Last-Minute 2021 Summer Vacation Spots

Image courtesy of syracuse.com

Remember last summer? Well it is encouraging to know that the world has improved since we were taken over by the COVID-19 pandemic. We now have COVID vaccines and we can travel and travel abroad!! With these fantastic vaccines we can experience a semi-normal summer; however, make sure you check what requirements are necessary to enter another country because you do not want to be delayed or denied entry. (Always have your COVID-19 vaccination card with or on your Smart phone.)

You still have time to take some last-minute summer trips and make some more 2021 memories. There are some great opportunities since most airlines are offering extra flexibility and there are deals to be taken advantage of. Fashion Reverie picked 5 most convenient options! 

Image courtesy of dreamof italy.com

Italy

This could be your last opportunity to fly Air Italia since the air company has been sold to ITA who is taking over in October. Best is to visit Rome for a few days and then go to your preferred destination. Most people prefer the Amalfi Coast, but we say why don’t you go another more exotic locale visit Sicily, which is still full of tourists, but perhaps just a little less crowded.

 Sicily’s unique culture, fashion, and food would truly be refreshing for any traveler, even those coming from the Northern part of Italy. Taormina is the most popular destination; however, Palermo is a great option, too. Make sure you try Cassata Siciliana, a delicious traditional cake. 

Image courtesy of travelagentcentral.com

Costa Rica

There is no better place to rejuvenate and rest than in this beautiful country known for its beaches, volcanos, and wildlife. There are no over-crowded tourist places but rather hiking, surfing and so many open-air activities. What is great is that this country focuses on eco-tourism, so why not support the effort. Costa Rica’s capital, San José, has some great historical and cultural monuments worth the visit. Spice up your vacation with some local history. 

Image courtesy of placesofjuma.com

Austria

This beautiful country should be on more people’s travel bucket lists. It is a place full of history, diversity, and OMG, the birthplace of Mozart and great chocolates. The capital, Vienna is a breathtaking place; however, Fashion Reverie wants to focus on Styria this time around and beautiful Graz.

About two hours away from the airport the small city, Styria, can offer rich history, beautiful architecture, shopping, and a view of the city from the town’s hill with the centuries’ old clock tower. Eggenberg Palace is a must-see. It is the Baroque jewel of the city.  If you are in the area, make sure you take a tour! 

Image courtesy of planetware.com

Puerto Rico 

Is a beautiful country and for those from the US mainland, Puerto Rico might feel like international travel without needing a passport, if you are an American citizen. Mountains, waterfalls, beaches, and popular hotels and cafe strip in the capital, San Juan, can satisfy all the needs of a family with different interests. We hear local cuisine is amazing, too. So, pair dinners with some salsa and meringue (dancing) and you will have a blast.

Image courtesy of britannica.com

Iceland 

This Nordic island nation’s landscape is full of volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and lava fields. There are even massive glaciers!

Most of the population lives in the capital, Reykjavik and if you are a spa lover there are some very popular spa junkie spots like The Blue Lagoon. You must experience it to believe it!! If you want to learn more about Viking history, there is no better way but to visit local museums. 

 

Bon Voyage!! 

—Tijana Ibrahimovic

Broadway Returns!!

Image courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

When the pandemic first began to rear its ugly head in March 2020, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN ,“I don’t want to see Broadway go dark.” Sadly, the nature of the virus made it impossible to avoid shutting down Broadway. But that was 2020.

Now we’re in 2021. We have vaccines! With almost 60% of NYC vaccinated, the town is on its way to herd immunity. The city is slowly opening, but the development that Fashion Reverie is much excited about?  

Broadway is coming back!  Starting in August, shows will be premiering and reopening. Fashion Reverie has curated a list of shows to get ridiculously excited about.

New Shows 

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Diana the Musical 

Previews November 2 opening night November 17 at Longacre Theater 

Inspired by the late Diana, Princess of Wales, this biographical musical follows the tale of the shy kindergarten teacher who would marry Prince Charles and become the most famous woman on the planet while trapped in a loveless marriage.  If you don’t happen to live in NYC or are unable to get tickets, Netflix will be taping the show and releasing it in December.  

Image courtesy of variety.com

Girl from the North Country 

Opens on October 13 at Belasco Theater  

Technically, this is a returning show. But since it only ran for a few weeks, Fashion Reverie is going to call it new. This musical is set at a guesthouse during the Great Depression.  The show uses the songs of Bob Dylan to illustrate a story of love and family in a struggling America.  

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Pass Over 

Previews start August 4; opening night on September 12 running through  October 10 at August Wilson Theater (Lincoln Center) 

Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu’s “Pass Over,” directed by Danya Taymor will be one of the first plays to open with previews starting in August. Inspired by “Waiting for Godot” and the story of Exodus, “Pass Over” centers on a city street corner where two men talk and dream of their “promised land,” when a stranger interrupts their meeting. Chinonye Nwandu says the play is about the reality of loss and tragedy woven into the African American experience.  

Image courtesy of timeout.com

Is This a Room 

September 24 – January 16, 2022 at Lyceum Theatre  

Tina Satter’s “Is This A Room” follows the true story of Reality Winner, a 25-year-old former Air Force linguist who is charged with leaking evidence of Russian interference in U.S. elections. The oddly named woman (recently released on parole IRL) would go to jail for exposing tampering in 2016, despite her actions ensuring a fair and safe presidential election in 2020.  

Image courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com

MJ The Musical 

Previews begin December 6, 2021; opening February 1, 2022 at Neil Simon Theater 

“MJ The Musical” features an original book by Lynn Nottage, with direction and choreography from Christopher Wheeldon.  The musical follows Michael Jackson’s career from the Jackson 5 to his own musical superstardom and features all of his biggest hits like “Billy Jean” and “Thriller.” How will the show address the controversy surrounding allegations of sexual abuse? Producers and cast aren’t breathing a word.  

Returning 

Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Come From Away 

“Come From Away” will reopen at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on September 21. 

This crowd-pleaser tells the story of a plane forced to land in Newfoundland on 9/11. The stranded passengers found themselves taken in by strangers and lifelong friendships would form. This tale of an international community who come together in a time of crisis will soon be coming to the big screen.  

Image courtesy of Playbill

Hamilton 

Returns to Richards Rogers November 12  

The multi-Tony-winning blockbuster phenomenon has been delighting audiences across the globe since it opened in 2015. Do not throw away your shot to see this mega-hit.  

 

Off-Broadway 

Image courtesy of NY Theater Guide

Morning Sun 

Manhattan Theatre Club previews beginning October 12; opening night on November 3  

Blair Brown, Edie Falco, and Marin Ireland are the powerhouse trio telling a story of a woman’s life over the course of 50 years in New York City. A tale of mothers, daughters’ beginnings, endings, and hope in this new play by Simon Stephens.  

Image courtesy of Playbill

The Play That Goes Wrong  

New World Stages opens October 15 

This Broadway favorite begins again. The play introduces The Cornley University Drama Society who are attempting to put on a 1920s’ murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can wrong … does.

—Cameron Grey Rose

Fashion Reverie’s 2021 Spring/Summer Reading List

Image courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” —Sam Keen

The light at the end tunnel is finally visible! With vaccination rates on the rise, many places are lifting mask restrictions and capacity limits. Time to head to the beach or the park, spread a blanket and tuck into a compelling book. Fashion Reverie has a list of titles we’re excited for our viewers to read. From hilarious essays on mental illness to engrossing thrillers, you won’t be able to put down, you’ll find your next obsession here.

Image courtesy of Amazon

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams 

You may be thinking “Oh, is this a book about the Jan 6th insurrection?” Nope! This is a work of fiction.

Using the pen name Selena Montgomery, Abrams—where else?—in Washington DC. Avery Keene, a brilliant legal mind serving as clerk for Justice Howard Wynn, is dealing with an arduous job with the court while juggling family drama. When the news breaks that Justice Wynn—the swing vote on many current high-profile cases—has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life is plunged into chaos.  Shocked to be told she has been left instructions as his legal guardian, Avery quickly discovers he was on the verge of exposing a conspiracy.  She must unravel it before she’s the next victim.

Image courtesy of Amazon

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lemarr

Disturbingly relatable and startlingly eye-opening, this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity. Chatting the way sisters do about tales of being mistaken for a prostitute or Harriet Tubman, Amber and Lacey lay out the painful yet sometimes hilarious realities of being in black in modern America and why the system must change.

Image courtesy of Amazon

One Last Stop by Casey Mcquiston
Cynical 23-year-old August is moving to New York City, but she isn’t happy. She has too many roommates and a dull job as a server at a 24-hour pancake diner. She can’t imagine her daily commute will be anything but a sad trudge on a filthy subway. Then one day she meets Jane. Impossibly beautiful, interesting and beguiling is Jane, but August learns she has a terrible secret and desperately needs help. 

Image courtesy of The Tab

You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes
Netflix’s popular “You” series will be dropping its third season sometime this year— although infuriatingly they haven’t given a date. But if you simply can’t wait to get more of Killer Joe, check the third in the literary installment the series is based on. 

Joe is determined to start a new life and leave killing behind. He heads to a sleepy Pacific Northwest island town and gets a job at a local library. It’s there he meets Mary Kay and starts to fall for her. But can a leopard ever truly change his spots?

Image courtesy of Amazon

Don’t Breathe a Word by Jordyn Taylor

Eva is nervous about going away to boarding school and trying to fit in. Off to a rocky start, she is thrilled to be invited to join a secret society. Tasked with completing certain challenges before she will be allowed to join, Eva knows she’s in over her head when she uncovers a decades old secret and realizes certain people will do anything to keep it hidden. 

Image courtesy of Titan Books

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Lynette survived a massacre and is trying to keep her life on track. She leans on the women of the Final Girl support group, a secret club of women who were “Final Girls.” But when one of the women disappears, the remaining members fear that someone has discovered the group and may be looking to tear their lives apart.  This comedy horror gem will keep you guessing until the last second as it meticulously dissects misogynist horror tropes.

Image courtesy of Amazon

The Guncle by Steven Rowley
Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. Their weekends visiting his Palm Springs home are just long enough for him not to get tired of them.  But when tragedy strikes his family, Patrick is forced to step up and become their primary guardian. It’s not long before he realizes he’s way in over his head and will have to make some adjustments if everyone is going to come out of this unscathed. Full of humanity and heart, it’s a tale of what it truly means to be a family.

Image courtesy of Amazon


Broken by Jenny Lawson
 

From the Bloggess herself Broken is a new collection of essays about her constant battle with anxiety, depression, and other aspects of her broken brain. And it’s absolutely hilarious. These laugh-out-loud musings about her bizarre yet wonderful life will keep you in stitches. From her desire to leave letters with her neighbors telling them to pretend she’s invisible to her emails with a scammer promising her immortal life as a vampire, coping with mental health issues is never funnier than when Lawson does it. 

Image courtesy of Penguin Random House

What’s Done in Darkness by Laura McHugh

17-year-old Sarabeth feels stifled living in rural Arkansas. Forced to wear long dresses and follow strict rules, she longs to escape the farm. But she didn’t want to be grabbed by a masked stranger and held captive for a week. Even after she comes home, her family treats her like a fallen woman. Five years later she finds out another girl has been snatched in a case that’s oddly similar to hers. Will Sarabeth be able to face her greatest fear and save a life? 

—Cameron Grey Rose

“Mahogany” Draws Inspiration from Opera, Dance, and Art

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

There are several classic films that come out of the archives folder during Black History Month. “Sounder,” “Claudine,” “Lady Sings the Blues,” and “Raisin in the Sun” are just few films that give voice to the African American experience resurrected during Black History Month. Most of us have seen these films countless times with some us able to recite lines word for word.

Of all these classic films that speak to the African American experience in the diaspora, perhaps, “Mahogany,” is one of the only films that speaks to navigating success in a white world and the cost of the success. Another unusual aspect of “Mahogany” is that it one of few films of the 1970s that uses fashion as backdrop for a storyline about the African American experience. And the fashion montages in “Mahogany” draw inspiration from theatre, dance, and opera.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

One of the most significant fashion injections in “Mahogany” is the charity auction runway scene that uses beautiful jersey and silk chiffon gowns designed by Princess Irene Galitzine. Princess Irene Galitzine is actually in the film. Princess Irene Galitzine came to prominence in the fashion industry in the mid-1950s, establishing her atelier in Rome in the late 1940s.  Galitzine saw the launch of her palazzo pyjamas which were wide-legged evening trousers made of soft silk. Evening pyjamas became a firm fixture of the fashion scene during the 1960s. Galitzine dressed many top celebrities, aristocrats, and society ladies of the 1960s—Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, Princess Lee Radziwill, the Duchess of Windsor, Marie-Helene de Rothschild, Claudia Cardinale, and others.

Image courtesy of imbd.com

“Mahogany’s” opening fashion montage contains a lot of fashion inspired by Asian culture. All of the garments in that opening fashion montage were designed by Diana Ross. (Special note: Pat Cleveland is one of the models in that opening fashion scene. In fact, Pat Cleveland coached Diana Ross on her runway walk for the film.)

In the photoshoot montage, it is very clear that the fashion references are based on opera, ballet, and art. Which is where most stylists and fashion photographers go to find incredible sources of inspiration.

Images courtesy of NYC.LGBT.historicsites.com and pinrerst.com, respectively

The Cleopatra/Nefertiti reference that inspired said look in the fashion montage, may have come from the beautiful costumes in Samuel Barber’s opera “Antony and Cleopatra.” This opera premiered in 1966 at the Metropolitan Opera House starring the great African American dramatic soprano Leontyne Price. It should also be noted that Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra” opened the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center.

Images courtesy of pinterest.com

The “Mahogany” costume and wardrobe department also looked to dance for inspiration. In 1967, the Joffrey Ballet premiered the ballet “Astarte” at New York City’s City Center. “Astarte” is the first multimedia ballet of its kind and referenced the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, hippie culture of the late 1960’s. The unitard worn by ballerina Trinette Singleton in the ballet looks very close to the unitard worn by Diana Ross in the “Mahogany” fashion montage.

Modern dance pioneer Martha Graham was known for expanding the lexicon of modern dance. From her “Letters to the World” to “Medea” to “Appalachian Spring” Martha Graham has set a standard in dance world that cannot be surpassed.

Images courtesy of lacinemadreams.blogspot.com

In Graham’s modern dance solo “Lamentations,” the dancer is enveloped in this very stretchable fabric as she goes through signature Graham emotive contractions. Ross is similarly attired in stretchable fabric and goes through familiar Graham movements.

“Mahogany” is, perhaps, the first film with fashion as a backdrop that draws heavily from the worlds of dance, opera, and art. And though this film was not recognized as a critical success in 1975, “Mahogany” is now a cult classic enjoyed by generations of viewers.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Reverie Celebrates Cicely Tyson

Image courtesy of Ala Midwinter

Television and the stage recently lost Cicely Tyson, the trailblazing actress who died at age 96 and appeared in more than 100 film, television, and stage roles. She was born in Harlem in a religious household and grew up singing in the choir. So, it was not unexpected that her mom was not very happy to hear her daughter wanted to become an actress. In fact, Tyson’s mother threw her out of the house. Apparently, the two didn’t speak for a while until her mom saw Cicely on stage. 

“There was no sense in arguing with my mother. What she was forbidding me to do I was already headlong into doing, with no intention of reversing course,” Tyson wrote in her memoir. Tyson added, “Mom had hoped to douse my burgeoning dream with her condemnation, prayed she could snuff it out with a stinging decree. But she’d inadvertently lit a match beneath me.”

Images courtesy of popsugar.com, Getty Images and houstonchronicle.com

Fashion

Cicely Tyson was a model first before became gainfully employed as an actress. Tyson got her start as a model working for the Grace Del Marco modeling agency, a black modeling agency in New York City. Later, Tyson was discovered by Ebony magazine and became a successful fashion model. Her sense of fashion and her connection to fashion remained and was obvious on red carpets and awards shows. One of her favorite designers was B Michael America and we could often see the two of at the events together.  

 

Her Daughter

Cicely Tyson was very private about her personal life, not letting anyone know her age for a long time. She was also very hush hush about her daughter.

 In her book, Just As I Am, Cicely discusses her daughter and their relationship for the first time. According to USA Today, the book reveals Cicely had her daughter, Joan, when she was only 17.  Cicely dedicated this book to her daughter, which is a very revealing title.  She wrote about their relationship “as fragile as it is precious.”

Images courtesy of pinterest.com, shondaland.com, and imbd.com, respectively

Big Screen, Television, and Stage

Cicely Tyson’s first role in a television series was in 1951 for “Frontiers of Faith” and her first film role was in the 1956 film “Carib Gold.” Tyson followed those roles with other numerous small roles and finally appeared on stage at the Harlem YMCA in the 1958 production Dark of the Moon.” 

Stage roles kept coming! She was a part of the original cast of Jean Genet’s “The Blacks,” acting alongside James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Brown, Roxy Roker, and Maya Angelou which was the longest running off-Broadway non-musical of the decade! 

Tyson received her first award the Vernon Rice Award after known as the Drama Desk Award for her outstanding performance in another off-Broadway production, “Moon on a Rainbow Shawl.

Soon after, Tyson became a well-known celebrity. Once she was nominated for the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and won the NSFC Best Actress and NBR Best Actress Awards for her role of Rebecca Morgan in the movie “Sounder.” In this period in the 1970s, Tyson portrayed several strong black women in film and television, Rebecca Morgan in “Sounder,” Jane Pittman in “The Autobiography of “Jane Pittman,” and Harriet Tubman in “A Woman Called Moses.”

Other performances that should be noted is her performance in “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, “Fried Green Tomatoes,”  The Women of Brewster Place,” “Sweet Justice,” “Hoodlum,” “The Help,” and a recurring role on “How To Get Away With Murder.” And at the age of 88 Cicely Tyson became the oldest recipient of the Best Actress Tony Award when she won for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as Miss Carrie Watts in “The Trip to Bountiful.”

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Honors 

Cicely received several honors and was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame and was honored at Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball. Many of us still have a crystal-clear memory of when Tyson was awarded the United States’ highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama in November 2016.

Always happy, always smiling and always super stylish, Tyson loved ruffles and big sleeves, bright colors, red and purple. Her petite figure was always wrapped up in beautiful fabrics with more than few wise things to share. Cicely was an inspiration and she raised a bar high when it comes to being an honorable and successful, independent woman.

—Tijana Ibrahimovic

What Are Broadway Performers Doing during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Image courtesy of headout.com

2021 certainly looks brighter; however, we did bring some luggage from 2020. Many businesses are still struggling, and the entertainment and fashion industries are adjusting without film debuts, red carpets, live concerts, live fashion shows, and live Broadway shows. The experience of live performances is simply impossible to improvise.

Last spring, 41 theaters turned off their stage lights,  actors left their dressing rooms full of their personal belongings as if they would be back soon from a long weekend and almost a year later we are all wondering when will Broadway be back ?“I think Broadway will definitely be back at some point in 2021. I’m sure there are going to be some changes—while you can’t exactly distance—or seat every other chair in a Broadway theater (it won’t be profitable); I bet we’ll be seeing some plexiglass—or even an added matinee or two if some seats do have to be removed. Not only is New York City missing the $14B a year that live performances bring in, but over 200,000 arts workers in New York City alone are without a job and health insurance —we cannot keep them from working, or from their livelihood,”says Lauren Conlin, Host  and Producer, “Red Carpet Rendezvous” Podcast.

Images courtesy of medium.com

“I miss the theater SO MUCH! I had tickets to “Company” and “Hadestown” before the [COVID-19] pandemic, and I was very excited for the play “Drift” to open off-Broadway. The sad part is, I don’t even think “Drift” will come back—and that’s upsetting, because I’m not sure when I’ll be able to see it—especially with the cast they had (Joe Pantoliano as the lead.) So many shows shut down before they could even open,” continues Conlin.

Lauren recently interviewed Claybourne Elder for her “Red Carpet Rendezvous“ podcast about who was starring in the ‘woke’ version of “Company’” on Broadway opposite Tony Award winners Katrina Lenk and Patti LuPone before the Broadway shutdown. He is an ambitious home chef, so during this pandemic shutdown he became a spokesperson for kitchen products!

Cicily Daniels images courtesy of pinterest.com

Talented Broadway performers have had to simply reset and explore other options of utilizing their skills. Cicily Daniels most recently seen in the Tony-award winning revival of “​Once On This Island​” and was also an original Broadway cast member of ​Disney’s “The Little Mermaid​,” where she performed the leading role of Ursula, the Sea Witch has been off stage since March of last year.

I don’t think that Broadway will return until fall 2021, at the earliest.  I wonder how it will be done, especially at first—will there be pods inside the theater, will the tickets be extremely expensive?  I am hoping that there aren’t too many changes to theater, but perhaps, there will be a greater commitment to maintaining actors’ health and creating a safe environment onstage and off,” explains Cicily Daniels.  “Unfortunately, like in every industry, there are theaters, theater companies, and shows that will have been unable to survive the pandemic.  There are several Broadway shows that have closed and will not re-open.  Some theater professionals will also not return to Broadway—some have moved away or changed industries.  More tragically, there are several members of the Broadway community who have died,” Cicily continues.

“Hadestown” image courtesy of pinterest.com

“That said, I believe that the Broadway community is extraordinarily resilient, and will be back.  Broadway and theater are an integral part of New York City, and Broadway will still be a mecca of theater across the world.  I also think that all of this time self-isolating is going to make people hungry for the ability to experience live theater, so hopefully, it will mean more shows and more opportunities for Broadway professionals.” 

There is a positive side to every story. “Fashion Reverie Talks” has a Broadway star Cicily as a co-host!! “Fashion Reverie Talks” keep Cicily busy with fashion coverage while she has been working on “The Loving Project,” with her husband, composer Brett Macias. “The Loving Project “examines interracial relationships and other social issues from The Loving Supreme Court case until today. Because downtime due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cicily has become an even better baker, to the excitement of her husband and 3-year-old daughter, “but to the detriment of my waistline,” she noted laughingly!

Alex Brightman in “Beetlejuice” image courtesy of themarysue.com

“Law & Order: SVU” showrunner Warren Leight has explained several times that the show’s producers are trying to hire as many Broadway actors as possible during the pandemic. Some of the stars we have already seen on “Law & Order: SVU” are Tony-nominated “Hadestown” actor Eva Noblezada and “Beetlejuice” lead actor Alex Brightman.

Stage actors already cast in parts for this season of “Law & Order” include the Tony-winning Adriane Lenox,” Doubt: A Parable,” and  “After Midnight;” Elizabeth Marvel, “King Lear,” “Picnic;” Jane Bruce, “Jagged Little Pill;”  Jelani Alladin, “Frozen;” Michael Mastro, “Love! Valour! Compassion!,”and Betsy Aidem, “Steel Magnolias,” as originally reported in deadline.com.

What New York State is anxiously awaiting is the “New York Arts Revival” that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced couple of weeks ago. This project will offer more than 100 performances in parks, public plazas, museums, theaters, and trucks all over the state. Some highlights include the 20th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival with the opening of Little Island, a new 2.7-acre public park on Pier 55 in the Hudson River. The show must go on!!

Tijana Ibrahimovic

Gadgets, Apps, and Online Services for Healthy Habits in 2021

Image courtesy of balancefestival.com

We all thought we were so smart in 2021. During last year’s lockdown everyone vowed we’d finish our novels, learn to speak Japanese, join that online workout class, and get in prime condition. Instead, we started drinking gin with breakfast, binged the same television shows we’d already seen, and put on 20 pounds from depression snacking. 

It was such a relief to put 2020 in the past. However, with 2021 barely two weeks old, and it feels like this new, third-wave lockdown will be going on for months!

Fashion Reverie is here to help. It’s so easy to get stuck in depression, but there are little things that can do, that really could make this a better year. Shouldn’t all our New Year’s resolutions been put in place weeks ago? We’re living in a new reality, time to be flexible. Check out this list of gadgets and apps to support you in your goals. Take a deep breath. It WILL get better.  And don’t give up if you skip a day or decide to change your goals. Progress, not perfection is the aim.

Image courtesy of Somnox

Somnox Sleep Robot
Many financial advisors will tell you there are places to cut corners, but your sleep hygiene is not that place. Lack of sleep is becoming a serious public health issue and can have a dramatic impact on one’s physical and emotional health. Somnox sleep robot retailing for $500 to $600 is not an inexpensive way to get a better night’s sleep, but many insist it’s worth the money.

You hold the bean-shaped device while sleeping–like a stuffed animal—and it mimics your heartbeat lulling you to sleep. Users have said it’s not for some people but many users report after only using it for a week or so they can’t imagine sleeping without it.  Shop around for discount codes.

Image courtesy of fcer.org

Noom App
Classic New Year resolutions; no sugar! No fat! One hundred percent vegan totally organic food! And that resolutions last for 10 hours.

Noom is an easily affordable app that helps you monitor your food, learn about your eating habits, and teaches you better skills for fitness. You can join online groups for support and tips. It’ not about being on a “diet” it’s about revamping eating habits and learn what works for you.  Make this the year you establish your good health and fitness habits with workable goals.

Image courtesy of Madison Reed

Madison Reed Hair Color
When all the hairstylists were forced to shutter their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone was forced to be their own stylists. But watching our hair color fade can be so depressing. So, after a few months, we had Amazon send us boxes of drugstore hair color. One problem, while better than nothing, drugstore hair color is not good! Some stylists say they can spot it from a mile away.  Is there an option to using cheap dye while in quarantine? Yes! Madison Reed is top-notch salon-quality color delivered straight to your door at a reasonable price.  You can take an online quiz and speak to customer service to find the perfect shade. You can even set up a subscription service to make sure you never run out! Make 2021 the year your roots are never visible on ZOOM.

Image courtesy of Prose

Prose Hair Care
We’ve all had a hair reset in 2020. Since we rarely left the house our crimpers and blow dryers stayed tucked away. Our hair had time to rest and repair. Keep that going in 2021 with Prose Hair Care. Prose Hair Care is geared preciously toward your hair needs and type. You control everything and get exactly what you want. Take the online quiz or chat with customer service to find out what will give you your best hair.  Stop destroying your mane with $3 shampoos. Pro tip? You’re probably using too much product. No more than a quarter-sized amount of shampoo and a dime of conditioner.

Image courtesy of Ritual

Ritual Vitamins

Something as simple as taking a good multivitamin can really help your health. Ritual has created vitamins with a traceable supply chain to ensure quality and ethical sourcing. Setting up a subscription is easy, so you never have to worry about running out.  Plus, with their published scientific research you’ll know you’re getting top quality ingredients for optimum health.

Image courtesy of Ulla

Ulla

When keeping your New Year’s resolutions one tip is to be additive rather than subtractive. Instead of saying, “I will never drink juice/soda again!” which can make them more attractive try saying, “from now I will drink 1 liter of water every day.” The extra liquid will eliminate your thirst and reduce your cravings, essentially crowding out the bad stuff.

 Ulla is perfect for this. It’s a rubber band that fits around any bottle. If it hasn’t been picked up after 20 minutes, it will start to glow. It’s a simple gentle reminder to keep you meeting your hydration goals.

Image courtesy of Trial and Eater

Daily Harvest

Trying to have a healthier diet in 2021? Instead of banning certain foods one way is to commit to making one vegan meal each day. Daily Harvest is a fast, inexpensive way to get a delicious selection of easy to prepare healthy meals shipped directly to your home. With dozens of options to choose from, you’ll find stuff you love, and they will always be in your freezer ready to consume in minutes. You’ll discover that healthy organic vegan food can be insanely delicious. 

Image courtesy of PR Newswire

Yoga with Adrienne
That’s it. It’s 2021!  You’re committing to health! You’re going to do 2 hours of Physique 57 every day! No, you’re not. You might do it for 3 days but then you’ll give up. When it comes to fitness, you want to start small.

Yoga will Adrienne offers a 30-day plan for you to ease into your fitness goals. Or start even smaller. Download her videos from Youtube for free. If after two weeks you stick to three times a week, maybe consider kicking it up a notch, or just stay at that level. One idea is to pair up with a friend so you can remind the other one to stick to the plan. Keep that up for a month, reward yourself with a new sweater or lipstick.

Image courtesy of amazon.com

Practical Meditation for Beginners by Benjamin W. Drecker

Meditation can sound awfully new age to people who simply don’t believe crystals can align your chakras. Some meditation courses charge an astronomical sum of money to teach basic skills. But the truth is meditation isn’t as complicated or difficult as you might think.  It can be simple to get into a routine for just 10 minutes a day. Benjamin W. Drecker’s book can take you through comfortable steps to creating a healthy habit. One big bonus? There are dozens of used copies available, so you can get the book for half price.

—Cameron Grey Rose

Holiday 2020 Northeast Resort Destinations

Image courtesy of aaa.com

If you are a celebrity you might have a lavish home that you can transform into a winter wonderland, Halloween adventure or a tropical island, just like Kim Kardashian. With this transformational ability, you can keep your kids and family entertained without jetting to a private island getaway. Celebrities of course fly on private jets, but what are the options for the average consumer? How do you take a safe, socially distanced vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic, from road trips to private vacation rentals and remote campsites and feel just like a celebrity? Surprise, surprise, surprise, it is possible!!

From remote hotels near beaches, mountains, lakes, and islands, to private vacation rentals and road trips, Fashion Reverie has curated a few close-to-home vacation ideas to consider during this current health pandemic.  The holiday season is here, and as pandemic fatigue is setting in US travelers are eager to get out of their homes and have a little R&R. However, many states are currently experiencing spikes in COVID-19 infections.

Without a vaccine no place is safe, and it’s impossible to guarantee any safe place other than your home, so remember to practice safety measures: wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. There are quarantine restrictions to consider so we recommend avoiding COVID-19 hot spots.

Image courtesy of winecountry.com

Virginia Wine Country

If there wasn’t COVID-19, we would maybe never find time to explore a USA-based wine county other than in California.  Consider the Virginia wine country.

Most of Virginia’s wine country is in the Shenandoah Valley, Appalachia Virginia, and historic Monticello. There are great bed and breakfasts in these places. All easily accessible by car or airplane—Virginia has four airports. Just remember, masks must be worn indoors and where there is good wine there is good food!!

Image courtesy of newsbreak.com

New York Catskills

The New York Catskills has great skiing, friendly mountain region, lots of cute lodges to rent where you can enjoy fireplaces, guided hikes, and a focus on outdoor and in-room dining. Visit Bear Mountain with some quiet time at the Abbey Inn and Spa in artsy Peekskill, way up on a hill overlooking the Hudson River.

Image courtesy of sferra.com

The Berkshires

The Berkshires in Massachusetts are a little further north, but a perfect place for the holidays if you don’t want to travel too far and don’t want to board a plane. You must have heard about this posh place. Embrace being a tourist at  “Tourists,” a former mid-century motor lodge turned 48-room resort, which recently reopened with strict COVID safety measures. 

Image courtesy of tripadvisor.com

Mount Snow, Vermont

Get a taste of luxury in Vermont near Mount Snow. Treehouse Village Inn, A-frame treehouse is a perfect place to stay and enjoy lakes, waterfalls, and long walk. Sounds like a true retreat to us. Fresh air and gorgeous winter wonderland, who could ask for anything better!!

Image courtesy of afar.com

Long Island’s North Fork

North Fork is a familiar place we go to and vacation during the summertime. That said; how about considering North Fork as a holiday vacation spot?  Enjoy ocean view suites where you can feel just at home with your family. There are great places to rent with private outdoor decks and private beaches.

Image courtesy of masslive.com

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Lots of folks are huge fans of Cape Cod!! We know it more as a summer getaway, but there are still great restaurants and seafood shacks during the holiday season. It’s also a very creative place, very artsy and crafts friendly region.  And in the large town of Hyannis, you can visit the John F. Kennedy Museum. Heads up, you’ll need a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arriving.

—Tijana Ibrahimovic

Despite COVID-19, American Ballet Theatre Dancers Are Keeping Busy

Image courtesy of wsj.com

a lover of the arts, you are aware that the arts are in a holding period while nations grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. And it seems as we contend with a second round of COVID-19 infections, it appears that stage performances in New York City and other international capitals are postponed or have very limited access until late spring 2021. That’s right no Broadway shoes, music concerts, and as we move to the holiday season, no “Nutcracker.”

That said; international artists are not sitting on their laurels waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine. Principal dancer Misty Copeland earlier in the year launched a relief fund for ballet dancers that were out of work due to COVID-19 pandemic. This GoFundMe campaign, ”Swans for Relief” is raising $500,000 for unemployed dancers. (Contrary to popular belief, ballet dancers do eat food.)

“In these unpredictable times, ballet companies—like many organizations—are fighting to survive,” Copeland and co-founder Joseph Phillips wrote in a joint statement. “Ballet companies are largely dependent on revenue from performances to pay their dancers and fund their operations, but we are now confronting the uncertainty of when we will return to the stage and once again fill performance venues.”

“Art brings people together to provide a beautiful escape, and ballet in particular is a very unifying experience both on and off the stage, filled with history and imagination,” Copeland said in a statement. “Throughout my career, it has been very important for me to bring more attention and awareness to this art form. The theater thrives on people coming together to experience a performance. Because of the coronavirus, the livelihood and careers of dancers are in jeopardy, and this will continue to have massive effects even after we start to re-open our cities.”

Image courtesy of architecturaldigest.com

Misty Copeland is not only ballet dancer keeping busy. (And in case you are not in the know, Misty Copeland 3.1 million-dollar Upper Westside apartment, you missed an elegant treat. During ABT’s layoff, Copeland had time to decorate her apartment, that she purchased in 2018 and have it photographed for Architectural Digest.) American Ballet Theatre soloist Gabe Stone Shayer has partnered with CHANEL to launch “Pas de Deux,” a limited documentary series exploring the intersection of dance and other diverse art forms.

Coco Chanel was big ballet fan, creating costumes for the Ballets Russes’ ballets “La Chatte” and “Le Train Bleu.” And we know that Coco Chanel had an affair with Igor Stravinsky, the composer of the music for the ballet “La Chatte.” In that respect, Coco Chanel was a true collaborator.

Gabe Stone Shayer at the Apollo Theater, courtesy of Gabe Stone Shayer. Alicia Keys by James Bailey.

The limited documentary series “Pas de Deux” are short 15-minute episodes takes viewers into the homes and workspaces of each dancer and collaborator, allowing these diverse creators the opportunity to connect virtually for an exchange of ideas. Pas de Deux is inspired by one of those nights in New York City where you meet interesting people who inspire you,” said Shayer.  “The idea first hit me when thinking about how I could continue to create in quarantine.  I wanted to highlight the innovation that is magnified by an artist feeling stifled.  I’m obsessed with multimedia collaborations and felt this was the moment where we could explore the intersection of art and artists.”

Creative pairings include:

  • ABT Principal Dancer Isabella Boylston with master chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson
  • ABT Principal Dancer Cassandra Trenary with Kat Sullivan, Artist in Residence at RLAB, New York City’s virtual and augmented reality lab
  • ABT Soloist Luciana Paris with visual artist Chloe Wise
  • “Pas de Deux” creator and ABT Soloist Shayer with Grammy Award®-winning singer, songwriter and actor Alicia Keys. Additional dance footage for this episode was directed and filmed by Pierce Jackson.

The first in this series of mini documentaries aired on October 29 on American Ballet Theatre’s YouTube channel and IGTV.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

 

London Brown: One of the Chosen

Image courtesy of montrealtimes.com

Launching a career in the entertainment industry is a daunting task. No matter what anyone tells you—particularly the celebrity wannabees on Instagram—having that desired career as a performer requires taking a lot of risks with no guarantees of success. Still, it can be done!! (The many are called; few are chosen scripture applies here.)

What may be even more of a challenge is maintaining that success. London Brown has done just that.

The Los Angeles-native started his career as a stand-up comedian, hitting all the major comedy venues—The Comedy Union, The Improv, The Comedy Store, and Gotham Comedy Club. In 2013, London Brown won the Robin Harris Rising Star award, as well as Best International Comedian for 2013 Black Comedy awards in the UK. He has also shared stages with Katt Williams, Tony Rock and Kevin Hart.

That said; London Brown’s career does not start and end with comedy. He doesn’t rest his laurels with folks’ bellyaching laughter. Brown cut his acting chops on the Fuse network’s comedy-drama “Hustle” as the character D, an aspiring hip-hop artist.

London Brown in Ballers.” Image courtesy of thesun.com

Probably Brown’s most memorable role to date is that of the character Reggie in HBO’s “Ballers.” And while “Ballers” really set London Brown on his path to cinematic greatness, Brown had experienced one of biggest losses prior to working on “Ballers.” Brown’s brother Wendell Lee, 25, was killed in the LA neighborhood that London Brown grew up in.

“[2013] was the best year of my life and the worst at the same time. I was living off my art. I was on one of the hottest networks, living in a Hollywood condo, and working in Miami where the weather is great. I’m like, ‘Cool, this shit happens.’ And then that happens, and it was a reminder that the things I do are bigger than just me,” Brown said in an undefeated.com article. “It’s not about me just working and getting a check to live a ritzy lifestyle. I have to make sure I’m working because I try to be some sort of assistance to my family and take the stress off of them.”

Image courtesy of joblo.com

2013 may been a difficult year for London Brown, but he has not been deterred, and he is currently riding strong. Though 2020 has been a down time for lots of performers, that is not the case of London Brown. Brown is currently starring on STARZ’s “Power Book: 3” and the third iteration of “Tales from the Hood:3.” Which comes out on October 6.

“Fashion Reverie Talks” was fortunate to get to interview London Brown about his career, his roles in “Power Book: 3” and “Tales from the Hood: 3.”

—Staff

Copyright © 2012-2021 | Fashion Reverie Publications, LLC - All Rights Reserved