A Good General

There is so much wisdom within this quotation… It captures the true essence of leadership, no matter in the circumstance of war time, nor the context of a battle troop. This is the kind of attitude that transcends space and time.

Summer Martial Arts Essential? – Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels

Back when I did an endurance bicycling event (my ONLY one in life, but 300 miles counts), it happened to fall during the dead of summer.  And, apparently, on the hottest days – the first 100 + miles was in 110 degree heat.

As a non-heat, and non-endurance athlete, I HAD prepared somewhat.  I searched high and low for cooling apparel, wipes, sprays, really anything that could help lower my body temp.  While I was somewhat successful (thank you FrogTogs), and though I’m not planning any rigorous outdoor events for mid-summer, I am always up for learning about new products that bring a little heat relief.

Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels are designed not only to get you clean (a necessary feature if you are training – at any time – but especially during sweat-laden summer months), but also to give a cooling, refreshing feel. 

ulta.com

Per Ulta’s description:

The mountains of Afghanistan are not exactly equipped with state of the art plumbing, so a cold shower to escape the dirt, grime, and oppressive heat was never an option. Such was the inspiration behind Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels. Developed in concert with our military advisory panel, these face and body towels are manufactured with menthol, aloe, and jojoba to provide a chilling blast as they cleanse and protect. The perfect way to cool down and recover after 12-hour shifts, covert field missions, or back alley boxing matches.

As for the formulation, there are hydrating, exfoliating, calming and cooling ingredients throughout – these are definitely no bullshit:

Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Vera Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Cucumis Sativus Extract, Althaea Officinalis Extract, Oat Kernal Extract, Menthol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenxyethanol, Fragrance.

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Ralph Lauren Visuals

I think every time I walk past Ralph Lauren I make a comment about how amazing the designer is… Whether his look is your thing or not, there is no denying how on point he – or more accurately, his “house” – is.  The same has held true over many, many years…and there is, I am certain, some amount of turnover in the Company!  

So however he does it, RL manages to make his message absolutely, pristinely clear to the scores of men and women working for the Brand(s) – Seasons come and go, “it looks” change (including his), trends ebb and flow…and yet he never deviates from his vision.  If you dressed up a room of models, you could likely pick out the girls in Ralph Lauren without so much as batting a lash.

The other thing is…his ensembles are always wearable!  If you said to me that you “Safari Chic” was in…I might cringe, out of fear of a disastrous influx of in-store hunter hats, khaki cutoffs, or military green shenanigans (it’s happened!!!) With Ralph Lauren, the possibilities somehow bloom in spades… From his accessories, to outwear, to separates, and full looks…he nails it.

I passed the store today and *tried* to take photos – the glare on the uber-clean glass made it nigh impossible to get a good shot…so I went to the site, and low and behold…the two visual looks from the windows!

I’m not sure about you, but I think the man made these pairings work…and then some.  As a former ballroom dancer, it’s safe to say that just about NO ONE would say that swarovski rhinestones would “go” with military green cotton canvas but…incredibly...he got it to jive.  Paired with a cropped sleeve, funnel jacket, a pleated, full bottom skirt…and a burnished leather belt…these crystals look outrageously down to Earth.  Whoever manages that is a wizard – no wands out at meetings!

Combat Boot Named “Larry”

So back in the day when I was in Fashion, I had the great fortune to sketch and dabble with design. ❤ I wasn’t THE sketcher…or THE designer…but I had an opportunity to try – thank you to my boss for that! 🙂

I am not an artist, and never claimed to be.  Nor, really, a “designer”…but I certainly loved it, and was thankful to be able to give it a go. 😀 I have a plethora of sketches, and sometimes bust out the pencils because I can’t help myself!  Totally taught myself, so there is hope for EVERYONE!

One of my first trips to China resulted in one of my first boot designs… A military / combat style boot, lace up, with straps.  RAD.

and I was BESIDE myself when it made the line!  I know it’s not a big deal for everyone but I was so, SO excited!  The boots were named “Larry.”  I still don’t know why, though I’m venturing a guess that our name database was getting smaller by the minute (you can’t even IMAGINE!) (Where is that “GASP!” emoji!?  Anyone know?)

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I was always surprised the boots weren’t given a female name, though maybe the namer felt the namee was too, er, masculine?  Given the details, I feel like they *could* have a been a she.

I might have called ’em “Dux” or something.  Yes, I did see Bloodsport as a kid.  I have an older brother!  Or what about “Rogue” or “Sonja”..?  I dunno… Larry felt like a let down (take no offense, boots, I love you all the same!)

Anyway…

We ended up detailing…him, I guess!…in black leather with “oro” golden lining, and gold metal details.  I LOVE this boot.  Love.  And it’s not because I drew the thing…it’s because it’s glam AND badass at the same time.  ❤

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I wore them to the Dojang this morning because, SNOW.  And I gave one of my boys a big smooch while in them also – note that he is totally lit up because HE loves them so much too! 😀

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Yay for sketching, and triple yay for making the line!  Though others may have passed HIM by here or there, I will always have a special etching on my heart that reads “Larry.”

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A/W 2015/16 RTW – Ermanno Scervino

I couldn’t necessarily pinpoint one thing about Ermanno Scervino’s Collection…I just know I loved it!  And as with the other photos, unless otherwise stated, way to go http://www.style.com – the images are gorgeous.

Ordinarily I’d say a “puffer” (that’s my affectionate term for down jacket) is not for me – I mean…I’m a mesomorph primarily and any kind of extra padding / quilting / puffery?  Turns me into Mrs. StayPuft.  Not a good look!  BUT…Ermanno’s were DIVINE. 

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

The first full coat was the most flattering, delightfully whipped-cream pastry I have ever seen!  Not even kidding!  How this look is so well pulled off, I will never know, but the slim black belt pulled it all together and managed super feminine lines.  The golden buttons reminded me of metallic sprinkles…as if, indeed, this was for some festivity.  Or dessert spread!  ADORABLE!  The skirt that followed, paired with a fitted black turtleneck, skinny belt and black boots…was ALSO precious.  I can’t even say I’d stare at someone in this not-so-common-usage-of-down, save to say “gosh, that’s cute!”  

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

As for the houndstooth...this is one of the first times I’ve actually thought “this print rocks!”  The mix of large and ultra-large scale print…and the placement of those prints…somehow made it super wearable in all the pieces it was featured in.  Paired with grey and garnet fur (faux, I hope! 😀 )? Gorgeous!  With an incarnadine overlay and richly red boots and gloves?  Just wow.  Then there’s the print with extra black space behind the white…making for a reverse Dalmatian of sorts – whole other animal.

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

The cobalt and vibrantly-pigmented reds were spectacular, adding some intensity to the black and whites of the Collection.  Diverging from the boldness, a splash of military green provided an unexpected twist.

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

A/W 2015//16 Ermanno Scervino RTW style.com photo

Footwear, from non-detail shots, seem to be flat banded sandals, flat spectators (a fun play on menswear for the large-button suits in the group!), over-instep-strapped pumps…and uber-embellished flats, and shin boots.

I LOVED the makeup!  Burgundy lips, bold brows, chiseled cheeks and lightly-contoured shadow (possible that there is a hint of clear gloss on the lids?) added just enough “drama” for the Collection, adding polish,interest and complimentary color…without taking away at all.  Well done.