Erik ReeL : Zero Point & Rhonda P. Hill Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art

From Erik ReeL : Zero Point.

From Erik ReeL : Zero Point.

GraySpace hosts a pair of interesting new exhibits, both of which open on Friday.

Erik ReeL : Zero Point is the first local solo exhibition in a decade for ReeL, an improvisational non-objective painter. Featuring major new paintings and studies never shown before, GraySpace has coupled ReeL’s solo show with an exhibition curated by Rhonda P. Hill, ReeL’s wife, titled Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art, which will introduce a group of exciting, young, international fashion designers to Santa Barbara.

Two talks, one with Erik ReeL on non-objective painting, and a panel featuring Rhonda Hill and Erik ReeL, will be held during the exhibition (dates to be announced).

From Rhonda P. Hill Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art.

From Rhonda P. Hill
Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art.

Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art spotlights selected work by fashion designers, Tingyue Jiang, Alena Kalana, Susan Tancer and Hera Zhou, who blur the distinction between art and fashion. Hill makes a strong claim for fashion to be considered as a cultural phenomenon that can, in certain forms, be called art—on par with any other visual art. Hill points out that fashion can, in the right hands, consciously work on deeper levels that deal with our consciousness, identity and sense of place within our culture.

Graffiti Cluster bags by Susan Tancer.

Graffiti bags by Susan Tancer.

There will be an artists reception for both shows on Friday, September 21, from 5-8 p.m.

GraySpace Gallery is located at 219 Gray Ave., in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The gallery is open Friday-Sunday from  1 – 6 p.m., and both shows will remain on view through November 11.

High-style Brooklyn Museum costume collection Charles James, photo by Rhonda P. Hill, courtesy of edgexpo-com.

High-style Brooklyn Museum costume collection Charles James, photo by Rhonda P. Hill, courtesy of edgexpo-com.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 20, 2018.

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

By Leslie Dinaberg

Still struggling with what to buy your mom for Mother’s Day (or her birthday, or just to say “I love you” any time of the year, for that matter? Stress no more, here are a few things she’s sure to appreciate.

Once Upon a Book Club, courtesy photo.

Once Upon a Book Club, courtesy photo.

Put a new twist on her summer reading with a monthly subscription to Once Upon A Book Club! I loved this gift so much I bought it for both my mom and my mother-in-law (don’t tell …).  The way it works is you sign up for a monthly box to arrive at her front door.  You can do it once, or multiple times, it’s up to you.

Once Upon a Book Club, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Once Upon a Book Club, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

She’ll open the adorable book-shaped box and find the selected book, along with 3-5 perfectly wrapped gifts with page numbers.  They even have shredded book pages for stuffing. It’s so cute! Want to know what is in the gift? They are carefully curated to enhance the book.  For example, one of the characters in the story pulls out a magical stone from a leather bag at a heightened moment in the book. As mom reads this, she is signaled to open one of the gifts: a replica of the described stone (that’s actually a bar of soap) inside a useful/trendy leather purse!  You get the idea. It’s really fun!

Yummy Cupcakes in a Jar, courtesy photo.

Yummy Cupcakes in a Jar, courtesy photo.

Yummy Cupcakes are another favorite recent find. These are not your ordinary cupcakes (which she also probably loves), these are delicious gourmet cupcakes that come stacked four in a jar. The packaging is adorable (almost too pretty to eat), with flavors ranging from brown sugar cinnamon to French toast, nutty red velvet, Snickerdoodle and more. They even have a vegan version. I tried the Vegan Chocolate/Vanilla which was very tasty. And they deliver everywhere! 

 

Dear Heart Designs Jewelry, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Dear Heart Designs Jewelry, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Dear Heart Designs is a beautiful way to give your loved one with a necklace that will remind her how you feel about her every time she puts it on. The company is faith-inspired jewelry brand whose feminine yet minimalist pieces have garnered the attention of celebrity designer Joanna Gaines, among others. The You’re a Gem necklace (pictured) is one of my favorites, and they also have customized versions with the names of your children inscribed, or special messages with scripture verses just for mom.

The PediPocket Blanket, courtesy photo.

The PediPocket Blanket, courtesy photo.

For moms on the go, the PediPocket blanket is great for travel. These lightweight and easy to pack fleece blankets are nearly 6 feet long, so it covers her shoulders and her feet at the same time and a special 20” pocket keeps her feet extra warm and snuggly. With 10 different colors and patterns to choose from, these are actually great gifts for everyone in the family and are perfect for tailgate parties, beach barbecues, and outdoor concerts as well as on her next trip.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Originally published on May 11, 2018 in Santa Barbara Seasons.

Style File: Coachella Inspiration

Bassnectar's traditional "family photo" taken at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2013, by Drew Ressler, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Bassnectar’s traditional “family photo” taken at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2013, by Drew Ressler, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

To everything there’s a season, and in the California style scene, Coachella musical festival marks the beginning of warm weather style inspiration. Sure,  it’s a ginormous music festival—but it’s also the place where performers, celebs, and concert-goers alike debut their super-stylish looks.

The Jewelry Junkie, courtesy photo.

The Jewelry Junkie, courtesy photo.

Here’s a little bit of Coachella spring/summer inspiration:

The Jewelry Junkie is female-operated, 100% handcrafted in the U.S. brand offering jewelry pieces that are unique, stylish and affordable.  Boho meets elegance with these handcrafted, southern-inspired collections. Whether you prefer statement pieces or dainty touches, The Jewelry Junkie collections have earrings, necklaces, chokers, rings, bracelets and more. Plus, each piece has a unique touch of leather, gemstones, and beads. In addition, The Jewelry Junkie donates more than 10% of all net proceeds of every sale to local and international charities. 

Agabhumi charms from Bali, courtesy photo.

Agabhumi charms from Bali, courtesy photo.

We love these empowering charms from Agabhumi’s hip, designer collection of impeccably-crafted jewelry imported straight from Bali.  Each piece evokes the Indonesian island vibe and collaboration with the artisans of Bali. Co-founder Regina Kirshbaum created this collection to remind us of our power within, these Agabhumi charms provide a perfect message for the feel good festival. 

By Lilla hair ties that double as bracelets, courtesy photo.

By Lilla hair ties that double as bracelets, courtesy photo.

Warmer weather means getting your hair off your neck, which is even easier—and prettier—when you have a stack of By Lilla designs on your arm. A brilliantly simple idea, hair ties that double as beautiful bracelets, these babies are functional yet fashionable. And you can easily stack them up to share with your friends. 

Tonle calf length vest, courtesy photo.

Tonle calf length vest, courtesy photo.

Every thread matters at tonlé, a zero-waste fashion brand that is one-of-a-kind. The reduce, reuse and recycle ethos makes its way into the fashion world with this Cambodia-based clothing line. The sustainable styles of tonlé use remnants discarded by large manufacturers and create beautiful, comfortable clothes, without wasting a single scrap in the process! In just one year, this bold brand has saved 10,000kg of textiles, 70,000kg of CO2, 200kg of pesticides, and 42,296,600 gallons of water—and they’re just getting started. Check out the calf-length vest, hand-woven from a curated mix of remnant cotton jersey and cotton yarn for a great warm weather throw on piece. No two pieces will be exactly the same, making your look truly one-of-a-kind.

Renpure Black Line Coconut Water Replenishing Treatment Mist, courtesy photo.

Renpure Black Line Coconut Water Replenishing Treatment Mist, courtesy photo.

Keep your hair in tip-top condition and lay the foundation for healthy, nourished hair with Renpure products, like Coconut Water Replenishing Treatment Mist, a great portable option for adding softness and shine. Part of their Black Label Coconut collection, this mist utilizes the innate properties of rich and creamy coconut oil to give sun and product damaged hair the hydrating drink it needs to appear healthier and younger, while controlling frizz and preventing breakage and split ends. 

Naked Truth Beauty products, courtesy photo.

Naked Truth Beauty products, courtesy photo.

Outdoor music festivals are the perfect place to let your natural beauty shine. When chemical and toxic ingredients just aren’t gonna cut it—keep it green and clean with Naked Truth Beauty products.   This socially responsible beauty, the eco-friendly line takes the guess work out of choosing safe products by using only simple, high quality ingredients that are from the earth—stripped down for your skin. Stylish lip and cheek all-in-one colors like “as if,” “promise me, rose,” and “Beauregarde” offer great versatility, as well as products you can feel good about using. 

The 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival begins on Friday, April 13 and ends on Sunday, April 22, with headliners including Beyonce, The Weeknd and Eminem, among many, many others. For complete details, click here.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on April 9, 2018.

 

Style File: Get Your Glow on With Girlactik

Girlactik lip products, courtesy photo.

Girlactik lip products, courtesy photo.

Developed by former Hollywood makeup artist Galit StruganoGirlactik cosmetics are designed as an affordable luxury brand that will make you look great. Plus, the products will actually stay on, so that you can get on with your life and not worry about continually retouching your makeup.

We tried an assortment of products—including pigmented, shadows, blushes, glosses, eye shadows, moisturizers and more—I particularly liked the Long Lasting Matte Lip Paint Liquid Lipstick in Playful and Posh shades and the Tinted Moisturizer, as well as the Soft Powder Eyebrow Pencil

Cosmetics shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, and this line of products has grown since it was founded in 2000 to become a true affordable luxury cosmetic with a customer demographic ranging from women in their early 20’s up to their 50’s and beyond. Girlactik has even attracted a celebrity following from people like Eva Longoria, Britney Spears, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Cindy Crawford, Paris Hilton and more.

Check out this video for the lip paint colors:

Look for the pretty packaging (a soft pink chandelier pattern decorated on shimmering pewter boxes) at local drug stores. As  Galit explains, “I wanted a woman who was sitting at Barney’s for lunch to feel comfortable touching up her lips with a luxury gloss vial and I did just that.”

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 18, 2017.

Style File: Beachy Keen Beauty Products

Now that summer is in full swing, here’s a round-up of our absolute favorite can’t-leave-home-without-them products for the season. Take a peek inside our beach bags before you hit the sand.

Just when  you think you’ve seen everything under the sun in the sunscreen, along comes yet another format: Supergoop! SuperPower Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50 is the first ever sunscreen in a mousse formula! The light as air, quick absorbing, water resistant formula delivers broad spectrum SPF 50 with a smile. Blue Sea Kale provides antioxidant protection, while a blend of Shea butter, olive and avocado oils leaves the skin nourished and moisturized. This complex blend of natural oils acts as a daily moisturizer to rehydrate skin. Available exclusively at Sephora (in Paseo Nuevo) & Sephora.com.

If mousse is not your sunscreen preference, what about powder? Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen offers powerful SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection, alone or over makeup. You can use it instead of makeup for natural-looking coverage and SPF in one simple, on-the-go application and water-resistant, sweat-resistant sun protection.

Protect your hair from the sun and even undo some of the damage caused by heat styling, humidity and sun with Art Naturals Argan Oil Thermal Shield. This blend of natural extracts provides deep layers of moisture while providing a barrier against heat. Spray it on before outdoor activities and it also works as a natural detangler for unwieldy and thick hair.  Key Ingredients include: Anise, Rosemary, Peach, Thyme, Sage and Ginseng. 

Keeping your nails looking pretty and healthy is even more important during the summer, when toes are exposed much of the time. Surya Brasil’s Exotic Animals Nail Polish Collection is a unique nail collection is inspired by nature’s wonderful colors—and each shade is dedicated to a specific exotic animal from all over the world.

The summer sun can dry out your lips, but butter LONDON’s Sheer Wisdom LUSH Lip Oils will protect, firm and restore your lips with a blend of amino acids and a fusion of botanicals that saturate your lips in lush, sophisticated color for a sheer wash of neutral color in one quick swipe. Available online at www.nordstrom.com.

A day at the beach is great, but it’s easy to leave feeling less than fresh. Want to run errands on-the-go without stopping for a shower? Purequosa Organic Cleansing Body  Spray is a unique product that you spray on the skin to hydrate and help to neutralize odor. The ingredients include Colloidal Silver which has antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Plus, it’s available in three light scents: Coastal, Desert and Rain.

Sometimes you want to have that beach look without actually getting a tan. True Natural Self Tanners offer safe, non-toxic alternatives to tanning that avoid the dangers of UV rays, tanning beds and spray tanning. These award-winning self-tanners use natural ingredients, including vegetable-derived DHA and Erythrulose, to give your skin a gorgeous, natural tan without sun exposure, resulting in a gorgeous tan after only 3-4 hours that lasts up to a week!

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on July 24, 2017.

Style File: Pureology Hydrate Air Dry Cream

Photo courtesy Pureology.

Photo courtesy Pureology.

If you, like me, are part of the one in two women who put down their blow dryers in favor of air dried hairstyles (source: 2012 US Beauty Track Report Women), you’re going to be excited about Pureology’s new Hydrate Air Dry Cream.  This is a great post-shower product for easy, low maintenance styling, and is specially formulated to enhance body and natural texture by locking in moisture while simultaneously delivering a faster air-drying time, frizz control, and hair color protection.

Pureology's Hydrate Air Dry Cream, courtesy photo.

Pureology’s Hydrate Air Dry Cream, courtesy photo.

Plus, Hydrate Air Dry Cream can be applied to hair the night before or directly after shampooing to achieve an effortless yet pulled together look perfect for all occasions.

Hit snooze and now running late for work? Apply a quarter-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream to damp, freshly shampooed hair and twist strands back on each side of the face and secure. Once at the office, shake hair out for a naturally textured look.

Need a quick style that only looks like it took hours? Before bed, apply a quarter-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream to damp, freshly shampooed hair and separate hair into four large sections. Twist each section in a tight rope bun and secure with an elastic. In the morning, remove elastics and tousle hair for easy waves.

Love a braid but hate flyaways? Run a dime-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream through clean, dry hair before styling to keep wispy strands in place without the crunch.

Ready to ramp up second day hair? Apply a dime-sized amount of Hydrate Air Dry Cream to only the ends of dry hair to liven up limp or smooth frizzy ends.

Made with soy, oat and wheat proteins to strengthen, rebuild and repair, and with jojoba, green tea and sage to add condition, Hydrate’s signature aromatherapy blend includes ylang ylang, bergamot, patchouli and grapefruit scents. The company also has a whole line of Hydrate products specially formulated for dry, color-treated hair, including shampoos and conditioners and other styling products.

Visit Pureology.com for more information.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on June 28, 2017.

Dream Foundation Summer Dream Fashion Show

Aqualillies entertain at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Aqualillies entertain at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Dream Foundation—the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit is the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults—recently hosted its third annual Summer Dream fundraiser to benefit Dreamers ages 18 to 40. The stylish event included a fashion show, with designs from A Tropical Affair, Calypso St. Barth, K. Frank, Lolë, Miller’s Oath, UGG and local designers Catherine Gee and Danielle Rocha of Rocha Swim.

A model at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

A model at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

“Summer Dream is the perfect opportunity to introduce and educate our local community about Dream Foundation’s mission, what the future holds, and about the diverse Dreamers and Dreams that the organization serves,” says Dream Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Kisa Heyer. “Many are surprised to learn how many Dreamers are under the age of 40 and how seemingly simple yet incredibly prolific their Dreams can be.”

A model at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

A model at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

In addition to the fashion show, the fundraiser included performances by local singer/songwriter, Gabe Reali, DJ Qu1z0, and synchronized swimmers, Aqualillies.

Gabe Reali performs at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Gabe Reali performs at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Also on the menu was decadent food and drink from Heat Culinary, Patròn Tequila, Sun Potion, Summerland Winery, Topa Topa, Rori’s Artisanal Creamery and Green Star Coffee.

Held at the home of Ursula & Pat Nesbitt, additional guests included Daryl & John Stegall, Eva Guerrand-Hermès, Mireille Noone, Jelinda DeVorzon, Michelle Ebbin, Belle & Daniel Cohen, Jim Nigro, Belle Cohen, Summer Dream emcee and KEYT Channel 3’s Meteorologist, Alan Rose, second and third annual Summer Dream Committee Chair Arlene Montesano, and Dream Foundation board members Justine Roddick, Luke Ebbin and Board Chair Kenny Slaught, among others.

Arlene Montesano (Summer Dream Event Chair), Tom Parker, Karla Blackwell and Soogie and Don Kang (Golden Sponsors) at Dream Foundation's Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

Arlene Montesano (Summer Dream Event Chair), Tom Parker, Karla Blackwell and Soogie and Don Kang (Golden Sponsors) at Dream Foundation’s Summer Dream Event, photo by Lorraine A. DarConte.

“Dream Foundation believes that everyone deserves to have their final days filled with inspiration, comfort and closure. Receiving no state or federal funding, the organization and its Dreamers rely solely on private donations. One hundred percent of the proceeds of Summer Dream will be allocated to fulfill the Dreams of terminally-ill young adults, 18-40 years old,” say the organizers.

Luke Ebbin (Dream Foundation Board Vice Chair), Michelle Ebbin, & Justine Roddick (Dream Foundation Board Member), photo by Kelly Sweda Photography.

Luke Ebbin (Dream Foundation Board Vice Chair), Michelle Ebbin, & Justine Roddick (Dream Foundation Board Member), photo by Kelly Sweda Photography.

Over the past two decades, Dream Foundation has served more than 25,000 Dreams to terminally-ill adults, and they have never turned down a qualified Dream applicant.For more information about Dream Foundation, visit DreamFoundation.org.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on June 26, 2107.

Local Lowdown: Strolling Santa Claus Lane

A-Frame Surf Shop, photo by Mercedes Lowe.

A-Frame Surf Shop, photo by Mercedes Lowe.

A beachside street dubbed Santa Claus Lane—named after the iconic statue of St. Nick that greeted visitors for more than 50 years, until it was moved in 2002—boasts epicurean delights and local wines, plus a tranquil garden to while away the hours at Garden Market, while Padaro Beach Grill is a great spot for kids and dogs to play while you sit outside, enjoy the ocean view and peruse a tasty menu of burgers, salads, sandwiches and fish specialties.

ZeBird Design, photo by Mercedes Lowe.

ZeBird Design, photo by Mercedes Lowe.

Shopping in the area includes surf-inspired fashions—along with surf lessons and boards for the intrepid consumer—at A-Frame Surf Shop. Original artwork plus a design and consign business make ZeBird Design an ever-evolving treasure trove for the fashionable home, while interior design enthusiasts flock to the contemporary-rustic home furnishings at Porch, “where shelter and nature converge” into distinct art, as well as home accessories and furniture.

Hummingbird, photo by Mercedes Lowe.

Hummingbird, photo by Mercedes Lowe.

Thoughtful gifts, eclectic accessories and bohemian jewelry await lucky treasure seekers a few shops down at Hummingbird, while Rowan Boutique embodies the casual elegance of the Santa Barbara lifestyle with clothing and accessories.

Santa may be gone, but the shopping scene is alive and well on his namesake street in Carpinteria. Tucked just south of Montecito, amid the soothing sounds of the sea—and occasional toots from the train—the eclectic Santa Claus Lane is home to an impressive variety of charming storefronts.

All stores are located between 3765 and 3825 Santa Claus Lane, Carpinteria.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.

Style File: Yes To Shampoos and Conditioners

Yes To conditionerI try to get my fruits and veggies in wherever I can, and the Yes To line of shampoos, conditioners and skin care products are super clean, widely available, inexpensively priced, top notch natural beauty products. 

I recently tried—and really liked—the Yes To Ultra Moisture Coconut & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner.Yes To Shampoo

The coconut contains hydrating fatty acids that naturally moisture the hair (and skin), it also smells like a tropical vacation. Other products in the line feature Farmer’s Market staples like tomatoes (for acne prone skin), cucumbers (for sensitive skin), grapefruit (for uneven skintone), blueberries (for fine lines and wrinkles), and carrots (to naturally protect and nourish your skin and hair).

Not only can you feel good about getting your fruits and veggies in this way, the Yes To company also states, “Our products are tested on YES TO employees, friends and family, but never (ever) on animals. We are against animal testing and ensure our manufacturers adhere to this same principle. YES TO believes in safe and effective testing alternatives, while ensuring product and consumer safety. Reinforcing our commitment, we are Cruelty-Free and a certified member of the Leaping Bunny Program, the highest standard for companies committed to no animal testing.”

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 3, 2016.

 

Style File: Natura Bissé’s Pure Air = Pure Bliss

Natura Bisse Bubble Pure Air at Bacara Resort & Spa, photo by Savannah Johns-Pedrocchi.

Natura Bisse Bubble Pure Air at Bacara Resort & Spa, photo by Savannah Johns-Pedrocchi.

Bacara Resort & Spa (8301 Hollister Ave., Goleta) recently added Spanish cosmetics brand Natura Bissé to its world-class 42,000-square-foot Spa and Wellness Center, and as a special treat, had a pop-up appearance of Natura Bissé’s infamous Bubble Pure Air last week.

I was one of the lucky ones who got to be the “girl in the plastic bubble,” and my facial was amazing! The bubble creates an exclusive place to perform treatments where according to a company spokeswoman, “the air guests breathe is 99,995 percent pure. The exclusive experience allows spa goers to immerse themselves in a serene environment filled with soft aromatic notes that take guests on an exquisite journey to well-being. It is a singular experience, providing exceptional results that rejuvenate and purify.”

I have to agree: it felt great and my skin has never looked better!

Established in Barcelona, Natura Bissé has become a worldwide success in the cosmetics industry as one of the fastest growing beauty companies with a strong commitment to research and innovation. The Bacara has launched a new treatment line and service menu with Natura Bissé, with special pop-up appearances of the Bubble Pure Air, so stay tuned for your chance to be the next girl (or guy) in the bubble.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 12, 2016.