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Beyond the Cover 1



For the Mara & Mine cover feature, Photography Director Alexander Herman was really in the mood to be scared. With no haunted house on hand, he shot the accessories in the backyard of the Tastevin offices (guess it was haunted enough back there!). Fun fact: he accompanied the You & Me photo shoot to brainstorm locations before deciding on the backyard. It was almost 90 degrees outside when Caroline A. Wong and Breana Powell shot pieces from Thakoon’s collection for DesigNation by Kohl’s. In a long-sleeved shirt and a wool vest, Wong found it to be just a tad bit warm. For the “You & Me” shoot, Powell was all about the shadows and encouraged Wong to climb into some hedges to capture just the right look.

Fashion Writer Jessica Locher takes 90s fashion looks and makes them fit with the pieces you already have in your closet. Her roommate helped her photograph the fun throwback styles for the “Make It Fit” column, even contributing some pieces to pull all the styles together!

Cover Photo by Alexander Herman


Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015






HORS D’OEUVRE Contributors: Meet part of the team that made this issue happen Things We Love: Explore our editor picks for October and November From the Desk of the Editor: ”Fall Fantasy”


BEAUTY & WELLNESS Product Spotlight: Support breast cancer awareness and get silky feet all at once The Skinny on Health: Find out why real, whole foods matter {Beauty} Trick to Try: Use this tip to protect your dark hued mani

ARTS & LEISURE For the Love of Food: Enjoy a harvest salad to freshen your fall appetite Puppy Diaries: Discover the dream that is doggy daycare Made: Fashion a statement top out of a boring tee



Make it Fit: Pull easy Halloween transformations right from your own closet Personal Essay: Think twice before trying to live abroad You+Me: Travel to London with Thakoon for Kohl’s DesigNation Share Your Where: Get the scoop on the ten DON’Ts of Venice Share Your Wear: Do LA fashion the Aussie way with Mara & Mine

Always end with something sweet

CAROLINE A. WONG Editor-in-Chief

BRANDON GAMBLE Creative Director



ARTS AND LEISURE Arts and Leisure Editor EMILY VAN GUILDER Arts and Leisure Writers ERICA MAU & SARAH KALB

ART Photography Director ALEXANDER HERMAN Assistant Photographer HAIL NOWAK


0 0


9 8 2015

Breana Powell is our fashionista in residence and gets personal with the Los Angeles-based Aussie designers behind brand Mara & Mine for the issue’s cover story. Follow her on Twitter @LifeofBreana

When it comes to simple yet chic ways to add artistic flair to your life, Emily Van Guilder is your go-to girl. For October/ November’s “Made” column, she’s created a cute top project you can layer with a cardigan outdoors and reveal as a statement piece when you’re inside for drinks!

If it seems as though your dog has a better social life than you do, Erica Mau can totally relate. She lauds the merits of doggy daycare (popular pups, for one!) in the newest installment of “Puppy Diaries.”

Photography Director Alexander Herman oversaw the Mara & Mine cover shoot. He was looking for haunted houses. If you find one, let him know.

Aspiring actress Jessica Locher knows a thing or two about playing a part...and what better time to get into character than Halloween! She helps you raid your own closet for quick and easy transformations for the season in this issue’s “Make It Fit.”

Jenna Anderson is a bit of a self-taught expert when it comes to travel, especially in regards to securing the proper visas for her jetsetting stints. She divulges the hardships and red tape of living abroad in this issue’s personal essay.

Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

Things We Love Emily Van Guilder / Arts & Leisure Editor Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet


Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015


“Nothing has helped improve my skill faster as an ‘amateur artist’ than my Intuos drawing tablet. Perhaps a true artist would consider this blasphemy, but I quite like being able to take more risks and try new mediums with my good friend Ctrl-Z nearby. ”

The Tastevin editors share their monthly obsessions

Erica Mau / Arts & Leisure Writer Sweet Rose Creamery “There’s nothing better than hand-crafted ice cream made from fresh ingredients, which is why I can’t stop eating Sweet Rose Creamery. With five classic staples to seasonal flavors that change daily, this amazing ice cream shop never disappoints. My fave is the fresh mint with handmade chocolate chips... delicious!”

Sarah Kalb / Arts & Leisure Writer beekind Gum “Picture this: A warm summer day in Northern California as I stumble into BeeKind, a boutique featuring bee products of all shapes, sizes, smells, tastes, and textures. Just as I’m about to leave, I notice a box of impulse-buy chewing gum on the register counter and before I can think twice the backflap ingredients hook me into unparalleled curiosity. With wax made from the Brazilian plant Carnauba, natural peppermint extract, and 100mg of miracle-healing Propolis per piece... I’m sold. Literally. Fast forward 2 months as I’m reordering the gum for Christmas stocking stuffers (yes, I’m a planner), and can’t get enough of the sweet, natural relief for my anxious jaw. Try it and become a believer of Bees!”


from the desk of the


From traversing legendary canals in Venice to perusing moody Los Angeles fashion with an Australian bent, you’ll find globally inspired options within this issue of Tastevin. Of course, October is known for Halloween and its opportunity to inhabit an entirely different persona for one night, but why not extend the fantasy throughout the season? Cover feature Mara & Mine offers edgy accessories adorned with skeletal limbs perfect for bringing out your rocker chicness everyday. Or, explore your very own closet for a lesson in the fantastical. Jessica Locher does exactly that in this issue’s “Make It Fit.” For glamour with a Venetian view, Amanda Chi gives you the traveler’s perspective on the classic Italian city so you can plan your next big adventure. But the jet set life isn’t always peaches and cream. Jenna Anderson recounts her harrowing journey to build a life abroad in this issue’s personal essay, “Renegade Living.”

So wherever you’ll be, whether it’s thousands of feet in the air or even just in your own room, enjoy this issue of Tastevin. We crafted it with you in mind! And as always, let us know what you think via Twitter and Facebook.

@tastevinmag 6

Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015



I know I’m not the only one who spent my summer months poolside. And, not wanting to give up on my seasonal dreams, I kept up my watery jaunts well into Labor Day Las Vegas, no less. Enjoying Vegas pool culture was a glorious desert treat, made particularly glamorous by the icy mixed drinks and sharp contrast with the California drought I had left behind. But hopping from chlorine-infused waters to rough nonskid surfaces in pursuit of a strawberry daquiri took its toll on my feet that no pedicure could cure. Having flaky heels is a decidedly unsexy look. Thank


Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

god for Skinn Cosmetics’ Foot Fetish Heel Balm! With a tantalizing grapefruit scent, the balm is a miracle worker. Not only did it seal up my wrecked heels, it also smoothed and hydrated the rest of the surface of my aching feet. It’s definitely something for night use to let the formula sink in and do its magic. You might want to wear socks afterward if you have white sheets you want to protect since the balm is pink-tinged and I suggest avoiding rubbing in with your hands as it can get sticky right before bed. All in all, I definitely recommend Skinn’s balm...after just three nights, my feet were smoother than they’d been prior to my poolside fun thanks to its formula infused with vitamins A, C, and E; shea butter; meadowfoam seed; and jojoba oils. Plus, in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Skinn Cosmetics is donating 100% of sales (not just a portion of profits, but every cent from every sale) to Bright Pink, the only national nonprofit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Get your balm today at www.Skinn. com and be on your way to fresh feet knowing you’re supporting a great cause!


by Caroline A. Wong


10 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015


by Lisa Eberly


‘m sure most of you have heard the word phytonutrient before, right? Well, if you haven’t it’s a super important word. And I’m sure you all have heard that eating whole, real foods—particularly plant-based—is pretty good for you, though, right? Good, then let’s start there. The real question is: why is eating whole, real plant-based foods so good for you? What’s so special about them? The answer: phytonutrients. Sure, fruits, veggies, and other plant-based foods are rich in nutrients and vitamins. But phytonutrients are only in whole, real plantbased foods, and they are very special. To break it down: phyto means “plant” in Latin, and phytonutrients refers to the “non-nutrient” parts of plants. So, phytonutrients don’t give us energy like fat, carbs, and protein do, they also don’t provide us with any vitamins or minerals. The three most common phytonutrients are: flavinoids (in apples, onions, and soy), carotenoids (in tomatoes (lycopene!!) and carrots), and anthocyanins (in strawberries and blueberries). Phytonutrients come in several different colors, which is why you’re always encouraged to “eat the rainbow”—in order to get a variety of phytonutrients! In the plant, phytonutrients serve two primary purposes: 1. They are a natural defense mechanism. 2. They enhance the plant’s reproductive effectiveness. In people, phytonutrients have been studied for their their ability to fight disease—yep, whole foods from plants fight disease. Research has also shown that phytonutrients can: • Be antioxidants • Boost your immune system • Enhance cell-to-cell communication • Improve estrogen metabolism • Kill cancer cells

• Repair DNA • Detox carcinogens Plus, I mean, they make your food all colorful and flavorful! So why is it important to eat whole, real plant-based foods and not refined or processed  plant foods? Well, imagine you’re listening to your favorite band. There are six members of the band (think: carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc). If you refine the band, some members get removed. Now, all you have left is the drummer and bass player. Is the music the same? No, it probably is missing a lot of the good parts. Plants are similar. The process of refining or processing removes parts of the original food, specifically the fiber. This makes for less-awesome music and less-awesome food. Having that balanced yet complex web of nutrients is essential to get all the benefits you can out of whole, real plant-based foods. Okay, so what are “plant-based foods”?

• Fruit • Vegetables • Whole grains • Nuts • Seeds • Legumes • Herbs and spices So get nomming on these foods so you can take advantage of all the great “music” your whole, real fare has to offer. Do any of you have amazing phytonutrient-rich recipes you want to share? Be sure to let me know your thoughts via Twitter (@xoxoTSOH) or my website,! Xoxo,


{Beauty} Trick to Try

There’s something about a dark, moody mani that gets my blood tingling and the fall months are the best time to show off those shadowy shades. But...nothing puts a rain cloud in the sky like chipped tips. I’ve got just the trick to keep your polish fresh and fit for fall: a comb. What, you say, a comb? Yup, a comb. While you’re taking a nice and cozy hot shower to combat the cold creeping in, the heat softens your mani, sometimes even loosening the glue for acrylics if that’s what you apply. Then, when you go to untangle your tresses, hair gets caught on the softened nail polish and can rip off your hard-earned hues. By combing in your conditioner rather than raking it through your hair by fingertip, you’ll be protecting your dainty digits. Then you’ll be able to tweet @TastevinMag your #manimonday picts...and they’ll be perfect!

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By Colette Choi

love food for the


Story and photo by Sarah Kalb

Arts & Leisure


HARVEST SALAD I stumbled upon this recipe by accident after going to the farmers market one Sunday. I walked the stalls looking for the plumpest, ripest produce and found soft tomatoes on sale for a steal: $1/lb. I purchased beautiful yellow, orange, and red organic heirlooms, a bunch of basil, and a few avocados (1 ripe, the others still hard so I could space the goodness).

INGREDIENTS • • • • • •

1 ripe avocado, not refrigerated 1 medium heirloom tomato, not refrigerated 3-4 Tbsp fresh basil 2-3 Tbsp feta cheese black pepper 1/2 cup brown rice, cooked, room temperature



Cut open the avocado, remove the pit, and score into cubes using a knife. Scoop out the cubes and separate in a medium sized bowl. Rinse, dry, and dice the tomato. Add to the bowl. Rinse, dry, and finely chop the basil. Add it to the bowl, along with the feta cheese, and black pepper to taste. Add the brown rice and stir gently to combine.

NOTE: The secret to the creaminess of this dish is to make sure your avocados are perfectly ripe. As a California native, I grew up on, and prefer, Haas for their consistency.

Eat immediately.


For basil leaves, the easiest way to create fine shreds of the herb is to lay out the leaves as flat as possible, stacking from largest one to the smallest. Roll the leaves, as one, lengthwise, then cut as if slicing a carrot into rounds. Voila, perfect shredded basil. Careful not to crush the leaves as they’ll turn brown quick.

16 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

To “space” avocado ripeness... or really any produce ripeness... take what you are intending to ripen and store it at room temperature. Keep the others in the refrigerator. As the produce ripens about half way, take out another piece and let it slowly ripen. As the first round ripens, eat it, and a few days later you’ll have another ripe replacement. Keep the cycle going for a continuous supply of fresh, ripe fruits or veg!

18 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

Puppy Diaries Story BY Erica Mau PHOTOS BY WEST LA DOGS


Arts & Leisure



Let’s Talk Doggy Daycare, or, How My Dogs Have More Friends Than I Do.

eah, yeah, I already know: you think doggy daycare is ridiculous (unless you have dogs that go, too). People are quick to judge daycares for dogs, and the owners who “indulge” in such a thing. But just hear me out, because mine go almost every day, and to me, it’s well worth it.

Why Doggy Day Care Is The Best:

Peace of Mind There are some very important things you don’t have to worry about when your beloved pups are at day care while you do your human thing (work, errands, whatevs). First, your pups, obviously. Are they choking on toys? No. Are they eating their poo? No. Are they getting stolen by neighborhood crooks or poisoned by crazy dog haters? No. #dogproblems Second, your stuff. Your new Tory shoes? Untouched. Favorite blue area rug? Clean. Any and all household furnishings? Safe. Amen, sister!

Exercise & Energy

Now, not all dogs are one and the same. But as the owner of a terrier puppy, I can tell you that daycare provides the mental and physical stimulation that the Tedster needs. He’s a social pup, no getting around it, and loves to play with lots of other dogs. Without daycare, T Rex acts up, destroying the house, not following commands. After daycare, Teddy

sleeps soundly on the bed, even taking breaks to cuddle sometimes. Yasss. JB...well, he could take it or leave it, preferring to lounge around the house. If it weren’t for day care, however, and his select doggy pals initiating games of chase, JB would probably be 10 pounds heavier and not very agile. Neighborhood walks can only do so much for a growing pup!


As discussed in a previous puppy diary, traveling sans dogs means finding someone to watch and feed them. The fact that our daycare also provides boarding services means the Tedster and Jaybster have a seamless transition when mom and dad take an extended vacation. The pups are familiar with their surroundings, people and dog buds and are less stressed about the fact that we’re gone…they may even be hav-

ing the time of their lives! Plus, I can trust the same reliable care that Teddy Rex and JB get on a daily basis. No worries!


Our day care, specifically, has THE best Instagram, posting tons of doggy pics weekly.

"If it weren't for day care, JB would be 10 pounds heavier. Neighborhood walks can only do so much." The best break from work is refreshing my Instagram feed just to see my pups’ smiling faces, hanging with their dog buds, playing at the doggy park. Even my mom has learned the ins and outs of Instagram, just to see her favorite grandpups! Plus, our daycare does amazingly fun things for the doggies: hose time when it’s hot (JB’s personal fave), birthday celebrations, and more. If the daycares near you aren’t into the social media, never fear. Many daycares provide live feed cams so you can check in on your pups when you miss them!

Why Doggy Day Care Is Just A Little Less Than The Best:

Okay, okay. There are some cons, but just a couple.

Sick days Just like sending a toddler to preschool, sending dogs to day care means they are surrounded by…other dogs. So, as opposed to leaving your pups at home by themselves day in and day out, daycare opens your dogs to the occasional virus or two from other canines. I mean, I guess you could home school your child for tens of years just to avoid him or her getting an illness, but for most I would imagine it’s not a huge deterrent. My verdict? Obviously, pro-daycare! Though, besides an observance of the pros and cons of daycare, this serves as an introduction to my opinion on dog ownership. As I’ve stated many times in articles past, having dogs is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. For me, daycare is just a natural part of caring for my dogs since I am a working human who can’t spend my days lounging with pets (the dream). I want the best for my pups – not in an organic-food-only kind of way – so they can live long, healthy, happy lives. Could I provide a stimulating environment for them by cooping them in my bedroom 10 hours a day? Sadly, no. I’d have two restless dogs on my hands. Fat, upset dogs. So, make your snide remarks. Gawk away at the thought. At the end of the day, I have two happy pups and the confidence that they are satisfied. Well, that and some pretty sweet Instagram pics.

For daycare info and more great photos of Teddy and JB, check out West LA Dogs @westladogs


Duh. Day care, especially for two dogs, is more expensive than…just leaving your dogs at home. 21

Reservations: 3 2 3 . 4 6 7 . 7 9 9 1 6350 HOLLYWOOD BLVD @BESOHOLLYWOOD


e d a M

Tee to Racerback in No Time Flat! It always seems that, through one event or another, I end up owning quite a lot of regular t-shirts. Whether they’re from school, sports or, in this case, a local Austin brewery I visited, I often don’t need that many of one style of shirt. I decided to redesign this standard t-shirt into a braided racerback tank. I wouldn’t be surprised if I start cutting into more of my shirt collection after this one turned out so well.

Story and photos by Emily Van Guilder


Arts & Leisure


Supplies Needed • Sleeved t-shirt

• Sewing Kit

• Scissors

2 1


24 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

• Sharpie

Directions 1 2

With your sharpie, mark a dash cut line from just below the armpit up to the shoulder for both sleeves.

Cut along line through both back and front of the shirt. If you’re concerned, cut less to start and work your way in.

On the back of the shirt, cut just below the seam line. This should detach the back of the shirt from the top. Be careful not to cut the front, which should still remain attached to the top.

3 4

The upper portion of the back should resemble a flap of fabric. Cut this into 3 even segments, stopping about 1/3 the way down the shirt. Braid these three segments back up to the top. Sew the three ends together. Sew this connected braid into the top of the shirt, underneath the hemmed area near the neck.


done! 2


Dimitri James




make it fit Story By Jessica Locher Photos by Jenna Beasley 28 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

Take it from your closet and make it fit. Jessica Locher shows you how to craft 90’sinspired fashion icon looks for Halloween and beyond. 90’s babies rejoice! The time for overalls, chokers, platform sneakers, and tying sweaters around your waist is once again upon us! The fashion gods have allowed the carefree and spirited style from (eeek!) 20 years ago to resurrect from the grave and I could not be more ecstatic. From the music, to the movies, to the clothes, and even the sometimes questionable hair styles, I have always been a big fan of all things 90s! For the past year, I have been stocking up on anything and everything I thought could fit in with my current style and was reminiscent of that decade. I can’t get enough! With Halloween right around the corner, I thought what better way to showcase my shopping efforts than to show how to recreate looks from three of the biggest style icons of the decade. Not only are these three ladies my personal heroes from the era, they are also women that helped shape pop culture during their time.

Cher Horowitz from Clueless

There was not one girl who lived through the 90s that was not influenced by Cher’s style, grace, class, and Valley Girl attitude. She taught us how to use the word “sporadic” in a sentence, that you should always brake for animals, that dating a high school boy is a decision every woman has to make for themselves, and that apparently it’s not gross

to date your stepbrother (I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one). Also, I’d like to throw out to the universe, that we are still eagerly awaiting Cher’s computerized closet to be available widespread! There is not one outfit that is more memorable than her yellow plaid blazer and pleated skirt with white knee highs and perfect Mary-Janes...oh and her furry white backpack that’s TOTALLY faux, duh! I never stopped loving minia-

Arts & Leisure


ture backpacks and jumped for joy when I found this black faux leather piece from Target about six months ago. I’ve never been the person to fret about functionality over fashion but there’s something so freeing about swinging the straps over your shoulders and still having complete control of yours arms (visions of looking like the Wacky Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man come to mind). This look was a combined effort between my roommate’s and my closet. I had the general idea...plaid skirt, white button down, knee highs, and chunky wedges... but when she ran into my room toting the most perfect cropped sweater vest, I knew it was just what this needed! I had to add a string of pearls to finalize the class of Cher’s character. This look is very specific and totally fun! The instant you step into this ensemble, it’s hard not to immediately embody Cher’s persona. Fair warning, you’ll find yourself shoving the ‘Whatever’ sign in the faces of anyone that is unfortunate enough to have RBF (Resting Bitch Face), people that cut you off in traffic, or your best friend just because it feels so good. And to anyone that has anything to say while sitting in your passenger seat, just remind them, “You try driving in platforms!”

Practical Magic

My favorite movie of all time is Practical Magic. How could you not get swept up in the heartbreaking and beautiful relationships between the sets of sisters, the literal magic, phenomenal soundtrack, and overall theme of love conquering all? I will never stop trying to blow a candle to life or thinking of the song “Coconut” by Harry Nillson without craving a midnight margarita. The film’s ward-

robe has a kind of Stevie Nicks vibe with delicate fabrics, floral prints, and dark tones. I was surprised at my closet’s lack of options when it came to finding this outfit. Though now aware of it, I will absolutely be looking for more pieces that have this same kind of gothic gypsy spirit because who doesn’t want to feel a little magical all the time? I cheated a bit and looked outside my closet to Forever 21 for this soft floral dress. It was the perfect foundation piece for this outfit and everything seemed to come together after that. I had to add a white T-shirt because the dress still seemed a little modern and I needed something that made you instantly know the era we’re trying to replicate. Sandra Bullock’s

I m surprised at how many options I can make with trying things that may be outside the norm. Find your style icons and then really evaluate your wardrobe.

character was always running around in a skirt and sneakers and in true 90s style, sneakers had to be accompanied by white socks that bunched around the ankles. The item that pulled the entire look together was the black felt hat. I was instantly obsessed with this piece when I found it in a resale store about two years ago. It gives the outfit that perfect whimsical witchy feeling and makes you want to grab an umbrella and jump from your roof on Halloween with your coven.


Arts & Leisure


Baby Spice For most of the 90s, all I wanted was to be a Spice Girl. The message of “Girl Power” combined with the over-thetop fashions and empowering, catchy songs made the girl group a force to be reckoned with. Their influence over the generation was inescapable. Not only did their overall presence in pop culture make a huge impact, their merchandise which ranged from clothing to polaroid cameras, lollipops, and Barbie dolls, made them even more readily accessible and in demand. The best part of the Spice Girls was the individual styles and personalities of each member. Emma Bunton AKA Baby Spice was my idol! She was fun and energetic, with a child-like innocence that she was able to seamlessly transition between being sexy and adorable. Her style was simple and sweet and most relatable to my overall being in the 90s. When thinking of possible icons to replicate, I knew I had to do a Spice Girls outfit purely so I could show off my amazing Jeffrey Campbell platform sneakers. I am the only one of my friends that has remained a diehard fan of platform sneakers regardless of the teasing that comes along every time I bust them out. This pair resembles the original Volatile brand sneakers which I was obsessed with in the 90s...and they have glitter all over them…Needless to say I didn’t need a whole lot of convincing when it came to coughing up a pretty penny for this pair of nostalgic gold! Baby Spice’s go-to outfits were very form fitting and uncomplicated. She always maintained these signature details

32 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

with every look: high pig tails, a short skirt, and platform sneakers. Those are the specifics that I focused on. Unfortunately, my wardrobe does not contain the pastel colors that I would have preferred to work with but I think sticking with a black and white palette worked out well. The form fitting clothing did not end up looking as innocent on my body as I would have liked but playing with my favorite stuffed animal and the lollipop helped me to stay in the vibrant and fun attitude needed to embody this carefree soul.

As with every other girl in existence, I find myself going through phases of feeling like I have nothing to wear. I’m surprised though at how many options I can make with just getting creative and trying things that may be outside the norm. Find your style icons and then really evaluate your wardrobe. Putting together these outfits was not just about the physical resemblance but also the way that I felt wearing the clothes and embodying the women whose spirit I admire.


Renegade Living

Almost two months ago in the Scottish countryside, I played giant chess with a friend. It was about as awesome as it sounds. Except for the end bit, when I realized my defensive strategy had backed me and my dwindling team pieces into a literal corner. I remember the moment well. I was scrambling to pick off

34 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

white pawns as I watched my friend Chris loom in, topple my queen, and declare victory. Right about this time, I had to face the music: I had been more consumed with protecting myself at each turn than I was of taking big risks, and that mentality cost me the game. It also didn’t help that it had been about


by Jenna Anderson

ten years since I’d even thought of playing chess. There is a strategic approach to the game that Chris clearly had a handle on – me, not so much. Yes, I’m making excuses. Sincerely though, Chris was always thinking four or five steps ahead, accounting for my likely reactions and patterns of play. I, on the other hand, had tremendous difficulty grappling with the implications of any of his moves, let alone mine. This giant chess game perfectly punctuated a three year living spree that I enjoyed in Scotland from 2012-2015. I was fortunate enough to experience life in the UK as a student and later as a young professional. I traveled to mainland Europe during those years, seeing places like Germany, Austria, France and the Czech Republic. Some of those adventures have been chronicled in this magazine, and that forced me to engage with my travels on another level, asking questions like, ‘Which aspects of my weekend getaway to Belfast are relevant to Tastevin’s fashionable readership?’ Sometimes I didn’t really know the answers to those kinds of questions, but I wrote anyway… which was also really formative for me as a writer: to acknowledge that my travels are significant simply because I travelled them. More importantly, I’ve made lasting friendships with some of the people I’ve met. My eyes have been opened to perspectives other than my own, and I appreciate life in a way that I don’t think I would have had I stayed home. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to live abroad, but the journey has come to a close and I find myself back in the States (in Texas specifically), trying to reorient myself to this country that I wove goodbye to three years ago. What happened? Basically, my visa ran out. To be more specific, my visa ran out four times. To give you a picture of what ex-patriot life is like for someone wanting to live in the United Kingdom, there are two main avenues for a young person without at least half British ancestry to stay in the UK permanently these days: you can get a really com-

petitive job where your employer can argue to the UK Visas & Immigration Office that you’re the only person in the world that can do that line of work, or (and this is your only other long-term alternative) you can marry a Brit. If you’re like me, neither of those options is a real option. This whole risk aversion thing that I have, as evidenced by the aforementioned catastrophic game of giant chess, means on the plus side that I learn from other people’s mistakes really well. And I have seen or heard lots of stories of Americans who work hard to secure a job, or dive into a relationship to secure a spousal visa, and either keep working hard to just stay in this place, or they end up broken-hearted. Sometimes, if they are particularly talented, they manage to do both. The job inevitably isn’t as secure as they thought it would be; the relationship fizzles out. And this permanence that you fight for, this ability to stay where you want so much to be, isn’t what you thought. And on top 35

Arts & Leisure


of losing a job or breaking up with someone you care about, you lose access to a wonderful place you’ve learned to call home. That’s a pretty big loss to suffer if things don’t work out. So what I decided to do instead was work hard on little things. Minivisas, in this case. My first visa lasted almost eighteen months and was a Tier-4 Student Visa. It allowed me to study literature for a year and then work a temp job while I graduated in the fall. It was an expensive way to do it, but it got me there.

You can get a really competitive job where your employer can argue with the UK Visas & Immigration Office or you can marry a Brit.

While I was exploring and meeting new people, one such person very generously created a marketing internship for me out of thin air. I went home to Texas for Christmas 2013 and came back in March 2014 for a six month temporary worker visa, a Tier 5 to be exact. Much to my surprise, I learned that this visa had an option to be renewed for another six months, so I did a second internship, this time for a charity organization, where I coordinated artwork and advertisements until April 2015. That I consider Visa #3, as I had to file some paperwork and wait for a month to be sure the UK would let me stay. They did. When that visa ran out, I left the UK for a couple weeks and came back to tie up loose ends from April – July 2015. I was there on a tourist visa (that one is so cool it doesn’t need a tier). This particular tourist visa can last up to six months, but you can’t legally be hired on to work in the UK in that time, and you can’t 36 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015


Arts & Leisure


volunteer. Your one allowance is to spend money on British tourism, collect your things, pass ‘Go’, and return to your real home. You can’t stay. I was starting to realize you could never stay. The thing that people don’t tell you about life is that you don’t get by without struggling. I remember graduating from college and getting out into the ‘real world’ at 21. I remember thinking, ‘No one prepared me for this.’ I remember people warning me about high school and telling me to look forward to college, but not one of them told me what I’ve learned over the past five years: Your twenties are terrifying. You learn about the people you care about, the things that you can afford to let go of, and the kind of life you want to have. And usually those things are never what you expect them to be. Now I’m 26, and I can say that I fought to stay in Scotland for almost three years. It may not amount to much in the grand scheme of things, but some people never get to leave their backyard. Some people want to leave where they are really profoundly, and never feel it’s a possibility. Now that I’ve returned to the States, I’ve taken up Scottish country dancing lessons to remind me a bit of the blessed mother country. The individual moves to Scottish country dancing aren’t complicated, but it’s remembering the sequence that gets you all jumbled up. Same issue presents itself here as in a good game of giant chess – you need to be thinking ahead or you’ll miss the bigger picture. And while I may not be very good at chess, and while I may be learning my Scottish country steps at a snail pace, I’m coming to realize what a big risk I took exactly three years ago. And that’s something.

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Every issue Caroline A. Wong joins you in the chase for the most coveted designer collections. It’s a team effort. It’s you and me. Photos by Breanna Powell

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Fashion & Features


esigner collaborations can be so trendy...and not in a good way. They’re flash-in-the-pan one-hitwonders that disappear faster than California’s water (too soon?). To truly appreciate a designer collaboration, you have to either 1) already adore the designer (going against the principle of the designer introducing their goods to a new/mass market) or 2) deeply fall in love with a particular piece (which is often hindered by the quality compromise that can happen with fast fashion wear and the sometimes-occurring sense that you have a poor shadow of a designer’s original). Luckily, Thakoon for DesigNation by Kohl’s is an exception. Arguably the most “itgirl friendly” designer to partner with Kohl’s (edgy chic brands like Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant usually go the H&M route), Thakoon has released an homage to London totally in line with the Old Smoke. The inspired silhouettes add freshness to the designer collaboration game, which can get so bland with its slant towards mass appeal. For example, Target collaborations seem a bi blasé and mainstream now. Kohl’s has managed to keep its partnerships fresh and relevant with the fun locale themes, which also help anchor the lines. Thakoon’s nod to London is cheeky and playful yet the inspiration is clear and practical. It’s what every designer collaboration should be. Take the heavy wool vest...the length is modern and the vest style makes the piece something versatile that will last beyond the oft short-lived designer collaboration timeframe. It’s the ultimate layering piece great for a range of climates and seasons. Wear it with a lightweight dress in the fall and spring, or belt it over a long-sleeved piece...even over a coat for extra warmth! The pattern also encourages

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Wool vest, $120; button-down shirt, $54, both Thakoon for DesigNation by Kohls; Vegan leather skirt, Sans Souci, for similar styles. Black heeled mules, , for similar styles. Necklace, BaubleBar, for similar styles. Earring and rings, editor’s own.


Fashion & Features


you to mix prints...if you feel the mix is too bold, simply remove the vest. A chambray-look shirt is by now a basic in every fashion girl’s closet, but I once again sing Thakoon’s merits for the thoughtful printed pocket. It’s a fresh take that remains classic and elegant. Beyond that.

It s what every designer collaboration should be. The fit is superb for off-the-rack, an impressive feat when you consider the wide market for which it was manufactured. Pair it with a vegan leather skirt for a flirty brunch look and a pencil skirt and pumps for a new take on your work outfit. All in all, race to Kohl’s to pick up this collection. Open a new window in your browser and add to your cart. Do what you’ve got to do to snag these Thakoon pieces before they sell out for good!

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Fashion & Features


46 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

Reservations: 3 2 3 . 4 6 7 . 7 9 9 1 6350 HOLLYWOOD BLVD @BESOHOLLYWOOD


48 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

Share Your Where


Story and photos by Amanda Chi 49

Fashion & Features



y 10 Don’ts of Venice

Even just from photos, Venice looks absolutely breathtaking. From its views of the Grand Canal to the intricate designs of those famous masks, the Floating City is picturesque for any tourist. However, I have to be honest. After visiting Venice for the third time, the magic dissipated and all I could see were throngs of tourists, a barrage of selfie sticks, and a plague of pigeons. To perhaps give you a better sense of how to enjoy Venice, here are my ten don’ts of the city.

Don’t go to Venice in November and December

If you’d like an overall drier Venice experience, avoid going during the winter months when an occurrence called ‘acqua alta’, or high water, floods parts of the city. Caused by high tides and the scirocco winds, acqua alta can rise as high as 140cm and sometimes last merely four hours. Heavily trafficked areas such as Piazza San Marco will be flooded so much that an elevated walkway is placed for those entering the basilica. If you’re determined to go in the winter, a pair of rain boots might be helpful. But since it might last only several hours, you could wait it out and just experience a yearly occurrence that has happened for centuries.

Don’t touch the canal water

If you take a glance at the canal, not touching the water can be a no brainer. But some risky souls may think otherwise and I highly advise against it. I was sitting on the edge of the Grand Canal and a wave from a boat caught one of my dangling feet. I washed it off but as the day progressed, I noticed foam sprouting between my toes as I took each gushy and slimy step.

Don’t feed the pigeons

That black and white shot of a pigeon eating out of the palm of your hand with San Marco in the background might seem like a grand idea, but don’t be fooled. What locals may call ‘rats with wings,’ pigeons flock to San Marco and can be easy picking for seagulls. I once saw a seagull flying over us with a dead pigeon in its mouth 50 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015


Fashion & Features


“A store claimed it had no imports, yet I saw the shopkeeper take out masks from a box labeled ‘Made in China’”

until it dropped the corpse just 30 feet away, only to be subsequently mauled on by a small dog. Aside from how disease-ridden pigeons are, feeding them in the main piazza is very much banned and you can be fined up to 500 euros. It also doesn’t help with the illegal vendors who sell bird feed to unsuspecting tourists. My cousin unknowingly accepted a handful of feed thrust into his hand and was expected to pay for it until our guide quickly yelled at the vendors in Italian saying it was illegal.

Don’t be fooled by those knock offs

With Venice famous for its masks, glass, and lace, there are plenty of souvenirs to purchase. Don’t believe that everything is made in Venice though. So many products today are manufactured in China and Venice is no 52 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015

exception. Storefronts have to reassure customers by placing signs that say in English ‘no China!’ or ‘real Murano glass!’ The fact that they have these signs tends to worry me and you should always be aware of what you’re buying. It helps that Murano glass is now trademarked with the label ‘Vetro Artistico Murano’. I saw a store that claimed it had no imports from China, yet I saw the shopkeeper take out masks from a box labeled ‘Made in China’.

Don’t be tricked by the ‘zingari’

I’ve fortunately never been pickpocketed throughout my travels in Europe. But I did notice many beggars on the streets. Don’t worry, you won’t be ambushed by anybody. Just be sure you keep valuables in safe places. However, I did witness a scenario where a Roma wom-

an cleverly tricked tourists. It typically costs €1.50 to use the public restroom and you pay when you go upstairs just before entering the restroom. However, a Roma lady posed as a bathroom attendant and demanded to be paid before entering the stairs. People paid her and then realized that they had to pay again when they reached the top of the stairs. I only noticed not to pay her since a handwritten cardboard sign said ‘Non paga gli zingari!’ Unfortunately it was an obscure sign in Italian that translates to ‘Don’t pay the gypsies!’

Don’t miss out on Murano and Burano

The city of Venice is built over 118 islands and linked with about 400 bridges, but there are some outlying islands that cannot be reached by foot. Spending a day visiting the islands of Murano and Burano is certainly

worth the boat ride. Visit Murano, an island known for its world famous glass. Be aware that if you want to purchase anything from the artisan manufacturers, whether it’s a bowl or a chandelier, it will set you back at least a couple hundred, if not thousands of euros. While Murano is famous for its glass, Burano is famous for its lace. Most tourists visit Burano because of its colorfully painted houses, but its lacework dates back to the 1500s. Today you can still appreciate the fine needlework of these old women and buy tablecloths that range from two hundred to two thousand euros.

Don’t forget your map

I tend to enjoy the idea of getting lost in a city, but it is incredibly easy to lose your way in Venice. I’ve had my fair share of wrong turns that ended in a canal. I like to


Fashion & Features


grab a map and if I get lost, ask a shopkeeper to tell me where I am to get my bearings. There are also a lot of signs that direct you to Piazzale Roma station, the Rialto bridge and San Marco, but don’t feel as if you need to stay on the main streets because you’re worried about getting lost.

Don’t be afraid to stray away from San Marco. In fact, don’t be afraid to leave Venice all together! My favorite area of Venice is the Cannareggio, which is located at the northernmost part of the city. It’s quite a walk but well worth it. Also known as the Jewish Ghetto, it’s the most residential and lifelike area of the city because you can see actual Venetian residents chatting on the streets and little kids playing in the park. If you have the nerve to travel outside of Venice, I highly suggest seeing the rest of the Veneto region. Venice is by far the most popular city, but take some time to see Verona, Vicenza and Padova. They’re all smaller cities that have their own unique charm and history, and are accessible by train.

Don’t see San Marco only during the day; go at night

San Marco has so many people and pigeons during the day that it is hard to admire its grandiose and beauty. Take a walk at night when the bridges are clear, the lights are on, the restaurants have their own live musicians, and it’s crowd-free! You don’t need to sit down at the restaurant and have an absurdly expensive cocktail to enjoy the music though. You can stand in the piazza and have your own magical Italian moment with ‘Ciuri Ciuri’ playing in the background.

Don’t just choose any place to eat in Venice

Every region of Italy is so diverse that they have their own dialect and even cuisine. Northern Veneto cuisine is certainly something to try, but can be tricky since Venice is heavily trafficked by tourists. I found that many places would employ surly waiters and offer mediocre or sub-par food, not expecting customers to know what to eat besides pasta and pizza. Take the time to research some restaurants. Maybe finish off your Venetian vacation by having a nice dinner that’s been suggested by a local or thought out in regards to what’s served.

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share your WEAR Mara & Mine

Story by Breana Powell Photos by Alexander Herman

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Fashion & Features


hen it comes to flats, comfort and style shouldn’t be mutually exclusive—and Mara & Mine has flourished under this idea. The brand’s Fall/Winter Collection finds inspiration in desert wildlife (think snakes, spiders, and scorpions) and rock ‘n roll, utilizing vibrant skins and patterns, metal embellishments, and luxe black suede and leather. Joining the line’s staple slipper and sneaker designs is the launch of a mule, pointed toe slipper, booties, and a line of versatile clutches. In addition to their edgy yet timeless designs, quality craftsmanship is a huge factor in Mara & Mine’s identity; Materials are sourced from Italy and Spain and then handmade into shoes in sunny Los Angeles. Quickly rising (or should we say strutting?) up the ranks, the shoe brand has been worn by stars such as Kendall Jenner, Chanel Iman, Cara Delevigne, and Margot Robbie. We spoke to Mara & Mine designers Tamie Ingham and Jasmine Yarbrough to pick their brains about all things design, style, and which rules they love to break.

Tastevin Magazine

How did you two meet and dream up this brand? Jasmine Yarbrough After meeting 10 years ago, we both began working together on photoshoots and runway shows. I was modeling and Tam was a stylist. Tamie Ingham Working in the industry we saw a need for flat shoes that were smart and chic. Being avid shoppers, we both wanted shoes that were not available in the marketplace. Classic shoes with a modern twist, 58 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015


Fashion & Features


hardware and luxurious leathers that we could walk in on set and out for drinks. TM

Where do you find inspiration for your designs? JY Our designs are inspired by our wanderlust. We find inspiration from holiday destinations we both travel to together. Bringing each design back to our original skeletal theme, which began from our trip to Mexico. TI From these destinations, we seek inspiration from local architecture, flora, fauna, culture and fabrics. Every design we create is full of attitude and intrigue. TM

What advice (both business and creative) would you give to an aspiring shoe designer? JY Always make a statement and don’t be afraid to take risks. TI Be innovative yet still wearable. TM

Can you reveal one of your best style tips? TI Invest in quality fabrics. JY Confidence is key.

TM Which fall trends are you most looking forward to? TI Statement earrings. JY A long line blazer. TM

Which style “rule” do you love to break when it comes to shoes? TI Always match your shoes to your bag. I don’t think this is necessary at all. JY Sneakers with dresses. TM

What’s your fave Mara and Mine piece? TI My favorite Mara & Mine piece would have to be the Jem Skull Slipper in tonal black on black calf hair. JY My favourite Mara & Mine piece is the Jem Skull Sneaker in white on white calf hair. 60 Tastevin Magazine October / November 2015


Fashion & Features


Best adventure you’ve had while wearing Mara and Mine shoes: TI Every day is an adventure.

TM Do you have any exciting projects lined up? JY We have a few in the works as we love to collaborate with designers and artists. This fall our collaboration with Raif Adelberg launches. TI And in spring we will release our collaboration with Jacqui Aiche.


Finish the sentence: Mara and Mine shoes___________ JY are lustworthy. TI are the most comfortable shoes you could wear!

Mara & Mine shoes are available at and select stockists, with price points ranging from $350 to $1500, and sizes ranging from 5-11.



Smooth & Sweet

by Caroline A. Wong

Celebrate Bright Pink, the only national nonprofit focused on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Skinn Cosmetics is donating 100% of sales (every cent from every sale, not just from profits) of its Foot Fetish Heel Balm to Bright Pink. The balm is available for purchase via Find out more about Bright Pink at


Profile for Tastevin Mag

Tastevin Magazine Oct / Nov 2015  

A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu

Tastevin Magazine Oct / Nov 2015  

A Fashion and Lifestyle Tasting Menu