It’s never too early to start kickin’ it Western style in Calgary. Besides, chucks fans will be filling those grandstands in two shakes of a thoroughbred’s tail. So may I recommend the pre-distressed Geneva bootie, by Musse & Cloud, to get you in the hootin’ and hollerin’ mood?If you haven’t heard of them, Musse & Cloud is a boutique European brand, inspired by bohemian silhouettes. The soft burnished leather and padded insoles ensure instant comfort for your feet. And the boho chic factor easily translates to style moments beyond Stampede. Coachella, anyone?Feel like kicking it up a notch? The Millie meets all requirements for sophisticated big city style. Personally, I’m riveted. And, always helpful if you’re Canadian, and you feel obliged to kick off your heels every time you step inside, these Spanish suede booties make it easy to do with a heel zipper.Check ‘em out here... and guess what? They’re having a sale.
As everyone in Calgary knows, it has been weeks with wind chill in the unhappy -30 degrees Celsius range, with no chinook to break up the bitter cold, unless you count Chinook Centre. Recently I did join the hoards of Christmas mall walkers, but despite the indoor exercise, the extreme temperatures outside seeped into the atmosphere. With every step, strands of hair zapped my cheeks with electricity. Brushing it meant auditioning to be the poster girl for any science center with a static electricity ball. Yet, during this entire deep freeze, my sensitive facial skin has been blissfully unaffected.
Why? Because of these little pods, packed with powerful recovery concentrate, including includes ChronoluxAI technology. Estee Lauder suggests using them every night for two weeks, whenever your skin is stressed. Winter in one of the driest climates in North America seemed like the optimum time to twist an ampoule and spread oil all over my face before bed.Normally, at this time of year, my skin is pasty, and shadows under my eyes demand makeup. But I caught sight of myself in the mirror a few days ago, and wondered if I had somehow gotten a tan. My skin has a glow to it that usually never happens this time of year, unless I’ve been polo-ing it up somewhere warm. An ampoule each night is more than enough to amp up my skin’s softness, and retain moisture. I was hoping the Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules might eradicate a few wrinkles, but they don’t quite go that far. However, radiant skin with a plumped-up appearance is a major step in the youthful direction.
Feeling uninspired this year, buying presents for people who already seem to have everything? Don’t feel like fighting for a parking spot at the mall in order to spread goodwill under the Christmas tree? Or perhaps you’re worried about the carbon footprint of driving to the mall, buying gifts shrouded in extra packaging, and wrapping them in more packaging, aka paper and ribbons? Not to mention the environmental cold shoulder everyone being hit by the cold snap right now is giving to Mother Nature, warming up our cars for ages. Or else just leaving them running while we shop, Alberta-style, yearning for that global warming everyone is talking about.I’ve found the solution. One size fits all, and it can be bought online. No waiting for the post office to lose your delivery, either, because nothing actually gets delivered.
For $30, TreeEra will plant 25 trees in the name of whomever you choose to gift. Founded by Calgary musician Michael Fitzgerald, tree adopters will be notified of just where their baby trees are growing. So you can visit, if you’re in the area.Since the newly-formed profit-for-purpose company is in the fledgling stages itself, the first planting will be in the spring, with locations and tree types still tbd. However, the company has big dreams: to plant a billion trees. You can subscribe to a monthly membership, if you’d like to help on the regular. It’s the gift that keeps growing. Merry Christmas!
Somehow, it’s not surprising that James Cox goes by the less formal JR. After all, the CEO of the ginormous gun range, The Shooting Edge, brought in the folks from Knott’s Berry Farm to design this kid-friendly fun-gun booth at his facility. Yet his passion for formal shooting wear inspired him to bring William Evans to Calgary, where I’m delighted to report JR was serving excellent wine at the opening party. He’s not an arms dealer on three continents for nothing. For the record, that shady deal in War Dogs? JR turned it down.William Evans is known for making the type of clothing required to go shooting with Prince Charles, and the tweeds needed for any high-level experience of country life. With two shops in England (London and Bisley), it seemed only natural to JR that a third should open in Alberta. Attached to his gun range.At the recent VIP Sneak Peek (or Sneak a Peek, if you’re partial to Stampede linguistics) the British Consul General to Calgary, Caroline Saunders, enthusiastically agreed. Why do Duck Dynasty when shooting with the Windsors is so much more stylish?Just inside the northeast entrance to the Calgary Farmers’ Market, happy hunters can find ties made of 100% English woven silk or wool and silk mix, featuring favorite prey, or loyal best friends.My favorite of the evening was this jacket by Spanish brand T.ba, known for its attention to the elegant equestrian social set.
Down the hall from the cocktails and canapés at William Evans, customers shopped for explosive Christmas gifts at The Shooting Edge…… and practiced retaliation against any Grinch attacks.But excellent soundproofing prevented any gunfire audio at the soiree. Meanwhile, Smithbilt’s lead hat designer Holly Allen was on hand to get our heads in the game. Her hats are available for purchase alongside all the high-quality hunting attire. I gave country sloane a try, while Holly spectated.
It is currently so cold in Calgary that throats are as dry as the Sahara, despite the irony of a desert descriptor. You need to ground yourself before you kiss anyone — the electrical hazard is that bad. Not to mention how awful your hands feel after wash them. Tight. Uncomfortable. DRY.
That’s why it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to AERIN’s Rose Night Table Cream and Overnight Mask. The rose scent has a winter weight to it, without being cloying. There’s an unidentifiable spice to it that adds to the sophisticated bedtime slather. I admit, I may be a teeny bit biased about AERIN products, since I love Ms. Lauder’s story as a lifestyle tycoon. I tend to be thrilled by all her products, even when I’m occasionally confused by the reason for them, as I was for this cream for both hair and body. Sometimes I just need to study up on the press release, but it never comes with the package anymore. Which is why, despite my best googling efforts to assist, I’m unsure what the Mask aspect is for this cream. Face? Hands? It doesn’t matter. The mystery just makes it better.
However, I’m off on a rant that supersedes the character max of all our attention spans. Treat yourself to some Rose Cream. Especially if you’re doing the gold or brass accent in your interior design, since your au so courant tastes will be a match with the lid. No hiding this pretty jar of night table cream.
Art collector and curator Jeanne Chisholm is passionate about polo art. Her massive collection includes sculptures, paintings, drawings, bar accessories and more . She’s so enthused about giving you the scoop on each piece, it’s almost impossible to get her to stand still for a photo herself.
Case in point: Jeanne does not just show me this black and white image, “Polo Spill at Meadow Brook” taken on, June 4th. 1939. She tells me the crowds paid $15 per seat to see the first of three matches between the best players of Great Britain and the U.S. They got their money’s worth! The Americans forgot team work, rode hell-bent for trouble. Up and down the field they barged and banged, hit rocketing shots , rode the English off the ball , committed 12 fouls. Then U.S. No. 1 smacked Aidan Roark out of the saddle, rolling him onto the turf. Mike Phipps comes to his aid, but slides off his white horse and lands on the rump of Roark’s pony. In ten minutes, Roark was back in the game. Everyone was ok.
Town and Country Magazine once noted that she had the largest collection of polo art in the world, and during her 40 years of collecting, she has coordinated massive art undertakings, like the Cartier polo retrospective. Even Ralph Lauren recently turned to Jeanne when he needed create the right atmosphere at his clubby Polo Bar in New York.
So when in Wellington, a stop in to her private gallery is a must. Call ahead for an appointment, and prepare your eyes to be inundated. Polo portraits cover the walls at Jeanne’s townhouse gallery, but it’s just the beginning.
Art rests on every available surface.And in every available container. In this case, the art takes the form of rare and scarce books, notably the 1935 “Hits and Misses” by Paul Brown, which was a limited edition to begin with. Mongolian polo, anyone? These watercolors on linen look like they could be centuries old, but they are painted by the very-much-alive Tsolmon Damba.Rollin McGrail’s whimsical illustrations cover many topics, but the ones with a polo focus are, of course, my favorite. This one was commissioned by Grand Champions Polo Club. And fyi, those pewter ponies at top right double as salt and pepper shakers.Rollin popped in to Chisholm Gallery to personally show me her witty, charming work. Although she’s inspired by New Yorker cartoons, she’ll also do straight-up branding. Despite the fact that section on her website is titled “Delusions of Brandeur.” High-profile clients include Nic Roldan, with whom I recently savored getting up close and personal.Rich Roenisch, on the other hand, did not materialize to give me a personal intro to his bronze, on the left, “Heat of the Game.” Since he lives in Longview, Alberta, and since I often play polo with his nephew Daniel, I guess I can forgive him. The bronze on the right is “When Push Comes to Shove,” by Bunny Connell, a Wyoming sculptor.If you’re not in the market for a bronze right now, Christmas is still coming. Jeanne has these tempting polo trinkets for under the tree. The toast rack can be used as a letter holder. The cocktail stirrers, however, need no alternate use.Or, if Santa Baby is feeling more extravagant, this painting by Royal Family favorite Wilf Plowman is available.Meanwhile, in the boudoir, the walls are still covered with art. But, mysteriously, this room breaks from equine art, turning to another sporting focus: dwarf tossing. But that’s another story.
Have a wonderful winter season, Jeanne and Prince Albert! Thanks for the VIP private tour of Chisholm Gallery!
You may have heard of male model Nic Roldan. Besides making Town & Country’s list for the 10 most desirable bachelors in the USA and Vanity Fair’s Top 50 Hottest Horsemen, he was recruited by the Kardashians to help them keep up with their equitation skills. Heck, even his pony is licking her lips.
But, caliente factor aside, let’s not forget that the eight-goaler is the top polo player in North America. Besides, if you ask Nic, as I did, “Polo or modeling” he’ll answer before you can even add the question mark: “Polo. 100%.”
Yet, ever-obliging, he’s up for a little model multi-tasking in the polo-prep milieu, lifting the Town-Crier (the local Welllington weekly) up to L’uomo Vogue level.Before our interview, I had a chance to observe him in his natural habitat: on a tailgate at Grand Champions Polo Club in Wellington, Florida. In this case with Michelle Steele, a Calgary ex-pat who escaped the snow for friendly polo climes. He almost seemed like any other spectator.Until he put on those white jeans. That’s when Nic’s true Polo Style begins.Because nothing is more stylish than executing a flawless offside forehand…… or a perfect backhand…… or changing horses without touching the ground. Especially when patrona Melissa Ganzi is walking by. Nic is a third generation polo pro, with Argie blood coursing through his veins. He’s proudly American, but like any excellent polo player, he speaks Spanish fluently. The modeling thing happened accidentally.
“I was working with a couple of brands, and they wanted to do photo shoots,” says Nic. “That’s how I got into it. As an athlete, you’re always going to be doing that type of marketing anyhow.”
Even though he has no plans to give up his day job, his backup career as a smoking hot cover model is a perfect fit. And yes, that pun was on purpose.
“I’ve always been into style,” says Nic. “Even though my style is simple and very neutral, I still love fashion. It’s fun.”
“Jeans, white or neutral colored t-shirt, and Nikes.”
And if you can rip your eyes away from pre-jersey Nic in this photo (ladies, you’re welcome), you’ll notice his green Nikes underneath his chair.Although I averted my camera when he announced to his teammates that he was going to “drop trou,” it wasn’t in time to avoid seeing an unexpected splash of color. So I got the skinny his skivvies.
Meanwhile, he’s quick to list off his favorite designers: “I love James Perse, I love Ralph Lauren, I love Lululemon.” That last one would be the brand of the aforementioned undies.
Despite his Wilhemina sanctioned male model status, you can bet the victorious moment on the podium is his favorite pose. Nic is seen here with crouching Marc Ganzi (the force behind Grand Champions Polo Club, along with his wife Melissa) and biting Glenn Straub (owner of Palm Beach Polo Golf and Country Club).Finally, his advice for minus oners like me? “Get comfortable on the horse. The riding is important. And your hand-eye [coordination]. Just keep working at it. But don’t forget to have fun.”
He makes it sound so easy. My own game is frustrating at times. But the interview was definitely fun. Muchas gracias Nic!
When Estee Lauder invited me to preview their fall collection, I had to go. Not just because they were holding it at Hotel Le Germain, which includes the most amazing chocolate chip cookies as part of their catering, but because Estee Lauder products are some of my absolute faves. They never affect my oh-so-sensitve skin adversely, and always make me feel beautiful. Here are my top picks for most intriguing products.This luxurious Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift collection promises to be worth the splurge. The Estee Lauder experts doled out dollops to try on the backs of our hands, but I couldn’t resist smoothing it into my laugh lines.Estee Lauder has developed an intensive two-week program just in time for dry Calgary winters. Advanced Night Repair micro ampoules promote mega impact. Used nightly, they will rapidly renew the look of over-stressed skin, helping to strengthen its resistance against future assaults. Sign me up.I didn’t expect to see tea on display on the third floor of Le Germain. But the Moringa seed is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Estee Lauder uses the extract in several products to help open aging pathways, clearing the way for collagen production.Estee’s latest perfume release in their Modern Muse line was also on hand for sampling. The official description of Le Rouge Gloss goes a little something like this: succulent fruits, flowers, a hint of spice and a sensual, fearless edge of supple leather with dark woods. Because if you’re going to edge something with leather, throw caution to the wind.Estee’s Double Wear line is an innovative approach to foundation – especially if you’re on the run. The slim jar-slash-stick combines liquid makeup and applicator in one.My final pick of the preview comes from the other Lauder — Aerin. Granddaughter of Estee, she’s a creative powerhouse in her own right, putting her personal touch on a makeup line, handbags, even furniture. Otherwise known as a Global Lifestyle Brand. Her latest perfume is Tangier Vanille, a heady scent inspired by Aerin’s own travels through Morocco, from the palaces and gardens to the legendary bazaars we’ve all heard about. Perfect level of exotic to get you through any Monday to Friday mundane-ness.
Thanks for the preview, Team Estee! And the cookies. All of them.
With their IKEA-like name, I was inspired to nest these Nesta Earbuds in all sorts of places to get a shot. Anywhere but my ears, which weren’t feeling their fifteen minutes today. Alas, the camera on my iPhone 6s couldn’t quite pick up the beveled details with these multi-faceted white surfaces reflecting the light, but at least my mobile has a headphone jack. Take that, smug new iPhone 7 owners. I predict a revolt against the enforced bluetooth headphones. I’m hoping for one anyhow. Do you really think people will be ok with lesser sound quality, Tim Cook? But I digress. Back to the earphones, and since you can’t fool all the people all the time, I might as well reveal that they weren’t named for a Swede, but rather, Robert Nesta Marley.I’m always up for attractive aesthetics for a starting point, and these new “Zirconia Ceramic” earbuds by Marley fit the bill. The Marley logo is a subtle, rose gold M, and the stylish, shoe-string style cord is tangle-resistant. That’s anti-aggrovigliamento, for my knotty Italian friends. An in-line microphone (not pictured) means you can take calls when you’re plugged in. The angled earphones are ergonomic, and they come with a selection of ear tips so you can get the best fit. Shout-out and a carrot to my pony Mojito for the modeling in this photo.Bottom line? Besides looking pretty, they sound great – offering an audio clarity I wouldn’t expect to find with in-ear headphones. The ear tips are comfy enough to wear for hours, blocking outside noise, allowing you to focus on the music. Bob bonus: the Nestas come with a stash bag to remind us of their Jamaican roots.
This summer in Calgary has been unusually humid, thanks to our wet, stormy weather. Bad for polo, but great for the skin — so much so that I’d dropped my usual obsession with moisturizing. Until one day I woke up and felt as dry and cracked as this old fence — which is a charming part of the scenery at the Calgary Polo Club… but not something I want to emulate on my epidermis. So I gave a new collection of lotions and potions a try — from BVspa by Bon Vital.To start, I sloughed off dull, dry skin cells in the shower with BVspa Sugar Scrub. The pomegranate and acai berry made for a summertime fresh scent. Besides leaving my skin refreshed and smooth, I almost didn’t have to moisturize afterward — the scrub is sublime with shea butter and natural oils for a smooth finish.The rich, creaminess of BVspa’s Body Butter makes it my current nighttime fave for slathering on hands and feet before I go to sleep. Besides being deeply moisturizing with cocoa butter, shea butter and essential oils, the lavender and rosemary scent is appropriately pre-Z soothing.
Should you prefer savory rather than sweet in the skin exfoliation department, BVspa by Bon Vital also has a salt scrub to use in the shower or bath. A blend of Dead Sea salt with jojoba, olive and safflower oils, this scrub’s pink grapefruit scent will leave you exuberantly smooth and refreshed. At least, it did for me.Follow up the scrub with BVspa’s Pink Grapefruit Body Lotion. Layering scent is one time that it’s ok to get all match-matchy. Also, in the summertime (especially if you’re experiencing the heavy humidity that Calgary is this year) it’s nice to go with a body lotion, which has a lighter consistency than a butter. BVspa Body Lotions contain squalane, which is a vegetable based extract that can help prevent free radical damage that causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They also have jojoba oil and sunflower oil, with their magical moisturizing powers.