Yesterday I had a wonderful day with my business partner and designer of Pacific Gypsea, Shirley. To celebrate the launch of pacificgypsea.com we started with lunch at the well known eatery in Carmel Valley, Cafe Rustica. After eating my entire plate of butternut squash ravioli with brown butter and sage in a light cream sauce, we couldn’t resist heading across the street to one of the cutest wineries in Carmel, Cowgirl Winery.
From the zen gardens to the vintage truck perfectly decorated with succulents… immediately you want to move in. The chickens, which make it very clear that it is their property and we are just visitors, will guide you to the chicken feed stand for a little treat before you head into the perfectly decorated tasting room. Cowboy boots line the ceiling and repurposed furniture make this space more than just a tasting room but a place you want to sit around with your girlfriends, drink wine and enjoy the California life.
As if the Cowgirl tasting room, bocce ball courts, and outdoor seating area aren’t enough- just to the corner of the tasting room is a store that houses quintessential chic cowgirl style home accessories and women’s accessories. I couldn’t resist buying a camel Peter Grimm hat and some other little gift items. Now off to my last night of the sound of the waves crashing outside my room before heading back to the beach bungalow.
Blazer: Elizabeth & James | Dress: Stella McCartney | Necklaces: Pacific Gypsea | Shoes: Belle by Sigerson Morrison
It’s Indian summer in California and with the excuse of Labor Day weekend I hopped in my vintage Mercedes (aka Helga) and headed to my Dad’s place in San Francisco for some much needed R&R and endless dosas and mimosas, courtesy of my stepmom. After several days of lollygagging on their rooftop terrace in the rare 75 degree heat of the concrete jungle I used to call home, I was ready to head back to Carmel.
It may seem clear by now that when getting ready I challenge myself to maintain an essence of glamour even though comfort has become an essential factor in my fashion equation. Long day dresses have become my go to option when I am required to wear one outfit all day. For example, when road tripping along the California coastline and the only choice of a dressing room is a gas station bathroom that may or may not have a locking door. Transitioning to night is simple with a cropped leather jacket or chunky belted sweater. Perhaps the length of a long dress reminds me of a sari and my Indian bangles seem to always be my choice of jewelry pairing. Plus, who doesn’t like a little arm candy to stare at when driving down the open road.
This was the perfect start to September; There is something about driving with the warm summer wind blowing through my hair that inspires me to create and reminds me of my dreams to continue to build my empire. It’s a rare time in my life when I am not contracting as Creative Director or freelancing as a stylist, so I am extremely excited to have the time to start working on the projects I have been daydreaming about during the beginning my endless summer.
By now it may be obvious, particularly by my lack of blog posts, that this tiny California beach town is anything but sleepy. The last to weeks the roar of engines took over the sound of the waves. Nights were filled with beautiful cars, epic views, and good friends. I’m finally back in California. My childhood memories of Carmel can pretty much be summed up by the time I found a box of bunnies in an artichoke field and convinced my parents to adopt another pet and many weekends of searching for restaurants that would seat 5 children, 5 Argentines and a tiny Indian lady, my beautiful mother.
While contemplating the move for my last freelance job, Mr Maharaja and I found any excuse to venture through the storybook beach town and drive along the coast to Ventana. Now that I’m here we still find any excuse to lay in their Japanese baths and stare at the stars in the magical (no seriously) Big Sur sky. The healing waters from the natural hot springs are one of the few reasons you will leave this place embracing your inner hippie. The other reason may be the clothing optional suggestion, meaning being naked is highly encouraged. That being said, I can only take embracing my inner hippie so far and dinning on micro greens with a low sodium over cooked piece of fish is not funny. The only thing I want to embrace after a beautiful hike through the grounds is a large bowl of pasta with venisin ragout and shaved Parmesan… NO, burrata!
After an exhausting car week, Mr Maharaja and I decided to head to Ventana for a relaxing weekend. Armed with a basket of empanadas and wearing my favorite travel dress from H&M and my riding boots I’m ready for another amazing evening hiking through Ventana with my love.
My 30’s have been a different story; there is a look that I like to think of as casual luxury that seems to be more fitting for my pretty much daily routine of hunting for seashells and meetings with clients. Jersey dresses will always be a staple in my closet as the casual material in feminine shapes easily takes me through my day. It also provides a clean backdrop to my vintage Argentine belt, Ralph Lauren sandals, and Antik Batik bag. One of my favorite labels for luxurious basics, like my dress, is Parisian brand Zoe Tee’s. Each one of their pieces has the laid back look French women have mastered and I admire.
It has been a month now that I’ve moved back to the California coast and have already planned one event, in plans for a rather large opening and website launch, and the piéce de résistance in August. Needless to say between decorating the beach bungalow and my contract jobs I have managed to semi stalk Lolo at her beautiful flower studio, Burst + Bloom, in Carmel. The scent of Aspen Bay candles wafts through the open Dutch door, flowers sit in perfectly unmatched groupings of glass vases; Her style is apparent in each corner of the shop and watching her while she works and talk about her businesses is quite captivating.
Being in Carmel, I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by successful women who are going after their dream. Lolo and her husband Christian also own Good To Go just across the shopping village. They filled a void in the Carmel food scene with their locally sourced, organic ingredients made into perfect lunch options. Hearing Lolo talk about how she took her talent of style to start her dream business of healthy eating inspires me to start working on the mini empire Mr Maharaja and I discuss at length. Burst + Bloom – 238 Crossroads Boulevard – Carmel, CA
Today I was scouting for locations through the back roads of Pacific Grove. Each corner more magnificent than the next, I had to take part of my adventure on foot in my Prada suede booties and backless H&M dress.
Almost every surface of this beach town is covered in elements that highlight the marriage of the forest and the ocean. Beach cottages surrounded by pine and eucalyptus trees, deer grazing through sand dunes, and that mystical California summer fog- it’s no surprise monarch butterflies choose to migrate here every year. Backless dresses have become quite an obsession of mine; there is something sexy about the surprise of an unexpected cutout. Season after season we have seen backless dresses add a bit of femme fatal to otherwise simple shapes- this season of course being no different.