ourselves. word ‘force,' she wanted to counter the notion that has existed “The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that there isn’t one ruler that you for years among Asian makeup brands who portray women as can use to measure everyone’s beauty. I don’t think that we need soft-spoken and submissive. “I wanted to challenge that idea to conform to any set of standards—at the end of the day, nothbecause, in my opinion, many of the Asian women that I know ing matters if you look in the mirror and you don’t like yourself. I are the strongest women that I’ve ever met.” know that loving yourself is the best place to start.” Orcé, a cosmetic line developed exclusively for Asian women, delivers where others fall short. “The main concern that the Shop the collection at



Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom Styled by Mariana Marcki-Matos Portrait courtesy of Orcé




A shimmery shade that is perfect for everyday wear. Available at





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CHANEL Photographed by Sharon Radisch Styled by Mariana Marcki-Matos





A go-to lipstick for long-lasting lip color with a soft sheen. Available at LE VOLUME RÉVOLUTION DE CHANEL EXTREME VOLUME MASCAR A

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A matte liquid lipstick with a velvet finish. Choose from a myriad of shades like bright poppy to vibrant fuchsia. Available at L’HUILE ANTI-POLLUTION CLEANSING OIL

A luxurious oil that blends into a milky emulsion that lifts the day away and boosts moisture. Available at OMBRE PREMIÈRE LONGWEAR CREAM EYESHADOW IN GEMME DORÉE

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WHAT’S NEW, WHAT'S NEXT A compilation of new skincare brands and products that have us intrigued.





Begin each day or wind down in the evening by grounding yourself, and your beauty routine, with amethyst. This crystalline stone, which is believed to impart a sense of peace and inner calm, has been crushed and blended into a luxurious scrub formulated with organic virgin coconut oil and the glorious aroma of night blooming jasmine sambac oil to buff away dry skin and leave it feeling super soft and moisturized.

Get swept away to the mountainous terrain of Jackson Hole, Wyoming with Alpyn Beauty. Each product in this dynamic range is formulated with the PlantGenius complex, which includes hand-harvested active botanicals such as wild arnica and chamomile that can withstand harsh and unpredictable environments at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. Their Melt Moisturizer is a lightweight cream that doubles down on dry skin with the help of ingredients like apricot seed and coconut oil, which work in tandem with centella asiatica to brighten and glycolic acid to renew.

Available at LE PRUNIER

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Could the newest skincare superfood lie inside the velvety plum? The answer is yes, according to sisters Elaine, Allison and Jacqueline Taylor, founders of the beauty brand Le Prunier. The trio, who spent their youth on their family’s organic plum farm, have cold-pressed and bottled the oil from their fruit, which has been referred to as ‘The Fruit of Life’ for centuries in Western Asia. This quick to absorb oil that smells like sweet almond oil incorporates a patent-pending blend of plum varietals that are naturally high in polyphenols and fatty acids to deeply nourish all skin types from the sensitive to acne prone. Available at


When facialist Fatma Shaheen couldn’t find the right products for her growing London clientele, she took matters into her own hands and Skin Design London was born. The colorful line fuses performance cosmeceuticals with vitamins to help individuals achieve a radiant complexion. The Alpine Rose Glow Illuminating Treatment blends alpine roses sown in the Swiss Alps to help repair sun damage; ferulic acid derived from fennel to counteract free radicals and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable version of vitamin C to counteract hyperpigmentation. Available at



Treat your body to a sensorial treatment that is both restorative and soothing. This molten blue wax formulated with blue tansy, known for its anti-inflammatory properties and blue yarrow, an antioxidant laden botanical, coaxes both the skin and the mind into a state of relaxation. Moisture-rich baobab oil combines with marula oil to keep the skin supple and protected from free radical damage.


For those looking for a particle-free exfoliator and mask, look no further than this hybrid product—in a word, we are obsessed. Keratolytic enzymes combine with white clay and a mechanical exfoliant that gets activated when rubbed onto the face—the more you massage it, the stronger the cell turnover. Available at

Avaialble at

Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom







featured above A rich blend of macadamia and Brazil nut oils penetrate the skin leaving it soft and radiant. BALM For soft lips, dab on this hydrating formula, laced with evening primrose oil and Vitamin E.


Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom Portrait Courtesy of GO-TO




o-To is a cheeky beauty brand started by industry alum Zoë Foster-Blake, who wanted to to create a range of products that made keeping a healthy complexion anything but a tedious task. This company from Down Under harnesses high-quality ingredients into skincare that also happens to be carbon neutral, cruelty-free and sustainable in nature. We caught up with Foster-Blake to learn more.

Let’s start at the beginning. Was it always your dream to have a career in the beauty industry or was it a happy accident? It was a happy accident! I was a beauty rookie slash journalist who was hired to be the beauty editor of Cosmopolitan. At that stage in my career, I had no idea what a beauty editor even was—it seemed like a magical, made-up job. From there, I started a beauty blog in 2006, wrote a book of tips and tricks and eventually started my own skin care line in 2013. Beauty has always been fun to me, first and foremost, because it’s a phenomenal way to engage with women. Did you have a certain moment when you decided to parlay your experience to start your own brand? I started Go-To after many years spent reviewing every skin care product available as a blogger, and as the Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar. During that time, I got a ton of feedback from women on what they liked, didn’t like, and what they found confusing and frustrating. I thought beauty could be much simpler, less complicated and less expensive—it could even be fun. I knew what the

consumer needed and as a busy mum and traveler, I knew what they wanted—a tight edit of skincare products that actually did something. Voila, Go-To was born! The products are so fun and we love the Exceptionoil —the smell alone! Which products have been the most popular? The Face Hero is very much our gateway product. It's great for any age, season or skin type and it’s incredible under makeup. It also calms and soothes the skin as it replenishes. We are yet to find a man, woman or child who doesn’t like it. Your brand is doing its part to give back. Can you share details about your involvement with The Orangutan Project? Being an honorable, accountable and transparent company is very important to me. We're cruelty-free and as a former ambassador for The Orangutan Project, I am acutely aware of the implications of using palm oil from Southeast Asia. We consciously avoid using it in our skin care. Last year, we became certified carbon neutral, which means we now offset 100% of our emissions by purchasing carbon credits for various projects. One of those is the Indonesian Forest Preservation Project, which aims to

reduce and protect the endangered Borneo orangutan and other endangered species. We understand the devastation that deforestation creates for the land and the locals in Borneo. We are very proud to be doing our bit to help. In 2018, we also partnered with One Girl, a charity that empowers girls through education. They are committed to educating one million girls across Africa. We are delighted to contribute to such a powerful vision. What’s next for the brand? We have a lot of fun stuff coming up. Last year, we started rolling out our clean, physical SPF products here in Australia—they will be hopefully coming to the U.S. soon. We have seven to eight products in R&D right now—clean products take longer and are notoriously disobedient due to the lack of synthetic stabilizers and such. I’m a perfect blend of deeply impatient and utter perfectionist, so it generally takes us a couple of years to get a product to market. We’re also entering into brick and mortar retail and launching a whole sub-brand. It’s going to be awesome.

To learn more visit,




Inspired Design Relationships 64 Vessel & Bloom 66 Destination Design Hodge's Bay 68 Food and Design 72 Far & Away 76





RELATIONSHIPS Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom




ina Schwarz and Su Beyazit met while studying at Parsons School of Design and have been friends ever since. Together they opened Relationships, a design-forward coffee shop, art gallery and event space in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. “The inspiration came from our decade-long friendship,” says Nina. “The concept was born out of the disperse roads that we took after graduating. Su started Su’juk, a vintage boutique and salon, and I worked as a director and artist liaison for different galleries. We wanted to create an environment that was challenging and inviting; inviting and changing at the same time.” The name plays upon their bond, as well as their love for the neighborhood and the connection people develop when an artist creates an everyday object. The duo harnessed their creative talents when it came to conceptualizing the space, but did call upon the assistance of Angus Mcintosh from Yakka Studios for her expertise. “We aimed to keep the architectural aspects as minimal as possible. Rather than doing an elaborate build-out, we wanted to focus on artist and designer-made furniture. We reached out to our talented friends to help us. It was a conversation that was ongoing and collaborative. The countertop of our bar, for example, was designed and painted by designer Alex Proba.” Guests can enjoy the convivial atmosphere by sipping on locally roasted Parlor Coffee, savoring a pastry, or browsing the curation of objects from rising art and design talent including Studio Proba and Will Stewart, in addition to noteworthy vintage finds available for purchase. “The vintage is predominantly pieces that we gravitate towards and works with the aesthetic of the other artists and designers. We don't want to take away from what they are doing, but rather contextualize their individual practices,” notes Nina. The light and airiness of the interior is an element that visitors have keyed into. “People always comment on how welcoming the space feels—some compare it to California, which we appreciate,” says Su. “Overall, we want visitors to feel inspired and engaged by what they see and have a pleasant time away from their home.”

To learn about Relationships and their events, visit or vist 920 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY




Helen Levi


very talented artist has their own unique set of tools, for Brooklyn-based potter Helen Levi, it’s been her hands, ever since she started experimenting with clay. “I started taking pottery classes in elementary school as part of an after-school program at a local community center. I loved making animal figurines when I was too young for the wheel,” she says. Fast forward to years later, she has garnered a devoted fan base and clientele, including shops like Totokaelo and Need Supply, who gravitate towards her tactile pieces. Some of her work includes mugs and planters with mesmerizing waves of blue and bowls with swirls of black paint, which take on a squid ink feel. Helen draws her inspiration from a variety of sources. “I find the most inspiration from the physical process of ceramics,” says Levi. “I started marbling clay on the wheel as a way to experiment with pattern making, and through that, I got interested in slipcasting, as a way to expand my color palette. Once I grasped how that worked, I suddenly had a million more ideas. I feel like I'll never run out of ideas with clay because there are always new methods to try.”


‘Alissa Champagne’ Lisianthus



ith their signature feminine, frilly edge, lisianthus are a versatile cut flower option that comes in a variety of shades like soft peaches and vivid purples. They are admired for their extended vase life—they can last for more than two weeks—and long, elegant stems. Flower designer, Ariella Chezar, author of the new book, Seasonal Flower Arranging (Ten Speed Press) admits she used to reach for other voluminous blooms for her bouquets instead of lisianthus; however, things started to change for her when she began incorporating blooms grown near her flower farm. “Ever since I’ve had access to locally grown lizzies, I’ve warmed to them, especially the ‘Voyage’ and ‘Falda’ varieties,” she says. When it comes to building an arrangement, she adds, “Lisianthus are a really nice complement to roses—they have a different type of ruffle and look great when paired together. A fun trick is to ‘peel’ the petals open. It changes the flower into something completely different and quite lovely.”



‘Alissa Champagne’ lisianthus and TINTED STONEWARE



available at

Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom







Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, Hodges Bay Antigua



he West Indian island of Antigua is a tropical gem boasting around 365 beaches— locals say there is one for every day of the year—and a type of undeveloped beauty that will leave you feeling like you truly got away. The Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, part of the Elegant Hotel Group, is their newest beachfront property, located on the north side of the island. The overall aesthetic was conceptualized by Kobi Karp, an architectural firm based in Miami, commissioned to bring the hotel to life with an aesthetic that is elegant and approachable paired with a sustainable luxury element. The Great House, where visitors check-in, is an open and spacious three-story space that invites in the island’s ever-present breeze. The welcoming design juxtaposes elements of modernity with a Mediterranean feel in the form of plush cream sofas with sturdy wooden armrests, tonal woven chairs and glass tables with intricate, sun-bleached wooden bases. The stone flooring and many of the walls are imprinted with remnants of seashells and coral, while the backsplash behind the main desk glints with a golden hue. From the main house, a central staircase leads you into a lush courtyard, with frangipani, bougainvillea and flowering vines, and through a covered walkway, which takes you under a village road that passes overhead. The path winds down and eventually opens to the sparkling blue sea. THE SCENE

There are three restaurants on the property from casual to fine-dining. NaCl, the chemical formula for salt, offers the latter. At the helm is Chef Edward Lee, his résumé includes author, James Beard Award nominee and contestant on Top Chef, who oversees the menu. This well-heeled space boasts velvet seating like a curved rose settee and woven chairs with metal accents. White Sands is more laidback in nature with prime oceanfront dining serving breakfast and lunch, while Black Sails Tapas Lounge and Bar, situated just above, does small plates alongside cocktails and nightly live music. Both have a relaxed, global feel with hand-painted Cuban tiles that trace throughout the spaces. The hotel also taps into wellness with a large fitness center and daily on-site activities, like water aerobics, in addition to kayaks and paddle boards for leisurely use. On the relaxing side, The Spa at Hodges Bay incorporates products from Elemental Herbology, the holistic beauty brand from England, into their various treatments for face and body. THE ROOM S

The guest quarters are sprawled out and reached by walking through what could only be described as a tropical paradise—towering coconut trees and hibiscus line the pathways between the white buildings. There are 79 guest rooms and suites; each is adorned in a serene palette of soft grays and creams along with natural wood accents. All rooms are equipped with a balcony and a garden or ocean view. Amenities include toiletries from Elemental Herbology and a rainfall shower.

Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom



left to right A common area in The Great House; the lush property is dotted with coconut palms and mango trees.



opposite, top to bottom Gold chairs at NaCl's bar; hand-painted Cuban tiles add a colorful flair throughout the property; the sandy cove of Hodges Bay.






i An Di is one of those special places that you walk into and immediately feel happy. The founders, which include husband and wife team Kim Hoang and Tuan Bui and business partner Dennis Ngo, opened their sophomore restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn after the success of An Choi, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Inside, a canopy of tropical plants accentuates the sunlit space; vibrant palm frond wallpaper adds elan to the bar area, while blue ombré wallpaper serves as a backdrop to rose colored bench seating. The menu is also a feast for the senses and plays upon modern Vietnamese fare. Some notable dishes includes phở and an array of noodle soups—they have seven variations of it on any given day—and pays homage to the foods that they both enjoyed growing up as first generation Vietnamese-Americans in Texas and Virginia. We asked Kim to tell us more.

What served as the inspiration for design? Our muse is the tropical beauty of Vietnam. The desire was to transport our guests to a verdant setting outside of the bustling city. Similar to New Yorkers going upstate for a respite from the city, Saigonese would go to the countryside of Da Lat, which is known for its rolling hills and lush landscapes. Did you collaborate with a design firm to achieve your vision? Working with a mom and pop budget, we collaborated with family and friends within the design community. Huy Bui, Tuan’s brother, assisted with the interior design and build, while Michael Yarinksy aided in design consultation and interior styling efforts. What were some design elements that you wanted to incorporate? The interior is meant to reflect the food and culture of the restaurant itself—fresh, bright and transportive. This includes natural woods and soft color tones, like dusty pinks and shades of green. We incorporated brass and copper for the light fixtures and the bar frame and many different types of plants throughout. There is also a neon sign that hangs in the window of a bowl of noodle soup, which adds another visual element. Do you have a personal love for plants, which is why they are so prominent in the space? Tuan has lived in NYC since 1999 and it was always bright lights, big city, but over time, a rediscovery of all things green and nature developed. We wanted to bring the outside in!



opposite The rear section of the dining room outfitted with an array of tropical plants. following Di An Di's Phở Thin Hà Nội, a tribute to the city's famous restaurant; the Vietnamese 'pizza' that includes grilled crispy rice paper layered with egg and pork.


Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom






1 lemongrass stalk 1 ½ ounces of Helix Vodka ½ ounce of Square One Bergamot ¾ ounce of lemongrass syrup ¾ ounce of strained lime juice ¼ ounce of club soda Muddle approximately one inch of a lemongrass stalk in a cocktail shaker. Combine the rest of the ingredients in shaker. Double strain into a collins glass over fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with the remaining piece of lemongrass.

Makes One Serving

XA 75


FAR & M ake your home a gateway to the world by incorporating pieces that are crafted in far-off places. A new guard of brands are doing their part to sustain, grow and give back to communities around the globe. Each is fueled by a passion to make the earth a better place and in turn, create vibrant decor that beats to a global rhythm.


Rebecca Bravin’s dream was to start her own design company but admits that she was too intimidated to do so at first, so she decided to play it safe and continue to work for other brands. It wasn’t until she decided to fulfill her lifelong dream of volunteering in Africa with children that things shifted for her. “After being in Eswatini for a little over a month, my life was forever changed. I could not go back to the way things were before,” she says. She decided to parlay her skills as a designer and build her own company—one that paid fair wages and preserved generational skills. “I put my fears aside and took a leap of faith. The only reason why I had the strength to make this decision was that it wasn’t just about me, it was for something much greater—it was for them as well.” While the company was initially founded to empower women in Africa, she is looking to do the same here at home. “Since moving back to New York from Los Angeles, I’m looking to train women here in Brooklyn, who are in need of extra income in order to help take care of their families or to make ends meet. This continues our mission on creating with purpose. Everything is made to order, so every customer knows that the piece they’ve purchased is a one-of-a-kind and can never be recreated to be exactly the same. Each purchase empowers women by helping to create a sustainable income.” TANTU VI

Supporting the art of weaving is an important cause to Tantuvi’s founder, Arati Rao. Tantuvi, Sanskrit for ‘weaver’, is a line of rugs and home textiles produced in Rajasthan, India by two communities of artisans who work in the cottage industry. Rao, who is based in Brooklyn, says the highly skilled makers are very proud of their heritage and and the flexibility that comes from the ability to work from home, while still being able to earn an income. “You can’t

Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom Styled by Alison Engstrom & Monica Picca



Rwanda | INDEGO AFRICA PL ATEAU BASKETS , available at Rwanda and Ghana | INDEGO AFRICA MINI BEADED PEACE BASKETS , available at




available at available at ST. FR ANK TERR ACOT TA CL ASSIC KUBA CLOTH PILLOW , available at Eswatini | CHARLIE SPROUT NAGA ZI PEONY PILLOW , available at Morocco | ST. FR ANK KILIM RUG , for similar vist Eswatini | CHARLIE





really weave more than a few hours at a time, so by working within your village, you are in control of your day and can still fulfill duties of the community and raise your children.” With the modernity of many industries, she notes how important it is to support the craft because it’s at risk of being lost. “There is a lot of support at the moment especially from the Indian government, but with power looms and factories churning out products to look handmade, it’s hard for artisans to compete.” INDEGO AFRICA

Indego Africa is a company with a heartfelt, multi-pronged mission. Not only do they empower women in Rwanda and Ghana by providing education and business training, but they also abide by responsible sourcing practices and respect time-honored techniques like raffia weaving and woodcarving. The brand also asserts their efforts to a host of causes like the Economic Inclusion for Refugees by assisting the Mahama Refugee Camp and Kigeme Refugee Camp in Rwanda,





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in addition to the Leadership Academy, which focuses on building future leaders and providing technology training to help stimulate their communities. According to Deirdre King, the company’s creative director, “The most rewarding part is being able to partner with these amazing women makers across the ocean to bring a shared vision into the world. I love knowing that we are working together to create beautiful products and promote various crafts as a viable source of education and growth for women across Rwanda and Ghana." ST. FR ANK

Perusing St.Frank's website, or browsing one of their jewel box boutiques—with locations in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles—is like visiting a global bazaar. Founder Christina Bryant began her company with the intention of preserving traditional crafts produced around the world, which in turn provides economic support to various regions. Here you’ll discover red clay platters made by women in Oaxaca, printed mud cloths inspired by West Africa and one-of-a-kind rugs from Turkey. STUDIO SALVAGE CR AF T S

Add a bit of distinction to your living space with a whimsical crocheted lamp made in southern India. Choose from a variety of lantern-like silhouettes, and to make a statement, string a few together as we did here. K A ZI GOODS

Working across points in Africa like Burundi, Kenya and Uganda, Kazi Goods does their part by working with marginalized communities in Africa by offering them empowering employment opportunities. As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, the brand’s founders Greg Stone and Alicia Wallace want to ensure that living wages and sustainable practices are in place for each maker and product created. Within their impressive network of 3,200 artisans, they ultimately end up supporting over 18,000 family members, since their average craftsman or woman has more than five dependents. Each thoughtful collection is inspired by a given region like the Thousand Hills design, a pattern that calls to mind the mountain landscape of Rwanda; or the Sunrise motif, inspired by the first light that shines onto the hills of Rwanda and Uganda.



Becoming Julia Julia Stiles 84 True Blue 94 Before & After Josephine Lang ford 104 The Valley of the Sun 110 In the Flow Isabella Boylston 126 From Hilltop to Hilltop 132 48 Hours in Palm Springs 138 A Land of Many Colors 144 An Island in the Sun 156 The Final Note 162







on coming of age in New York, the evolution of the entertainment industry, starring in ‘Riviera’ and her newest role, motherhood.


Photographed by Sharon Radisch Styled by Sarah Slutsky Interview by Alison Engstrom




ctress Julia Stiles first burst onto the big screen and into our hearts with her iconic movies, like 10 Things I Hate About You and Save the Last Dance. Since then, the New York native has starred in the Bourne franchise and appeared in shows like Dexter and The Mindy Project. Today, Julia is star of the hit series Riviera, where she plays Georgina Clios, an American art collector who tries to grapple with the mysterious death of her husband in the glamorous world of the south of France. I caught up with the actress in her hometown to talk about coming of age in the spotlight, how the industry has changed since she first started, her new film Hustlers and her most rewarding role yet, motherhood.


You’re a born and bred New Yorker. Even though there are millions of people that live in the city, you are a rare breed! What was it like to grow up in New York? It was awesome and I probably didn’t realize it at the time. The city was wild but it was normal to me. New York was very different back then, so it’s easy for me to get territorial or possessive about the nostalgia over the city. But one of the great things about it is that it’s fluid and changes so much. I grew up in a loft in SoHo and attended public school through high school. I didn’t realize how much New York is a part of me until I traveled elsewhere. Each time I come back, I realize that it’s in my blood. I do remember at one point as a child begging my parents to move to the New Jersey suburbs because I wanted to be outdoors more. I’m so glad that they didn’t because by the time I got to high school I was exposed to so much. Living here, you have this level of independence where you can take the bus or the subway and easily go wherever you want to go. What age did your parents let you ride the subway by yourself? It was a gradual process and it was always an ongoing negotiation (laughs). I remember being really mad at my parents because they wouldn’t let me walk home from elementary school. We would carpool to school and then I could take the bus back with friends, but you always had to be in a group and everyone took the same bus route. By the end of high school, I could take the subway by myself. When did you start acting? When I was 12, I started working with the Fringe Theater Company. My mom, who is an artist, was friends with the production designer. The company was this cool group of adults that I got to play dress up with. They gave me a part in one of their shows and then I became a member of La Mama Experimental Theatre Club. I definitely didn’t think that this was going to be my job until much later, like high school. So, what made you realize? hen I was in high school and I started auditioning for film and television, then it became something that I really wanted. I eventually got my big break, 10 Things I Hate About You, in the summer before my senior year of high school—the movie came out after I graduated. I still decided to apply to college because I knew that I wanted to go. I took a gap year off to work and then at the height of my career, when I started working a lot more and getting more recognition, was when I went back to school. While I was studying at Columbia University, I was experimenting with the idea of maybe doing something else as a profession. Everyone else was trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their life so I asked myself the same question: what’s my path? I knew that I really enjoyed being an actress, but I was still questioning what all this meant and that maybe I could be open to other things.


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“Let’s stop with all the obsession over professions, masculine and feminine traits and what defines you. At the core, the most important thing is to be kind to other people.”

As you said, you studied at Columbia and majored in English Literature. Was having a college education something that was always important to you? I remember thinking when I started becoming really successful as an actress, that if I didn't go to college I would later wish I had that experience when I got older. I think I also, somewhere intuitively, felt like I started to become more recognizable and college was in some ways a bit of a buffer in terms of that whole experience. Back then I was doing a lot of interviews and press for Save the Last Dance, and the story was always ‘she’s going to college’ or ‘she’s a freshman in college’ and I was like, well now I know I have to finish. This year marks the 20th anniversary of 10 Things I Hate About You. Where does the time go? I, like many other teenagers, identified so much with your character Kat Stratford. She beat to the tune of her own drum and didn’t care about fitting in. Was that role at all familiar with how you were when you were a teenager? Yes, absolutely! It was one of the reasons I was so excited about that part, which I wanted so badly. It was the first time I had read a role for a teenage girl who was so feisty, opinionated and outspoken. She was a fish out of water but not sullen about that, you know? She didn’t feel sad about it like poor me, nobody likes me. It makes me really happy though that people do still care about the movie and talk about it 20 years later—that’s really special. How did you manage to stay on the straight and narrow once the floodgates of fame opened? definitely had my fun but I didn’t do anything super destructive. I had my embarrassing moments, but for one, social media didn’t exist or it wasn’t as prolific. I was definitely grounded by my family and growing up in the city. There was also a little part of me that didn’t trust fame. When I was coming up in the industry, there were other actresses and famous girls that got a lot of attention for their wild behavior so it was a weird temptation to mimic that, but I didn’t trust it at all. Somehow I knew that would backfire. Today, I couldn’t even imagine; everyone photographs and tweets about everything. It’s like you can’t go through those experimental years privately. You have to be careful, too. You know Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—it’s all permanent and your potential employers could see that. I know, I sound like a mother (laughs). I read once that you said that you were really hard on yourself about how you looked on the red carpet when you were younger. It’s crazy because I wanted to look like you, so did my friends! I find it interesting why as women we are so hard on ourselves. Oh my goodness, this is a subject that has been on my mind so much. I was recently talking to a costume designer for a movie that I just filmed. He said something really fascinating to me because we were talking about body image, wardrobe fittings and fitting into sample sizes. He said that women will come into a costume fitting and they will be apologizing for their bodies and saying, ‘I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to be smaller. I’ll fix it; I’ll fix it; I’m sorry. Basically saying ‘I’m bad.’ But hands down, male actors come into a fitting and it’s never about them. Even if they’ve gained weight or something has changed over the course of a film shoot, they’ll say that something isn’t right and the suit needs to be tailored because it’s the wrong size, so fix the clothing. It’s essentially the clothing’s problem. I’m trying to be as a grown up as possible and be aware of all that more. But it’s such a complicated subject. My mom was really good at instilling confidence in me and teaching me to take care of myself but I have insecurities like anyone else. I think as I get



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older, I’m trying to remember, it’s a meditation and learning how to be grateful for all the things that your body can do, especially after having a kid. Do you feel like a superwoman? Yes! It makes me feel really proud of what my body can do. I’ve learned, as I’ve gotten older, to treat that part of my profession as something outside of me, like a science. I’m sure women in any profession struggle with these issues of body image, appearance and all that, but it’s obviously more exaggerated as an actress. I say this to myself: ‘nobody feels bad for you, Julia. It’s part of your profession that a lot of people would kill for.’ But from an outsider’s point of view, I think that your talent should speak for itself. It should be about what you are offering and how you are making people feel, ultimately. agree with you in an ideal world, but I don’t think that’s the way it is, and sometimes I get really cynical about being an actress in that you relinquish so much control. We gravitate towards the pretty face on the camera, but really for a sustained career, you need to have something more interesting about you. But thankfully it’s changing a lot, too. It has really has changed over the course of my career with the Me Too Movement. That’s actually my next question. So much has changed within the past few years, there is so much more transparency on how women are treated in the entertainment industry and beyond. How have things changed since you first started? Yes, I think it has 100 percent changed, but we still do have a way to go. If I look back on when I was starting out in my career, I would have been nervous about being an actress in my late 30s and approaching 40 because opportunities were much more limited then. Now I feel like there’s a lot more, and in some ways, I’m more interested in the roles I’m playing now than what was available to me as a teenager. There’s also certainly more women I see behind the scenes, which is really great. I just worked with director Lorene Scafaria on the set of Hustlers and there was a trickle-down effect because there were a lot more women on the crew. But on the other end, I’ve also worked with bullies and in hostile work environments that I would handle differently now. At the end of the day, it’s an industry that’s driven by economics, so as long as there’s this rallying cry to have more stories, more diversity in those stories and those movies are successful, the more we will continue in that direction. Speaking of stories, congratulations on season two of your show Riviera and for signing on for a third season! What was it about the script that hooked you? Well, talk about body image issues or appearance obsession. I decided to be on a TV show that’s all about glamour and the way


that these women dress! I think there was a part of me that wanted to explore that facet. How did you land the role? I was in the airport coming back from shooting the last Jason Bourne movie and my agent called me and said that I needed to read this script right away. It was definitely in a time in my career when I was having to audition more and pursue things, but they sent it to me. After just reading the first episode I was really taken by it. It was a bit of a leap of faith because I didn’t quite know where the show was going to go, but I thought, this is an amazing setting for a show. I hadn’t really seen anything like it. At the time, the trend in TV was a lot of hyper-realism and gritty material—this idea of a patina or gilded world was interesting and then to get to play the lead in a sophisticated drama was also appealing. There was a lot of dialogue with the producers and the writers. They kept talking about her being an anti-hero and that appealed to me and it was something that I kept fighting for. Have you had any creative input with your role as Georgina Clios? Yes! I remember the first episode, they had written a scene where Georgina is told that her husband has been killed. It was originally written that she burst into tears and collapsed on the floor. I thought no, I think that’s expected and something that we’ve seen before. People handle grief in many different ways. I suggested it would be more interesting to show this woman repressing all of that in the way that she presents herself to the public. I'd rather see her vary her grief and then have it come out either with her best friend or in private moments. By just changing that one scene, it changed the whole approach. Let’s switch gears, you recently became a new mom, congratulations! Did you have any uncertainty about entering into this new and exciting life stage? I definitely wanted to be a mom, especially after I met my baby daddy (laughs). Before I started dating my husband, the only thing I was hesitant about, in terms of becoming a mother, was making sure that I’d have a good partner. There was a little bit of asking myself, ‘when is the right time to do this,’ but I also felt like, there’s never a right time. Eventually, I said, okay, it’s now. I remember people giving me advice by saying, ‘maybe you should wait until this or that’ and that used to really frustrate me. I was a little bit afraid, but you can’t wait too long, so then I was like this is a priority to me. Let’s get going! How has having your son changed your life? It’s the most amazing thing ever! I mean I could gush and gush and gush. But I feel a little bit hesitant to do that out of respect for people who can’t have kids. You can gush, it’s a happy time! I love him. It’s totally changed my life in the most wonderful way. He keeps me present. I mean it’s this feeling of utter joy, even in the

“I feel like New York is such a part of my soul and I kind of want that for my son.” 91


most sleep-deprived moments. It’s also terrifying at the same time because you have this thing you love so much who you have to protect in the world. How have you managed hectic filming schedules and the duties of a new mom? I feel really grateful that I have a profession that will cater to my needs in terms of being a working mother, and not everyone has that experience. It’s changing more, but that’s only a privilege you have being the lead of a show, not necessarily every job. My son would come to visit at lunchtime because I wanted to be able to really focus on him. I didn’t want to constantly be pulled away. I also didn’t want to rub it in the nose of other crew members who maybe have kids and couldn’t bring them to set. But he turned out to be the mascot for our show and it made it a more friendly set, and other people would bring their kids just to visit. Does having a child reshape your priorities about what types of jobs you’ll accept? Well there is a lot more to plan for sure, and I have to really love the project that I’m going to be working on because I do feel torn when I’m away from him. You have said that you and your husband are quite nomadic and move around quite a bit. Now that you have a little one, do you see yourself putting down roots somewhere? efinitely, I feel like New York is such a part of my soul and I kind of want that for my son. But we fantasize all the time about actually living in France. I think that travel is really beneficial for our family and it’s certainly eye-opening for a child, but one thing I’ve noticed is that since we travel so much, just when we start to make friends, build a community and have other kids to play with, then we get up and go somewhere else. So that will probably wind down eventually. What is one of the best lessons that you’ve learned about life that you would like to share one day with your son? Oh wow, that’s a good one, lessons. I guess it’s actually something that my husband said recently. My son was playing with a fire truck, and this woman asked, ‘Oh are you going to be a fireman when you grow up,’ and my husband just said to our son, ‘I just want you to be kind. I thought that’s such a good lesson for a little kid. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you are dealing with, I feel like being kind is so important. People will always remember how you treated them. It’s the only thing they remember. Yeah, let’s stop with all the obsession over professions, masculine and feminine traits and what defines you. At the core, the most important thing is to be kind to other people.


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ROSE & IV Y Art Director Monica Picca Makeup by Lisa Aharon at The Wall Group Hair by Michael Thomas Lollo at Honey Artists Photography Assistant Kyle Aaron Lacy Styling Assistant Cameron Cipolla Interns Mia Martins and Calleigh Sheehan



True Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom



Discovering the vibrant island of Curaçao



previous A aqua building in Willemstad; the otherwordly blue water at Director's Bay. opposite The oceanfront pool at Papagayo.


o, do you want to know the real reason the homes in Willemstad are so colorful?" My tour guide Tirzah Statia of Go Local in Curaçao asked me as we drove through the lively narrow streets of the capital. “The houses used to be all white but the founding Governor, Albert Kikkert, would get ‘migraines’ because the sun was so bright. He asked all of the residents to differentiate their homes by painting them in a bright shade with white trim. It turned out that he owned a paint store on the island.” Even though he cajoled the residents of this Caribbean island for his own monetary gain, he had the right idea, because today Curaçao is a vibrant destination filled with chromatic homes in shades of powder blues, tomato reds, lime greens and bubblegum pinks. As a member of the ABC Islands, which include Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao is a Dutch province with a landscape that is both lush and arid. Situated away from the hurricane belt, this isle offers both history and arguably some of the best beaches in the world. In scale, you can drive the 40 mile island in its entirety and find yourself blissfully swimming with schools of fish and unplugging completely.


With views of the crystal blue Jan Thiel Bay, the Papagayo property is sprawled out into both a resort, which offers luxurious bungalows, and an ocean front hotel. The clean white exteriors are surrounded by lush flora, like fragrant frangipane and inhabitants like blue lizards, or blau-blaus, who scurry about. Each of the minimally chic rooms are outfitted with a private terrace and an Illy coffee machine, a perfect combination to begin your mornings. While it’s located in close proximity to the Papagayo Beach Club, if you are someone looking for peace and quiet, there is a small secluded beach that also happens to offer great snorkeling away from the commotion, right next to the infinity pool that peers out to the sea.


One of the alluring element of the island is the gentle, undulating breeze known as Noordoostpassaat Wind, which is present the majority of the year.





BEACHES & BEYOND The coastline in Curçao is a beach-lovers delight for both swimming, snorkeling and diving. The public beaches are free, while the private, typically run by a resort, charge a small fee for a chair rental. Beyond discovering endless sandy beaches, many natural wonders abound elsewhere, including hiking Mount Christoffel—the highest point on the island—taking a day trip to Klein Curaçao or visiting an aloe plantation.


Rockier than most, this inlet is where fisherman discard their fish leftovers, which has in turn attracted a family of sea turtles. You can swim very close to these graceful creatures, who idle not too far from the shore. Locals gather on the weekends at the beachside canteen to savor a piping hot bowl of their homemade fish soup served alongside local bread. TUGBOAT BE ACH

See an abundance of aquatic life at Tugboat, an excellent snorkeling site on the eastern side of the island. As the name suggests, here you’ll find a sunken boat that was purposely submerged in the ‘60s. Explore the vessel that is now home to colorful coral and mesmerizing schools of fish. There are currently sustainable efforts underway to grow coral, so while swimming around you’ll see many coral trees that will eventually be planted elsewhere. This laidback spot also has a concession stand and a dive school. DIRECTOR’S BAY

Just around the bend from Tugboat is Director’s Bay, a crystal clear cove that beckons to be swam in, plus possible sea turtle sightings. This beach, which is covered in sun bleached coral, is smaller than most so the crowds aren’t as large—it’s also a great spot to see the sunset. PL AYA K ALKI

This sleepy sandy cove is near the Kura Hulanda Resort on the western side of the island called Westpunt. This languid spot, named after limestone in Papiamento, is great for snorkeling and marked with mushroom shaped coral. PL AYA PORTO MARI

Take the dirt road lined with cactus and brush to one of the most popular beaches on the island and for good reasons—take the turquoise blue waters, a floating dock in the middle of the sea and excellent snorkeling around the rock formations. It’s also home to two nonchalant pigs, Willy and Woody, who wandered to the area a few years back and decided to stay. PL AYA KNIP

Hailed as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and even the world, Playa Knip is a Curaçao must with water that is an unfathomable shade of blue. Watch locals jump off one of the steep cliffs, linger under the shade of a palm tree or enjoy many blissful hours floating in the sea.

The sandy beaches of Playa Knip.



clockwise A rocky cove at Shete Boka National Park; the calm waters at Playa Porto Mari; a pelican perched on a boat in Caracas Bay; filleted aloe ready to be used.

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Only with a local guide would we have discovered this underground cave tucked away inside the Kura Hulanda Resort. From the parking lot, walk down the steep steps to this narrow gorge, etched with century old coral rock. Depending on the amount of rainfall, you can jump into the swimming hole for a quick cool down. Timing your visit to early afternoon will ensure you have the light beaming from above, which makes for a great photo. While the resort is private, tell the guards you want to visit and they will most likely let you in by paying a small fee—a friendly smile could also help your chances.

that pommel the coastline. Explore hiking trails that lead you through lava fields or visit the underground cave, where you can feel the thunderous roar of the sea. ALOE PL ANTATION

Discover Curaçao’s only aloe plantation—an undulating terrain that includes more than 100,000 plants growing on ten acres. Take the self-guided tour through the grounds, see farmers at work and stop by the shop that stocks their Curaloe products. KLEIN CUR AÇAO


Visit the island’s past by stopping by the Quarantine House, located above Tugboat Beach and Director’s Bay. This abandoned structure, reached by an unpaved bumpy road, where iguanas bask and birds swoop between the brush, is thought to be haunted. Carefully wander through the house that once served, as the name suggests, as a holding cell for immigrants entering the island. S HE TE BOK A NATIONAL PARK

Situated on the western part of the island, Shete Boka, or seven inlets, have been carved through the ages from the crashing waves

Imagine visiting a deserted island that looks somewhere between landing on the moon and entering a secluded tropical paradise. These are just a few ways to describe what a visit to Klein Curaçao or Little Curaçao is like. Situated about a twohour boat ride off of the coast and just under one square mile, you’ll find a long stretch of soft white sand and an eerie weathered lighthouse that stands erect on charred volcanic rock. The western side of the island has rougher seas and is marked with old rusted shipwrecks that have washed ashore and are still being hit by the crashing waves. Several boat companies depart daily to the island including Ocean Encounters and Mermaid Tours—the majority serve lunch and provide drinks on board.

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clockwise The iconic view of downtown Willemstad; a colorful home in Pietermaai; crystal blue water.



he capital of Curaçao is steeped in history, one that dates back to 1634 when the Dutch took control from the Spanish and set up the island as a trade settlement. Today, the past is still present in the form of stunning architectural details that nod to Holland and narrow lanes that meander through the city center. The city is divided by the Queen Emma Bridge, a floating pontoon connector that knits the two sections of downtown, Punda and Otrobanda, together.


The Curaçao government is working to help rescue stray dogs that wander the streets of the island, a general problem in the Caribbean. You too can help by donating to the Curaçao Animal Rights Foundation and Humane Society International.

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Walk through the island’s colorful past, one that was fitted with prestigious mansions and chromatic narrow alleyways just steps from the sea, in the charming district of Pietermaai. This area, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, is home to restaurants, boutique hotels and a variety of small shops. There is also a new beach, City Beach 88 with a small pier that is great for taking a dip and snorkeling. PL ASA BIEU, THE OLD MARKE T

Experience Curaçao's food culture by savoring a hearty meal at the Old Market. Currently housed in a temporary space while the original structure gets renovated here you'll find a variety of food vendors selling specialties like pumpkin pancakes, stews, rice dishes and seafood, all at great prices. This no frills dining experience feels incredibly authentic, like you've been invited into a locale's home. SCHARLOO

A neighborhood, where a new generation of islanders are setting up businesses among historic palatial buildings from the 1800s. Today, the majority of the façades are decorated in life-size murals by local artists like Francis Sling and Garrick Marchena. After exploring, tuck into Fleur de Marie Eatery & Shop, a newcomer to the neighborhood run by Korra Pietersz-Juliana and Angela Guiamo. The menu spans the gamut from decadent to healthy—for breakfast, try their pumpkin bread French toast; for lunch, you’ll find lighter options from soup and salad to baked fish.


This casual spot offers a delicious Mexican fusion menu that includes avocado salad, addictive yucca fries, crispy fish tacos and a great drink menu with homemade sodas. NUMBER TEN , Number Ten is an inviting rustic restaurant set in the Landhuis Bloemhof garden, outside the city center. The California meets Caribbean menu includes avocado toast, açcai bowls and homemade granola with some of the best coffee on the island. WANDU CAFÉ, Hanchi Snoa, 14

Located across from the historic Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, this café serves a robust brew in addition to sandwiches and pastries, all in a relaxing environment. KOKO’S,

Enjoy breezy waterfront dining under a thatched hut at Koko’s at Jan Thiel Beach. Grab a leisurely brunch here, their fluffy blueberry pancakes and coconut water are a sure bet. ANDER S BATIDO

Taste the flavors of island life by slurping a batido, a frothy blended drink that combines tropical fruit and milk, across the Queen Emma Bridge in Otrobanda. A tip—ask for half the amount of the sugar that they usually add.

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Photographed by Daniel G. Castrillon Interview by Alison Engstrom



Standing at the edge of stardom, actress JOSEPHINE LANGFORD is calm, cool and collected. 10 4

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s far back as Josephine Langford can remember, she wanted to become an actress. Hailing from Perth, Australia, Jo—as many refer to her — is the daughter of two doctors who grew up with a passion for singing, dancing and music. “I’m hesitant to say that I was that typical kid putting on performances but that was definitely me,” she confesses. She became adamant about acting at a young age and recalls she couldn’t imagine doing any other type of work. As with many aspiring actors, it took some time for her to not only master her craft but to figure out how to actually secure roles. At 14, she earned her first paid acting gig appearing in a corporate video that was shown to families that were going through a divorce. “Perth, where I live and grew-up is one of the more isolated cities in the world. It’s not industry heavy and we only have around four agents. I didn’t grow up knowing anyone who worked in the entertainment business,” she says. So, she took matters into her own hands and would spend time on her computer Googling topics like, “how to get on television” or back when she was 12, “Disney auditions.” Breaking into the entertainment world can be challenging and with it can come repeated bouts of rejection. “People ask me how I deal with rejection when I don’t get a certain job. I believe that if you don’t get a role, it’s because you aren’t right for it. You just have to wait for the right one.” Flash forward seven years after her very first job, her patience and perseverance has paid off. In April, she appeared on the big screen, as the female lead in the movie adaptation of After, the highly anticipated film based upon the wildly successful book series written by Ana Todd. She says, “It was a long journey and several things had to happen behind the scenes. People always think that success happens overnight, but it doesn’t.” Her big break, playing Tessa Young, was originally hindered by a scheduling conflict, but the tide eventually shifted in her favor. “Originally, I didn’t get an audition because I was working on another project, but two months later they changed the shoot date and I auditioned for another part in the movie. I got a Skype callback and a call from my agent, who said they wanted to meet with me for the lead role. I went to Los Angeles, had a few meetings and that was that.”

The five book series, which has garnered over 1.5 billion reads on the digital website, Wattpad, in addition to print editions published by Simon & Schuster, has amassed a devoted fanbase who can't seem to get enough. Upon meeting Josephine, you quickly gather that she has an air about her that is laidback and easygoing, so it makes sense that she approached her character without too much intimidation, in regards to what fans would expect. “Whenever you are playing a character who is well-known and loved by a lot of people, there will always be expectations. As an actor, you have the responsibility to make sure you are playing it right, but at the same time, you cannot allow yourself to feel so much pressure that you won’t be confident or secure in what you are doing.” Once she was confirmed, things happened quickly and she didn’t have more than ten days to prep before she began shooting in Atlanta. In that window, she mastered her American accent, read the book, along with the script and had a weeklong rehearsal period that allowed her to bond with her co-stars, which included Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, her love interest, and Selma Blair, who plays her mother. The film is a coming of age love story, with a plot line that many young adults can relate to—Tessa is a freshman in college, who falls for a dark and mysterious bad boy, Harden, played by Fiennes-Tiffin and the plot line unravels from there. I spoke to Josephine over the phone in New York, about a month after meeting her on our shoot. She just wrapped her first worldwide press tour, where she spent three weeks on the road with Hero and Anna traveling to points in Spain, Mexico and Brazil. “I feel really lucky that I was able to visit so many beautiful countries that I had never had the opportunity to visit before. The press schedule wasn’t too overwhelming. We’ve all become really close, so we had a lot of fun. I feel very lucky that my job allows me to travel for a living.” We talked about the future, perhaps a sequel to After, and the type of material that piques her interest. “I have read a few things recently that I am absolutely obsessed with but nothing is confirmed at the moment—I am still exploring. Whenever I look at a script, I look at the character. There has to be something, always inexplicable, about it that makes me want to do it.

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Makeup by Meg Kashimura Hair by Marshall Lim Hair Assistant Kevin Kondor Photography Assistant Matthew Caprotti

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THE VALLEY OF THE SUN Exploring Peru's mystical Sacred Valley Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom





hat exactly catapults a destination to a bucket list? Is it the remnants of an impression left from a transportive photograph or a moving picture from a film; perhaps it’s a travel story told by an acquaintance that left a lasting impression. Or could it be the sheer desire to travel somewhere that is far outside your everyday realm? Personally speaking, it’s always been a bit of all these things. For as long as I can remember, a wanderlust gene has been somehow planted inside of me. This is where I dream; where I feel unencumbered and free; where I happily get lost in another culture and seduced by the beauty of a foreign landscape with my camera in tow. Peru was high on my list. I longed to see the fertile Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu laden with Incan ruins, with a picturesque fog hanging low over a backdrop of jagged green peaks. I wanted to wander down narrow cobblestone streets and see locals clad in vibrant dress, their golden complexions imprinted with decades of South American sun—their dark hair woven into two tight, long braids. I landed in Cusco in late April, just as the country was emerging from the wet season. Remnants of a late morning drizzle left the streets glistening. Overhead the sky appeared dramatic; on one side of the city, the sun was bursting through the clouds, the beams of light illuminated the colonial architecture, while on the other side, storm clouds were moving through, creating both a dramatic and mystical feeling, mirroring the mood of the city itself.

The pastel sky at sunset; chicha, a local drink, ready to be served.




left to right A street vendor proudly showing her work; the narrow road leading to San Blas; an array of flours at the Mercado San Pedro; the Plaza de Armas in the morning.



A Walking Tour of Cusco


usco is laden with history from flourishing empires to conquests, in the form of Incan walls that can be seen today while exploring the town. Between the 1500s and 1800s, the Spanish constructed a large degree of their architecture on top of existing Incan temples and palaces built between the 1000s to the 1500s. I noticed the majority of buildings have a stone foundation, finished with a stuccoed facade and ornate wooden balconies. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the city is a walk through time. On an early Tuesday morning, The Plaza de Armas, the main square, was a fulcrum of activity. Mothers held their children’s hands gently tugging them up the cobblestone street to school, their backpacks bopped up and down; police officers clad in neon yellow conducted traffic shouted, ‘vamos, vamos’; meanwhile, the Peruvian sun lit up the green mountains behind the majestic Iglesia San Francisco. Moments like this, observed by yourself, better acquaint you with everyday life. I learned by exploring that Cusco is a very safe city both during the day and at night. There are many police officers patrolling on foot, but when it comes to walking, one must act with conviction! Even at crosswalks, drivers were hesitant to stop, so when I thought there was enough time to cross, I did so swiftly. Dodging traffic was tricky but something that I attempted to master after my first day, since walking would be my main mode of transportation. In order to get a glimpse into the city’s history, I connected with local guide Alexander Medina of Venturia, a very knowledgeable source on all things pertaining to Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Our first stop was a few minutes from the hotel, under the Portal de Belén, where a woman sold warm, sweet and savory tamales. I carefully unwrapped the corn husk package to savor a comforting treat filled with cornmeal and laced with the subtle scent of star anise. While exploring a few neighborhoods, I noticed that the majority of street signs weren’t in Spanish but Quechua, the original language spoken by the Incas. In 1975, the government passed a law making both it and Spanish the two national languages of Peru. You can also feel the importance that religion has played in the country; within a one block radius from the main plaza, there are more than seven churches, the largest being the Cusco Cathedral. Completed in the mid-1600s, it’s an opulent display of art and architecture including the choir stalls carved purely from cedar and the elaborate gold detailing throughout. After an afternoon spent taking in the sights, I dined at Ceviche Seafood Kitchen , a restaurant devoted to the flavors of the Peruvian coast. Besides offering a variety of ceviche, a recent menu included mouthwatering potato croquettes topped with a tangy shrimp salad as a starter. For my main, I enjoyed grilled trout accompanied by Andean corn. There were plenty of inventive drinks to wash everything down, like lemongrass lemonade, or chicha morada, a sweet purple concoction made from the region’s purple corn.




The Road to Moray and the Salt Pans of Maras


he car wound up the Peruvian highlands, past forests of eucalyptus with sweeping mountain vistas until we arrived at Chinchero. Located about a 40-minute drive from Cusco, it’s the birthplace of the rainbow according to the Incas and the heart of the region’s weaving center—a tradition that has been proudly passed on from generation to generation. There are many chincheros housed on the main thoroughfare like Sara Textiles Chinchero. Inside they offer demonstrations on the process, including how the alpaca fur is cleaned by grating yucca root, which gets remarkably sudsy, then dyed with a myriad of natural materials including dried flowers and herbs and eventually spun into yarn. There are plenty of patterned goods to purchase on-siteincluding gloves, pillowcases and blankets. We continued on our way as we drove through the Sacred Valley, a soulful place spread out over 100 kilometers of land, where the Incas built palaces and cities more than 800 years ago. We stopped at Maras, a very small village built at the end of the 16th century. Marked with dusty dirt roads edged by homes made of adobe mud bricks, life seemed to carry on here uninterrupted by modern day conveniences. Women in traditional Peruvian dress sold colorful produce under a hut, while men trudged down the hill with wheat slung over their backs. In this region, it’s known that if there is a red flag outside a home or building, a local is offering a provision or craft inside. We wandered into one, where an elderly woman with shiny rosy cheeks and long gray hair warmly welcomed us into her home and ushered us into her small grassy courtyard. Inside, a dog lounged lazily in the sun and three brown donkeys grazed. Her specialty was chicha, a fermented corn drink that she proudly scooped out of a wooden barrel and into a glass for us to try, before we carried on to Moray. The terrain eventually opened up to a more mountainous landscape with sharp green folds and even more shades of greens and yellows colored the hillside.

Sheep grazed in the meadow, while shepherds relaxed against a tree as their flock fed. Fields of fava beans, freshly churned soil from a potato harvest and burgundy colored quinoa plants bent with the breeze helping to illustrate just how much bounty the region produces. And just beyond, two glaciers came into view, their frosted peaks soared above the clouds. There are many archeological points to visit, again best accompanied by hiring a guide, which were once inhabited by the Incan civilization including Moray. Located in a verdant valley, it’s an astounding portrayal of their agricultural work. Within the circular rings, they have 17 micro-climates, which is thought to mimic a similar effect of the modern day greenhouse. As I explored, a musician up on the hilltop played an Andean pan flute, creating an even more mystical setting, as the notes followed me down as I took in the ruins. The salt pans of Maras are another point of interest and an example of ‘minka’, which is Quencha for a community of people coming together for a common purpose. The 6,000 pools, in shades of milky pinks, browns and creams, are maintained by a co-op of 800 families. They operate on a century-old Incan principle called ‘ayni’, which translates to ‘tomorrow for me, tomorrow for you’ where they ultimately work for the good of all. After a day of exploring, we stopped in Urubamba to refuel, the capital of the Sacred Valley. The city, located on the banks of the Urubamba River, has steadily grown over the years since visitors must pass through in order to arrive at Machu Picchu. For lunch, we headed to Tierra Cocina Artesanal, a charming spot in the town’s center with a menu that included a trout ceviche starter and a tasty bowl of homemade tagliatelle that incorporated four different types of local mushrooms. On our drive back to Cusco, the sun faded behind the clouds and painted the sky in soothing shades of pastel—a perfect way to end the day.

left to right The natural dyes in Chinchero; the Ican ruins of Moray; a friendly dog in town; a woman emulsifying a yucca root at Sara Textiles Chinchero.






Getting to Know Cusco Through its Food

ne of my favorite ways to get assimilated to a different culture is through its food and that means a visit to a local market is always a must. There are several in the city center, some catering more towards locals, tourists or both. The JW Marriott El Convento Cusco offers a wonderful opportunity to visit Mercado San Pedro, accompanied by Executive Chef Jonathan Campos of the hotel’s restaurant Qespi, which is followed by an hour-long cooking demonstration back at the hotel. After about a 15-minute walk from the hotel, we arrived at the market geared up to taste the local flavors. There are many varieties of superfoods native to Peru that are now catching on to mainstream diets—maca, quinoa, cassava flour to name a few—but here, they have long been a staple, some dating as far back as the Incas. Many of the vendors welcomed you to sample fruit or cheese for a nominal fee. I tried a handful of tropical fruits like pacay, also known as an ice cream bean, which had a sweet white pulp nestled around large black seeds and resembled a fava bean; next, I tried lucuma, a yellow fruit with a sweet flesh similar to a cooked sweet potato. Soursop was my favorite, with its reptile-like green exterior, it tasted like a cross between a pineapple and mango. I also saw maca root in its true form, as well as chuño, a dried potato that resembled a white stone that gets re-hydrated by boiling it in hot water before it is prepared. Elsewhere inside, locals slurped piping hot bowls of chicken soup, a market favorite; visitors stocked up on colorful textiles, artfully shaped cheeses were proudly displayed alongside bags of corn and quinoa in many colorful varieties. We picked up a loaf of Oropesa bread, an airy loaf scented with anise and a slight sweetness, a chunk of aged Gouda and several bars of Peruvian chocolate to enjoy with our lunch. Back at the hotel, I learned the art of making ceviche—a dish I had always said I didn’t like, but in full transparency, I think it’s because it was prepared incorrectly. After learning the ropes with Chef Campos, my mind was officially changed. Fresh trout, a local freshwater fish, was bathed in tiger’s milk—a zesty concoction of lime and ginger juice, fish stock and cilantro—then garnished with red onions and sweet potatoes that had been stewed in orange juice and star anise. I learned the basics to try my hand at it back at home. My demonstration was followed by a seven-course tasting meal later that evening at Qespi, inspired by the flavors of Cusco. The elaborately presented dinner included dishes such as a colorful salad garnished with edible flowers and wine poached apples; then it was a decadent gratin of potatoes slathered in herbed Andean cheese. After a very full day of eating, I sipped a hot cup of muña, a revered Andean herb that is said to soothe digestion and help with the altitude, before drifting off to sleep.

left to right Fruit at Mercado San Pedro; ceviche prepared with Chef Jonathan Campos; fields of quinoa; artisanal cheeses at the market.




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Exploring the Wonder of Machu Picchu


he train chugged at a steady speed of 35 kilometers per hour through the rugged terrain of the Sacred Valley, past grazing cows, an expanse of artichoke fields and the flowing Urubamba River. With each bend, the terrain morphed into something new and unexpected. My mode of transportation, the Belmond Hiram Bingham, a pristinely restored train from the 1920s that is luxury travel at its finest. The convoy is outfitted with a lavish bar and dining cart—both offer plush seating and shiny wooden and brass details—and an observation car, where you can dazzle at the changing scenery and the world passing you by. There are a few ways you can arrive to Machu Picchu, one of them by hiking, which is free—the longest duration is seven days, the shortest, six hours—or by train like the Hiram Bingham or PeruRail. The former is named after the American archeologist Hiram Bingham III, who rediscovered one of the new wonders of the world in 1911. The two and a half hour train ride to Machu Picchu included a multi-course lunch, followed with dinner on the return trip. All of the ingredients served on board are sourced locally and some recent dishes included grilled paichi fish and for dessert, a creamy coffee cheesecake topped with sesame brittle. One highlight of the trip was traveling through the outskirts of the rainforest. The train cut through lush jungly foliage, as we neared Aguas Calientes, the small town that’s the gateway to the ruins. My anticipation of finally seeing Machu Picchu was building up as the bus climbed up the steep incline meeting head-on with buses on their sharp descent down. Hairpin turns closely hugged the edge of the unguarded cliff that dipped down to a rainforest covered canyon. I began to ponder exactly how I would feel seeing a landmark that I had only previously admired from afar. We arrived just after noon and before me, perched under a blanket of fog on the grassy mountainside, was the breathtaking citadel. The sun peaked slightly through, enough for me to attempt to capture the unfathomable beauty. Instead of opting for a guide of the area, I decided to meander on my own, in order to have adequate time to stop and marvel when the feeling struck. One fascinating aspect is the mystery that still surrounds the monument, which was believed to have been the royal estate of Incan ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui; some records show there were approximately 1,000 inhabitants living there. Deemed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, its more than 150 buildings—once comprised of temples and bathhouses—were built without utilizing the wheel, iron tools or animal power. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in the 16th century and the Incan empire collapsed, Machu Picchu was abandoned and lay quiet until it was rediscovered by Bingham in 1911. Taking in the history, while walking into each hollowed structure was both eerie and mystical, but I kept looking beyond, at the clouds that covered the mountains. In the distance; thunder rumbled overhead, as the Urubamba River flowed through the gorge down below, yet there was an overall silence that was palpable.

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Happily Getting Lost in San Blas


n my final day in Cusco, I decided to spend it wandering the picturesque section of San Blas. Since the city center is nestled in a valley, the neighborhoods are mostly located on the hilltop and at times on a steep incline where you are left not only breathless from the altitude but also the view itself. I wandered up a hilly stone street as the morning sun glared overhead. Exploring cities first thing in the morning often gives me the feeling that anything is possible—who knows how the day will unfold. I visited the Mercado San Blas, a more local market that is smaller when compared to San Pedro, but with similar food vendors. Then I strolled down Calle Tandapata, a narrow lane lined with many cafés, boutiques and restaurants, many of which are vegan. I stopped into Laggart Café, an eclectic coffee shop and art gallery with an inviting atmosphere and colorful wall embellished with large scale flower murals. I sipped a delicious espresso from locally grown and beans before pressing on. Art is everywhere in Cusco and the artisans are very proud of their work, like at the Saturday market at Plaza San Blas, where artists sell a range of handmade items like musical instruments, dried gourds intricately engraved with emblems of the city's past and present, and the softest mittens and blankets. L'Atelier Café-Concept serves delicious coffee among vintage jewelry and clothing. On Córdoba del Tucumán, I discovered Art Gallery Studio, a terrific artisan shop; in the rear, a sweet elderly woman sold antique ceramic urns and vessels, some caked with dust, at reasonable prices that can be negotiated. I ended my time relaxing under the shade of a tree in the Plaza Nazarene, a quaint square behind the Plaza de Armas. By my side, a large scrappy looking dog, who resembled a cross between an Irish wolfhound and sheepdog; he tenderly laid his dreadlocked head on my knees as I petted him. A cool afternoon breeze blew through alleviating the warmth of the hot sun. He soon got up, after over an hour of attention, and was on his way with his tail wagging. And shortly thereafter so would I, with my soul satisfied and my eyes, even more wide awake to the awe-inspiring beauty and incredible wonders of the world.


As mentioned in my editor’s letter, as a huge animal and dog lover, the stray dog situation in Cusco was very heartbreaking, to say the very least. Everywhere you look there are the most beautiful dogs, both big and small, sleeping on the sidewalk, dangerously running between cars and digging through garbage, a far cry from how these animals should be living. Most are very friendly, and in my opinion just craved affection, as displayed when many nestled their head into my leg while I was petting them. After seeing my first dog, I immediately wanted to find out how I could help but after researching, I found very few resources. Dogs seem to be misunderstood and animal welfare doesn’t seem to be a top priority for their government. I am trying to find ways to help and to potentially bring dogs to the United States. Follow us on social media for updates.

The view through the Sacred Valley; the famed tamales in the Portal de Belén.

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The salt pans of Maras; the sunny courtyard at the JW Marriot.




he JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is a special place situated in the heart of Cusco. The property, once a convent from the 16th century, merges luxury, history and culture within its old stone walls, many of which are Incan. Relics of the past proliferate throughout, from the vaulted reception area where the main chapel once stood between the 1460s to the 1540s, to the three exhibitions of Incan ruins that were discovered on the sublevel when the hotel was being restored. The courtyard, enveloped by colonial arches, is a delightful place to lounge on one of their sofas, take a few photos with a local weaver and her young alpaca, and purchase some of their colorful artworks. The hotel offers guests a myriad of additional daily activities and experiences like yoga, cooking classes and nightly walking tours that uncover the property’s history. The accommodations are spacious with a natural color palette inspired by the Andes Mountains, plus, all are oxygen-enriched to better acquaint visitors with the altitude. The spa, located on the lower-level, boasts a relaxation pool with soothing decor that resembles stars in the sky, an array of therapeutic services and a swirling jacuzzi. For dining options head to Qespi Restaurant and Bar for an inventive drink or a memorable meal. Grab a seat by the bar area for lunch or head to the main dining room for dinner with a menu that includes local dishes like quinoa salad and for dessert, cheesecake with camu camu sorbet. Each morning the hotel offers an elaborate breakfast spread including an omelet and gluten-free station, as well as healthy juices made from local fruits and vegetables.


All flights going to Cusco connect through Lima. For an in-depth view on the city and surrounding areas, you can hire experts, like Venturia, to better explain what you are seeing and to get you to the main attractions. The city is located at a sweeping 11,200 feet above sea level, so if you typically suffer from altitude sickness, it might be best to carve out an extra day into your schedule to get acclimated. The currency in Peru is the sol, however, some do take U.S. dollars. When it comes to purchasing anything at a market, except food, our guide assured us that everything is negotiable, so don’t hesitate to ask for a better price.

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The talent and grace of American ballerina ISABELLA BOYLSTON

IN THE Photographed by Sharon Radisch Styled by Bárbara Vélez Interview by Alison Engstrom VALENTINO DRESS,

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ith a tireless dedication and grace, ballerina Isabella Boylston has risen through the ranks of the American Ballet Theater. She began her professional career dancing as a junior member of the prestigious company and through hard work, achieved the esteemed ranking of principal dancer. Over the years, she has earned accolades including the Princess Grace Award and her repertoire has consisted of performances in Swan Lake and Désir. This spring, she will star in Harlequinade at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. We talked to the Idaho native about her beginnings, overcoming mental and physical barriers and her belief in the power of dance to change a person’s life.

"The past couple of years I feel like I have entered my prime and I’m really trying to enjoy every moment." DIANA LECOMPTE EARRINGS,

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How did you first get into ballet? My mom signed me up for classes at the local rec center when I was three. I think she ultimately wanted my brother and me to have as many opportunities as possible, so she signed me up for ice skating, skiing and ballet, which was the one that I totally fell in love with. She grew up in a poor part of rural Sweden, but she was the first person in her family to graduate from college; she studied at one of the best universities and became an engineer. Do you remember the moment you realized that you loved dancing? I always loved it, the musicality and the expressiveness of it, but it wasn’t until I was 11 when I went away to a ballet summer intensive program in Washington D.C., which is basically ballet boot camp that all serious students attend. My teacher suggested that I audition. No one in my family knew anything about ballet at that point, but I tried out and they saw a lot of potential in me. I ended up attending and I was the youngest dancer there. I had this really intense Russian training and we danced for maybe eight hours a day. I came home and I knew I had improved so much. It made me feel like I was the best, or at least the best at something. After that, I sought out more serious training; I transferred to a more professional school, where I was not the best (laughs). Those experiences whet my appetite for more. I’m a naturally competitive person and I wanted to master what I was doing. Anyone who has practiced and perfected something for an extended period of time has to make the decision if they should take it to the next level. When did you realize that you wanted to go from ballet being a hobby to a full-on career? I think I became, for a lack of a better word, obsessed with ballet and I was constantly trying to improve. I got to a point after that summer intensive program, where I told myself that I was always going to do this—I couldn’t imagine my life without dancing. I had to find a way to do it, no matter what. When I figured out that I could also get paid to do it, it was an added bonus. It was never a factor in my mind of how am I going to make it, I was like, I will do this. I also think that another thing that contributed to me moving into it so wholeheartedly, and at such a young age, was that my parents were getting a divorce. It was

quite traumatic for me. It was my refuge during that time—being in the studio, listening to music and being so in-tuned to my body and mind, it was like meditation. Ballet has always been there for me during difficult times. I attach myself to it. It’s great to find a flow that’s different than your everyday reality. How were you scouted by the American Ballet Theater? I attended a boarding school in Florida on scholarship, which was great because ballet can be very expensive. I had an amazing teacher, Victoria Schneider, who I still keep in touch with. She taught me so much about dancing. I did another summer intensive program with the ABT in NYC. The first day there you do a placement class to decide which level you should be in. The director of the junior company saw me that day and the next morning offered me a contract, but my parents wouldn’t let me participate since I had one year left of high school. I eventually came back to New York and I got really lucky because I skipped the audition process that everyone else had to go through, it was a stroke of luck. Rising to the top of anything is very hard and takes a lot of work and perseverance. What did you have to overcome, physically or emotionally, to arrive at where you are today? Injuries are definitely part of it; I’ve sprained my left ankle many times while performing, rehearsing or walking on the street Every single day you are dealing with some level of pain in your body, but I have also been pretty fortunate that I have never had any debilitating injuries that put me out for a year. Emotionally speaking, I have had to overcome my own insecurities. It is such a fine line as a dancer because you have to grow up absorbing a ton of criticism regarding your technique, or how you look; it’s basically finding a way through and having maturity and self-confidence. You have to believe in yourself to go out there in front of a large crowd and do a great show. Who or what gave you the confidence to move forward when you struggled with your confidence? My mom and dad would always say that I could do whatever I wanted—they were holistically nurturing. I was lucky that my parents gave me that grounded foundation. I also got incredible mentors after I joined the ABT. Susan Jaffe approached me, she was Mikhail Baryshnikov’s protégé and an incredible American


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ballerina. My other coach is Irina Kolpakova, who is 86; she was one of the great ballerinas of her time. She grew up in major hardship in the Soviet Union and it is amazing to work with her. I know this is major ballet insider information but her teacher was this woman named Agrippina Vaganova, who revolutionized ballet techniques in the early 1900s. I believe Irina is the last living student of hers. Have they offered you any advice that you have keyed into as you have advanced in your career? One thing that Susan told me that has stuck with me was that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. There are so many disappointments that you’ll deal with like you didn’t get cast in that part you really wanted, or you received a bad review. She told me that when she looks back on the things she used to worry about, she realized how insignificant they actually were. You just have to keep going forward. Irina talks about how it’s just ballet, and that you should live your life, have dinner with your husband and enjoy a glass of wine! Can you describe the feeling of performing at the Met? I get really nervous before shows. It’s a mixture of adrenaline, anxiety and dread, but it’s a good thing because it shows that I still care—all dancers feel that way about their performances. It has also gotten to the point where I have done so many shows that I know it’s all part of the drill. During a performance, once you are out there and find your flow, you are in the moment. It's the most incredible transcendent feeling, almost like a religious experience. I don’t think there will be anything that can compare to it. It's one thing that I will miss when my career is over. You do a lot of charity work with the National Dance Institute and are the founder of the Ballet Sun Valley. Why is it so important for you to give back? I wouldn’t be here without all of the scholarships and financial aid that I received. I wanted to give back and I truly believe in the power of dance, art and the way it can change a child’s life—it empowers and gives them

confidence. There can be kids who might not be thriving in a typical school environment but put them in an art or dance school and they completely transform. Right now, the arts are not being supported by the government and I think it’s more important than ever to do what I can to help. I love the National Dance Institute; they are a charity based here in New York who partners with public schools to give free dance classes to millions of kids. I have taught there, done charity performances and go there just to visit with the kids. Do you think about what your life will look like beyond dance? I want to have a family while I am still dancing, which many ballerinas do today. Last semester, I did this class at Harvard Business School called ‘Crossover into Business for Professional Athletes’. It started out with only NBA players but they eventually opened it up to other athletes, including dancers. It was cool being there in a class with people like Kyrie Irving, the star player from the Boston Celtics. After doing that class, I got really inspired and I think I want to start my own business one day. I don’t know what that will look like yet, but maybe I’ll be an entrepreneur. I read that you said you need to put out into the universe what you want to happen. I love that and completely agree. What dreams are you putting out into the world right now? When I was a little kid, my mom used to make me write down my goals, it’s a practice that I have continued today. I’m really excited about a collaboration that I did last year with Rozzi, a talented pop star. She reached out for me to be in her music video. We got along so well that we collaborated again and did a live performance in my hometown of Sun Valley, in a beautiful new performing art center called The Argyros. We performed two sold-out shows that we directed. It was so cool to do something that we had full creative control over, it was very rewarding. I am finally at the point in my career where that is the type of thing that I want to be doing.

Hair by Marshall Lin Makeup by Jessi Butterfield using Kevin Aucoin Beauty for TR ACEYMAT TINGLY.COM Photography Assistant Kyle Aaron Lacy Styling Assistant Kai Cheek Shot on location at Industry City. A very special thank you to INDUSTRY CIT Y BROOKLYN

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A sojourn through Tuscan towns, Lucca and Barga


Photographed by Sharon Radisch Words by Alison Engstrom

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he medieval village of Barga, perched on the northern side of Tuscany, is often heralded as one of the most beautiful in Italy. With a backdrop of forested mountains, surrounded by chestnut trees and vineyards, steep cobblestone streets and charming cafés, it’s hard to argue that point. The town is conducive to wandering through its piazzas and narrow lanes, but one must visit the Romanesque Cathedral of San Cristoforo, located in the Piazza Ser Barghesan, which first dates back to the 11th century.

For a homestyle Italian meal, book a table at Ristorante Scacciaguai. This quaint restaurant, located at the top of a steep hill, offers warm hospitality and comforting fare like complimentary prosecco, homemade focaccia, pasta with local truffles and ravioli.


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A profile of the Romanesque Cathedral of San Cristoforo.

For an authentic Italian coffee experience, stop into La Bottega del Pane. While enjoying your espresso, you’ll find charm in the fact that the owner greets nearly all of his local patrons by name. TIP

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clockwise from left Signs of everyday life in Lucca; a table setting in a private dining room at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa; the yellow façades in Lucca’s Piazza dell'Anfiteat; an aerial view of the pool at the Renaissance Tuscany.

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nlike many hilltop towns in the region, Lucca, located along the banks of the Serchio River, has a relatively flat terrain and prime for strolling. Visitors can discover sights like the old town wall, which dates back to the Renaissance; the Roman amphitheater in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro; and the Torre Guinigi, which offers a great vantage point.


Situated on an idyllic hillside in the Tuscan province of Lucca, the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa is an ideal spot for those travelers looking to delight themselves with a dose of la dolce vita. This five-star hotel, nestled on a sprawling 1,700 acres, offers cozy rooms and suites, swathed in serene shades, with plush beds dressed in linens from Frette. Each is outfitted with a balcony and many overlook the sleepy Serchio Valley and further afoot the snow-capped Apuan Mountains. On any given morning, a thick blanket of fog hangs low in the foothills, creating a breathtaking place to sip an espresso before you begin your day. Highlights of the hotel also include an indoor and outdoor pool, a sauna, steam room and a spa that boasts an array of restorative treatments. For those interested in learning the art of Italian cooking first hand, make a reservation at Le Salette, one of the three restaurants on the premises. Guests get the opportunity to visit a local market in Barga accompanied by the head chef. There you’ll source seasonal ingredients and participate in a cooking demonstration, which is followed by a threecourse meal, which can include a variety of freshly cut pastas and gnocchi. To book your stay, visit

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Written & Photographed by Alison Engstrom

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hen you book a trip to Palm Springs you probably aren’t looking for a jam-packed schedule, rather the ideal scenario would be to lounge by a pool, dine at a handful of noteworthy restaurants and maybe, if you are feeling really indulgent, get a spa treatment or two. With many direct flights from major cities, like New York, a weekend away is easier than you think. Here is our guide on two different ways to spending a few relaxing days in the desert.

Relax in PALM SPRINGS It’s hard not to fall for Palm Springs. It’s a maven for colorful mid-century design and boasts a breathtaking landscape cradled by the desert and mountains, plus, the forecast almost always reads sunshine. We’ve rounded up a short list of great places worth visiting. STAY AT COLONY PALM S HOTEL

By booking a stay at the Colony Palms Hotel, you'll be sleeping among local history. Originally built in 1936, it was owned by Al Wertheimer, a former mobster, but after World War II, it was purchased by Charles Howard, the owner of the famous racehorse Seabiscuit. Flash forward to today, the property’s exterior has a Spanish influence and highlights include a 24-hour saltwater pool with ample lounge seating and trickling fountains that are surrounded by jasmine, fuchsia bougainvillea and citrus trees. The interiors were recently given an upgrade by Los Angeles-based interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, who imparted a vibrant color scheme in each of the rooms. Looking to enter into sublime bliss? Book a treatment at the spa where they offer facials, massage therapy and cupping.

patio is more relaxed and shaded by a large olive tree. The menu looks to what is currently in-season and for a starter can include cauliflower steak that has been expertly seared and sits atop a drizzle of tahini and garnished with garlic and Fresno chili ferment. For a main, there are vegetarian-friendly options like a decadent risotto dish that gets its vibrant green color from spring garlic and topped with morel mushrooms. For dessert order their heavenly layered lemon meringue cake plated with an artful stroke of beet purée. S PEND AN AF TERNOON HUNTING FOR OLD AND NE W TRE ASURES

The Uptown section of Palm Springs, known as the Design District, offers a dynamic shopping scene. For vintage fashion at a great price, visit Iconic Atomic, where you’ll uncover racks of Mod printed pieces, romantic lace dresses and handbags. Victoria’s Attic Antiques Palm Springs sells curiosities like an aged Victorian bureau, mid-century sofas and more portable finds like teacups and perfume bottles. If contemporary fashion is what you prefer, head to Elizabeth & Prince, a boutique stocked with brands like Apiece Apart, Ulla Johnson and Closed denim. The Shops at Thirteen Forty-Five, set in a FOR BRUNCH HE AD TO CHEEK Y’S bubblegum pink building designed by E. Stewart WilCheeky’s is a Palm Springs institution serving breakfast liams in 1955, boasts an eclectic mix of homewares in and brunch to locals and visitors alike. Their menu, its 13 different storefronts. A few places of note include which rotates on a weekly basis, includes their signa- Soukie Modern where they sell vintage Moroccan textiles, ture custard eggs prepared in a variety of decadent while The Backyard PS features a variety of potted desways, in addition to breakfast mainstays like crispy ert-friendly plants. Thick As Thieves is a charming shop, buttermilk waffles and avocado toast. Note: They located in downtown proper, offering handmade potdon’t take reservations so either arrive early or be pre- tery, antique Persian rugs and natural skincare prodpared to wait for a table—you’ll be happy you did. ucts from brands like Daughters of the Land. For those looking to get ideas on how to add a flare to their ordiFOR DINNER, ENJOY A MEMOR ABLE ME AL nary IKEA kitchens, you'll love SemiHomemade’s showAT WORKS HOP KITCHEN & BAR room—they also have locations in Los Angeles and Ever since Chef Michael Beckman opened Workshop New York. Here you can touch and feel their unique Kitchen & Bar, it has been a hit. The sleek interior space surfaces, including cabinetry and countertops, which includes cool touches of concrete, while the outdoor give a bespoke finish to your ready-made pieces.

previous Driving through Joshua Tree; a ougainvillea covered building. clockwise from top Workshop's semifreddo with almond granita; storefronts in downtown; the interior of Elizabeth & Prince; the private patio at Colony Palms Hotel.

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clockwise Hanging poolside at Sands Hotel & Spa; the exquisite rock formations at Joshua Tree National Park; the Joshua Tree in bloom, a rare sight; the pink façade of the hotel.

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Escape to INDIAN WELLS Located about 20 miles from downtown, Indian Wells is a tony community known for its tennis, golf courses and close proximity to natural landmarks. REL A X AT SANDS HOTEL & S PA

The rosy pink design-forward Sands Hotel & Spa is a destination unto itself. The original 1950s property was also given a recent refresh by designer Martin Lawrence Bullard, who fashioned interiors inspired by Morocco, along with nods to mid-century design. The courtyards are reminiscent of riads, with quaint quarters abloom with an array of tropical flowers and cactus, while the 24-hour pool and hot tub are surrounded by inviting lounge seating and daybeds. The interiors are inflected with the perfect amount of panache and touches of vibrant blue, mustard yellows and deep greens. Each room is stocked with Acqua Di Parma toiletries, linens from Revival New York and a full-size mini bar. Once you settle into the hotel, you most likely won’t want to leave, so for meals visit Pink Cabana. Serving breakfast through dinner, their on-site restaurant is filled to the brim with design inspiration from the patterned botanical wallpaper and pink velvet banquette seating to vintage tennis racquets and oversized lanterns that suspend from the ceiling. E XPLORE JOS HUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

The awe-inspiring point where the Mojave and Colorado Desert meet, Joshua Tree National Park is a natural treasure. Here jumbled rock formations, both smooth and jaggedy, create a rim around cacti, desert flowers and of course, Joshua Trees. With nearly 300,000 acres to explore, by hiking or camping, it’s definitely worth a visit if you are exploring this part of the globe. The park is located about 50 miles from Indian Wells.


While the immediate downtown area of Palm Springs is walkable, the city itself is quite spread out. There is the free PS Buzz Trolley that runs Thursday through Sunday from noon to 10 p.m., which will take you around, but if you plan on really exploring and don’t want to rack up on ride shares, it's best to rent a car.

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Written & Photographed by Monica Pica

A land of many

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COLORS An excursion through Guatemala’s Maesa Central Region from Antigua to Lake Atitlán

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The Town Beneath Volcanoes


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previous The breathtaking view of Lake Atitlán. left to right The pastel façades in Antigua; An intricate Colonial doorway.


he first stop on my journey through Guatemala began in the lively Spanish Colonial town of Antigua. Often referred to as “the land of eternal spring,” Guatemala is a geographically diverse nation with three distinct regions including the highlands, the Pacific coast and the Petén region. Throughout this country, volcanoes stand tall among the rainforest;, stretches of fertile fields grow an abundance of bounty, like tomatoes and coffee; and valleys are nestled with lakes that were once carved out by craters. I arrived in April, to discover that little has changed to the city’s façade since it was colonised in 1542. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, today it's a flourishing destination for both food and culture; visitors will observe that it’s a special place that stays steadfast to its storied past. Red clay roofs, brightly painted buildings with colorful shutters and cobblestone streets remain untouched beneath the shadow of two volcanoes. Agua, the largest of the two volcanoes is named for the rainwater that collects at its peak; Fuego, the most active volcano in Central America is both a sight of beauty and a reminder of nature’s fury to those who call Antigua home.

Arriving in Antigua rather hungry, I dined at La Esquina, a cafeteria-style restaurant overseen by chef Eduardo González of Casa Palopó in Lake Atitlán’s heralded as one of Antigua’s hip dining destinations. Visitors can choose from a variety of colorfully styled food counters and equally fun places to sit and “play” including hanging chairs and even a slide. I kicked off my meal with a refreshing shrimp ceviche, I followed that with an order of pork hilachas, a shredded meat dish simmered in a spicy tomato sauce, which came with a side of freshly prepared corn tortillas. For dessert, I enjoyed a glazed hibiscus donut and an ice cold horchata— the perfect mix of sugar, rice and fragrant cinnamon. Full and ready to immerse myself in Antigua’s Old World charm, I began to wander the city as the sun cast deep shadows against the stuccoed buildings; the midday heat became humid with the promise of an evening shower. The stone streets were uneven but polished from years of constant wear. I imagined what it was like before there were modern forms of transportation like motorized scooters and cars that now occupied the roads. I passed women and children dressed in



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clockwise A view of the Santa Catalina Arch; intricate details of the furniture at Las Pilas; shrimp ceviche at local eatery, La Esquina.

traditional, brightly embroidered clothing selling handfuls of mangos drenched in lime alongside cooling slices of juicy watermelon—it was easy to get lost in this dream world. I ordered myself a mixed bag of fruit as I admired the handmade items at the Mercado el Carmen, which is part open-air and part enclosed market. There, I idly perused the vibrant woven blankets, painted figurines and beaded jewelry. As I wandered, the buildings blended into an array of shades with paint that had faded and cracked, revealing forgotten colors of the past. Each facade was unique and I found myself unable to resist strolling into the many courtyards with hidden restaurants and shops as I walked towards the Parque Central, the main town square, home to the famous mermaid water fountain. I stopped at Artista de Café, a small coffee shop with pink accents and an elegant atmosphere to savor a ‘refracción’—a coffee break that is traditionally taken around 4 p.m. The cafés courtyard offered a stylish escape from the busy streets, as well as shade from the unforgiving sun. Reenergized, I reached the town square just as the crowds began to fade. I strolled under the covered passageways passing locals perched on stairs, seeking the coolness of the shade, while others sat in deep conversation with one another. On display from any point in the square is the Cathedral of San José, a beautiful yellow structure that is the largest and most famous of the many Spanish Colonial churches dotted throughout. From there, I walked the short distance to La Merced Church, a beautiful Baroque masterpiece with striking white details, which is home to a small market. In order to see the city from a different vantage point, I set out on a short hike to the Cerro de la Cruz Mirador, a breathtaking panorama marked with a cross on top of the hill, where the geographical boundaries created by the volcanoes are easily seen. When the sun’s strength started to fade beneath the clouds, I made my way to one of Antigua’s most photographed sites, the 17th century Santa Catalina Arch that cloistered nuns once used as a passageway. I found myself completely transported as I stood underneath the yellow arch. I gazed up at the bluish grey sky, as the noise of the city quieted and drops of water began hitting the pavement. I took in the freshness of the rain and the tranquility of the emptied streets, before returning to my hotel, to turn in for the night.



arrived at Villas Las Pilas just as the sun emerged from the clouds and waved its final farewell by sinking below the clay shingled rooftops. Only a few steps away from Tanque de la Union, a serene park that’s a short distance from the town center, Villas Las Pilas, a sister property of Casa Palopó, offers a tranquil retreat for an overnight or extended stay. The villas are designed in the traditional Spanish Colonial style with rooms that wrap around an open courtyard and are accented with beautiful tiled flooring—there is also a small pool to laze about in. As I entered the garden, the soft evening glow deepened the greens of the climbing vines and tropical plants that decorated the villa’s interior. My room was one of three larger accommodations, with high ceilings accented with dark wooden beams, white plastered walls and a working fireplace. Every night, a fire can be lit in your

suite, or in any of the other communal lounge areas upon request. All of the villas are fully equipped with amenities like a kitchen, living room and bar that are all dressed with hand-woven fabrics, antique furniture and decor that add to the romantic appeal. Early the following morning, I climbed the winding metal staircase to the second-floor patio and took in the view of Agua and Fuego. I sat, enjoying the warmth of the day and watched colorful birds fluttered across the yard as the city slowly awakened. The peace of that moment stayed with me as I enjoyed the hotel’s breakfast, which included frijol volteado, a Guatemalan interpretation of fried black beans that was thick and creamy. Bags packed, I was reluctant to say goodbye, as I walked out the large wooden doors of the hotel to the car that would take me away from this enchanting place and on to my next destination.

Rooms can be booked through Casa Palopós,

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The Villages Around the Water

Lake Atitlán

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left to right The rooftop of Casa Palopó overlooking the lake; local artisan treasures in the hotel lobby.


stared out the car window, as we neared Lake Atitlán, pass- ‘between water’ is one of the most beautiful lakes in Guatemala. ing villages nestled in the valleys. Perched up on a hill, Casa The region is home to about 6,000 inhabitants, most of whom are Palopó came into view beneath a canopy of trees and foli- Kaqchikel or descendants of the indigenous Mayan civilization. age, as I winded down my two-hour car ride from Anti- The lake itself is a large blue expanse enveloped by hills and three gua. I was eager for the chance to stretch my legs after the long large volcanoes—Toliman, Atitlán, and San Pedro. drive. Casa Palopó, a charming boutique hotel, was once a priI stayed in one of the newer buildings at the hotel, a modern vate residence, but today is owned and operated by Claudia Bosch, wood-paneled structure accented with flowers that lined the stairs a native Guatemalan. The name is derived from the word ‘palo’ leading up to the suites and the main pool. My room was swathed which means stick and ‘po’ from the Mayan dialect Kaqchikel, in shades of aqua blue from the walls to the hand-woven pillows. which stands for ‘amate,’ a type of native tree. Loved for its eclec- As a welcoming treat, a complimentary homemade champurratic mixture of antiques, artifacts and artisan goods, the property da—a dry cookie that is usually dunked in tea or coffee—was boasts fifteen rooms decorated with their own unique flair and waiting for me, which I enjoyed on my balcony as I attempted vibrant walls clad in brilliant blue and deep red added to its bohe- without much success, to spot the outline of the three volcanoes. mian appeal. After checking in, I walked to the main terrace of the lready deeply relaxed, I headed to the outdoor dining hotel, where I was greeted with a cold hibiscus drink. From there, area for my first meal at Casa Palopó. As a welcoming I got my initial glimpse of the still blue water of Lake Atitlán and gesture, lunch was served on the terrace complete with the volcanoes that lay just beyond. It was an incredible sight to see handmade corn tortillas that were thrown, flattened the sky reflecting in the water—the surrounding land looked like and cooked to crisp perfection on a hot griddle. A mouthwatering it could reach up to the heavens. Atitlán, the Nahuatl word for a spread had been laid out to build a custom taco, which included




A peek inside a room at Casa Palopó.

a variety of salsas, queso panela, traditional white cheese, frijol volteado, shredded beef, and guacamol, the Guatemalan version of guacamole. I eagerly filled my own, adding an extra spoonful of picante salsa verde, a spicy green sauce, as I looked out onto the horizon. Tacos with a view—it was pure perfection. After lunch, I sank even further into a state of bliss with a massage at the spa that left my skin perfumed with the fragrance of ylang-ylang and lavender essential oils on my skin. Dinner that evening was courtesy of celebrity Chef Eduardo González, who takes pride in creating dishes that play upon the unique flavors and authentic heart and soul of the country that he calls home. The on-site restaurant incorporates exclusively locally grown and sourced products with 90 percent of collaborators hailing from the Lake Atitlán region. The highlights of the meal included modern renditions of well-known Guatemalan recipes, including Kak’ik, a flavorful turkey soup with tomatillos and plenty of garlic—it’s traditionally served when christening a new home. The star of the evening, though, was Beef Pepían—Chef González’s most famous dish, which was an aromatic infusion of grilled tomatoes, onions and charred chilies blended together, then poured over beef to create a comforting stew, accompanied by rice and vegetables. Fully sated, the evening came to a close with platefuls of bite size Guatemalan desserts; I enjoyed a sticky, tamarind sweet before returning to me room. I took in a breath of warm air and listened to the sounds insects humming their nightly song. The day had been full and I was eager for another opportunity to explore this magical place.



he next day, as the fog began to lift, a boat awaited at the hotel’s dock for an excursion to a few of the neighboring Mayan towns surrounding Lake Atitlán. These small villages, named after the twelve Christian Apostles, have a way of life deeply rooted in tradition; over sixty percent of the country’s population are of direct Mayan descent and many beliefs, practices and art forms are still a large part of everyday life. When it came time to leave Lake Atitlán, I did so with a deep appreciation for the people who lived there, and a renewed perspective on what it truly means to live a life filled with color. SANTIAGO

My first stop was Santiago, a town filled with sun-washed boats and mismatched houses that crowd one another as they ascended up the hill. It’s a bustling place, with rickshaws lining the streets, scooters blowing dust onto the road and vendors looking to sell at a bargain. I decided to hire a rickshaw to take me to a few

noteworthy places; I held on tight as we sped up and down the bumpy, unpaved roads of the town. We stopped at an embroidery shop with no name, run by a woman named Maria. Inside, beautiful fabrics lined the walls and interior of the shop; I admired the exquisitely detailed birds and flowers intricately sewn on shirts and skirts before heading back. From there, I headed to the Saint James the Apostle Church, built in 1547 making it one of the oldest churches in Central America. Inside, the heady scent of incense permeated the air as I took in the relics the walls. From the church, I walked a few short blocks to the Santiago market, the largest in Lake Atitlán. Set up side by side, with very little room to walk, vendors sold an array of items like mangos, piled high next to buckets of chili peppers, baskets of rice and bags of vegetables and potatoes. The energy of the market was palpable, as shoppers haggled for the best price amidst the chaos. I slowly zigzagged among the stream of people and around the busy stalls, taking in the scene. SAN JUAN

The boat glided over the lake as we traveled to the tiny town of San Juan. Friendly street dogs and locals with trinket-filled baskets greeted me as I stepped onto the narrow wooden dock that acted as the town’s entrance. I stopped for a quick cortado at Café San Juan, which serves locally sourced coffee, before heading up the steep hill to visit Ixoq Ajkeem, the women’s weaving cooperative, known for its artisan goods. There were colors everywhere I looked; hundreds of patterns, woven with both vibrant shades of the rainbow and sophisticated earth tones, were translated onto scarves, dresses, pillowcases and blankets. Several times a day, the women of the co-op demonstrate waist-loom weaving, a century-old Mayan process used to create these works of art. They incorporate cotton for weaving, while the color of the dye is derived from wood, plants and insects that are then fixed with the sap of the banana tree. The materials are then set to dry for a day before being woven into its final form. There are currently 40 weavers at the co-op and profits from each item sold go directly to the women who created them, allowing the tradition to be passed down from one generation to the next. I left the co-op with a bag full of treasures and headed a few blocks to El Artesano, an Italian restaurant set against the rainforest hills of San Juan, where reservations are a must. The restaurant is a complete immersion into chef Dietrich Gantenbein’s love of his Italian heritage and his home country of Guatemala. The menu, known for its cheeses and charcuterie boards, includes housecured meats in addition to a carefully selected wine menu—reservations are a must. It was impossible to leave without a full stomach and a clean plate; I savored my last sip of wine and another crostini smothered in a gracious serving of soft creamy goat cheese before setting off to explore another village.

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clockwise Clay owls in San Antonio Palopó; a boat off the shores of Lake Atitlán; peppers contained within a large leaf at the Santiago market; a patterned-covered home in Santa Catarina Palopó.

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an Antonio Palopó, while quite small in scale, is a haven for pottery, including the shop Ceramica Palopó Multicolor, where all pieces are created in-house. I was lucky enough to enjoy a tour of the shop and experience the process from start to finish. The workshop was crowded with shelves of drying pottery in a variety of shapes and sizes. The second floor was used for sanding and painting with the kiln located at its center—this floor also had an unobstructed view of the lake. Lingering as I waited for the firing and painting of the pieces, I found delight in watching this group of artisans showcasing their masterful skills as they worked. When I returned to the shop, I perused the selection of mugs, plates, and figurines with a new appreciation for how the pieces were made. SANTA CATARINA PALOPÓ

The final morning of my stay at Lake Atitlán, I explored Santa Catarina Palopó, where the hotel is also located. I wandered through the chromatic streets and ventured up the steep stone stairs of the village as women carrying baskets and shabby street dogs passed me by. Since 2017, over 387 homes have been painted in an effort to bring new life, pride and a source of income to the villagers through the Pintando Santa Catarina Palopó Project, an initiative started by Guatemalan artist and designer, Diego Olivero. Families add their name to a waitlist in hope of having their homes painted—and to maintain a harmonious look throughout the village, they must choose from an edited selection of colors and traditional Mayan patterns. As a partner and leader in the community’s project, Casa Palopó arranges for guests to take part. The cost is a hundred dollars, which includes a visit to the project office, paint for the house, refreshments and memories of an experience both unforgettable and fulfilling.


The rainy season lasts from May through October. • Travel to Lake Atitlán is about a two and a half to three-hour drive from Guatemala City and about two hours from Antigua, depending on traffic. • Casa Palopó offers heliport services to and from the hotel to Guatemala City Airport. The helicopter ride is approximately forty minutes. • Boats can be rented out for the day at Casa Palopó with pricing based on the number of people and towns visited. • Boats stop running from 3 to 4 p.m. each day due to the wind, known locally as ‘Xocomil,’ which makes the water dangerous for travel. Book your stay at CASA


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Photographed by Monica Pica Written by Alison Engstrom and Monica Picca

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SUN A laid back guide to Antigua

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rom high above, Antigua comes into view like a watercolor painting, as pools of aqua blue bleed into vibrant shades of turquoise and teal. Lush rainforests and sandy coastlines emerge beneath low hanging clouds, as the plane makes its descent into this warm weather paradise where they say, “the beach is just the beginning.” A former British colony, Antigua has always been a tropical escape for the English, who are looking for some rest and relaxation across the Pond. In recent years, it’s attracted a more global jet setter, intrigued by this less traversed Caribbean locale. The island, which is 108 square miles, offers pristine stretches of sandy beaches, outdoor activities, an emerging dining scene and a handful of historical and natural landmarks to discover.


Nelson’s Dockyard, part of the Antigua National Park, is situated in Old English Harbor, a picturesque UNESCO site. The majority of the buildings date back to Colonial times with their romantic, Old World sensibility preserved and repurposed as shops, restaurants and hotels. Many of Antigua’s yachts and privately owned sailing vessels dock in this bay alongside old fishing boats owned by locals. It’s an idyllic spot for taking in the sunset or sipping a drink at the historic 18th century Admiral’s Inn. TAKE IN A BRE ATHTAKING VIE W OF THE I S L AND

Shirley Heights, once a military lookout, boasts spectacular views of the harbor and rainforests just off to the horizon. From this vantage point, you get a true sense for the natural allure of Antigua’s landscape along with its rich history, as you wander the crumbling fort walls with flowers blooming in its cracks. It’s best to time your visit with sunrise or sunset, when the island glows perfectly against the endless expanse of the ocean. VI S IT THE COLORFUL TOWN OF SAINT JOHN

For a more lively, local scene, take a stroll through Saint John, the capital of Antigua and neighboring Barbuda. This small but bustling town has a busy cruise port, a historical museum that is housed in a former courthouse constructed in 1747 and the recently restored St. John’s Cathedral. The local market is also worth a trip , where vendors sell a variety of local fare like freshly caught fish, tropical fruit and traditional West Indian spices like ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. PICK A BE ACH, ANY BE ACH

There is no shortage of beaches when it comes to Antigua—you can take your pick, as there are around 365 to choose from, including your hotel if it’s oceanfront. Some of the most popular are Turner’s Beach and Half Moon Beach. SWIM WITH STINGR AYS

If you have ever dreamed about getting up close and personal with large stingrays, this is your chance. Stingray City, a few miles offshore in the middle of the ocean, is home to friendly Southern stingrays. A large group swims here daily, fed by trained staffers who assure you that these fish will not in fact sting you; rather, they gently brush against your leg like cats. Once you are in the water, you can feed them fresh squid, hold them, kiss them (yes, these creatures are surprisingly affectionate) and snorkel around the impossibly clear, shallow reef lagoon. Tickets sell out quickly, so be sure to book yours in advance.

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previous A dock in Saint John. opposite The ruins at Shirley Heights perched above the harbour.

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left to right The poolside bar at Carlisle Bay; rooms with a tropical view at the resort.

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R esor ts and boutique accommodations are dot ted throughout and cater to a variet y of crowds from a girlfriend’s getaway to a memorable wedding and honeymoon destination.


Tucked away by tropical foliage and succulent mango trees, Carlisle Bay is a recently redesigned and welcoming boutique five-star hotel. The lush grounds are made up of a collection of white stucco buildings accented with plantation-style shutters and walkways that lead to the pool, guest rooms and restaurants by the water. The Pavilion, or main building, is an open and airy space filled with the intoxicating scent of Caribbean flowers and palm-leaf ceiling fans that usher in a constant breeze. At midday, it’s the ideal place to enjoy the hotel’s special offering of English High Tea, complete with tiny cakes and sandwiches. The 87 guest rooms and suites offer a taste of modern tranquility with nautical touches throughout and each is outfitted with a spacious balcony overlooking the bay. Days seem to float by as visitors lazily soak up the sun, embracing the slow and steady pace of island time. Spend the day relaxing by the pool, kicking back in an oceanside cabana—available first come, first serve—or taking a dip in the clear ocean. The hotel offers activities such as yachting, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding and snorkeling— all can be arranged at the boathouse. If you wish to explore more of Antigua, you can charter a boat to visit other local sites. To escape the afternoon sun and unwind, head to the hotel library and get lost in its collection of interesting coffee table books. However, if pure relaxation is in order, the Blue Spa at Carlisle Bay includes treatments like a full body massage that incorporates essential oils and products from the Irish beauty brand, Voya. There’s no shortage of places to wine and dine on the property. The Jetty Grill or Indigo on the Beach is the perfect spot for a transportive meal complete with white tablecloths and flickering candlelight. Both restaurants are only a few steps away from the ocean and feature similar menu staples like a catch of the day seasoned with Antiguan spices, as well as a rich and creamy bread pudding for dessert. If you’re in the mood for something more exotic, dine at East, the hotel’s take on Asian-Carribean fusion with appetizers like lobster tempura and a tasty yuzu tomato salad; for a main dish, choose from a variety of sushi rolls or traditional Chinese Peking duck. If you decide to hang poolside, Ottimo! offers a casual dining experience, where you can savor salads, pizzas, as well as a variety of pasta dishes. Book your stay at, HODGES BAY RESORT & S PA ,

See Destination Design on page 68


Since Antigua was once a British colony, cars drive on the opposite side of the road. If you find this intimidating, there are many taxi services that can shuttle you where you need to go.

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If there was one thing we noticed while traveling to points in the Caribbean, Central and South America was the large stray dog problem. This is an issue very few seem to mention when covering about these locations. As a highly sensitive person, especially when it comes to animals, I was brought to tears many times with what I saw. I kept asking myself, how can this be and what can I do? Thankfully, there are many organizations in most of these areas that are advocates for these animals and provide veterinary services (like spaying and neutering) and adoptions. We listed foundations involved in helping animals in the stories on Antigua and Curaçao. A few additional charities at home and beyond include Animal Care and Control and The Humane Society International . - ALI SON ENGSTROM

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For the unique woman who is feminine and layered like a rose. She is wild and free like ivy.


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