Sunday, June 16, 2013

Isabella Blow

This morning, I finally finished reading this biography on Isabella Blow, the legendary Bitish fashion editor/ stylist whose body of work inspired many (including me), but sadly, committed suicide in 2007.  It was written by Lauren Goldstein Crowe. 

I share many things with this woman-- most especially her love for design and designers, art and artists. She was eccentric to some, inspiring to me, fabulous and captivating to all.  I wish she lived longer, or died some other way.  She was muse to many designers and was "a creature like no other". 

What made this biography extra-interesting to me was the reference to so many unforgettable (and one might say, game-changing) photo shoots and fashion shows that she styled or collaborated with Alexander McQueen and Phillip Treacy on.  I had so much fun googling these mentioned works, ooh-ing and aahhh-ing at how these creatives pushed their ideas to the edge.  

Back in the 90's, she made London cool again. 

Blow with hat-maker Phillip Treacy

 Blow with Alexander McQueen for Vanity Fair's "Cool Britannia" shoot. 

Sharing a laugh with Treacy backstage at a show

See some of her most outrageous hats, for which she was known to have worn to social gatherings fearlessly and beautifully:

 Blow at the launch of a lipstick shade named after her by Mac

Upon her death, Isabella's entire wardrobe was to be auctioned off at Christie's but the heiress and fashion icon Daphne Guinness bought the entire archive, and is said to be currently working on building some sort of "memorial for Isabella around the clothes".  

One of her most famous quotes were: 
"Fashion is a vampiric thing, it's the hoover on your brain. That's why I wear the hats, to keep everyone away from me. They say, 'Oh, can I kiss you?' I say, 'No, thank you very much. That's why I've worn the hat. Goodbye.' I don't want to be kissed by all and sundry. I want to be kissed by the people I love."

She led a colorful and extraordinary life.  Honestly, reading about her story made me a tad bit more creative during the past few weeks.  A glass of wine (or better yet, a bottle of champagne), to celebrate Isabella Blow's life, please! CHEERS! 

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

7 days in Bali

I just spent 7 days with my friends in the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia.  

For fear of getting too busy to post anything about this vacation, I compiled my Instagram (@nina_santamaria) photos from the past week to share with you, and for me to remember the trip by.  Hope you enjoy my visual diary of Bali:

As you can see, we were right smack in the middle of a busy week in Echo Beach, Canggu, where we stayed.  There were the exciting Deus events such as the Fish Fry and the 9-Foot & Single Logging Competition. There was also the Comp Womp (a bodysurfing competition) and the premier of the bodysurf documentary, "Come Hell or High Water".  Also lucky to chance upon the exhibit of Drew Wellman, "The Little Heroes" featuring young local surfers posing in their surfboards "with patinas to die for".

Sharing the other awesome posters with you here as I was tripping on them the whole time I was there. Kudos to the graphic design department of Deus, if there is such a thing. So much thought and style go into making these things, don't you think?

(hmm..I didn't know Alex Knost was supposed to come...)

We couldn't have come at a better time.  Our good friends Buji Libarnes (from Coast Thru Life) & La Union's Luke Landrigan joined the Logging Competition and even if I couldn't surf on this trip, I was so thrilled to see Pinoys share the waves with the best of the best from around the globe.  And I'm not kidding when I say the best.  There was Harrison Roach, Dane Peterson,  Jared Mell, Matt Chojanocki, and Husni Ridwan, a.k.a. "The Prince", among others.

Matt Chojanocki (The Waxhead)  is now on my list of fave surfers.
photos above via

And let's not forget the stylish, beautiful, and for me definitely the coolest cat on the planet, Kassia Meador.

Instagram @gianggaw
(follow him for great surf pics)

I've been a huge fan for years and never in my wildest dreams did I expect that I would get to meet and hang out with her.  In Bali, of all places! In the same hotel, same floor, a few rooms away.  I was fan-girling the whole time, HARD.  Now I get goosebumps realizing that the people you admire & look up to can actually be more AWESOME in person.  She was so friendly and just beamed happiness, enthusiasm and positivity.  She'd come up to us and talk about the day, the surf, and random things like when she almost hit a chair in the middle of the road while riding her scooter last night. She was always smiling and it was infectious. Every time she'd come from a surf session, she would say it was the "BEST TIME!".  (Ok, I'll stop now for fear of her thinking I'm a psycho fan).  Sorry Kassie, I'm just really happy to have met you! You inspire me!

*now wiping stupid smile off of face* Back to other Bali news...

It rained often, but it did not hamper the beauty of our surroundings.  I remember this gloomy day when the white roof at the Deus workshop almost disappeared into the gray sky, making the Balinese doors with its rich carvings stand out in the rain.  I tried to capture it with the iPhone, but couldn't.  Anyway I'll remember the scene always in my head.  :-)

We went to Medewi, Seminyak, Kuta, and Ubud where we did some shopping and visited the excellent (& exemplary) Green School, a campus nestled in the jungle and made entirely from bamboo.  Aside from the batik-shopping, I thoroughly enjoyed all my meals, especially this curry with brown rice and the roasted pumpkin & beet salad with a light coconut vinaigrette (which I had almost everyday)!

at Betel Nut Cafe

Plus I finally learned how to ride a scooter,
this shall prove useful on my next Siargao trip!
Kim & Echo hamming it up
(from @cescasilvestre IG)
the chill setup at the Board Shapers Forum
Buji, me, Cesca, Luke, Kassie, Nikki, & Ellana
(Charlie behind the lens)

the wrap-up party
photo via

 Already planning the trip back.
Terimah Kasi, Bali!