It Feels Like Autumn!…


Ipad Case : Marc by Marc Jacobs Turnlock Shine  Shoes: Hussein Chalayan

Ipad Case : Marc by Marc Jacobs Turnlock Shine
Shoes: Hussein Chalayan

Jacket: Derek Lam for DesigNation Chambray Jacket At Kohl's

Jacket: Derek Lam for DesigNation Chambray Jacket For Kohl’s

Hussein ChalayandenimipadcaseUWM


Culture Melds

Every country, as every individual, has its unique personality. Every culture has flaws and fascinating attributes we can learn and adopt.

I was always sort of a sponge. I absorbed these values quickly. Of course, they were positive values, the type that make you search deep within yourself, question, grow and develop as a person. It became a habit that comes with the experience of traveling and living abroad. You are becoming like water— flexible and adaptable.

When I lived in Italy, the most important thing I learned was to stay in the moment. In the United States, one is forced to think about tomorrow. Sometimes, you simply forget to live. Working hard to accomplish your dreams is important.

Still, 30 years from now, you want to say: “My life was so interesting. Yes, I went through ups and downs, but all those events made me that beautiful and strong person I am today. ”

We must learn to enjoy the present. When did you last spend time with your friends? When was the last time you tried doing something new?

When I studied in Italy, I met many interesting people. Suddenly, my world burst forth with color. I started to appreciate the quality of food, the quality of communication, the quality of family relationships. I wore bold, rich colors like Italian girls.

Interestingly, the Italian’s love for these colors are rooted in the images of the Harlequin, a comic servant character from the Italian Commedia dell’arte and its descendant, the Harlequinade.


Bristol Renaissance Fair

The Harlequin represents the lively, younger generation of the Commedia. In the minor intrigues he is associated with, he has a satirical voice. Clever, but somewhat buffoonish, he is known for the bright diamond lozenges he wears.

And because of a 16th century clown, I was inspired to incorporate bright, bold colors to my wardrobe.

I’m on my way to Festa Italiana to celebrate Italy and her culture, and especially, her fashion. By the way, what are your thoughts on wearing bright colors?

admirationphoto by flickr user The Purple Pants

skittlesphoto by flickr user The Purple Pants

11 Via Montenapoleone, Milanophoto by flickr user Dimitry B.

le vicine di casaphoto by flickr user Fabiana

Erin Heatherton: Victoria’s Secret U.S. of Angels Summer Swim Tour In Milwaukee, WI

Today, I had a great opportunity to interview Erin Heatherton, one of  Victoria Secret’s Angels.  She is traveling to Milwaukee for an in-store appearance at Mayfair Mall as part of the first-ever Victoria’s Secret U.S. of Angels Summer Swim Tour. Out of 20 cities across the United States, Milwaukee was chosen by the fans as the number one city for the summer tour! The other cities include Seattle with Candice Swanepoel and Orlando with Lindsay Ellingson.

As one of the new faces of Victoria’s Secret and native of Skokie, Ill, Erin worked for famous designers and brands such as Versace, John Galliano, Custo Barcelona, Michael Kors, D&G, Diane von Fürstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Tommy Hilfiger, and many others.

She’ll be on hand to take photos at Mayfair Mall from 5 to 7 p.m. Don’t forget to enjoy giveaways, complimentary beach-sexy hair styling, summer makeovers, and a live DJ.

I have to say, that Erin Heatherton has qualities beyond just beauty.  She is intelligent, charming and full of life! For more photos and details about her perspectives on fashion, modeling industry, and traveling, click here. For tips to select the perfect swimming suit, click here.

"U.S. of Angels Summer Swim Tour"  Credit: Daniel Boczarski /Getty Images

“U.S. of Angels Summer Swim Tour”
Credit: Daniel Boczarski /Getty Images

"U.S. of Angels Summer Swim Tour"  Credit: Daniel Boczarski /Getty Images

“U.S. of Angels Summer Swim Tour”
Credit: Daniel Boczarski /Getty Images

Mom Wasn’t Always Right: Talk to Strangers

Summer is the best season to be in Milwaukee.

Boats glide along the river. Residents and tourists take in cultural festivals. Restaurants patrons linger on patios sipping beverages. Musicians play in picturesque parks.

My friend and I frequent visitors of Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery by the riverfront. Located in the heart of the city, it affords a fantastic view. The service remains consistently impeccable. The diverse crowd intrigues me. Many international and American tourists gather here.

Last week, we met a couple from Thailand, who came on a student exchange program. They shared interesting stories about travelling across the United States. We talked with a Minnesota woman who travelled alone on a business trip. Then, there was the married couple from Chicago who shared a meet-cute story.

Getting to know new people, especially veteran travelers, is fun. It’s a pleasure to learn about different cultures. It broadens my perceptions. During formal networking, people are careful to show only a polished veneer. I’ve noticed that typically when travelling, people, myself included, are more open. They share insightful stories. Sometimes they give you a better advice than even your friends and family. A fresh perspective from an outsider who is an expert on something is quite useful.

I believe in today’s rapidly changing world it’s so important to push the boundaries of conventional thinking. Technology certainly offers many opportunities to connect with people globally and learn different views. This is especially true if you are a writer. I’ve enjoyed learning from different bloggers— chefs passionate about cooking, wine connoisseurs,  feminists inspiring women to change the world, mothers sharing secrets of balancing family and work. There are always new and interesting ideas out there. Nevertheless, I think the virtual world will never replace the experience of tête-à-tête interaction with a new person, sometimes a complete stranger. Do you push the boundaries in real life to find inspiration for your blogging and writing?

Do you enjoy talking to strangers?

Rock Bottom Milwaukee

_MG_5800_2Milwaukee Boat Tours: Edelweiss BoatsRiver Hog MilwaukeeKayaking MilwaukeeRiverfront MilwaukeeMilwaukee RiverfrontRiver Bank PlazaMilwaukee Riverfront: Things To DoRiverwalk Restaurant Guide

Milwaukee Riverfront: Things To Do

Riverside Theater, Lakefront District Restaurants Of Milwaukee: Rock Bottom Brewery

These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

Moto Bar and Restaurant

Look: Marc by Marc Jacobs caviar leather iPad case, leather/velvet boots (Alexander Wang), navy military coat (Diane von Furstenberg) tucked-in hair, over-sized sunglasses.

Harley-Davidson Museum

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”
― Albert Einstein

Alexander Wang Boots and Marc Jacobs Ipad CaseAlexander Wang BootsAlexander Wang BootsME MilwaukeeHarley-Davidson MuseumAlexander Wang BootsAlexander Wang BootsHarley-Davidson Museum


Exploring Italy: Summer Courses At Marangoni, Milan

Have you ever lived in another country for at least two months?

I have lived in the United States for almost nine years, and I miss the fresh experience of visiting a country, exploring new customs and cultures, meeting new people.

About a year ago I enrolled in the Istituto Marangoni in Milan.

Summer Courses at Marangoni, Milan

Marangoni, Milan
Italy: Subway
Alexander McQueen Long White Dress W/ Leather Harness - Fall 2011 Collection

I have to say, it was one of the best experience in my life. Not only did I learn a lot about the culture, but also I had the incredible opportunity to meet interesting people. Students came from Israel, Venezuela, Korea, Peru, Brazil, Greece, Japan, Argentina, the United Sates and a few other countries. They came from different professional backgrounds. There were models, designers, photographers, sales professionals and many others. Despite all of our differences, we shared one thing — love and passion for the fashion and apparel industry.

The long classes began at 8:30 a.m. and finished nine hours later. Still, the time passed like the speed of light. I think even a person who is indifferent to fashion would find these classes extremely interesting because they incorporate diverse topics like worldwide history, music, cinematography, economy and even politics. All of these subjects affect trends and it is essential to know about them in order to analyze current trends and be able to apply this knowledge when forecasting upcoming trends. As an entrepreneur who sells vintage apparel that is primarily representative of top European brands, I found these classes to be invaluable. Not only have I mastered brand awareness, but learned many insights into the luxury industry, thanks to the incredible local Italian instructors who were very patient about my extreme curiosity.

Here are a few things that I gleaned from my studying experience in Italy:

  • Instead of renting a hotel rooms with your friend/partner book a room with a local family. You will have an invaluable cultural learning experience. In addition, a great host will help you to get around the city and provide many tips and insights into local customs and sights. I like to use, which provides host review/feedback, along with detailed information about the place.
Place I've booked through

Place I’ve booked through

  • Instead of hanging out with tourists, meet locals. Look for events attended by expats by registering at If you don’t know the local language, you might want to check the LinkedIn events and see if people from your native country are living and working around the city. It’s a great opportunity for networking and learning from their experiences of working/studying abroad.

Florence, Italy

Piccolo Theater, Milan

  • Forget about tourist excursions, which remind me of a flock of sheep following the tour-guide with a flag. Instead, explore the city on your own or with local people. Don’t be afraid to get lost and meet new people, even if you don’t speak the local language. Overcome your fear. Look at your experience as a learning opportunity and a challenge. There is nothing more satisfying than learning to be comfortable in unknown places.
  • It’s much more affordable buy a local phone than to use international plan rates when staying for a substantial time abroad. If you decide to use an international plan and own a smartphone, be careful how you use your data. Watching YouTube videos and surfing the social network sites is extremely expensive. You might end up with a bill for more than  $1,000. It’s a hard lesson to learn.
  • Don’t trust people who offer to take your picture, especially in a tourist zone. They may simply steal your camera or ask too high price for your “photo-shoot session”.
  • When it comes to dining, the service is much better outside the tourist areas. The waiters and owners are nicer and more polite, and the food itself is much more affordable and not of a lesser quality.
  • Don’t rely on the availability of wireless cafes/restaurants. Unlike the United States, in Italy free Wi-Fi is not readily available. This is another reason to book a room through Find a room/apartment with Wi-Fi availability.
  • Watch out for cheap, designer-looking clothes, which are labeled “Made In Italy.”  They are usually made in factories owned by Chinese immigrants and are not of the same quality as traditional “made in Italy” products.
  • If you have a chance to be in Bologna, try local Bolognese lasagna, the best lasagna I’ve ever had!

Bologna, Italy
Bologna, Italy
Bologna, Italy
Bologna, Italy

Bologna, Italy: Lasagna Bolognese

  • If you have an opportunity to visit a small town or village in Italy, go for it! I had an incredible experience being at Morbegno, a beautiful village on Vatellina Mountains. Not only I’ve learned a lot about wine during the local wine festival there, but also acquired a broader perspective on Italian customs and traditional Italian food.

Valtellina Mountains, Morbegno, Italy
Morbegno, Italy

Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno
Wine Festival at Morbegno

Wine Festival at Morbegno

Wine Festival, Morbegno
Morbegno, Italy
Morbegno, ItalyMorbegno, ItalyLake Como, ItalyLake Como, Italy


What is your experience of living abroad?

♦ ♦ ♦

Вам приходилось жить за границей, по крайней мере в течении двух месяцев?
В Соединенных Штатах я живу почти девять лет; должна признаться, время от времени я скучаю по ощущениям начальной стадии проживания в новой стране, с её новыми обычаями и укладами.

Около года назад я поступила в Миланский институт, Марангони. Должна сказать, это был один из лучших опытов в моей жизни. Я не только узнала многое нового об итальянской культуре, но у меня также была невероятная возможность познакомиться с интересными людьми. Студенты приехали из Израиля, Кореи, Перу, Бразилии, Греции, Японии, Аргентины, Соединенных Штатов и некоторых других стран.  Это были в основном девушки разных профессий, включая моделей, дизайнеров, фотографов, специалистов по продажам и многих других видов деятельности. Несмотря на все наши различия, мы разделяли общее – интерес и страсть к индустрии моды.

Занятия начинались в 8:30 утра и длились около девять часов. Тем не менее, время пролетало незаметно.  Я думаю, что даже человеку, который равнодушен к моде, эти классы бы показались чрезвычайно увлекательными, т.к. они включают множество разнообразных тем: мировую историю, музыку, кинематографию, экономику и даже политику.  Все эти сферы, как правило, влияют на тенденции моды, и знание их просто необходимо для того чтобы уметь анализировать текущие тенденции а также уметь применять эти знания при прогнозировании будущих трендов. Как предпринимателю, который занимается и-коммерцией в сфере моды, эти классы сыграли не маловажную роль в моей деятельности. Благодаря местным итальянским инструкторам, которые были невероятно терпеливы к моему чрезвычайному любопытству, я не только освоила известные бренды, но также глубже познала специфику индустрии моды.  

Итак, я хотела бы поделиться несколькими советами,  почерпнутыми из моего опыта пребывания в Италии:

  • Вместо аренды гостиничных номеров с вашим другом / партнером забронируйте комнату или квартиру через  Таким образом, вы не только почувствуюте особенности жизненного уклада в стране, но и вполне вероятно хост квартиры  поможет вам в перемещении по  городу или предоставит множество советов по поводу местных достопримечательностей.  Немаловажно учитывать тот факт, что airbnb обеспечивает характеристику владельца квартиры наряду с подробной информацией о месте проживания.
  • Вместо того, чтобы болтаться с туристами, стремитесь познакомиться с местными жителями.  Сходите на мероприятия экспатов, зарегистрировавшись на Если вы не знаете местного языка, вы можете проверить LinkedIn мероприятия и посмотреть, присутствуют ли экспаты из России.  Это отличная возможность познакомиться с интересными людьми и просто узнать большее о стране.
  • Забудьте о традиционных туристических экскурсиях, которые напоминают мне стадо овец, следующего за гидом с флажком.  Вместо этого, исследуйте город самостоятельно или с кем-нибудь из местных друзей.  Не бойтесь заблудиться и познакомиться с новыми людьми, даже если вы не говорите на местном языке. Пользуйтесь возможностью преодолеть свои страхи.  Посмотрите на свой опыт, как на вызов.  Ведь это весьма удовлетворяющий опыт – научиться чувстовать себя комфортно в самой неизвестной обстановке.
  • Гораздо более экономично купить местный телефон чем использовать международные тарифы, в особенности если вы проживаете значительно длительное время за границей.  Если вы решите использовать международный план и у вас смартфон, будьте осторожны при использовании интернета.  Просмотр YouTube видео и серфинг в социальных сетях вам обойдется сногшибательно дорого.
  • Не доверяйте людям, которые предлагают вам сделать снимок вашим фотоаппаратом, особенно в туристической зоне.  Вполне возможно “фотограф” либо незаметно исчезнет оставив вас с пустыми руками или попросит слишком немыслимую цену за “фотосессию”.
  • Отдайте предпочтение ресторанчикам вне туристической зоне. Очень часто обслуживание в них намного лучшего качества: официанты и владельцы ресторанов более вежливые, да и итальянские спагетти более изысканнее и обойдутся вам гораздо дешевле.
  • Не полагайтесь на наличие интернет-кафе / ресторанов на каждом шагу.  В отличие от США, в Италии бесплатный Wi-Fi не так доступен.  Это еще один повод чтобы забронировать номер через Забронируйте комнату / квартиру с Wi-Fi.
  • Будьте осторожны при покупке одежды которая по дизайну напоминает высоких дизайнеров, с маркой “Сделано в Италии”.  Они обычно делаются на заводах принадлежащих китайским иммигрантам и абсолютно иного качества, нежели традиционная “сделано в Италии” одежда.
  • Если у Вас есть шанс быть в Болонье, попробуйте местную Болоньезе лазанья – это самая наивкуснейшая  лазанья, которую я когда-либо попробовала в своей жизни!
  • Если у вас есть возможность посетить  какой-нибудь небольшой городок в Италии, дерзайте.  У меня был прекрастный опыт в Morbegno, красивый маленький городок на горах Vatellina.  Я не только узнала многое о вине и принципах виноделия во время местного фестиваля вина, но и в целом, Morbegno позволило мне расширить кругозор в области итальянских обычаев и традиционной итальянской кухни.

А каков ваш опыт жизни за границей?

Leather, Leather, Leather!

What do you think of woman who wears the same leather jacket to the office, the PTA meeting and the theater?

I believe women entrepreneurs can combine conservative clothes with leather apparel to make a bold statement. She is a woman who makes calculated risks. She embraces her both masculine and feminine sides.

I love leather.

As a teenager in Russia, I wore it as a rebellious statement. A few years later, I moved to the United States to earn my bachelor’s degree. During this time, I was coordinating leather apparel for a large company. I developed a lot of product knowledge and networked with a number of interesting, successful people. The years passed and I moved on to earn my master of business administration degree. I still had a keen interest in this clothing niche.

Fiasco Magazine July/August 2010 Masha Z. by Pino Gomes

Corinna Ingenleuf Dons Rebellious Style for Mark Kean's Sleek Shoot

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Kati Nescher Dons Leather Looks for Vogue China's August 2012 Cover...

Just recently, I attended a Milwaukee gala with people of different age and professional demographics. The women wore leather jackets and blazers. I even spotted formal leather dresses. Imagine. They were not rebellious teenagers, bikers or rock stars. These women  were conservative professionals.

Many people perceive leather as the epitome of sexiness or rebellion. The fact is that it is the current fashion trend. It’s seen on catwalks of New York, Milan, Paris and London. In fact, every top designer has a leather outfit in his or her 2012-2013 collections.

What started as a trend by punks with limited cash in the 1970s has emerged into a present-day lady-like trend for professional, feminine women.

Corinna Ingenleuf Dons Rebellious Style for Mark Kean's Sleek Shoot

Lover Offers Lace and Leather for its Fall/Winter 2013 Collection


Kati Nescher Dons Leather Looks for Vogue China's August 2012 Cover...

I am not a teenager any longer. Yet, my closet still has plenty of leather – from gloves to jackets. I like to mix it with conservative clothes, such as white shirts, closed toe shoes and pencil skirts.

It’s like having the de rigueur little black dress in your wardrobe. Leather outerwear is a “must-have” classic that will never go out of style.

Do you have a leather jacket? How do you like to wear it?