While “Black Friday” kicks off a month of serious holiday shopping in most of the US, Hollywood started a few days early. The occasion was the American Music Awards, and Celebrity Connected hosted the first party of the season. A fleet of industry up-and-comers and veteran music acts such as Great White walked the permanent red carpet at the W Hollywood Hotel that led to a ballroom full of luxurious stocking-stuffers and staples perfect for the cooler months in the northern hemisphere.
Dressed to chill
Thai-made lounge pants are always a great gift for those who like to cuddle up in front of a fireplace or with cup of cocoa. When a customer buys a pair from the Elephant Pants, they are also giving to a charity working tirelessly to secure a safe and sustainable future for Asian elephants living in the wild. OKO Lifestyle, which manufactures smartly tailored men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, employs residents of impoverished neighbourhoods in the Dominican Republic. Finely detailed men’s shirts in soft, Fair Trade bamboo, linen, and cotton fabrics flow effortlessly from the office to the ski resort, while women’s pieces can be dressed up or down with the line’s hematite and lava stone bracelets. The women’s tees and tunics are just as soft as the men’s shirts and flatter a variety of body types.
Third Wolf combines super-soft cotton fabrics with vibrant, nature-oriented artwork to create T-shirts and hoodies in warm earth tones. These pieces layer beautifully under chunky sweaters, a favourite denim jacket or a wool blazer, and pair nicely with an Alysa Heller beanie with a fun graphic. Jackets, tops, and pants from Second Skin are perfect for post-dinner party workouts. The garments are crafted with fabric that insulates as well as cools, depending on the preferred activity.
First ornaments of the holiday season
The holiday season always requires some statement jewellery to make the simplest sheath dress sparkle. Toronto-based designer Nikolina creates bold necklaces, collars and chokers crafted from semi-precious stones. Faceted aquamarine beads, agate “pearls”, and bright pink quartz offset by strands of grey and black hematite are dramatic alternatives to the usual crystals and cubic zirconias. Viviana d’Ontañon specializes in delicate chains adorned with sophisticated accents of natural stones and subtle sparkle. All of her pieces are designed to be layered without looking overdone. Her giant, on-trend vermeil hoops are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable.
Covered for winter
Although California winters are less frigid, drier air means chapped hands and weathered skin. Fortunately, several new products introduced at this suite contain innovative blends of naturally ingredients. Salves by Wise Hands (Etsy.com and Wise Hands on Facebook) address different skin issues, including ageing, minor scrapes, and psoriasis. One of Wise Hands’ creators has hands that look 50 years younger than his actual age, which we shall not reveal. Naked Natural Alternative integrates bergamot, tea tree oil, and other essential oils to formulate the perfect skin régime for those with tattoos, dry cuticles, and body piercings. That said, anybody who appreciates fresh, herbaceous fragrances will enjoy this line. Prim Bath and Body Company brings back childhood memories with candy-coloured fizzing bath bombs and sugar scrub cubes. Beautyphiles with more sophisticated tastes can relax each week an Elixir gold foil hydrating mask. Every day, they can turn to Melanated Rich Skin Care (melanatedrich.com) for daily cleansing and moisturizing with jojoba and avocado oils.
Every holiday décor scheme involves candles, especially with evocative aromas and cheerful colours. Bryar’s Cottage’s inviting scented soy-based candles in mason jars come in such flavours as Canadian maple, black raspberry, sage, and sandalwood. If party favours are part of your entertaining plans, Love Life Candles will customize and personalize votive candles in a variety of outdoor-inspired scents ranging from floral to forest-y.
Hemp Love—a Chocolate Revolution serves vegan soy milk chocolate with candied hemp and cinnamon salt, and dark chocolate lovers can indulge themselves with candied hemp and mint. Given the rich, creamy mouth feel, one would never guess what was missing. Their version of “milk” chocolate is a guilt-free pleasure.
After the holiday party is over, one can unwind with Select CBD Blends’ cinnamon and lavender oils for relaxation, peppermint for improved focus, and grapefruit to revive body and mind. And speaking of a sweet ending to a festive day, we observed rockers love Let’s Roll ice-cream. The San Francisco-based chain has gathered quite a buzz for its show-stopping ice-cream preparation and finished creations that taste as good as they look.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor and Leyla Messian, Correspondent