The last time I was in this beautiful city I was 16 years old. It was December, & I was with my family on holiday. I got food poisoning on the second day of my visit, & spent the rest of the trip in bed. The only time I got out of bed was to watch "The Nutcracker" New York City Ballet.
6 years & a few months later, I'm back in the big apple partly for work, partly for pleasure.
I turn 23 years old today- & the thought of it has been freaking me out a bit for the past week. It sounds cliché to say, but time really does fly. When I turned 22 last year, I told myself it was time to invest as much energy as possible on doing what I truly wanted to do. To focus on working on what fulfills me and makes me happy. If I were lucky enough to be able to live off what I truly love, I wouldn't mind time passing, or getting older.
I turn 23 knowing I am working towards something I love. I've been investing my time & efforts into my music, as well as Five Days A Week & HoraConfessions.
HoraConfessions has been my baby since I created it in Tokyo back in 2009. It has evolved and changed over the years. I am happy to announce that a new HoraConfessions is underway! I've been developing & working on it for months...and cannot wait to show you.
This is the last post I am going to write on this incarnation of HoraConfessions.
Thank you for your birthday wishes, & thank you for your support :)
I left Madrid last Wednesday. I landed in New York a few hours ago. Yesterday I was in London. The day before that, I was in Barcelona.
This past week has flown by. I think everybody has their "favorite" month: a month with a few fun plans, exciting trips / mini-breaks, birthdays, etc. For me, that month is usually June.
Apart from it being my birthday on the 8th, it is also the birthday of some of my closest friends (the more birthdays, the bettter). Another reason I love this month is because festival season is in the air- my months of June usually begin with one of my favorite festivals in Spain: Primavera Sound.
This festival has been taking place every year in Parc del Fórum (Barcelona) for over 10 years. I've been going to this festival for the last 4 years, & every year I enjoy it more (click here to see last year's Primavera Sound video & post).
Designer María Escoté & hair stylist Bea Matallana. Jacket by Schott Perfecto.
Since last year, a big group of us have got together at this festival (there's about 15 of us) to watch some of our favourite bands & artists play in the different stages inside the Forum. Don't ask me how, but somehow we all manage to stay together throughout the entire night at the festival. The more, the merrier.
The line-up was amazing. I hadn't had the chance to see any of the headline bands (The Cure, Franz Ferdinand, Justice, etc) before, so it was great to not know what to expect from their live shows.
Death Cab For Cutie (Mini stage on Thursday) & SBTRKT (Pitchfork stage on Friday)
I had been wanting to watch Death Cab For Cutie live for years, so I was happy I finally got to see them play live at the festival last Thursday. It was the perfect way to begin the festival. I stayed on to watch Beirut- they were one of the only band's I'd seen live already (I watched them play at FIB- Benicassim last year). The stage they had played at Beni wasn't very good, & I didn't really enjoy it, so I wanted to hear them play a better stage. I was glad I did, they sounded way better.
SBTRKT's self-titled debut album has been one of my most listened to albums this year so far, & it was wonderful to hear them play it live on Friday night. SBTRKT, The Cure's 3hr set & The Rapture's "How Deep Is Your Love?" made Friday my favourite night at the festival.
I stayed at the AC Forum hotel, a 5min walk away from the festival venue. The delicious breakfast buffet, rooftop swimming pool, & heavenly spa made up for being woken up at 9am every morning because of sound checks.
Saturday night got off to a slow start. The first show I saw was Beach House, followed by Chromatics. We stayed on to watch The Weeknd (probably my least favorite gig at the festival)...and ended up dancing our hearts out to Justice (I enjoyed every minute of their set).
Sunset at Parc del Fórum. End of Justice set at San Miguel stage.
My 3-day Primavera Sound'12 experience ended with Neon Indian's "Polish Girl", and that is how I am ending this post (click here to listen to Primavera Sound'12 official Spotify playlist).
I am already excited for next year's "Primavera" :)
with Rosa Oriol & Rosa Tous at their HQ in Manresa.
I was about 12 years old when I first owned a piece of jewelry from Tous. I'd wanted a little silver pendant from the brand for ages, & will never forget the day my mother gave it to me for my birthday (I still have it, & wear it all the time).
For the past couple of years, I've become more & more interested in silver jewelry. Especially when it comes to rings. The thought of creating my own little pieces of jewelry had become more & more appetizing.
Thats why, when Tous first approached me & asked me to design a piece of jewelry, I was over the moon. I was excited & nervous, and didn't really know how or what I wanted. I had lots of different themes & ideas, so it was no surprise that it took me ages to decide on what I was going to "create".
My first idea was to design a skull ring. I own a lot of skull rings, so it would be cool to design one myself. The problem is, I wanted something that would fit my style, but also fit the style of the brand. Skull rings are great, but if I was lucky enough to have a piece of my own, I wanted it to have more of a story: design something I would like to wear, but also give to my closest friends & family.
That is when I looked down at my hands, & stared at the first ring I ever owned. As a little girl, I was obsessed with turquoise (there were days I'd show up to school dressed head to bottom in turquoise blue). If I remember correctly, this obsession started when I was playing dress-up in my grandmother's house. She showed me some of her jewelry, & I immediately fell in love with a silver ring with a turquoise in the center. My grandmother gave me the ring when I turned 14, and I've been wearing it for years.
I wanted the ring to be silver & turquoise, inspired in the ring my grandmother gave me. Now all I needed was to figure out what exactly would be silver & turquoise.
Forget-me-nots are my favorite flowers. More than for the shape, I like them because of the meaning behind them. Soldiers used to give them to their wives / lovers / girlfriends before they would go to war, & these women would wear them all of the time to show they still remembered their loved ones, even when they were far away.
After sketches & sketches, tons of emails, phone calls & prototypes...here is my little silver Forget-Me-Not. I thought it would make a good gift. Something men could give their ladies, mothers could give their daughters, friends could give their friends, & grandmothers could give their granddaughters.
The process has been amazing, It has been such an honor, and I have loved every single minute of it. It was been lovely to work with the Tous family: both with Rosa & her amazing daughter.
I had to keep the ring a secret until last week, when Harper's Bazaar Spain published the editorial we shot last month, with pictures & information about the design, & my day in Manresa at the Tous headquarters.
Here is a video I made at the shoot, I hope you like it.
Thank you Tous & Harper's Bazaar for this wonderful experience :)
STAY TUNED for a chance to win a Forget-Me-Not ring very soon!
Last Saturday the lovely Gabriel Llano taught me how to apply false eyelashes properly.
I'd worn false eyelashes before for shoots & events, but I'd never really attempted to try it alone. I'm a bit of a disaster when it comes to sticking them on: last time I'd tried was a couple of years ago, and the glue just ended up going all over my face, hands & eyes. It was something I wanted to try again, but knowing my luck, one of the eyelashes would lose stickiness midway through dinner.
Gaby asked me to bring him H&M eyelashes, as well as special eyelash glue (he recommends buying a special eyelash glue instead of using the one that comes in the box- it is not expensive & lasts longer). We met at our usual spot- Moncho Moreno's salon in Madrid- and he taught me how to apply them, as well as customizing them to fit my eye & look more natural.
Here is Gaby's May tip- I hope you find it useful :)
I love Anni. She is as sweet as her songs, and loads of fun to be around.
We first met in December'10, when I interviewed her for Mtv, & stayed in touch ever since then.
The Spanish singer/songwriter has been writing a follow up to her first album "Start, Restart, Undo" (2009) for the past 3 years. "Oh, Monsters!" was released last month, & I was really excited to finally listen to it. I can't wait to see her live in Madrid at the end of this month.
Anni has started touring, & is going to be writing about her tour experience on her new blog on Harper's Bazaar Spain.
I popped in for a chat with her whilst she was getting ready for her Harper's Bazaar Spain May'12 feature.
Here is what we talked about. I hope you are having a good week :)
Last Friday I had the pleasure of attending Calzedonia's "Recicla Tu Bañador" ("Recycle Your Swimsuit") launch event in Madrid.
Calzedonia gives you a 5€ discount on a new bikini/ swimsuit from their store if you bring an old one in to be recycled (the old bikini/ swimsuit can be of any brand). The old ones you exchange for the discount are recycled by "I Collect Ag", an international company that will recycle them in an eco-friendly, legal & ethic way. This initiative will last throughout the whole month of May.
I spent the morning at the brand's store in the heart of Madrid, catching up with other bloggers, checking out their Summer'12 collection (click here to see my favorite bikinis for this summer), & chatting to Malena.
Here is a little vido with Malena in Spanish. My apologies for the lack of subtitles!
I love braids. Specially when they are on top of my head, and get all of my hair out of the way.
After a long month of work & travelling, Gaby & I met up at Moncho Moreno's hair & beauty salon last week to film April's video tutorial. We decided to do something a bit special for the April tutorial.
Up until last week, I only knew how to do simple braids. Gaby taught me how to braid it properly, all the way around my head. I suggest watching the video with a friend / sister / somebody who you can practice on, and somebody who can practice on you.
Later on that day I wore it to the Condé Nast Traveler Spain awards the other night, & kept it in the next day. It lasted for ages! Once you've practiced a bit, it gets easier and easier to do.
I hope you find his instructions as useful as I did. Enjoy!
I landed in Manchester airport & stood by the designated luggage conveyor belt for about half an hour before I realized my suitcase was not going to make an appearance anytime soon.
After another 30 minutes of waiting around, checking every other conveyor belt, & even in the plane, the man who was in charge of helping me find it received a phone call saying my suitcase had been left behind in Madrid. They also said it would it would be sent to me on the next flight from Madrid to Manchester- in 3 days.
The overall process would take about a week- which meant I was stuck in Manchester with nothing but a jacket, the black skinny jeans & t-shirt I was wearing, 3 handbags & 3 pairs of shoes (I like to keep my accessories in my hand luggage, for some bizarre reason).
Jord, who meeting me at the airport, took me straight to Trafford Center (Manchester) where I ended up at the best place to go when you have the perfect excuse to buy new clothes: Topshop.
Whilst I ran around looking for underwear & socks (and maybe some nail stickers), J came back with a lovely knitted, slightly colourful jumper from Topshop's Spring collection. Suitcase or no suitcase, that jumper would have made its way into my wardrobe eventually.
I packed the jumper for my trip to Barcelona this weekend, and wore it to my photo shoot on Sunday (where the picture was taken).
As for my suitcase, it made its way back to me a week later. I've started packing an extra change of clothes & underwear in my hand luggage now, in case it decides to leave me again ;)
I've been here since Friday- after a couple of lovely weeks in England- to prepare for O.P.I's launch party.
I discovered this brand in 2009, when I visited Tokyo for work, and have loved the brand ever since then. Because they didn't have a store in Spain, I'd always have to buy the nail colours abroad. I was so happy to hear they were finally coming to Spain.
O.P.I had asked me to Dj at the event, which meant I had the pleasure of spending the day with the whole O.P.I team organizing the event, including the amazing Suzi Weiss, Vice President & Artistic Director of the brand. I also got a heavenly manicure.
It was an honor to be part of an event filled with fun, colors, music...and lots & lots of nails. It was also great to see so many nail lovers: Gala, Andrea, & Madrid's nail art queens- Laura & Jessica.
Thank you O.P.I, and welcome to Spain :)
You can listen to my OPI mini playlist on Spotify(with some of the tracks I played last night) by clicking here.
Earlier this year I attended Harper's Bazaar Spain's feature on Missoni's SS'12 collection with Blanca Suárez & Margherita Missoni.
I met Blanca at a party in 2010. We started talking about silver jewelry, and she asked me where I'd bought my small skull earring. I told her I'd bought it in England, and if she really wanted it, I'd bring one back for her next time I travelled to London.
A couple of months later I visited The Great Frog in London & remembered about the earrings, so I bought her a small skull. We met up for coffee when I got back to Spain, & chatted for ages. Her new movie Carne de Neón (which she co-stared with Mario Casas) had just come out, her lead role in "El Barco" (one of the most popular tv shows in Spain), and she'd just finished shooting Almodóvar's new movie, The Skin I Live In.
Amidst all of the madness & stress, she still manages to stay calm & collected, easy going, and very easy to talk to. The more she achieves in her career, the more of an incentive it is for her to keep calm & focused...and happy.
I was so happy then I found out Blanca is one of Missoni's faces for their Spring-Summer'12 collection. Her hard work & dedication is proving to be worthwhile- her performance in The Skin I Live In got very good reviews and award nominations (including a Goya nomination), and she has a lot of work lined up.
It was great to catch up with her, & see that she has not changed a bit. You can find the full editorial in the April 2012 issue of Harper's Bazaar Spain.