CHRISTMAS with a TWIST
Come November, my stylish, Elle Decor-worthy home is turned into Santa’s Secret Village, including hundreds of candles, a spectacular tree and a duo of life-size Victorian bears in uniform. Dancing around the house to my special Xmas playlist, I sip Russian Yuletide (see next page for recipe) while ignoring the Autumn weather outside. But it starts even earlier that. Or let me rephrase that: it never ends! Because I’ve got Christmas on my mind, all year round…
Although I totally dig the idea of the 365-days-a-year Christmas stores that you find all over the States, I’m not crazy about their somewhat garish selection. (Can you imagine me in a fluffy reindeer sweater with a flashing nose?). Instead, regardless the season, I am always on the lookout for stylish Christmas swag in all the places I visit, both for work and pleasure. Think of bewitchingly-scented Fornasetti candles from Milan, organic ‘Esprit de Noël’ tea scored at Parisian tea emporium Mariage Frères or an adorable Christmas bear from Harrods in London. It’s my private, year-round Christmas preparty! Also, to quote another favorite Christmas song: Christmas is all about coming home. How lovely then, to bring home all these amazing souvenirs and have the world be a part of my Christmas celebrations?
Christmas is also about family and family traditions, and there are many small, but important (culinary) rituals that I’m proud to pass on to my daughter Zilver. This year however, there will be a little twist to our traditional Christmas dinner… Instead of a meat-filled feast, I would like to treat my loved ones to plant-based delicacies that are equally tasty, but much better for your health and the environment. I will replace dairy with almond milk and coconut cream for my sauces and desserts, and serve delicious, I-can’t-believe-this-isn’t-real-meat products from the Vegetarian Butcher. A very nice bonus: Santa will be so happy, he will take everybody off his ‘naughty list’!
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!